Blogger Copycat Challenge Recap: What I Wore (and what I learned)

Here is the replay of my week of blogger copycats! I browsed several fashion blogs mentioned in the original challenge thread but ended up picking all of my outfits from Jessica Quirk's What I Wore blog, as it seemed like we had similar styles and I had a lot of the pieces to make them work. I know some (like Suz) used the photos as a creative challenge to push themselves in a new style direction which is great! As for me, I was just happy I could participate even while pregnant and could still fit into my clothes! :) I really enjoyed doing as close a match as I could, even down to the sunglasses and copying the pose, because well I'm just a matchy matchy kind of gal! I really tried hard to copy every detail like the cap toed shoes, bracelets, gloves, etc (and we're even wearing the same exact bee blouse in 1!). There are a few tweaks I would have liked to be able to do, but overall I'm happy with the way these came out and how close they came to the inspiration outfits!

I'd say the theme this week was dots (and more dots!), stripes, and pipes (contrast piping). Which outfit do you like best?
Day 1: Yellow, snake and leather
Day 2: Emerald and dot extravaganza
Day 3: In the trenches
Day 4: Dotty dress and burgundy tights
Day 5: Cream/black blazer, burgundy, boots & gloves

Here is what I learned from this challenge:
1. Proportion is key.
There were a few things I would have liked to have changed about my versions and they mostly had to do with proportion. I think the coat in 3 (as some of you pointed out) would have looked better with the boyfriend jeans if it was shorter like Jessica's. And the scarf in 1 was a little too long, but I am a scarf newbie and didn't know how to tie it. I did end up ordering the shorter leopard scarf that Jessica has from Target though! And in 5, I think the jacket would have been better if it was more cropped like hers and with a bolder contrast piping. I haven't been thinking about proportion much, but it's definitely a good thing to pay attention to.

2. Make it work with the clothes you have.
During this pregnancy I've been fighting the feeling that I'm losing my whole wardrobe due to my growing belly. But in reality, I have no shortage of clothes to wear, because I've been making it work as long as I can primarily with my non-maternity clothes and incorporating maternity when needed. The only actual maternity item I wore this week was the pants in 5. For example, I can't button any of my jackets anymore but I still wear them open over my clothes. The boyfriend jeans still fit because I had bought them a size up and wear them under the belly. And the skirts I just wear with the waist higher up above my belly (same with dresses like the one in 4). And even though the shirts in 2&5 are too short to cover my belly, I can still wear them with my high-waisted skirts and maternity pants.

3. Hang onto outfit completer pieces.
I don't know if this is such a good lesson for me given I tend to hang onto clothes way too long (my dated filter is not well developed) and should probably purge more given my huge wardrobe, but I found I still use my old clothes. Like the blazer in 2 was from my Ann Taylor interview suit from the 90's. I never wear suits nowadays and I was contemplating purging it (because I rarely wear blazers either) but then it turned out to be perfect with that outfit. And the burgundy tank in 5 is also Ann Taylor from the 90's. I don't wear it much because I don't think the high neckline and bare shoulders look is as flattering on me, but it was perfect under the jacket--the newer burgundy cowl neck blouse I have wouldn't have worked under this jacket. I also have a rust mock turtleneck tank from the 90's that I wouldn't wear on its own (and it's getting frayed and faded) but it's perfect under one of my black wool moto jackets so I keep it around. I don't wear these pieces enough to justify buying a bunch of replacements, but it's free to keep my old things and as long as I have the space, why not if they're the perfect finisher for a certain outfit!

4. There are many different ways to wear your clothes--mix things up with styling.
This may seem so obvious to those of you who are adept at remixing and wardrobe capsules, but before YLF I was a one outfit one way type of girl. Still am, in a sense, because my experiments in remixing are more to tweak outfits until I find my favorite "perfect" incarnation and then I tend to want to wear it that way all the time, and find my variety through a larger wardrobe with many different items. But this challenge made me realize that I can change things up a lot just with styling. Like my Kate Spade polka dot cocktail dress in 4. I usually wear it with cardigans and go all out girly girly, but It felt totally different wearing it with a moto jacket and booties...a little tougher edge, which is great because I love having multiple personas and juxtaposing girly with tough. And forcing myself to get more creative with switching up looks will help in my third trimester when I have to put away even more of my pre-pregnancy wardrobe and live on a smaller capsule. Realizing I can be creative with my clothes will inspire me to be more creative about shopping my closet and remixing, even when I'm not pregnant anymore, rather than wanting to just buy more and more to get new outfits.

5. Blogs are a great source of fashion inspiration.
I haven't really been following fashion blogs at all, but trying out this challenge made me realize how many fashion blogs there are and I may start following a couple now. But for the most part, YLF keeps me busy enough (I can hardly keep up with everything here!) and Angie and you all are all the inspiration I need!

Thanks so much MaryK for a really fun and inspiring challenge! I had a blast and learned so much!


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WIW 11/16: Copycat Day 5: Cream/black blazer, burgundy, boots & gloves

Here's the final day of the blogger copycat challenge, again from Jessica Quirk's What I Wore:

Rushing off to work, so this is a quickie. I prefer Jessica's crisper jacket--this one is one DH bought for me but it's permanently wrinkly and I think it would look better with thicker black stripes. I took off the self tie 1) to match her version and 2) because I can't close the jacket anyways anymore with the belly! Gloves are a fun touch but I'm not really planning to wear them all day--it's just for the picture.

White House Black Market cream and black jacket
Ann Taylor burgundy tank (from the 90's)
H&M maternity black skinnies
Frye black lace-up boots
Le Sak black purse
Alexis Bittar pendant
Coach sunglasses
Maybelline Plum Perfect lipstick
Black leather gloves (old)

Thanks for looking and commenting, and thanks MaryK for a fun challenge!


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Is leopard print aging? Man-repelling?

I kind of have a love-hate relationship with leopard print. On the one hand I have several items with leopard print (heels, ballet flats, pussy bow blouse, belt) and think it's a cool pattern and a great finishing accent, but on the other hand I kind of equate it with "old lady fashion", especially in big doses like a big coat or boxy tunic or sweater. And I'm wondering if others feel the same leopard print (esp if more than just an accent piece) aging? For example, look at these two WIW's from Jessica Quirk. While I like the look of #1 (leopard and red definitely appeals to my retro bombshell side), I feel like she looks at least 10 years older in #1 than in #2. And while I could see myself wearing outfit #1, it also seems like it would be the type of outfit that a fashionable nursing home patient might like to wear! I think that even though they can be just as loud, stripes and dots seem like more youthful patterns than leopard to me.

And is leopard man-repelling? My DH really hates animal print and faux fur. I actually bought a pair of leopard print and faux fur jackets last winter (#22 and #25 here:, but ended up returning both because DH absolutely loathed them. Do any guys actually like leopard print, or does the pattern swing between Victoria's Secret and Coldwater Creek for most guys?

I don't know why I'm so ambivalent about leopard. I'm especially scratching my head, because I just placed an order from Target for several leopard print pieces...a scarf (just like Jessica's, because it looks so versatile), a leopard print ponte skirt (hoping it will be stretchy enough to use it for maternity), and a leopard print ruana (I thought it would be a great nursing cover). I feel like maybe grey leopard print is a bit more subtle and fashion forward than traditional tan leopard. Ha, so ironic that I'm putting down leopard print while simultaneously buying it!

So, what are your thoughts on leopard print? Love it or hate it? I'm on the fence!


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WIW 11/15: Blogger Copycat Day 4: Dotty Dress and Burgundy Tights

Today's outfit was a dotty dress and burgundy tights inspired by Jessica Quirk again:

I've worn this Kate Spade polka dot dress several times, but never thought to pair it with a leather jacket, burgundy tights and booties. I've usually gone with cardigans instead, which skews kind of prim and traditional. This gives it a little bit more edge, which I love. Of course, I piled on extra dots (bag and bracelet)...because you can never have too many polka dots! And I got to use my Kate Spade white statement necklace (subbing for the black statement necklace in Jessica's outfit). I've rarely worn it, thinking it's too fancy for everyday. In fact the whole cocktail dress with statement necklace look I thought would be much too dressy for work, but I thought oh what the heck and just went for it anyways! You only live once! A lot of people said today that they loved my dress (and the matching bag and bracelet).

Tahari black leather jacket
Kate Spade black and white polka dot dress
H&M burgundy ribbed tights
Mia Nanette black lace-up ankle booties
Kate Spade white necklace
Marc by Marc Jacobs Dotty Snake purse
Ann Taylor black and white polka dot cuff
Coach sunglasses
Maybelline Plum Perfect lipstick

Oh, and waving to Sveta, who rocked this same look yesterday!


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WIW 11/14: Blogger copycat day 3: In the trenches

Day 3 of my blogger copycat challenge (all from Jessica Quirk's What I Wore blog):

Kate Spade Topliner trench
H&M black and cream striped T (non-maternity)
Nordstrom Kut from the Kloth Catherine slim boyfriend jeans
Nordstrom Stuart Weitzman Giveable ballet flats in leopard
Le Sak black slouchy bag
Black and silver bracelet
Coach sunglasses
Maybelline Red Revival lipstick

Today I had the day off work and took DD to school, had a doctor's appointment, volunteered at DD's school, went back to get my labs drawn, picked up DS from school, etc. So I wore flats instead of the leopard heels that Jessica is sporting, because I knew I'd be doing a lot of walking and heels are way too dressy for MOTG.

Back when the boyfriend craze started here, I got these boyfriend jeans in a size up (8) so they would be slouchy, and now they fit like regular jeans. I can wear them without a belt, but they still slide off without unzipping. I actually like these better than the maternity capri jeans I bought at the same time a few months ago, because those are now too tight and keep slipping down! Moral of the story is don't buy ahead for maternity--wait until you really really need it, because the two pairs of maternity jeans I bought in my first trimester don't fit right anymore!

I also haven't worn this Kate Spade trench as much as I should--I tend to reach for my black KS one much more often. I guess it's the color...I am not sure if this shade is good with my skin tone or looks like soul-sucking beige, and it tends to only work well if the rest of the outfit is black or very neutral, and I tend to wear lots of color. It's also a little stiff and flared, so it feels more like a formal coat than a casual trench. I like it though and will try to wear it more. Good thing Jessica wore it open, because I can't button it anymore over my belly!

Another surprise...initially I thought this outfit looked too simple and boring and I wasn't as happy with it as the first two copycats. Like, it's just jeans and a T-shirt, and no color. But I ended up getting a lot of compliments today! Some of the other moms at school said that I was the most stylish pregnant mom they'd ever seen. And when I went to the doctor's appointment, a random person in the hall exclaimed "Cute jacket!" when I walked by and the medical assistant who checked me in said that her coworker asked her to ask me where I got the coat. I think the coat does make a dramatic statement because of the lines and contrast piping, and there is a tiny bit of pattern mixing (stripes and leopard), so it's not a totally plain and boring outfit. It was certainly comfy enough for my MOTG day. I think I need to retrain my way of thinking--I've tended to be a bit ALGO and matchy matchy and "more is more" (like with yesterday's dot excess, but I guess you can still make a statement and be stylish with simplicity, neutrals and "less is more"!


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WIW 11/13: Blogger Copycat Day 2--Emerald and Dot Extravaganza

Copying Jessica Quirk from What I Wore:

I had planned this one for later in the week because it's kind of similar to the one I did yesterday:

But when MaryK posted her WIW today in the same green skirt, I jumped at the chance to be MaryK's twin for the day! Waving at my copycat twin! Big fun! (as she likes to say)

Ann Taylor black blazer (circa 1992)
Casual Couture black and white polka dot top from Bluefly
Halogen emerald seamed pencil skirt from Nordstrom
All Black fish bow pumps from Amazon
Marc by Marc Jacobs Dotty Snake Ukita bag from eBay
Ann Taylor black and white polka dot cuff from eBay (thanks Mo for the tip!)
White House Black Market black pendant
Coach sunglasses
Maybelline Red Revival lipstick

Random observations:
1. I reversed the colors on the polka dot blouse. I didn't have a polka dot umbrella but I used my polka dot purse and new polka dot bracelet, and even my shoes have dots on them. The more dots the better! And besides piling on the dots, I love matching the snakeskin and cream in the purse echoing the fish scales and cream of the shoes, and the white dots on black bracelet matching the blouse. I guess you could say I'm HyperMatchy ALGO! As MaryK once told me, my style is "Anything worth doing is worth doing to excess!"
2. It turns out all of my challenge posts this week are going to be from Jessica's blog. So it looks like I'm going to be wearing sunglasses all week! Does she ever take them off?
3. I am so not a blazer girl--this black blazer is from the 90's from my Ann Taylor interview suit when I interviewed for med school/internship/residency. Is this 20 year old blazer still OK to wear or is it dated? Between the non-maternity and 20-year old clothes, I'm really wringing every outfit I can from my closet, despite the bump!
4. Yes, I'm wearing the same shoes as yesterday, but so is Jessica!
5. Matchy matchy me LOVES this copycat challenge! Big fun, thanks MaryK! I guess I'm kind of a perfectionist too--I try to copy every detail exactly as much as possible, pose, smile, etc. I didn't realize her sleeves were not scrunched and debated trying to take another pic with unscrunched sleeves, but then realized you wouldn't be able to see my new bracelet so I left the sleeves scrunched.

Thanks for looking and commenting!


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WIW 11/12: MaryK's blogger challenge Day 1: Yellow, snake and leather

This is from Jessica Quirk's What I Wore blog.

I actually had a very similar grey leopard scarf at one point, but I gave it to my sister-in-law because I rarely wear scarves, so I had to use snakeskin instead. And my sleeves wouldn't stay scrunched. Oh well!

Tahari black leather jacket
EmersonMade Queen Bee blouse
Halogen yellow pencil skirt
Gap snakeskin scarf
Ralph Lauren black doctor satchel
All Black fish bow pumps
White House Black Market silver bracelet


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Red red wine you make me feel so fine

Burgundy is supposed to be one of the hottest color trends for this fall and I've fallen hard for it! In the last two weeks I've worn NINE burgundy outfits! I bought a pair of burgundy maternity skinny jeans and I've already worn it at least 3 times in the last couple of weeks. And two new burgundy sweaters (8&10) and some burgundy tights (11) from H&M. And some new burgundy lipstick. Plus I had a bunch of plum/burgundy colored items already in my closet. (Even my minivan is burgundy!) Here's a recap of my burgundy outfits from the last two weeks. Is this total color overkill, or should I just consider it my "burgundy capsule"? :) I think this is becoming one of my signature colors--it feels very me! Especially happy since I got my first two maternity Killer ratings from Angie (11 & 8)! I'm so glad pregnancy hasn't made me lose my style!

Every time I wear one of these outfits, I think of the UB40 song...
"Red red wine you make me feel so fine
You keep me rocking all of the time
Red red wine you make me feel so grand
I feel a million dollars when you're just in my hand"


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WIW 11/9: Pattern matching houndstooth squared (and more burgundy)

Here's a new teal houndstooth cardigan I bought from Nordstrom:
I thought, instead of pattern mixing, why not try pattern matching! Matchy matchy me loves pattern matching even more than pattern mixing! So I paired it with my burgundy houndstooth pencil skirt. And added a yellow skinny belt and bookended with a yellow bag, just because I thought the combination of teal+burgundy+mustard sounded interesting. DH did not like the belt though--he says it looks too tight esp. with my big belly. In general he doesn't like it when I belt things though, esp when I belt over sweaters or dresses. But another male coworker also commented on my belt today, saying "What IS that? Is that a belt? Is that supposed to be a fashion statement?" I tried it without the belt and with a black bag for a more subdued look but I don't think I like it as much--I feel like I look fatter without the waist definition of a belt (even if I don't really have a waist and the belt is under my bust). So, what do you think--belt or no belt? And yay or nay on the yellow?

This evening we were invited for a dinner party to another family's house so I changed into something more casual. This is another new sweater, from H&M. It's actually from the regular section but the tunic length is great for belly coverage. In burgundy of course! With Gap Maternity Always Skinny jeans and La Canadienne Galaxy boots and Fossil floral purse and WHBM burgundy cuff.

Thanks for looking and for your comments/suggestions!


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WIW 11/8: Burgundy Anna Karenina style (inc Angie's pick boucle skirt)

Has anyone seen the new Banana Republic Anna Karenina collection based on the movie?
This outfit reminds me of that look, but in burgundy, my favorite color of the season. I felt very ladylike and luxe today, like I should be on a train to Moscow!

These two pieces are new. The skirt is Angie's pick from Nordstrom Half Yearly sale:
Yes, even at 23 weeks I still am trying to squeeze into non-maternity pencil skirts, haha. But it's burgundy boucle, how could I resist! This one has an elastic waist so it's a little stretchier. I also sized up to an 8. The sweater is from H&M. I was there trying to find some maternity clothes but ended up buying mostly non-maternity clothes (three regular sweaters, two regular T shirts, and one pair of maternity pants)--fortunately their T shirts and sweaters tend to run long so they still cover the belly. And I prefer the more form-fitting cut of the non-maternity clothes (their maternity tops are all boxy and baggy and empire waisted). There's a chance that I may stretch these clothes out too much by wearing them now, but the sweater was only $35 and the skirt on sale for $47 so it's not a huge deal if they're only one-season items (but hopefully I can still keep wearing them later). I'm even thinking of buying this skirt in a smaller size to keep for later as well, I like it that much--thanks Angie for the recommendation!

The burgundy cardigan with fur collar reminds me of my favorite Anthro purple tweed fur collar coat (and the skirt kind of reminds me of the pattern), but it's something I can wear throughout the day instead of having to take my coat off. I used my favorite bronze leaf belt instead of the included black belt (I'm on the last hole now). And wore a cream lace cami underneath. And my fave Fossil floral purse for fall. DH kind of rolled his eyes at the fur collar, but he did help me choose the shoes (dark brown Clark pumps over the burgundy pumps). No jewelry since the fur collar was more than enough. Oh, I also bought a new lipstick to go with my burgundy obsession: Maybelline Plum Perfect.

Kitty Max liked the outfit. What do you think?


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