Fashion: Office Selfie — Mellie Grant on a Budget

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Ah yes — it is the notorious office selfie.  However — I’ve been meaning to do more posts about fashion and dressing.  So here I go.

I’ve had lots of people ask me about how I dress.  Now I’m no size 2, nor am I a designer fashion plate.  However, I do try to dress in a way that makes me feel comfortable and confident.  In my 30s that dressing style has turned into a black version of Mellie Grant (First Lady on the television show Scandal (seriously if you don’t watch this — you should fix that now!).


I’ve taken to loving classic pieces.  Items that look great no matter where you are going — that fit well.  I’ve taken to dressing FOR my body shape, not what I wish it would be.  I do not wear clothes that are too tight, too short, or any too beyond “too cute!”.   If I had an unlimited budget, I would live in Talbots and Ann Taylor.  However – I do not.  So I shop on a budget, with the idea of buying classic items that can go from the office, to class, to dinner.

This outfit was what I chose to wear on a day I had a rather important presentation to make at work.  I didn’t want to wear a suit — I work in the third sector (nonprofit) and sometimes a suit feels a little too laywer-esque and gives me PTSD from that time when I WAS a lawyer.  So I chose:

  • Black Sweater Dress — Talbots
  • Brown Woven Belt — NY & Co
  • Brown Riding Boots — Lauren by Ralph Lauren
  • Grey Pearls — J. Crew

Now I KNOW right now some of you are about to yell at me.  You’re thinking — “Didn’t you say you shop on a budget?!”   Well yes, I did.  But budget dosen’t mean I can’t wear good brands.

The sweater dress was picked up during Talbot’s annual 90% off Red Tag sale (just be patient — it won’t start at 90% off, but it will get there).  Sure you’re buying a sweater dress in the middle of the summer — but it’s so worth it!

The belt was from an affordable brand — New York and Company and I’ve owned it for like four years.  It’s actually too big — but I love it so much.  So I use a long bobby pin to hook the belts end piece to the part wrapped around my waist.

The riding boots came from TJ Maxx — so you know I got a GREAT deal on them.  I also have owned them for like four years.  And the pearls were picked up either at the J. Crew Factory Outlet (here in Virginia there is one in Williamsburg, and two in Lynchburg that I like) or at the J. Crew Factory Warehouse Sale (yes friends the J. Crew warehouse is in Lynchburg and they have the most incredible yet frustrating sales on the face of the planet — more on that sale later).

So I did shop on a budget, I still got the style I love, and I looked fantastic for my presentation.

I’ll be working on more fashion based post throughout 2014 including a Honeymoon based post on traveling fashion and my first fat-kini (yes friends, I rocked a bikini and looked fantastic doing it!  No need to be a size 2!  Really!), and more easy on the eyes and budget office/casual fashion — so look out for it!

Until then — you can catch a little more of my style preferences on my Pinterest board: Fashion, Turn To The Left! 


#31WriteNow: Easy Like Sunday Evening

Hello Guys — So my plan was to do a spur of the moment posting for today, and I’m just now sitting down at the computer for some writing time.

I’ve realized that becoming an adult is difficult at best.  Where I used to have so much time to do everything, now I feel as if I spend quite a bit of time trying to figure out where the time went.  My body — abet 350+lbs used to do amazing things.  Yet this much thinner and older body has had a back ache (the kind that keeps you walking hunched over, popping Advil, and sitting on heating pads (or a heated blanket at the moment) for the past two days.   Where I used to be able to stay up all night, now I struggle to stay awake at like 10-10:30 but force myself rather than admit age-based defeat.  My tolerance for crap is much lower, my love of a good red wine and dinner around 7-8pm higher.

Even as I write this the dear fiancé popped his head into my office to advise me to go pre-game the heating pad that is already waiting for my presence on the couch while he makes us a night cap.  I told him that to go do that, I’d have to get up off the heated blanket.  He laughed and went to go make drinks.


I’m not sure about the rest of you all — but there is something about turning 30 that rocks your world.  No not necessarily in a bad way — but it is the time when you realize who you really are, and what you really want.  I am not the go out and party, drink all night kind of woman that I pretended to be in law school.  Although I know how to twerk, that does not mean I’m going to do it at the club — because that would be the ONE photo someone would have of me that would surface during a future political campaign (*musical intro* She’s got her hands up on her knees, ‘bows on her thighs’* [insert photo of twerk-tastic me] Is THIS who you want on your City Council?).   I prefer Tabots, Coach, Cole Hann, and Ann Taylor over the latest trends (minus the fatkini — more on that later).   And sometimes when the folks around you aren’t like that — it’s hard to come to terms with that.

Yet when I think about it — my real friends ARE those kinds of grown ups.  The kind that get married (or at least have a very live in partner), like to hang out at home, drink good wines and quality beers when they can finally afford them, go to dinner at a reasonable hour, have kids (or babysit their friends kids), and enjoy life with as much joie de vivre as those 30-somethings who are skydiving, pounding drinks, and still working their freakum dresses on a weekly basis (even us Talbot’s early dinner 30somethings have their freakum dresse(s); don’t play!).  I think a part of growing up is learning that you can’t be everything to everyone, and that sometimes you will feel left out because it’s not where you belong anymore.  Just a moment of introspection…..

Now if you excuse me — I’ve got a frosty margarita, a DVR-ed episode of Duck Dynasty, and a pre-warmed heating pad waiting on me.