Down To Business & Free Jewelry!

Now that I’m working in an office, my wardrobe has to go from business casual to pretty much just business. On the one hand I work in communications so I think there is some room to be a little more artsy, but on the other this is DC, and people take their business attire very seriously.

The other night, my sweet husband ventured into Zara with me to assist in finding a new black blazer and a few tops. (I’m also in desperate need of dress pants. The only place I seem to have any luck is in the Ann Taylor LOFT petite section, but their choices are limited. If anyone out there has the hookup on awesome dress pants for the uber petite, let me know!)

Back to Zara.

I was able to find this boyfriend style blazer for a decent price. It was a little more than I intended to spend, but I’m trying to really hold myself to spending good money on quality pieces that I will wear a lot. This is one of those pieces. The material has a little sheen to it and because the sleeves are designed to be bunched up at the elbows, I don’t have to get it tailored for my stubby arms. Yay!




I recently signed up for RocksBox, which is basically Netflix for jewelry. It’s really stepping up my jewelry game! And it has allowed me to get more wear out of my favorite basics since the different pieces I get each month from RocksBox keep my plain pieces looking fresh and unique.


When you sign up for RocksBox, you answer a few questions about your style, the types of jewelry you like, etc. A stylist selects three pieces for you and sends them directly to your house. Wear them as much as you want, and at the end of the month send the pieces back. Or your card will be charged for individual pieces you’d like to keep.

If you’d like to try RocksBox, they’ve sent me a code which will give you the first month (three pieces of jewelry) for free! Just use: brokebutbougiexoxo at checkout!
Also, very serious about the petite pants thing. Help a sister out! 😀

Investing In My Wardrobe

Styling and fashion have always been fun for me. I like how clothes can change your mood and quickly transmit your personality to the world. And like one’s personality and taste, one’s style definitely changes over time. I think mine has been constantly changing and evolving since I was about thirteen. In middle school I went through an exclusively gym shorts and hoodie phase (yikes); then there was the chunky sneaker and vest phase (channeling Justin Bieber? a little Ellen?), then the beachy boho phase (thanks, San Diego!), etc., etc.

Now that I’m in DC, I think my style is becoming simpler and much more about the function of fashion rather than what can be expressed by cheap, trendy pieces. Instead of picking several cheaper items while on shopping dates each month, I’ve started to buy only one or two pieces that are much higher quality and classic in their style and shape. I make sure they’ve been on my list for at least a couple months and things I can see myself wearing on at least three different occasions.

This might seem like an involved process, but it’s kept me from dropping money at fast fashion stores on items I know I’ll wear only a few times or that won’t make it past five washes. And I find myself taking better care of my clothes. They cost more money and I took the time to decide whether or not they were really me and something I would keep with me for years to come.

This is one of my currently favorite outfits. It’s classic, simple, and totally me! I feel completely comfortable in this look and have worn it to museums, a food show, and on a date night.





What are your rules for buying and investing in clothes?

So Basic

The term basic gets thrown around a lot now, especially in regard to white girls. It tends to have negative connotations but when it comes to fashion, basics are the best! I’m all for trying trendy things now and then but honestly, this look is what I feel most “me” in and most comfortable in.


I’m a short girl so skinny jeans have long been my friend since they look great rolled up at the ankles — no tailoring required!


I always have a few of these H&M t-shirts in various colors in my closet. They’re only $10, are so soft, and hold up really well in the wash. When I don’t know what top to wear, I usually just throw on one of these with a necklace. Whether it’s with a skirt or jeans, these always look simple but sophisticated.


This trench coat from Express is probably one of the best fashion investments I’ve ever made — thanks for finding it, Mom! I can wear this over a dress to an evening event or, for this look, throw it over the plainest of basics and I automatically look like a sophisticated young woman. The fabric is pretty light but keeps the wind out and is roomy enough for me to layer warmer sweaters underneath as it starts to cool off this fall.


I’ve been wearing Vans since I was a freshman in high school and no, I don’t skateboard. I’ve previously had pairs with stars and checkerboard, but I think this light gray leather pair is a little bit more grown up — and they are so comfortable! Perfect for walking around DC every day.



What are your favorite basic wardrobe pieces?

My jeans are American Eagle, the t-shirt is from H&M. My shoes are Vans — I purchased them at Madewell and they are currently on sale! My jacket is from Express and my glasses were thrifted. 

Fashion VS Function

You know that old adage, “It’s better to look good than to feel good!” No? Maybe that was just a theater thing. Anyway. Since moving to a city where walking a mile or two a day is the norm, I’m learning that fashion and function are very important. Even just looking at how other women dress here, function typically carries the day. And I kinda love that! It’s not about who’s wearing the trendiest thing or what label adorns the front of your handbag. It’s about looking polished for whatever job you hold and getting there comfortably, sans blisters or any other wardrobe malfunction.

When I lived in California, I drove everywhere. I could wear cute little flats with no arch support, wedges that were just barely too high, or even those ankle boots from Forever21 that seemed like the best buying decision at the time. I drove everywhere and really only walked a few steps from my car to wherever I was going. Those days are officially gone. Between the distance of walking, dirty streets, colder weather, and busy metro stations and trains, trendy fashion has taken a back seat to functional fashion.

I will say, it has made keeping a tidy closet much easier as I’ve had to get rid of many a trendy shoe in the few weeks we’ve been here. I’ve said this before but I’m really making an effort to only invest in a few well made pieces that will last me for many years. Today I thought I would share the shoes that have served me well so far and those that I’m hoping to invest in in the coming months.


Nike Free Run 3s – I purchased these (in black) over three years ago when they were half price at Ross.Yes, a total score! Up until now, I really only wore them to walk the dog and work out. They never made an appearance at dinner or on a date. Oh boy are they making an appearance now! These are the best walking shoes I own currently and I wear them every day. Even if we are going someplace a little nicer, I will wear these to walk and ride the train, then slip into the cuter shoes I’ve brought along.

Birkenstock “Gizeh” – These were an investment I made back in California. It’s getting cooler now but for the last three weeks, these have been a hot weather lifesaver! I am considering investing in the Arizona style but planning to wait until next summer as they’ll just take up space in my closet through the winter.

Classic Vans – This shoe was my jam in high school and college. I’m not entirely sure why I stopped wearing them but I’m back with them again because they are comfortable and apparently very in style! I’m planning to get a neutral gray pair that I can wear with jeans or a cotton dress.

Rain/ Snow Boots – I don’t think I have to tell you it doesn’t rain much in San Diego, so rain boots were very low on the list of shoes to invest in there. Here in DC it’s already rained quite a bit and I hear the winters can be brutal. I’d like to invest in a good pair of rain/ snow boots that will serve me through the winters here.

Clogs – I’ve recently become obsessed with clogs. (My mom is laughing at me. I used to make fun of her bright pink clogs. Now I’d wear them!) I discovered a brand called Swedish Hasbeens and am in love with all of their footwear. Especially this pair. I think they’d be perfect without socks on a summer day or with wool socks and a warm pair of pants in the winter.

Have any shoe recommendations for me?