Kimono Take 2 + Friday Four | On the Daily EXPRESS

8/10/18

Kimono Take 2 + Friday Four

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This week the back-to-school business started kicking into gear around here. We're already signing up for volunteer hours, getting our registration schedule, and I had a meeting with my neighbor to plan a carpool schedule. 'Tis the season! This isn't exactly my favorite time of year, but kids need an education and all that so it just has to be done. At least both kids will be at one school this year so that will be a little easier to manage. I've been sticking to my summer basics for outfits lately and am determined not to dress up in fall outfits just for blogging purposes at least until September! Ha! Selfies and fitting room pics if I try anything new...maybe. But since I take pictures when I'm out and about in real life, I have to be wearing something practical for the 90°+ temps here.
Kimono (c/o) | Black Cami | Similar Jean Shorts | Wedge Sandals (c/o) | Necklace | Earrings | Charmed Stacks Bracelets (Get 10% off with code onthedailyx) | Tory Burch Chelsea (c/o) (Budget Option, Budget Option)

I shared another outfit with this kimono when I first got it back in June, and I was thinking I'd wear it a lot this summer but I just kept forgetting about it. I grabbed it again last weekend for my girls brunch and it was the perfect lightweight piece to make the outfit more interesting without making me too sweaty at our outdoor venue (we went to Charles + Dinorah at the Pearl Hotel). The kimono is a One Size piece that should fit XS- XL. For Plus Sizes, check out Macy's since they have a good selection of cute options. I wore the same Target earrings with this kimono last time too, but what can I say? I liked the combo and didn't want to reinvent the wheel.
Kimono (c/o) | Black Cami | Similar Jean Shorts | Wedge Sandals (c/o)  Necklace | Earrings | Charmed Stacks Bracelets (Get 10% off with code onthedailyx) | Tory Burch Chelsea (c/o) (Budget OptionBudget Option)

My shoes are true to size and my favorite summer wedges. I also have them in cognac, and between those two colors they go with everything in my summer wardrobe. I originally got this Tory Burch Chelsea bag to use for date night, but I've ended up using it for daytime too since it's such a good size and classic style. Tory Burch has become one of my go-to brands for handbags with more classic styling, but I also linked some great budget options for this bag under each outfit photo.

On Fridays I share four random things here just for fun! Here are my four today:

1. Medallion Flat Budget Options...Earlier this week I spotted a good budget lookalike for the very popular Tory Burch Minnie and Benton flats. I don't usually wear flats myself but wanted to share since budget options are a popular request here!
Left: Shop All Tory Burch Flats

2. Favorite Express Jacket on Sale...This week at Express, select jackets have been on sale for 40% off. I always stress when I write these posts in advance that the sale will be over when my post goes live, but in the event the sale is going strong, this jacket one of my current favorites and worth getting at 40% off. It's included in the sale and fully stocked in all sizes. Here are a few ways I've styled it:

If you're in the market for fall jackets, these two styles are also perfect (three color options shown for the second style) and included in the sale:

3. While we're talking Express sales...Their jeans are all 40% off! They ran a similar sale one year ago when I did a post with some of my favorite Express Jeans and almost all of those styles are still in stock and on sale. If you want to view some of my tried and true favorites check out this post. Also, women's tops are 50% off! That's a better sale than they'll have for Labor Day so it's worth browsing now if you need any tops. This basic tee is a favorite of mine for layering that I have in several colors and this side tie tee I've shared is under $15 (recent outfit with it here). I also recently added this City Shirt and this Plaid Shirt to my closet and love them but just haven't had a chance to share them on the blog yet!

4. Real Talk on Budgeting...Something I get asked surprisingly often in real life by people who follow my blog is, "How do you afford all those clothes?" I thought I would take a minute to discuss this here as well since Friday Four Item #4 is the place I reserve to communicate with my most loyal readers. I imagine most passers-by probably don't get this far in the post, so it feels like our safe place! I think the best answer to this question is, "I don't!" Please remember that I have been blogging for five years, and in that time I have built up some ongoing partnerships with brands that greatly supplement my wardrobe. I could not personally afford all of the things I have without those partnerships. That said, I also don't say I got them for "free" (as some people suppose), because I traded years of my life blogging consistently and creating content to attract and build a solid readership before I was ever able to get any partnerships were a good fit for me. And that's to say nothing of the the time and effort that goes into each post to present the sponsored items, which is almost always required when a brand is offering something to a blogger. So in fact, I haven't "afforded" many things I share here with my dollars, but I've "afforded" them via time and effort. Believe me, I'm incredibly grateful for the opportunities and partnerships I have! This is a saturated market with a lot of people willing to do what I do and then some for such opportunities. I'm also well aware that it's something of a luxury just to have the time it takes to maintain a blog in the first place. I'd be selfish not to acknowledge that since I know that's not a realistic option for everyone, so I do feel fortunate to do this at all no matter how small my blog is compared to some.

And it probably goes without saying: as with all things budgeting and finance...everyone's situation is unique. I earn less money than some people and more than others. I spend less on my car (it's older and paid off) and less on home decor (just not into it) than many I know...and therefore I justify a little more on clothes because they're my favorite! Ultimately finances are personal, but if you too have wondered the same thing please remember that most established bloggers in the fashion space are not going to have a standard-size wardrobe. Comparing your own wardrobe to a blogger's wardrobe is like comparing your gymnastic skills to an Olympic gymnast. A lot has happened behind the scenes to get to that stage, and you shouldn't expect yourself to be at the same level. Even fashion bloggers who focus on budget friendly items will have more of those items themselves than their budget-minded readers by virtue of putting themselves out there in the industry and having doors open as a result. We don't have to walk through every open door, but for people who love fashion and really commit to blogging, in time there are likely going to be some doors leading us to places we want to go.

With that said, thanks for choosing to spend some of your time here today! Your support is what makes it possible for me to continue blogging because it's just not fun as a solo venture with zero readers! And I hope you all have a great weekend! I'm planning to finish up the book I'm reading (Believe Me by J.P. Delaney) so I can include it in my reviews coming up on Tuesday!


Linking up with JoLynne | ErikaAndreaNarci | Andrea | The Blended Blog

CONVERSATION

18 comments:

  1. That kimono is such a great fit on your petite frame, some kimonos are just so billowy they could easily overwhelm you but this one is perfect! I love how yo addressed "affording" all the clothes. I'm in no way a big enough blogger to be offered free clothing but the things that have come my way do require quite a bit of behind the scenes work in exchange so "free" is a term that can be used very loosely. In fact the one dress that was "given" to me required so much work I swore I'd never work with that particular company again because it simply wasn't worth it. I felt like I was selling my soul in exchange for a $30 dress, no thanks! Blogging is a lot of work and you do a beautiful job!
    Have a wonderful weekend Gina!
    xo,
    Kellyann

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    1. Ha, yes I have been there with spending wayyyy more time on a post than was justified for the one item I got for "free." It's one of those live and learn experiences as a blogger. It's always flattering to be contacted by any brand but I've started to place a little higher value over the years! Thanks so much for the kind words!

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  2. LOVE the kimono!! Such nice print and flow. I wish I knew how to get partnerships. I make a little from affiliate links with Reward and Shopstyle and Amazon and have done some sponsored posts but I don't really know how to partner with brands. You go have an super awesome weekend pretty lady!

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    1. For me it's been one part "luck" (meaning- the work of the blog is there and I have no idea how mine is chosen over any of the millions of others) and one part connections. But there have been far more that pass me over than choose me! It's the nature of the industry, I guess.

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  3. Kimonos are so fun, nice to see you embracing them and that bag really is perfect. Ohh I need to check if Express has a sale in shirts too, I need a couple. It's crazy people ask such questions, that's out of line but you explained this perfectly.

    xo
    Pinksole

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    1. I had to update my post this morning because of course, the sale changed slightly from when I drafted it. But to your advantage, they are doing 50% off tops today! That's most likely better than their Labor Day sale will be! (Usually 40% off.)

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  4. Such a cute kimono and perfect for girls brunch. I bet the back to school time is hectic. I cannot say I am looking forward to it.

    Amy Ann
    Straight A Style

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    1. At least they ease you into it with the public education system. :) Back-to-school for the younger grades are pretty fun and exciting times.

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  5. That kimono is perfect for your frame. I should probably try a short one. My blog is 2 1/2 years old and I'd love to get to the point of doing sponsored posts, but I find it really challenging to grow and get the necessary numbers. If you have any magic answers or insight on this, I'd love to hear it. Happy weekend, Gina!!! XO

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    1. I don't really do sponsored posts myself because I just don't see a lot of campaigns (for which I'm eligible) that are a great fit for me. But of course I would for the right fit. However if you are interested in doing more, look into some of the influnencer networks: Tap Influence, Clever, Social Fabric, Pollinate and Izea are a few!

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  6. Love it. Trendy but effortless!

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  7. Your kimono is beautiful and I'm glad you remembered it and could give it another wear! They are such a summer staple for me, for the reasons you listed. You don't overheat and it adds an extra touch to your outfit!

    Your last point about affording clothing was a good one too - I definitely have in the past spent more on fashion than other things. Hubby and I are not big travellers, and for a while we were double income no kids so I had more money to splurge on fashion! :) My wardrobe has been an accumulation over the years!

    Hope that you've got a lovely weekend ahead of you :)

    Away From The Blue Blog

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    1. Oh yes, travel is a BIG one. We do just two main trips per year and it's expensive. Even smaller trips like weekend getaways (which we don't do because of the cost!) would add up quickly. I am choosing to put my wardrobe on display so I understand the questions, but it's only one small part of the whole picture.

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  8. Great post Gina! I try to keep up with my favorite bloggers on Fridays too, but sometimes I forget since I'm not great at keeping my own schedule but I'm glad I read this today! First, I love your kimono. They are seriously my go-to during hot days where I want to go for that boho vibe :) Surprisingly versatile! And I loved your thoughts about budgeting and sponsorships. I haven't done very many, but I would if given the chance LOL. We really can't fault bloggers for being successful, although I understand there's a fine line between showing your true style and yet still using sponsors to your and your readers' advantage. I think you strike a great balance and I admire you for it :)

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    1. Well thank you Noelle! That means a lot. I do feel I've made some missteps along the way but I think it's just part of the learning process. But I love what you said about the "fine line between showing your true style and yet still using your sponsors to your and your readers' advantage." That's a great way to put it and you're right, it is a bit of a balance at times and I'm definitely trying my best to find it!

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  9. I think you phrased it all so well and made a lot of great points. Bloggers spend their time and effort to get clothing and other items. It's not really free. Blogging is a fun hobby for me and I am incredibly grateful for the opportunities it has provided to partner with brands!

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    1. Thanks Laura! I'm glad you can relate!

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Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a comment! I sincerely appreciate each and every one and always do my best to answer questions promptly!