Six Easy Spring Outfits + Blogging Q&A | On the Daily EXPRESS

4/26/19

Six Easy Spring Outfits + Blogging Q&A

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Spring is in full swing and today I'm sharing six easy outfit ideas for Spring (plus a couple of bonus options!). You probably have some similar pieces in your closet so I hope this gives you a couple of ideas for using what you already own or seeing that gaps in your wardrobe where one or two purchases could help you create more complete outfits you love!

ONE: Striped Cardigan Outfit with Jeans

The cardigan I'm wearing above is from J. Crew and they have a similar option this year. I never wear this type of nautical stripe in the winter so it's always fun to bring them back into the wardrobe rotation when the weather warms up! I am banned from buying any more striped cardigans this year since I already have two options: long and short. I tend to wear the long one more with shorts - I guess I just like the contrast. We get a mix of shorts and pants weather here so I'm prepared for either forecast!

BONUS: Striped Cardigan Outfit with Shorts
Similar Cardigan | Similar Tank | Similar Shorts | Similar Sandals | Necklace | Handbag (c/o)

I went more patriotic with the red bag pairing here, but it's still the same outfit formula as above. My striped cardigan is from Old Navy last year. I didn't see a similar option there this year but this one from LOFT is very similar and cute!

TWO: Lightweight Scarf  + Simple Top & Jeans
Tee | Camo Scarf | Black Jeans | Similar Booties (this year's version) | Handbag (c/o) | Earrings

A lightweight scarf is a fun way to add a touch of Spring a basic tee and jeans. I wore this for summer-to-fall transition (and I love camo year-round as you'll see again below), but if you want to make this outfit even more spring-ified grab a floral print or something in a more traditional spring color. LOFT has a great selection of pretty spring scarves right now.

THREE: Utility Jacket + Simple Tee Top & Jeans

Our Fall weather tends to be pretty hot, so Spring ends up being the best time for me to utilize any and all of my jackets for all day wear. I decided to highlight utility jackets (a.k.a. field jackets or military jackets...is there really a difference?) today just because there is such a great variety available at so many retailers right now you should be able to find a color and price point that suits you. Just like with the striped cardigan, these are an easy piece to throw over a basic tee with jeans/shorts to make the outfit look a little more polished.

BONUS: Utility Jacket + Jeans 

This jacket is a newer one I've been loving this Spring and it's under $40. It comes in a few other colors (Dark Grey, Olive and Navy), and the olive version is a dead ringer for this $118 Madewell Jacket at a fraction of the price!

FOUR: White Tee + "Colorful" Jeans
Tee | Camo Jeans | Sandals | Handbag (c/o) | Necklace

I am seeing lots and lots of colorful jeans in store this Spring! They were "out" for awhile but now they are back again. Pink/blush shades in particular seem to be big trends, like this budget-friendly option from Old Navy or this Splurge Option by A.G. Jeans. They really do look so cute with just a simple tee! I cleaned all of my colorful jeans out of my closet a few years back so I'm reluctant to go buying a bunch of new ones all over again, especially since I find I most often reach for blue or black.  But never say never! In the meantime I'm sure I'll be getting more use out of my camo jeans as my "colorful" option since the cropped length works well with a variety of sandals. For more ways to wear these jeans (with some layering options for cooler weather) check out this post. Since I styled them with black/white/grey pieces, any of those outfits would work just as well with pink jeans!

FIVE: Spring Sweater + Jeans

For me, a Spring sweater is just a lighter weight material than a winter sweater with a few seasonal bonus points for a more traditional spring color or print. I've added two to my wardrobe this Spring, the pink one I'm wearing above and this lilac sweater (seen here and in the second outfit here).  I chose colors that can easily pair with black or blue jeans, and it's been fun to have a couple of easy, seasonal pieces to thrown on and go with no layering required.

BONUS: Spring Sweater + Shorts

I just shared this outfit on Wednesday along with the previous option but if I'm sharing pants plus shorts versions for several of these outfits, well...I might as well be thorough about it! I love this type of long/short juxtaposition and will do it as much as I can until the weather gets too hot!

SIX: Easy Dress + Denim Jacket

It doesn't get any easier than this! It seems like just about any casual dress pairs well with a denim jacket. I like basic black dresses but that's just me! I opted for my white denim jacket just because it felt right for a bright sunny day, but blue denim works too. Plus, I felt like I rarely wore my white denim jacket last Spring/Summer so I need to either start incorporating it into more outfits or donate it. I didn't want to let this go so don't be surprised if you see it again here soon. After I originally posted this outfit, I also realized my exact white jacket from Mavi is still in stock. I just figured since it was "old" it wasn't available anymore! But this option from Old Navy is just as cute and a little less if you want to keep it under $50.

Here's one more look at all six outfits in a more Pinterest-friendly graphic if you want to save this for future reference:


Today for Friday Favorites I am going to switch it up a little with a little Q&A from one of my favorite blogger friends, Jill of Doused in Pink . To know me is to know that I don't craft anything at all, but Jill's craft posts like this one are so good and seem doable even for someone like me. And she also has great fashion posts, like Five Ways to Wear a Utility Vest. She recently took a break from blogging and I'm so glad she decided to come back. She's such a supportive friend, I had to make sure to support her in return by answering her questions from this post!

1. How did you first get into blogging? 
I started my blog in 2013 when I had just moved to San Diego. My kids had both just started school, and I wanted a fun hobby for myself while the kids were in school. I had been reading fashion blogs since they first started popping up, and at the time, it felt like hardly any bloggers talked about my favorite brand. (That's all changed since then, but that's another story for another post!) So I thought maybe that was a niche I could explore, and hopefully it would help me connect online with people who liked similar things since I was in a new town and a little lonely in terms of real life connections.

2. What has been the best strategy that has worked well for you to get more traffic to your blog? 
From looking at my blog stats, my top two traffic sources are Google and Pinterest. I think the Google traffic comes just because I do two things consistently: I blog on a consistent schedule and I write text that explains what I'm wearing/displaying vs. just showing photos of an outfit or a collage of items with no/minimal text. As for the Pinterest traffic, again I just think that comes from having 5 years worth of photos that people can pin and link back to my site. It took a long time for me to start seeing traffic from Pinterest. I have been in a Tailwind Fashion group for about a year but I don't feel like it's made a huge difference. I stay in it mainly because it doesn't take much time and I figure it can't hurt! A lot of things in blogging are like that...they may not result in a viral, game-changing post/experience but over time they can add up to make a difference.

The second strategy that's been effective for me is collaborating with other bloggers. This is the opposite end of the spectrum of the Google/Pinterest strategy in that it's an effective short-term traffic boost, but not usually a long term boost. When I collaborate with other bloggers, I get a bunch of new visitors the day the post goes live. But maybe 3% of those new visitors will ever come back again and 1% will become regular readers. And that's okay! The point of collaborations for me is to find that one percent! To quote Vanessa Van Edwards in Captivate: "Your goal is not to reach every person. It's to reach the right people." I think of blogs as similar to restaurants or food service providers. If I'm a small cupcake shop and someone is in the mood for Olive Garden...I'm not going to be what they want no matter how good my cupcakes are. I could try to be like Olive Garden and work on expanding to pasta to appeal to more people...but after dabbling in that, I've personally found I'm not good at it and ultimately I don't enjoy it. So I'll just stick to cupcakes and cater to those who already enjoy what I offer!

3. How do you motivate yourself to keep your blog going and who is your go-to for Fashion Inspiration? 
This is a tough question! Right now I would say I'm motivated by the fact that I enjoy blogging as a creative outlet and I enjoy the blogging community! This is my girlfriend time! I love chatting about fashion, makeup, books, etc. I only have a few real life girlfriends and while we have some overlap in these interests, we don't get to see each other all that much and chat about these topics as much as I like. So blogging has been great for giving me that connection online and even offline with friends I've made through blogging.

The other main motivation is that I really just can't think of a better, more productive way to spend the same time that I currently spend blogging. Blogging keeps me writing, which has cognitive benefits in and of itself, and it gives me small goals to work toward. Both of those things are proven to increase happiness and I really do find that to be the case for me as long as I'm able to stay focused on my own path and mentally filter out some of the negatives, like the tendency to compare. If I gave up blogging, I'd have some additional free time, which does sound nice. But when I think through any other hobbies I'd like to pursue couldn't necessarily fit into those same hours as I use for blogging. For example, I'd like to take more dance classes, but those are mainly in the evening when I'm busy driving my kids around to their various classes and lessons. There are some options for weekday daytime classes...but that's when I'm working. I also could read more books in that same time, but half the fun of reading books is talking about them with other people who read them! Blogging actually makes reading more fun for me, so I'd miss the social component of that, too.

As far as my fashion inspiration, I wouldn't say I have one single person anymore. I just can't think of any one celebrity or big-name blogger with whom I really connect in terms of my current lifestyle and wardrobe needs. My one main source would be Pinterest, but I don't like to give Pinterest all the credit here since Pinterest itself doesn't create any original content. They just make other bloggers' content more easily searchable! So really it's bloggers and fashion content creators in general that inspire me as a whole via Pinterest. If I am struggling with styling a certain piece or needing an outfit idea for a day, I'll start with one item I want to wear or an event I have in mind, like "navy blue shirt" or "date night outfit." Then I type those terms into Pinterest and start getting ideas!

4. How would you describe your personal style? 
I'd say classic with a dash of edgy here and there.

5. What do you do in your spare time outside of blogging? 
Reading is my other main hobby outside of blogging since it's easy to work into my day. I can bring a book with me anywhere! I also love taking dance classes, though I have been terribly inconsistent for the last year and a half.

6. What's on your summer wishlist? 
In terms of products I want to try this Revitalash lash growth stuff from Nordstrom!

7. Has a stranger ever recognized you from your blog and approached you to say hi? 
Never! Funny, my sister asked me this same question when she came to visit and she said, "But you look exactly like you do on the blog!" That made me laugh! I'm me! How else would I look?! But really, when you think about it most of the general public does not read fashion blogs regularly, much less smaller ones like mine. I would imagine you have a pretty large following (particularly on Instagram) to get recognized much in public.

8. What are your top 3 favorite brands?
Express, Daily Ritual from Amazon and hmmm...the last one is too tough to narrow down! I guess Tory Burch for the splurge side of bags and shoes.

Thanks to Jill for challenging me to do this! I always enjoy reading other people's answers to questions like this, so I hope you all enjoyed some of my answers too since I rarely think to tackle topics like this on my own. And on that note, I think it would be fun if some of my blogger friends wanted to answer some of my questions in an upcoming post! I don't want to associate this with an "award" because it's to me it's really just about learning and connection! If you've already done a Q&A recently and you're burned out, no worries. But if you're up for answering any/all of these questions in an upcoming post please do!

My Questions: 

1. What's one thing (or more) you wish you understood sooner about blogging?
2. What has been your best strategy for getting traffic to your blog? (Copying question this from Jill because it's a good one!)
3. Unsolicited Advice: Give some unsolicited advice to the blogging community/bloggers in general. e.g. if there's a mistake you see a lot of people making or a tip you think people ought to know (but apparently don't), share it!
4. Share a favorite blogging memory. Whether it's a favorite post or collaboration/sponsorship or real life meet up that resulted from blogging.
5. Non-blogging bonus question: What are some of your favorite, most-used phone apps (besides social media!)

Rachelle, Noelle, Caryl, Kellyann, Andrea, Lisa and Lisa I'd love to hear your answers to this! And if anyone else reads these and feels inspired to share, please do! I'd love to read your answers too!

UPDATE: As my blogging friends participate I'll add links to their answers here so you can read them if you're interested!

Rachelle's Answers: HERE
Lisa's (Daily Style Finds) Answers: HERE
Noelle's Answers: HERE


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Linking up with: JoLynne | Erika, Andrea, Narci

CONVERSATION

8 comments:

  1. So much to say but I'll be concise! Ha! First of all, you wear that cargo jacket so well and style it perfectly. I'm not so sure mine looks all that good on me, which is crazy since I wanted it badly for a few years!
    Okay, then I love that analogy about not being Olive Garden and finding the right readers. Such a smart attitude and so true!
    I enjoyed reading your answers and I will start working on answers to your questions, thanks so much Gina! Have a wonderful weekend!
    xo,
    Kellyann

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  2. I'm so glad you posted the Q&A! Your cupcake/Olive Garden analogy is spot on and a good reminder that's its not about quantity, its about reaching the right people! I know what you mean about how you would spend your spare time if you weren't blogging. When I was on my blogging break I spent more time reading and working out but felt like I was always looking for a project. All of your spring outfits are so cute and I love that they are pieces I already have so they are easy to recreate! Have a great weekend!

    Jill - Doused in Pink

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  3. Such a fun post and love the idea of a Q/A. These outfits are all classics and I got a blue and white nautical cardigan this year, so excited to wear it all summer.



    xo
    Pinksole

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  4. I am so with you - is it military, utility, field? I am curious now - and think I'll look it up. I love all your spring outfit ideas. The camo jeans and pink sweater looks are my favorites. Colored jeans were the big thing when I started blogging in 2012 - and now they are back! Fashion is so cyclical. I enjoyed reading your answers. One of the best things to come out of blogging is being able to meet others and have those shared girlfriends - that may never have happened without blogging. Thanks so much for picking me - and you have given me some thought-provoking questions to answer.

    Lisa
    Daily Style Finds

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  5. My goodness Gina, you’ve given me so much to comment on as well but I will keep it short. For one, love all your outfits, I always love everything you wear, thank you for the sunshine Blogger nomination and I absolutely adored reading your answers in relation to Blogging! My traffic numbers come from those sources as well. I have never found tailwind to be helpful so I’ve kind of given up on that. Linking up with some of the big blogs helps as well. Where I get most of my inspiration from is blogging friends just like yourself! I have no desire to follow blogs or they don’t wear real clothes or even to follow celebrities. You are just precious and I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

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  6. Omg i loved this blog post! I love the eay you have taken the photos! I also love your stype choice! Stunning post

    Jadieegosh   Instagram

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  7. Ooh my gosh, everything is so cute!
    -Kate // http://www.classyandkate.com/how-spring-has-inspired-me-to-reset-more-than-just-my-home/

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  8. Such great spring outfits, and things I could wear now! I owre a scarf and tee and jeans similar to that outfit of yours just the other day! It's been a very mild autumn here.

    Was so nice reading more about you and how you started your blog too! Google is my main source of traffic too, but I haven't joined pinterest so I don't get much from there! I feel I don't have enough time with facebook and Instagram and twitter!

    Hope that you are having a great weekend! Lots of family time here as we visit some relatives :)

    Away From The Blue

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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!