fashion,  friendship,  Uncategorized

help marla harness her hotness!

Here it is friends- DIY “what not to wear!” Fick style (without the snarky comments or big budget)!  For the last few months I’ve had fun with friends and family doing closet makeovers and wardrobe consulting. Now I am not Heidi Klum, an editor for InStyle Mag or even an employee of fashionable stores such as Meijer & Walmart. But I have learned a few things over the years about looking cute, saving money, and living simply. You may ask yourself- how do those things fit together? Well, let me introduce you to my gal Marla and I’ll let you in on what I helped her with too and you can help her decide which outfit to wear on Saturday.

Marla is graduating from nursing school on Saturday & wanted to find a cute outfit. Marla like many of us is a busy mom, going to school, being a wife, trying not go crazy and still look cute. She enlisted my help to find an outfit to go with a cute black jacket that looked similar to this:

image from

Which brings me to my first tip:

1. Use what you already have in your wardrobe and buy separates! Especially for events that are special, finding something to go with a skirt or shirt you already have can be a lot cheaper than buying a whole new outfit. Separates are way more functional than dresses- especially shirts that are 3/4 sleeves that you can easily layer with other things depending on what the weather is.

2. Take a friend with you! If you have a friend who has an eye for color, design or just is able to see things differently they can help you put together new outfits from your wardrobe and break you out of a rut, they can encourage you to try on colors you normally don’t wear & then discover- hey, who knew I looked great in turquoise! If they’re a good friend they’ll even tell you when you are about to hit fashion disaster!

friends don't let friends go vintage, bad vintage to nursing school graduation 🙂

3. Go to consignment and thrift stores. How many of us have bought clothes on a whim & later tried them on only to realize that the cut or color really wasn’t that great. We keep the shirt in our wardrobe for awhile, hoping that it will magically begin to look better on us, only to feel guilty that it’s still sitting in our closet with the tags on six months later. You bring it to goodwill hoping that someone else looks awesome in a purple, giraffe print dress (which I did this week ;). Marla and I hit One Girl’s Treasure in GR & found a great skirt  (pictured below) that worked with her jacket- super cute for a fraction of the price! This is one way to live simply and not contribute (as much) to the consumer mentality of needing to buy everything new and using what is already out there. Also, contrary to my friend Todd’s belief about thrift stores- there are no ghosts that live in the clothes.

4. Accessories make the difference! Any outfit can look new with some new jewels! I am a jewelry junkie- a have a soft spot for things that are sparkly and a predilection to pearls! The way to go about keeping it simple is to buy accessories from places that are cheap and trendy. This way you don’t spend a ton of money on something you might not like in a year, jazz up an old outfit and if you get sick of it, you can get rid of it or sell it to a consignment shop without the guilt of feeling like you should keep it because you spent a lot of money on it. My favorite place? forever 21. Yes, I there are times I feel slightly weird shopping with teeny-bopper girls that are five sizes smaller than me and wearing neon for the first time in their lives, but there are some great things at this store!  A necklace & cute bracelet can make an ordinary jeans and a t-shirt look great.

marla agrees!

5. Borrow from friends: Marla and I were commenting how much we used to borrow clothes from each other & other girlfriends while we were in college and had much more disposable income to buy new clothes with. I don’t know what it is that keeps us from raiding our girlfriends closets these days when we have to pay for mortgages, groceries, cars, and a whole lot of other stuff, but checking with a girlfriend is a great way to change up an outfit without spending any money and build your relationship with a friend. I hooked Marla up with a couple of things from my closet to help her harness her hotness, which isn’t hard to do since she’s quite a beaut.

So friends, which outfit do you think she should wear? Post your comments with a vote for which outfit you think she should wear on Saturday to celebrate her graduation. Yay for fun fashion & friends!

outfit #1, which Marla may end up pairing with black pants.
outfit #2: a belt & colorful accessories make the difference!

So, cast your vote & let my friend know which outfit she should go with!


  • Una

    Definitely #2 and here’s why….whenever I looked at the #1 photo, my eyes were drawn to the turquoise band between the jacket and the skirt. There’s not enough “flow” and so the outfit looks chunky. with the #2 outfit, there’s a nice “flow” from the head to the toe. The belt adds a little waste. With some cool jewelry, she’ll look smokin’ hot in a professional, “I am a nursing graduate” kind of way.

  • Kathy Khang

    #2. I agree with Una. The gathered waistline of the turquoise shirt takes away from the cut of the jacket.

    What would the jacket over outfit #2, minus the belt, look like? Or the jacket, skirt #2 with a different colorful shirt underneath?

    I love the bracelet, but honestly I’m not sure about the matching earrings with the bracelet…too bad you’re in MI. I have a great purse that would go with that outfit!

    Congrats, Marla!

  • April

    Um, we are forgetting a major key point here. What about SHOES??? Are her feet going nekkid??? As a Sex in the City fan, I can’t believe that you neglected SHOES!! 😉 Those can make or break an outfit. Though I’m assuming she’d wear the same shoes with both.

    I was torn because I can’t see anyone else wearing those red earrings but you, Jess, but then I pretended that I didn’t know you and just saw Marla walking down the street in both outfits, and #2 wins out.

    Nice job, fashionista!

    Go hot mama Marla, Go!

    • Jessica

      yes April, shoes of course make the difference! However Marla & I wear different sizes & she wasn’t about to scrunch into one of my pairs of shoes 🙂 She’s planning on wearing some black wedge heels which I think will look great.

  • Katie

    Marla you look great in both!
    As is, I would say #2 with a killer pair of heels. I agree no matching of the earrings with the bracelet (although they’re really cute!)… I’d go for smaller silver or pearl earrings and a red shoe instead (if you have them). But I think I would like #1 better than #2 if it had a slimmer fitting top (still a bright colour) and of course, a killer pair of heels. A stripey top would probably look good with #1also – nautical is in! Well, at least in Europe, maybe its not in the States! Come to think of it, maybe you shouldn’t take my advice, lol!

    Congratulations Marla!!!!

    • Jessica

      good call Katie- I think for an event like graduation some subtle earrings are called for. I was telling Marla that I’ve thought about clipping off the bottom two, or at least one bead on those earrings because they are so big and bright. Great for a party, but not a lot of other places.

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