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Shop It to Me…Friday: Pattern Week

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It’s been Pattern Week around Mission: Put Together (with a bonus pattern-mixing challenge this weekend, so get psyched), so of course I scoured the Shop It to Me deals email for pieces that would add a much-needed whisper (or shout, in some cases) of pattern to one’s wardrobe.

JBird flat, Nine West ($59 at ninewest.com)

Fanfare tunic, J. Crew ($78 at jcrew.com…and, sadly, sold out)

BR Monogram “Kristina” silk maxi ($169.99 at Banana Republic)

Leopard hair scarf, Sonia Rykiel ($66.50 at shopbop.com)

As an avowed lover of all things solid-colored, patterns mostly happen for me in the form of stripes (hello, five striped shirts) or patterned accessories that go with just about everything (like the leopard-print wedges I’m wearing today). I’m coming around to viewing certain patterns as neutrals (including my two favorites), which could be dangerous, but could be another step in making me more wardrobe-fearless. How do you feel about patterns, folks? Are you all-solids, all the time, or do you pattern-mix with abandon? Would you wear that hair scarf, or would it be too 50’s for you? (I confess, I’m torn.)

May Mission…

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…and it’s of the PT variety! I’ve been busy unearthing long-forgotten items from the depths of my dresser and closet (which, truthfully, are not that deep. Thanks, IKEA and hundred-year-old houses!), and it’s just in time for the return of Mission: Put Together.

If you’ve been around for awhile, you know that May brings with it (along with an excuse for margaritas and new, crisp white jeans) an opportunity to get together with your favorite (and not-yet-favorite) internet pals to show off your put-together-ness. The brain-child of RA (I’m just a cheerleader, y’all!), Mission: Put Together offers a chance to get together and share ensembles that are intentional, cohesive, and interesting, but not necessarily trendy or expensive. It’s not just for fashion bloggers, or really just bloggers, period. You don’t have to have a closet full of donated designer shoes or a fancy camera; all you need are a camera and an internet connection.

Here’s the rundown:

1. Join the Flickr group (grab a free account if you don’t already have one)
2. Grab a button, if you like
3. Upload your PT photos
4. Comment on everyone’s submissions
5. Get inspired
6. Have fun!

Like last year, RA and I came up with some optional challenges, based on the principles of 2 of our patron saints, Stacy and Clinton, of What Not to Wear. As always, going along with the challenges or even week-themes is optional– but you’ll get a couple extra entries in our giveaway if you do! We want M:PT to be laid-back but still offering those gold stars to grab for the overachievers among us (gold stars, by the way, are the perfect metallic accessory). If you have to choose between adhering to the challenge and posting for the day, just put together an outfit you like and post!

M:PT 2012 Challenges

For more details about M:PT, check out last year’s kickoff post and the Flickr pool. Remember, you can also tweet about M:PT using the hashtag #MPT (and follow me and RA, if you’re not already)!

Happy ensemble-ing!

M:PT Week 1 review – Color!

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I hope everyone participating in Mission: Put Together had as much fun last week as I did! (And seriously, if you’re not participating yet, get in there! It’s fun and seriously not at all pressure-y.) Here’s a short review of what we did during our Week 1 Color Challenge:

  • The group began with 88 members (Many of whom, I suspect, have forgotten a bit about the project since we last did it in 2008. Come back! We miss you!) and grew by four over the course of the week.
  • We posted to 47 photos to our group pool on Flickr.
  • We exchanged a metric crap-ton (technical term) of compliments and comments about our ensembles.

A big thanks to Jen, Beth, Merrick, RA, Stephanie, NPW, Abby, Janet, Julie, and Kayla for making Color Week so lovely. I hope to see many more this week…with patterns! (Just don’t be mad if all mine are stripes, ok? Stripes and I have a little thing goin’ on.)

Should you choose to accept it

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You may have surmised from the Wordless Wednesday (preview), or you may not have, but either way…get excited. (I know RA and I already are!) Mission: Put Together is back for May! What does this mean, you ask?

Mission: Put Together is a Flickr pool started by RA and OPH way back in October 2008, after multiple discussions of what it means to be “put together.”

It is, among other things:

  • a place to share and get ideas about new looks that work for you
  • a way to motivate yourself out of that black cardigan and into a colorful accessory a couple times a week (Though if you have an awesome tip on black cardigan styling, please tell me! For real.)
  • a place to gather feedback (“Does this skirt work for me?”) and guidance from other helpful members (you know, if you’re like me and are at times incapable of making decisions)

It is most certainly not:

  • a place to criticize others, be it about clothing choice, brand, or body shape/size/type
  • something to stress about, or make you feel like you need to be polished at every second (psst, I’m typing this in sweatpants at my dining room table)
  • a motivator to go out and buy a whole new wardrobe (In fact, I’m trying to institute a “no buying clothing or accessories” policy for May. We’ll see how that goes.)

Want to take part? Yay! Here’s what you’ll want to do:

  1. Join the Flickr group if you haven’t already
  2. Submit your PT photos
  3. Comment away on everyone’s submissions
  4. Get inspired
  5. Have fun!
  6. Optional: grab the M:PT badge (above) and pop it into your blog, take part in the weekly and weekend challenges, tweet about M:PT using the hashtag #MPT, tell every single one of your friends (or just a handful, whatever) to join in the fun

This time around, we’ll be posing optional weekly and weekend challenges. The week-long challenges are based on the concepts by from Stacy and Clinton of What Not to Wear (basically the patron saints, along with Tim Gunn, of M:PT):

  • Week of May 1: Color
  • Week of May 8: Pattern
  • Week of May 15: Texture
  • Week of May 22: Shine
  • Week of May 29: Putting it all together

For the weekends:

  • May 7-8: Mother’s Day
    Is there something in your closet that reminds you of Mom? Something she gave you? A fashion tip she lived by? Bonus points for submitting a PT photo of Mom to the pool!
  • May 14-15: Face Your Fears
    What scares you about fashion? Maybe it’s mixing patterns, unconventional color combinations, big accessories, or wearing a skirt with winter-white legs? Whatever it is, let’s confront our fears together!
  • May 21-22: Closet Orphan
    What item is languishing in your closet but deserves to see the light of day? Resurrect that piece this weekend!
  • May 28-29: Dress It Down
    Especially if you’re the sort whose last dress was a puffy Easter confection when you were six years old, we’re challenging you to wear a dress this weekend! Dresses aren’t just for formal occasions or family obligations, and they are whole outfits unto themselves. How do you make dresses work for you? (For the brave men participating in M:PT, we suggest a substitute of a snappy blazer and vintage t-shirt. Also, this might be a convenient excuse to go on a date!)

Finally– I know this seems like a ton of information, but I promise that M:PT is really fun (if you were a TPTP participant, you know this– so go ahead and join us this month!), and an interesting way to see your own dressing and accessorizing habits (hello, remember all that red I didn’t even realize I wore?). I am particularly of the mind that the best way to finish off an outfit is confidence (a la one of my favorite “fashion” blogs, Already Pretty), so go ahead and show it off! I’ll be doing my best to post daily (and with a trip to Yosemite in a couple weeks, that should be…interesting), and can’t wait to see what everyone has to share. So grab a button and your brights, and get ready for an exciting month!