An Outfit Made of Stupid Grins

Theory Amanda B. Blazer, size 00 :: H&M long-sleeved t-shirt, size 2 :: Paige Blue Heights skinnies, size 23 (hemmed) :: Chanel M/L Classic Flap Handbag :: Manolo Blahnik tweed pumps, size 34.5 :: Ann Taylor Perfect Patent belt, size xs :: Pocket Square from Italy :: Daisy Knights studded ring (also in sterling silver) :: Gold-dipped pine cone pendant

I felt at home and happy in this outfit, and realized it was made just by tossing on a few favorite pieces. My oh-so-lucky of a find Theory blazer from a few years ago. My favorite Paige skinnies. My “baby” red Chanel classic flap. And these favorite tweed Manolo Blahniks that were a very lucky score from a major Neiman Marcus sale.

I’m not normally a pointy-toe shoe kind of gal, but I still remember the flush of happiness that hit me when I slipped these on my feet. I stood in the mirror, deaf to the sale madness happening around me, with the biggest, stupidest grin on my face. They may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but every time I look at them, I smile a little bit. They just make me happy.

That’s how I know I really love something. It literally tickles me to grins or giggles. If I can’t wipe a stupid grin off my face, or have been reduced to uncontrollable laughter…I’ve found a new favorite addition to my wardrobe. That’s also how the boyfriend knows I love what he’s wearing. If he comes down the stairs to model what he’s put together, and I laugh myself to the point of tears, it means I love it. This might make a lesser man feel insecure…but the boyfriend knows it just means I approve so wholeheartedly that my mind has turned to mush.

I remember having similar reactions to most of the pieces I’m wearing here. The stupid grin on my face when I ran out of the Theory outlet dressing room to show the boyfriend how amazing the blazer fit. Smiling as I twirled around in the Paige fitting room after trying on the most flattering pair of skinnies I’d ever found. Grinning from ear to ear, as a Chanel sales associate slowly unwrapped my holy grail handbag so I could “inspect” it, and then swinging the very large shopping bag all the way back to our Vegas hotel room. And now, with this little gold studded ring that I’ve stretched my hand to stare at an embarrassingly amount of times since it arrived on Friday.

Maybe that’s why I love clothing and personal style so much. A shoe with a sense of humor, a fun and quirky piece of jewelry, or a handbag with a rich history updated in a modern color has the ability to bring back a little bit of that childhood glee, that as adults, gets lost in the shuffle and bustle of hurried lives.

I’m seeing a lot of ladies purchase things for the sake of purchasing. An “it” color. A coupon code. A feature from a favorite blogger. I’ve caught myself doing it also, but the sad reality is most of those items are slowly making their way to my “sell or give to charity” pile. It’s the pieces that really made me smile before handing over my credit card that still have a solid place in my closet.

Wouldn’t it be nice to have a closet full of loves that put a stupid grin on your face? So when it comes to my closet, I’m getting pickier. I’ll try to only buy what I need, and then only buy what I really love. Bonus points if an item satisfies both. All the stuff in between is just a quick “high” and likely to end up a waste of money.

PS. Wendy shared an affordable option to the studded ring I’m wearing in this post.

What puts a stupid grin on your face? :)

Join the Conversation


  1. says: Katherine

    This is such a great post and a fantastic philosophy – I totally agree, sometimes I end up buying things for whatever reason…and they just don’t make me that happy. I think I have the same exact red color Chanel as you and it’s one of my favorites!

  2. says: Jessy

    Those shoes are so adorable. I couldn’t agree more with your last statement regarding shopping. Of course, I’m also one of those people but I’m trying my hardest to purchase things that I “need”. Finding the time to filter out my closet is hard since I have so much going on. I WILL do it though.. maybe that’ll be on my new year’s resolutions.

    P.S. I love your “stupid” grin ; )

    1. Thanks Jessy! Do I sense a beginning of the year blog sale coming on? I’ve been going through my closet too, and slowly moving all those “eh” items to one side. I’ll probably be doing some selling/charity soon too.

  3. says: Cher

    I agree with the idea of buying something only because you truly love it. As a blogger, it’s so easy to be overwhelmed by that sensation that you have to have it because you saw it on another blogger. You can tell how another blogger shops by how often they purge and sell their stuff. Luckily for me, I’ve managed to keep that down to a minimum. Even when I purge now, hardly anything goes in the “donate” bag. If it does, it’s usually because it looks old or doesn’t fit, not because I don’t like it anymore. And I actually don’t get that grin on my face when I love something. Well, I do, but that’s not how I measure how much I like it.  I know when I love something is that I’m constantly trying it on…with everything…all day long. LOL. 

    1. From what I can see from your blog, you do a really good job of thinking about your purchases before committing to them. It’s so hard when another blogger makes something look so good…you want to look like that too!

      Ah, yes…the ol’ “gotta try this on with everything in my closet” feeling. I also do the “let me place this in direct view of where I am, so I can stare at it all day” move.  :)

  4. Looking at your pics here make me grin along with you…and you have plenty of things that would make me laugh to tears too!  I couldn’t agree more about buying just because of another blogger. In my case, it makes me want to be more picky so my closet doesn’t fatten out too much coz dieting is not in my vocabulary (should be but it’s difficult). 

  5. says: Couture Coco

    Great post! Totally agree with you about your outfit here and philosophy. In the end it’s all about finding personal style and you’ve got it for sure!
    Things I’ve bought this year have been all for love. After doing the 30 for 30 challenge in September, I reached the point of no return and hope I won’t shop any other way from now on.

  6. says: Amber

    That’s so cute! I don’t think I have that much emotion for anything, lol. Everything of mine one day ends up in the sell pile. I had a though the other day that if my house burned down I really wouldn’t miss anything. Not saying I don’t like my things, just that Im not attached. Maybe that’s weird,lol

    1. LOL. I’m sure you’re attached to things…just things other than clothing & accessories. Either that, or you’re just a much less material person than most of us. Hehe.

      I’ve thought about what I would grab if I only had a minute before having to run out of the house. It starts with the boyfriend & puppy…and then moves right on into the closet…

  7. says: PetiteJD

    I know *exactly* what you mean by clothing literally tickling you to grins or giggles.  This may not be appropriate, but I have coined the term “store-gasm” hahaha. If I have a storegasm when I try on an item, its coming home with me!

  8. says: JJ

    I totally get it! It’s a sad reality that there are very few items in my closet that make me so happy, but those that do are perhaps special for that very reason…but it WOULD be so wonderful to have a wardrobe made exclusively of clothes and accessories that put an instant smile on my face.

    1. It would be nice wouldn’t it? I don’t think it’s 100% possible, due to needing things that aren’t necessarily loves (like white t-shirts…can you really love a t-shirt?), and since most people’s tastes change over time. But it sure is a good way to help curb your spending: “Do I need this? Do I love this? No? Then back it goes!”

  9. says: Anonymous

    My problem with items that make me constantly grin is that I treasure it to the point that I don’t use it. I need to get pass that obstacle of treasuring the find and actually wear it.

    I really like the blazer on you.

    1. I hear ya! I’m guilty of this as well. I save items for special occasions, or baby them to the point of not wearing them in certain situations for fear of them getting ruined or worn out. You’re definitely not alone. :P

  10. says: Anonymous

    What a great post Kelly! I think when it comes to shopping and finding pieces you love most of us have to go through many items to find that ONE that puts a grin our faces :)

  11. says: Vicky

    Wow, Kelly, well said. I can’t agree with you more, and can’t possibly say it better. I have the same silly grin on my face when I love a piece. One recent example was the boyfriend blazer. “grin”. Another example was my patent red Chanel that I just couldn’t stop looking at. This gauge of yours definitely work for me. And I will keep that in mind. I love your new ring there and gee that golden pineapple necklace just stole my heart. Where is that from? (Now I have to exercise control and not purchase it because I see it on you, and love it. lol)

  12. says: Michelle

    Yay!  I am so glad that you love your new ring!! That arrived fast!!

    I definitely get stupid smiles when I am wearing/using a really nice gifted item.  I get a little hyper when I put together an outfit around an item that I really like.  :)

    I am shocked that you are not normally a fan of pointy shoes!  They remind me of Kelly from “What Not to Wear” trying to push her shoe of choice! :p

    1. Thanks Michelle! The ring did come fast! And Net-a-porter wrapped it in the prettiest little box!

      I know! Clinton & Stacy always preach pointy-toed shoes, but I’ve always been wary of anything elfin or smurf-ish. LOL

  13. says: calcho

    “I’m seeing a lot of ladies purchase things for the sake of purchasing”


    I’m trying to be a more selective shopper. Unique, stylish, maybe some whimsy, and QUALITY. Unfortunately that means things are at a slightly higher price point.

    1. Totally agree with you! Unique, stylish, quality, and I also love whimsy. I also try to stay with things that are classic, but with a unique twist. That way, if I invest in quality, I know it’s not only going to last a while, but also stay in “style” for a while.

  14. says: Tara

    I got that grin yesterday.  I liberated a Theory blazer from TJMaxx that I saw about a week ago and couldn’t stop thinking about after I left without it.  I went back to the store, and found that not only was it still there, but it had made it to the clearance rack.  Hooray!  I keep going back to my closet and smiling at it.

  15. Agree! I’m really trying to lessen my ‘buy it because it’s on sale” mentality, I’m getting better at it! I am pretty good at waiting out on an item until it’s on sale  though. There’s never anything I need so bad that I have to pay full price.  The hardest part of buying what you need and what you love – it’s hard to tell if it’s a need or a want.

    1. “The hardest part of buying what you need and what you love – it’s hard to tell if it’s a need or a want.”

      So true. No to mention, there are odd ball items that I didn’t really think I needed, but then end up being a crucial part of my wardrobe, and really grows on me over time. It can be a crap-shoot sometimes, can’t it? =P

  16. Hehehe I have to def work on not buying things because it’s cheap or because I think I want or need it…

    I like your shoes- not a pointy fan either but there are some exceptions! What size is your ring?

  17. says: alice

    I love this post!  I am very very picky about the stuff I buy (my family thinks I’m insane, ha) but I love having a pared down closet.  It’s not perfect yet; my ideal wardrobe is a collection of high quality, classic items suitable for almost every occasion.  And it would be great if every piece makes me smile the way you’re doing!

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