Outfit Formulas,  Outfits

One Outfit Formula: Five Variations on a Theme


Good afternoon!

It has been exactly a week since I posted last, and you might be thinking that, perhaps, I was extra busy, working longer hours, or frantically preparing for school. You would be giving me too much credit.

No, my dear readers, I’m afraid the answer is something much more mundane, and to be honest, more embarrassing.

The answer is inertia. In science, of course, I learned about inertia with the memorization and discussion of  Sir Isaac Newton’s (May he rest in peace!) 1st Law of Motion, which basically states: “An object at rest stays at rest and an object in motion stays in motion with the same speed and in the same direction unless acted upon by an unbalanced force.”

Inertia, in my world, can be illustrated as such:

On a normal school day, I will be up around 6, finish my hair and makeup in twenty minutes, eat breakfast, pack my lunch, kiss my husband goodbye, get to school, teach classes, write a blog post, do a few errands on the way home, cook dinner, clean the whole house, do a few loads of laundry, try a new hairstyle, pick out an outfit for the next day, go for a run, come up with solutions to solve world poverty, binge watch a new show on Netflix with my husband, organize the garage, run for president, practice a wee bit of piano, promote world peace, and still have time for a ten minute face mask.

On a summer day in which I have no school, I wake up with just enough time to eat breakfast, pack my husband’s lunch and send him off to work, then go back to bed for a short nap (or bring a book and coffee to bed for “a few minutes”), check the clock three hours later and guilt trip myself out of bed, go for a short run, take the world’s longest shower, spend 47 minutes putting my hair in a ponytail and applying five makeup products, get distracted by my phone about seven dozen times (Prince Louis’ christening today: obviously must check Twitter every ten minutes for the first look at Kate and Meghan’s outfits and to see if Princess Charlotte grew any taller!!!!!), then spend the day reading history books about random European royals or First Ladies (currently reading Daughters of the Winter Queen, which is completely fascinating, but also useless for the new classes I’m teaching this year *sigh*), working on jigsaw puzzles, or doing a few Shipt orders until my husband gets home.

So, you see, I am the living evidence, the scientific proof, of inertia. Thank you, Sir Isaac Newton.

This particular blog post should have been written last week, but obviously, all I accomplished last week was reading two large books and painting my toenails, so here we are today! Until yesterday at 9 PM, I actually thought I was working today, but upon verifying my schedule, it turns out that I am only working Tuesday-Friday, so here I am, finally writing a blog post about what I wore two weeks ago. Winner = Inertia, Loser = Jo

I spent the week two weeks ago working as, basically, a chaperone for a summer camp for vision-impaired students. This will be my third year working for this program, but this was my first year being there for the camp week, and I spent a little while trying to decide what to wear. I had been told that the other counselors/helpers would be wearing t-shirts or tank tops and shorts, and that the students would be dressed even more casually. I was also told that we would be spending a good portion of each day outside and on city buses, so I needed both comfortable shoes and a jacket for the freezing buses.

I initially considered wearing old race t-shirts (dri fit tees advertising the “Run for the Pies” and “White Squirrel Festival” would have been very professional, of course) and denim, but then I remembered two things: none of the students really knew me, and I am sometimes mistaken for a high school student (Chubby cheeks are, apparently, indicative of a high school junior to the majority of the world). Hence, it was probably a good idea to dress a little more professionally.

I came up with a simple, comfortable outfit formula: summery skirt + neutral t-shirt + denim jacket + flats/sandals.  I planned all my outfits for the week, and actually stuck to my plan! I was really happy with how the outfits worked out; I was comfortable and cool all week, and no one mistook me for one of my students! An all-around success!

So, without further blathering, here are my outfits from the week!


Skirt: Thrifted/G. H. Bass, similarCPW: $2.49

Tee: Hand-me-down/unknown brand, similar CPW: $0.00

Sandals: Target, exact/new version CPW: $1.07

Jacket: Thrifted/Old Navy, new version CPW: $0.53

Purse: Target, similar CPW: Unknown, but I bought it for $17 and have worn it every day since…August, I think? 

Total Cost Per Wear: $4.03

If you squint hard enough, you can see that the print on the skirt is actually tiny giraffes! I was helpfully informed by another of the chaperones that giraffes are a biological miracle because technically their necks are so long that the blood pressure when they bend down to drink should be so high that it kills them, but doesn’t. *random science fact*


Skirt: Thrifted/Nordstrom Rack, similar CPW: $1.24

Tee: Thrifted/Gap, similar CPW: $0.99

Shoes: Dr. Scholl’s, exact CPW: $2.33

Total Cost Per Wear: $4.56

I met Gus at Starbucks to take a few quick photos like the ~basic~ sisters we are, and I looked like a flipper-footed swamp creature while Gus looked like the effortlessly-gorgeous person that she is.



Skirt (just realized I put the wrong one into Stylebook. Oops): thrifted/New York & Co, similar CPW: $0.00

Tee: Target, similar CPW: $1.14

Shoes: same Dr. Scholl’s exact CPW: $2.33

Jacket: same Old Navy CPW: $0.53

Total Cost Per Wear: $4.00

You can’t really tell in this picture, but I knotted my shirt for the first time, and I was pathetically proud of myself.


Skirt: Asos, similar CPW: $1.66

Tee: Target, similar CPW: $1.50 

Shoes: same Dr. Scholl’s exact CPW: $2.33

Jacket: same Old Navy CPW: $0.53

Total Cost Per Wear: $6.02

This day. So, super fast Story Time: my group of students was supposed to pick their own destination and get there using public transport. I was not supposed to assist them unless absolutely necessary. We made it to our destination and enjoyed ourselves immensely until it was time to go home. Then, we headed to a bus stop and waited for our ride back to campus. Then, it started raining, and the bus stop was uncovered, so we just stood in the rain for twenty minutes trying to shield ourselves with our backpacks while making awkward exotic bird squawking noises. When the bus finally arrived, the students found out what I already knew: we had been waiting at the wrong bus stop. So then we trekked in our squishy, rain-soaked shoes for ten minutes to…a covered bus stop. On the way, one of the students spoke up, for the first time all day: “I knew that was the wrong bus stop.”

Thankfully for me, I had already taken an outfit picture.




Skirt: Stolen from Gus, similar CPW: $0.00

Tee: Target, similar CPW: $0.83

Sandals: same Target CPW: $1.07

Jacket: same Old Navy CPW: $0.53

Total Cost Per Wear: $2.43

Since my slip on shoes were still soaked, I took a chance and wore sandals for the last day. Thankfully, there was not nearly as much walking involved (and, hallelujah! no rain!), so I was fine.

That concludes my dissertation on my new favorite outfit formula.

Next up, and last of all, a quick makeup note. During the school year, I typically wear a full face of makeup because I need to look professional while I teach high schoolers, and (as mentioned before) I have chubby cheeks and, ergo, am basically a high schooler myself. During the summer, I stick to just a few products. This week of working, I stuck to a simple five product routine that really should take a normal person only five minutes (it took me 10-15, because I get distracted quite easily).

    1. CoverGirl Smoothers
    2. MORE BROWS Eyebrow Gel (a Birchbox sample, but one I’m about to buy because, oh my word! it’s incredible! It gives me eyebrows without giving me EYEBROWS, if you know what I mean).
    3. L’Oreal Voluminous Original Mascara (supposedly Meghan Markle AKA the Duchess of Sussex’s favorite)
    4. Glow Milk Liquid Highlighter (also a Birchbox sample)
    5. Maybelline New York SuperStay 24 2-Step Liquid Lipstick Makeup, Timeless Rose, 1 kit (would actually last for 24 hours if I weren’t a plebeian who eats and drinks throughout the day).

After a week of this five step routine, I think I’m in love, and I might make this my new normal.

Well! I really should write more often so I can stop writing novellas!!

Thank you for reading!

Happy Monday!


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