common threads challenge: final recap

As you may have seen earlier this week, the Common Threads Challenge has come to a close, and I wanted to reflect on the experience while it’s still fresh in my mind. Plus, I just love a good excuse to make collages…so it’s recap time!

the olive tee

This tee was more challenging to style than anticipated; as it turns out, olive pants are way easier to wear than an olive top! I’m proud of myself that I did at least try to branch out from my usual olive/black/leopard rut (well, except for that first look…).

Favorite look: #2

the burgundy skirt

This skirt was definitely the most challenging item of the five. People say burgundy is a neutral, but for me, I’d say it’s somewhere in between a neutral and an accent color. Accordingly, I paired it mostly with other neutrals. Maybe someday I’ll get brave and try wearing it with a soft pink or mustard…but I’m not there yet!

Favorite look: #3

the chambray shirt

I don’t see chambray shirts quite as often on other blogs or in stores, so maybe they’re not really “cool” anymore…but I consider mine a classic and will probably continue to wear it for quite some time. To keep it from becoming to boring, I tried to figure out some new ways to layer the shirt for cooler weather. I need to remember to do that more often.

Favorite look: #3

the black knit blazer

This is a relatively new item in my closet, so I was excited to get creative with styling it for this challenge. These four looks are all pretty different, so I’d say that it was a wise purchase in terms of versatility. I’d like to try pairing it with a few more dresses in my closet in the future.

Favorite look: #4

the cognac booties

These booties have been a favorite for several years now, and I’m pretty sure they will continue to be for years to come. They’re so comfy and coordinate with most outfits. Love them!

Favorite look: #3

You can find full outfit details in previous Common Threads Challenge posts:


Although this challenge happened to coincide with some stressful events in my life, I had so much fun participating! It really helped to have at least one piece of my outfit picked out already every morning. That’s the continuing theme I’m finding in these style challenges–they save me time. I also genuinely enjoyed getting creative with a small number of pieces in my closet, while still having access to the rest of my wardrobe. I’m not sure I could ever limit myself to a capsule wardrobe, so this challenge was a happy medium between having too many options and having too few. Finally, I also had fun discovering new blogs through my fellow hostesses and all of you who linked up with us. I would definitely participate in another Common Threads Challenge in the future.

Speaking of the future, I’d like to keep the momentum going and try another sort of challenge for the winter, perhaps in January or February. Any suggestions? I’m interested in a 10 X 10 (10 pieces for 10 days) or something similar.

Thanks for following along!

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common threads challenge: week 4

We’ve made it to the end of the Common Threads Challenge! This last week wasn’t much of a struggle actually, mostly because colder weather finally arrived–that opened up all sorts of layering options!

Monday: chambray shirt

I had an important presentation to give on this day, so I wanted to wear a dress, but I also wanted to wear my chambray shirt…so I wore both! I think this ended up being a nice balance between being “put together” but still casual. I need to remember to layer with dresses more often.

chambray shirt: J.Crew, exact // striped dress: J.Crew Factory, similar // cognac leather strap watch: Wristology, exact // cognac wedges: Jessica Simpson, exact

Tuesday: black knit blazer

Red is an accent color I typically wear quite often, but I’ve been neglecting it for this whole challenge. So, I decided to bust out my bright red pants for a change of pace. I love the vibrant color of these pants (I think Loft called them “fireball red”), but it means I need to keep the rest of the outfit pretty neutral.

black knit blazer: Caslon, similar // white lace top: J.Crew Factory, similar // red pants: Loft, similar // black wedges: Jessica Simpson, exact // gray tortoise sunglasses: Warby Parker Banks, similar

Wednesday: cognac booties

I find myself pinning a lot of looks that involve pink, ivory, and olive, so I decided to put that color palette into action. I’m pretty psyched that it’s finally blanket scarf season 😉

ivory open cardigan: Merona, similar // ivory tee: Banana Republic Factory, exact // olive pants: Banana Republic, similar // pink blanket scarf: Ann Taylor, similar // cognac booties: Jessica Simpson, almost exact

Thursday: olive tee

I wasn’t totally pleased with my olive tee outfit last week, so I decided to try again with slightly different pieces. This time, I subbed the skinny jeans for white jeans and traded the cardigan for my field jacket. I like this look much better!

olive tee: Banana Republic Factory, exact // purple field jacket: J.Crew Factory, similar // white skinny jeans: Loft, similar // taupe booties: Dolce Vita, exact

Friday: burgundy skirt

Camel is one of my favorite colors to wear this time of year, particularly because it pairs well with so many other fall colors, including burgundy. And it delights me to no end that my sweater matches my leopard flats so perfectly.

camel sweater: J.Crew, similar // burgundy skirt: Loft, similar // leopard flats: Dr. Scholl’s, exact // gold tassel necklace: Forever 21, similar

Monday: burgundy skirt

Another Monday, another “professional occasion”–this time, a conference on metabolism and cancer. I wanted to try a new color combination involving burgundy, so tried out gray.

gray sweater: J.Crew, similar // polka dot shirt: J.Crew Factory, similar // burgundy skirt: Loft, similar // black wedges: Jessica Simpson, exact // black dial watch: Wristology, exact

Tuesday: chambray shirt

Seeing as it was Halloween and all, I decided that I needed some orange in my outfit. I’ve had this pin sitting on my “what to wear” board forever, and this seemed like a good occasion to try it out.

chambray shirt: J.Crew, exact // orange cardigan: J.Crew, similar // black pants: Banana Republic Factory, exact // pearl stud earrings: gift, similar


I had a lot of fun choosing this week’s outfits–so that’s definitely a win! I plan on posting a final re-cap with all 22 of my CTC outfits and a few reflections on the experience.

If you’ve been participating in the Common Threads Challenge, please link up with the button below–we’d love to see your outfits!