Monday, September 21, 2015

Hello Monday: Edgy + Express Haul

Sorry for being MIA on Friday. It was a very long week, and I think two weeks of back to back weekend trips have left me both physically and emotionally exhausted. Not to be a Debbie Downer or anything, sorry! But traveling has forced me to blog during the week, and when I finally sat down to write my Friday post on Thursday at 9:30pm, I simply had no strength. I know I'm preaching to the choir here, so I won't dwell on it, but I'm hoping to make it up to you with this photo-heavy post!

A few weeks ago, I entered a contest on Instagram where I posted this photo of myself wearing Express jeans and apparently I won! Not only did they regram me (which, hello, it's Express and they regrammed me, is this real life?) but they also sent me a gift card loaded with $500. Five. Hundred. Dollars. To be honest, when they sent me a message saying I'd won, I had no idea which photo won! I mean, let's be real, I have a TON of Express jeans. But it turns out, the winning entry was an outfit for which I drove to two parks to take the selife; not even because I wanted a good entry, it was simply because I wanted good content for Instagram. So yay for being dedicated!

I feel like it's harder to spend free money than it is your own money. That seems like a silly statement, but I want to make sure I spend it on things I wouldn't normally spend my own money on. I feel like it's my chance to step out of my comfort zone a bit and try pieces I have my eye on but hesitant to buy for one reason or another since there's zero risk - it's not *my* money I'm spending, so if it all sucks, it doesn't matter.

So, with this in mind, I thought it would be a great chance for me to try the Express One Eleven line. When I first saw it released, I really didn't think it was for me. I figured the thin fabrics would simply highlight my problem areas (i.e. my midsection) and just wouldn't be flattering on me. My opinions changed a bit after trying on the olive top from this post when I was in California. Long story short, I loaded my cart up with about $300 of predominantly One Eleven pieces, and I loved every last bit of it! The Express One Eleven line is very reasonably priced, so that's a LOT of merch for $300!

Sunnies: Ray Ban | Necklace: Express | Bag: Rebecca Minkoff | Tank: Express | Bralette: Express | Bracelets: Nadri (exactoption), The Foundrie (gifted) | Watch: Fossil (option) | Rings: Kendra Scott (here and here) | Bottoms: Express | Shoes: Pulse (c/o) (option here and here)

The husband and I were getting dressed for brunch on Saturday morning, and I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to sport some new stuff. I gotta say, I'm quite obsessed with the bralettes and open backs. I had figured that this would all be workout wear for me, but after trying everything on, I thought they were too cute to sweat in! It definitely adds a lot of edge to an otherwise basic outfit. I hardly ever do all black to begin with, but the bold monochromatic look plus the open back, the tougher accessories, and the fringe booties made me feel like I should be in Tswift's Bad Blood video! Ha! (Speaking of which, I have the best tickets to see her one week from today!!!!!) 

Now you're probably wondering what else was in my Express haul! Lucky for you, I spent an hour Friday after work taking everything for a test drive! Before I go any further, let me remind you of my measurements! I'm 5'-2" tall, 34 chest, 28" waist, 36" hips.

Olive One Eleven Hoodie (I'm wearing a Small)
Camo sequin mini skirt (I'm wearing a Medium)

Olive One Eleven Hoodie - LOVE. Seriously super soft. It's definitely tee shirt thin, not sweatshirt material, but it's super soft and is the perfect lightweight layer. I really love the way it falls, it's pretty effortless.

Black Low Rise Extreme Stretch Jean Legging - I don't know why, but I'm always on the lookout for the perfect pair of black skinnies. I have a ton, but for one reason or another, they aren't perfect enough for me to be satisfied. The ones I wear the most are from the Gap, and while they're great, they do bunch at the knee just a bit which make them difficult for tucking into boots. This pair will be great for that though. They're more of a sateen than they are a denim material, and they have the perfect amount of stretch.

Striped One Eleven scoop neck muscle tee - Sorry that I didn't take a photo of this untucked with a pair of jeans so you can get a better idea of fit, but it fits pretty similar to the other Express One Eleven tanks I have - relaxed. And I can't stress the softness of these pieces.

Camo sequin mini skirt - I ordered a medium because I tend to size up in shorts and skirts so they fall lower on my hips. This is definitely not a mini skirt on me, and I'm loving it. I may have to wear this to the previously mentioned Tswift concert!

Mark One Eleven twist back tank (I'm wearing a Small)

Marl One Eleven twist back tank - Same comments as the previous tanks in this post. I am wearing the mesh bralette under this, which you can't see. One thing I should mention is that these tanks and bralettes are definitely thin, so if you're self conscious about, ermmm, "headlights"… then you may want to add something for extra coverage. I'm only wearing the bralettes and the tanks in these photos, no added protection.

Soft twill boyfriend shirt (I'm wearing a Small)
Low rise thick stitch jean legging (I'm wearing a 6 short)

Soft twill boyfriend shirt - I bought this in store last weekend in NYC, and unfortunately this top isn't coming up in purple online, but I'm tempted to get it in olive and black also. I sound like a broken record, but it's super soft. I also love that it has a boyfriend fit without being oversized. For comparison, those plaid oversized shirts that I love so much (seen here and here) I always get in an extra small, but I'm wearing a small in this one.

Low rise thick stitch jean legging - Frankly, these thick stitch jeans don't get enough air time. Well, they get plenty of airtime from me, but I don't recall seeing them on other people. Perhaps it's the contrast stitching that turns people off from them, but the fit is just crazy amazing, that I'm willing to deal with obnoxious pockets. I ordered this lighter wash since my dark wash version (seen here) get so much use!

You may notice the olive booties I'm wearing in some of the photos above. These are also a recent purchase and I'm obsessed. Yes, I realize I say that a lot, but it's harder to find olive booties than you think! This was the exact shape I was looking for. I was actually hunting for the Rag and Bone Harrow booties in this color, but hey, for $425 cheaper, I will take them! I apologize in advance for having them on repeat this fall and winter!!!

Whew!! I told you that would be photo heavy! Hope you've found some goodies in this post that pique your interest a bit, and if anything, that I've given you enough positive feedback to give the Express One Eleven line a try! As I was putting together this post, I spent a few more dollars from my gift card…. I'll have to save those purchases for another try-on post!


Linking up for: Monday Mingle, Shoe and TellRachelle and Cha Cha for #HowISummer.

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  1. Love the all-black outfit with all the little details to keep it interesting!

    And congrats on winning the $500 voucher, that's awesome! :D You certainly got some great things with it! I know what you mean about spending other money too, when it's your own you're much more calculated and tend to buy safe. When you get a voucher or win a voucher, you're much more likely to try something different as it's no loss if it doesn't work out. Glad everything worked out for you though!

    Thank you for the link up!

    Away From The Blue Blog

  2. Love the tank and the bralette combi from the first outfit. I've been doing that look a lot during summer. It's starting to get a bit too cool for it around here unless you are in bright sun after 10 a.m.

    And big congratulations for winning the voucher. That's so way cool! Have a great week :)

    Alex - Funky Jungle

  3. oh my! so beautiful! amazinggg! love the link up!

  4. First love this all black look and the back is sexy. Perfect outfit for a night out. I'm trying not to get any more shirts but that purple one is a stunner.


  5. I l ove the top from "all black outfit". It so hot. Congratulations! 500 $ voucher - this is great! o)

    www. newskinyme.com

  6. Ooo!!! I love it all. That open black tank is adorable!! And knowing that your purple shirt comes in olive... uh oh. That's already in my shopping cart. Xoxo Jenna

  7. i love black on black. your fringe booties are the icing on the cake! also love that olive. on trend for fall!
    Southern Elle Style

  8. Love that olive green hoodie and the open back tank. That was quite a win!
    Carrie and Stacy
    CS Gems

  9. Love the all black look so cool! And also the otherr <3

    XX Nora / 1310bynora.com

  10. Congrats on winning the contest! I love the edgy all black look! I need that olive hoodie!

    Doused In Pink

  11. Congrats, girl! I can see why you won. Love the all black ensemble and those jeans look amazing on you. I love hauls, thanks for sharing.

  12. WOW, congrats on winning! I'll have to go back to Insta and find your regram. How cool! I love everything you bought. That line looks so soft and comfy. I want that purple bf shirt! I also think I need to go in and try on their jeans. I too feel like I am in a perpetual hunt for black skinnies.

    Amy Ann
    Straight A Style

  13. So exciting that you won! I wouldn't know what to do with all that excitement. I'm loving this edgy look too.

    pumps and push-ups

  14. Love your rocker chic look Carylee!


  15. Loving the all black look on you! So edgy and chic. You pull it off flawlessly! xx

    Audrey Adair | www.happilyaudrey.com

  16. That's so fabulous you won!!! I don't which is better....the $500 or the regram from Express!!! Congrats!! jodie

  17. Congrats on winning the contest, how awesome is that!? And you found some really good stuff too--I love the black jeggings and the striped tee (you can never have enough of those!). I haven't shopped at Express for a while but recently I've seen some really cute things on other bloggers... I see a trip there in my future!
    Shea | www.shealennon.com

  18. So exciting that you won!! That is awesome and that $500 is so exciting! I agree sometimes it is harder to spend a giftcard because you really want to make sure you use it well! Love that green hoodie!

  19. That's so awesome that you won! Work hard play hard! I'm sure it felt amazing to spend it! Lol! Great picks from Express, I've been dying to get over there to shop, hopefully one day this week I can pop in a grab a few things! I just looove that sequin camo mini!

    xo, Erica
    Casually Styled

  20. Congrats on winning the $500 gift card! And I am loving this edgier outfit on you!


    Would love to see you Thursday for TBT Fashion link up.

  21. Love the all black look girlfriend! #flawless

    xx Leah / www.eatpraywearlove.com

  22. I just love this top on you! The open back is so pretty!

    Fizz and Frosting

  23. Congratulations on the Express win, that is very exciting and well deserved! Thank you for hosting.


  24. So exciting that you won!! That is awesome and that $500 is so exciting! I agree sometimes it is harder to spend a giftcard because you really want to make sure you use it well! Love that green hoodie!

  25. I love it all. Love the all black. You look GREAT. And congrats on your win!

  26. Congrats on winning the voucher!

  27. Wow! $500! Lucky you! I was just at Express and saw that soft purple shirt and I almost bought it. Now I wish I did.

  28. congrats on the win! that's an awesome prize! I love your outfit--it's so badass! The silver statement necklace is a great touch.


  29. What an amazing all black outfit! My fringe booties arrived today and I can't wait to wear them :D

  30. Wow, that is an amazing contest to win! Lucky you! Love your edgy looks, and I definitely think you can pull them off :)


  31. That's amazing! Congratulations! I can't wait to see what you buy. I also loooove this all black outfit!

  32. You lucky duck! 500 at Express is amazing! But it was so well deserved, I absolutely loved that picture you submitted. There's so much to rave about in this post! First, I LOVE that RM moto bag. Considering I'm obsessed with that sport (and the hot boys) I think I really do need it. It looks so soft too. Second, the fun loose top and bralette are super cute. I was looking at one the other day but didn't try it on because I didn't think it would be flattering on me. Seeing it on you makes me want to try one though!

  33. Congratulations on winning that incredible prize!! That's AWESOME and I love what you picked out!

    I totally know what you mean about having a hard time spending the gift money. I get weirdly cheap and awkward with spending gift card money, because I don't want to "waste" it. It's probably why I still have a giftcard I won from a contest, now that I think about it.

    Something About That

  34. I love your chic all black look. The fringe detail on your boots is lovely too!

    Stephanie @ Sartorial Diner

  35. Loving your all black cool and edgy look! I could not pull this off.
    Red Reticule

  36. Congratulations on winning the Express gift card, Caryl! That's amazing - and you got some fantastic pieces with it!


    I hope you have a great week!


  37. I've got to have that twill top and I could just hear you saying "Go for it!" cause your IG is always bad for my shopping habit and I see that visiting your blog page is proving to be as well LOL stop looking so darn cool girl! Love the olive boots as well....grrrr!