Friday, August 7, 2015

Summer Skirts

When I first started the Auto-Immune Protocol (AIP) diet last March a friend encouraged me to reward myself in some way for every ten pounds lost... I loved the idea! In addition to the benefits that come from feeling better and reaching new goals, rewarding yourself for your healthy efforts can also help reinforce those new habits and inspire you to continue working towards your longterm health goals.

After losing that first ten pounds, which didn't take long with my 100% AIP diet, I had a hard time deciding what to do as a little treat for all the hard work. I didn't want my reward to be food related. I wasn't due for a hair cut and I also didn't want to buy any new clothing yet, since I still had a very long way to go. I ended up splurging on a darling pair of gold summer sandals (pictured below) during a special sale over at Garnet Hill telling myself I'd eventually purchase a new skirt to go with them once I had lost at least another ten or twenty pounds.

By the beginning of summer, after losing quite a bit more weight and weighing less than I had weighed in many years, I was in need of much more than just one new skirt and ended up going on a little shopping spree in preparation for our summer road trip. I've continued to lose weight, averaging about 1 pound per week and am getting really close to hitting the next big milestone!

I am planning to share some more details on how I've survived on this strict diet for so long (lots of you have been asking!) sometime soon, perhaps starting with a list of snacks that helped me survive nearly a month on the road without gaining any weight!!! In the meantime, I thought it would be fun to share my favorite summer skirts from this year in seven quick takes.


— 1 —


Skirt: Classic Knit Maxi Skirt in Black/White Mariner (Garnet Hill) 

This black and white skirt has a heavier fabric than some of my other maxi skirts which drapes nicely and comfortably. I love wearing this skirt with my black three-quarter sleeve top, or with the Cropped Boxy Knit Top (pictured below), or my white Slub Tank and Hoodie (from Eddie Bauer).  Lots of options for different occasions.  Sometimes I wear the gold sandals, but my black flip flops and black Joanie pumps are perfect too depending on what top I decide to wear and whether I want to dress it up or down. 


— 2 —


Skirt: Favorite Maxi Knit Skirt in Light Mushroom and Castlerock (Garnet Hill) 
Top: Cropped Boxy Knit Top (Garnet Hill) 
Shoes: same as #1 - Crown by Børn Trentin Gladiator Demi Wedge Shoes

This skirt is sooooooo comfortable I ended up ordering it in two colors! I love the thick waist band, the deep pockets, the unique seam on the sides at the bottom of the skirt, and that it's fully lined. 


— 3 —


Skirt: Striped Maxi Skirt Merona, Heather Grey/Black Diagonal
Top: Short-Sleeve, Long-Sleeve, or 3/4-Boatneck Black Tees and Jean Jacket
Shoes: Flip Flops, Danskos, or my Black Flats

This was one of my first clothing purchases in early summer and it is still one of my favorites. Last year I purchased a couple Merona skirts in a size large, this year I'm wearing a small!!! I've been paring this skirt with short or long sleeve black tees, and my jean jacket for cooler days at the coast


— 4 —



I picked up this maxi skirt at our local Costco for only $15.99! It's extra long, comfortable, and the diagonal stripes make it very flattering. 

I've been wearing the skirt with the black prAna Jess top, made with lightweight organic cotton and linen blend. I love that it has long sleeves that can be rolled up and buttoned at the elbows. It's been great for summer and will transition nicely into the fall and winter months as well. 

For shoes? I've been loving my Joanie dress pumps and wear them all the time. They are cute and comfy! I could spend the whole day walking around National Parks wearing these shoes without my feet hurting at all. 


— 5 —



I almost love this skirt that I picked up at REI just before our trip... The fabric is lightweight, super comfortable and perfect for summer camping trips (I lived in this skirt and my jean skirt while we were visiting the National Parks), I just wish it was a couple inches longer. It seems to run really big and the size I purchased sits low on my hips rather than at my waist which gives its some extra length.

I love the top though! It has a pretty cowl neck and adjustable sleeves, you can button them up, leave them down, or even halfway (pictured) which is how I wore them most of the time. 

Have you tried the Sanuk shoes before? Ohhh! I love them! I've had a pair of dark brown yoga mat wedge flip flops (like these) for a couple years now and they've been my favorite pair of summer shoes. This summer I ordered the Zen Wedge in black for our trip. 


— 6 —



I have the skirt from #5 above in black as well, and I've been wearing it almost daily this past week, but I'm planning on ordering this skirt in Jet Black since it looks like it is a little longer. If it does fit better I'll probably want to order it in Charcoal as well. 

I usually avoid v-necks and striped shirts, but this prAna top was too cute to pass up in two of my favorite clothing colors (black/grey... I know! I'm so boring!) when I saw it at REI. The cloud wash and contrasting stripe patterns look even cuter in person.



— 7 —


Skirt: Style J Country Chic Denim Skirt (mine is an older version of this skirt) 
Top: prAna Lucy Top, White (or my Kuhl Vega Henley in Morning Glory) 

I love my Style J Denim Skirt! However, last summer it was way too small (couldn't even get it over my hips) and now it's too big! I've been wearing it anyway. I plan to order another one once I stop losing weight, either the one pictured here or maybe the Fabulous 'N Pockets version!  I wore mine with the prAna Lucy top and my Joanie pumps for the 4th of July at Grand Teton and Jackson Hole, WY!


On My Wish List for Fall? I've been watching for a sale on this Pleated Midi Skirt and hoping it drops in price sometime soon. What do you think? Cute? Which color? Of course I am leaning towards the Steeple Gray, but the Orchid Pink is so pretty too! 


How about you? Do you have any favorite skirts? 
I'd love to hear about them! 

23 comments:

  1. Congrats on your AIP diet! ❤️ the choices of clothing! So cute! I was wondering if you could do a post on how you organize and stock your pantry!

    2015-08-07 23:03:54

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    1. Thanks, Kim! Our pantry isn't very organized at the moment, but I am working on it! Great idea for a blog post. I'll keep that in mind!

      2015-08-07 23:17:55

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  2. Jessica, I love your picks! The garnet hill is so cute! Congrats on the weight loss! I also love the denim jacket. And funny, I bought my daughter that same costco skirt! I haven't bought anything this summer; we've been so focussed on decorating that I'm into housing magazines and shopping those catalogs, but I gotta take your advice and get to the garnet hill site!

    2015-08-07 23:05:58

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    1. Costco has really cute clothes sometimes, for great prices! lol I'm wondering how many of my local friends have the skirt as well! ;) I LOVE Garnet Hill! Their prices can be spendy, but they have great sales, free exchanges, and such quality clothing.

      2015-08-07 23:13:13

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  3. I ordered this skirt for myself this spring. It is quickly became a favorite I love its bold bright color. http://m.apostolicclothing.com/item/323637375f313...

    2015-08-07 23:23:59

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    1. That is darling!! Did you order it in the green, or one of the other colors? I haven't seen this website before and will have to save the link. Thanks for sharing!

      2015-08-07 23:34:01

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    2. I ordered it in green. I really like bold colors :) I also ordered this skirt in grey from them as well: http://m.apostolicclothing.com/item/323532395f313...

      Both of them wear well and wash well. However, the grey one waistband sits funny on me so I don't wear it quite as often as I do the first one I shared.

      2015-08-08 04:58:17

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  4. Thank you Jessica for posting! I have just recently decided that me and my daughter are going to wear skirts all of the time. God has been calling me to do that for a couple of years. It would be nice to see a post about skirts. What you wear with the skirts. Thanks Blessings!!!! By the way me and my daughter love wearing skirts and dresses.

    2015-08-09 09:18:24

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    1. That is great, Karina! Skirts are so pretty and feminine. My girls and I love wearing them too!

      I'm not sure I understand what it is you'd like me to post about? In this post I did include what I wear with the skirts, linking to the shirts and shoes I wear with them. Am I misunderstanding? Could you please clarify that for me? Thanks!

      God bless you and your family!

      2015-08-10 01:21:57

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    2. Sorry I didn't explain myself😕. I would love to see more post about skirts that's all. Thank you and God Bless you!

      2015-08-10 03:14:56

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    3. Ahh! Got it! Okay, I will keep that in mind! :)

      2015-08-10 04:19:38

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  5. Cute skirts! I cannot make the paleo and AIP jump. I need to, and I have started, but I can't keep up with it. I hit a bad physical spell and then can't keep up with everything. But it is a great idea to have something to look forward to on your path. I think mine would be more of a time length and not weight as I feel as if I will never, ever lose weight again.

    2015-08-09 17:57:45

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    1. Sticking with it for a certain length of time would be a great goal and definitely worth rewarding yourself in little ways when you hit those goals!

      I did fine the first few days, but days 4-10 were the hardest. I started during Lent and decided to stick with it for 30 days - - I didn't have any intentions of sticking with it long term at that point -- and my goal was to improve my skin rash/auto-immune disease since I, like you, felt that I would never be able to lose the weight I had gained and be able to keep it off. I had tried so many diets (gluten-free, grain-free, sugar-free, Candida diet, 17 day diet, and more - I had already been eating dairy-free, or at least mostly for years) with very little results - I could lose ten pounds working really, really, hard and then it would just come right back. My goal with the AIP was to improve my health and the rash, not necessarily lose weight, but when I lost 17 pounds in those first 30 days I was so surprised, encouraged and motivated - not to mention I felt much healthier. It helped me to keep going, even though it was (and still is) very hard at times.

      I remember talking to my mom about my weight last summer and she said "it has got to be something you are eating!" and I replied through my tears, "but, Mom, I'm eating good and exercising!" I would have never guessed that the healthy (but possibly inflammatory) foods I was including in my various diets pretty much daily (nightshades was probably one of the biggest issues, and possibly the eggs/nuts/seeds/beans, etc) were part of the cause, combined with lack of sleep and stress levels. It was so hard to pinpoint exactly what was causing my health issues, and I'm still working on it, but this elimination diet has helped tremendously.

      I will say a prayer that you can figure out what you need to do for your own health, and that God will send you the graces you need to persevere! God bless you!!

      2015-08-10 01:15:59

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    2. Thank you, Jessica, you are sweet. I felt ten times better going gluten-free (celiac diagnosis), lost 25 lbs, and then everything went haywire again. I'm already egg and legume free with minimal dairy so it's the remaining cheese, grains, and nightshades hanging on. I am glad that the AIP diet is working for you! This makes me want to try again.

      2015-08-10 01:23:30

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  6. I love every single piece you link too! Congratulations on needing a new wardrobe!

    2015-08-09 19:24:41

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  7. Jessica, I am so thrilled for you for taking charge of your health! I am struggling and watching my weight creep up and up and up... eating healthy would be so much easier if I didn't get so tired and hungry! (said every dieter and mother ever...sigh.) I have often said that I am certain that hell is full of food intolerances. :/ Anyway, count me among those who would like to hear more about the AIP diet and your journey. (also, I can.not. believe how big your kids are getting!!) Many blessings to you -

    2015-08-10 04:15:13

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  8. Yay Jessica! Congrats on all the skirts!!! I've been wearing skirts for 20 years and never looked back. (even wrote a book about it!) haha! Today make up my first Maxi Skirt, in an hour, so loving it and reviving my sewing skills so I can make some really nice maxi's in whatever color needed. God bless! Rita Davidson (Author "Immodesty, Satan's Virtue" (2001) P.S. would love to send you a copy of my book if you'd like it? xo :)

    2015-08-10 17:55:54

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    1. Thanks, Rita! You know, I actually already own a copy of your book. I think I ordered it back around 2003! Thank you for the offer though. It is so great that you are able to sew some new skirts for yourself! Hope you and your family are doing well! God bless!

      2015-08-11 14:09:55

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    2. WOW, Jessica, I had NO idea! Boy my book really gets around. LOL I am revamping it, for 2015, after our house fire, it was saved from the ashes intact. So I thought it needed some updating and so hope to have a new version out soon, God willing. (I hope to make it even better this time) :) Yes was so thankful to sew up my first Maxi skirt yesterday, now have a few more and with this donated sewing machine, so thankful I can sew again. God bless you and thank you again! :) Rita Xo :)

      2015-08-11 15:01:00

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  9. I love all your outfits! I especially like your taste in tops. :-)

    2015-08-13 02:16:01

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  10. Love all you outfits- so cute! My question is after wearing these around on weekdays, do you have dressier skirts or dresses that you wear for Sunday Mass? I recently wore a new maxi skirt I purchased for raspberry picking and when I pulled it out for Sunday Mass it somehow didn't feel dressy enough. Just curious what you do? And congratulations- you must feel great! It's a road I need to travel down very soon, too.

    2015-08-31 17:32:17

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  11. Please do a fall post on skirts and shoes. I live a very rural Wisconsin life and find it difficult to incorporate skirts into my daily dress in late fall and winter. I'd love to see how you transition to winter. Thanks. My 18 year old daughter likes your combos, too.

    2015-11-01 20:32:28

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