Sunday Best: v. 18: A Colorful Pantone Recap

Well! It sure feels great being back in this space again. SO much has happened since my last few posts. More to come soon. First off, happy thanksgiving everyone! I hope you all have had a relaxing and enjoyable weekend filled with food, family, and fun. My weekend has been very nice and very relaxing–I really couldn’t ask for more.

Second, have you entered the chloe + isabel giveaway yet? Only a few days left! I am completely jealous of this lucky winner!

Thirdly, a HUGE thank you goes to the many beautiful women who participated in the fourth biannual Pantone-Inspired Color Challenge! I think I can speak for both Heidi and myself when I say WOW. The looks linked up were beyond fabulous and I couldn’t be more thrilled with the turn-out. So much Pinterest inspiration was generated from that week!

Here’s a recap of what I wore for the week:

Fall 2014 Pantone Inspired Color Challenge Recapone // two // three // four // five

I mostly kept things simple, but found the color challenge helpful in incorporating some forgotten pieces in my wardrobe and thinking more intentionally about color palette and pairings.

Even though it was really tough, here are just a few of my favorites from the other participants:

Fall 2014 Pantone Roundup
Thrift and Shout
// Brynnash // Anne in Residence // I Do DeClaire // Whitney a la Mode

Thanks again for joining us.  It was a blast! Which color was your favorite?

Without further ado, here’s today’s Sunday Best link up!

And now it’s your turn! Let’s see YOUR Sunday Best:

The Modern Austen

Sunday Best is a weekly link up where you can share your favorite look from the previous week or the week to come. Join me and my stylish friends, share your outfits, gain inspiration, and discover new blogs! To join, simply add your link at the bottom of this post, link back to The Modern Austen (or add a button), and visit the other participants! Link party opens on Sunday mornings around 8:00 AM EST–please, only one style/outfit-related post per week.

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Linking up to: Funday Monday, Monday Bloom, Mix-It Mondays, Style to Inspire, Watch What I Am Wearing, Fashionably Employed, I Would So Rock This

Encouraging Creative and Confident Young Women with chloe + isabel

November has certainly become the month of jewelry for The Modern Austen and I can’t say I’m hating it one bit! But it’s so much more than pretty baubles and jewels. I’m consistently noticing that the women I’ve met who are jewelry designers or merchandisers are among the most ambitious, creative, confident, and entrepreneurial people I know. Just take a look at Marlene for a prime example. She’s a very talented and organized entrepreneur with a passion for what she does and the people she meets.

Sometimes I really wish I had more of an exposure to or opportunity to recognize the growing creativepreneur in me through programs or jobs during my college years. I’m so blessed to have had many leadership roles and can credit these experiences, along with my mentors, with my desire for creative business, but I wish I had fostered it sooner and more directly. And how awesome would it have been to be paid for it, too?

Enter chloe + isabel. Many of you know this company for their insanely beautiful jewelry, but were you aware that they have a Growth and Empowerment through Merchandising (GEM) program specially for young women ages 18-22? This program is built to help them break into the fashion industry and tap into their entrepreneurial skills.  Not only will it help build strong resumes, but it also helps build participants’ bank accounts.

chloe + isabel GEM programvia

Here’s what makes chloe + isabel’s GEM program different from what many other direct sales companies may offer:

  • Participants gain first-hand understanding of running a business by prospecting leads, hosting pop-up shops, creating effective brand displays, and conducting online sales via social media promotion.
  • c + i offers special incentives including a VIP trip to NYC, shopping sprees at top retailers, letters of recommendation from CEO Chantel Waterbury, and resume writing sessions.
  • Some of the dream jobs and internships of current and past GEM Merchandisers include: Bloomingdales, Kate Spade, Julep, Madewell, Boston Scientific, Kleinfeld, American Greetings and more.

If you or another young woman in your life would be interested in pursuing the GEM program, chloe + isabel offers three classes a year and currently looking for members of their January class. Applications are due November 30th! Click here for more information. Not a spritely young college woman anymore? You can still reap the benefits of being a c + i merchandiser!

The amazing leaders at chloe + isabel have so generously offered to giveaway their absolutely gorgeous Midnight Reverie Statement to one lucky reader!  By the way, are you looking for a c + i merchandiser to purchase some stunning jewels and maybe some Christmas gifts? I highly recommend Carly, one of the most talented and dedicated young women I know! Check out her online boutique here.

choe + isabel midnight reverie statement necklacevia

The giveaway will run for one week (until midnight on December 1st) and is open to the continental U.S. only. c + i are unable to ship to military boxes as well at this time.

Best of luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This post is in partnership with Chloe + Isabel through Smart Girls Media Sisters. As always, all opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that make The Modern Austen possible. 

If We Were Taking a Walk through the Strip District . . .

31st Street Bridge Factory Building

If we were taking a walk through the Strip District of Pittsburgh, we’d start blocks further away than is necessary just so I could show you my weekly stomping grounds and the specific path I take during lunch breaks. Because, you know, you’re interested in that kind of thing. If you weren’t from Pittsburgh, I’d refrain from matter-of-factly telling you that right in front of the tavern we just passed, some guy was shot during my first week of work, because I wouldn’t want you to get the wrong impression. (Okay, I’d tell you anyway.)

Between admiring the interesting murals and pointing out the cool backdrops Angelica and I use for our outfit pictures, I’d ask you what your plans were for the weekend and how you were celebrating the holidays. I’d want to know about your family traditions and what makes you filled to the brim with joy year after year. I’d share that Thanksgiving will be a lot different this year and that I hope that I can just soak up and rest inside Christmas this time around, instead of rushing through it. Pausing to browse through Zerrer’s Antiques for a few minutes, we’d swap our favorite ABC Family 25 Days of Christmas specials and plot our upcoming cookie exchange.

If we were taking a walk through the Strip District, we’d journey down Penn Avenue and you’d shift our conversation into something more reflective. Where were you at this time last year? you’d ask. You wouldn’t believe me when I’d tell you how only eight months ago, I could count on one hand the times I had personally driven in the city. I’d tell you it almost feels like last year wasn’t even real– instead it’s some messed up, confusing, sad, yet inspiring film that occasionally replays in my mind. We’d talk about how great it feels to be here instead of there, but still–we’d have to admit that we had to go through there to get to here. Just when we begin commiserating on the necessary balance of life, we’d conveniently stumble across Pittsburgh Winery. Obviously, we had to do a tasting because . . . well . . . #ShopLocal.

Suddenly, our loosening tongues would remind us of our empty stomachs and that it’d probably be a good idea to take advantage of the many restaurants in our reach. On our way to Penn Ave Fish Company, I’d share that so many things are changing and I’m not quite sure how to take it all in yet and oh, if I could just have the answers, my direction would be so much clearer. You’d remind me that change is necessary for growth and that I should try as hard as I can to treat it like a blessing. You’d also remind me that I should be listening for God’s direction, not my own. Naturally, you’d be right and even though I really don’t enjoy admitting my shortcomings, I’d appreciate your insight even more.

If we were taking a walk through the Strip District, we’d geek out over Pentatonix’s new Christmas album and debate if it was too early to listen to Christmas music already. Sitting down for lunch, I’d somehow I’d find a way to bring up swing dancing and plead with you to just try it with me. I’d promise you: you’d LOVE it. After a break in the conversation, I’d pluck up the courage and, while twirling the straw in my drink, I’d tell you about Mom. I’d tell you about her diagnosis and I’d tell you how I’m scared, but hopeful. You’d reach out and squeeze my hand and tell me it would be okay and that we’d get through this together. Even though there’s never a good response, you’d find a way to make me feel reassured. You’d always been good at that kind of thing.

With stomachs full, we’d walk those last several blocks, snorting at the fact that there’s a McDonalds in the midst of a melting pot of cultures and after telling you about the fantastic Kina Grannis concert I recently attended at Altar Bar, we’d agree that more concert-going would definitely be in our futures. Next time we’d meet, we’d have more answers (and likely more questions), but we would pinky promise to embrace it all, no matter what life threw at us. Deal? Deal.

Fall 2014 Pantone-Inspired Color Challenge: Day 5: Cognac

The Pantone-Inspired Color Challenge is one week of remixing your wardrobe by experimenting with colors perfect for the fall. Read more about the challenge here and join Heidi and me by linking up your looks below!

Fall 2014 Pantone Color Challenge Cognac

Fall 2014 Pantone Inspired Color Challenge Cognac 2

Sweater: LOFT
Jeans: LOFT
Boots: JC Penney
Earrings: LOFT
Photo credit: Syntaxx Errorrr

Is it really the last day of the Pantone Challenge already?! It’s been so great seeing everyone’s looks this week. Heidi and I want to express our deepest thanks for participating–we know firsthand how much effort it takes to participate in a challenge like this one, so THANK YOU :)

I think we’re ending on a fantastic note with cognac. Quite possibly the strangest word to pronounce (it may even beat out mauve mist), but definitely one of the “hottest” colors of fall–every fall. I’ve always envied Fran’s fantastic cognac pieces and I am thrilled that I was finally able to get a new pair of brown boots in this shade! I just did not have the same versatility with my old dark brown boots as seen here and here. Cognac just goes perfectly with every shade we’ve featured this week.

I couldn’t wrap up this post without mentioning how much I loveeee this sweater. It’s so soft, the fit is nice and long, and the cowl just falls nicely on its own. It was a great investment from a recent trip to the mall with Ashlie, with help from a rewards card and anniversary coupon. Definitely snag one up if you feel like you can’t handle being frozen this winter.

Fall 2014 Pantone Inspired Color Challenge Cognac 3

How are you incorporating “cognac” into your wardrobe this week? Be sure to link up your outfit below OR tag me @themodernausten on Instagram with the hashtags #pantonechallenge #cognac! Make sure you link back to The Modern Austen and Literate and Stylish in return. Can’t wait to see your looks!

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The Modern Austen

**This link-up challenge is in no way sponsored by or affiliated with Pantone–we just love their colors.  For more information about Pantone LLC and PANTONE® products, visit**

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