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Some very winter like weather in the form of dark, low clouds, crisp winds, frigid temps, rain, and even snow in parts of the valley rolled in yesterday.  While I know a great deal of the country is ready to move headlong into spring and summer, I am savoring these fleeting glimpses of dark skies and cold air for all too soon it will be sunny and hot here.  Consequently, I am trying to make my way through some of my favorite cool weather pieces before I have to pack them away for the next nine months or so.

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This look was in heavy rotation last year, but for some reason I spaced it up until now.  As I thought about how to best stay warm, and stylish, today it was a happy surprise to see this quirky bird print jump out as me as I was combing through shirt options.  Once I settled on a shirt, the rest of the outfit came together quickly as all I needed to do was pull the remaining pieces that had served this look so well the first several times around!

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I picked up this scarf as an end of season purchase last winter, and while it felt a tad silly to buy a scarf with a few remaining weeks of cool weather, it has more than proven itself as a staple in my wardrobe. I’m such a sucker for a great scarf, but as someone who owns far too many scarves than what is considered normal, I feel it my responsibility to tell you that a few great scarves are truly a must have for any woman’s closet.

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In the winter, a cozy wool scarf adds much needed warmth to snuggle into on blustery days, while in the spring the scarf can add an extra layer, or more dimension, to an outfit.  No matter the weather, a scarf is also a great way to accessorize without always having to resort to a necklace.  Remember when selecting scarves to choose ones that not only will go with a variety of shirts, sweaters, and coats but to also opt for ones that will compliment your skin tone and eye color!

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Another aspect of this look that I really love are the little pops of brighter colors in the accessories, that, when combined with the sweet little birds on the shirt, add some visual interest and help create a look that evokes a little more personal style than what would be conveyed through a simple solid color blouse.  A printed blouse may not be appropriate in every work environment, but there are plenty of affordable options for your life outside of work!  Go ahead, give one a shot; you and your closet will be so glad you did!

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Style Notes: Gap cardigan (winter 2011; purchased at 50% off; great for spring) / Old Navy shirt (spring 2012; similar style) / Gap scarf (winter 2011; purchased at 50% off; similar style) / Gap cords (fall 2011; purchased at 50% off; great for spring) / Gap Kids belt (fall 2011; love this) / Gap Kids flats (fall 2011; love these) / J.Crew bracelet (fall 2011; gift) / Michael Kors watch via Last Chance (spring 2012; similar style) / Madewell ring (summer 2012; purchased on sale w/ an additional 50% off; love this) / Marc Jacobs bag via Last Chance (spring 2012; similar style)