This post brought to you by The Limited. All opinions are 100% mine.
When I moved to the valley thirteen years ago one of the first retailers I visited was The Limited at Scottsdale Fashion Square. As a recent college grad, who had just landed her first teaching gig, I was in desperate need of some career minded clothing that wasn’t going to break the bank or compromise on style. Since that initial visit many years ago, the Fashion Square location has undergone a few transformations and I have moved on to different schools and teaching assignments, but I still own, and wear, one of the shirts I bought a few days before the start of my very first school year as a teacher. A testament to a quality product, don’t you think? So when The Limited invited me to visit the newly remodeled location Scottsdale Fashion Square I was very excited. I was generously provided a gift card to use to put together two looks from the fall collection.
Upon entering the store one of the first things I noticed was the bright lighting, which helps the customer notice the subtle details of textures and accessories, the color stories throughout the store, and lends an overall modern vibe to the store. The crisp white wall fixtures, pewter hanging bars, wood floors, and damasked wallpapered fitting rooms are the perfect blend of masculine and feminine. Overall the remodeled location has a much more minimalistic approach than interior choices of the past, which I think helps reinvigorate the brand by making it more appealing to young, upwardly mobile women. Loyal customers will also like the new store decor as the product plays a more prominent role.
The fall collection is full of rich jewel tones, tweeds, leather details, and classic black and white pieces, which make it easy to dress appropriately for work while staying on trend. There are plenty of pieces for every career girl, body type, and events in a girl’s life, all at a great price point.
Any time I am shopping for new pieces I try to purchase items that I know can fit a variety of functions in my life, from work to play, and that will stand the test of time. What I truly appreciate about The Limited‘s product selection is that the majority of the collection consists of classic silhouettes that have been updated with exciting colors, textures, and patterns, which, again, makes it easy for the girl who wants pieces she knows will be appropriate for work but fun enough to take her on through the evening to happy hour with coworkers or a dinner date.
The first look I chose was a pencil skirt and sweater combination. While this is a classic, feminine silhouette, I love that the sweater’s print and the skirt’s faux leather detail add a little bit of edge to the overall look. The print, the faux leather waistband, and the colors also create visual interest to what could otherwise be a rather bland look. If the sweater’s print is a bit too bold for your work environment it can easily be toned down by putting on a blazer. This is also a look that can definitely take one from board room meetings to happy hour meet ups!
Style Notes Look #1: The Limited sweater c/o (fall 2013) / The Limited skirt c/o (fall 2013) / Gap blazer (winter 2012; similar style)/ Kate Spade Outlet necklace (fall 2013; purchased on mega sale; love this) / Nine West shoes (winter 2010; love these) / Marc Jacobs purse via Last Chance (summer 2013; 83% off original price)
The sweater from the first look also pairs nicely with these amazing riding pants I picked up that night. (I totally took advantage of the current by one get the second 50% off promo!) This would make for a great casual Friday work look that can be layered and dressed up a bit more with a blazer or a comfortable and stylish outfit to meet up with friends for some coffee and a movie, to run weekend errands in or for all those upcoming holiday dinners with family. I love it when something so easy to put on can meet the demands of a busy work and social calendar!
Style Notes Look #2: The Limited sweater c/o (fall 2013) / The Limited pants (fall 2013) / Gap blazer (winter 2012; similar style) / Halogen shoes via Last Chance (spring 2012; love these flats) / Kate Spade Outlet necklace (fall 2013; purchased on mega sale; love this) / Marc Jacobs purse via Last Chance (summer 2013; 83% off original price)
For the last look I took those riding pants, which fit like a glove but are as comfortable as the leggings I lounge around the house, and put them with a crisp white blouse. Black and white is a classic color combination that will never go out of style, no matter what is on trend for a given season, so don’t shy away from it. Instead, look for pieces that have some interesting or out of the ordinary details to update the classic pairing.
In the case of this look, the over sized bow and the zippered ankles help keep this from just being a tank top and leggings kind of outfit. Those two details alone add a bit of edginess and softness (huge trend for fall) that elevate the entire look. Since the bow is such a show stopper I wouldn’t pair it with a blazer or cardigan to make it more work friendly as much of its charm would then be lost; rather, I would save this look for a special night out with the girls, a fun date night, or an office party.
Style Notes Look #3: The Limited shirt (fall 2013) / The Limited pants (fall 2013) / Kate Spade shoes via Last Chance (summer 2012; love these)/ Kate Spade clutch (summer 2013; birthday present; Ebay options)
Thanks to The Limited for a fun evening of shopping and a huge thanks to Emily, the Scottsdale Fashion Square location manager, and her staff for welcoming me into their store, answering my questions, and pulling items for me!
The idea of owning special, joy inducing pieces is a wardrobe topic near and dear to my heart. As career women, mothers, wives, or students it is very easy to gloss over those garments that make our hearts race and settle for the more utilitarian pieces that can take us from school to work or from the kids’ soccer practice to a night out. This sort of rinse, wash and repeat attitude towards dressing has become so commonplace that we are thrown for a loop when invitations for special occasions come our way. Reducing our closets to monotonous garments with a few pieces we save for a more extraordinary time is equivalent to using the good china once a year or covering the couch with plastic. It seems silly and dreadfully boring to me.
The pieces that bring me the most joy or confidence are those with just a bit of whimsy and a whole lot of femininity. In the case of this dress, I adore the feminine lines and vintage feel, which make this dress a go-to piece for any of life’s occasions. I’ve worn this dress to my daughter’s birthday party, to work, dinner with my husband, and will wear it throughout the holiday season.
The Gatsby Kate Spade book clutch has been on my radar for the better part of three years, which proves I don’t always follow my own advice! It has found its way to my online cart a million times (full price and on sale), but I have never been able to actually click purchase out of a sense of guilt and responsibility. Over the years, my husband has heard me weigh the pros (“The Great Gatsby is my favorite book.” “I am an English teacher, after all.”) and cons (“I can’t carry it every day.” “It’s a lot of money that could be used elsewhere.”) and must have reached his limit because this little gem was my birthday present this year.
Perhaps you don’t have the budget to indulge every whim, I certainly don’t, but there is nothing wrong with aspiring for something a bit out of your budget’s reach. Maybe it means skipping your daily coffee shop stop or placing the item on a gift wishlist in order for it to happen, but if it’s something you truly want it will be worth the wait. The hard work and discipline it took to make the purchase or the thoughtfulness of a gift giver who gave you exactly what you wanted will also make that piece more meaningful and something you will treasure for years to come.
This clutch is truly one of my favorite pieces because of my love of Fitzgerald and the Jazz Age, because it represents the thoughtfulness of my husband who kept an eye on this gift for three years, and because someday after my own daughter has read and fallen in love with The Great Gatsby I will turn this clutch over to her and the adventures she will have. To carry this clutch is to see the phosphorescent glow of Gatsby’s house on the weekends, taste champagne, and hear the siren call of the big band pulling you to the dance floor. Combine that vibe with a lovely dress, killer accessories, and a swipe of red lipstick and who knows where the day might take you!
This might seem a silly subject to be so passionate about, but I stand firm in my belief that the beauty of taking the time to dress a little more thoughtfully each day, no matter your personal style, is that it has the power to transport you from the drudgery of everyday life and puts you in a position to carry yourself with a little more assurance, a little more poise, and a lot more joy.
Style Notes: Anthropologie dress (summer 2013) / Banana Republic shoes (fall 2010) / Ban.do clip (fall 2012) / Anthropologie earrings (summer 2013; love these) / Anthropologie belt (2013; now on sale!) / Kate Spade clutch (summer 2013; birthday present; Ebay options)
Last year I told you about a Loft skirt that would change your life and now I am back to say this is a skirt that will also change your wardrobe woes. The classic lines of the pencil skirt combined with the on trend polkadot print are an easy way to enfuse your fall wardrobe with a little fun that can take you from day to night.
Layers are the key to surviving fall weather, so I am always on the look out for cardigans that can play a key role in many outfits. I love that this cardigan is a great mix and match piece that will pair nicely with a lot of other things in my closet. (The cardigan and embellished t-shirt would look great with a pair of skinny jeans and a cool flat for a more casual look that doesn’t compromise on style.)
To keep this look from veering too far into the “lady who lunches” realm I accessorized with my favorite kitten heeled leopard shoes and a fun leopard clutch that can easily be thrown into my work bag to be used after hours! The leopard spots echo the print of the cardigan and skirt but the color and more abstract lines help add variety to the overall look.
This has quickly become one of my favorite fall looks as it combines all the things I love: feminine lines, quirky prints, and special details. Even better, this is an outfit that takes little to no thought to pull together and is one that can meet the demands of a busy schedule. What’s not to love about that, right?
Style Notes: Loft cardigan (summer 2013; currently an extra 40% off) / Loft shirt (summer 2013; currently an extra 40%; love this) / Loft skirt (summer 2013; purchased at 40% off) / Halogen shoes via Last Chance (fall 2012; similar style) / Gap clutch (summer 2013; gift; similar style) / Anthropologie bracelet (summer 2013)
I refer to this dress as my “Dorothy” dress as it reminds me of Garland’s iconic gingham print in Wizard of Oz. School has been back in session for nearly a month now and boy, what a busy, tiring month it has been. My days are a whirlwind of getting everyone ready to dash out the door, teaching, coaching a first grader through homework, cooking dinner, giving baths, being read to, snuggles, and crashing for a few hours before starting it all again. It’s a full on rat race over here and just like Dorothy, I wish I could be whisked away from it all with a quick click of my heels.
As there is no end to the work to be done, I wanted to hit pause for a few minutes because this little Anthropologie number is worth a mention. It is the perfect dress for those early mornings when you find yourself barely able to lift the coffee mug, or jug in my case, let alone make earth shattering decisions like what to wear. Comfort and style go a long way in my book, which has caused this exact look to be on repeat of late.
To avoid looking too costumey, a fashion crime at my age, I added pops of yellow through the cardigan and necklace to create some variety and interest. I adore this necklace; it reminds me of the candy necklaces I begged my mom to buy me as a kid. It’s silly, but donning that little piece of nostalgia really brightens my day. It’s the little things, right?
Style Tutor Tip: Last spring I mentioned a Target dress I purchased that had the same ease of wear and instant style as this Anthropologie one, but if the price point is out of your budget get yourself to Target ASAP as it looks like they have affordable, and equally adorable, fall options. A girl can never have too many cute, comfy frocks awaiting her on those sleepy mornings!
Style Notes: Anthropologie dress (summer 2013) / Anthropologie Cardigan (summer 2013) / Anthropologie necklace (summer 2013; love for fall) / Anthropologie bracelet (summer 2013) / Me Too shoes via Last Chance (summer 2012; similar style) / Marc by Marc Jacobs crossbody bag via Last Chance (fall 2012) / Michael Kors watch via Last Chance (spring 2012; similar style) / Kate Spade ring (fall 2011; similar style)
There isn’t a whole lot of room for over-sized tulle skirts, sparkly shoes, and embellished collars in most people’s day-to-day life, which is such a shame. When I first donned this outfit I was in a bit of a funk because the start of school was looming just around the corner, but almost as if Cinderella’s fairy godmother herself waved her wand, the minute this little ensemble came together my grumpy mood vanished! Who can remain cranky when there is such loveliness in the world?
I am not saying drop everything now and run out and buy something impractical like a tulle skirt for your wardrobe, but I am saying the occasional purchase that seemingly doesn’t make sense isn’t going to hurt anything. I am always amazed when women will try something on, fall completely in love with how it looks on them and how it makes them view themselves, and then promptly put the garment or accessory back citing any number of excuses for why the purchase would be silly. If your kids are being fed, your bills are being paid, and you aren’t going to spread yourself too thin, then I firmly believe that silly little purchase is an occasional necessity. I can personally attest to how great is it to have garments and accessories that bring a smile to my face and are an instant lift on those days when everything seems just a bit too much to handle. Why wouldn’t you want a few things like that on hand? If your budget is too tight to afford such a splurge, then put these items on gift wish lists or ask for gift cards for birthdays and holidays and treat yourself then.
Furthermore, adding special touches and fun to your wardrobe doesn’t have to cost a ton of money. No one said you had to buy estate jewelery or designer shoes. Accessories are one of the easiest, and most affordable, ways to start adding those special pieces to your wardrobe! (In the case of the ring and shoes I am wearing here, I spent a whopping $25 total. Not too shabby considering these are items I absolutely love and receive compliment after compliment on.)
These special pieces may not fit all aspects of your life, but there is no harm in having a few wardrobe items that are purely meant to be worn because they are fun and make you feel good. When you start thinking of clothes that way, you will also begin to realize that wearing something like a giant tulle skirt to meet up with girlfriends for coffee or to go to dinner and a movie with your best guy isn’t so silly after all!
Style Notes: Anthropologie shirt (spring 2013) /Anthropologie skirt (fall 2012; budget friendly; pricey but lovely) / Flounce shoes via Last Chance (spring 2013) / Whimsy ring (summer 2013) / Anthropologie shades (summer 2013)
With each passing year I find the summers here in the valley more and more tiresome and seeminglyendless. Just when I think I’ve reached my breaking point, fall fashion spreads start dotting the magazines while fall frocks begin gracing retailers’ racks. While it may still be months before those fashions are even remotely appropriate for Phoenicians, I keep myself sane by scooping up cute layering pieces that can work during the remaining weeks of the sizzling summer and later transition to the much longed for crisp autumn days!
When this cardigan appeared on Anthropologie’s website a few weeks ago I knew it had to be mine. It obviously meets the criteria of being a layering piece that can work for both summer and fall, but what I adore most about this sweater is that it strikes the perfect balance between sophisticated with the classic pairing of black and white and quirky with the over sized giraffe print. Even though the print is rather bold it’s not a tricky one to work with as the color combination is neutral enough that it can be layered over black, as seen here, or over any number of colors for added dimension and interest.
Layering pieces are one of the easiest ways to incorporate color or pattern into your wardrobe and can help infuse a little more style, and fun, to your look. When selecting cardigans think about your closet as a whole and pick up ones that will compliment a variety of pieces you already own. Select colors that will work across seasons and in a variety of settings or find patterns that will help elevate garments rather than competing with them. (A rule of thumb is to make sure the patterned piece’s predominate color is the same as the main garment’s.) And most importantly, remember to have fun with layering; if it makes you smile you know you’ve found a winning combination!
Style Notes: Anthropologie cardigan (summer 2013) / Target peplum (spring 2013; perfect for fall) / Anthropologie shorts (spring 2013) / Anthropologie necklace (spring 2013) / Anthropologie earrings (spring 2013) / Halogen shoes via Last Chance (fall 2012; love these) / Anthropologie shades (summer 2013) / Kate Spade bracelet (winter 2012; love this)