This is one of those looks that works well for a casual Friday at work, a day of running errands that might very well turn into a happy hour with friends or a movie with your best guy, or for a play date meet up with moms and littles. At its core, this outfit is comprised of some pretty comfortable basics – a sweater, blouse, and skinny jeans – that fit a variety of the roles we play throughout the day. It is, however, anything but ordinary.
Part of what sets this outfit apart is the charming bow blouse layered under the purple knit. During these chillier fall days layers are a way to add some warmth without compromising on style. I love the way the the oversized bow acts as a statement piece without being too flashy for the office or too dressy for hanging out with the kids, meeting up with friends, or a casual dinner. It has a perfect mix of quirky feminine charm that pairs nicely with the less girly jeans.
To keep the look feeling fresh I cuffed the jeans and paired the look with a kitten heel metallic heel. The cuffed ankle lends a casual air to the denim while the metallic heel adds a modern touch without being too edgy.
I’m not usually a sweatshirt kind of girl, but when a sweatshirt pays homage to the greatest band of all time who am I to resist its cozy allure? Part of what keeps me from wearing sweatshirts on the regular is that their unstructured shape doesn’t always mesh with my preference for more polished, dressier garments, but I am willing to take a step outside my comfort zone for something with a quirky vibe. The trick to feeling confident in something you would normally steer clear of is to find a way to make it work with your every day style.
One thing that makes this sweatshirt a winner for me is the fact that it has a great 60s mod vibe to it with the bold white typography set against a black background. Finding something outside your comfort zone that has design elements or features that you adore makes it a whole lot easier to don that garment and retain a sense of yourself. To further the playfulness of the sweatshirt, I layered it over a sleeveless shirt with a great orange peter pan collar. I love the way the pop of color really stands out against the black and white elements. When it came time to figure out what to pair the sweatshirt with this pencil skirt from Target immediately came to mind. The plaid print continues the 60s feel of the look and provides a hint of preppy charm that’s in keeping with my personal style.
Graphic tees and sweatshirts are kind of having a moment. Here are a few more that I am loving:
Style Notes: Beatles sweatshirt- only found in store at Nordstrom (summer 2014) / Anthropologie shirt (spring 2013; love) / Target skirt (fall 2014; similar) / Ann Taylor shoes (summer 2014; similar) / Kate Spade purse (fall 2014; similar)
A sequin dress, blazer, or skirt are quintessential holiday attire in my style book. Personally, I think a sequined garment is always a good idea, but if there is ever a time to sparkle and shine it’s definitely during this time of year. The problem I’ve always run into, though, when looking for a sequined dress is that they are either way out of my price range or they are cut for a newly turned 21 year old who is about to hit Vegas. I’m 37 and a mother of two, so a dress that looks ready to hit the clubs is not in the cards for me and there isn’t a lot of extra cash sitting around to spend on a garment that I cannot wear to a variety of occasions. While I love sparkly things as much as the next girl, let’s face it, a sequined dress isn’t the kind of garment that can be worn to just any old occasion, so when I started looking for one a few years ago I spent a great deal of time looking for one with a more classic, feminine silhouette so it would withstand the test of time and trends.
I’m actually wearing this dress backwards here; since I wanted a more timeless, sophisticated silhouette I like the effect of a more conservative collar line in the front. This certainly makes the dress a whole lot easier to pull off without having to worry about how far you are leaning over in mixed company. (What’s underneath is better left not exposed to everyone in the room.) Wearing the dress this way also creates a little element of surprise. I love the way the draped collar creates a bit of an exposed back without going too far. You can never go wrong with a little bit of sex appeal, right? Just make sure to not go overboard with how much skin you reveal. The key here is that the overall dress has a very feminine, classic feel so the draped back is just right rather than too risque.
Another great aspect of this dress is the slight draping where the bodice meets the skirt. There is a little bit of elastic right below the bodice to help create that effect, which you can further exaggerate by pulling the dress’ waistline slightly above your own. The draping adds to the femininity of the dress and is an easy way to hide a multitude of sins or a few too many bites of dinner or dessert at holiday functions, so you can continue to celebrate with comfort and confidence.
Here are a few more affordable and stylish sparkly options for this holiday season:
Dressing for the holidays can be a tricky endeavor. It’s hard to strike a balance between comfort and sophistication, glamour and confidence, refinement and whimsy. Furthermore, unless the event is a black tie affair it can be difficult to know exactly what is appropriate party attire, not to mention how much time is wasted getting stressed over the thought of what every other woman in the room is going to be wearing and how we will measure up. The comparison game can be the biggest hindrance to getting dressed any day of the week, let alone for a special reason. When that self-doubt begins to creep in, it’s important to remember that you are beautifully and wonderfully made and that the biggest part of looking great is a quiet confidence and a kind spirit. You’ve probably got that in spades, so choosing the right garment is really about finding something that is comfortable enough to sit in, eat in, and hopefully, dance the evening away in! In my opinion, you can never go wrong with a frock that evokes femininity with a twist of quirkiness, but really anything that showcases your personality and leaves you free to enjoy the evening rather than worrying about what you’re wearing is a winner. The garment should leave you feeling polished, pretty and ready to join in the season’s revelries.
I have to tell you, I feel like a million bucks in this outfit. It’s extremely comfortable, full of style, and totally fits my personality. White on white is such a classic look for winter, so unless you are attending a winter wedding it’s definitely a go-to color palate that will leave you looking seasonally appropriate. The cozy knit, which would typically be worn on a lazy winter weekend day rather than to a dressier event, paired with the party ready feather skirt keeps this look from being too traditional or expected. I always appreciate a woman who looks put together and event appropriate but still manages to throw in an unexpected twist or two.
This is the kind of look I would wear to a holiday dinner with friends or family, to a work party, to an event like the ballet, or to ring in the New Year. That feather skirt is just begging to be taken out for a night of dancing and celebrating!
I love the juxtaposition of the cozy knit with a fancy skirt, but to keep the top from looking too out of place I accessorized with a statement necklace that adds a little sparkle, which is a must this time of year.
Remember, you are beautiful, so don’t be afraid to shine from head to toe this holiday season!
Style Notes: Old Navy (fall 2014) / Milly dress worn as a skirt via Last Chance (summer 2011; similar) / Anthropologie necklace (spring 2014; similar) / Ann Taylor shoes (summer 2014; similar) / Lindsay Letters print (fall 2014; check out the Lindsay Letters holiday collection)
With Halloween behind us, my attentions are now focused on the upcoming holiday season. The chill in the air, the hunt for the perfect gifts for my loved ones, and the numerous opportunities to get together with coworkers, friends, and family make for my favorite time of year. Because so many holiday gatherings, especially those with colleagues and friends, happen after work it’s important to have a few tried and true looks that are polished enough to see you through the work day but that can also be easily transitioned for some evening fun.
One of my favorite day to night pieces is a menswear influenced blazer. One of my favorite go-to blazers is this white blazer with tuxedo inspired lapels. It makes for an especially easy way to add a little something extra that can take you from work to a holiday soiree. A tuxedo striped pant is the perfect compliment to the blazer not to mention is a pant sophisticated enough for the office and fun enough to wear into the night.
To keep things appropriate for work wear a simple black shirt underneath. Here I chose to pair the blazer with a black peplum to add some femininity to the outfit, but it would look just as great with a simple black tank or tee. Once the evening falls, I would don a belt, especially if pairing the blazer with a peplum, as the belt will help define the waistline and is another way to add some whimsy to the look. I paired the blazer and peplum with a bow belt to further play off the menswear, tuxedo vibe of the look. Fun accessories, like a colorful clutch, that can be thrown on before heading out to meet friends help transition the look from work attire to holiday frock.
Style Notes: Gap blazer (winter 2012;similar) / Target peplum (spring 2013; similar) / Anthropologie belt (winter 2013; similar) / Ann Taylor pants (summer 2011; similar) / Ann Taylor shoes (summer 2014; similar) / Kate Spade clutch (fall 2013; love) / Loft sunglasses (summer 2014; similar)
This time of year, between the beginning of autumn and the holiday season, is magical, isn’t it? There’s a crispness to the mornings and evenings that echoes of cooler days to come. A hot pot of coffee, a waft of cinnamon in the air, and the promise of hours spent bundled on the couch reading books carry me through a long work week.
I picked up this knit two summers ago at a small boutique in my parents’ hometown. While I knew it would return to the desert with me and be promptly put away for a few more months, I couldn’t resist the perfect fall hue or the quirky crisp white collar and cuffs. Now that cooler temps are beginning to hit the valley I find myself turning to this sweater once again.
What I love about this outfit is how perfectly it melds functuanilty and style. The collared sweater, a-line skirt, kitten heel shoe, and sensible handbag create a perfectly polished look that can be worn to work, lunch with friends, or dinner with my husband.
It’s the extra details, though, that elevate these basic pieces and make them infinitely more interesting and full of personality. The sweater, bag, and shoes repeat lovely autumn tones of mustard, rust, and brown while the black scalloped stitching on the sweater’s white collar and cuffs echoes the black and white stripes on the skirt.
This outfit strikes an ideal balance of a put together look that can be worn to a variety of occasions and a look with just enough whimsy to embrace the enchantment of a new season.
Style Notes: Sweater (winter 2013; similar) / Anthropologie skirt (spring 2012; similar) / Halogen shoes via Last Chance (fall 2012; similar) / Kate Spade purse (fall 2014; budget friendly) / Loft sunglasses (summer 2014; similar)