I am not a huge lace fan as it often leaves me feeling like a walking doily. What initially attracted me to this shirt was the embellished collar; I just can’t resist them. Being honest, though, while I have owned this shirt for a few years I continue to waffle back and forth on it. I’ve paired it with printed and black jeans in the past or layered under a sweater, but I’ve never really been satisfied with the looks.
In fact, when I cleaned my closet a few weeks ago I all but decided the shirt’s time had come and gone and tossed it into the maybe pile. My rules with maybes is to always try them on and then consider what two-three items I could pair them with in my closet. If something comes to me and helps me see the garment with fresh eyes then I keep it; if not, then the item moves from a maybe to a donate/resell piece. When it came time to try on this shirt I thought about the elements I love (embellishments and slightly sheer) compared to the things I hate (lace, boxy fit) and how to capitalize on what I like while diminishing the dislikes.
To modernize things, I played up the sheerness by pairing it with a bralette rather than a tank. I like that the Barletta adds just a hint of sex appeal, which keeps the shirt from looking dated and makes this a fun look to wear out to brunch with the girls or for date night.
My fashion tastes lean towards classic silhouettes with modern, feminine touches, so to keep the lacey sheerness of the shirt from looking too over-the-top I went with a solid black midi skirt, minimal, feminine accessories, and a sensible looking pump that has a surprise pop of modern, on trend, gold on the heel.
I wrote here that I am trying to be more mindful of the images I am pinning and putting that inspiration to good use when outfit planning. Today, I am taking a cue from an ultra chic picture of a Parisian woman in a LBD. French women seem to be super cool, full of confidence, and manage to dress minimally while creating looks that are infinitely interesting. I love color and I love accessories, but sometimes I love a sophisticatedly simple look too. Dressing monochromatically is like a palate cleanser and definitely makes getting dressed for work on a sleepy Monday morning an easy task.
Dresses are a total no brainer for work wear. One piece, that may or may not need accessorizing, a killer pair of shoes, and a great handbag that can carry all the day’s necessities and you are out the door. What I love about this LBD, another find during Ann Taylor’s extra 60% off sale promo, is its ease of wear. The tubular shape is ultra-feminine and flattering, while the tapered waistline, hidden button bodice, sheer, cuffed cap sleeves, and pointed collar provide a lovely mix of work appropriate tailoring with just a hint of sex appeal.
I’m really into the minimalistic look for fall, so I chose to keep accessories light, letting the dress, bag, and shoes speak for themselves. A statement necklace would work really well with the collar and would be an easy way to change up the look to head to dinner after work or for a night out with the girls.
Style Notes: Ann Taylor dress (summer 2014; currently an extra 50% off) / Gianni Bini shoes (summer 2014; love for fall) / Marc Jacobs purse via Last Chance (summer 2013; budget friendly) / Loft sunglasses (summer 2014; similar)
It’s no secret that I love accessories. They are such an easy and affordable way to update a look for a specific event or season, but what if the accessories we purchase had the power to not only refresh our wardrobes but to also change lives?
Enter 31 Bits, a company who “use[es] fashion and design to empower women to rise above poverty”. As a mother and a high school teacher, 31 Bits embodies all the qualities I try to instill in both my children and students: ideas can change lives and we who are given much should always be mindful of ways we can impact the lives of others.
31 Bits launched their fall + winter collection earlier this week; see the collection here. Each piece is sure to be a conversation starter, so when you wear 31 Bits you have an opportunity to aid their ability to offer health care, education, and further training for 170+ women in Uganda. Fashion that makes you look and feel good? How can you resist?
I first wrote about 31 Bits here, so to have the opportunity to help promote their fall collection and, more importantly, the beautiful women who create these amazing pieces is a real dream come true. A huge shout out to Alex of Ave Styles whose generousity of time, talent, and spirit is a rare gift. Follow her on Pinterest for more fall inspiration. Thank you to Kym Ventola for making me feel far less awakward posing for pictures than I really am; she rocks! And major thanks to Frances Vintage who not only hosted us but also graciously lent fall looks to showcase different ways to wear your bits! If you have not visited Frances yet, get yourself downtown ASAP to check out a locally owned boutique full of beautifully crafted and curated items.
Style Notes: Frances dress (available in store now) / Frances clutch (available in store now) / 31 Bits necklace (fall + winter 2014 collection) / 31 Bits bracelet (fall + winter colllection) / Target shoes (summer 2014; love these for fall)
I know dressing for work day in and day out can be a major drag. Trust me, I actually enjoy reworking the pieces in my closet, but even I have stood coffee in hand staring into an abyss of garments that seem tired and boring and old wondering where all the lovely things I used to own have gone. Getting dressed can be a tiresome process, right? One of the keys to easing the pain of outfit planning, whether you plan a week in advance or as you stand in your closet rubbing the sleep out of your eyes, is to make sure you stock your closet not only with great basics that are well made and have a good fit but also special pieces that bring a smile to your face, make you feel great, and speak to you even after months, or years, of wear.
This look is a perfect example of a work appropriate outfit that adheres to my wardrobe rules. It consists of great basics, a crisp white button down, pencil skirt, and kitten heel shoe, mixed with some special touches like embellishments, stripes, and metallics, that take every day attire to another level.
Another key to stocking your work closet with a mixture of solid basics and extra special pieces is to be patient. Most of us don’t have the budgets, or closet space, to go out and buy everything we need and want in one shopping trip. Instead of blowing your paycheck, I suggest you make a list of the things your current wardrobe is missing and start looking for those items online. Keep a record of what you like (Pinterest is great for this) and if you are not already, sign up for the retailers’ email notifications so you can be updated on promotions and sales. Unless there is something urgent for which you need a new look, there is really no reason to pay full price to update your closet. For example, the outfit I am wearing consists of garments I had on my wishlist this summer. My patience finally paid off when Ann Taylor had an extra 60% off sale items toward the end of July. Those savings not only yielded this head-to-toe look, which cost less than one of the pieces orginally cost, but also allowed me to purchase several closet updates. It’s pretty cool to save some money and refresh you closet for the season ahead!
What’s on your fall wishlist?
Style Notes: Ann Taylor shirt (summer 2014; on sale with an extra 40% off) / Ann Taylor skirt (summer 2014; on sale with an extra 40% off) / Ann Taylor shoes (summer 2014; on sale with an extra 40%) / Anthropologie ring (fall 2013; similar) / Michael Kors watch via Last Chance (spring 2012; want) / Marc Jacobs purse via Last Chance (summer 2013; budget friendly)
Recently I’ve pinned a number of leather pieces onto my fall/winter style board, so I was pleasantly surprised when I stumbled upon this blush toned faux-leather shift from Banana Republic. I like that the color is a departure from the typical brown and black leather of fall, making it a piece that will easily transition from fall to winter to spring and one that doesn’t seem so heavy here in AZ where true fall weather is still a few months away.
I also like the blush tone because it helps the dress from reading too severe or rock ‘n roll, which means it’s a dress that could be worn to work, date night, brunch with the girls, or a concert. Accessories are the key to creating a look that’s a perfect match for any event. Here, I chose to keep things neutral with a leopard print clutch in fall appropriate shades of brown. The fun print keeps things from being too monotone and adds another layer of interest to the ensemble. I kept the accessories to a minimum because I wanted the dress’ color and the texture that goes down the middle of the dress (hard to see here) to stand on their own, but you could easily add a great statement necklace for more dimension.
Metallic shoes have also been on my radar for fall. (I picked up this pair during Ann Taylor’s recent extra 60% off sale.) My husband likes to tease me and ask when the tour bus is picking me up to take me to Vegas, but I love the sheen. Maybe it stems from my love of patent leather Mary Janes, but a super shiny shoe in a metallic just seems so fresh and cool for fall. Imagine these rose gold beauties paired with an all black outfit- killer, right?
What’s on your radar for fall? Follow along on Pinterest for all my fall obsessions!
I picked up this dress last fall when Anthropologie began to roll out their holiday dresses. I loved the overall simplicity of the cut (cap sleeves, empire waist and pockets) combined with the statement making color that stands out in a sea of darker holiday ware. This dress has proven, however, to have a lot more staying power than just an occassional holiday frock. Since it’s extremely comfortable it is a great dress to wear to work and pairs nicely with a pair of heels or a flat. Did I mention it has pockets? A teacher’s, and mom of young kids, dream come true!
Royal and coblat blue are forecasted to once again be major colors in fall fashion. To me, the darker shades of blue are timeless, not unlike black and white, as they can be worn in any season and by any skin tone. I especially love the way this bold blue instantly brightens a look, so when the weather turns cold and it’s time to layer up with tights and a sweater the hue will keep everything from looking so drab.
This dress is also a great work option as it doesn’t really need a lot of accessorizing as the bold, bright hue and the fabric’s texture add enough visual interest. I kept it pretty simple by choosing accessories that bring both glamour, the statement necklace, and a playfulness, the bracelet (two kissing zebras), that echoes the fun, bold color and feminine cut of the dress.
Style Notes: Anthropologie dress (fall 2013; similar style ) / Antonio Melani shoes (few years old; similar style) / Kate Spade necklace via outlet (spring 2013; similar) / Kate Spade purse via Last Chance (summer 2014) / Loft sunglasses (summer 2014; love) / Banana Republic bracelet (summer 2014)