Outfit Inspiration, Style 101, Trend Studies, What I'm Wearing

Spring Trending

0 Comments 08 April 2014

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Today’s look incorporates a couple of spring’s hottest trends, black and white and a midi skirt.  Personally, I think calling black and white a trend is a bit of a misnomer as the dynamic duo crops up season after season making it more of a classic color combo rather than a passing pairing.  And while skirt hem lines might change dramatically from season to season, you can never go wrong with a ladylike length and silhouette.

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I picked up this skirt a few weeks ago and it’s been in heavy rotation ever since.  The fabric’s weight, texture, and cut (pockets too!) make this a piece that is easy to wear and style.  This time around I chose to play off the 50s vibe of the skirt and paired it with a retro inspired sweater, but it looks equally as fashionable with a simple tee, a fun tank, or pretty blouse.

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Such a fun skirt deserves accessories that are equally as fun. While I don’t have a major wardrobe budget, I try to invest in quality add ons that will pair well with a lot of different items in my closet and bring a smile to my face.  I love the way the yellow clutch and the gold accents on the bracelet and shoes pop against the black.  For those of you who think black is too somber for spring, remember it pairs well with all those bright hues you’ve been waiting to wear all winter and is a sophisticated way to incorporate more intense colors without going overboard.

Shoes

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Style Notes: Forever 21 sweater (fall 2012; like this) / H & M skirt (winter 2014; similar style) / dv by Dolce Vita shoes via Last Chance (winter 2014) / Kate Spade clutch (summer 2013; birthday present; Ebay options) / Michael Kors watch via Last Chance (spring 2012; love this) / Kate Spade bracelet (fall 2012; a little spring update) / Anthropologie shades (summer 2013; like these)

Outfit Inspiration, Reviews, Style 101, Style Files, Trend Studies, What I'm Wearing

A Perfect Match

1 Comment 24 February 2014

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I picked up this skirt last fall at one of Loft’s 40% off sales and have had fun mixing and matching it throughout the fall and winter.  My favorite look so far, though, has been pairing it with this lovely embellished sweater from Paper Crown.  I love the way the print of the sweater and the skirt compliment one another.  This a really playful, girly look that would be fun to wear out to lunch with friends or on date night.

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The statement piece quality of the peter pan collar and the cuffs, however, add an air of polished sophistication helping things to not look too silly.  Given your work environment, this look, while loads of fun, is still very appropriate given the feminine but classic cut of both pieces.

Style Notes: Paper Crown sweater via Anthropologie (fall 2013) / Loft skirt (summer 2013; love this) / Halogen shoes via Last Chance (fall 2012/similar style) / Gap clutch (summer 2013; gift; similar style) / Anthropologie sunnies (spring 2013/love these)

Outfit Inspiration, Reviews, Style 101, Style Files, Trend Studies, What I'm Wearing

Can’t Live Without

0 Comments 20 February 2014

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Everyone should have a go-to outfit or at least category of items in their wardrobe arsenal.  Ideally, these are garments that complement our figures and coloring, evoke happiness, and, most importantly, makes us feel our best.  While it’s nice to have variety, the pieces that make us feel ready to tackle what the day holds should take up the majority of the real estate in our closets.

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If I had to pare my closet down to only one garment category I would gladly throw out all the sweaters, tops, skirts, shorts, and pants to make room for dresses.  From a young age I have adored everything about dresses: their relative ease of wear, the innate feminine qualities, and the way I carry myself in a dress.

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When I was little I selected dresses on their ability to fan out when spinning.  This Gap dress definitely meets the fashion standards of my youth, but manages to retain that sense of fun while being age and work appropriate.  The cut of this dress is flattering for a variety of body types and the cobalt blue compliments a variety of skin tones. The stripes add an element of interest making this a dress that requires little to no accessorizing.

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I chose to accessorize the dress with a statement necklace that plays off the alternating stripes of bold blue and black. The necklace doesn’t try to compete with the dress’ pattern; instead, it further emphasizes the feminine qualities of the dress itself.

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I then repeated the color palate through a fun tight I picked up this fall at Gap Kids.  (Style tip: if you are of average height and weight Gap Kids’ tights in either a L or XL will fit and are an affordable way to add an element of fun to a look.)

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What are some of the go-to pieces in your closet?

Style Notes: Gap dress (winter 2013) / Gap kids tights (summer 2013; love these) / dv by Dolce Vita shoes via Last Chance (winter 2014) / Kate Spade Outlet necklace (fall 2013; purchased on mega sale; love this) /

Outfit Inspiration, Style 101, Trend Studies, What I'm Wearing

Double Duty

0 Comments 05 February 2014

Blazer

Note: Despite the look of dismay on my face in this picture, I actually like this outfit quite a bit.

A pencil skirt is a no brainer for those days when you want to up the ante on sophistication.  Top it with a classically cut blazer and a feminine top and you are ready to conquer the world.

I totally understand that not every work environment or situation lends itself to over-the-top dressing or accessorizing but that does not mean a girl can’t sneak in a little fun.  While this is clearly a very polished, edited look, it definitely isn’t short on style or interest.  The metallic peter pan collar and the faux leather waistband of the skirt all stand in for the typical necklace and belt I would add on to complete a look.  The two toned coloring of the shirt and the muted metallic shoe also help add little elements of surprise without going overboard for the workplace.

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I love all the built in details of these pieces.  Those special details are what make an outfit stand out from the crowd and when they are already part of the garments themselves it makes it easy to feel a little more put together without all the fuss of trying to figure out the perfect accessories to compliment a look.

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This shirt has quickly become one of my favorite go-to items.  It’s ultimately a sweatshirt tee, but the quirky collar and feminine cut sleeves take it from something basic to something special.  Since it has a nice mixture of casual and dressier elements, it’s one of those pieces that works for both work and play.  I love when garments play multiple roles!

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Style Notes: Anthropologie shirt (fall 2013; love this for spring) / The Limited skirt (c/0 fall 2013; similar style) / Banana Republic shoes (summer 2010; love these) / Marc Jacobs purse via Last Chance (summer 2013; 83% off original price) / Kate Spade bracelet (winter 2011; love this) / Michael Kors watch via Last Chance (spring 2012; love this) / Anthropologie ring (winter 2013)

Outfit Inspiration, Style 101, Trend Studies, What I'm Wearing

Unsung Hero

1 Comment 28 January 2014

polkadot dress and yellow scarf

I love a good statement piece, but as any mother of young kids knows a fancy necklace isn’t always the most practical wardrobe add on.  Since I can’t always rock an adorable necklace, scarves have become the unsung hero of my accessory collection. While necklaces are hard for little hands and mouths to resist, causing heartache on my end when they break and on my children’s end when they scratch, scarves serve to add a pop of color or interesting texture to a look and are far more gentle on little faces and hands.  My son, who is three, even refers to scarves as “snugglies” and often requests that I put one on before we settle in for a good cuddle session.  Who can resist that level of adorableness?

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While stores are beginning to turn over their merchandise to more spring like wares, the majority of the country is still experiencing bone chilling weather which makes this the perfect time to stock up on some scarves for next winter or to experiment with them before warmer weather is the norm.  Here are a few I think are worth a look:

Since scarves come in a variety of textures, prints, and weight they pair nicely with a lot of different outfits, making them a must have accessory.

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Style Notes: Anthropologie dress (spring 2013; love this) / Anthropologie scarf (winter 2013; love this for spring) / Michael Kors watch via Last Chance (spring 2012; love this) / Kate Spade bracelet (sring 2011; love this) / Anthropologie earrings (fall 2013; love these)

Outfit Inspiration, Style 101, Trend Studies, What I'm Wearing

Chic Grunge

0 Comments 16 January 2014

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Attending high school in the mid ’90s was about as rough as it gets for someone whose fashion inclinations tend to lean towards feminine shapes and silhouettes.  When grunge and Nirvana took the world by storm big flannels, baggy jeans, and Dr. Martens became fashion currency.  I hated every single second of that little period of fashion history as I felt too unkempt, sloppy, and not the least bit feminine.  The grunge look has been updated and made popular once more this fall and winter, though, so I thought I’d share an easy way to incorporate the trend into your wardrobe without going too costumey or compromising on femininity.

One of the keys to adding some grungesuqe elements into your everyday wardrobe is to keep it simple and to a minimum.  In the case of this look, I started with a classically cut dress as the base so as to make a strong, feminine statement, which is the antithesis of grunge’s tomboyish, laid back feel.

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Next, I layered in two grunge influenced pieces, a plaid scarf and faux leather leggings, to add just a hint of edge to the overall look.  The scarf stands in for a statement necklace while the leggings replace the tights I would typically don with this dress.   I opted for a rather girly shoe instead of boots so the leggings wouldn’t read too tough for such a sweet dress.  Lastly, as a nod to the very designer who sent the fashion world spinning by putting grunge looks on the runway in 1992, the quilted Marc Jacobs bag helps to bridge the two vibes, soft and hard, of this outfit.

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To me getting dressed is like donning a new costume every day.  Because I tend to err on the awkward, quiet side when I rely on my own inclinations, fashion has been a way for me to be a little more outgoing than I really am.  When I put this look together I immediately felt a lot more bold and daring, like someone who could conquer whatever the day threw at me.  As it turns out, while I could never connect with the angsty nature of the ’90s grunge movement, I can totally get behind a trend that makes me feel invincible.

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Style Notes: Anthropologie dress (summer 2013; love this spring version) /  Anthropologie leggings (winter 2013)  / Anthropologie scarf (winter 2013) / Anthropologie ring (winter 2013) / Paul Green shoes via Last Chance (fall 2012; love these) / Michael Kors watch via Last Chance (spring 2012; love this) /  Marc Jacobs bag via Last Chance (spring 2012; similar style)

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