I’ve been stalking this dress for a month or so, but at full retail I could never make the plunge, so when Loft recently had a 40% off promotion I figured the fashion gods were telling me to make a move. As a busy mom who works outside of the home, I think it’s important to have an arsenal of dresses that you can don on those rushed mornings or on those mornings when it feels like you slept exactly two hours. Great fitting dresses with just the right amount of work appropriate interest can save you time and frustration thereby freeing you up for more important things like coffee, lots of coffee.
At its core this dress is a simple fit and flare silhouette, which is super comfortable and flattering for a myriad of body types. If you are especially self-conscious in a more fitted silhouette, a fit and flare dress is your best friend as the flared skirt will help hide anything you may be too wary of highlighting while the fitted bodice will help balance out the a-line skirt to create a sleek silhouette on top.
What elevates this dress beyond a basic dress is the black and white windowpane plaid contrasted with the black bodice details. The print is on trend for spring, but since it is done in a classic color palette it is a dress that can be worn for years and across seasons. The black waistband helps to break up the windowpane plaid, which can be a little widening, thereby creating a clearly defined waistline. I don’t have a super tiny waist; in fact, my torso is pretty much straight up and down, so the black waistband was definitely a selling point for me. Without it, I would look awash in a sea of black and white print and yards of fabric. The black bodice panel in the back helps create a sleek silhouette that helps offset the print of the skirt, so you can rest assured in not appearing too wide from behind. The black bodice panel cleverly extends around to the side and slightly towards to the front bodice panel, which not only adds some interest, but also helps to break up the windowpane plaid across the chest.
The black and white print allows for total freedom when accessorizing, but given the scale of the print, the classic color duo, and the overall modern feel of the look I would stick to something simple. The collar already adds visual interest at the neckline, so a necklace really isn’t necessary. Sticking to either silver or gold accessories, like simple bangles or a ring, or even shoes seems refreshing, not too overdone, and in keeping with the dress’ modern girl vibe. Here I chose a pop of color in the handbag to kind of play off the mod feel of the print, but a super sleek handbag or clutch in a metallic would look great as well.
Whether you live in a fairly temperate climate or one that has been under winter’s icy thumb for far too long, the first day of spring is always one full of promise for rosier days to come. I’m super excited for earlier sunrises- going to work seems far less depressing when it’s light out-, lingering daylight for evening bike rides, picnics in the park with my littles, and the waning weeks until summer break. Now that spring is officially upon us it’s also time to begin pulling out long packed away spring frocks or to take advantage of a new season to justify a few purchases.
Floral prints are once again on trend for spring. The print is kind of a no-brainer this time of year, isn’t it? After months of grey skies, languishing daylight, and dormant plant life it’s kind of nice to infuse our closets with bold colors and prints that will begin to emerge in nature over the next month or so. I picked up this skirt a few weeks ago, but have waited for warmer days and the new season to wear it. The rose print combined with a classically feminine cut skirt could read a little too sickeningly sweet, but what saves this from being too much are the bold color and oversized print. Yes, this is a very girlie look, but the girl who would wear this skirt and this print is just the right amount of sweet and spunky.
Style Notes: Loft shirt (old; similar) / Mindy Mae’s Market skirt (winter 2015) / Kate Spade shoes via Last Chance (old; similar; budget friendly; flats) / Anne of Green Gables (winter 2015) / Essie Brides No Grooms / MAC Mineralize Lipstick- So Good
P.S. In case you happen to be in the market for a good floral print midi, shop the widget below. The good news, all these lovely frocks are under $100; the bad news, you might find more than one you like!
I have a confession…I have worn this exact outfit three days in a row. We lead busy, full lives ladies, so I say no harm no foul in having some closet heroines who can make a sleepy morning a little less taxing or can take the guess work out of what to wear when meeting up with friends or rushing out the door for a long anticipated date night. This skirt has been in my wardrobe for less than a week and I can already tell we are going to have many an adventure this spring and summer!
When I picked up this skirt I didn’t really think through what I would wear it with, I just knew I loved the waistline, which nips in without being too constraining, the pockets, which are a mom’s best friend, and the bright pop of citron that helps infuse a little bit of spring in the lingering winter weeks. When I got it home, this shirt, which I’ve had for a few years now (first seen here), seemed to scream out to be given a try. I love the way the pop of yellow in the floral detail really stands out when paired with the bold color of the skirt.
Another thing I really like about this pairing is the contrast of the feminine elements like the silhouette of the skirt, the Peter Pan collar and cap sleeves of the shirt, and the sweet, embellished daisy print with the more masculine lines of the skirt’s geo eyelet print. The skirt’s underlining ends just shy of the hemline, offering a hint of sheerness. Sheer elements may be on trend for spring, but they aren’t necessarily practical in day-to-day life. What I appreciate about this skirt is that the sheer element of the skirt doesn’t reveal too much, which keeps this a piece that you could easily adapt for day or night.
If you haven’t tried a midi skirt yet, this skirt is a great way to dip your toes into those waters. They are hands down one of the most comfortable garments you will ever wear. They look great with tights in cooler temps and bare legs in warmer. This knee length is universally flattering as it doesn’t cut too much height and can be worn with flats, a kitten heel, or a slightly higher heel depending on the situation.
The bright citron may seem a tad intimidating at first glance, but with the first day of spring right around the corner there is no better time to embrace a brighter hue. This skirt looks great with black, but would be equally as great with a crisp white shirt tied at the waist, a comfy tank and jean jacket, or a graphic floral print.
Loft is offering 40% off this weekend! No time like the present to begin prepping your closet for spring!
A little white dress can seem a lot more intimidating to style, or wear, than a little black dress. Since lighter colors attract light they aren’t as naturally slimming as their darker hued counterparts, so when shopping for a white dress that can be worn year round look for something that is off white or cream colored rather than a stark white. A softer white won’t seem so out of context in the midst of grey winter months, will be a little more flattering to your figure, and ego, and will play off your natural skin tones a little more kindly than the crisp white of summer.
I picked up this white dress at an end of season sale a few summers ago, but because of the sheer long sleeves, cream toned print, and delicate beaded waistline it easily crosses over from a spring/summer frock to a fall/winter staple. Helping it make the transition from warm to cold weather is as simple as adding some black tights and wintery accessories.
The faux fur stands in for my usual statement necklace and adds an unexpected detail that lends a bit more of a bohemian feel to the look without skewing too far from my personal style. The light tan and creamy tones of the faux fur help draw out the cream tones of the brocade print. In the summer I would trade in the scarf for a floral crown or a braided crown to keep that ethereal, boho feel.
When I first conceived of this outfit I thought I would wear my black ankle boots to add a bit more of a rebellious feel, but when I tried to execute that look I just didn’t feel comfortable. The boots looked okay and would be killer on someone with a little more height, but they weren’t doing me any favors in the context of this outfit, so I went with my trusty gold metallic kitten heels to add a little height and to keep from feeling totally out of place in this style. While they are decidedly more girly than the shoe I thought I would go with, they are a little beat up and play off the tan tones in the scarf and the cream in the dress. The end result is that they add a bit of offbeat femininity, which I’m kind of digging in this look.
January was a very long, very stressful month. So you know, no pressure February, but if I have another four weeks of what last month dished up I will curl into fetal position and really lose my mind. I’m cautiously optimistic that this month will fare better than last, so I decided to go with a few closet favorites to kick off the first work week of the month and try to set the tone for a smoother next few weeks. I bought this floral midi skirt on major sale last summer and have worn it once-twice a week since. Even though the underlying color may seem summery, it’s definitely a piece that transitions from season to season depending on what you pair it with. The oversized muted black, grey, and white floral print helps tone down the bold pink and makes it easy to match the skirt with some more cold weather appopriate tops, as seen here and in this look from the fall.
When I last wore this skirt a coworker told me she loved it because it seems so comfortable with it’s quilt like texture and fit and flare silhouette. I think she thought she offended me with the quilt comment, but truly this is one of the most comfortable pieces I own and her comment actually made me think to try pairing the skirt with this grey sweatshirt. Thanks to her compliment, I’ve managed to style a work appropriate outfit that is essentially a sweatshirt and quilt…talk about true comfort! What I love about this cozy sweatshirt, is that while it does add comfort to a look, the rounded shoulders, narrow cut and embellished collar add some sophisticated femininity to keep things from reading too casual.
Having a clearly defined sense of style makes life a lot easier. Armed with a clear picture of what works for your personality, body type, and lifestyle makes shopping a breeze. Whether browsing the racks in a brick and mortar location or scrolling through images from the comfort of home, your time spent culling through all the offerings can be cut in half because you have a vision for what you need and want. A signature style also makes it easy for others to surprise you with an occasional closet treat by taking away a ton of stress and anxiety over whether something they picked out is perfect for you, freeing them to shop at ease and with efficiency.
Take these houndstooth pants, for instance. They are a surprise gift I received from an aunt who lives 1800 miles away. She really has no idea what garments hang in my closet or what shoes line my shelves, but she knows I love prints, tailored pants, anything with a 60s mod vibe, and clothing that is versatile enough to wear to work and on the weekends. My aunt totally nailed it with these houndstooth pants, partly because she has impeccable taste, but also because my style sensibilities are clearly established in my day to day wear that she was able to purchase a surprise for me with confidence.
These pants immediately fit into my closet and have become a work week staple. They have classic lines, an interesting print that pairs well with any color, and a quirky vibe that meshes well with my style aesthetic. They are also extremely comfortable, so they are pants that can go straight from a day of work to an evening of fun.
These houndstooth pants were just begging to be styled with a great pop of color and some mod touches. This mustard knit from Old Navy is one of the smartest purchases I made this season as it pairs well with skirts, as seen here, and adds an elevated note to a casual look. It has a bit of a school girl charm that reminds me of something a style conscious students would have worn during the 60s. To play off that, I stuck to accessorizing with an oversized black bow, which lends some quirkiness that pairs nicely with the print in the pants and the shoes. A girl might be serious about fashion, but she shouldn’t be too serious, right?
If you are unsure about your personal style I would love to help you have a clearer picture through a personal tutoring service that best meets your wardrobe and financial needs. If a personal stylist isn’t in the cards right now, Pinterest is another great way to begin to get a clear picture of who you are style wise. After a few weeks of pinning away, take a look back through the images you have curated and note colors, shapes, textures, and styles that crop up again and again. Those repeaters will help you narrow down an aesthetic that you long for and can help you begin to shape your wardrobe to better reflect the loveliness your heart desires. Follow Style Tutor on Pinterest for more inspiration as well!
Style Notes: Old Navy sweater (fall 2014) / Ann Taylor shirt (summer 2014; love) / ASOS bow (winter 2014) / Old Navy pants (winter 2014) / Halogen shoes via Last Chance (old; similar) / Loft sunglasses (summer 2014; similar)