While I love fashion and styling different looks, I don’t really take a lot of risks with my own personal style. Sure, I love mixing prints and never shy away from bold colors, but I tend to stay within the same style genre and garment types. When you know what works for your body and what style makes you feel the best it’s hard to deviate from that, right? I can admire different fashion personalities in others, but due to comfort, and finances, I tend to stay within my comfort zone. So when the updated track pant first hit the fashion scene a few seasons back all my instincts said this is a trend I would definitely stay far, far, far away from. And for a few seasons I managed to put them out of mind, but then just a few weeks ago I went digging in my favorite bargain basement and came across this cheetah print pair for $3. Mind you, I do not subscribe to the theory that you should buy something just because it’s a total steal. I was curious, enough, however, to askew my personal buying tenets, figuring worse case scenario I would simply turn these into lounge pants. Three dollar lounge pants, now those are hard to pass up, right?
After having worn these pants on two flights and various errand running I am hear to tell you I am still not completely convinced a track style pant is the trend for me. Being totally honest, I don’t find them to be the most flattering pant of all time. In fact, the elastic waist band makes me feel a tad older than I am, so they are a pant I would only dare wear with a longer shirt. If the shirt is not the right cut, however, it will further the boxy, unflattering effect of the waistline. On the flip side, though, that detestable elastic waistband does make for a very comfortable pant that feels glorious during a long flight. The material washes and dries perfectly and travels extremely well- no ironing! They are also surprisingly cool on very hot, muggy summer days.
To create a defined waist, I have found that a peplum is the most flattering top to pair with these pants. The fitted top helps create a defined waist, while the peplum helps disguise the unflattering waistband. Another thing I like about these pants is that they are a departure from my usual very feminine sensibilities. The peplum certainly brings some sophistication to the look, so to keep things from looking too polished I went with an edgy statement necklace. The key to trying a trend or garment piece that’s outside of your wardrobe norm is to add in elements that are typical of your everyday style. For me, the feminine peplum, statement accessories, and the print are all pieces that exist in my closet and helped to make this fashion risk less difficult.
Style Notes: Target peplum (spring 2013) / Nordstrom pants via Last Chance (summer 2014; love) / Julianne Hough for Sole Society shoes via Last Chance (summer 2014) /Anthropologie necklace (winter 2014) / Kate Spade bracelet (spring 2011 ; love) / Marc Jacobs purse via Last Chance (summer 2013; budget friendly) / Loft sunglasses (summer 2014; love)
I got my first subscription to Elle when I was in seventh grade; each month I spent hours pouring over the ads, the editorials, and articles about fabulous people, designers, and locations a girl from a small Midwest town could only dream, and read, about. I would dog ear beloved pages and rip out my favorites, peppering my bedroom walls with looks that seemed so distant from my local mall that they were merely pieces of art I could admire.
These days I find myself increasingly turning to Pinterest for seasonal inspiration as well as new ways to mix up items in my closet. I know the notion of pinning aspirational images is not a novel one, but I wonder just how many of us pinners do much with all these lovely pictures we are curating? Certainly, I frequently turn to recipes, the occasional DIY, and fitness guides, but even though I am someone who loves fashion and style, I rarely return to all those pretty things I am saving for inspiration when I plan outfits. It’s a shame really as I follow some pretty amazing women and brands on Pinterest, so I thought it might be fun from time to time to put together a look inspired by something or someone I pinned.
When I saw this image of Reachel from Cardigan Empire come through my feed I immediately pinned it and mentally filed it away as a must wear look. Fortunately, I already owned these pieces, but was happy, thanks to Reachel’s impeccable style, to find a new way to wear them.
I love the way the gingham print and the midi skirt evoke a 50s vibe while the bright pink and graphic floral print modernize the look so it’s refreshingly now rather than too referential. The black and white repeated in both the top and the skirt’s print helps to unify the look while the accessories are the perfect mix of classic and on trend.
Where do you draw inspiration from when planning outfits/getting dressed? Do you turn to trusted magazines, copy looks directly from store mannequins, enlist the help of friends or a stylist, turn to beloved bloggers, or pin away dreamy looks and must have items?
Style Notes: Topshop shirt via Last Chance (summer 2014; love) / ASOS skirt (summer 2014) / Kate Spade necklace via outlet (spring 2013; similar) / Kate Spade bracelet (fall 2012; love) / dv by Dolce Vita shoes via Last Chance (winter 2014; summer update) / Kate Spade purse via Last Chance (summer 2014)
This shirt has been one of the most fortunate misfortunes to ever enter my closet. You see, fellow Style Tutor, Kristy, ordered this shirt but didn’t like the fit so she suggested I try it before she returned it. What a delight to have such a thoughtful friend, right? As it turns out, this shirt is totally me…quirky collar, dreamy color, and a built in print. We were totally meant to be and I love it all the more because such a great friend brought us together! I love when a closet staple has a great story behind it.
When I wear this shirt to work I pair it with a nude colored tank, but now that summer is here I’ve been wearing it with a bralette to stay even cooler. Have you tried a bralette yet? I always imagined myself a bit too chesty to pull one off, but when the temps hit 110 a few weeks ago I felt like my will to live was about to go, so I threw caution to the wind and picked one up on the cheap at Target. I am not sure how I survived the summer months before all confined in a traditional bra! I also love that it adds just a hint of sex appeal to a look with a strong retro vibe. During those long, hot summer months you can’t go wrong with wardrobe pieces that keep you looking and feeling cool!
The focal point here is clearly the shirt with it’s great color and built in interest (collar and texture), so I wanted to keep the accessories to a minimum but still play off the ultra feminine silhouette of the shirt and skirt. The mint colored ring and bracelet pair nicely with the shirt, but also add whimsical tones to the overall look, while the purse and shoes echo the retro with modern touches vibe of the whole ensemble.
Style Notes: ASOS top (spring 2012; love) / H&M skirt (winter 2014) / Julianne Hough for Sole Society shoes via Last Chance (summer 2014)/ Kate Spade bracelet (spring 2013; love) / Kate Spade purse via Last Chance (summer 2014) / Juicy Couture ring via Last Chance (spring 2012; love) / Loft sunnies (summer 2014; cute)
I picked up this blouse a few weeks back when Loft was offering 40% off full price items. It was one of those things I saw while browsing online and knew that fun collar, classic print, and feminine silhouette needed to find a home in my closet. It has not failed to disappoint as it looks just as great when styled for a dressier look with a skirt or for a more casual look with shorts.
The accessories are kept simple and ultra feminine so they remain extensions of the whole look rather than pieces that might detract from the blouse and skirt, which I see as the major focal points. The pouf adds a bit of a modern touch while playing off the blush colored dots in the shirt. The handbag reminds me of something my Grandmother would have carried back in the ’40s while retaining the functionality a busy woman on the go needs in a handbag.
I really love the blouse’s classic print and wanted to play off that when I chose pieces to complete the look. The ’40s are one of my favorite eras in fashion, so this calf-length pencil skirt is the perfect compliment to the retro vibe of the blouse. This is a higher cut skirt than I normally wear, but I love that it creates the illusion of a smaller waist and because the skirt hits at an abnormal spot on the leg the higher waist also helps to create an illusion of length making for the perfect feminine silhouette.
Style Notes: Loft shirt (summer 2014; on sale w/an extra 60% off) / Banana Republic skirt (spring 2011; similar) / dv by Dolce Vita shoes via Last Chance (winter 2014; summer update)/ ban.do pouf (spring 2014) / Kate Spade purse via Last Chance (summer 2014)
This is the kind of summer ensemble that makes my heart soar. It’s full of bright, cheery colors, it’s comfortable while remaining feminine, and, most importantly, doesn’t take itself too seriously, which are all the makings of great summer pieces.
When it came time to accessorize I wanted to add a few pops of complimentary colors that would enhance the bright summery yellow of the polka dots rather than detract from them. I really love the way the bright pink in the pouf and the shoes and the blue of the pouf and the purse stand out from the dress while making the yellow dots seem even bolder.
This look is the perfect mix of polished fun and personality, so it’s something that could be worn on date night, brunch with the girls, to a wedding or baby shower, or just because it’s summer and you’re having fun!
Style Notes: Loft dress (summer 2013; love) / ban.do poufs (spring 2013, spring 2014) / Kate Spade purse via Last Chance (spring 2013; love) / Kate Spade shoes via Last Chance (spring 2013; cute)/ Juicy Couture ring via Last Chance (spring 2012; love) / Anthropologie earrings (spring 2014; love)
As much as I like making a bold, colorful statement, I can never resist a classic pairing like black and white. While it may seem that black and white are a boring duo, it can be quite dramatic when combined in graphic prints and geometric shapes or when accessorized with a few pops of color. I especially can’t resist the pairing when they come together to create the perfect little black and white striped dress.
The geometric pattern on the bust makes this is an easy piece to throw on for warm weather outings as it requires little to no extra accessorizing to be eye catching and flattering. The stripes add interest while also doing the wearer a favor by drawing the eye to the waist which, thanks to the cut of the skirt, appears narrow and trim. Whether blessed with a slim waist or in the need of some optical illusions, this gem has you covered!
The fit and flare shape of the dress is both sophisticated and fun, which means you could easily dress it up or down depending on the occasion. In this instance, I decided to add a dash of color and fun with the pin while maintaining a more casual vibe with a striped flat.
This is a go to look when I want to appear put together and polished while feeling like I am at home lounging around. Play dates? Coffee dates? Casual day at work? Fun date with the mister? A day of shopping with the girls? Yes, this dress can fit all those bills by giving you instant style, comfort, and confidence!
Style Notes: Anthropologie dress (spring 2014; on sale) / Kenneth Cole shoes via Last Chance (spring 2014; fun ) / ban.do pouf (spring 2014) / Anthropologie earrings (spring 2014; love) / Anthropologie ring (fall 2013; similar) / Kate Spade bracelet (fall 2012; love & on sale)