Tag archive for "Kate Spade"

Classic Style, Fall/Winter Style, Outfit Inspiration, Shopping Guide, Style 101, Trend Studies, What I'm Wearing, Work Style

Pencil Me in

No Comments 25 August 2014

embellished collar, faux leather pencil skirt, gold metallic shoes

Based on my fall/winter style board on Pinterest, it’s safe to say leather is on my radar for fall in a major way.  I’m really hankering for a super cool leather jacket this year, but here in AZ we are still several weeks away from weather that it’s even remotely close to being cool enough to don a jacket of any sort.  An easy way to begin wearing leather or leather inspired looks now is to find a killer skirt in either a pencil or A-line cut.  Certainly, a leather skirt is going to be a tad heavier, and warmer, than its cotton, linen, or polyester counterparts, but it’s a far less sweaty way to delve into leather for fall and an easy way to incorporate leather in a day time, work appropriate way.

embellished collar, faux leather pencil skirt, gold metallic shoes

Leather, or its faux counterparts, can read a bit tough/rock ‘n roll, so look for pieces in classic cuts without too much sheen and with a soft, almost buttery, texture.  This will prevent the piece from coming across as too severe or cheap.  A classic silhouette and dull sheen will also make it easier to pair with work appropriate tops and shoes you already own.  Leather is one of those wardrobe pieces that I believe it is important to invest in; you don’t have to break the bank and spend hundreds or thousands of dollars, but it is also the time to skip over a fast fashion, budget friendly retailer and head to one that caters to a working adult. Below are some great leather pencil skirt options under $100:

embellished collar, faux leather pencil skirt, gold metallic shoes

I purchased this leather pencil skirt eons ago back when Isaac Mizrahi was designing capsule collections for Target. I probably spent about $50 on it, which was quite an investment as a young, single teacher. Initial sticker shock aside, that $50 has turned out to be one of the wisest fashion investments I have ever made. By sticking to a classic silhouette and a duller sheen, I managed to pick up a piece that looks great each fall. To give this skirt a fun little update for this season, and to keep it from looking to heavy while it’s still 100+ outside, I paired it with an ivory blouse in a t-shirt cut. The hue helps balance out the black skirt so things don’t read too austere, while the embellished collar adds a little more femininity to the look.

embellished collar, faux leather pencil skirt, gold metallic shoes

Accessories are another great way to indulge longings for fall garments even when the weather isn’t cooperating. Each accessory in this look, the jeweled collar, owl purse, and metallic shoes, is a statement piece in and of itself, but they work together because of the repetition of fall inspired hues and textures.

embellished collar, faux leather pencil skirt, gold metallic shoes

What’s on your style radar for fall?

Style Notes: Ann Taylor shirt (summer 2014; on sale) / Isaac Mizrahi for Target skirt (years ago; love) / Kate Spade purse (fall 2014; purchased during a recent sale) / Ann Taylor shoes (fall 2014; similar) / Loft sunglasses (summer 2014; love)

Classic Style, Fall/Winter Style, Outfit Inspiration, Style 101, Style Files, Trend Studies, What I'm Wearing

Remix

No Comments 20 August 2014

lace sheet top with embellished collar and black midi skirt

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.

lace sheet top with embellished collar and black midi skirt

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.

lace sheet top with embellished collar and black midi skirt

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.

lace sheet top with embellished collar and black midi skirt

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.

lace sheet top with embellished collar and black midi skirt

Style Notes: Forever 21 shirt (few years old; similar) / H&M skirt (winter 2014) / dv by Dolce Vita shoes via Last Chance (winter 2014; summer update) / Kate Spade purse via Last Chance (summer 2014)

Classic Style, Spring/Summer Style, Style 101, Style Files, Trend Studies, What I'm Wearing, Work Style

Statement Making Color: Cobalt Blue

1 Comment 08 August 2014

cobalt blue dress and statement necklace

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!

cobalt blue dress and statement necklace

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.

cobalt blue dress and statement necklace

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)

Classic Style, Outfit Inspiration, Spring/Summer Style, Style 101, Trend Studies, What I'm Wearing

Dreaming in Black and white

No Comments 31 July 2014

Gingham crop top and black and white striped skirt

Can I let you in on a little secret?  This gingham top is actually a crop top, which trust me, I am fully aware as a mother of two I have no business wearing, but can I also tell you how glorious it is to wear a shirt that doesn’t need to be tucked in when it is 110 out.  This was another huge score at Last Chance ($1.50), so I figured it was worth the risk if it didn’t work with anything in my closet.  My intention was never to bare my stomach, but I thought the shirt’s length might pair nicely with some higher waist skirts, like this black and white number.  Best $1.50 I’ve ever spent as the shirt pairs nicely with several skirts I own, hits at a fairly flattering spot, spares me the torture of extra, bulky fabric during the hot summer days, and actually provides enough coverage I could wear this to work without violating the dress code.

Gingham crop top and black and white striped skirt

I have foolishly had a real hankering for fall of late, so I’ve been busy pinning away looks for  wardrobe inspiration a few months down the road.  In the meantime, I’ve been concentrating on how I can incorporate some of what I am loving for fall now, even when there’s a heat advisory.  Black and white is always one of my loves and comprises a large amount of what I am drawn to for fall and winter, but thankfully, is really a seasonless color combo.

gingham crop top and statement necklace

What I love about wearing black and white is how easily it transitions from sophisticated and polished to carefree and playful.  It’s an easy, go to color duo and is universally flattering but that doesn’t mean it has to be muted or boring.  In fact, if you shy away from pattern mixing sticking to a black and white color palette is a fool proof way to incorporate mixed prints in your wardrobe.  In this look, the gingham print compliments the bold, graphic stripes of the skirt by creating the illusion of smaller black and white stripes and even echoes the subtle texture of the skirt with it’s vertical and horizontal lines.

Gingham crop top and black and white striped skirt

The other lovely thing about a black and white outfit is how easy it is to accessorize.  Feeling bold or wanting to express a little more personality?  Include pops of colors with a statement necklace or bracelet, with a fun handbag, or a cool pair of shoes.  Feeling a little more subtle or wanting to evoke a classic vibe?  Stick to accessories in black and white with a little bit of gold.

Gingham crop top and black and white striped skirt

Gingham crop top and black and white striped skirt

Style Notes: Topshop shirt via Last Chance (summer 2014; love; fall version) / Anthropologie skirt (spring 2013; similar; pencil skirt) / Halogen shoes via Last Chance (fall 2012; love) / Kate Spade clutch (fall 2013; love) / Banana Republic bracelet (summer 2014) / Kate Spade necklace via outlet (spring 2013; similar)

Outfit Inspiration, Reviews, Spring/Summer Style, Style 101, Style Files, Trend Studies, Weekend Style, What I'm Wearing

Taking a Fashion Risk

No Comments 24 July 2014

black peplum and cheetah track pant

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?

black peplum and cheetah track pant

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.

black peplum and cheetah track pant

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)

Classic Style, Outfit Inspiration, Spring/Summer Style, Style 101, Trend Studies, Weekend Style, What I'm Wearing

Inspired by Pinterest: Gingham and Floral Mix

1 Comment 21 July 2014

ginghamp crop top and floral midi skirt

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.

ginghamp crop top and floral midi skirt

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.

ginghamp crop top and floral midi skirt

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.

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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.

ginghamp crop top and floral midi skirt

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)

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