Tag archive for "last chance"

Classic Style, Fall/Winter Style, Style 101, Trend Studies, Weekend Style, What I'm Wearing

Sparkle and Shine

2 Comments 12 November 2014

gold sequined dress with draped back and metallic heels

A sequin dress, blazer, or skirt are quintessential holiday attire in my style book.  Personally, I think a sequined garment is always a good idea, but if there is ever a time to sparkle and shine it’s definitely during this time of year.  The problem I’ve always run into, though, when looking for a sequined dress is that they are either way out of my price range or they are cut for a newly turned 21 year old who is about to hit Vegas.  I’m 37 and a mother of two, so a dress that looks ready to hit the clubs is not in the cards for me and there isn’t a lot of extra cash sitting around to spend on a garment that I cannot wear to a variety of occasions.   While I love sparkly things as much as the next girl, let’s face it, a sequined dress isn’t the kind of garment that can be worn to just any old occasion, so when I started looking for one a few years ago I spent a great deal of time looking for one with a more classic, feminine silhouette so it would withstand the test of time and trends.

gold sequined dress with draped back and metallic heels

I’m actually wearing this dress backwards here; since I wanted a more timeless, sophisticated silhouette I like the effect of a more conservative collar line in the front.  This certainly makes the dress a whole lot easier to pull off without having to worry about how far you are leaning over in mixed company.  (What’s underneath is better left not exposed to everyone in the room.)  Wearing the dress this way also creates a little element of surprise.  I love the way the draped collar creates a bit of an exposed back without going too far.  You can never go wrong with a little bit of sex appeal, right?  Just make sure to not go overboard with how much skin you reveal.  The key here is that the overall dress has a very feminine, classic feel so the draped back is just right rather than too risque.

gold sequined dress with draped back and metallic heels

Another great aspect of this dress is the slight draping where the bodice meets the skirt.  There is a little bit of elastic right below the bodice to help create that effect, which you can further exaggerate by pulling the dress’ waistline slightly above your own.  The draping adds to the femininity of the dress and is an easy way to hide a multitude of sins or a few too many bites of dinner or dessert at holiday functions, so you can continue to celebrate with comfort and confidence.

gold sequined dress with draped back and metallic heels

Here are a few more affordable and stylish sparkly options for this holiday season:

Asos: Top and Skirt

Nordstrom: Skirt

Topshop: Dress, Shirt, and Skirt

Style Notes:  Eliza J dress via Last Chance (summer 2012; similar) / Banana Republic shoes (summer 2014) / Old Navy ring (fall 2014; similar)

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

Party Ready

No Comments 05 November 2014

 

statement necklace, white knit, white feather skirt, gold metallic heels

Dressing for the holidays can be a tricky endeavor. It’s hard to strike a balance between comfort and sophistication, glamour and confidence, refinement and whimsy. Furthermore, unless the event is a black tie affair it can be difficult to know exactly what is appropriate party attire, not to mention how much time is wasted getting stressed over the thought of what every other woman in the room is going to be wearing and how we will measure up. The comparison game can be the biggest hindrance to getting dressed any day of the week, let alone for a special reason. When that self-doubt begins to creep in, it’s important to remember that you are beautifully and wonderfully made and that the biggest part of looking great is a quiet confidence and a kind spirit. You’ve probably got that in spades, so choosing the right garment is really about finding something that is comfortable enough to sit in, eat in, and hopefully, dance the evening away in! In my opinion, you can never go wrong with a frock that evokes femininity with a twist of quirkiness, but really anything that showcases your personality and leaves you free to enjoy the evening rather than worrying about what you’re wearing is a winner. The garment should leave you feeling polished, pretty and ready to join in the season’s revelries.

statement necklace, white knit, white feather skirt, gold metallic heels

I have to tell you, I feel like a million bucks in this outfit. It’s extremely comfortable, full of style, and totally fits my personality. White on white is such a classic look for winter, so unless you are attending a winter wedding it’s definitely a go-to color palate that will leave you looking seasonally appropriate. The cozy knit, which would typically be worn on a lazy winter weekend day rather than to a dressier event, paired with the party ready feather skirt keeps this look from being too traditional or expected.   I always appreciate a woman who looks put together and event appropriate but still manages to throw in an unexpected twist or two.

statement necklace, white knit, white feather skirt, gold metallic heels

This is the kind of look I would wear to a holiday dinner with friends or family, to a work party, to an event like the ballet, or to ring in the New Year.  That feather skirt is just begging to be taken out for a night of dancing and celebrating!

statement necklace, white knit, white feather skirt, gold metallic heels

I love the juxtaposition of the cozy knit with a fancy skirt, but to keep the top from looking too out of place I accessorized with a statement necklace that adds a little sparkle, which is a must this time of year.

statement necklace, white knit, white feather skirt, gold metallic heels

Remember, you are beautiful, so don’t be afraid to shine from head to toe this holiday season!

Style Notes: Old Navy (fall 2014) / Milly dress worn as a skirt via Last Chance (summer 2011; similar) / Anthropologie necklace (spring 2014; similar) / Ann Taylor shoes (summer 2014; similar) / Lindsay Letters print (fall 2014; check out the Lindsay Letters holiday collection)

 

Classic Style, Fall/Winter Style, Style 101, Trend Studies, What I'm Wearing, Work Style

Enchanted with Fall

No Comments 30 October 2014

This time of year, between the beginning of autumn and the holiday season, is magical, isn’t it?  There’s a crispness to the mornings and evenings that echoes of cooler days to come.  A hot pot of coffee, a waft of cinnamon in the air, and the promise of hours spent bundled on the couch reading books carry me through a long work week.

Mustard sweater with black scalloped trimmed white collar and cuffs, black and white striped a-line skirt, leaoprd heels, and owl purse

I picked up this knit two summers ago at a small boutique in my parents’ hometown.  While I knew it would return to the desert with me and be promptly put away for a few more months, I couldn’t resist the perfect fall hue or the quirky crisp white collar and cuffs.  Now that cooler temps are beginning to hit the valley I find myself turning to this sweater once again.

Mustard sweater with black scalloped trimmed white collar and cuffs, black and white striped a-line skirt, leaoprd heels, and owl purse

What I love about this outfit is how perfectly it melds functuanilty and style. The collared sweater, a-line skirt, kitten heel shoe, and sensible handbag create a perfectly polished look that can be worn to work, lunch with friends, or dinner with my husband.

Mustard sweater with black scalloped trimmed white collar and cuffs, black and white striped a-line skirt, leaoprd heels, and owl purse

It’s the extra details, though, that elevate these basic pieces and make them infinitely more interesting and full of personality.  The sweater, bag, and shoes repeat lovely autumn tones of mustard, rust, and brown while the black scalloped stitching on the sweater’s white collar and cuffs echoes the black and white stripes on the skirt.

Mustard sweater with black scalloped trimmed white collar and cuffs, black and white striped a-line skirt, leaoprd heels, and owl purse

This outfit strikes an ideal balance of a put together look that can be worn to a variety of occasions and a look with just enough whimsy to embrace the enchantment of a new season.

Style Notes:  Sweater (winter 2013; similar) / Anthropologie skirt (spring 2012; similar) / Halogen shoes via Last Chance (fall 2012; similar) / Kate Spade purse (fall 2014; budget friendly) / Loft sunglasses (summer 2014; similar)

Classic Style, Fall/Winter Style, Reviews, Style 101, Style Files, Trend Studies, Weekend Style, What I'm Wearing, Work Style

Oversized knit

No Comments 22 October 2014

cobalt oversized knit, faux leather tuxedo striped leggings, black heels

Oversized knits are taking the fall fashion scene by storm.  Having lived through the 90s grunge, oversized everything phase I tend to lean towards more classic and tailored pieces in my adulthood, but I cannot deny the lure of a cozy knit now that the evenings are starting to cool.  This is a trend that lies outside my comfort zone, so the key to making it work was in finding ways to include elements of my personal style.

cobalt oversized knit, faux leather tuxedo striped leggings, black heels

Since I am not tall and willowy, the danger of an oversized knit is that the extra fabric and weight will add bulk, which at my age is not a desired effect. To counteract the “heaviness” on top I paired the knit with a tailored pair of faux leather tuxedo striped pants.  I also like the way the faux leather zipper on the sweater echoes the leather stripe on the pants and the purse; it lends a little rock ‘n roll vibe to the whole look.

cobalt oversized knit, faux leather tuxedo striped leggings, black heels

The lack of structure in an oversized sweater is not my normal style, but layering it over a crisp, classically tailored white button down brings a happy compromise of polished comfort.  The black heels lend more sophistication to the look and also add length to my leg, which helps to further counteract the bulkiness of the sweater.

cobalt oversized knit, faux leather tuxedo striped leggings, black heels

The key, then, to pulling off an oversized knit is to balance out the unstructured, loose fitting elements with ones that are more tailored and form fitting.

Style Notes: Chaus sweater via Last Chance (fall 2014; perfect for fall) / Ann Taylor shirt (summer 2014; similar) / Ann Taylor pants (summer 2011; similar) / Halogen shoes via Last Chance (fall 2014) / Marc Jacobs purse via Last Chance (summer 2013; budget friendly)

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

How to Wear a Pencil Skirt this fall: Ladylike Leopard

No Comments 14 October 2014

polka dot anthropologie sweater, ann taylor bow belt, leopard loft pencil skirt

When Jordana Paige asked me to style three pencil skirt looks for fall I jumped at the chance.   I love Jordana’s bags (check out this bag- perfect for a teacher or busy mom on the go) and what her company stands for.  Plus, I can’t resist a good pencil skirt or helping other women come up with ways to refresh their current wardrobes or find new pieces to add to their fall arsenal!  See look one here.

The innate femininity of a pencil skirt makes it a go-to piece for date night as it plays up your feminine wiles.  A pencil skirt with a classic leopard print has instant style and ladylike sex appeal. Choose accessories that add an element of fun while still retaining a classic, feminine feel in order to keep the outfit from reading too somber.

polka dot anthropologie sweater, ann taylor bow belt, leopard loft pencil skirt
In this look, the sheer polka dot sleeves of the sweater and the leopard print of the skirt help elevate the two closet staples (sweater and pencil skirt) beyond basic pieces. The curve of the sleeves’ dots and the curve of the skirt’s print add visual interest and further emphasize the feminine lines of the entire look. The accessories (statement necklace, belt, and heels) don’t compete for attention since they are all the same hue; rather, they complement the sweater and skirt with their sophisticated glamour and whimsical touches.

polka dot anthropologie sweater, ann taylor bow belt, leopard loft pencil skirt

Style Notes: Anthropologie sweater (love) / Loft skirt (similar) / Ann Taylor belt (similar) / Kate Spade shoes (similar) / Kate Spade necklace (similar) / Kate Spade bag (similar) / Loft sunglasses (similar)

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

& Apparel Fall Lookbook

No Comments 26 September 2014

& apparrel polkadot chambray, bicycyle print a-line skirt, multicolor statement necklace, oxfords

A few weeks ago I had an opportunity to model a few pieces for & Apparel’s fall lookbook.  I use the term model very, very loosely here as I am the world’s most awkward person in front of a camera.   The fact that any of my photographs turned out to be usable is a testament to the magic Michelle Herrick yields with a camera and the styling genius of Alex Evjen.

& apparrel polkadot chambray, bicycyle print a-line skirt, multicolor statement necklace, oxfords

This first outfit Alex selected totally captures my style personality and is one of those looks that fits the various outfitting needs of a modern girl.  The polka dot chambray is not only stylish, but it’s amazingly comfortable- probably the softest one I have ever worn.

& apparrel polkadot chambray, bicycyle print a-line skirt, multicolor statement necklace, oxfords

& apparrel polkadot chambray, bicycyle print a-line skirt, multicolor statement necklace, oxfords

And can we talk about this adorable skirt for a moment?  While I adore the added visual interest of the white piping along the waistline and the pockets, it’s the bicyle print along the hemline that makes this a truly special piece.  Anything that has a healthy mix of sophisticated style and whimsy is a must-have piece in my book.

& apparrel polkadot chambray, bicycyle print a-line skirt, multicolor statement necklace, oxfords

Do yourself a favor and check out & Apparel’s fall collection.  It is full of lovely pieces that perfectly meet a woman’s needs for stylish garments that can transition from day to night, work to play.

& apparrel polkadot chambray, bicycyle print a-line skirt, multicolor statement necklace, oxfords

Style Notes: & Apparel shirt  / & Apparel skirt / & Apparel statement necklace / Halogen shoes via Last Chance (fall 2013; love these)

 

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