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Kickin’ It in CAbi Spring 2012

Recently CAbi had a contest where you could enter to be a “Real Model” for them. For those not familiar with CAbi Clothing, at the back of their catalog they have non-models featured wearing their fashions. Often it has been Consultants for the brand, but this spring they decided to feature customers with their consultant. My consultant Lisa and I thought it would be fun to enter as we are body opposites and have been friends since the ’90s, way before she started selling CAbi.

We didn’t win the contest, but we had a blast getting together one beautiful Sunday morning to photograph ourselves in the Spring 2012 CAbi clothing line – here’s pictures from our shoot!

Lisa is wearing the Printed Bootlet Jean, Prepster Cardigan, and V-Tee

I am LOVING the bright neon cropped jeans, and all the nautical touches in the spring collection.  It was really hard deciding what to wear, for so many pieces from the Spring 2012 collection are so cute and so very wearable!

If you haven’t heard of CAbi before, check out my post on my first experience with the line, and my first time hosting a CAbi show.  And if you are in the DC/Maryland area and are interested in learning more about the line or hosting a party, feel free to contact my friend Lisa!

Note: CAbi didn’t ask me to write this piece, and I wasn’t compensated in any way for this post.

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CAbi Clothing – An Honest Review

My friend Lisa has recently become a CAbi Consultant and offered me the chance to come to her house and check out the Spring 2011 line. For those who haven’t heard of CAbi, it stands for Carol Anderson By Invitation. It is a line of sportswear that is only sold by independent consultants (think Pampered Chef for fashion).

I jumped at this chance; for years I have had readers and fellow bloggers rave about CAbi clothing – the great fit, great quality, the ability to mix and match. Many of you readers have suggested CAbi clothing to me saying it fits with my style and beliefs that clothes should be stylish, but also versatile. I didn’t attend a CAbi party; instead Lisa had me over and gave me full rein to try on anything I wished and get a real feel for the collection.

Carol Anderson at Work

Carol Anderson has been a fashion designer for over 28 years, with her first sale to Nordstrom in 1977. Anderson eventually left the traditional retail industry and decided to cut out the middle-man and sell her fashion directly to her consumers.

CAbi – Carol Anderson by Invitation prides itself on great quality and even more amazing service. By attending an at-home event, you get the experience of a personal shopper – great attention, a salesperson highly educated on the line and how it works for different women, a collection of clothes that work together.

The “Blogger” Collection

CAbi changes up their line each season, but does seem to stick to silhouettes and fabrics that are best-sellers. They create mini-collections within each season – pieces that can work alone, but also coordinate with one another with ease. This spring they had nine collections, all named after professions (Art Teacher, Apprentice, Shop Keep, Photojournalist, Musician, Designer, Domestic CEO and even Blogger). The clothing comes in sizes XS-XL or 0-16 and from what I found, many pieces are stretchy and most seem to run large.

Lisa had a large portion of the collection available to try on, I must have been running from the bathroom to the dining room for two hours straight, doing mini-fashion shows for her and my sister. I was impressed with the quality – the attention to detail, the consistency in sizing and fit.

What I Liked:
CAbi does a great job of interpreting the trends without making pieces seem passé in a season. No one will look like a fashion victim in CAbi clothing, and no woman will look unstylish or outdated. I really feared finding a collection that would be full of stretchy polyester flowing separates and overly-embellished jackets; instead I found a great line of pieces that could work for a woman who usually shops at The Limited and Ann Taylor LOFT, or a woman who usually shops at Chico’s or J. Jill.

The collection isn’t specific to one age of customer – I tried on pieces that I liked, but also knew my mother would like and wear beautifully. I also tried on pieces that flattered my figure, but also flattered my friend Lisa’s slim athletic frame. I really felt as though these pieces were made thinking of a variety of women’s bodies, not a fit model.

The pieces really were versatile – knits that could be paired with jeans or dressy trousers, tunics that also looked great tucked in, and unexpected combinations like gathered knit tops under cardigans that didn’t leave a lumpy mess. Everything was color-coordinated – not just within mini collections, but within the entire line. You could easily take a top from the Designer line and have it coordinate with pants from the Blogger line. There were also pieces that could really dress up nicely – a knit jacket and skirt from the Apprentice line could easily be corporate chic with a simple shell, be a more sophisticated look with a silky cami, the pieces as separates would look great for stylish yet comfortable weekend wear. The Hook Back tunic from the Shop Keep collection would be adorable with skinny jeans for a concert, could be worn as a dress on a shorter woman, and Lisa told me she knew a woman who purchased it to be a beach coverup. It also would have a completely different silhouette with a belt or topped with a shrunken jacket.

The Phoebe Coat

The line is crisp, the prints aren’t overly-fussy, the details make sense. I was in love with many of their jackets – the Gabrielle Cardigan is Chanel-esque with its quilted knit, ruffle trim, and black stone accents; the Daisy Jacket looked far more expensive than its pricetag and could look professional with a pencil skirt, but also be a great downtown look with jeans and a tank. I almost purchased the Phoebe Coat, which is a collarless tweed jacket with a frayed edge also had a Chanel vibe and would look great with the CAbi Transition Trouser, as well as denim or over a simple sheath dress.

Unexpectedly Awesome Tops – Drape Striped Tee, Gypsy Top, Shakespeare Tunic

The fabric and color choices are brilliant. The Draped Stripe Tee from far away looks like a simple Breton-striped top. However upon closer inspection, you find this is an unusual stretchy and almost spongy textured fabric with an unsual neckline. It has the most unusual cut – it looks to have a drape neck but the fabric is actually on their weird bias which creates this wrap look in the front, really whittling the waist and tricking the eye into seeing the wearer’s torso as longer and leaner than it actually is. This top could be a simple sailor tee to wear with jeans, but can also be dressed up, rouched to the waist, pulled down like a tunic, and easily tucked into a skirt or pants without showing bulk. The Gypsy Top from the Domestic CEO line is something I would normally not even take off the rack at a store – girly floral, blousy tunic of a shiny fabric. However once on I saw it was incredibly flattering – though it was blousy it wasn’t overly so, it skimmed where it needed to so not to look maternity, the sleeves flowed without being tent-like, the neckline the perfect level of scoop to be feminine and flattering yet modest. It made me almost a floral blousy-top convert.  The Shakespeare Tunic was another piece that amazed me – it was something I would never ever EVER wear – a bold floral print, colors of brown and orange, sheer layered cardigan-like top.  However Lisa pressed me to try it on and even my sister was amazed at how incredibly flattering it was.  The sleeves made my arms look long and slim, the slightly curved back gave my body an amazing shape and really made my rear look fab.  I could really see myself wearing it with a pair of dark jeans, some big hoops and heeled boots to a concert or date night with my husband.

Real Women in CAbi 
(BTW that dress is actually the Sigourney Skirt)

I was impressed with the catalog I received – at the back it dedicates six whole pages of real-life CAbi consultants wearing the clothes.  It showed how the clothes really can fit and flatter a variety of sizes, ages, and personal styles of women.  In fact all of CAbi’s marketing, branding, website and materials are brilliant – polished, sophisticated, easy to read and navigate, prices and sizing always clear and available.

Many complain that CAbi clothing is expensive. Well it’s not cheap, but I think the prices are equal to higher-end department store brands and retailers like Talbots and Ann Taylor. I feel the quality is equal to these brands as well. This isn’t disposable fashion – Cabi clothes could easily be flattering and stylish a year from now, and many pieces would still be on trend a decade from now.

What I Didn’t Like:
No petite, no tall, no plus sizes. In this day and age I can’t believe that any brand of clothing wouldn’t at least carry their best selling pants in lengths, and at least a couple pieces in larger sizes. The average American woman is a size 14 – this means there are plenty of women in this country who are over a size 16. To really tap into at-home sales, you would think a line would try to cater to women who hate shopping at malls. I can often wear regular length trousers at many retailers, but found every single pair of pants from CAbi to be at LEAST six inches too long for me.

No real basics. I did like their camis, which had brilliant adjustable straps and the perfect amount of Lycra to keep shape, hold you in, be comfortable and not roll up. However I was looking for the straight skirt, simple tees, maybe a collection of heavyweight knit/ponte pieces you could mix and match (skirt, one or two jackets, sheath dress, capris, pants). The closest was the previously mentioned Delicious Blazer and Skirt, which was begging to be joined by some other pieces in that fabulous refined knit.

No dresses (at least this season), and hardly any skirts. Again, untapped opportunity. As a curvy woman, I find skirts to often be more flattering and forgiving than trousers, and a garment that can work for a larger variety of female shapes. On top of that, many women in this country choose to wear skirts instead of pants for modesty and religious reasons. I would think a couple bias-cut shifts and/or simple sheaths in heavyweight fabric with stretch (twill, ponte) would work really well with the current CAbi look and style.

***

My friend Lisa was fresh from the CAbi conference where she was loaded up with product information, tips on how to fit women, and excitement and passion for the brand. With the terrible customer service found in many shops these days, a CAbi party is a breath of fresh air – a consultant who really cares about your needs, knows her product, taking time to help you find the right clothes. She may want you to spend money, but she wants you to be a happy, loyal and repeat customer and knows a hard sell may make a fast buck, but will not make you return the next season. As someone who loves fashion, I would think a CAbi party would be a heck of a lot more fun to attend than other at-home products.  Imagine sipping wine and chatting with your friends while trying on clothes in the comfort of your own home, with a personal shopper at your beck and call?  Brilliant!

CAbi is geared towards the woman who wears many hats – she may be a full-time office worker, but also a 24/7 mom, a community volunteer, an artist, a social butterfly. The clothing is made to be versatile, wearable, flattering. It’s not cheap in price, but it’s also not cheap in quality or style. It’s simple pieces to make a woman’s life more stylish, but not more complicated. If you’re at least 5’5” and under a size 16, it’s worth checking out.  Hopefully in the future, CAbi will extend their line to accommodate those of us who do not fit that specific mold.

Note: All opinions are completely my own.  I was not asked by anyone to do this review, and did not receive any compensation for it.

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Hosting a CAbi Party – My Experience

Some of the CAbi Fall 2011 Collection

After my first experience with Carol Anderson by Invitation (CAbi) clothing, I really wanted to see the fall collection. Many of you readers told me that I needed to see more of this line, that they did have dresses and skirts, that their collections coordinated not just within each other for a season, but across seasons and years. That CAbi deserved a second look.

So this Sunday I hosted a CAbi party. For those who haven’t heard of CAbi, it’s a line of clothing that is sold at home parties, a la Pampered Chef or Silpada. Carol Anderson used to sell her line of clothing at department stores like Nordstrom, but soon was frustrated that shoppers couldn’t experience her entire line, only that which the buyers decided was best for their stores. She decided to go independent, and CAbi was born.

My CAbi Party
An hour before the party was to start, my consultant Lisa showed up. She had two collapsible rolling racks, and at least four giant canvas garment bags holding all the clothing. On one rack, she had one piece from the entire fall line, separated by collection (this season each collection is named after a movie); on the other rack were duplicates of the line in different sizes. She covered both racks with a black CAbi-logoed drape, but not before she invited me to pull a couple pieces from the line to change into. As she said, it’s easier to see how the clothes fit and look if you see them on a human body. I immediately was drawn to the Classic Shirt, and after not really liking any of the skirts on me (and knowing the pants would be too long for my petite frame), I grabbed a pair of the Classic Jean. I dashed upstairs for an application of red lipstick to finish the look. When I came down, Lisa had set up two full-length mirrors in my house, and had a basket full of order forms, catalogs, and pens. She even had two pairs of hot pink reading glasses and a CAbi calculator! Lisa also had style boards – big black posters with pictures of the clothing being modeled in different combinations.

At 3pm, my friends started showing up. I must say, it’s hard asking friends to attend a party like this – you know you are expected to drop some cash at the end of the affair. I found CAbi to be even more difficult because of the high pricepoint. I told my friends I didn’t expect them to buy anything, I just wanted their opinions on the clothing, and wanted to experience a CAbi party. Eight friends ended up at my house – for me I found this to be a perfect size.

Lisa showing off the Curl Wrap Tee

Once we were all settled in, finished hugging one another hello and all were armed with a glass of wine, Lisa began her presentation. She gave a brief history of how CAbi came to be, and told us a bit about her experience as a consultant. Unlike many other at-home party consultants, I didn’t feel as though she was trying to force me into being a consultant, but she still made the job and the company sound appealing. Lisa then presented me with a CAbi canvas tote as my hostess gift (I am such a sucker for reusable bags, and this one is big and sturdy!).

My mom modeling the Corporate Jacket

Lisa presented each collection individually, pulling out pieces, hanging pieces over one another to create looks. The rolling rack had a bar off the front over the drape so she could hang the garments while mentioning them. She not only showed the pieces, but explained a lot of the thought process behind them – why there was certain seaming, why a ruffle was placed where it was, how a piece could be worn in multiple ways. It was interesting to know that not each CAbi piece is made to fit the same exact fit model, and that seams and details are not just to look pretty, but to specifically flatter a woman’s figure and help with what Lisa called “situations” (soft belly, soft arms, etc.). Every so often, Lisa would ask me or my mom to come up and model a piece so my friends could see how different it looked on a human body.

While this part of the party was really helpful, informative, and thanks to Lisa quite entertaining; it does take a long time. There is far more to display and discuss than say at a Pampered Chef party. And unlike kitchen gadgets, you really need a good description and visual for clothing. We also kept asking questions about sizing, washing instructions, and garment details, which added to the length of the party. Lisa did a good job of answering our questions and showing all the clothing without making us bored. You could tell how much she believes in CAbi and the clothing.

After the presentation, Lisa took the drapes off the racks and we got to try on the clothes. The main rack had primarily size medium clothing, while her other rack had larger and smaller sizes (CAbi runs XS – XL or 0-16).

Sizing of CAbi Clothing
While I am usually a Large or 12/14 in most retailers, I found that I was comfortable in Medium and 10 in CAbi. One of my friends had a hard time accepting the fact that she looked best in a 0 or size XS in CAbi clothing. Friends who usually wear larger than a 16 found that there were pieces of CAbi clothing that fit and flattered their frames.

When I first experienced CAbi clothing in March, an issue I had was that they didn’t offer petite and long sizes. With the fall collection, I saw that a couple styles of jeans and pants came in regular and long lengths. I mentioned before that I wore the Classic Jean during the party – the Classic Jean comes in regular (32” length) and long (35”). The regular was a perfect length for me if I was wearing heels. Unfortunately, they do not have any of their tops in petite or long lengths – yet again I drooled over their gorgeous jackets but didn’t even consider purchasing one because I would have to spend so much on alterations. Even in a Medium, every single jacket was at least 2” too long in the arm.

I also mentioned in my original post that I was surprised that CAbi didn’t offer plus sizes. After seeing my friends try on CAbi, I am a bit more forgiving. CAbi clothing runs large; a woman who wears an 18 or 20 shouldn’t completely rule out the line. She may be surprised at how well many pieces may fit and flatter.

Styles of CAbi Clothing
When I checked out CAbi clothing this past spring, I was dismayed to see there weren’t that many skirts or dresses in the collection. This fall they had one dress (Faux Wrap Dress) and five skirts (one maxi, one mini, and three that are designed to hit right above or at the knee). I tried the Faux Wrap Dress on in a Medium and while it fit me in the shoulders and length, it was too tight in the body and arms, and I think a Large would have been too big. If I had a smaller bust or was more toned, a Medium would have fit my 5’3” frame quite nicely. The only skirt I tried on was the Vogue Skirt, and found a size Medium fit me perfectly. Not only that, I found it to be incredibly flattering. The pleating is very strategic, making it unique looking, but also kind to curves. While it’s cotton, it looks like a wool blend; I think the cut would look lovely with a top tucked in, but also with a fitted untucked top.

As I saw in March, you really need to try on CAbi clothing to get the full feel of each garment. Pieces I thought were utterly fugly on the hanger were really flattering on my body; in turn pieces I thought I would like didn’t hang properly on me when I tried them on. While a piece would look ridiculous on me, it would look fabulous on a friend with a completely different shape. The Ponte Bootlet pant in Medium made it around the party – four of us with completely different shapes, sizes, and heights tried it on and liked how it fit (if I was an inch taller or shorter I would have bought them).

My mom in the Ponte Trench Coat

And speaking of Ponte… you all know how much I love this fabric. Well CAbi had over a dozen separates in black and charcoal Ponte! Sleeveless shells (both plain and embellished) to pair with a skirt for an elegant dress-like look or with pants for a work ensemble, a trench that could be a lightweight fall jacket or a chic alternative to a blazer, a simple pencil skirt, and pants in multiple cuts and lengths. Lisa informed us that they carry Ponte clothing all the time, so you can mix and match with pieces from previous seasons. They also have a lighter-weight version of Ponte for Spring/Summer.

I was very curious about the denim. With my weight loss, I am at a point where I have very few jeans that fit. I found the Classic Jean to fit extremely well. The denim has a lot of stretch, but a heavy, sturdy feel that looked polished and felt great. The waistband was comfortable – slightly wider than usual, curved so it didn’t dig into my tummy when I sat and I didn’t have to hitch them up every time I stood. No goofy embellishments, washes, or labels.  I would have purchased them except I didn’t like the stonewashed color (they only had a dark rinse wash in one style, which was too skinny for my frame), and my friend told me that they had started to sag in the rear over the course of the party (love honest friends!). However, the jeans are really well made, nice weight and quality of denim, and flattering yet classic cuts. My friend with a longer, leaner frame looked fantastic in the Contemporary Jean and Lisa looked great in the Bootlet Jean. While it’s nice that some styles come in long lengths, it would be great if they also considered petite lengths (the styles that didn’t come in lengths were far too long for me to wear and I wouldn’t be able to wear the regular length with flats or kitten heels).

My friend and I both in the Editor in Chief Jacket

I fell in love with CAbi’s jackets this past spring and I did again this fall. My friend and I agreed that the Studio Jacket and Cameo Cardigan looked very Rachel Zoe, the Editor in Chief Jacket was drool-worthy, and I know I will be snagging the Chinchilly Jacket from my mom (she bought it at the party) at least once this winter. Again, I wish they came in petite sizes.

The knits are brilliant. Their camis have adjustable straps, and all of their tees have strategic rouching and wrapping to flatter the figure. Other than the slub-knit tees, the white knits are opaque – no bra straps or belly buttons showing through! The Slouch Tee looked ho-hum on the hanger, but on it looked incredibly chic and expensive – think one of those amazing tees that an Olsen twin would wear shopping. I really liked the Button Up Tee – a button-down shirt made out of jersey. Again, a piece that looks far better on the body than the hanger.

Summary
I like CAbi. I think the quality is stellar – can rival brands like Talbots or Ann Taylor in that regard. I liked the mix of trendy and classic pieces, and loved how pieces from this season not only mix and match with one another but with other seasons. I love how they show how the pieces work in different combinations, giving inspiration for ensembles.

Have you attended or hosted a CAbi party?  What did you think of it?

Note: While CAbi was aware that I was hosting a party, they did not ask me to host one nor did they ask me to write this post.  All opinions and decisions are 100% my own.

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What I Wore: Slithering Snake

Jacket: Halogen (similar) | Sweatshirt: c/o CAbi | Jeans: Gap | Shoes: Fitzwell (similar) | Necklace: c/o Kristin Biggs, Stella and Dot | Bracelets: Nordstrom (similar), had forever | Lipstick: Revlon Matte in Wine Not | Bag: Banana Republic via eBay (similar)

CAbi recently contacted me and asked if I’d like to style a few of their pieces. Yes please! I have been a fan of CAbi for a long while since my dear friend Lisa became a consultant for CAbi and introduced me to the line. The clothes fit so well, it always amazes me that my petite curvy frame can rock the same CAbi pieces as my tall slim friend Lisa. I decided to take this opportunity to try a few things that aren’t typically me and asked to try their Dressed Up Sweatshirt. Gotta say I like it! It’s sheer so I have a black cami underneath, but not super sheer that it looks inappropriate at the office. I love the mixed pattern, and am always a sucker for any animal or snakeskin print. I originally imagined this top with their Fleather Skirt (which I also got and adore and will feature soon), but today I was feeling more relaxed and decided to pair it with dark denim.

I can’t recommend eBay for bags enough.  There’s so many people out there who buy and baby bags and then tire of them after a season or so.  I wanted a plain black leather tote that could pack into a suitcase if need be, but look nice enough for work.  I found this one on eBay; the leather is super soft, it’s unfinished inside which makes it light and easy to pack but the straps are thick and sturdy.  Single pocket inside to hold keys and cell phone, structured bottom, straps that fit over a winter coat and a magnetic closure.  All that for $20 and it even came in a dust bag.  If you know a certain brand or even style number/name search eBay before paying retail and you can save big.

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Wednesday: Feeling Blue

Jacket: All Day Trench” c/o Lisa Holt, CAbi
Tank: H&M (similar)
Scarf: Cashmere Ziraffe Loop c/o Nepali by TDM
Jeans: NYDJ
Boots: DUO (similar)
Sunglasses: Ray-Ban 
Necklaces: Ann Taylor
Bag: Sabina

Blue is the color of my outfit, not my mood.  It’s a gorgeous day in DC, today rounds up the last of my crazy projects for the week, and I’m heading into the Thanksgiving homestretch!

This is another piece from CAbi that my friend and CAbi consultant Lisa loaned me.  Navy is such a nice switch from basic black or gray, and this jacket in heather French terry could easily be a blazer with trousers or over a shift, or be a great lightweight jacket for early fall or spring.  This is a size Medium, and you can see the sizing is generous yet tailored.

This is the second day I have worn this scarf (you can see yesterday’s outfit on Instagram) and this isn’t the last time you will see it.  Soft cashmere like my favorite pashmina, but in bold shades of blue, black and gray.  It’s an infinity scarf which makes it so darn easy to throw on and look put together. Both days I put it on just to ward off chill but ended up wearing it inside because it’s so pretty and soft!

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Monday: The Wild Frontier

Sweater: Frontier Sweater” c/o Lisa Holt, CAbi
Skirt: Halogen (similar)
Tights: DKNY Super Opaque
Shoes: Miss Sixty (similar)
Bag: Sabina (similar)

Yesterday I had the chance to pour over the latest collection for CAbi and there are so many gorgeous textures, silhouettes, and prints! My consultant Lisa Holt loaned me a few pieces to test drive this week, one was this sweater. At first glance I didn’t think I’d like it, but it fits great and I love a cardigan that looks good buttoned up (so many lose their style when you try to stay warm). The pictures don’t do the sweater justice, it gave me an hourglass shape so I emphasized it with my short pleated leather skirt.

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My Wardrobe Today – Thursday

Cardigan – c/o CAbi
Ruffle Tank – c/o CAbi
Skirt - Ann Taylor (similar)
TightsNordstrom
Shoes - Miss Sixty (similar)
Bangles - Lauren Ralph Lauren
White and pave bracelet – c/o t+j Designs
Link bracelet - Jewelmint
Lipstick – Nars “Heatwave”

Today is a day where the outfit looks far better in person than these photos. This morning I thought it was ready to snow, it was so gray and gloomy out. But the outfit is pretty cheery and fantastic. I considered my teal pencil skirt but asked Emerson (yes, Emerson) and she said that the “shiny black” skirt was a better choice. My husband agreed, said it was less “Sesame Street” which is what he calls my overly colorful ensembles!

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Saturday: Weekend Warrior

Vest: Shaggy Vest” c/o Lisa Holt, CAbi | Tee: Polish Tee” c/o Lisa Holt, CAbi | Necklace:Leona Pendant” c/o Kristin Biggs, Stella and Dot | Jeans: NYDJ | Boots: Fitzwell

Cardigan: Shadow Sweater” c/o Lisa Holt, CAbi | Tee:Forum Tee” c/o Lisa Holt, CAbi | Necklace: Bought when in Key West | Jeans: NYDJ | Boots: Fitzwell

On weekends, it’s so easy to resort to old jeans, sneakers, and a sweatshirt but there’s a lot of clothes out there just as comfy as sweats but with far more style. One thing I really like about CAbi is how the clothes can dress up or down and are comfortable enough to lounge in or run around town accomplishing errands. My weekend uniform is usually jeans and tall boots, a knit top and layering piece, so I styled these CAbi pieces to fit my weekend style.  I don’t think the Shadow Sweater looks as good in these pictures as it does in person – it’s hard to tell but it’s a perfect circle with arms, really flatters the figure and has such interesting detail.  The grays and taupes have a cool tone to them making them work great with colors like navy and plum.  The Forum Tee is freaking brilliant, such a flattering cut that it looks awesome by itself with a pair of jeans and would even look cute with black pants and boots and a funky necklace for a night out.

A few other pieces from the CAbi line that I tried and liked but weren’t featured on the blog:

  • Side Pocket Blouse – if it weren’t the same exact color as my skin, I would love it.  Wear with a black bra underneath for a sexy night out look, pair with a cami and wear to work.  It’s incredibly flattering of a cut, and machine washable even though it looks like silk chiffon.
  • Ultimate Tank - this tank is deceiving, on the hanger it looked like a man’s undershirt, but Lisa told me it was sexy on the body.  Lisa was right – it’s slightly sheer so you can go all-out sexy with a solid black bra peeking through, or layer with another cami.  Racerback, but not so much you can’t wear most regular bras.  A long length, but not clingy – would look stellar with skinny jeans or pants and booties and a bold necklace.  Also looks cute peeking out from the White Shirt Tunic.
  • Horizon Poncho - if I were 2″ taller I would buy it.  Great colors, great cut, just not for a 5’3″ woman who needs to wear a larger size.
  • Cocoon Top – Wear with jeans and heels for a night out with the girls, wear under a gray or black suit for the office.  Very flattering print, cut, and fabric.
  • Keys Please Top - Always love a blouse that looks professional yet it of a really wearable fabric.  This is a very soft viscose/poly blend that feels like a perfectly worn tee, yet has all the polish to make it wearable to the office or even date night.  Wear tucked in under a suit or cardigan for work, untucked with skinny jeans and heels for after hours.  
  • Ponte Legging - Love ponte, love the heave weight and great fit that didn’t suffocate my calves yet looked streamlined, and LOVED the little detail of ankle zippers (which was still comfortable when under tall boots)
  • Ponte Riding Pant - Runs a bit bigger than the leggings in the top, but still a great fit and the suede patches were a nice touch.  They made me wish I had brown tall boots to wear with them, would look amazing with the Horizon Poncho.

Are you familiar with CAbi?  What are your favorite pieces from the current season?

Note: I was not compensated for this or any of the recent posts on CAbi.  All clothing was on loan from my consultant, Lisa Holt, and was returned to her at the end of the week.  All opinions are my own.

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Friday – Tons of Trends

Jacket - Caslon (similar)
TankCaslon
JeansCAbi Cropped Bree Jean, c/o Lisa Holt, CAbi Consultant
Shoes – Franco Sarto (similar)
BraceletsNordstrom, c/o Soft Surroundings
Hoops – Claire’s Boutique (similar)
Bag – Sabina (similar)

I was looking for a way to tame neon yellow jeans for the office, and by doing so I realize I ended up wearing a ton of hot trends! I’ve got the pop of neon, a touch of animal print, the gold “arm party,” a safari inspiration, and Revlon Lip Butter (Fig Jam). Even though I may be head-to-toe trends, I think it all balances out to an outfit that is fun yet Casual Friday-appropriate for a relaxed office. And speaking of office, I am SO GLAD to be back in it today. Working from home without my laptop and equipment was terribly stressful and I am happy to be surrounded by all my monitors and wires and gadgets!

Any weekend plans? I am going to hit up the HOBO Sample Sale on Sunday, but otherwise the weekend is pretty open. Looking forward to seeing what the weekend brings!

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Wednesday – Black and White and Red All Over

Sweater – Banana Republic (similar)
Shirt – c/o CAbi
Pants – Ann Taylor (similar)
ShoesMichael Kors “Flex”
Silver cuff (similar)
LipstickNARS “Heatwave”

Last week it felt like summer, this week it has returned to typical DC March weather – windy and chilly.  Glad I kept my sweaters in the closet!

Today I will be walking from my office to Georgetown to meet my sister for her follow-up MRI (proving she is tumor free!) so I wanted to wear comfortable shoes – these pumps are perfect for this – work-appropriate yet can handle a 20 minute walk in the city.

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My Wardrobe Today – Tuesday

Shirt - c/o CAbi
Sweater - Ann Taylor
Skirt - Ann Taylor (similar)
TightsNordstrom
Booties – Miss Sixty (similar)
Bracelet - JewelMint

Good outfit wasted on a bad day. Seriously, I dig this outfit and it seems others do too, but it’s near impossible to see due to the horrible cold rain this morning. Pics were taken with my husband huddled under the hatchback of his Subaru in a rush so we could get into the safety of the car.  Of course now it’s sunny outside!

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My Wardrobe Today – Friday

SweaterCAbi
Tank - H&M (similar)
Scarf - belonged to my father
Skirt - Ann Taylor (similar)
Bracelet – J. Crew (similar)
ShoesSofft “Pavia”

Sorry no chatty chatty today, work has been extremely taxing and it’s ramping up to be even more so. Looking forward to the weekend so I can get some sleep, some rest, and some decompression time. By the way K, very excited for your wedding this Sunday! Best wishes and I will see you there! :)

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Monday: SuperBright

Top: Ann Taylor
Cropped Jeans: c/o Lisa Holt, CAbi consultant
Bracelets: Nordstrom, c/o Soft Surroundings, Lauren Ralph Lauren
Leopard Pumps: Ivanka Trump
Leather Clutch: HOBO (similar)

I just got this top Friday and can see myself wearing it in so many ways. It’s matte jersey with a double-layer front and was on sale at Ann Taylor. Matte jersey is great for travel as it doesn’t wrinkle and dries quickly; this would look great under a suit, with a flippy skirt, a maxi skirt, and work trousers. Today I felt like I needed more than a pop of color so I decided to pair with neon cropped jeans. Black shoes seemed too harsh, nude shoes looked goofy, so I went with my favorite neutral – leopard. Go hard or go home, right?

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My Wardrobe Today – Wednesday

Blouse - CAbi
SkirtAnn Taylor
Belt - Target (similar)
Tights - DKNY
BootiesTalbots
Pashmina - Nordstrom (similar)

My goodness it was cold this morning! While my husband strapped Emerson into her carseat and got his camera ready, I huddled next to the car drinking hot coffee, bundled in my pashmina (coat in the car for after the shoot). Now it’s raining. DC has such crazy weather, just this weekend I was running errands without a jacket and the sun was shining!

And not fashion related, but so awesome and important – you HAVE to watch this video.  Hopefully it will inspire you to visit your local bookstore and purchase a real book with real paper pages.  There is nothing more lovely than flipping through a real book, and having a library to go back to so you can revisit dear “friends” whenever you desire!

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my Wardrobe today – Tuesday

Ruffled tank – c/o CAbi
Cardigan - Only Mine (similar)
BeltLauren by Ralph Lauren
SkirtHalogen
Shoes – Nine West (similar)
Silver cuff

Still playing with the new ‘do – I chopped my own straight bangs this weekend (I asked my stylist for sideswept but changed my mind Sunday morning), and today I tried it wavy – Added a bit of Jonathan SilkyDirt while wet, dried the bangs straight, let the rest air dry, then hit a few of the Kip Winger-esque pieces with the curling iron. A bit too poofy for my taste -hair needs to be longer to deal with this exact style.  Think if I used a larger barrel curling iron and hit the whole head it would have been more my speed.

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My Wardrobe Today – Friday

Sweater – Husband’s
SkirtCAbi
Booties - Miss Sixty (similar)
BraceletsUTAC, Tarnish, eBay, shop in Rehoboth Beach
Necklace – High school present (cartouche of my name), Tags-n-Stones

As you can tell by the MySpace quality of these photos, it was an early work day! I wanted to wear something comfy, but more work-appropriate than knits.  I slipped on my husband’s sweater to go downstairs and let out the dogs and thought… hey maybe I can make this work for work!  With a knot in the side (sorry beeb, it will reshape after I wash it!) and my booties it turned out to be a pretty fun look!

Would love to stay and chat, but today is a pretty crazy busy day at work. I hope you all have a lovely weekend!

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Wednesday: Gold Accents

Sweater: Banana Republic (similar) | Shirt: CAbi (similar) | Skirt: CAbi (similar) | Tights: DKNY | Shoes: VC Signature | Necklace: eBay

Omigoodness it is COLD today! Saturday we were running around sans coats and today it’s in the 20s. Crazy DC weather! I was actually in the mood to wear some color, but the weather made me seek out warm layers and that ended up being more black. I love this skirt because it’s a sweater so it’s warm, but it’s a tad big and rides up. I didn’t realize until after these pictures how much it had ridden up, swear that here in the office it’s down near my knees. And don’t worry folks, my heavy Lands’ End parka, hat, scarf, and gloves were waiting for me in my warm car to my left.

I never had a chance to mention it, but Monday I had the opportunity to attend the Inauguration. My sister was able to get tickets for the Orange section (standing but on the Capitol grounds). While it was an exhausting day, it was awesome to be there for the swearing in, surrounded by fellow happy supporters. I have plenty of pictures on my Instagram, and while that very day I said I wouldn’t deal with the craziness again, as my friend Insana wrote on Facebook, if a woman ended up president, I would be back!  Just next time I would bring foot warmers to slip in my boots.  I was toasty warm everywhere except my sad little toes.

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Friday – Tangerine Tango

Back-zipper teeAnn Taylor
Skirt – c/o CAbi
Booties - Miss Sixty (similar)
JacketASOS
Bag - Sabina (similar)
Necklace - eBay (similar)

I was on the hunt for a red or orange statement necklace for spring – something that would jazz up a simple striped tee and jeans or white pants. I regularly head to eBay and Etsy for such things, not caring if a necklace is currently popular or the brand… just the style and price. Searching eBay, I found this necklace for $24 and free shipping. I thought it was cute, the seller had a good feedback score, I bought it. It arrived… and I realized it’s a fake version of a J. Crew necklace. This necklace even has a gold disc at the clasp that says J. Crew, but based upon real J. Crew necklaces I own, I know this is a fake. I should have known better, and don’t know why I didn’t stop to connect the dots. Pretty clear I have been a slacker with my blog and catalog reading with this mistake.

What are your weekend plans? Tomorrow we have two parties to attend – the first birthday for the son of dear friends, and then an engagement party. So far Sunday is open but I know that will most likely change before the day is through!

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My Wardrobe Today – Tuesday

Shirt - c/o CAbi
SkirtAnn Taylor
TightsNordstrom
ShoesVince Camuto
Bracelets – swap event, Ann Taylor, Lauren Ralph Lauren
Necklace – boutique in Rehoboth Beach

I wrote this post before ever owning anything from Vince Camuto. When I saw these booties on sale I felt it was fate – since the hurricane destroyed my only pair of brown shoes I decided to get these babies. While they are a bit tight on the top of my foot (I have especially chubby feet), the suede is very soft and supple and I can feel them easing to the shape of me as the day progresses. As for standing in them… they are more comfortable than my Cole Haan booties with Nike Air technology! They seem really high but there is a hidden platform that helps greatly. Very sturdy on my feet, a really great shoe that if they go on sale even further I may pick up another pair in a different color or material!

Trench - DKNY
Faux fur collar - H&M

While yesterday was near 70, today is quite chilly.  Good for me, another chance to wear my H&M fur collar!

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My Wardrobe Today – Thursday

BlouseCAbi
Skirt - Ann Taylor via eBay (similar)
Necklace – Got at Ross back when I was in college
TightsNordstrom
Shoes - Nine West (similar)
Lipstick - Revlon Colorstay Ultimate in Top Tomato (using Burt’s Bees tinted lip balm to keep it soft and shiny throughout the day)

I seem to forget that in DC it seems to rain pretty much from the beginning of October to the middle of January, when it turns to snow. My husband and I were discussing this yesterday morning, and how in the past five years we can recall a rainy Halloween, rainy Thanksgiving, rainy Christmas, New Years, and birthdays for me, Emerson, my mom and sister (all January babies). Right now the sky is clear, but it is quite cold (while yesterday we had the windows open). I love this knit biker jacket I got from Gap last fall – just as cozy as a thick hoodie but with far more style.  Hot coffee and a cozy jacket – ready for the chilly commute!

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