Another rainy day in DC, I figured how better to battle the weather blues than with a bright red dress? When I tweeted that I received this gorgeous necklace from my Stella and Dot stylist Kristin Biggs, Stella and Dot suggested I pair it with a bright color. I had plan on going goth and wear it with gray or black, but decided to try their suggestion… and I really like it! I was worried about this necklace – I have a thick neck and feared it would be a choker on me, but was pleased to see there’s plenty of chain length to adjust. I like it as-is, but since this dress is so straight and simple, I used a hair elastic to extend the chain so it would hang on more of the dress.
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I was so excited to receive this necklace from Kristin Biggs, my Stella & Dot stylist, and was thrilled to also see she added this ring to the order. I rarely wear rings because of my metal allergy, but this ring is adjustable so I can wear it loose and it has yet to irritate and is just too cute! As you can see, Emerson loves the packaging – they came in the cutest boxes with plenty of padding, which Emerson says are “marshmallows.”
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.
One thing bloggers get flack for is wearing too many c/o (courtesy of) items. How can a reader tell your true personal style or find you inspiring when you have a completely gifted outfit? I guess it depends on the blogger, but over the years I have learned to not accept every free thing that is offered to me. It does water down your personal style, it makes you seem less credible… and between you and me it is a pain to them take these gifted items that aren’t really your style and try to style them in a good way for the blog. I have had mornings when I have cried over not knowing how to make a garment or accessory look decent, and I feel guilty to my readers and to the brand that was kind enough to send it my way.
I don’t feel guilty wearing gifted items. One, it’s a lovely perk for working hard on this blog, but two it’s such a great chance to showcase lesser-known amazing brands. I for one may never have known about Dobbin Clothing if they hadn’t contacted me and sent me a dress. Dobbin Clothing has now become such a fave of mine – high quality garments made with fine fabrics from European mills but created here in the US of A. They pride themselves in making tasteful stylish workhorses for your wardrobe. The women behind Dobbin Clothing are just as lovely as their creations too!
So yeah, there’s a lot of c/o above… but every c/o up there is one you have likely seen before or will likely see many times again because I love the pieces and I find they fit my personal style. Each piece above I would purchase with my own money if I was able. I think with blogs, it’s less about how one gets a garment or accessory and more about how they style it and whether it fits their style and message.
UPDATE: Like this dress? This is the “Nora” by Dobbin Clothing, and they are offering all Wardrobe Oxygen readers 20% off it, in black or red. Use the code WARDOX20 at checkout to get 20% off the Nora Dress in black or red. No expiration date, but this code cannot be used in conjunction with the first-time buyer code.
Two years ago, I tried out eShakti and didn’t have the most perfect of experiences. So when they contacted me last month asking me to try the line again but do a custom fit dress, I was excited. Many of you said the fit of the dress was bad because it was a straight size, so the idea of a custom dress appealed to me. At home, I had my husband measure me and entered it all into the eShakti site. Less than two weeks later, the dress arrived. And yes, the fit is MUCH better. No bra showing under the arms, the waist is at the right place for my petite figure, plenty of room for my bust and no chance of a strap slipping throughout the day. However, I just don’t think the dress is very flattering on me; my husband said I looked like a milkmaid or a beer wench. The fabric is very stiff and the entire dress including the bodice sticks out from my body making the dress look more like a costume. I think such a fabric may work better on a taller person who can better balance the volume. The dress doesn’t seem to be on the site any more, it has a square neckline in front, a v-neckline in back, a size zipper (though I didn’t need it to get it on), and pockets. The black are ribbon stripes sewn onto the navy dress; there is one of these ribbons defining the waist which is sits just above my belly button.
While today is springlike in DC, there’s still a chill in the air. I tried a traditional cardigan and it looked a bit too twee on me; this wrap cardigan not only make the ensemble fit better with my personal style, but also cinched in the dress. I have to say, this dress will be pretty awesome in the hot humid months of summer but I’ll have to do some tinkering with it so it is a bit more flattering. The fit issue could be my fault – maybe the measurements weren’t accurate, and maybe I chose the wrong style dress. Have you used eShakti? What have you thought of the experience?
Tee - Old Navy (read my review here)
Jeans – Kut from the Kloth
Necklace – c/o Kristin Biggs, Stella and Dot
Sandals – Lands’ End (similar)
Bracelets - JewelMint, Nordstrom, Lauren by Ralph Lauren
Bag – HOBO Bags (similar)
Sunglasses – Marc Marc Jacobs
While I am feeling far better today, I still am in a bit of a fog. I decided to stick to reliable favorites from my closet to pull together a Casual Friday ensemble. I recently received this Stella and Dot necklace from Kristin Biggs and I am in love. The more pieces of Stella and Dot that I see and own, the bigger fan I become of the brand. Incredible quality, tasteful style yet totally on trend. I love the tiny details of this necklace – the navy and teal stones, the detail of the hook and chain, even the little filigree detail on the clasp at back. This isn’t a cheapy necklace – it has weight and looks elegant in person. I know I will be wearing this necklace quite often this summer!
I tried changing up the location of my outfit post – we stopped by the lake in town on the way to the Metro… I like this and we may have to do it occasionally when we have extra time in the morning!
I always love the mix of high-end with street, fancy with casual, tough with feminine. While this skirt could easily be paired with something delicate and fancy for a formal occasion, wearing it with a heather gray tee shirt is more my style. Speaking of this tee, this is not the same one I am wearing here – today’s is more of a true gray while the other is blue. Such a fan, I went back and bought this old Navy tee in white, a dark pink, and classic heather gray!
This top is perfect for this weather – billowy and breezy for the commute, but enough coverage that I don’t freeze to death in the office. This is totally the kind of top I buy, wear once or twice, and tire of the print because it’s too memorable. Love that with Gwynnie Bee I can wear it once or twice, and then return it for something new without buyer’s remorse. Interested in trying Gwynnie Bee? Use this link, tell them Wardrobe Oxygen sent you and get a 30 day free trial of the program.
I just got these glasses Friday evening but have already fallen in love. When I got new glasses back in December, I wanted something classic, stylish without being trendy, something appropriate for work as well as every day. My Issy and La “Gloss” frames are perfect for that, but now I want more frames, and fun frames. I love the bold look of these, and it’s exciting to find frames that are big enough for my ginormous noggin. I did get these frames for free (review here), but I would totally order from Coastal.com again. Great prices, good service, and shipping is lightening fast. In fact, if you go to this link (not an affiliate link, not getting paid to share, just me being jazzed about sharing this with you) and pick any of these frames and add your prescription and use the code FIRSTPAIRFREE you get… well your first pair free! You do have to pay for shipping (which is around $9.00), but what an awesome steal of a deal. It’s always good to always have a spare pair or a fun pair that gets you out of your comfort zone.
Speaking of great deals, I have been wearing my Lifetherapy bracelets quite a lot and get so many compliments on them. They have offered Wardrobe Oxygen readers 20% off on ALL Lifetherapy products (body care as well as jewelery). Use code WARDROBEOXYGEN at checkout; this code is valid until 7/1/2013.
Today I didn’t feel like wearing anything complicated, but because it was a simple palette, I felt I could carry off a lot of accessories. Another of my dad’s ascots, today I held in place with a pin that belonged to my cousin, Amy. When she passed, her sister gave me her “A” jewelry and it’s so nice to be able to wear them and think of/honor her. The blue and gold bracelet is called the “Emerson,” of course I loved the name and love the look of it!
I don’t believe in purchasing an item to wear for just one season. Even if you consign or sell, it’s still a loss of money and it makes it more difficult to hone your personal style. I purchased this skirt from Ann Taylor last fall and love how I can give it a fresh look with Fall 2012 trends of a peplum and cap-toe shoes. Mix a little new with the older pieces in your closet and they get a whole new life!
Glad to have the weather cool enough to bring back out this skirt! I think it’s so much fun (though it’s a bit sheer so I got a slip off eBay for $2 to make it more wearable), and I love figuring out ways to make it look appropriate for the office! And this bag… oh how I love it! And if you love it too, I’m offering a way for you to win a Fossil Vintage Revival bag of your own! Click here to read more and learn how to enter the giveaway!
Some days you just want to be able to throw on an outfit and go; on days like this I immediately go for tall boots, skinny pants, and a flowing top. I just received this tunic from Gwynnie Bee yesterday and think it is too cute. Come on now, how can you resist a top with horsies all over it? I’m pretty excited for Gwynnie Bee’s new arrivals – peplums, sequins, wrap dresses and more! Not only that, Gwynnie Bee tweeted yesterday that they just placed an order for leather jackets! Swoon!
Pullover: Ann Taylor (found on clearance rack; similar)
Pants: LOFT (similar)
Boots: DUO (similar)
Necklace: “Leona” Pendant c/o Kristin Biggs, Stella and Dot
Bracelets: Nordstrom, Lauren Ralph Lauren, Ann Taylor, etc.
Bag: Steven by Steve Madden
Coat: Via Spiga
With all my trips and events this summer and fall, I realized I needed a bag like this. Lightweight, can stuff into a bag when not in use without damaging it, tons of pockets, can wear on the shoulder or as a crossbody, wipe-clean surface, appropriate for any season. This would have been perfect for Virgin FreeFest and makes for a fabulous purse/carry-on for flying and sight-seeing. I love that I can remove the long strap and just make it a hand bag, and the strap’s length adjusts easily, I can do it even while wearing it. Today’s outfit is pretty minimal – exactly like what I would wear for a flight so I decided to whip out the travel bag!
And how utterly awesome is this necklace? I saw it at a DC Wine Week event when Kristin Biggs had set up a table and HAD to have it. The stone is Labradorite, which is supposed to have healing properties. This site claims that Labradorite is a power stone, allowing one to see through illusions and determine the actual form of your dreams and goals. It is excellent for strengthening intuitions. Looks good and possibly can help me strengthen intuitions? My kind of jewelry!
One day it’s 80 degrees in DC, the next it’s 40. I thought I’d be packing away the tights and tall boots, but with this weather I figure I can eek out a few more wearings! I bought this dress during one of Ann Taylor’s 30% off sale deals several weeks ago, ended up being under $35 (note it’s cheaper in store than online). It’s cute but short with the self belt, but I like it for say a date night with my DKNY super opaque tights, or even with leggings. For work, I took off the belt for a looser silhouette and longer hemline.
While I do believe in spring and summer leather (especially with the perforated styles that are so popular this season), we’re ending the days where I can get away with my black leather skirts. Today it’s going to be in the ’80s and was 70 when these pictures were taken. This skirt is actually cool because the weight has it stand away from the body and work a bit like a sun umbrella for my bottom half, but the look is just too heavy for the warmer months. I originally was going to wear this skirt with this blouse, but it reminded me too much of this outfit, which photographed nicely enough but made me feel like a box of Crayons. So I decided to switch out the skirt and give my heavy black leather a send-off until fall.
It was raining when I woke, raining when I was ready to leave for work, and will likely rain all day. For me, that means tall boots. I protect all my boots with a waterproofing spray so they are fine with a couple splashes on the walk to work. With Daylight Saving Time, Emerson’s sleep schedule is still a bit off so she was still out when we started taking these pictures. However she “had a bad dream” a couple shots in and came in armed with her “nightmare flashlight” to see what was going on (thank you Target dollar bin). She has the cutest bedhead; my husband calls her hair her “feathers” because it flips here and there and floats in the breeze. We mentioned her fabulous feathers and she asked to get in a picture with me for the blog.
Had a bit of an unexpected hair cut this past Friday and am still trying to figure out how to make it work. Decided to combat to un-sassy feeling of the new hair with the sassiness of this dress (and also it’s as comfortable as a nightgown). I mentioned it in a previous post, but am finally wearing it. It’s a bit out there for the office, but today I know I’ll be hiding out in my cube and at least it keeps me warm when the office is chilly!
How was everyone’s weekend? Ours was pretty busy, but full of good things with good people. However I don’t really feel rested from it and hope to get some early bed times this week to catch up!
Dress: MICHAEL Michael Kors
Necklace: “Lillith” c/o Kristin Biggs, Stella and Dot
Shoes: VC Signature “Priscilla”
Lipstick: Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain in Romance
Some days it’s fun to luxe it up. Silky dress, gold-capped shoes, statement necklace and red lipstick as the cherry on top! It doesn’t hurt that after work I am headed to a DC Wine Week event – Red, Burgundy & Plum. A Night of Fashion & Wine at Lost Society. Tickets are still available if you’re available to attend – open wine bar, yummy food, fashion, and fun!
Okay, these shoes are a complete and total splurge. This was my treat to me after surviving the past couple of months. Crazy work, photo shoots almost every weekend, the blog has been busy, the kid has been awesome but intense, stuff with the house and family and… well I used some of my photography income and bought crazy fabulous shoes. Since they are from Vince Camuto, they are well-crafted and relatively comfortable for the height.
Top: Ann Taylor
Skirt: Halogen (similar)
Shoes: Nine West (similar)
Bracelets: c/o Kristin Biggs Stella and Dot, JewelMint, Nordstrom
Bag: Brahmin (similar)
Lipstick: Revlon Just Bitten Balm Stain in Crush Begun
For the next three days, two of my staff are out of the office. While we have systems in place to keep things running smoothly, it was a bit daunting this morning thinking about the rest of the week. I feel that clothing can be a suit of armor, and I decided to dress pretty professionally to steel myself against the craziness I may be dealing with. So far, so good, great other folks on the team who are helping to keep everything going great!
I have been wanting a peplum top, but each one I have tried makes me look like Judy Jetson’s aunt. I was happy to find this softer peplum at Ann Taylor, and that it also is made of Ponte knit. It’s a good match to other ponte pieces in my wardrobe (like this skirt I’ve owned for a while), and I like it with pants as well as skirts.
Now honestly, Alison, do you REALLY need a tulle ballerina skirt? Nope. However, I have been really wanting one for a long time and wishing I never sold the black one I had from Express circa 1999. When I saw this one on eBay for such a sweet price, I decided to treat myself. Eh, it’s not the best made item. While it says one size fits most, I think it only fits comfortably up to a size 10. The elastic waistbands twists, the slip inside is very fitted and sheer, it’s not nearly as full as the photo, but it’s fun. I think I will like it with my black blazer and think come winter it would be fun with a fitted boatneck or turtleneck sweater.