I bought this dress several months ago, in fact after journaling my wardrobe and writing this post about it. However, I never featured it on the blog until now. A dress like this isn’t good for the office, but especially as I have gotten older I enjoy dressing up for social occasions and have worn this dress to concerts, parties at friends’ houses, and even dinner with Karl. The most recent time I pulled this dress from my closet I realized it’s the same rusty orange color as this faux fur stole/scarf/thingie I purchased at H&M many moons ago (previously seen here) and just had to pair the two!
Search Results for: label/MICHAEL Michael Kors
Top: Michael Stars (L) | Jeans: Gap (32 Petite) | Sandals: Bella Vita | Necklace: Etsy | Sunglasses: Ray-Ban | Market Bag: Had forever (similar) | Hat: Had forever (similar) | Lipstick: Bobbi Brown in Lady Ruba layered over Revlon in Rich Girl Red
When summer comes I want loose, breezy, and preferably natural fibers. I took a risk with this Michael Stars top as their Large is supposedly an 8/10 and their ‘Samba’ color looked like a brick red. I was psyched to find this 100% cotton top is not only plenty big for my size 14 busty self but the color is a vibrant orange-red color! Unlike the off the shoulder top in this post, this neckline is elasticized and can be off the shoulder, off one shoulder, or worn up. Here I’m wearing it with a pair of girlfriend jeans, but this weekend I also wore the top with a pair of old beat up denim cutoffs. It’s not a top for figure flattery, but in the dog days of summer, comfort and coolness trumps a whittled waist!
Lately, my everyday lipcolor is Revlon’s Rich Girl Red, a sheer warm red that is glossy and goes on more like a tinted balm. I found putting higher pigment bold lipsticks over it helps make the color less intense but they stay on longer than when putting over a balm. Adding Bobbi Brown’s Lady Ruba over it gave me a stronger pop for this look, but it doesn’t feel heavy or cakey.
Shop the Post:
In the last swimsuit review post I ended seeming as though I didn’t find anything good. And then last weekend we took a trip to Rehoboth Beach and I knew I’d be spending time in an indoor pool and I was still without a suit so I kept the green tropical bikini. It was really my favorite, and I still loved it as I swam a couple laps, did handstands, and played ball with Emerson. But I still would like something with a bit more coverage for active days at the outdoor pool so I returned what didn’t work and ordered some more. The results:
Since my last order, they had more suits available in my size so I figured I’d try some out. Nordstrom’s free shipping and returns makes it so easy, I hope they continue to expand their swimwear selections, there’s nothing better than being able to try swimsuits at home, in your room, away from fluorescent lights, pushy salespeople, and fitting rooms that smell like Fritos.
The seaming below and gathers at the bust gave me hope that this suit could possibly work. Maybe I’d feel like a Bond Girl in this awesome one-piece. I also ordered this in a 14.
Yeah, I need suits that are by cup size. This was also short in the torso, if I hiked it up to have the seam in the right place for the bust, I gave myself a front and back wedgie. This would be a darn sexy suit for a slimmer, smaller busted woman who just wanted a bit of tummy control to refine her shape.
I ordered a 14. This suit (and a few others below) is proof as to why I need a bathing suit with bra sizing. If you follow me on Snapchat (I’m wardrobeoxygen) you may have caught my rant about Miraclesuits. How can a 5’3” short-waisted woman find a size 14 one-piece too short in the torso? Boobs. Seems as though Miraclesuit forgot that women with bellies may also have breasts. I think with a smaller bust both of these suits would have fit.
I ordered a 14. I figured what the heck, why not? I should have known. This was a huge major colossal fail. The suit has no structure, it’s one layer of traditional nylon spandex with a bit of lining in certain spots. However, I think if one was younger and firmer this would be a really gorgeous suit.
Lands’ End has always been one of my go-tos for swimwear, but I was hoping to steer clear of them this year because of their debacle with Gloria Steinem. But Lands’ End makes clothing and swimwear for a broad range of sizes and shapes, the price is good for the excellent quality, and I have owned Lands’ End suits before and know they work for my shape. I also know that I need a bra-sized suit, I don’t need a bikini, and one-pieces are often too long in the torso so I went with their tankini pieces.
Before ordering from Lands’ End, check sites like Retail Me Not to see if there are any promos going on. Lately there’s been plenty of codes to get 30-40% off and most include swimwear.
Lands’ End Beach Living Adjustable Top and High Waist Control Bottom in Deep Sea
I ordered the top in 14 DDD cup, and the bottom in a 14. I like a suit with color, but I just didn’t feel me wearing a purple or pink swimsuit with a big bow in the front so I went with Deep Sea (navy).
The control bottom sucked me in, but it gave me muffin top. The top had underwire but if I had the underwire truly under my breasts and not an inch lower, I’d have the cups end up near my chin. No adjustment of the bow or the straps could get placement right, but even so the suit gave more support and separation than one without underwire and I had enough fabric to not be spilling out. The top though was perfect in the torso – not too tight but not too loose. I think with a different bottom it would have been more flattering.
But this suit is a whole lot of meh. It reminded me of the green one-piece in the previous post. It’s fine. It’s okay. I wouldn’t look twice at a woman wearing it at the pool or beach. It’s what most women my age and size wear because it fits and it sucks to try on swimsuits and it gets the job done without more agony at the full-length mirror. I just can’t justify spending $100 (that is if there’s not a Lands’ End promo going on) for meh.
Going through the clearance section at Lands’ End I found this black and white striped top in DDD cup 14 and ordered it since it was on sale for $35.99. Here it is featured with the Miraclesuit bottom I reviewed in this post.
I have no idea why this top fits better than the navy one but it does. The cups align better, neckline looks nicer. I know it lays better on the torso because of the different bottom I paired it with. Totally shows the power of getting the right bottom for your specific body! Thanks to my promo code and it being on clearance, this top only cost me $22. I plan on keeping it, it’s perfect for playing at the community pool with Emerson. Of course I’d end up with a suit that has stripes!
I already raved about Bare Necessities’ selection for bra-sized swimwear. Based on my last order, I ordered two more things from them:
I didn’t order this the first go-round because I’ve had halter swimsuits before and while they make a large bust look amazing, after a day at the pool your neck ends up sore from holding up your breasts. But this is Freya, Freya rocks, and I could order it in a cup size so likely the rest of the suit would be designed to help keep my breasts lifted. I ordered a 36E.
I am too short for this swimsuit. While it doesn’t look bad from the front or side, in the back you can see how it just doesn’t fit, and that issue affects the whole bust area. There’s a backstrap, which should help with the breast support, but because I am short in the torso, it can’t lie in the right place and ends up all squished down which pushes up the front, which makes my breasts lie funny in the cups which causes me to tighten the halter straps which puts more strain on my neck…
This is a cute suit if you have a longer torso or are taller. The top is made so it can support a large bust but also flatter and enhance a smaller one. And the dots are gold foil, the fabric is really nice, this suit feels and looks expensive. You can easily rock it at the pool, but gosh it would be fabulous on a tropical vacation with a big sunhat, the dots gleaming in the sun, a frozen cocktail in your hand. If you buy it, email me a picture of you wearing it and being utterly fabulous, dahlink!
I really like the fit of the Fantasie Kuranda swim bottom and thought this bottom would essentially be the same thing but in black. Newp. No. No way. Nuh-uh. It does have a more adjustable side, you can see in the side view I cinched it tighter for a smaller side, but it is a stretchier, thinner fabric and a lower-rise style. When I bent over it rolled down even lower and I spilled over the waistband. I know my strengths and love to highlight them; my lower abdomen is a part I prefer to keep covered.
I may still look for a better black control swimsuit bottom to go with the Lands’ End top, but otherwise I feel ready for summer. I have the Fantasie Kuranda Balconette Top and Boyshort Bottom as my sassy sunning and funning swimsuit, and my Lands’ End Beach Living striped tankini top to wear for playing in the ocean or pool with Emerson and being more active. I’m ready to have fun in the sun!
Sweater: MICHAEL Michael Kors (old; similar, plus option) | Pants: Ann Taylor (old; similar, plus option) | Bag: Rough & Tumble Bags | Shoes: Superga | Sunglasses: Ray-Ban | Watch: c/o Larsson & Jennings
I bought this sweater back in 2014 (first seen in this post) and it is still a favorite. Friday night I went to a concert with friends and got home very late yet still at to be at my Girl Scout co-leader’s house at 6:45am to secure locations for our cookie sales. I had worn these pants earlier in the week to work and threw this sweater over a tee, slipped on these shoes and headed out without makeup or even brushing my hair. I got home, caught my reflection, and liked the look! Not too shabby for dressing in the dark on four hours of sleep! I came home, showered, pulled myself together and put the same look back on for the rest of the day.
I featured these sneakers in my Nordstrom Half-Yearly sale picks, and as usual, when I spend a lot of time checking out deals online for you readers, I end up selling to myself and buying something. They’re sold out at Nordstrom, but I found them on sale at White House | Black Market and a rose gold version discounted at 6pm. Superga sneakers run big and wide, I bought my regular 8 and they’re roomy everywhere while slip-on sneaks are often tight and hard for me to get on and break in. If you have regular width feet or are between sizes, I recommend sizing down. However, this is my second pair of sneakers from this brand (RIP my first pair which was destroyed by my dog) and they’re more cushioned than Converse and high quality. mmfI know my friend Chelsea also bought these very sneakers, and my friend Christen also loves the brand. Comfy and cool, perfect for the weekend!
This year I think I made some smart purchases. I bought less (an arm in a cast can curb anyone’s shopping habit), and I bought smarter. While I narrowed the color story in my closet, I don’t think it narrowed my style or personality. The things I am most glad I purchased this year and why:
I was wearing this sweater when I wore the Swag Edition of this series, and I’m wearing it now as I write this post. I wear this sweater at least once a week… okay I wear it all weekend long, just changing out the shirt underneath. This morning I wore it on a hike with Karl; I put a windproof top underneath and it was that perfect not-too-warm combo that let me sweat a bit, but also not be chilly when still. Every time I wear it someone stops me to rave about it and ask where I got it. It wasn’t cheap but it’s one of those sweaters that is worth the cost because of the ROI.
Well, I did use MYHABIT credits for it so it was only $40 instead of like $150, but I did still pay for it. And I admitted in this post that I didn’t NEED it but man, it is the hardest working bag in my closet, rivaling my brown Banana Republic hobo that I know I’ll will own and love for many years to come. The funky mandala embossed on the front keeps it from being boring, the heavy rich leather keeps it from getting stretched out when filled to the rim, and it still smells like delicious new leather even though I have used it almost daily for many months. It’s the kind of bag that will still look cool when it gets worn and beat up, I look forward to the memories I will make carrying this bag.
Skinny jeans rarely work on my frame. I can’t get them over my large calves, and they’re often a lower rise creating an uber muffin top. Not these babies. They’re more twill than denim which makes them dress up a bit better for the office, and they are comfortable over my thighs and calves. I hate when they’re dirty because I wear them so often. I like the sucking in feature of NYDJ jeans but haven’t found it in their pants or twill jeans… except for these. They do a bit of smoothing of the tummy without feeling like Spanx. Oh, and they’ve been laundered many times, sometimes accidentally being put in the dryer and they’re still in great shape and a saturated black color.
I bought them last year in silver and peacock; this year I bought them in nude and black. For me, they are the perfect pointed-toe pump. A comfortable yet slender heel height, a pointed toe that isn’t too pointy, and a reasonable pricepoint. I recently found them on Amazon in black leather for under $50 and bought another pair because I know I’ll funk up the pair I have within a year and know I will want a replacement pair. I’ve learned over time that if a shoe becomes a workhorse and you can find it cheap, get a backup pair (hello Miss Sixty booties, I wore them just this week and am on my third pair). This style of shoe has been discontinued by Nine West, but you can still find it on Amazon, Zappos, and 6pm.
I totally succumbed to the trend and I’m not ashamed. When trends come that appeal to you, there’s nothing wrong in including them in your wardrobe. I loved Birks in the early ‘90s, I love silver, it made sense. And I wore the HECK out of these shoes all spring and summer long. I loved them with dresses, I wore them with boyfriend jeans, and they were my slip-on weekend shoe waiting at the front door for me to run errands or take Emerson to dance class.
Why pay $56 for a piece of costume jewelry when you can find similar at Forever21 for $5.99? Because sometimes it’s worth the money. I don’t know why this bracelet called out to me, it’s nothing flashy or terribly unique. But I couldn’t stop thinking about it and bought it full price. And I have worn it several times a week ever since. I love how it’s simple but not, edgy yet classic, and that through the year of wear it’s still shiny, no fading or wearing of the gold. It’s small but it packs a punch and constantly gets compliments and comments. The bracelet is discontinued though I have seen it since a few times on Gilt.
I bought fleece tights last winter and they were… fine. I felt they looked pilled right out of the package and the crotch was by my knees after an hour or two of wear but it seemed from reviews online as though that’s what you get with fleece tights. This year I ordered a pair from Oroblu and I am a fleece tights convert. I ordered an XL fearing knee-crotch, but would have done better with my height by choosing L or even M. That being said, these are comfortable, warm, a rich black color, and don’t sag. They are opaque enough that I can wear them with shorter dresses and not feel half naked. I also wore them over a pair of traditional tights for Halloween and I was toasty warm all night, even when outside.
These aren’t skinny or stovepipe or slim or narrow. They’re not a bootcut or a baby boot or a flare. No stretch, no embellishment, no funky details. They are just classic straight jeans and they are my jam. The 12 Ankle is a great fit, the length that works with flat or low shoes. I have a classic wash and a distressed pair and both get worn on a regular basis. Finally, a pair of non-stretch jeans that fit and flatter my curves!
I have them in black, navy, and ivory tropical wool and I adore them. They have a flat, straight look but flatter my curves. No pockets jutting out, no cuffs or pocket flaps or anything to make them stand out. Just a simple work trouser that looks great with untucked or tucked tops. A 14 Petite hangs perfectly, not tight, completely work appropriate. The fabric matches some blazers in my closet. Oh, and you can machine wash them!
I’ve been wearing Chucks since middle school, but I have never found them comfortable for a long period of time. They always rub on my big or pinky toe, and dig into the curve above my heel. That is until I tried Converse Shorelines. They look just like Chucks but have a different shape which gives my toes more room, and an elasticized back that makes the shoe have a lower profile, more comfort, but a more secure fit. They look classic, feel great, and will be worn quite a lot once the weather improves!
Sweater: MICHAEL Michael Kors | Twill Jeans: NYDJ | Boots: Ros Hommerson | Bag: Isabella Fiore via MYHABIT | Necklace: c/o Stella & Dot (similar) | Bracelet: Rebecca Minkoff (similar) | Ring: Vintage via Etsy (similar) | Sunglasses: Ray-Ban
I shared this MICHAEL Michael Kors ponch sweater and my love for it last week on Instagram. And when I wore it everyone I bumped into also shared their love for the sweater. Strangers, coworkers, even Karl remarked on how pretty and cozy it looked. It doesn’t do a damn for my figure but sometimes a piece makes such a statement and is so clearly cozy and awesome it just doesn’t matter!
Shop the Look:
Maybe it’s the new mani (the nailcolor reminds me of my old Saturn’s paint job), but I have really been digging the color blue this week. These pants are ah-may-zing. I wore them on the train up to NYC the other week and they were so comfy, didn’t wrinkle, and I felt fresh enough to wear them straight to a meeting. While today is quite cool and lovely in DC, this entire outfit has become a go-to for me on sweltering hot days. This top is also ah-may-zing, I was so sad that I didn’t get it in hot pink and white when I saw them on sale at Nordstrom – I ordered the white in Large Petite but it’s just too short. However when writing this post, I found the top at Lord & Taylor in green and purple and snagged another (Code FIRSTLOOK for an extra % off). Seriously, great top for summer, figure flattering, but also wonderful under a blazer for cooler weather. I have worn this top with a pleated chiffon maxi skirt, a pencil skirt, harem pants, and these pants. The fabric is on the verge of sheer, you’ll want to wear a tee-shirt bra close to your skin color (or black with the black color) to if you do consider getting it but it’s not too sheer (at least in the darker colors) to wear to the office.
A couple months ago I was at a festival in town and saw these pants for sale in a booth. I figured they wouldn’t fit, those “one size fits all” pieces rarely fit a woman over a size 10. But I looked at them more closely and my sister encouraged me to try them. The vendor let me take them into a nearby cafe to try them on in their restroom, I stood up on the toilet to see in the mirror, hunched over to see my reflection and thought from that odd angle that they were pretty cool… and bought them. I’ve worn them before, with an Old Navy vintage v-neck hanging out at home, and with this blouse to Dan Savage’s recent book signing in DC (though that time due to the hurt leg it was with lower shoes). Did I NEED harem pants? No, but they are a heck of a lot of fun and quite comfortable in this heat!
After the tragedy in Bangladesh, I am trying to be more conscious of where my clothes are made and under what conditions. I have always been a fan of Karen Kane for creating comfortable, flattering, and stylish clothes for a broad range of sizes, but am even bigger of a fan because their clothes are made in the US. While Karen Kane is a pretty big company that is sold in major department stores, working with them is like working with a small company. I get emails from Karen’s son,they have a very personal and intimate Instagram account where you actually see Karen at work, and they strive to please their customers. I saw this dress and knew it would be flattering and I was right. I like that the knot in the front is self-tie, so you could just tie it once, knot it tight, or do what is most flattering to your own figure.
And while this dress is utterly fantastic, I can’t ignore Emerson’s amazing fashion sense. She truly has talent in putting together great outfits. My mom recently got her a kit with a play hair dryer, curling iron, brush, and such and now Emerson has to “get ready” before she leaves the house. I may have created a monster, but at least she’ll be a stylish, creative, and independent monster!
FYI, I totally thought I could carry off pumps today, but after taking pictures and walking to the car I realized my leg is still not strong enough and I switched to my black Cole Haan sandals. Maybe next week!
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.
Black sweater coat – MICHAEL Michael Kors
Gray pima tee – Banana Republic (no longer available)
Black trousers – Talbots (bought last year on clearance)
Black city boots – Fitzwell “Andrea”
Silver hoops and cuff
Yep, an early work morning!
So I have been stalking this sweater for a long time. I saw it on the Nordstrom site, but it was never in my size. I searched online, and again could never find it in my size. I would Google, but it looked differently on other sites than it did on Nordstrom so I was confused. I knew this was the type of sweater coat I desired – tight, heavy weave, not clingy, the cool silver turnlock hardware, a length that would work with pants, jeans, or skirts.
At Nordstrom, this sweater was $180. Snap. That’s a pretty hefty price for a sweater, but I thought that if it really was what I thought it could be, it would be my new millennium version of my “Trinity” sweater from The Limited. I bought that sweater… gosh maybe 2000? Well I still own it, if I get back to a 10 I will probably continue to rock it, and that sweater was a MAJOR staple in my wardrobe for nearly a decade. If one can find that perfect of a garment, well $180 seemed like an investment.
Then Nordstrom sent me a $20 rewards certificate (I keep a Nordstrom credit card just for these rewards). I felt it was a sign, and went back to their site to look for this sweater. They had it… no Large, but they did have an XL. I snapped it up and it arrived last night.
I now see why it looked differently on the Nordstrom site than it did on any other site. This sweater has a matching cowl. A tube about a foot in length of the same knit as the ribbed cuffs. It’s held on to the cardigan by a sole button on the back of the collar, but easily removable. Removed, this sweater coat was exactly what was missing from my closet. A bit big, but not too large. But then I get to work, and I see this sweater is really big. Like a size too big. I really need a Large in this. I am glad I didn’t wear perfume today, because I am going to return it or sell it.
So I look online, now that I realize this sweater has a wacky detachable cowl (which is super cute, but I don’t think goes with the silhouette of this sweater). And guess what? It’s currently $88.79 at Overstock AND if you go through Ebates you get 5% cash back AND Overstock right now has FREE SHIPPING!
So I ordered it in a Large. There were six left in Large Black, and a variety of other sizes and this sweater also comes in Gray. I really like it a lot, think it can be casual with a tee and jeans, but has refined enough of a finish that it could be worn with a sheath dress to a business meeting. And I really like that I found it for more than 50% of the original price!
Dear Allie:I am getting back into the workforce after five years as a SAHM. I’m really excited, but am having a hard time finding nice work clothes. I am a size 18, 5’5” and an apple and all I seem to find are lowcut dresses and polyester pants. Do you know where I can find suits and work clothes like dresses and blouses for my size?Why are all plus sized suits made out of polyester? Where can I find a suit that is equal in quality and price to J. Crew but goes above a size 16?I was recently promoted and my new position requires me to travel on business several times a month. For such trips, I will need to wear a suit while at the office I can usually get away with casual pants or even nice jeans. While I have a great wardrobe of business casual pieces, it is proving difficult to find more corporate of attire for my size (I vary between a 20 and 22). Do you know of any retailers who specialize in suiting and corporate attire for plus-sized women?Hi Allie, I need to improve my look at work. We’re allowed to wear anything we want but I don’t want to look like a slob any more and think if I look good I may be more likely to get a raise or promotion. I’m 5’7”, a size 20 with a large bust and don’t even know where to start looking for nicer work clothes. HELP!
I am not sure why the world thinks women over a size 12 don’t hold professional jobs. They must think that with the poor selection of career wear for plus-sized women. While quality suits and stylish business casual clothing does exist, it’s hard to find. Below I feature some brands who realize that just because you wear a larger size doesn’t mean you wish to sacrifice style, quality, or professionalism.
If you’re plus sized, I’m sure you already know about Lane Bryant, Avenue, Ashley Stewart, One Stop Plus/Woman Within/Roamans/Jessica London, and other retailers who specialize in plus size fashion. Below are some suggestions on brands I know who aren’t the typical shops, and who provide quality, well-crafted and stylish career wear in plus sizes
I know, I know, Nordstrom again? Thing is, they offer a great selection of quality brands and style for plus sizes. MICHAEL Michael Kors, Rachel Palley, Calvin Klein, Karen Kane, Eileen Fisher, Tahari Woman, Vince Camuto, Kenneth Cole… all these brands and more are offered in plus sizes at Nordstrom stores and online.
Unlike many other department stores who think a woman in a size 22 dress wants a muumuu or a flowing polyester pantsuit, Nordstrom buyers find brands and pieces that are in the same vein of style as the rest of the store. Great colors, fun silhouettes, lots of options. Nordstrom has free shipping and free returns, will perform alterations onsite, and have personal shoppers that can help you secure a professional wardrobe for your job.
Macy’s is another department store who offers a fantastic selection of brands and styles for plus sizes. Alfani, Calvin Klein, Lauren by Ralph Lauren, Jones New York, and then their in-house brand INC International Concepts are great resources for great plus size office wear. Like Nordstrom, Macy’s provides a good amount of real estate in most of their stores for plus-sized fashion.
Macy’s always has promotions for discounts and shipping deals. Macy’s has a great return and exchange policy, where you can return by mail or at any nearby store.
Talbots Woman comes in sizes 12-24 regular and 12-22 petite. Each season they offer several styles of suit separates so you can mix and match for the perfect career look. Talbots also specializes in business casual looks, with tailored trousers, well-crafted skirts, polished knits and sweaters and even shoes and accessories.
While many retailers hide their plus size department in a dusty corner or keep it only online, Talbots often has separate stores just for their Woman line, or else it gets plenty of real estate in their mixed-size store. Talbots is phenomenal with customer service, seeking out sizes at other locations, taking returns in-store, and giving you honest feedback and offering suggestions at the fitting room. When I was a size 18, Talbots was my go-to store, where I knew I would find quality, style, and a supportive staff.
Jones New York
While Jones New York is a department store staple, they also have their own online boutique that has a large selection of career wear in extended sizes. Since you have to return by mail (they offer a pre-paid shipping label), it’s good to try out JNY in a store to know how it fits, and then go online to find a larger selection.
Kiyonna knows how to dress a woman. They make well-made pieces that are stylish and flattering to a plus-sized figure. No muumuus and garish prints here, Kiyonna offers beautiful dresses, and also a beautiful selection of separates. While their bottoms are very basic, they are well-made and classic. Some of their tops can run on the sexy side, but many are great pieces for business casual environments or fabulous shells under suits. Their return policy is pretty standard but I hear their sizing is quite consistent so once you know how you fit in Kiyonna you won’t have to make as many returns and exchanges.
If you enter an Ann Taylor store, you may think they don’t care about anyone over a size 12. However online they go up to size 18 and XXL on the majority of their pieces. I also find Ann Taylor runs a bit large and many of my readers have agreed that their size 18 can often fit a size 20 woman.
Ann Taylor regularly has promotions for free shipping and percentages off select items – it’s smart to sign up for their emails or follow them on Facebook or Twitter so you stay updated. Their online selection can sell out pretty quickly when they have such sales, so shop early. While Ann Taylor doesn’t offer free returns, they do accept returns even of larger sizes in any store. And if you have to do a return, check out their sale rack where I have regularly seen larger sizes from other women who have made returns.
Lands’ End may not be the retailer you would think for career wear, but they do have a pretty great selection of workwear staples. While their summer selection is more geared towards shorts and dresses, they always have a good selection of blazers and coordinating bottoms and come the cooler months have an even greater selection of suiting and work-appropriate pieces.
Lands’ End often has promotions for discounts and free shipping so sign up for their emails to get the latest news. Lands’ End also accepts returns at Sears stores which makes shopping with them even more convenient.
Like Lands’ End, Eddie Bauer mainly focuses on casual weekend fashion. However, like Lands’ End they have a few stand-out pieces each season for career wear. Eddie Bauer often focuses on easy-care pieces, and you’re likely to find wrinkle-free suiting, no-iron button-front shirts, and machine washable trousers and dresses. Eddie Bauer offers free exchanges and accepts returns by mail (they will provide a pre-paid shipping label or you can send by your own method) or in store.
I’m quick to head to Overstock to find a toaster oven or an area rug, but I have now learned to go to this site for fashion. Popular brands like Tahari, Kasper, Calvin Klein, and Ann Klein are featured by Overstock, and at nicer prices than at the department store. While some of the styles offered on Overstock are a bit strange, you can also find some gems – often pieces being sold right now at your nearby Belk or Macy’s. Overstock has customer reviews, ridiculously cheap shipping, and a reasonable return policy.
While most of my local discount big box retailers will have some plus size fashion, it’s usually a small section, messy, and full of strange pieces I wouldn’t be caught dead in. Not so for TJ Maxx, who usually carries higher-end brands than similar stores, and they usually have a larger and better organized plus size department.
Where do you find stylish and well-made plus size career wear? I’d love to know your suggestions!
I’m not a fan of designer collaborations. I don’t understand clamoring for a cheaper version of a designer piece. I don’t want a glued-together pleather bag or ill-fitting polyester blouse no matter what name is on the label. However, once the Issa Collection came out for Banana Republic I was intrigued. Banana Republic already has good quality and fits me relatively well, and the pieces in the collection were things I would buy no matter the designer. I liked the kimono dresses, and felt this print was one I would wear now and five years from now, in spring and in winter. For those considering this dress, I chose a 14, and yes, they do run short (it’s veering on not work appropriate and I am 5’3″). However it’s made extremely well, a heavy matte jersey that feels good and is a style that I think would work if I gained or lost weight. And you know me, I waited until it was on sale, Banana Republic was having a big sale, and I had reward dollars!
And how great is this bracelet? Wearing gold jewelery? No problem! Silver? No problem! Everything goes with this piece from Ruth Barzel, and I love that it’s rock and roll while still being elegant. I’ve been wearing this bracelet a ton lately (check my Instagram for proof), I like it mixed with other bracelets, but with such a bold dress, I felt it looked best all by itself.
Have you ever seen footage of Filene’s Running of the Brides? This was like that, but with less stripping of clothes in the center of the room and more black clothing.
I brought an XL LL Bean Boat and Tote overflowing with lots of great pieces – clothes from my now-defunct Shop My Closet as well as a few other pieces that no longer fit or no longer fit my personal style. While the Sip and Swap team organized all the donations, we attendees got to enjoy downtown Clarendon. Then we came back for the official beginning of the swap.
I was excited to meet many bloggers I have respected and read for a while, such as District of Chic, Megan Nielsen, Fasshonaburu, Cardigans & Couture, whippedSTYLE, and La Rue Neuve. I also got to catch up with DC blogger buddies like Heart Print and Style, So Much to Smile About, and MartaFacts. We sipped wine, chatted, caught up… and didn’t realize that there were some rabid swappers in attendance.
I love this video from Quarter Life, which shows what the swap was like when they opened the doors. Since I was wearing a blue maxi dress, it’s pretty easy to see me in the video (I am in the center left, and it takes me a while to come in because I wasn’t expecting Running of the Brides). There were rolling racks along the sides of the large room, tables separating jeans from blouses from skirts from trousers. The stage at the back of the room held jewelry, scarves, shoes, and other accessories.
By time I got into the room, it was packed with women who were throwing anything they could reach into their bags. Fabric was flying, a few were stripping down to bike shorts and sports bras to try pieces and throwing back into the crowd the pieces that didn’t work. It was crazy. I headed to the stage, figuring I would have a better chance finding good jewelry than clothing that would fit. I grabbed a mother of pearl bangle bracelet and a strand of pearls, turned around to apologize for bumping into someone, turned back and 90% of the jewelry was gone. I figure someone must have swept it all into a bag. I grabbed some bright purple beads, figuring I could take off the thread and repurpose, or give to Emerson as costume jewelry.
The crowd started thinning, I saw women with those giant blue IKEA bags overflowing, women crouched in corners hugging their scores. A woman walked by with two huge totes overflowing and a few items tucked under her arm. I guess I was looking with my mouth agape because she defended herself by saying, “What? I have three kids I need to dress.”
This was the swap in a nutshell. Many women who were there to donate, hope to get one or two good things, and mingle. And then there were those who were out for the kill, leaving no prisoners. I didn’t let it get me down, I went expecting to not find anything, so I ended up being pleasantly surprised. I met some awesome readers of Wardrobe Oxygen (so great to meet you, I love it when readers introduce themselves!), some awesome bloggers, and the fabulous women of The Swapaholics and Goodwill. And really, I didn’t go for the items, I went for the experience. And the experience taught me that I would definitely attend next time… but next time I’ll be sure to put down the wine glass and wear flat shoes!
What I got:
- A gold beaded frame clutch – when I got home I realized its actually a wallet, but I can fit my cell in it and it will still snap shut and not look ridiculous
- Navy twill pants from Ann Taylor in like-new condition, wide waistband, flat front, straight legs, very classic
- Dark denim sailor-inspired jeans from LOFT that will fit like a dream in five pounds
- A strand of 30” small ivory pearls that look really nice (quality costume)
- A slim gold bangle with mother of pearl panels
- The purple necklace (which Emerson sported this weekend)
- A pair of perfectly faded and distressed Levis 515s that do not fit and probably will never fit so I will be passing on to someone else
- A black LOFT jersey dress that must have been shrunken in the dryer because it hardly covers my rear (will be re-donated)
- A black jersey MICHAEL Michael Kors top that looked cute but wasn’t my style – I gave it to my mom who totally rocks it
Have you ever been to a swap? What did you think?
It’s Nordstrom Half-Yearly Sale time and while many of the items are holiday-themed and those sort of trendy things that will look utterly passe by March, I dug through and found some real gems. Below, my picks from the Nordstrom Half-Yearly Sale (and all of them are under $75!):
Bags, Jewelry and other Accessories:
- I have a leopard print cloth foldover clutch and wear it often; this one is very similar and only $20.98!
- I love Lauren Ralph Lauren belts; have owned many over the years. This wide stretch belt is sophisticated and uber versatile and on sale for less than $30.
- North Face makes great and functional eTip gloves; they have three colors on sale. They say you have to put them in the cart to see the price but spoiler alert, they’re on sale for $33.70.
- I regularly purchase leather gloves during Nordstrom’s Half Yearly sale because you get great quality at a great price. These leather gloves from Fownes Brother come in three colors and have a knit cuff to keep out the cold and snow.
- I love an animal print scarf with a black winter coat; even better when it’s big and lush. I can’t decide which I like better from MICHAEL Michael Kors, the snakeskin print or the leopard print. Both on sale for $51.
- Talk about a statement necklace! With a piece like this you don’t ever need to purchase a fancy dress, just pair it with any frock or blouse in your closet. Heck, it would even make a sweatshirt look formal!
Clothing, Sleepwear, Athletic Wear, and Lingerie:
- Now’s the time to stock up on cashmere! Halogen’s cashmere v-neck and cashmere crewneck are on sale for less than $70 each, come in regular and petite sizes and a bevy of colors.
- These same sweaters also come in plus size – the cashmere crewneck and cashmere v-neck are a couple dollars more but the same shape and colors.
- It’s nice to have an arsenal of slips for those certain pieces that require more coverage. This half-slip from Halogen is simple enough to be invisible under lightweight and knit fabrics and is under $20.
- I have these skinny jeans from JAG and they are AWESOME. I shouldn’t call them jeans, they are a heavyweight knit that looks like denim but stretches and holds their shape. Regularly $79 they’re on sale for %52.93 and come in a bunch of great colors.
- These same JAG jeans also come in a classic denim color. Same price, same comfort and fit!
- A casual lightweight sweater in bold stripes paired with boots or booties and skinny jeans makes for a perfect weekend ensemble. And when the sweater is only $20.40 and gets positive customer reviews? Even better!
- The holidays would have been easier if I had a metallic sweater in my closet like this one from Matty M. Available in silver or gold, this can be styled with jeans for a casual get together, or leather leggings or ankle pants and heels for a dressier house party.
- Always nice to have a dressy topper for sleeveless dresses, this plus size lace bolero from Eliza J does the trick and is on sale 40% off.
- I have and love the Zella Z5 tee, it’s fitted but not skin tight, fits the bust, flatters one with a belly, wicks away moisture, and doesn’t flip up when doing an inversion. Right now it’s 33% off in this color, a steal!
- This faux leather dress from BB Dakota is too cute. Wear in winter with thick tights and booties, or come summer with clogs or chunky black sandals with a wood heel. I’ve been really liking the style, quality, and fit of BB Dakota these days, and think this dress is a steal.
- I had this robe from Natori and loved it so much and was so sad when I accidentally left it on a trip. Buy it at this amazing price and enjoy the silky knit, awesome fit, and deep pockets that can hold a bunch of stuff.
- This sleeveless top from Gibson is a officewear workhorse. Regular and petite sizes and a bunch of colors, this will look great with skirts and pants and under blazers and cardigans all for less than $27.
- I have a version of this drapey top from Topshop and adore it. Style with jeans for the weekend, but it also looks great with skinny pants, work trousers, ankle pants, even pencil skirts and right now it’s 50% off!
- I have this sweater. I love this sweater. Know it runs big, a Large is like a tunic on me and I pair it with leggings or jeggings and boots. It’s on sale 50% off and a great deal.
- Elomi makes great bras for large busts; this one is usually $55 but on sale for $33 and receives rave reviews.
- I love the unexpected twist in this blouse that takes it from boring to stunning. I also love that it’s on sale for less than $35.
- My friend swears by NYDJ silky henleys, they’re her favorite top for work and for play. This gorgeous print is a knockout, in plus sizes and on sale for less than $60.
- Simple black crepe ankle pants with a slouchy feel are perfect for the office with a blouse or a night out with heels and a drapey camisole. Regular and petites available and less than $55.
- I love the color combination in this striped sweater from ELOQUII and adore the sale price of $35.94.
- Same color combo from ELOQUII, but this time in a crepe tee. On sale for $41.94
- The Zella Power Fleece Leggings are my JAM. I have two pairs and they’re a great fit, durable, and keep you cozy warm whether you’re exercising outside in the cold or trying to stay cozy on the couch. Regularly $58 on sale for less than $40.
- I also have this half-zip jacket from Zella and think it’s pretty fantastic. Usually $78 on sale for less than $40.
- Gabby Skye makes great knit dresses and this plus size floral scuba fit and flare frock is no exception. On sale for $58.80.
- Classic navy work pants with stretch for only $52.80!
- Highly rated ponte ankle pants in plus size also on sale for $52.80. Love Halogen!
- I mentioned this Oscar de la Renta nightgown in my loungewear post and now it’s on sale 40% off! I dig it, it’s a good deal for a good gown. Also available in plus size.
- Another great nightgown, this one in plus size from Lauren Ralph Lauren and on sale for $41.98.
- Plus size sequined midi skirt for less than $45. Yes please.
- I have this blazer in white and think it’s great. In metallic grey with a black collar (and under $45) it’s utterly badass.
- Another metallic blazer for a nice price; this would look chic for an event with black ankle pants and heels or wear out on the town with a band tee and skinny jeans.
- Ellen Tracy makes some of the most flattering dresses and this printed one is a great example. A couple of you ordered this dress the last time I featured it and said you love it. On sale for less than $60.
- I have this sweater from Kensie and each time I wear it I get strangers complimenting me on it. Stylish, warm, cozy, and less than $45.
- Gorgeous lace detail on this turtleneck sweater. No seriously, this is an elegant sweater, comes in regular and petite, on sale for less than $60 and will be chic for years to come.
- I love my faux leather front ponte pants; I got them a few years ago and they’re so versatile. These from DKNYC are a nice alternative and on sale for $53.70.
- I dig a coated skinny jean; not as expensive or high maintenance as leather but just as cool. These plus size skinnies from JUNAROSE are on sale for $53.40.
- The ‘Marilyn’ from NYDJ is a classic fit and straight leg; in sueded twill it is a casual pant with the comfort of stretch jeans. I find the twill runs a bit bigger than the denim for NYDJ so if you’re unsure go down a size. Regular and petites in a variety of colors 50% off!
- I have the NYDJ ‘Samantha’ in black sueded twill and LOVE them. Super stretchy, keep their shape, and have stayed a rich color even from years of washing. Also on sale 50% off.
- The NYDJ ‘Barbara’ is a subtle bootcut, small enough to work with a variety of shoes but enough flare to flatter the figure. This classic denim color in plus sizes is on sale for less than $60. It also comes in a few different colors for $62.
- I know, a lot of NYDJ but the Nordstrom Half-Yearly Sale is the time to stock up on this brand! The ‘Poppy’ pull-on jeggings are great; thicker and more structure than leggings but just as versatile and relaxed. I prefer the saturated black denim; regular and petites and 40% off.
- I’ve been rocking an Eliza J dress in a similar silhouette and same fabric for over 10 years. The brand makes quality and stylish dresses. This is a fun graphic print, available in plus sizes and on sale for less than $65.
- I think I’ll be wearing this dress New Year’s Eve; I found it on Poshmark in a different color and am getting it hemmed. It’s not itchy, it’s fully lined, and the fit is super flattering. Get it now to be ready for next year’s holiday parties or that trip to Vegas! On sale for $67.20.
- I hate when brands misuse the term peplum. This is not a peplum top, it’s a cool looking tunic with a wrap front. I can’t decide which color combination is better, but I am in love with this non-peplum blouse from MICHAEL Michael Kors.
- I ordered this sweater dress. I haven’t received it yet so I can’t give a proper review but I envision it with black fleece tights and ankle boots.
Shoes and Outerwear:
- So many of you have asked me for low heels in cool colors and textures; the ‘Kandy’ from French Connection has an elegant elongated toe, a lower heel, and come in super shiny silver and black snakeskin, both on sale for $71.96. The ‘Kornelia’ also from French Connection has a low heel and feminine cut and comes in leopard print and plaid for the same price.
- A simple leather structured flat in a style that can go from weekends with jeans to the office with trousers for less than $45? Score!
- Another great structured flat for under $50. I love the shape of these.
- If you’re looking for a classic black leather Chelsea boot, Nine West has you covered and for less than $70.
- Yes, chic rainboots exist, these Sam Edelman Chelsea boot-inspired ones are proof and on sale for $39.90!
- Another great pair of rainboots, these a bit more rugged and under $50.
- I love my BOGS boots, they’re super comfortable and really durable. These waterproof boots from the brand are on sale for just $71.99 and have the quality to last a lifetime.
- A packable parka is great for travel and also if you live in a warmer climate and only need to bundle up for a short part of the winter. This one from GUESS comes in five great colors, has a hood, is machine washable and on sale for less than $60.
- These are the same style of oxfords I have in silver; for this great price I am tempted to get another pair in one of these available colors. So cute with ankle pants, cuffed jeans, or even a midi skirt!
- Recently my mom asked about shoes that are flat, comfortable, but on trend. I recommended a pair of fashion sneakers to pair with leggings, jeggings, boyfriend jeans, and even shift dresses and midi skirts. I adore the high-top shape and metallic finish of these from Sam Edelman; they’re not too kooky and will show you’re aware of current trends and have a sense of humor!
- This is a really chic walking coat that would be fantastic for travel or just for everyday. Love the collar and how the contrast fabrics flatter the figure. On sale 50% off.
- Another great fashion sneaker (and one I have featured in many capsule wardrobes) are these slip-ons from Superga. The brand has a roomy toebox and is on trend… and currently 50% off.
- Another shoe I have featured in many capsule wardrobes is this animal print flat from Dr. Scholl’s. And now it’s on sale for less than $70!
- I love a wedge bootie; the height of a heel with more comfort. This one from Bella Vita has an elegant pointed toe, comes in a variety of widths and colors, and is on sale for less than $60!
- I am seriously considering this jacket from Zella. Such a flattering silhouette and I have always had success with Zella. On sale for $65.66.
- This jacket from Zella reminds me a lot of my beloved orange Talbots jacket; I love the color. Available in plus sizes on sale for $65.66.
- This wrap coat is a flattering shape and you know I love the subtle leopard print! Also comes in pale pink, right in line with one of Pantone’s 2016 colors of the year. On sale for less than $70.
Did you shop the Nordstrom Half-Yearly Sale? What items did you score during the promotion?
Hi Allie, I’m looking for a comfortable matte black pump. Something with a heel that isn’t TOO high or TOO low (but just right, like Goldilocks, LOL). I might be in my 50s, but I don’t want a shoe that makes me look older, nor can I wear 3″ heels. Any suggestions?
Ah shoe shopping – can be so much fun or can be so frustrating! Since I am a busy working mom, I do the majority of my shopping online, and that includes shoes. While answering your question, I will also give you a peek into how I find shoes online:
I love shopping Nordstrom online for shoes – not only do they have free shipping and free returns and no time limit for those returns, they also have a search-friendly site and a boatload of customer reviews. On Nordstrom.com, I went to Women, Women’s Shoes, then chose Pumps, and then chose less than a 3” heel. From there, I could narrow to just black and found:
I have this shoe in a higher heel and find them wearable all day. They are comfortable, classic, and not at all frumpy. Not only that, you get all this for less than $100!
Reviews say they run a hair large, but are cushioned and comfortable. The wide heel will keep you feeling stable, but the touch of gold keeps these pumps from looking frumpy or boring.
In a similar sleek silhouette as the “Flex,” this is a pump that will stay stylish for many seasons to come. Reviews say it runs a hair narrow, but one said she was able to wear them straight out of the box without a single blister!
Next stop was ShopStyle, where I clicked on Shoes, then Pumps, then narrowed by color, and then narrowed it to shoes under $250. You can also narrow by size, price, and if the shoes are on sale. While ShopStyle can be utterly overwhelming (without size I had 426 pages of black pumps), it covers more than one retailer online. In just the first 20 pages I found:
Naturalizer shoes are known for comfort, and these pumps have a N5 Comfort system footbed, which provides cushioning, support, and shock absorption with each step. Since these are available via Zappos, you have their free shipping and return policy, and over 20 detailed reviews from customers that can help you decide if these are a worthy purchase.
I have a couple pairs of shoes from Fitzwell and find them to be well made and very comfortable. Their heel is strategically placed to be the most supportive and to balance the foot. These shoes are on Amazon and sold by size, so if this isn’t your size, search the site for another listing. $89, eligible for Prime shipping and free returns!
Unfortunately since it’s via Loehman’s there’s not a lot of information on this shoe, just a great price of $69.99. However I did a bit of Googling and found that people find Tahari shoes to be very comfortable, yet occasionally run a hair long or narrow.
Finally I went to Zappos. While Zappos is known for their extensive selection, I often have a hard time weeding out decent shoes from all the crap or designer pieces. Usually they are my second or third destination, once I got a lay of the footwear land at other sites. Zappos is however, a place I regularly search for reviews of shoes – if I find the shoes I like at one retailer but don’t have enough information on them, I will check Zappos, and if Zappos has a competitive price, I will likely purchase from there. Here, I clicked on shoes, then heels, then pumps, black, and all styles under 3” heel that are under $200. You could further narrow the selection by size, width, fabric, and even occasion. Even with all my details, I still had 244 shoes to choose from. A couple nice ones:
This shoe gets mixed reviews, some saying the toebox is too short or stiff, but others finding the shoe to be perfection. The slight platform makes them look modern and also offsets the heel height, the shoe has an Adidas adiPRENE® heel and Adidas adiPRENE®+ forefoot cushioning which absorbs shock and enhances natural motion. All this for $110.
I have a pair of the Cole Haan Air series shoes, and find them to be stylish, well made, quality materials, and far more comfortable than standard shoes of a similar style. Cole Haan’s Air series has concealed NIKE AIR® technology which makes the shoe more comfortable for long days. One reviewer states they were transformed into Audrey Hepburn upon wearing these shoes – sounds pretty stylish to me!
Always nice to find a shoe that is available in a variety of widths! Vignotti shoes are trendy silhouettes rooted in classic, timeless designs. Cushioned footbed for additional comfort, and positive reviews from readers make these a good shoe to consider.
Finally, if I know a brand or style fits, I will search for the lowest price while still having a great return/exchange policy. I will go directly to sites like 6pm.com who have great customer service and prices that can’t be beat. I’ll also check eBay, and even have a few alerts set up for certain styles that I know I want. Finally, I will Google a shoe brand and name or style number and see what pops up – sometimes they will be cheap at a site like Endless, Amazon, or Overstock, and sometimes I will even find bloggers who are selling the exact shoe I want in a “Shop My Closet” site. Point is, don’t stick to one style of search, it is possible to find fabulous shoes that fit and flatter not only your body but also your wallet!
Note: Though shoes may be seen in patent, all styles shown are available in classic and versatile matte black leather. I just had a hard time finding decent-sized pics for all!
Gwynnie Bee is like Netflix for fashion sizes 10 and up. For a monthly fee, you can borrow clothing as often as you wish. Be it work blazers or cocktail dresses, leather jackets or sequined tank tops, Gwynnie Bee has you covered with fabulous, fun, and well-crafted fashion from some of the hottest plus size brands. I have been working with Gwynnie Bee for half a year now, and I just love it more and more. Their selection of clothing has improved, shipping has sped up, and their customer service hasn’t been sacrificed in any manner with their growth. Last week I had the fabulous opportunity to chat with Christine Hunsicker, CEO of Gwynnie Bee, to chat about how the business came to be and it’s direction for 2013.
How Gwynnie Bee Started
Christine grew up in rural Pennsylvania where there were, “more cows than people.” Her aunt lived across the road and was a seamstress by trade. Every Monday, Christine would receive a box of clothes from her aunt that would dress her for a week. Crazy prints, fun silhouettes, and everything fit perfectly no matter her size. Christine and her cousin would swap garments for variety and when they tired of the clothes, they would consign them and use the funds to purchase more fabric. This childhood gave Christine the ability to experiment with fashion without having to commit. Things changed when Christine wanted to wear the same popular trends as her classmates. She recalled when she went to the mall to get her first pair of denim shorts and soon realized she was at the higher end of the size spectrum. She tried on a pair and felt that something was wrong with her since they didn’t fit her figure. That realization hit hard and she had a massive breakdown in the fitting room Fast forward to college and her 20s, where Christine wore a uniform of jeans, tee shirts, and boring black staples because fashion just didn’t feel fun anymore.
A couple years ago, Christine sold her start-up business and was looking to do a new project – something big, long-lasting and would be of service to people and make a major impact in their daily lives. She thought about the stress and frustration of shopping, and how she knew of friends and family who dealt with the same issue and from that decided to start Gwynnie Bee.
Gwynnie Bee’s business culture is all about giving the customer and amazing experience and provide stellar service. Hunsicker believes that if you treat your customer well and with respect, it makes a huge difference on how people view the business. While on the phone with Christine, I mentioned my sister is a member and she immediately knew not just her name but clothes she had borrowed from Gwynnie Bee and feedback she had provided. She also knew of a friend I mentioned who also is a member of Gwynnie Bee. This was not prepared, our phone conversation was only scheduled about an hour ahead of time. It’s just proof of how this company truly sees each member as an individual person.
Gwynnie Bee in 2013 – What to Expect
Christine mentioned how drastically different the collection is now from how it was a year ago and she says that’s completely because of member feedback. Gwynnie Bee carries more statement pieces, more pieces that are a celebration and make fashion fun. Thanks to member feedback (which they constantly encourage – even brutal honest criticism), the Gwynnie Bee collection has more statement pieces, more colorful, fun, and flattering pieces. They hope to offer styles that women may not necessarily buy or even consider in a store but find they like when they try it on. The collection will continue to improve in 2013, and you can expect to see more indie designers, the introduction of jeans and pants, accessories, and a true wardrobe feel.
The site will also be getting some upgrades this year, and one feature I am most excited about is prioritization. I have had many of you readers tell me you find it frustrating that you can’t put your “closet” items in priority order. Gwynnie Bee heard your feedback, has a prioritization pilot program in place, and will be building this feature into the site this year. They will also be trying to make the site more informative with more editorial, suggestions on how to style pieces from the collection, and guest blog posts.
Shipping will be even faster this year as Gwynnie Bee moves to distribution warehouses. This change will shave an entire day off your garment deliveries!
The reason these improvements are happening is because of member feedback. Be it on the little cards you mail back with your garments, your reviews on the sites, comments on Facebook and Twitter or emails directly to the team, Gwynnie Bee acts on every bit of feedback they receive. Gwynnie Bee strives on having a public and wide open business, accepting the good and the bad feedback. They encourage all of you to let them know what you like and what you find could be improved so you can help make the company better for your fellow women.
I’ve received some Gwynnie Bee new releases over the past couple of weeks and see a drastic difference from the more traditional cuts and colors from when I started with them at the end of the summer. Hot brands like ASOS, Michael Kors, DKNY, and Eloquii. Leather, galaxy prints, sequins, peplums, and all the other hot trends along with workday classics and elegant party frocks. More customer reviews with each piece so you can get a better feel as to whether it’s a good choice for you. And more selection, be it styles or sizes. It’s exciting to see a company grow and improve before your very eyes, and I am proud to be a spokesperson for them.
Awesome Gwynnie Bee Promotion!
If you haven’t yet checked out Gwynnie Bee, now is the time! Gwynnie Bee is currently offering a promotion where you can get a 30-day free trial of their program. You won’t be charged unless you continue with the service and you can cancel online at anytime. Well Gwynnie Bee is also offering all Wardrobe Oxygen readers a free one-garment upgrade on their new subscription! Just be sure to use the link in this post and mention Wardrobe Oxygen to receive it. Offer is valid for those choosing the one, two, or three garment plan. This deal won’t last forever, it expires Sunday, January 27th, 2013 at midnight. Existing members, let your friends know about the 30-day trial (using your name) and you earn a free month!
Note: I do receive a commission on each new Gwynnie Bee membership if my or my blog name is mentioned at sign-up. However, all thoughts in this and any Gwynnie Bee posts are mine and they have no editorial control. I wanted to know more about Christine and the company and asked to do this phone interview; I am not being compensated for publishing this post. I just think Gwynnie Bee is rad.
With up to 40% off there’s some awesome deals during Nordstrom’s sale, which is on until February 21st. While there’s plenty of winter stuff they’re trying to get off their hands, there’s also lots of fashion that works now and into the spring and summer and pieces that will be stylish now and a year from now. I already shared my picks from the Nordstrom Winter Clearance Sale for plus size fashion; this post features my picks from shoes, bags, and standard-sized fashion:
- I featured the Cole Haan ZeroGrand in my silver shoe post and a reader shared how comfy they are. The gold metallic version is on sale 25% off and a few colors on sale 40% off (the metallic blue is pretty fab and would look awesome with jeans!).
- My Vince Camuto Effel sandals are one of my best buys ever. A neutral color, a blend between bootie and sandal that looks great with skirts and pants, and a wearable heel height make them the most worn shoes in my closet come spring. These are a very similar concept, come in three colors, three widths, and are 30% off.
- These are the silver booties from BCBG Max Azria I’ve worn in a few of my most recent outfit posts. They’re not a low heel, but I find the shoe surprisingly comfortable. 40% off.
- Highly rated, low priced, and versatile? Score! The BP ‘Luminate’ ankle strap sandal is 40% off (less than $40) the perfect shoe for most any dress in your closet and will also dress up jeans and cigarette pants. This link is for three fun colors in suede and a leopard print, this link is the same shoe in sparkly metallic and snakeskin finishes.
- An adorable pointed toe loafer from Marc Fisher LTD in silver will look great with cigarette pants, ankle jeans, or work trousers. 25% brings them under $100.
- I regularly suggest these almond toe animal print calfhair flats in capsule wardrobes. It doesn’t hurt that they’re comfy and from Dr. Scholl’s and even better that now they’re on sale for less than $60!
- Leopard calfhair pumps from Nine West with a nice 2 ¼” heel and on sale for under $70.
- Aquatalia boots are not cheap, but they are extremely well made, classic enough to be stylish for years, and are weatherproof. No worrying about ruining your riding boots in slush! The elegant Aquatalia ‘Olita’ weatherproof riding boot is on sale 40% off and comes in regular and wide calf options.
- Another waterproof leather boot, this one from Andre Assous with a bit chunkier of a sole but still a classic look. Wide calf, and two shoe widths available. 65% off so it’s only a hair more than $100!
- Another shoe I recently featured, the classic Vans slip-on sneaker gets upgraded in a silver finish and right now it’s 40% off!
- I know many of you love a block heel for the stability and walkable height. This one from Nina is super cool because it’s business in the front and a party of an accent heel in the back. Fun, but still office appropriate, four colors available and the sale price makes this shoe under $90.
- A wedge pump is great because it’s comfortable for longer periods of time, but still looks professional peeking out from suiting trousers. The ‘Woodstock’ from Franco Sarto is an elegant shape and on sale for less than $70. This link has three colors in suede, and this link offers the same shoe in black leather.
- Sometimes brands send me things that I love but I can’t get into an outfit post in time. These pumps from Rockport were sent to me, and like all other Rockport shoes I have tried, they are insanely comfortable and well made. This light gold metallic snakeskin finish is so chic, and would look great at the office or paired with dark jeans. They come in widths and the sale price makes them a hair over $100. I hope to style these on the blog once the weather is better!
- A classic Chelsea boot is a smart addition to any wardrobe. This one from Bella Vita comes in four colors AND four widths to fit and flatter anyone. On sale 25% off so you can score these for less than $150!
- For those who are just dipping your toe into the leopard shoe waters, this subtle print calfhair pump from Johnson & Murphy is a great option and on sale for less than $150.
- A pointy toed flat gives a more professional vibe and looks great peeking out of trouser legs. This one from Calvin Klein has a 2 metallic finishes that are fun but still office appropriate. 25% off makes them less than $70.
- A funky strappy heel that is under 3” in height is always a treasured find. This one from Via Spiga would look appropriate at many offices with trousers or sheath dresses but would also be a great dressy shoe, glamming up a LBD or expertly pattern mixing with a floral frock. 40% off.
- For those of you who love an extra strap for support or a vintage vibe, this elegant Mary Jane from Calvin Klein is for you. 15% off makes the price under $90 and the style is elegant and timeless.
- A mirror-finish silver pump with a nice low heel… and under $45? Awesome!
Jackets, Blazers, and Outerwear
- I have the longer version of this packable jacket from Bernardo and love how it’s lightweight but still keeps me toasty warm. It also is shaped for a woman’s figure so you don’t end up resembling the Michelin Man. Regular and petite sizes, two colors to choose from, and 50% off.
- For those like me who are always on the hunt for petite leather jackets that won’t be too long in the arms, this Bernardo leather jacket is a great choice. Classic styling and shape, two colors, and petite sizes available. 50% off and a great price for real leather!
- A statement coat is always a nice addition to the outerwear wardrobe and this clutch coat from Helene Berman fits the bill. I love the fuzzy texture and the bold black and ivory stripes; it would look chic with a sweater and jeans and so smart over a brightly colored frock! On sale half off.
- I always suggest trenchcoats during sale picks but that’s when I got my DKNY one that I wear like crazy and have for almost a decade. It’s such a good purchase, and this one from Halogen is a classic style, has a detachable hood, comes in three colors, regular and petite sizes. 33% off AND machine washable!
- The Hinge ‘Expedition’ jacket is a modern take on the utility jacket. Available in navy and olive and with a flattering shape, this is a casual jacket that can replace your denim jacket and look great with a tee and jeans or slipped over a sundress in spring. 33% off and less than $60!
- A classic leather moto jacket in unexpected colors. This leather jacket from Truth & Pride comes in fire engine red or cobalt blue, gets good reviews, and is on sale 55% off.
- I try to keep my picks to items with a decent size selection. This cape from Finders Keepers isn’t one of those but it’s so utterly cool I had to share it anyway. Only available in a Medium/4-6 and maybe that’s a good thing because if it came in my size I’d likely buy it! On sale 40% off.
- My sister has the ‘Baily’ from Vince Camuto and adores it. Perfect size, design, shape. This bag is on sale 40% off in two statement finishes that would look great in winter and through the summer.
- I’m not a huge fan of bags with visible logos, but this mini satchel from Kate Spade is such a perfect combination of shape, texture, and color I’m making an exception. It’s also pretty nice to get it at 40% off.
- I’ve been in love with this fringed Milly handbag for a year and was torn between the orange and this silver metallic version. Now that the silver is on sale for less than $200 I may have to take the plunge!
- A bucket bag is a classic shape for a purse; this one from Rebecca Minkoff gives a rock and roll vibe with the lacing and buckles but the black metal hardware keeps it from being too extreme and provides elegance. This is a chic bag that would add a cool touch to many wardrobes and the under $175 price is super nice.
- This tumbled faux leather tote from Halogen has a clean timeless shape and look but the contrast tassel detail makes it modern. Two colors available, plenty of room to hold all you need to carry, and on sale for less than $25.
- How fun is this black beaded fringe clutch purse from Natasha Couture? This would glam up any dress in your closet and make even a simple tank and jeans look ready for a night out on the town. On sale 40% off which makes it less than $50!
- I shared this dress as an alternative to the Issa for Banana Republic dress I wore a couple weeks ago and now it’s on sale for a hair over $70. I’ve owned Many Maggy London dresses over the years and they are always a great fit and great quality.
- The perfect sheath dress! This elegant dress from Classiques Entier is of Italian ponte, comes in two colors, and is on sale 40% off.
- Super flattering, super modern, but something that would be at home in the workplace. I want to style this navy and white ponte knit wrap dress from Classiques Entier with a pair of heels in some dramatic color like orange, though this would look so chic under a white blazer with pumps or ankle booties. On sale 50% off.
- This simple tee-shirt swing dress from Socialite isn’t anything fancy, but the perfect throw-on dress for summer weekends, to wear as a bathing suit cover-up, or even as a nightshirt. At $20.40 and with five colors to choose from, you can find many reasons to add one of these into your closet.
- This chiffon surplice gown from Paper Crown is the type of piece you don’t think you need but end up wearing all the time. Envision it with gold hoops and metallic flat sandals. With a denim jacket. With a long strand of pearls and heels. With a wide beaded belt. The dark red color works all year round and can better dress down with brown or tan leather. 40% off (other colors are still full price).
- This pleated crepe sheath dress from Adrianna Papell doesn’t have a lot of sizes left, but I still had to share it because it’s so pretty, so flattering, so versatile. Two colors, regular and petite sizes, and on sale for a bit under $72.
- This isn’t a dress, but it’s the only skirt in my picks so I stuck it here and since I wrote the post I can write the rules! Anyway, this tea length taffeta skirt is from Monique Lhuillier’s Bridesmaids line but it’s perfect for non-wedding days. Consider my formalwear capsule post to get some ideas on how to rock it for a multitude of social occasions, but don’t be afraid to pair with a band tee, a tank and denim shirt, a turtleneck sweater and tights. Four colors to choose from. The sale price makes it cheaper than other retailers who sell such skirts as everyday fashion!
Sweaters, Cardigans, Ponchos, and Ruanas
- I have this sweater, I love this sweater. I even put it in my real-life capsule wardrobe. It runs big, so if unsure size down. I bought it and found it worth it full price, now it’s just over $40!
- I bought this same sweater in black several years ago and love it. Trouve knows how to make an effortlessly slouchy sweater and it has held up nicely over years of wear and washing. Now on sale for a bit over $45. Here’s a link for the sweater in black.
- Super cute slouchy striped crewneck sweater. Two colors to choose from and on sale for just a few coins over $25!
- A classic cable knit crewneck sweater from Treasure & Bond in two excellent colors, comes with a ton of positive reviews, and on sale for less than $50. This is such a score.
- This button-cowl neck poncho from Woven Heart looks so cozy, and I can’t decide which color pattern I like best. I also like that it’s on sale for less than $35!
- This intarsa-stripe crewneck sweater from MICHAEL Michael Kors is so crisp, so modern, and oh so flattering! Choose black or navy stripe and pair this with trousers or a skirt to work or jeans for the weekend. 50% off makes it less than $50!
- The fine gauge crewneck sweater from Halogen has a trim fit that looks great for the office, weekends, and under layers. Two stripes and a bright red available, regular and petite sizes, and on sale for less than $35.
- How cozy is this turtleneck poncho sweater from Cupcakes and Cashmere? Even better that it’s 40% off!
- This sweater from 1.State is called a poncho, but it really just looks like an oversized cableknit crewneck. No matter what it is, I like it and could totally rock it with jeggings and booties on the weekend, every weekend. On sale 40% off.
Jeans, Pants, and Leggings
- Not a bad price on faux leather leggings, and decent reviews too. I love Trouve, and bet these have a nice realistic looking finish in person. On sale for less than $50.
- Another option is these faux leather skinny pants from BLANKNYC. With jeans styling, these are often the pants I share as “similar” when I wear my leather-front pants and I love that they’re on sale for less than $60.
- A pair of menswear-inspired trousers are always chic, and these from Lafayette 148 New York are perfect (and get fabulous reviews). While the other colors are still full price, black is on sale 40% off.
- Flare jeans are back, and these light wash flares from Madewell are perfect now with black boots and a turtleneck sweater and come summer with a bateau tee and wedge sandals. On sale 15% off.
- I love the comfort of JAG Jeans’ pull-on jeans; these are their pull-on skinny jeans, they come in four different colors and are on sale for less than $40!
- The NYDJ Alina Skinny jeans are one of my favorites; I have them in black and wear them all the time. Nine colors, regular and petite sizes, and on sale for less than $55.
- Classic skinny pants from Halogen on sale for less than $30 – perfect now and great come spring!
- I love me some JAG Jeans, in fact as I write this I am wearing a pair of their pants. Their ‘Rowan’ stretch ponte slim leg pants look like a winner. Only petite sizes available, but two colors and on sale for less than $50.
Blouses, Shirts, Tops, and Tees
- I have never been disappointed by Nordstrom Collection – luxury fabrics, excellent fit, beautiful craftsmanship. However, I can’t afford it except during Nordstrom clearance sales like this one. This crisp and classic white shirt looks perfect and is on sale 55% off.
- I love a lightweight striped tee with a scoop neck – great under sweaters, blazers, cardigans, tucked into skirts, or worn with skinny jeans and boots. And when it’s on sale for a bit over $10? Can’t resist!
- This pleat-front tank from Ellen Tracy is all about the detail. Simple white shell for work or dressing up, but the pleat detail makes it elegant. And on sale for less than $42 makes it a great buy!
THIS IS THE TIME! This is the time of year when I get all my high quality cashmere from Nordstrom. While their Halogen brand is pretty budget-friendly year round, this is the sale when you can get their higher-end Nordstrom Collection and other designer brands for much much less. Stock is low, so I apologize in advance if your size is out but congratulate you if you get a great cashmere score!
- This gorgeous cashmere cable knit sweater from Nordstrom Collection is thick and has a flattering funnel neck. Regularly almost $400, it’s on sale for less than $200. This link is for the sweater in black, http://bit.ly/1oHAVKW this link is for the sweater in ivory.
- This cashmere v-neck from Halogen has a drapey shape that will look great with slim jeans or half-tucked. Usually $158 it’s on sale for less than $95.
- This long cashmere cardigan from Nordstrom Collection is luxe. The tan color would look great with pastels, olive, other brown-based neutrals, and denim. Usually almost $400, it’s on sale for less than $190.
- This cashmere sweater from Nordstrom Collection has a double v-neck which is a pretty touch. Three colors available and on sale 50% off.
- I am loving the subtle rib on this cashmere v-neck sweater from Nordstrom Collection, and love the four colors available. I also love that it’s 50% off!
- What a flattering drape neck on this cashmere sweater from Classiques Entier. The red color is on sale for $118.80, ivory and black are on sale for $84.98.
- A classic cashmere turtleneck from Nordstrom Collection in two classic colors and on sale for less than $100 – this is such a steal! Here’s a link with two more colors of the sweater.
- It also comes in a navy and ivory stripe that’s so chic and while it’s a bit more, it’s still 50% off.
- I love my cashmere sweater dress, it’s a favorite when it’s cold. I put a whole slip under it, fleece tights and boots and am cozy and warm. This cashmere sweater dress from Classiques Entier is elegant enough for the office and on sale for 50% off.
- Autumn Cashmere makes great cashmere and it’s wonderful to get it on sale. This classic crewneck is a wardrobe staple and is the size that looks great untucked, tucked in, or worn over a collared shirt. On sale 40% off.
- Nordstrom Collection also has a cashmere boatneck in a relaxed fit and four great colors. On sale for less than $100.
- I have this Halogen v-neck cashmere sweater and it’s nice. Lofty, a flattering neckline, slits on the side so it looks nice untucked with slim pants or jeans or even tucked in. On sale for less than $50, 13 colors and petite and regular sizes. Also available in plus size.
- And Halogen also has a cashmere crewneck sweater. 12 colors, regular and petite sizes, and also on sale for less than $50. Also available in plus sizes.
- I have two of these cashmere beanies from Halogen and they’re soft, don’t give me hathead, and don’t look stupid when pulled down to cover my ears. On sale for $21.98 which is cheaper than an acrylic version at a big box retailer!
- The pattern on this cashmere poncho from White + Warren is fantastic and the perfect piece to tie together so many wardrobe staples. Wear with denim and chambray, neutrals, pastels, jewel tones, and everything in between. Throw over a striped tee and jeans, belt over a sheath dress, and you’ll want to wear it on every flight and take on every trip. Usually over $350 on sale for $131.