Search Results for: label/NYDJ

What I Wore: Simple Isn’t Easy

mom fashion personal style blog handbag heaven molly review wardrobe oxygen

instyle essentials shirt NYDJ hayden jeans

Shirt: c/o InStyle Essentials | Jeans: NYDJ ‘Hayden’ | Shoes: Vince Camuto ‘Effel’ | Necklace: Tasha | Watch: Citizen | Bangle: Rebecca Minkoff | Stretch Bracelet: Nordstrom | Sunglasses: Ray-Ban | Bag: ‘Molly‘ c/o Handbag Heaven

Isn’t every woman supposed to have that crisp white shirt and dark pair of jeans in her wardrobe? Aren’t they supposed to be simple, versatile pieces you can throw on in a pinch? Yeah right, how many of us have actually found those things to fit and flatter not only our body but our lifestyles? Yet in the past year I have found both, and it’s pretty darn exciting. InStyle Essentials sent me one of their shirts last year and while it fit… it justfit. I learned that if you’re not just busty but soft and curvy, it’s good to go up a size to make it truly work. This year they sent me another one in the size up and I have been wearing the heck out of it. And as for the jeans, I adore the Hayden style from NYDJ. The petite is too short, the regular too long, so when I saw the Resin color on clearance and Neiman Marcus for $40 each (see don’t judge a department store by its reputation, deals can be found everywhere!), I bought two pairs of regulars and took them to the tailor to be shortened. Having these “simple” wardrobe pieces hasn’t been simple, but very much worth it!

As an aside, this necklace is more awesome than it looks. You may recall I mentioned it was a good buy at the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale and how I wanted to buy it but was “good” and saved my money. Well a reader I have been emailing with for a while contacted me asking my opinion on some pieces she was considering for the sale including this necklace and she went and bought it for me as a thank you/get well soon gift! Not only is the necklace such an incredibly sweet gesture, but her card with it brought me to tears.

I wrote you a number of years ago because you revolutionized getting dressed for me. You made it expressive and showed me that a curvy woman could be fashionable and classy. I love getting it together to go out, no matter what size I am. Especially having lived in Europe for 9 years, everyone is always dressed up upon stepping out the door. Thanks for helping me give up the sweats and inspiring me on the daily.

Well S, thank YOU for inspiring me to keep blogging and loving it! This necklace, and your whole letter will be items I will treasure. I feel blessed to have connected with you, and with all of you who read Wardrobe Oxygen on a regular basis. THANK YOU!

P.S. I almost called this post I’m My Sister’s Sister because I couldn’t believe I had a picture with one eyebrow up. I didn’t think I could do it, but I did and I look JUST like my sister in that photo!

Live. Learn. Get Linen.

I don’t like looking like a mess. Because usually… I am a mess. I’m the gal with coffee spilled on her shirt and her hem held up with safety pins so when I have the ability to control the situation… I do. I buy wrinkle-free button front shirts and still iron them, I have a repair kit in my purse with a Tide to Go pen, fashion tape and plenty of safety pins, and I usually choose a stretchy knit over something crisp that can be creased before I get to the office.

But messes happen, and with time I’ve learned to accept them and make them work. When I think about this evolution, I think of this brilliant series of commercials by the diaper company Luvs. My favorite of the bunch:

Life happens. Messes happen. You can restrict yourself until the cows come home to prevent a mess, or you can accept them, learn from them, and improve. With my experience I’ve learned that it’s okay to have a wrinkle or two, and this year I FINALLY embraced linen.

I have J.Jill to thank; when I was part of their Linen in a Whole New Light promotion this spring, I realized that some linen looks pretty good even when it’s rumpled. My white Big Shirt from them was something I chose because it fit over the cast, but has become a summer staple (see me wearing it on Instagram) because it protects me from the sun and is actually more comfortable in the heat than a stretchy tank top. I bought a pair of lined linen trousers from LOFT earlier this year; they’re machine washable which gives them an all-over purposeful wrinkled look straight from the dryer that looks cool with cotton voile tops and simple tanks and makes the creases from sitting less noticeable.

how to style linen summer

By incorporating linen I’ve learned some ways to wear it without looking like a messy paper bag:

  • Go White. White linen for some reason looks crisper than colors, and fresher than beige. The sun also reflects, hiding the wrinkles. Pair with a print that has white in it so the eye notices that more than any creases. These trousers from NYDJ (1) come in regular and petite lengths (and a few colors in plus) and are a classic cut that can dress up and down with ease. Choose a longer blouse or sweater to hide the jean-inspired pockets to dress up, or wear with a simple striped tank and sandals for the weekend.
  • Choose a Print. Prints take focus and disguise wrinkles. A print with lines and sharp angles really help hide creases, and one with a white ground reflects more light, diffusing lines. I’m loving this Ikat print dress from J.Jill (2), it comes in petite, tall and women sizes and has pockets deep enough to replace a purse for trips to the farmers market or a wine festival. Add a cardigan and pumps for the office, strappy heels for a shower or fundraiser, and casual sandals for the weekend.
  • Get Slouchy. If it’s oversized or slouchy, the wrinkles are part of its charm. I love this relaxed linen tunic from Garnet Hill (3); the rolled sleeves and longer look will be even more chic with a rumpled finish. Pair with ankle pants and pointed toe flats for a casual office, wear with denim shorts and sandals for running errands, even take on your beach vacation and let it work double duty as your beach coverup!
  • Choose a Blend. Linen blended with another fabric isn’t as prone to wrinkles. If you choose cotton, silk or another breathable fabric you can still keep cool in the summer heat. I’ve worn the “Taylor” fit of trousers from Halogen and find them quite flattering; this cropped version (4) has the slouchy vibe that’s hot this season without being passé by next summer. Available in regular and petite lengths and up to a size 16 (the line runs generous, if you’re between sizes you likely can go down), these can dress up for work with a blouse and pumps or be chic for drinks with a boxy linen tank and strappy heels.

It’s ridiculous to suffer for fashion rules. It’s hot out there, you’ll look far more stylish if you’re happy and comfortable with a few creases than restricted and sweating for the sake of style!

What I Wore: A Place for Everything with Dagne Dover

wardrobe oxygen what I wore dabne dover mini bag review dagne dover mini tote review wardrobe oxygen what I wore dagne dover bag review
Blazer: Ralph Lauren (thrifted – similar) | Tee: armor-lux (gift from reader – similar) | Jeans: NYDJ | Shoes: Cole Haan (similar) | Bag: c/o Dagne Dover

Reader Missy recently contacted me regarding the bag company Dagne Dover. She saw there was a pop-up shop taking place in DC and asked if I may be attending, and if so could I report back on what the bags were like in person. See, Missy has had the Dagne Dover Mini Tote on her wish list for months but was afraid to pull the trigger on such a pricey bag if she hasn’t seen and experienced it. Unfortunately I had plans the day of the DC pop-up shop so I contacted Dagne Dover to see if there would be another show in my area in the near future. To be honest I hadn’t heard of this brand before Missy’s email.  They were kind enough to send me one of the Mini Totes for me to experience and share with all of you.

Dagne Dover The Mini Tote Review

The Mini Tote from Dagne Dover is an incredibly smart bag while still maintaining style. Though it’s called a “Mini” you can tell from the photos that this bag isn’t small. However, it’s a manageable size that seems to easily hold much more than my biggest hobos or satchels. It’s not as tall or wide as my Brahmin satchel, but it holds twice as much and is far easier to access everything. There’s a removable cup of sorts to hold an umbrella or bottle of water, a padded pocket inside for a tablet or small notebook computer (I use it to hold my momAgenda and a book or my Kindle), and a zipper exterior pocket that can also hold a similarly sized device (I slipped in my tablet). There’s a pouch to hold sunglasses so they don’t get lost in the abyss, a detachable cord to hold my keys, and pockets to hold and easily access everything from my SmarTrip to my iPhone to my lipstick.  Missy asked if the bag can hold an 8.5 x 11″ document or folder and the answer is yes.  While it wouldn’t fit in any of the pockets, the main interior compartment is wide and deep enough to accommodate.  As I type this, I have 250 flyers of that size tucked in there and still room for my sunglasses, wallet, and the ability to access all the pockets.

Not pictured is a detachable adjustable strap that can make the Mini Tote a shoulder bag or crossbody. The strap is even smartly designed with padding where it rests on your shoulder! For my 5’3″ self I put the strap on the shortest setting and it was right at that comfortable hip place as a crossbody.  The built-in short straps do fit over the shoulder; I could fit it with a thin knit but found it too awkward with this outfit and impossible with a winter coat.  A slimmer woman may find it easier.  Full, the bag may feel too boxy for comfort under the arm, but the other day I slipped it over my shoulder for a quick trip to get lunch (my agenda, book, tablet, and umbrella were not in the bag).  I use the crossbody to get to the office so I can have my hands free to carry coffee or hold on when standing on the Metro, but I feel most comfortable at my height and weight to carry this bag in my hand as I did in this post.

After reading about these bags and the loyal fanbase, I really wanted to see the bag in person.  Why so much for a bag not out of leather?  Seeing it in person and using the bag, the price and loyalty is justified.  The bag is of coated canvas but it could easily be mistaken for Saffiano leather.  All the trim including the handles are of butter-soft Napa leather, the hardware is heavyweight and utterly gorgeous, and the pockets and added details are made with thought and care (a tight pocket for a Metro card, a deeper pocket for a SmartPhone, the ability to put the key cord on the side of your choice for easy access, etc.).  The more I used this bag the more I liked it; to be honest I wrote this post Sunday and came back Wednesday to edit it with more raving and detail.

I find Dagne Dover to be a perfect bag for the busy woman on the go. Unlike my other big bags, I find it a breeze to wear it across my body, unzip it and be able to see and access everything with one hand. Yes, you can hold a cup of coffee and be able to grab your sunglasses, you can hold a child on your hip and find your ringing phone, and you can quickly access your keys in a mall parking lot without having to put down your packages.  The Dagne Dover Mini Tote has a place for everything, with everything in its place.  If you have any questions about the Dagne Dover Mini Tote, please ask in the comments.  While Dagne Dover did send me the bag, this post is not sponsored and they knew I would be completely honest in my review and in replying to any comments.

FYI: The links in this post are for Missy to Share + Score with Dagne Dover.  I wouldn’t have known about this brand if it wasn’t for her.  You can learn more about the Share + Score program on Dagne Dover’s site, but if you are interested in purchasing one of their bags I encourage you to use one of the links on this post and support a fellow Wardrobe Oxygen reader!

What I Wore: Rule Breaker

Shirt: Ann Taylor (similar) | Jeans: NYDJ | Shoes: Nine West | Bracelet: Rebecca Minkoff

For YEARS I preached how some style rules just shouldn’t be broken, and one I stuck to was not wearing white pants before Memorial Day. And here it is the first full week of May and I’m wearing white jeans on the blog! (I also wore this same exact outfit a couple weeks ago, see on Instagram). Why the change of heart?  As my friend Rosana said on Twitter last week, by Memorial Day it’s just too hot to wear white jeans!  Also I think it looks seasonally appropriate when paired with darker colors and cooler weather accessories.  Choosing a closed-toe shoe and a longer sleeved blouse in navy shows I’m a purposeful rule breaker!

Follow Me | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

33-Worthy Friday

Shirt: Gap | Jeans: NYDJ “Marilyn” | Shoes: Softspots (similar) | Scarf: Bambi 1 Square Zebra” c/o Nepali by TDM Designs | Bracelets: Silver cuff (similar), indigo bracelets c/o Lifetherapy

It’s Friday! When I got dressed this morning I was thinking more about the rain and wearing some shoes other than the black Cole Haan sandals I have worn for almost two weeks straight (those and these are the only shoes I can carry off with the hurt leg). After getting dressed I realized that this outfit is all pieces I would choose if I was doing Project 333 (details here). While the white jeans are a different pair (last year’s jeans fit but they look strange, too low rise and a bit too short in length too), everything else is something I would choose if I had to pare down to just 33 piece in my closet.

This scarf has become quite a favorite, and I can’t believe this is the first time it has been featured on the blog. If you know me in real life, you know I wear this scarf weekly. It’s a soft bamboo that has gorgeous drape, the cadet blue shade is quite versatile, and it just feels good around the throat. This is the type of scarf I would take on vacation; it would be a great wrap on a plane, a cool shawl with an LBD, and can even be tied around the swimsuit like a pareo. All that, and you’re doing good by buying a scarf from Nepali by TDM Design!

I am proud to have partnered with Nepali by TDM, a company that creates opportunities for poverty-stricken women to generate sustainable income in Nepal. They are also invested in a literacy and education campaign throughout the country. Nepali by TDM Design’s mission is to bring about social and economic change by allowing women to participate financially in their society. All their scarves are hand-made in Nepal from natural materials and eco-friendly, azo-free dyes. You’ll see int he coming months that the clothing and accessory companies I partner with are ones I admire for doing more than making pretty things. Be they companies who give back to the community, improve this world, or care about how and where their products are made, I am proud to give them some visibility. I’ve been working with Nepali by TDM Design for several months now, and find them to be sweet people who truly care about the world around them, and the scarves are fabulous quality and high on style.

UPDATE: If you too like Nepali by TDM Design scarves, they are offering all Wardrobe Oxygen readers 25% off with the code wardrobeoxygen.  Happy shopping!

Follow Me | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

What I Wore: Foxcroft (plus a giveaway!)

foxcroft collection sweater
Sweater: Mixed Stripes Cardigan c/o Foxcroft | Tee: c/o SixTwenty | Jeans: NYDJ | Boots: DUO (similar) | Bag: c/o Fossil (similar)

foxcroft collection shirt
Shirt: Mixed Sateen Stripe Non-Iron Blouse c/o Foxcroft | Skirt: c/o CAbi (similar) | Shoes: Nine West | Bag: c/o Adora Bags

I’m proud to be partnering with Foxcroft again. For over 25 years, Foxcroft has provided impeccably made, well-constructed clothing that makes style simple. I’ve featured their clothes before, styled a photoshoot for them, and have gotten to know the people behind the quality brand. I’m excited to introduce the latest looks from Foxcroft, that’s now helmed by head designer, Laura Poretsky-Garcia. Laura, a CFDA member since 2007, has brought a chic, updated attitude to the brand while continuing to give women easy, wearable fashion.

foxcroft collection giveaway review resort collection

Stripes and dots – in bold, sophisticated colors – are the key themes for Foxcroft’s resort collection and all pieces in the collection are under $100. Foxcroft understands a woman’s body, creating clothing that flatters curves and comes in regular, petite, and plus sizes. Foxcroft sent me two pieces from the resort collection – one of their famous shirts and a sweater. The Mixed Stripe Blouse is a silky cotton that feels luxurious and doesn’t wrinkle. Foxcroft has different cuts of their shirts; this one is tailored to fit the figure, making it a great choice to wear tucked in and under blazers and cardigans. Their Mixed Stripes cardigan is a new favorite. The strategic stripes and waterfall front flatter the figure and make quite a statement – when I wore it to work I received many compliments, even from strangers. I wore it with a simple black shell and trousers to the office, but liked it for the weekend with a white tee and boyfriend jeans. Learn more about Foxcroft and their latest collection by following them on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest.

Giveaway

If you like the pieces that I’ve featured in this post, Foxcroft is offering one Wardrobe Oxygen reader this shirt and this sweater in the size of their choice (if items are not available in your size, we will work with you to find replacement pieces at the same or lesser price).  Giveaway is open to residents of the United States.  Winner will be chosen by random and contacted via email.  If winner doesn’t reply within 48 hours of receiving email another winner will be chosen.  Giveaway ends December 30, 2014.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

What I Wore: Leopard with Stripes

wardrobe oxygen what i wore talbots leopard coat wardrobe oxygen what i wore stripes and leopard wardrobe oxygen what i wore leopard coat talbots alison gary wardrobe oxygen
Coat: c/o Talbots | Tee: Armor-Lux | Jeans: NYDJ | Booties: Cole Haan (similar style, same brand) | Bag: c/o Fossil | Sunglasses: Ray-Ban

I shared this Talbots coat in my Talbots Fall Look Book post and was so excited when they sent me one as a gift! This is more of a coat than an indoor jacket; it’s the perfect choice over dresses, blouses and trousers, but I love how it glams up a classic weekend look. I’ve always been a fan of mixing leopard with stripes (see here and here), and this coat’s fuzzy texture adds an additional layer of interest. This coat is a 12 Petite, lined and cozy enough for a brisk fall day; add a pashmina at the throat and leather gloves and it will be just enough until the weather gets frigid!

Current favorite red lip is actually two colors – I start with Revlon Matte Lipstick in ‘Really Red’ and top with Revlon Colorburst Lacquer Balm in ‘Enticing.’ I find if I start with the Pixi lip primer/liner first, pat it in my finger, apply the lipstick and let it dry/set a bit, I keep the color all day and the Lacquer Balm refreshes it and adds shine.

What I Wore: In the Navy

Wardrobe Oxygen What I Wore #SoleSociety Wardrobe Oxygen What I Wore Navy and White Wardrobe Oxygen What I Wore Sole Society Suede Pumps Jacket: Lauren Ralph Lauren (thrifted – similar) | Tank: Boden | Jeans: NYDJ | Bag: c/o Fossil | Watch: Citizen | Shoes: ‘Ena‘ c/o Sole Society

I’ve been hearing about Sole Society for a while and admired their shoes but didn’t know much about the brand or its quality. So when Sole Society contacted me and offered to send me a pair of their shoes to try out, I was pretty excited. While Sole Society has many fun and fashionable styles, I wanted to try a more classic pair that could work at the office. I chose the ‘Ena’ pump; a 2.5″ heel shoe with a pointed toe and bow detail. While it comes in a black and white tweed and mushroom colored suede, I chose navy suede as it is becoming more and more a prominent color in my wardrobe.  I ordered an 8, my regular size and found it to fit like most department store brands of shoes, both in width as well as length.

sole society ena suede pump navy

For this outfit, I styled the Ena Suede Pump in more of a Casual Friday look with dark denim and a navy blazer, but have also worn the pumps with a simple sheath dress and with ivory trousers and a silk tee.  Sole Society is known for high quality shoes, bags, and accessories at amazing prices and these pumps do not disappoint. I think the quality and style rival brands that would sell a similar shoe at twice the price. I also have to say that from the blog end of things, it has been a pleasure working with the people of Sole Society, they’re super nice, personable, and passionate about their brand.  All that and they have a referral program where you can earn a $25 credit for referring friends to Sole Society!

Have you shopped with Sole Society before?  What do you think of the brand?

My Wardrobe Today – Friday

Jacket – Caslon (similar)
Tee – Ann Taylor (similar)
Jeans NYDJ
Booties Cole Haan “Air Tailia”
Bracelets – Tarnish, UTAC, boutique in Rehoboth Beach
Silver hoops

I have been having neck and left shoulder pain that radiates down into the center of my left arm. I think it has to do with the way my office desk/chair is set up – I moved my monitor and lowered my chair and it has helped a bit, but this morning I woke in pain again… and just didn’t have the desire to pull together a creative ensemble. Love this jacket – goes with so much and can make a very frumpy jeans and tee shirt look not quite so frumpy.

I had a great time last night at the Refinery29 party at Madewell!  I wasn’t able to stay long, but it was wonderful to see blogging friends, meet some bloggers for the first time, and revel in the amazing style that many posses in our lovely Nation’s Capital!  If you were there and took photos, be sure to link in the comments as I didn’t capture any myself!  I did find these great photos on the blogs The President Wears Prada, So Much to Smile About, and A Lacey Perspective but would love to see more!

So what are your plans for the weekend? Emerson and I have swimming class tomorrow, and Sunday our community is having their semi-annual baby clothing swap – we set up a table at the Sunday farmers market – everyone brings the clothing and equipment for babies and children that we no longer need and do a free swap. It’s a great way to clean out the closet and get new pieces for the season, and it’s always fun to see a littler child on the playground wearing Emerson’s old dress or tee shirt. Nice to see such pieces get a second life (and anything not taken is donated to a local charity!). I’ll be manning the table for a couple of hours – I love the opportunity to catch up with Emerson’s friends’ parents and hopefully enjoy a nice fall day!

Follow Me | Twitter | Facebook

What I Wore: Weekend State of Mind

Wardrobe Oxygen What I Wore Weekend Mom Style featuring Ramones Tee and NYDJ Wardrobe Oxygen What I Wore Weekend Look featuring NYDJ Wardrobe Oxygen What I Wore NYDJ Ponte Jacket and Hayden Jeans
Jacket: c/o NYDJ | Tee: had forever (similar) | Jeans: NYDJ | Boots: DUO (similar) | Bag: Rebecca Minkoff (similar) | Sunglasses: Ray-Ban | Cuff: had forever (similar)

When the weekend comes, I don’t have time to plan out outfits.  I have created a weekend uniform: jeans, a knit top, and a topper. It’s easy to choose sweater coats and cardigans in the fall, but a stretchy jacket like this ponte number from NYDJ is just as comfortable but more refined. This is the type of piece that can work for the office with trousers as well as dress down with a tee shirt for the weekend. With a lot of stretch that can help me chase after a kindergartener on the playground, and a big cup of caffeine to give me energy to go all day, I’m ready for any given Saturday or Sunday!

Recent Purchases: Shopping Fails and Wins, Wardrobe Edition

This is the time of year when I am at my largest. Shorter spans of daylight, holidays full of fattening goodies, and plenty of ice and snow to scare my arm into perma-hibernation takes its toll on the body. I’ve made a few purchases to fill in a couple gaps in this current size (a 14 petite in most brands) but have also made a couple purchases thinking of warmer months.

Like last spring, I’m still on a kick of black, white, navy, gray, and denim with pops of red-orange. Orange just makes me happy, and the version that has more red in it (some call blood orange, hot coral, tomato) is my all-time favorite. My personal style goes in two directions – clean and simple, or colorful boho. For very long I felt it has to be one or the other, but I don’t see why the two can’t play nice in one closet. I came to this realization last year when I read this book by Diane von Furstenberg and thought about her personal style. She embraces color and prints, fabrics that catch the breeze and bracelets that jingle when she speaks with her hands. However, Diane is never too much, she keeps it pretty simple from her low-fuss hair and makeup to the simple silhouettes to let the patterns shine.  She knows when to switch it up for a certain situation; I’ve been embracing my inner-DVF by sticking to my simple looks for day, but enjoying frills with colorful maxi dresses, bold lipsticks, and statement-making accessories.  Recent purchases and whether they are a fail or win:

spring 2015 fashion picks

1. Free People Boyfriend Button Down Top

This top from Free People looked perfect for Casual Friday or weekends; right now I imagined it with a layer underneath for warmth, skinny jeans, tall boots, and a long gold necklace. Come spring, I thought it would look adorable paired with distressed boyfriend jeans and metallic sandals or worn as a beach coverup. And after receiving, I think all would work… if you were in your third trimester of a pregnancy. Even with my curves this top was just too big in the body. However, I couldn’t size down because a Large fit perfectly, almost to a point of being snug, in the shoulders and arms. I like loose and floaty, but this is more boaty than floaty, with enough fabric for several sails. Too bad, because the color is super pretty and I love the gauzy crinkle fabric.

2. Plenty by Tracy Reese Deep V-neck Maxi Dress

The name of this dress scared me; with a large chest I usually shy away from anything described as having a deep v-neck because that usually means it would show my bra. And this girl and her girls can’t go without a bra. But it’s that color of reddish orange I love on a ground of black and it came in petite (I ordered 14 petite) so I figured I could give it a try. So glad I did, this dress is AWESOME! Yes, the neckline is low enough to show cleavage, but I can wear my daily bra without it showing. The petite length of this dress grazes the tops of my feet, making them it the perfect length for flat sandals. There are pockets, but they’re not on the side seams but instead in the front almost like a hoodie’s kangaroo pocket. But still, they’re deep enough for a phone or lipstick to stay in place. My chest is a bit big for the dress, making the fabric stretch a bit, but a black bra disguises this fact quite well. The rest of the dress including the back and waist (which is empire) fits quite comfortably. This is a jersey dress, may be dressy enough for a beach or day wedding, but not much more formal than that. I plan to wear this on weekends, a date night, and I know it will go in my bag for our annual trip to Rehoboth Beach.

3. NYDJ ‘Alina’ Stretch Skinny Jeans 

I’ve already shared my rave reviews for the NYDJ Alina in black twill. I still love them; I wash them on gentle inside-out and line dry to keep them dark black and in good shape. I loved them so much I decided to order another pair in denim. I ordered my same size (12 Petite), they arrived, and I could hardly get them pulled over my legs and there was no way in hell I was going to be able to zip and button them. They weren’t just “I gained 10 pounds” tight, they were “these are three sizes too small” tight. I exchanged them for another pair, thinking they were mis-sized and the next one was the same ridiculously small fit. Over the past few years I have tried almost a dozen different styles from NYDJ and while I have found the twill versions run a bit more loose and some skinny versions are too tight for my calves, in general I usually wear the same size. Not these.

4. NYDJ ‘Samantha’ Stretch Slim Straight Leg Jeans

So when the Alinas didn’t work out, I decided to try these. Success! These fit like traditional NYDJs and because they are a straight, not skinny leg, they fit my calves. Do note there’s no contrast stitching on these so they don’t look super “denim-y,” but I actually like that because it makes them more appropriate to be worn to the office.

5. Rachel Zoe Aventurine Horn Cuff Bracelet

I had some MYHABIT refer-a-friend credit burning a hole in my virtual wallet and I saw this bracelet was marked down from $125 to $41 and was intrigued. I wear my gold Rebecca Minkoff ‘Major Laser’ bracelet all the time, and was thinking this may look pretty with it, or on its own. I loved the aventurine detail, the bit of sparkle, and how it was tough yet feminine. It arrived, and it wasn’t as nice in person as it looked on the site. While the aventurine horns and the bit of sparkle was lovely, the gold was really fake looking and it was ill-designed, with the horns catching on everything. But it was technically “free” thanks to my credit so I wore it around the house and a friend complimented it so I decided to wear it to work the next day. By time I reached the office, one of the horns slipped completely out of the sparkly ring and was gone forever. I tried to push the other horn out but it was securely wedged in there. It must be a flaw, so I sent it back.

6. Daniela Swaebe Gold Tie Multi-Chain Fringe Statement Necklace

This is another item I bought with my MYHABIT credit. This one, unlike the Rachel Zoe bracelet, looks like it’s original price of $150. It’s a pretty badass necklace, a night weight, a nice color of gold, a nice size and shape. I use a necklace extender to lengthen the chain when I wear it outside of a shirt, but I’ve worn it peeking out of a button-front shirt and have it shorter so a bit of it shows. This is a necklace that gets attention and causes strangers to stop you and compliment it. This is how it has been with me and MYHABIT, there’s occasionally a fail, but more often than not I end up with a win.

7. Printed Maxi Dress: YOURBEACHBOUTIQUE on Etsy

Last year I found this dress on Etsy and I’ve worn it so many times.  It’s stretchy, sexy without being too much, and comfortable.  However the print can be a bit much at times.  I wished I had the same exact dress, but in a less jarring pattern.  I found this dress on Etsy, and while it’s from a different seller, it looked so much the same in cut and shape that I decided to try it.  Not only is it similar looking, it’s the same exact dress from the same brand and the same type of material (stretchy synthetic, almost like bathing suit material but with better drape)!  While the pattern I purchased isn’t currently in stock at YOURBEACHBOUTIQUE, they do have three other fun patterns available.  Head’s up, I do use a safety pin to close the neckline a bit, and this one is a tad longer than my floral print one so I’ll likely have my drycleaner take off an inch so I can wear with lower shoes.

Shop the Post:

Have you bought any fails or wins lately? Share in the comments!

My Wardrobe Today – Friday

Black tuxedo jacket – Ann Taylor (no longer available)
Quarry Print TankAnn Taylor
Jeans Not Your Daughter’s Jeans “Marilyn”
Black bootiesCole Haan “Air Talia Bootie”
Gold and crystal necklace – Ann Taylor LOFT (no longer available)
Gold and crystal bracelet – Anthropologie via eBay

Sorry for the dark pictures, this morning was very dark and gloomy. However the day has brightened a bit and I am looking forward to this weekend. There is a music festival in town on tomorrow and I hope to hit a mall on Sunday!

Have a great weekend everyone!

Follow Me | Twitter | Facebook

What I Wore: Casual Camel

hsn iman leather jacket love cortnie bag iman leather jacket hsn
Jacket: IMAN Platinum Genuine Leather Soho Chic Quilted Jacket c/o HSN | Tee: Ann Taylor (similar) | Jeans: NYDJ | Shoes: Cole Haan (similar) | Bracelet: Rebecca Minkoff (similar) | Bag: Love, Cortnie | Sunglasses: Ray-Ban

Oh this weekend was GLORIOUS! After a ton of snow and sub-zero temps it was nice to be able to take a break from the parks and lug-sole boots! HSN sent me this jacket from their Spring Fashion Collection, The Fashion Edit.  I originally thought it could work with the dress I wore last week, but it fits me more like outerwear than an accent piece.  With the warmer weather, I could finally wear this jacket with a pashmina at my throat and be comfortable!

This jacket is quite lovely, very soft buttery leather and luxe details. It comes in six colors, regular and plus sizes, and the price is amazing for such quality.  One thing I love about HSN is how beautifully things are packaged.  No stuffing everything into a plastic bag, pieces are wrapped with tissue, sealed in stiffer plastic cellophane.  This jacket came on a padded hanger that was wrapped in tissue and all the gold details also wrapped in tissue.  I understand it’s hard to tell what is true and fiction when a blogger receives free merchandise from a brand, but I am seriously impressed with HSN and they quality and brands they offer, and am glad they reached out to partner with me.

This post is not sponsored by HSN. They were kind enough to send me this jacket in hopes I could style it in a previous outfit post. I felt it looked best on its own and chose to wear it in this manner and feature it on the blog.

What I Wore: Statement Sweater

wardrobe oxygen what I wore gray poncho tunic sweater wardrobe oxygen what I wore Stella Dot pendant wardrobe oxygen what I wore MICHAEL Michael Kors poncho sweater
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:

Best of 2014: Style Purchases Edition

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:

PicMonkey Collage

MICHAEL Michael Kors Poncho Sweater

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.

Isabella Fiore Leather Tote

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.

NYDJ ‘Alina’ Stretch Skinny Jeans in Black

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.

Nine West ‘Flax’ Pumps

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.

Silver ‘Arizona’ Birkenstocks

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.

Rebecca Minkoff ‘Major Laser’ Gold Cuff Bracelet

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.

Oroblu Fleece Tights

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.

Gap Real Straight Jeans

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!

LOFT Custom Stretch Trousers (Marisa Fit)

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!

Converse Shoreline Sneakers

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!

Lazy Tux

Blazer: The Limited (similar) | Tee: Old Navy | Ascot: Belonged to my Dad | Silk Bracelet: c/o lifetherapy | Boots: DUO (similar) | Jeans: NYDJ | Lipstick: Revlon Matte in “Really Red”

I prefer rain to blustery cold days, especially in April. April showers bring May flowers, right? It rained all night and was still gloomy and wet when I left for work so I wore boots to be on the safe side.

Still playing with this hair, today is Day 2, I curled large sections with a standard curling iron, angling away from the face. Finger combed, then added Jonathan Silky Dirt for a piecey/Mandana from Rachel Zoe Project sort of look. The bangs are still wrong, I need to make an appointment with my stylist to fix this cut, but I just have not had the time. Even this weekend is booked solid but I need to figure it out before I go on a 2am hacking spree with my cuticle scissors!

Hope you all have a fantastic weekend, thank you so much for all your support, emails, comments, and tweets this past week. I blog because I love it, and because I love all of you. I love connecting with you, knowing my writing benefits you, and making new friends through technology. I seriously adore all of you and am so incredibly grateful to have you in my life!

Follow Me | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

Basic Black and White

Blouse: Jones New York c/o Gwynnie Bee | Jeans: NYDJ | Shoes: Cole Haan | Necklace: Cameron Pendant c/o Kristin Biggs, Stella and Dot | Watch: c/o WatchCo | Bracelets: c/o Lifetherapy, Nordstrom, had forever | Glasses: c/o Coastal.com

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.

Follow Me | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

Brand Love – Not Your Daughter’s Jeans

My stomach has always been my soft spot – even when I was younger, slimmer, and more athletic my lower belly protruded and was mushy. I remember working for Express, wearing their Metro collection – a knit hoodie, v-neck tee, and matching maxi skirt (hey, it was the late ‘90s!) and a customer pulled me aside and told me about a control garment sale taking place down the hall at Lord & Taylor. I was mortified, and resolved to do anything possible to get a six-pack. Even when doing crunches through the commercial breaks of Friends and Beverly Hills 90210 I had a soft tummy. Eventually I got over it and accepted it as a part of my body – a soft, mushy, protruding part of my body that I flattered with wrap dresses, wide waistbands on trousers, and untucked knits.

After having a baby, my lower tummy became even more pronounced. Even when I was able to fit into my pre-pregnancy pants, they looked terrible with my saggy belly. I resigned to the fact that I would live the remainder of my life in dresses… until I tried a pair of Not Your Daughter Jeans.

I hate control garments – they make me look like a stuffed sausage, aren’t comfortable, and often cause gas pains. I’d rather be curvy than uncomfortable. So when I heard that Not Your Daughter’s Jeans had a control aspect to them, they totally turned me off. But a reader raved about them, so I decided to try them. No pain, no constriction, yet the jeans held in my “mama pooch” and made me look more streamlined. The brand states that they will make you look a size smaller – I don’t know if it does that, but each time I wore them in the year after my pregnancy, people told me I looked great and asked if I lost weight.

Emerson is three years old and I still rely on Not Your Daughter’s Jeans for my denim. I have a couple other brands in my wardrobe, but I only wear them with tops that cover my lower belly. With NYDJ, I can wear shorter tops and fitted knits without feeling self-conscious.

Other than the hidden and yoga pant-comfortable control aspect of NYDJ denim, I like that the jeans don’t LOOK like control denim. No logos or visible labels, every cut seems to have an option with non-embellished pockets (I don’t like decorated denim), on-trend washes and silhouettes, and the denim is cut for women with curves. Straight jeans in other brands look like stovepipes on me and skinnies don’t fit over my calves – with NYDJ straight looks straight and skinny is skinny without cutting circulation off to my feet. I can get classic fits like a dark wash of Barbara or Marilyn, or get trendy with a skinny like Sheri or hot pink cropped Alishas.

Many of you readers have told me that you find NYDJ to be too expensive – and yes, they aren’t cheap. However, they are quality jeans. If I wash on the gentle cycle and line dry, my NYDJ jeans will remain in great shape with the same saturated color for years. I recently sold a pair of two-year old NYDJ on eBay for $35 and they were worn and washed several dozen times, yet were in great enough condition to garner positive feedback from the buyer. NYDJ is also available at great prices at Nordstrom Rack, Amazon, and NYDJ outlet stores (for you local yokels, there’s one at Arundel Mills Mall). But really, I often talk about quality, not quantity and I feel NYDJ fits the bill – you can get away with one pair of their $125 jeans to cover weekends and nights out with friends equally well, and not find them to be dated in a year’s time.

And nope, NYDJ didn’t ask me to write this post. I am writing this because I noticed on laundry day how many pairs I own, and how often I happily wear them. I believe a woman should love and accept her current body, she shouldn’t go through pain or humiliation to achieve society’s ideal for a woman’s figure. However, if you can find something that makes you feel more confident and flatters this lovely body you own, I say go for it!

Update: Many of you had questions so I figured I’d answer them here for all to read:

  • These jeans are a high rise; that helps keep the tummy completely smooth and there’s no muffin top.  However they don’t taper like “Mom Jeans” giving you a weird shape, and the pockets are still at the appropriate place on the bum.  The novelty styles seem to have a lower rise than the traditional jeans
  • I haven’t had any problem with the color fading or running with the novelty jeans.  I planned to wash the red on its own, but my husband threw them in with the rest of the denim and they turned out great.  The pink still looks bright after several washes.
  • The jeans run a hair large, especially if you want them to suck in the tummy.  If you are deciding between two sizes, go a size down.  I have NYDJs in 12 and 10, but the 10s suck in the tummy better but aren’t indecent/too tight/uncomfortable.
  • NYDJ has the control in the tummy area, not in the hips or rear.  However, they are made for a woman’s curves so those of you who find jeans are not flattering to your hips or bum may like them because of the lightweight stretchy denim, shape, and style.  I cannot personally vouch for this as I am as apple as apple can be.
  • I am 5’3″ and I have NYDJs in regular and petite lengths.  Each style seems to have a different inseam.  The straight legs I like in regular because they look best with heels, however I have a pair of petite straight legs I wear with flat shoes.  The bootcuts run longer and I find the petite is too short for my heels, so I have the regulars shortened by my dry cleaner.  Check the descriptions, even their crops come in different inseams in regular lengths.  I recommend trying them on in a store to really understand the unique fit of NYDJs – they aren’t like regular jeans for weight, shape, or length and the style that I like best may not be the best bet for your specific figure.

Follow Me | Twitter | Facebook

Fashion Undressed: Plagiarism as Design Inspiration?

alison santighian for wardrobe oxygen

“It’s been done before.”

If you’ve watched any of the ubiquitous fashion design shows, you’ve heard coaches, mentors, and judges critique rising courtiers, telling them that their designs aren’t new.

“What goes around, comes around.”

Not just life advice, those of us who’ve been around tend to roll our eyes at the cyclical versions of trends we wore in our youth – sometimes twice.

Isabel Marant Fall 2015 Look 3Isabel Marant’s Fall 2015 Ready-to-Wear line pulled from Native American graphics. Image via Style.com

When I saw The Guardian’s June 17, 2015 piece in the latest fashion plagiarism accusation, I wondered – again – where the line lies for a designer and her inspiration. In this case, women artisans in the Mexican Santa Maria Tlahuitoltepec community have accused French designer Isabel Marant of plagiarizing their native costume for her Fall 2015 collection. Blouses strikingly similar to those they make and sell in their village retail under Marant’s Etoile label as dresses for upwards of $300.

KTZ Fall 2015 Look 21An issue since designs became art, modern fashion plagiarism came “back in” over KTZ’s Fall 2015 New York Fashion Week collection. Blog Native Appropriations discussed the accusations at length. Image via Style.com

As each season’s runway rolls by, designers put out press releases and show notes citing their “inspirations.” Some are purposeful, like Karl Lagerfeld’s 2013 Dallas, Texas, Metiers d’Art show. In that case, Lagerfeld turned on “cowboys and indians” to recall and use Coco Chanel’s fascination with Texas. The designs, many of which reused stereotypical “western” motifs, were not received well by critics. They were considered uninspired and almost cartoony. Using a “Native American”-influenced graphic blanket as a coat didn’t turn anything on its design head. Unlike some of his contemporaries (think Givenchy’s Fall 2013 Bambi sweatshirt), Lagerfeld applied not a lick of irony or sarcasm.

Chanel Fall 2013 Look 12Fashion legend Karl Lagerfeld drew – unabashedly – from not only Scottish plaid but also from traditional Scottish structures for his Pre-Fall 2013 collection. Image via Style.com

Where is the line, then? Can a designer not see a shape, line, or color in a native costume or a previous season’s design and apply it to make it current? Artists (and many designers certainly fancy themselves as such, whether or not the rest of the world views them that way) use life and the world around them as springboards to their creativity. Art is exactly that: taking that which surrounds us and interpreting it as an expression of ourselves or our message. If fashion is art, can designers call on and bring native cultures’ art forms to the runways? When is inspiration an honor and a positive spotlight for those cultures, and when is it a designer profiting from an ancient artist’s creativity?

Mara Hoffman Fall 2015 Look 10Inventive prints and global inspiration are considered designer Mara Hoffman’s “signature,” even resulting in travel articles centered on her designs. Image via Style.com

Alison SantighianBy day, Alison Santighian is a contractor for the federal government, using her super powers to serve our country, but by night (after bedtime for her “Beans” now 7 and almost 5), she pines after the “it” factor. Alison and “H” (better known as #besthusbandever) don’t believe badass has an expiration date, so they hit concerts, shows, restaurants, and openings across the globe. Alison also writes for Glass Magazine, adding a business woman’s eye to fashion week reviews and style features. Follow her on Twitter.

Saturday: Weekend Style

Top: Ann Taylor | Jeans: NYDJ | Necklace:Cameron” c/o Kristin Biggs, Stella and Dot | Flats:Mary” c/o Ecco | Sunglasses: Ray-Ban

My weekend style is pretty simple – solid or striped knit top with jeans. When it’s cold those jeans are covered with tall boots, when it’s warmer the flats come out. Yes folks, I do own flats and wear them on weekends to give my feet a change of pace. Ecco sent me these flats and I adore them because they are a soft leather, have good structure and arch support, and I love the soft metallic finish.

This top was a final sale from Ann Taylor online and I wish it wasn’t for I would likely return it. It’s extremely boxy which makes me look a bit like a linebacker and the side zippers scratch my stomach. Oh, and even though I bought it online and it arrived with tags, it smelled like another person’s deodorant and perfume and had blonde hairs twisted into the knit. Seems to be a running theme lately with online shops as I made my first MYHABIT purchase – a lovely red Latico leather crossbody that is the perfect color and size for casual spring and summer activities (and half the price of what it’s selling for online). Though it had tags on it, the bag came with a “purse score” (festie terminology: when you find something random and good on the field after a performance at a festival it’s called a ground score) of a Yogi Bedtime tea bag and a clay bead. I get that shops re-sell returned items, but where is the quality assurance that checks pockets, sterilizes and cleans items before retagging?

On a positive note, The “Hayden” jeans from NYDJ in petite is a pretty good straight jeans for the spring per my fantasy fashion wish list!

Follow Me on Bloglovin | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram