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It’s Nordstrom Clearance Time: Best Apparel Sale Picks

Nordstrom has some of the GREATEST sales, and they’re pretty picky with the brands they offer so you know you can get some great pieces at great prices. They’re having a clearance on selected items through February 22nd, there’s so many amazing deals I couldn’t fit them all in one post. Today I’m sharing my picks for footwear deals at Nordstrom (see my top picks for shoes here):

Tops

I don’t know if it’s the weather or still being burned out from the holidays but I am all about easy dressing for the office. Drapey tops paired with pants with stretch are my jam, and Nordstrom has some great tops that are comfy while being stylish and work-friendly. I’ve already written about the awesome cashmere and basic deals available at Nordstrom and Lands’ End, so here I will focus on unique pieces that will make a statement even if they’re just paired with jeans or black pants. I find such sweaters get far more wear than my simple v-necks and crews. My picks on sale:

  • Pleione Shirred Shoulder Blouse: Available in regular and petite sizes and three prints, this top would look great untucked or tucked with trousers, tucked into a pencil skirt, worn under a blazer, or even paired with skinny jeans and tall boots for the weekend. I love the unique neckline. $38.40
  • ASTR Pleated Sleeveless Tunic: Wear now under a blazer or cardigan, wear come spring with work trousers and a pendant necklace, or pair with pumps and skinny jeans for Date Night. $33.60
  • Vince Camuto Faux Wrap Shirttail Blouse: I own this top in orange and adore it.  It’s one of the few drapey tops out there that is flattering on a large bust.  Regular and petite available. $35.55
  • Pleione Mixed Media Tunic: Four great colors to add spirit to your office neutrals, this blouse can be worn untucked with more narrow of trousers or tucked in and paired with pants and skirts. The look can dress up for the office or look great come Casual Friday with denim. Regular and petites available and reviews say this one fits busty figures well. $34.80
  • Sandra Engrish Two-Pocket Voile Tunic: A beautiful variety of colors, regular and petite sizes available. This is more for casual offices; reviews say if you’re petite you may be able to wear this as a short dress. Pair with leggings for the weekend and skinny trousers, boots, and a scarf for Casual Friday. The blue is my favorite. $39.90
  • Leith Side Tie Wrap Sweater: I have this in navy and love it. It’s long and runs big, but the quality is great and it’s a nice alternative to a cardigan or sweater tunic. I wear mine over a striped tee and pair with ponte skinny pants and boots. $38.40
  • Vince Camuto Boatneck Sweater: Horizontal ribbing and patch pockets make this sweater stand out from the crowd without looking too outlandish. Wear with everything from ponte leggings and tall boots to work trousers with ease. $35.90
  • Sejour Print Wool & Cashmere Sweater: Oh wow, this sweater!  Is that a leopard print? a Rorschach test?  Whatever it is, this black and white plus size sweater makes a statement while looking oh so elegant.  $82.80
  • Haute Hippie Cowl Neck Blouse: Clearance time is the time  buy all those brands you drool over but can’t usually afford.  For me, Haute Hippie is one of them.  This spectacular blue silk blouse makes such a statement.  For day slip a black or contrast color camisole underneath for modesty and come night pair with skinny jeans or black pants and heels to stun.  $176.98
  • Alex Evenings Plus Size Side Tie Blouse: This top is exactly what I’m talking about in my wardrobe staples.  You can pair with a black pencil skirt, trousers in ivory or black, a maxi skirt, or even a pair of jeans.  $88.80

Spring Coats

While the sale has plenty of winter coats available to prepare for next year, I’m most impressed by the lighter weight coats, especially trenches. I bought my DKNY trench during a Nordstrom clearance several years ago and it’s still worn all the time. It’s perfect for travel, misty days, and looks far nicer over a dress than a bulkier anorak.  But in these picks are some other great coats that will make a statement while keeping you warm and dry:

  • MICHAEL Michael Kors Trench Coat with Detachable Hood: The only thing missing from my trench is a hood. This coat, available in regular and petite sizes has that, along with classic lines and a shorter more flattering length. I adore the Dark Moss color which is an elegant neutral that is quite versatile (imagine with a hot pink scarf!). This coat will look great this spring and for many years to come. $104.98
  • MICHAEL Michael Kors Detachable Hood Trench Coat: Another from MMK, this one is a matte finish and has four different colors to choose from. While you can’t go wrong with black, safari, or khaki, the dark red is also a winner. Regular and petites available. $104.98
  • MICHAEL Michael Kors Detachable Liner Plus Size Trench: Same great colors and style of the last trench, but in plus sizes and with a very useful detachable liner for warmth.  $128.98
  • London Fog Double Breasted Trench with Detachable Liner: This is the kind of trench you buy now and will still be wearing a decade or two from now.  The detachable liner makes it even more versatile and this price is awesome for a quality wardrobe classic.  Two colors available. $98.98
  • Helene Berman Large Collar Faux Fur Coat: Gosh I love a leopard print that is a little bit unusual.  With the white ground in this print, the coat looks fresh, modern, chic, yet timeless.  What a statement, what a coat that will cause people to stop you on the street to comment on it! $238.80
  • Via Spiga ‘Scarpa’ Hooded Trench: What great colors! What nice style details! This is a gorgeous trench that will stand out from the pack without looking dated in a couple years. Regular and petite sizes, this trench gets rave reviews from Nordstrom customers. $129.90
  • Kenneth Cole New York Stand Collar Coat: Omigoodness how can you resist a pale pink jacket?  Also available in ivory, this coat’s modern cut and details make it a winner that will garner compliments and flatter jeans workwear, or dresses.  $129.90
  • Via Spiga Satin Belted Trench: Oh gosh Alison, not ANOTHER trench!  Seriously, though this coat has trench details it’s far more modern, chic, and dressy.  This is a badass coat that will elevate all your looks and work as a dress coat quite nicely.  Three colors available.  $139.90
  • MICHAEL Michael Kors Hooded Single Breasted Topper: For those who don’t like a belted trench, this is the coat for you.  Princess seaming and a half-belt in the back give this coat a flattering fit while still being a classic.  Red and navy available. $129.90
  • Treasure&Bond Leather Moto Jacket: A classic moto with a feminine fit and a unique but versatile color.  Reviews say this burgundy jacket is even more beautiful in person. $198.90
  • City Chic ‘Clean Cut’ Plus Size Coat: Gorgeous color, gorgeous cut.  This beautiful coat will look great with everything from your jeans to a LBD.  $89.97
  • Bernardo Leather Scuba Jacket: A chic moto from a brand I own and love for its amazing quality and fit.  Great fit, while the black is classic the cognac is a gorgeous alternative that will look so nice with denim but also paired over a sheath dress.  This is the type of jacket that could become your signature.  Regular and petite sizes available. $299.90
  • Ace Delivery Leopard Print Topper: This jacket is like a hybrid of my pink topper and leopard Talbots coat and is likely just as versatile as those two. $92.46

Dresses and Jumpsuits

Now’s the time to buy those dresses for all the spring and summer weddings, and get a great deal on festive pieces that will work year-round. My favorites:

  • Myne ‘Heidi’ Silk Dress: Omigoodness Omigoodness this is the dress I bought that makes me feel like a Grecian goddess and now it’s on sale for under $200!  Go get it! $166.80
  • Ellen Tracy Knot Waist Stretch Crepe Dress: This is the perfect dress.  The style can dress up or down for anything from the office to an evening affair, the cut and fabric can work year round, and the material is travel-friendly and wrinkle-resistant.  Oh, and the knot detail whittless the waist and creates and hourglass shape!  $70.80
  • MICHAEL Michael Kors Studded Sleeve Boatneck Jersey Jumpsuit: The stretchy fabric and hidden back zip of this plus size jumpsuit means you can actually use the bathroom (a rarity for many jumpsuits). The studded detail on the arms isn’t too flashy, just the right bit of bling. $101.98
  • Gabby Skye Plus Size Jacquard Fit and Flare Dress: This is one of those perfect dresses you can dress up or down. For work with a cardigan and pumps, for a wedding with strappy heels and some sparkle, or even for the weekend with flats and a ponytail. $52.80
  • Calvin Klein Embellished Matte Jersey Plus Size Jumpsuit: I swear, this should be the only fabric that jumpsuits are made in because it doesn’t cling but it stretches enough to make it easy to slip on and off.  The shoulder detail really takes it up a notch. $74.40
  • Felicity & Coco Popover Jacquard Dress: Adore the faux two-piece look, it’s quite flattering and hints to a current trend without making it passe in a season.  The navy/black pattern is quite versatile and would lovely at a wedding, date, or next winter at a holiday party.  Regular and petite sizes.  $70.80
  • Adrianna Papell Sequin Mesh Sheath: Do you know how many times I wish I had a dress like this in my closet?  New Year’s Eve party, black tie wedding, company holiday party this year at a fancy location, formal night on a cruise… I could go on./  I love the two non-black colors available, that it doesn’t cling, and that it could work year-round.  Regular and petites available. $118.80

It’s Nordstrom Clearance Time: Best Shoe Sale Picks

Nordstrom has some of the GREATEST sales, and they’re pretty picky with the brands they offer so you know you can get some great pieces at great prices. They’re having a clearance on selected items through February 22nd, there’s so many amazing deals I couldn’t fit them all in one post. Today I’m sharing my picks for footwear deals at Nordstrom:

  • Blondo ‘Elenor’ Waterproof Riding Boot: Classic style, beautiful leather, and a waterproofed finish means you can splash and hit slush without fear. It’s rare to find boots of this quality and type under $200 and the reviews are positive if you have an average to slim calf. $199.90
  • Lucky Brand ‘Hibiscus’ Boot: A gorgeous classic riding boot in three colors that will transition beautifully into spring. This is an extended calf version that stretches to fit a 16” circumference leg. http://bit.ly/17hYvFB This also comes in regular sizes in three other classic colors. $139.98
  • Via Spiga ‘Nino’ Sandal: This is a classic yet chic shoe that can work now with tights (yes, you can wear open toes with opaque tights) and come spring and summer with everything from flirty frocks to your favorite pair of jeans. Fantastic reviews on a shoe that will look sharp now and for many seasons to come, and this is an awesome price for this brand. $112.49
  • Jessica Simpson ‘Claudette’ Pump: I’m a sucker for a leopard calfhair pump, and when it has a pointy toe and a relatively wearable heel height (4”) I’m in love. Even better when the price is this nice. $59.37
  • Via Spiga ‘Darby’ Wedge Pump: A wedge is far more comfortable than a pump, and this elegant wedge would look right at home with your work outfits as well as styled with a skirt. Classic black polished leather, almond toe, and a covered heel makes this an elegant wardrobe staple. Again, a stellar price for this quality brand. $116.98
  • Vince Camuto ‘Effel’ Sandal: I have this shoe and adore it; I wore it more than any other shoe this past spring and summer and know it will be the same this year. It’s very comfortable and looks great with dresses as well as pants. Three colors and wide widths available and a nicer price than what I paid! $79.90
  •  Isaac Mizrahi ‘Lamis’ Pump: An elegant pump in an array of great colors and textures. A natural patent begging to freshen up your frocks and peek out of light-colored trousers this spring and some fun colors to add spirit to your basic black and neutrals. $94.90
  • Cole Haan ‘Carlyle’ Boot: This sleek heeled boot is the type of item you never feel you can justify, but once you have it in your wardrobe you’ll be wearing all the darn time. Elegant, stylish, a wearable heel height; pair these with work skirts and dresses or slip over leggings for a great night out look. These will be chic for many years to come and this is a fantastic price for Cole Haan boots. $198.98
  • Ivanka Trump ‘Sophia’ Pump: This is the type of pump that never goes out of style; these five colors work now, can work come spring with a lighter dress (imagine the green with cream or ivory!), and will still be stylish come next year. At this price, it’s worth it to invest now. $65.96
  • http://bit.ly/1CWcaz8 Louise et Cie ‘Kingcale’ Boot: What an elegant and timeless boot! The elastic back keeps it comfortable and from looking too ordinary. This is the kind of boot you can wear all fall and winter, over leggings and skinny jeans and with skirts. Two classic colors available to make these a wardrobe staple now and next fall. $176.96
  • Frye ‘Erin’ Chelsea Boot: I mentioned this boot multiple times in advice posts this winter, but it was always a bit outside my price comfort zone even though I knew they were a classic style and a brand that has proven time and time again to be great quality. Well now they’re on sale! Get your Chelsea boot fix at a very nice price. $172.77
  • MICHAEL Michael Kors ‘Cameron’ Sandal: There’s just something about this heeled sandal that calls out to me. It has a funky modern edge that is unique, but not too trendy. The strapping and platform heel make it stable and secure. It’s hefty enough to be styled with denim or pants but also look great with an LBD. I can’t decide which of the colors I like most. $86.96

While I shared just these, it doesn’t mean they are the only great deals going on at Nordstrom. Many I loved I didn’t list because they didn’t have enough of a size range left, or because they were too specific a style. Do check the whole selection and narrow down by your shoe size for there’s some great deals on comfort brands, athletic shoes, and tons of boots of every size and style. Happy shopping!

Nordstrom Clearance Sale – Best Buys Under $100

If you follow Wardrobe Oxygen on Facebook (which you should, I share lots of content there that I don’t share anywhere else and the discussions in the comments can get quite good), you know that Nordstrom is having a clearance sale, and I’m pretty impressed with what is available at a nice price. I felt this sale was so good and I was getting too annoying with my posts on Facebook that I had to share my faves here on the blog. A lot of these deals are better than Nordstrom’s Anniversary Sale prices, and there’s a lot of winter must-haves available. Below I share my opinion on great buys and all are under $100:

Shoes:

Nordstrom has the best sales on shoes; if you stalk their sales you can get shoes up to 70% off, and unlike other sale sites, you can easily return any shoes that are wrong for free, and no sale is final.

  1. The ‘Oaklee’ Pump by DV for Dolce Vita is a great alternative to my now-discontinued silver pumps from Nine West, and a great price of $47.37. Also available in black leather, blush and red suede, this shoe gets rave reviews from Nordstrom customers.
  2. Another great shoe from DV for Dolce Vita is the ‘Posie’; that perfect suede wedge bootie that goes with every cut of denim in your wardrobe. In black and tan suede, this shoe can slip under straight and boot cut styles and will also look great with cuffed boyfriend and skinny jeans (add a ragg sock to fill in the space between jean and shoe). A wedge makes height easy to walk in, and the price of $49.96 isn’t too tough on your wallet.
  3. I’ve been a fan of the elegant ‘Moveover’ flat from BP. for a long while and regularly feature it in my capsule wardrobes. Right now, red and cobalt patent and silver leather are on sale for $33.46. If you’re looking for a holiday shoe that’s festive yet flat, this is for you. Pair the silver with a LBD or velvet ankle pants for a comfortable yet chic party look.
  4. I’ve always loved the look of Chuck Taylors but never found them comfortable… until I tried their Shorelines. The elasticized back plus a slightly different shape makes them a weekend favorite for me year-round. Three slightly sparkly colors of the Shoreline are on sale for $36.81 and would look great this winter as well as come spring and summer.
  5. Fun shoes are fine and good, but sometimes you need to be practical. The ‘Blast III’ snow boot from Trotters is subtle enough to handle your office commute, but sturdy enough to survive a tough winter. Available in four widths and only $57.40, this is a great winter buy.
  6. I own the ‘Marlie’ pump from Halogen in gray leopard and find it sexy yet quite comfortable. This sale has the black and red calfhair versions on sale for $60.26.
  7. I find BP. shoes to be quite comfortable and well made for their low prices. Their ‘Andover’ bootie is one of those classics that will look stylish now and years from now. Slip under jeans and more casual work trousers, or pair with tights and dresses. Available in cognac and black for $66.96
  8. Always nice to find a rainboot with some style! The ‘Devenport’ rain boot from MICHAEL Michael Kors looks like an engineer boot but will let you comfortably slog through slush and puddles. On sale for $76.97, these are the kind of boots you don’t need to take off as soon as you get to your destination.
  9. Doc Martens are a classic, and the ‘1460 W’ boot from them fits this season’s grunge theme, but is also a useful boot to wear under pants or over tights and leggings and stay warm and dry all winter. On sale for $80.77
  10. I adore these shiny silver or gold sneakers from MICHAEL Michael Kors – what a great way to add style without sacrificing comfort! On sale for $83.71, these will add shine and style to all your wardrobe basics.
  11. Hello, a knee-high wide calf boot under $100? Yes please! The BP. ‘Burton’ boot has moto-inspired details that are on trend yet a classic and the $87.06 price is very nice.
  12. For those who don’t have wide calves, the ‘Aragosta’ tall moto boot from Nine West is also pretty awesome, and has the awesome price of $88.89.

Bags and Accessories

  1. Nordstrom sales are when I pick up most of my scarves. They have great deals at that time, and you can find some pieces that end up being wardrobe favorites. I love this ‘Folklore Floral’ scarf from Tasha; both colors are pretty but I am partial to mustard. Imagine it peeking out of a leather jacket this fall or tied around your head or waist with a sundress this summer! Only $18.76 for a wardrobe gamechanger.
  2. Get the look of my silver cuff for a nice low price! This cuff from Nordstrom comes in silver and gold and is only $28.98. I’ve bought Nordstrom brand costume jewelry before and have always found it high quality.
  3. This Fringed Faux Pearl Necklace from Nordstrom will dress up basic knits in your wardrobe without being too ostentatious. The length is both versatile and flattering. $28.98
  4. For a bit more drama, this Faux Pearl Multilayer Necklace from Nordstrom is perfect. Classic but makes a statement, this would quickly dress up your office dress to be perfect for after-work drinks or a weekend wedding. $33.98
  5. The ‘Audrey – Mallory’ leather wallet from Lodis is begging to be a holiday gift for a woman on your list. A quality brand, a gorgeous color, and that perfect size to slip into a clutch or small purse, it’s a steal at $34.80
  6. Talk about a statement necklace! Buy this fringe necklace from Nordstrom because I told myself I am not allowed to, though I have been admiring it all season! Imagine it peeking out of the neckline of a wrap dress, or worn over a simple black turtleneck. This baby would even make a simple white tee shirt look glam. On sale for $40.80
  7. A black tote is a great item to have in your arsenal, this one from Sam Edelman has enough structure and the leather details to make it office appropriate. $58.80
  8. I love this ruana from Echo so much, and I can’t decide which color is best. Slip over a simple tank for a fun casual night out look, belt over a sweater and jeans, and this summer wear as a beach coverup. Once you have it, you’ll find so many ways to style it. $58.96
  9. Tis the season for the most perfect pashmina under the sun at a nice price. I only buy cashmere pashminas from Nordstrom during their sales. They’re the perfect weight, perfect size, and with over 30 colors to choose from you can find the perfect one for your wardrobe. $78.40
  10. I love oversized aviators, but they’re usually pricey. These from MICHAEL Michael Kors are perfect for those of us with big heads (or those who like the oversized look), have a classic shape and color, and the great price of $86.43.
  11. This leather shoulder bag from Halogen is simple perfection; while black is a safe bet I am also loving the Red Velvet shade. On sale for $88.80.
  12. A leather satchel under $100? Woo-hoo! It’s available in the same shades as the shoulder bag, can be carried in the hand or worn as a shoulder or crossbody and is only $94.80.

Clothing

While I could make a list of 500 great clothes and outerwear on clearance at Nordstrom, I stuck to the top 12 under $50.00.  However, I recommend you check out the entire clearance clothing department for there’s some amazing buys for lingerie, activewear, swimwear, sleep and loungewear, as well as coats and clothes and such in regular, petite, and plus sizes.

  1. Clearance time is when I stock up on tights at Nordstrom.  The DKNY Opaque Control Top Tights are on sale for $12, as are their Super Opaque tights (also on sale for $12) which add extra opacity and warmth.  DKNY tights are durable, well-made, not shiny, and I find fit my figure quite nicely.  If you’re a Spanx fan like me, their Tight End Tights are on sale for $21 and In Power Line Shaping Sheers are also $21.  Commando tights are durable and well made; their opaque tights are on sale for $25.50 and their Ultimate Opaques on sale for $27.
  2. This sleeveless drape neck top from Halogen is a wardrobe workhorse; in the summer pair with white jeans and metallic sandals for a night out look and come winter wear under your suits and cardigans for office style.  On sale for $23.40 in regular and petite sizes, it’s available in a rosy pink print, a subtle black and navy print, and classic black and ivory.
  3. I have this classic Three Quarter Sleeve Cardigan from Halogen and find it to be a good basic cardi with a nice fit; you can’t ever have too many of these come fall and at this price you can buy one to keep at the office or in the car.  Available in pink, plum, and a black and ivory ‘chameleon’ print for $27.60.
  4. This Open Front Cardigan from Bobeau is a must this season.  It’s style looks office appropriate but it’s easy to throw on over a tee for the weekend.  Without buttons, it’s easier to wrap and belt for a completely different look.  10 colors and prints available in regular and petite sizes for just $29.90.
  5. Another great cardigan, this one from Olivia Moon and it has a bit more of a drape and a nice nubby texture.  Available in plus sizes as well as regular and petite, I’m partial to the cream/black stripe. $29.40 for regular and petite, $33.98 for plus.
  6. It’s a jacket, and it’s a cardigan!  This plus size knit waterfall cardigan with faux leather sleeves from Jessica Simpson is one of those pieces that makes you look pulled together though you feel as cozy as if you were in sweats.  $34.49
  7. This Three Quarter Sleeve Wedge Dress from Gibson is one of those perfect dresses that can dress up or down depending on how you style it.  Pair with pearls and heels for a wedding, or wear with a pashmina and tall boots for a trip to the mall.  Available in black, blue, and burgundy for just $34.80.
  8. Caslon’s Pocket Tunic Sweater is perfect for pairing with skinny jeans and tall boots for the weekend, but some of the prints (and basic black) would also work nicely in a Business Casual office.  Available in regular and petite sizes for just $34.80.
  9. When you can find quality suiting pants under $40 it’s pretty exciting.  Halogen’s ‘Taylor’ pants are comfortable, nice quality, and an even nicer price during this sale.  The pants in Heather Taupe are a classic shade, available in regular and petite lengths, and only $39.49.
  10. It’s the time of year for corduroy, and these stretch cords from JAG are a perfect cut to wear with ankle booties or flats, or slip under tall boots. Four colors available in petite sizes for just $47.40.
  11. I love this long sleeve knit jacket from Caslon.  Moto details and colors that can work in the office as well as for the weekend, this is a great way to polish up basic knits and jeans or add warmth to workday dresses and blouses.  Three colors available for $39.90.
  12. Kut from the Kloth makes great fitting jeans and I think they hold up quite well too.  Bootcuts are back, and the ‘Natalie’ from Kut from the Kloth is a great cut and a great price at $47.70.  Available at this link in black, and this link in ‘Wise’ which is a more traditional jean color.

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale: What I Bought and What You Should Get!

I love Nordstrom. Great selection of brands and sizes, great customer service in stores and online, free shipping and returns, and when I worked retail it was the most serene place in a mall. My morning coffee drink came from their Espresso Bar, my afternoon salad from their Café, and my shoe wardrobe and made up face from their fabulous staff on the main floor. I got rid of all my store credit cards years ago but held onto my Nordstrom card because of the perks. Reward notes for cash off purchases, free alterations, exclusive in-store events… and early entry to the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale which starts July 18th!

Last Thursday I shopped the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale early, but in a different frame of mind from previous years. Usually I use it as Back to School shopping, plotting out my personal style and wardrobe for the upcoming seasons, choosing pieces that will become signature. My blue leather and green leather jackets and my pleated leather skirt are all previous Anniversary Sale purchases.

But this year? I’m going to work as much as I can with what I already have. I think back and really LIKE what I already own, so I only need a couple things to fill holes and incorporate a couple trends. So here’s what I purchased:

halogen flared ponte skirt bp print tassel trim poncho
dkny lace curves shaping brief nordstrom logo tea towel

  • Halogen Flared Ponte Skirt: I bought a similar ponte skirt from Halogen last year and wore the HECK out of it.  So much, it’s covered with pills and stretched out.  At only $29.90 I figured I could splurge on a replacement.
  • BP. Print Tassel Trim Poncho: I’ll buy a whole wardrobe of great work and going out clothes and then realize I’m freezing and have to take Emerson to dance class or just want to throw on a layer when watching TV.  Depending on the quality and fit, this could also be a Casual Friday look with a merino sweater, jeans and boots.  Only $24.90.
  • DKNY Lace Curves Shaping Brief: I love these things, they don’t suck in as much as Spanx, but smooth the belly enough for slightly clingy dresses and to give a good shape with skirts and trousers.  They’re comfortable and cute too!  The lace back prevents VPL.  With one arm, I’ve ended up stretching out my black one so I’m getting a replacement at the $13.90 sale price.
  • Nordstrom Heritage Collection Logo Tea Towel: I DID say I loved Nordstrom!  I also love dish towels, and apple green is one of the accent colors in my kitchen.  At just $6.70 I couldn’t resist!

That’s not to say there aren’t a heck of a lot of other amazing items that are part of the sale, just things I don’t need right now. However these guys caught my eye for being great deals (all under $100), great staples, or great pieces to update your wardrobe for the fall and winter.  Catch them while they’re still available!

Wardrobe Basics:

Accessory Updates:

  • Cara Spike Hinge Cuff: I’ve been wearing the heck out of my Rebecca Minkoff cuff (also on sale!) which is a similar concept.  This one is available in silver, gold, and hematite and on sale for $17.90.
  • Kendra Scott “Deanna” Pendant Necklace: An elegant and classic necklace that looks hip now but stylish for years to come.  Available in six different colors, on sale for $51.90.
  • Halogen ‘Marlie’ Calf Hair Pointy Toe Pump: Gosh I wanted to justify buying these shoes!  However, I already own a very similar pair.  I own a pair of Halogen shoes and find them pretty decent quality and they hold up well.  Two leopard prints to choose from plus berry and black.  $59.90
  • Tasha Chain Mesh Collar Necklace: I was THISCLOSE to buying this myself, and will likely regret not snagging it.  Totally badass, available in gold, hematite, and silver and on sale for $37.90
  • Hobo ‘Zara’ Patent Leather Crossbody: My sister has this bag and it’s the perfect size to carry all your need without bulk; it’s become her Night Out bag and I’m tempted to snag one for myself.  Black, Camel, Red, and on sale for $64.90.
  • Halogen Leather Crossbody Bag: I love a good leather bag that’s free of logos and trendy details.  This bag is one you can have an enjoy for many years without looking dated.  Black, blue, and camel on sale for $78.90.
  • Louise et Cie ‘Azalya’ Mini Wedge Flat: Gray leopard calfhair with a cute bow detail, a tiny wedge that makes it even nicer for the office.  Medium and wide widths available. $69.90
  • BP. ‘Burton’ Moto Boot: A cool looking knee-high leather boot under $100.  $89.90

Incorporating New Trends and Silhouettes:

  • Bellatrix Faux Wrap Front Blouse: I’ve written before about draped tops, and I think they’re great on their own, or under a blazer.  I have a Bellatrix blouse and find the quality nice; this top comes in basic black and five fun prints and is on sale for $39.90.
  • Chelsea28 Fit & Flare Skirt: Another item I was THISCLOSE to purchasing.  The midi skirt is still hot for fall, and looks so cute with simple sweaters.  The creamy color will modernize the black and gray currently in your closet.  $58.90
  • Vince Camuto Lace Panel Cardigan (Plus): So simple, but the lace detail really takes your outfit up a notch.  $88.90
  • KUT from the Kloth ‘Lincoln’ Faux Leather Drape Front Jacket: A great way to jazz up weekend knits or wear as a soft jacket to the office.  It also gets good reviews on the site.  Available in black and chocolate and on sale for $59.90.
  • Foxcroft Graphic Jaquard Cardigan (Plus): I love the preppy print and can see it on the weekend with a Breton tee and jeans and at work with a simple shell and trousers.  I have a Foxcroft cardigan and find them very well made. $76.90
  • Halogen Leather Front Shell:  Buy this for me, because I want it soooo bad! Pair with jeans, a pleated chiffon skirt, a pencil skirt, under a cream blazer.  Regular and petite sizes, $98.90.
  • Sejour ‘Metropolitan’ Faux Leather Front Peplum Top (Plus): Ignore how it says peplum, it’s more of a fit and flare.  This top could be paired with a pencil skirt for work or rocked for evening with black skinny pants or dark jeans and heels.  $78.90

A Nordstrom Update

The day after my previous post about Nordstrom, I was contacted by their Corporate Communications department via email and then by telephone. Today Chris from Nordstrom and I had a lovely call during my lunch hour and I have more insight concerning the change in shipping styles and policies for the company.

Before, if the Nordstrom warehouse didn’t have your Via Spigas or Rachel Palley in stock, you would be told that. Tough tootsies, mamacita. Now what Nordstrom does is their system will check all the Nordstrom stores to see if one of them has your item in stock. This means you have a better chance of getting the item you desire and not seeing the dreaded “Out of Stock” message. Also, Nordstrom is working with some retailers so they can deliver the item directly from THEIR warehouse, instead of having it shipped twice –first to Nordstrom, and then to you. Think Amazon.com.

This process has been going on for about a year, and Nordstrom is working hard to improve and perfect the process. However in the mean time, if you order five things, they could possibly come from five different stores (or a mix of stores, warehouse and the brand’s headquarters). Chris from Nordstrom asked for the order number for the order I referenced in my post. He was able to see from his computer that the tights and bracelet came from headquarters, the shoes from a store, and the earrings directly from the manufacturer (what they call a “drop ship vendor”).

When Chris realized that big box only held that tiny jewelry box and knew that the shipment came from a “drop ship vendor,” he said he would be contacting the vendor to comment on this and hope that they will use less packing materials in the future to be consistent with Nordstrom’s style and beliefs.

Yes, Nordstrom has Green methods and beliefs. They work hard to be eco-friendly and are proud to be a landfill-free at headquarters. Chris informed me that Nordstrom has ordered some new shipping materials – new box sizes and even some small shipping pouches for accessories and other small objects. We Nordstrom customers will be seeing this change in the future.

And in the future, the shipping process should be streamlined – they will be able to comingle store and warehouse items in shipments.

Thanks Nordstrom, for taking the time to contact me and answer all of my questions. I am still a loyal customer and look forward to the changes in the future!

Recent Purchases – Nordstrom

I cleaned out my purse last weekend and found $80 worth of Nordstrom Rewards. I felt this was a sign so I decided to check out Nordstrom’s sale department. Here’s what I I liked, and what I didn’t like so much:


As you can tell from this post, I liked this skirt.  It’s a weird fabric – sort of cheapy spongy polyester knit, sort of ponte.  It’s redeeming factor is that it is fully lined, which gives it a nice weight and keeps it from clinging too much.  Side hidden zipper, zipper pocket detail – these are FAUX pockets which was a bit of a disappointment. But the skirt comes in a variety of sizes and lengths (and other prints too, some which are on sale, some which are not) and I think can dress up or down with ease.  I like the python print – I think it will look fantastic with bright colors, yet also look classic with a crisp white shirt or black turtleneck sweater.


If I were six feet tall, I might like this dress.  A size Large made me feel as though I was a child playing dress-up in my mother’s closet.  The neckline went to the bottom of my ribs, the waistband was near my hipbones, and there was at least a foot of fabric pooling on the floor even though I was standing on my toes.  Yes, I am petite (5’3″), but I can usually carry off dresses like these with only a minor trimming of the hem.  I can’t even tell you how the dress looks because my reflection made me look as though I wrapped myself up in a curtain.


The green color is just as fantastic in person as it is on the website.   However the bag is just plain weird and cheap looking.  Shiny nylon with really fake looking leather trim.  The strap is very stiff and the buckle to adjust the strap doesn’t seem to vibe with the style of the bag itself.  The gold details are REALLY shiny, very fake looking.  The logo for the bag is on the back, and it’s a big green enamel heart with gold trim – totally not my style.  I wanted something bigger than my Hobo International “Libby” bag to have for concerts and events when I want my hands free, and a place for everything (camera, phone, lip gloss, ID, cash).  This is not the bag. 

Per this post, you can see I like this coat and have added it to my wardrobe.  It’s a great classic trench, but with flattering details.  It comes in petite, it’s not as shiny as one would think from the picture on the web, it’s single breasted, it’s not super long but long enough to be flattering with skirts.  There is a nice lining which will keep one warm on breezy fall days.  Water resistant.  The only thing I don’t like are the weird little metal grommet detail on the pockets – I find them superfluous and they make the jacket look a bit more casual and cheap.  However for such an otherwise lovely jacket for less than $90, I can ignore the grommets!


Just as cute in person as the picture on the web.  Unfortunately my foot is just too fat for them.  It’s not just that my foot is wide, but it’s too tall/full to fit into the shoe properly.  A shame, since it’s an elegant silhouette – a trendy shoe style but in a cut that would make them wearable and stylish seasons after the heeled loafer has left the fashion magazines.  Don’t let my fit issues sway you – I have unusually chubby feet and these shoes are only $64.90 – what a deal!


The jury’s still out on this one.  On one hand, it fits nicely in the shoulders and back; on the other hand the button is a bit too low for my petite frame.  It’s a nice stretchy ponte fabric that could dress up with a pencil skirt or look cute with a tank and jeans.  However, the button is strange (military-inspired pewter) and I would have to replace it; also the lining on the rolled sleeves is sheer and you can see the red through it (the other colors wouldn’t be as much of an issue).  It just feels cheap; I will need to try this with different things in my closet to see if it deserves a place in my collection.

The Nordstrom Half-Yearly Sale is in full effect – have you scored any great deals from it?

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An Open Letter to Nordstrom

Dear Nordstrom,

I love you. You KNOW I love you. The only store credit card I still own is for you. When I worked retail and had a stressful day, I didn’t smoke a cigarette in the parking lot. I didn’t get a drink at the bar. I walked into Nordstrom. I breathed in the cool perfumed air, listened to the pianist near the beauty department, wandered around the shoe department. This calmed me down better than anything else. And really, I would prefer an Ice Storm from your Espresso bar over a Frappucinno any day.

I love shopping online with you – your site has great customer reviews, it’s clean and easy to navigate, you have a wonderful selection of larger sizes and shoes. Your return policy is fantastic, and truly it makes me spend MORE because you excel at customer service.

However lately you are upsetting me. A lot. So much, I am wondering if I should continue an online relationship with you. Nordstrom, it’s not your quality or your service, it’s your shipping.

A year ago, I knew I could place an order on a Monday and have it on my doorstep by Friday. Usually the order all came in a sturdy cardboard box, smartly packed with minimal supplies but maximum protection of my new goodies. Occasionally a beauty product or pair of shoes would come separately from a store instead of your warehouse. Even so, the item came quickly, and was packed well with minimal shipping supplies. I often kept the shipping boxes you sent – they were perfect for storing items in my closet or attic, and were far sturdier and reliable than shipping boxes from other online retailers. I felt good knowing that I could recycle or reuse most of the shipping materials.

I don’t see this any more with Nordstrom. I will place an order and be told that everything is in stock, and then get an email a few days later telling me an item won’t be available for WEEKS. Items come separately, and it sometimes takes over two weeks to get items from the date of supposed shipment. I can place an order on Monday and on Friday may get the top I ordered, the next Wednesday receive the jeans, then Friday maybe the shoes… if I am lucky. If multiple items arrive the same day, they are usually packaged separately. One in a UPS padded mailer, another in a lightweight cardboard box, another in your old-school sturdy well-made shipping boxes.

The two boxes I received from Nordstrom – all that packaging for those teeny-tiny items…

Take for example my recent purchase from you. On November 5, I placed an order for a bracelet, pair of earrings, pair of tights and a pair of leather booties. On November 10, I received two boxes on my doorstep.

The first one was a standard heavyweight box. Inside was… one little pair of tights and one little jewelry box with my new earrings. The other box was almost large enough for the booties and I thought maybe they arrived (was hoping they would come in time for the blogging event with Last Call). Nope, instead in that box was a lonely little jewelry box with the bracelet. Both boxes came from the Nordstrom warehouse, not a store. Today it is November 16 and I JUST received the booties at my door, in yet another separate cardboard box. I am not home, so do not know how these shoes have been shipped.

Nordstrom, I have to think that this process for shipping must be costing you a pretty penny. All these separate shipments from all over the country at different times. The cost for shipping, and all the cost for shipping materials. Not only that, but I am completely disgusted by the amount of materials you now use to deliver orders – three large boxes, shipping paper, plastic for these three separate shipments that could have easily all fit in one box. The amount of trees to make all this cardboard, the fuel used to manufacture the boxes and then to ship these boxes to me.

I hate having my items take so long to get to me, but I honestly would rather everything show up late and in the same box, than this stupid parade of cardboard. But then really, if you are going to start taking two weeks for shoes to arrive, I don’t see the point in choosing you over Zappos or another online retailer.

I love you Nordstrom, I really do. Because I love you, I tell you this. I want to help, but I don’t know how this relationship can continue if you keep going down this path.

XOXO,
Allie

The Nordstrom Half Yearly Sale

Nordstrom’s half-Yearly Sale is going on, and I encourage all of you to check it out online! Think your wallet can’t handle a purchase from this shopping Mecca? Think again. When you hit the link on their site for the sale, there are categories for purchases, and one is “Under $30.’ Yes, you can find dozens upon dozens of accessories, lingerie, workout clothes, shoes and cute regular, plus and maternity clothes for under $30!

I have been good lately. Really good. I have not visited malls, I haven’t even virtually window shopped online. I have decided to survive the winter with the wardrobe I currently own. I am the same size as last winter, and my clothing is basic enough that it doesn’t look dated. However this morning as I was getting ready for work and then an after-work event where I am going to see Andre Leon Talley speak, I realized my wardrobe is a bit… tired. Sweaters with fuzz balls, stretched out sleeves, slightly misshapen from multiple trips through the gentle cycle. Pants with hems resewn several times and often still held together with safety pins or Stitch Witchery. Linings that are torn and hang on my legs like chaps. Buttons missing, fabric snagged, and just over worn and tired. I feel good about my shoes, and I love my new bag for the fall/winter. My makeup is fun, my accessories are good, but the basic clothing is a bit too basic and a bit too boring.

Today when I had a slow point in my work day, I decided to check out Nordstrom online. I passed a Nordstrom on my last business trip and saw the signs for the sale. Figured it was as good a time as any to do take part in some retail therapy. Let’s add that through Gold Points I get 15 points for each dollar spent at the site, and if I use my Nordstrom card, I get double points toward gift certificates through the store (if you know you can handle credit cards and pay them off monthly, it’s worth it to invest in these types of cards. I have gotten hundreds of dollars for free at Nordstrom over the decade because of this feature).

I have been wanting a motocross-inspired jacket out of a vintage-looking leather. Stand up collar, zip front, crackled leather in either black or dark red. Every jacket I have seen and liked has been way over $250 – way too expensive for my budget. In the Half-Yearly sale I found a great version from Caslon for only $160, and it looks like a piece I have owned for decades. Just what I was looking for! I got some dangle sterling earrings for $24 (originally far more), two tops that are weekend or going-out appropriate (depending on the rest of the outfit) that were both under $35 (and originally over $50), and a really cute dress that is multi-season fabric and less than $40 (originally $75). I know, still a lot of money, but I am being realistic. There is a good chance that many of these pieces will not look good on me once they arrive, I also know that I NEED a jacket, not just want one. I have wanted earrings like this for over a year but can’t stomach the prices I have seen for sterling lately, and well the rest… I have been going out more lately and each time I get ready for an evening with friends I have a minor panic attack because my wardrobe is almost entirely Business Casual and not Fun with Girls Casual. So my hope is these three things will cost less than anti-anxiety pills or trips to the therapist’s couch!

So head over to Nordstrom and see if you may be able to find some of your Needs or Wants But Can’t Affords in their Half Yearly Sale. Happy Shopping!

What I Wore: Tiger’s Roar

tiana b dress review hsn dagne dover clutch review hsn tiana be dress review
Dress: Tiana B. Printed T-Shirt Dress c/o HSN | Bag: c/o Dagne Dover | Tights: Spanx | Shoes: ALDO “Spelonca” Stacked-Heel Leather Wedge c/o HSN | Bracelets: Rebecca Minkoff (similar) Nordstrom (similar), Bauble Bar | Lipstick: Revlon Matte ‘Really Red’

This is my second outfit partnership with HSN, and a second time for me to be utterly impressed by them.  The selection of brands in their Spring Fashion Collection, The Fashion Edit, are awesome. Vince Camuto, Sam Edelman, Kelly Osbourne, IMAN, and June Ambrose just to name a few. This dress from Tiana B. is part of the collection, and it’s that perfect stretchy fabric that isn’t shiny or clingy. It’s made for travel because it doesn’t wrinkle and can dress up or down with ease.  I chose this tiger print, but it also comes in a pretty blue floral.  Since it’s still cold I paired it with opaque tights and closed-toe shoes but come spring I could see myself pairing it with a denim jacket and tan sandals.  I hadn’t heard of the brand Tiana B. before but have become a fan; all pieces are from easy-care materials, plus sizes are available, and the line is manufactured in the USA.

I adore these shoes from ALDO via HSN; they’re surprisingly comfortable for the height; I wore them to work two days this past week and was able to dash across streets and stand for long spans of time.  The zipper detail on the back is a nice touch; I like them so much I am seriously also considering them in the cognac color.

This post is sponsored by HSN.  While I was compensated for it, everything I wrote is my own opinion.

Ask Allie: Colorful Cusp Sized Workwear

I have lost weight recently and now I am CRAVING color. I am interested in finding some beautiful, bright, jewel-toned pieces to wear mainly for work. I like a bit of structure but having had a personally-dark winter, I just need color. Tops, dresses, and suits. Now that I can shop more on the non-plus size spectrum, I’m at a loss where to look. I’d prefer NOT to break my bank account; I hope you can point me in the right direction.

I can tell by your email that you’re feeling great and want your wardrobe to properly represent this positive outlook. I completely support this, and after some gloomy winter months there’s nothing better than looking to spring and summer with some color!

This time of year isn’t the best for shopping unless you’re trying to score some major discount deals. Retailers are trying to thin their stock for inventory and make room for spring collections. Don’t be discouraged if you hit the mall and only find racks of gray, black, and random sale orphans. New collections should be in stock by March. However that doesn’t mean you can’t find some beautiful pieces that will add color to your wardrobe, a pep in your step, and be appropriate for the office. My favorite places to shop online for colorful workwear fashion, and the pieces that caught my eye:

nordstrom

Nordstrom

Oh gosh Alison, Nordstrom AGAIN??? Yep, I’m a Nordstrom megafan, and have been since my apparel days a decade ago. Their service is amazing, their buyers brilliant, and they are a surprisingly reasonably priced retailer. Nordstrom has some great in-house brands like Caslon and Halogen that are easy on the wallet, not too trendy, and always have a variety of Crayola hues available. A few of the pieces from these two brands that caught my eye:

  • Halogen Zip Back Knit Pencil Skirt. Pink Caliente is a gorgeous color for now as well as come spring and summer. Pair with gray, black, olive, burgundy, and navy now and come spring liven things up by wearing it with red, turquoise, and coral. I’ve had a couple of Halogen’s pencil skirts and they are well made, a nice fabric that doesn’t show every lump and bump, and wear nicely. Also available in black and in regular and petite sizes up to 16 (if between sizes I recommend size down), the back zipper is a fun touch that isn’t so trendy it will be passé by 2016. $58.00
  • Halogen Ottoman Rib Cap Sleeve Sheath Dress. The Teal Peacock shade available in this dress is one that will make a statement without being too loud for the office. The doubleknit fabric will hold things in without being constricting and also give a more professional look to a fitted frock. Winterize it with black tights and either a black blazer over it or a black turtleneck underneath. Pair with a colorful cardigan in red, orchid, berry, or even a darker teal and nude pumps when the temps warm, and come summer this dress is begging for a colorful statement necklace and wedge sandals. Also available in black, this dress comes in regular and petite sizes up to XL and plus sizes up to 24W. $98.00
  • Halogen V-neck Cashmere Sweater. Cashmere is often passed over because it seems too expensive, but with Halogen being a reasonably priced brand and their cashmere on sale, now’s the time to get a few classic sweaters in cheery hues to wear now until the warmer days of late spring. Available in regular, petite, and plus sizes, there’s still a ton a smashing shades available in every size. This is a piece you can dress up with a pencil skirt or wear on weekends with jeans.  If between sizes, size up for a more classic fit. $58.90
  • Halogen ‘Taylor’ Skinny Ankle Pants. The ‘Taylor’ collection from Halogen has been available for a couple years, meaning you can buy pants this season, a blazer next season, a skirt the following month and they should all coordinate nicely. The quality is nice for a more casual suit or for workplace separates; these ankle pants in Blue Mazarine are a fantastic way to jazz up a closet full of neutrals. Pair with a black or teal turtleneck for a colorful twist on an Audrey Hepburn-like outfit, go professional with a blazer, blouse, and pumps, or do some work-friendly monoblocking with a teal merino or cashmere sweater and a pair of turquoise or navy suede flats. Come spring, these pants will easily transition and look great with softer shades like aquamarine, mint, and chambray. In regular and petite sizes up to 16, also available in white and black. $69.00
  • Caslon Cashmere Tunic. ‘Tis the season to purchase cashmere! The classic shape of this tunic and its flattering neckline will make it a wardrobe favorite. This is a great Casual Friday pick; pair with slim pants and pointed toe flats, or dark wash stretch denim and your favorite tall boots. Regular and petite sizes up to XL available. $76.80 (also check out the similarly cut wool and cashmere tunic from the same brand, a bit cheaper and different colors available)

That’s not to say the only colorful budget-friendly brands at Nordstrom are these two, far from it! It’s just that when you’re cusp-sized it’s sometimes better with this retailer to search their site by type of garment (skirt, dress, tops), and then narrow down by your size to get a better feel for what is currently available. I can also recommend the brands MICHAEL Michael Kors, Karen Kane, and Vince Camuto as brands that consistently use great colors and offer cusp sizes and are often on sale. I didn’t feature specific pieces because their sizes were more limited for color, but you may be able to find a real gem at a great price this time of year.

eloquii

Eloquii

Eloquii is known as a plus-size retailer, but as a cusp-sized woman I have found many pieces there (especially dresses and tops) that fit me nicely. Their prices are great, their style is on trend without making you a fashion victim by next season, and if you sign up for their emails you’re notified when they have fantastic sales (at the time of writing this post, the entire site was 40% off and they promo code was offered on the home screen). All this plus they have not just customer reviews but customers load pictures of themselves wearing the pieces to get a true feeling for how the piece may look on you. They always have a lot of great color, some of the pieces I liked best:

  • Brandi Sheath Dress. Holy flattering seaming, Batman! This is a true desk to drinks dress; wear to the office with a blazer or cardigan, then ditch it and add some higher heels for an evening out. While it comes in navy and black, the green is a gorgeous color that will look great year round. $88.00
  • Leather Sleeve Cardigan. Bold color and an edgy yet office-appropriate detail? Swoon. This cobalt cardigan would look great with a black and white striped tee, over a more basic black dress, or with a print incorporating both colors in the sweater. $88.00
  • Empire Flare Top. Another piece with flattering seaming, this top is made to highlight your assets while still being conservative enough for the office. The three-quarter sleeves makes it a piece that can easily be worn through spring and come fall and the cut would look great with skirts and trousers. Available in three bold hues. $48.00
  • Studio Faux Leather Skirt. Not every color has to yell, some make quite a statement with just a whisper. This pencil skirts comes in basic black but the two pastel hues are the ones that impress. Pair this peachy shade with a bolder color for a look that is more elegant; I’d love it with neutrals like gray and taupe but it would also look amazing with darker shades of pink, Pantone’s Color of the Year and other shades of dark red, and dark greens from olive to hunter to peacock. $88.00
  • Kady Fit Ankle Pant. Eloquii is one of the few brands out there that offers short, regular, and long lengths to plus sized fashionistas. These pants come in those three lengths as well as seven different colors. A classic trouser that can dress up with pumps and a blazer or be casual with a sweater or tee and flats. $78.00
  • Kelly Blazer. The perfect piece to add a pop to your office wardrobe staples, this blazer has a flattering shape and a statement-making neckline. Hook it closed and wear over a dress to give the frock a new look, or wear open with a striped or printed top and trousers. $110.00

Eloquii adds new styles on a regular basis so it pays to return every so often to see what’s new. Also consider following them on social media, where they’re very active and are quick to answer style and fit questions!

ASOS

ASOS

ASOS can be pretty overwhelming at first glance, but it’s a great resource for cusp sized (and tall since you mentioned you were 5’8”) apparel at reasonable prices. Like Nordstrom, your best bet may be to choose a category like Dresses or Tall, and then narrow down by price or occasion. A few colorful pieces that I found in their new arrivals, dresses, and tall categories:

  • River Island Sleeveless Vest. This chiffon layer top is so cheery and so versatile. Wear now with a blazer or cardigan and trousers; come summer pair with distressed boyfriend jeans for the weekend, or a pair of wide-leg white pants and wedges for work. Yellow is surprisingly versatile and goes with everything from neutrals (gorgeous with olive), to other bold hues like plum, teal, fuchsia, and cerulean. $49.27
  • ASOS Woven Full Swing Dress. Oh this green color is divine! Right now pair with black tights and ankle boots for a mod look but come summer you can easily lighten this dress with nude pumps or even a statement shoe in yellow, pink, or blue! $47.38
  • ASOS Wide Leg Trouser with Piping. A red pant is so chic and such a great way to update closet basics. Pair with a black or gray cardigan, a crisp white shirt, a Breton stripe tee, a print blouse with a hint of red. Come spring and summer, wear with a silk or rayon sleeveless shell and statement necklace. $72.01
  • ASOS Tall Shift Dress in Textured Rib. A heavyweight fabric makes this great for the office, and the half sleeves makes the piece work into spring. Consider wearing with a pashmina or infinity scarf in a different bold hue for a fun winter look. $39.80
  • ASOS Sleeves Swing Dress. I own this dress in black and think it’s a great price and a versatile wardrobe piece. I’ve worn as-is with a statement necklace and booties, have used skinny and wide belts with it to change up the silhouette, paired with cardigans and blazers for the office, and find it can dress up or down with a quick change of accessories. $18.95
  • Oasis Ponte Jacket. Oh ponte, how I love you so! You’re stretchy and comfy yet tightly woven and heavyweight so it’s like sweats for the office! This bold blue color is a great way to jazz up the wardrobe and would look amazing with bold hues but can also look quite smart with a mix of white and black or white and navy. $75.80

ASOS also has a lot of sales, it’s smart to sign up for their emails to be aware when they take place. Their shipping and return policies are customer-friendly, making it a great online clothing retailer to try out.

And now I ask you readers for your suggestions – where do you look for work-friendly cusp-sized clothing in bright bold colors?

What I Wore: Corporate Cobalt

nora gardner blue nora gardner separates nora gardner

Top and Skirt: Chelsea Collection c/o Nora Gardner | Shoes: Nine West | Coat: Vintage (similar) | Necklaces: Nordstrom, Nordstrom, eBay (similar) | Lipstick: Revlon ‘In The Red’

As a petite curvy woman, I find most corporate fashion requires alterations to fit.  So when Nora Gardner contacted me and told me about her Chelsea Collection I was thrilled.  Now those of us who are petite, tall, a different size on top than on bottom can get an almost custom fit straight from the box! Made in New York at the Garment District, Nora Gardner is exclusively for professional women who want something simple yet aesthetically pleasing that can also be worn from day to night.  The Chelsea suiting collection is feminine, flattering, but works for even the most conservative workplace.  Well made in a great selection of colors, I can see mixing and matching these pieces all seasons of the year.  I plan on wearing the lined skirt with my black turtleneck sweater and tall boots, and the top would look great with my winter white tropical wool suiting trousers.  Nora Gardner also offers gorgeous work-friendly dresses as well as professional-looking jewelry and hair accessories.  I love finding out about woman-owned and USA-made companies who understand and cater to the professional woman with style!

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale: What I’m Loving

Oh Nordstrom, I just can’t quit you! Great selection, phenomenal customer service, and awesome deals such as your Anniversary Sale! I have a Nordstrom Card so I had early access to the sale but restrained myself, only getting a few more pairs of Hanky Panky Retro High-Waist Thongs and this skirt, but here’s some items from the sale that caught my eye:

Sale Price: $119 (regularly $188)

It’s hard to find a single-breasted trench with classic styling, even harder to find one with a hood (come on, our heads also get wet in the rain!). This one from Michael Kors has a look that will be chic now as well as years from now, comes in classic black and khaki or you can be bold with red, and it also comes in Petite!

Sale Price: $39.90 (regularly $62)

After my friend Morgan raved about this bra, I have been wanting to try it. Unfortunately Nordstrom doesn’t have it in my size, but maybe they have it in yours!

Sale Price: $6.90 (regularly $11)

Okay I lied, once I started writing this I remembered I ordered another pair of these in black. By far my favorite tights – they are a medium weight, fit great, don’t sag mid-day and are durable enough to last more than one season.

Sale Price: $24.90 (regularly $38)

My other favorite tights – these are just as durable as the ones from Nordstrom but with famous SPANX® control. I love that they are high-waisted so you don’t get cut in the middle and have a seamless look under sheaths and fitted pieces. I have walked barefoot on concrete in these and haven’t gotten a snag – another brand that will last more than one season.

Pants Sale Price: $176 (regularly $265); Jacket Sale Price: $259 (regularly $395)

Theory is known for making incredibly well-fitting suiting, but the price can often be hard to swallow. With these sale prices it is more reasonable, and with such classic styling, this suit is a wardrobe staple that will get much use for many occasions and for many years.

Note: If you also want a skirt for the suit, the Theory ‘Golda – Tailor’ Pencil Skirt is on sale for $129 (regularly $200).

Sale Price: $48.90 (regularly $74)

I wrote about my love of Foxcroft shirts before, and this is a fantastic deal for a classic white wrinkle-free button-front. Wear now with the sleeves rolled (or even with the hem tied!); wear come cooler months in the traditional way with everything from suits and pencil skirts to jeans and stilettos.

Sale Price: $52.90 (regularly $79)

These trouser jeans are brilliant! I love the smooth pull-on waist – why bulk up your midsection with buttons and zippers if you plan on wearing an untucked blouse? I have Jag Jeans and love them – great fit, good quality denim, and they keep their shape and color nicely. I also love that they are free of logos and embellishments – just clean, stylish denim.

Sale Price: $169.90 (regularly $248)

Talk about a fashion statement! Leather is going to be major again this fall, and this jacket does leather right with a classic silhouette and a subtle use of the material. This would look hot with jeans and a simple striped tee, and would also be a perfect coat for dresses and skirts.

Sale Price: $45.90 (regularly $69)

Jazz up weekends with a cevron stripe in place of your classic solid; this sweater would also look great for the office over a button-front shirt and paired with a pencil skirt and tall boots. I love all the color combinations, but am partial to the Navy Peacoat/Pear stripe (pictured).

Sale Price: $64.90 (regularly $98)

What a fun fall jacket! The stripes will surely make a statement, and would look great with jeans on the weekend or over a brightly-colored dress and black tights for the office.

Sale Price: $84.90 (regularly $128)

I am always on the hunt for a classic-cut blazer made of a heavyweight knit. It’s not as constricting or bulky as a classic blazer, but still can give that professional look at the office. Not only that, it dresses down nicely and looks great with a cami and jeans for a night out. If you desire color, this blazer is also available in teal for the same sale price.
Note: Make it a sassy suit with the Sejour Ponte Knit & Faux Leather Skirt (Plus) on sale for only $49.90 (regularly $78)

Sale Price: $51.90 (regularly $79)

A great alternative to the blazer or cardigan, this piece mixes both for around $50. Again, a bunch of great color combinations – do note one reviewer says the mustard is more of a lime color.

Sale Price: $84.90 (regularly $128)

Peplums aren’t going away any time soon, and this piece is relatively budget-friendly for it also including the hot leather trend. I love the exposed zipper int he back too!

Sale Price: $149.90 (regularly $228)

This is a fantastic price for a leather skirt. Classic shape but with fun details like zipper pockets. I recommend you size down as leather skirts always stretch.

Sale Price: $59.90 (regularly $88)

If you don’t like this print, search the site for there are several others to choose from. I think this is a beautiful and versatile blouse that would look great untucked with jeans or tucked into trousers or a skirt for the office. Also love that it comes in petite sizes.

Sale Price: $26.90 (regularly $36)

I have it, I love it, and this price is pretty great.
I didn’t cover beauty, shoes, or accessories since those are such personal purchases and sizes and colors are limited. But do check them out, there’s some fabulous deals for fall and winter!

As a reminder, Nordstrom has free shipping and returns every day. If you first go through Ebates you will also get 5% cash back on your entire purchase! What are you getting from the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale?

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Nordstrom Rack – My Latest Shopping Experience

I recently had the opportunity to check out a local Nordstrom Rack, see their fall selection and do a little shopping. Continue reading to hear what I thought about the store, the selection, and what I ended up buying!

Continue reading…

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Nordstrom Half-Yearly Sale – Allie’s Picks

If you read my blog, you know I adore Nordstrom. Great brands, great customer service, clean restful stores, easily-navigated Website, and great prices.

Yep, you read that correctly. Nordstrom has great prices.

Whether it’s their brands Caslon or Halogen for on-trend yet wallet-friendly pieces, to their constantly refilled sale department (or Nordstrom Rack), to their regular prices often being a hair lower than their competitors, I find Nordstrom to be a place where I can find fashion for a reasonable price.

Nordstrom has their Half-Yearly Sale just before the start of the next big fashion season and it’s a great time to get sale pieces for a bigger discount, or current items for a temporarily lower price. I have purchased during Nordstrom’s Half-Yearly sale items that a month later cost 25% more and are still in high demand. Right now the Nordstrom site has over 50 pages of women’s clothing and accessories for their Half-Yearly sale; I know from past experience that there is even more selection in the stores and the online list may grow. Here’s some of my picks under $100 from the Nordstrom Half-Yearly Sale:

Gotta love getting a suit for under $100! This cropped little jacket and clean-line trousers makes a wonderful summer suit, or are great separates. Pumice would look amazing with a bright pink or coral colored top; the Dark Indigo keeps with this season’s denim trend but in a refined work-appropriate way. Add the Halongen ‘Sheen’ Bermuda shorts for a cute summer short suit ($39.90).

I always need a new cardigan each spring – though it may be blazing hot outside, it gets chilly in air-conditioned offices, restaurants, and public transportation. These little blazers are a great way to incorporate a hot new color into your wardrobe without spending a bundle, and this version gets great reviews from customers. I’m digging “Rainforest” with this season’s oranges and pinks, and you can’t go wrong with “Poppy” to complement denim, chambray, and all the neutrals in your wardrobe.

Speaking of cardigans… I just referenced this same cardi in my Savings.com post this Monday! I was writing about how to get Gwyneth Paltrow’s GOOP look for less and used this cardigan as a cheaper alternative to the Aubin + Wills version on Net a Porter… and now it’s on sale! A classic piece that would look great this spring and summer with white shorts and capris, and lovely come fall with a pencil skirt and tall boots.

I own this same shoe in silver and love how delicate yet wearable they are. The thin straps dress this shoe up, yet the snakeskin makes it wearable for day or night. A classic style at a really nice price.

I have both of these in champagne; bought them at the last half-yearly sale. The strands are super long so doubled up they are still at a length that gives a nice hang past the bust; triple them for a short necklace in the collar of a shirt. These are high quality glass pearls; nice and heavy, even color, knots between each bead, a silver tag at the back of the necklace. I wear one of each size together and add a gold chain necklace for some depth and texture. You’re not a kid anymore; if you can’t afford real pearls this is an elegant and mature alternative.

Halogen Seamed Knit Skirt ($38.90 – $39.90)

I have this skirt in blue; my sister has it in Fever Pink and we both love it. The Fever Pink and Chalet Green are $38.90; in Black it is $39.90. This is a classic Ponte de Roma fabric, flattering seaming, a simple pencil skirt silhouette that can be worn year-round. It says to dry clean, but I machine wash mine on the gentle cycle in a lingerie bag and let it air dry and haven’t had any issues.

When I was writing my GOOP Look for Less article, I happened upon this dress and found it utterly perfect. Soft rayon-spandex blend, classic silhouette, flattering sash at the waist. Could jazz it up with a contrast-color tank peeking out underneath, switch out the self-belt for a wide elasticized one, cover with a cardigan or jacket, pair with heels or flats. Black is always a wise choice, but you may be amazed at how versatile the pink can be!

Over and over again, Paige’s ‘Hidden Hills’ bootcuts are rated as some of the most flattering jeans out there, especially for women with curves. To find them in a really elegant, classic wash and a price under $100 is fantastic! Check out the reviews, women of all shapes and sizes rave about these jeans; grab them at this price while they are still available!

I own this jacket in the Rosemary color – wore it Monday in fact! It’s lightweight, on-trend, has great detailing and a very nice price. Snap it up while it’s still in stock!

Yep, wearing these today. They are a classic style, can handle a run in the washer and dryer, and they aren’t see-through. Great quality stretch denim that keeps its shape through the day.

I have this bag in a pumpkin color that I nabbed at last year’s Hobo International sample sale and I love it. It’s tiny, but it can fit my SmartPhone or camera, along with a lip gloss, ID, money, gum, and a couple other essentials. The muted brass hardware makes it work with any jewelry in your wardrobe, and Hobo is known for making quality leather goods. Basic black is versatile, but colors like Citrus can add a great punch to spring and summer ensembles.

If the price is nice, it’s smart to shop now for fall and winter wardrobe pieces. These shoes from Steve Madden are feminine, stylish, yet classic. This is a style that won’t be going out of fashion any time soon. Adorable with retro looks, as well as with opaque hose, a pencil skirt and turtleneck. I have a pair of patent Mary Janes and find they go with so many different looks in my closet!

This is the time of year to buy a trench; they seem to be on sale everywhere! I have owned trenches from Gallery for decades and love their quality workmanship, elegant details, and classic lines. This version is available in black, red, and olive. However check out all of the sale for there are many trenches available in other colors, lengths, and shapes. This one just struck my fancy because I liked the length and fun color choices.

To all you city commuters, take a gander at these shoes. In place of your beat-up ballet flats that smell, your Reef flip flops, your over-played Tory Burch flats with the backs bent down… how about some adorable patent-leather penny loafers? I am LOVING the Tangerine Patent, but really I don’t see a single color I don’t like in the collection. These are a wonderful choice for a commuting shoe: tuck in your bag and slip on for your walk home. What’s great is they look cute all the time – pair with pants and capris for a modern take on the preppy look; they would also be a lovely contradiction to a floaty midi-length skirt.

There are tons of other amazing items available at the sale; I just chose some basics that were available under $100. Have you shopped the Nordstrom Half-yearly sale yet? What scores did you find?

BTW, don’t forget to first go to Ebates before you head to Nordstrom – this way you can get 5% cash back on your entire purchase!  SCORE!

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What I Wore: Party Time, Excellent

What I Wore: Party Time, Excellent featuring a Dobbin Clothing lace dress, Dagne Dover clutch, and Talbots leopard coat What I Wore: Party Time, Excellent featuring a Dobbin Clothing lace dress, Dagne Dover clutch, and Talbots leopard coat What I Wore: Party Time, Excellent featuring a Dobbin Clothing lace dress, Dagne Dover clutch, and Talbots leopard coat

Dress: c/o Dobbin Clothing | Coat: c/o Talbots (similar) | Shoes: Nine West | Bag: c/o Dagne Dover | Bracelet: Nordstrom | Lipstick: Revlon ‘Really Red’

I took a break from the blog over the winter holidays and ended up not capturing some of the great outfits I wore for holiday parties. I wore this dress Christmas Eve and love how it looks so dressy but is so easy and comfortable to wear. Like everything else I have from Dobbin Clothing, this dress fits and flatters my curves so nicely straight out of the box. This is the kind of dress that can be worn all four seasons of the year and all levels of formality with a quick change of accessories.

Review of the Dagne Dover Clutch

I featured this clutch from Dagne Dover in a previous outfit post; this time I added one of the two straps available for the bag. The included short strap makes it easy to slip on the wrist to hold a cocktail or plate of hors d’ourves; there’s also a longer strap available to turn it into a shoulder bag. I had to show the interior of this little clutch, it holds so much! Inside the pockets I have more cards, change for the meter, blotting papers, key, and a couple pieces of gum; everything you need for a night out on the town. Plus, the portion with the cards is held on with a magnet so you can easily remove it, use it like a wallet and switch it to a different bag. Brilliant!

My Wardrobe Today – Thursday

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

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

 

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Winter Style Tips: Warm Fashion for Cold Weather

Many of you have written to me lately on how to handle very cold temperatures while maintaining your personal style. While it’s frigid right now by DC standards, I don’t deal with such cold temps on a regular basis and would never consider myself to be an expert on cold weather fashion. I know many of you live in far colder parts of the country and world than I and would love you to weigh in on what you swear by to stay warm and fashionable. Below are the winter style tips I use to stay warm when it’s super cold:

cold weather fashion how to stay stylish and warm tips

Have a Base Layer

Keeping your core warm will ensure you stay comfortable when the temps drop. Thin layers close to the body will do a remarkably good job without adding too much bulk to your outfit.

  • Fleece and wool tights are my jam; I’ll wear a regular pair of tights under for extra wind and cold protection, and have even worn them under jeans and work trousers.
  • The same holds true for fleece and wool leggings. Check athletic departments and brands for great ones; while some may have reflective strips others will be solid black which will fit perfectly into your work or weekend wardrobe.
  • Wool socks keep your feet warm and dry and also help prevent foot odor. The chunky cable or marled versions are back in style and look cute peeking out of ankle booties or tall socks so they add style with warmth.
  • A silk or heat-keeping fitted tank or cami is a must-have in winter. Brands like Lands’ End carry these in a broad range of sizes and colors so you can find one to fit and become invisible under your clothing.

Wear Smart Accessories

When it comes to accessorizing in the winter, choose pieces that have fashion as well as function. It’s possible for your styling accents to keep you toasty in the winter.

  • I’m such a fan of pashminas. In wool, cashmere, or a blend these scarves are toasty without being bulky, stylish, and versatile. I will cross a pashmina across my body in front before putting on my coat; it will fill the neck area but also add an additional layer of warmth to my core. Once at my destination I’ll loop it around my throat for a pop of color to my outfit. Pashminas are also great when it’s not freezing; they can act as a shawl with a dress and I take them on travel to be my plane blanket as well as to ward off strong A/C on planes and at conferences.
  • A cashmere beanie is in style right now, so it’s easy to find a color and weight that appeals to you. I have a black cashmere beanie that I’ll put on in the morning and not take off until I go to bed. I style my hair around it, intensify my lip color and it’s a chic look that also keeps me warm. Adding a hat when it’s cold can really do much for increasing comfort; in fact I am writing this while wearing my cashmere beanie and am quite comfortable even though it’s around 60 degrees inside.
  • Gloves are a must-have and my favorite are cashmere-lined leather gloves. They are super warm, wind repellent, keep you dry when scraping off your windshield and look quite chic. Right now is the perfect time of year to stock up on leather gloves as they are on sale everywhere after the holidays. I always have a pair of classic black but when I can find fun colors like purple or green on clearance I snatch them up so add a pop of color or fun to black outerwear.

You Need Proper Footwear

When it comes to inclement weather, function always trumps fashion. A pair of warm boots that provide traction on slick sidewalks is a must-have for cold weather. Come winter, I keep a pair of black pumps at the office and wear boots on my commute. When out and about, slim jeans and pants look great peeking out of tall fur-trimmed winter boots for ski lodge style. Tall leather boots (especially if they are waterproof) are wonderful for when it’s cold but there’s no snow or ice; the leather is a wind breaker and an extra layer of warmth. I’ll wear tall leather boots with a dress or skirt, fleece tights and wool knee-high socks and be toasty while still maintaining my personal style.  FYI all the boots featured in the carousel below are waterproof and ready for all sorts of frightful weather!

Choose Outfits with Layers, Length, and Warm Fabrics

If you plan on getting away with a long-sleeved tee and a pair of jeans you’re going to be shivering all day.

  • Layer: I’m a fan of sweater coats, puffer vests, and ponchos come winter because these are easy layers to slip on and off depending on how high the heat is cranking inside. Under, I’ll wear a long-sleeved tee or fitted merino or cashmere sweater and a silk tank under that so when I slip off the topper I am still pulled together and warm. Chunky knits are popular this fall and easy to layer over a silk or knit tee. I’m also known to slip fleece tights or silk longjohns under dress pants or jeans come winter and no one is the wiser except my warm self!
  • Length: Winter isn’t the time for mini skirts and crop tops. I pull out the midi skirts and wear with fleece tights and tall boots, longer tunic sweaters over slim pants or sweater dresses over fleece or wool leggings and tights, and thigh-skimming sweater coats keep my rear and upper legs warm.
  • Warm Fabrics: Wool pants are truly warmer than synthetics; look for a pair with lining to stay itchy-free and add some wind repellant. As mentioned a thousand times already, fleece and wool tights and leggings are a smart choice with dresses and skirts. Leather is wind repellant and warm; I wear a lot of leather skirts come winter for fashion with function. This year sweater and sweatshirt dresses are on trend and look great with tall boots and leggings or thick tights.

Longer Coats that Repel Wind

Many years ago I wrote that women don’t need puffer coats and can be just as warm and more stylish with a wool coat with Thinsulate lining. And now that I commute in a city, ride public transportation in the snow, and walk longer distances I agree with many of you who thought my advice bunk. Buy a coat that keeps you warm. When it comes to frigid temperatures, first look for something that will keep you as warm and dry as possible, then look for stylish touches. A quilted or puffer coat with a longer length is brilliant because it’s wind and water repellant, will keep your bum warm when sitting at the bus stop, prevents gusts from slipping up inside the coat, and is often machine washable. I like styles that at least cover the rear and have a belt which keeps you from looking like the Michelin man. While I wear a hat almost always, a hood is an additionally nice feature when you’re waiting for the train or it begins to drizzle. Buy from a company that is known for outerwear and get one that is made for the climate you experience. Companies like Patagonia, Lands’ End and LL Bean often give temperature ratings for their outerwear helping you make the best coat decision for your lifestyle.

And now I pass it back to you, what are your tips for staying toasty when the temperature drops? What are the best items in your wardrobe for winter weather? What brands or items do you recommend to those who are trying to stay stylish in the cold? Thanks!

 

What I Wore: Glamour Gal

payless christian siriano shoe review alison gary karen kane jumpsuit vintage stole

Jumpsuit: c/o Karen Kane (same but in black and white) | Stole: Vintage (similar) | Necklaces: Nordstrom, Nordstrom | Clutch: c/o Dagne Dover | Lipstick: Revlon ‘In The Red’ | Shoes: Christian Siriano for Payless ‘Mayhem’ Ghillie Pump c/o Payless ShoeSource

I’ve been meaning to recreate this look for a while.  I wore this outfit to an October wedding but was never satisfied with the shoes I chose.  I wore simple black pumps but felt the look needed something with a bit more interest.  Payless invited me to check out the Christian Siriano for Payless collection and when I found these shoes I knew they’d be the perfect choice.

payless christian siriano

I’ve been a Project Runway fan since the beginning, and was so thrilled when Christian Siriano won and went on to great things.  He’s had such success on the red carpet, the runway, and in other avenues.  Christian Siriano’s line for Payless has his trademark style for less.  Siriano maintains his voice in this collection and offers affordable fashion for the everyday shopper.  I loved finding his stylish shoes in wide widths; I’ve always liked ghillie and other lace-up styles of shoes but my wide feet have make them look weird on me.  However, these in an 8W gives my feet plenty of space so the shoes look the way they’re supposed to while being quite comfortable.  I look forward to styling these for the warmer months; they’d look great with a Grecian inspired midi sundress or paired with cuffed jeans.

I liked so many other pieces from the Christian Siriano for Payless collection; I also snagged myself the Paige pouch; it has a fun gold lining with plenty of pockets making it an adorable casual clutch purse or a brilliant travel bag to organize toiletries, cosmetics, or accessories.  I’ve seen many discount designer collections that have been disappointing; I wonder if the designers even looked a the pieces before slapping their name on them.  The Christian Siriano for Payless collection stands out as a line that is budget-friendly but maintains the style and voice of the designer while incorporating comfort and wearable fashion.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of PAYLESS CHRISTIAN SIRIANO. The opinions and text are all mine.

Ask Allie: Plus Size Retailers with Style

Hi Allie, I hope you can help. Where I live, there’s [well-known chain retailer that have plus sized clothing] but that’s it for plus size fashion other than Walmart and none of these stores have clothes I really like. I know you do a lot of shopping online, where do you suggest for plus size fashion where I can return by mail but also know what I get won’t be junk or ugly. Help! I really want to create my personal style and not be stuck with what is available.

I don’t know why retailers feel that women over a size 12 only want to wear polyester cabbage roses and bedazzled tunic sweaters. I understand that plus size fashion needs to be cut differently to flatter the figure, but why does that mean over the top embellishments, cheap fabrication, and dated silhouettes? Luckily some retailers realize this and offer fantastic fashion in extended sizes, and many of them have stellar online shops! Here’s some of my favorites:

Available in US sizes 10 – 22, ASOS Curve focuses on current trends cut specifically for plus size women. Not only that, they have free shipping and returns! Here you can find hot styles like peplums, leather, brocade, and faux fur and from my experience, the quality is equal or better than similarly-priced retailers (H&M, Urban Outfitters, Zara, Express). I love that their looks are flattering – not a muumuu or polyester cabbage rose in sight. ASOS Curve is a great resource for party dresses as they are youthful and on-trend while being reasonably priced.

Simply Be doesn’t have free shipping, but they do have a flat rate and provide SmartLabels for quick returns. But Simply Be is another great resource for on-trend plus size fashion. From faux leather pleated skirts and silver cropped pants to blazers; work attire, club attire, and dresses by Simply Be, you can find a varied collection of wardrobe staples and trendy closet additions.

This is not your mother’s Lands’ End – the retailer has stepped up their game by offering on-trend fabrics and styles and even brought Curvy Girl Guide founder and blogger Brittany Gibbons on board as an advisor.  While they have the wardrobe staples of turtlenecks and knit pants, Lands’ End also has some pretty fantastic dresses and career wear. Their quality can’t be beat, their customer service is phenomenal, and while returns aren’t free, they can be taken back to Sears.

Eloquii is the new kid on the block, the plus size line from The Limited.  It had mixed reviews from plus size bloggers at first, but they seem to be gaining steam with more consistent sizing and quality and I know some friends who have purchased from them and are mega fans.  Eloquii also provides SmartLabels for easy returns, though returns do need to be completed within 30 days.  For those who have an Eloquii store near them, they do accept online returns at retail locations.

If you read this blog, you KNOW I love Nordstrom. Free shipping, free returns, fabulous selection of brands, amazing sales and customer service. On top of all that, Nordstrom has a pretty great selection of plus size designers and styles! Vince Camuto, DKNYC, MICHAEL Michael Kors, Calvin Klein and more are available, and they also have extensive customer reviews to help ensure you find a piece that will fit your figure and lifestyle nicely.

I can’t rave enough about Gwynnie Bee – a program that is like Netflix for plus size fashion. For a reasonable monthly fee, you can borrow plus size clothing with free shipping and free returns. Keep a piece as long as you like, return one and get another back lickedy split. Gwynnie Bee’s selection is quite varied and continues to improve as the business grows; you can find everything from work dresses and blazers to leather jackets and sequined pencil skirts at Gwynnie Bee. I love that you can test-drive a trend – try a one-shoulder blouse or wrap dress and if you don’t like it, return it for something else! Right now Gwynnie Bee is offering one free month to Wardrobe Oxygen readers – click here to sign up (be sure to mention Wardrobe Oxygen), and click here to learn more about Gwynnie Bee.

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Fighting Closet Fatigue – Winter to Spring Wardrobe Transition

The holidays are over and it’s normal to be sick to death of your current closet. You’re dreaming of warmer temperatures though you’re still bundling up in sweaters. When shopping for your wardrobe at this time of year, it’s smart to make purchases that you can wear now, but also wear months from now. Small updates that can refresh your current wardrobe and transition nicely into spring. These items have caught my eye and are great ways to get a touch of spring and new trends into your current winter collection.

spring 2015 fashion trends

  1. Printed Fabric Pumps. A statement shoe is a quick way to update the wardrobe. The gorgeous print on these pumps from J. Crew will go with everything in your wardrobe, from an LBD to your favorite pair of jeans. Right now, style with dark denim and a slouchy sweater in navy or black for brunch or a party at your friend’s house. Consider letting these shoes steal the show and pair with a black shift and opaque black tights. Come spring, style with white jeans, a dark blazer and striped tee for a fresh and classic look or pair with most any colored dress in your closet for a weekend wedding. The thicker heels makes these shoes more wearable and reviews state they’re comfortable and well made.
  2. Cotton Cable Sweater. A wool sweater may be warm a cozy, but it can get itchy and stifling once the temps rise. This sweater from J. Crew will be comfortable now with a layer (I have a cotton cable from Lands’ End and wear a knit or plaid flannel under it), and will be a great transition piece come spring. This sweater comes in classic navy but I like the crispness of the ivory. Pair now with a pleated or a-line skirt and tights for a modern take on collegiate chic; come spring pair with a twill pencil skirt and pumps, or go monochromatic with white or ivory jeans and nude shoes and touches of gold jewelry. If unsure, go up a size for the slouchy relaxed fit that will look great over skirts and with pants, jeans, and even shorts.
  3. Silk Paisley Square Scarf. Some of my favorite scarves are from Lands’ End; great quality, beautiful prints, and awesome prices (this one is currently on sale). A scarf can completely transform your wardrobe with a simple knot. I love folding square scarves into a triangle and tying “cowboy style” around the neck; adjust the knot to the length of drape you find most flattering. Just this past week I folded a square scarf this size into a long oblong a couple inches wide, wrapped around the neck and tied just the edges together in the front, then pulled at the fabric so it covered the knot and looked a bit messy; perfect tucked into the collar of a shirt or with a wider neck top and jacket. Tie onto the handle of your bag for a pop of color, if it doesn’t fit as a belt just knot on one belt loop for an accent, and wear in the classic “flight attendant” style with a striped boatneck, jeans, and a pair of canvas sneakers come spring.
  4. Silk Cotton Shirt in a Statement Color. There’s no better color to liven up a wardrobe than yellow and this shirt from Gap is full of spirit. You may argue that yellow is a very hard color to wear, but this is a statement piece that goes beyond coloring. Right now, slip under a gray or olive green sweater and pair with black trousers to add a pop of spring to your winter basics. When it warms, wear untucked with slim or straight dark denim, flats and gold jewelry. Come summer, wear this shirt tucked into a white pencil skirt or wear as a beach coverup. Size up for a slouchier fit; when wearing untucked don’t be afraid to unbutton another button and add modesty with a camisole and casually roll the sleeves. A color like this works best when it’s worn in a casual “oh this thing?” sort of way.
  5. Mixed Print Silk Top. The ‘Eliza’ top from Boden is a perennial fave by many including me. I have one and I love the flattering shape, the seasonless cut and fabric, and how it is so versatile. This print really called out to me because it would transition so nicely from now into the warmer months. Right now, pair with a navy cardigan and jeans or trousers; come spring lighten it with white jeans or a twill pencil skirt and bare legs. Also available in three other prints, this is a great wardrobe addition that looks fresh now but will become a closet classic.
  6. Dark Wash Straight Jeans. We’ve done skinny, boyfriend, distressed, coated, zippers, patches, high waist, low rise, and everything in between. It makes a classic fit and wash feel all the more modern and fresh. I’m a huge fan of Gap’s Real Straight jeans; they’re flattering to many different figures (I raved about them, Adrien at Looks Good from the back raved about them), they’re reasonably priced, and come in a bunch of different sizes and lengths. A straight leg is far more flattering with flat shoes than skinny or bootcut, and is still slim enough to fit into tall boots. No need to tell you how to wear a pair of jeans, just that denim doesn’t have to be so complicated. When you’re overwhelmed and frustrated by denim options, there’s nothing wrong with going back to a classic. Dark, crisp, and simple is always in style.
  7. Bucket Bag. This spring, the Bucket Bag and the Backpack have returned and are hotter than ever. Both styles are great for actually carting around your stuff, but a bucket is more versatile of a trend and likely to be in style longer. I was drawn to this bag by Deux Lux because it’s classic with a twist. I think the fringe is too much fun, and it keeps the bag from looking too basic without having it too crazy for most workplaces. Imagine it now with a black turtleneck sweater, dark jeans and tall boots. Come spring pair with white jeans and a chambray shirt or a simple black shift dress and flats. With two different strap lengths, this can be a shoulder bag or switch to being a crossbody. The price is nice making it a trend you can try without breaking the bank.
  8. Oversized Wayfarers. Ray-Bans are a classic, their Clubmasters, aviators, and Wayfarers have been in style for decades and likely many more to come. I’ve been drooling over these oversized versions of the classic Wayfarers. The traditional size looks a bit goofy on my head; the bigger size has a modern feel but isn’t so trendy you’ll regret the purchase in a year (and the more face your sunglasses cover, the more sun protection and the more you can get away without makeup on an early Sunday bagel run). These sunglasses are the type that are cool on 21 year olds and 71 year olds; care for them and they can last a lifetime. Envision them now with a beanie, parka with a fur-trimmed collar and warm boots; come spring wear with a striped tee and dark jeans or a simple frock and some Chucks for the weekend.
  9. Voile Dress. This simple dress from Splendid is so versatile. Right now, wear with black tights and booties, a denim jacket and a scarf looped around your neck. Come spring push up the sleeves and wear with bare legs and mid-calf or ankle boots, with a long pendant necklace and heels, or a beaded necklace and Birkenstocks. Available in four colors, I love the orange-red color, which looks so great with denim, white, black, olive, turquoise, and navy.
  10. Gold Fish Hook Choker. I believe in the power of a statement accessory that whispers instead of screaming. Last spring I purchased a simple gold cuff from Rebecca Minkoff and it has garnered more compliments than bolder more unique pieces in my jewelry collection and I haven’t tired of it. I feel this necklace from BaubleBar achieves the same effect for a really great low price. It is a style that could become a signature piece you wear almost every day; pair now over turtlenecks and come spring have it peek out of unbuttoned collars and add interest to simple crewnecks. To preserve the finish of gold costume jewelry, wipe down after wearing, don’t let it get wet, and store in a Ziploc bag.
  11. French Sailor’s Shirt. This is the time of year where you start realizing how worse for wear your knits may be. Stretched out, faded, stained, yellowed, and just not looking crisp any longer. When it comes to a wardrobe classic like a striped knit, it’s smart to buy quality so it stays looking great longer and lives through multiple wears and washings. LL Bean is known for quality and this heavier-weight knit does not disappoint. Available in five different colors and a broad range of sizes, my favorite is the navy stripe, a classic that will look so fresh now under a wool blazer and come spring with ankle pants and colorful flats.