Search Results for: label/Via Spiga

What I Wore: Real Red

Dress: Belle c/o Dobbin Clothing | Bag: “Erin” Satchel c/o Fossil | Tights: Nordstrom | Boots: Ros Hommerson  | Bracelets: had forever, Nordstrom (similar) | Watch: Citizen c/o WatchCo | Coat: Via Spiga

Fossil was kind enough to send me this bag and I immediately fell in love with the color. It’s not cherry, it’s not tomato, it’s not ruby or oxblood or any other fancy terms. It’s as clear and true of a red as a crayon. I checked the bag’s label and it’s called Real Red. I like that, no crazy made-up name, just what is exactly is. This bag is pretty phenomenal, and perfect for a commuter like me. Two side zipper pockets to hold things like farecards and lip balm, and inside there is a zipper pocket on one side, and the other side five different pockets to hold anything from a Smartphone or your keys to business cards and a pack of gum. And in this bag I have my wallet, Kindle (did you enter my Kindle giveaway?), makeup bag, myAgenda, sunglasses, gloves, journal, and two reusable containers to hold my lunch. Impressive! The crossbody strap is adjustable to become a shoulderbag, or it can be removed. I know this bag is going to be used quite a lot this season!

I never understand why street style models and bloggers wear their coats on their shoulders like a cape.  How can they move their arms?  Why not just put on the coat?  Then I realized on cold days I do this very thing – I wear the coat like a cape from the house and over my shoulders until Karl gets ready to take pictures.  This way my outfit doesn’t get as rumpled and I’m less likely to mess up my hair.  Karl got this picture of me in the coat at the beginning of the shoot and it showcases the coat I bought last winter on a whim and still adore a year later (and it’s still available at Nordstrom and now on sale!).

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Badass Black Booties for Spring (and Now!)

I love a black bootie. In these cold winter months, pair with thick black tights and stay warm while making your dresses and skirts look on trend and chic. Slip under trousers for more warmth than pumps but with the same level of dressiness. Come spring and summer, wear with bare legs for a modern, fresh look. Booties provide a level of stability not found in sandals and pumps; I can recall many times when I had to run to catch a light (or catch up with my uber-fast walking boss) and was glad I was wearing my ankle booties. And the way they can take a simple shift or a floaty frock and make them look hip and cool is awesome.

I’ve had a pair of tough black booties in my wardrobe for years and they are the hardest working shoes in my wardrobe. This spring, the black ankle bootie is a hot trend and there’s a ton of great styles to fit every person and their personal style. Ones that have caught my eye…

black ankle bootie spring trend

1. Via Spiga ‘Fabrizie’ – Clean, sleek, modern… this peeptoe bootie is an elegant choice that will be so stylish this spring but become a wardrobe staple for seasons to come. Have it peek out of work trousers, pair with an LBD, or wear with boyfriend jeans and a blazer. You’ll be amazed how many different outfits these booties will complete.

2. Brooks Brothers Dress Booties – Don’t judge Brooks Brothers by their dated reputation. While they are a destination for preppy and conservative attire, they also are a great resource for well-crafted fashion that marries classic style with a bit of edge. These booties are a perfect example; the subtle cutouts keep it from looking boring and the pointed toe elongates the frame and looks elegant.

3. Seychelles ‘Overjoyed’ – Gathered suede, cutouts, and a wedge heel create a unique bootie that will become a closet favorite. The closed toe makes it easy to pair with trousers for the office, but the cutouts make it sexy enough for Date Night or to be paired with a festive frock.

4. Trouvé ‘Hallie’ – Don’t be surprised if you see me sporting these booties in a future outfit post, they’re totally calling my name! The twisted cut-out leather, the subtle hardware and straps, I think they’re so unique and would look amazing paired with more classic looks.

5. Vince Camuto ‘Effel’ – I own these booties and adore them. They’re surprisingly comfortable and versatile; I’ve paired with jeans, casual trousers, and dresses of every length in my closet. I love the gladiator feel and the wearable heel height. Also they come in wide width and are on sale for a pretty nice price.

6. Ted Baker ‘Narill’ – Gotta love a tough looking bootie with a wearable heel height! The gold details at the toe and heel add such elegance; this bootie can dress up for work easily but look great with dresses or even distressed denim. Karl recently got a pair of Ted Baker boots and we’re both impressed by the quality and attention to detail.

7. Bella Vita ‘Lake’ – These have lower than a 2” heel if you factor in the platform; available in multiple widths this is a shoe that looks chic while being utterly comfortable. The lower vamp is more flattering to short legs and thicker ankles; the wood heel keeps the shoe looking modern.

8. Corso Como ‘Winnona’ – The cross strap provides a more flattering cut for those with thicker ankles and the rounded toe will better flatter feminine and vintage personal styles. This bootie would look great with jeans as well as flared and flippy skirts.

9. Via Spiga ‘Nessa’ – This is an elegant classic that has been in style for many years and will continue to be stylish. This bootie would look great now with opaque tights; when the weather warms let them peek out from skinny jeans. Come spring pair with everything from office attire to your favorite LBD. With the hidden platform the heel isn’t as hard to wear as it looks!

10. Pour la Victorie ‘Zuri’ – Gosh I love the chunky black buckle on these booties; so chic and so easy to style! The closed toe make them more versatile and easier to wear in cold weather, but will still look amazing with skirts and bare legs or boyfriend jeans.

11. Vince Camuto ‘Vamelia’ – The slimmer back strap of this peeptoe bootie may prove more comfortable to some and adds a bit of elegance to an otherwise tough shoe. A chunky heel is more comfortable for standing and walking, yet it’s not so chunky that it will look dated in a year.

12. Dr. Scholl’s ‘London’ Bootie – A beautiful grain to the leather and wood heel gives a casual but classic feel that will look as chic with jeans as with casual sundresses. With a memory foam footbed, this is a comfortable boot that will get years of wear.

13. Alice + Olivia ‘Giovanna’ – Um hello star cutouts, how utterly adorable? This is another bootie you shouldn’t be surprised seeing me wear this year, I love the classic fit but the unexpected cutouts. This is a statement shoe that will improve any outfit!

14. Naughty Monkey ‘Angle Tangle’ – I love a wedge bootie, it’s more comfortable than a standard heel and gives a tough badass vibe. Hardware can quickly make shoes look cheap or dated, but the hardware on these booties is simple and necessary to create a rock and roll feel; these would look amazing with a simple sheath or shift or paired with skinny jeans.

15. Madewell ‘Sylvian’ – It’s one part bootie, one part sandal, one part clog and I love all of it. Reviews say this shoe is surprisingly comfortable and it’s brown and black combo is fresh and casual, perfect for spring.

16. Jeffrey Campbell ‘Jovita’ – The perforated leather not only looks cool but keeps you cool in the summer months. A wedge heel adds comfort a tough gal feel. This bootie would look great with dresses but also peeking out of trousers.

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!

Monday: Sweater Weather

Coat: Via Spiga
Sweater: Ann Taylor
Jeans: NYDJ
Boots: DUO (similar)
Lipstick: Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain in Romance

I can’t believe that just Friday I was wearing boots, wishing the weather was actually cool enough to warrant them, and today I am wearing a coat and considered gloves! Oh DC weather, you always keep us on our toes!  Speaking of coat… this was a major score at TJ Maxx.  I saw it on Nordstrom and put it on my wish list hoping it would drop further on sale, and then found it for almost half of the Nordstrom sale price!  I have plenty of heavy winter coats, but didn’t have a mid-weight coat.  This is perfect for this time of year and come early Spring, and I like that it’s not plain black and is a length that works with dresses as well as pants.

Very quiet day in the office so I dressed down.  I planned on wearing this outfit yesterday (with this scarf) but ended up not going out.  I had to recover from Virgin FreeFest (details in future post), Emerson had a bit of a meltdown, and life was just too hectic to add to it.  I got in a much-needed nap and we as a family snuggled on the couch under an afghan and watched The Lorax.

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Ask Allie: Ballet Flat Alternatives

I love ballet flats but they look weird on me. My husband says I look like I cut off my feet is it because I’m short and plus size? What shoes can a short plus size girl wear and not look weird?

Girl I hear you loud and clear. I’m short, I’m overweight and on top of that I have thick legs and ankles; ballet flats look ridiculous on me. I understand the appeal of ballet flats – they’re classic, they’re easily found at popular retailers, they can slip easily in your bag to be a good commuting shoe. But the thing is most ballet flats aren’t comfortable for long spans of time, and they make shorter and larger women look awkward or top heavy. So here’s some great flat shoe alternatives that will give your soles a break and look more flattering with your figure!

Top row: BP. | Sole Society  | Nine West

Pointed Toe Flats
A flat with a pointed toe elongates the foot, preventing you from looking as though you got hacked off at the ankle. Pointed flats look adorable peeking out from a trouser’s hem, are flattering with cropped and ankle pants, and look chic with skirts. Pointed toe flats don’t have to be uncomfortable; most are made to have the pointed part empty with your foot in the normal sized portion. A pair of insoles can keep your foot from sliding into the pointed part for all-day comfort.

d’Orsay Flats
d’Orsay flats are back en vogue and I couldn’t be happier. Such a style of shoe is elegant, dresses up better than other flat styles of shoes, and is more comfortable on a steamy summer day. d’Orsay flats usually have a pointed toe, so they work in the same manner as the flats featured above.

Top row: Nine West | COACH | COACH

Embellished Front Flats
If your shoe is topped with decoration, it provides substance and better balances your figure. A flat with a buckle, flower, or other decoration adds interest to a look without being too overwhelming. This season’s ankle and cropped pants are a perfect way to showcase the detail of such a shoe, and embellished flats are the perfect partner for midi and fuller skirts.

Middle row: Me Too | Via Spiga | SIXTYSEVEN
Bottom row: ara | Fitzwell | Ivanka Trump

Very Low Heel or Wedge Flats
It’s amazing how just a teensy bit of lift can transform a flat and make it more flattering. A very low heel or wedge is actually more supportive and comfortable than a true flat, and it’s also more appropriate for an office setting. Wear such a shoe as you would with flats, low heels and wedges look great with all lengths and styles of pants and skirts.

Do you have any suggestions on ballet flat alternatives?

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Wednesday: Back in Black

Sweater: Ann Taylor (years old) | Pants: Ann Taylor (similar) | Necklace: Got in Key West | Heels: Boutique 9 | Silver Cuff | Coat: Via Spiga | Scarf: Ann Taylor (similar) | Bag: Sabina (similar)

It’s back to work for me! I went in the office the day after Christmas and did a few hours at home over the past week or so, but otherwise have been off and it was GLORIOUS! I feel recharged and ready for work, though spending so much QT with Emerson made it SUPER hard to leave her today. Last night she said she was scared of the dark even with her Twilight Turtle so she got in bed with us for a couple hours. I slept fine, but I guess she kept kicking and scratching Karl so he took her back to her room where she slept soundly the rest of the night. Guess she just needed a bit of reassurance!

Lately I have just wanted to wear a lot of black, don’t know if it’s my inner rock star crying out, a bit of laziness, or color overload. When I did my outfit recap post, I realized how very much color I have worn this year. While I adore color and think people look better in colors they love, I think I was fighting something with the color – fighting depression, anger, jealousy, the blogosphere… something. Lately I just want to chill and enjoy the moment and am finding it easier in darker shades and an attention to detail, shapes, and fabrics. We’ll see how 2013 goes… I know color won’t disappear any time soon, but I think I’ve outgrown colorblocking and Rainbow Brite-esque ensembles.  I’m not gloomy, I’m just reassessing!

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Thursday: Bold Gold

Dress: c/o Gwynnie Bee
Necklaces: eBay
Tights: DKNY
Shoes: VC Signature
Bracelets: Lauren Ralph Lauren
Coat: Via Spiga

My latest Gwynnie Bee box arrived last night and I couldn’t be more excited. I have a dinner date with some fellow fabulous DC bloggers tonight and had no clue what I was going to wear. Gwynnie Bee to the rescue with this comfortable, lightweight, WASHABLE dress! I love dresses like this which are perfect year-round. In summer it would be adorable with flat sandals, in winter with tights and even with a blazer for the office! I decided to dress up the silk-like fabric with bold gold accents.

My Picks on Gwynnie Bee
As I have mentioned before, Gwynnie Bee is like Netflix for fashion from sizes 10 and up – keep an item as long as you like, return for new pieces as often as desired, free shipping and returns. I have been using it since September (all Gwynnie Bee outfits can be seen here) and am so impressed with the quality of the brands they work with, the speed of shipments, and the care the whole company has for their customers.   

Gwynnie Bee is now showcasing my favorite pieces from their collection on their site, my own little curated collection!  All pieces in my collection are ones I like and recommend.  Almost all I have worn, and any that I have worn will also have reviews on the Gwynnie Bee site.  This collection will continue to be updated with my picks.  Unfortunately you can’t see my collection unless you are subscribed to Gwynnie Bee – heck, all the more reason to try them out!

Note: I do receive a commission on all who sign up for Gwynnie Bee and stay with them past the 30-day trial.  However, I write about them so much because I truly believe in this company and what they offer to plus size and cusp-sized women.  Anything I write I write from my heart with full honesty.

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Thursday: Jet-Setting

Pullover: Ann Taylor (found on clearance rack; similar)
Pants: LOFT (similar)
Boots: DUO (similar)
Necklace: “Leona” Pendant c/o Kristin Biggs, Stella and Dot
Bracelets: Nordstrom, Lauren Ralph Lauren, Ann Taylor, etc.
Bag: Steven by Steve Madden
Sunglasses: Ray-Ban
Coat: Via Spiga

With all my trips and events this summer and fall, I realized I needed a bag like this. Lightweight, can stuff into a bag when not in use without damaging it, tons of pockets, can wear on the shoulder or as a crossbody, wipe-clean surface, appropriate for any season. This would have been perfect for Virgin FreeFest and makes for a fabulous purse/carry-on for flying and sight-seeing. I love that I can remove the long strap and just make it a hand bag, and the strap’s length adjusts easily, I can do it even while wearing it.  Today’s outfit is pretty minimal – exactly like what I would wear for a flight so I decided to whip out the travel bag!

And how utterly awesome is this necklace? I saw it at a DC Wine Week event when Kristin Biggs had set up a table and HAD to have it. The stone is Labradorite, which is supposed to have healing properties. This site claims that Labradorite is a power stone, allowing one to see through illusions and determine the actual form of your dreams and goals. It is excellent for strengthening intuitions.  Looks good and possibly can help me strengthen intuitions?  My kind of jewelry!

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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

Flat Work Shoes for Fall and Winter

A big request that comes in my mailbag is suggestions for work-appropriate flats. I’m glad to see such requests, because not every flat is created equal. I hate to burst your bubble, but standard issue ballet flats and the patent elastic-backed flats do not give an air of professionalism, no matter the brand name. Not only that, such shoes offer so little support they aren’t very comfortable or healthy for your arches. Luckily, flats have come back en vogue the past few seasons and there’s a wonderful assortment of stylish, chic, and supportive heel-free shoes available that will give you an air of professionalism. A few styles I am loving this fall:


The Oxford
I wrote about the oxford or brogues trend last fall/winter, but this trend is still quite hot. With the second season, there’s more variety and style available. From animal-print calfhair to metallics to more classic wingtips, there’s an oxford shoe that works with most any personal style. A plus to the oxford is it is a style of flat that looks quite chic with hosiery.

Such a shoe looks amazing with trousers, be you channeling Katharine Hepburn with a wide-leg menswear style, or a trim ankle-length cut. I also like oxfords with boyfriend and ankle-length straight jeans. I have seen many women carry off oxfords with fuller skirts of every length from mid-thigh to ankle, but you need to have a very defined personal style and understanding office to carry off that look.

The Smoking Slipper
Another flat trend that has carried over from last year, the smoking slipper, is easy, comfortable, elegant, and work appropriate. Such a shoe looks great with trousers of any leg width, and with all the prints and fabrics available, can add a personal touch to a more traditional suit.

The Loafer
The loafer has returned, and in all styles and heel heights. The flat loafer is a classic and looks excellent with jeans and trousers, as well as pleated skirts and kilts. The collegiate look is trending this fall, and a tassel or penny loafer fits the bill perfectly and comfortably. Like oxfords, this style of flat looks chic with a sock or other form of hosiery.

If your style is more eclectic, consider a loafer with a pointed toe, an unusual fabric or finish, or unexpected hardware. I love the juxtaposition of a tough leather moto jacket, jeans, and then a classic penny loafer.

The Pointed Toe Flat
While a pointed toe may seem like torture for a heel, a pointed toe is more of an accessory on a flat shoe. Without the angle, the toes aren’t shoved into the narrow front, but sit comfortably in the normal-width body of the shoe.

As a petite woman, I love the pointed toe flat because it extends the look of the leg. It looks fantastic peeking out of trousers, as well as being paired with cropped and narrow pants. I also find it more flattering with skirts than rounded-toe ballet flats.


Flat Booties
This season, two popular flat ankle-height boot styles are the Chelsea boot (more of a riding boot style with elastic gussets on the side) and the Beatle boot (very sleek, slim profile with an elongated pointed toe). Both styles are far more professional looking than the chunky bulbous ankle boot styles that are also available in stores this season. Like the oxford and loafer, this form of flat begs to be worn with socks to keep you warm this winter.

Both styles of bootie are extremely versatile and lend to the season’s pant trends. They can peek out of classic or wide-leg trousers, but also look very on trend with narrow, cropped, and pleated styles. Both also look quite modern with skirts, from a pencil to a pleated midi. A black flat bootie with black tights is a wonderful winter base for dresses and skirts.

How to Determine if a Flat is Work Appropriate:

  • Fabric.  Canvas, denim, metallic twill, jelly, rubber, cartoon prints… if you’re looking for flats for Corporate America you should likely steer clear from these fabrics.  Leather, patent, haircalf, matte velvet, suede, croco-embossed, snakeskin… choose a more traditional fabric for a more traditional and professional feel.
  • Details.  While I find the stud trend to be quite fun, it may not be appropriate for the office.  With the return of the flat has come some very wacky details – rhinestone-encrusted toes, plastic heart shoe clips, 1″ long spikes, clear vinyl cutouts… if it’s not appropriate to be worn to work on your torso it likely isn’t the best choice for your feet.  Also look for details that make shoes too casual – lug or gum soles, visible stitching, visible logos, industrial-style lacing.
  • Trim.  The quickest way to make a shoe look casual is the trim around the opening.  A lovely leather flat, and then a polka-dot grosgrain trim.  Sleek patent shoe, and then an elasticized opening.  A work shoe should be more polished, and an easy way to achieve that is having the shoe be consistent from top to sole.
  • Structure.  If one can see the shape of your toes through the shoe, they’re not structured enough for the office.  If your foot is spilling over the sole onto the ground, they’re not structured enough for the office.  If you look as though you don’t have feet under your trouser legs, they’re not structured enough for the office (ballet flats are infamous for such a travesty). 
  • Condition.  Color worn from the toe, sole peeling away from the shoe, scuffed, the back bent up from wearing as slides… your place of work is why you can buy shoes in the first place so show it a bit of respect.  Keep those shoes for the commute to the office and change once you arrive; this way your work shoes last longer and stay looking crisp.

My list is not all-inclusive.  There are many styles that are out there right now, and fashion is so accepting this day and age, you don’t have to stick to just the current hot trends.  The goal is to look polished, structured, and professional, and you can achieve this no matter the height of your heel!

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Contest: Tolani Scarf from chickdowntown.com

jessica alba tolani scarfTo celebrate me coming back to work and to blogging, I have a great contest for you readers!

One of you can win a Tolani scarf that has been seen on the likes of Jessica Alba (pictured), Sienna Miller, Vanessa Minnillo (pictured), Halle Berry and Mary-Kate Olsen.

The Tolani scarf is courtesy of chickdowntown.com, an awesome site that sells hip women’s designer clothing from the likes of Black Halo, Marc by Marc Jacobs, Diane Von Fürstenberg and Vera Wang Lavender Label.

I am so excited, because you KNOW I love scarves, and these beauts from Tolani are fabulous!

vanessa minnillo tolani scarfHow to enter:
Send an email to mywardrobetoday@gmail.com with the word “TOLANI” in the subject.
In the body of the email, please provide your name and mailing address (I promise these addresses will only go to me – except for the winner, and will be deleted once the contest is over). Winner will be chosen by random.

Contest ends Friday, March 20th, 2009 at midnight ET. Winner will be contacted by email. Scarf will be mailed out from chickdowntown.com. Sorry international readers, but the contest is only open to those in the United States.

Get to know chickdowntown.com:
Facebook (friend “shop chickdowntown” and/or become a fan of the chickdowntown page)
Twitter (twitter.com/chickdowntown)
YouTube (chickdowntownTV.com or youtube.com/chickdowntowntv)

Good luck!

Fashion Undressed: NYFW Trends Redux and Reinvented

alison santighian for wardrobe oxygen

It’s Fashion Week season; New York kicks it off. A week in the Big Apple, and show after show, row after row, model after model. There’s hair, there’s makeup. There are lines wrapped around the corner, eager – but pretending to be bored with it all – faces jostling for a position close enough to the runway to see…and be seen.

There’s a lot of hullabaloo in the media about the hullabaloo. There’s question about what’s more important to the fashion industry, the flashbulbs or the designs. There’s question about the models. There’s question about whether ready-to-wear really is.

As a 41-year-old woman with a full time job and a family, even one who loves Fashion for the art that it is, I sometimes question the runway’s place in reality. The runway’s connection to me may be tentative, but it’s tentative like a beautiful gossamer thread. It’s tentative like a stunning flash of lightning I didn’t quite catch.

Then, those flashes and threads translate to market. Some disappear completely, ending up “runway only.” Other elements become those repeated colors, patterns, shapes, and structures we’ll see copied in store after store the next season.

There were plenty of very wearable designs on the New York runways last week: pretty trousers, elegant dresses, and loads and loads of athletic-inspired looks. Next fall, if retail buyers hold true to runways’ pushes, there are a few trends that have held for a few seasons, and one trend I’m curious to see how it will translate to real life.

The 70s: Keep your bow blouses, boho patterns, and working woman knits. To update them for next fall, though, think about opposites: go monochromatic or use simple contrast – and don’t even think about feathering your hair: sleek, sleek, sleek. Which for me, a mama who never, ever, ever gets to wash and dry her hair properly? Yeah. I’m happy the simple sleek ‘do will be back.

AW15 RTW Trends 70sJason Wu, Anna Sui, Marc Jacobs, images via Style.com

Gym Clothes: Though New York is notoriously casual compared to other fashion weeks, athletic wear (which we welcomed gleefully in the dressy, comfy sweatpant for this past fall) still dominated. Next winter, dig out those turtlenecks and tennis togs. So you don’t look like you’re heading to gym class, though, pick one athletic element in a bold color and temper it with a simple, sleek, and grownup choice like the pencil skirt in the first look here.

AW15 RTW Trends AthleticBand of Outsiders, Lacoste, Katie Gallagher, images via Style.com

Borrowed from the Boys: For the last few seasons, menswear has been all over, and it’s not going away – for good reason. Most of us won’t pull a tie out of the closet each morning, but we will absolutely put on a blazer. Boys wear jackets daily because putting on a tailored jacket ups the ante immediately. It remains to be seen, though, whether retailers will copy the runways with the barely cropped ankle pants or whether they’ll go slouchy. Both are much more doable than it seems at first glance, so maybe we’ll get a choice in the stores.

AW15 RTW Trends MenswearThom Browne, Tommy Hilfiger, DKNY, images via Style.com

The 2015 Bustle: The most intriguing trend out of New York, though, was the bustle’s reappearance. Last popular in, oh, let’s go for the turn of the 20th century, the bustle’s whole purpose is to add distinct shape to a woman’s hips and rear end. Don’t run screaming yet. Remember the peplum? Not one “regular woman” I know, myself included, thought I could pull it off, and so many of us ended up wearing some version of the “hip flip” I never want to see them again. The bustle, though, has an elegance and curve that could be – depending on how it makes it into stores – at once ghostly and contemporary. It can curl, it can flip. It can ride at the waist or sit just below the hip, flirting openly with structure or hiding shyly in a dress’ drape.

AW15 RTW Trends The BustleMarc Jacobs, Creatures of the Wind, Carolina Herrera, images via Style.com

Time will certainly tell if and how these trends make it into our hands next August (because we all love shopping for colder weather in sweltering heat). There are a slew of steps between the runways and stores. There’s media influence, and there are massive market conventions at which retail buyers will pick the pieces manufacturers will then produce for you and me to take home. In the end, most of us will continue to wear what we have already, and some color or pattern might catch our eye. It might be in a magazine or in a store window, but we’ll find it pretty. And then we’ll remember: we saw it on the runway.

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

Thursday

Black stretch v-neck from Banana Republic, white twill cuffed cropped pants from Casual Corner, black leather thong heeled sandals from Mossimo, multiple skinny silver bangles from Ann Taylor Loft, black leather and silver necklace from Chico’s.

Hair is weird. In the shower I was considering loose messy waves and the front feathered out. Yeah, I watched Jessica Simpson’s stupid new video and was slightly inspired. So I added Frizz-Ease Dream Curls Spray, blew hair straight letting it do as it pleased, twisting some pieces. It ended up looking damaged and gross. I continued blowing, using a paddle brush, that made some difference. I then blew the front with a round boar bristle brush and then applied bioSilk so it didn’t look as much like straw…. not my best hair day.

Makeup is L’Oreal True match foundation in C3, MAC Studio Stick concealer, Physician’s Formula Magical Mosaics bronzer for color and powder, a bit of Nars Orgasm blush. Eyes is the ivory shadow from Revlon’s ColorStay Neutral shadow quad, then The Body Shop’s 08 (Granite) in the lids and along the lash line. lashes curled via Shu Eumura and two coats of L’Oreal Voluminous mascara in black applied. On lips is Sally Hansen’s diamond lipgloss in a hot pink (the label with the name fell off).

InStyle Essentials TrioFit Discount Code and Giveaway

Remember when I told you about the amazing white shirts from InStyle Essentials that are sized according to your bust? I’ve worn my classic white shirt dressed up with a taffeta skirt to a gala, and to work with a printed midi skirt. I love how it doesn’t gape at the bust, isn’t hanging off my shoulders, and follows the curves of my body. The TrioFit technology really gives you a great fit and flatters your curves.  Finally, reasonably-priced white shirts for us with larger busts!  While I have the Classic Button-front there are three other styles to choose from (yep there’s a new tuxedo shirt style that will be shipping next month!) all in crisp classic white cotton with much-needed stretch.

If you’d like to get yourself one of these brilliant shirts, the lovely folks at InStyle Essentials are offering Wardrobe Oxygen readers 20% off your orderUse code 20WO at checkout to save 20%.

And for those who are feeling lucky… well look what other great thing InStyle Essentials is offering…

Giveaway
One Wardrobe Oxygen reader will win their TrioFit Prize Package valued at over $400!

InStyle Essentials TrioFit Prize Package includes:

Pretty awesome, no? You get to choose your three styles of shirts and receive all the fixings to be stylish while wearing them!  You must enter via the Rafflecopter form below.  Participants must visit ShopInStyleEssentials.com and let me know in the comments which is you favorite style of shirt, and how you’d style it. This giveaway is open to U.S. residents age 18 or older. Winner will be selected via random draw and will be notified by email. Winner has 72 hours to get back to me, otherwise an alternate winner will be chosen.  Giveaway is open from November 19, 2013 until December 6, 2013 at midnight ET.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

20% off promo code is valid from November 18, 2013, 12:01am ET through December 31, 2013, 11:59pm ET. Discount cannot be applied to The TrioPack, previous purchases, the purchase of gift cards and cannot be redeemed for cash or used in combination with any other offer. To redeem enter your valid promo code in the promo code box at checkout. Limit one promo code per order. Terms of offer are subject to change without notice.

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My Wardrobe Today – Monday

Black shirtdress – Lauren by Ralph Lauren (no longer available – similar)
Black beltLauren by Ralph Lauren
Teal suede pumps - Jessica Simpson “Terrance” (no longer available – similar)
Silk scarf – Thrifted (similar)
Gold bangles - Ralph Lauren
Gold charm bracelet - J. Crew via eBay

This is one of those outfits that looks far better in person than in photos. I think fashion can often be like models; some women who look average in person look phenomenal in photographs, some outfits that look meh in real life look gorgeous when photographed… and some that look pretty fab IRL are meh on film.

I was going to return these shoes after getting the blue ones on eBay, but then I realized that I got these for only $20 due to an online sale and thought they were cute enough to keep for that price!

This weekend was pretty gray and gloomy, but we still had fun.  Saturday there was a music festival in the town square – my husband went to take pictures, I went with Emerson so she could get her groove on.  She’s a huge fan of live music.  There was a troupe of hula hoopers there and they brought extra hoops for the crowd – here’s Emerson making an attempt to hula hoop:

Iz5aXd on Make A Gif, Animated Gifs

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What I Wore: Blame Megan

size 14 petite blog latico red purse stripe dress
Dress: ASOS | Bag: Latico via MYHABIT (similar) |  Bracelet: CC Skye via MYHABIT (similar) | Shoes: Converse ‘Shoreline’

There are many friends in my life that I met through this blog, and one is Megan. Though we live on opposite coasts, we were pregnant at the same time, emailed back and forth over maternity fashion and breastfeeding, and became friends. One day she messages me these $89 Jason Wu shoes on her MYHABIT waitlist that came available. I had heard of MYHABIT but tried to steer clear from such sites because I didn’t NEED anything. But $89 Jason Wu heels had me curious enough to check it out and I became a fan.

I still try to steer clear from MYHABIT and other sites because it’s too easy to get caught up in the excitement of the bargain and buy things you don’t need or even really want, but it’s a fab site to find brands you already like at great prices. I like Latico bags; the leather is high quality, the styles simple and timeless, the price extremely reasonable for the quality, the brand has a cool rock and roll history, and they’re not covered with logos. Last year I wanted a red bag, and found this one on MYHABIT for around $40. This Spring, I realized I had a $20 credit at MYHABIT (refer friends and get credit, FYI my links are referral ones) and got this over $100 bracelet for just $9. So if I have someone to blame for this weekend look, it’s my bloggy friend Megan!

Cool New Blog…

One of the coolest things about blogging is making new friends all over the world. I have been blogging since early 2005 and have made friends that I have met, that I have gotten to know on a personal level, and that have helped me become a better blogger.

One of these friends is Melissa Street, a very talented professional makeup artist. I don’t know who found whom first, but we have communicated via blog comments, email and social networking for quite a while. I have learned so much from her – cosmetic brands to try out, products that have changed my life, etc. And just wait until Emerson is big enough to sport the adorable “Gucci Gucci Goo!” tee shirt Melissa got for her! :)

Anyway, Melissa has a new blog entitled, “In My Professional Opinion” and I adore it. Melissa has over 20 years in the TV and film industry, so has a great idea of what beauty products can really work for special events or every day wear. Her blog isn’t just high-end lines; Melissa will mix drugstore with higher end brands.

I have learned a lot from Melissa Street; I hope you will check out her blog and enjoy it as much as I have! :)

#GivingTuesday and The Health Wagon

giving tuesday

We had a day for giving thanks. We had two for getting deals. Now, we have #GivingTuesday, a global day dedicated to giving back. Today, Tuesday, December 2, charities, families, businesses, community centers, and students around the world come together for one common purpose: to celebrate generosity and to give.

It’s simple: find a way for your family, your community, your company or your organization to come together to give something more. Then tell everyone you can about how you are giving. Join and be a part of a global celebration of a new tradition of generosity. Share on social media how you gave and use the hashtag #Giving Tuesday.

This year, I am supporting The Health Wagon for #GivingTuesday. Earlier this year I saw a piece on 60 Minutes regarding The Health Wagon and have been a supporter ever since. I donate a portion of my revenue from the blog to The Health Wagon and for those who visit Wardrobe Oxygen’s actual site will know I donated ad space to promote the organization.

Nearly one million Virginia residents lack health insurance. Those who work full time at minimum wage make too much to be eligible for Medicaid, but not enough to afford healthcare even via the ACA. On top of that, many parts of Southwest Virginia have little medical access or health resources. The Health Wagon is a nonprofit organization providing mobile health services in Southwest Virginia since 1980. Every dollar donated to The Health Wagon is approximately $100 reaped in health care benefits. In 2013, the Health Wagon assisted more than 11,000 patients obtain access to care valued at over $1 million.

The Health Wagon strives to meet the unique challenges of health care delivery to the medically under-served and indigent in poverty-stricken areas of rural Appalachia. Through the use of this innovative mobile health unit, health care doors are opened to many needy individuals, families, and communities; doors that would have otherwise remained closed. The Health Wagon visits eleven sites in Southwest Virginia’s Buchanan, Dickenson, Lee, Russell, Scott, and Wise counties on a weekly, biweekly, and monthly basis. Accessibility to culturally sensitive primary health care services that emphasize education and prevention is considered the key to improving the health status for populations residing in these rural areas. Services are rendered essentially free of charge; however, donations are encouraged and accepted.

Please consider participating in #GIVINGTUESDAY and donating to The Health Wagon by clicking here or texting WAGON10 to 41444 to donate $10.00, WAGON20 to 41444 to donate $20.00 or WAGON (enter amount) to 41444 to donate any amount.  To donate online visit this link to go to The Health Wagon’s donation page via Network for Good.

I’d love to hear how you are participating in #GivingTuesday, do share your stories in the comments below!

My Head is Too Big to be Hipster: A Warby Parker Review

Once I got new glasses, I wanted more. A pair of red frames to channel my inner Sally Jesse Raphael, a funky blue or green pair to jazz up all-black ensembles, a funky shape to show personality at the office. I had heard a lot of great things about Warby Parker and decided to try a pair of frames from them.

Me in my new glasses – Lafont’s Issy & La collection, the frame is called “Gloss”

Warby Parker Eyewear’s mission is to offer reasonably-priced fashionable frames. On top of that, for every pair of Warby Parkers sold, a new pair is given to someone in need. Warby Parker is also proud to be a carbon-neutral company.

Warby Parker has a try-on program where you can pick five frames and try them on at home. They will ship the glasses to you for free and offer free return postage; I decided to take advantage of this program and see if I could find a new pair of signature prescription frames.

The Warby Parker site is very easy to navigate; click on your gender and then whether you desire optical or sunglass frames. From there you can choose material, color, frame shape, and width. From experience, I know my face is pretty wide, so I stuck to the medium and wide styles of frames. Since I already have a pair of tortoiseshell frames, I stuck to more unusual colors.

The glasses arrived quickly in a sturdy shipping box, and then a lovely navy linen box. Each pair of glasses was in its own compartment, wrapped in plastic and labeled with its name. Each pair of Warby Parker frames has the brand and style name inside on the temple. I found the quality to be stellar, especially for the price. These frames rival the more expensive designer styles I tried at my nearby glasses shop. The return process is simple – peel off the self-adhesive UPS label and drop it in a nearby UPS drop box. I couldn’t be more impressed with Warby Parker and their process… except that my face is too big for them.

Maybe I should have tried men’s frames, but I felt that almost every pair I tried (except for the Bensen, and they just weren’t a style I was looking for) was just a hair too small for my face. I often have this issue not just with glasses, but sunglasses as well. In fact, when I got my new glasses, they were the only ones I liked after trying on about 20 pairs – each other pair seemed just a bit too small for my face shape, even some of the men’s frames I tried.

So if you have a normal to small-sized noggin, I encourage you to try Warby Parker. The Warby Parker at-home program is completely free so you have nothing to risk; if you find a pair you like you can feel good that not only will you look great, but your purchase will also be doing good. As for me, I will have to look elsewhere, my head is just too big to be hipster.

Note: Warby Parker has no idea I am doing this review and I was not compensated in any way for it.  I just decided to try the brand and share my experience with you!

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What I Wore: Slithering Snake

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

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

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

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