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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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 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. 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
  • 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!

Trying Le Tote: My Experience with the Clothing and Accessory Rental Company

You all know my love for Gwynnie Bee, but many of you have asked if there is a similar program for those who are smaller than a size 10. Le Tote is also a clothing rental company, but with a different concept.

A review of Le Tote by Wardrobe Oxygen. Opinion as a size 14 and discussion on whether the clothing is a good fit for women over 35.Le Tote helps you curate a box of not just clothing but accessories. For a $49 monthly fee, you receive a box with three garments and two accessories. You can keep items as long as you wish, and anything you love you can keep forever and Le Tote will charge your card. Send items back, and get news ones – you have unlimited Totes for your subscription fee. If you love and choose to keep everything in your shipment you get a free month of Le Tote. Le Tote wants you to love what you receive; you fill out a style profile upon joining, you can customized your delivery and know exactly what you will receive, and Le Tote has stylists on staff to help choose the perfect items for you and your personal style.  Not only that, when you go to the page for a certain item, you can see photos from other Le Tote members wearing the piece, helping you decide if it’s a good choice for your figure.

I received the opportunity to try out Le Tote free for one month. When you join, you will fill out a survey about your size and style and from that certain items will be suggested. However, you can look at all items available and add anything you desire to your virtual closet. Unlike Gwynnie Bee, you can choose exactly what items will arrive in your next shipment – this is great if you’re planning around an event or travel. Like Gwynnie Bee, shipping is free and return packaging and shipping label is included. While it’s called Le Tote, my items arrived in a sturdy Le Tote branded box, wrapped in tissue. Le Tote is big on communication – you’ll receive emails and texts when your next tote is ready to customize, when it ships, and more. You have the ability to control what kind of communication you receive.

le tote review

A few of the Fall 2015 New Arrivals at Le Tote

Le Tote features popular department store brands like Vince Camuto, Max Studio, French Connection, and BCBGeneration and some lesser-known brands that I have seen at TJ Maxx and Marshall’s. While Le Tote offers clothing up to an XL or 16, pickings get slim when you go larger than an L or 10. While the majority of the vibe of Le Tote is relaxed simple fashion, they do offer a few cute dresses or jumpsuits for a night out, and lots of separates that would be office appropriate.

I tried out LeTote at the end of August and had a very hard time finding anything I wanted in my first collection. The accessories weren’t my style – very delicate, simple, a bit too trendy, and as a 40 year old professional, a bit too young and cheap looking for my taste. The clothing felt very… basic. One thing I love about Gwynnie Bee is that it often forces me out of my comfort zone and introduces me to new brands, silhouettes, and prints. Le Tote is simple clothing, which could be amazing for one who doesn’t like or have the time for shopping or really isn’t into fashion but felt too simplistic for me. I ended up going with a black and white striped knit tee shirt inspired dress, a spaghetti-strap midi dress, a blazer, a delicate necklace with a pave circle, and a pair of ear jackets.

Everything fit like Juniors. The black and white dress was a nice heavy weight and well constructed, but so short it hardly covered my bum. The midi dress was a gorgeous teal color and one of those convertible pieces that has a smocked bodice that can be worn with the adjustable straps, styled strapless, or slid down and turned into a maxi skirt. It was fine, but it really felt like something I’d see on the rack at TJ Maxx for $19.99 in 50 different colors. The jacket was very tight in the arms and shoulder, unlined, and just looked and felt cheap. The same with the accessories; the necklace was pretty but looked like it was from Claire’s Boutique and the earrings were a weird overly yellow shiny gold that just looked too cheap for me. The only piece I wore was the teal midi dress, and it was because I was going to be outside volunteering at a fair and knew it would be hot out. It was perfect for such a situation, but not awesome enough to keep or even wear a second time.

I hate to dismiss Le Tote because it truly could be a great option for some. If you are a size 10 or smaller, if you’re not terribly tall or petite, if you’re under 35 and you’re looking for a reasonably priced way to add a bit of variety to your wardrobe without looking too trendy or outlandish, Le Tote could be a great option. The price is also pretty great – it’s easy to spend this much on a sweater or casual dress that only gets worn a handful of times; with Le Tote you get three garments for the price of less than one plus two accessories to complete the look.  And like Netflix, send back and get another one right away.  Le Tote could prove to be a great way to shop and build a wardrobe as the company will adjust recommendations based upon your reviews and what you choose to keep. Just don’t expect to find any garments that will stop people in their tracks, transform your personal style, or find a ton appropriate for weddings and more formal social occasions. Their fall collection looks more promising and stylish than their summer selections, if you did want to try such a service this looks to be a good season to do so.

If you’re interested in trying out Le Tote, use code LTWO20 and receive 20% off your first month’s subscription.  Code expires October 31, 2015.

Have you used Le Tote? What are your thoughts on the clothing and accessories rental service?  Do you think it’s worth it for me to try it again?

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.

Fashion Undressed: Plagiarism as Design Inspiration?

alison santighian for wardrobe oxygen

“It’s been done before.”

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

“What goes around, comes around.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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

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, 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 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 Sorry international readers, but the contest is only open to those in the United States.

Get to know
Facebook (friend “shop chickdowntown” and/or become a fan of the chickdowntown page)
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Good luck!

The Best Summer Flat Shoes From Nordstrom [Sponsored]

Many of you have emailed me asking for advice on summer flats; Nordstrom recently reached out to me asking if I could write about their extensive collection of flats for summer right as I was writing a post on the very subject. As you know, I’m a huge Nordstrom fan; free shipping, free returns, a crazy great selection of shoes for all occasions and price matching. Who could ask for anything more? A few fab flats available at Nordstrom and why I think they’re a fab choice for this spring and summer.

best summer flats

  1. I’m all about a statement shoe; it transforms wardrobe staples and brings your outfit up a notch. The ‘Pallas’ skimmer flat from Via Spiga has a leg-lengthening pointed toe, enough structure to be appropriate in many office settings, yet a versatile shape that would look great with everything from fluid trousers to sundresses to denim cutoffs. While it’s available in cobalt and nude, this print I think is actually more versatile.
  2. Sperry knows how to do classic prep, and the ‘Harper’ flat fits the bill. These would look adorable paired with ankle pants, crisp cotton Bermudas, or even a cotton sundress. Come fall, pair with everything from boyfriend jeans to flared denim to camel or cream work trousers.
  3. It’s hard to find comfortable flats that are dressy enough for all the day and destination weddings on your summer social calendar, but the ‘Would I Lie’ by Seychelles would work, while also being able to dress down for a weekday. Available in a pewter or black subtle metallic finish, these sandals get great reviews for look as well as comfort.
  4. A windowpane print is like a leopard print – an unexpected neutral. It also brightens any outfit and adds a mod touch. The ‘Willa’ skimmer flat from Kate Spade not only comes in this graphic black and white print, but six other colors, prints, and textures that will make it hard to decide which one is best for your summer wardrobe.
  5. I’m one who wears leopard prints year round; the ‘Chandler’ pointy toe flat from Sole Society has such an open, airy style it makes leopard summer-appropriate. Pair with distressed denim, rompers and dressy shorts, midi skirts, and work trousers.
  6. Shoes of Prey is the latest footwear brand on my radar – their prints and materials are so unique and exciting, their styles are quite wearable, and all their shoes come in a variety of widths from A to EE. I’m partial to their Cap Toe Fish Scale Ballet Flat because it’s a traffic-stopping combination that will work with everything from work trousers to boyfriend jeans. However, I recommend you checking out the other styles from Shoes of Prey; I think you’ll be as impressed as I.
  7. Espadrilles are in style this summer and you have a large variety available. I’m partial to the ‘Lida’ from Sam Edelman which has the classic braided base, but mixes up beading, prints, and leather trim. Two different combinations are available; this is a shoe that takes a simple tank and shorts or tee and jeans and makes the look purposeful and boho chic.
  8. The Dansko ‘Nanette’ is the kind of shoe I recommend in most any travel capsule wardrobe because it’s so versatile and so comfortable for long days walking and on your feet. Such a shoe works with cropped pants, skirts, shorts, and even long pants and can be worn all seasons of the year. If you’re planning to do a bunch of travel this summer, you may wish to consider this or a similar shoe.
  9. For those who find classic espadrilles too bulky, the ‘Tahiti’ D’Orsay espadrille from Kaanas may be what you’re looking for. Available in two different prints that are quite versatile, this is a casual shoe that will work with most everything in your summer wardrobe.
  10. French Sole’s ‘League’ skimmer is the perfect versatile summer flat. Made with perforated nubuck leather, this is an elegant yet extremely comfortable shoe and a classic look that will be wearable for years to come. While I chose to feature it in fuchsia, it was hard to make a decision between the five neutrals and statement colors.
  11. There’s something about this crisp black and white espadrille from Soludos that makes it stand out from the pack. Maybe it’s the black stitching, or the low profile, or the crisp black and white stripes that will look so fresh on a summer day. I must say the price is also pretty nice.
  12. I fell in love with the Ivanka Trump ‘Tadora’ ballet flat as soon as I saw it. So elegant, so feminine, and yet so comfortable. Available in light blue, white, black, and the print; all four styles are bejeweld and beautiful and proving that you don’t need a heel to look elegant.

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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).

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):


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

Elizabeth Arden SUPERSTART: Is it Worth the Hype? [Sponsored]

I’ve been using Elizabeth Arden’s PREVAGE® Anti-Aging Daily Serum for several weeks and I like it. My skin seems happier, plumper, and has a more even look. When Elizabeth Arden sent me a bottle of their SUPERSTART Skin Renewal Booster I was excited… and a bit skeptical, because the claims made seemed almost too good to be true.

Elizabeth Arden 'SUPERSTART' Skin Renewal Booster Review Wardrobe Oxygen Over 40 Fashion Blog Elizabeth Arden’s SUPERSTART Skin Renewal Booster works holistically to restore the healthy look of skin’s surface layer, fortifying its natural ability to repair and renew and ultimately boosting the effectiveness of your other skincare products. Used before a serum and/or moisturizer, it boosts the effectiveness of your skincare products. So let me get this straight… SUPERSTART will not only improve the look of my skin and help it be stronger, but it will also boost the properties of my already beloved PREVAGE® Anti-Aging Daily Serum? Um… sign me up!

I don’t mind a few extra steps in my skincare routine if I know that there will be positive results. I am a complete serum convert, have been using one under my moisturizer for over a year and have seen how a serum adds hydration and extra benefits to my skin’s appearance without adding greasiness or clogging pores.

SUPERSTART Skin Renewal Booster is proven to boost your skin’s natural defenses with its probiotic complex which optimizes skin’s microflora to strengthen its natural defense, support the stratum corneum (the outermost layer of your skin) to reinforce the integrity of skin’s barrier, and boost the effectiveness of your skincare products by optimizing skin’s surface layer. 95% of women agree that SUPERSTART boosts the effectiveness of their skincare products.* SUPERSTART has been proven to boost the power of PREVAGE® Anti-Aging Daily Serum from Elizabeth Arden, so I have added it to my skincare routine. Cleanse, SUPERSTART Skin Renewal Booster, PREVAGE® Anti-Aging Daily Serum, then either my day or night moisturizer. I’ll be sure to report back what I think, but considering how being able to sample PREVAGE® Anti-Aging Daily Serum made me a convert, I have very high hopes for SUPERSTART Skin Renewal Booster.  Have you tried this product? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

SUPERSTART Skin Renewal Booster and all other Elizabeth Arden products are available on their website, Macy’s, and Nordstrom. Learn more about the brand by visiting them on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

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*Based on US home use consumer test on 62 women ages 25-59 after 8 weeks.


What are you trying to fix or accomplish with your current skincare routine? Let me know in the comments and be entered to win a bottle of SUPERSTART Skin Renewal Booster!

Entry Instructions: No duplicate comments.You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:

  1. Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post
  2. Tweet (public message) about this promotion; including exactly the following unique term in your tweet message: “#SweepstakesEntry”; and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post
  3. Blog about this promotion, including a disclosure that you are receiving a sweepstakes entry in exchange for writing the blog post, and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post
  4. For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry.

This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older (or nineteen (19) years of age or older in Alabama and Nebraska). Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. The notification email will come directly from BlogHer via the sweeps@blogher email address. You will have 2 business days to respond; otherwise a new winner will be selected.The Official Rules are available here.  This sweepstakes runs from 10/1/15 – 10/20/15. Be sure to visit the Elizabeth Arden SUPERSTART Skin Renewal Booster brand page on where you can read other bloggers’ posts!

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…

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 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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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! :)

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!