Search Results for: label/Vince Camuto

Color Me Impressed – Vince Camuto

You all know I am a HUGE Nordstrom fan. Stellar customer service, brilliant buyers who select a broad range of styles and pricepoints, free shipping and perks with my Nordstrom card. Lately I keep seeing these pieces on their site – cute blouses, fun leggings, fabulous shoes. At first glance I assume they must be from a high-end designer. No stupid extra buckle, no cheap finish, no ridiculous embellishments. Styles that are on-trend, fun, funky but completely stylish.

Then I see the pricepoint. Reasonable! And the brand? Vince Camuto.

Vince Camuto. I know that name. I have known that name for a while… but why is he suddenly popping up all over Nordstrom… and every fashion magazine I subscribe to.  

Who is Vince Camuto, and how is it that he seems to be the only one these days who knows how to make stylish clothing and accessories at realistic prices?

I did a little digging on the Internet and realized why I knew Mr. Camuto’s name:

Vince Camuto co-founded Nine West Group, Inc. back in 1978. Yes, that same Nine West who makes stylish, on-trend shoes for reasonable prices. Come 1993, Camuto became CEO of this company and Nine West went public. In 1999 as some of you remember, Nine West was sold to Jones Apparel Group (Jones New York, etc.).

Camuto came back in 2001 with Camuto Group – a company that provides design, sourcing, marketing, and production services for 5,000 department and independent retailers. Camuto added to his company a year later, creating four shoe brands exclusively for Dillards (later he added three more brands to his collection). He also acquired the footwear licenses for BCBG (another brand known for great style and reasonable pricepoints).

By 2005, Vince Camuto came out with a namesake footwear line. The next year he partnered with Tory Burch and helped create her famous “Reva” flat.

Since then, The Camuto Group has partnered with more well-known brands such as Lucky Brand, Banana Republic, Kensie Girl, Sanctuary, and Jessica Simpson.

I’m passionate about creating a product that women really want… infusing great style, comfort, and unparalled value for every stage of her life.

                                                    – Vince Camuto

Now it all makes sense. I now realize that I pretty much have to attribute my footwear choices over the past decade to Mr. Camuto. Jessica Simpson, BCBG, Banana Republic, Nine West… all brands I have worn, currently wear, and love for their ability to marry style, trend, quality, and wallet-friendly prices!

And now Vince Camuto is taking over the apparel world. From the Vince Camuto site:

Strong, Edgy, Timeless, Feminine, Confident, Effortless.

                                            – The Camuto Woman

Here’s some gems from the Vince Camuto apparel line I have recently seen and adore:


Love love LOVE a simple LBD with just the hint of a current trend.  Leather is HOT this season, and this dress has the leather detail without verging toward S&M.  This dress would look appropriate at work with black tights and boots, or on a night on the town with platform booties.  As with other Vince Camuto pieces I have seen, this is on-trend this fall/winter but would still look stylish a year from now.

Wait, it also comes in regular and petite?  Mr. Camuto, I adore you!  This blouse reminds me of my dotted one from White House Black Market – a piece that can work under a power suit for the boardroom, or with dark jeans and high heels for happy hour.  Would also be adorable under a cardigan with pants or a pencil skirt.  And again… a piece that takes a hot current trend (animal prints, bow blouses) but creates it in a  manner that is not only wallet-friendly, but will still be stylish for seasons to come.


I am over black for winter coats, but am not sure if I want to drop money on a show-stopping color that I may tire of after a season.  I have been thinking of how navy, a dark purple or green would be a fresh alternative – just as versatile but a touch unique.  I hop over the Vince Camuto site, and see this very coat!  I have always loved a military-inspired winter coat, but find they often are too bulky with flaps, epaulets, and double breasting.  This one would flatter a woman’s figure nicely while still embracing the military trend!

While the Vince Camuto site doesn’t feature their plus size line, retailers such as Nordstrom carry it and it is fabulous.  Many retailers have a weird variation of their apparel for plus sizes – less shape, less style, more matronly.  The Vince Camuto line maintains all the style and substance.  This blouse (available in black and camel) is extremely versatile (tie the bow and tuck it in for a prim look, wear untucked with jeans and just casually knot the ties for a casual rocker look) and the details (keyhole neckline, long ties, the awesome cuffs) make it look far more expensive than its price.  While this blouse is a bit more trendy than the pieces above, I still feel it can be a classic if you are like me and wish the studded trend was available in stores every year!

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I have tried a few pieces from the Vince Camuto apparel line (none of the pieces above – a chiffon midi skirt and pair of leggings with leather patches) and while none were quite right for my figure or personal style, I was impressed with the quality and style of the pieces in real life.

Have you checked out the Vince Camuto apparel line?  What do you think?

Note: Vince Camuto and his company have no clue I am writing this post.  I am not being compensated in any way for this post.  Information about Vince Camuto and his company via Camuto Group Site and Wikipedia.

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What I Wore: Cabin Fever

long sleeve wrap maxi dress etsy wrap maxi dress Dress: Etsy (similar) | Shoes: Vince Camuto ‘Effel’ (out of stock, similar) | Bracelets: Had Forever (similar), c/o Lifetherapy | Bag: Latico

Tuesday we woke up before dawn for my early morning arm surgery and since then I have pretty much stayed inside.  Friday Karl took me to get my hair cut and colored and after we got lunch; after that excursion I was so wiped I took a three-hour nap to recover.  I ended up missing the grand reopening of the historic movie theater in town and a fabulous Girl Scout field trip to take our Daisies to a working farm because of this arm.  However, Saturday night we had tickets to see our friend Ryan star in a local performance of A Raisin in the Sun and I didn’t want to miss it.  I figured since I’d be sitting the whole time it shouldn’t be too exhausting.  I was so excited to get out of the house I dressed for the occasion with one of my favorite frocks (previously seen here).  A crossbody is best with the arm situation, and this one is nice because it lies close to the body and is easy to retrieve contents with one hand.  These shoes are super comfy and sturdy, enough of a heel for my dress to not drag but a thick heel that won’t catch on anything and keep me steady.  Karl took these pictures on our way to our car and I think they show my relief and excitement to get out in the world again!

The play was fantastic, Ryan was utterly brilliant!  However, I was so exhausted just by dinner at the cafe in the same town center as the theater and the play that I was feeling dizzy by the end and we had to miss the after-party.  But it was so worth it to get out, and it was good training to get me back in shape for being back to work this week!

What I Wore: Old Hat

Wardrobe Oxygen, DC based fashion blogger featuring a dress from Gwynnie Bee Wardrobe Oxygen wearing a Corey floral dress from Gwynnie Bee with Vince Camuto sandals Wardrobe Oxygen wearing a Gwynnie Bee dress, Maxwell Scott bag, and ADA Collection belt Dress: Corey c/o Gwynnie Bee | Belt: ADA Collection (similar) | Shoes: Vince Camuto (similar, low heel alternative) | Bag: c/o Maxwell Scott Bags | Sunglasses: Ray-Ban | Hat: Bought decades ago (similar)

I borrowed this dress from Gwynnie Bee over a month ago and haven’t wanted to send it back.  In fact, this is the other dress I currently have that I am seriously considering purchasing from Gwynnie Bee.  This dress feels like silk but is machine washable.  Lined, pockets, and a drapey cut that is comfortable on a hot day.  While I wore it here with a belt the wide elastic waist looks nice on its own too, it gives it a more casual look.

Alison and Karl

I’ve had a Panama hat from J. Crew Factory for a year, but I never really liked it. It always seemed to lie wrong on me, always looked a bit crooked. My mom has been cleaning out her house and found this hat; I remember going to Loehmann’s with my mom and her friend and buying this hat, I think it was 9th grade. This hat is so much better of quality than my J. Crew one and isn’t all wonky! It was perfect for a very sunny and hot day in DC with the family.

Recent Purchases: Hits and Misses

I’m slowly filling in holes in my wardrobe. Though I lost some weight from Whole30 I am still not the same shape and size I was last winter so I need to do a bit of purchasing. I’m also noticing how some of my “classic” items aren’t all that classic. For example, Monday morning I was wearing a cream sweater (see below) with cream trousers and thought brown shoes would be perfect. I went up on a shelf in my closet to pull out my “classic” brown suede booties and realized they have a hidden platform, a weird chunky toe that points up a bit, and the brown is very reddish (these are the booties I’m describing). Yep, they’ll be on eBay before the month is through! Anyway, below are items I have recently tried, some I have loved and kept and others that didn’t make the cut:

Halogen Zip Detail Leather Moto Jacket

Halogen Zip Detail Leather Moto Jacket

I have a green leather jacket, a blue leather jacket, and a fake leather jacket but I really want a black leather one that is a classic fit, classic cut, and can be something I wear for a long time. In high school I had a black biker jacket, I wore it all four years and into college. I still have it, but it’s a very dated silhouette and I’d like a simpler version. This jacket from Halogen appealed to me because there weren’t any funky details, it’s under $300 for real leather, and it comes in petite. A big issue with previously purchased jackets is the sleeves are too long (or with the faux leather, it has bracelet sleeves which makes it hard to wear with long sleeved clothes, and well, faux leather isn’t very warm).

The jacket is well made, and like all the other Halogen leather pieces I own, very soft. This isn’t a classic biker jacket with the notched collar, but with a moto snap collar and then the wide placket to be able to zip up the jacket. The details are subtle so it’s a piece that will stand the test of time. A petite large fit me nicely, and I am usually a generous 12 or slim 14 in coats and need bust space. The sleeves weren’t too tight with a lightweight sweater, and the lining was soft against bare skin.

But I returned it. I didn’t LOVE it, and honestly, it looks so similar to my green leather jacket. It’s a little too polished for what I want; right now I want something that can wear a bit, dress up maybe with a midi skirt, but mainly be what I throw on with a tee shirt and jeans. While this is a great price for a high quality leather jacket, I am still looking for the right one for me.

Halogen Varsity Pleat Skirt

Halogen ‘Varsity’ Pleat Skirt

During the Nordstrom Anniversary I purchased this skirt to replace this skirt from Hinge that I wore to DEATH last winter. Yeah, no. The skirt emphasized everything I’d like not emphasized and I realized it’s because the flare is right from the waist. So I returned it and decided to try this skirt from Halogen; the pleats start lower and are better managed (no belly pleating).

This skirt runs small. I purchased a 12 (my normal size in Halogen) and regular (more length for work) and I could hardly pull it over my rear and I couldn’t zip it more than an inch. Oh, and the description doesn’t mention that it’s textured, like a mini waffle weave.

The Vince Camuto Notch Collar Cape is so odd I had to share multiple photos

Vince Camuto Notch Collar Cape

I briefly mentioned this cape in this post, but think it deserves a proper review, especially since I wrote a review over a week ago on Nordstrom and it has yet to be published, and because other Wardrobe Oxygen readers mentioned the same issue with it.

While I own a lot of Vince Camuto and think they’re a great choice to wear runway-inspired trends without spending a ton, they sometimes go too cheap or get a trend completely wrong. This is one of those times. The cape is made out of a suiting-like material (and a cheap scratchy suit at that) and lined only in acetate; this isn’t outerwear but more like a weirdly shaped blazer. And it is weirdly shaped; I ordered a Large and it was huge on me, I looked as though I was in the Talking Heads. On the models the button seems to be near their navels, on me it was closer to my crotch; buttoned the collar gaped and looked cheap and unbuttoned it tented out. The armholes were very low down, I couldn’t get my hands out unless my arms were bent, and then only the first half of my forearms. No way could I reach the pockets. Mega fail.

LOFT Custom Stretch Trouser Pants Marisa Fit

LOFT Custom Stretch Trouser Pants – Marisa Fit

I now own two pairs of these pants. I wore them here in black, and now I also own navy. These pants are the perfect work pant. You can machine wash them (I line dry, I hang by the legs, making a crease and a clean look by matching the seams to one another and using the weight of the pant to make the legs taut), they’re stretchy, yet hold their shape all day and through multiple wears, look professional/pair nicely with blazers, and the lack of lining does make them not as polished but more comfortable for business casual offices. Though they have belt loops, the waistband is very flat so it doesn’t look bulky under fitted knits. The pockets are ridiculous, I can’t even fit a credit card in them but again, no bulk. I purchased the 14 petite and they are a comfortable fit and comfortable length with mid-height heels. The Marisa Fit is best for me because while I have a booty, I don’t have a very hourglass shape. The Julie Fit of these pants is better for curvy frames, and the Zoe Fit is great for straight shapes with smaller booties; they all come in Regular, Petite, and Tall. All this and under $80 (and then LOFT is always having some sort of promotion!).

lands end lofty sweater

Lands’ End 3/4-sleeve Lofty Blend Cable Pullover Sweater

I thought I ordered a Large, I ordered a Medium. It fit, but it fit too well to the point of looking dated.  I think if I exchanged it for Large Petite I’d like it better.  This sweater is very soft, perfect for those who can’t deal with wool and scratchier fabrics. The knit is tight so no need for an under layer for modesty. It looks expensive and elegant, a classic. This sweater would look nice with jeans, but I think can dress up and look quite lovely with a button-front shirt underneath, or paired with a pencil skirt or work trousers. However, I mentioned this sweater in my post where I was looking for a fisherman sweater and this sweater is NOT that. This is a tailored, ladylike sweater. A great sweater, but you won’t be mistaken for Ernest Hemingway in it for sure!

lands end drifter sweater

Lands’ End 3/4-sleeve Button-back Cable Boatneck Drifter Sweater

Gotta love it when the sale item is the one you like best! I cheated a bit with this sweater, I had borrowed the lavender version of it from Gwynnie Bee this summer. From Gwynnie Bee, I ordered a Large and it was a bit too heavy and boxy for me. However, in cream I thought a Large would be quite Hemingway-esque. But like the other Lands’ End sweater I seemed to flake out and ordered a Medium (what I wear in Lands’ End for most knits and dresses). When it first came I thought it was too fitted to accomplish my goal, but I tried it with different items in my wardrobe and decided this size is more flattering and versatile. I wore it this weekend sightseeing with my Gap Real Straights rolled like boyfriend jeans and my Converse Shorelines and as mentioned above, wore it to work with cream tropical wool trousers and booties. I’ve styled this sweater at home with my pleated leather skirt and also like it over a denim shirt. It has a boatneck and gold buttons in back which makes it look a bit more expensive and special than a traditional cable, but may limit your styling. At the time of writing this, there were still lots of sizes available in Petite, Regular, and Plus.

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MICHAEL Michael Kors Faux Wrap Maxi Dress

This is not something I needed, but per my post Wednesday, something I bought to hopefully wear to a wedding.  I really wanted this in blue but it was out of stock so I ordered it in black, 12 Petite. I ordered for the wedding, but thought the fabric and style would make it year-round wearable and versatile enough to dress up and down.  Glad I ordered petite because this dress is LONG! Like even in petite I’d need to wear heels to not have a train long. And that’s not where the fail ended for me. The sleeves are a weird length (longer on me than in the photo) that look too casual for the rest of the dress (and tight too), the neckline was so low I’d have to pin to hide my bra, and the wrapping in the middle added bulk instead of flattering my curves.  A plus is that it fit nicely in the torso and over my hips and rear; the fabric is opaque and heavy enough to not cling.  I’m glad I didn’t get the blue because I may have fallen in love so much with the color I would ignore the faults in the dress.  I think this dress would look far better on someone who is taller, and I think it’s made for a woman with her curves below the waist; some hips would really make the skirt flow nicely.

So now I want to hear from you, have you purchased anything lately that is phenomenal? Anything so awful fellow readers should get a warning? I learn so much from all of you, I’d love to know what’s on your radar!

What I Wore: Pretty in Pink

vince camuto taffy pink blazer alison gary wardrobe oxygen vince camuto taffy pink jacket

Blazer: Vince Camuto (same color, same style) | Tee: Old Navy | Jeans: Paley Bootcut c/o Jag Jeans | Shoes: Aerosoles c/o Shoebuy | Bracelet: c/o RocksBox | Sunglasses: Ray-Ban

I’m not a cotton candy pink kind of gal… that is until this spring.  For some reason the color has really grown on me so when I saw this blazer at Nordstrom I had to get it.  If you get my newsletter (and you should, only once a month and completely different content from here at the blog), you’ll know I’ve been wearing it a lot.  I wore this combination last week to the office on Casual Friday.  These jeans from Jag are pretty fabulous.  In a world of skinny jeans and extreme flares, the bootcut leg of these are a refreshing and figure flattering change.  Like a previous pair of Jag Jeans that I featured, these have the pull-on waistband that keeps things nice and smooth under fitted knits (and no muffin top!) and are thick and opaque.

What I Wore: Samey Samey

Wardrobe Oxygen wearing a Vince Camuto Blazer, Jag Paley Bootcut Jeans and a Rebecca Minkoff Mini MAC Wardrobe Oxygen wearing JAG Jeans Paley Bootcut with a Vince Camuto blazer and Nine West pumps Wardrobe Oxygen wearing a black boyfriend blazer, gray v-neck tee, and white jeans with a leopard bag Jacket: Vince Camuto (plus version) | Tee: Old Navy | Jeans: Paley Bootcut c/o JAG Jeans (plus version) | Shoes: Nine West | Bag: Rebecca Minkoff (similar, similar) | Bracelets: Had forever (similar), c/o Lifetherapy | Sunglasses: Ray-Ban

My high school geometry teacher used to use the phrase, “Samey Samey” quite often and to this day I often use it for things that are similar. Thursday morning I pulled this look together, the stars (or should I say schedules) were aligned and we were able to hop outside for a couple quick photographs before I had to leave for the office. I liked this look, I felt it was very me. Well yeah it IS me because I wore the same darn thing on the blog in May! Not only that…

Wardrobe Oxygen UniformOutfit 1Outfit 2 | Outfit 3 | Outfit 4

Two of the outfits above are from 2013.  Two years ago I was sporting the same bag, the same silver pumps, the same sunglasses, the same bracelet and necklace, even the same Old Navy Vintage V-neck tee shirt!  Not only that, the Gap Sexy Boyfriend jeans in those two 2013 pictures were still in my wardrobe until a month ago when the crotch blew out and I just got in the mail a replacement pair.  To say I have a certain look would be an understatement; this is a uniform and honestly, that’s not a bad thing.

Life is short, it’s a waste of time to constantly reinvent the wheel or reinvent your style if you know what works.  The black blazer in this outfit post I just bought this summer; I own this blazer in ivory crepe and pale pink (and used to have in neon yellow and regret selling it).  I was looking in my closet and realized while I have black blazers, none of them are classic cuts.  The pink jacket has done me well, it survived NYC, buttons comfortably, is a fabric that works with office trousers or a pair of jeans… why waste time trying to find something different?  I care about style, I love fashion, and I think how you look is important, but being – existing – living – enjoying life trumps it all.  Get out of your closet and get out into the world!

Recent Fashion Purchases: Hits and Misses

A few things I have recently purchased or tried, and whether they are winners or losers for my closet:

best summer fashion buys 2015jpg

1. Vince Camuto One-button Blazer in Taffy Pink

I owned this same blazer in neon yellow when the neon trend was hot (I wish I never sold it, I’d likely still rock the heck out of it), so I know how it fits. I’m not usually a pastels kind of gal, but blush pink has grown on me, especially when paired with denim, navy, and black and white. The jacket is nice – it’s that kind of fabric you can wear to the office, but also style with boyfriend jeans. It has gold buttons at the cuffs and a single gold button in front.  I like rolling my sleeves for a more casual look and it worked even with the buttons (and the lining is the same color of pale pink).  The day I wrote this piece I wore it with the Caslon striped tee, my Jag Erin skinny cuffed jeans, and black pumps. I also wore it with boyfriend jeans, Converse Shorelines, and a white band tee and plan on wearing it to the work with gray or cream trousers.

2. Halogen Modal & Linen Tee in Black and White Stripe

I know, I know, all the stripes. It’s my weakness in life. I liked that this one had a subtle scoop neck, that it wasn’t going to be clingy and a slouchy lightweight fabric. I ordered the Large and it fits far more like an XL. It’s fine with skinny jeans or shorts, but a medium would likely be better if you want to wear untucked with looser bottoms or tucked in. Though it’s lightweight, it’s not sheer. Though it says hand wash and dry flat, I washed on the gentle cycle in a lingerie bag and line dried it hanging over two hangers and it turned out fine.

3., 4. Gap Muscle Tank in Gray Stripe and Red Floral

Last year I bought a muscle tank from Free People and I loved the cut, the fit, and the effect. I was thinking these would be similar. Notsomuch. These are true muscle tanks – the neck is high, the sleeves are cut where they’d likely flatter a very slim or very muscular arm, neither which I have. They look like Fruit of the Loom tee shirts with the sleeves cut off and hemmed.

5. Gap Stripe Fluid Tunic

I got this in the gray and white stripe and I like it. The sleeves are fitted but not too much, the body is wide and fluid inn a good way, the neck is flattering. It’s called a tunic but the large on me hit mid-fly on my jeans, nothing too long or too short. However, it just wasn’t unique enough for me to justify it. The top now is on big discount online and few sizes and colors are in stock, but I bet there would be a few on the sale rack at your closest location.

6. Old Navy Denim Pencil Skirt

Many of you recommended I try this skirt when I found the Madewell one (which I did return) fit strangely. I ordered this in the Gold Coast wash since I was looking for something more distressed or vintage looking. I have to agree, this is a great skirt. It has stretch so you get a better fit, and it’s a classic cut that will go with so many things. However the Gold Coast color is terrible. It looks really cheesy; a weird blue that I remember my dad’s gardening jeans from Sears were, and with bright gold stitching. I considered distressing the skirt to balance out the very crisp finish but didn’t think it was worth the effort and worried I’d end up ruining it. So instead I sent it back. However if you want a rinse/dark denim pencil skirt, I would totally recommend this one from Old Navy.

7. Old Navy Wrap-Front Jersey Top in Light Heather Gray

This looked cheap. I have a similar top from Two by Vince Camuto and this one may be a third of the price of that one but it LOOKS like it. This top doesn’t hang well, the armholes aren’t flattering, the neckline gapes, the fabric is a weird texture. Even if it was on sale for $5 I wouldn’t keep it because I just don’t think it’s worth it. I thought it could be a nice change from tee shirts, but it just isn’t worth it.

8. Banana Republic Striped Drapey Popover Blouse

This looked like something that I’d put on before I got my hair highlighted. It looked like a lady’s blouse from the ‘80s that I would have thrifted in college and knotted and paired with denim cutoffs and clunky Steve Madden slides. Fail.

9. Banana Republic Go-To Denim Shirt in Dark Denim

Reviews said this runs small so I got an XL. I’m glad I did because the arms (just like most everything from Banana recently) run narrow. The fabric of this shirt is soft enough that it drapes nicely, but has enough structure for a proper collar and clean cuffs that stay in place. This shirt actually shows the quality difference between Gap and Banana; I have two Gap denim shirts and while they’re great, this one was just made with more attention to detail, higher quality fabric and finishings.

What I Wore: Back to My Roots

Wardrobe Oxygen wearing a J.Crew Factory denim jacket, Loveappella jumpsuit, BCBGeneration fringe clutch, and ADA Collection wrap belt Wardrobe Oxygen featuring a J. Crew Factory denim jacket Wardrobe Oxygen featuring a BCBGeneration fringe clutch, J. Crew Factory denim jacket, and Vince Camuto sandals Wardrobe Oxygen featuring a black jersey jumpsuit, denim jacket, and cognac sandals and belt Jacket: J. Crew Factory | Jumpsuit: Loveappella (similar in plus size) | Belt: ADA Collection (similar) | Shoes: Vince Camuto (similar, low heel alternative) Bag: BCBGeneration (c/o HSN but sold out on their site so linked to where on sale at Amazon) | Sunglasses: Ray-Ban | Bracelet: Had forever (similar) | Rings: Etsy, Etsy, Etsy | Earrings: Etsy

As I mentioned in this post, I wore a heck of a lot of denim jackets in my retail days. But that was far from the beginning of my relationship with denim jackets. In elementary school I’d steal my mom’s Gap denim jacket, roll up the sleeves, pop the collar, and style with leggings and puffy socks. In middle school one of my favorite outfits was an acid washed calf-length denim pencil skirt and matching oversized jacket (I need to scan a photo of me in it for a #throwbackthursday post on Instagram, believe I styled it with bright blue hi-top Chucks). Come high school, I took that denim jacket and many more and custom decorated them – I sewed buttons or patches on the back, used markers to color trim and do whole designs on panels. I went for a long period of time without a denim jacket, but since I bought this one from J. Crew Factory it has gotten a lot of wear. I’ve thrown it in the washer and dryer twice and it still looks and fits great.

This jumpsuit I mentioned in several posts and have featured a couple times on Instagram (and a blurry shot from my BlogHer conference “What I Wore” post), but never on the blog. This has become a favorite, it’s uber comfortable and easy to dress up and down.

Wardrobe Oxygen wearing a Loveappealla jersey jumpsuit with Vince Camuto sandals and a leather obi belt
I know it’s helpful to actually see the garment under a jacket, here’s the jumpsuit by itself. I went up with an XL Regular to have some extra space and less bum-cling or chance for, ahem, camel toe. I’ve found it’s usually a good idea to size up when purchasing jumpsuits, they seem to drape better on my curves.

Shop My Picks for Stretchy Knit Jumpsuits

What I Wore: True Representation

alison gary of wardrobe oxygen personal style over 40 rebecca minkoff mini mac leopard calfhair via wardrobe oxygen Alison Gary of Wardrobe Oxygen 40 year old working mom fashion blog alison gary of Wardrobe Oxygen over 40 fashion advice Jacket: Vince Camuto (similar, similar) | Tee: Etsy | Jeans: Gap | Shoes: Nine West ‘Flax’ | Bag: Rebecca Minkoff (similar, similar) | Earrings: Etsy | Watch: c/o Larsson & Jennings | Bracelets: c/o Pura Vida Bracelets (right now get 20% Off With Code JULY20), c/o Lifetherapy (though July get 40% off your entire order with code FF40) | Sunglasses: Ray-Ban

Hey do you recognize me? I wore this Thursday night at the BlogHer conference. The hotel room had an awkward full-length mirror inside the closet, but it seemed okay at 3:30 when I put it on; by 10pm after three glasses of wine I took a selfie in the hallway mirror while waiting for the hotel I felt it was a good representation of me. Last week, Alexandria Stylebook featured me in a post about trends we have felt good in since our school days. For me it’s band tee shirts, but in the past decade it also includes also blazers, either dark rinse or distressed straight leg jeans, pointed toe pumps, silver accessories, and a touch of leopard or cheetah print. I wore this the first night of BlogHer because I felt it was a good representation of not just my style but my self. I know others don’t always remember outfits the way I do but if they do I want it to be a clear representation of Alison.

The older I get the fewer clothes I want. Don’t get me wrong, I could do some damage if I had the funds, but there would be fewer silhouettes in the closet, fewer personalities. I wrote this piece a few years ago and while those women still reside in my wardrobe, the lines separating them are fading and I want to send a clearer message with my clothing choices. And this feels pretty me.

Shop the Look:

All About the Summer Shoes

A bit ago, a reader asked me about a pair of shoes I wore in an Instagram photo (I share far more outfits over there than here so come on over and follow!) and I realized I haven’t shared bits of my closet lately, or recent purchases.

This summer has been atypical thanks to this arm situation. A huge portion of my wardrobe is unwearable thanks to the bulk of the cast or my reduced dexterity, and that has affected my choice of footwear (some shoes just DON’T go with everything!). This has caused me to really examine what I buy and more importantly, WHY. I recently shared this post from Momastary on my Facebook page (another place you should follow me because the content there is different from here on the blog) and it really resonated with me, especially this quote:

“I will not be a slave to the Tyranny of Trend any longer. I am almost 40 years old and no catalog is the Boss of Me anymore. I am free. I am not bound to spend my precious days on Earth trying to keep up with the Joneses- because the Joneses are really just a bunch of folks in conference rooms changing “trends” rapidly to create fake monthly emergencies for us.”

As you know from some of my recent more personal posts, I’ve made a concerted effort to see the positive in my arm re-breaking and using this time to craft a more positive and healthy life. While that has included walking, Whole30, and some other new habits, it has also affected my shopping. Am I shopping to try to fill a void? Am I buying to keep up with the Joneses (or bloggers) or to make more compelling blog posts or because there’s something else in my life I need to focus on but am afraid or don’t want to do so? Anyhoo, lots of existential mumbo jumbo when this is supposed to be about SHUZ! But point is, this summer my shoe purchases were made with more thought and care.

I broke my summer/early fall shoe collection into two categories: pretty, and practical:

fall shioe must have collection

My pretty shoes. These are shoes for work, for nights out, and when I want to feel fancy with my simple knit dresses or jeans. Clockwise from top left we have the Halogen ‘Marlie,’ Rockport Seven to 7 Peep Toe Wedge (c/o), Nine West ‘Ugogirl,’ and Nine West ‘Flax.’

halogen marlie calfhair leopard gray pump

I said in my Nordstrom Anniversary Sale post that I wouldn’t buy these shoes because I already have a ton of leopard shoes, but this summer I saw that my leopard semi-flats and leopard pumps got more wear that any other work shoe. All my other leopard calfhair shoes were warm tones and I often wished I had a slightly different version so while they were still on sale I grabbed these. They’re not my first pair of Halogen shoes (or first pair of leopard Halogen shoes) and like my others, I find them comfortable and well-made especially for the reasonable pricepoint. These shoes have been worn with black, blue, denim, white, skirts and pants and jeans.

rockport aqua wedge peep toe seven

It’s so nice when a brand sends me something and it ends up being in regular rotation. These pretty snakeskin wedges from Rockport are just that. I’ve written before about Rockport’s comfort, and I love how they are able to have sneaker-comfy shoes with great style. I love this color with denim, and they look great peeking out from work trousers. While some may rock wedges with skirts, I think they look a bit wonky on me and keep them for pants. But these are my go-to for a day after a pair of painful heels or when I’m wearing a boring outfit and want a punch without a lot of effort. And by the way they look great with a red nail (my summer tootsie color has been OPI’s Big Apple Red).

nine west ugogirl calfhair leopard

My Ivanka Trump Indicon leopard calfhair pumps are comfy but they’re looking a tad worn after two+ years of city life. My cobbler does his best to cover heel nicks but I was looking for a replacement. While I have had a watch on eBay for a year and regularly check places like 6pm for the exact shoe, I was okay with finding a completely different shoe. The ‘Ugogirl’ immediately appealed to me because while it had the pointed toe that I adore, it had a modern thicker heel. They fit like other Nine West shoes, which is good for my chubby in front/skinny in back feet and the wider heel makes them wearable for a longer period of time.

nine west flax

Oh Nine West ‘Flax,’ how I adore you. I have this very shoe in red and black pony hair (an impulse buy I still adore but hardly wear), peacock print (not worn often but SOOO worth it, my absolute favorite statement shoe), silver (haven’t worn recently but get a lot of wear in fall and spring), black, and nude. After several summers, I finally found a nude that matches my skintone and of COURSE it’s in this style! ‘Flax’ can often be found for super cheap on sites like 6pm and Amazon, occasionally on sale at Macy’s and Lord and Taylor but they’re getting harder to find.  I went to a Nine West outlet while at Rehoboth on the hunt for more ‘Flax’ (hopefully a backup pair in nude or black) to no avail. But a non-shiny, single sole pointed nude pump is more of a workhorse in my wardrobe than the same shoe in black. It’s a great way to summarize black and darker outfits, and elongates the leg.

popular summer shoes

And now my practical shoes. These are the true workhorses, and honestly, they look it so no close-up shots of these babies. Clockwise from upper left we have the Vince Camuto ‘Effel,’ Sanuk Yoga Mat Flip Flops (c/o), Softspots ‘Ventura’ (now discontinued so linked to only retailer I could find that still has them), Converse ‘Shoreline,’ Born ‘Myndy,’ Birkenstock ‘Arizona.’

I bought the Vince Camutos back in February in black and this color. Tan was backordered, black arrived, I wore once and found them stiff and they cut my ankles. Returned. The tan arrived and I was ready to return them right away but decided to try on. Completely different experience! The leather is soft, the fit different, and the color far more flattering. I wear these shoes weekly, with dresses (seen here) and jeans (seen here) and pants (seen here) and skirts (seen here). The heel is a wearable height and I don’t hesitate to choose these for long workdays or general admission concerts.

I wear flops far less than I used to, and I think it’s because with this arm I haven’t spent much time at a swimming pool. These hang out at the front door to wear to the mailbox, to take Cindy for a quick walk or Emerson for a quick trip to the playground. They also slip into my bag for pedicures. I don’t condone flip flops as actual shoes, but these are uber comfy and the fabric strap more refined than plastic making them a great choice for the pool, beach, and bumming around.

The Softspots Ventura sandal is my JAM. Almost the same color as my legs, a mini wedge which is more comfortable than completely flat. This is my second pair (found them on eBay unworn in box) because the first pair was destroyed after a few summers of music festivals, concerts, and weekend events. Worn them here, here, and here.

Converse Shorelines are amazing. Far more comfortable than the All Stars, but with the same style. I’ve worn them here, here, and here and wrote about them here and here. Love.

The ‘Myndy’ by Born, I bought these on clearance and immediately regretted it. What the hell Alison, I don’t wear yellow! There’s not a single yellow thing in my wardrobe! They ended up sitting unworn in a box for several months. Then I pulled them out and realized what I was missing. These babies are COMFORTABLE and CUTE and yellow, when this shade and with a cork wedge heel ends up being a neutral! I’ve worn them on the blog here, here, and here. I wear them with jeans, with dresses, and even with shorts. They’re so comfy, I wear them days when I know I’ll be doing a lot of walking but flats won’t look right. Even though I bought these a few years ago, they’re still available each summer in different colors (love the pink) and often found on discount sites.

And my silver Birks. Sorry not sorry, I wear the HECK out of these babies. I can walk miles in them, I can stand on my feet for hours on concrete in a crowded concert pit, I wear them with casual dresses and cutoffs, maxis and boyfriend jeans. I love that they go with my beloved silver cuff, and I don’t care that they’re clunky and overly trendy and played out. I love my Arizonas, and likely will be wearing long after the trend dies.

There you go, the most worn shoes in my wardrobe this summer! What are you favorite shoes in your wardrobe, and what are your must-have footwear workhorses?

Friday: Real Housewife

Tee: Armorlux (gift from reader)
Vest: c/o Karen Kane
Jeans: Jag
Boots: DUO Boots (similar)
Necklace: LOFT chain and pendant from eBay
Earrings: Vince Camuto
Bracelets: Nordstrom, Ann Taylor, Ralph Lauren, misc.
Bag: Sabina (similar)

My husband saw me in this outfit and said I looked like a Bravo TV housewife. I guess with the gold, the fur, the boots, it is a bit Real Housewives! When I left the house, I had straight hair, straight bangs, and felt I was channeling a bit of Patti Smith. Though the rain had stopped, it was still so wet and humid outside that by time I got to the sidewalk my hair had all curled up. By time I was at the Metro, I felt like Veronica Lake – my bangs had become part of the rest of my hair and I had deep waves. Lovely, but with a walk from the station to my job those waves just became a hot mess and now I am typing with a topknot. Oh well, it’s Friday!

Isn’t this vest fun? I want to sip cocoa at a ski lodge, wearing it with a cram turtleneck. Karen Kane always amazes me with their fashion – it’s a ton of fun yet translates well for real life. Their fall collection is pretty fantastic – sequins, leopard print, jewel tones, and more!

And I have to share the beauty which is these jeans. I have other pairs of Jag jeans and I really like how they fit, hold up, reasonably priced, and are pretty classic looking (no bling, logos, etc.). These have a smooth waistband – sort of reminiscent of maternity jeans but they curve to fit a woman’s body and give a smooth line under fitted knits. Comfortable and brilliant!

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My Wardrobe Today – Monday

Sweater – Vince Camuto (similar)
Skirt – Ann Taylor (similar)
Tights – Nordstrom
Cuff – Gap (similar)
Shoes – Miss Sixty (similar)
Bag – Hobo International “Jude”

Feeling so much better today than I did on Friday, however still not 100%. Getting there!

This weekend was really nice – Saturday evening we went to a neighbor’s house where we adults had dinner and our kids had a blast together. Yesterday, I went to the mall with my sister – I didn’t plan on buying anything, but ended up getting a bangle bracelet, a bag, and a skirt. I find some of the best accessories at the cheapest places – the bangle is big and green and fun and I found it at The Icing; the bag is a small emerald green patent “Kelly” inspired bag with a crossbody strap that was less than $20 at Forever21 – not something I would wear every day, but great for concerts and events when I need a smaller bag (and the color is phenomenal!)

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My Wardrobe Today – Tuesday

Shirt – c/o CAbi
SkirtAnn Taylor
TightsNordstrom
ShoesVince Camuto
Bracelets – swap event, Ann Taylor, Lauren Ralph Lauren
Necklace – boutique in Rehoboth Beach

I wrote this post before ever owning anything from Vince Camuto. When I saw these booties on sale I felt it was fate – since the hurricane destroyed my only pair of brown shoes I decided to get these babies. While they are a bit tight on the top of my foot (I have especially chubby feet), the suede is very soft and supple and I can feel them easing to the shape of me as the day progresses. As for standing in them… they are more comfortable than my Cole Haan booties with Nike Air technology! They seem really high but there is a hidden platform that helps greatly. Very sturdy on my feet, a really great shoe that if they go on sale even further I may pick up another pair in a different color or material!

Trench DKNY
Faux fur collar H&M

While yesterday was near 70, today is quite chilly.  Good for me, another chance to wear my H&M fur collar!

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Tuesday: My Go-To

Blazer: Vince Camuto | Tee: Old Navy | Necklace: eBay | Pants: Two by Vince Camuto (similar) | Booties: Nine West

Last night in my head I envisioned this outfit with a fab ivory and red dotted peplum top I got from Gwynnie Bee (see here on Brittany). I thought of the last time I wore a peplum with a blazer and felt it would be cute and temper the polka dots. Put it on, and while it WAS cute, it just didn’t feel like me. So shocker of all shockers, I grabbed an Old Navy Vintage V-neck. I have three in this charcoal color, two white, one blue, one pink, and one black because these tees are just perfection for me. I wear them at least once a week if not more often. As for the peplum top… I’m already thinking of an outfit mixing it with some leopard!

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Plus Sized Work Attire Options

Dear Allie:
I am getting back into the workforce after five years as a SAHM. I’m really excited, but am having a hard time finding nice work clothes. I am a size 18, 5’5” and an apple and all I seem to find are lowcut dresses and polyester pants. Do you know where I can find suits and work clothes like dresses and blouses for my size?
 
Why are all plus sized suits made out of polyester? Where can I find a suit that is equal in quality and price to J. Crew but goes above a size 16?
 
I was recently promoted and my new position requires me to travel on business several times a month. For such trips, I will need to wear a suit while at the office I can usually get away with casual pants or even nice jeans. While I have a great wardrobe of business casual pieces, it is proving difficult to find more corporate of attire for my size (I vary between a 20 and 22). Do you know of any retailers who specialize in suiting and corporate attire for plus-sized women?
 
Hi Allie, I need to improve my look at work. We’re allowed to wear anything we want but I don’t want to look like a slob any more and think if I look good I may be more likely to get a raise or promotion. I’m 5’7”, a size 20 with a large bust and don’t even know where to start looking for nicer work clothes. HELP!

I am not sure why the world thinks women over a size 12 don’t hold professional jobs. They must think that with the poor selection of career wear for plus-sized women. While quality suits and stylish business casual clothing does exist, it’s hard to find. Below I feature some brands who realize that just because you wear a larger size doesn’t mean you wish to sacrifice style, quality, or professionalism.

If you’re plus sized, I’m sure you already know about Lane Bryant, Avenue, Ashley Stewart, One Stop Plus/Woman Within/Roamans/Jessica London, and other retailers who specialize in plus size fashion. Below are some suggestions on brands I know who aren’t the typical shops, and who provide quality, well-crafted and stylish career wear in plus sizes

Nordstrom
I know, I know, Nordstrom again? Thing is, they offer a great selection of quality brands and style for plus sizes. MICHAEL Michael Kors, Rachel Palley, Calvin Klein, Karen Kane, Eileen Fisher, Tahari Woman, Vince Camuto, Kenneth Cole… all these brands and more are offered in plus sizes at Nordstrom stores and online.

Unlike many other department stores who think a woman in a size 22 dress wants a muumuu or a flowing polyester pantsuit, Nordstrom buyers find brands and pieces that are in the same vein of style as the rest of the store. Great colors, fun silhouettes, lots of options. Nordstrom has free shipping and free returns, will perform alterations onsite, and have personal shoppers that can help you secure a professional wardrobe for your job.

Macy’s
Macy’s is another department store who offers a fantastic selection of brands and styles for plus sizes. Alfani, Calvin Klein, Lauren by Ralph Lauren, Jones New York, and then their in-house brand INC International Concepts are great resources for great plus size office wear. Like Nordstrom, Macy’s provides a good amount of real estate in most of their stores for plus-sized fashion.

Macy’s always has promotions for discounts and shipping deals. Macy’s has a great return and exchange policy, where you can return by mail or at any nearby store.

Talbots
Talbots Woman comes in sizes 12-24 regular and 12-22 petite. Each season they offer several styles of suit separates so you can mix and match for the perfect career look. Talbots also specializes in business casual looks, with tailored trousers, well-crafted skirts, polished knits and sweaters and even shoes and accessories.

While many retailers hide their plus size department in a dusty corner or keep it only online, Talbots often has separate stores just for their Woman line, or else it gets plenty of real estate in their mixed-size store. Talbots is phenomenal with customer service, seeking out sizes at other locations, taking returns in-store, and giving you honest feedback and offering suggestions at the fitting room. When I was a size 18, Talbots was my go-to store, where I knew I would find quality, style, and a supportive staff.

Jones New York
While Jones New York is a department store staple, they also have their own online boutique that has a large selection of career wear in extended sizes. Since you have to return by mail (they offer a pre-paid shipping label), it’s good to try out JNY in a store to know how it fits, and then go online to find a larger selection.

Kiyonna
Kiyonna knows how to dress a woman. They make well-made pieces that are stylish and flattering to a plus-sized figure. No muumuus and garish prints here, Kiyonna offers beautiful dresses, and also a beautiful selection of separates. While their bottoms are very basic, they are well-made and classic. Some of their tops can run on the sexy side, but many are great pieces for business casual environments or fabulous shells under suits. Their return policy is pretty standard but I hear their sizing is quite consistent so once you know how you fit in Kiyonna you won’t have to make as many returns and exchanges.

Ann Taylor
If you enter an Ann Taylor store, you may think they don’t care about anyone over a size 12. However online they go up to size 18 and XXL on the majority of their pieces. I also find Ann Taylor runs a bit large and many of my readers have agreed that their size 18 can often fit a size 20 woman.

Ann Taylor regularly has promotions for free shipping and percentages off select items – it’s smart to sign up for their emails or follow them on Facebook or Twitter so you stay updated. Their online selection can sell out pretty quickly when they have such sales, so shop early. While Ann Taylor doesn’t offer free returns, they do accept returns even of larger sizes in any store. And if you have to do a return, check out their sale rack where I have regularly seen larger sizes from other women who have made returns.

Lands’ End
Lands’ End may not be the retailer you would think for career wear, but they do have a pretty great selection of workwear staples. While their summer selection is more geared towards shorts and dresses, they always have a good selection of blazers and coordinating bottoms and come the cooler months have an even greater selection of suiting and work-appropriate pieces.

Lands’ End often has promotions for discounts and free shipping so sign up for their emails to get the latest news. Lands’ End also accepts returns at Sears stores which makes shopping with them even more convenient.

Eddie Bauer
Like Lands’ End, Eddie Bauer mainly focuses on casual weekend fashion. However, like Lands’ End they have a few stand-out pieces each season for career wear. Eddie Bauer often focuses on easy-care pieces, and you’re likely to find wrinkle-free suiting, no-iron button-front shirts, and machine washable trousers and dresses. Eddie Bauer offers free exchanges and accepts returns by mail (they will provide a pre-paid shipping label or you can send by your own method) or in store.

Overstock
I’m quick to head to Overstock to find a toaster oven or an area rug, but I have now learned to go to this site for fashion. Popular brands like Tahari, Kasper, Calvin Klein, and Ann Klein are featured by Overstock, and at nicer prices than at the department store. While some of the styles offered on Overstock are a bit strange, you can also find some gems – often pieces being sold right now at your nearby Belk or Macy’s. Overstock has customer reviews, ridiculously cheap shipping, and a reasonable return policy.

TJ Maxx
While most of my local discount big box retailers will have some plus size fashion, it’s usually a small section, messy, and full of strange pieces I wouldn’t be caught dead in. Not so for TJ Maxx, who usually carries higher-end brands than similar stores, and they usually have a larger and better organized plus size department.


Where do you find stylish and well-made plus size career wear? I’d love to know your suggestions!

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What I Wore: Spring Green

I am such a fan of green and this blouse from Dobbin Clothing is the perfect Kelly green for spring.  This is a tunic length blouse, so it also looks adorable untucked with some slim pants.  With wearable heels (seriously these shoes are uber comfortable all day) and a hat to sheild myself from the sun, I’m ready for outside brunch with my girl friends!

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Thursday: Polka Dotty

Blouse: Ann Taylor
Skirt: Ann Taylor (similar)
Shoes: Vince Camuto
Bag: Hobo (similar)
Bracelet: Nordstrom
Lipstick: Combo of Revlon ColorBurst Lip Butters in Cherry Tart and Pink Truffle

Yesterday I went into Ann Taylor to return a piece I ordered online and left with this blouse (size 12 Regular). I didn’t want to spend, but this top was just too cute. The bow detail is so sweet and would look great peeking out of a cardigan once the temperature drops. And then once I got home, these shoes were waiting for me from a recent Nordstrom purchase. I already own Vince Camuto shoes and know they are well-crafted and comfortable and these aren’t any different. I love the details – the haircalf exterior, visible stitching on the leather sole, leather insole – these shoes in person look far more expensive than their pricetag. While they aren’t a true black and white print (more like off-white with brown-black) when right on top of the shoe, from this distance (and even when I cross my legs) it is a good match with the blouse.

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What I Wore: Bandana Badass

Tee: Leith | Jacket: ASOS (similar) | Bandana: Vision Street Wear (similar) | Jeans: Gap | Shoes: Vince Camuto

The bandana is back this season, and it gives me an opportunity to pull out some oldies but goodies like this one from Vision Street Wear. It’s always fun to take something old from the wardrobe and give it a new life with new trends.

Though my cast is off, my arm is still healing and my hand isn’t strong enough to perform many daily tasks.  Clothing is still best when it’s a bit loose, but I’m liking jackets because they cover the still healing scar and provide some protection.  Adding the jacket and the bandana make me feel less like an invalid and more like a badass!

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Friday: Sensing a Trend

Dress: Vince Camuto
Necklace: eBay (similar)
Shoes: Franco Sarto (similar)
Bracelets: Nordstrom, Ann Taylor, Lauren Ralph Lauren, JewelMint, c/o Soft Surroundings

I guess this is the week of the leopard shoe! Other than yesterday, I wore a good portion of my animal-print collection. All that’s left are my Mary Janes and flats!

Any exciting plans for the weekend? Tomorrow my husband is shooting a wedding and I’m going as assistant. No other plans are concrete and I couldn’t be happier. I need to return a jacket to Old Navy and I know a few friends are having parties and cookouts, but really all is left up in the air and I would be perfectly content spending a lot just relaxing at home with the family.

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My Wardrobe Today – Thursday

Cashmere sweater Only Mine
Skirt – Ann Taylor (similar)
TightsNordstrom
BootiesVince Camuto
Tortoiseshell necklace – Shop in Rehoboth Beach (similar)
Gold chain – J. Crew (similar)
Bracelet Lauren Ralph Lauren
Trench – DKNY (similar)
Fur collar – H&M (similar)

Thank you all for your sweet words and positive thoughts for Ruckus. He seems to be doing okay – moving around, able to get down the deck stairs again, eating a bit, but he seems to have aged years in just 24 hours. However, he’s probably now acting like a typical 13-year old Boxer when he has been going at a puppy’s pace for so long. We plan to keep him as comfortable as possible and just see what the future holds.

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