Search Results for: label/bags and purses

Showing the Love: Adora Bags

Late last year, Adora Bags contacted me and asked if I’d like to try out one of their totes. Why not, I’m a bag junkie, I love having different totes and purses for every occasion and have been jonesing for one of those raw-edge totes everyone has been carrying. Once I received my Adora Tote I’ve used it weekly and know it will continue to be a favorite tote for years to come.

ADORA Bags Review

Adora Bags’ totes are not like all those other raw-edged totes everyone has been carrying. The 100% Italian full grain leather is supple, rich, and high quality. The bag is soft enough to feel comfortable slung over the shoulder or be easily packed into luggage but the leather and construction is durable enough that it has become the bag I use to cart supplies to Girl Scout meetings and work. The tote comes with a matching pouch that you can attach with a removable cord to be the place to hold small items and your phone, or you can unclip it and use it as a clutch. It’s big enough to be your carry-on bag for a flight but small enough to replace your handbag when you have a little more to carry.  Not shown in the photo, the tote has a hook and clasp inside that can cinch the top closed keeping your contents safe.

the adora bags way

All this, and Adora is a company with ethics. Adora Bags proudly show the faces of the skilled craftsmen who create their line in Vinci, Florence by the same artisans that worked for the highest quality brands in the world like Prada, Gucci, and Armani. Adora bags will never outsource production overseas because they want to be in control of the quality of their products, as well as the prosperity of the craftspeople of Tuscany. Pietrantonio Di Ienno (known as Piero) is the sixth generation of leather craftsmen his family and the creator of these bags. After more then forty years spent working the leather in Vinci, Piero and his assistant Renato still get light in their eyes when talking about their work. Adora Bags’ founders Matteo Gamberale and Matteo Gemignani both grew up in Tuscany but met in New York City in 2013. They were inspired to create a luxury bag line that celebrates the Italian passion for style combined with the quality of Tuscan craftsmanship. Bags of this quality would usually cost far more, but because they bypass retailers and middlemen they are able to bypass the associated marked up prices.

I adore my Adora Bag, and I think you would love these bags too! Matteo and Matteo have been sweet enough to offer Wardrobe Oxygen readers 10% off their purchase; use code WARDROBE at checkout for 10% off your entire purchase!

Giveaway is closed and the winner has been notified and received her gift.

What’s In My Bag: 15″ Dagne Dover Tote

Dagne Dover 15" Vermilion Tote review - Wardrobe OxygenI’ve been using Dagne Dover totes over a year and love them. Dagne Dover makes some of the smartest bags I have ever experienced; a place for everything and everything in its place. Without looking I can reach in and find my wallet, sunglasses, a pen, and more. Dagne Dover recently sent me their 15″ tote in limited edition vermilion and I’ve been using it daily as my work bag as well as my weekend purse. I wanted to give you a peek into all I can fit in this bag, as well as what you can usually find in any of my purses on a given day.

What Fits in a Dagne Dover 15" Tote - Wardrobe Oxygen What Fits in a Dagne Dover 15" Tote - Wardrobe OxygenThis is my “I need to get some blogging done and it won’t happen with all the chaos in my house” setup  so I can head to a nearby cafe and work a couple hours to get the blog ready for the coming week.  We have my 13.3″ HP x360 laptop (read about it on my blog in this post), my planner, sunglasses, two pouches, business cards, backup battery pack, keys on the included key cord, a note pad, multiple pens, and my wallet.  That round thing in the bag is a detachable waterproof holder for a bottle of water or umbrella; while there is a pocket on the side specifically for sunglasses I use this holder to hold mine as well as my current day lipstick so they’re corralled and easy to find even with one hand and the bag still on my shoulder.

What Fits in a Dagne Dover 15" Tote - Wardrobe OxygenThe shiny pouch (via my friend’s Ipsy subscription) is my cosmetics bag.  As you can see, I have a bit of a lipcolor issue.  Let’s see, there’s NARS Viva gloss, Revlon Romantic balm stain, NARS Pigalle, Revlon Really Red, and Lancome Le Carmin.  Hey, I like to be prepared and able to switch up my look!  I also carry a travel-sized mascara, liquid and pencil liner for touch-ups and to amp up my look if I’m heading out after a day at the office.  The L’Oreal Lumi Cushion foundation is a fave and it does a great job with mid-day touchups.  The Blistex lip balm is for Karl, the drugstore-generic version of Vaseline Rosy Lips is for me.  Drops for my contacts, some spray for my breath, a small comb and barrettes in case my hair stops behaving and I’m ready for a long day.

What Fits in a Dagne Dover 15" Tote - Wardrobe OxygenThe leopard pouch I’ve had since 2000. It’s from Arden B; I loved that store but even back then the only thing in that store that fit my body was their accessories!  I like that it’s furry; having all the items in my bag with a different texture makes it easy to fish in and find exactly what I need, even if I’m in a rush or it’s dark.  This bag holds all my randoms.  A pack of matches (never know when you’ll need a light), nail file, Tide to Go pen, a Leatherman, thumb drive (swag from a blogger event), a USB cord plug, emergency quarters for meters, safety pins, a random button I don’t know what from, emergency tampon, and a little gizmo my sister gave Emerson that turns chopsticks into tweezers (highly recommend).

At-a-Glance planner for blogger organizationI love the MomAgenda MyAgenda except for the fact that it’s 16 months instead of 12.  They end in December yet start in the summer so how can you end up using all of it?  I decided to go cheap and basic with this planner from At-A-Glance.  It’s not Instagram worthy (especially after being washii-ed up by Emerson) but it has the month and week views, pockets in the back, a spiral binding that lays flat, and it fits in most of my purses.  I’ve toyed with covering it with Contact paper or something but honestly… it gets the job done.  Rarely does anyone see it except when I decide to photograph it for the blog!  The pen is Jonathan Adler, I got it on clearance at TJ Maxx because the box was damaged.

Fossil Sydney Wallet review Fossil Sydney Wallet reviewI’ve had my second HOBO ‘Diane’ wallet for many many years and while it’s a perfect wallet (though others must not think so since they discontinued it), having it in black was a bad idea.  I can never find it in my purse!  It was also stretched out and worn with use so I got the ‘Sydney’ wallet from Fossil a few months ago.  This is a pretty great replacement; I like how it’s set up as I prefer to have different pockets for all my cards, one for business receipts and one for personal, and a separate one for bills.  It can be pretty stuffed and still snap shut and it comes in a nice variety of colors.

Dagne Dover 15" Vermilion Tote reviewMany complain that the Dagne Dover totes are heavy; while it’s not light as a feather especially with all this inside, it’s not a problem for me. I carry in my arms and also over my shoulder without issue. I love that the bag never tips over; it’s structured and has feet to keep it upright even if it’s heavier on one side thanks to electronics. It zips close to keep items protected, and the interior and exterior is easy to clean. My blue 15″ tote (seen here) has been on many travels, thrown on the floor and in the trunk of my car, been stuffed to the gills and still looks as fresh as this one. If you’ve been thinking about getting a Dagne Dover, now’s a great time.  They’re offering Wardrobe Oxygen readers 20% off their purchases with the code WOxygen20.  Code valid until May 16, 2016.

Vendor Review – MetStyle Bags

MetStyle is a very cool company concept, offering professional bags for women that are feminine and stylish while still giving the owner the respect she deserves in the business room. This is a hard task for any company, to have all the features necessary for your laptop, writing supplies and lipgloss without being boring and bulky like the carry-all that came with your computer, but not frou-frou and frivolous. In this day and age we all need to carry around our gadgets; we should ahve the ability to do it with style and class.

I received the Champs Elysees Hand Bag (pictured) in the mail this week and boy am I impressed! Do not let the photograph on the website fool you into thinking this is a utilitarian piece. The dark purple quilting has a slightly iridescent satiny finish that is chic yet professional. The hardware is polished silver, the trim and handles a high-quality faux leather that has the flexibility and sheen of the real thing. I am petite with thicker arms and I found this bag comfortable in my hand or over my shoulder. My Dell D610 fits comfortably (and my husband’s larger 17” Dell just fit if no notepad or accessories were included) with my portable mouse, USB, Blackberry, digital camera, a slim notepad and a few goodies like gum, powder and lipstick. Inside compartments keep everything organized and the slim look doesn’t resemble a purse in any way. I love the dark plum shade – very subtle yet adding a bit of panache to the subdued business suit ensemble. My husband even liked it saying it “looks very Art Deco and classy.”

Prior to this bag, I was using a black microfiber laptop tote from the Michael Graves collection at Target. I found the Dell shoulder bag that my company gave me to bee too heavy, bulky and useless. Not just that, but it was hard to carry around with my petite frame. I purchased the Michael Graves tote because it was a more feminine shape, but professional enough for the toughest client. I found even that seemed to be too bulky for business meetings and travel and desired something smaller. Usually smaller pieces were just a sleeve with a strap with no room for accessories or personal effects, or else they were too girly (my clients would not appreciate a glossy pink croco bag with a tassel). I found appropriate bags online, but they were often way over $100 – not appropriate to my budget.

The bags from MetStyle are a good price for the quality, they achieve style without compromising your level of respect with your colleagues, and they are made to really accomplish all the tasks of a true business bag – hold the laptop, the legal pad, the pen, the computer accessories, the wallet and the lipstick and powder for lunchtime touch-ups. Visit the site and find a retailer near you to check out this great new brand!

What I Wore: Sunny Spring Weekend

Over 40 fashion blog Wardrobe Oxygen in a Boden dress, Converse sneakers, and carrying an Adora Bags totedress | shoes | hat | bag

Over 40 fashion blog Wardrobe Oxygen in a Boden dress, Converse sneakers, and carrying an Adora Bags tote Over 40 fashion blog Wardrobe Oxygen in a Boden dress, Converse sneakers, and carrying an Adora Bags tote Over 40 fashion blog Wardrobe Oxygen in a Boden dress, Converse sneakers, and carrying an Adora Bags tote Dress: Boden (14R) | Hat: Had forever (similar) | Bag: c/o Adora Bags | Shoes: Converse | Bracelet: Had forever (similar)

After my H&M post the other week I’ve had hats on the brain (har har).  So when we had a sunny weekend I whipped out my decades-old Panama to keep the sun at bay as I ran all around town.  If you follow me on Snapchat you know this Boden dress recently arrived in the mail.  I love dresses like this for easy one-step dressing.  I can glam it up with some wedge sandals for work, but for the weekend can style it with sneakers or flat sandals.  The only issue I have found with this dress is the bottom snap will unsnap if you squat down to greet an adorable puppy who passes you on the sidewalk.  The rest of the snaps are quite sturdy and no gaping between them.  This is one of the few long-sleeved dresses I’ve gotten where I like it with the sleeves down.  I wore them down on a cooler day but this day was so warm I hiked them up.  The fabric is soft, like a hybrid between denim and chambray which will be comfortable even as the temps continue to rise.

Shop My Picks for Denim and Chambray Dresses:

Small Business Saturday: AlmaRose Bags

2014 for me was the year of the bag. I curbed my clothing shopping, I purchased fewer but better chosen pieces, but I fell hard for handbags. There was the Isabella Fiore tote, the blue Chancebanda, and a few bags I acquired before this year ended up getting more play in 2014 than ever before (hello Latico crossbody, Fossil satchel). I also received some amazing bags from amazing brands, and one is AlmaRose.

Almashea’ Spotser was a busy working mom who left Corporate America when her Navy husband was transferred to a new duty station. She took her love of sketching, and while pregnant with her second child, created AlmaRose Bags. Being a busy mom, Almashea’ considered this with her bag creation and made each bag a great merging of fashion and function. As stated on the brand’s site, “Each bag was created with the woman who happens to be a mom in mind first.”

almarose bags maxine

AlmaRose bags are diaper bags, and I am (thank goodness) a couple years past that point with Emerson. However, the brilliant part of these bags is that while they have have that function, they work so much further past diapers and wipes. AlmaRose was kind enough to send me the Maxine, which I saw to be a gorgeous statement-making weekender bag or work tote. I slipped out the changing pad to enjoy a quality leather tote with perfect pockets to store everything and find everything at a moment’s notice. The water and stain resistant interior keeps it looking gorgeous even if the cap falls off my lipgloss or I spill a bit of my bagged lunch. The feet on the bottom of the bag and the shape of the Maxine keeps it upright no matter the contents, making it a great choice for those of us who always seem to have their hands full when their phone starts ringing in their bag. I love the included Express Bag, which is a removable pouch perfect when you need to dash to the restroom or Starbucks but don’t want to take your entire tote; it also makes switching from day tote to evening clutch a breeze. There’s even a padded pocket to store my tablet or Kindle! And come on, who can resist the gorgeous green tumbled leather exterior?

almarose bag review

AlmaRose has two other styles of bags: the Claire and the Lydia. These totes are also classic shapes and come in classic colors making them either a chic alternative to most diaper bags, or a brilliantly-designed day tote. With the same great features of the Maxine, these have elasticized side pockets that can hold bottles, but are also great for stuffing in gloves, water bottles, or even your current novel. The leather is thick making all AlmaRose bags built for longevity.

Right now the Maxine is 50% off, making it only $145. Where else can you find such a beautiful large leather bag in such a beautiful color for such a low price? And at the time of writing this, AlmaRose is offering free shipping on their bags.

The Small Business Saturday series on Wardrobe Oxygen features US- and/or women-owned independent brands and artists that focus on style with substance and soul. Stay tuned to learn about more great small businesses, and if you know a business that deserves to be featured please share it in the comments!

Ask Allie: Durable Commuter Bags

I have been finding it a challenge to find a work tote/satchel that can handle all of my work items (iPad, shoes, book, and occasionally lunch) without having the handles break. I am preparing to take my latest two off to the great purse surgeon for some love and repair and am wondering if you can recommend a great tote/satchel for work that can carry all of the above and handle the weight of it all? I’d like to stick to a price tag of no greater than $200.

Some things I think are worth the price – well-crafted tall leather boots, a winter coat, and a work tote. It’s very hard to find a decent tote that can handle wear and tear without looking like crap. Honestly, few bags can carry all that on a regular basis and survive nicely unless you purchase a heavy-duty tote. While I recommend a black tote for business, for your commute a bag like the L.L. Bean Boat and Tote or Lands’ End Canvas Tote is a brilliant choice since it will hold up with a lot of weight, wear, and tear and won’t be worn outside of the commute. The version with elongated straps will fit over your shoulder even if you have on a heavy winter coat, and they have options with open or zip tops and storage compartments. Choosing a darker color will be better for public transportation and city life as these totes can’t be thrown in the washer and do best when spot cleaned.

I often carry multiple bags instead of stuffing my work totes to preserve their condition and shape, but it’s still great to have a bag that doesn’t look sloppy and can carry both your Kindle and your bottle of water without bursting at the seams. My two favorite work totes were both purchased on sale and would have been over $200 otherwise.

However, price doesn’t equal a good work tote – you want to look for heavy straps that are sewn into the body of the bag (even better if they wrap around the body of the bag), metal feet to protect the bottom of the bag, and a bit of structure so it keeps it shape over years and random contents. The two bags I have are leather with leather straps, fully lined, and one has a center dividing compartment which keeps the shape and structure of the bag, even when seated on a table or the floor. While a crossbody can seem convenient, I find that if you plan on stuffing a bag, a crossbody can be hard to carry, dig into your shoulder, and put far too much wear on the straps.

The bags I suggest below have not been seen in person and I cannot vouch for their quality and appropriateness; their style and fabrication lead me to believe they would be good choices and are all around $200:

Love the canvas boat bags but yearn for something more polished? Lands’ End has you covered with this brown leather tote with brass feet and organizing interior pockets. Reviews are positive and show owners use it for everything from hauling books back to the library to packing for a trip. Supple leather, classic design, smart styling and less than $200!

No frills, but who needs them when you’re trying to cart your work essentials via mass transit? Plenty of pockets, full grain leather, and a variety of subtle shades make this a great commuting tote. The reviews are positive and seems many use this to lug around heavy 17” laptops with no issue. A classic style and less than $90 makes this bag a great option.

The best thing about this tote are the straps that continue through the body of the bag – this will keep your straps in one piece far longer. Generously sized, and fun yet work-friendly fabrics and colors. Currently on sale for less than $140 and free shipping.

I have a Brahmin and can attest to the fact that they are sturdy, well-made bags. My tote has a thin crossbody strap but easily supports a bag full of heavy things like leftovers and bottled water. Though the straps aren’t sewn deep into the body of the bag, they are wider at the bottom and secured all the way around for a strong foundation. Metal feet, interior organizing pockets, and a variety of conservative and fun colors make this a great work bag. While it is a bit over $200, it’s a classic style that should give you years of wear and is polished enough to use for corporate meetings and conferences and work travel. In fact, if you’re interested in splurging, the larger ‘Melbourne Large Anytime’ tote has a padded compartment inside just for your iPad.

I feel inauthentic recommending a brand I wore strapped above my fanny in the ‘80s, but LeSportsac is known for high-quality, sturdy, and lightweight bags that last forever. The Travel Tote is famous for being the perfect tote you didn’t know you needed. Lightweight, durable, expandable, and not covered with overly visible logos or prints, this is a LeSportsac that can fit with most any personal style and will comfortably carry everything from your gym clothes to your netbook with ease. Less than $100, and many say they are still happily using the same LeSportsace Travel Tote that they purchased over a decade prior.

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Fab Bags For Spring Under $100

The best way to update your wardrobe each season is with accessories. It’s an easy and lower-cost way to incorporate current fashion trends, and it’s more likely for that accessory to be wearable past the trend (or when the trend returns) than a garment. Right now is a great time to buy accessories for many are on sale to make room for new merchandise. But that doesn’t mean the sale merchandise is outdated. Knowing current trends or your personal style (which transcends fashion trends) can help you score some great deals for less. Below I share some fantastic bags I’ve seen online, and all are under $100!

Blush is the hot color this spring and looks great on more skintones and with more personal styles than you would think. I love it with denim and chambray, paired with white or cream, but it’s also gorgeous as an accent with black or even a jewel tone like ruby or teal. A blush clutch is a great choice for spring weddings, giving a fresh look to your LBD; a blush wristlet will hold all your essentials and look adorable with boyfriend jeans or a floral dress; blush is on trend yet looks professional enough to pair with a business suit.

You all know I love a touch of hippie chic in a wardrobe, and it’s the perfect way to infuse spring into your wardrobe. Be they paired with a band tee and cutoffs, a sundress and slip-on sneakers, or even boyfriend jeans and a lightweight blazer, boho-inspired bags are more versatile than you think for the everyday as well as for a concert, wine festival, or picnic in the park.

Black and white are classics that work year-round; paired it is a fashion trend that won’t quickly look dated. It’s also a trend that is office appropriate. A structured tote or large bag can carry your purse essentials as well as lunch, a laptop, or commuter shoes. Classic ladylike shoulder bags are back in vogue and look smart with business suits and work dresses; a cross body that’s structured with metal details looks crisp enough for the workplace. When it comes to basic black and white, any colors pair nicely.

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Ask Allie: Purses, Bags, and Totes

Dear Allie,
I don’t go out a lot, but each time I do I wish I had something other than my big day purse to take with me. What would be a good choice of bag that I can have for when I get invited to a bachelorette party or a wedding or my husband’s office Christmas party?
Thanks,
Tonya

To have a bag that works for all those situations and to span seasons (and years) you will need to either go very simple, or choose something really unique.

As soon as I read your email, I thought of my patchwork clutch from Novica. It’s a mix of cotton and leather and it contains most every color in the rainbow. The bag is so unique and eye-catching it can dress up and down pretty easily – I have paired it with a LBD, and as you see in this post, wore it with a chambray shirt and wool skirt. A clutch is a smart choice because it’s a more timeless silhouette – bag shapes and sizes come and go but clutches have maintained popularity over the past decade and will continue to be popular and stylish.

Nicole Ritchie shows how a snakeskin bag can work with all sorts of colors and styles

Something out of snakeskin or leather (real or a quality faux) is a classic choice and will hold up over the years; however don’t rule out an unexpected finish. A twill or canvas bag with beading or feather detail can often be just as versatile. If there is a variety of colors, a print, or a statement color, you can have it work with most anything (even if the color of your dress is not in the bag).

If you would like something more classic, you can’t go wrong with a soft black leather clutch. Classic size (around a foot to 18” in length and slim) and silhouette (pouch or envelope). The leather should be soft, buttery, no funky glazes, no flashy details. This is the type of bag you can wear today and 20 years from today. You may have to pay more to find such a bag (or search vintage boutiques), but it will be a wardrobe staple for a lifetime.

Hi Allie–
I was advised by my physical therapist to consider wearing a cross-body bag, rather than a bag with a shoulder strap (to help with my neck/shoulder problems). However, I’m busty and feel uncomfortable with the ‘boobage issue’ created with a cross body strap. Any thoughts on how best to work with a cross-body bag?
Marcy

Like you, I shied away from cross-body bags for years because of my large bust. They always seemed to accentuate them, falling right between the breasts, often pushing them to the side. However, once I became a city commuter, I realized how very necessary they can be. Now I have several cross-body bags in my collection. A few tips:

Be picky about the strap. My Brahmin handbag can be carried in my hand, worn as a shoulder bag, or the strap lengthened to become a cross-body. More often than not, it is worn across my body when I go to work so I can have hands free to hold onto a support bar on the Metro, read the paper, or hold a cup of coffee. The reason this bag works so well is because it is very narrow (about a half an inch), yet extremely sturdy (no chance of it breaking or cutting into my neck). The combination of narrow yet thick/sturdy helps with comfort… and it also helps with the ‘boobage’ issue by being too stiff to really slide between and under the breasts.

For smaller cross-body bags (I like to use these when going to concerts and festivals), I go the opposite route with a very lightweight strap. By being so lightweight of a bag and strap, it doesn’t fall between the breasts causing separation.

Reese Witherspoon in a Crossbody Bag

For a large heavy bag (daypacker, to carry your laptop), there are bags made with an usually wide strap which ends up working more like a sash across your body.

Adjust the strap. Sometimes one inch can make all the difference with a crossbody destroying the line of your figure. Look for an adjustable-strap bag so you can play in front of the mirror to find the perfect length for your body. For me, I find a longer strap (bag hitting lower on the hip) works better with my bust if the bag is heavy and large; I will do a shorter strap for smaller crossbodies.

Minimize. A big problem with current handbags is the size – the larger a bag, the heavier it will be, and the more room to hold everything except the kitchen sink. The heavier the bag, the more likely it will divide your body.

Look for the absolute smallest bag you can handle – if you need a bag to carry your laptop or iPad, find a slimline style to minimize bulk. If you don’t need a bag to carry your electronics, shrink the size all together. Seriously look over your bag contents – do you really need 5 lipsticks, 2 paperback novels, and that travel umbrella even though there isn’t rain on the horizon for weeks? I find it’s easier to organize and pare down when I keep my bag contents in smaller bags – one for cosmetics, one for purse essentials such as safety pins and gum, my wallet, and then my phone etc. When it is already compartmentalized it’s harder to justify a random addition.

Hi, Allie!
I have recently started a new job in the finance industry at a more “corporate” location as opposed to “business casual.” With my new position my manager wants me to bring my work laptop home with me each day. I have been carrying both my purse and small laptop bag each day, along with a water bottle, and if I pack my lunch a lunch bag. I’m looking into consolidating it all into just one bag. Do you think it would be better to get a laptop/tote bag with a padded section for the laptop and carry all my necessities in it, or should I get a basic work tote that would be large enough for all my stuff and buy sleeve to protect my laptop? Do you have any suggestions for a work bag that would accommodate carrying a laptop daily?
Thanks!
Karla

I guess it depends on you and your lifestyle. I personally have a laptop bag that I use for everything when I need to carry my laptop. My work laptop is pretty large and integral to me being productive at work, so I have chosen to have a bag that best supports and protects it. It’s not glamorous – it’s black microfiber and clunky, but it keeps my bag safe and looks professional for onsite client meetings.

If I had a smaller standard-size work laptop, I would consider a sleeve, but the problem is that a sleeve can slide around in a non-structured bag, making it feel heavy and clunky and possibly stretching out your purse. I have carried my netbook in a sleeve in my structured leather J. Crew tote – the netbook and sleeve fit perfectly in the large center zipper compartment leaving plenty of space for my personal purse contents. I can then slip out the netbook and carry a lighter bag to after-work events or a lunch meeting.

As for your lunch… it may be hard to find a bag that can carry that and everything else. My laptop bag is the size of a piece of carryon luggage and I still can’t seem to fit more than a Lean Cuisine in there, and if I do I don’t have room for a water bottle. With all the padding to protect your laptop, it becomes hard to carry everything in one without dragging around a bag the size of a small child. It may less cumbersome to just carry your lunch separately.

Before you decide you need to consider:

  • The size of your laptop – is it standard (meaning it’s easy to find a sleeve and easy for it and the sleeve to fit in a standard-size bag)
  • How often you need to carry your bag sans laptop (lunch or client meetings, after-work events where you can slip your laptop in the trunk of your car, etc.)
  • How much walking will you be doing – would it be more practical to get a rolling laptop bag? I know my laptop with it’s cord and extra-large battery is ridiculously heavy and I have considered getting a rolling bag to transport it and all my other essentials. With such a bag, also carrying your lunch wouldn’t be an issue.

A few laptop bags I have seen that are stylish while being professional:

The MobilEdge Milano Tote


MobilEdge Milano Tote – This bag holds a lot without looking bulky or as though it was purchased at REI. Online reviews state the faux croco finish looks quite nice and expensive in person. The strap is long enough to fit over your shoulder even while wearing a winter coat. While the version I link to fits a 17” laptop, there are other retailers (like this one) who have the same bag for a 15” laptop. This is regularly rated as a top choice for professional women (if you like it, Google it to find the best price as it is available on a variety of online shops).

McKlein “Deerfield” Laptop Tote – A very sleek modern look, Italian leather, and a variety of amazing colors makes this 17” laptop bag a winner. Special compartments for business cards and pens, while still having room for essentials such as a wallet, cosmetic bag, and bottle of water. The dark red would be quite elegant with classic gray and black suiting, while the choice of other colors could be a fun choice for more creative offices.

Piel Multi-Pocket Laptop Tote – This one even has a side pocket specifically for a water bottle! This bag gets rave reviews from business travelers which means it would have all the space and organization for one who wants to use this in place of a separate purse. Available in classic brown, black and cognac as well as a few subtle shades that would also work in most professional settings.

Royce Leather Cosmopolitan Computer Brief – Very simple style, tons of pockets for all your essentials, and a size to fit most standard-size laptops. While black is a safe bet, I really like the red to add a conservative pop of color to a corporate wardrobe.

While there are thousands of different types of bags out there, I chose ones that were pretty conservative in silhouette and made to be primarily a laptop bag. If you find that a sleeve or a rolling bag is more appropriate for your needs, do check out these sites that have a great variety of bags:

  • eBags – a fave of mine because of the extensive customer reviews
  • Kolobags – amazing variety of fashionable bags designed for laptops and other technology
  • McKlein USA – laptop bags specifically designed for women
  • Handbags.com – quite a large selection of work-appropriate laptop bags
  • Overstock.com – I have a laptop bag from there that I got at 75% less than a similar (and same brand) bag at Macy’s. If you know what you want, this site is worth a gander.

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What I Wore: Graphic

over 40 fashion blog wardrobe oxygen maxi dress bodendress | bag | shoes | lipstick

over 40 fashion blogger wardrobe oxygen in boden maxi dress wardrobe oxygen over 40 blogger in boden maxi dress wardrobe oxygen over 40 blogger in graphic boden maxi dress over 40 fashion style blogger wardrobe oxygen in boden and hoboDress: Boden (14 R) | Bag: Hobo (old; similar) | Sandals: Bella Vita | Earrings: Argento Vivo | Bracelet: Gorjana | Ring: Etsy (similar) | Lipstick: Revlon in Hot Coral

Continuing with showing pieces that were “hits” from this Boden review post , here is the maxi dress I mentioned.  Though this is a regular length, you can see it’s wearable even with super flat sandals.  The bodice is lined so it’s easy to tuck in a little safety pin at the bustline to keep from popping out all over.  This is a super fun print that garners so many compliments; I wore it last week when I was feeling pretty crummy yet had people stopping me to tell me how nice I looked.  Gotta love clothing that makes you look better than you feel!

This post shows how if you have the room, it’s worth it to hold on to handbags and lipsticks.  This is a lipstick I bought back in 2014 and usually I find it too intense, but loved the bright orangey-reddish-pink color with the print of the dress.  This bag is uber old; I scored it at a Hobo Bags warehouse sale in 2011 (check out those baby Emerson shots!) along with my favorite black clutch and the wallet I JUST replaced a couple months ago.  This bag works as a clutch, a shoulder bag, and I love how it can hold a lot yet it’s still a very slim profile.  As for the sandals, these are the ones I keep mentioning in every post; no arch support or cushioning but they come in a variety of widths and colors and look dressy even though they’re glorified flip flops!

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What I Wore: Maximum Effect

Wardrobe Oxygen featuring an Ankara maxi skirt Gap denim shirt and clutch bag from Brynn Capella Wardrobe Oxygen featuring an Ankara maxi skirt with a denim shirt and Brynn Capella clutch bag wardrobe oxygen featuring an ankara maxi skirt from Etsy and a Gap western denim shirt wardrobe oxygen wearing an ankara skirt and denim shirt outfit of the day over 40 fashion blogSkirt: Etsy | Shirt: Gap (this year’s version) | Bag: c/o Brynn Capella | Earrings: Amazon | Bracelet: Had forever (similar)

I love my midi-length Ankara skirt and when I saw this maxi skirt on Etsy I had to have it! If you follow me on Instagram (which you should – more outfits and behind the scenes and life away from the blog) you know I wore this to work last week with my darker Banana Republic denim shirt. Typical Allie, I spilled on the shirt so I styled it with my lighter Western-inspired Gap denim shirt. I like this version, the snaps and the cool finish of the fabric is a nice contrast to the bold print.  If you’re interested in buying this skirt, please know it’s a very high waist.  I had my measurements done and my high waist is 32.5″; however I knew from my other Ankara skirt that there’s no stretch so it’s good to size up.  I asked for a 35″ waist and it feels as though it was tailored just for me.  I also asked to have pockets added.  I didn’t ask for a specific length but it’s perfect for me with a 2-3″ heel.  Please understand this seller is based out of Ghana and it can take up a month for the skirt to arrive.  However, the fabric and construction is phenomenal and the skirt has an exposed gold zipper in back which really adds a gorgeous touch.

the bynn capella nikki clutch bag made in the USA featured by Wardrobe Oxygen an over 40 fashion blog Brynn Capella reached out and asked if I’d like to style one of her bags. Brynn Capella is a Chicago-based handbag designer, and all her bags are also made in the same city. I was drawn to the Nikki in the Canyon color; I liked that the finish was a bit distressed and the color would work with black, brown, and denim. It comes with a detachable crossbody strap and the bag is big enough to hold an iPad along with all your purse essentials. Brynn Capella names all her bags after friends and Nikki is named after her rock & roll pal who loves music festivals; I think I picked the right bag for me! While I styled it here as a clutch, I’ve also worn it as a crossbody for the weekend. I encourage you to check out Brynn’s other great quality leather bags bags, especially The Lauren which is the perfect everyday bag!

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What I Wore: Monet

gwynnie bee spruce sage dress review hobo bag red leather clutch

outfit blog size 14 mom over 30 wardrobe oxygen

Dress: Spruce & Sage c/o Gwynnie Bee | Shoes: Nine West “Flax” | Bracelet: Nordstrom | Bag: Hobo Bags (similar) | Cast Cover: c/o CastCoverZ! | Lipstick: NARS Red Square

Emerson said this dress looked like rose petals underwater. I said it reminded me of a Monet, she quickly agreed which freaked me out because we haven’t really taught her that much about artists. A Monet fan in a past life? Besides the dress being a pretty print, it’s pretty comfortable too. It’s fully lined, but the lining is a bit stretchy and not as hot as a traditional acetate one. While this would look cute with a skinny belt or shoes in one of the great colors of the print, I decided to keep it simple with nude pumps and a fun little bracelet.  And this bag was a Hobo Sample Sale purchase that has given me years of happiness; it has a chain strap making it uber versatile and an unexpected classic.

This dress is a perfect example of why I love Gwynnie Bee; it’s a pretty dress that I kept for more than one wear, but it’s the type of dress I would purchase and then grow tired of before the season is through.  With Gwynnie Bee I can keep and wear as long as I wish and the return for a new dress to love!

What I Wore: Disco Ball

Wardrobe Oxygen, an over 40 fashion and personal style blog featuring a silver sequin cocktail dress Wardrobe Oxygen, an over 40 fashion and personal style blog featuring a silver sequin cocktail dress Wardrobe Oxygen, an over 40 fashion and personal style blog featuring a silver sequin cocktail dress Wardrobe Oxygen, an over 40 fashion and personal style blog Dress: Adrianna Papell (14 petite) (sleeved alternative, plus option) | Shoes: Nine West | Bag: HOBO (similar) | Jacket: ASOS (Large) (similar, plus option)

If you get my monthly newsletter, you know I bought this dress and was thinking of wearing it with a leather jacket for New Year’s Eve.  I found a sequined dress with sleeves (better for parties that spill out to the back deck) on Poshmark for a fantastic price, and have a sweater that is a possible contender so my actual look for December 31st is still up in the air.  But there is something pretty fantastic about being a living disco ball!

Wardrobe Oxygen, an over 40 fashion and personal style blog Wardrobe Oxygen, an over 40 fashion and personal style blogI must say, most photo shoots with Karl are pretty fun. He always knows how to make me laugh… and he also knows how to push my buttons!  I wasn’t going to share this last photo on the blog; while I shared it on Instagram yesterday as a sneak peek of today’s post I thought it may be inappropriate for posting in Wardrobe Oxygen.  But then I thought… screw it.  This is me, middle fingers and all!  My mother raised me well, and I know not to speak or make such hand gestures in front of Emerson, but sometimes life calls for a swear word… or two middle fingers served with a big smile!

20% off Bags, Sunglasses, Luggage and More at Amazon: My Picks

20% off at Amazon for Bags, Luggage and Sunglasses - Details on the Promo, the Code, and my picks for the SaleOne of the best things about going to BlogHer this summer was meeting with Amazon. I have learned so much about the company and how great of a place it is for fashion. I’ve learned since then if there’s something specific I know I want to search for it at Amazon as I can usually find it cheaper, more colors available, and usually with free Prime shipping and returns. I also now get emails notifying me of promotions they are hosting and this promotion is a good one – 20% of select accessories with a focus on bags, luggage, umbrellas, and sunglasses though November 19, 2015. Use the code SAVE20BAGS at checkout for the items available at this link. Not every item on Amazon is included in this promo, but the selection available is pretty phenomenal. If you don’t want to scroll through the hundreds of pages, here’s my picks for the best items for you and for gifts that are part of the 20% off promo:

  1. We all always need another umbrella – one for the car, one for the office, one available when you get caught in an unexpected shower. An umbrella is a great gift, especially if it has style or a message. I adore the City Scenes umbrellas from Totes; they’re adorable and represent some great cities in the US. Get one for your friend who lives in that city, is from that city, or finds it to be her favorite vacation spot.
  2. Get the highly coveted green mirror Ray-Ban aviators for less. This is the classic 58mm size that is part of the promotion, and Amazon already has them almost half the price of department stores. Mega score!
  3. I have a fringe crossbody and it’s a favorite, adding interest to a simple look and not being too fancy for a concert, outdoor festival, or casual weekend. The Finn Crossbody from Rebecca Minkoff is simple in style to let the fringe take the spotlight, but also not look obvious from a brand or dated after one year. 12 colors available and again the Amazon price before the promo is cheaper than most department stores or even what I’ve seen on Poshmark!
  4. Desire a well-made leather bag free of frills, logos, bling, yet doesn’t cost an arm and a leg? The Fossil Sydney Shopper is for you. Five colors available, quality leather but the type that can handle being stuffed and used a lot. Stands on its own, smart inner pockets, zipper closure, sturdy straps and a style that is chic now and for many years. Great for work (will fit a laptop), as a carry-on, or your everyday purse. 81% of the reviews on Amazon are 5 stars, you can’t go wrong with this bag!
  5. I love HOBO for wallets; great quality and smartly designed. I’m on my second HOBO wallet but the previous one I had for almost a decade. The ‘Vera’ wallet is a very similar style to the one I have but with an additional zipper compartment that can transform this wallet into a clutch. Eight colors available.
  6. These are the aviators I wear every day in the same color combination. This is a great price for Ray-Bans, and with the 20% off the price is even nicer. Please note these are oversized; some may find them too big, some may also find these are a perfect gift for the man in your life (Karl is always stealing mine!).
  7. Many of you over the years have mentioned that you swear by the LeSportsac Everygirl Tote for the gym, for travel, for work. Durable, lightweight, and able to smash into your suitcase or under a seat for your flight. Come sin 21 different color options and a really reasonable price for a well-rated bag.
  8. I’m picky about umbrellas, and this one from Totes I own and is a fave. It’s compact but opens up full size. It can handle a windy day without turning inside out, and can open with one hand. 17 colors and prints to choose from and a price lower than what I paid when I bought it last year!
  9. The Sherpani Wisdom Fitness Tote is brilliantly designed while still looking great. Available in four colors, this bag has a ton of smart pockets to hold everything from a tablet to your water bottle. The straps will fit over your shoulder even while wearing your coat, and it can keep you organized and able to function even if one hand is holding onto a subway pole, a child on your hip, or a hot cup of coffee. While made for fitness, this would also make for a great baby bag or work tote. And by the way, the price before discount is cheaper than what I saw on other sites!
  10. I’m not a super athletic gal, but even I realize that my Ray-Bans aren’t the best when riding my bike, kayaking, or doing other physical activities. These wrap sunglasses from Tifoli are great for us occasional weekend warriors as the price is reasonable and so is the quality. They got from about $35 to over $100 depending on the version you get, but they’re lightweight, comfortable, have transitional lenses and are fog resistant. Oh, and they get good reviews from others who have purchased them.
  11. I know the bucket bag is a hot trend now, but it has been a classic shape for a long while and won’t look dated in a year. I love the clean lines and elegance of this version from Fossil. Available in three colors that aren’t typical but extremely versatile and chic, it looks far more expensive than it’s price (less than $150 before the promo) and has plenty of pockets for storage.
  12. If you’re looking for the perfect bag to go with all your holiday events, this chainmail clutch from LaRegale is perfect. Five colors available including silver and gold, this will add the perfect bit of sparkly and will look great with a silk top and jeans as much as a floor-length gown. Oh, and every color is under $50 and some are even under $30 and that’s before the promotional code!
  13. Most diaper bags look goofy, not the ‘Knocked Up’ by Rebecca Minkoff. Sophisticated, stylish, AND practical! This bag continues to get rave reviews from moms, and they also share it becomes a great work or travel tote once baby grows up.
  14. My friend has this large leather tote from Piel and every time I see it, I swoon. She uses it as her weekender bag and it’s so well made, so chic, so understated in its elegance and it has only gotten better with time and wear. Four colors available and a price so low I may finally pull the trigger and get one for myself!
  15. Oh this Minaudiere evening bag from Halston Heritage is so lovely. It’s classic but with an edge, will look amazing with your LBD this holiday season and throughout the year, and will be a piece, if well cared for, that will look stylish for years even decades to come. It has a strap so you can wear it over your shoulder or in your hand.
  16. Looking for a cute gift for a teen or college student on your gift list? How about this ‘brunch fund’ leather pouch from Rebecca Minkoff? With the promo code, this is a really reasonable price for a gift that will be well received!
  17. Another lovely wallet is this one from Fossil. Elegant, streamlined, but a place for everything. Four classic colors, but an unexpected contrast color interior that keeps it from looking too boring (or getting lost in the bottom of your bag).
  18. The Samsonite 24” Fiero gets rave reviews for being a durable and reliable suitcase. Bigger than a carryon bag, but not so big it overwhelms you, this is a great choice for longer trips and overseas travel. Four colors available and a really reasonable price even before the promotion.
  19. I like having a non-dressy statement clutch in my wardrobe. I have a patchwork one with a cat design on it, and a leopard woven fabric pouch and they both get a ton of use. It’s an easy way to dress up a work look for after-hours events, looks chic with a sundress, and if it’s funky enough it goes with everything. The Deculus clutch from Aldo fits the bill, is big enough to hold the largest smarphone plus all your other essentials, and the price is very nice.
  20. From my years of business travel I know the value of having a bag that can stand out in a crowd, is lightweight, flexible, and easy to maneuver when racing to your gate. This upright from Liliput Paris is all of that and more and receives rave reviews. 12 colors to choose from (and reviews that says it seems to repel dirt), no one should be surprised that I’m a fan of it in orange!
  21. A retro cat eye with a modern touch, the ‘Ursula’ sunglasses from Kate Spade are chic and fun. Eight colors available that range from classic black and tortoise to gold glitter. On sale for under $100 before the sale code.
  22. If you’re one who enjoys a smaller wallet, the ‘Darla’ from Kate Spade in Saffiano leather is lovely. While it’s available in black, I’m partial to pink which is fun but also easier to find in the depths of your purse. This would also be a great gift for anyone from 13-103 who likes the brand or wants a smartly designed compact wallet.
  23. If I didn’t own my Mini MAC, I’d totally buy the Rebecca Minkoff ‘Love’ crossbody. It’s feminine yet tough, can dress up for a night out, look appropriate at the office, or can be smart looking with jeans and knit tops. My Rebecca Minkoff is still holding strong after years of hard wear, this one is under $200 before the promo and a fab deal.

If you get any goodies at this sale, be sure to let me know in the comments.  Any scores I missed?

What I Wore: Weekend Style

Wardrobe Oxygen featuring a Foxcroft plaid shirt, Bernardo vest, and Adora Bags leather tote Wardrobe Oxygen featuring a Foxcroft plaid shirt, Bernardo vest, and Adora Bags leather tote Wardrobe Oxygen featuring a Foxcroft plaid shirt, Bernardo vest, and Adora Bags leather toteShirt: c/o Foxcroft (14)  (plus version) | Jeans: NYDJ (14 P) | Vest: Bernardo (L) (this year’s version, plus size) | Boots: Fitzwell Wide Calf (similar) | Bag: c/o Adora Bags | Bracelet: Had forever (similar) | Sunglasses: Ray-Ban

Welcome to my weekend!  For this sort of weather, you can usually find me in jeans, a striped tee or plaid shirt, booties or boots, and this vest.  It’s perfect for everything from being chauffeur taking Emerson to classes and birthday parties, to racing around a mall for a specific item, to visiting friends or stopping by the local pub for a drink with my sister.  I really like this shirt from Foxcroft; it’s not flannel but cotton for nicer drape and a better fabric to layer with or tuck in (this shirt with its fine red lines through the plaid would look adorable with a red wool or black leather pencil skirt for the holidays).  Foxcroft is my go-to for button-front shirts because I always find they accommodate my bust and arms and the quality is stellar (I have white shirts five years old I still wear regularly).

When you have wide calves, it can be really hard to find decent tall boots.  If they fit, they’re made of crappy materials or have weird details that make them look cheap or cheesy.  Or else they cost 50 kazillion dollars and have a sketchy return policy.  I regularly stalk 6pm.com for wide calf boots on sale and they never fail me.  I got these boots from Fitzwell… last year?  The year prior?  Anyway, I snagged them for less than $75 and they’re real leather and really comfortable.  They have a pretty extensive selection of tall boots 16″ shaft circumference and wider.  They have free shipping for orders over $50 and while you’re responsible for return shipping fees, I think it’s a fair trade for the great prices (almost always cheaper than anywhere else online).  Usually they only have 30 days for returns, but right now with the holidays, they’re having an extension through February.  Not just for wide calf boots, I’ve also gone to 6pm for sneakers for the whole family if I don’t care about getting the latest and greatest, scored Em light-up Sketchers and Karl size 14 Birkenstocks there for nice prices.  Newp, post isn’t sponsored by 6pm, this is more of a PSA!

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What I Wore: Wrap it Up

OVer 40 fashion blogger size 14 work fashion OVer 40 fashion blogger size 14 work fashion OVer 40 fashion blogger size 14 work fashion over 40 fashion blogger size 14Dress: Loveappella (comes in two other prints, two solids, regular and petite) | Shoes: Nine West (lower heel version) | Bag: Hobo (similar) | Bracelet: Had forever (similar) | Necklace: Etsy

Gosh I love a wrap dress, and to find one with an orange-based print? I just couldn’t resist! And not only all that… it has POCKETS! Woot!  I love wrap dresses, they’re so easy, travel great, dress up and down nicely, and are flattering on so many figures!  While I love me some DVF dresses, they don’t love my body, or more specifically, aren’t big enough for my body. It’s nice to find brands who offer fun prints and a classic fit and for a reasonable price!

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What I Wore: Dobbin Fangirl

dobbin clothing dress review 2015 dobbin clothing dress review size 14 2015 dobbin clothing review 2015Dress: c/o Dobbin Clothing | Belt: Hobo (similar) | Shoes: Nine West | Bag: Love,Cortnie | Bracelet: Had forever (similar)

How do I love Dobbin Clothing? Let me count the ways. Actually if you just click on this link you can count the times I’ve featured this brand on Wardrobe Oxygen. Sure, sure I got this dress for free but I wear Dobbin Clothing on a weekly basis because the brand fits, flatters, and has good people and good ethics behind it.  I’m short, I’m soft, I’m overweight with big breasts and a big booty yet for some reason Dobbin dresses fit me as well as my tall slimmer pear-shaped friend and my average height buff athletic build friend.  There’s something about the high quality ponte knit, the strategically placed seams, or maybe the amazing women behind the brand that just make these dresses love women’s bodies.  To add to the awesomeness of this dress, these pictures were taken at 6pm and I put this dress on at 6am.  This is how the dress looked after 12 hours of wear.

This is not a sponsored post.  Dobbin does send me clothing from time to time because we’ve built a relationship over the years, but the choice for me to feature it in this outfit post is all mine.  I got home from work last Monday, checked myself out in the mirror and was amazed I didn’t look like a disheveled mess.  Fluffed the hair, reapplied lipstick and told Karl to get the camera!

What I Wore: Winter Weekend Style

Wardrobe Oxygen featuring a turtleneck poncho sweater, leather front ponte pants, metallic Superga slip-on sneakers and Rough & Tumble Bags Wardrobe Oxygen featuring Larsson & Jennings watch and Ray-Ban aviators Wardrobe Oxygen featuring a turtleneck poncho sweater, leather front ponte pants, metallic Superga slip-on sneakers and Rough & Tumble Bags Wardrobe Oxygen featuring a turtleneck poncho sweater, leather front ponte pants, metallic Superga slip-on sneakers and Rough & Tumble BagsSweater: MICHAEL Michael Kors (old; similar, plus option) | Pants: Ann Taylor (old; similar, plus option) | Bag: Rough & Tumble Bags | Shoes: Superga | Sunglasses: Ray-Ban | Watch: c/o Larsson & Jennings

I bought this sweater back in 2014 (first seen in this post) and it is still a favorite.  Friday night I went to a concert with friends and got home very late yet still at to be at my Girl Scout co-leader’s house at 6:45am to secure locations for our cookie sales.  I had worn these pants earlier in the week to work and threw this sweater over a tee, slipped on these shoes and headed out without makeup or even brushing my hair.  I got home, caught my reflection, and liked the look!  Not too shabby for dressing in the dark on four hours of sleep!  I came home, showered, pulled myself together and put the same look back on for the rest of the day.

I featured these sneakers in my Nordstrom Half-Yearly sale picks, and as usual, when I spend a lot of time checking out deals online for you readers, I end up selling to myself and buying something.  They’re sold out at Nordstrom, but I found them on sale at White House | Black Market and a rose gold version discounted at 6pm.  Superga sneakers run big and wide, I bought my regular 8 and they’re roomy everywhere while slip-on sneaks are often tight and hard for me to get on and break in.  If you have regular width feet or are between sizes, I recommend sizing down.  However, this is my second pair of sneakers from this brand (RIP my first pair which was destroyed by my dog) and they’re more cushioned than Converse and high quality.  mmfI know my friend Chelsea also bought these very sneakers, and my friend Christen also loves the brand.  Comfy and cool, perfect for the weekend!

What I Wore: Contrast [Sponsored]

Over 40 fashion blogger Wardrobe Oxygen in a cold shoulder sweater, JAG jeans and Payless sandals<top | jeans | shoes | bag | sunglasses

Over 40 fashion blogger Wardrobe Oxygen in a cold shoulder sweater, JAG jeans and Payless sandals Over 40 fashion blogger Wardrobe Oxygen in a cold shoulder sweater, JAG jeans and Payless sandals Over 40 fashion blogger Wardrobe Oxygen in a cold shoulder sweater, JAG jeans and Payless sandals Over 40 fashion blogger Wardrobe Oxygen in a cold shoulder sweater, JAG jeans and Payless sandalsSweater: Topshop (L) (similar) | Jeans: Paley Bootcut c/o JAG Jeans (14P) | Shoes: Penelope Mid Wedge c/o Payless | Bag: Rough & Tumble | Sunglasses: Ray-Ban | Cuff: Had forever (similar) | Necklace: Argento Vivo

I love the contrast of black with white.  It’s so fresh and modern, and looks great all seasons of the year.  I’m past the archaic rules of only wearing white after Memorial Day, but it took me a while to accept white shoes.  They remind me too much of nurses and the ’80s.  But when wearing white jeans, black shoes have too much of a contrast and shorten the legline.  Nude shoes look too delicate, and when I was Payless I decided to try a pair of white shoes for my white jeans.

I can’t usually wear ankle straps; my ankles are shins are thicker than usual from a childhood walking on my toes.  However, I found  the Penelope Mid Wedge fits comfortably around my ankle even on the 2nd or 3rd hole!  It’s a comfortable, walkable height that elongates the leg but is wearable all day (these pictures were taken after wearing them for over 10 hours).  These shoes come in three other colors; my nearby Payless was sold out in my size but I’ll be stalking to get another pair in Tan to wear with all my summer looks from dresses to ankle pants!

Another contrast is how I feel about the cold shoulder trend.  I blame Donna Karan for the trend and Barbra Streisand for wearing it out.  But then this season cold shoulders came back en vogue and I found myself really really liking how it looked.  As usual, I went to a lower-priced retailer to try out this trend; Topshop is a great brand for translating current fashion trends without high pricetags but buy when you see it because things (like this top) sell out fast.  This is a soft stretchy thick knit top that I have now with jeans but can see wearing a breezy evening at the beach with denim cutoffs and silver Birkenstocks.

This post was sponsored by Payless, but I had full control over content.

What I Wore: Orange Topper

Wardrobe Oxygen wearing an orange Ann Taylor trench with black and white stripes Wardrobe Oxygen featuring an orange Ann Taylor trench and a black tote from Adora BagsTopper: Ann Taylor (LP) | Tee: J. Crew Factory (L) | Pants: Banana Republic (14 Short) | Bag: c/o Adora Bags | Shoes: Nine West

For decades my favorite color has been a bright orange with a lot of red in it.  Some call is blood orange, some call it sunset, this season Ann Taylor is calling it Fire Glow Orange and I’m loving it.  When I saw this topper I just couldn’t resist, and with some unseasonably warm weather this past weekend it was the perfect layering piece.  Even better to see it in petite sizes – no need to have the sleeves altered to the proper length!

Wardrobe Oxygen wearing Banana Republic pants and Ann Taylor topper with a J. Crew stripe teeWhile I styled it here with classic black and white, I think this orange color would look awesome paired with other colors and expect to wear it very soon with things like my citron skirt, berry ponte dress, or classic blue denim.

And I finally got around to getting my hair cut!  It’s a bit shorter than I was expecting but this length is really growing (har har) on me and I’m having fun styling it.  Still long enough to put into a ponytail but short enough that next day or slightly dirty hair looks purposeful!

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What I Wore: Adoring ADORA in Marsala for the Holidays

Wardrobe Oxygen wearing a blazer and jeans from Talbots with ADORA Bags tote in Limited Edition Marsala Leather Wardrobe Oxygen wearing a blazer and jeans from Talbots with ADORA Bags tote in Limited Edition Marsala Leather Wardrobe Oxygen wearing a blazer and jeans from Talbots with ADORA Bags tote in Limited Edition Marsala LeatherBlazer: c/o Talbots (on sale!) | Tee: Old Navy | Watch: c/o Larsson & Jennings | Rose Gold Skull Ring: c/o Jeulia | Jeans: c/o Talbots | Shoes: VANELi c/o Marmi Shoes | Bag: c/o ADORA Bags

I love my black ADORA Bags tote and have been using it regularly since I received it last year (most recently seen here). It’s a great commuter bag; the 100% Italian full grain leather is soft enough to handle awkward contents like my work shoes and my lunch bag, but durable enough to survive heavy loads and lots of use. The pouch on the removable strap is great to hold smaller purse contents and also become a clutch for after-work events. But it’s also a fave for weekends as I can stow small purchases when running errands, carry Em’s jacket, and use it as my purse.  I love the hook inside that transforms it from a wide-mouth tote to a slimmer style that has a more secure closure.  I also use the hook to keep my keys easily accessible.

ADORA Bags are handcrafted by sixth-generation leather craftsman Piero Di Ienno of Vinci, Italy. Piero has been crafting leather goods for over 40 years ; before choosing to work for ADORA he worked for brands famous for quality leather like Prada, Gucci, and Armani. ADORA will never outsource production overseas, desiring quality control as well as the prosperity of the craftspeople of Tuscany. ADORA’s founders Matteo Gamberale and Matteo Gemignani grew up in Tuscany and were inspired to create a luxury bag line that celebrates the Italian passion for style combined with the quality of Tuscan craftsmanship. Bags of this quality usually cost far more, but because they bypass retailers and middlemen, ADORA bypasses the associated marked up prices.

ADORA Bags Tote in Limited Editon Marsala leather in time for the holidays, only at Wardrobe OxygenADORA Bags reached out and asked if I’d like to offer a limited edition color just to Wardrobe Oxygen readers in time for the holidays. This color is not available on their site and is not currently being offered by any other blogger.  I chose Pantone’s Color of the Year for 2015, Marsala. A rich wine red color, this tote is the perfect accent to an ensemble in most any color and my signature accent shade this fall with my nails and lips. For fall, pair with olive, pumpkin, mustard, and warm neutrals. This color would look crisp with denim, black, or winter white in winter. Come spring, pair with blush and chambray for a rich combination. Each bag is handcrafted with care for each individual order. This is the type of bag that has the quality and style that will have you loving it for many years to come.

ADORA Bags Tote in Limited Editon Marsala leather in time for the holidays, only at Wardrobe OxygenIf you would like to purchase this limited edition Marsala ADORA Bags tote for you or a loved one, send an email to me at alison@wardrobeoxygen.com. Orders will be taken today through December 7, 2015 to ensure delivery by Christmas. This limited edition tote is $280 USD and will ship free to customers in the United States (international shipping is available, email me for the specific rate to your location).