Search Results for: label/j. crew

Ask Allie: Styling a Knit Dress for Fall and Winter

Hi Allie, I bought an adorable red-striped dress at J. Crew Factory but need help styling it for fall & winter. I’m thinking a denim jacket will be great with it but I’m not sure about shoe choices. I love boots & already have a camel colored pair, black pair, & dark brown pair. I also have a pair of suede gray Chelsea boots. I don’t do heels at all but love flats. I live in Arkansas, so our falls can be chilly & our winters do get cold, so going bare-legged is not a choice for me. Can you help?

It’s so easy to throw a pair of boots and a jacket over a summer dress, but when you truly need to winterize a piece with tights and warmer elements, it does get tough. As you wrote a couple times in your full email and I often say when looking in my closet, “What about tights???” Not everything works with an opaque black pair. Here’s some ways to make your dress, or any summer tee shirt-inspired dress transition into fall and winter.

Add an Accent Color

how to style a tee shirt dress for fall and winter

Shop this Look: Dress | Jacket | Boots | Scarf | Tights

While matching your tights to your footwear is a tried and true way to look cohesive and elongate your leg, an accent colored tight can actually pull an outfit together. You mentioned you have camel tall boots; consider using olive green as an accent color with tights (I love Spanx Tight End Shaping Tights for durability and fit and they have a great olive shade) and pull it together by bringing olive to the top of the outfit with a scarf or necklace.

Make the Dress the Accent

how to style a summer dress for fall and winter

Shop this Look: Dress | Sweater | Boots | Belt | Tights

If you have your topper, tights, and shoes all coordinate, you can use most any color and the dress then becomes the accent. For this look I considered your gray suede Chelsea boots and added a gray v-neck sweater with a longer line, and gray tights (these are Assets by Spanx, they’re reversible adding warmth, opacity, and versatility – I have a pair and like them a lot). I added a leopard haircalf skinny belt to be worn over the sweater and dress to highlight the waist and add interest. This belt could be switched out for a solid contrast color, a different print, or even a scarf.

Keep it Classic with a Leather Jacket

how to style striped knit dress for fall and winter

 Shop this Look: Dress | Jacket | Boots | Scarf | Tights

Leather jackets are great for cool weather, but are also a great alternative for cardigans, denim jackets, and blazers. This look isn’t that drastically different from the first ensemble, but the moto-inspired leather topper gives a bit of a rock & roll vibe. Keep it going with moto-inspired boots, very opaque black tights (check out Hue’s Super Opaque control top tights), and a scarf that has a plaid or “tough” pattern (animal print, skulls, etc.).

how to style j crew factory striped knit dress for fall and winter

Shop this Look: Dress | Jacket | Boots | Scarf | Tights

Want a softer look? Switch out the black for brown or cognac and style with brown tights, riding-inspired boots, and a printed scarf in a classic print (plaid, paisley, floral).

A J. Crew Bedtime Story

Yesterday I got the mail from the box while we were walking in the house after dinner. Emerson asked to see the mail, and got super excited when she saw the J. Crew catalog. She sat down on the couch and began to flip through it, completely ignoring any other magazine or catalog. At bedtime, she asked me to read it to her in place of The Berenstain Bears or Princess Matilda. After putting her to bed, I slipped the catalog in her bookcase on top of a pile of her larger books; the next morning when I went to wake her I found the J. Crew catalog and only the J. Crew catalog beside her bed. I put it back in her bookcase.

This is what I saw when she got up for her nap. At least she had a bit of variety.

However she wanted a repeat performance of last night for tonight’s bedtime story. I see Cafe Capris and Jackie Cardigans in our future…

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What I Wore: Mosaic

gwynniebee2 gwynniebee3 gwynniebee1
Dress: Triste c/o Gwynnie Bee | Shoes: Nine West | Necklace: c/o Sweet & Spark | Bag: J. Crew (old – similar) | Bracelet: Had forever (similar) | Lipstick: Revlon Ultra HD Lipstick in Poinsettia

This dress is the same as the one I wore in this post, but in a completely different pattern it gives a completely different effect. I love this print; it reminds me of a mosaic or stained glass and in some of my very favorite colors! Gwynnie Bee is so great, this dress arrived the day of this dinner which made it super easy to know what to wear the next morning. Nothing better than a freshly-laundered arriving in time for a morning of a wine hangover and too few hours of sleep! Click here to try Gwynnie Bee and get your first month free!

This necklace is from one of the coolest companies I have come across in a long while. Sweet & Spark is a curated vintage jewelery company. Jillian and her dad Howard travel about the country scouting the most modern costume jewelry from the 1940s-90s with the goal to make vintage jewelry cool again. Sweet & Spark believes that every woman is unique and should celebrate her personal style with something one-of-a-kind. In just two years, Sweet & Spark has been featured in Instyle’s best of the web round up, on Luckymag.com and The Zoe Report and have fashionista Olivia Palermo as a customer and fan. Jillian was kind enough to send me this necklace and a bracelet (seen on Instagram, stay tuned for it to be featured here on the blog).  Visit Sweet & Spark to learn more about this great company, shop their collection, and learn how to host a Spark Party and get a 20% commission on pieces you sell at your event!

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: Mom Style

wardrobe oxygen what I wore weekend style gap ann taylor wardrobe oxygen what i wore duo boots

wardrobe oxygen what i wore ann taylor cashmere poncho

Poncho: Ann Taylor | Tee: J. Crew Factory (similar) | Jeans: Gap | Boots: c/o DUO Boots | Bag: c/o Fossil (similar) | Bracelet: CC Skye (similar)

It’s starting to feel like fall, so I HAD to whip out this poncho from Ann Taylor and my tall boots! While I’ll miss summer, I do enjoy fall fashion and it’s been great to sleep with the windows open and add an extra quilt to the bed!

This poncho was a splurge, but as I said in this post, it’s a classic that will look great for many years. I knew I’d wear it in a casual manner like this for errands and weekend “Mom Style,” but also think it would look elegant in the office over blouses and trousers. I was excited to see these boots match this bag from Fossil; I haven’t featured it on the blog since this post but am really feeling brown leather this season.  The bag is big enough to carry everything I need for a weekend on the go!

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Recent Fashion Purchases: Hits and Misses

Change in weather, preparing for BlogHer and other vacations, and spending the majority of last summer in a bulky cast has caused me to do some clothing shopping! Here’s what I’ve tried and which things were fails and which were wins:

recent purchases hits and missesShop the Post:

J. Crew Factory Denim Jacket

Mega win! I’ve been turned off by denim jackets since my years working for Express. Back then, management (and especially brand management like me who was to lead by example when it came to dress) had to wear three pieces of Express clothing and there was nothing easier than a denim jacket to throw over a Metro Tee and pair of Editor pants. When I left the company, I had six Express denim jackets to my name. A couple years ago I bought a denim moto jacket and wore it a total of two times before retiring it, feeling too much like my ‘90s self. But denim jackets ARE useful, and with my new company having a more relaxed dress code, a denim jacket seemed like a smart addition to pair with dresses, skirts, as well as weekend looks. J. Crew Factory was having 40% off so I took a chance.

It’s not too light, but not dark (Antique Sanded Blue). It’s weathered, but not too distressed to look wrong in a creative business casual environment. Patch pockets at the chest, slash pockets at the waist, and two internal pockets that are the perfect size for my iPhone 5 with a chubby protective case. But best of all? The fabric looks like standard denim but has stretch, making it comfortable and more flattering with my curves. I ordered an XL because I wanted this to be a jacket I can wear as an actual jacket over lightweight sweaters and long-sleeve knits; this was a good choice but it’s not too oversized for wear with a simple tank or sundress. The sleeves are long, but I roll all jacket sleeves anyway and the sleeves are loose enough that I can roll four times without restricting blood flow to my hands.

J. Crew Factory Drapey Knit Dress

Fail. The color is gorgeous, the knit is thick enough to not cling or show VPL, but man is this unflattering. I believe if I were tall and willowy or more straight or athletic of a figure this could work, but with my curves it looked like a hospital gown.

J. Crew Factory Sleeveless Shirtdress

I ordered a Large in Blue and it fit well in the bust, shoulders, and under the arms but was HUGE in the waist. Cinching with the self-belt and even switching out for belts in my wardrobe caused the fabric to bunch so much I had this weird shelf under the belt of fabric, pleats, and pockets.  If you have a smaller bust, you can size down on this dress and it may actually be pretty great for a hot summer.  The dress is breezy cotton but opaque enough even in front of bright light to go sans slip and it doesn’t have buttons all the way down so no fear of them popping open or gaping.

J. Crew Factory Striped Knit Top

Anyone surprised I found this a win? Flattering neckline, flattering width of stripes, nice and opaque and stretchy and a looser fit that looks nice with ankle jeans or shorts. It makes me want to buy a pair of colorful ankle pants so I can style the two together and finish the look with my leopard calfhair pointed flats… and maybe the denim jacket come fall! I have a Large and it’s roomy and relaxed of a fit (too loose to look nice tucked into a fuller skirt).

Nordstrom Signature and Caroline Issa Stripe Cashmere Sweater

I don’t own a lot of cashmere because at my income level, I can’t afford very high quality and mediocre cashmere regularly pills and gets worn patches. Honestly, I’m a Merino gal – it’s pretty, it stretches, it holds up great, it can be washed, and it fits my budget. But I keep hearing about how good cashmere is worth it, I bought this cashmere piece from Nordstrom Signature last year and ADORE it, so when I saw This sweater went from $445 to under $200 and I had $60 in Nordstrom Notes I ordered it in XL. It arrived, I tried it on, and boxed it back up to return. See how on the model it hits right below the waistband and fits her long arms? Yeah, that’s how it fit on 5’3” busty moi. The sleeves were a good 8” too long but the sweater ended right below my jean waistband. Though Nordstrom’s TRUE FIT said I would want a Large, the XL was very fitted and also fit in the shoulders. It’s itchy, the ivory is a chevron knit though the navy stripes are not, and the gold button closest to the neck won’t stay buttoned. Mega pricey fail.

Mural Slouchy Boyfriend Blazer in Hot Pink

I loved the white one so much, I thought maybe the pink one would be awesome. Nope. I looked like I was working a makeup counter circa 1986. The pink made the oversized style look Talking Heads oversized, the shoulder pads more pronounced, and all that was missing was blue eyeliner and Aqua Net bangs. However, I still adore the white one and wear it regularly. I even machine washed it and it turned out great!

Felicity & Coco Double Knit Sheath Dress

I am a sucker for anything that is red-orange like this dress. It looked promising, and I own other pieces from this brand. I ordered it in XL, which is supposed to be a 14. While this fit in the arms, it was way too tight everywhere else. It smashed my boobs and was so tight on my belly you could see the depth of my belly button. It’s a shame because it is a gorgeous color and a heavyweight fabric that is a hybrid between scuba and ponte that could dress up and down with ease.  If this dress came in a larger size I would order it, it’s so nice otherwise.

Taylor Dresses Cotton Voile Midi Dress

This dress is blue and a warm salmon pink; the combination is unique and I think could be quite pretty on a darker complexion but looked on me as though I accidentally washed the dress with a red tee shirt and wore it while I was battling the flu. The dress is made for someone at least 5’6”, the straps were too long, the bodice a hair too long, the pockets were at an odd too-low point where I couldn’t easily access, and the skirt almost hit my ankle bones. If you have a small or very firm bust, this dress could possibly be worn sans-bra as it is lightly boned. Well made, but clearly not made for me.

Sam Edelman “Ivy” Calf Hair Slingback Sandal

I usually do well with Sam Edelman, and when these shoes went on sale under $100 I snagged them in orange as well as the ivory/black combo print. I think these are the type of shoes that look great peeking out of a pair of dark denim, can be styled with ankle pants, look great with a full midi skirt but can also be cute with some straighter skirt and dress styles. The heel is nice and wide for comfort and stability, and wide straps are far more comfortable when it’s hot and your feet swell. If my feet were more narrow and my toes longer (my pinky toe hung out between the straps and my middle and ring toes were hidden under the straps yet the shoe fit everywhere else) I would rock the heck out of these shoes. So buy them for me, send me a picture of you wearing them, and let me live vicariously through you, okay?

Loveappella Sort Sleeve Wrap Top Jumpsuit

I mentioned in this post that I bought this jumpsuit but haven’t properly reviewed. I bought an XL regular in Black, and there’s no way I could wear a petite without having a perma-wedgie. I’ve found sizing up on jumpsuits is a smart choice for the rear view anyway. The jumpsuit is traditional jersey – not shiny, not terribly thick, more for weekends or casual wear. With my bust, I find I can wear without pinning, but a smaller chest may need a cami or safety pin. On weekends I usually just wear with silver Birkenstocks and my silver cuff, but I’ve worn to work with heeled caged sandals and a scarf or wide belt.

Now it’s your turn, bought any great pieces lately?  Any fails you want to share to warn your fellow readers? I’d love to read all about it!

Fighting Closet Fatigue – Winter to Spring Wardrobe Transition

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

spring 2015 fashion trends

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

What I Wore: Mom Mode

Packable Down Vest: Bernardo (sold out – similar) | Tee: J. Crew Factory | Jeans: Gap | Shoes: Converse | Bandana: grocery store (similar) | Sunglasses: Ray-Ban | Bag: Rough & Tumble Design

Weekends are family time.  I power off the laptop and focus on Karl and Emerson.  This weekend we had Easter egg hunts, errands to run, dinner with friends, brunch at my mom’s, and lots of time outdoors enjoying the gorgeous spring weather.  This is a variation of my weekend look, what I wear when I am in Mom Mode.   I bought this vest when I had the cast to stay warm, but it has become a favorite.  Karl jokes that I’m embracing normcore, I love not being bundled up but still warm enough during this transitional time (and having a crapton of pockets which is ALWAYS a necessity when in Mom Mode!).

And this bag, now that I have the strength to carry a big bag, is again my favorite.   It is truly perfection; the short strap fits over the shoulder, the long strap is comfortable on the shoulder or as a crossbody.  Inside is a pocket or gadget for everything; I can quickly find my SmarTrip card or parking garage ticket, the keyfob to get into the building, tissues for Emerson or a stashed away mini LalaLoopsy if a meal goes on longer than expected, my lipgloss and my ever-present Tide to Go stain stick.  Though my hand and wrist are MUCH better, I am still having trouble feeding myself with my right hand; the wrist just isn’t as flexible as it was and I do a modified shoveling food into my face (oh gosh you should see me with chopsticks!), and must say I end every meal no matter how careful I am with a dribble on my shirt!  Just a reminder to keep up with the PT!

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My Wardrobe Today – Friday

Jacket – Limited (at least 10 years old – similar)
Tank – Caslon (similar)
Necklace – J. Crew via eBay
JeansGap “Long and Lean” via the DC Sip & Swap
Shoes Miss Sixty “Jaiden”
BraceletsLauren Ralph Lauren and Ann Taylor

So um… two things going on here. You’ll see that not only am I wearing my engagement ring, but also my wedding band! I was able to get it on this past weekend and have been wearing ever since. I haven’t been able to fit it since my first trimester and even then it was a tight fit!

Second… these jeans? I picked them up in a rush at the DC Sip & Swap and got home, hoping they would run large. I couldn’t even get them over my butt and thighs. This morning I was looking for my old Gap Essential jeans, thinking maybe I could cuff them like boyfriend jeans. Digging through the “To Donate/Swap/eBay” bag I found these jeans and gave them a chance. They FIT! Me, in a size 10 pair of jeans? This hasn’t happened in YEARS! Happy Friday to me!

This weekend is my friend’s baby shower, and there is a blues music festival in town. Otherwise pretty free. I hope me and the fam can relax, get this bug past us 100% (Emerson is pretty sick again and my husband is also battling it). What are your plans for the weekend?

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What I Wore: The Not-so Little Black Dress [Sponsored]

christopher and banks 4Dress: c/o Christopher & Banks | Hat: J. Crew Factory (similar) | Sunglasses: Ray-Ban | Bracelets: c/o RocksBox, Coin Collection, c/o Lifetherapy | Bag: c/o Adora Bags | Shoes: Softspots (similar)

christopher and banks 1Dress: c/o Christopher & Banks | Necklace: MYHABIT | Bag: Brahmin (similar) | Shoes: Nine West | Watch: Citizen

christopher and banks 6Dress: c/o Christopher & Banks | Necklace: c/o Rocksbox | Bag: c/o Handbag Heaven | Bracelets: had forever (similar), Coin Collection, c/o Lifetherapy, c/o LiveTheLook, Shoes: Bella Vita c/o Shoebuy

I feel a not-so little black dress is a must in most wardrobes.  Christopher & Banks reached out and asked if I’d like to feature something from their current collection and as soon as I saw this dress I knew it was the perfect choice.  Ponte knit is one of the most figure flattering and versatile fabrics; it’s a tightly woven knit that doesn’t wrinkle, stretches, and smooths curves.  It’s great for travel, works for every season, and can dress up and down with ease. The Sleeveless Fit & Flare Ponte Dress from Christopher & Banks has a flattering shape and classic silhouette.  It would be great to wear for a day at the wineries; pair with flat sandals and a straw hat for comfort and style.  For work, pair the dress with a statement necklace and pumps for summer office style; add a ponte blazer or cardigan in a favorite color for warmth and additional corporate coverage.  The Sleeveless Fit & Flare Ponte Dress is the type of thing I’d wear to work when I have plans after; a switch to a lightweight crossbody bag and shoes with a chunky comfortable heel for dinner and a show.

The Sleeveless Fit & Flare Ponte Dress from Christopher & Banks comes in Missy and Womens sizes 4 to 24W and is under $75. It’s a perfect wardrobe staple for summer and seasons to come.

Spring Style with ECCO (Plus a Giveaway) [Sponsored]

Sometimes brands approach you about a partnership and it’s a perfect fit. I was contacted about doing a sponsored post with ECCO and I was psyched. I’ve featured ECCO shoes before (here and here for example) and think it’s a great brand that marries classic style with comfort. They asked for me to style one of their shoes and one bag here on the blog.

ecco bag 1 ecco bag 2Top | Skirt | Bag: c/o ECCO

Before this partnership, I didn’t know that ECCO made bags. I shouldn’t be surprised that they do, and that they are elegant, classic, and high quality. I received the ECCO Felicity Crossbody in a neutral Saffiano leather. It’s a nice sized bag from nice materials, but it’s hard to properly gauge it because it is not the color or style of bag I would normally choose for myself. It’s a size big enough to carry all your purse essentials yet slim and streamlined. Everything inside stays safe and dry too, thanks to the soft fabric lining water-repellent lining. I decided to style the ECCO Felicity Crossbody with a classic look to highlight its traditional lines. I’m glad for this partnership with ECCO because I found that they make nice bags. My first choice for this campaign was the ECCO Sculptured Clutch, which is made of buttery leather and is the shape and style that will work all seasons of the year and be chic for years to come.

ecco sho9es 1 ecco shoes 2Dress | Necklace (similar) | Hat (similar) | Shoes: c/o ECCO

The ECCO Touch 45 Cross Wedge is a comfortable sandal. I had recently ordered this turquoise dress and saw it next to the shoes and LOVED the color combination. Considering the comfort and versatility of this shoe, I decided to style the ECCO Touch 45 WS for a summery vacation look. I like the look of the ECCO Touch 25 T-Strap which is a wedge sandal of a similar height, but thinner straps that give a more feminine feel that may prove more versatile. Available in four colors and a variety of fabrics, it’s the perfect blend of comfort and style for spring and summer.

The craftsmanship of this bag and these sandals is classic ECCO and a reason why this brand is a favorite of mine. The shoes are comfortable straight out of the box and crafted to offer comfort and style for years. I encourage you to check out the ECCO site and see the other styles they have available. And if you’re a fan of ECCO like me, today’s your lucky day!

What’s your favorite spring shoe trend? Tell me below in the comments for a chance to win an ECCO shoe card worth up to $250!

Giveaway

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

  1. Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post
  2. Tweet (public message) about this promotion; including exactly the following unique term in your tweet message: “#SweepstakesEntry”; and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post
  3. Blog about this promotion, including a disclosure that you are receiving a sweepstakes entry in exchange for writing the blog post, and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post

For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry.

This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older (or nineteen (19) years of age or older in Alabama and Nebraska). Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. The notification email will come directly from BlogHer via the sweeps@blogher email address. You will have 2 business days to respond; otherwise a new winner will be selected. The Official Rules are available here. This sweepstakes runs from 4/2/15 – 4/30/15.

Be sure to visit the ECCO brand page on BlogHer.com where you can read other bloggers’ posts!

Spring Wardrobe Additions

Now that the cast is off and the swelling has gone down, I can finally get into the spring fashion spirit! Here’s a few things I have recently purchased and like very much:

1. Well all know my adoration for stripes; when I saw this shirt at J. Crew Factory was only $21 I had to try it. I love the fit, the shape, the fabric, everything. It’s tempting to get it in gray as well!

2. I don’t ever shop Walmart, but I was on vacation in a small town where it was the only place to go to get a pair of shorts for Emerson. While there, I found these shorts by Faded Glory for $12.94 and I must say they’re pretty great. Good length that is comfortable yet not dowdy, a bit of stretch so they’re flexible but also keep their shape, and a nice non-dorky wash. Totally got rid of the cheesy neon skinny belt and will likely do an at-home distressing on them, but not too shabby. As with any shorts, I went a size up for a better fit.

3. I don’t own this EXACT shirt from Boden, but unfortunately the one I got is no longer on the site. This shirt featured is the Eliza Top, and I own the Eliza, but in a cerulean and navy stripe (yep MORE stripes!). I absolutely positively LOVE this shirt; I love silk but hate washing it (this shirt is machine washable); I like ¾ and bracelet-length sleeves now to protect my scar but stay breezy (this shirt has it), and I love a top that is casual like a tee but can dress up for work (wearing it right now with a pair of trousers and pumps, looks great tucked into a pencil skirt, and this weekend wore with boyfriend jeans). The Eliza Top from Boden is a regular in their collection and a great addition to many wardrobes!

4. I now own five pairs of Nine West’s Flax pump (black, natural, silver, peacock print, red and black spotted haircalf). I know that seems a bit insane, but it’s a pretty perfect shoe. Single sole, pointed toe, walkable heel height, and a nice price. I’ve been wanting a “nude” leather pointed toe pump for over a year, but find each pair is too pale, too dark, too pink, too something for me. The Flax’s Natural Leather is a pretty perfect shade for me, and I love having a shoe that looks great with both pants and skirts.

5. Another silky shirt with an in-between sleeve length! This is the Sophie Blouse from Dobbin Clothing, and while it has the same basics I like from the Boden Eliza Top, it gives a completely different effect thanks to the details. Slightly crinkled silk, gold buttons down the front, and blousy sleeves. The color makes it work with black, brown, ivory, and denim quite nicely. I often wear this blouse untucked with dark wash narrow jeans, but also wear to work tucked into ivory tropical wool trousers.

6. I mentioned my desire for delicate gold this spring, and I am still loving my Rebecca Minkoff cuff; I also picked up this dangly but not too jingly bracelet from Nordstrom for $24; it doesn’t look cheapy, it’s stretchy and doesn’t get in the way when I type.

7. This Panama hat is only $17 from J. Crew Factory. Runs a bit wide, but I like that because I can twist up my hair and tuck it in the brim to keep my neck cool (or hide bad hair).

8. Me and my Lifetherapy bracelets – it’s an addiction! I love turquoise, I have a few bracelets from the company in blue (see here) so it brightens up my current collection, and this one has an Aquarius symbol! I like that these bracelets are just one long cord; I’ve been known to also wear them as a long necklace with tanks in the summer!

9. Seriously, the Converse Shorelines are my jam! I’ve missed having casual tennis shoes for spring and summer, and these are so easy to slip on, no heel blisters, and no looking as though I’m wearing shoeboxes on my already chubby feet.

10. Linen always looks like such a mess on me.  Well this spring I’ve given up being crisp, and have embraced the casual wrinkled-ness of linen.  My J.Jill white linen big shirt is great knotted over distressed jeans, and these pants (the Julie fit from LOFT) I love with a simple cotton knit sweater, silk blouse, or with a denim shirt.

***

Outfit posts have been few and far between because it was slow and difficult getting dressed with the arm, and honestly pretty depressing. I gained weight and lost muscle being so sedentary during my time on disability, and just putting on a tee shirt could leave me in tears. And then, much of my wardrobe didn’t work with the cast, only having one arm to put myself together after using the bathroom, the stiff swollen arm and all that jazz. But I feel SO much better, have much more flexibility and less swelling and am feeling like myself again. So stay tuned, for actual posts of me wearing these new pieces!

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#SavedBySkimmies: Jockey® Skimmies® Slipshort Review and Giveaway

A couple weekends ago, I attended an outdoor wedding. Our friends’ Big Day was hot – extremely hot, and extremely humid. There was also a chance of rain. Not only was I an invited guest, but Karl was the hired photographer and I was to assist him in organizing guests for posed photos. Emerson was also invited, so I would also be chasing after her. I knew I had to dress in a way that would keep me comfortable, mobile, yet festive. I chose a floral print silk maxi dress and flat sandals but knew my underpinnings would be just as crucial. The Friction Affliction, we’ve all been there. That bow-legged stride that aims to keep a dreaded thigh fire from ruining your day. Heat and humidity, sweat and running around plus curvy girl chub rub can quickly make a gal miserable. There was no way I was going to experience Friction Affliction at this wedding. And the Shake Down. You know when you wear a silk dress and it rubbing against your undergarments causes static cling? I had no time for the one part wiggle, two parts tug dance on this day. Thank goodness for Jockey Skimmies®. I’ve written about them before, I think they’re pretty darn fantastic and they literally saved my skin all last summer. So when Jockey reached out and asked if I’d like to try another pair this year and share how I was #SavedBySkimmies it wasn’t hard to say yes. And for this wedding, I wore my new Jockey Skimmies Slipshorts.

PicMonkey Collage

Some Instagram photos of the wedding: the hazy humid ceremony, me dancing between the ceremony and reception, with my sweaty daughter during the ceremony, my daughter and I taking a silly and very sweaty and rain-soaked selfie after the reception

No Friction Affliction, my thighs were happy campers all day and night, through humidity that felt like pea soup, sweat that rolled down my back and legs for hours, a torrential downpour I got caught in on two separate occasions, and all the dashes I did to help Karl, tend to Emerson, and enjoy the event. As for The Shake Down? The only shaking I did that day was my booty as I danced to live music from afternoon until dark. Jockey Skimmies aren’t control garments so there’s no muffin top, no gas pains from being squished for hours, no tell-tale thigh dents, and the shorts don’t roll or sag or ride. Honestly, with the combination of the dress and my Jockey Skimmies I didn’t have to think about what I was wearing all day. And honestly, if I didn’t receive these Skimmies from Jockey the week before the wedding, I would have worn another pair of them because I know they’re the best to wear for such a situation. Learn more about Jockey Skimmies by visiting jockey.com/savedbyskimmies or visit Jockey on Facebook, YouTube, and Pinterest.

Do Jockey Skimmies® sound awesome to you? Are you ready to be #SavedBySkimmies this summer? One Wardrobe Oxygen reader is going to be Saved by Skimmies thanks to Jockey!

Giveaway

How would you like to be Saved By Skimmies? Tell me in the comments for a chance to win a $100 Jockey.com gift card.

Entry Instructions: 

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

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

This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older (or nineteen (19) years of age or older in Alabama and Nebraska). Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. The notification email will come directly from BlogHer via the sweeps@blogher email address. You will have 2 business days to respond; otherwise a new winner will be selected. The Official Rules are available here. This sweepstakes runs from 6/10/2015 – 7/31/2015

Be sure to visit Jockey’s brand page on BlogHer.com where you can read other bloggers’ posts!


Jumpsuits that Fit, Flatter, and Let You Pee

I’m a jumpsuit fan. I’ve been rocking this jumpsuit from Karen Kane for a couple years, and now that every retailer has jumped on the jumpsuit train, I’ve been adding to my wardrobe with some great one-piece outfits that look great for the office, a night out, or even running errands on the weekend. Every time I feature a jumpsuit on the blog or Instagram I always have at least one person say they never thought a soft curvy person or a petite person could carry off a jumpsuit. And I always have at least one person comment on the issue with jumpsuits and needing to use the restroom.

Shopping Guide: Jumpsuits that fit, flatter and let you pee by Wardrobe Oxygen

Ladies, you can wear a jumpsuit no matter your shape or size. And ladies, there ARE jumpsuits out there that let you pee without ten minutes of procedure and a friend to assist.

A couple months ago, HauteLook had DVF on clearance. I love Diane von Furstenberg the woman and I also love Diane von Furstenberg the fashion so I was excited to possibly score some more DVF for my wardrobe at a reasonable price. I was even more excited to see some DVF jumpsuits featured and available in a size 14. I frantically clicked BUY before it sold out and a couple days later a black and white printed DVF jumpsuit was at my front door. I raced upstairs and tore open the bag. Ten minutes later I was crying, sweating, had several pulled muscles and was swearing a woman who I consider a hero. I bet a lot of you are laughing, nodding your heads, recalling similar experiences when trying to take off jumpsuits. But not all jumpsuits are created equal, and from my experience the fit, comfort, and pee-ability of a jumpsuit has nothing to do with the name on the label or the price on the tag. A few tips to find a great jumpsuit:

Seek Stretch: Jersey and Lycra-infused Jumpsuits

My Karen Kane jumpsuit is a nubby-crepe textured stretch that is low on shine and can look dressy quite easily. The bodice is a wrap or surplice style so the neckline can stretch a lot for quick removal when changing or using the restroom. There’s a built-in camisole for modesty but it’s only on the front of the jumpsuit, making the bodice still loose enough to easily slip on and off.

I have this jumpsuit from Loveappeala and I adore it. I wore it to work with a wide belt and caged sandals with a slight heel, but many weekends you’ll see me wearing it with a pair of Converse Shorelines or my Birkenstocks. It has a couple pleats on the bottom to keep it loose and comfortable and again, it has an easy wrap-style bodice.

Shop Printed Jumpsuits:

From my experience, if you’re between sizes, size up. Jumpsuits often run short in the torso and are prone to cling on the bum; stretchy jumpsuits don’t have to have a slim fit so sizing up can add comfort and better drape on your lower half. My local dry cleaner was able to shorten my Karen Kane jumpsuit for only $10 and I have had tailors and dry cleaners adjust the length of straps and even take in seams on jersey pieces for just a few dollars.

Fabric makes the difference whether you can wear a stretchy jumpsuit to a wedding, the workplace, or if it’s best left for the bar or a beach barbecue. Matte jersey, crepe jersey, and silk jersey have a more elegant finish, hold dye better providing a richer color, and are less clingy making them better for dressier or more formal situations. If you feel a jumpsuit may be inappropriate for the office, you’re probably correct. Even crepe jersey jumpsuits can be clingy, especially on the rear, and often have silhouettes or details that may be too trendy for an office setting. A wrap-style dress with an added cami can look appropriate at work, but a jumpsuit with the same bodice may be seen as unprofessional. Always steer on the side of conservativeness when considering a work wardrobe.

Shop Plus Size Jumpsuits:

Tee-shirt fabric, jersey, and fabrics that have been smocked (stitched with elastic so it is stretchy) are best left for casual settings. The same holds true for strapless, spaghetti strap, and in my opinion, most sleeveless jumpsuits are best kept for times outside the office (no, adding a cardigan will not make it suddenly look corporate).

Non-Stretch Jumpsuits that are Bathroom-friendly

The reason I had a panic attack and pulled muscles in that DVF jumpsuit was because I needed to be Houdini to be able to take it off and I had just finished a bottle of water. Jumpsuits are stylish, and we women like wearing stylish clothing to social events, and social events usually have beverages. I don’t care how utterly adorable or flattering a jumpsuit is, if you can’t pee without an entourage or double-jointed capabilities you shouldn’t purchase it. That doesn’t mean you have to rule out all non-stretchy jumpsuits. Some can actually be quite wearable and accessible.

Shop Tall Jumpsuits:

I have a sleeveless silk-like jumpsuit with a jewel neck that fits a bit more like coveralls. Loose straight torso with a drawstring waist and wide cropped legs, I’ve worn it to the office with heels and worn it on the weekend with flat sandals. The reason it works is because it has buttons from neck to navel and those buttons are easy to work and that perfect space where you don’t get a flash of my bra when I stretch. I also have a spaghetti strap jumpsuit from Karen Kane that also works because it too has a drawstring waist and the bodice is loose enough to slip over the shoulder.

Shop Casual Jumpsuits:

I’m short, I’m fat, and there’s no way I can wield a back zipper without pulling a muscle. Hell, trying to take on and off a jumpsuit with a side zipper also has its issues, especially when in a public bathroom without a full-length mirror. The only jumpsuits I’ve found that are non-stretchy and have a zipper that can work in a jiffy are spaghetti strap or strapless jumpsuits. These styles require a shorter zipper and can often be twisted a bit when getting the zipper started. Also look for styles with smocked or elasticized panels which help with getting on and off.

Shop Dressy Jumpsuits:

Before dropping coin, drop the jumpsuit. Try a few times – can you honestly slip it on and off in a rush? Could you do it in a cramped bathroom stall at a bar or concert venue or wedding ballroom? Do you need to be careful about tiny hooks and eyes or too-tight button holes? Be realistic, you have no idea how long that bathroom line may be or how you may be feeling that evening. No jumpsuit is cute enough to risk an accident or wardrobe malfunction.

Tips for Buying and Wearing Jumpsuits:

  • Size up. Unless it’s a non-stretchy fitted style, you can usually go up a size without it affecting the line of the piece. This will reduce cling on the bum and give a bit more fabric in the bodice to be able to get on and off with ease. A dry cleaner can adjust hem and strap length for little money.
  • If you’re petite, try the regular version (and if you’re regular consider tall). Again, jumpsuits can run short in the torso, and very short in that space between waistband and crotch. I’ve found regular jumpsuits to often fit me better in the body.
  • Seek stretch. Whether the whole jumpsuit is made of jersey or just a portion, stretch will make it easier to work with and be more forgiving to your figure.
  • Avoid VPL. I have yet to see a jumpsuit that doesn’t at least skim the rear. It’s easy to worry about lifting the bust and whittling the waist and forget about the back view. Seamless undergarments, thongs, and even bike short-style undergarments will give a smooth finish for the jumpsuit (I often wear my Skimmies under jumpsuits).
  • Reference your underwear drawer. Don’t buy a strapless jumpsuit if you don’t have a comfortable and flattering strapless bra (and they do exist). Don’t try to cover up bra straps by wearing a tank or tee under a jumpsuit meant to wear on its own. Same with halters, spaghetti straps, cutouts, open backs, and the rest. That jumpsuit may look hella cute on the hanger, but without the right underpinnings you won’t get the right effect. Don’t try to reinvent your lingerie drawer or redesign your figure, there’s another cute jumpsuit out there that’s perfect for you and your current wardrobe!
  • Consider your shoes.  A wide-leg jumpsuit needs a substantial shoe – a wedge, caged sandal, or platform is a good choice to balance the width.  In turn, a narrow leg or banded leg jumpsuit needs a more delicate shoe.  Just as you do with a dress, factor in footwear.  Don’t think because you have a long leg you can get away with old flats or sandals; a shoe makes the man and the woman!

Review and Giveaway: J.Jill Uncomplicate Me This Spring

I learn so much from you readers: sites to visit, beauty products to try, and clothing brands to check out. Many of you have raved about J.Jill and how the brand carries quality pieces in regular, petite, tall, and women’s sizes. With spring upon us, I’ve been looking for warm weather clothes to add to my wardrobe. When BlogHer and J.Jill approached me to try out J.Jill’s linen collection, I was excited.Many of you have raved about J.Jill’s linen collection in how it washes and wears so well. Linen is one of the oldest fabrics still in use today; it was first used in Egypt where it was prized for its purity and cleanliness. Today, linen is loved for its breathability, easy care (machine washable and dryable or dry cleaned), and durability – a great linen piece can last for years of wear because it’s 2-3 times the strength of cotton and just gets softer and better with time.

This spring, J.Jill is offering Linen in a Whole New Light. Their popular linen collection is updated with fresh details, blended knits, and watercolor effect prints that offer new ways to experience the fab fabric. J.Jill’s linen blend fabrics include rayon to increase the fabrics’ softness and provide luster and drape; and cotton for softness, a cool touch, and to minimize shrinkage (J.Jill’s linen can take a tumble in the dryer!).

J.Jill Pure Jill Indigo Knit Easy Dress

It has been hard finding clothes that work with my cast; something that fits over it, is easy to put on, something uncomplicated. Knit dresses have been great with the cast so I decided to try the Pure Jill Indigo Knit Easy Dress. When it was cold I wore the dress with leggings, tall boots, and a scarf for an easy casual look. With the temps rising, the dress is great for running errands with a pair of tennis shoes or Capri leggings and ballet flats. This is a Large Petite.

J.Jill Linen Big Shirt and Perfect Tank

I’ve wanted a white linen shirt; as soon as I heard about this opportunity I checked out J.Jill’s Linen Big Shirt. I ordered a Petite Large, which fit perfectly… except it didn’t fit over the cast. I went to the store and exchanged it for a Regular XL, which gives it a true big shirt look and fits over my right arm. For this weekend look I paired it with the J.Jill Perfect Tank (size Petite Large) and an old favorite pair of jeans. This shirt would look great knotted over a pencil skirt, belted over skinny jeans, or under a cropped top for a trendy silhouette. I must say the Perfect Tank is exactly that; having a petite tank is a game changer; it still has enough length but the neckline doesn’t gape and my bra straps stay well covered. The tank is an opaque, smooth refined knit that could dress up to be a shell under a casual blazer or paired with a full midi skirt and sandals. I liked this tank so much I got a second one in black!

Interested in checking out J.Jill’s Linen collection to uncomplicate your spring wardrobe? I’ve got two ways for you to do it for less!

Promotion
Use promotion code BLOGHER at checkout and get 30% off one full-priced item! This code is valid through May 21, 2014.

Giveaway

One Wardrobe Oxygen reader will win a $100 J.Jill gift card! To enter leave me a comment letting me know what is your favorite spring look!

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

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

This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older. Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. The notification email will come directly from BlogHer via the sweeps@blogher email address. You will have 72 hours to respond; otherwise a new winner will be selected.  The Official Rules are available here.  This sweepstakes runs from 4/3/2014-5/27/2014.

Be sure to visit the J.Jill brand page on BlogHer.com where you can read other bloggers’ posts!

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Capsule Wardrobe: Transitioning from Summer to Fall with a Denim Jacket

I’m a born again denim jacket fan. After too many years sporting them almost daily in the ‘80s and ‘90s, I couldn’t fathom wearing one again in the new millennium. However, in recent years the denim jacket has again become a popular and versatile wardrobe staple and I broke down and purchased one (this one from J. Crew Factory). Now I can’t imagine my wardrobe without one.

In a recent post’s comments, reader Mim asked if I could make a capsule to show the versatility of a denim jacket. Below is a sample capsule wardrobe incorporating a denim jacket, showing how it can help transition your summer wardrobe to early fall. While the weather may still be warm enough to bare legs (and a couple toes), you’ll likely desire a couple toppers and a way to temper summer vibes from breezy skirts and floral maxis. This capsule wardrobe is for a business casual office, or for the weekend.

Capsule Wardrobe: Transitioning from Summer to Fall with help from a denim jacket. Via Wardrobe Oxygen

Shop Similar: Denim Jacket | Blazer | Tee Shirt | Striped Top | Black Shell | Pencil Skirt | White Jeans | Midi Skirt | Sheath Dress | Maxi Dress | Ankle Strap Shoes | Block Heel Shoes | Wrap Belt | Pendant Necklace

Feel free to change out pieces to better fit your personality. A dark rinse denim jacket, the blazer can be a different color or replaced with a leather moto, the gray tee with a band tee or one with your favorite superhero or book quote. Stripes are extremely versatile and mix well with other prints, but could be switched out with a different print or a solid. The floral pencil skirt can be replaced with a solid, leopard print, a-line, or a fit and flare shape. The jeans can be switched out for a different color, fit, or even a twill or sateen ankle or cropped pant. A printed wide-leg pant is also a great alternative.  The gray pleated midi can be a cotton print, changed to a maxi, or switched out for culottes or another pair of ankle pants. The dresses are examples showing how different silhouettes and lengths can work; you can switch out for a tee shirt dress, fit and flare, and most any length from above the knee to ankle. Don’t be afraid to consider a jumpsuit, I wore one with a denim jacket in this outfit post.  As for the shoes, I chose two heels that are relatively walkable; the black and leopard one was chosen for the ankle strap (a popular trend right now) and how the print adds interest to solids and also plays nice with other prints. I own shoes similar to the camel ones and love how they work great with pants and skirts of every length; the color elongates the leg and works well with cool and warm colors. I have a version of the camel belt and find it extremely versatile.

Shop Denim Jackets and Blazers to Create this Look:

Don’t be afraid to mix high with low; we’re used to that meaning designer with discount mart fashion, but it also means pairing denim with chiffon, your favorite band tee with a satin pencil skirt, a bit of sparkle with a bit of distress. The gray yoga tee will look chic with the chiffon midi skirt; you can tuck it in or knot it at the waist. Pair with the camel shoes or even your favorite flat sandals or slip-on sneakers and if it gets chilly, add the denim jacket. The gray tee also works with the printed pencil skirt; switch out the denim jacket for the blazer and the camel shoes for the ankle strap kitten heels for work in a creative office environment.

Shop Graphic Tees to Create this Look:

Denim jackets can replace blazers in casual and creative office environments; wear with the black ponte sheath dress and add the camel belt and heels to make it look more purposeful and cohesive. The black crepe shell and gray chiffon midi skirt would look at home in most business casual environments but may look a bit too summery come September; add the denim jacket, switch out sandals for the camel block heels and add the belt to make the look seasonally appropriate without being too wintry. Pattern mixing is still on trend and a lot of fun; style the Breton tee with the printed pencil skirt and ankle strap heels; add the denim jacket to tone down the prints and give a downtown vibe.

Shop Skirts with Plenty of Personality :

Double denim (wearing more than one piece of denim in an outfit) is no longer a fashion faux pas; if it still makes you uneasy, styling a denim jacket with white or colored denim gives the most contrast. While a graphic tee and white jeans may seem too ordinary, the addition of a pendant necklace and denim jacket creates a complete look. The best bet for pairing denim on denim is to work with contrast; it’s near impossible to match denim pieces so you’ll be better off with rinse denim and distressed, colored with whitewash, white with vintage. The addition of a print (stripes are always a safe bet) makes the look cohesive and steers clear of “Texas Tuxedo” territory.

Shop Dresses to Style with Denim Jackets:

If a denim jacket seems too heavy to wear with your favorite summer maxi dresses, consider holding down the dress with a wide belt and chunky shoes. Again, the camel belt and heels are a great choice. A wide belt is fantastic to cover any belt loops, built-in fabric belts, or waist details to give your maxi a completely different effect and look more appropriate for the later months of summer and early part of fall.

A denim jacket can not only help transition summer looks to fall, it can also pull together a wardrobe and create a cohesive look from boho, rock and roll, prep, classic, and romantic. Denim jackets look great with everything from leopard and leather to florals and silk faille. Do you have a denim jacket in your wardrobe? What is your favorite way of wearing it?

HURRY! My Orange Jacket is On Sale!!!

Regularly $140 and hidden from the J. Crew website, just showed up in the Fall Sale for $99! Get it while you still can!

Concert Review: Jim James at the 9:30 Club

When I was in high school I obsessed over certain bands and singers. Sometimes it was because their lyrics spoke to me, their beats could make me dance all night… but usually it was because of image. Some hot guy mourning over a girl, a badass woman with a nose ring singing about female empowerment. The image always did it for me, it was that thing that got me emotionally invested in an artist.

I’ve written about my reconnection to music before, but a big difference in my new love of music and old is the lack of the visual. I’m not turning on MTV every day after school, I’m not seeking out videos on YouTube or Googling pictures of artists. Often, I find band recommendations from the pages of Rolling Stone or Bust, or through friends or music forums. I often download music or add to a Spotify playlist based solely on the artists’ name or title and maybe a brief paragraph or “sounds like” description.

While there are some artists I find even better with the visual (well HELLO Father John Misty), many I prefer without the visual to muddy the message. One I think of the most is Jim James and My Morning Jacket. I find this man and this band utterly brilliant – simple yet poetic lyrics, creative songs, ability to play so many different instruments, music that is entertaining, thought-provoking, catchy, yet unique. As for appearance? I don’t care what they’re wearing, I don’t care what they look like, I don’t really care one way or another about album art and have seen very few videos. I just love Jim’s voice, the lyrics, the sound, the whole package.

My mediocre Instagram photos; for far better shots of the show see Brightest Young Things‘ article

This past Tuesday, I went with my sister and husband to see Jim James perform solo at the 9:30 Club. We’re such big fans of MMJ that we’re fan club members, and got there early for primo location during the live event. The show did not disappoint – Jim James is a genius and also a stellar performer. I think the show blew Karl’s mind; he’s not the type to get all gaga over anything, but is a giggle teenager when it comes to Jim James. I had a blast, he was SO good, so engaging with the audience, did a fan-geek encore with solo, MMJ and Monsters of Folk songs (as well as a couple covers). In my eyes, James can do no wrong and I can’t wait to see him again at Forecastle Fest this July.

I go to see concerts these days to see the artists do what they do best – perform their music. Jam out, see the skill on their instruments, hear voices without computer enhancement, experience the unexpected. When I was younger, I geeked over musicians hoping to touch them, make eye contact, have a bit of a fantasy in my head along with the songs. Now, I just want to go on the ride that comes with the music, and the scenery is in my mind. I think this is why I have become a major geek over Jim James and My Morning Jacket; I think they encourage this sort of fandom. They want us to think, they want us to journey, they want us to be surprised and elated and excited and they feel these emotions with us through the concert.


If Jim James is heading to a venue near you I encourage you to get a ticket. He’s hitting up venues much smaller than MMJ would perform at, and not many know him by his name meaning the crowd is friendly yet passionate. I hadn’t been to a show since Superbowl weekend and this show was just what the doctor ordered to get my music mojo back and have me in the swing for festival season!

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Jockey Skimmies Slipshort – An Unbiased Review

Jockey Skimmies Slipshort Review

I’m a gal who deals with chub rub (chafing between the thighs especially during hot weather); when I saw so many bloggers recently promote the Jockey Skimmies Slipshort I was curious. I receive free product in exchange for reviews on Wardrobe Oxygen and know how hard it is to be unbiased in such a situation.  I decided to buy a pair with my own money so I can be as honest as I like and share with you!

Truthfully, I expected to be disappointed in the Skimmies because I’ve tried the Jockey “Preferred by Rachel Zoe” line before and was not impressed (and had to write a sponsored review hence my desire to try on my terms). But my beloved black Kmart bike shorts from 2007 (have never found a worthy replacement) are getting threadbare and summer is here so I was ready for a replacement to wear under dresses and skirts to prevent chafing.

There are four types of the Jockey Skimmies – regular, anti-static, wicking, and short length. I decided to go with the regular, and because I’m petite, also grabbed a pair of the short length. I purchased both in Light (beige) and both in size Large (Jockey says this is equal to a 10-12 or panty size 6, but reviews online said these slipshorts run large).

Both are made exactly of the same material, and fit pretty much the same except for leg length. On my size 14, 5’3″ frame, the regular ended 2.5” above the top of my knee, the short 6.5” above my knee. As for the fabric, it’s opaque enough in case you have a Marilyn moment you won’t look as though you’re wearing cutoff pantyhose but obviously more lingerie than gym wear.

The Pros:

The fabric is awesome, it is silky enough to have knits slip over it, but doesn’t get gross with sweat and heat. The waistband doesn’t bind at ALL, they feel as though I’m not wearing anything. The legs don’t dig and there aren’t any visible seams; you could wear these under lightweight pants and slim knit dresses without any lines. “Light” is a perfect match to my light to medium skintone. They don’t stretch out at the waist or legs and they don’t make me feel hotter with an extra layer.  The Large is extremely comfortable from top to bottom.  I need to again mention how utterly comfortable these are, you truly feel as though you’re wearing nothing at all.

The Cons:

They claim to have a cotton gusset, but it doesn’t seem like it; it’s same color, nubby, and doesn’t breathe any better than the rest of the slipshort. This means on a hot day with a lot of walking, it can get a bit… swampy down there.

The regular length Skimmies didn’t ride. AT ALL. I wore them for 11 hours straight and they didn’t shift or sag or bunch, they stayed exactly in place, even when I got hot and sweaty, even after walking for 20 minutes straight. However they are so long on me that they can only be worn with midi and maxi skirts.  Even a knee-length skirt is too short if I climb stairs or cross my legs.

The short Skimmies… they ride.  When I stand from my chair I want to tug at them, when I walk a block I want to tug at them. The good thing is that it’s usually only one leg at a time that rides up so I still end up without chub rub, but if you don’t get a chance to tug down that one leg and sit again, both will ride up and they become useless.

Final Verdict:

Close… and closer than anything else I have tried but not perfect. I like them enough that I’m going to try the wicking version in black, and for long days and music festivals will likely wear a pair of cotton underwear under them. However for shorter dresses, I’ll wear my one pair of short Skimmies but I’m still on the hunt for something better.

Have you tried the Jockey Skimmies Slipshorts? Do you have another product you find perfect for battling summer chafing and chub rub?

Giveaway: Gap Skimmer Jeans – Save and Win!

Last week I featured the new Gap Skimmer Jean and how incredibly versatile and adorable it is. Many of you were interested in trying the Skimmer for yourself, well now’s your chance! From February 21 – 27, 2013, try the New Skimmer and get $20 off! When you try the New Skimmer at any Gap store, you’ll get an automatic $20 off any regular-priced pair.  What a fab promotion, I’m thinking I may have to grab a pair of their camo-print skimmers for spring!

Want even more encouragement to try these awesome new jeans? One Wardrobe Oxygen reader will win a $50 AmEx gift card that you could use to buy your Gap Skimmers!

How to Enter:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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