Search Results for: label/j. crew

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: Stripes and More Stripes

Wardrobe Oxygen, over 40 curvy fashion blogger featuring a J. Crew cashmere sweater, Banana Republic pants, and a Dagne Dover 15" totesweater | pants | bag | shoes

Wardrobe Oxygen, over 40 curvy fashion blogger featuring a J. Crew cashmere sweater, Banana Republic pants, and a Dagne Dover 15" tote Wardrobe Oxygen, over 40 curvy fashion blogger featuring a J. Crew cashmere sweater, Banana Republic pants, and a Dagne Dover 15" tote Wardrobe Oxygen, over 40 curvy fashion blogger featuring a J. Crew cashmere sweater, Banana Republic pants, and a Dagne Dover 15" tote Wardrobe Oxygen, over 40 curvy fashion blogger featuring a J. Crew cashmere sweater, Banana Republic pants, and a Dagne Dover 15" toteSweater: J. Crew (XL) | Pants: Banana Republic (14P) | Shoes: Ivanka Trump | Necklace: bellezamia | Watch: Citizen| Tennis bracelet: gift (similar) | Bracelet: Gorjana (similar) | Bag: 15″ Tote c/o Dagne Dover

What’s better than a striped top?  A striped top with striped pants!  #Stripes4Lyfe! This is the cashmere sweater I mentioned in Friday’s post and the pants from this post.  If you follow me on Snapchat you know I wore this look last Tuesday to work.  Whenever I can’t figure out what shoes to wear with a look I always go to leopard and it rarely steers me wrong!

A few of you sent me emails and comments after last week’s What’s In My Bag to see how the 15″ Dagne Dover tote looks near my body, if it’s too big, and if it fits over my shoulder.  As you can see it’s not too big and fits quite comfortably over the shoulder even when full.

Many of you have also reached out complaining how the current delicate necklace trend isn’t kind to those of us who are larger or curvy.  So many of the popular brands only carry 16″ chains; some carry 18″ but it’s still too short for many.  My solution? Etsy! This necklace is from Etsy seller bellezamia, the quality is excellent, the price cheaper than a lot of the trendy brands, and I could choose my chain length (this is 20″).  Etsy is also my go-to for on-trend rings in sizes larger than 7 or 8.  A variety of sizes and you get to support a small business or independent artisan?  Win/win!

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What I Wore: White Before Memorial Day

over 40 fashion blog wardrobe oxygen wearing stella carakasiover 40 fashion blog wardrobe oxygen wearing stella carakasidress | jacket | shoes | sunglasses | cuff bracelet

over 40 fashion blogger wardrobe oxygen in stella carakasi over 40 fashion blogger wardrobe oxygen in a stella carakasi white linen dress over 40 fashion blogger wardrobe oxygen alison garyDress: Daydream Dress c/o Stella Carakasi (L) | Jacket: J. Crew Factory (XL) | Sunglasses: Ray-Ban | Bracelet: Had forever (similar) | Shoes: Vince Camuto (similar)

Stella Carakasi sent me this dress and I envisioned it in the hot summer months with my silver Birkenstocks and these aviators but when it arrived last week I decided to style it in a way to make it work now. Many still stick to the dated rule of no white before Memorial Day, and are even more against white linen before the summer holiday. Well this isn’t linen, it’s hemp! And it’s machine washable!  When paired with a denim jacket and more substantial of sandals, this white dress looks right at home in April. It’s fully lined in cotton voile so it’s truly opaque yet breezy.  And like linen, hemp looks good when it’s all rumpled and wrinkled. Just putting this on has me dreaming of summer days!

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).

Recent Fashion Purchases: Hits and Misses

It’s that time of the year where everything seems too heavy or too light, and all the clothes you own you’re sick of. I’ve made a few purchases lately, here’s what I’ve gotten to help transition my existing closet and whether they have been hits or misses.

A by Amanda DressA by Amanda ‘Nora’ Lace-up Shift Dress

I love dresses like this, they’re easy to slip on and look put together. The fabric looked glossy like silk, the lace-up detail was fun, I figured I could pair with nude sandals and lace it up for work, add some gold bangles and heels for a night out.

The dress runs big. I got a Large and it was huge, I felt I was wearing an XL and a tall version. The sleeves almost hit my wrists, the lace-up was so low and wide you could see the little bow of my bra and a bit of the cups, and the dress was mid-knee length. The lace-up part cannot be laced up; while the lace is real the cut of the dress causes it to look weird and bunchy if you cinch it even a bit. I picked it up from the shoulders and I think if I had another two inches it wouldn’t expose at the bust, but still too big everywhere else. That being said, this is a really pretty dress that looks like silk and is well made. If you’re tall (I think at least 5’6”, likely taller if you’re not curvy), this is a great buy. Size down. For me, a fail.

_11731230Lulla Collection by Bindya ‘Bandana’ Silk Scarf – Blue

I don’t know why I ordered this scarf. I already own tons of scarves that hardly get wear. But the positive reviews and the idea of a glammed-up bandana appealed to me.

It’s nice. It’s real silk, it’s a real bandana print, and it’s a nice large size that can wrap a few times around your neck, be worn as a belt, or make a great headscarf. I like that it’s not stiff, I did fold it into an oblong and looped twice around my throat and tied it and it looked great. But I don’t need it so I returned it. If I did, I think I’d go back and get the black and white because when not worn cowboy style you can’t truly tell it’s a bandana print. I returned it, but if this is something you need, it’s a good buy.

freepeople bittersweet cold shoulder topFree People ‘Bittersweet’ Cold Shoulder Top – Black

Come summer, I like tops with a bit of interest to throw on with denim shorts. This looked like a great choice. It’s not. While it’s not as sheer as it appears on the model, it’s short. Like I’m 5’3” and there’s no way I could half-tuck it like the model because it’s a belly top. If it was longer in the front (say the same length as the back), I would have kept it. Also note this is a swing-style top – the shoulders and bust fit great but the body is really full. Fail.

topshop gathered shell topTopshop Gathered Shell Top – Black

Again, a top with interest for the summer. I thought I could wear it with pants to work, with boyfriend jeans for the weekend. This is a heavy fabric that’s a bit itchy. The neck is really small; there’s a button closure at the back and it’s not decorative – you need it to get this over your head. I ordered a 12 which they say fits like a 14; while it technically fit the armholes were tight, the whole thing fit really close and fitted, not at all like the model. And since it was heavy and fitted, the gathering looked like a manufacturing defect, not a cool detail. Fail.

rebecca minkoff mini suki orangeRebecca Minkoff ‘Mini Suki’ Crossbody Bag – Orange

My leopard Rebecca Minkoff Mini Mac is the perfect size and has held up pretty well. I wanted a more summery crossbody to carry the basics and thought this could be pretty cute (and we all know how much I love red-orange).

This bag is tiny. Not only is it tiny, the zippered opening is smaller than the width of the bag. I could hardly fit my hand into it; I can’t even fit my wallet in it. This is an essentials bag – a card holder, phone, lipstick, and keys but the size and weight isn’t one of those tiny “essentials” bag where you hardly notice it on you. It’s pretty useless of a bag, which is a shame because it’s otherwise a gorgeous bag. Fail.

Glint Mallory Wedge Heel Sandal SilverGlint ‘Mallory’ Wedge Sandal – Silver Metallic Suede

This is the kind of shoe I always wish I had in my closet. It’s seasonless, it’s perfect for outdoor weddings and cocktail parties, it can work with dresses and pants, and metallic is so easy to dress up and down.

This shoe looks exactly the same in person. It’s a very pretty shoe, and don’t let the suede confuse you.  It’s more like a sueded leather than actual suede. Too bad my feet are so chubby I couldn’t even slip my foot in under the strap to try it on. Also looking at the sole of the shoe, this looks to run narrow. If you have a slim foot, this is a lovely shoe. But for me, a fail.

J. CREW Collection featherweight cashmere striped boatneck sweaterJ. Crew Collection Featherweight Cashmere Striped Boatneck Sweater – Ash Navy Poppy

If you follow me on Snapchat you know I wore this sweater this week with my navy pinstripe Banana Republic pants, leopard pumps, and my vermilion Dagne Dover tote. So clearly I like the sweater.

This is a lightweight cashmere that is perfect for spring or fall, but it’s opaque. The poppy stripe at the neck and the arms is not poppy, it’s a neon coral. Like super bright. I personally love it, but it deserves a warning. I got an XL and it’s big, probably too big but it’s a final sale so I half-tucked it and pushed up the sleeves and the lightweight and open weave made it look (I hope) purposely slouchy and oversized. It’s super soft too. The sale price is $80, I think it’s a great price for the sweater, but I would never have paid the original $228 price for it. Hit?

J. Crew Navy Deck-striped T-shirtJ. Crew Deck-Striped T-Shirt – Navy Ivory

I got an XL. I am not an XL. This looks like I am wearing my husband’s shirt. While it’s not a dress on me, it’s big in the body, the sleeves, the shoulders. I LOVE the weave; it’s a loose knit and not too stretchy; I know this is a terrible description but this is the kind of shirt you want to throw on after a day at the beach. Though it’s huge I decided to keep it because I do love having that kind of shirt, and have it big enough that it doesn’t cling to sun-dried and salty skin and I have a fear it may shrink (haven’t yet laundered). But I like it enough that if it doesn’t shrink in the wash, I may buy one in a smaller size. FYI, it says it’s ivory but it looks more like white to me.  There’s plenty of stripes available and at the time of writing this with the promo code they’re advertising on the site the shirt is only like $24. Hit.

J. Crew silver Vintage cotton V-neck T-shirt in metallicJ. Crew Vintage Cotton V-neck Shirt in Metallic – Heather Chrome Silver

I am still looking for a good replacement to my silver shimmer linen tee from Anthro that went in the dryer. I still have it, but it can only be worn tucked in because it’s so short. I decided to try this tee from J. Crew. I got an XL.

It’s not at all like my Anthro tee but that doesn’t mean it’s awesome. It looks like a standard heathered grey v-neck tee shirt, but it’s covered with this silver finish that’s super shiny. I got it and didn’t like it too much, it was stiff and it looked as though it was painted with silver. But then I washed it, and that’s when it got awesome. It softened up, it got slouchy and finally looked like it’s vintage name and looked like it does on the model. But the shine didn’t go away. It makes people stop and compliment it especially when it catches the light. I wear it a lot, it’s more fun than a standard tee but not too dressy. Hit.

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What I Wore: Easy Like Sunday Morning

Wardrobe Oxygen wearing JAG Jeans embroidered boyfriend jeans with a J. Crew Breton stripe tee and silver oxfordstee | jeans | bracelet | shoes | lipstick | necklace

Wardrobe Oxygen wearing JAG Jeans embroidered boyfriend jeans with a J. Crew Breton stripe tee and silver oxfords Wardrobe Oxygen wearing JAG Jeans embroidered boyfriend jeans with a J. Crew Breton stripe tee and silver oxfordsTee: J. Crew (XL) | Jeans: c/o JAG Jeans (12) | Bracelet: Had forever (similar) | Shoes: Bass (similar) | Necklace: Etsy | Lipstick: Le Carmin c/o Lancome

On the weekends you’ll be likely to find me in one of my favorite striped tees and slouchy or stretchy jeans.  Add some shiny shoes and red lips and I feel put together though honestly I’m only a couple steps from being in my pajamas.  JAG Jeans sent me these embroidered boyfriend jeans after I saw them on their Instagram account and swooned.  These jeans run big and long; I recommend going down a size because they are uber stretchy, will stretch with wear, and don’t shrink in the dryer.  They also were too long for my 5’3″ self so I did what I do with many jeans that are supposed to be cuffed and ankle length – I cut them off.  I snipped off a few inches and then I sort of tight rolled them by folding over before cuffing to make them tapered and not really focusing on the cuffs being perfect.  A regular roll makes many jeans look too wide and dumpy on me, especially with my sturdy legs and solid ankles.

Wardrobe Oxygen wearing JAG Jeans embroidered boyfriend jeans with a J. Crew Breton stripe tee and silver oxfords If you find boyfriend, girlfriend, or cuffed ankle jeans look wonky, frumpy, or stumpy on you play around with the cuffs.  There is no one specific trendy way jeans need to be cuffed these days.  You can have a skinny cuff, crisp even cuffs, a single cuff, a really wide cuff, or even tight roll the ends very similar to how I and I bet many of you wore your jeans back in the late ’80s and early ’90s.  Ankle and cropped pant flattery is a matter of proportions – the height of the pant, the width of the cuff, the style of the shoe.  Have fun with it, play with it, and if it seems like too much trouble, don’t adopt this trend.  That’s another great thing about fashion right now – there’s no trends that you have to adopt to be stylish.  Wear what makes you feel good!

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: Favorites

Wardrobe Oxygen wearing a J. Crew Factory denim jacket and leopard skirt and Nine West silver pumps Wardrobe Oxygen wearing a J. Crew Factory denim jacket and leopard skirt and Nine West silver pumps Wardrobe Oxygen wearing a J. Crew Factory denim jacket and leopard skirt and Nine West silver pumps Wardrobe Oxygen wearing a J. Crew Factory denim jacket and leopard skirt and Nine West silver pumps Wardrobe Oxygen wearing a J. Crew Factory denim jacket and leopard skirt and Nine West silver pumpsJacket: J. Crew Factory (XL) | Tee: Etsy (L) | Skirt: J. Crew Factory (14) | Bag: HOBO (similar) | Bracelet: Had forever (similar) | Earrings: Amazon | Shoes: Nine West

This fall I did a journaling project where I wrote on one page all the things in my wardrobe that I truly love.  Items I’d grab in a fire, that I’d keep even if I won the lottery and could replace my entire closet.  This was a great project because it really made it clear the type of things I like (printed maxi dresses, striped shirts, leopard print anything, dark or distressed denim) the things I keep buying THINKING I love them but I don’t (leather jackets, work trousers, non-leopard printed shoes), but the best is it really helped me see what I was missing in my wardrobe.

I was missing a leopard skirt.  I had one a few years ago that was almost right, but it was too short and had a wrap style to it.  I wanted a classic straight or pencil skirt, and I wanted a fabric that had heft and texture, and the print wasn’t too brown or yellow.  So when I saw this skirt at J. Crew Factory and they were having 40% off I got it.  While I styled it here for a look I’d wear for a night out or a blogger event, this skirt is pretty versatile.  I know I’ll wear it to work with my black cashmere crew and opaque tights, a denim shirt, a silk blouse in a bold color.  It’s lined, the fabric has a great texture, and it’s a classic pattern but in a cool tone that works with my wardrobe of primarily cool neutrals and silver.  And the price was way lower than I thought I’d have to pay for such an item in my wardrobe!

This look is a bunch of favorites, items that made the page in the journal.  And come on, how funny is this shirt?  It may be about Karl Lagerfeld but considering who my husband is, it’s a favorite in the tee shirt drawer!

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What I Wore: Cool Mom

wardrobe oxygen wearing gap real straight jeans with a j. crew tee and vince camuto blazer wardrobe oxygen featuring a leopard calfhair mini mac from rebecca minkoff with a blazer jeans and silver brogues wardrobe oxygen featuring a J. Crew tee and Vince Camuto blazerBlazer: Vince Camuto (plus option) (14 Regular)| Tee: J. Crew (plus option) (Large) | Jeans: Gap (32 Ankle) | Shoes: Bass (similar) | Bag: Rebecca Minkoff (similar) | Bracelet: Had forever (similar)

I wore this outfit one Saturday as I ran errands, got my nails done, took Emerson to a birthday party, and went out to dinner.  Emerson told me she liked my outfit and said it was a “cool mom outfit.”  I know she was giving me a compliment but it only made me think of:

im-not-a-regular-mom-im-a-cool-mom-gifShe digs the heart on the tee (I think that’s what makes the look “cool” for a first grader), and I like its soft feel and that it’s a break from the band tees.  Speaking of break, after many years these silver brogues are finally broken in enough that not only was I blister-free at the end of the day, these shoes were darn comfortable too.  It reminds me of the Doc Marten break-in period back in high school; it was long but worth it in the end!

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What I Wore: The Striped Shirt

Wardrobe Oxygen featuring Rough and Tumble bag and J Crew striped tee Wardrobe Oxygen wearing a J Crew striped tee shirt Wardrobe Oxygen features a J Crew striped shirt and Rough and Tumble bag Wardrobe Oxygen featuring Gap Real Straight Jeans and a Rough and Tumble bagShirt: J. Crew (XL) | Jeans: Gap (32 S) | Shoes: Converse | Bandana: Had forever (similar) | Bracelet: Had forever (similar) | Sunglasses: Ray-Ban | Bag: Rough & Tumble Bags

Remember my post about THE STRIPED TEE? This is it. It was crazy, I thought I ordered it and then was asked what I thought about it and realized it never arrived.  I checked, it never came out of my PayPal, and I never received a confirmation email.  No idea what happened, luckily they were still in stock so I ordered again.  And well… it’s the darn closest I have found! It’s a better quality knit, better made, has washed great without any change in size or condition. The stripes are a bit smaller and not even, but I still like it (I bought two and am glad about it). Like my original striped tee, this is a relaxed fit, not one to tuck in or try to glam up. I wore this look the other weekend running errands, and then unrolled the jeans, slipped on my Chelsea boots and my black puffer vest for the evening.

I haven’t featured this bag on the blog for almost a year (previous posts with it) but use it regularly.  This past Wednesday I used it when Emerson and I went to see Gloria Steinem speak at the Sixth and I Synagogue; it was big enough to hold stuff for both of us and easily switches from shoulder to crossbody.  Saturday morning, a friend stopped by and asked about the bag and wondered how it worked as a backpack and I realized I never used it in such a manner.  So that day I decided to wear it as a backpack and I gotta say it’s pretty comfortable and easy to use and slip back to a standard bag. This bag has been through a lot, carried heavy and awkward loads and still looks like new.  Made in the USA by a woman-owned company?  Big fan!

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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 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: Laid Back Leopard

Wardrobe Oxygen featuring a J. Crew Factory denim jacket with a Talbots leopard ponte dress and Vionic Chelsea boots Wardrobe Oxygen featuring Vionic Chelsea boots and a tote from Adora Bags Wardrobe Oxygen featuring a Talbots leopard ponte dress Wardrobe Oxygen wearing a Talbots leopard ponte dress and J. Crew Factory denim jacketDress: c/o Talbots (14 petite) | Jacket: J. Crew Factory (XL) | Tights: Hue | Bracelet: Had forever (similar) | Earrings: Etsy | Bag: c/o Adora Bags | Shoes: Nadelle Chelsea Boot c/o Vionic

I regularly take my ponte and knit workday frocks and dress them down for the weekend. They’re stretchy, comfortable, machine washable (gentle cycle and line dry), and when paired with tights and flat shoes it makes a great look for dashing around town and still be pulled together enough for going straight to dinner at a restaurant or brunch with friends.  I couldn’t resist this dress from Talbots; love the blue hint in the print and the exposed back zipper!

Vionic offered to send me their Nadelle Chelsea Boot and I was excited. I’ve featured Chelsea boots in so many capsules and advice posts but didn’t have a pair myself to style and show on me what I was talking about. This pair was recently featured in O Magazine.  A Chelsea boot is a wardrobe workhorse; while it clearly works with jeans and pants, this look shows how you can also wear them with dresses and skirts. When you’re petite and/or curvy, having a shorter hemline balances a sturdier shoe and a low heel. Having your shoe match your legs also elongates your figure. The Nadelle Chelsea boot is extremely comfortable as well as a classic; recommended by Dr. Andrew Weil, the shoe features Orthaheel Technology, a biomechanic orthotic footbed that naturally aligns your feet and may help to relieve heel pain by reducing over-pronation. Vionic feels these shoes run big; I ordered my regular 8 and think they are perfect because the arch support is in the right place and the footbed cradles properly.

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What I Wore: Hanging Out

WO21 WO22 WO23Romper: Love in Harlem | Denim Jacket: J. Crew Factory | Sunglasses: Ray-Ban | Sandals: Birkenstocks | Earrings: Amazon | Bracelet: Had forever (similar) | Necklace: Chain with various charms I’ve collected over the years

In my reader survey one of the things many of you requested is pictures of more casual of outfits. You want to see what I wear hanging out at home, or when I’m running errands. Well here’s reality! I got this romper-eque thing on Amazon and it’s a favorite. It’s runs SUPER big; this is a Small and it’s clearly still quite roomy. I was torn which color to get; I chose Navy but next summer may get another in a more fun color.  In the summer I wear with my skinny-strap bra and my Birks when just running errands but have paired with metallic sandals and even a belt to dress it up. Now that it’s cooler I’m pairing it with my denim jacket when I step out, a sweater jacket or poncho when in the house. When it comes to super casual and loungewear, I often veer to a more boho feel which is looser, more relaxed, more funky prints and silhouettes and comfort trumps fashion. These silver Birkenstocks are a favorite; they’re like a massage for my feet after a week in pumps, heels, and career shoes and though some of the silver has worn away with age,I still dig the metallic finish. Wearing accessories is an easy way to make loungewear look less bummy; a pair of hoops or a pendant necklace can do a lot to jazz up a look without sacrificing comfort or ease!

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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What I Wore: Subtle Shine

wardrobe oxygen 1 jacket | tee | jeans | sunglasses | bag | shoes

wardrobe oxygen 5 wardrobe oxygen 6 Jacket: c/o Stella Carakasi (L) | Tee: J. Crew (XL) | Jeans: Gap (32 Short) | Shoes: VANELi c/o Marmi Shoes (similar) | Bag: Rough & Tumble Designs | Sunglasses: Ray-Ban

wardrobe oxygen 7 wardrobe oxygen 3I’ve been craving a moto jacket, but most leather jackets are just too stiff for what I desire.  Stella Carakasi reached out and asked if I’d like to try a piece from their collection and I was immediately drawn to the Discover Jacket.  Made of a water resistant blend of cotton and metal, this fabric is soft enough to flatter my curves yet structured enough to be a proper jacket.  With a cool metallic finish and black metal accents, this is a jacket that can work for the office or be a relaxed topper for the weekend.

wardrobe oxygen 4Stella Carakasi is a California-based designer who creates affordable luxury fashion while making a positive impact on local and global communities through her design, commerce, and sponsorship. Focusing on eco-friendly materials and sustainable manufacturing methods, the brand comes in sizes XS (2-4) through XL (16) and from what I have tried, I find the sizing to be generous.  I know many of you have been looking for sustainable fashion brands that go past a size 10; so far I am impressed by Stella Carakasi and look forward to trying more of the collection and sharing it with you!

What I Wore: Olive Accent

Wardrobe Oxygen featuring a J. Crew Factory denim jacket and striped tee with JAG Jeans Erin cuffed ankle pant Wardrobe Oxygen featuring a J. Crew Factory denim jacket and striped tee with JAG Jeans Erin cuffed ankle pantPants: c/o JAG Jeans (14) | Tee: J. Crew Factory (XL) | Jacket: J. Crew Factory (XL) | Boots: Nadelle Chelsea Boot c/o Vionic | Sunglasses: Ray-Ban | Bag: Rough & Tumble Bags | Necklace: Etsy | Silver cuff: Had forever (similar) | Beaded Bracelet: c/o Joseph Nogucci

This is the denim jacket and tee from my real-life capsule wardrobe. As I showed in this post, I wore them the other weekend with my dark jeans and silver sneakers. Since then, I slipped on a step on my deck one rainy morning letting my dog out and broke my left big toe. I don’t need a cast on the toe, but the only shoe right now that is roomy, comfortable, and supportive enough in my wardrobe are these Chelsea boots from Vionic (previously seen here on the blog). So I’ve been spending the past week dressing more around these shoes than sticking 100% to my wardrobe.

Wardrobe Oxygen featuring a J. Crew Factory denim jacket and striped tee with JAG Jeans Erin cuffed ankle pant Wardrobe Oxygen featuring a J. Crew Factory denim jacket and striped tee with JAG Jeans Erin cuffed ankle pantJAG Jeans sent me their Erin cuffed ankle and I’ve been wearing them non-stop since. They look like twill or denim but they’re made with their Freedom Knit which on the inside looks and acts more like a sweatshirt.  They stretch but retain their shape, are a nice weight, and a great alternative to jeggings or yoga pants for the weekend.

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What I Wore: No Red Cups

Wardrobe Oxygen wearing a Modamix vest from Gwynnie Bee, JAG Jeans Foster Bootcut, and Dagne Dover limited edition Mini Tote in leather Wardrobe Oxygen wearing a Modamix vest from Gwynnie Bee, JAG Jeans Foster Bootcut, and Dagne Dover limited edition Mini Tote in leatherTee: J. Crew (on sale!) (XL) | Vest: Modamix via Gwynnie Bee (14W) | Jeans: Foster Bootcut c/o JAG (on sale!) (14) | Shoes: ‘Nadelle’ Chelsea c/o Vionic (on sale!) | Bag: c/o Dagne Dover | Necklace: Stella & Dot | Bracelet: Rebecca Minkoff (similar)

These pictures were yesterday; I had the day off work and ran around town. Dropped Emerson off at school, went to the post office to pick up a registered package and drop off Poshmark sales, hit the bank, Staples, and two different grocery stores to get everything we need to host Christmas Day brunch. We stopped off at Starbucks… and they were already out of red cups! I was surprised that I actually cared and was sad about it. So weird how such minor things can make such an impact.

Speaking of impact, I couldn’t believe how many compliments I got with this vest! Vests are such an easy way to upgrade a look. I was not feeling fancy this day, a comfortable tee, stretchy jeans, my most comfortable flat boots but the addition of the vest had strangers telling me I looked nice and asking me where I got the vest and the bag. Gwynnie Bee is fantastic for those little wardrobe updates like vests and jackets; click this link to try Gwynnie Bee free for 30 days.

And the bag… oh the bag! This is a limited edition leather Mini Tote from Dagne Dover and it is even more awesome in person! While classic Dagne Dover bags aren’t leather, this one is quality smooth leather with a bold white and black print and matte black hardware. I reviewed the Mini Tote from Dagne Dover before, check out this post to read the details of this brilliantly designed bag!

What I Wore: Wet Weather Hike

rain3 rain2Jacket: Calvin Klein (similar, plus size option) | Tee: J. Crew Factory (similar) | Leggings: Zella (plus option) | Boots: Sidney c/o Bogs | Sunglasses: Ray-Ban

Sticking with “keeping it real and casual”, this is what I wore with the family for a light hike in the woods behind our house, no makeup and bedhead hardly brushed out. It was around 65 degrees and misty with chances of rain, and the ground was soggy. It was the kind of day that you don’t want to get out of bed which means that’s exactly the kind of day where us Garys put on our boots and force ourselves outside!

I bought this packable rain anorak from Calvin Klein I think before Emerson was even born; it’s a bit snug now (especially when it’s that time of the month and my bust is double its normal size), but still comfortable and a great truly waterproof layer. Under I wore a bracelet-length tee shirt; if it was colder I’d switch out the tee for my Zella running half-zip (no longer available, this one from Nike is similar). The leggings are for cold weather and so awesome I have two pairs; I wear them for hikes and morning walks but have also been known to throw them on when hanging out at home (I may be wearing them as I type this…). A pair of wool socks and these waterproof boots have me comfortably walking through mud and deep puddles without a care.

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

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!