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.
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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
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
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
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.).
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).
Tee: J. Crew Factory (L) | Shorts: Target, very old and self-distressed (similar) | Bag: Rebecca Minkoff (this year’s version) | Bag Strap: Rebecca Minkoff | Sterling Silver Earrings: ASOS | Sunglasses: Ray-Ban | Bracelet: Had forever (similar) | Shoes: Adidas
Karl’s is quite the gardener; a good percentage of our backyard is raised beds of vegetables and herbs but he also has a plot at the community garden. I came by his community garden plot after running around town to check out how things are growing and it’s so exciting! Baby watermelon and cucumbers, lots of green tomatoes, and we’ve already enjoyed kale, collards, lettuce, and peppers. It’s so beautiful and serene there, and I love how each plot is so different, showing the style of each gardener.
I think this may be the last summer of my beloved denim shorts. I bought these at Target at least four years ago (see them on the blog four years ago) and self-distressed them. As you can tell from the 2012 post, they have gotten even more beat up and fabulous with the years. However when putting them on this weekend my toe got caught in one of the holes and though I hardly pulled it still tore a bit. The denim is paper thin and they’re starting to look sad, but I love them so. My legs may not be as firm as they were four years ago but that’s not stopping me from wearing shorts. Not going to sweat my booty off for fear that someone may side-eye my cellulite and sags. I’ll wear these until they fall apart. Heck, I’m wearing them again as I’m writing this post!
I used to believe that if you wore a trend the first go round you shouldn’t when they return. The older I get the more I wish to break such rules. When I was in high school, we called Adidas Superstar sneakers shell tops; I’d pair them with a Champion sweatshirt and matching knit shorts and likely a herringbone chain necklace and half a can of Aqua Net. I knew Karl was a keeper back in 1993 when I saw he too was a big fan and wearer of the shell tops (and could rock some Adidas slides with socks like nobody’s business!). When Adidas came back in full force, both Karl and I broke that rule. He’s been wearing the shower slides consistently since the ’90s, but this spring I bought these (a twist on the classic with a croco finish and white stripes) and Karl got these badass printed ones. A tip if you wish to buy trendy sneakers: check to see if they’re available in Big Kids sizes because they’re often cheaper. I wear a size 8 Women but got these in Big Kids size 6 for way less than the adult price. We may have taken advantage of the Adidas trend the second time around, but don’t expect to see me in a yellow Champion set or a herringbone necklace any time soon!
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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.
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!
As I mentioned in this post, I wasn’t sure if I would keep this dress. But with a pressing of the pockets, I like it much better and decided it would be great for travel and for both casual and dressy days this summer. I think I’ll have the straps shortened a tiny bit so it’s not quite so low-cut.
As for the scarf, this is one I have wanted for years and found brand new, tags still attached on Poshmark. I love Diane von Furstenberg, and loved how this large square silk scarf is a cool blend of colors, but is also her portrait. This picture gives a good example of the size of the scarf; this picture shows von Furstenberg with the Warhol above her. I’ve had a lot of success on Poshmark, both selling and buying. While I can’t set alerts like I can with eBay, I find the prices more reasonable and love that shipping is always the same format and sellers strive for honesty, speed, and quality. Have you tried Poshmark? If not, check out my post about the app!
I called this post basics because this look is all wardrobe basics. While the dress and scarf are new, the concepts are not unfamiliar to my wardrobe. I stick mainly to a wardrobe of simple pieces like this denim jacket and dress, but update with personality-filled accessories like leopard print pumps, a scarf, or necklace with a bunch of personal charms. Accessories are a great way to give basics multiple lives over multiple seasons!
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I haven’t become athletic, I’m not on a diet, but I’ve changed what I eat slightly for health and wellness reasons and it’s changed my body a lot. I’m not pounds thinner or a different size but everything has shifted and all my spring and summer clothes from last year fit weird. So I’ve been shopping and here’s the results, hits and misses…
I love Halogen, it fits me great. I thought this would be a great alternative to a midi dress for summer. I loved that since it was a wide leg jumpsuit it would look like a dress, but prevent chub rub. I ordered an XL Petite.
This jumpsuit fits amazingly well, and the straps are placed nicely so I can wear a standard bra and they don’t show. And it does look a bit like a midi skirt and hit at a place on me that looked really nice with a pair of pumps or a nude heel. This is dressy looking, not something to throw on with sandals.
However, this was returned because there’s no way in hell I could pee. It’s so tailored on top, I needed Karl to zip me up. Then you have this long self-belt that wraps twice around your body. If you had to use the bathroom, it would take several minutes to undo everything, then you’d have to hold onto those straps so they didn’t drag on the floor or fall into the toilet, and then to get dressed again you’d need a full length mirror to get everything right, possibly a friend to zip you up, and you may want the ability to see the back view to ensure the straps are lined up. Come on designers, humans need to urinate on a regular basis, why make it so hard? Men don’t have trendy fashion that prevents their ability to eliminate. Why do we have do decide between hydration and fashion? Boo on you Halogen. Oh, and it doesn’t have pockets. So FAIL.
I bought this dress in black in large. Leith is hit and miss with me, but this looked like a perfect summer dress I could wear to work with a jacket or cardigan or for a summer evening with sandals or heels. And it is. It’s a heavyweight, tightly woven knit with a refined finish that could dress up or down nicely. Though I am short, the skirt ended at a nice midi length between knee and ankle. It drapes just like it does on the model. However, it’s low cut. Not so low cut that I can’t wear it, but low cut enough that I have only one bra in my collection that doesn’t show. If it was petite, that situation likely would be remedied (and if I like it enough I may get the straps shortened to accomplish this). The one thing that has me torn whether to keep or not is the pockets. While I love me some pockets, these sort of ruin the line and make it look more casual. They’re of the same heavyweight fabric and aren’t deep enough to drape nicely, so they sort of add a bit of puckering and are obviously pockets. I haven’t tried pressing them, and I only tried it on twice, so we’ll see. For now it’s in my closet with tags still attached. If you’re taller, this could be a super awesome dress as it’s only $68 but could pass for an over $100 dress. So… WIN? I’ll keep you posted…
I am putting both of these together because they are essentially the same top. I got both in Large. I returned both as soon as I slipped them over my head. I don’t know the online reviews are so darn positive but I thought these were really cheesy looking and cheap. The sleeves weren’t flattering, the top draped weird and hit at a strange length. I felt I looked like a bridesmaid that got in a bar fight. FAIL
I was slow to the bomber jacket trend, but was thinking how cute they look with a simple tank or tee and shorts or girlfriend jeans… or even over a little dress. Imagine an olive bomber over a striped tee dress with some slip-on sneakers, a great alternative to a denim jacket or cardigan. Anyway… I got this bomber jacket in a 12 (which supposedly fits like a 14). I could hardly fit my arms into the sleeves yet the body was huge and voluminous, and not in an oversized cool way. And see where the jacket hits on the model? On my 5’3” self it hit past the crotch. FAIL.
This is the kind of dress female corporate Americans desire. It looks polished and professional yet won’t cause you to overheat. I envisioned switching out the belt for one of leather, pairing with a blazer or cardigan when needed, and then rocking it on the weekend with a pair of tan flat sandals.
I think I’ve ordered a version of this dress from LOFT every spring and every spring I return it because it looks like a sack. I think this is a great dress if you’re slim or firm. But it’s a faux-silk sack with a few strategic pleats to remove any trace of body definition, and tries to bring it back with a thin cord that hits at an unnatural place on the torso. It’s a piece I could make work with the right belt and shoes and maybe a necklace… but summer clothing shouldn’t require so much effort. FAIL
Reviews said these were too big which meant they’d be the perfect size for big-earring loving me. Right? Wrong. These are not big, their meh size (maybe as wide as a quarter and about the height of a quarter and a dime) made them look dated. Seriously I think my mom rocked similar earrings in 1989. FAIL
This was on clearance and then 50% off so I can’t return it even if I wanted to. I got a Large Regular. This dress is fine. It’s not something that ‘sparks joy’ when I put it on, but it’s something that fits, is relatively flattering, and incredibly versatile. As I type this, I’m wearing it with my denim jacket and Clarks suede booties. And well, it was cheap as anything and doesn’t feel cheap (hello ottoman rib). It’s not too tight or short for work, it’s a good throw on with Birks and head to Target dress. So yeah, it’s not awesome but it’s still a WIN.
Another striped dress on clearance and even cheaper with a promo code. They didn’t have L so I got an XL. An XL is too big, it was gaping at the boatneck, the sleeves covered my whole hands, it’s tent-like and hangs below my knees. Ugh, and it was final sale. But washer and dryer to the rescue, it shrunk like most LOFT clothes do and now it’s super cute! The sleeves are longer than you see on the model, so I likely won’t wear this a lot (come on summer!), but it will be great in the fall. WIN.
I got this in petite large. It’s huge. It’s mid to bottom of knee, full enough to be able to wear second trimester. But I thought it was cute in a boho relaxed way and having it off the shoulder I felt balanced the volume. I slipped on some gold gladiator sandals, a couple gold delicate necklaces and my Panama hat and was like, Oh Em Gee I am totes wearing this as an outfit post and then to the farmers market!
Then Karl walked into the room and said, “Does that come with a belt?” So I tried it with my raffia and leather belt, my tan wrap belt, and both looked lame. I asked if it looked boho cool and he said, “Yes, if you’re pregnant.” I took off the hat and really looked at it. The fabric is crinkly, but it’s poly and I started thinking how it could be itchy and hot in the summer. The length was too long, if it hit top of the knee it would be better. A medium would be too tight in the top. So I returned it. I bet it would have looked smashing in an outfit post, but in everyday life bopping along the path between stalls at the farmers market I’d end up bumping into an old college friend who would end up asking me when I was due. So yeah, no thank you LOFT. FAIL.
Oh I dream of slouchy shirts, the sleeves pushed up carelessly but with such a chic effect. Linen, silk, washed chambray, tencel. Maybe one button too many unbuttoned at the collar, exposing a hint of cleavage and a cool necklace. The last buttons unbuttoned, just the ones done to keep me from exposing too much. Pair with skinny white jeans, half-tuck into some girlfriend jeans or denim cut-offs, wear alone with sexy bedhead while I drink coffee in a window seat. The reviews said this shirt was soft and longer than most chambray shirts, woot!
I dream of this look, but it rarely works on me. I am not willowy and I do not own a window seat. And this shirt didn’t accomplish this effect. It looked like something I’d pick up at Goodwill to wear when painting the house. The color was terrible, the wash was dated, it was not soft enough, slouchy enough. Looked more like part of a uniform. I know so many of you love J.Jill but I swear I’ve tried this same tunic on at their store and have seen many women over 40 wear it and look like they’re going to work on an assembly line while they likely feel they look as though they’re sipping coffee in a window seat. Women, we can do better. FAIL
This is one trend I wanted to adopt this spring. I so thought it would work with my current wardrobe, over Breton tops and band tees, with printed skirts and white jeans. I’ve now tried five different ones and they all look hideous. This one fits, but the chambray color isn’t interesting enough and just looks like a dull blue jacket. The cut is really basic and didn’t look cool or modern or flattering, just like something that I could have purchased at JC Penney in 1991. FAIL
I ordered a 32 in regular and petite. They may be cute but I couldn’t slip them over my calves so I’ll never know. FAIL
I’ve always had luck sizing up with shorts, less likely to ride up or get wonky in the crotch. Also with thicker thighs, it provides more breathing room. This was not a good choice with these shorts. I got a 16. Karl said they looked like the bottom of the suit Julia Roberts wore in Pretty Woman. Pretty accurate. They fit in the waist but ballooned everywhere else making me look frump da dump. I can’t even tell if they’d be cute in a different size, I doubt it would work because the waist would be too small. These also were surely too long for me (I’d do better with 5″). That being said the color is pretty (it’s like a hot coral) whcih I felt would be fun with denim, chambray, and all my stripes… but these shorts were a big ass (literally) FAIL.
I have this shirt in silver and love it. When it went on mega sale I got this thinking it was like rose gold. It is not like rose gold. It is the same exact color as my skin, but sparkly. Call me Edward Cullen. This may be great if you have a darker skintone, but for me it’s a FAIL
I thought this shirt was this shirt on sale so I ordered in a different color combo. It is not the same shirt. This is stiffer, and far shorter. See how short it is on the model? It’s also that short on me. It was not cute. FAIL
Cotton/linen blend and cap sleeves seemed like a smart choice for my striped-obsessed self for the dog days of summer. I got an XL so I could wear it casually with shorts or knot it with a skirt. This is itchy and fit super weird and wasn’t light and breezy like other linen blend tees from J. Crew. FAIL
So yeah, this is a long post but as you can see, I only kept three dresses and none of them were anything holy grail perfect. So I’m still on the hunt. Have you had any success lately? Share in the comments, you may inspire me and other readers, or help us find exactly what we need to complete our wardrobes!
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!
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!
While 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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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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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!
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:
She 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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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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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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Romper: 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!
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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Jumpsuit: Loveappella (L) | Jacket: J. Crew Factory (XL) | Shoes: VANELi c/o Marmi Shoes (on sale!) | Bag: Love,Cortnie (same brand, very similar) | Earrings: eBay | Sunglasses: Ray-Ban | Belt: Steven by Steve Madden (M/L) | Lipstick: Le Carmin c/o Lancome
Does this look familiar? I wore almost this same look on the blog last summer. This jumpsuit (which is still available) has been a great purchase; it’s stretchy, lightweight and best of all, it doesn’t require one to be double-jointed to use the facilities! This denim jacket from J. Crew Factory has been such a good buy; it gets better with each wear and washing. Wardrobe staples don’t have to be expensive or classic styles, it’s about your personal style, your life, your figure as to what becomes closet workhorses. For some it may be a trench or a crisp white shirt, for others it may be a distressed denim jacket and a jersey jumpsuit!
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Sweater: 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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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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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Pants: 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.
JAG 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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I’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.
Stella 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!