Search Results for: label/nine west

What I Wore: Air Flow

wardrobe oxygen what I Wore Gap Real Straight Jeans Karen Kane Messh Top Nine West Pumps wardrobe oxygen what I Wore Rough Tumble bag Ray Ban Aviators Nine West Flax wardrobe oxygen what I wore Gap Real Straight Jeans Karen Kane Top Rough Tumble Bag

Mesh top: c/o Karen by Karen Kane (similar) | Tank: c/o J.Jill | Jeans: Gap | Shoes: Nine West (similar) | Bag: Rough & Tumble | Sunglasses: Ray-Ban | Bracelet: Had forever (similar) | Lipstick: MaryKay ‘Mystic Plum’

If you follow me on Instagram you know I wore this look to work Friday. Karen Kane was sweet enough to send me this awesome mesh sweatshirt this spring but then the whole cast situation made it impossible to wear. Once the cast came off this was one of the first long-sleeved tops I made sure to wear.  The jeans are the ones from Gap I mentioned in this post; after some weird years I find Gap to again be a destination for quality but reasonably priced denim.

And this bag I continue to adore; no need to buy a trendy brand name to enjoy high quality and style.  I found Rough & Tumble on Etsy and am thrilled to see they are growing, now with an e-commerce site.  A woman-owned business with everything made here in the USA?  Yes please!

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My Must-Have Shoes for Fall and Winter

In the warmer months I get creative with my shoes. Yellow wedge sandals? Why not? Silver Birkenstocks? An unexpected staple! But come fall and winter, my shoe collection gets far simpler and more utilitarian. This is my current cold weather shoe wardrobe for 2014/2015:

 

must have shoes fall winter

1. Sneakers. Now that I’m walking almost every morning, my sneakers have become some of my favorite shoes. These aren’t the exact ones I have but a similar style and price to my discontinued and nicely discounted New Balances via 6pm. New Balance fits my chubby feet and short toes.

2. Brown Riding Boots. Pictured are the DUO Santanas, the very boots I have (seen here and here). As a petite woman, I love how these boots are a bit shorter, elongating my leg and ending at a comfortable height. As a woman with large calves, shins, and ankles I love how these boots fit comfortably (you order DUO boots by the centimeter so they’re a great choice for narrow, average, or wide calves and the customer reviews help you narrow down the styles best for your specific leg shape). I wear these over skinny jeans or with tights and skirts or dresses.

3. Black Heeled Booties. For many years I have worn the Cole Haan Air Talia bootie (discontinued, very similar and cheaper option) and while I still have and love (in fact just got back from the cobbler for a reheeling), the round toe looked weird with fuller trousers. I just picked up the ‘Coolen’ from Jessica Simpson and love the pointed toe, sleek heel, and the wider top that is more comfortable with my thicker ankles and shins. I wear under jeans and trousers, but also over skinny jeans and with tights and dresses.

4. Statement Heels. Last winter I picked up a pair of silver pumps from Nine West (no longer available, similar concept) and was surprised by how much wear I got with them. They add some fun to dark jeans, jazz up an LBD, and look cool peeking out of black trousers for an evening out. The closed toe is more comfortable on frigid nights but the pointed toe, high heel, and silver color makes them dressy enough for most affairs on my social calendar.

5. Wedges. A wedge is far easier to wear for long periods of time; these are my go-to when I know I’ll be on my feet but still want a bit of lift. The booties I have are the Nine West ‘Lottie’ which are discontinued (and not as tall as the one pictured), but this one from Anne Klein is similar in style. I wear with black tights and dresses, but have also worn under fuller trousers where the wedge isn’t as prominently on display.

6. Leopard Pumps. I have more than one pair of leopard pumps, but the ones featured are the Nine West ‘Ugogirl’ which are my newest leopard purchase and my current fave. A leopard shoe is extremely versatile and adds interest to an outfit of neutrals (which I often wear in the winter; hello black with more black and maybe a splash of denim). I like that these have a chunkier heel giving me more support, but a pointed toe which elongates my short frame.

7. Stylish Waterproof Boots. SOREL sent me these boots in September (review here) and they’re a great option for folks like me who have all her pants hemmed for heels. These can tuck under trousers or be laced up over skinny jeans and the grippy sole makes me feel more secure on slick DC sidewalks.

8. Casual Winter Boots. I picked these Treton boots up last winter on clearance at 6pm and they’re one of the best winter purchases I have made. Lined with shearling, the boots are super cozy and comfy. The wide opening makes them easy to slip on over thick socks and when still half-asleep letting Cindy out in the morning. I keep these at the backdoor to go to the compost and let out Cindy; slip leggings inside them and my track or snow pants over them for snow shoveling or sledding, and often slip them over skinny jeans to walk Cindy or a quick run to the grocery store or Starbucks. Previously I had a pair of duck boots (RIP), and even earlier (and likely somewhere in my attic or at the bottom of my office closet) I wore Tims.  Winter happens and function trumps fashion when it comes to weather.

9. Classic Black Pumps. I wear these almost year-round with skirts, dresses, and trousers. Come the coldest months I switch out to booties, but these still hold a place in my closet for the occasional client meeting or day wedding.  My personal favorites are MICHAEL Michael Kors ‘Flex’ and Nine West ‘Flax’.

10. Tall Black Boots I actually have two pairs; a black flat riding boot I bought two years ago from DUO Boots (very similar, same retailer), and a sleeker heeled boot with an almond toe that I got at Wide Widths almost a decade ago (same style, same retailer).  I wear riding boots over jeggings, leggings, skinny jeans several days a week come winter.  I use a protective spray on them so they keep me dry and salt doesn’t eat away the finish.  Tall boots are warmer than trousers alone; I usually add warmth with a pair of knee-high wool or cashmere socks (and sometimes a sock liner for extra tootsie insulation).  Heeled boots are worn with tights to make dresses bearable past Thanksgiving.

11. Slippers with a Rubber Sole. My shearling mocs from Lands’ End are what I put on as soon as I get home from work, have at the side of my bed when I go to sleep, and the first thing I put on when I wake. I like having a rubber sole so I can step out to the recycling bin or mailbox but also to not slip and slide on our hardwood floors and stairs. To keep down utility bills, I wear a cap and these slippers all winter long when indoors and these are uber comfortable.

What are your must-have shoes for fall and winter?

All About the Summer Shoes

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

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

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

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

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

fall shioe must have collection

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

halogen marlie calfhair leopard gray pump

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

rockport aqua wedge peep toe seven

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

nine west ugogirl calfhair leopard

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

nine west flax

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

popular summer shoes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What I Wore: Ikat Believe It

Jacket: LOFT (similar) | Tank: c/o J.Jill | Pants: LOFT | Shoes: Nine West | Bracelet: Rebecca Minkoff | Lipstick: Korres Guava Lipstick in Wine Red

I swore off LOFT for a while, the quality had really gone downhill and the sizing was inconsistent. However, this winter I tried them again and found some great wardrobe staples that were the quality I remembered from before and a 14 petite pant, especially in the “Julie” cut fits me quite nicely. I haven’t really been a pants person in recent years, but after being in a cast so long I really enjoy more effortless clothing and pants allow me freedom. I’ve been gravitating towards more pants for the workweek, and have to say most of the pants I now own are LOFT.

While I paired the pants in this post with an ivory jacket, I wore them to work with a black boatneck tee (see here on Instagram) and out to dinner with a bright green silk drapey sleeveless top.  Crazypants can be versatile!

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What to Wear for Family Portraits

We’re planning a family reunion to surprise my grandma for her 80th birthday. The big event planned is a professional family photo. We have agreed on jewel tones and solid blacks or grey, but I am not quite sure what photographs well, is stylish and won’t have me cringing 20 years from now. I am a size 14, busty and my style tends to trend a bit rocker chic. The color of the items is less important, but what do you think I should lean towards in regards to shape, material and style?

what to wear for a family portrait

You lucked out with the color scheme! Not only is this easy to find at any pricepoint, size, and personal style, but it’s also going to look less dated in a decade or two.

Some colors just don’t photograph well, and one of those is red. Luckily, there’s a ton of other jewel tones available that are far more flattering. I recommend going with a true jewel tone instead of a primary – emerald or teal in place of Kelly green, berry or violet instead of purple, garnet or merlot over red. The color should be one that you like, as your relatives will likely be wearing all different shades.

I’d recommend a knit top in a saturated color – ponte knit, merino wool, silk knit, and silk jersey all hold color really nicely, drape well over curves, and will look better in a photo than a traditional jersey knit. When it comes to the top, neckline makes all the difference. The photographer will likely have some of you standing, others sitting, so the body will end up blending into a sea of jewel tones and black. Choosing an interesting neckline will flatter your face, elongate your neck, and possibly slim the look of your figure. Scoop, surplice (faux wrap), and v-necklines are usually the most flattering, but depending on your personal style you may prefer a square or boatneck.

For the bottom, I recommend black over gray. I bet most of your relatives will also wear black, so you will blend in. Not only that, choosing black pants or black skirt and opaque tights with black shoes makes current trends for hemlines, shoes, and cuts not as obvious when admiring the photo in the future. Keep accessories to a minimum for that is what dates a look the most. Maybe a small necklace or a small pair of earrings, but no statement pieces. A photograph like this is about your family, not your personal style. However, if you have a favorite piece of jewelry that was a gift from your grandma or a family heirloom, it would be a lovely touch to wear it for the shoot.

As for hair and makeup, no matter how classic you try to make it, it will still look dated in 25 years. I love watching historical dramas from the ‘70s and ‘80s and how they thought feathered hair or rust-colored streaks under the cheekbones looked historically accurate. Just be yourself, but the most polished version of yourself. This post on how to prepare for a professional headshot offers suggestions on how to do your hair and makeup for any photo shoot.

Finally, SMILE! Your grandma and your family for years to come will far more enjoy a genuine grin than a sophisticated pout or wan smile. They’ve seen your teeth, your gums, your cheekbones, your chin at Thanksgiving and your cousin’s wedding, this is not the time to be self-conscious or do weird faces in an attempt to look younger, thinner, or different. This is your family, they deserve the real and happy you. For there is nothing more attractive than a genuinely happy person!

Nordstrom Clearance Sale – Best Buys Under $100

If you follow Wardrobe Oxygen on Facebook (which you should, I share lots of content there that I don’t share anywhere else and the discussions in the comments can get quite good), you know that Nordstrom is having a clearance sale, and I’m pretty impressed with what is available at a nice price. I felt this sale was so good and I was getting too annoying with my posts on Facebook that I had to share my faves here on the blog. A lot of these deals are better than Nordstrom’s Anniversary Sale prices, and there’s a lot of winter must-haves available. Below I share my opinion on great buys and all are under $100:

Shoes:

Nordstrom has the best sales on shoes; if you stalk their sales you can get shoes up to 70% off, and unlike other sale sites, you can easily return any shoes that are wrong for free, and no sale is final.

  1. The ‘Oaklee’ Pump by DV for Dolce Vita is a great alternative to my now-discontinued silver pumps from Nine West, and a great price of $47.37. Also available in black leather, blush and red suede, this shoe gets rave reviews from Nordstrom customers.
  2. Another great shoe from DV for Dolce Vita is the ‘Posie’; that perfect suede wedge bootie that goes with every cut of denim in your wardrobe. In black and tan suede, this shoe can slip under straight and boot cut styles and will also look great with cuffed boyfriend and skinny jeans (add a ragg sock to fill in the space between jean and shoe). A wedge makes height easy to walk in, and the price of $49.96 isn’t too tough on your wallet.
  3. I’ve been a fan of the elegant ‘Moveover’ flat from BP. for a long while and regularly feature it in my capsule wardrobes. Right now, red and cobalt patent and silver leather are on sale for $33.46. If you’re looking for a holiday shoe that’s festive yet flat, this is for you. Pair the silver with a LBD or velvet ankle pants for a comfortable yet chic party look.
  4. I’ve always loved the look of Chuck Taylors but never found them comfortable… until I tried their Shorelines. The elasticized back plus a slightly different shape makes them a weekend favorite for me year-round. Three slightly sparkly colors of the Shoreline are on sale for $36.81 and would look great this winter as well as come spring and summer.
  5. Fun shoes are fine and good, but sometimes you need to be practical. The ‘Blast III’ snow boot from Trotters is subtle enough to handle your office commute, but sturdy enough to survive a tough winter. Available in four widths and only $57.40, this is a great winter buy.
  6. I own the ‘Marlie’ pump from Halogen in gray leopard and find it sexy yet quite comfortable. This sale has the black and red calfhair versions on sale for $60.26.
  7. I find BP. shoes to be quite comfortable and well made for their low prices. Their ‘Andover’ bootie is one of those classics that will look stylish now and years from now. Slip under jeans and more casual work trousers, or pair with tights and dresses. Available in cognac and black for $66.96
  8. Always nice to find a rainboot with some style! The ‘Devenport’ rain boot from MICHAEL Michael Kors looks like an engineer boot but will let you comfortably slog through slush and puddles. On sale for $76.97, these are the kind of boots you don’t need to take off as soon as you get to your destination.
  9. Doc Martens are a classic, and the ‘1460 W’ boot from them fits this season’s grunge theme, but is also a useful boot to wear under pants or over tights and leggings and stay warm and dry all winter. On sale for $80.77
  10. I adore these shiny silver or gold sneakers from MICHAEL Michael Kors – what a great way to add style without sacrificing comfort! On sale for $83.71, these will add shine and style to all your wardrobe basics.
  11. Hello, a knee-high wide calf boot under $100? Yes please! The BP. ‘Burton’ boot has moto-inspired details that are on trend yet a classic and the $87.06 price is very nice.
  12. For those who don’t have wide calves, the ‘Aragosta’ tall moto boot from Nine West is also pretty awesome, and has the awesome price of $88.89.

Bags and Accessories

  1. Nordstrom sales are when I pick up most of my scarves. They have great deals at that time, and you can find some pieces that end up being wardrobe favorites. I love this ‘Folklore Floral’ scarf from Tasha; both colors are pretty but I am partial to mustard. Imagine it peeking out of a leather jacket this fall or tied around your head or waist with a sundress this summer! Only $18.76 for a wardrobe gamechanger.
  2. Get the look of my silver cuff for a nice low price! This cuff from Nordstrom comes in silver and gold and is only $28.98. I’ve bought Nordstrom brand costume jewelry before and have always found it high quality.
  3. This Fringed Faux Pearl Necklace from Nordstrom will dress up basic knits in your wardrobe without being too ostentatious. The length is both versatile and flattering. $28.98
  4. For a bit more drama, this Faux Pearl Multilayer Necklace from Nordstrom is perfect. Classic but makes a statement, this would quickly dress up your office dress to be perfect for after-work drinks or a weekend wedding. $33.98
  5. The ‘Audrey – Mallory’ leather wallet from Lodis is begging to be a holiday gift for a woman on your list. A quality brand, a gorgeous color, and that perfect size to slip into a clutch or small purse, it’s a steal at $34.80
  6. Talk about a statement necklace! Buy this fringe necklace from Nordstrom because I told myself I am not allowed to, though I have been admiring it all season! Imagine it peeking out of the neckline of a wrap dress, or worn over a simple black turtleneck. This baby would even make a simple white tee shirt look glam. On sale for $40.80
  7. A black tote is a great item to have in your arsenal, this one from Sam Edelman has enough structure and the leather details to make it office appropriate. $58.80
  8. I love this ruana from Echo so much, and I can’t decide which color is best. Slip over a simple tank for a fun casual night out look, belt over a sweater and jeans, and this summer wear as a beach coverup. Once you have it, you’ll find so many ways to style it. $58.96
  9. Tis the season for the most perfect pashmina under the sun at a nice price. I only buy cashmere pashminas from Nordstrom during their sales. They’re the perfect weight, perfect size, and with over 30 colors to choose from you can find the perfect one for your wardrobe. $78.40
  10. I love oversized aviators, but they’re usually pricey. These from MICHAEL Michael Kors are perfect for those of us with big heads (or those who like the oversized look), have a classic shape and color, and the great price of $86.43.
  11. This leather shoulder bag from Halogen is simple perfection; while black is a safe bet I am also loving the Red Velvet shade. On sale for $88.80.
  12. A leather satchel under $100? Woo-hoo! It’s available in the same shades as the shoulder bag, can be carried in the hand or worn as a shoulder or crossbody and is only $94.80.

Clothing

While I could make a list of 500 great clothes and outerwear on clearance at Nordstrom, I stuck to the top 12 under $50.00.  However, I recommend you check out the entire clearance clothing department for there’s some amazing buys for lingerie, activewear, swimwear, sleep and loungewear, as well as coats and clothes and such in regular, petite, and plus sizes.

  1. Clearance time is when I stock up on tights at Nordstrom.  The DKNY Opaque Control Top Tights are on sale for $12, as are their Super Opaque tights (also on sale for $12) which add extra opacity and warmth.  DKNY tights are durable, well-made, not shiny, and I find fit my figure quite nicely.  If you’re a Spanx fan like me, their Tight End Tights are on sale for $21 and In Power Line Shaping Sheers are also $21.  Commando tights are durable and well made; their opaque tights are on sale for $25.50 and their Ultimate Opaques on sale for $27.
  2. This sleeveless drape neck top from Halogen is a wardrobe workhorse; in the summer pair with white jeans and metallic sandals for a night out look and come winter wear under your suits and cardigans for office style.  On sale for $23.40 in regular and petite sizes, it’s available in a rosy pink print, a subtle black and navy print, and classic black and ivory.
  3. I have this classic Three Quarter Sleeve Cardigan from Halogen and find it to be a good basic cardi with a nice fit; you can’t ever have too many of these come fall and at this price you can buy one to keep at the office or in the car.  Available in pink, plum, and a black and ivory ‘chameleon’ print for $27.60.
  4. This Open Front Cardigan from Bobeau is a must this season.  It’s style looks office appropriate but it’s easy to throw on over a tee for the weekend.  Without buttons, it’s easier to wrap and belt for a completely different look.  10 colors and prints available in regular and petite sizes for just $29.90.
  5. Another great cardigan, this one from Olivia Moon and it has a bit more of a drape and a nice nubby texture.  Available in plus sizes as well as regular and petite, I’m partial to the cream/black stripe. $29.40 for regular and petite, $33.98 for plus.
  6. It’s a jacket, and it’s a cardigan!  This plus size knit waterfall cardigan with faux leather sleeves from Jessica Simpson is one of those pieces that makes you look pulled together though you feel as cozy as if you were in sweats.  $34.49
  7. This Three Quarter Sleeve Wedge Dress from Gibson is one of those perfect dresses that can dress up or down depending on how you style it.  Pair with pearls and heels for a wedding, or wear with a pashmina and tall boots for a trip to the mall.  Available in black, blue, and burgundy for just $34.80.
  8. Caslon’s Pocket Tunic Sweater is perfect for pairing with skinny jeans and tall boots for the weekend, but some of the prints (and basic black) would also work nicely in a Business Casual office.  Available in regular and petite sizes for just $34.80.
  9. When you can find quality suiting pants under $40 it’s pretty exciting.  Halogen’s ‘Taylor’ pants are comfortable, nice quality, and an even nicer price during this sale.  The pants in Heather Taupe are a classic shade, available in regular and petite lengths, and only $39.49.
  10. It’s the time of year for corduroy, and these stretch cords from JAG are a perfect cut to wear with ankle booties or flats, or slip under tall boots. Four colors available in petite sizes for just $47.40.
  11. I love this long sleeve knit jacket from Caslon.  Moto details and colors that can work in the office as well as for the weekend, this is a great way to polish up basic knits and jeans or add warmth to workday dresses and blouses.  Three colors available for $39.90.
  12. Kut from the Kloth makes great fitting jeans and I think they hold up quite well too.  Bootcuts are back, and the ‘Natalie’ from Kut from the Kloth is a great cut and a great price at $47.70.  Available at this link in black, and this link in ‘Wise’ which is a more traditional jean color.

Ask Allie: Plus Size Tall Retailers

It is becoming easier to find stylish clothes in tall sizes and in plus sizes but hard to find garments that are both. Don’t the manufacturers realize a person can be both tall and fat? I find the perfect office trousers in a plus size but then they aren’t long enough. Or I find the perfect office trousers that are long enough but they aren’t big enough. Over a certain waist size, it is impossible to get a 34″ inseam.

The reason is supply and demand. While it seems simple to just have the same pieces with a couple more inches at the hem, a retailer needs to invest in stock in that size. If they don’t have a proven customer, they can see extra lengths and sizes as a financial risk. The reason plus size fashion has improved lately is because plus sized women have begun to speak up, and LOUD. Opinion pieces in reputable publications, more and more plus size bloggers, and social media have given plus sized fashionistas the platform to let the retailers know they DESERVE style and if it exists, will purchase it.

It’s time for those who need not just plus size, but petite and tall lengths to speak up! The squeaky wheel gets the grease, and it’s clear that not all plus sized women are comfortable with a 32” inseam. Let your voices be heard, and make change happen in the apparel industry!

plus size tall long clothing retailers for women

Luckily some retailers understand that many plus sized women are also tall, and have added long lengths to their collections. A few retailers who offer plus sized tall or plus sized long lengths:

Lands’ End

Lands’ End realizes that a tall woman doesn’t just need a longer inseam for her jeans, but more length everywhere. Offering everything from sweaters to swimsuits, Lands’ End has a pretty varied plus size tall collection. Lands’ End often has great promotions, I recommend signing up for their emails to get the scoop when they take place. Lands’ End also has a generous return policy making online shopping a breeze.

Eloquii

Eloquii just released long and short lengths in their popular Kady Fit ankle pant.  Ankle pants are so hard for tall women to find, and this one comes in a 31″ length.  I hope this is just the beginning of lengths being offered at this stylish fashion resource for plus sized women!

Talbots

Talbots is one of the few retailers who offers both Womens Plus Tall and Womens Plus Petite pieces. Their plus size tall selection is only pants, but each season they offer at least a dozen styles up to a 24W with a 35” inseam. Talbots is another retailer who has amazing sales and great emails to notify you of them and you can return and exchange online purchases in their storefronts.

Long Tall Sally

Long Tall Sally specializes in clothing and accessories for tall women. They offer up to a 38” inseam, size 20, and even up to size 15 shoe. Long Tall Sally is not just a great resource for clothing, but also activewear, providing athletic gear and swimwear for those with long legs and torsos.  While shipping isn’t cheap with Long Tall Sally, they do now have Click & Collect in their shops.

Torrid

Torrid is known for trendy, youthful fashion in plus sizes, but they also have great wardrobe staples. Their tall collection (34” inseam) has trendy denim as well as classic styles of jeans, work trousers, and ponte pants; their extra tall selection (36” inseam) is limited but still provides some great styles of denim.

NYDJ

NYDJ offers a 35” inseam on many of their popular styles up to size 16. While you can find classic denim looks in long lengths, they also have trendy looks like coated denim and faux leather leggings. NYDJ runs big and stretchy; I recommend purchasing a size smaller than you’re accustomed to.  NYDJ also has free shipping and returns, making them a great online shopping resource.

Lane Bryant

While their selection of plus size tall bottoms are limited, there’s some good office staples in there and Lane Bryant always has some prints and variation from basic black pants and the occasional trendy piece.

Old Navy

Old Navy has tall and long lengths; their long inseam is 34” and their tall inseam 36”. Not only that, they are another retailer to realize tall women need more than black pants and offer tops, activewear, and shorts in tall sizes.

Alloy

Alloy has quite an extensive tall collection and go up to a size 25 and 3XL. Alloy is a great resource for on-trend plus size tall pieces like jumpsuits, waterfall cardigans, maxi skirts, and dresses which are often unavailable in longer lengths.

Long Elegant Legs

Founded by a tall woman, Long Elegant Legs has a great selection of everything from jeans and pants to activewear and sleepwear. They have styles up to a 39” inseam and offer up to size 24 making this a great resource for plus size tall women.

Have you found plus size tall clothing at any other retailers? Do share in the comments!

A Bra Fitting with Soma Intimates and a Giveaway

Soma contacted me and asked if I’d like to come to their boutique at the Westfield Montgomery Mall and get a bra fitting and try their Enhancing Shape Bra. I heard about this bra through InStyle, who considers it to be the solution for “ski slope” (the gap at the top of bra cups). I’ve always been a busty woman, but after years of breastfeeding, age, gravity, weight loss and gain, I’ve lost some of my breast volume and was interested in a bra that would address this issue and improve the allover shape of my bust.

Soma Intimates Bra Fitting

In 27 sizes from cups A-DDD there’s a Soma Enhancing Shape Bra for many women; the padded comfort straps and cushioned hook and eye closure ensures the bra is comfortable all day, while the smooth style makes it invisible under fitted knits. In eight solids and four prints this bra is anything but boring.

Wardrobe Oxygen Soma IntimatesSoma Intimates Enhancing Shape Bra

Visiting Soma Intimates was a pleasure; though it was a busy Sunday afternoon, the boutique was well staffed so each of us customers received quality assistance and an unrushed experience in the fitting room. I was partnered with Karien, who took me to a spacious fitting room to determine my bra size. She had me remove my shirt but I kept on my bra as she used a tape measure to size me. Karien then went out to the sales floor and brought back bras in the size she determined and one a cup smaller since the Enhancing Shape Bra does occasionally run big for some. We found that a 38D fit me best, and as you can see from my fitting room selfie above, the bra was pretty much invisible under Soma’s Smoothing Seamless Cami. The bra did give a look of fullness to my bustline without making it look bigger (and without the dreaded “quad boob”), and the bra is super comfortable. No digging in the back, I can’t feel any of the hardware, and I wore the bra all day and there wasn’t any discomfort under the arms or in the shoulders. I was tempted to get the Light Nude which was very close to my skintone and would make for a perfect tee shirt bra, but sweater weather is here and I decided to indulge in the black and white Indulgent Lace pattern which is so beautiful and can be worn under thicker fall and winter clothing without showing. It’s fun to have pretty bras that are also useful!

Soma Intimates Westfield Montgomery Mall Maryland

Karien (pictured above, I had to get a photo with her after such a pleasant bra shopping experience!) was so knowledgeable about bras in general, proper fitting, and of course knew the Soma collection inside and out. I loved how all the employees I interacted with were so friendly and professional, knowledgeable but not pushy. They told me about their Get Gorgeous Parties where you and at least three of your friends can schedule an event at your local Soma boutique to get fitted, all of you receive 15% off your purchases (or you can choose to donate that 15% to your favorite charity), and you receive a free bra for hosting. I also signed up for Love Soma Rewards, a free program where you earn points towards cash rewards, birthday gifts, exclusive offers, and free shipping when you shop online. After my experience at Soma, I know I’ll end up a regular customer!

Giveaway

If Soma sounds great to you, then today’s your lucky day! One Wardrobe Oxygen reader will receive a $60 gift certificate to Soma to use on their own Enhancing Shape Bra or any other merchandise from the brand. To enter, leave a comment letting me know what color of the Enhancing Shape Bra you’d choose if you won. Giveaway ends November 2, 2014 at 11:59pm ET. Winner will be chosen by random and must have a valid email address (in comment, signed in as guest in Disqus, or in Disqus profile). Winner will be contacted by email; if winner does not reply to notification email within 48 hours a new winner will be chosen. Winner may use gift certificate online or in Soma Intimates boutiques.

To learn more about Soma, click here to find your local boutique, click here to get their catalog, or visit them on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and Pinterest. And if you live in the Maryland/DC area, I highly recommend you visit the Soma Intimates location at Westfield Montgomery Mall!

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Soma via Burst Media. The opinions and text are all mine.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Soma. The opinions and text are all mine.

Ask Allie: Minimalism and Color Choices

As I am minimizing, I am paring down my clothing palette pretty much to black, gray, white and denim. I enjoyed your post on why you promote black and agree that it is the most versatile color out there and a perfect choice for a small wardrobe. My question is around the flattery piece – if you don’t have a good eye for color and its effect (which I don’t), how can you decide whether it is flattering or not? I just turned forty and don’t know if it’s ‘aging’ me. Also, I have dark hair and fair skin and always thought black was fine for me, but I’ve been told I am a “summer” and thus should stick to gray or navy instead – but neither is as easy and versatile as black IMO. In particular, I’m moving away from navy because it does not support my minimizing goals. Should I keep the grays by my face and the black elsewhere? Or just throw on some extra lip gloss and forget it!?!

What a great question! I think many readers will have their own opinion on this subject and many are far more expert on one’s colors than I. Readers, I look forward to your feedback and advice for this woman.

And now my opinion, which is only that and not gospel.

Color Wheel: Color and Minimalism

When I was little, my mom got the book Color Me Beautiful. I can recall many rainy afternoons spent in her bedroom with her and my sister, draping different colored garments from her closet around our necks to see if we were Winters, Springs, Summers, or Autumns. We decided that I was a Winter, like my mom. We looked best in colors like emerald green and cobalt blue. To this day, if you think of my mom you likely think of blue, her favorite color and her wardrobe signature, usually paired with black or white and silver accessories.

Though it was clear I looked better in emerald than olive, I so wanted to be an Autumn. I loved (and still do) orange and neutrals like cream and khaki. In high school, I dyed my hair red and wore brown-toned lipstick to better carry off pumpkin and plum, and in college tanned my skin to a crisp to look better in neutral shades and orange-red.

After college, I worked in apparel and was surrounded by every color in the rainbow and plenty of opportunity to try them on and get instant reaction from strangers who didn’t have to be polite. I found that the color mattered more than how it worked with my skin. I got bold, wearing copper eye shadow, pale pink dresses, brown turtlenecks, coral lipgloss, and seafoam green sweaters. Sometimes it was obvious that I’d look better in another shade (hello seafoam green), but I was having fun and played it up with makeup and accessories and learned from my experiences.

And now I’m 39 and I don’t have the budget or the time or the desire for a rainbow closet and 30 different colors of eyeshadow to make crazy colors work. Like you I am heading towards a more minimalistic wardrobe and color palette of predominately black, gray, and white. I’ve noticed that the older I get the more I am faded, from the color in my cheeks to the brown of my hair, and some colors just aren’t as flattering as they used to be. Black is one of them. Black used to look elegant and sophisticated with my fair skin and brunette locks and I carried it off with NARS ‘Orgasm’ flushed cheeks, lots of mascara, and a lipgloss close to my natural lip color. Now black seems more edgy and rocker, and I find myself reaching for a wine or red lipstick to add what I feel to be a necessary pop of color to keep from looking tired or unfinished.

Yet I continue to purchase black because I like it. I like it better than navy, even though navy adds a natural glow to my cheeks. I like it better than gray, which often makes me feel gray. I like it better than brown, which makes me feel more gloomy than gray. I like how black shows off detail and texture, how black is timeless, how black is versatile, and how black does give me a bit more of an edgy feel (an especially nice feeling when you’re otherwise feeling very Suburban Soccer Mom or Office Drone).

I think we all make compromises when it comes to style. It may be because of our budget, because of our lifestyle, because of our figure. We want long Rapunzel locks but our hair is thin so we choose a shorter cut with volumizing layers. We long for Manolos but our budget has us stick to a similar style by Nine West. We choose certain cuts of clothing that may not be our dream style but flatter our figure best, and other times we choose what our heart loves not giving a damn about whether it whittles a waist or lengthens a leg. I make a compromise for black; I love it so much and find it so appropriate to my personal style and lifestyle that I sacrifice the best my complexion can look.

What color you wear, what color you choose to have your hair, whether or not you wear makeup and what colors and type you apply, these are all your choosing and there is no universal right or wrong answer. The same holds true for any aspect of fashion or style. What is right is what feels most right to you. If having a simplified wardrobe and color palette makes you happy and makes style more attainable or fun, that is what matters. Who cares how youthful or glowy you look if you spent an hour agonizing over an ensemble or end up going over budget to find coordinating outfits for each day of the week?

Own your choices, own your opinions, and know no style advice is gospel. Take what speaks to you and works with your lifestyle, figure, and budget. Try, fail, and learn from your experiences. A stylish woman knows herself and listens to her heart, and that confidence is more flattering than any color under the sun.

Weekend Sale Shopping

Sales, sales, everywhere is sales… yes I am changing the lyrics to this song (which is a cover of this original) but there’s some insanely good sales going on this weekend that I just HAD to share with you.

Old Navy – 25% Off

At Old Navy, get 25% off your entire purchase with the code TREAT. Code is valid until the end of the 18th. A few restrictions: not valid on Everyday Steals, Hot Deals, Clearance (anything ending in $0.97 or $0.99) or Today Only Deals.  I think this top is an office attire staple and I love the variety of colors available; this chunky turtleneck would look great with skinny jeans or ponte pants for the weekend; I love the leather-look pockets on this dress (and love that it comes in regular, tall, and petite!).

Banana Republic – Up to $50 off Full Priced Items

Up to $50 off full price dresses, jackets, sweaters, and more. Note this doesn’t include their Monogram collection or leather jackets. No code necessary, deal through October 18.  I love their Gemma Wrap Dress and this print is something that would look great all seasons of the year; this lace pullover is fantastic – wear over a white shirt for the office and a camisole for a night out!  Other favorites on promotion:

Ann Taylor – 50% Off Tops, Shoes and Accessories

I know, right? 50% off? Get thee shopping, pronto with code STYLE50, this deal ends October 20th.  I think this bird print shirt is amazing, this faux leather pocket cape looks even better in person, and their buttoned-up boiled wool cape is so awesome, I wish I could justify the purchase (for the record, I’ve tried it on, it fits great, I am a Large Petite).

LOFT – 40% Off Tops and Sweaters

No specific date that this is to end and no code needed. Do note it’s not valid on Lou & Grey merchandise, but it IS valid on in-store purchases as well as online.  It does feel that LOFT is constantly having deals, but they’re also constantly getting in new merchandise that doesn’t seem to last long online.  So if you see it and love it, get it while you can!  I’m loving this belted cardigan, and think this variation on the chambray shirt would look modern and fresh with jeans or a midi skirt.  Some other pieces I like that are on promotion:

Lands’ End – 25 to 30% Off

Lands’ End is my go-to for quality yet reasonably priced winter weather gear. They have two promotions going on right now. Get 30% off select “fall essentials” (not sure exactly what that is but seems like a lot) with code LEAF, PIN 9223 through October 20th. But you can also get 25% off all full-priced merchandise with code MAPLE and PIN 1610 through October 21st. I love my packable down vest so much, I’m seriously considering this packable down jacket from Lands’ End and can’t decide between the polka dots or basic black. I’ve also had this Sport Knit skirt in black in my shopping cart for a while and may pull the trigger now that it’s 30% off.  These and a few other pieces I’m admiring:

Madewell – 30% Off Sale Merchandise

Madewell continues to impress, and a 30% off sale prices makes it easy to buy some fab fall and winter fashion. Use code PICKMEUP, which is valid through October 20th.  I love the classic look of their Otis boot, the unique color and slouchy coolness of their Firelight Pullover, and the perfect color and shape of their Berliner Satchel.

J. Crew – 30% Off Sweaters and Outerwear

Code SHOPFALL will give you 30% off at J. Crew through the 19th of October.  Their Majesty Peacoat truly is perfection and a classic piece that will be chic for years to come; their Jackie Cardigan is always a popular piece and nice to get on sale; and I am loving the pale lavender shade and the cool size zips of this lambswool sweater.

J. Crew Factory – 40-50% off Outerwear and an Additional 30% Off Clearance Merchandise

One of my favorite stores for great style at great prices; 30% off clearance makes it even nicer! Use code YAY30 through the October 19th to save.  As for the deal on outwear and cold-weather accessories, no code is needed.  Some of my favorites like this camo tee (imagine it with something dressy like a sequined or lace pencil skirt or under a denim jacket), this adorable flared leather skirt in black or brown, and this pleated maxi which I own and adore.  As for outerwear, I love the color and details of this coat, find this long hooded belted puffer to be something any city commuter would love, and think the price is nice on these leather tech gloves.

Any sales I missed?  Share them in the comments!

Scrimp or Splurge – What’s Your Number?

scrimp or splurge

Tuesday’s post about white tee shirts got me thinking. I believe we all have a number, that price we won’t cross for certain items for our closet. I often read interviews with style icons and they’ll say how they scrimp for X but splurge for Y, and often I feel the complete opposite about those items. That our numbers are personal based upon our age, our figure, our lifestyle, our budget. They are as unique as our personal styles.

While I wouldn’t have spent over $30 for a tee shirt two years ago (maybe $45 if striped or embellished), I now obviously will drop $80 for a plain white v-neck to stop the hunt and finally be satisfied. I couldn’t imagine spending more than $75 on a pair of jeans (but owned over a dozen pairs), but now don’t even blink at a $100 pricetag; though I now only own a handful of pairs.

On the other hand, some things I won’t pay as much for now that I used to. I can recall putting designer wool and leather coats on layaway because I considered them a worthy investment; now I buy my coats on clearance in the spring and don’t care the label inside as long as I like how it looks on me. Most of my makeup bag contents are from CVS, and I’ve learned some natural budget-friendly products like witch hazel, coconut oil, and jojoba oil do just as well as the high-end skincare lines.

The part missing from the tee shirt conversation was lifestyle and budget. What are the white tee shirts worn for, and how much can you spend on clothing in general? For some people $150 is a drop in the bucket, for others it’s the food budget for a month. For some, a white tee shirt is a piece of fashion as important as an It Bag or designer jeans while others just see it as what they slip on under their sweaters or wear on weekends with shorts.

So I ask you, what are your numbers? What’s the max you’d pay for a pair of jeans? A winter coat? A pair of tall boots? A handbag?  A dress to wear to a wedding or gala event? Where do you scrimp and where do you splurge? I know there’s such a variety of people who read this blog, this conversation would be interesting to highlight your unique lives and personal styles, but also help me know what to share on Wardrobe Oxygen in the future!

Why Would Someone Pay $150 for a White Tee Shirt?

expensive tee shirt designer worth the price

When some things become popular I really wonder what trendsetters were smoking. This is especially true when commonplace things have a fancy name slapped on them and they’re suddenly worth $500. I’m not going to spend my hard-earned money to advertise YOUR brand, especially if I can find similar at Target for a bundle less. This is how I have felt about tee shirts for a long while. Somehow, that which was purchased from Hanes or Fruit of the Loom is now worth $150 just because some hot designer decided to add it to his collection. No thank you.

When I was in college, my favorite v-neck (when you’re short and busty, v-necks are a godsend) came in a two-pack from Kmart and did just fine. When they got grubby, I’d bleach them, and replace them when they started to yellow. They were a classic, and looked great with my grunge, then preppy/minimalist aesthetic. After college, I was a visual merchandiser for Express and fell hard for their “Metro” v-neck tees. Does anyone else remember these beauties? I had them in a rainbow of colors, but a half dozen in white (the ones from the Mariana Islands were a bit thinner but still opaque and had a better fit over my curves. Yeah, I was that much of a fan of these tees). For my early ‘30s I bounced around budget-friendly retailers and nicer brands found at Marshalls and TJ Maxx. Most of these tees would last a season at most. When I switched to a desk job, I found white tees at my corporate attire stores; Ann Taylor was often where I’d find tees of high quality, though not always the best fit.

And here I am, a couple months from 40 and I’m realizing I have spent a boatload of money on white tee shirts that have never satisfied. Too thin, too tight, too boxy, too stretchy, not stretchy enough, just plain wrong. Hrm, maybe there is something to that $150 “perfect” tee shirt. If it truly IS perfect, it could end up saving me money in the long run. I’m no longer a sloppy young kid who will destroy my tee shirt at a bar crawl or tailgate, I’ll keep the cheap tees for weekends but would like an awesome white tee for concerts, to wear under jackets, to pair with a sequined pencil or taffeta ball skirt. You know, that casually cool tee that looks perfectly worn and slouches in just that right way.

The Tees I Tried:

So I did my own white tee shirt science experiment, trying on and ordering over a dozen different shirts ranging in price to see if I could find my Tee Shirt Holy Grail and if a fancy brand and crazy pricetag does make for a better shirt. I originally planned to share each tee and rate it, but I learned from this process that a simple tee shirt is a very personal purchase. Like a pair of jeans or a tee shirt bra, what is Holy Grail for one is incredibly awful for the other. But what I did learn:

  • Price Does NOT Equal Quality. I was horrified by the quality of some of the pricier tee shirts. J Brand and James Perse both surprised me by the mediocre quality and construction for the price, especially after reading rave reviews from some of my favorite bloggers. An Old Navy Vintage V-neck, if you removed the tag, could be mistaken for many of the $60 – $90 tees I tried, showing that you don’t need a fancy label to get a good tee shirt.However, more expensive tee shirts more often than not had features that made them worth the money, and provide a better fit. Some had back seams, which really improved fit for my curvy figure. Some had no seams, which gave a more refined look and trimmer fit. A big place I noticed the difference was in sleeve length and width; more expensive tees had attention to detail and better fit in this area. Shoulders fit and didn’t just round into sleeves, necklines were made with care, not too wide or low but still a flattering and modern cut. A lot of them had cotton blends that made them drape better or have a different finish (for example this tee from A.L.C. was blended with cashmere, which helps explain the higher price).
  • Don’t Assume You Know Your Size. I wear a 12/14 and I have a large chest. Many of the brands known for expensive/fancy tees I knew didn’t sell clothing in my size, so I assumed their Large would be equivalent to an 8/10. For example, rag & bone’s Large is supposedly a 10/12 yet I found is almost too big for me (the Medium fit but too tight for my comfort). What is slouchy loose on a tall willowy model may be the perfectly not too fitted tee for a shorter curvy woman.
  • Just Because It’s a Tee Doesn’t Mean You Can Abuse It. Whether it’s from Target or T by Alexander Wang, if it’s a Holy Grail tee for you, treat it like fine silk. These aren’t your father’s Fruit of the Looms, they’re a thinner cotton, often a blend, cut specifically to glide over a woman’s curves or slouch in just the right way. Throw them in a machine and let them tumble dry and no matter the cost you may end up with a misshapen dish rag. I recommend washing in a lingerie bag and letting air dry. If like me you don’t have room for a drying rack, do NOT line dry your tee. It will grow and likely end up with bumps in the shoulders. I take two pant hangers and fold it over both of them so it balances the weight and doesn’t end up with bends. Once dry, it can handle a couple minutes in the dryer to soften and get rid of any wrinkles.
  • Tee Shirt Bras Exist for a Reason. The current trend of tees is thin and broken-in, which can make a tee a bit transparent. A nude-to-you tee shirt bra (my favorite one), free of lace and decoration can become virtually invisible even under slub knits.
  • Know Your Tee’s Purpose. There’s tees to wear to the gym, tees to wear gardening or cleaning out the garage, tees to wear to your friend’s house with leggings and an oversized flannel shirt to watch movies. But then there’s tees that can replace a going out top for a night at a bar, tees you wear under a blazer for Sunday brunch or a casual office place, and tees you wear to dress down a more glamorous piece like a sequined jacket or my previously mentioned taffeta ball skirt. Know WHY you need such a tee shirt in your wardrobe before you shop so you get the right fit, neckline, and opacity.
  • No One Needs a $150 Shirt. Seriously, if you’re perfectly happy with the tees your currently own, don’t go trying on designer tee shirts. Your life will be perfectly lovely and stylish without having one in your wardrobe.  One thing I did learn from reading the reviews on tee shirts during this process is how people shop for all the wrong reasons.  Just because you own the tee shirt that your favorite actress or blogger owns doesn’t mean you will look the same in it, or carry it off with the same panache.  Just because a certain brand is in your wardrobe doesn’t mean you’re fashionable.  It’s okay to be inspired by another person, but you will never be fashionable if you’re purchasing to imitate another or to impress with pricepoint or brand.  Style comes from knowing yourself and dressing the part, if you feel a tee shirt over a certain pricepoint is utterly ridiculous no matter the fit, that’s knowing your personal style.  Stick to that, be true to yourself, and your style will shine.
  • As for me, I ended up buying two white tee shirts:

  • rag & bone “Classic V” (size Large) $80.00 – This isn’t tight, but it’s not sloppy or boxy. It’s sheer, but you can’t see my nude tee shirt bra (or belly button or the mole on my back) through it. It’s longer, which makes it easy to tuck in, but it seems to gather/slouch on my hips far better than any other long tee I’ve tried. The V is the perfect length for me (I was looking for a going out tee, not something that would be worn to work). The shoulders and sleeves fit perfectly, and the back seam gives the whole shirt a better drape and fit.
  • Free People Shredded Muscle Tee  (size Large, but I was tempted to size down to Medium and would if it was a darker color) $58.00 – This is a novelty tee for me, I mean who really NEEDS a shirt riddled with holes? I bought it at the end of August and loved it untucked with distressed denim shorts and my silver Birkenstocks for weekends, but now that it has gotten colder I’ve paired with slim jeans and booties for a night out with the girls, and also wore under a blazer for brunch and loved how the distressed tee contrasted with a traditional jacket. This is boxy, but the neck fits nicely (no need to stretch it out like I have to with so many crewnecks yet doesn’t fall off the shoulder), you can’t see my bra when I raise my arms, and it’s thin without being Saran wrap.
  • And now I’d love to hear from you, how much have you paid for a tee shirt? And if you’ve found your Holy Grail tee, please share in the comments along with your general body type. Your Holy Grail very well may be the tee another reader has been looking for all her life!

    Ask Allie: Are Pantyhose Stylish?

    Since I’m in my 60’s now, I am uncomfortable in dresses without hosiery. Is it ok to wear them now? Or is bare legged still the trend?

    how to wear sheer hosiery pantyhose style fashionable

    Three cheers for Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge who brought nude hose back en vogue. While the bare legged trend isn’t going anywhere, because of Kate there’s far more stylish sheer hosiery options available in stores and no one will wrinkle their nose at your choice to don hose (sorry, I just had to!). Below are my tips for wearing hosiery, and my favorite brands of pantyhose and tights:

    Nude Pantyhose

    If you’re wanting to wear sheer natural-looking stockings, you won’t find them at your neighborhood CVS. Quality is key for finding sheer, well-fitting, and natural looking pantyhose. The hose should be as close to your natural skintone (no matter how pale you are); tan legs with fair arms and face is NOT stylish. Donna Karan’s ‘The Nudes’ comes in seven different colors so you’re more likely to find a natural looking shade for your skintone; the quality is excellent, they’re sheer and not too shiny making them like BB cream for your gams. ‘The Nudes’ come in toeless, high waist, control top, sheer to waist and even plus size so you can find a style that is most comfortable for you. I’ve also had luck with Nordstrom’s in-house brand. It’s a little bit cheaper and I think is a bit more visible when wearing, but still elegant. Nordstrom’s Sheer Control Top Pantyhose come in nine different “nude” colors, and are available in plus size. If you’re a fan of thigh high stockings (also known as stay ups), you can’t beat Wolford; while they’re pricey, they’re well-made, natural looking, and one of the few brands I’ve found that stays up without putting dents in your thighs. I prefer their Individual 10 which come in six shades, aren’t shiny, are sheer, and cover imperfections nicely.

    Sheer Black Pantyhose

    Black sheers came back in style a few seasons ago and have again become a classic. While black stockings were popular for daywear before, this time it’s best to keep them for evening events. As with nude pantyhose, choose a pair that is not too shiny, high quality, and as sheer as you can go while covering that which you wish to cover. Since black sheers are for evening, it’s more acceptable for them to have a bit of sheen or have a higher denier (are thicker/more opaque). I’m a fan of SPANX’s black sheer stockings, which are pretty durable while still looking elegant. Their In-Power Shaping Sheers blends a control garment with pantyhose reducing the layers under your cocktail dress; their All The Way line is an elegant alternative to support hose, offering not just tummy control but ankle and leg compression to improve circulation.

    Opaque Tights

    Opaque tights are still a style mainstay this fall and winter. While I’m partial to very opaque non-shiny black tights with black shoes to create a long line and not compete with my dress, these days most any level of opacity and any color is acceptable and available in popular retailers. Shiny tights can look cheap and more like dancewear, a matte finish will look more expensive and be more versatile. For a traditional level of opacity, I’m a big fan of Nordstrom’s Everyday Opaque Tights. These are durable enough to last more than one season, and have enough transparency that they can work for less formal evening affairs.  Not only that, they come in regular and plus sizes!

    For truly opaque tights, I again recommend SPANX. I adore their reversible Tight End Tights, which have extra thickness not just for opacity but warmth and no shiny finish. I’ve accidentally had these go through the dryer and come out still wearable which shows how durable and well-fitting these tights are! While their reversible tights have a higher waist that some may not like, their ‘Blackout’ version has a lower waist and the same thickness and opacity and the original Tight End Tights have a classic waist height and are still a bit more opaque than Nordstrom.

    If you’d like a blend between sheer hose and opaque tights, DKNY’s Semi-Sheer Tights are a great choice. Durable like their traditional tights and with a subtle shaping top that doesn’t dig into your waist, these come in neutral colors that would look great peeking out from a feminine floral midi skirt or a pair of tall leather boots.

    Patterned and Fishnet Stockings

    This may not be advice you desire, but if you’re looking for advice on how to wear patterned, fishnet, or novelty hosiery you probably shouldn’t wear them. These are very tricky to wear; one misstep in regard to hem length or shoe choice and the whole look can go from classy to trashy. If you wish to dip your foot into creative hosiery, I recommend starting with something subtle like a nude fishnet, and pair with a longer skirt or tall boots. See how you feel, see what honest friends think, and then go from there.

    Alternatives to Pantyhose

    These days, there’s a plethora of products that will do for your legs what foundation and concealer do you’re your face. I like Sally Hansen’s Airbrush Legs (I’ve had better luck with the lotion than the spray), which blends seamlessly, looks natural, and is water and sweat resistant. You can read my review of Sally Hansen Airbrushed Legs here. Self-tanners have improved greatly over the past couple of years but I still am klutzy enough to end up with streaks; I’m a fan of Jergens Natural Glow Daily Moisturizer, which offers a subtle tint to legs after several days of use. The gradual color means less chance for orange fingers or streaky ankles.

    Ask Allie: What Shoes Look Best with Ankle Pants?

    I’m hoping you can help. I bought these pants from Lands’ End on a whim. I chose the evergreen color thinking they’d be fun for fall. The problem? I’m just now jumping on the slim and ankle length bandwagon, so I have NO clue what to wear with these. I’m especially stuck on the shoes. If it helps, I’m 5’4″ and a size 14. What would you suggest? Thanks!

    A colorful ankle-length pant is a great addition to the wardrobe, bringing a fresh new look to closet staples. Problem is, the length and fit may be drastically different from the rest of your pants, making shoes confusing. A cropped pant, especially on those of us who aren’t tall and slim can shorten our figure, so a shoe that elongates the leg is your best bet. Below I offer four different types of shoes that work well with cropped pants like the Lands’ End Portico Ankle Pants.

    Wardrobe Oxygen Ask Allie: What Shoes Look Best with Ankle Pants?

    As seen on the model in Lands’ End, a classic pump with a traditional vamp (not too high, not too much “toe cleavage) and pointed or almond toe is a great choice with such pants. However, with a classic/preppy feel as these pants offer, you don’t want the heel too high. Here I feature the MICHAEL Michael Kors ‘Flex’ mid-heel pump (1) which has been a favorite of mine for years because of its wearable heel height yet leg-lengthening pointed toe. The sole is flexible and rubbery, giving good traction when walking on slick sidewalks or over slippery fallen leaves and I find I can wear them all day with comfort. This height and style of shoe is a great way to make these pants work for the office. Pair with a blouse and jewel neck cardigan, or a blazer and shell for corporate-friendly looks.

    Another way to lengthen the leg is with a “nude to you” shoe. Since I purchased a pair of nude leather pumps this summer, they have become the hardest working and most worn shoes in my closet. Here I feature the Cole Haan ‘Air Juliana’ (2) which comes in a variety of neutral shades and the wood heel keeps it from looking too dressy with the ankle pants. A shoe like this is chic all year long, this season, and seasons to come. A nude shoe can quickly dress up a pair of pants like these; pair with a crisp white blouse and sparkly necklace for happy hour, or silk camisole and pendant for cocktails.

    I think one of the best ways to wear a colorful pant is with a colorful shoe. Sticking with the pump with a longer toe, I adore the Nine West ‘Ike’ (3) in dark pink suede. Dark pink with dark green isn’t too preppy looking, and a wonderful combination to highlight neutrals, basic black, denim, and chambray. Pink isn’t the only hue that works with evergreen pants, I’d also love these merlot leather pumps and these steel blue suede ones. A colorful (or print, as I mention below, an animal print is gorgeous with dark green!) shoe is great for business casual and the weekends; pair with a striped tee and cardigan or leather jacket, a simple merino v-neck or turtleneck, or a denim shirt so the colors and shapes can shine.

    Finally, know that you don’t have to wear a heel with shorter pants to look balanced. An almond or pointed toe and low vamp can give that effect without the height. For this look I paired the Lands’ End ankle pants with a leopard flat from Dr. Scholl’s (3). The green beautifully complements the animal print, and adds interest to closet basics from a denim shirt to a black turtleneck sweater. You can switch out the leopard for any other print or color; these same flats come in a cute black and white polka dot, I adore the scallop detail on these magenta flats, and the rich elderberry Saffiano leather of these flats would look great with so many fall trends this season. As with the colorful shoe, a pointed or almond toe flat looks business casual chic with a blouse or sweater and weekend cool with a simple knit top and cardigan.

    As for clothing silhouettes, it’s better to have items hit at the hip or higher so not to stunt your shape. A tucked-in blouse will lengthen the leg; consider tucking in a top under a cardigan so you still have the coverage without segmenting your body too much. As for what kinds of tops, most anything goes from crisp button fronts to ruffled silky blouses to Breton tees and cashmere twinsets. Once you start playing around in your closet you’ll find these pants can be quite versatile!

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    Ask Allie: Fall Shoe Must-Haves

    What shoes and boots do you consider wardrobe basics. I’d like to update shoes and boots for this fall.

    Basics will vary for each person dependent on her lifestyle and personal style. While I do share a few footwear choices in my list of wardrobe staples, I know that many find such shoes impractical for their lives and the list isn’t recent. So below are the shoes I find get the most wear from me each fall and winter:

    Black Leather Pumps

    A pair of simple black pumps free of decoration, buckles, or unique finishes is a workhorse in my wardrobe. I like a pointed toe because it elongates the frame and is classic, but an almond toe is also a good choice and many find more comfortable. Steer clear of square, round, peep toe, or platforms which can quickly look dated and aren’t as versatile. As for the heel, choose a height and width that is comfortable for you; luckily this fall thicker heels are back in style as are low or kitten heels.

    Wear With: Trousers, skirts, and dresses. From work to a wedding, a pair of well-maintained black pumps can dress up and down with ease and work with almost everything in your wardrobe.

    Tall Leather Boots

    A pair of knee-high boots may be a wardrobe investment, but my experience has shown that they are worth the money. My fall and winter weekend look is usually slim jeans, tall boots, a knit top and sweater or vest (example), and I love how tall boots add warmth and weather protection come winter. As for color, choose what calls out to you and coordinates best with your current fall wardrobe. This past winter I wore black boots, but I recently added a pair of brown to my wardrobe that I believe will be just as versatile. Be sure to use a waterproofing spray on them to help them survive snow and slush, and use rolled up magazines in them to keep the shafts upright and well ventilated.

    Wear With: A tunic and leggings, over slim trousers or jeans, with skirts and dresses of every length and silhouette.  If you require wide calf boots, check out my reviews of companies who provide them!

    Black Ankle Boots

    When the weather outside is frightful, it’s nice to have your foot fully covered and protected. Instead of sacrificing your style by pairing your pumps with socks, consider an ankle boot or “shootie” with a similar toe and heel to your pumps.

    Wear With: Jeans and trousers. As for skirts and dresses, dependent on the style you may be able to wear with black tights for a polished look (like I do with my Nine West booties), or pair with sweater or neutral colored tights for a more casual effect (boots that have a more open ankle like these from Frye).

    The Weekend Shoe

    The weekend shoe really depends on your lifestyle and personal style. For some, it’s a pair of “Chucks” that they pair with jeans and band tee shirts. For others, it’s loafers that look great with chinos and oxfords. A pair of ankle boots with a low heel is a great choice to slip on with jeans, leggings, and even tights and casual dresses. This is where you can get creative, have fun with colors and embellishments to show your personality and add interest to casual wardrobe basics.

    Wear With: Jeans and casual tops, leggings and tunics, casual dresses and tights, slim pants and sweaters. Look for a style that works well with all the different opening of trousers in your wardrobe and can look stylish with a warm pair of socks come winter.

    The Special Occasion Shoe

    This is a shoe many may not feel necessary, but it’s a great way to jazz up the LBDs and jeans in your wardrobe. For me, this shoe is a leopard print silk heeled sandal that looks great with a black sheath, red silk dress, or peeking out from the hem of a pair of dark denim. For others it may be a hot pink beaded flat, gold metallic strappy heels, or green satin D’Orsay pump. This is a shoe that can take your wardrobe staples to the next level, be it for a cocktail party, holiday fete, or a friend’s bachelorette party.

    Wear With: Your little black dress, a simple black camisole and dark denim, a cocktail pantsuit, a dress that can easily dress up with the right accessories, a bunch of mascara and a bold red lip.

    What are fall footwear wardrobe staples for you?

    What I Wore: Black and White (and a Giveaway!)

    wardrobe oxygen what i wore emploi new york

    wardrobe oxygen what i wore emploi wardrobe oxygen emploi new yorkDress: c/o emploi New York | Bracelet: Had forever (similar) | Bag: Hobo Bags (similar) | Shoes: Nine West ‘Flax’ | Lipstick: Revlon in Really Red

    It’s harder than it should be to find work dresses that fit, flatter, AND are stylish. Should be easy, right? Marina Ufaeva had the same issue working for a major Wall Street firm. She desired clothes that were reasonably priced, fit well, and could go from the office to drinks afterwards. Instead of complaining, she created emploi, a line of comfortable and beautiful dresses. With employ, Ufaeva says, “our goal is to let a woman feel fashionable, feminine and unique on her own terms.”

    emploi was kind enough to send me the Dupont Dress and I love how it skims the curves without being too revealing for the office, that the gathered skirt doesn’t add bulk but hides a tummy, and how the thick fabric gives good drape and opacity. The details are what take this dress from ordinary to extraordinary and show the thought put into a garment for a professional yet stylish woman.

    Giveaway

    If you like this dress and the concept of emploi, you have a chance to win a $100 store credit to try the line out for yourself! To enter, please visit the emploi New York site and leave a comment letting me know which dress you would choose if you win!

    Giveaway ends September 27, 2014.  One winner will be chosen at random, winner must have valid email address in comment, Disqus profile, or used when signing in as a guest.  If winner does not reply to notification email within 48 hours, another winner will be chosen.  Giveaway open only to residents of the United States.

    What I Wore: Faking Fall

    wardrobe oxygen handbag heaven waverley barrel wardrobe oxygen what i wore handbag heaven wardrobe oxygen waverley barrel satchel handbag heavenBlouse: c/o Dobbin Clothing (on sale!) | Pants: LOFT | Shoes: Nine West ‘Flax’ | Watch: Citizen | Bracelets: Nordstrom, Rebecca Minkoff (similar) | Bag: Waverley Barrel Satchel c/o Handbag Heaven | Lipstick: MaryKay in Mystic Plum

    While it may be September and the fall fashions are in the stores, it’s still hot as heck outside! I’m craving the season’s looks so I’m making it work with the weather. Silk blouse and unlined trousers to stay cool, and accessories like my lipstick and bag to give the fall feel.

    handbag heaven waverley barrel satchel bag

    Speaking of the bag, Handbag Heaven sent me over their Waverley Barrel Satchel and if you follow me on Instagram you know I’ve been carrying it quite a lot. It’s big enough to carry everything to the office, but is structured so it doesn’t look lumpy or lose its shape. I have a few bags from Handbag Heaven and am impressed with the quality of the bags and how well they’re designed. This bag (and the Molly Structured Tote I featured in this post) have removable crossbody straps that can be adjusted and swivel and a minimum of three pockets inside for easy access to every purse essential.  Handbag Heaven is a great resource for vegan bags, they look great and the prices are fantastic.

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    My Recent Purchases (and some fab weekend sales)

    I’m trying to be extremely careful with what I purchase this fall; this year has taught me I can live on less and there’s some pretty spectacular items already in my closet. But I do see some holes, and I’m trying to purchase higher quality and more timeless pieces to fit those wardrobe gaps. Some of the things I have purchased recently, and if applicable, the deals going on at those stores:

    Ann Taylor Cashmere Poncho
    If you follow me on Facebook (and you should, lots of conversations going on there and different content), you know I recently purchased this cashmere poncho from Ann Taylor. I got the Dark Sky (a rich navy) in L/XL and I love it so much I wish it was already cold enough to wear it. The neckline is big so you can have it off the shoulder, boatneck, or ruched as seen on the model. It’s elegant to wear to work with a crisp white shirt and gray trousers, or on the weekend with a long-sleeved striped tee, jeans, and tall boots. While it’s not cheap, it’s a piece that won’t go out of style and will work no matter my size or personal style.

    Ann Taylor this weekend is offering 50% off full price dresses and skirts, an additional 40% off sale items, and buy one get one 50% off select camis and tanks (no coupon needed).

    LOFT Snow Leopard Print Car Coat

    From LOFT I purchased their Snow Leopard Print Car Coat; it arrived Friday evening and it’s amazing.  The texture is fuzzy, like felted wool and faux fur blended together and tightly woven so it will provide warmth the cooler days of fall and less blustery days of winter.  I bought a Large Petite and it fits perfectly, nips in at the back right where it should, shoulders at the right place, sleeves right length, can comfortably button over a lightweight sweatshirt but also looks smart unbuttoned.  It looks smart with trousers and jeans, but I also thought it worked with a dress.  The pictures make it look just cream, gray, and black but there’s a hint of blue in the print that makes me love it even more.

    LOFT is having 40% off all merchandise with the code FALLSTYLE but don’t delay because this fab deal ends September 13.

    gap real straight jeans

    I love the Real Straight jeans from Gap; my legs are too thick to carry off skinny jeans and most boyfriend jeans are too narrow.  The Gap Real Straight jeans work well with my curves, having enough room for my booty, no gaping at the waist, no suffocated calves or thighs, and a fuller leg opening to balance my large ankles.  The 32 Short fits me best; the length works with sneakers and low heels but I’ll also roll the hem (see in this Instagram photo) to give a boyfriend jean effect.  I bought the medium wash, but also snagged the destructed (seen on Instagram) which was on sale.

    Gap is having 30% off everything with the code HAPPY and if you have GAPCASH right now it is being redeemed.  I just bought two plaid shirts (this one and this one) and a henley (I know, I know, totally channeling my ’90s self this fall) and thanks to GAPCASH and rewards from my Banana Republic Visa I only paid $20 for all three!

    Isabella Fiore Galiana HoboI didn’t NEED another black leather bag (I have this one from Rough & Tumble that I love), but with MYHABIT’s Labor Day sale and some MYHABIT credits burning a hole in my virtual wallet, I got this bag from Isabella Fiore for only $42.  And OMIGOD it’s gorgeous!  The leather is thick but it slouches perfectly.  It smells divine, the print is pretty cool, and while it’s super big (like fit my lunch and laptop and commuter shoes in it along with all my purse stuff big), it doesn’t look ridiculous with my 5’3″ frame.  And strangers stop me to ask about it.  It’s hard to use any other bag in my closet now that this baby has entered my life.

    I’ve also bought some things that went immediately back.  Some wide leg pants from Nordstrom that made me look pregnant and 5″ shorter than my 5’3″ self, the LOFT camo sweater I mentioned in my last sale post (super gorgeous but not needed and not really my style in real life), and an incredibly disappointing cape (but returning it meant I could get the leopard car coat), but I’m really loving the fall trends in general. What have you purchased for fall?

    Style with Substance: Karen Kane

    One of the best parts of blogging is getting to know brands on a different level. Not just a label in a boutique or department store, you learn the story behind the name, their purpose, their history, and sometimes, they become friends.

    I heard of Karen Kane before I started blogging, it was a brand I’d see at the mall, just like all the other garments wearing some woman’s name. The alliteration was catchy, I figured it was made up to represent the ideal customer for the brand. But thanks to my blog I got to know that Karen Kane is a real woman who cares for and designs for fellow real women.

    karen kane history

    A little Karen Kane history, learn more at this link

    Karen Kane has been a California Girl since she was 9 years old, attended the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising in LA, and after graduation got a job as a pattern maker for a sportswear company. In 1979 Karen and her husband Lonnie begin the clothing brand Karen Kane out of their garage. After just one year the company reaches $1 million in sales. In 1986, their son Michael was born. To combine work and personal life, they brought Michael to work with them every day. Michael is now the Director of Marketing and the super nice person I work with when partnering with the brand (he even “likes” my Facebook page!). Karen and Lonnie still run the business. I can’t tell you how refreshing it is to work with a company that sees me as a person, not just a blog, and who understands how Wardrobe Oxygen’s readers are different from another blog with different interests and needs.

    karen kane blog love

    My favorite Karen Kane outfits that have been featured on Wardrobe Oxygen

    Before many other brands, in 1999 Karen Kane launched a Women’s division after hearing requests from their customers. And as of 2013, over 95% of Karen Kane’s collection is manufactured right here in the United States. The clothes are high quality, comfortable, true California style with a touch of femininity and sex appeal. Many of my wardrobe favorites, such as this dress, these pants, this dress, and this jumpsuit (sorry for the bad photo, I’ll have to do an outfit post in it soon, they still have it in stock!) are from Karen Kane.

    This season I’m admiring the Studded Wrap Dress, Safari Jacket, Gold Sequin Front Dress, and can’t wait for this spring when Karen Kane will be offering jewelry and hats! I know I will be adding more Karen Kane to my closet this season and for many seasons to come.

    I had a Small Business Saturday series before my surgery, but since then have realized how I love many brands who aren’t small but still have heart. I’m changing this series to Style with Substance and will be featuring brands who offer great fashion with great ethics or goals.

    Out and About: Robyn & Röyksopp at Wolf Trap

    robyn-and-royksopp-wolf-trap

    Robyn and Röyksopp

    Living in the DC area, we’re lucky to have several awesome music venues, and come summer there’s a type of venue for any type of music fan. One of my favorite places in the summer is Wolf Trap; it’s not close by, but they have a shuttle from the Vienna Metro station and it’s worth the trip. The acoustics are fabulous and they let you bring in picnic baskets and coolers of your own food and alcohol (no bottles, but these days you can find fab beer in cans and wine in boxes). We usually try to grab a weekend day festival there each summer, and it’s a great place to see classic artists, plays, and orchestras. However when I heard Robyn with Röyksopp were coming I HAD to go!

    I’ve liked Robyn since the late ‘90s (yep, same gal), but after seeing her at Bonnaroo in 2012, Karl and have become mega Robyn fans. Our friend Nicole is a fellow Robyn lover, so the three of us decided to go. Nicole suggested we get pavilion seats and we decided to splurge. Gosh am I glad she suggested that!


    Thursday, August 21 was the Robyn/Röyksopp show and if you’re from this area, you know it wasn’t the best weather. It rained in the morning, cleared up some, but the rain returned by rush hour. By time I arrived at Wolf Trap it was rainy, humid, steamy, and disgusting. We hid under a tree to enjoy a drink and then quickly retreated to our pavilion seats to stay dry.

    The opening artist was ZHALA and well, I felt bad for the gal.  While she likely would be awesome in a smaller, intimate venue like the 9:30 club, performing on the big stage of Wolf Trap before sundown was a bit depressing and felt as though we were spying on someone dancing in her bedroom in front of her mirror.  She manned her own smoke machine and got down while the crowd was busy texting their friends, finding their seats, and chatting with one another.  We decided to take the time for a restroom break (the perk of a Robyn show is the crowd is primarily male so no line for the facilities) and get a drink (can’t bring anything but water into the pavilion so I ended up splurging on a $9.50 cup of Pinot Grigio).

    When Röyksopp started we went back to our seats.  It was dark and they started strong.  While most of their songs are instrumental, they kept the crows riveted with a light show that rivaled Pink Floyd.  They got the crowd in the right frame of mind for the headliner, and when Robyn came on the stage the crowd erupted with cheers.

    robyn royksopp wolftrap

    Images via Robyn’s Facebook page

    Robyn is just as animated and awesome in person as she is in her videos and TV appearances.  Her energy level is astounding, she dances all night long while maintaining a strong singing voice, which is even more impressive when you realize she’s 35, not in her early ’20s like most pop stars.  I love how she doesn’t give a fug and dresses how she wants and dances how she wants without trying to look sexy or cool and totally gets into the moment.  Robyn kept the crowd going all night and it was fun to see folks from all walks of life dancing with her, the energy was so positive and friendly.  I didn’t get any good photos because it was dark, and because I was too busy dancing!  We decided to leave just before the end so we could get out of the parking lot at a decent hour since the next day was work for all of us!

    For more photos from the show, check out this post from my friends at This is Our Jam!