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The One Top Every Woman Should Own

white collared shirt street style The Heart's Delight

As I go about styling my clients — young, old(er), corporate career, work-from-home, etc., I begin to see patterns in the style issues women have and the items that seem to pose the greatest challenges.

These consistent patterns span generations and budgets and after 4 years of doing this type of work, are practically expected. Out of the countless closets I’ve worked with, you might be wondering what the #1 missing item is… you ARE wondering that, right?

Wonder no more: it’s a basic white collared shirt.

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Here’s How To Wear Your Favorite Silk Blouse This Season


For years, you’ve heard me signing the praises of the classic white silk blouse.

You totally might have ignored me — no worries, we’re still cool — or you might have taken my advice and gone out and purchased a white silk blouse to add to your collection. Regardless, I wanted to put together a fun post to show you exactly why I love this piece so much and give you a few new ideas on how to style yours.

Who are we kidding!?

This is my last ditch effort to convert you white silk blouse holdouts! I don’t give up easily.

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Tie One One: Pussybow Blouse

As you’re “tying one on” this holiday season, perhaps one of the best fashion decisions you can make is actually tying one on… and by that, I mean a simple bow.

Sometimes, all it takes to upgrade a look and give it some of that special je ne sais quois is just a small tweak. Remember the much adored BANDANA from earlier this summer? Well, in this case, that tweak is a skinny black bow.


Leave it to ALEXA CHUNG to upgrade a basic white blouse and black jean combo and create a look that would fit in perfectly strolling along in the über-fashionable Marais district of Paris.

Refined, classic, elegant… All of things we want to be.

•  SUN 68 Cardigan
•  On Twelfth Tie Neck Blouse
•  Frame Denim Le Skinny de Jean Mid-Rise Jeans
•  Louise et Cie Franny Oxford Flat

Oh, and did I mention that even if you don’t own a pussybow blouse, it’s an inexpensive and easy style to recreate using a medium-wide piece of black ribbon and a basic white shirt? Add a party skirt and a pair of pointy toe single-sole pumps and BOOM — holiday party look complete.



The Purple Shirt Project: Looks #3 & #4

The Purple Shirt Project Header 2 Stella Compiseno Purple Silk Blouse

As promised, #ThePurpleShirtProject is back, baby! If you’re joining us for the first time, or simply need a refresher, you can see the first set of outfits HERE.  I’ve got two more stylings of the now infamous “purple shirt” and I tried to mix-it-up a little today using some pieces in my closet that have not gotten nearly enough love lately.

LOOK#3: Carpool Queen

Look #3 involves white jeans.  Yes, it’s still winter and no, I don’t really care about that old antiquated rule about no white until after Memorial Day.  Who made that up?!  Seriously.  You have my full permission to wear white any time of year as long as your composed outfit is seasonal.  White can be such a pretty cold-weather color and looks so beautiful with everything from pale knits to bright pops of color, like this purple blouse of course!

140220Stella-100 The Purple Shirt Project Stella Compiseno white jeans denim jacket 3.1 Phillip Lim Pashli Rag & Bone Harrow booties140220Stella-107 140220Stella-139

Gap denim jacket / Eileen Fisher silk blouse (similar style HERE,  HERE or HERE) / Gap white jeans / Rag & Bone “Harrow” booties / 3.1 Phillip Lim mini “Pashli” crossbody bag / Kate Spade earrings (similar style HERE)/ J.Crew bracelet (no longer available)/Stella & Dot long pendant necklace /Etsy gold bar engraved necklace / Cartier watch

LOOK#4: All Business

Look#4 is sort of a blast from the past for me- I broke out a pair of trousers I haven’t worn since my finance days! Slightly high waisted, wide-legged and perfectly draped, they instantly make me feel inches taller and 10 lbs thinner.  Coincidentally, when paired with the moto jacket and the blouse, they also reminded me of THIS look that we chatted about a few weeks ago!  This outfit is a testament to my shopping theory of splurging a little more on your basics.  Those clothes end up being the work-horses of your wardrobe and since they’re “classic” in color and cut, they still look pretty freakin’ cool close to three years since you last wore them!

The Purple Shirt Project Grey Wide leg Trousers Moto Jacket Stuart Weitzman140220Stella-224 140220Stella-291 140220Stella-353

Photography by Shannon Ahlstrand

BCBG moto jacket (similar HERE) / Eileen Fisher silk blouse / J.Crew “Hutton” trouser / Stuart Weitzman “Hitied” oxford heels / Love Quotes scarf

So, how did I do?  Which look has been your favorite so far?  Only six more outfits to go and I’m feeling a bit of sparkle for the next round.  Stay tuned!




The Purple Shirt Project

The Purple Shirt Project Final Header

A few months back, I spoke about going “Back-to-Basics” and the 12 essentials every woman should have in her closet.  I’d like to make a small amendment and make sure to add a silk blouse to that list.  So, I guess it’s now the 13 essentials every woman should have in her closet!  Lucky 13, baby.

Ok, so now that we’re talking silk blouses, I’d like to put the kibosh on any qualms you have about this silk thing:

  1. Yes, 100% pure silk can be an investment.  HOWEVER, that’s what end-of-season sales were made for and your return on investment (ROI, for my fellow finance geeks) for these classics is major!
  2. Silk is a high maintenance fabric.  Yes, ‘dry clean only’ tags are involved, but the drape and feel of real silk is truly worth it.
  3. Silk is too lightweight for the cold weather months.  Lightweight is ideal for layering!
  4. I live a casual life, silk is just not practical for my day-to-day running around.  I strongly disagree… just keep reading!

As a self-admitted Type A personality, I’m always up for a good challenge.  I’ve decided to create the ultimate style challenge for myself.  Take aforementioned silk blouse and come up with 10 great ways to style it for all occasions: “The Purple Shirt Project”.  Go big, or go home baby.  Let’s do this!

The Purple Shirt Project Eileen Fischer Silk Blouse Radiant Orchid

The Purple Shirt Project 2 Silk Blouse Radiant Orchid Eileen Fisher

Eileen Fisher Silk Crepe de Chine Blouse (sold out)- similar style HEREHERE or HERE

LOOK #1: Dinner & Drinks

The Purple Shirt Project Eileen Fisher Silk Blouse Moto Jacket Alice and Olivia shoes Chanel

The Purple Shirt Project 2 Eileen Fisher silk blouse moto jacket Asos Alice and Olivia shoes Chanel

The Purple Shirt Project 3 Alice and Olivia snakeskin pump

ASOS moto jacket /TEXTILE Elizabeth and James boyfriend jeans/ Alice and Olivia snakeskin heels / Chanel cross body bag / Carolee purple chandelier earrings (no longer available, but THESE are similar)

LOOK #2: Sunday Brunch

The Purple Shirt Project 4 Vince leather shirt Eileen Fisher blouse Gap denim Vince Camuto boots Elizabeth and James earrings DSC_0909 DSC_0952


Photography by Shannon Ahlstrand

Vince leather tee / Gap lavender denim (no longer available) – THESE are similar / Vince Camuto boots / Coordinates gold bangle / Anne Klein calf hair bangle (no longer available) / leather wrap bracelet (no longer available) – THIS is similar /    Elizabeth & James bird stud earrings

Two looks down, eight more to go!  Stay tuned for new “Purple Shirt Project” (#PurpleShirtProject) outfits each week and don’t be shy, let me know which ones you love, which ones you don’t and any looks you’d like to see in future posts.  Hope you are as excited as I am!