…but I’m too short!
…but I’m not built like a model!
…but I’m too mature to wear this kind of trend!
Shhhhhhhhhhh…. zip it. I don’t want to hear it.
For years, one of my favorite business casual staples was the classic, shirt dress.
It was an easy, office-ready piece that had the uncanny ability to transform itself into a weekend-fashion mainstay. A good shirt dress is a wardrobe chameleon than can shift from proper and preppy, to sexy grunge in a blink of an eye and a swap of a few accessories.
Now, who wouldn’t want a dress like that!?
Here are 3 easy ways to transform your favorite shirt dress and finally take it out of the office cubicle!
• LAYERED OVER PANTS
This styling is one of my favorites as it’s ideal for those transitional spring days when it’s not quite warm enough to wear a dress on its own. In order to keep a smooth and shapely silhouette, stick to your skinniest pants or jeans. A pair of sleek heels and a well-fitted jacket will keep the look from appearing too bulky or misshapen.
SHOP THE LOOK:
• CASUALLY BELTED
It’s time to toss aside that flimsy fabric belt that most likely came with your favorite shirt dress. Instead, try out some more substantial leather belt options to give your shirt dress a bit more edge and an updated look. I love a casual camel belt knotted at the waist with daytime friendly BLOCK HEEL SANDALS or GLADIATOR FLATS.
SHOP THE LOOK:
• GLAMMED UP WITH HEELS
For a summer night, nothing beats a “borrowed from my boyfriend” shirt dress paired with the sexiest heels you own. The contrast between the causal dress and the dressy shoe make for an eye catching look for your next night on the town
SHOP THE LOOK:
Here are a few more of my favorite shirt dress styles that are both chic and comfortable!
(header image via)
For a few years I’ve been practicing a more restrained kind of styling using a very basic formula:
Better Quality + Fewer Things = Wardrobe Happiness
I’m sure you’re tired of me preaching the virtues of this more “mature” approach to building a wardrobe, but the proof is in the pudding… or in the street style image, in this case. When you have a great arsenal of basics in classic mixed neutrals, they can take you places — many, many, many places. Not only do they all work together, mixing and matching in perfect harmony but you’ll love wearing them every which way!
With Cleveland struggling to break out of the 40’s + 50’s and rain pretty much every day (total bummer!), this look is the ideal solution to feeling put together and seasonal, during this less than ideal Spring. The TRENCH COAT may be my all-star award winner these last few months!
While this is an “off-duty” weekend look, a simple swap of the jeans for slim-cut, WHITE PANTS, and the sweatshirt for a soft GREY SWEATER and it quickly becomes an office appropriate outfit! Need a quick change for a night out? Change out your loafers for a pair of sky high SINGLE STRAP SANDALS (THIS is a less expensive dupe!) for an unexpected twist!
Now, onto my favorite part… accessories! I discovered the KARA bag earlier this week while shopping for a client. It has that minimalist look I love and a price tag I love even more! If you’re looking for a comfortable handbag that has a bit of structure without looking too formal, this is for you!
As for the shoes — you know I love me a good LOAFER! These NINE WEST beauties are a slight departure from traditional loafers with their fun, white soles. Oh, and they’re currently on sale for under $70!
SHOP THE LOOK:
(streetstyle image via)
Well, what do you know?! It’s May!
The season of weddings, cocktail parties, benefits, graduations, etc. is officially upon us. I like to refer to the next 2 months as the “Season Of The Dress!” — or the season of one too many glasses of rosé!
With so many spring dresses out there, I know it can be an overwhelming project to narrow down the selection and get focused. To make your life a bit easier, I’ve put together a collection of some of my favorite styles — some long, some short, some floral, some graphic — to help every woman find her best spring dress!
Want to know my favorite?
I honestly adore them all, but I’ve had a recent love affair with the brand, SELF PORTRAIT (#14!). Although, not the least expensive of the bunch, the SELF PORTRAIT PEPLUM DRESS is so stunning and unique — definitely a stand out.
Here’s a tip: If you like that cut out lace-work look, but not the price, the marigold H&M MIDI DRESS might be right up your alley! It’s a fraction of the price and the color is oh-so-stunning on tanned skin.
One of the spring dresses I can’t help but love is the NEEDLE & THREAD COPPELIA BALLET DRESS (#4). It’s way more girly than my typical style, but it has such an elegant refined look that would be perfect for a summer wedding! The price tag is also fantastic for a dress with detailed embellishments and a great fit — winner, winner.
Which spring dress is YOUR favorite?
Want vs. need… it’s a daily struggle.
My list of 16 spring essentials tiptoes a fine line between want and need. You might be asking, “What makes an item flip to the need column?” Well, true need for starters… but how do you really gauge that!?
Conveniently, I have a 3 step system of shopping checks and balances:
1. Am I replacing an item I have recently donated, consigned or tossed (due to wear + tear)?
2. Is this an item that I can easily wear this season AND beyond? I don’t need to invest in a one-hit-wonder!
3. If this particular item were to be added to my wardrobe, could I create at least 3 different cohesive looks with it using the contents of my closet?
Ok, so clearly not all of my picks are needs… but a girl can dream, right?
In all truth, I have been looking to invest in a neutral designer bag that is nice enough to wear out and about, yet functional enough to fit all of my work needs. This FENDI DOT COM bag is new on the scene and I kind of love it. I’m debating between this style and the CELINE RING BAG.
I try to treat myself to one nice bag a year so I do spend a lot of time researching and evaluating this large purchase before pulling any triggers.
How about those STRIPED PAJAMAS? They easily fall into my need column. A few years ago I purchased a pair of menswear-inspired striped cotton PJ’s and always take them with me whenever I travel. It’s a treat having a “nice” pair of comfortable PJ’s that are an upgrade over my usual old t-shirts and 15 year old flannel bottoms (they’re SO soft!!!).
Have you guys invested in a pair of white sneakers yet? I adore my STAN SMITH… almost too much. Which is why you see another pair on this spring roundup. I’ve worn mine to death — the leather is cracking on the sides — and I think it’s time to find a suitable replacement. The good news is that they’re under $100 and go with everything!
Now, speaking of going with everything… that little GREY SWEATSHIRT does just that. I know, I know… it’s such a boring piece on it’s own, but top a statement making TIE-SLEEVE CANVAS SKIRT with it and add those ANKLE WRAP SUEDE SANDALS and it’s a knockout spring look!
By the way, no, you’re not seeing things… that skirt is ridiculously, obscenely expensive. Sorry, I couldn’t help myself. I adore the unique style but I know for sure that skirt will remain a “want” unless it goes on clearance sale!
What’s on YOUR want vs. need list this season?
Here’s my definitive answer to the eternal question:
What do I wear today?
Slightly oversized, with a softness that you just want to wrap yourself in, this wardrobe staple has become quite the “must-have” this season. Whether you raid a significant other’s closet, or acquire a striped boyfriend shirt of your very own, you’ll be hard pressed to find an easier or more versatile piece to add to your wardrobe.
Here are just 4 of my favorite ways to style this piece —
1. With Crisp White Jeans + Pastels
If you’ve ever wondered how to transition some of your cold weather favorites, look no further than a pair of skinny white jeans. Ditch the visually heavy blacks and browns for lightened up pastel accessories for a casual, summer Friday ready look.
2. With a Suede A-Line Skirt
A client recently inquired if suede was an ok textile for summer styling. My answer was an enthusiastic, “YAAAAAaaaassss!” Suede is pretty much a year-round style option, especially in a rich neutral as in the image above. Go daring and wear the hemline short (I LOVE this SUEDE A-LINE option!) on the weekends, or select a knee or midi-length option (THIS or THIS!) for a more appropriate office ready look.
3. With Broken In Denim + Contrasting Scarf
Have you tried out LEVI’S 501s yet? My pair have been some of my favorites — they’re the perfect blend of retro and modern. The higher rise really emphasizes the waistline and in full disclosure, make my butt look really good! Now, throw in my go-to accessory — the BANDANA SCARF and you know I’m all over this outfit! When wearing straight leg/high rise denim, try tucking in your tops and pair with heels for the most slimming overall effect.
4. With Wide Leg Trousers
The key to pulling off this look is to keep the bottoms fitted at the waist and the perfect length — just covering your shoes. You’ll immediately feel (and look!) inches slimmer and taller. The casual boyfriend shirt will add the ideal modern touch to your 70’s inspired styling.
SHOP THE LOOK:
(header image via)
I’ve gotta get something off my chest… I’ve been having such a hard time staying inspired lately. I’ve been battling a sinus infection (all hail antibiotics!), generally feeling less than stellar and just trying not to let that blah feeling creep into other parts of my life.
You know, livin’ the adult dream.
As an adult who does a fairly decent job at adulting, sometimes all it takes a moment to reflection to snap out of our superficial funk and refocus on the important things. In my case, all it took was a good spin class induced sweat/active meditation and a street style image of a style that just called to me.
Are you ready for it?
A floral dress and sneakers.
I’m always looking for ways to get more wear out of some of my favorite “dressier” pieces and this combination is the answer I’ve been waiting for. A floaty, floral dress generally gets reserved for evenings out or weekend activities, but now with a simple switch of footwear – BOOM – I have another outfit to fit into my weekly rotation. Better yet, a floral dress and sneakers is as comfortable as it is flattering.
SHOP THE LOOK:
Floral Dress —
Is this a style you could see yourself wearing?
(header image via)
This is the time of year when getting dressed can become more of a chore than a pleasure.
It’s still way to cold to wear anything remotely new or interesting and the long winter has taken it’s toll on your cold weather wardrobe inspiration. Everything old totally feels old and I actually heard myself sigh out loud this morning while getting dressed in what has become (in my head) the most boring outfit ever — jeans, a fitted sweater, leather jacket and booties.
It was only while I was browsing my style feed over coffee that I came across this image of Sara Escudero of COLLAGE VINTAGE and realized that with a few small tweaks, the same old thing is not necessarily such a bad thing.
Maybe it was the soft rosewood color, but it gave a very straightforward, no frills, anyone-can-put-this-together outfit that oomph it needed to become inspirational. All of a sudden, I was back in my closet and feeling so much happier with my choices. A quick swap of my trademark black leather for a lighter, brighter, blush version and I was out the door.
Moral of the story — classics are never boring. Sometimes we just need to see them through a fresh rose colored lens to appreciate a look that never goes out of style.
SHOP THE LOOK:
(all images via)
Although Spring may not exactly be in the air (holy coldness!), Spring sales are poppin’ up everywhere!
After spending way more time than I’d like to admit navigating the SHOPBOP site, I can tell you that online sale shopping can be slightly daunting. With pages-upon-pages of inventory, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the selection and just give up. Rather than call it quits (no one likes a quitter!) browse through some of my strategic online shopping tips below and show that sale who’s boss.
1) Come with a plan (and a clean closet)
Like anything else in life, it’s always best to be prepared. Before filling your virtual cart with items you think you want/need, take a few hours to give your existing wardrobe a thorough clean out and inventory. You just may find some long forgotten gems that you can’t wait to wear! On the flip side, it’s a certainty that you’ll end up with at least a bag (or two) of items that you’re happy to donate or consign.
Out with the old, in with the new!
2) Shop by brand
Friends + Family sales tend to have the most widespread and generous discounting on merchandise, so if you have a favorite brand that you love, it’s a good strategy to start filtering by brand first. For example, A.P.C. is one of my favorite contemporary designers — Parisian cool is probably the best way to describe the aesthetic. Unfortunately, this Parisian cool comes at a price. Armed with 25% off, some of my A.P.C. designer splurge dreams can be fulfilled — like this SOHO CROSSBODY BAG!
3) Check the sale rack first
There is nothing wrong with working the sale shopping system! 25% off is a significant discount, but add that markdown to already reduced merchandise from the current SALE inventory and you have yourself a STEAL. When shopping online sales, always take a peek at the SALE merchandise first to see if you can get lucky and score an under-the-radar gem. This strategy works best for off-season merchandise such as outerwear, shoes and seasonal specific clothing. You might have to wait a few months before you can put your buy to use, but how happy will you be come next fall when you have your dream pair of boots sitting pretty in your closet?
4) Know the policies
Every store is different with specific exclusions, shipping and return policies. Before you buy anything it’s important to know what the rules are. Pay special attention to anything marked FINAL SALE and purchase with caution. In the case of SHOPBOP — you’re in luck! Outside of their specified final sale merchandise, SHOPBOP offers 3-day shipping with free returns AND is Amazon Prime eligible.
5) Let a pro do the heavy lifting
I’ve weeded through thousands of SHOPBOP Friends + Family Sale items and have put together some of my favorites for you!
(Click on any of the images below for product details)
There’s nothing quite like a good designer shoe to put a spring in a my step.
Each season an “it” shoe appears that dominates the street style circuit and successfully makes the crossover from runway to real life. This season is no exception — hello, Gucci loafer! With the 90’s slowly creeping back into fashion (have you purchased your CHOKER, LEVI’S JEANS or SLIP DRESS yet?), it was only a matter of time before these unisex footwear staples made their big comeback.
Ranging from traditional loafer, to a “loafer-slide” or slingback (the fur lined ones were all the rage among the fashion set this past winter!), these horse bit embellished shoes give casual outfits a luxe dose of comfort, with a classic minimalist edge. Best worn with ankle length or rolled-up denim, the small sliver of exposed skin is all you need to put your best style foot forward this spring!
As we all can’t splurge on these Gucci loafer designer originals, I’ve put together a round up of some of my favorite spring loafer styles for all budgets — you can shop my picks below!
I’ll be honest, for a quick shoe fix I’m definitely intrigued by the tan suede SEYCHELLES LOAFER — the color would be a perfect extension of natural skin tone and a nice way to keep a silhouette looking long and lean — all for about $100!
Nothing beats the designer original, though… sigh… I guess it’s time to start saving!
Which is YOUR favorite loafer style?
(header image via)