Casual J.Crew Friday

Some days, you just wake up and want to wear sweatpants to the office.  Some days – you do!  If Juicy Couture was once cool enough for dinner and drinks, why can’t the newest sweat sets break similar barriers?  The key to sweats is to style them well – steer clear of sandals or flip-flops (please, please steer clear of the flops) and opt instead for some flats or cigarette shoes.  Try a casual button-down instead of a form-fitting tee.  And accessorize to truly finish the look.

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Stella & Dot Nikita Stretch Bracelet (BUY NOW)

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Stella & Dot Cassady Collar Necklace (BUY NOW)

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Photo Credits: Allison Rossi

How To Style High-Waisted Pants: Look 1

I’ve reached that stage in pregnancy where jeans are in the bottom of the pile, and pants that have elastic waistbands are automatically the greatest thing since Nutella Fondue.  But there’s more to comfy pants than yoga and PJ styles.  A loose, high-waisted version can be a great office staple.  Let’s explore some ways to style the look this week.

 

High-waisted pants are definitely a carry-over from decades past.  And it’s not like 2014 is going to see some magical “resurgence” of the style.  In actuality, Calvin Klein started the slow return of the high-waist back in 2010 during his Fall runway show.  Or at least, that’s when I started taking notice.  And often when you think of the high-waist, you think of fitted styles with a tummy tuck.  I fell in love with this pair from Theory, however, which has a loose waist and a tapered leg.  We all know how much I like a fitted ankle paired with some leg volume.  Mmhmmm.

These pants pair well with a silk blouse for a classic cool.  I love pointy pumps as an exclamation to the outfit.  For jewelry, try a longer, hanging style to continue the vintage vibe and elongate the silhouette.

 

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It’s an incredibly sunny day in Virginia

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Stella & Dot Kimberly Necklace (BUY NOW)

Photo Credits: Allison Rossi

Can Pregnant Girls Wear Short Shorts?

… ask the Royal Teens this question, and I’m sure they would realize its rhetorical nature.  It’s time that pregnant women break free from the chains of maxi dresses and velour jumpsuits, and embrace a cool summer breeze like the rest of the world.  Of course, I’m not endorsing Daisy Dukes (but hey, if you can wear some short jean shorts and not feel more restricted than Martha Stewart in Alderson, West Virginia, then I tip my hat tat you).  But a loose pair in an airy fabric, paired with a delicate blouse and some flats, would do everyone some good.

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I am obsessed with crepe myrtle right now.

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Stella & Dot’s Allegra Necklace (BUY NOW)

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My love of floral skirts extends to shorts.  Love the print on this pair from London Jeans.

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Stella & Dot’s Eden Bangle (BUY NOW)

How To Style A Chambray Vest: Look 3

Missed the beginning of this series?  Check out Chambray Vest + Patterned Skirt, and Chambray Vest + Colored Denim

 

Today we took ze chambray and infused un peu de francais.  Because it only makes sense to wear chambray with culottes, n’est ce pas?  The mister saw my culottes laying on my styling board last night (and by ‘styling board’ I mean ‘in the middle of the floor in the guest bedroom’) and thought it was a skirt.  And he was pretty close to correct, because culottes are just that – a split skirt, a garment that looks like a skirt but is divided into trouser legs.  They harken back to the original feminine instance of ‘riding dirty’ – or riding like a cowboy, instead of side saddle.  Which leads me to his second observation – that the look I put together seemed surprisingly Western.  The hubs is observant.

My culottes are tres fantastic because they have a snake-skinned embossed pattern, and play nicely into the white trend everyone is gaga for this summer.  I decided to tie my chambray vest, since these particular culottes were worn high on my waist (culottes tend to ride higher, but with my baby bump this was especially so).  Tied shirts look best with a layer underneath – fun fact: my bottom layer is a bra and not a top.  That’s right, not even a cropped top.  100% sports bra.  Ca, c’est bonne!

Because of the pattern on my bra and the volume from my pants, I kept accessories to a minimum.  If carrying a bag, I recommend an envelope clutch to keep from weighing down the look.  I wore a textured bracelet to feed my jewelry obsession.  As for footwear, true flats (read: ballet) were a bit too delicate for the volume on the lower half, so I opted for some sandals that had just the tiniest of wedged heel for a bit of a lift.

A note from my MIL: When she was in high school, girls were given permission to wear culottes for one semester.  (This was in 1969).  But then the administration decided that they were too risque (GASP!) and they were banned again.  You can send a man to the moon, but you can’t have the ladies looking tres dope.

So here’s to those administrators in farm-country USA: one small step for womankind.

 

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Riding a 70′s vibe

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Need an awesome bra like this one?  Try this botanical version

Photo Credits: Allison Rossi

Shades of Blue

I woke up this morning feeling very blue.  Not ‘Emily Dickinson ca. Because I Did Not Stop For Death blue’, or even ‘Blink-182 Adam’s Song blue’ – more like ‘sipping  a glass of wine while relaxing on Grecian sand blue’.  If I couldn’t be on vacation, I would at least try to act like I was strolling along the boardwalk with some poppy-flavored gelato.  Carpe diem, and so on and so forth.

So I started with an aqua-colored Pinky dress.  I love the movement of the lace overlay, which keeps it from feeling too structured.  I have to admit that sometimes I find this silhouette unflattering on the wearer; it exaggerates the mid-section so that a passerby is caught unawares and thinks ‘Is she or isn’t she?’ – pregnant, that is.  But since I’m flaunting some extra junk in the bump, perfecto!  One margarita, hold the tequila, please.

Feeling as jingle-jangly as I was, I thought I’d pull out all the stops.  So I paired said dress with some ostrich-skin Oscar de la Renta sandals – with coins on the T-strap.  With every step one was reminded of happier times, or at least wondered ‘hmm, are sleigh bells ringing?’ which in itself is an acceptable questions, since it also harkens a vacation season.

Auditory statement that my footwear proved to be, I knew I needed the rest of my accessories to pack as much of a punch.  Tiered bib necklace, indeed.  Chunky bracelet, a must.  Blue on blue on blue on blue.  Ahoy.

 

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Abandoned trellis – not as exciting when you’re not in a foreign country. #Pretend

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Take me to the Mediterranean

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Stella & Dot’s Malta Bib Statement Necklace (BUY NOW)

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Stella & Dot’s Sardinia Bracelet also comes in red (BUY NOW)

Photo Credits: Heather Kearney

 

 

How To Style A Chambray Vest: Look 2

Did you catch Look 1: Chambray Vest + Patterned Skirt?

 

I wanted to approach today’s outfit from a different angle, and focus on a casual get-up.  Unlike yesterday’s skirt pairing, I began by leaving the chambray vest untucked, for a loose vibe.  I paired with my favorite colored denim: some Alexander Wang mint skinny jeans.  I love how turquoise looks with mint, so I added some embellished sandals and a complimentary bracelet as part of my arm party.  Yesterday’s statement necklace was such a hit that I continued the trend, but muted my colors for more of an understated approach.

 

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Pregnancy secret: my pants are unbuttoned in this pic

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Turquoise is my favorite.  Love these sandals from R2.

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Try pairing bangles with more delicate bracelets to add interest to your layers.

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Stella & Dot’s Elodie Necklace is such a fresh pop of color (BUY NOW)

Photo Credits: Allison Rossi

How To Style A Chambray Vest: Look 1

A co-worker recently admitted to me that she didn’t know what chambray was, despite hearing about it as a SS14 trend.  After filling her in on the deets (i.e. making her do a Google search), I realized that despite my foray into chambray, I always fell into a rut of treating is as a basic.  This week’s blog series will hopefully shed light on some interesting ways to style that chambray piece in your closet.  Learn from my past mistakes (here and here) and reinvent the way you look at your wardrobe staples.

Look 1: Chambray Vest + Patterned Skirt

When first deciding what to pair this Madewell beauty with, I instantly wanted to grab a standby floral skirt.  Followers of the blog know that floral skirts are my comfort zone.  But instead, I decided to take advantage of the great geometric patterns and bright colors that are gracing skirts this Summer.  This skirt from Zara added a pop of personality to the neutral of the vest.  I went for a tucked-in look (especially with the baby bump) – it elevates the casual style a bit.

A buttoned collar prepares the perfect back-drop for a bold statement necklace.  I chose a necklace that highlighted the secondary colors in the skirt, to tie in my proportions.  Statement necklaces go with arm parties like wine goes with cheese, so layer on bracelets in matching metal to add some interest.

I didn’t want to make my look too stuffy (buttoned collar, tucked in shirt), so I chose some sandals in bright colors to keep the look youthful and fun.

Have you paired your chambray with a fun skirt recently?  Post your looks below!

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5 month baby bump

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Stella & Dot’s Norah Pendant makes a great statement piece (BUY NOW)

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The Renegade Cluster Bracelet is the perfect start to any Arm Party (BUY NOW)

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I can’t get enough colorblocking in my life.  Love these sandals from Bumper!

Photo Credits: Heather Kearney

 

Sunday Workout Attire

I’m sure everyone has been bombarded this week with the Net-A-Sporter news.  I’m not quite as excited as the masses about this announcement, simply because I would rather spend money on designer shoes or handbags than designer leggings and shorts.  But that’s a personal preference.  I don’t find myself working out as much as I used to (pregnancy really zaps your energy), but when I do I find that I’ve been gravitating towards my Fabletics purchases recently.

Fabletics is curated by Kate Hudson, and offers a wide array of workout-ready outfits (generally three pieces).  It’s part of the “subscription box service” fad that’s overtaking the market, but you can opt out within the first ten days of each month, making it a great choice for someone who might want to pick up a new workout outfit a couple times a year, without having to put too much thought into it.

It’s a beautiful Sunday here in Virginia, so I strolled to the nearby school field with my mini-me to work on our soccer skills.  Perfect excuse for a 3-piece Fabletics outfit: black sports bra, check; white tank top, check; brightly colored leggings, check.  I paired with my hot pink New Balance shoes (love these, they feel like you’re walking on air), the Charlotte Russe sunglasses I’ve been wearing everywhere, and a cute orange headband from France Luxe.

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Find similar leggings: here and here

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Find similar shoes: here and here

How To Style Shorts For Office OR Playtime

I take a lot of “fashion risks” when it comes to dressing for the corporate world.  I know how lucky I am to work for a company that is simultaneously one of the largest and most successful in its field, while also being pretty laid-back and chill when it comes to personal preferences.  But still, I’ve been afraid to cross the threshold and wear shorts to the office.  Have I seen other people wear shorts to the office?  Yes, actually.  But 99% of those people have been men, and somehow that’s just seemed more acceptable.

So I surprised myself when I decided not only to wear shorts, but to do so without embarking down the expected “Long Black Shorts + Blazer + Nice Blouse + Dress Shoes = Okay for Friday” path.  Check out my daring shorts-day recipe:

Step 1: Patterned shorts in a flattering fit.  Don’t get too bold and wear booty shorts; we’re not trying to get fired, just push the limits.  But make a statement.  Patterned shorts say “Yeah, this is sort of like a skirt, I’m awesome”  Perhaps a passerby will stop and think ‘Is she or isn’t she?’  My shorts are from Banana Republic.

Step 2: Pair a colorblocked shirt with patterned shorts.  This is one of my new favorite things to do.  It keeps things from looking too matchy-matchy, and I love utilizing complimentary color families.  Purple loves green, so that’s what I played with today.  My shirt is from Express.

Step 3: Wear a comfortable pair of shoes that are bold in their own right, but ground the outfit.  I chose my favorite J Crew flats in a hue that belonged to my shirt’s color family, but was still different.  I pair these shoes with green outfits a lot.

Step 4: Layer on the jewelry.  Jewelry always helps an outfit from looking too casual.  I chose jewelry in the gold family because it elevates things from purely casual (vs. plastic bangles, for example).  I almost stopped myself from doing this because the shirt’s buttons are silver, but I’m glad I took the leap to mix metals.  Gold looks great with green – added bonus

Have you dared to wear shorts to the office yet?

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I know it’s a little daring to root for Argentina, but I have to speak with my heart.

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Top Necklace: Somervell in Gold (BUY NOW)

Bottom Necklace: Sahara Pendant (BUY NOW)

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Stella & Dot’s Renegade Cluster Bracelet in Gold is a favorite of Katy Perry (BUY NOW)

Happy Feet: Colored Sandals & Flats

While I have my go-to summer footwear, I always begin the season searching for a fun addition to the shoe closet – okay, shoe closets.  I thought I had found that pair of sandals in some Sophia Webster jelly sandals that showed up at my door.  I hadn’t worn jellies since I was – hmmm, maybe four? – but something about these sparked my attention.  The jelly was interwoven in colorful shades of pink and blue, and even the heel sported a dash of glitter.  Those perfect shoes turned out to be too small for my feet, so I found myself returning back to the drawing board.

Check out my selections for the perfect brightly-hued shoes to take you through the Summer 2014 season.  Grab these while you can!