To Sparkle or Not to Sparkle? Monday, Aug 6 2012 

I had a conversation with with my best friend this weekend about a sequin top for a night on the town and whether it was age-appropriate. My answer to her was yes. Sequins have always been acceptable at night. Her question formed around the fact that her friends were going to a fun restaurant, but nothing super glitzy and glam. Designers have really improved sequins over the years and made them more subtle and more wearable. My friend was pairing hers with jeans, so my answer was still a yes.

I think an even bigger conundrum with sequins is whether to wear them during the day, specifically at work. First, you have to gauge the actual dress code at your office (actual meaning what people really wear as opposed to what’s written in the formal handbook). If your office environment is uber-conservative or dressier than business casual, I think sequins are a no-go. But if you work in a creative environment or some place that’s more business casual, I think you can pull off the look. I did a quick browse on ShopStyle.com and found some sequin tops that I think are work-appropriate.

I think this last one is probably the most versatile because it’s not covered in sequins and upon a zoom-in, they look more like beads than sparkly, shiny sequins. The key to any of these tops is layering – wear them under a blazer or cardigan so that they don’t scream for attention. Keep your bottom and top layer on the simpler side to tone down the sequins. And keep jewelry to a minimum.

Sequins are a great way to add some pop and texture to your outfit. Plus, when paired well, it’s a subtle way to stand out.

What do you think? Would you dare wear sequins to work?

All images pulled from ShopStyle.com and confirmed on the specific retailer’s website.

 

In the Navy Tuesday, Jan 17 2012 

I spent the weekend with my parents, so of course my mom and I made some time to shop. We hit the jackpot at Ann Taylor Loft and I bought a new pair of work pants. I can’t remember the last time I bought work pants, so obviously I was in need of a little update to that area of my wardrobe. And I stepped out of my comfort zone and bought navy pants.

These are the “Julie” style and I think they said curvy on the tag, so they fit my hourglass frame perfectly. Every figure has fit issues, and as an hourglass girl, I often find that pants that fit my hips are way too big in the waist. These defied that conundrum, so if you also have that problem, check out these pants.

I love the colors Loft is showing right now – navy and bright oranges and yellows and greens. They are rich, deeply saturated hues that look fresh and current. Plus, it’s a great color palette to transition from winter into spring. For my pop of color, I bought a bright orange skinny stretch belt:

I am loving that deep orange right now and it works great with navy. A belt is a great way to incorporate a bold color without feeling like you’re as bright as the sun.

I also purchased a couple of tops that coordinate with the pants. You know it’s a successful shopping trip when you come home with a mini-wardrobe to incorporate into your existing wardrobe. There is nothing worse than buying something new only to find that you don’t have anything in your closet to wear it with.

Now I’m just anxiously counting down the days until my pants are ready to be picked up from the tailor (my other fit issue: being 5’2″ means that pants always require hemming).

What did you purchase on your last successful shopping spree?

Images from Ann Taylor Loft, via my Pinterest page

Dressing for Me Tuesday, Nov 15 2011 

This

is a look I love. It’s classic and chic yet current and oh-so-fall. I want to rock this look. And I have tried. But I’ve come to the realization lately that I’m breaking the #1 fashion rule that I believe in: dress for your body. It seems so obvious and, frankly, so easy. But it’s clearly not.

I purchased my first pair of skinny jeans last year just after my wedding. As most brides can attest, I was in really good shape. I had spent the 3 months leading up to my wedding going to a boot camp three times a week and sticking to a healthy eating plan. Knowing you are going to walk down the aisle in front of 200+ people is great fitness motivation. So I was able to make this look work for me for a while.

Fast forward to fall a year later: my skinny jeans just don’t look good on me now. I know what the culprit is but it’s not so easy to put in black and white. So I tried an alternative. I bought a pair of straight-leg jeans from Ann Taylor. I liked the way they fit me and I convinced myself that they were slim enough that I could tuck them into boots. They’re not. It doesn’t work. And now I find myself with a pair of straight-leg jeans that I’m not quite sure how to style.

So I need to be honest with myself and dress for my body. I need to be proud of the fact that I can pull off this look:

Or this look:

It will make getting dressed so much easier than forcing something that doesn’t work. And I’ll feel better about me.

Is there a look that you love but doesn’t work for your body type? What fit/style/look flatters you the most?

All images pulled from Loft.com, because they are one of my favorite stores and I love the way they style their pieces.

Same Old, Same Old, But New Monday, Oct 17 2011 

A few weekends ago I took a girls’ trip to Chicago. The trip was filled with all of our favorite activities, which of course includes shopping. We hit up Michigan Avenue and some local boutiques. With the endless amount of shopping in Chicago, I hit the jackpot at two of my favorite stand-bys: Ann Taylor Loft and Banana Republic. Yes, I realize I could have driven just 15 minutes in my own town to buy all this same stuff, but it’s always more fun to shop with your girlfriends. And I really am thrilled with my purchases.

You may remember that I was in need of jeans for fall. I picked up an inky dark (almost black) cury bootcut at Banana and a dark wash straight-leg jean from Loft. I love dark jeans and think they are one of the most flattering, versatile pieces any girl can have in her wardrobe. Recently, I had also been craving some mustard in my closet. When pairing outfits together, I kept going back to the fact that a mustard-colored piece would pull a lot of things that I already own together. Mustard runs a pretty big spectrum and I found that a true yellow mustard didn’t work well on my complexion, but a mustardy-green hit the spot. I invested in a darker cardigan from Loft and a sweater from Banana with great sequined accents at the shoulder. The purple shell was just an added bonus to round out the mix.

I am pumped about my new purchases. Now I just need to get my jeans hemmed. Oh, the trials and tribulations of being short. It is amazing what new life just a few pieces can inject into your closet.

Have you done any shopping lately? How have you injected life into your closet?

P.S. Have you checked out Glass Heel yet? It’s a fantastic site for professional women and I’m contributing on fashion. Check out my first two articles, Staying Stylish on a Budget and The Culture of Office Attire, here.