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.

 

Blah Monday Monday, Nov 7 2011 

I think I’m back in a fashion rut. It’s always hard to get up and motivated on Mondays, but I started my day off with the best of intentions: a 5:30 a.m work-out with Jillian Michaels. I browsed my closet and put together an outfit that I thought would look great. Conceptually, it worked and initially, I liked it. But as the day went on, I liked it less and less. The funny thing is – I love all three pieces of clothing. They just didn’t seem to work together. I think it was a mistake of proportion and fit.

I find myself feeling this way more and more lately when I get dressed. I think it just means that I need to be a little more creative but with a critical eye in the mornings. I can’t be the only one who has experienced this, right?

On a more positive note, I finally got my new jeans hemmed that I bought in Chicago. And I LOVE them. They are so dark and slimming and my tailor hemmed them perfectly. Jean shopping might be one of the most frustrating experiences in the world but finding the perfect pair makes it worth it. If you’re in the market for jeans and have an hourglass shape, I highly suggest the curvy dark-wash boot-cut jean from Banana Republic. (Yes, I know, shocker! I like Banana Republic. Who knew?)

In the words of one of my fashion idols, Rachel Zoe, “I die.”

Image pulled from Bananarepublic.com.

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.

It’s a Mad, Mad World Wednesday, Aug 10 2011 

By now, you have probably heard about Banana Republic’s exclusive Mad Men collection coming out for fall (debuts in stores tomorrow, I believe). I could never get into the show – shocker, I know. Many friends encouraged me to watch it and I gave it a chance for an entire season but it just never grabbed me. I found it to be slow, anti-climatic and just a little too dark. The fashion in the show was an entirely different story. I LOVED IT. I loved the throw-back to that era and the way the silhouettes enhanced the feminine body. Mad Men fashion is definitely classically chic and I will be buying some pieces from the collection. Since I “like” Banana on Facebook, I was able to view the collection this evening. Here are just a few of the looks that stood out to me:

Leopard trench

Leopard trench?! Yes, please. A great piece of outerwear is essential for fall because, sometimes, that’s all anyone sees of your outfit.

Lace Tipped dress

A classic LBD. I love the asymmetric neckline and the subtle lace detailing at the hem. Would be great for the office or a wedding. Money well spent.

Houndstooth dress

I love the updated spin on the large, graphic houndstooth print and the color combo.

Animal Print cardi & Tie-Neck blouse

I love the styling of this animal print with the jewel-tone blouse. A tie-neck blouse alone could come off as a little preppy and old lady-ish, but this look is modern paired with a short cardi and casually pushed-up sleeves.

And even better, all of the clothing (at least what BR is showing on Facebook) is less than $200! How’s that for classic, quality pieces at affordable prices? Way to go, BR. This collection is a perfect testament to why I love you.

What do you think of the Mad Men collection? And are you a fan of the show? Is there anyone on the “not a fan of Mad Man” island with me?

Images pulled from the Mad Men collection app on Banana Republic’s Facebook page.

Concrete Jungle Monday, Mar 21 2011 

I stopped into Banana Republic yesterday while killing time before my hair appointment. BR is one of my very favorite stores, probably even at the top of my list. I had seen a few of their spring ads in magazines and, truth be told, wasn’t impressed with what I saw in the ads. However, seeing the new collection in person completely changed my opinion.

There ads gave off a safari vibe and I definitely picked up on a “safari-meets-city-chic” feel. The colors felt very earthy and the pieces were versatile. I saw a good mix of structured and flowy. Luckily, I only had about 10 minutes before my hair appointment, so no time to try on, which means nothing purchased. (Good thing, too, since I dropped some cash the week prior at Nordstrom with a personal shopper. More on that another time.)

A few of the pieces that caught my eye:

Cute top. It’s a little out of my comfort zone but think it may be worth trying on at some point. I think it’s definitely a versatile top that could be worn to work or going-out.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I was immediately drawn to this jacket. I love the fresh, updated feel and the lightness for spring and cold indoors during summer. This definitely gave off a safari vibe.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I covet this dress! The soft, silky fabric, great color and flattering cut – everything about this dress screams my name. This dress will definitely get a try-on at some point. I haven’t stopped thinking about it since I saw it in the store.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There were two other pieces that really caught my eye and they are completely out of my comfort zone. I don’t have the slightest idea how I would wear them, yet they clearly stood out to me because I’m writing about them.

The sequined sweatshirt – a huge trend right now. It’s everything that I don’t do – effortlessly casual and uber-trendy. But still….

And the belted safari vest. It embodies the safari feel and yet is so out of my league.

There were many more pieces that caught my eye but these are the stand-outs. Only time (and my wallet) will tell if any of these come home to live with me.

Has anyone purchased any of the new spring BR pieces? How are you liking their new collection?

All images courtesy of Banana Republic.