Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Giveaway: LOFT Collection Necklace!

Update:  This contest is closed - the winner was Angie!

It's been a long while since I've hosted a giveaway for you nice ladies, but I only like to offer things I'd want for myself and today's prize does not disappoint!

We all know that I love me some LOFT, and they are so sweet to count me among their LOFT Girl brand ambassadors.  I shop there often (with my own money!) and just this weekend I scored four perfectly-fitting sweaters for under $60!  Needless to say, I was thrilled to receive their Spring 2013 look book along with this amazing necklace from the new collection.

However, since all of you are so sweet to support my little blog, I thought it would only be appropriate for me to share the wealth and offer this gorgeous necklace to one of you!  Hot damn, y'all are lucky! (I kid... kinda)

Here's how to enter:
  • Leave a comment on this post (Disqus thread only) telling me how you'd style this necklace Make sure you supply an email address or a link to your blog so I can contact you!
  • You cannot say you'd wear it with a little black dress because that is too easy (my blog, my rules!)
  • If you create a Polyvore set using the necklace, put the link in your comment and you'll get an extra entry
So simple!  I can't wait to see how all of you would wear the necklace.  Be sure to leave your comment by 9pm central time on Sunday, February 3rd.  I'll announce the winner on Monday!

Good luck!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Reader Request: Job Interview Attire

Good morning!  I hope everyone had a great weekend.  I'm not thrilled to be back at work, but I sure am glad not to be worrying about interviews!  That's why I was eager to help Mary, a reader who is about to interview for her dream job as a teacher at her old high school.  She wants some ideas for what to wear, since she'll know some of the staff from her days on the swim team.  I think her dilemma is a common one, so I've put together a few options that would be good for an interview. 

Disclaimer:  I should say that I have worked at marketing agencies for 8 years and in my industry, we walk a fine line between "I tried" and "I'm not boring and corporate".  If you know what's expected for interviewees in your industry and what I'm showing is too casual, by all means ignore me!

First of all, if you have a suit that fits you well, then wear it.  Your jacket should be able to close, it should NOT make you look like a linebacker.  If the jacket isn't slimming, it probably doesn't fit well.  I don't like pairing standard button downs with a suit since it can seem super stuffy and boring, so I tend to wear a silky tank or fine knit shell with a fun necklace. 

Source: express.com via Marilyn on Pinterest

However, if you do not own a flattering suit and will not have occasion to wear it after you are hired, I would not advise investing $200+ when you can look just as put together with basic pieces you may already own.  Like this:

For most interviews, it's a good idea to stick with neutral shades and dark blue or green.  Even in a creative industry, I wouldn't march in wearing a pink blazer since you never know when you'll run into a traditionalist.  I also like wearing the pieces that make up a suit, but not necessarily ones that match, or pairing a blazer with a sheath dress instead of a skirt of pants.

You'll want to keep your jewelry interesting, but not distracting, and definitely not loud.  I once interviewed a woman wearing a stack of jangly bracelets and that clinked together as she made gestures and it was really distracting.  The fact that I still remember it shows how off-putting it was.  
The same goes for shoes - nothing too sexy, and definitely not a pair you can't walk naturally in.  

Finally, although it should go without saying, there's always some person who has no concept of where necklines should stop.  So I will type it:  If you can see any cleavage at all, it's too low.  If you can't lean over to pick something up without flashing the room, it's too low.  If you have any doubt at all... it's too low.

And with that, I bid you good luck!  Stand up straight and remember why you're awesome!

Friday, January 25, 2013

5 Things Friday

Happy Friday, ladies!  Even though this week was a short one, it was busy and I'm looking forward to some down time.  This weekend I'm hoping to try some new recipes, finish a book and start a new one, and spend some time with friends I don't see.

Before that, here are five things I deemed worth sharing on the internet:

1. Is there anything chicer than dark flare jeans that almost skim the floor and a cropped jacket?  I think not.  I'm so glad they're coming back in a big way!

2. Last week's truffles made from Little Debbies were a huge success!  This week, I want to make these homemade Butterfingers with candy corn (if I can find it), peanut butter, and chocolate coating.

3. I love this picture of Zooey D. and it is making me waver in my decision to grow out my sideswept bangs.  It's so hard!

Source: weheartit.com via Haley on Pinterest

4. I am obsessed with these tiny little animals by a UK based shop called Manomine.  I seriously want one for my desk at work and every day I would look at it and squeal and bring it everywhere for photo ops like Flat Stanley.

5.  Three times this week I've felt suddenly overwhelmed by all the content available to me and I want to experience it all.  I have a huge stack of books waiting by my bed, four unread magazines on my coffee table, a couple of unfinished e-books on my Ipad, and literally a hundred blogs in my Google reader that I would love to keep up with.  Couple this with my love of television, especially HBO and Showtime programming, and the hundreds of movies at my disposal and it starts to feel like I'm never going to get to everything I want to do. 

The point of this rant is that I'm going to start a new ritual in my life and give myself half an hour a day to pick one thing and focus on it and enjoy it.  No more skimming blogs and not leaving comments because I'm too lazy to decipher your Captcha and am also watching 30 Rock.  (Side note: Please disable the captcha unless you are just inundated with spam.  Disqus is so much more user friendly!)   I'm going to get lost in the work of talented people again, before I became so scatterbrained.  Who's with me?!

And with that, I bid you good weekend!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Colored Pants: A Refresher Course

I get a lot of questions about how to wear particular items of clothing purchased on clearance.  This week I got an email from my friend Laura, who wants some help styling a pair of bright purple pants without looking, as she put it, like a very tall child. 

Her email made me realize that although every store in the mall seems offer slim cut pants in a rainbow of colors, I don't see that many people (who don't write fashion blogs) wearing them.  I've done lots of posts on styling colored pants over the years (see here, here, here, here and here) but I thought a quick refresher course wouldn't go amiss.  So here we go!

Colored Pants 101 - Pair with neutrals, stripes, and lace
You could swap out the purple pants below with green, bright blue, red, pink or orange and the outfits would still work (though maybe not with red stripe sweater, but you get the idea).  A black (or white) top, be it button down, sweater or peplum will work, as will a neutral blazer or dressier blouses.  Easy!

colored pants refresher

Colored Pants 201- Pair with a pattern
As before, the purple pants below could be any other color and plaid, dots, leopard, floral or chevron would work.  Neutral color palettes are easier to balance, but something in the same color family as the pants is also pretty foolproof. 

colored pants refresher 2

Hopefully I've convinced you to dust of your clearance pants and wear them with something besides a chambray shirt or a white button down!  What's your favorite way to wear colored denim and corduroy?

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Reader Request: Styling Tights

Hello!  I hope everyone had a great (long) weekend.  I was one of those ladies who runs lots of errands in her best workout clothes, then assembled dinner in the crockpot and did lots of housework before spending a few hours with this book.  (Both dinner and book were great)

Today I'm happy to ease back into my old routine and help out Elizabeth, a reader who emailed with a request for inspiration when it comes to styling tights.  As a Texan who works in a casual office, I must say I'm no tights expert.  I rarely wear them at all, and when I do it's in a pretty basic way.

Like this:

A black dress or skirt and black tights is pretty foolproof, and if you want to get a little more adventurous you can wear a patterned pair.  The Commando brand is my new favorite, since they're not a control top and don't roll down when you sit.

image via Danielle at Curves, Cults & Curls

image via I Am Khatu

For a little more variety, you can substitute a dark colored pair of tights for the black ones.  I think maroon or purple are the easiest to wear, but a dark blue or green could also work.

Finally, if you're really adventurous, just pick a color from a pattern you're wearing and walk out with confidence!

And if you're still clueless, here's a little cheat sheet from the nice folks at Lucky Magazine.

Hope this helps!  If you have a style question, send me a note and I'll see what I can do.  Have a great day!

Friday, January 18, 2013

5 Things Friday

Good morning!  I hope all of you have had a great week.  I'm pumped to have a three day weekend full of time to read books and host a garage sale on Saturday morning for a friend who is moving away.  (If you're local to the Irving, TX area and want to come buy our stuff, send me a note and I'll give you the address.)

Before I do that, here are 5 things worth sharing on the internet:

1. I am making these today:  you just need a box of Little Debbies, white chocolate, and cinnamon.  Recipe via The Domestic Rebel

2. Everything about this outfit makes me happy.  I am kicking myself for giving away my black circle skirt a couple years ago!

3. Isn't this pretty?  I know it's not cool to be a copycat and label someone's art as a DIY... but I really do think I could do this with some paint and masking tape.  Perhaps I'll make my own version in our fancy new bathroom.

Source: etsy.com via Haley on Pinterest

4. This week I totally fell in love with the blog A Storied Style, which showcases the work of Dallas area designer Grace Mitchell.  Her recent room reveal contained a great idea for creating an evolving gallery wall, and I think it would be so cute for someone with kids.  Or someone like me who changes their mind a lot.

5. Yesterday Katie and Regan over at Cardigans & Couture wrote a great post with lots of resources for plus sized fashion that aren't limited to sensible basics or old lady blouses.  I was excited to see that Nordstrom carries a line called Mynt 1792 and there are some really great pieces!  I'm loving the teal bomber jacket and this one with the zipper detail.

 And with that, I bid you good weekend!

P.S. Thanks for all the great comments this week!  I ordered several wallpaper swatches and am assembling an ankle boot outfit.


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