Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Lookin like a fool with your pants on the ground...

Excuse the title, but I just couldn't resist.

Today's post will be short and sweet.  And it may offend a few people, but please know that I come from a place of kindness and wanting to help.  That said, I'm going to go ahead and declare:


It looks really sloppy when you wear flats with pants hemmed for heels.  Seriously.  It's even worse when the pants are flared. 


I completely understand that wearing heels all the time is not practical.  I don't do it either.  I also understand that not everyone is comfortable wearing slim cut pants (you should try it anyway - if they fit right, they're so flattering!), but wearing a flared or boot cut pant that drags the floor makes for a very strange body shape.  Your feet should not be one of the wider points of your silhouette, which is what happens when you stand in a puddle of fabric.

And don't get me started on frayed hems with holes in them... the horror!

That said, here are a few examples of how to mix flat shoes and trousers without resorting to a super skinny style.  Think cropped or cuffed styles, or simply hemming a pair of pants to keep them off the floor.




I hope I didn't upset anyone, but tough love is necessary sometimes.  If you need help finding the right style for you, shoot me and email and I'll be happy to assist!

Monday, July 29, 2013

What to Wear: Interviewing at Marketing Agencies

Happy Monday! I hope you all had a great weekend.  Mine was good, though I mostly watched my husband and his friend work really hard on our bathroom renovation.

I don't have time for much of a post today, but wanted to share a quick set of outfits that I put together to address a pretty specific situation - interviewing at marketing agencies, and other creative companies.

I've worked in client service at agencies for over 8 years now, and it's definitely not a conservative environment.  On any given day in my office, you may see someone in shorts, various dogs, and definitely not many (if any) people wearing business attire.  And since interviewing is mostly about proving that you will fit in, showing up dressed like a boring banker suggests that you don't really understand the industry.

So, if you're looking to make the switch to a more creative environment, here are a few ideas that will still suggest that you take things seriously, but are unique enough to convey some taste and personality.

interviewing at agencies

EAST silk blouse
$65 - houseoffraser.co.uk
Topshop
topshop.com
Mango jacket
mango.com
Yves saint laurent
mytheresa.com
L K Bennett l k bennett
$92 - johnlewis.com
Clare vivier
seevivier.com
Kate spade jewelry
nordstrom.com
Kenneth jay lane
shopbop.com
Warby parker
warbyparker.com

Generally, I like the concept of a suit but not necessarily a traditional set.  That's why I tend to layer a jacket over a dress, or substitute a pattern for a basic white shirt.  I also like wearing at least one unique piece of jewelry that's not too crazy (or noisy!) but interesting.  Basically, you should look put together but with an edge.  

However, if the HR person tells you to dress (business) casually, you need to do it.  It's pretty awkward to sit down in front of a person wearing a suit when you are wearing shorts.  I have seen it happen, and then people wondered why that guy didn't listen to the recruiter.

Good luck!

Friday, July 26, 2013

5 Things Friday

Happy Friday, internet!  I hope y'all have had a great week.  Mine was pretty good, and I'm looking forward to a weekend without anything that I have to achieve, besides a meal with friends.

Until then, here are five things worth sharing on the internet:

1. For those of you who don't know me in real life, Project Bathroom Update is totally underway.  My husband has gutted the room, run new plumbing, and will be hanging drywall over the weekend.  That means that the time to decide on wallpaper is NOW.  I've ordered several samples from Spoonflower, and I'm hoping one of these babies is the perfect mix of color and pattern for our space.  (Check out option 1 and option 2)



2. This week's recipe is Cinnamon Toast Crunch cupcakes from BS in the Kitchen.  They're not too advanced, and my taste testers in the Finance department heartily approve.  Check out the recipe here.



3. I've got a ton of pregnant friends, and I think one of them should consider a cool gender neutral nursery like this one.  It would be pretty cheap to execute, and that wallpaper is now available in removable tiles!  (Check out the post at Handmade Home here)



4. I love this top, but not the price.  Anyone have leads on a copycat??



5. I love everything about this outfit.  It will look great on all body types, and translates especially well to plus size cuts.  The shoes offer the perfect pop for color, and not one piece needs to be a big investment.  Let's all dress like ladies!

 

And with that, I bid you good weekend!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

More hairstyles I'm unlikely to achieve.

I really do love the look of braids and pretty knots, and I have the super long hair to pull them off now.  My only roadblock is ability. 

I don't have enough time for a real post today, but thought I'd share the prettiness that I plan to attempt this weekend.





See ya Friday, internet!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Reader Request: Mama About Town

Happy Monday!  I hope you all had a great weekend.  Mine was good, and I'm already ready for another one.  However, today I'm excited to be here and help Jessica.  She's a new mom, and not very happy with the state of her wardrobe.  She wants to have some options for going out with her husband, friends and family that she can feel confident about, without showing lots of skin or abandoning her ladylike style.

Although this looks like a lot to take in, I put together the outfits below to show that you can transition the same pieces from season to season, and adjust the fanciness with jewelry and shoes:


First of all, an LBD (little blue dress, or black dress) will take Jesslica to nice restaurants, weddings, and shows.  Don't worry about wearing it too often - a classic dress that fits is always a good choice.

A great pair of slim (not tight) cropped black pants is another staple piece, and if Jessica invests in a sleeveless beaded tank and a great flowy blouse she'll have two perfect outfits for visiting bars and wineries with her girlfriends.

After looking at her Pinterest board, it's evident that Jessica is drawn to ladylike silhouettes and that means a great full skirt will get a lot of wear.  She can pair it with a short or long sleeved blouse, or even a fitted sweater later in the year.  Add a skinny belt and she'll be good to go!

Finally, I wanted to show how a great black blazer will take her usual jeans (mid-rise, dark denim is best) and tee up to another level.  She can also go without the blazer and add fun sandals and a great necklace.  And obviously, a pair of leopard pumps goes with almost everything!

Hopefully this was helpful!  What's your favorite evening outfit?


Friday, July 19, 2013

5 Things Friday

TGIF!  I hope y'all have had a great week.  I'm looking forward to a relaxing weekend not involving an airplane or a road trip.  I hope you will be up to something equally satisfying.

Until then, here are five things worth sharing on the internet:

1. A nice reminder:



2. I like the idea of wearing a hair comb like this one.  I think I could pull it off... maybe.


3. This week I read The American Heiress by Daisy Goodwin and really enjoyed it.  If you're a Downton Abbey fan, you'll enjoy the story and the characters.  



4. Why yes, you can make your own cinnamon bun donuts at home.  Check out this recipe from Averie Cooks.



 5. Is anyone else as excited about this week's True Blood episode as I am?  They better not kill Eric or Pam.  I don't know what I will do, but it will be something...

Feel free to make fun of me, but I love it.  Unless you watch The Bachelor(ette) - then you have no room to talk.



And with that, I bid you good weekend!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Chic Shower Guest Outfits

I don't think I'm alone when I say that wedding and baby showers can be really hard to dress for. 

It's usually daytime, but not super casual.  You don't want to wear jeans, but a church-ish dress might be too much.  You'll probably be photographed with the bride/mom, but you don't want to overdress or show too much skin.  It's also not an occasion worthy of shopping for new outfits unless you're the one being honored. 

After being a guest at many, many showers and preparing to host one next month - I think I've finally got it down.  Here are my foolproof combinations:


Maxi Dress + Cute Belt = I may be tall and have a waist!
Pick a dress with adequate coverage up top so you don't flash any boob, and a jersey fabric that it's appropriate for daytime (and so comfy!).  You'll wear this same outfit to dinner or brunch, and into the fall with a cardigan on top.

Printed Dress + Flat Sandals = I didn't try very hard, but I'm still stylish.
Screw people who say you shouldn't repeat outfits.  You find yourself a printed dress or tunic that you love, and wear the crap out of it.  It's better to be seen in the same few flattering ensembles than lots of cheap ones that don't do much for you.  You'll be comfortable, and can dress up or down with jewelry.

Full Skirt + Colorful Tank = I'm a lady, and not overdressed.
This sort of outfit is a prime combination for high/low styling.  Find a great skirt that makes you happy, and pair it with simple tees and tanks or ladylike blouses depending on the event.  You can also work in a cardigan and cute belts.  Oh, the possibilities!

Maxi Skirt + Simple Tank = Look how lean (and chic) I am, y'all.
While this combination is hard to wear if you're short waisted or large chested like me, it looks great on many other body types, especially pear and lanky shapes.  The simple tank keeps things casual and lets the skirt be the star.  You can work in belts here, or some statement jewelry or earrings.

Do you have any go-to shower ensembles?  Let us know! 

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Reader Request: Business Lady Bags

Good morning!  Sorry for the silence yesterday, but after an eventful weekend and a night of HBO, I just forgot to blog.  Oops.

However, I'm excited to be back today so that I can help Catie, a reader looking for a classic, chic bag that will take her and her laptop on airplanes all over the country.  Her budget is reasonable (durable leather bags aren't cheap, people) and she needs to be able to take it from under the seat in front of her to a meeting with clients without damage.

In my personal experience, I've learned that bags intended for carrying laptops are generally much more comfortable to carry around and have straps that were made to support about 15 pounds of computer and other stuff.  I daresay many a large purse has been ruined by women (like me) insistent that a large purse can do the job of luggage.  So, I've put together some options for Catie that will do the job and look good for years to come:

First, my top choice (again) is the Alesya laptop bag.  It comes in two colors (black and gunmetal gray) and looks super comfortable with a wide strap and lots of compartments.  It's also much less expensive than many other designer options!


Some other contenders:



Do you have a bag that serves you well?  Let Catie know where to find it!

Friday, July 12, 2013

5 Things Friday

Happy Friday!  I hope all of you had a great week - I'm off to see my sweet cousin Kirby get married and enjoy another long weekend with family.

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

1.  I love this:




2. I want a $22 owl bracelet for my birthday.  Take note, husband.



3. I love this DIY table skirt, and how it looks modern and not granny.  I may try it with my vintage console table that I love, but wish fit with the room a little better.



4. Y'all have no idea how much I want more natural light in my house.  I also want a kilim rug.  I am a greedy girl.



5. It's funny, I can think of multiple reasons why I should not get a kimono but a little part of me thinks I could pull it off.  However, I hate the too-short jorts trend and would never wear mine like that.  I'd pair it with cropped, dark denim jeans and platform sandals.  And over my swimsuit.  And belted with some black shorts and flop flops.


And with that, I bid you good weekend!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Reader Request: Back to Work Post-Baby

Good morning!  Today I'm excited to help my friend Liz, who just had the cutest baby girl back in May, and will be coming to back to work next month.  She's working hard to get back into pre-baby shape, but as we all know, weight that took 9 months to put on doesn't fall off like magic.  She needs a capsule wardrobe that will give her a week's worth of outfits in a casual office, and doesn't want to spend lots of money on clothes that will soon be too big.

I gave this a lot of thought, especially since this is SUCH a common situation.  While she won't be able to avoid shopping entirely, there are lots of pieces that will transition nicely as she shrinks since they're not intended to be form fitting.  Here are some options to consider:



What You'll Need:

A great-fitting pair of straight-leg jeans and/or black pants: If your early maternity jeans still fit and aren't saggy, then wear them, but otherwise you need to try on jeans until you find a dark wash pair with a straight cut that you can dress up or down.  This cut is going to look better than a flare, although you can also do a bootcut if it makes you more comfortable.  If your office isn't totally casual like where Liz and I work, you'll need some great black pants as well.  I recommend trying on different styles at TJ Maxx or Nordstrom Rack, or checking eBay if you don't want to pay full price.  And when you get home, cut out the label if it makes you too upset.  Nothing makes people look larger than ill-fitting pants.  

A black maxi dress: You can layer this with cardigans and a denim jacket that you already own for work, and wear alone as well.  A crossover front will work well for pumping, and you can keep wearing it as you get smaller since the cut is so forgiving.

Completer pieces: I'm talking about cardigans, blazers, and denim jackets.  You probably have these already, and they'll help you get more mileage out of basic black and white tanks and tees. 

Nursing-friendly tees and tanks: Although they're not cheap, go ahead and invest in a black and white nursing tank/tee, but also look for non-maternity styles that are intended to be flowy like the option from LOFT above.

A fun printed skirt or dress: To mix things up a bit, look for an inexpensive printed skirt or dress that fits you as you are now.  It'll make you feel girly and pretty, and you can sell it on eBay when it gets too big.

Colorful Accessories:  Since you'll be repeating outfits more than you normally would during this time, look for some inexpensive statement necklaces that will add color to your outfits as well as some fun but comfortable shoes that will make you feel good.  And, if you don't already have one, get a great diaper/pumping bag that looks good when a grown woman is carrying it around.  You'll get as much wear out of it as you will a new purse (maybe more!) and you should enjoy carrying it. 

Okay mamas, I know you ladies probably have some great suggestions for Liz.  Let us know what pieces you loved in the first few months after delivery!

Monday, July 8, 2013

5 Things Friday... on Monday

Good morning!  I hope all of you had a great long weekend.  I spent mine with N's family in St. Louis, blissfully disconnected from the internet (except for some sporadic Instagram browsing - I'm only human).  Since I didn't post my usual collection of randomness last Friday, I'm going to do it now.  Better late than never, right?

Anyway, here are five things worth sharing on the internet:

1. This weekend at the airport I found myself in line behind a lady with the cutest pair of tennis shoes that aren't made for running marathons or crosstraining.  Since I'm about to head out on an 8-day trip full of walking in late August, I creepily stared at her feet until I could discern that they're Reebok Rhythmcity shoes and only $32 - $44 depending on the color.  [Update: I'm weak, I ordered the pair below because they're so darn cute.  Screw sensible color combinations!]



2. I think this is such a happy room.  I wish we had bigger windows!



3. This week I read The Time Traveler's Guide to Medieval England and it was so interesting!  It's a history book that is written in the form of a guidebook, and it focuses on the everyday customs and objects rather than kings and battles.  If you like history books, I highly recommend it.  Now I'm even more excited for the follow-up book that's sitting on my nightstand! (The Time Traveler's Guide to Elizabethan England)



4. I hope this becomes evident to more teenage girls.



5. It's nice to be reminded that you can eat a perfectly healthy lunch without repeating the same foods over and over.  Even though this is intended for kids, I'll be copying some of them for myself! [Update: The image is from Weelicious.com! ]



Happy Monday!

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