As any of you all who follow my Tumblr
may have picked up - I am on vacation this week (until Sunday the 23rd.) Many of the places we're going have limited or no wi-fi or 3G and, well frankly, I will have limited time for posting anyway! But I'm picking up some great post ideas already - like hiker chic (or how to look cute in travel pics when you're hiking and gross but would still like to look decent in the photos anyway!)
So I may do a couple of posts here and there as I travel and I will return to regular posting when I return on Monday the 24th. Keep submitting those questions ... and don't forget to use the click through links from the posts here if you decide to buy anything I've recommended ... the relatively small amount of money I earn helps fund my shopping budget (a good cause if ever there was one!)
P.S. If any of you want to get back to my Tumblr or Twitter in the future, they are linked above (Twitter via the Twitter logo and Tumblr via the Yahoo logo because there was no Tumblr logo and Yahoo just bought Tumblr, so my dorky funny bone was tickled pink. Also if you have an RSS feed, don't forget that you can follow both this blog AND my Tumblr, where I occasionally post random other things that I don't post here...as well as pictures of my dogs, Tom Hiddleston and all of the Avengers, and of course my one true love Matt Bomer.
So - I wanted to do a post about business appropriate work items for people who like to dress with a bit of edge. Now let me be clear, these aren't just for people who are dressing all in black to look more grown up or to be more intimidating. These are people who are, perhaps, goth in their personal style or otherwise like to look tough or edgy in their style. Now - much of what I post here would normally fit the "ladylike" or even "girly" side of the coin. And I'm not going to recommend studded belts or collars for work (which I know you wouldn't wear unless you work in a VERY creative field) - but I'm going to suggest some edgier work wear items to be paired with otherwise neutral items to allow you, my little gothic lovlies, to slip some of your edgy soul into your work wear without scaring the puppy-shirt loving office administrator or the 70-year-old managing partner.
| |Tracy Reese Brocade Pencil Skirt at Neiman Marcus ($90 - so I clicked on this because I liked the skirt but then I liked the sweater with leather sleeves too. I think a brocaded burgundy skirt like this is sort of sneaky edge; a bit vintage but cool if paired with a very modern top - like here with leather. I really like this version; not too much like a couch cushion and a lovely color.) | |Marc New York by Andrew Marc Black Sheath Dress with piping at Nordstroms ($138 - love the piping here - not only would it be great for women with longer or mid-length waists to emphasize their shapes, but it takes a plain black dress and adds interest without making it work inappropriate. Also the shape is a bit different but not crazy. With a cropped jacket in any color this would be great for work.) | |ASOS Pants in Wide Leg in Berry at ASOS ($34.99 - these are maybe questionable, but I love the idea of these with a wide, black leather belt and a black or contrasting shirt and then a long, beaded statement necklace [or the Boden military blazer right below this!]. Usually berry isn't an "edgy" color, but I think the combination of the palazzo cut and hard styling could make this an exciting outfit, you know?)
| |Fitzrovia Jacket in navy with white piping at Boden ($98 - "Military style" blazers are all over the place right now, but I like the piping and color of this one, which keeps it from being *too* casual or military. I think the ones that are military khaki green are too casual and some of the more super structured ones are a little hard to wear for a lot of women who aren't petite - this would look nice on lots of shapes and is nice.) | |Gliding on Style Top at ModCloth ($47.99 - I don't usually love peplum, but if you paired this with a black pencil skirt and a bright colored pendant necklace and fabulous earrings and heels and...god...curvy women would look amazing. Anyway - seriously cool.)
| |Antonio Melanie Rikki Pinstripe Waistcoat at Dillard's ($119 - I am of the opinion that everyone should wear waistcoats. Wear it with a silk blouse and then a looser pair of trousers. Or get the matching pants and have an androgynous day or a colored pencil skirt and show off your butt. Either way, if it fits right, everyone loves a good waistcoat and you can pretend to be Tom Hiddleston or Matt Bomer for the day.) | |Fashion Star Pencil Skirt with Leather Appliques by Daniel Silverstein at Saks Fifth Avenue ($150 - leather skirts are very trendy, but I think leather pencil skirts may not be work appropriate but I think some of the pencil skirts with leather detailing are exceptions. Just a leather waistband though are no fun - this one is FUN. Paired with a burgundy blouse or blazer and black heels - this would be beautiful. I actually wouldn't pair it with a black shirt so that the leather can shine.) | |Cooper & Ella Crochet Trim Blouse in black at Piperlime ($89 - okay there are a million black blouses in the world - but I like the crochet detail on the shoulders of this one - adding a little difference. Also, the soft way it hangs, and the v-neck is a nice cut but isn't too low.)
| |4.collection black and gray printed flare dress at Saks Fifth Avenue ($298 - I hope this dress would be longer on women of average height - but I love that this is an A-line dress but not girly - which they often are. Add a fitted black or gray blazer and maybe a gray leather belt and whatever color shoes your mind can imagine and you've got a great look. Plus this is practically made for dramatic jewelry.) | |Ann Klein Faux Leather Skirt in tan ($49 - limited sizes - I think this is one of the exceptions to the general rule against leather pencil skirts are inappropriate for work because it is so neutral and simple. Another exception are a-line leather skirts, like this one that Banana Republic used to have. I think the key is that the skirts not be too tight, not be black [black being very "biker" for some reason] and that the skirt and styling be as neutral as humanly possible.)
So - what do you think readers - do any of you have an edgier look? Are these things you would wear? What do you think - other than my love of skulls, I'm not particularly edgy (one of my skull scarfs is sea foam green - you can't really consider me to be hard core whatsoever....I find my love of skulls to be generally ironic.) Leave some comments in the comments sections (and if you don't know where that is, click the link in the title and go through to the post's main page and look at the bottom of the screen! Don't worry, your e-mail won't show up.)
Reader ML has a tough fashion nut to crack:
Hi! I just bought a ticket to a Summer Solstice party at our local art gallery, I'm very excited. The dress code is "summer chic." My concern is that the party is going to be outside, and night temperatures are, oh...6 degrees C? They might have heat torch lamps and fire tables (common on patios around my city, because the evenings are chilly in the summer), but I run cold, and don't want to freeze, yet want to fit "summer chic". I think my budget is max $200, particularly if the items chosen are good additions to my summer closet. I'm 5'2, a size 10-12, and quite hourglass shaped, and a large bust. Brown hair/brow eyes, and skin the colour of coffee that's been liberally mixed with milk (I'm on the lighter side of biracial). I love colour, I don't often choose patterns, but I do like the idea of patterns. Also, it would be best if you choose from stores in my city [please redact this, but I'm in [a city to be named ... NEVER....but its in our neighbor to the North]!- so we have stores like Anthro, Forever 21, H&M, Zara, J.Crew, Club Monaco, Banana/Gap, Aritzia, Tristan, Jacob - it's cool if you pick items from stores that aren't here though, even just for inspiration/ideas]. The party is in a week - so most onlne orders wouldn't arrive in time. I'd also be cool with accessory/shoe suggestions...if you have any. Thanks!
Okay - so I'm going to (a) look for items that will be a bit warmer and (b) try to look for items that will layer well while still giving off the summery vibe you're going for. I'm also going to try to do something I don't usually do and build *specific* outfits from a few of the retailers above. You can use them as inspiration at whatever store you go to - but I also think that way, you can go to one store and simply try on what I recommended as well.
|Anakena Maxi Dress from Anthropologie
($148 - I love the colors in this - pretty for the summer but not SO bright you couldn't use it other times - and the maxi means you could put leggings on under neath and either this dress or those pants would go with the same blazer/sweater/top.)
|Adelle Cardigan from Anthropologie
($88 - I would wear this with either the dress or the pants - though it also comes in a yellow/orange - I might try both. You might try belting it over a cream shirt with the blue pants or just wearing it over the dress. I think it would help keep you warm. With the dress, I'd maybe add a white or gray scarf?)
|Modern boot pants in kelly green at Gap
(CA$37.99 - your size in these pants aren't on-line but hopefully they're in store...so cute! I personally wouldn't wear heels unless you're tougher than me - do you have wedge boots or just boots? Or some sort of shoes you could wear thicker socks with?)
|Fitted boyfriend Swiss dot shirt in navy at Gap
(CA$42.99 - I love navy with kelly green. I'd add a third color in jewelry [do you maybe have purple or orange] and then I'd wear a jean jacket or a navy or neutral blazer, like a tan blazer over it to add a little warmth.)
|Printed dress in blue from Zara
(79.90 CAD - lovely lovely lovely. Will be great for the rest of summer when it warms up. As for the temperature, I think I'd find some end of season textured nude tights and but them - they're likely to be on sale!)
|Printed pencil skirt at Zara
(59.90 CAD - If you'd like bolder colors - this skirt would be a lovely option. Though I would not wear it with white - maybe gray or black instead - but I think still with the cream blazer. Does that make sense?)
|Striped Tie-Front Patio Maxi Dress at Banana Republic
($160 CAD - I rarely love maxi dresses for petite people like, well, myself - but I think this would look nice on your curves - the v-neck and the waist-tie would really emphasize your shape while, again, you could wear leggings under it without feeling silly. Also, a blazer could be worn over it.)
I'm not going to like to you LM; if it was 40 degrees F outside - I would not go to ANY outside event, let along a "summery" event. But have fun! Hope you have fun and find some cute
Reader CB the Cobalt Blue lover asks:
I've been invited to a color party! The general idea of the party is that everyone is supposed to wear only one color from head to toe. I've been assigned something in the blue family and I feel like this is the perfect time to find that cobalt or primary blue sheath dress I've been itching for. It's nothing super super fancy - more like nice wine and hors d'oeuvres, but I imagine a good number of the attendees will go from work to dinner with a change of shoes/accessories so nothing too cocktail-esque, ideally. The catches - I'm on a budget. I really don't want to spend more than $100 or so for the dress, since such a bright color isn't all that rewearable, at least not often. I am a size 2/4, of average height, and definitely Figure 8 shaped (hourglass with a high hip). I look terrible in high necklines and cap sleeves don't tend to do me any favors. I look great in things I can belt since my waist is small in comparison to my hips. Besides that -- go for it! Would love any shoe/accessory suggestions too! Shoes -- comfort is key, but I can do heels up to 4in (but in that case, I pretty much only buy them if the reviews mention that they're comfortable -- I have abandoned my shoes at parties too many times!) I wear a 9.5. Thanks! (PS - please anonymize my name/don't print my email)
Note: Before I get started - and to address something that has come up in several posts now - I *will not* EVER post anyone's real names or email addresses or share them with any third parties without your permission (for example, I introduced one of the winners of the personal shopping prizes to a friend who lives in her city - but that was with permission). Heck - I'm very hesitant to email you at the email provided unless I sense the contact might be welcomed and the question needs serious clarification and/or you seem like someone who needs more help than I can provide in one answer. If you read the other posts, I think you will find that (even in the video for the promotional contest, for entrants whose names I knew, I created monikers for them.) I will add a note about this on the submission page, but do not fear, I will not reveal your name. And in this case, I have edited out some information that seemed dangerously close to personally identifiable - just to keep your identity super secret - more Batman than Superman if you know what I mean.
Now back to regularly scheduled programming - with first a startling realization. I had such a whirlwind busy day today, I almost didn't do a post. Oh sweet Grilled Cheesus. But then this request popped up in my ask box and ticked my funny bone. My goal for you: a cobalt blue hat or fascinator (not too ugly), a cobalt blue dress as requested, a cobalt blue wrap (I have one in mind actually), cobalt blue jewelry, and cobalt blue shoes (ideally that can be reworn and are conservative enough and comfortable enough to be worn to work.) I think these are good and achievable goals. And since your assignment is "blue family," some of the jewelry recs may come from slightly contrasting shades of blue - but I think that's okay and will just make your outfit more interesting. I'll try to make it both. But here goes, from head to toesy-woesies.
Cobalt Blue Hat, Fascinator, or Head Piece
COBALT BLUE DRESS
The dress is, of course, the most important part of this whole shindig. I will try to stay firmly within your budget and find a v-neck sheath dress. It sounds like, from your description, you are actually more like what Inside Out Style guide would call an "8 shape" - which is - as you described a curvy figure but with a higher hip line and with a slight pear shape at the bottom. If you agree with that and would like to learn more about what that means and how to dress it, go here
- I think she's great and gives really good advice (though pay attention to your own experiences as well - no fashion blogger/advice giver is god.) The most important things I have learned about dressing an 8 ideally are: emphasize the natural waist, which is likely somewhere right above or below your ribcage. You also probably look good in trouser jeans/straight leg pants and also good in pencil skirts. And if your shoulders are narrower than your hips, you should use blazers and other slightly bulkier tops to balance them out.
| || || |Pim + Larkin Textured Ponte Dress in cobalt blue at Piperlime
($69.99 - I know this doesn't meet your criteria of no high necked dresses - but in many other ways its just what you need. Belted at your natural waist and with the right accessories, this is a great party dress - but with a blazer and more formal shoes and accessories this is the perfect work dress. How MUCH do you dislike high necklines?)
| |Floral Asymmetric Neck Dress in blue dinghy from Ann Taylor
($98 - if I was choosing a patterned dress, I think I'd choose this one, it is predominately the color of choice with just bits and pieces of the other color peeking through. And its a lovely take on the J-Crew Origami asymmetric neckline that's so popular now. I know you don't love the cap sleeves, but if I recommend pretty wraps, will that help? I'm doing that anyway - so ... there. [Sticks out tongue like fourth grader.] AT actually has several dresses that might work, you should toodle around their website if you have time Reader BC.)
| |Tie-Waist Fluid Henley Shirtdress in brilliant blue from the Gap
($64.95 - so this might be more royal than cobalt - hard to tell from the picture, but since you said your event was not super formal, I wanted to give you a couple not TOO formal options. My biggest foreseeable problem with this is it probably ties well below your natural waist, which can be terribly unflattering and is why a shirtdress I bought on a whim once sits in my closet. P.S. Gap also has this dress
that fits the bill for the nice price of $29.99!)
| |Tahari ASL Cobalt Blue sheath dress at 6PM
($59.99 after discount - still be sold for significantly more elsewhere - available in your size. So I think this is close to the perfect sheath dress. I love the tabbed waist detailing at the high waist, the pockets in the front and the slight scoop neckline. Yes it has cap sleeves, but I wear blazers or cardigans with my sheath dresses 89.9% of the time anyway....perhaps you do to? I don't know - your opinion may vary - but this seems like a pretty great option for you.)
Cobalt Blue Wraps or Scarfs
Cobalt Shoes (or as I would say, the best part.)
| |Michael Antonio Raquelle Pump in blue at Amazon
($28.79 - these shoes are fun and perfect for this kind of party - with just enough quirk and edge to show you're not just rocking your work shoes. And the price means that you can AFFORD not to just rock your work shoes.)
| |Kimchi Blue Cone Heel Pump in cobalt at Urban Outfitters
($24.99 - I honestly know nothing about this brand and what I know about U.O. isn't great. But the price is good and maybe the risk on quality is worth it. Because you know, you don't really need "forever" shoes and these are cute and vintagey.)
| |Miri Midheel Suede pump in lustrous blue from J-Crew
($149.99 - unlike the last shoe, this shoe very well could be a "forever shoe." People rave over their J-Crew pumps and this color would almost certainly be surprisingly versatile. It has exceeded my mental budget for possible new shoes, but thought I'd share anyway.)
| |Camdyn Cutout Toe Pumps in cyan blue from AT Loft
($49.99 - I'm not sure if the main shoe color in this is navy or royal or cobalt, but I am
sure I don't care and think you HAVE to get these darling shoes. I think they're my favorite shoes I've seen in awhile. the color combo of the edging and the main shoe is perfect, the cutouts are cute, and the heel height is perfect. My only issue is the suede, because suede is really not a sensible shoe material here in the NE. But that is a MINOR quibble about an otherwise aDORable shoe that ALSO has great reviews. 10/10 for you AT Loft.)
| |Seychelles 'Know What I Mean' flat at Nordstroms
($89.95 - a bit high in my mentally created budget, frankly, but also a surprisingly cute pair of flat peep toes. Usually they're pretty hideous but these are cute. And cobalt. And probably sturdy and comfortable since this is a good brand. Who knows - probably better for your feel than heels.)
| |Vince Camuto Hallee Pump in Turquoise/Aqua at Nordstroms
($48.96 - these would be a great choice if you decided to go with one contrasting element in the shoes. This is still in the "blue family" but would add a fun zing to the outfit. And are so sensible and plain looking *except* for the color that I think they'd be a great work statement shoe.)
Okay folks - that's it for now - I know I said I was going to do jewelry, but frankly, this post is enough of a monolith to sort through right now as is without adding to o much more to it today. Hope everyone had a good Tuesday and has a fabulous Wednesday. Adios - hasta la vista (not babies since I don't know you and you're all probably grown women!) haha.
Reader Jenny Dictatrix (JD for short) is bedeviled by her search for interesting knit pencil skirts:
Hi TCFKAG, I have been trying to hunt down a knee-length jersey knit skirt for summer that goes a little bit beyond boring basics. I have one in from Target in black and white stripe that I wear all the time, and I'd love to have another option in that same style. My current skirt is slightly full with a fold-over waist, which I like but isn't necessary. Ideally I'd like to find something in cool geometric print - something that reads a little more city than beach, if that makes sense. I looked at Target B&M store, Splendid, American Apparel, and Alternative Apparel with no luck. Any ideas? <3, JennyDictatrix
So - I'm a bit unsure what shape you want - so I'll try to propose a variety of shapes including pencil skirts, a-line skirts, and things more on the drapey side. But I'll definitely go for things with cool geometric patterns or other things that make them look more trendy and not like a swimsuit cover up. So lets get going y'all.
| |Vila Belted Skirt in aquatic blue at ASOS ($15.27 - limited sizes - so I generally hate this "paper bag" belted waistline that this skirt has - but the color was cute enough that I thought I'd share it. Plus, the a-line is nice and it looks comfy. Maybe if you wore a blazer over it, it would hide the waistband?) | || |Milly Camille Pencil Skirt at ShopBop ($150 - normally I would never recommend a jersey, unlined pencil skirt that cost this much - but because of your mention of something graphic, I thought I'd post it. It has a really cool, futuristic graphic feel to it. Mixed with cobalt and black you would look like an astronaut lawyer but in the BEST way possible.)
Okay! Hope one of these works for you. I like some of them, love others of them, and some of them aren't for me. So I bet one of them will work for almost everyone! :-) Yay! I love jersey skirts for summer, there's something nice about a breathable fabric for summer (especially if its heavy enough that it doesn't show every bit of pudge.)
Happy shopping and may the odds be in your favor. Let me know what you buy! Post all about it on tumblr - ha!
A Corporette reader, Lost in the Racks, asked:Big dinner coming up SATURDAY NIGHT [emphasis mine] with SO and his firm (900+ employees). No idea what to wear. He’s wearing very dark grey pinstripe Hugo Boss European cut suit. I need to look amazing – first time to a work function with him. I’m 5’10″ and usually a size 12 – curvy (38DD). Help?So, LitR, I'm sort of letting you jump the line here because it sounds like your event is tomorrow? If that isn't true and its next Saturday - well - you're still a bit pressed for time but you could order from SOME online retailers (Zappos, Amazon, on-line only Nordstrom's dresses). But for the sake of this post I'm sticking to "things that I think are available at most malls in America" but simultaneously "still look fabulous enough that you won't look like you bought it the day before." I assume you volunteered your husband's suit to describe level of dressiness and not a matching issue - since almost everything in the world goes with gray - but I'll try not to clash (and if you need to, you can always buy him a new coordinating but not too matchy-matchy tie.) Or better yet, let the guys in the men's section of a department store or suit store do it - they are much better at it than us mere mortals.So I'm going to add some styling and possibly actual shoe and jewelry advice, because in the end what makes an outfit for an event like this sometimes isn't the dress but rather how you accessorize. Also, on a final note, I know most people would head straight to the "LBD" section for this one - and that's fine - but I think some color would be great for this. I mean, its a middle of the summer party and *you* don't have to be conservative to avoid "embarrassing" yourself in front of your bosses - you just have to be appropriate, if the difference is clear. So I'm going to suggest some color but I'd definitely suggest you look at my "wedding guest black dress" post (which has both LBDs and non-LBDs), my "teal" cocktail and work dress and my "little red dress" post from before for other ideas. Many of those dresses, especially the Nordies ones, may be available at your local mall - but I'd call ahead to check. Now moving on to some ideas specialized just for you.
| |Ivy & Blu for Maggy Boutique at Nordstroms ($168 - the reviews are mixed, but you'd be trying it on first. Its available in your size at 2 of the 4 stores near my house so I figure you have decent odds of it being available near you. I think a fun floral would be great for a summer work party because well its summer. I'd keep everything else simple, nude or gray heels, maybe a silver or gold bangle, pendant necklace and maybe even just stud earrings.) | |Cascade Hem Sleeveless Dress in palm frond from Ann Taylor ($79.99 - so I would normally not recommend asymmetrical hemlines, I just usually don't like them, but something about the execution of this one works for me. Plus the color is great, I like the top, the price is right, and its available in-store in lots of locations. So it might be worth a try-on at least. Most reviews are good - saying its flattering and a nice length for the taller set.) | |Textured Cotton Sundress in polka dot from WHBM ($160 - WHBM has this fun polka dot dress - they also have a couple great striped dresses. If you're hitting a mall, I'd hit them up first. They're one of my must stops when taking my friends dress shopping and they are always amazed by how much they like the dresses and how flattering they are...including both x-shaped and fairly short to tiny, thin, and tall. So they have variety.)
| |Tadashi Shoji Lace & Tulle Cocktail Dress at Nordstroms ($298 - you'll have to check store availability - this is a repeat for me from the teal post - but I just love it. A more modern take on the lace trend, a beautiful teal, looks long enough that should work for a 5' 8" person, wide shoulder straps and high neck should hold the girls, and the ribbon detailing at the waist line should help emphasize a variety of natural waist lines. Also comes in a lovely cantaloupe color. Maybe worth the splurge since it would be a great dress for weddings and such?) | |Banded Drop-Waist Dress in black at WHBM ($160 - if I was you and looking for a little black dress for this, I might seriously consider this one. It has 11 reviews and a 5 out of 5 - with lots of reviews saying it looks great on curvier figures. I think it would really work well with your assets [as they say in the boob trade lol] and the banded section through the bodice and stomach looks forgiving but while still having a nice a-line twirly skirt at the bottom. Yes, I'm a grown-woman who likes twirly skirts and I'm proud. A pair of red pumps and a bright red lip with some great jewelry and this would be a great "guest at a company party" look.
| |Colorblocked Pleated Sleeveless Dress in tropical jade at Ann Taylor ($148 - this dress practically SCREAMS summer at me and if this color flatters you it might be perfect. Add a long necklace or pendant, some nude or metallic sandals, and maybe that bangle she's wearing and it's a great look. A nice mix of formal and fun. I'd bring a cardigan or wrap though. | |Etched Leaf Wrap Dress at Talbots ($109.00 - available in all sizes and should be in store - I think a lot of wrap dresses might be too casual for this event, but since this one has a pattern, a very nice one in my opinion, it dresses it up enough that I think it works. Again with a bit of extra jewelry and nice shoes and you've got a good look; plus wrap dresses are just SO flattering and look so good on bustier women.) | |Adrianna Papell Jersey and Taffeta dress at Nordstroms ($178 - I wanted to include one dress that was really a more formal "event" dress - unfortunately this one isn't available in stores near me but you should check with the stores near you. Or look for something with a similar wide-v-neck and fit and flare skirt - which I think would be a great formal dress shape for you.)
| |Side bow dress in bright red at The Limited ($79.90 - possibly with an additional 50% off - the sale is difficult to understand. There is also a black version of this dress and this is called red though on my screen it looks orange. Either way, the Limited is getting great props everywhere for its new resurgence so I'd definitely check it out for a mall option for a dress. [Oh and I secretly hop this is orange - I love orange.]) | |Adrianna Papell Sleeveless Beaded Tulip Hem at Macy's ($199 - this is a brand new Papell as far as I can tell, at least I've never seen it, so I'm throwing it up here just because I like to keep people informed - I'm not actually sure you could get it in time for your party LitR (sorry). Its definitely an interesting dress, I love the fish tail ruching, but not so sure about the beaded neckline - would have to see in person I guess. I am a HUGE fan of burgundy though - so they've got me there.)
And Now Just a Few Accessories Suggestions ... Because of Reasons
Okay LitR - that's what I got for you tonight. I hope you find something that makes you look and feel incredible (without making you wear your grandparent's clothes). But really, just have fun and take advantage of what I hope is an open bar. The goal here is just to look nice enough that you fit in - the nice thing about going to your husband's work events and not, say, your own is there's no one to impress. :-)
P.S. To the other Corporettes who are hopefully now reading this blog instead of just the tumblr (or nothing before). There is a tab on the top of the page entitled "Vicarious Shopping Questions" where you can submit your questions directly and they won't get lost in the shuffle of a Weekend Thread that gets out of hand and I just forget or lose them (which happens sometimes!)
Also, if you haven't been reading the blog at all, you may have missed the announcement that I have started a PERSONAL SHOPPING SERVICE through TCFKAG Shops. You can click on the tab at the top of the page logically titled "Personal Shopping" to learn all about it - but the upshot is if you have a particularly complicated or involved question - or would like help with something like restyling your whole wardrobe or picking out a new wardrobe after significant weight loss....something like that, you should consider hiring me as a personal shopper. I'm fairly cheap as these things go and it will be a more interactive, on-line process via e-mail or video chat (if you prefer). Or, if you live in the Boston/Greater New England area - it might even be in person. So take a look see at the info and submit from that form if you are interested!!!
Okay - that's all the announcements. Hope you like the dress ideas and happy shopping. Other readers - I know Reader LitR has to go buy these items at the store, but if you are going to buy any of them - I'd be super touched if you bought them through the link on the website because when people buy things through my links I make a little money which is both cool and I get adorably excited about it (think $10 per, like week, and you'll understand why its adorable.) Gosh - REALLY, really checking off now. :-)
Reader SunnyD submitted over at Tumblr:
I need a pair of nude mary janes/t-strap pumps for the office. They must have a heel that isn’t too thin (I prefer more blocky heals due to a prior ankle injury) and no more than 3-4”. And I can’t find any anywhere. Help!
So - future submitters - try to remember that you are going to get better answers if your questions include a size and price range (and in the case of nude for you shoes, an example of a shoe that is the right "tone" of nude.) But - without that information, I will soldier on for you SunnyD - because nude Mary Janes or T-Straps sound cute. And I feel confident we can find you something. So let us begin shall we?
| || |Sanzia Success Mary Jane Pump at Amazon ($38.08 - limited sizes - the reviews are - how do you say - terrible. But at this price, it might be worth a look see if its available in your size, especially if this is nude for you. I like she shape of the heel and its a nice height from the look of it.) | |Me Too Lakota Mary Jane Pump in baby pink at Amazon ($50.22-82.95 - available in a variety of sizes. For many white women, light pink shoes can work as a nude shoe so this could be a nice option. I like the detail of the shiny cap toe and the solid heel which is 3".)
| |Fidji Women's Mary Jane Pump in tuc taupe at Amazon ($185 - so I think the taupe is only available in some sizes and it looks like you'd end up paying the full price, but I think this is an interesting enough shoe that I might consider it if it fits in with your style. The reviews are very good, and while the taupe is nice, I have to say the other colors - especially the rust - are fabulous. For people with a more rustic, or elven (as one reviewer noted) sensibility - these shoes would be perfect.) | |Vaneli Ikeda Truffle Suede self button pump at 6PM ($69.99 - most sizes available - not sure if suede is an option you're willing to consider - or what color these really are in person but I kind of like the wider strap with the bigger button. The shape isn't my favorite in the world, but they'd probably be super comfortable.)
So what have we learned from this post - there are not as many nude Mary-Janes with stacked or chunky heels on the market as you'd expect. And second - please send in your size and price and tone preferences (especially with nude shoes) - otherwise I'm shooting a bit blind.
P.S. For SunnyD and other tumblr readers - if you want to do me a big favor and submit future questions through the Vicarious Shopping Questions form on this page (see the tabs on the top) it helps me out a lot and allows me to keep track of what questions come in and what I've answered! So thanks!!
So...Kanye East (of everywhere fame) has an amazing Etsy store that I've featured on this blog before. This evening she posted this lovely rough diamond multi chain necklace with silver and gold chains
. I like it a lot (as per usual with items from the Gewgaws store) but it also got me thinking about mixed metal jewelry. Sometimes its great. Sometimes its good. Sometimes its okay. And sometimes its just awful. But I find it super useful in my jewelry collection - I mean I can pair it with either my silver OR my gold jewelry - that's extremely useful! So I thought I'd find and recommend some nice mixed metal jewelry tonight. But first, here's Kanye's lovely creation (on-sale now for $94 though she offers a Corporette discount....which I probably should have checked if I should post that here.
I know many people worry aout service and quality on Etsy. If you do not read the 'rette or are not familiar with Kanye or her store - I have bought two items from her and am aware of many others who have shopped there as well. Her service is excellent and prompt and her quality is top of the line, professional level. She also does custom orders and actually worked with me to custom-make both of the necklaces I bought from her. Anyway - now that I've internet flirted with Kanye enough (she's awesome an amazing human being lets get down to business.)
So - one of the keys for me with mixed metal jewelry is that you have to balance my desire for the metals to look as real as possible while still blending somewhat - a balance well struck by the rustic metals Kanye used above. Hammered metals also often work well as good. Sometimes the really bright metallics don't work as well, in my opinion. I also REALLY love when there are other metals involved, like copper, bronze, tungsten, whatever - anyway- now that I've written an ode - lets get to the shopping.
| || |Caravelle by Bulova two tone mixed metal bracelet watch at Macy's ($79.99 - watches are a great way to mix metals - since many people wear them everyday its especially helpful if they match all of your jewelry - or at least more of your jewelry. I'm oddly drawn to this watch, maybe because the floral pattern separates it just a bit from the other watches?)
| |TopShop V-link Collar Necklace at Nordstroms ($35 - I think this would be an amazing necklace for dressing up a LBD with either a deeper v-neck or strapless or a deep scoop neck. The one review says it shines brightly but I still think it looks like the mixed metals work great and look classic yet contemporary. And the price is right in my book. | |Argento Vivo 'Prism' Double Drop Earrings at Nordstroms ($128 - generally I don't like dropping a ton of money on jewelry, but these sort of earrings are the type of thing that make me consider an exception. First, they make a statement - they could, on their own, be the centerpiece of a formal outfit or a cocktail party or even just a night out with the girls. Second, they are unique enough and intricately enough designed, I don't think I'll find the same thing at Target or online the next day for way cheaper. I could be wrong of course, but these are really beautiful and seem special. So I thought I'd share.)
So - that's all she wrote (literally) today folks. Sorry the post was a bit late; I was having a *day* and just was super grumpy. But then Kanye posted the perfect necklace and gave me IDEAS! Hope you like the outcome. Do you mix metals? What's your favorite piece of mixed metal jewelry and how do you wear it? Leave a comment below!
Editor's Note: Did you all notice I started a twitter for this blog? I have no idea what to do with it (or how to use it for that matter) but you should follow me if you read this blog - I might post occasional other items I see that I like ... and also I like followers. They give my life meaning. (Kidding - sort of. ;-) You can get to my Twitter by clicking the icon on the top of the page, the envelope allows you to email me directly if you have comments or questions, the Yahoo! icon actually leads to my Tumblr (there isn't a Tumblr icon and I thought it was ironic since Yahoo just bought Tumblr) and the YouTube brings you to, well, my Youtube channel which has one video and no near term plans to increase that number. OKAY - social media update complete.
Thanks for reading - I hope this post was fun and inspired you to adventure you into the fun wild world of mixed metals (also - shoes are another place where metals can be mixed with great pizazz.) Happy shopping and may the sales be ever in your favor.
Reader ET wrote in a really long time ago and asked:Hi! I'm looking for a nice crochet lace dress, preferably with a fitted waist and short sleeves. There's a lot of lace out there right now but nothing that seems quite right. A contrast with the underlay isn't absolutely necessary, but I don't like all white/cream. Cream lace with black/navy/purple underlay, or some dark lace in general would probably be the ideal. I love the black crochet lace with cream underlay of this dress: Wilfred Quai Dress the only issue it being a bodycon that I struggle to get myself into. It's a bit pricier than what I'd like for something I'm not sure about, but am otherwise willing to pay around that much if it's really perfect. I actually would have liked this Maitland Lace Dress from Anthro okay except that the skirt kind of fell flat. I tried it on and it just didn't do anything for me. I'm typically a size 12 if this helps at all. Sorry if I'm giving too many requirements! Thank you!
Okay, reader ET, I'm really sorry this answer is SO belated - I actually sort of hope you've found your dress already. Or that you've successfully phoned home (I'm sorry, I couldn't help myself, literally...couldn't do it.) Anyway - on the off-chance that you haven't - I think I've seen some good ideas out there for you. But first, for those following along at home, here are the dresses Reader ET sent in as examples.
Click through to see actual dress with black underlay - there was no picture of it on the model.
Both of these dresses are pretty - but nothing is wildly special about them. And I do love when retailers use "body-con" to just mean "really tight" instead of what I think it *should* mean, which is form flattering. Ugh. So lets get started on finding better options.
| |Midi Dress in Crochet Lace from ASOS ($64.49 - so the burgundy in the picture is apparently no longer available (boo), but the black version's details didn't show up well so I went with this picture instead. I like that this is fit and flare, though its sleeveless and not contrasting, and the price is right. I recently bought my first "midi" dress form ASOS and I surprisingly like the length, its fun and "twirly, if that makes sense.) | |Eliza J Lace Cap-Sleeve Dress at Dillard's ($106.80 - available in all sizes - I like the light blue crochet with what looks like a silver lining - its not a pairing you see much. I also like the belt to emphasize the fit and flare. I hope its longer than it seems on this model and I also wish the pictures on Dillard's was better so we could see the details better
| |Elie Tahari Lolly Dress in teal/coral at Elie Tahari ($358 - okay, so obviously this is WAY out of budget, BUT, it is also already on half off and all sizes are available at the Tahari site - so the price may drop further. I also think it fits your needs well and when I saw it, it was so pretty I took a picture of it through the store window at the mall.) For anyone who likes this, Muse has a similar but clearly not as cool version.
| |Sonia Black Lace Bodycon Dress from Reiss ($230 - so this is another "splurge" i.e. out of budget dress - though slightly less dramatically so. But I like many things about it, it has the black over cream overlay that you like. Its bodycon, but from Reiss, so it probably means bodycon as in form flattering. And the detailing at the waist and boob area (for lack of a better term) gives almost the effect of a belted dress without actually wearing, you know, a belt. Perhaps it will go on sale?) | |Graceful Gaiety Dress at ModCloth ($164.99 - I adore this dress and there are only two left, but hey, one is in your size ET. I just think this dress would stand out in the best possible way - its vintage but not dated. And the color would look AMAZING on a wide variety of skin tones. I know its not exactly what you came here looking for - but I want to throw it in the mix.)
| |Ivy & Blu for Maggy Boutique Cotton Lace Dress at Nordstroms ($178 - so its hard to tell from the picture - but the description says this dress is a lighter pink lace overlaid on a brighter pink lining. I bet it would look lovely in person. I like the elbow-length sleeves and I'm a sucker for a boat neck. Also, I think with a structured blazer you could probably wear it to work. An interesting option anyway.) | |Hand Crochet Dress from Boden ($187.60 - this was one of the few truly *crocheted* dresses I could find out there - most just being lace with a crotchet like pattern. This is the navy dress, so you can't really see the details, but click over and zoom in and the detailing in the crochet is beautiful. I know its long sleeved, but the sleeves are fairly lightly knitted so they may stay cool for the summer.) | |Suzi Chin for Maggy Boutique sleeveless A-Line dress at Zappos ($169.99 - its really a shame this one is sleeveless because its a really pretty take on this whole contrasting overlay look - the lace/crochet/cutouts are entirely different and the shape is just great. If its not right for you Reader ET, I wonder if other of my readers might like it for summer and spring parties and events ... or Easter Sunday. :-P)
Okay - so those are a lot of options - most of which don't precisely fit your needs but are cute anyway. Let me know if you like them (or if you've already bought something since I'm a slowpoke.) I hope you find something that makes your crochet loving heart go pitter-patter. Good night and good luck.....at the mall. (God I'm such a dork, why do you all come here?)
Reader DB asked for light colored summer suits
Now - since this was a question from a personal friend I don't actually have a traditional "question" to put here but the question really got me excited; I am actually going to give her recommendations via e-mail, but the request inspired me to do a post on the subject. When the weather gets warm but you work in a line of work that requires suits everyday (or even just sometimes), nothing beats a summer weight light suit to keep cool but still give off an air of authority and put-togetherness. Though I will note that I personally would not wear a light colored suit to court or to an interview (unless the court was a more casual court - like for example probate - where practitioners are there frequently - it seemed the wardrobe for lawyers was maybe slightly more laid back.) But for meetings or depositions or something a little less formal, they can be a great option.
One last big plus, in my book, is that I think light colored suits can be used as separates MUCH more easily than other suits - I use the jacket from my tan/beige Talbots suit to wear over dresses all the time (see this post from yesterday on Tumblr
) and I find the skirt is great for pairing with other jackets or cardigans because it reads as just a neutral tan skirt (which admittedly most black skirts from suits can as well, the jackets are usually the problem.)
Okay - that was a digression that I didn't mean to take - lets move on to the suits!
| |Factory linen suiting blazer in pearl at J-Crew Factory ($111 - most sizes still available - this is the odd situation where this goes with the item next to it. I personally LOVE the dress/suit combo and this pearl color is beautiful. I know some people have objections to J-Crew Factory quality (I've never bought there, their stuff doesn't work for my body shape) but this is so lovely maybe its worth the risk?) | |Factory linen Button Tab Shift Dress at J-Crew Factory ($96 - I *love* the shape of this dress. In fact, I'm wearing a Tahari dress today in this exact shape. Together with the blazer this would make a lovely, lovely suit for meetins, depositions, maybe even court for more casual motions sessions. I just...love it. I know quality may be an issue - but the pricing is decent and they're both linen so great for summer.)
| |Tahari ASL Two Piece Pants Suit with shawl collar at Lord & Taylor ($125.99 - the colors are listed as ivory and beige, though it reads darker and the jacket is linen but pants are poly - though that may be a good way to avoid pant wrinkles while still staying cooler. This suit is sort of suit separates really, but I liked it so much I picked it anyway - and shawl collars are great for my bustier ladies. | |Tan-Tor Seamed One Button Jacket and Seamed Pencil Skirt at Reiss - US ($360/$180 - if you had told me a year ago that I'd be taking you to the nearest mental institution to be checked out. But this is beautiful and for the long of waist it would look amazing - there are pants as well btw. I think its also a nice way for younger persons to rock the colored suit; plus, each separate would be GREAT on its own. Basically, high five Reiss - well done achieving the near impossible of making me want a SALMON suit.)
| |Anne Klein Suit, Four Button at Macy's ($139.99 on-sale - available in all sizes up to 14 - I don't personally like four button suits, but I know for those who do, they are very hard to find. My biggest worry with this suit is it may be polyester - so it may not breathe great for summer but the price might be worth it. Also I swear I don't work for Macy's but they're having a suit sale this week.) | || |Tahari by ASL Chain Trim Tweed jacket and skirt at Macy's ($114.99 - this may be the item that makes you all think I've gone batty, but this pink and white tweed is lovely. And I amazingly (mind-blowingly frankly) love how the chain trim is executed here. It is delicate and worn with minimal gold jewelry and nude or brown or light peach/pink shoes, I think it adds interest to a conservative suit.)
So that's all she wrote for now folks. Go forth and lawyer or doctor or banker or computer/civil/mechanical engineer (or robotics...can't forget them or a friend of mine from college would be sad) or politic or activist in nice light colored suits for summer. Because here's my thing about light colored suits - and actually all slightly non-traditional clothing choices - especially for younger women. I think bright colors and big jewelry, as long as its still within the professional sphere, is a huge powerplay for a professional woman. It says "I'm here, I'm me, I wear feminine/androgynous/colorful/punky clothes, and I'm still going to kick your ass because I'm better than you."
Anyway - that's my theory. Wear what you want with enough confidence - following the basic rules of decency and dressing to flatter as best you can - and you will be perceived as more powerful. At least in my experience. I L.O.V.E. seeing female execs or partners or whatever who rock fashionable chic looks that are just a little edgy* - it works for me. Does it work for you dear readers? Let me know in the comments.
And by "edgy" here I don't mean the shameful display of "punk rock fashion" that we all saw at the Met Ball - I mean business execs or partners at law firms who have wardrobes that are just outside the "business" norm - so they don't wear all black, navy, and gray or they DO wear all black, navy, and gray but in interesting ways - and they have fabulous or artsy or hippie jewelry. And they wear interesting shoes. That sort of thing. Things that differentiate their wardrobe from the corporate uniform. I love it. Especially when it tells me something about them as a person.