So - for this post I am going to partake in a bit of navel gazing. In recent months I have desperately wanted one or two really well fitted, attractive women's waistcoats to add to my business casual wardrobe. I mean, I love them on men, and I would love to pair them with pencil skirts and other girly items and just add that slight androgynous flare that I so enjoy. Plus I just think waistcoats are hot. But I haven't pulled the trigger yet and part of the problem is finding the right waistcoat in a budget I can stomach! So...I thought....what better way than doing a TCFKAG Shops post on the very subject. So here goes. To give you an idea of the type of waistcoat I'm thinking, here's a great example from Marc Jacobs.
I love the simplicity of it, the way its clearly fit to work for a woman, and that its a traditional suiting material. Of course, it goes without saying that I wouldn't pair it with a silk (?) midi-length skirt and elbow-length gloves. I was thinking more a burgundy or dark gray pencil skirt with a white button down underneath. And with my new black, patent-leather t-straps added in for good measure. Unfortunately, as is to be expected, this is a bit rich for my blood
So - on to a few ideas..
Houndstooth Wool Vest by Ralph Lauren
($179 - I really like this vest, especially since I'm a total sucker for houndstooth, but I worry that it reads a bit too much "I'm spending my weekend on my ranch up-state practicing show jumping" to really fit in for my workplace. But maybe paired with a red or deep brown pencil skirt and the appropriate heels, I could bring it around. The price is also, still, a bit steep for something that may just be a passing fancy.)Anne Klein Glen Plaid Cap Sleeve Vest at 6PM
($81.99 - I think this vest actually has some potential - if only it fit the model. I think it is at least 1-2 sizes too big for her, making it look baggy and overall unflattering. But if it fit, I think it could give off the vibe I am going for. Plus the price is definitely going in the right direction on this one. My two concerns are that it might look a bit cheap and I wish it had two buttons rather than just one. But otherwise, an option to at least consider. Editor's Note: if you're in the mood for a laugh - go check out the skirt that is made to be paired with this vest - the pleats on that thing are out of this world.)
Navy Waistcoat by Etsy Seller Julihunter
($126.98 - sometimes, when you can't find quite what you want on the mass market - Etsy is a good place to look. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of seamstresses on there making a variety of clothes - some of them even bespoke. I love this particular waistcoat for the color and the shape...though I hope I could get her to change out the buttons. Its not that I don't like them (I do) but I think I'd like something more neutral for the office.)
Emmanuel Ungaro Vintage Fitted Waistcoat at Farfetch
($115.05 - so this particular vest isn't available in my size - but I am super drawn to it and wanted to share it with all of you fine people. I love the details - the textured (linen I think) fabric, the gold buttons, the cut, basically everything. Its a truly lovely piece of clothing. Ah...to be wealthy and skinnier. Though as a side note, I think this is another case of the vest not truly fitting the model, but that's a battle for another time.)Studio Stretch Faux Double Breasted Vest at Express
($47.94 - so, in this case, I'm hoping that this vest is simply too small for this model. Otherwise, I really am not into vests that are intended to button below the breast area, as if serving the girls of up on a tray for everyone you see that day [YES, here they are, I - a woman past puberty, have BREASTS!]. I know its a look, but its not a look I want to rock at the office. But, on the other hand, if this fit such that you could button all of the buttons - it might not be a bad option.) Black Collection Tuxedo Vest from the Limited
($69.90 - man, the Limited has really been pulling out all the stops lately with cool, on-trend clothes that don't look *too* twee for the adult professional and this piece is no exception. I'm a big fan (and seriously considering purchasing it.) I wish it came in more colors, but beggars can't be choosers, right? I like that it buttons up all the way and the back is a silk-like fabric rather than just the same fabric as the front or a solid color jersey. Overall, I think this one might be the one that most closely resembles a men's waistcoat, but of course, cut for women (hopefully.) With a patterned pencil skirt or pants (maybe stripes?) and some interesting jewelry - this could be quite a look for work.)
So - for any waistcoat fans out there who are looking at these options and are simply, underwhelmed, have no fear! I saw TONS of cute, interesting options in the MUCH more expensive designer level. Which usually means that by this time next year, we should be seeing waistcoats just about everywhere. And then you'll have your pick of the litter. (And remember, you can say you heard it here first.) So commenters - would you wear a waistcoat? If so where? To work? For fun? Just so you can feel a little closer to Tom Hiddleston or Neal Caffrey in some small way? Let me know in the comments!
READERS NOTE: before I jump back in....OMG....I'm here. I know. I keep disappearing for prolonged periods. I'm sorry. Its a combination of work, my health, and August being...well....August. Hopefully as fall approaches (my absolute favorite fashion month - bar-none) I will be re-motivated to post much, much more frequently. But in the meantime, I apologize profusely. Now, moving on from self-flagellation...unless you're into that sort of thing...this post IS about leather after all.
Hello TCFKAG! I have followed you on Corporette and have a question for you. I am seriously loving leather pencil skirts for fall, but am overwhelmed by the options. I was wondering if you had any suggestions. I'm looking for black leather, or vegan leather, knee length and pencil skirt. I can't decide if it should be all leather, or with leather accents, or what. I work in a business casual environment, but it's not exactly a creative place and I wear mostly traditional things. This would be a bit of a fashion risk for me, so it has to look super professional! Just leather :) I'm a 4-6 or size 27, I'd like to spend under $200. Thank you!
Wow! Are you the REAL Blair Waldorf. You can tell me, I'll never tell. ;-) xoxo. Anyway, I'm totally with you on the leather pencil skirt train - I like them, I think they look cool and just a touch edgy, but....then....the little birdie on my shoulder that annoyingly reminds me that I'm a *grown-up* with a *grown-up* job rears its ugly head and I wonder. Should I REALLY be trying to make leather pencil skirts work for the office? My concerns are really two-fold. On the one hand, I don't want to look like I am a young professional who can't tell which "fashion" trends ARE appropriate for the office and which aren't (like, I don't care if you wear your formal shorts with heels to as many dates as you want...still don't think they belong in the office.) Plus, from a practical standpoint, I can't help but think that these things are going to be a bitch to clean. So as you can imagine, I've been giving it some thought. In my struggles, I think I've come up with a couple of general rules of thumb (at least for myself)
So with those general guidelines in mind....ON TO THE PICKS.
- If the skirt is black, I think the leather should only be accents, since to me black leather is by its very nature a bit more "tough" even in pencil skirt form,
- If the skirt is another color, it can be all leather - possibly - but it needs to be otherwise very, very traditionally styled,
- Only one piece of leather accented wear per day. At no point should you look like you're dressed up as Biker Lawyer Barbie for the day.
- And finally, do *not* spend too much money on leather workwear. I think its going to become a dated trend quite quickly for most of us and....frankly....I think the cost-prohibitive nature of cleaning them is going to make them impractical pretty quickly.
Worthington Leather Pencil Skirt at JCP
($98.99 - a straightforward black pencil skirt - though the picture looks brown to me. I like it though because, rather than being too tight or too shiny, the seams and zipper dress it down enough for me to make me think that it would be more work appropriate than many others I saw. One note, based on the info on the website, it does appear to be real leather.*
)Vince Camuto Faux Leather Trim Striped Pencil Skirt at Nordstroms
($89 - this skirt falls on the less is more side of the leather camp - but I think the stripes give it some interest as well. It also comes in red and black. I like how the side and waist piping in leather gives just that bit of edge that the less adventurous might be looking for. Paired with either a simple black button down or perhaps a very light, silk deep burgundy button down, I think this would look amazing for fall. Plus emerald and darker greens are SO in this season. But for work, PLEASE do not pair it with high heeled gladiator sandals...just for me okay ladies. :-P)Exact Stretch Studded Trim Pencil Skirt at The Limited
($69.95 - so this skirt obviously takes the idea of leather trim and one ups it by adding studding. I'm not sure how I feel about it other than....intrigued. For a skirt that involves STUDDED LEATHER, its surprisingly lady-like. And the price is right - even if you only wear it on nights out. I don't know - might be worth a look see. Again - everything else would have to be very primly styled - perhaps a gray shell with a black blazer?)
Riverside Colorblocked Pencil Skirt from Ann Taylor
($109 - I have to say - I really LOVE the color of this skirt, this darker merlot is right on trend and would work beautifully to mix with the other on-trend seasonal jewel tones (like eggplant and teal.) I also think the color-blocked side panels serve a practical purpose here - leather can be constricting, but with these side panels you can be allowed greater freedom of movement. And I think the merlot color gives this an overall more refined look. Its definitely one of my favorite for the "full" leather effect out there.) Leather Waist Pencil Skirt from Neiman Marcus Last Call
($69.00 - most sizes still available.
This is a Labor's Day Sale. Okay - I think this is the PERFECT execution of leather in a work skirt - the contrasting color of the leather adds interest and brings attention to it but it remains classy. Plus mixing brown and black is fashion forward without being too aggressive or "weird." You won't scare any of the older employees at your office, but the younger employees will think you're cool. And I like the cut of this skirt for people who don't look good in traditional pencil skirts. A real consideration for people looking for leather accents!! Its even available in most sizes.)
Bailey 44 'She Walk in Beauty' Faux Leather Pencil Skirt at Nordstroms
($196 - so this is at the very top of your price range, which is a bit steep for something that is likely a trendy item - but I *do* love me some navy. Again, much like with the AT skirt above, the side panels would allow for movement but here there is no colorblocking, which I know some would prefer. On the other hand, I actually like the seam on the front of the AT skirt above. I think the differences add up to a taste preference more than anything ... as well as a $100 price difference of course.)Classiques Entier Leather Trim Jacquard Pencil Skirt at Nordstroms
($178 - so, if I had to guess, I would guess that you are going to be seeing SO much jacquard this season that you may get royally sick of it. But I really like this version with leather trim at the hips and pockets. Another example of just a little leather rather than a lot, but jacquard will never go entirely out of style - so I think this skirt might have real staying power, meaning that the price tag might actually be worth it. And Classiques Entier is a fairly decent quality line. Try pairing with a dark emerald green to be so on trend you might explode.)ASOS CURVE Exclusive leather pencil skirt with jersey trim at ASOS
($89.44 - so sorry Blair, this one isn't for you, but I wanted to highlight this for my readers who shop in the women's section. ASOS CURVE has a few cool looking leather skirts right now, but I like this one as a potential work skirt - the color is more neutral than black and if you perhaps go a size up (to avoid too much cling - don't no one want cling at work) I think it could look great. Plus, again, the jersey trip would allow for movement. A nice option! P.S. The skirt also comes in black if you're into that sort of thing.)
*FINAL EDITOR'S NOTE: I haven't specifically addressed it in this post, but the plus side to your budget is that essentially all of these options are faux leather - so your concerns about vegan options are likely moot. In any case where the leather was not faux, I would have noted it.
So dear readers (if I have any left after my prolonged absences) - would you wear these skirts to work? What do you think about leather in the workplace. What does your WORKPLACE think about leather in the workplace. Or am I just really uncool and is leather totally okay. Its okay, you can call me a fuddy-duddy, I go to bed 9:30 most nights. I have embraced my fuddy-duddiness in all its glory. LEAVE NOTES. SEND MESSAGES. I'm happy to be back and need motivation to stay back! :-)
Frequent reader and all around awesome human CBackson submitted this request:
So I'm heading to a gala in NYC in early fall. It's black tie, and although I know that frequently means cocktail (and I'm willing to think about cocktail), I'd love to wear a long dress. The problem? Everything I see looks too bridesmaid-y, too prom-y, or too old (like, beads everywhere). I'm 32, and although I dress in a fairly classic style, I'm thinking something modern would be a fun change for me. I'm a fair-skinned blonde, on the short side, and slim-bordering-on-skinny (I'm a size 2/4, with a fairly boyish figure). I would LOVE to get something that wasn't black. Other than that, I'm open to all kinds of craziness (except maybe animal prints; girl's gotta draw a line). I was thinking $400 max, but would go higher for something timeless.
So, there's something I have to confess to you - my dear readers - there is almost nothing I like more than shopping for gowns, especially for other people (so I don't have to pay for them.) So of course this request from my beloved C. Backson is right up my alley. I'll try to give you a variety of different looks from different designers and in different price points but, for the interested, I've become more and more drawn to the Tadashi Shoji dresses I've seen at Nordstroms and other stores on-line lately. T.S. seems to design dresses that are classic while still having a little modern edge or something that makes it just a bit different. So there's a better than average chance that a couple of those will sneak there way in here. But I'll make sure to mix it up. :-)
As for the dresses themselves, I think generally something with a fairly slim fit will look great on you. First of all, you should take advantage of what sounds like a lovely, slim figure. But in addition, since generally there's a mix of cocktail length and full-length dresses at these sorts of events, you may be more comfortable in a dress without too much poof. But that certainly doesn't mean your dress can't have some pizazz. Okay! Now on to the recommendations!
Alice + Olivia Open Back Embroidered Maxi Dress at Net a Porter
($395 - from the front this dress looks like a pretty simple lace/embroidered gown, but turn it around and its DAMN sexy. And honestly, even the lace has a little something sexy about it. Plus, I actually like high necklines like this on dresses because it creates a wonderful base for jewelry. This red would be a lovely color for fall.)ML by Monique Lhullier Crisscross Chiffon Gown in emerald at Nordstroms
($298 - what drew me to this dress, first and foremost, is the color. I think if you want to stand out that a kelly green gown is really the way to go. Plus, the cut would be flattering on almost anybody and since you're relatively flat of chest I don't think you have to worry about the crisscross neckline [which I think adds some much needed interest to the gown.] I would consider the possibility of adding a belt at the waist, but that might drag it into the bridesmaid looks, so perhaps just gold or silver jewelry? Or, if you can find it, navy goes wonderfully with this shade of green so navy and gold jewelry would look fabulous.)Nicole Miller Printed Wrap Bodice Gown at Neiman Marcus
($208 - I'm not always one for prints on gowns, but I'm sort of drawn to this one for some reason, perhaps because its not *too* busy, you know? Also, I like that the cut is relatively simple - though I would add some color in the accessories I think. Heads up though - the only size left is a 4 which I know is the upper end of your size range - but I wanted to throw it out there anyway.)
Notte by Marchesa at the Outnet
($394.50 - I think I have recommended this dress to someone before but it remains one of, if not actually, my favorite formal gowns that I've seen floating around out there [though I think when I first saw it was in navy but this lovely coral would do wonders for you.] And sizes 2 and 4 are the only sizes left! The gold embellishments add just enough interest to make the dress interesting but otherwise it is a very simple cut. It is not too grand for the type of event you're going to, but you could wear it to basically anything requiring a formal gown. Basically, I love this dress - though I realize that other opinions may vary.)Tadashi Shoji Portrait Collar Pleated Mesh Gown at Nordstroms
($298 - so I know I have also suggested this dress on this blog before [and to you on the 'rette when you first floated this question], plus its basically black, but it is also one of my favorite formal gowns that I've seen in years so I can't help putting it out there as a serious option. I think the elaborate collar would add a little something at the bust area and the underlay of cream keeps it from being traditional black. Either way - this may be more my taste than yours but I wanted to include it anyway.)
Twobirds Convertible Maxi Dress in Deep Ocean at ShopBop
($310 - technically a bridesmaid dress, but its a lovely color. I'm not sure what to do with the different ways you can wear it, but I like the one shoulder design and the color would look awesome with what I think your coloring is. This is a simple but yet lovely dress and the pleats add a little something special. Definitely something to consider. I'd style it with purple and gold shoes and jewelry - perhaps go with a slight peacock look.)Tadashi Shoji One Shoulder Illusion Gown at Nordstroms
($368 - going back to red and Tadashi, if you want something a bit more form fitting and in the almost mermaid category, I don't think you can go wrong with this dress. It has the best elements of a bandage dress, but the illusion striping at the bottom and the neckline add interest and enough pizzazz that you'll be making a statement. But not the sort of statement you *don't* want to make. Actually, I really like this dress a lot, but don't think I have the figure to quite pull it off - it sounds like you might though! There is a similar, non-one-shouldered in cobalt
that is also lovely if that tickles your fancy.)Kay Unger gold silk and metallic lace overlay party dress at Bluefly
($347 - so this last one I'm recommending in case you decide to go with a cocktail length dress because, quite frankly, it is a FABULOUS cocktail dress and when else do you have an excuse to wear a gold silk and lace cocktail dress except at a formal gala like this? Plus, lucky you, only your size is left. So I'm throwing it out there as an idea, as a counter-balance to what I hope you found were helpful gown ideas.)
So okay! I hope you found these ideas helpful!! I know it was fun finding them for you. Write back when you pick something if you need help picking jewelry and/or shoes (because you know what a BURDEN it is for me to vicariously shop for jewelry or shoes.) But no matter what, let me know what you go with! I have to live through my friends and internet friends who get to go to grand galas since I spend most nights at home in pajamas. So have fun! Don't partake too heavily in the open bar. And show off that dress girl, because no matter what you pick, I know you'll look fierce. Happy Shopping and may the Odds be Ever in Your Favor.
Reader Sam-Antha queries:Turns out I need closed toe shoes to match this dress in the color "bluebird". What shoes can I get under $100 that won't look ridiculous. Heels can't be too tall, I'm already 5'8 and don't want to look awkward in wedding photos. I'm vaguely Beyonce colored so nude shoes are usually a problem. I'm between a 9.5-10 depending on the shoe.Ah the joys of being a bridesmaid - you think you're good after you've booked your travel, helped plan the bachelorette party and shower, and found a dress. But the shoes sneak up on you. The ultimate goal for all bridesmaids should be to find shoes that will be both comfortable AND reusable. But, I think the first priority should be comfort because DAYUM you stand a lot during the day of the wedding as a bridesmaid. Okay - so for those playing along at home, this is the dress that the lovely Sam-Antha (that is how she submitted her name so that's what I'm sticking with) is wearing.
I have to say, overall I like it - though does it have a big bow on the back? It doesn't show up in the back view but I can't figure out what the model is showing off here. Anyway - that's neither here nor there. So my read of this color is basically a light bluish, purplish, grayish mix. I think it will look lovely on someone of your skin tone. As for shoes, I think the most obvious choice is to go for pewter or silver - it will match the dress and be unlikely to clash with anything anyone else is wearing. Other colors that are a bit more aggressive but that I think would look lovely are a true eggplant, a dark navy, possibly a yellow, or a nice cream (no meant to be nude but just meant to be cream - possibly with some bling.) I'll try to find you options in all of these colors and hopefully you'll like one of them. One color I wouldn't recommend would be black, I think it would be too harsh with this dress, especially if its a summer wedding. Now, on to the recommendations!
Silver and Pewter
J Renee Women's Emily Pump in grey fabric at shoes.com
($99.95 - These are, to be quite frank, bridesmaid shoes to the max. But there's a reason women buy bridesmaid shoes - they are neutral, they have sparkle, they match everything, and they have a nice thick heel that are comfortable and can stand up to walking outside, inside, and everywhere in between. As bridesmaid pumps go, I like these. The embellishment on the toe box is cute and overall its pretty cute. But if I had to guess, I wouldn't imagine they'd be reused much.)Corso Como Women's Littleton pumps in silver leather at shoes.com
($84.15 - I wanted to make sure you had at least one classic almond toed pump in the mix here and I thought these might be just the ticket. Honestly, these are so nice you could probably wear them to work or with skinny dark wash jeans to dinner or dates. But I still think they're fancy enough to work with this dress. Corso Como is a nice brand and I think the stacked heel would be comfortable, though I do wish it was a bit larger. Overall - if it was a bit more matte I might be considering buying these for myself.)Nina Evita pump in silver at Nina Shoes
($39.99 - these also come in a darker, almost black, pewter and gold. They are simple and yet sparkly which is a great feature for bridesmaid shoes, and Nina is basically a bridesmaid/wedding brand (plus $39.99 isn't a terrible price if you never wear them again). Definitely not a bad option that would coordinate nicely with your dress, though it wouldn't make too much of a statement - which I guess is sort of the goal as a bridesmaid.)
Other Colors and Styles
rsvp Maren dark purple patent pumps on Zappos
($69.00 these pumps come in both this eggplant AND silver and a lovely teal. The reviews are great and the heel height seems just about right. I actually really like them. I think the dark purple would create a nice contrast between the lighter purple of the dress, but the pewter might be a safer bet. Something to consider at least though.)Vince Camuto Goldie Pump in champagne at Nordstroms
($88.95 - I love this shoe, especially in the champagne color. I think it would look great as a bridal shoe and I think it would look fabulous as a bridesmaid shoe as well, especially on a woman with a darker skin tone. Its got just the right amount of shine to make it interesting without being crazy. It could definitely be reused. A definite contender, in my book at least.)Gabriella Rocha Ginger Mary Jane pump in purple patent at Zappos
($65.00 - this shoe actually comes in about a million colors but I can't quite get past the idea that a nice eggplant would look lovely with this dress. And this shoe hits a lot of my buttons - its definitely reusable and it looks like it would be super comfortable since the heel is somewhat wider and stacked. Plus the low heel doesn't look unintentional or like its just accidentally there (like they added a low heel to a shoe that should be high-heeled) but rather like this shoe was always intended to be low-heeled. Overall I really like it. Check it out and the other colors!)
Söfft Abbot wedge in copper at Nordstroms
($99.95 - not what I'd normally think of as a bridesmaid shoe, but I really like it and I think a bit of shiny copper would add something to the pale pastel of the dress. Plus a wedge would be super comfortable on the day. This shoe also comes in a dark pewter.)Vince Camuto Stefania slingbacks in steel at Nordstroms
($88.95 - These are in the "other" category because they are slingbacks and a bit higher (3") than I think you may have been looking for, but they are also gorgeous shoes with excellent reviews so I wanted to throw them out there. Reusability factor is definitely high, though I'd worry a bit about comfort, I'd want a pair of flats in my bag with these ones!)Adrienne Vittadini Cecilia T-Strap Pump in soft gold at Amazon
($35.45 - okay, so the 3.5" heel is probably higher than you want, but I just got my own pair of these shoes (in black patent) and they are hawt as hell and I am totally in love with them. And if you are going to be a bridesmaid and wear a dress someone else picks for you, you should get to pick shoes that make you look gooooood. And these shoes would totally do it. Seriously, they are awesome and would look totally awesome with that dress and when you are boogying down during the party afterwards. And they are surprisingly comfortable. Anyway - something to consider. You can always take them off for photos, its not like people will see with the floor length dress!)
Okay! So there are some shoe ideas!! I hope one of them sparks your fancy and you end up with an awesome pair of shoes and have a glorious time at your friend's wedding. Check back in and let me know what shoes you end up wearing (even if its none of these).
Readers - have you been a bridesmaid? What sort of shoes did you wear and did you get to pick them? Were they nearly as awesome as these?
Reader Turkey Traveler asks:
I am traveling to Turkey and Greece this fall. I'm looking for a travel dress I can wear into mosques and Greek Orthodox churches and be respectful. My understanding is that this means below the knee and shoulders covered. I want something packable and not super hot (temperature hot). So far my best find is at lands end but would like more color options--lighter colors (khaki, light blue) because it will still be sunny. Budget is 100 or less. I am 5 foot 6, size 2.
Hey Turkey Traveler! Thanks for the question!! I am so jealous - and I love this question because I love traveling and just went on a big trip out West which involved 2500 miles of driving and mixing up hiking clothes, casual wear, and a little bit of nicer clothes - all of it packed in one carry-on. None of it wrinkling. Two thoughts before I get started - one is that I like to go outside the "traditional" travel and "outdoorsy" wear brands for these sorts of things - there are lots of brands and dresses out there that will work perfectly for this that will be nicely in your price range without having to pay the premium that comes with travel brands. Two - I think you might benefit from a skirt and a couple different wrap tops and or breathable button downs rather than a single dress (given that it will be hot as heck and you might want to switch off the tops) so I'm going to offer you a couple options in that world two.
Indispensable Knit Wrap Dress from LL Bean
($84.50 - comes in several colors, though I like this blue as it would be a great base piece to accessorize with. The description says it hits below the knee and as below average height people [what what], I think we should be able to rely on that. Would probably pack well and be nice and breathable.)ASOS Midi Dress with full skirt and belt from ASOS
($71.27 - I actually own this dress in another color - it is an incredibly light and comfortable cotton, perfect for hot weather, but it can be rolled up and packed in a suitcase and come out pretty much wrinkle free. I'm still super happy with the purchase and it was one of my go-to dresses on my trip. I thought I wouldn't like the midi length on me [I'm 5' 3"] because I thought it would make me look dumpy, but because the skirt is fuller and floaty, it actually looks good.)Women's Regular Split Neck Half Sleeve Terry Dress at Land's End
($59 - this dress looks like it would be extremely comfortable for touring around all-day [it is a "knee length" dress, but I'm thinking if you buy the regular height it will hit below the knee] - and if you add a more structured belt and some jewelry at night, I think it will dress up well for dinner. Plus, it is also a color that will serve as a nice base for a variety of other looks.)
Women's Woven Clip Waist Skirt
in french walnut from Land'd End ($16.99 on-sale - another one where I think you'll have to buy the regular height to get below the knee, but I think this would be a great, light weight neutral skirt for traveling with - it would basically match any top or shoes.)Carla Skirt in white Periwinkle from Dobbin Clothing
($38 on sale - I like the idea of this skirt for this trip - its light, would pack well, hits below the knees but is a-line and would breathe, and the pattern would go with most colors.)Casual Chino Skirt in orange from Boden
($58.50 - okay - so not precisely neutral - but fun! They do come in white, but the orange is going to wear better over the course of a vacation - get dirtier and frankly (I think) scream tourist a little less. Because, is it only me, but do we only become neutral wearing, slaves to matching when we are on vacation?)
Women's Petite Cotton Voile Drop Shoulder Tunic in navy at Land's End
($19.99 - I think this shirt would go well with any of the shirts highlighted above - navy being such a great color - and its a very ambidextrous shirt. You can tuck it in, you can leave it out for a more relaxed look, and since you'd likely wear a tank-top under it, if you wanted to you could carry it in your bag with you just to put on when you needed to go into a church [especially in Greece, I'm unsure about street norms in Turkey with regards to covering one's shoulders.]). Merona Women's Three-Quarter Sleeve Double Layer Tee at Target
($14 - I like this faux-wrap style a lot and the double knit is heavy enough to travel without getting wrinkled but light enough that it will be comfortable in most weather. It can also look dressed up enough for dinners out while still looking in place on the street during the day. It comes in bunches of colors, but I like this purple. A nice option to consider.)
Okay! I hope these options help you out in shopping for your vacation and you find one or two options you like! One more tip before you depart - there's a reason that scarves are very popular in Greece and Turkey even with women who do not cover their hair for religious reasons. You might want to buy a couple scarves (either at home - or even better once you get there!) both for awesome stylistic purposes AND for sun protection. Plus, then you can use the scarf to wrap around your shoulders inside churches and other places of worship and feel extra secure that you are respecting the holy spaces. Win, win, win. And if you happened to find a nice Turkish scarf and wanted to send it to TCFKAG for all her awesome blogging...well...that certainly wouldn't be remiss. ;-) Just kidding. Sort of. HAVE FUN!!!
I have been absent from this blog for an unacceptably long time - I am aware. Unfortunately, my health has been...not good over the last month. But I am hoping to have an upswing soon. Today I was inspired by a black and white polka dotted dress
I saw in Boden's daily e-mail advertisement - reminding me of my favorite pattern and one of my favorite dress shapes, the belted sheath. I am also a fan of this particular neckline, which allows you to wear either statement jewelry *or* a pendant - but still maintains a mostly modest high neckline (especially for those smaller of chest.)
Now - having found such a terrific dress - I thought I'd go about styling it three ways. One for pure fun, one for a more "sexy" date night or night out with the girls, and one for work. But we'll go in reverse order - most demure to least demure. ;-)
Styling it for work
BP Moveover Pointed Toe Flat at Nordstroms
($49.95 - red is so often the color of choice with black polka dots ... and don't worry, it'll make an appearance down flow, but for work I was thinking about keeping things a bit sleeker with patent, pointed toe black flats.) Franco Sarto Instinct at 6PM
($47.99 - Recommended for those more interested in heels - I think the Mary Jane cut gives it a dash of vintage, but the pointed toe and angled block heel keeps it firmly rooted in the present - and comfortable for work at that.)Fornash Enamel Bumble Bee Bangle Bracelet in black and gold at SimplySoles
($25 - again going a bit against expectations here - I like using a simple palette of black and gold to keep the outfit relatively neutral - while adding a bit of a wink with the bumble bee motif on the bracelet to acknowledge that the outfit is still fun and youthful.)Studio Silver 18k Gold enamel Carnelian Pyramid Pendant from Macy's
($37.50 on-sale - finally, I've added a bit of color to the outfit, but again - I think - not in the way people expect. When wearing polka-dots, most expect colors to be bright and bold, but I think tempering that and bringing it in a bit in a more controlled way gives the outfit a more refined look. I really like these three items together for a work accessories plan for this dress.)K. Amato Fan Teardrop Earrings in black and gold at Designs by Stephene
($47.50 - a perfect match for the bumble bee bangle, but also incredibly reusable in their own right - I like these earrings a lot as a basic workhorse for any wardrobe - or at least a workhorse with some edge to them.) Giani Bernini 24k Gold over Sterling Silver Diamond-Cut Teardrop Leverback Earrings from Macy's
($110 - honestly probably a bit much for this particular outfit, but so pretty I couldn't resist recommending them. They'd certainly keep the outfit in the really focused black and gold world. I love them just as they are, as single pieces of jewelry.)
Styling it for a night out with the girls - bright/vintage fun
Faceted white bead vintage necklace from etsy seller Bonnie's Vintage Attic (
$29.95) or again for those preferring a more mainstream retailer Panacea Epoxy Flower Necklace, White at Cusp by Neiman Marcus
($45 - I *like* a white necklace for this [to be honest, its inspired by a vintage white chunky necklace I inherited from my aunt - it gives the look a vintage fun feel for summer without relying on many of the tropes that people frequently do with black and white dots. White, other than pearls, is really an underutilized color in our jewelry lexicon and I think it would look great with this outfit.)Ceramic Studs - yellow lemon dots - by etsy seller Hermoosa
($24.95) or for those who prefer more mainstream retailers Kate Spade New York stud earrings in yellow and white at Nordstroms
($34.80 - now 40% off - I love the bright vintage lemon yellow and white with black and white polka dots in the summer. And I personally prefer studs - though there are lots of fun chandelier or teardrop options out there too.) Now, if based on these earring suggestions you really wanted a yellow necklace idea, you might consider this one from Dillard's
- though I'm not convinced about the starfish accents. Bruno Premi in emerald green at Yoox
($59 - I know that a green shoe is a bit different here - though not totally out of nowhere since green and yellow go so well together - but I love these sandals [the block heel would be good for dancing and walking but they still have that sexy look] and I think adding a kick of green at the bottom of the outfit would be just what the outfit needed. Though for those of you who prefer a wedge - and are a lucky size 9 - these Butter wedges
might be just the thing for you. If, however, you were worried about the shoes being the only green in the outfit, you could consider something like this vintage bangle I found on Etsy
(pictured above) that works in both green and yellow - as well as a few other colors - and would be a great way to work the shoes and the rest of the jewelry together into a cohesive whole ($5 used at Sissy's Touch of Grey.)
Styling it for a sexy date - finally - here's the red!
As way of introduction - I feel like you can either go with reds or cobalt blue here as a theme for your accessories (if you decide not to go straight black ... which you can but would overlap too much with my above posts so....). So For each of the items I'm suggesting to style for date night, I'll recommend something in fire engine red and cobalt blue. Pro-tip though, I wouldn't wear ALL blue or red, I'd wear say red shoes and red earrings - but maybe a silver or gold necklace, just to mix the color up, but I'll leave the mix up to you! And whichever color you pick, make sure to bring it on the bright red lip!
Louise Et Cie 'Scorpio' Peep Toe Pump at Vince Camuto
($69.99 - there are as many red peep-toe pumps as there are people in the world, but this one is different and special while still looks like it would be comfortable. It is a textured fish-scale leather in a bright red and the heel and toe accents are dipped in gold enamel. It is under 4" in height. I love that its an elegant and different take on the classic red pump.) If you're interested in close-toed shoes, consider the Adrienne Vittadini Cecilia Pump in Red at Belk.Kamalikulture Zaylie Sling Backs in Cobalt Blue at Zappos
($69.99 - definitely hot looking - the reviews are mixed with some concern about the strength of the sling though. I think it would be okay for a sometime shoe maybe? If you're looking for a more traditional cobalt pump though - perhaps consider the Guess Rolene pumps on sale at 6PM right now
- they look pretty good.) Gold Wing Earrings found on Shoptiques from Langford Market, Texas
($12.90 - okay - the shipping on these is absurd because, well, they ship from a little boutique in Texas - but I feel I would be remiss if I did not share these awesome earrings with my dear readers! So here I am, sharing. They also come in a green and gold that is cool too.)Orion Teardrop Earrings at Nordstroms
($15 - I may or may not have done this whole red or blue thing just because of these earrings. I love these earrings. God. Earrings like these make me wish I could pierce my ears.)Akuamarina Silver Leaf and Murano Gold Round Pendant Necklace at Forzieri
($70.40 - I know I said I'd stick with red, but this gold murano glass pendant goes so beautifully with this look that I couldn't help it. Seriously, I love this necklace. If you do want red - this version of it is red
and this other murano glass necklace from the same company
is a beautiful, fun red and yellow necklace (might go great with the look above this one as well). House of Harlow 1960 Plectra Pendant Necklace in blue on Zappos
($60 - so this is designed to be opera length, but I think you can make it shorter to be worn around the neckline of this dress. And I love the color and the way it would go with these earrings. Its pretty cool!)
Okay - since this post is already getting out of control a bit, I'm going to leave it there - though I think if I WERE putting together a date look with these pieces, I might add a bracelet or possibly a different belt than the one that comes with the dress. But...for now I hope these items lend some inspiration.
So one dress, three looks. What do we think dear readers? Are you happy to have me back? Have I lost my touch? How would you style it? Leave a note in the comment section below!
P.S. Do you have trouble remembering the names of necklines? Look at this amazing resource I found when looking for the name of this neckline! Its great (though it doesn't include this specific neckline - which I'm still not sure what to call).