Reader CT asked: Another Corporette reader (although I never comment, just lurk!) here! I'm a journalist who normally wears pretty conservative outfits. However, I'm obsessed with quirky shoes and would love to get tips on low to medium-heeled shoes I can wear outside of work. I own several pairs of Poetic License flats and love that brand. I love patterns, metallics, glitter snakeskin, polka dots and different textures. Price range: max $200. Any ideas? Many thanks in advance!
Hey CT! This is definitely a question I couldn't resist. I have to say that I tend to go with more simplistic shoes - mostly because they go with more outfits - but I LOVE quirky, patterned shoes as a way to add fun to a conservative outfit or for outside work. I will suggest a variety of fun shoes - and will try to find at least a few that I think will work for both work AND play. And for those I will also suggest work outfits that I think will go well with the shoes (either toning them down or coordinating with them in a way that brings them into the working world.) That way you can have your cake and wear them to work as well!
| |Isaac Mizrahi New York Jenniferle slingbacks at Zappos
($87.99 - These shoes would be fun for weddings or fancy nights out with your significant other [or date nights with NOT SO significant others.] I like that they are close toed but sling backed - making them useful for those of us who tend to wear panty-hose even with our fancy dresses. And since they are still relatively conservative, they'd be a great way to add flair for a work cocktail party or afterwork event.
| |Funtasma by Please Women's College 04 Mary Jane Pump at Amazon
($15.99 - if you follow my tumblr
- which you totally should - you may know that I actually own these shoes. I'm totally enjoying the tartan trend lately and I figured, even if I only wore these shoes a couple of times, the price was certainly no bar. They are actually pretty cute and not wildly uncomfortable. So...tartan shoes....yay!
| |Jacquard Faux Leather Waist Pencil Skirt at the Limited
($69.95 before 50% off sale - I like the subtle jacquard pattern on this skirt, plus the leather waistband which is current without being TOO current. The purple would look great with both the gray pumps and the black and cream striped shirt. Together they'd make a chic but still conservative outfit.)
Jeffrey Campbell 'Bridges' Pump at Nordstroms
($119.95 - the perfect mix of a conservative color and fabric with a fun shape and a little snakeskin mixed in to assuage your funky soul. With this outfit I think you'd look professional and awesome, all at once - and the relatively low heel means they may well be comfortable. Gray is my personal favorite for work pumps because it goes with EVERYTHING, but this shoe also comes in navy blue, burgundy, and black.)
| |Camber A-Line Skirt by BCBG Max Azaria
($110.60 - Houndstooth goes great with cobalt blue and I wanted to recommend something a little different than the typical pencil skirt (not that there's anything wrong with that - I wear them all the time). This a-line ponte skirt looks great for work - its a reasonable length and the a-line is noticeable without being too flouncy.)
Isaac Mizrahi Joy Houndstooth Pumps at Lord and Taylor
($140 - I love houndstooth and love that its back in fashion - and I especially love this pump - that its got a bit of the driving shoe/menswear look going on but the heel and the pump design keeps it quite feminine. With jeans or a cute skirt it would be great for weekends, but it would also be a great "statement" shoe for work wear as well.)
| || |Dolce Vita 'Kadyn' Pump at Nordstroms
($178.95 - definitely more of a "going out" shoe than a "going out to the grocery store" shoe - but whoo boy - can you imagine this with a little black dress. Or skinny jeans that are short enough for them to show and a silk black blouse. Or a black pencil skirt, a purple shirt, and a leather jacket. Yes. I think I like them A LOT.)
| |Sofft 'Valletta' Pump at Nordstroms
($69.90 - POLKA DOTS - really need I say more? A cute, vintage style peep-toe pump with pink and black polka-dots. The reviews are quite good (the worst review is "I wish it were navy and pink," which I agree with but consider fairly minor.) A cute, comfortable shoe for indoor events in the winter or outdoor events in the spring and fall.)
| |Instantly Slimming Three-Quarter Sleeved Dress at White House Black Market
($112 - so everyone should have that "go to" little black dress for work cocktail parties and date nights and just - generally. WHBM has become my go to for all my LBD needs - they have dresses in all shapes (a-line, bodycon, dropped waist, etc. but I like this one especially for work. If only they carried plus sizes as well.)
Nervous System 'Dichotomous' Stainless Steel Pendant Necklace at Amazon
($40 - this necklace, which is modeled off the leaf of a gingko tree, would be nice simple, almost quiet accessory with this outfit. Since I think for a work event I'd keep my accessories pretty neutral (maybe add some silver or mixed metal bangles) but otherwise keep it rather simple.)
Sam Edelman 'Othello' Pump at Nordstroms
($129.95 - so this is not really a 'wear to work' pump - but this would be a perfect 'wear to work' events pump. It would go with basically all of your cocktail dresses, unless your cocktail dress was bright gold, but they are a fun alternative to the more 'normal' neutral cocktail options of black, nude for you, or ... well ... black.)
| |Color Blocked v-neck Sweater Dress from Ann Taylor
($109 - I love this simple, yet pretty, burgundy sweater dress from Ann Taylor. I think for a business casual workplace this would be a great way to add some color. Add a nice necklace and perhaps a belt and you have a simple dress that is complete for the office.)
Lodis Accessories Burton Way Wide Covered Buckle Waist Belt at Zappos
($53 - I like this belt with this outfit - I think the sweater dress could really use belting on a lot of us who look best with a bit of waist definition and the green adds another color to the mix that grounds the outfit and keeps it in neutral territory. I really like this combo all together.)
Isaac Mizrahi 'Perry' Pump at Nordstroms
($139.95 - this is definitely a fun, bright shoe that would adapt beautifully to the work week. Not only would it go great with all things black because of the black on the buckle, but it would also go really well with gray and navy. I also think, though, that this would be a nice way to work in a couple other jewel tones into your wardrobe - like burgundy and emerald green, since these shoes would look great with both. This shoe is so seasonally appropriate, it might actually be MADE of fall.)
| |Gabriella Rocha 'Shelby 3' T-Strap pumps in Teal patent leather at 6PM
($21.99 - also available in a pretty sweet looking purple patent leather, I think these pumps would be great with an a-line skirt or dress on the weekend for going to casual but slightly dressy events or even for events that involve more walking since they look pretty comfortable with the stacked heel.)
| |Ivanka Trump 'Ilyssa' Pump at Nordstroms
($125.90 - this is maybe not the most fall/winter appropriate colors - but I love the oxford detailing on this shoe and the colors are undeniably fun. Its a different take on a classic shoe; and definitely something I'd wear to both work and weekend events.)
| |Miz Mooz 'Coco' Bootie at Zappos ($139.95 - for a weekend shoe, this bootie might be just the fun, sensible shoe you are looking for. I love the color - the bright cobalt really would be a fun way to add some vibrancy to an outfit, and the stacked heel looks quite sensible. Plus the ruched leather and prominent buttons look just fun.)
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! :-)
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 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.
So I saw this necklace on ModCloth, called the Statement of the Art Peacock Necklace
(which is unfortunately not available anymore), and it reminded me how much I LOVE peacock patterns. So I thought I'd do a post with a bunch of peacock items - just because I can. Do you all like peacock as much as I do?
Reader LS wrote:I have a deep purpley-pink cardigan that goes so well with everything in my wardrobe I wear it about once a week, and would love to find a blazer in the same color for under $100 or so. This jacket from White House Black Market is the perfect color, but I don't want to go up near the top of my price range for something with peplum and dramatic gap under the button... it's just a little too trendy to be a workwear staple for me. I'd also be open to other shades of pink - especially blush - and even prints incorporating pink, as long as the blazers don't look too Barbie or ladies-who-lunch. I'm a size small, and can't wear blazers with three or more buttons without looking disproportionate. Love your blog! You've already convinced me to buy one Land's End dress, and I'm seriously, seriously tempted by that Free People maxi you posted yesterday (hopefully it goes on sale soon).Okay! This is a fun one since purple and other berry shades are my absolute favorite colors and serve as the backbone of my personal wardrobe. I actually have a terrific blazer in this exact shade from H&M (unfortunately its about four years old) that I wear all the time on weekends and occasionally to work when I'm feeling sassy. I also think a darker blush blazer would be lovely for spring and summer. So lets get started shall we? For those shopping along at home, this is the WHBM blazer that LS likes.
While I have to agree that this is a lovely blazer in theory (purple, fitted, would go with lots of things for summer), the construction is all wrong. The button is too high for a single button jacket and the peplum is hitting the model in entirely the wrong place. I think we can do better. I am going to look for purple and pink blazers for you with a fitted shape - and I may even throw in a burgundy or berry one two since its in the same color family and I think you might really like it. So here are some options.
Apt. 9 Ponte Knit Blazer in ship red at Kohls
($21 - I think this color reads as a blush pink rather than red and the shape is classic - and who doesn't like a ponte knit blazer for summer. Kohl's quality can be hit or miss, but the price here cannot be beat.)Tailored Blazer in snapdragon from Madewell
($89.99 - in the world of bright pink blazers, I think this is my favorite. It is beautifully constructed keeping it more on the side of Elle Woods, attorney-at-law and less on the Barbie goes to court. A definite option if you want a brighter pink.)One Button Blazer in rose at Anne Klein
($129.00 - a bit above budget but I'm including because I think Anne Klein makes some of the most beautiful looking blazers I see around - and this shade of pink is lovely. They have a two button blazer in red
that is in the budget, if you were interested in that instead.)
NOTE: As per usual the bottom couple is where I throw a couple of curveballs because I like to keep people on their toes.Floral Vines Print Linen Blazer in mineral red at Ann Taylor Loft
($98 - I know its not what you wrote in looking for but the pattern is remarkably pretty so I thought I'd throw it in there. Paired with pewter gray, tan, black, navy, or even say a dark purple this would be a great way to add interest to an otherwise streamlined outfit.)Draycott Blazer in soft red at Boden
($69.99 - love the cross hatch pattern - also available in navy and ivory.)Romeo & Juliet Couture One-Button Blazer in Burgundy at Neiman Marcus Last Call
($49.50 - I surprisingly like the gold hardware on the pockets and the color is great. The one review says it runs small so order a size up. And I will endeavor not to hold the designer's stupid name against it.)
Okay! So those are my best suggestions as of now. As you can probably tell, there are way more blazers in various shade of pink out there right now then there are purple ones, if I had to guess I'd say its because of the season. I would bet there will be more purple blazers in the late summer and fall. But I think some of these pink blazers are lovely if you wanted to get one of those now and then wait and get a purple blazer later (not that the two purple options aren't cute in their own right.) Choices choices choices. But you know what they say, I can lead you into the land of temptation, but I can't make you drink (or something like that.)
Happy shopping and may the odds be EvEr in your favor.
Reader MJ submitted to my Tumblr and asked:
Hey--MJ from Corporette. I am looking for a white denim jean/pencil skirt which is on the longer side (e.g. not a miniskirt or short pencil skirt). Need size 14. Go! Love the new blog!
First, may I salute your brevity in question asking MJ. Short, sweet, and to the point. I'm assuming you probably mean something with an a-line cut or at least a not to tight pencil skirt (I find tight pencil skirt jean skirts to be wildly uncomfortable.) I may also throw in a couple options in other casual fabrics (maybe a linen or cotton) just in case there are some great options in non-denim jeans. All that being said - lets get to work! (Oh - and thanks for reading the blog and the tumblr - I love all my readers!)
Essential Eyelet Skirt from Forever 21
($19.80 - posting this because the pencil skirt looks more relaxed, no white skirt post is complete without an eyelet option, and the price is totally right ... especially if you think this is going to be a "sometimes wear" item.)Stretch-Cotton Zipper Pencil Skirt at Lord & Taylor
($79 - I like the shape since its a more structured a-line and cotton is a great fabric for summer. Might beat out denim in my book.)Calvin Klein Tweed Pencil Skirt at Lord & Taylor
($89.50 - this is probably not ideal for you Reader MJ - but I'm posting it for my readers who might want a more business casual or networking appropriate pencil skirt. I don't even mind the exposed zipper! Tips for those of you looking for these items, Ann Taylor, the Limited, and WHBM have a bunch of other beautiful white pencil skirts right now if you want to add that item to your work wardrobe.)
Okay MJ....I hope these help. Perhaps you'll think outside the denim box? Though I think these denim options are kind of great. I personally cannot purchase any of these because they would have coffee, tomato sauce, or some other destructive material on them by the end of the day. So I salute you in your ability to wear white. Go forth and shop dear reader.
Its been awhile since I did a polka dot post - and those were mostly darker shades. Well, Ann Taylor inspired me today to do a post on summery polka dot prints.
The scarf is the Retro Dot Border Silk Scarf in guava
($68) - its made of silk, which I like, and I love the color combo for spring or summer. Or even for fall or winter to add a pop of color. The skirt is the Summer Cotton Stretch Dot Pencil Skirt
in guava also ($88) and of course you KNOW I like it. Now on to the slightly more complicated question - I think I even like the full outfit
together - though it might be a bit too much pink for work for me. A wise friend recommended a green polka dot skirt instead on the bottom and I think that would be brilliant. Either way - here are a bunch of polka dot items in bright colors for spring and summer (and just for whenever you're in the mood for bright colors.) I'm also doing a mix of casual wear, work wear, and even cocktail dresses - for all your various polka dot needs. ;-)
One for inspiration post and then back to answering a couple of questions (so if you have submitted a question...stick around!) So the inspiration here is this Amber Sun 'Megan' Print Blazer at Nordstroms
($89). I love this one. I like the two buttons (can be really hard to find right now) and that its fitted without being completely shrunken. It also has full-length sleeves on a light weight summer blazer, which is hard to find. Finally, I love that a blazer in a bright color has a pattern, but that the pattern isn't too bold. Instead the pattern serves to temper the yellow slightly without making the blazer such an aggressive statement piece that it would be difficult to style. I think this would look lovely with gray, navy, tan or beige, white, eggplant, berry, or teal. Best part - I think it could be paired with a nice pencil skirt and blouse for work or jeans and a t-shirt or over a sundress for weekends. So its super versatile.
So now that I've spoken with such obvious rapturous glee about an item - lets look for a few other similar items shall we? I'll look for a variety of colors, cuts, styles, and sizes here to fit a variety of people and tastes. Hope you see something you like. I do think that a fun, colored blazer can add a metaphorical smile to your wardrobe this time of year.
Tonal Knit Blazer at Anthropologie
($49.95 - not entirely sold on this for work but its super cute and comes in blue.)Vince Camuto Rumpled Blazer in cherry at Nordstroms
($169 - I wouldn't normally recommend something called a "rumpled" blazer - especially not for $169 and made of polyester - but for my longer waisted readers I like this option. Has two buttons and actually looks like its made to work for taller, longer waisted people. I'd still wait for it to go on sale though.)Alice + Olivia Elyse Cambray Blazer at ShopBop
($290.40 - a more formal take on chambray than the shirt - expensive yes, but the close up pictures show some beautiful tailoring. The sleeves are full length.)
Cotton Tweed Cardigan Jacket at Ann Taylor
($148 - a great option for those who prefer sweaters to jackets).Fine Touch Boucle Jacket at Coldwater Creek
($99 - available in plus sizes)Elie Tahari Monroe Tweed Jacket at Bergdorf Goodman
($248 for the jacket - I surprisingly like the zipper front and notched neckline - adds interest without being *too* weird. I might even like the full suit - especially if pink looks really good on you, also I think there's a darker teal version if you're interested.)
Okay! I hope you like those options. So I'm sick this weekend (actually in hospital) - so that may mean that either there will be A LOT of new posts or not many new posts depending on how bored I am and how good I feel. Anyone else found some good summer blazers out there? Put them in the comments!