Gail the Goldfish (my favorite goldfish) gurgles: I'm going to a wedding in Chicago in early November and realized since I've been wearing the same dress to every wedding I've been to for the past 3 years, it might be time for something new. The ceremony is mid-afternoon, reception starts early evening at a pretty fancy venue. Dress isn't specified, so I'm guessing cocktail? I'm pear-shaped, about a 2 on top and 4/6 on bottom, would prefer to keep it under $150 or $200. Greens and blues are favorite colors (I'm very pale). I'm a big fan of the 1920s/art deco look, so bonus points if you can find something that looks Great Gatsby-inspired but not a costume, even if it's just an accessory.
Fall has become the new, hot wedding season (sorry June, you're out, October is IN.) I know this because *I* got married in October, thinking naively that it would be LESS popular - ha - was I proved wrong. Of course, since fall foods, fall colors, and fall weather are all my favorites, I was still fairly pleased with my decision. That being the case, Gail - I strongly doubt you are the only reader of this fine blog going to a wedding or three in the very near future. And though I handled wedding guest dress styling recently, I haven't done a dress post yet for this fall. What an omission! So here's what we're doing in this post - some of these dresses will be specifically for your request [i.e. Gatsby inspired dresses for a fancy evening wedding in Chicago].* I also assume that, if not specified otherwise, this wedding is likely fancy cocktail attire. And some others will be intended for more general appeal - in a range of dressiness. I will try to specify which ones are meant for you, but hopefully you will be able to figure it out. :-)
*When I say that I'm assuming the dress should be a dress for an evening wedding, I generally assume the dress you wear should jive with the time the reception starts and not the ceremony. As a Catholic, my ceremony was several hours before my reception (which was a dinner reception) - and most Catholic ceremonies will be the same way - because there are Saturday evening masses that conflict with having an evening ceremony in a church (and all Catholics have to get married in a church.) Hence what we fondly refer to as the "Catholic gap."
Now moving on from my little digression and on to the dresses!
| |Eliza J Beaded Satin One Shoulder at Nordstroms
($148 - I usually do not like satin at all, but something about this red satin number really does it for me, I think its the ruching [which seems insanely flattering] combined with the beading and the interesting back makes this dress very appealing. Plus the color is beautiful.)
| |T by Tadashi Off the Shoulder Bandage Dress at Nordstroms
($138 - I've recommended this here before, but I think this simple, off the shoulder bandage dress would make a great wedding guest dress. Probably its biggest drawback would be that it would make many traditional bras difficult, but a strapless bra really isn't that hard to come by, now is it? It comes in several great colors, including this royal blue.)
| |David Meister Ruched-Front Cocktail Dress from Neiman Marcus
($142 - This green dress would likely be really flattering on a pear shape. It might be a wee bit casual for your wedding Gail, but with the appropriate shoes and blinged out jewelry (I'm thinking gold gold gold) I think it would work - the lace on the back is a nice touch. Plus the green is lovely and its a killer deal.)
| |Lauren by Ralph Lauren One Shoulder Gown in Cottage Plum at Bloomingdales
($180 - This is got really for you GtG, but for my readers who have formal weddings to attend, but don't want to break the bank to do so, I love this Ralph Lauren gown. It's simple and sleek, but still special enough to work for a black tie event. And the purple will make it stand out from the sea of black. Add a belt and you really have something interesting.)
| |Vince Camuto Faux Leather Detail Sheath Dress at Nordstroms
($178 - this dress may be veering a bit towards work for a wedding, but with appropriate accessories I think it can be directed back towards wedding. I also think its a truly spectacular fall color and [as on the model] would look great on a very pale person. Paired with other jewel tones and gold jewelry it would look really beautiful.)
| |Aqua Dress - Angelina Beaded Tank in black and silver at Bloomindales
($158 - I like this tank dress with the shiny teardrop design for the Gatsby type theme you wanted [though I haven't seen the actual movie.] There are a couple of concerns; it may be a bit short depending on your preference and you might get cold, but a wrap should help with that. There is
also a grey and gunmetal version, but I worry that it is too close to white for a wedding. I would pair this with some colored accessories, maybe, to bring some interest to the dress - but I'm not sure what colors quite yet. I've seen some other version of this same dress, like this one for instance
, that are much cheaper - but they also tend to LOOK much cheaper. I like that this one looks to be high quality and classy.)
| |French Connection Dress, Lily Jaquard at Bloomingdales
($228 - though with the sales at Bloomies right now, you should be able to get it for under $200. I think this dress, which is in many ways utterly modern, also flirts with the shape and attitude of the 20s-era Gatsby dresses with the lower neckline and the feeling of a slightly slinkier tank dress. I might just be imagining that, but I also just think its very pretty and would be a great go-to dress for many types of events. It would also go great with tons of accessories. There are lots of similar dresses out there, but this is my favorite I think. If you would like to see some of the similar dresses, follow this link to the "google shopping" search
for this dress - which shows similar dresses at other retailers.)
| |Tadashi Shoji V-Neck Trim Fit and Flare Dress at Nordstroms
($198 - this dress, or ones very much like it
all have great reviews at Nordies and strike me as a great dress to wear to lots of weddings and events for years to come [a little special and interesting but unlikely to become dated.] This is one of my favorites though because of the v-neck line instead of the boat neckline that many of them have. I also LOVE this one - but it is tragically well out of the budget.
| |Ivy & Blu for Maggy Boutique Pleated Jersey Fit and Flare Dress at Nordstroms
($148 - for those of my readers looking for a simple, go to cocktail dress for networking events or weddings that hits the middle on the dressiness level, this dress might be perfect. It comes in the three hottest colors this season (and three of my favorite colors for that matter): fuchsia ("acai"), "bright purple", and turquoise. I bet it will also go on sale though - if you wait long enough (though popular sizes may go quick.))
| |Pim + Larkin Embroidered Shift Dress on Piperlime
($69 - I like this shift dress and I think it could be dressed up enough with blingy jewelry, either in silver or gold [or better yet - copper or bronze] to work for any cocktail-type wedding. My only hesitation for you GtG is that I'm not sure how shift dresses work for pear shaped women? But it is very pretty.)
| |Diane von Furstenburg Raquel Knit Sheath Dress at Nordstroms
($175 - I sort of love that this dress [also available in navy blue and black] is like the ultimate blank slate. You could add basically any accessories to this dress (belt, long necklace, short necklace, layered necklaces, crazy shoes, bracelets, literally anything) and it would work. Or you could add minimal accessories and it would be clean lines for a low-key cocktail affair. Throw a leather jacket and moto-boots over it and your ready for a night on the town with the girls.)
| |Tadashi Shoji Mixed Media Fit & Flare Dress at Nordstroms
($348 - this dress is tragically well out of your budget GtG, but I am putting it up here for any of my other readers who might be looking for a little black dress with a different take [whose budget can handle this.] I actually love the cap shoulder and back detailing of this dress and, while I usually don't love lace, I think its very well done here. If I had the budget, I'd definitely want to check it out.)
| |Calvin Klein Pleated Dress at Piperlime
($128 - I like this vertical black and white striped dress (it looks a little blurry when small, but when you make it bigger, it looks less headache inducing.) You very rarely see vertical lines so this is unique and fun. Probably flattering as well!)
| || |Ark & Co. Paisley Dress at Piperlime
($79 - this has turned into the black and white print row - but I regret nothing. I think a pretty black and white print dress is a great alternative to the little black dress we all have in our closets. This paisley dress is lovely and I don't know why but I just LOVE a good paisley. Is this something that is passed in utero from our mothers? I don't know - because I'm not even sure my mother LIKES paisley...)
So Gail, and everyone else, I hope those ideas appeal to you! Do you have a "wedding uniform" you wear to every wedding? How often do you update it? Have you bought any dresses this fall for weddings? If so which ones? Leave a comment in the comments below!
So - I got a question over on my Tumblr
about fall/spring jackets. That question was fairly specific, i.e. fall/spring jackets with a hood that could be purchased in or shipped to Canada. But I found some great options and saw some other great options, so I thought I'd do a post here for all my American readers who might be in the market for a new fall/spring jacket of their very own.
| |Sam Edelman 'Kit' Asymmetrical Wool Blend Coat at Nordstroms
($178 - This jacket might be a nice alternative to the 'field' jackets that are everywhere right now for someone looking for a more professional look since it has the same olive shade with a more graceful, dramatic cut. Also a great coat if you happen to cos-play as an LOTR elf at all, or just happen to think you are one.)
| |Betsy Johnson Collarless Animal Print Coat at Nordstroms
($109.99 - This is one of those coats that I'm not 100% sold on when buttoned, but I think looks really cute when unbuttoned - which I guess isn't the BEST feature in a coat. But, overall, I think for someone looking for a more adventurous coat this might be a nice option - the print is tempered by the traditional colors and cut.)
| |Elie Tahari Marla wrap coat at Neiman Marcus
($195 - this wool blend wrap is an exclusive NM item. I think its a really beautiful and unique jacket, though it may definitely appeal more to my older readers. Its also a secret ninja jacket; the shawl collar converts to a hood.)
| |Guess Asymmetrical Textured Wool Blend and Faux Leather Coat at Nordstroms
($198 - Leather sleeves are EVERYWHERE right now but this is one of my favorite versions of it [though this navy blue Michael Kors one
is awesome too.] I think the burgundy pairs well with the black rather than clashing with it the way khaki can. Leather and wool also go great together. Biggest problem with this is that between the sleeves and the zipper, its going to be dated quickly, but hey - when it comes to trends - you might as well go big or go home, right? Also, this may be more of a late fall/winter coat, depending on the weight. If you like the idea of interesting sleeves, but aren't ready to commit to full on leather sleeves, you might like this Guess jacket with studded sleeves
also at Nordies.)
| |Club Monaco Emma Trench Coat at ShopBop
($298 - a classic trench coat is always a great way to go in the spring and fall, especially if you don't like switching between a ton of coats. This double breasted look with a belt is a classic menswear style with slight adaptations for women, but you wouldn't have to worry about it ever being dated. The little flair at the bottom does give it just a touch of personality. Note: for those who prefer a single breasted trench, I've always liked the look of this Ellen Tracy
. And for a double breasted option that's more affordable, this London Fog jacket
is nice - though a bit less refined looking.)
| |Fit and Flare Coat by ASOS Curve
($109.69 - ASOS Curve has a bunch of cute coats right now, but I like this trench. Its girly in a way that isn't *too* twee and for women with curves it would be ridiculously flattering. Basically, I think that if peplum works on you, than this is the trench coat for you.)
| || |Corduroy-Trimmed Quilted Coat from Ralph Laure
($219 - these fitted, quilted coats are great spring/fall jackets because they provide a bit of warmth but aren't too heavy and are still waterproof. This version is also in a nice, not too aggressive tartan, which is the pattern of the season. But, this particular tartan and jacket are both so classic that you could wear it for years to come and not look out of place.)
| |Calvin Klein Colorblock Houndstooth Coat at Nordstroms
($125.98, limited sizes only, so - I realize that this jacket is very similar to the Guess jacket above, but I am a *total* sucker for houndstooth so it had to have its own entry. Plus, I think the lack of leather sleeves will make it more timeless and I like the black side panels which create the illusion of curves without necessitating a belt. Overall, its a really cool jacket.)
| |Penfield Kasson Parka from Madewell
($185 - This is by far one of my favorite parka style fall coats I've seen around this season. First of all, its available in navy, burgundy, and mustard, a/k/a three of the best colors ever. And its just slouchy enough to look extremely comfortable but structured enough that you don't look like you're wearing your older brother's coat. Plus, the hood is lined in a tartan fabric. Basically, this jacket has hit all the right trend notes, but in five years no one will be able to look at and say "oh, you got your jacket it 2013?"
So I think that's it for now gang. What about you dear readers? Have you gotten any jackets recently that you love and want to tell us about? I recently bought an AWESOME leather jacket at Nordies Rack. (This is it
, but mine is oxblood and I got it for a significant discount - actually if you're on the hunt for a leather jacket made of real leather, I'd head to the Rack nearest you and check this jacket out if they still have it. Its awesome.)
Also - as I'm sure you have noticed, I have not been posting here with anything you would call regularity. Work has been hectic and life has been crazy and I've been dropping the ball. I do post quite regularly over at Tumblr, including fairly frequently posting random items I find during my internet shopping perusals. So if you need a TCFKAG fix, head over there
and just check it out (if you can cope with the Avengers and Tom Hiddleston that is.) But I will try to pick back up in my posting here. Sorry for my delinquency and I hope you enjoy this post! Have a splendid weekend. I know I will!
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 - you all know I like to sometimes pick an item out and then find alternative, cheaper, versions of that item. Well, this time I was looking at L.K. Bennett, a brand that I (like most Americans probably) discovered because of the Duchess of Cambridge, and found actually two items that were beautiful enough to make me want to hunt for them. So here they are.
So - lets get to the shopping for alternatives. My main goals will be, for the dress, finding nicely constructed dresses that have differently colored tops and bottoms (I like that look because I think it makes it look like you are wearing a blouse and skirt but more sleek and without the risk of the shirt coming untucked and looks great under a blazer.) On the skirt, I'll be looking for a-line skirts with pretty patterns like this, but I think pleats will be a plus only, since I know only some people like pleats. SO LETS DO THIS THING!
| |Mango Two-Tone Pleated Dress at Amazon
($79 - I love that a black and white option, though I hope the skirt is longer on non models. Note the pleated satin panels on the top. I would wear it with a contrasting blazer, maybe in cobalt? And then with gray or nude shoes. A good look for the office, I think.
Can we also talk about these shoes and how much I NEED them in my life?
Eliza J Sleeveless Color Block Dress at Amazon
($138 - I like the pleated a-line skirt and that the belt creates a clear delineation and gives the waist definition. I think this would be good for work with a cardi or blazer and GREAT for outdoor summer events, like company "picnics" or clam bakes."
I will note about these first alternatives, that I did find in my hunt some absolutely beautiful options from some designer lines, like L'Agence
, St. John Collection
, Kate Spade New York
, and LotusGrace
(this last one was in the post until the very very last moment when I found that Calvin Klein one - but I still love it so check it out.) I didn't include these dresses though - and I generally don't include many designer options - because my goal is to find affordable (or more affordable anyway) versions of the things I'm inspired by. That goal isn't met by posting $500 dresses. No matter how much I love them. Now on to the skirts!
| || |Floral Pleated Skirt multi-colored from Jones New York
($59 - I like that the floral print on this isn't too literal, the length is great for work and looks like it might be long enough to work for even taller readers and it comes in petite as well. And the price is nice too. Jones NY also had a couple other A-Line skirts, and for my animal print loving readers ... you know who you are - check out this one
Finally - this row is just a few other things I like from L.K. Bennett. Just because, they had so many, many options.
| |Olivia Silk Graphic Print Scarf - Ocean Blue
($161 - you ALL know how I feel about scarves and this one, oh my god, I just...I'm platzing. Also comes in coral/orange print. More than I spend on scarves but grilled cheesus is this gorgeous.)
| |Cap-sleeve silk dress in champagne print
($312 - this is actually essentially the same pattern as the skirt above and this is the sold out champagne print (lovely isn't it) - the navy is available as well!)
I am including both of these shoes: the Floral Print Heels
($365) and the Malibu Metallic Leather Peep-Toe Sandal
($277) because I think they'd make great wedding shoes. I've gotten many wedding shoe questions in the past and both of these would be beautiful options for that...or for any special occasion really.
So that's all they wrote folks ... and in the immortal words of Veronica Mars:
"I'd be the best rich person. I'd be the perfect combination of frivolous and sensible. Money is wasted on the wealthy."
Happy shopping everyone and Happy Friday to boot.
Reader LM takes the bow before the event and asks:
Hello TCFKAG! Found you through Corporette (longtime reader/lurker) and I have a fashion question for you... I know I am super-late to the party, but I have been wanting some tie-neck blouses to wear tucked into pencil skirts at work or with skinny jeans and heels at night. I like the styles that tie up high - e.g., closer to the neck rather than the boobs (if that makes sense). Can you help me find some reasonably priced, cute options, preferably under $60? I am open to solid-colored or patterned. I am about a size 8 (usually M). Thanks in advance!
Let me first thank you profusely for NOT calling them by the other name that shall not be used for these blouses that I frankly think is gross and icky and I react to it like some people react to the word moist. So - yeah - lets stick with tie-neck blouses, shall we. And as far as missing the boat, if you missed the boat, then everyone else who's wearing them right now missed the boat by a couple of decades, so missing the boat by a year is just a blip really and hardly can be called super-late. Fashionably late, sure, but that's the way to be, right? Moving on to the actual CLOTHES now. Lets find some blouse that shall not be named. As a warning, at that price point most of your options will likely be polyester or poly blends, but I'll try to do my best to find some deals on real silk or silk blends too.
I'm on a total How I Met Your Mother kick tonight, don't ask me why. These things just happen.
One more quick note about shopping for tie-neck blouses - many if not most of the tie necks are in fact adjustable, so they can either be tied higher up at the neckline or lower at the boob area (for lack of a better term) so what you see on the website is a styling choice of the retailer and not the exclusive way the shirt can be worn. So you want to double check those product details if you see a tie shirt you like but its tied in the wrong place.
So! I hope these options give you a few ideas to add a little new flare to your summer wardrobe. Who doesn't like adding a bow to their clothes. Its like you're a gift that you get to unwrap at night (or someone ELSE gets to unwrap....BAZINGA.) Man, the dorky tv references are flying fast and hard tonight. Think that's a sign its time for me to log off. Well, LM, please come back in the comments and let me know how you make out. AND TO MY OTHER READERS, THE CONTEST ENDS TOMORROW AT MIDNIGHT. HAVE YOU ENTERED? IF SO, YOU NEED NEED NEED TO SEND ME AN E-MAIL AT TCFKAG@GMAIL.COM. BECAUSE DESPITE MY BEST EFFORTS AFTER READING MATILDA AS A CHILD, I HAVE NEITHER TELEPATHY NOR TELEKINESIS. SO ENTER! WIN! LET ME SHOP FOR YOU PERSONALLY!! (AND REMEMBER - FACEBOOK COUNTS. AND IF YOU HAVE NO SOCIAL MEDIA, YOU COULD EVEN SEND AN E-MAIL TO SOME OF YOUR NEAREST AND DEAREST FRIENDS.)
okay....no more big letters they scare me. good night all. good night moon. good night girl in the polka-dot balloon.