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!
Reader Unicorn and Pixies asked: Looking for black long sleeved Dolman shirt / sweater to wear to work (big law). Like to spend under $100. I'm usually a s or m. Thank you!
Dolman tops and sweaters are a bit of a hot button issue on Corporette for some reason; many readers dislike dolman sleeves with a passion. I don't mind them - I have larger than average upper arms and find that fitted sleeves sometimes make my arms look a bit...sausage like. Dolman sleeves can be a great relaxed alternative look for sleeves. But the challenge, of course, for work is making sure that a sometimes slouchy look is polished enough for the workplace. But I'm going to find you some awesome options U&P!!
And - since this is a bit of a simple question, but I still wanted to help U&P out - I decided to do a combo post. I'll post the black long sleeved dolman shirts and sweaters - but also fun fall accessories I've seen that might go well with it - especially scarves, jewelry, belts, perhaps a vest or two, whatever catches my fancy! Its been awhile since I've done an accessories post and fall is my favorite accessories season - you can layer, you can wear all my favorite jewel tones [and mix them up in jewelry and clothes], and purses and bags come in lovely shades of leather. So this post will be a little bit for you U&P and a little bit of TCFKAG's ideas for fall accessories. Hope you all enjoy it!
| |Dolman Sleeved Cowl top from Coldwater Creek
($59.96-69.95 - the cowl neck top on this shirt makes it fairly unique from most other dolman sleeved shirts, which tend to be boat neck or wide v-necks. Coldwater has lots of dolman options, including this one
and this one
that may work for you. And for those reading along at home, many of these items come in plus sizes as well and in other colors, including a gorgeous eggplant for the shirt above.)
| |Graphic Print Wool Scarf from Norstroms
($59 - with emerald green [and frankly all greens] so trendy right now, its a great time to add some green accessories to your wardrobe. I especially like this scarf because it mixes the green with the navy blue [mixing of jewel tones] but also adds in the yellow which brightens the scarf and will allow it to transition into a spring wardrobe smoothly. Scarf also available in other colors. This similar graphical scarf is cool too
| |Ann Taylor Loft Banded Dolman Tee
($29.50 - I know many of my readers [honestly myself included] have largely sworn off the Loft because of quality issues, but this simple dolman tee is a cotton-wool blend, the banded waistline makes it a bit more formal and the short sleeve dolman look makes it a great layering item. It has great reviews and comes in awesome colors. Might be worth a try at that price.)
| |Halogen Scoop Back Ruched Dolman Top at Nordstroms
($44 - I REALLY like this simple dolman top from Nordstroms [the scooped back is not dramatically low]. The ruched waist gives it a fitted look, but the dolman sleeves keep it loose and comfortable through the chest, shoulder, and bicep areas for those of you with muscles or me with the arms de sausage. ;-) It comes in a variety of lovely colors and in regular and petite sizes.)
| |White House Black Market Easy Dolman Tee
($38 - WHBM is becoming one of my go to stores for work clothes, which is sort of shocking, and I think this shirt is a good example of why. It would be excellent for layering under suit jackets or cardigans - its a cotton-modal blend which gives it a silkier, slightly dressier appearance. I'm not sure about wearing it entirely on its own, especially at Big Law, but as a layering piece this is a great option.)
| |Halogen Dolman Sleeved Tunic from Nordstroms
($64 - another great dolman top that comes in great, great colors - including this black. What you can't really see in the black picture is that there's a pit of a pronounced seam up the center of the sweater and sleeves at the waist - adding interest. May verge on too casual for a big law office, but wanted to share anyway.)
| |Latico Leathers Cross-Body bag at Amazon
($76.49 - at over 60% off this cross-body tote is a pretty great deal for real leather. The single review on Amazon is good and the chestnut color looks lovely. There's a picture giving scale against a human and its not quite as large as the out of context picture would suggest - it would be a great weekend or travel purse, or for work if you don't have to carry a laptop or files on a regular basis. I personally love cross-body purses and this is a lovely one with clean lines.)
| |Trouvé hi-low v-neck dolman sweater at Nordstroms
($68 - I wanted to make sure you had a true sweater option and I like this relatively simple Trouvé option. The hi-low hemline is barely noticeable and its short enough at the waist to be easily worn tucked in or not, which makes it versatile; pair with short collar or long pendant necklace for great effect.)
| |Michael by Michael Kors 'Slim Runway' Bracelet Watch at Nordstroms
($180 - This is definitely a splurge item - but it is also a beautiful, simple, and yet utterly sexy watch. The black and gold is certainly on trend right now, but there's nothing about this watch that wouldn't be stylish forever. Plus, for those women who don't want a metallic watch there are just so few
options and this is the cream of the crop. This hits just the right balance of edgy, trendy, but yet eternal. I kind of love it.)
| |Dex Jaquard Draped Front Cardigan at Piperlime
($78 - this cardigan, which has a fun jaquard pattern on the back, is the slouchy sweater you could wear all fall and never get sick of. Pair it with jeans, knee high boots, a black t-shirt, and a long pendant necklace, and maybe a cute hat if that's your thing and you've basically built the perfect fall outfit for the weekend. Also a great option for people whose offices are experimenting with how cold you can keep the human body and still get productive work from them.)
| |Women's scoop neck 3/4 sleeve dolman top at Old Navy
($14.00 - this may be more casual than you are looking for [and the reviews are only so-so, it looks like you may want to order a size up and/or even order a tall if you are "normal" height] but at $14 it might be worth at least checking out.)
| |Marru Matte Silk Top at Piperlime
($208 - so obviously this is a splurge item [that I would perhaps stalk until it goes on sale anyway] but I love this style of silk top with simple pleating down the front. Its perfect for work, can be worn under blazers, on its own, with suits, and is surprisingly versatile on the weekends. Comes in other colors as well.)
| |Wyatt Blue and Black Contrast Stripe Jersey Dolman Top at Bluefly ($44.79 - so I know you said black, but I like this bold blue and black striped dolman top so much that I thought I'd recommend it anyway. With a pair of simple black slacks and an opera length necklace - this would be a fun Friday look for work and a great weekend shirt.)
| |Neiman Marcus Chestnut Zip-Top Basketweave Tote at Neiman Marcus Last Call
($47.50 - chestnut is a beautiful color for fall; it just seems to jive with many of the seasonal colors of oranges and burgundy and green and other jewel tones. Plus this bag seems like a killer steal - a lovely zip-top tote in a cool basketweave for over 50% off. Definitely worth a look see.)
| |DV by Dolce Vita 'Sandie' Boot at Nordstroms
($79.90 - this boot is a fun combination of the moto-boot that is so in right now and the combat boot, that is coming back with the 90s trend [which if I see it called 'vintage' 90s one more time, I might scream.] It comes in a variety of colors and I think it would be great with skinny jeans tucked in or with boot cut jeans. For those from northern climes, it would also transition nicely into early winter when rain, sleet, and snow become a daily problem.)
| |Leopard Print on Oversized Scarf at ASOS
($18.56 - ASOS has lots of fun accessories but I especially like this leopard print one. It would go well if you have a black or a brown jacket [or actually if you have one of those military green jackets or a burgundy jacket - or possibly any color - leopard is like a sneaky neutral.] Its a great size but still is a light enough fabric that you won't be dying of heat exhaustion October from wearing it.)
| |Kate 'Spectator' Pump from Talbots
($149 - Talbots shoes are surprisingly high quality - I have a pair of gray heels from there that I have worn several times a week for several years at this point and they've held up beautifully. This is the first pair of gray heels I've seen that tempt me to finally replace my beloved heels. I like the simple extra detailing (a little interesting without being distracting) the pointed toe and the chunky heel - which is trendy AND comfortable, my favorite combination.)
| |Standout Layered Necklace in silver from Forever 21
($8.80 - F21 has a variety of takes on this style of necklace, but I like this version in silver. You rarely see this style of chain Y necklace in silver (its frequently gold) and I like this darker almost gunmetal silver for a cooler, slightly more edgy look for fall. It also looks great in gold though, and frankly for this price you can probably afford both! I love F21 jewelry, its hard to have buyers remorse when nothing costs more than $10.)
| |Metal Haven by Kendall & Kylie Wing Earrings at Nordstroms
($6.98 - its not often that I feature something from the junior's section of Nordies...or something from what I think is the little Kardashian's line of jewelry (I guess)? But these are cute - I think in the appropriately styled outfit they could fit for work, but really I think they'd be awesome for the weekend. I'm actually envisioning them with the bracelet next to them and perhaps with those awesome DV boots above - you'd look super bad ass...but classily bad ass.)
| |Cara Wide Woven Leather Bracelet at Nordstrom's Rack
($14.97 - my favorite thing about the current leather trend is there are lots of women's accessories out there right now that walk the edge of kind of "badass tough" while still being pretty and well-made. I think this bracelet is a great example of that. Paired with a nice pair of jeans, some cool moto boots, and a black dolman shirt (perhaps...just for example), this bracelet would be a fun way to add some of the leather trend to an outfit without going full on leather all the time. Not sure I'd wear it to work in a business casual work environment, but if you work in a creative field you might be able to pull it off.
So there you have it dear readers. some ideas for U&P for black dolman tops AND a sense of where my mind is at this fall. The answer....EVERYWHERE. I'm loving the trends this season, especially the leather, the various types of metallic jewelry, and the jewel tones abounding in every direction. I find myself wanting ALL THE THINGS so I'm really having to exercise some self-control.
So what about you readers? What fall items are you most excited about? Have you made any purchases lately that you are just in love with? If so leave a comment below - I love to hear from you!
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!
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.
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).
Reader KG asks:Hi TCFKAG! I'm in my mid-twenties and have been thinking about trying to create a more cohesive personal style lately. So far my shopping style is haphazard and I just buy what I like. My closet isn't bad, it's just not memorable. I'm trying to go about this by selecting a fashion icon (Jackie O) and trying to go from there. But I get a block when I'm actually shopping. What I really would love is a list of 5-10 modern Jackie O must-haves to get me started on building an awesome wardrobe. The details: Size: generally size small/2/27. I'm a skinny hourglass. Price Range: Lower is always better. Max prices would be $30ish for shirts, 100ish for pants, 75-100ish for dresses, $50-150 on shoes. But I love to fall in love and goggle at out of reach clothes too, so don't feel too limited. Hair color/skin tone: Super pale skin, brown hair Event: Everyday work and weekend clothes. I work in a pretty casual industry, so I don't need suits or really formal stuff. Shoes: Size 9.5, and definitely partial to flats.Hey! Look - I'm back. Sorry for the longer than expected delay in return. I got back from a PHENOMENAL vacation (go here to see photos) and then I got very, very, very sick. So my return to the world of vicarious shopping and blogging was delayed. But here I am and your question tickled my fancy. It also gives me a chance to expound for just a bit on a topic that has come up several times on Corporette and just generally in work environments I've been in in the past (but which doesn't necessarily apply entirely to your question). I have absolutely no problem with people having a defined personal style; in fact, I think its a great way (though not the only way) to guide your wardrobe and your closet into a cohesive unit - thus allowing the set of clothes you own to work well together as separates and saving you both time and money in the morning. But, with any style choice, you have to walk a fine line in the workplace. With the Jackie O inspiration, frankly, it would look incredibly odd for a twenty-something to be walking around right now wearing pill-box hats and chanel suits. And as with one of my recent posts, people who are more "goth" or edgy in their personal style have to find a way to reign that in for work. But I don't think this just applies to "out there" stylistic choices. If your style is "preppy" for example, a fairly well accepted style choice in the work place, I still don't think you can buy your entire work wardrobe from Lilly Pulitzer or LaCrosse. And if you're into fashion and really like getting dressed up and looking trendy, I would think twice about wearing an Akris suit everyday to a more casual business casual firm, no matter how awesome you would look, because the edginess would likely throw off your superiors. What am I trying to say? With any style-inspiration, its all about taking that inspiration and working elements of it into a modern business or business casual wardrobe. No matter how loyal you are to the "look", you have to remember that your work wardrobe is *not* about expressing personal identity (with, of course, the exception of dressing to match the gender you identify with) - its about looking professional and pulled together. But there's also no reason that has to be boring. Hence the meeting in the middle. So just remember, you want to be remembered as the woman who filed a kick-ass Motion to Dismiss or solved the network problems that had been plaguing the office for months; that is what your office identity should be. You do *not* want to be "Jackie O girl" or "Mad Men girl" or "goth girl." Your style should be a secondary identity but not a primary one. If you pull that off, then you have achieved greatness my friend. NOW! Moving on to the actual meat (and FUN) of the question.I guess the first question is .... what did Jackie O wear? Of course her style changed somewhat throughout her life, but she was known for clean lines, classic styles, simple colors, collarless blazers, and in her early years a-line skirts. She was a style icon of her time and always looked pretty amazing. She was also very New Englandy (is that a word....it is now) - trending, especially later in life, towards a sort of maritime look in her casual wear. Now, I have to admit up front a STRONG affection for Jackie - and frankly the whole Kennedy clan. I'm from New England (in fact a large chunk of my family is from Newport, RI) and I'm Irish-Catholic. What does that mean? That means that there were pictures of JFK and Bobby Kennedy up in all of my elderly relatives houses next to the pope. They were a very big deal for Irish-Americans in the 50s and 60s and it may be hard to understand now, but Jackie was their princess. My now deceased great-uncle went to JFK and Jackie's wedding, just so he could see them come out of the church and shoot a picture - the resulting picture (she looking pretty startled) was one of his most treasured possessions. But really - how could you not love them? (By the way, that's a rhetorical question, I am well aware of the reasons that JFK was problematic.)
So - given this is my first post back AND its Jackie O, I'm going to do a slightly different format. I'm going to post a picture of her that caught my eye - trending from the more business formal to the more casual - and then I will post more modern items that I think would do a good job of recreating a similar look - without making it look like you were playing 1950s or 1970s dress-up (I will be doing various J.O. eras - she had fabulous style in all of them.) So lets get started!
So - the Chanel suit with the pill box hat is, of course, a classic. Its practically iconic. But I also think its pretty dated for a young attorney at this stage of your career (and I'm just going to assume point blank you're not wearing pill box hats to work.) I also think its critically important that you get something that highlight the waist a bit more and is, frankly, a bit more flattering. But I have some ideas about suits that might give the same effect but without the stiffer, throw-back vibe.
| |Front zip moto in coral from the Limited
($49.99 also in yellow - I honestly think in your case that separates are the best way to go, since you don't need a full suit. You can get the vague look with a bit more modern flair.)
| |TopShop Fleck Bouclé Jacket at Nordstroms
($150 - a bit above what I imagine you'd want to pay for a blazer - but otherwise I think its perf. Its cute and modern and I love the color - and if you can get past the horrendous styling on the model it would be great for work (especially with gray.)
| |Bouclé Jacket at Mango Outlet
($79.99 on-sale - I think this blazer is cool and may fit a bit more with her later style - more in the seventies look - but I really like it. Especially if you tried something a little interesting and paired it with a black turtleneck, for example.)
So - other than the unfortunate Chanel suit - one thing Jackie was very good about was picking dresses that emphasized her natural waist. Now - I'm not sure where your waist is precisely, but I'm going to assume for the purposes of this exercise that, like her, you had a fairly mid-range natural waist (which was great for her - it seems to have allowed her to wear things that hit everywhere from just below the rib-cage to almost a dropped waist....the lucky duck.) So here I'll be showing a few work appropriate dresses that have nicely defined natural waists - but would also work as essentially a business casual suit separate with a blazer thrown over them (perhaps one of the blazers above - who knows.) For that reason, I'm sticking mostly with the neutrals here, black, gray, and navy.
So, there may not be universal agreement on this, but I think Jackie's 70s style was absolutely fantastic. She didn't fall prey to some of the more hideous excesses of the period, but instead stuck with her figure flattering, chic look - but added a little more flair and a little more.....disco....for lack of a better term. Take this look for example. 50s and 60s Jackie would never have rocked a super swag, collar popped trench coat and corresponding trousers. And yet she looks fabulous. Also...I think she's the only reason that sometimes I think that very sparing use of the turtleneck in your wardrobe is absolutely a go (see e.g. with the Mango Blazer above.) But generally, what I would take away from this picture, is the power of a well tailored pair of straight leg (or slightly boot cut) trousers, a fitted blouse or short, and an awesome trench coat.
Now, I will acknowledge, it is essentially an exercise in futility recommending pants blind over the internet because of simple size preferences, fit preferences, and the magic "it" that is impossible to capture via the world wide web. But take this from Jackie O - you should want your pants to fit - and don't trust catalogues as a judge for how pants fit - if you have lines pulling across the front forming that sort of spider shape across your pelvis (you know the one) they're too small. If when you sit down, they ride up and show your whole sock, they're probably too short. If when you walk, you trip over them, they're too long. And if they dig into your stomach and make you uncomfortable, they're too small. My best tip - buy the size that fits your thighs, hips, and stomach....the rest can be altered (and get a Nordies debit or credit card so you can get some free alterations too.) Okay...moving on, here we go.
| |Seasonless Straight Leg Pant at White House Black Market
($88 - I know I just said how I wasn't going to recommend pants - but I like the look of these - they're a bit different than all the other "straight" or "wide" leg pants. Might be worth a gander at this price. Readers - has anyone worn or purchased these?)
| |Silk Chiffon Houndstooth Blouse from Brooks Brothers
($91.20 - in trying to figure out what the modern equivalent to the turtleneck would be - I bet it would be something like this blouse. Its formal, but with a pattern and a bow to keep it interesting. In fact, Jackie liked neck bows as seen here
, so you'd be keeping it on theme.)
| |Mark New York Asymmetrical Zip Front Belted Trench Coat from the Bon Ton
($140 - so I'm going with a bright color on this trench because sometimes we forget that Jackie was actually *really* fashionable. She wasn't just demure and proper; she was one of the first First Ladies who was young enough to be a "fashion icon." Yes her style seems a bit prim now, but she was cool
back then, so a Jackie O inspired wardrobe doesn't have to be all prim all the time. Is all I'm saying.
The Kennedys as I assume many of you know are Cape Codders - they have a huge house on the cape and most of the kids grow up there and spend a lot of their time there in the summer. I'm not sure what Jackie's relationship with Newport was, but I think she also spent a fair amount of time on the beach in the summer. After JFK died, she married a yacht dude (I won't pretend to know what he did.) Basically, her casual wear definitely had a fancy maritime theme. Three elements that really defined her look were her cropped pants, her scarfs (traditional square ones, I think), which she would wear on her head or around her neck, and her flats (not pictured above as she's wandering around barefoot....like a peasant...or Britney Spears during her breakdown. But in other pictures it appears for flats she favors a box toe or a slight point with a buckle or other minimalist decoration on the toe box and either flat or a low square heel. We won't discuss in too much detail her taste in heels, we'll chalk it up to the era.) As such, I'll focus on these three items for "casual wear" assuming - probably rightfully - that you have t-shirts or blouses that you can wear that will go nicely with these items.
| |Caslon Chino Ankle Pants from Nordstroms
($34.80 - so, the Halogen brand cropped pant
which comes in a variety of cuts and fabrics gets great reviews at Nordies, but I think I like these chinos a bit better. The cuff gives them a little more of a relaxed flare, while still keeping them looking good - plus I love this navy color - though they come in like 20 colors.)
| |Slightly Curvy Perfect Twill Ankle Pants from Eddie Bauer
($39.99 - if you are considering a more formal cropped pant - I think these Eddie Bauers might be a good fit for you. They are mostly fairly straight, with the pressed seam in the front, but the slightly curvy cut will fit your slim hour-glass shape better. I wish they came in more colors though...I feel like the whole point of cropped pants is fun colors; I'm almost sure of it. For ones that maybe aren't as curvy friendly but come in WAY more fun colors, check out the Hampton fit cropped pants at BR
| |Linen Straight Leg Pant from C&C California
($48.99 - so these are a bit off the radar - but for a modern "oh, you know, I'm just running from the beach to my yoga class to coffee and I just threw this look together" pant - I really am drawn to these. They look amazingly comfortable and yet way more stylish than most similar pants. At least worth a look - especially if paired with an appropriately "just thrown together" tunic and some jewelry.)
| |Vintage Christian Dior Paisley Silk Scarf from American Apparel
($50 - I may or may not be having a stroke right now, since I'm willingly listing an item from AMERICAN APPAREL - but this scarf is SO PRETTY and is allegedly vintage Dior. Either way, I love teal, I LOVE paisley, and it would go amazingly with the color palette we've been building so far [always an important consideration when adding new items and accessories.])
| |Vintage Waves Square Silk Scarf from Lord and Taylor
($30.44 - I love this bright yellow, it would really take a lot of gray and navy and even black outfits into summer with just a tie of a scarf. Plus this is a color I know Jackie favored [at least in the color pictures I saw of her] and I just think its lovely. This particular scarf would go especially well with say a gray or navy dress as a way to add some interest without needing to add layers in the heat of the summer. Plus its a great price for silk!)
| |Harmony close toe flat in dafodil from Sole Society
($59.95 - I have to tell you, I LOVE these, and I'm thinking of getting them for myself. And they feel like exactly what an updated Jackie O casual flat would be. You have the box toe and the buckle on the toe box and yet the color and the patent really scream fun. Plus the yellow will add some pop to otherwise neutral weekend or casual [or work] attire. These are kind of amazing....I might be personally in love though I recognize they are not everyone's cup of tea.)
| |Sesto Meucci Exedra Flat from 6PM
($96.99 - so based on pictures of her actual shoes - these may be the most similar to Jackie O's casual flats that I could see on the current popular shoe market. Which, is kind of funny, because this sort of vaguely male style flat is totally back in style right now. And these would be insanely comfortable [they also come in tan] but they are not as cute and adorable as one might hope. I have no idea if it was a Jackie O thing or a that period thing, but there ya go. She did wear more dressy flats for formal occasions (based on the pictures at least.)
So, we have come to the end of our epic journey....the Little Black Dress. Perhaps not as famous for her choice of a LBD as, say, Audrey Hepburn, our First Lady in question sure knew how to make one work. I especially like the one in the above picture - completely appropriate for the wife of the President and yet stunning none the less (though I think in the modern day we'd ramp up the jewelry and the shoes just a bit.) The bottom two dresses are different. The one on the left is presumably still during the Presidency and it is a more formal event. But I like the deeper dip in the neckline. You can see her jewelry and her toned arms. This is Jackie O outside a boatneck! Huzzah! On the right is something entirely different. This is later in life (probably in the 70s - a google image back search couldn't turn up an origin) but her tastes have matured and she has been freed to be more sexy and fashion forward. Despite all that, and in the middle of the fashion....adventures that were the 70s.....she still looks classy and timeless. She could turn up to a gallery opening today in any of these looks and look in place - and in the end, isn't that the goal? (Well not always, but sometimes. Probably not with Lady Gagas meat dress.)
| |T by Tadashi Off the Shoulder Bandage Dress at Nordstroms
($138 - also available in red and blue - this dress is presented in honor of Ms. O's sexy later years. Because having Jackie O as your style icon doesn't mean being prim and proper forever.... sometimes it means off the shoulder bandage dresses. That's what we are remembering with this dress. ;-].)
| |David Meister Illusion Top Cocktail Dress at Neiman Marcus
($161 - I like this dress a lot - I feel like its classy with just a bit of sex appeal, just like Jackie. It would be great for a formal work cocktail party type thing or as a guest as a wedding. Its screaming for dangly earrings, bangles, and brightly colored shoes [and possibly an opera length necklace, if it doesn't mess with the effect of the neckline.])
| |Bridge V-Neck Dress in Black from Reiss
($240 - also available in red - I feel like this picture likely does not do this dress justice. But it is the ideal sheath dress for fancy occasions, the perfect blank slate on which to build your jewelry and shoes and hair and make-up; with the up-side being that you can wear it to work as well. Also if you click through you'll see the back dips down just a little, which I really like as a detail. To bad the picture is so terrible.)
| |Kate Spade New York Lorelei Dress in "black/clotted" at Piperlime
($248 - okay my budget is all out of control on these....look at them as long term goals? Sorry. But I love the checkered design on this one and the pockets and the classic shape. I also think it would be wildly flattering on someone with a slightly curvy figure [I say that as someone with a slightly but not super curvy figure....if that makes sense.])
| |JS Collection Peek-a-boo lace Cap Sleeve Fit and Flare Dress at Edressme
($270 - so I was trying to avoid lace, mostly because I feel like we're all going to look back at this period in 10 years and wonder if there was something in the water that made us all have a lace fetish, but everything else about the cut, the shape, and the fit of this dress is lovely...so here ya go.)
| |Carmen Marc Valvo Crepe Bottom Cocktail Dress at Bergdorg Goodman
($226 - so - I won't lie, this is only available in a size 6 - but I just think its lovely so I'm sharing it anyway. If any of my other readers are a size 6 and are looking to add something in the same style to their wardrobe, this might be a good match for you!)
So that's all she wrote folks. Did I miss any clear "Jackie O" necessary wardrobe elements? If so, give Reader KG a heads up in the comments! And I'm glad to be back - I missed you all!! Look forward to hear from all of you going forward over the next few days/weeks. And since I couldn't share ALL the amazing photos of Jacqueline Kennedy-Onassis I found during the making of this post, I will leave you with just a few more (clearly its too bad I don't have the picture of her looking shocked/terrified from when my great-uncle jumped out and took her picture on her wedding day.....)
So - I wanted to do a post about business appropriate work items for people who like to dress with a bit of edge. Now let me be clear, these aren't just for people who are dressing all in black to look more grown up or to be more intimidating. These are people who are, perhaps, goth in their personal style or otherwise like to look tough or edgy in their style. Now - much of what I post here would normally fit the "ladylike" or even "girly" side of the coin. And I'm not going to recommend studded belts or collars for work (which I know you wouldn't wear unless you work in a VERY creative field) - but I'm going to suggest some edgier work wear items to be paired with otherwise neutral items to allow you, my little gothic lovlies, to slip some of your edgy soul into your work wear without scaring the puppy-shirt loving office administrator or the 70-year-old managing partner.
| |Tracy Reese Brocade Pencil Skirt at Neiman Marcus ($90 - so I clicked on this because I liked the skirt but then I liked the sweater with leather sleeves too. I think a brocaded burgundy skirt like this is sort of sneaky edge; a bit vintage but cool if paired with a very modern top - like here with leather. I really like this version; not too much like a couch cushion and a lovely color.) | |Marc New York by Andrew Marc Black Sheath Dress with piping at Nordstroms ($138 - love the piping here - not only would it be great for women with longer or mid-length waists to emphasize their shapes, but it takes a plain black dress and adds interest without making it work inappropriate. Also the shape is a bit different but not crazy. With a cropped jacket in any color this would be great for work.) | |ASOS Pants in Wide Leg in Berry at ASOS ($34.99 - these are maybe questionable, but I love the idea of these with a wide, black leather belt and a black or contrasting shirt and then a long, beaded statement necklace [or the Boden military blazer right below this!]. Usually berry isn't an "edgy" color, but I think the combination of the palazzo cut and hard styling could make this an exciting outfit, you know?)
| |Fitzrovia Jacket in navy with white piping at Boden ($98 - "Military style" blazers are all over the place right now, but I like the piping and color of this one, which keeps it from being *too* casual or military. I think the ones that are military khaki green are too casual and some of the more super structured ones are a little hard to wear for a lot of women who aren't petite - this would look nice on lots of shapes and is nice.) | |Gliding on Style Top at ModCloth ($47.99 - I don't usually love peplum, but if you paired this with a black pencil skirt and a bright colored pendant necklace and fabulous earrings and heels and...god...curvy women would look amazing. Anyway - seriously cool.)
| |Antonio Melanie Rikki Pinstripe Waistcoat at Dillard's ($119 - I am of the opinion that everyone should wear waistcoats. Wear it with a silk blouse and then a looser pair of trousers. Or get the matching pants and have an androgynous day or a colored pencil skirt and show off your butt. Either way, if it fits right, everyone loves a good waistcoat and you can pretend to be Tom Hiddleston or Matt Bomer for the day.) | |Fashion Star Pencil Skirt with Leather Appliques by Daniel Silverstein at Saks Fifth Avenue ($150 - leather skirts are very trendy, but I think leather pencil skirts may not be work appropriate but I think some of the pencil skirts with leather detailing are exceptions. Just a leather waistband though are no fun - this one is FUN. Paired with a burgundy blouse or blazer and black heels - this would be beautiful. I actually wouldn't pair it with a black shirt so that the leather can shine.) | |Cooper & Ella Crochet Trim Blouse in black at Piperlime ($89 - okay there are a million black blouses in the world - but I like the crochet detail on the shoulders of this one - adding a little difference. Also, the soft way it hangs, and the v-neck is a nice cut but isn't too low.)
| |4.collection black and gray printed flare dress at Saks Fifth Avenue ($298 - I hope this dress would be longer on women of average height - but I love that this is an A-line dress but not girly - which they often are. Add a fitted black or gray blazer and maybe a gray leather belt and whatever color shoes your mind can imagine and you've got a great look. Plus this is practically made for dramatic jewelry.) | |Ann Klein Faux Leather Skirt in tan ($49 - limited sizes - I think this is one of the exceptions to the general rule against leather pencil skirts are inappropriate for work because it is so neutral and simple. Another exception are a-line leather skirts, like this one that Banana Republic used to have. I think the key is that the skirts not be too tight, not be black [black being very "biker" for some reason] and that the skirt and styling be as neutral as humanly possible.)
So - what do you think readers - do any of you have an edgier look? Are these things you would wear? What do you think - other than my love of skulls, I'm not particularly edgy (one of my skull scarfs is sea foam green - you can't really consider me to be hard core whatsoever....I find my love of skulls to be generally ironic.) Leave some comments in the comments sections (and if you don't know where that is, click the link in the title and go through to the post's main page and look at the bottom of the screen! Don't worry, your e-mail won't show up.)
So...Kanye East (of everywhere fame) has an amazing Etsy store that I've featured on this blog before. This evening she posted this lovely rough diamond multi chain necklace with silver and gold chains
. I like it a lot (as per usual with items from the Gewgaws store) but it also got me thinking about mixed metal jewelry. Sometimes its great. Sometimes its good. Sometimes its okay. And sometimes its just awful. But I find it super useful in my jewelry collection - I mean I can pair it with either my silver OR my gold jewelry - that's extremely useful! So I thought I'd find and recommend some nice mixed metal jewelry tonight. But first, here's Kanye's lovely creation (on-sale now for $94 though she offers a Corporette discount....which I probably should have checked if I should post that here.
I know many people worry aout service and quality on Etsy. If you do not read the 'rette or are not familiar with Kanye or her store - I have bought two items from her and am aware of many others who have shopped there as well. Her service is excellent and prompt and her quality is top of the line, professional level. She also does custom orders and actually worked with me to custom-make both of the necklaces I bought from her. Anyway - now that I've internet flirted with Kanye enough (she's awesome an amazing human being lets get down to business.)
So - one of the keys for me with mixed metal jewelry is that you have to balance my desire for the metals to look as real as possible while still blending somewhat - a balance well struck by the rustic metals Kanye used above. Hammered metals also often work well as good. Sometimes the really bright metallics don't work as well, in my opinion. I also REALLY love when there are other metals involved, like copper, bronze, tungsten, whatever - anyway- now that I've written an ode - lets get to the shopping.
| || |Caravelle by Bulova two tone mixed metal bracelet watch at Macy's ($79.99 - watches are a great way to mix metals - since many people wear them everyday its especially helpful if they match all of your jewelry - or at least more of your jewelry. I'm oddly drawn to this watch, maybe because the floral pattern separates it just a bit from the other watches?)
| |TopShop V-link Collar Necklace at Nordstroms ($35 - I think this would be an amazing necklace for dressing up a LBD with either a deeper v-neck or strapless or a deep scoop neck. The one review says it shines brightly but I still think it looks like the mixed metals work great and look classic yet contemporary. And the price is right in my book. | |Argento Vivo 'Prism' Double Drop Earrings at Nordstroms ($128 - generally I don't like dropping a ton of money on jewelry, but these sort of earrings are the type of thing that make me consider an exception. First, they make a statement - they could, on their own, be the centerpiece of a formal outfit or a cocktail party or even just a night out with the girls. Second, they are unique enough and intricately enough designed, I don't think I'll find the same thing at Target or online the next day for way cheaper. I could be wrong of course, but these are really beautiful and seem special. So I thought I'd share.)
So - that's all she wrote (literally) today folks. Sorry the post was a bit late; I was having a *day* and just was super grumpy. But then Kanye posted the perfect necklace and gave me IDEAS! Hope you like the outcome. Do you mix metals? What's your favorite piece of mixed metal jewelry and how do you wear it? Leave a comment below!
Editor's Note: Did you all notice I started a twitter for this blog? I have no idea what to do with it (or how to use it for that matter) but you should follow me if you read this blog - I might post occasional other items I see that I like ... and also I like followers. They give my life meaning. (Kidding - sort of. ;-) You can get to my Twitter by clicking the icon on the top of the page, the envelope allows you to email me directly if you have comments or questions, the Yahoo! icon actually leads to my Tumblr (there isn't a Tumblr icon and I thought it was ironic since Yahoo just bought Tumblr) and the YouTube brings you to, well, my Youtube channel which has one video and no near term plans to increase that number. OKAY - social media update complete.
Thanks for reading - I hope this post was fun and inspired you to adventure you into the fun wild world of mixed metals (also - shoes are another place where metals can be mixed with great pizazz.) Happy shopping and may the sales be ever in your favor.
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.