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!
So - for this post I am going to partake in a bit of navel gazing. In recent months I have desperately wanted one or two really well fitted, attractive women's waistcoats to add to my business casual wardrobe. I mean, I love them on men, and I would love to pair them with pencil skirts and other girly items and just add that slight androgynous flare that I so enjoy. Plus I just think waistcoats are hot. But I haven't pulled the trigger yet and part of the problem is finding the right waistcoat in a budget I can stomach! So...I thought....what better way than doing a TCFKAG Shops post on the very subject. So here goes. To give you an idea of the type of waistcoat I'm thinking, here's a great example from Marc Jacobs.
I love the simplicity of it, the way its clearly fit to work for a woman, and that its a traditional suiting material. Of course, it goes without saying that I wouldn't pair it with a silk (?) midi-length skirt and elbow-length gloves. I was thinking more a burgundy or dark gray pencil skirt with a white button down underneath. And with my new black, patent-leather t-straps added in for good measure. Unfortunately, as is to be expected, this is a bit rich for my blood
So - on to a few ideas..
Houndstooth Wool Vest by Ralph Lauren
($179 - I really like this vest, especially since I'm a total sucker for houndstooth, but I worry that it reads a bit too much "I'm spending my weekend on my ranch up-state practicing show jumping" to really fit in for my workplace. But maybe paired with a red or deep brown pencil skirt and the appropriate heels, I could bring it around. The price is also, still, a bit steep for something that may just be a passing fancy.)Anne Klein Glen Plaid Cap Sleeve Vest at 6PM
($81.99 - I think this vest actually has some potential - if only it fit the model. I think it is at least 1-2 sizes too big for her, making it look baggy and overall unflattering. But if it fit, I think it could give off the vibe I am going for. Plus the price is definitely going in the right direction on this one. My two concerns are that it might look a bit cheap and I wish it had two buttons rather than just one. But otherwise, an option to at least consider. Editor's Note: if you're in the mood for a laugh - go check out the skirt that is made to be paired with this vest - the pleats on that thing are out of this world.)
Navy Waistcoat by Etsy Seller Julihunter
($126.98 - sometimes, when you can't find quite what you want on the mass market - Etsy is a good place to look. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of seamstresses on there making a variety of clothes - some of them even bespoke. I love this particular waistcoat for the color and the shape...though I hope I could get her to change out the buttons. Its not that I don't like them (I do) but I think I'd like something more neutral for the office.)
Emmanuel Ungaro Vintage Fitted Waistcoat at Farfetch
($115.05 - so this particular vest isn't available in my size - but I am super drawn to it and wanted to share it with all of you fine people. I love the details - the textured (linen I think) fabric, the gold buttons, the cut, basically everything. Its a truly lovely piece of clothing. Ah...to be wealthy and skinnier. Though as a side note, I think this is another case of the vest not truly fitting the model, but that's a battle for another time.)Studio Stretch Faux Double Breasted Vest at Express
($47.94 - so, in this case, I'm hoping that this vest is simply too small for this model. Otherwise, I really am not into vests that are intended to button below the breast area, as if serving the girls of up on a tray for everyone you see that day [YES, here they are, I - a woman past puberty, have BREASTS!]. I know its a look, but its not a look I want to rock at the office. But, on the other hand, if this fit such that you could button all of the buttons - it might not be a bad option.) Black Collection Tuxedo Vest from the Limited
($69.90 - man, the Limited has really been pulling out all the stops lately with cool, on-trend clothes that don't look *too* twee for the adult professional and this piece is no exception. I'm a big fan (and seriously considering purchasing it.) I wish it came in more colors, but beggars can't be choosers, right? I like that it buttons up all the way and the back is a silk-like fabric rather than just the same fabric as the front or a solid color jersey. Overall, I think this one might be the one that most closely resembles a men's waistcoat, but of course, cut for women (hopefully.) With a patterned pencil skirt or pants (maybe stripes?) and some interesting jewelry - this could be quite a look for work.)
So - for any waistcoat fans out there who are looking at these options and are simply, underwhelmed, have no fear! I saw TONS of cute, interesting options in the MUCH more expensive designer level. Which usually means that by this time next year, we should be seeing waistcoats just about everywhere. And then you'll have your pick of the litter. (And remember, you can say you heard it here first.) So commenters - would you wear a waistcoat? If so where? To work? For fun? Just so you can feel a little closer to Tom Hiddleston or Neal Caffrey in some small way? Let me know in the comments!
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...Kanye East (of everywhere fame) has an amazing Etsy store that I've featured on this blog before. This evening she posted this lovely rough diamond multi chain necklace with silver and gold chains
. I like it a lot (as per usual with items from the Gewgaws store) but it also got me thinking about mixed metal jewelry. Sometimes its great. Sometimes its good. Sometimes its okay. And sometimes its just awful. But I find it super useful in my jewelry collection - I mean I can pair it with either my silver OR my gold jewelry - that's extremely useful! So I thought I'd find and recommend some nice mixed metal jewelry tonight. But first, here's Kanye's lovely creation (on-sale now for $94 though she offers a Corporette discount....which I probably should have checked if I should post that here.
I know many people worry aout service and quality on Etsy. If you do not read the 'rette or are not familiar with Kanye or her store - I have bought two items from her and am aware of many others who have shopped there as well. Her service is excellent and prompt and her quality is top of the line, professional level. She also does custom orders and actually worked with me to custom-make both of the necklaces I bought from her. Anyway - now that I've internet flirted with Kanye enough (she's awesome an amazing human being lets get down to business.)
So - one of the keys for me with mixed metal jewelry is that you have to balance my desire for the metals to look as real as possible while still blending somewhat - a balance well struck by the rustic metals Kanye used above. Hammered metals also often work well as good. Sometimes the really bright metallics don't work as well, in my opinion. I also REALLY love when there are other metals involved, like copper, bronze, tungsten, whatever - anyway- now that I've written an ode - lets get to the shopping.
| || |Caravelle by Bulova two tone mixed metal bracelet watch at Macy's ($79.99 - watches are a great way to mix metals - since many people wear them everyday its especially helpful if they match all of your jewelry - or at least more of your jewelry. I'm oddly drawn to this watch, maybe because the floral pattern separates it just a bit from the other watches?)
| |TopShop V-link Collar Necklace at Nordstroms ($35 - I think this would be an amazing necklace for dressing up a LBD with either a deeper v-neck or strapless or a deep scoop neck. The one review says it shines brightly but I still think it looks like the mixed metals work great and look classic yet contemporary. And the price is right in my book. | |Argento Vivo 'Prism' Double Drop Earrings at Nordstroms ($128 - generally I don't like dropping a ton of money on jewelry, but these sort of earrings are the type of thing that make me consider an exception. First, they make a statement - they could, on their own, be the centerpiece of a formal outfit or a cocktail party or even just a night out with the girls. Second, they are unique enough and intricately enough designed, I don't think I'll find the same thing at Target or online the next day for way cheaper. I could be wrong of course, but these are really beautiful and seem special. So I thought I'd share.)
So - that's all she wrote (literally) today folks. Sorry the post was a bit late; I was having a *day* and just was super grumpy. But then Kanye posted the perfect necklace and gave me IDEAS! Hope you like the outcome. Do you mix metals? What's your favorite piece of mixed metal jewelry and how do you wear it? Leave a comment below!
Editor's Note: Did you all notice I started a twitter for this blog? I have no idea what to do with it (or how to use it for that matter) but you should follow me if you read this blog - I might post occasional other items I see that I like ... and also I like followers. They give my life meaning. (Kidding - sort of. ;-) You can get to my Twitter by clicking the icon on the top of the page, the envelope allows you to email me directly if you have comments or questions, the Yahoo! icon actually leads to my Tumblr (there isn't a Tumblr icon and I thought it was ironic since Yahoo just bought Tumblr) and the YouTube brings you to, well, my Youtube channel which has one video and no near term plans to increase that number. OKAY - social media update complete.
Thanks for reading - I hope this post was fun and inspired you to adventure you into the fun wild world of mixed metals (also - shoes are another place where metals can be mixed with great pizazz.) Happy shopping and may the sales be ever in your favor.
Reader LK de-lurks and inquires:Hi TCFAKG, I lurk in C'rette, sometimes comment. I need help with wedding attire. I am going to a family wedding in late September in NYC. The wedding itself is held in the Botanical Gardens, and I will also be attending the rehearsal dinner and the Sunday morning brunch (both to be held in Scarsdale). I asked my cousin (groom's sister) for pointers and she replied: "As for dress code. My understanding is that for the wedding itself long (but not poufy) and/or black would be fine but black in general is the norm for New York. I am aiming for dark and below the knee but most probably not to the floor (though I went to a wedding in NYC the same formality last week and there was a lot of floor length even in dark colors so that would be fine). . It's definitely more formal than a little black dress though, but I think even one step up is fine with multiple steps also being ok. For the other events: Friday I am going cocktail and probably black - often the bride wears like white with a pattern though [bride] may not but I would avoid that specifically. Sunday brunch I am going to wear a skirt and flats - like business casual but not so worky. If that makes sense. I don't think the weekend will be very warm, so keep that in mind" Do you have any further insight? any shopping options? Mostly for the wedding itself, I can probably manage the rehearsal and look for something for the brunch. I actually live overseas, but can do online shopping. I am usually a small/4 in AT/BR. Incidentally, I am 5'3", and husband is 6'3", so anything that makes me taller would be appreciated. I have no set budget, but I'd like to spend no more than $300. Thanks! LSo, I'm starting to think I should change the name of my blog to "TCFKAG Shops for Wedding Guest Attire." Just kidding (sort of); who doesn't like shopping for pretty dresses. Here is my quick summation of what you need:
Assuming that summary is right, I'll suggest a few options for all three events (I know you said just the wedding but I don't do things half way in these here parts). And since its my site and I'll do what I want to, I might also offer up some fun shoe and/or accessories ideas. Because I'm awesome like that. So here we go. One last note, since you didn't clarify where you live overseas, I'm mostly sticking with American retailers here - but for future submissions and other readers, I can search on country specific websites (at least for some countries) so you can at least tell me where you're coming from.
- Rehearsal dinner: black or dark colored cocktail dress.
- Wedding: Midi-length or tea-length black or dark colored formal dress - perhaps a long gown if something is awesome.
- Sunday brunch: Fun business casual.
- Overall - lighter fabrics because it may be hotter than hell.
Black one-shouldered draped sleeveless cocktail dress from Calvin Klein
($49.99 - I actually just recommended this to a friend for a wedding this summer, she ordered it and likes it a lot. It so classy and sleek but could totally be glitzed up with red shoes or metallic jewelry. I'm a big fan and am thinking about getting it myself, the price is certainly right.)Petite Seamed Detail Sweetheart Body-Conscious Dress from ASOS
($64.49 - lovely classic shape and I assume at your height you can wear petite sizes - only issue is, based on the picture, it looks like you'll need to get a slip under it.)Calvin Klein Strapless Neon-Trim Dress at Dillard's
($59.40 - another fairly simple yet classy number from CK - though the neon pink adds a twist. Its a cotton/spandex blend, meaning it should breath well in the heat, and you could maybe add interest with a pink wrap. Overall pretty cute - though not sure if Dillard's will ship to you - might have to find it elsewhere!)
Suzi Chin for Maggy Boutique Ruched Matte Jersey Dress at Nordstroms
($118.00 - the Suzi Chin line has lots of great dresses for this sort of thing but this is one of my favorites. 56 reviews and it has 4 stars and I just think it looks really flowy and flattering - maybe consider one of the non-black colors...I know, scandalous, but the purple is cute!)Nue by Shani pink and navy two tone cocktail dress from eDressMe
($92.00 - so this is kind of a curveball both because its final sale and because its not really what you described but something about it just called to me, plus eDressMe ships world wide so that's a plus. Only available in a size 6, so may run too big, but sometimes these sorts of dresses run kind of small, so it may even out in the end.)Paper Dolls Mirrored Lace Body-Conscious Dress at ASOS
($98.43 - another color option, I love cobalt and black and think its both super on trend right now but also classic. ASOS ships internationally I believe and I think this dress is fabulous.)
Corso Como Dover Pump at DSW
($109.95 - I feel like red pumps are a great combo with black dresses and the cut-outs at the back of these give them a little interest. I don't know, they're cool.)Ivanka Trump Ariell High Heel Ankle Strap Pumps at Bloomingdales
($105.00 - metallics are my other favorite with black dresses and I'm super into gold right now, so here you go. I also really like black and gold together, like these ones at Piperlime
, but they're only available in limited sizes so I went with the Ivankas instead.)
Adrianna Pappell Short Sleeve Sequin Mesh Gown
($278 - SPARKLES - this row is having non-black dresses because I'm stubborn and because of reasons.)Colorblocked Blanche Dress at Kate Spade New York
($249 - a little whimsical but styled right it'd be great.)Dalia MacPhee Strapless Pleated Ruffle Chiffon Gown
($298 - another repeat but that's because I'm in love with it. The color and shape are gorgeous - though reviews say it runs large.)
Okay - the shoes here really depend on what you buy - but you could wear either of the shoes from above again with most of these. Now - I know you said you had the brunch on lockdown (and I'm sure you do) but I came across a few casual dresses that would be great for it, so I thought I'd pass them along.
Reader ML asks very politely
[since she's Canadian get it],Hi! I've been looking for a pleated tea length or knee length skirt that's really flowy, but with a non-elastic and sort of wide waistband. I'd like something in either black or gray, or a summery colour, maybe a mint or coral or lavender? I would consider a patterned one. I've only been able to find ones with elastic waistbands, and they are not flattering on me. I usually wear a size 10 or 12, and I'm in Canada, so hopefully from a store that either ships here, or is located here. I'd pay up to $150 (including shipping and duties!), though preferably at or below $100. Thanks!So, if you follow my Tumblr, which of course you should, you'll know that I had to do a little independent research for this one on which retailers are actually in Canada and which one's ship to Canada (though I'm going to try to avoid that since I hate buying something and paying most of the cost in shipping.) But, I also found Shopstyle Canada, which might be useful for you ML and my other readers in the friendly land to the north. But - enough about process, I know you just come here for results. So here they are!
Tradition MD Pleaded Skirt in coral from Sears Canada
($34.99 - I like this one! Exactly what you're looking for I think, right in budget, and it comes in black, coral, and turquoise. I might get all three. Attn other readers - comes in plus sizes as well!)Corey Lynn Calter Desi Blocked Midi skirt in purple, rust, coral at Couture Candy
($129.00 - expensive yes, but more interesting than the other ones - comes in another color pattern
as well.)Worthington Accordian Pleated Skirt with contrasting waistband in white at JC Penny
($14 on clearance - so I actually prefer the black version
of this, but the picture on the website the details were hard to see, so I used the white one so you could see it better. For my tall readers, this comes in tall as well.)
ASOS Sleeveless Midi Dress with Pleated Skirt and Belt in green at ASOS
($54.99 - okay I know this is a dress, but its beautiful and has just the skirt you're looking for, comes in green, orange, and navy, and ASOS ships to Canada for free. I'm actually thinking of buying this green one for myself, that's how much I like it.)ASOS Midi Skirt in Pleated Lace at ASOS
($54.30 - okay, this row is basically just my rebel row - but this is so cute I thought I'd share it - available in both coral and navy.)Lauren by Ralph Lauren Colorblock Pleated Skirt at Hudson's Bay
($50.99 - limited sizes available but yours is one of them Reader ML - I'm not sure how I feel about the pleats not being on the sides of this skirt though. A bit odd.)
Okay ML - those are my favorites - hope one of them works for you. Have fun shopping for a lovely pleated confection for all your summer skirt having needs. :-)
So yesterday we did black and white, but today I'm going to do my personal favorite color combo from the last couple of seasons, black and gold. The above dress, the Starlight Hearted Dress from ModCloth
($202.99) inspired the post. I think its lovely and would be great for a New Year's party or an evening wedding...or for vacuuming around the house in heels. But there are SO MANY great black and gold stuff out there right now - lets check some of it out, shall we?
I first fell in love with black and gold this past fall because of the most beautiful pair of black and gold Ralph Lauren Black Collection Mary Jane pumps I have ever seen - I saw them on Marion Cotillard in the August 2012 and I fell deeply and irretrievably in love with them. But they were strictly out of budget then and now I can't find them anywhere on-line. Alas...the one's that got away. But that doesn't mean we can't find some pretty alternatives.
So - has black and gold worked its way into your wardrobe? Or does it give you too many flashbacks to earlier eras? Share your favorite black and gold items in the comments.
Its been awhile since I did a polka dot post - and those were mostly darker shades. Well, Ann Taylor inspired me today to do a post on summery polka dot prints.
The scarf is the Retro Dot Border Silk Scarf in guava
($68) - its made of silk, which I like, and I love the color combo for spring or summer. Or even for fall or winter to add a pop of color. The skirt is the Summer Cotton Stretch Dot Pencil Skirt
in guava also ($88) and of course you KNOW I like it. Now on to the slightly more complicated question - I think I even like the full outfit
together - though it might be a bit too much pink for work for me. A wise friend recommended a green polka dot skirt instead on the bottom and I think that would be brilliant. Either way - here are a bunch of polka dot items in bright colors for spring and summer (and just for whenever you're in the mood for bright colors.) I'm also doing a mix of casual wear, work wear, and even cocktail dresses - for all your various polka dot needs. ;-)
Reader L needs help getting ready for wedding season:Hi TCFKAG, I am looking for two dresses - one for a rehearsal dinner and one for the wedding. I am not in the wedding, but my SO is the best man. The wedding is in July in an area where it can be quite hot and humid, though everything is thankfully inside. The rehearsal dinner is at a restaurant. The ceremony and reception are in the evening at a hotel. It is not black tie. The bride and groom are more fun than formal, but I do not want to be too casual since my SO will be in a tux. Typically, I wear black for evening weddings, but after a recent discussion on Corporette, it appears that may be bad form?! That was news to me. (Eek.) I feel like I am stuck in a wedding-guest-dress rut. I always end up buying similar things - black or navy, strapless A line or classic sheath, and recently lace. I would like something fresh, and young, and fun, and new! But I am not seeing anything online that inspires me. Could you help? I am fair skinned, so blues, pinks and greens look good on me, though I'm not opposed to other colors or prints. I think short would be better than long, but I would try either. Price range: Under $350 for the dress for the wedding, and under $150 for the rehearsal dinner dress. (Less expensive is always good!) Size: either a US 4 or 6. I am an X shape. Also, I am 32. So, I don't want to be running around in a dress that the groom's 16-year-old cousin might also wear, nor one that the bride's 60-year-old aunt might have on. Could you help inspire me? Sorry for such a long note. Love your blog, and always love your comments to the 'rettes! Thank you, LSo, first I will quickly address the whole "no black as a guest at a wedding" rule. I think that, traditionally, it was considered bad form to wear black to a wedding, since it was the color of mourning. But, at this point, I think it is really only the "rule" for very traditional wedding (hell, my bridesmaids wore black). *But* - on the other hand - you're going to weddings in a hot, sticky area in the middle of the summer - might as well mix it up and add some colorful dresses to your wardrobe right? As an initial matter, I'll direct you to this post (for red dresses - the Adrianna Papell might be lovely for the rehearsal dinner) and this post (the Kate Spade, the canary yellow Kay Unger, or the blue paisley Anne Klein would all be lovely options). Now - for some new options just for you!