Reader CT asked: Another Corporette reader (although I never comment, just lurk!) here! I'm a journalist who normally wears pretty conservative outfits. However, I'm obsessed with quirky shoes and would love to get tips on low to medium-heeled shoes I can wear outside of work. I own several pairs of Poetic License flats and love that brand. I love patterns, metallics, glitter snakeskin, polka dots and different textures. Price range: max $200. Any ideas? Many thanks in advance!
Hey CT! This is definitely a question I couldn't resist. I have to say that I tend to go with more simplistic shoes - mostly because they go with more outfits - but I LOVE quirky, patterned shoes as a way to add fun to a conservative outfit or for outside work. I will suggest a variety of fun shoes - and will try to find at least a few that I think will work for both work AND play. And for those I will also suggest work outfits that I think will go well with the shoes (either toning them down or coordinating with them in a way that brings them into the working world.) That way you can have your cake and wear them to work as well!
| |Isaac Mizrahi New York Jenniferle slingbacks at Zappos
($87.99 - These shoes would be fun for weddings or fancy nights out with your significant other [or date nights with NOT SO significant others.] I like that they are close toed but sling backed - making them useful for those of us who tend to wear panty-hose even with our fancy dresses. And since they are still relatively conservative, they'd be a great way to add flair for a work cocktail party or afterwork event.
| |Funtasma by Please Women's College 04 Mary Jane Pump at Amazon
($15.99 - if you follow my tumblr
- which you totally should - you may know that I actually own these shoes. I'm totally enjoying the tartan trend lately and I figured, even if I only wore these shoes a couple of times, the price was certainly no bar. They are actually pretty cute and not wildly uncomfortable. So...tartan shoes....yay!
| |Jacquard Faux Leather Waist Pencil Skirt at the Limited
($69.95 before 50% off sale - I like the subtle jacquard pattern on this skirt, plus the leather waistband which is current without being TOO current. The purple would look great with both the gray pumps and the black and cream striped shirt. Together they'd make a chic but still conservative outfit.)
Jeffrey Campbell 'Bridges' Pump at Nordstroms
($119.95 - the perfect mix of a conservative color and fabric with a fun shape and a little snakeskin mixed in to assuage your funky soul. With this outfit I think you'd look professional and awesome, all at once - and the relatively low heel means they may well be comfortable. Gray is my personal favorite for work pumps because it goes with EVERYTHING, but this shoe also comes in navy blue, burgundy, and black.)
| |Camber A-Line Skirt by BCBG Max Azaria
($110.60 - Houndstooth goes great with cobalt blue and I wanted to recommend something a little different than the typical pencil skirt (not that there's anything wrong with that - I wear them all the time). This a-line ponte skirt looks great for work - its a reasonable length and the a-line is noticeable without being too flouncy.)
Isaac Mizrahi Joy Houndstooth Pumps at Lord and Taylor
($140 - I love houndstooth and love that its back in fashion - and I especially love this pump - that its got a bit of the driving shoe/menswear look going on but the heel and the pump design keeps it quite feminine. With jeans or a cute skirt it would be great for weekends, but it would also be a great "statement" shoe for work wear as well.)
| || |Dolce Vita 'Kadyn' Pump at Nordstroms
($178.95 - definitely more of a "going out" shoe than a "going out to the grocery store" shoe - but whoo boy - can you imagine this with a little black dress. Or skinny jeans that are short enough for them to show and a silk black blouse. Or a black pencil skirt, a purple shirt, and a leather jacket. Yes. I think I like them A LOT.)
| |Sofft 'Valletta' Pump at Nordstroms
($69.90 - POLKA DOTS - really need I say more? A cute, vintage style peep-toe pump with pink and black polka-dots. The reviews are quite good (the worst review is "I wish it were navy and pink," which I agree with but consider fairly minor.) A cute, comfortable shoe for indoor events in the winter or outdoor events in the spring and fall.)
| |Instantly Slimming Three-Quarter Sleeved Dress at White House Black Market
($112 - so everyone should have that "go to" little black dress for work cocktail parties and date nights and just - generally. WHBM has become my go to for all my LBD needs - they have dresses in all shapes (a-line, bodycon, dropped waist, etc. but I like this one especially for work. If only they carried plus sizes as well.)
Nervous System 'Dichotomous' Stainless Steel Pendant Necklace at Amazon
($40 - this necklace, which is modeled off the leaf of a gingko tree, would be nice simple, almost quiet accessory with this outfit. Since I think for a work event I'd keep my accessories pretty neutral (maybe add some silver or mixed metal bangles) but otherwise keep it rather simple.)
Sam Edelman 'Othello' Pump at Nordstroms
($129.95 - so this is not really a 'wear to work' pump - but this would be a perfect 'wear to work' events pump. It would go with basically all of your cocktail dresses, unless your cocktail dress was bright gold, but they are a fun alternative to the more 'normal' neutral cocktail options of black, nude for you, or ... well ... black.)
| |Color Blocked v-neck Sweater Dress from Ann Taylor
($109 - I love this simple, yet pretty, burgundy sweater dress from Ann Taylor. I think for a business casual workplace this would be a great way to add some color. Add a nice necklace and perhaps a belt and you have a simple dress that is complete for the office.)
Lodis Accessories Burton Way Wide Covered Buckle Waist Belt at Zappos
($53 - I like this belt with this outfit - I think the sweater dress could really use belting on a lot of us who look best with a bit of waist definition and the green adds another color to the mix that grounds the outfit and keeps it in neutral territory. I really like this combo all together.)
Isaac Mizrahi 'Perry' Pump at Nordstroms
($139.95 - this is definitely a fun, bright shoe that would adapt beautifully to the work week. Not only would it go great with all things black because of the black on the buckle, but it would also go really well with gray and navy. I also think, though, that this would be a nice way to work in a couple other jewel tones into your wardrobe - like burgundy and emerald green, since these shoes would look great with both. This shoe is so seasonally appropriate, it might actually be MADE of fall.)
| |Gabriella Rocha 'Shelby 3' T-Strap pumps in Teal patent leather at 6PM
($21.99 - also available in a pretty sweet looking purple patent leather, I think these pumps would be great with an a-line skirt or dress on the weekend for going to casual but slightly dressy events or even for events that involve more walking since they look pretty comfortable with the stacked heel.)
| |Ivanka Trump 'Ilyssa' Pump at Nordstroms
($125.90 - this is maybe not the most fall/winter appropriate colors - but I love the oxford detailing on this shoe and the colors are undeniably fun. Its a different take on a classic shoe; and definitely something I'd wear to both work and weekend events.)
| |Miz Mooz 'Coco' Bootie at Zappos ($139.95 - for a weekend shoe, this bootie might be just the fun, sensible shoe you are looking for. I love the color - the bright cobalt really would be a fun way to add some vibrancy to an outfit, and the stacked heel looks quite sensible. Plus the ruched leather and prominent buttons look just fun.)
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!
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.....)
Reader Jenny Dictatrix (JD for short) is bedeviled by her search for interesting knit pencil skirts:
Hi TCFKAG, I have been trying to hunt down a knee-length jersey knit skirt for summer that goes a little bit beyond boring basics. I have one in from Target in black and white stripe that I wear all the time, and I'd love to have another option in that same style. My current skirt is slightly full with a fold-over waist, which I like but isn't necessary. Ideally I'd like to find something in cool geometric print - something that reads a little more city than beach, if that makes sense. I looked at Target B&M store, Splendid, American Apparel, and Alternative Apparel with no luck. Any ideas? <3, JennyDictatrix
So - I'm a bit unsure what shape you want - so I'll try to propose a variety of shapes including pencil skirts, a-line skirts, and things more on the drapey side. But I'll definitely go for things with cool geometric patterns or other things that make them look more trendy and not like a swimsuit cover up. So lets get going y'all.
| |Vila Belted Skirt in aquatic blue at ASOS ($15.27 - limited sizes - so I generally hate this "paper bag" belted waistline that this skirt has - but the color was cute enough that I thought I'd share it. Plus, the a-line is nice and it looks comfy. Maybe if you wore a blazer over it, it would hide the waistband?) | || |Milly Camille Pencil Skirt at ShopBop ($150 - normally I would never recommend a jersey, unlined pencil skirt that cost this much - but because of your mention of something graphic, I thought I'd post it. It has a really cool, futuristic graphic feel to it. Mixed with cobalt and black you would look like an astronaut lawyer but in the BEST way possible.)
Okay! Hope one of these works for you. I like some of them, love others of them, and some of them aren't for me. So I bet one of them will work for almost everyone! :-) Yay! I love jersey skirts for summer, there's something nice about a breathable fabric for summer (especially if its heavy enough that it doesn't show every bit of pudge.)
Happy shopping and may the odds be in your favor. Let me know what you buy! Post all about it on tumblr - ha!
Reader DB asked for light colored summer suits
Now - since this was a question from a personal friend I don't actually have a traditional "question" to put here but the question really got me excited; I am actually going to give her recommendations via e-mail, but the request inspired me to do a post on the subject. When the weather gets warm but you work in a line of work that requires suits everyday (or even just sometimes), nothing beats a summer weight light suit to keep cool but still give off an air of authority and put-togetherness. Though I will note that I personally would not wear a light colored suit to court or to an interview (unless the court was a more casual court - like for example probate - where practitioners are there frequently - it seemed the wardrobe for lawyers was maybe slightly more laid back.) But for meetings or depositions or something a little less formal, they can be a great option.
One last big plus, in my book, is that I think light colored suits can be used as separates MUCH more easily than other suits - I use the jacket from my tan/beige Talbots suit to wear over dresses all the time (see this post from yesterday on Tumblr
) and I find the skirt is great for pairing with other jackets or cardigans because it reads as just a neutral tan skirt (which admittedly most black skirts from suits can as well, the jackets are usually the problem.)
Okay - that was a digression that I didn't mean to take - lets move on to the suits!
| |Factory linen suiting blazer in pearl at J-Crew Factory ($111 - most sizes still available - this is the odd situation where this goes with the item next to it. I personally LOVE the dress/suit combo and this pearl color is beautiful. I know some people have objections to J-Crew Factory quality (I've never bought there, their stuff doesn't work for my body shape) but this is so lovely maybe its worth the risk?) | |Factory linen Button Tab Shift Dress at J-Crew Factory ($96 - I *love* the shape of this dress. In fact, I'm wearing a Tahari dress today in this exact shape. Together with the blazer this would make a lovely, lovely suit for meetins, depositions, maybe even court for more casual motions sessions. I just...love it. I know quality may be an issue - but the pricing is decent and they're both linen so great for summer.)
| |Tahari ASL Two Piece Pants Suit with shawl collar at Lord & Taylor ($125.99 - the colors are listed as ivory and beige, though it reads darker and the jacket is linen but pants are poly - though that may be a good way to avoid pant wrinkles while still staying cooler. This suit is sort of suit separates really, but I liked it so much I picked it anyway - and shawl collars are great for my bustier ladies. | |Tan-Tor Seamed One Button Jacket and Seamed Pencil Skirt at Reiss - US ($360/$180 - if you had told me a year ago that I'd be taking you to the nearest mental institution to be checked out. But this is beautiful and for the long of waist it would look amazing - there are pants as well btw. I think its also a nice way for younger persons to rock the colored suit; plus, each separate would be GREAT on its own. Basically, high five Reiss - well done achieving the near impossible of making me want a SALMON suit.)
| |Anne Klein Suit, Four Button at Macy's ($139.99 on-sale - available in all sizes up to 14 - I don't personally like four button suits, but I know for those who do, they are very hard to find. My biggest worry with this suit is it may be polyester - so it may not breathe great for summer but the price might be worth it. Also I swear I don't work for Macy's but they're having a suit sale this week.) | || |Tahari by ASL Chain Trim Tweed jacket and skirt at Macy's ($114.99 - this may be the item that makes you all think I've gone batty, but this pink and white tweed is lovely. And I amazingly (mind-blowingly frankly) love how the chain trim is executed here. It is delicate and worn with minimal gold jewelry and nude or brown or light peach/pink shoes, I think it adds interest to a conservative suit.)
So that's all she wrote for now folks. Go forth and lawyer or doctor or banker or computer/civil/mechanical engineer (or robotics...can't forget them or a friend of mine from college would be sad) or politic or activist in nice light colored suits for summer. Because here's my thing about light colored suits - and actually all slightly non-traditional clothing choices - especially for younger women. I think bright colors and big jewelry, as long as its still within the professional sphere, is a huge powerplay for a professional woman. It says "I'm here, I'm me, I wear feminine/androgynous/colorful/punky clothes, and I'm still going to kick your ass because I'm better than you."
Anyway - that's my theory. Wear what you want with enough confidence - following the basic rules of decency and dressing to flatter as best you can - and you will be perceived as more powerful. At least in my experience. I L.O.V.E. seeing female execs or partners or whatever who rock fashionable chic looks that are just a little edgy* - it works for me. Does it work for you dear readers? Let me know in the comments.
And by "edgy" here I don't mean the shameful display of "punk rock fashion" that we all saw at the Met Ball - I mean business execs or partners at law firms who have wardrobes that are just outside the "business" norm - so they don't wear all black, navy, and gray or they DO wear all black, navy, and gray but in interesting ways - and they have fabulous or artsy or hippie jewelry. And they wear interesting shoes. That sort of thing. Things that differentiate their wardrobe from the corporate uniform. I love it. Especially when it tells me something about them as a person.
So - blazers and fitted jackets are basically the essential workhorse of my wardrobe. I wear them to work most days and throw on some of my more casual ones on with my weekend clothes (it takes my outfit from "I grabbed this outfit at random from the drawers" to "I almost look put together if you don't squint too much.") So - since I did a big post about pants, which I don't even like, I thought I'd do a big post on blazers and jackets. Note - my favorite blazer is a beautiful, ribbed navy blue blazer from Brooks Brothers. It is a wardrobe essential and fits me beautifully. This post, on the other hand, is really about blazers with a little more pizazz (though some workhorses might sneak in.) SO LET'S DO THIS THING! Note: the price ranges on some of these items are a bit higher than my usual choices - but if you're going to splurge for something in your wardrobe, I always think that blazers or shoes are the way to go since you wear them the most.)
Bop Basics Fiance Blazer at ShopBop
($198 - I'm going to do a few basic black jackets too - this one has a nice cut for my longer waisted readers.)Gibson Knit Blazer at Nordstroms
($58.96 - perfect for my shorter waisted readers who prefer a more fitted blazer.)The Blazer in navy at Jones New York
($169 - comes in navy and black as well as some colors - I like that it doesn't have gold buttons on the navy jacket.)
Okay! This is just a spattering, a mere sample if you will, of all the blazers out there. But I like them ... and I'm sure I'll be posting more blazers in the future. So, what is your favorite blazer? Do you have a go-to blazer you can't live without?
Reader MJ submitted to my Tumblr and asked:
Hey--MJ from Corporette. I am looking for a white denim jean/pencil skirt which is on the longer side (e.g. not a miniskirt or short pencil skirt). Need size 14. Go! Love the new blog!
First, may I salute your brevity in question asking MJ. Short, sweet, and to the point. I'm assuming you probably mean something with an a-line cut or at least a not to tight pencil skirt (I find tight pencil skirt jean skirts to be wildly uncomfortable.) I may also throw in a couple options in other casual fabrics (maybe a linen or cotton) just in case there are some great options in non-denim jeans. All that being said - lets get to work! (Oh - and thanks for reading the blog and the tumblr - I love all my readers!)
Essential Eyelet Skirt from Forever 21
($19.80 - posting this because the pencil skirt looks more relaxed, no white skirt post is complete without an eyelet option, and the price is totally right ... especially if you think this is going to be a "sometimes wear" item.)Stretch-Cotton Zipper Pencil Skirt at Lord & Taylor
($79 - I like the shape since its a more structured a-line and cotton is a great fabric for summer. Might beat out denim in my book.)Calvin Klein Tweed Pencil Skirt at Lord & Taylor
($89.50 - this is probably not ideal for you Reader MJ - but I'm posting it for my readers who might want a more business casual or networking appropriate pencil skirt. I don't even mind the exposed zipper! Tips for those of you looking for these items, Ann Taylor, the Limited, and WHBM have a bunch of other beautiful white pencil skirts right now if you want to add that item to your work wardrobe.)
Okay MJ....I hope these help. Perhaps you'll think outside the denim box? Though I think these denim options are kind of great. I personally cannot purchase any of these because they would have coffee, tomato sauce, or some other destructive material on them by the end of the day. So I salute you in your ability to wear white. Go forth and shop dear reader.
So Commenter L noticed the awesome black and white chevron-esque dress under the yellow blazer in the outfit I recommended yesterday and asked about it. I've actually been unable to find that exact dress - but I'm going to do a post on bold black and white patterned prints - which are a classic and great to wear with yellow, cobalt, kelly green, or other brightly colored blazers this time of year. And in the winter it looks great with the more traditional black (like when you bust out your seasonal black velvet blazer...for example.) So lets get to it shall we? Here's the original picture she was asking about.
Cute dress and I'm frustrated I can't find it! But lets look at some alternatives (focusing on non-linear stripes as a priority, but with some other patterns just for fun's sake.) Also trying to hit a variety of dress shapes, prices, and dressiness levels (as is my want.)