Friday, November 27, 2009

Party Season

With Thanksgiving passing, the holiday season is in full swing, which means holiday parties for work, holiday parties with friends, family parties, new years, and the list goes on!  Tons of opportunities for dressing up and adding a little glitz to your outfits.  I found this beautiful blue satin dress on Piperlime and knew it could be beautiful for the holidays.  Beware, this outfit is a little pricier than some of my normal looks, but all of the pieces in this outfit could be used in so many ways if you did decide to splurge; but you could also find budget pieces in place of the shoes, jewelry, and clutch that look very similar to what I picked if you need to make this a more affordable option for your December events.

Cuffed Dress

I picked the silver beaded belt to cinch the waist of this dress, because don't get me wrong, I love a flowy dress, but sometimes it is nice to show off your figure.  You could wear this dress either way and i would look great, but if you feel like accessorizing this look a little more, the belt is an awesome piece. The shoes are ahhhhh-mazing.  The rosette is the same color as the bootie, so it doesn't stand out too much, which I like since there is already a lot going on in the belt.  The booties just give the outfit a bit of "cutesy".  I love the toughness of the studded bracelet in contrast with the romantic shoes - like I said before, they work together because nothing sticks out too much that it attracts attention away from the cohesive look.  It's fun to pay with different fabric (suede shoes, metal cuff, beaded belt) and different looks, if you keep them in a similar color palate.  The Lauren Merkin clutch is awesome,  I have been eyeing them up for a while now but haven't decided to purchase one yet.  Her clutches come in a few different shapes and a ton of colors and materials.  I like this Louise Clutch in shiny silver. Hope this gives you some ideas to glam up your outfits for this holiday season!  (Let the Christmas music begin!!!!) 

Items Listed Above:
Betsey Johnson Kilburn at $229 -
Delightful Dazzlers Jet Drops Earrings $12 -
Women's AE Tights - Black $13 -
Women's apparel: Shiny Satin Tie Neck Dress: Dresses
Piperlime $78 -
Lauren Merkin - Silver Metallic Lambskin Louise $200 -
Gunmetal & Crystal Cuff - Kenneth Jay Lane $188 - (this is definitely one of those pieces you can find a substitute for unless you have a full wallet!!)
ASOS ASOS Premium Hand Beaded Deco Waist Belt at ASOS $46 -

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thrifty Thursday Thanksgiving Edition

Hi you guys!  Happy Turkey day to you all.  I hope you are preparing your bellies for feasts of mashed potatoes (my personal fave) and canned cranberries.  Today's thrifty Thursday brings together the colors of fall and thanksgiving in a chic, affordable option.  You'll have to forgive me because I am using the boyf's Macbook and can't get Polyvore to work for me, so I'll be showing you the outfit piece by piece today... and also, sorry for the delay in posts... I've really been enjoying my time off from work and haven't been near a computer much, but don't worry, I will be back next week with tons of new ideas.

Okay, first up is the skirt - this cranberry-reddish color is so pretty and it is from Forever 21's "Love21" line, which they say offers a more modest fit, and which is code for "doesn't make you look like a cheap hooker"
Forever 21 Satin Pleated Skirt - $22.80

You could probably pair this skirt with a couple of colors, but I like a cream colored blouse the best, so that the skirt is the punch of color in the outfit.  The shirt below has a little romanticism in the small ruffles, and doesn't overpower the skirt.
Ruffled Sateen Blouse in Marshmallow, $24.50,

In order to give the outfit a little sparkle, I would add a fun shoe - you could wear a heel or a flat, but since most Thanksgivings that I attend aren't too dressy, I picked a flat for today.  This particular flat is a little wild (Lizard Print!?) but since it is a pretty bronze color and a flat - it isn't too flashy - perfect to give this outfit a little pizzazz.
Lizard Print Flat in Gold - $24.50,

For accessories, I would keep it simple with some complementary cream and gold bracelets.  I like pairing these bracelets from Forever21.  The cream colored bangle has a bit of an antique feel to it, and I would use the other two bracelents to give it a little more substance.
Faceted Accent Bagle $6.80, Mara Bracelet Set $4.80

Total Cost of Outfit: $83.40
Hope you guys all have a wonderful and happy Thanksgiving with your family and friends! 

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Thrifty Thursday - Heidi Merrick Edition

I got an email today alerting me that Heidi Merrick was having an online sale, so I decided to stop on over to see what was left - unfortunately, not much.  However, I did see that she has a bunch of pieces in this pretty green, black, and white Ikat print.  At full price, these pieces can range from 300-830 dollars - this particlar skirt retailed for $315 (gasp... I swear, I am getting to the thrifty part)  but is now on sale for $75!

Score! Until I realized that there are only two sizes left, neither of which are my size...(and as I am writing this post I went back to check the sale... almost everything is sold out!) but have no fear thrifters... I did a little more research and found out that Heidi designed a very similar version of this skirt and it is for sale on for $55!!!  If you enjoy designer styles but your pocketbook does not - this is really a steal.  I know it is not as super cheap as my usual Thrifty Thursdays, but it is an 83% discount off of the original retail price on Heidi's site .. sure, the target version looks slightly different... but I'd almost argue that I like it more because it is a little bit more fun than the longer 'stepford' design above.

Heidi Merrick Target

I put together two outfits because this skirt is really versatile and I wanted to show how it could be dressed up or down and for summer or a cooler month of the year.  On the left I paired it with a casual pocket tank, a pretty and delicate locket necklace, and some simple strappy white sandals.  I added a wide braided belt to pick up the black in the skirt and give a little more interest to the outfit.  The addition of a camel colored bag gives the outfit a more relaxed vibe by still "going" with the outfit, but not being too matchy. 

 On the right, I paired it with a simple scoop neck tee that has a bit of embellishment in the back in the form of an external zipper.  I added some sparkle with a knotted silver necklace and the rhinestone studded clutch - and since all the pieces in the look are black except for the skirt, these sparkly accessories aren't overwhelming.  I added some black tights (sorry about the strange white spots - they should look opaque) and a pair of sleek black booties to top it off. 

Items featured above:
Heidi Merrick Skirt - $54.99,
White Pocket Tank - $4.99,
Locket Lavaliere - $5.80,
Sandals - R2 Gemma in White- $25,
Wide Braided Belt - $10.80,
Side handle Leatherette Tote - $26.99,
Total: $128.57

Heidi Merrick Skirt - $54.99,
Zipper Back Top - $8.80,
Chaz Suede Ankle Boot - $24.80,
Opaque Tights - $5.80,
Rhinestone Studded Clutch - $9.80,
Knotted Rope Necklace - $6.80,
Total: $110.99

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Roughin' It

I don't have a particular issue with purchasing real leather,  but if I was presented with a choice between a real leather jacket for $500 and a faux leather jacket for $98 that felt like real leather, I would probably go with the latter - and bonus! no cows hurt in the purchasing of this faux jacket.  This brings me to my inspiration piece for today's outfit.  I was perusing the internet and stumbled upon this great faux leather jacket from Express.  It comes in 4 colors (black, cognac, current, and powder) but the Cognac really caught my eye - it can be worn with brown or black and it looks really expensive!  I like to keep this outfit simple since I want the focus to be on the jacket, so I paired it with a plain v-neck tee, a pair of skinnies, and some killer black ankle boots from Steve Madden - and although these boots look kind of badass in this setting, you could easily pair them with some black tights and a dress for a night out - they're a good versatile style.

Roughin' It

To accessorize,  I found the beautiful "Crater Ring" on and thought it added the perfect touch of style to the outfit, without being too "pretty".  I like this duffle shoulder bag from Forever21 because it is cheap (duh) and it really goes with the toughness of the outfit, without being too matchy.  The sunglasses are a nice addition to top off the look because they have some brown hues that complement the cognac of the coat.  If it happens to be a cool day, you could also add a scarf to the look for a bit of color.  I included a scarf here that ties together the cognac and black, and also adds some cranberry and blue hues to the mix - but there are lots of options when it comes to scarfs.  Mix it up with colors and patterns to give a tired outfit a fresh look. 

Items featured above:
Jacket:  (Minus The) Leather Belted Jacket in Cognac, $98, ($25 off using code 4368)
Scarf: Madewell Wooly Printed Open Weave Scarf, $50,
Bag: Duffle Shoulder Bag in black, $34.80,
Ring: Alex and Ani Crater Ring, $58,
Jeans: Real straight jeans (dark wash), $69.50, (use code Gift123 for 25% off!)

Ankle Boots:  Steven - Brant; $129,
Tee: H81 Pocket Boyfriend Tee, White, $6.90,
Sunglasses: Marc Jacobs, Green stone inset aviator sunglasses, $219,

Monday, November 16, 2009

Kelly Gorney Photography

Hi friends!  I had the opportunity to write another guest blog post for Kelly Gorney Photography's blog this weekend.  One of Kelly's clients is the mother of two boys - a toddler and a 6 month old, and wanted some help planning an outfit for their family of four.  Head on over to Kelly's blog to check out what I put together for them and why it works for photographs!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Weekend Wardrobe Update

This weekend, I will be working with a client to help her shop for a wardrobe update!  We're armed with a 30% off, multiple use (!!!) Gap/Banana/Old Navy coupon that can also be used at the outlets!  I am sure we will also hit a few other go-to stores like H&M (a new one just opened in our mall) and Forever 21.

Coming up next week I will show you pieces from her existing wardrobe - both the "keepers" and the throw-away clothes, and I will also give you insight into what we bought and why

Stay tuned!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Thrifty Thursday - Knits galore

So, a few weeks ago I was watching The City (I know.. I am kind of embarrassed... but in my defense, I watch to drool over all of their beautiful ensembles!... and maybe a little for the drama) and Whitney was wearing this gorgeous sweater dress with a cable knit "seam" along the arms and shoulders.  It was awesome - and I bet pretty expensive, but that over exaggerated cable-knit was my inspiration for today's Thrifty Thursday. 

 I first went searching for a piece that mimicked the knit I saw on the show.  The sweater below had the same sort of feel that Whitney's dress did, but in a cute sweater/vest.  To neutralize, I decided to put a cream colored turtleneck underneath, because you can't tell, but the skinny corduroy pants I chose are a deep purple color (so rich and expensive looking).  I found these super cute, and inexpensive cuffed boots from Target in a color similar to the sweater, which helps to mend the outfit together.  Since most of the outfit is pretty neutral, I added some touches of warm color in the charm necklace.  It has deep oranges, yellows, and greens in it.  Lastly, I topped the outfit off with another knit - a cute little knit "beret" hat, also in cream.  I would imagine wearing it with hair down in loose waves - a little bit of a bohemian look.

This outfit is perfect a perfect daytime look when you want to look a bit more dressed up.  The boots help with the "dressier" feel, but you could also wear this look with a warm colored flat. 

Thrifty Thursday 11/12/09
Items in this set:
Cable Trim Sweater Cardigan, $22.80, Forever21
Merona® Long Sleeve Turtleneck - Polar Bear, $12.99, Target
Skinny Leg Corduroys in Deep Purple, $15.80, Forever 21
Women's Mossimo® Kahsha Tall Cuffed Boots - Mushroom, $29.99, Target
Truly Charmed Chain, $5.80, Forever21
Spiral Crochet Beret, $6.90, Forever21  
Total Cost of Outfit: $94.28

Happy Almost-Friday!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

One dress... two ways

J and I are headed down to Texas in a few weeks for a big Southern wedding; we're really looking forward to celebrating the big day with our friends.  What I was not looking forward to was finding an outfit for it - I've been spending a LOT of money lately, so I decided if I was going to get a dress for the wedding, I might as well pick something that I can wear multiple times, for multiple occassions.  One day a few weeks ago, I had an exhausting day at work .. and since Banana is (conveniently) on the way home from work, I decided to swing by and see what they had.  I found this beautiful, classic black dress, with satin piping along the stomach. 
Flannel Sheath Dress, $152

I think Banana should hire me to model this little number, because it fits me like a glove!  The picture above, from their site, doesn't really do it justice - but I am sure you can see the classic lines and the piping detail, despite the iffy photography.

For the wedding:  Because it is a night time wedding, I wanted to liven the outfit up a little.  I found this necklace at Anthropologie that would add a lot of sparkle, without standing out too much. 

Million Strand Necklace, $58

I picked a pair of black shoes because I didn't want to take away from the attention that the necklace will bring up to the face, and although I picked black, I still wanted to pick something interesting.  I haven't decided if they are "the pair" ... especially because they're almost as much as the dress.  These shoes are pretty cute though, and I like how the strand detail mimics the piping on the dress.  Also, the "tough" leather on the shoe contrasts perfectly with the satin piping on the dress.
Jayleen, Nine West, $149

Since it could be a little chilly at night, I would just drape a simple black wrap around my shoulders - here is a super cheap one from Forever 21.
Gauzy Fashion Scarf, $5.50

For work: Since the dress is sleeveless, and I know that shoulders are frowned upon in most offices (and it is cold  in most offices) I knew I needed to find something to cover up my arms/shoulders.  I have a lot of cardigans, but I think that might be a little boring with this dress.  I found this adorable little tweed jacket and think it easily work with the classic style of the dress.
Bethany Tweed Jacket, Forever 21, $27.80

This jacket would probably be long enough that it would cover up the piping, but that's okay because there is nice detail on the coat.  This could also be worn with pants or a pencil skirt - so I think it is a good, versatile piece for your wardrobe.

I decided to carry on the classic theme here with a cute shoe from Forever21.  I'm not crazy about the oxford wing tip flat women's shoes that have been popular in the past year, so I really like how this shoe is a tad "menswear" but still gets the femine feel from the big stiletto heel.

Suedette Lace Up Pump, $24.80

I would wear a pair of sheer black tights with this outfit to round out the look.  A few small accessories - maybe a pair of earrings or a ring would be nice, suttle detail for this outfit. 

I hope this post can inspire you to make multiple outfits out of a piece you thought was only for one occassion!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Thirfty Thursday - Hot Night Out

I've been doing a lot of casual looks lately, so this week's edition of Thrifty Thursday, I wanted to Glam it Up.  The entire outfit this week is from Forever 21 - they are definitely a "go-to" store for clothes to go out in because you won't be crushed if someone spills a drink on you, or if you smell like a smoky bar at the end of the night.  Might be a little dressy for Cincinnati, but if I was going out on a Friday in a bigger city, you can bet your butt I'd be wearing the cute little number below.  I would tuck the silk tunic (Yes, it is REAL silk from Forever21) into the cute skirt.  Glam it up a little with the rhinestone chain.  I love the zipper detail on the clutch, and it also comes with a long chain in case you want to wear it on your shoulder.  The suede heels top off the outfit - they are an interesting design and look really good for $27.  Although... I might plan ahead and grab some Dr. Scholl's blister bandaids before heading out (they are the best thing that ever happened to a woman with a love for high heels)... price and comfort are usually somewhat correlated when it comes to shoes.
Night Out
Items in this set:
Silk Trapeze Tunic, $19.80
Fan Chiffon Bubble Skirt: $10.50
Convertible Zipper Clutch: $18.80
Pleated Wrap Platform: $26.80
Rhinestone Wrapped Chain: $11.80

Total cost of outfit: $87.70... even cheaper if you already have a pair of cute black shoes or a black clutch!

What I am wearing....

Taking a break from the Thrifty Thursday today - I wanted to give you a glimpse into what I am wearing because it is a good example of how you can make a piece work in two totally different settings.  I bought a dress to wear to my cousin's wedding this weekend, and decided last night that it could definitely be work approproiate if I threw a little khaki blazer over top.  As I was putting on my outfit this morning, I had my doubts... "is this too risque for work?  Ah.... screw it, I'll pretend I work somewhere fashionable today!"  So here's what I put together today:

The dress is from Gap - they were running a 20% off promotion a few weeks ago, so it is regularly $69.50 but I got it for $55.60.  It has an underlayer of fabric, so it feels pretty substantial when you put it on.  I love the length, it is perfect - not too long and not too short.
Tiered Silk Dress in True Navy - - $69.50

Next, I put a slim fit Khaki blazer over top - I like how the structured blazer looks with the frilly, lightweight dress.  It adds a nice contrast, and also makes the dress more subdued and "work appropriate".  I couldn't find the exact blazer that I am wearing today from Banana, but here is a similar piece from J. Crew:
Butterscotch Wool Flannel Blazer, - $178

I knew that showing as much leg as our model featured above in the dress might be a little much for my corporate environment, and it is getting pretty chilly here lately, so I decided to pair the dress with a pair of brown tights from Old Navy that I bought last week.  I really like the tights with the dress because the dress can look black in some lights, but when paired with the brown in the tights, the navy comes out a lot stronger.
Women's Solid Tights in Brown - - $6.50

I debated over my shoe preference for a solid 10 minutes, clomping all over my apartment thus making me late for work and probably waking up and infuriating my downstairs neighbors.  I was debating between a simple rounded toe brown pump, and my faaaavorite pair of tortoise shell t-strap peep toe shoes that I bought 2 years ago from Nine West.  Since the brown in the first shoe option slightly clashed with the brown of the tight, I went with the tortoise shell shoe.  Wearing a tight with a peep toe shoe is ver acceptable these days.  I can't find a picture of my exact shoes, but here is a pretty close representation:
Tortoise Shell Peep Toe,, $228

Last but not least, some jewelry to glam it up.  I went with my four strand gold/pearl necklace today because it brought some attention up to my face and the colors worked well with the navy and brown in the rest of the outfit.  I again can't find an exact replica, but this necklace is pretty darn close.  I think the chain looks silver in this picture, but it is supposed to be gold (mine is too).
Whisper Faux Pearl Necklace,, $4.80

I can't forget the last accessory, and the best purchase I ever made (after my one year anniversary at my company, I took the LV plunge).  I know, I know... It's a big investment, but I will never be sorry that I bought this - it goes with EVERYTHING (I tell myself that even when I am wearing crappy sneakers and a VT sweatshirt).  I love and it is the perfect accessory to this outfit.

Speedy 35 in Damier Canvas, Louis Vuitton

Hope this gives you some inspration to glam it up during your dull work week!