Monday, July 14, 2014

Look for Less: Nikki Reed

I have become completely obsessed with finding outfits that are work appropriate, but still leave room for the imagination. Really, this just means I don't want to give up wearing cool prints and colors just because I work in an office. I am also obsessed with People StyleWatch's The Look For Less column. It is comforting to know I can find similar items that my favorite starlet is wearing without going into some serious debt. StyleWatch does a fantastic job finding nearly matching outfits, however, the outfits are still too expensive for me (I have said this before and I will probably keep saying it). I challenged myself to find the look for even less. Sticking with my business casual mania, I chose Nikki Reed's blazer and pencil skirt outfit from People StyleWatch's August issue.

The coral sweater and striped skirt are what drew me to this outfit. Sleek and simple, this outfit would work at the office and out for drinks with the girls (and red carpets). The clutch (Nikki's is Kate Spade) truly takes this look up a notch with the sparkle and shine. Also, the fact that Nikki does not have her arms through the blazer creates a polished silhouette and keeps her looking perfectly lady-like. No surprise there that I fell head over heels. 

While looking for my pieces I really wanted to keep my look under $100. I will be honest, I did not make that happen. However, (not counting shipping or taxes) I came to a whopping total of $113.79. StyleWatch's total cost was $244.24. I can just hear the savings. 

Blazer: Forever 21 $27.90
Sweater: Target $14
Skirt: Windsor $18.90
Clutch: Call It Spring $17.50
Rings: Aéropostale Bethany Mota $2.99
Shoe: Charlotte Russe $32.50

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Not Your Casual Denim

I own five chambray shirts. Not a single one is the same, but the chambray shirt has become a new classic item for every wardrobe. There is my light wash, dark wash, medium wash, acid wash with studs... okay I have four (one must have gotten lost). Not even your trusty pair of denim jeans can beat the fluidity of the chambray shirt. 

The only problem is how do you incorporate your chambray shirt into your business casual life? For me, my shirts have always been used to create an undone look, to add a certain laid back quality that nothing else could give. I used to wear at least one chambray shirt once a week and now they sit in my closet staring sadly at me each morning. However, I finally created a business casual look that included my favorite chambray. 

The key is to keep the look strikingly structured. Each piece must be ready to atone for the chambray's lack of business attitude. While it is a button up, it isn't the classic Oxford that is part of the uniform of the business bunch. That does not mean it shouldn't have its own spotlight. 

Adding the blazer instead of a cardigan framed the chambray top while the midi skirt added the polish. Topping the denim cake with extra fabulous accessories seals the deal. For those who don't have a "Causal Friday" this is the perfect way to add a little flair to your day-to-day outfits. 

Incorporating a charming touch here and there will have you creating more unique ensembles. Have fun with your outfits and become excited to get dressed in the morning. 

Blazer: Forever 21
Chambray: Aéropostale
Skirt: Express
Shoes: Aldo
Necklace: J.Crew
Bracelets: Pitaya and Aéropostale
Bag: Hautelook
Book: It, Alexa Chung

Friday, July 11, 2014

What Lela London Wore - Throwback with New Look

It is time for another round of What Lela London Wore! Said in my best game show voice. It is no secret that I adore Lela's style. Preppy, girly, a bit unexpected, and full of skirts and dresses, it closely resembles mine. I get a lot of my inspiration from her outfit posts. I do not usually have the opportunity to see certain silhouettes, patterns, colors, etc. on shorter women, so it is wonderful to see Lela push the boundaries (or so I call them because they are my boundaries). 

Lela recently posted about a swing dress she had fallen in love with during a challenge with New Look. I am always wary about anything that does not have a defined waist. Working with the munchkin size I have it never occurred to me that a dress that kind of just fell away from my body would ever make me look nice. Again, I was wrong. 

I searched the web high and low to find a similar style of dress. The color was also key. That beautiful pale blue is a color I have been coveting lately. My search ended with ASOS. I was surprised to find a dress so close to Lela's. I immediately checked for my size and added the dress to my cart. And I am so thrilled with my purchase. The fabric is light and airy. I find the silhouette seems to elongate my body with a slightly shorter front and longer back. And the lace is beautiful. 

Once again, thank you Lela, for showing me I can wear so much more than I originally believed. P.S. Even though this is a summer dress, Lela's styling with black tights makes me believe it could transition well into fall and winter with the right accessories. 

Dress: ASOS Love swing dress
Shoes: Aldo
Bag: Pitaya
Bangles: Vintage
Socks: Forever 21

To Tommy, From Zooey

If you are following me on Instagram (and if you aren't, follow me here!) you know I am doing a challenge from Dean Street Society called #StyleMeJuly. Each day there is a daily inspiration to wear, try, and be. The prompt for June 10th was "my celeb style icon". Two people immediately jumped into my head when considering my outfit: Audrey Hepburn and Zooey Deschanel (no surprises there). Seeing as how I was already in the week with a lot of black and white, I chose Zooey. 

And what better way to showcase my love for Zooey's style than with a piece from her Tommy Hilfiger collection. The termed "modical" dresses are a perfect reflection of her style. No fuss, playful, and charming, every piece called my name. I settled on this number after comparing it to how it looked on the model and Zooey. Not that Zooey's and my body types are similar in any way, but it was easier to decide based on how it was hanging on her body than the model's. The print, colors, and the peek-a-boo navy seemed a perfect combination.

What I admire most is how unforgiving she is about how girly her style is. My favorite quote is from her Glamour cover spread: "I'm just being myself. There is not an ounce of me that believes any of that crap that they say. We can't be feminine and be feminists and be successful? I want to be a f--king feminist and wear a f--king Peter Pan collar. So f--king what?" 

Zooey, you just keep rocking those polka dots. And I will too. 

Dress: To Tommy, From Zooey - it's on sale! 
Shoes: Aldo
Necklace: Aéropostale

Thursday, July 3, 2014

The Off Duty (Not) Model

The first thought that comes to mind when I read or hear the words "off duty" is a gorgeous, leggy model wearing her "street" clothes. It is meant to describe a person not currently in their work uniform and can be applied to any position, but the off duty model is seared into my brain. 

I began using the "off duty" hashtag on Instagram (follow me!) to describe any outfit that I did not wear to work. It wasn't until recently that I actually thought about what those words meant when describing an outfit. Just because you are off duty does not make what you are wearing a true off duty outfit. Putting on those yoga pants and that baggy t-shirt you still have from high school does not make an off duty outfit. 

It is key to keep the off duty look purely you. My typical off duty look will include a tee from a particular fandom I have been obsessing over. Then I make it as girly as I can. Adding a skirt is a must - generally a circle skirt for me, but I was feeling a bit more rock-n-roll today. Throw on some pretty jewels (or whatever type of jewelry you're into) and other fabulous accessories. I love wearing socks with heels, especially socks with some frill. For me, it keeps the skirt from being too sexy (hello, it's only noon). 

Whatever your style, you can find the perfect off duty look, even if it takes Googling "off duty model" to see what is out there. Take that raggedy tee from high school and tuck it into a skirt or some kick ass skinny jeans and add a colorful statement necklace. It's how you wear it that makes the difference. Walk with your head high instead of slumping through the streets. Get creative and have fun - the streets are your runway.  

Transformers tee: Hot Topic
Skirt: Aéropostale
Shoes: Aldo
Socks: Forever 21
Purse: Forever 21
Necklaces: J.Crew and Forever 21
Bracelet: Vintage
Umbrella: Target

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

The Midi Skirt and the Mini Lady

I will be the first to admit, my driver's license states my height as 5'0'' even. I will be the last to admit that it is wrong, however unlikely it is that I am actually 5 feet short and not somewhere on the cusp of 4'10'' or 4'11''. The lack of stature has plagued me through my life in regards to clothing choices and what I deemed I could or could not wear because of it. In other words, the shorter the better!

Flipping through racks of dresses and skirts, I skimmed over anything that was not labeled "mini". Even the lucky mini dresses or skirts deemed short enough fell to my knees. So, when the midi skirt came onto the scene, I immediately wrote it off as something my petite body could not handle. 

Oh boy was I wrong. 

The first time I tried on a midi skirt, I was shopping for outfits for a new job. I needed to add business casual aspects to my already overflowing casual closet. I was in Express picking up any and every pencil skirt and chiffon top. My eyes fell upon a full black skirt. It was beautiful. And it was a midi length. I put it back on the rack and stared wistfully as my heart and brain fought for control. My heart won and I grabbed it off the rack and bee-lined for the fitting rooms. I did not try it on first. I wanted to get everything out of the way before my heart was broken. 

And it wasn't! I fell head over heels for that midi skirt. The best part was that even though it didn't hit high above the knee (but well below it), the skirt still elongated my legs - thank you high waist. I refuse to wear anything but the highest heels with it, but I can now appreciate this new and challenging length. Finding this skirt has allowed me to open my mind to other possibilities I had brushed past just because of my height. A weight was lifted off my shoulders. 

Now you, dear reader, go and find yourself a pair of shoes, a top, or a skirt that you would not have dared touched and try it on just to see. You may surprise yourself and find that perfect piece you didn't even realize you wanted. And to my fellow petites, try that longer length. You won't regret it. 

Cardigan: New York and Co.
Polka dot tank: Express
Midi skirt: Express
Purse: Hautelook
Shoes: Aldo