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What I wore: Holiday edition

7 Jan

xmas party photo

We had my husband’s holiday party to attend before Christmas. The dress code was described as “business casual.” I’ve done my fair share of over-thinking and over-shooting the holiday party attire in the past, so this year, I went with what I already had: a festive top picked up at The Limited before the holiday season, my trusty, black ankle-length dress pants (that I’ve worn in both summer and winter and every season in between) and my signature cardigan, which kept me warm in the overly-air conditioned ballroom, where the party was held. I was comfortable, felt dressed appropriately and stylish all at the same time. Cheers to shopping your closet before hitting the mall!

p.s. Please note our dog, Angie, photobombing like a boss.

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Wit and Wisdom jeans

29 Oct

When I met with the personal shopper at Nordstrom over the summer, she picked out these jeans for me:

Wit and Wisdom skinny jeans–$64 at Nordstrom.com

They probably aren’t the jeans that would have caught my eye, if shopping alone, but I tried them on just to be nice, since she was the expert and all. They fit like a glove and are super comfortable. I’m the type who, as soon as humanly-possible after returning home, changes back into the standard house uniform of yoga pants, sports bra and t-shirt (meow!). However, when I’m wearing these jeans, I’ve caught myself still wearing them at home…hours after having returned home!

They’ve got a ton of stretch and feel like you’re wearing leggings instead of stiff denim. They also seem to be universally flattering. I recommended them to a friend, (who has a different body type than my own) and she loves them as well. The rise is slightly higher than many of the denim options out there–just high enough to cover your junk, but not so high as to be classified as “mom jeans.” The best thing is that the price is certainly right and, if you get lucky and catch them during Nordstrom’s Anniversary Sale, you can score them for less than $40 a pop, like I did! Another great perk is that they run at least one full size large, so you get to stroke your ego a bit by sporting jeans in a much smaller-size than you usually wear.

Have you ever given Wit and Wisdom denim a shot?

Wedding Wears

21 Jun

My husband and I have attended 3 weddings in the past 6 weeks, so we are a little … tired right now. But it’s always fun to get dressed up and go dancing on somebody’s dad’s dime, am I right? Here’s what I wore to those weddings:

May 11: Baltimore, Maryland — This wedding fell during my 31 for 31 challenge, and I needlessly included everything here in my items.

May 11

  • Dress: BCBG Max Azria (gift from my sister)
  • Shoes: Target cork wedges
  • Jewelry: LOFT acrylic necklace
  • Hair: sides twisted and pinned into a bun with LOFT flower pin on the side

May 31: Wilmington, Delaware — I didn’t get a full-length shot of this outfit on the day of the wedding, so this outfit picture is a re-enactment.

May 31

  • Dress: Banana Republic outlet
  • Shoes: Nina satin peeptoes with ruffle
  • Jewelry: Pearl earrings from LOFT or Ann Taylor, bought a million years ago
  • Hair: twisted most of it into a bun at the nape of my neck, then twisted the side sections to criss-cross over top

June 14 and 15: Hamburg, New Jersey — This was my husband’s brother’s wedding, so I had a rehearsal dinner outfit, too.

June 14 and 15

Rehearsal:

  • Dress: Oh, hey, Forever 21 dress, AGAIN. (I also threw on a purple J. Crew Factory jersey cardigan when it got chilly)
  • Shoes: Target flat sandals (bought 2 years ago)
  • Jewelry: giant leaf earrings from Eastern Market in DC

Wedding:

  • Dress: J. Crew (this was my bridesmaid dress for my sister’s wedding a couple of years ago)
  • Shoes: Nina gunmetal mesh peeptoes (those black heels were basically worn through, so I got these on super clearance)
  • Jewelry: cocktail ring and earrings borrowed from my sister (sorry, no close-ups — bad blogger!)
  • Hair: similar to the Wilmington wedding, but I used 2 sections for each twist, and the effect was more rope-like than one smooth twist, if that makes sense

I’m pretty proud of myself for becoming competent in putting my hair up on my own, and it actually stays. Watching tutorials from The Small Things Blog over and over pays off, people. One more wedding to go this year!

Do you have any weddings to attend this year? What are you wearing?

Sandal Recommendations

5 Jun

I recently made two awesome wedge sandal purchases so naturally I wanted share.

The first are these Seychelles:

 

seychelles

Gale Force

I really like these because even though they have a basic T strap shape, the verticalish line of the top straps draws the eye up and doesn’t make my legs look too stumpy, which is an effect I like to avoid.  They are also really comfy and the straps are delicate enough that they look good with more feminine skirts and dresses, which is a bonus.

I also really wanted this pair of Kork-ease, but I wasn’t ready to drop quite that much money on another pair of sandals:

kork ease

Whiskey Sponch

Look what I found at DSW (and for which I also used a $10 coupon!):

FS sandal

Franco Sarto Farley Wedge

The DSW site doesn’t have it in the beige color I bought anymore, and when I bought mine in store the clerk told me these shoes were crazy popular in all colors.  I have worn them through one work day so far and I can report they are very comfortable.  The leather is really soft, too.

Have you made any great sandal purchases so far this summer?

 

 

Work Holiday Party Wear

21 Nov

Work holiday parties can be tough to dress for.  Unless you are a guy, in which case a suit is pretty much always appropriate, in my experience.  However, for women it’s a harder call.  Maybe you have a favorite little black dress, but it’s a little too sexy for a work event.  Or if you are used to dressing up for work, how do you make it a little fancier or holiday-appropriate?

This year, my husband’s company is having their party on the same night as mine.  Luckily, they are literally across the street from each other in downtown Denver (mine at the Four Seasons; his at a ballroom at the Performing Arts Center.)  So, we are doing cocktails at his, and dinner at mine.  Last year, we just attended mine, which was in a private cellar room at a trendy restaurant, and I wore a Jessica Howard dress from Macy’s, a black A-line with a white circle print and a teal sash around the waist.  I also wore a black shrug.  This year feels a little fancier for both parties, but I think if I hadn’t worn it last year, it would work again.

The scuttlebutt around my office is some ladies are doing black pants with a festive top, and some are doing sparkly dresses. I think the main elements include work-appropriateness, something festive (sequins, shine, jewel-tone colors, sparkly accessories, etc.), and something a notch up from normal work-wear.

Here are some ideas I’m considering.  Obviously I am trending toward the cocktail dress option, but I would love to hear your ideas or what you are wearing this year!

I kind of love this one from Loft.

This is another cute Loft option.

You could probably make this Express top work with a skirt or black pants and heels (and the right accessories).

This Anthropologie dress is full of sparkle and shine!

As is this one from Anthro.

Heel Heights for All Day Wear

18 Oct

Last weekend I had the honor of being a bridesmaid in the wedding of the year (Congrats, A!).  Fortunately for me, I had lots of choices in the day’s wear: two different dress choices, a variety of colors, shoes specified with “whatever you want, but metallic and not stripper shiny.”  Easy, right?  RIGHT.   Knowing my penchant for flip flops, I started trying to find the right shoe months ago.  On a trip to New York in July I happened upon a pair of pretty simple, yet fantastic shoes on consignment: light gold, in my size, super duper price.  The moment I put them on I knew: I had found the heel height of my dreams.  TWO AND ONE QUARTER INCHES.

 

Now that I have ACTUAL experience with wearing them for 12 plus hours (which included standing for a Catholic mass ceremony, pictures, and at least three hours of dancing) I know with even greater certainty: it’s the heel height to end all heel heights.  Sure, I got tired from being on my feet.  But I certainly didn’t incur extra pain from way-too-high or pinchy heels.

Since those Stuart Weitzmans’ are… spendy, how about a round-up of similar shoes for YOUR next big fancy event?

These Vigotti shoes are a very similar version of the heel I bought for only $89.

 

Looking for a little sparkle?  These shoes will run you less than $80. (And I think they’re sparkle party approved, ahem, BLATHERING, ahem.)

 

Perhaps you’re hoping for less sparkle, more saturated color in deep jewel tones? (I LOVE this red shoe: the shape is just a little retro, but not so much so that you can’t pair it with a more trendy item like slim black pants and a polka dot or striped top.)

 

Any other tips or favorite brands for comfy shoes?  I may just get this whole “real shoes instead of flip flops” thing after all!

Girl’s Night Out

10 Oct

I wore this a couple of weeks ago when I met a few friend’s for drinks. Please excuse the iPhone pics and awkward poses. I need a lesson in posing. Badly. Anyway…on to the outfit. I am a jeans and heels kind of girl. It is my comfort zone when dressing for a night out. Black is also a staple for me. I blame it on the amount of time I spent in LA growing up. My family mostly all lives there and for most of us dressing up means black. At my wedding here in OKC all my family was dressed it black. RBB’s family was all in Spring pastels. I was asked if my family didn’t approve of the marriage. Ha. They did, and do, we just tend to wear black.

These are my rocker shoes. Well, if a pair of shoes from Banana Republic can be rocker. They are a few years old, so no link. The jeans are Lucky Brand, Southside Charlie Straight Leg. They work with flats and heels and can even be worn cuffed. Very versatile jean. The top is Gap, Scoopneck Gathered Top. It is kind of just a cotton tee in the front but is gathered and more “shirt” material in the back. Dresses it up a tad. My Hamsa Hand necklace is from my friend Brandy of Bella Vita Jewelry.

Now you know my comfort zone for dressing up, what is your go to look for a night out?

Reader Question: Belt shopping

5 Oct

Style All Over reader Erin asked us to find a “really awesome belt” to go with her gorgeous new dress:

My first thought was all gold accessories, including a wide, shiny gold belt. Turns out shiny gold belts – especially wide ones – are hard to find. Here’s what I came up with:

  • ASOS Metallic Metal Keeper Super Skinny Waist Belt (ASOS): $10.55
    After no luck in all my usual places, I finally found almost exactly what I was looking for through Googling (though it could be a little wider), but I’ve never heard of this store. On the bright side, the belt is only 10 bucks.
  • Foiled Metallic Skinny Belt (Express): $17.43
    Initially I rejected the idea of a blue belt on the blue dress, but I think this could be a way to go metallic without being quite as daring as the gold.
  • Fossil Shotbead in Antique Gold (Zappos): $32.00
    If that first belt looks like it might blind you, this one is a little more muted and I like the shotbead detailing. I think this is my favorite gold belt. (Too bad it’s the most expensive!)

I also think brown belts would pair well with the dress and would be great if you’re going for a more casual look. I picked belts with detailing because I thought plain brown belts didn’t match the stylishness of the dress.

  • Floral embossed belt (Gap): $39.95
    I’d go with the “olive” option in this belt, which looks pretty close to dark brown. I like the subtleness of the detailing on this one.
  • Tooled Jeans Belt (Eddie Bauer): $49.95
    This one is a little out there. I never would have thought of pairing an Aztec-design belt with the dress, but for some reason I think it would work – with cowboy boots, of course.
    Eddie Bauer has lots of sales, so even if you’d never pay $50 for a belt – I wouldn’t! – you can probably find a pretty good coupon code. Same goes for the Gap belt.
  • Style&co. Belt, Wide Woven Stretch (Macy’s): $10.99
    A stretch belt may be the way to go with this dress so it will stay put around the waist.

As I said, I originally thought gold, but when I came across these cheetah/leopard print belts I immediately knew this is what I would go with:

  • Metallic Cheetah Print Belt (New York & Company): $17.46
    The ‘gunmetal’ is my first choice out of all the belts (I’d wear it with silver accessories), but I love the ‘dark brown’, too.
  • Wide Leopard Print Belt (Old Navy): $17.50
    I wouldn’t pay full-price for this one – it seems to be typical Old-Navy cheap, but if you found it on sale, go for it!

Flat-soled boots for sensitive feet

27 Sep

My feet are…how should I phrase this…temperamental, I suppose. They need to be properly supported at all times or they’ll let me know they are displeased. I wore tennis shoes* almost exclusively through college. I even got special permission to wear fancy-ish tennis shoes that could be worn with my prescription orthodic inserts when I had an internship in an office environment (sexy, right?)

When I graduated and got a “real job,” though, I wanted to wear something a little less ugly.  I can’t remember where I heard this (My podiatrist? The internet? Word of mouth? I honestly have no idea.), but someone or something told me Born shoes have good support and might work for me. I’ve rarely worn anything else in the five years I’ve been at my job and always have a black pair and a brown pair, replacing them as necessary.

Last year I discovered Born, specifically their b.o.c. by Born (lower-end) line, makes boots – boots without heels, even – and it changed my life. I can wear boots! I could even wear skirts! (I’d never worn them to work before, because how exactly are you supposed to pair a skirt with black dress shoes?)

Do you want to guess what boots I bought? A black pair and a brown pair. I pretty much alternated them all last winter. I love these boots. They are SO comfortable and look great with everything.

b.o.c. by Born Annarella – available at DSW for $119.95

b.o.c by Born Martina – on clearance for $89.94 with only a few sizes remaining (sorry!)

(This summer, after Maura posted about them, I even bought a pair of Born ballet flats. They’re nowhere near as supportive as loafer-style shoes, but I wear them once a week or so. I’m starting to actually have a shoe collection!)

 

*Remember the accent vlog? My answer to “what do you call gym shoes?” has always been tennis shoes. Even though I’ve never played tennis. Occasionally I’ll call them running shoes. Sneakers are what old people say. I can’t remember the other things people call them.

The Trench – A Seasonal Staple

26 Sep

I know autumn can mean different things to different people across the country, but I think we could all benefit from a trench-type of jacket in our wardrobes.   For many years I didn’t really consider trench coats, but once I got one, I realized that it should be a staple in anyone’s closet.  It’s the perfect weight for layering, and the style is completely timeless.  Plus, it usually adds a polished touch no matter what you are wearing.

My first trench was something I picked up on a whim, I think at Kohl’s.  This was back in my early lawyering days when I didn’t have much of a fashion budget to work with (public service holla!) but I definitely needed something to run back and forth to the courthouse in on chilly or rainy days before wool weather set in.  I ended up getting something mostly unstructured – it had all the elements of a classic trench, but it was a very flowy type of fabric that ended up working well over suit jackets.  It was also a safe/bland gray.  It did the job, and that’s about it.

This past spring, I was checking out the fairly new H&M store in downtown Denver and I came across a section of jackets in super bold colors, including a structured cotton blend trench with a slightly exaggerated collar and A-line cut.  I tried one on and was sold.  I don’t see the exact coat online anymore, but it is very similar to this one.  I got it in a bright blue:

Sorry for the dog bomb

Work elevator lighting to show the blue

Now, I’m not going to court anymore, but I do like to look professional during the work week as a general rule.  This coat makes me feel polished but it’s also flattering and a cute, sort of unexpected color, which makes it fun, and totally appropriate for pairing with jeans on date nights or weekend jaunts.  The collar and button positioning also works well with scarves.  In short: I love this coat, and at less than $50, what’s not to like?

Here are a few other options (I am in love with the Anthro coat):

Anthropology Ruffled Trench Coat ($168)

Merona Water-Repellent Classic Trench Coat (Target, $49.99)

DKNY Double-Breasted Trench Coat (Nordstrom, $148)