Sunday, July 31, 2011

What I wore this weekend!

Hey everyone! I thought I'd try something new this weekend.

I've had people ask me what I wear on the weekends, in more casual settings (since so far, the majority of my blog posts have been business-casual, work-appropriate outfits). Below are a couple pictures from this weekend to give you an idea of how I keep it stylish on Saturdays and Sundays!

The dress in this first picture is one of my all-time favorite summer dresses. I actually have it in two other colors as well - a tan/brown dress with purple & white spots, and a solid black dress. Aside from being adorable, this dress is great for two reasons:

1) The sweetheart top gives it a feminine flair.
2) The layered tiers are flattering on any figure.

J.Crew factory store has had this type of dress in stock for the past couple summers (I got my dress a year and a half ago). This summer, they carry the dress with a lovel daisy pattern.

J.Crew factory Daisy Day Dress, $59.99

Side note: I included this pic because I thought I was having a good hair day!
Here's a close-up of the shirt from the picture above. It's a loose lime-green leopard tank with a bright
purple bandeau underneath.

Just an FYI (because it's not shown in the photos): I had on dark blue Always Skinny jeans from Gap and black t-strap flat sandals. The leopard print tank is from H&M, but you can really achieve this look with any loose top.

I love incorporating bright bandeaus into my outfits. They're useful because they cover your bra, but they also add spice to any outfit!

The purple one I'm wearing is the Recover Seamless Bandeau in Amethyst. It was only $16 from South Moon Under. I also have it in black, nude, and royal blue. I get so much wear out of these bandeaus because they're super comfortable, and make my outfits a little more fun!

Here are some bandeaus that I love:

Hope you all had a relaxing (and fashionable) weekend :)

<3 Jess

Friday, July 29, 2011

Have Fun Friday - Patterns and Stripes

If there's one thing you take away from my blog or any of my outfit posts, I hope it's that you feel confident in experimenting with your clothing and having fun with our outfits. Try mixing and matching colors that don't necessarily match, or patterns which, at first glance, clash.

Try something new. You never know, you may like it.

In the spirt of experimentation, I modified a J.Crew outfit from the new Fall 2011 collection. For this outfit, a very patterned leopard skirt is paired with a white and blue striped tee-shirt.

I would have never thought to wear that striped top with the leopard skirt, but when I see it all together, I like it! For my outfit, I wore my J.Crew Neapolitan pencil skirt with a blue striped shirt with embellished shoulders. I also wore black pumps to match the model in the photo above.

When I first looked in the mirror this morning after getting dressed, I second guessed the outfit because it was out of my comfort zone (which says a lot!). However, in an attempt to be courageous in my fashion choices, I went with it. (And I'm glad I did!) I absolutely love this look. I think it's fun, it's different, it's unexpected. It doesn't necessarily match, but that's why it's interesting visually.

I definitely intend to try more out-of-the-box outfits. I had a lot of fun with this one!

Make it your own:
Shirt: (Similar) New York & Company $8.10
Skirt: J.Crew $98
Pumps: Guess $44.95

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Thursday Trends: Nude Heels

In several of my outfit blog posts so far, I've worn my nude heels. You really can't go wrong with a good pair of nude pumps. They work all year round, and match just about any outfit. Also-- beauty tip-- nude heels give the illusion of a longer, leaner leg, making you look taller and thinner! Whether you like peep-toe, platform, patent leather, suede.. nude heels are a must-have item. 

The Best Deals on Nude Heels
I did a little research on where to find the best deals on nude heels. Here's what I found:

If you're trying to save, buy these. 

Elle Platform High Heels, Kohls $28.99

Pleasant Blush Patent Leather, Steve Madden $39.99

       Michael Antonio Lux, Piperlime $49

Enzo Angiolini, Piperlime $49.99

Remember, you don't have to drop an exorbitant amount of cash to get a great new pair of shoes. Some of my go-to places for unbeatable deals are DSW, Famous Footwear, and Nordstrom Rack. It takes patience to walk around these shoe superstores, but if you give yourself time & are willing to try on different styles, you'll find the perfect fit.

If you've been putting aside some money, or are treating yourself to a pair of pumps just for fun, here are some great options!

If you're willing to splurge, try these.

Hotness Pump, Chinese Laundry $59

RACHEL Kimi Platform Pumps, Rachel Roy at Macy's $99

Scarlett2 Nude Patent Peep Toe Platform, TOPSHOP $128

Corso Como 'Palomar' Platform, Nordstrom $138.95

Hopefully, this nude heel guide gives you a better idea of what kinds of options are out there and where you can find the best bargains. 

I can promise you this-- Once you have a pair of nude pumps in your shoe collection, they will make regular appearances in your everyday wardrobe. You'll quickly find how versatile they are, and will be happy you made the investment. I'm already looking forward to seeing pictures of you guys rockin' your new pumps!   

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Sunny Skirt

I'd like to move to the beach. Maybe not permanently, but for a month or two.. or three... I draw a lot of inspiration from beachy style - easy, simple pieces put together that look effortlessly chic. One of my favorite online boutiques to skim for outfit ideas is Hallelu. It's a shore-side boutique located in North Carolina that has unique clothing and accessory selections that totally embody beach-chic style.

One look I wear often is a tank tucked into a skirt. It's a good casual look, but it can also be dressed up and work-appropriate. This particular outfit from Hallelu, below, is a color combo that just makes me happy. I love this yellow skirt! My favorite part is the star pocket detail - super creative. The minimal jewelry keeps the outfit simple, and the messy top bun is cute-without-trying. She's ready for a walk on the beach (take me with you??).

Photo credits: Thank you, Katie Blaha, for snapping these great pics for me!

Jewelry close up: Right Hand - Sapphire and Opal family heirloom ring; Gold cut-out ring from Banana Republic; Left Hand- Antique tree ring from a London thrift store 

For my outfit, I wore a yellow skirt from the J.Crew factory store. I love that my skirt has pockets.. sadly they're not star-shaped like the Hallelu skirt, but still a fun detail! Tucked into the skirt, I wore a gray tank from Target that has thin gold horizontal stripes. Like I've said in previous posts, Target is a great place to find inexpensive, basic tops & tanks, like this one.  For my shoes, I wore multi-color t-strap sandals from Steve Madden (you can see these sandals in the close-up photo above).

To match the Hallelu photo, I wore a bangle and a few simple rings.  I also pulled my hair up into a messy top bun. I actually learned how to recreate this hairstyle from Jill Gott-Gleason through her blog Good Life For Less. You can watch Jill's video tutorial on how to achieve the messy top bun hairstyle here.

Make it your own:
Skirt: J.Crew Factory (Similar)
Tank:Target $8
Sandals:  Steve Madden $39.99
Ring: Aldo (Similar) $8
Gold bangles: Forever 21 (Similar) $5.80

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Wear to Work: Watercolor Me Happy

Photo from Fashion Bomb Daily
Green and purple is my favorite color combo, but when you add blue into the mix, it gets even better! I love this dress on Tatyana Ali. She looks absolutely stunning! The patterns on the dress and the bright colors combined give off a rich feel to the entire outfit. The nude heels draw all attention on the gorgeous dress, while also making her legs appear longer and leaner.

For my interpretation of this outfit, I wore a green, purple and blue watercolor dress I found at Target. The colors on this dress are beautiful in person, so I hope that comes across in my pictures. The purple in my dress is a little lighter than in the inspiration photo, and my the greens and blues are in a slightly different color palette. (Again, you don't have to mimic perfectly. If you can pull inspiration from an outfit and make it your own, you've succeeded!) To match Miss Tatyana, I paired my dress with my Guess nude heels. These nude heels were such a great purchase! They weren't too expensive (because I got them for a great deal at DSW), and I've definitely gotten more than my money's worth out of them. I wear them at least once a week to work, if not more often.

To match Tatyana Ali's jewelry selections, I wore a bold statement ring, as well as stacked a few silver bracelets on my left wrist. On the other hand, I wore a simple, navy and sterling silver ring. (And just for fun, I painted my nails in a bright purple to match the purple tones in my dress!)

Make it your own:
Dress: Target Merona $19.98
Heels: Guess $44.95
Polish: OPI "A Grape Fit" $4.25

Monday, July 25, 2011

Black, White & an Accent

I love to wear black and white. It's a color combo that will never go out of style, super easy to pull together, and looks great every time. As I was culling through my outfit inspiration photos, I noticed a lot of the looks I pulled together were black and white, with one or two accent colors that pop. A great example of this is the picture of  Vanessa Minillo on the far right. She held a red clutch that was the perfect accent color for her outfit. (Again, you don't have to wear a dress to achieve this look. Pairing a white top with a black skirt, or pair of shorts will work also!)

This compilation is from 2threads.

For today's outfit, I recreated this black and white look with turquoise as my accent color (similar to the photo below).

My dress is from a boutique in Montreal that I picked up back when I was a senior in high school (so unfortunately, I can't tell you where to get it!). The bottom half of the dress has a beautiful turquoise detail in the pattern. I love the lace on the very bottom that ties together the lace sweetheart top! In the photos above, black strappy sandals or heels are paired with the dresses. So, for my outfit, I wore black wedges in a similar style.


When I wear tops or dress with open neck lines, I like to keep my hair off my shoulders to draw more attention to the neckline of the dress. Hair pulled up off the neck also elongates your body, and shows off your shoulders! For this hairstyle, I parted my hair in the middle and brushed it back into a smooth, low bun. It's very easy to do, and takes no time at all!

Make it your own:
Dress: Boutique
Shoes: Ann Taylor Loft (Similar)

Friday, July 22, 2011

PREP for The Weekend

First of all... HAPPY FRIDAY!

Now onto the style...

Growing up in Baltimore and attending a prep school all my life, I have Preppy style running through my blood. I love a good madras fabric & I think plaid suits everyone! :)

Today's inspiration photo is from Rugby Ralph Lauren. This ruffled madras maxi dress is perfect to throw on for the weekend! I love the combination of patterns and angles that give this dress a flirty feel. This type of maxi can be dressed up with heels or down with sandals, making it an ideal day-to-night outfit for a Saturday spent running around town.

For my interpretation, I wore a J.Crew madras strapless dress. I've had this dress for about 5 years now, and I always love wearing it! It's so easy to throw on, and it's an entire outfit on its own. If it gets chilly, I could pair it with a tissue cardigan in any of the colors from the pattern-- yellow, green, navy, red, orange-- it's extremely versatile.  Grab my green bag and nude sandals (because I don't own white espadrilles to match the photo above) and I'm ready to take on the day!

Make it your own:
Dress: (mine is several seasons old from J.Crew) Juicy Couture (Similar)
Sandals: Kelly & Katie $39.95
Tissue sweater: J.Crew (Similar)
Bag: Longchamp $125

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Thursday Trends: Stack 'em Up!

Happy Thursday! Starting today, I'm going to post Thursday Trends. (Like I said before, I want this blog to be a conversation, so if you've noticed a cool trend or something you've seen recently in the fashion world that sparks your interest, let me know! I'd love to look more into it, and include it in a blog post.)

One trend I love is layering colorful bracelets. It adds spunk to an outfit, and gives you the opportunity to create a unique look each time by pairing different colors, thicknesses, shininess, widths etc.

One of my favorite bloggers, Taylor from Sterling Style, often weaves this trend into her outfits. Taylor usually piles on the bracelets on the same wrist as her watch, which is a look I try to recreate often. These pictures below are from her blog, and I thought they gave a good idea of how versatile stacking bracelets can be! On Refinery29, Taylor was even quoted saying, "I hardly go anywhere without wearing my gold Michael Kors watch. I wear it everyday and love to stack bangles or friendship bracelets with it."

This two, below, are from Lauren Elan Collections (one of my new favorite jewelry designers). Her bracelets are PERFECT for layering. In fact, Taylor from Sterling Style features Lauren Elan bracelets frequently on her blog.

The colors and types of bracelets you pair together can really add an artistic element to the look of the an outfit. This trend is great because it costs nothing and you can't ever go wrong. You can mix-n-match any of the jewelry you already own to achieve this look. Mix bangles with charm bracelets, friendship bracelets with silver jewelry; gold watches with pearls.. anything you want. (If you're more of a necklace girl, try layering necklaces of different lengths, thicknesses, and colors.  You'll be surprised how much of a difference it makes.)

Make it your own:
My Watch (Seen in older posts; Similar to Taylor's at Sterling Style): Michael Kors $225

Examples of bracelets you can stack--

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Totally from Target!

Hey everyone! So there's no inspiration photo today... and that's because my outfit today isn't my interpretation of a previous look. Instead, today's outfit comes Totally from Target-- everything I'm wearing (including my sandals) is from my favorite place on Earth.. I mean.. Target.

So if it isn't totally obvious, these pictures for my blog have been taken with my BlackBerry camera. Kinda crappy quality, particularly in this one. I apologize for the blurriness! That said, I think you can still get a feel for the outfit as a whole. Again, skirt + shirt + sandals = all from Target.

Here is a close up so you can see the detail on the skirt. For this picture, I added a magenta tissue Cardigan.

Putting it together: To start off, I'm obsessed with this skirt! Purple and green is my favorite color combo, and this skirt makes full use of it. The design gives off a paisley feel, but it's not to busy or jarring. Also, it's a cotton/spandex blend so you know it's going to be comfortable. Just love it!

You can wear several different color tops with this skirt. I went with the darker purple used in the design, but using that pretty lime green or magenta color would also look great. Even wearing a white top would work-- making it a more summer-y, lighter, beachy look.

These sandals were SUCH a good find! They were super inexpensive, and I've gotten so much wear out of them. I've had these sandals for about 2 years, and they're still a key piece in my wardrobe.

I hope this outfit proves the point that you don't need to spend big bucks to have an expensive look. I've had people ask me if this skirt was Pucci, Lilly Pulitzer, and even Tory Burch. It's always fun to see their expressions when I say it's actually from Target.

Make it your own:
Skirt: Target $26.99
Tank: Target $9
Sandals: Target (Similar) $15

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Wear to Work

I love this business casual outfit from Banana Republic! I always try to mimic Banana outfits because I think they're so polished and put together. That's what I did for today's outfit...

My purple dress is from Loft - its a cotton-spandex blend that's super comfortable to wear all day at work (only problem is that it wrinkles easily!). In the inspiration photo above, they pulled a pink sweater for the dress. It's almost 100 degrees in Baltimore today so I skipped the sweater, but ideally you would be able to match any color to this muted purple dress. I added a silver bracelet and a statement necklace to match the outfit above. To complete the look and to resemble her beige platform sandals, I chose a pair of nude platform heels. 

(Note: This outfit can be mixed and matched, and adjusted throughout every season of the year. A simple knee-length dress, sweater, and heels works for almost any occasion, and is always work appropriate. In the fall and winter, add a pair of opaque tights and a cute trench to make the outfit more weather-friendly.)

I wanted to show a close up of the necklace and bracelet detail. Statement jewelry is an easy way to add in both color and character to an outfit. I also painted my nails a bright turquoise color, and added in a turquoise ring for an additional pop of color. Side note: In this picture, my dress looks more gray than purple for some reason.

Make it your own:
Dress: Loft (Similar)
Heels: G By Guess at DSW $44.95
Bangle: Tiffany & Co. $200
Necklace: Loft (older)

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Flirty Florals!

Timeless, fun, sophisticated. Most importantly, effortless. Throwing on a floral sundress this summer is an easy way to look chic and stylish. Floral dresses are great for almost any occasion. Longer maxi dresses are perfect for special events, while knee length and shorter sundresses are perfect for work-wear or a casual look.

Add your own style by adding a belt to cinch the waist, or a unique necklace that has your own personal edge .

For my outfit, I wore a purple and green floral sundress from Lauren Conrad's LC collection for Kohl's. My favorite part about the dress is the cut-out and bow detail on the back! Paired with a thin black belt and nude sandals, this is a simple outfit that proves casual can still be fashionable!

Make it your own:
(Inspiration from StyleBistro)
Dress: LC Lauren Conrad (Similar)
Sandals: Kelly & Katie at DSW, $39.95
Belt: Gap (Similar) $19.99

Friday, July 15, 2011

Neutrals with Neons: Casual

This summer, neutrals and neons are in. I've been seeing a lot of white & beige with neon green/yellow, so I decided to use that as my inspiration for today's outfit.

For this outfit, I turned runway style into a more casual, daytime look. White boyfriend-style denim capris from Ann Taylor Loft are the ultimate summer basic. (The great thing about the boyfriend-cut is that it fits virtually every body type!) I wore a beige and white tank I got at a boutique a few years ago for the neutral color block. I love its twisted strap detail :)

To bring in the neon, I added a simple cardigan. Done & Done.

Make it your own:
Capris: Loft (Similar) $79.50
Shirt: Boutique
Cardigan: Madewell (Similar) $68
Sandals: Jack Rogers $97

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Colorful Stripes

I love the updated nautical look! I think there's something very fresh and clean about crisp blues and whites paired with bright summer hues. I came across this outfit on Chictopia. If you have the time, you should definitely check it out. Lots of creative ideas from stylish fashionistas!

I actually had a lot of similar pieces to pull together this outfit! For this look, I wore my rustic orange capris from Talbots. Capris are a great summer staple - something every woman should own. They're ideal because they can be dressed up with a nice top and heels, or worn casual with a basic tee. To keep in the nautical theme, I paired the capris with a striped tank. I absolutely love the asymmetrical lines!

Brighten it up and give it your own personal style with fun accessories. Working with navy blue is easy because it matches almost anything -- I especially like it mixed with turquoise or bright purple. Again, what's so great about this outfit, is that you can mix and match the colors. This would look great with white pants, even regular jeans.

Make it your own:
Capris: Talbots (Similar)
Tank: J.Crew (Similar)
Necklace: H&M $16
Sandals: Jack Rogers $97

Black & Blue

Ok -- Here goes my first look!

I found this outfit from one of the best fashion blogs I follow, J's Everyday Fashion. J's blog actually inspired me to start my own, so in honor of that, I recreated an outfit that she did a few weeks ago.

The original inspiration for this outfit is from Ann Taylor. J wore a white skirt versus shorts, and chose her own jewelry and scarf accessories to match the palette. I always thought pairing black and blue together made you resemble a bruise, but J proved otherwise and I absolutely love the color combo!

For my outfit, I kept the same color palette, but made it work with what I already owned. I don't have a white pencil skirt, so I changed it up a by going with a black one. A simple white tank tucked in, pulled together with a thin belt and cardigan, is ALL you need for a great go-to work outfit! Add in your own statement jewelry and BOOM! Outfit: Complete.

(Note: While I often forget this myself, you don't always need to go out and buy new pieces to put together new outfits. You can re-purpose items you have in your closet, pairing them with different pieces to create a unique look!)

Make it your own:
Tank: Gap $12.95
Sweater, Skirt, Belt, Long Necklace: J.Crew (all older items)
Shoes: Nine West (Similar)