Archive | Dress RSS feed for this section

Put Your Clothes to Work

15 Jul

It’s been my experience that in the working world (what a delightful 1980s term), as a young professional woman, one is always trying to strike the balance of being appropriate in the work place, but also being stylish and fun.

No one wants to wear awful gray pleated slacks and ill-fitting button down blouses from Dress Barn (don’t get me started on ANY clothing store with the name ‘barn’ in it), but on the flip side, you don’t want your clothes to hint that you just rolled in from a rave which ended at 5AM.

That being said, I was chatting about this topic with one of my best friends, Jackie, the other day. We came across a list of ‘must haves’ in a work wardrobe. Now, this list was developed by another novice style blogger (like myself), so we can keep that in mind. Without further ado, here is her list:

Top Ten Wardrobe List for the Working Woman

1. Trench coat

2. Little black dress

3. Black blazer

4. On-the-town jeans

5. Black scarf

6. Black or tan (just not khaki material) dress pants

7. Black pumps

8. White & black tank tops

9. Neutral colored cardigan

10. Black knee high boots

Did you fall asleep after reading that list?

Jackie and I sure did.

After we Rip-Van-Winkled, we decided that it needed some serious overhauling.

Here’s our revised and much more lively list. We tried to keep in mind that this is for a working wardrobe, which apparently the girl who made the original list forgot. I mean, who wears knee-high boots to work, unless they are a call-girl or a bartender at a skeezy joint downtown?

Top Ten Wardrobe List for the Working Woman with a Personality

1. Coats/Jackets

Light-weight wool coat with cute buttons and lining

A small leather (or faux leather) jacket

Longer jacket going to knees

All in any colors that flatter you or you enjoy (they don’t always have to be black!). Don’t forget to  find ones with really fun lining… it’s a little piece of decorum just for you!

2. Dresses

Instead of black, select a dress in a color. Camels, greens or plums are good choices if you want to keep it somewhat conservative for the office.

3. Blazers

Only if it is tailored in the waist, preferably with tapering in the back to define the waistline.If not, Jackie warns it will look boxy (true).

4. Denim

For work, jeans should be dark wash boot cut jeans, with minimum distress. Jackie also recommends straight legged jeans, and to pair your pants with a belt to give it a nice, tailored look.

5. Skirts

There was no mention of skirts in the original list. Skirts should be a work go-to. Pencil skirts, tulip skirts, straight-lined skirts – they all work and look great in the office. There is not a modern office look that channels Mad Men more than a nice fitted pencil skirt with a colorful, patterned blouse tucked in.

6. Dress slacks

Slacks are an item of clothing that should be treaded on lightly. Personally, I don’t wear slacks. But, Jackie points out that that slacks can look ok if you take the time to look. Slight boot-cut or wide leg trousers work for most. My pet peeve is when people won’t spend $15 to get the pants tailored in length. You buy pants for $60-$80 and yet won’t get them tailored for a perfect fit?

7. Dress shoes

While black pumps are a good stand-by, don’t overlook brown or nude dress dress shoes. They add versatility to your wardrobe. Nude can work double-duty when wearing black or brown.

8. Base camisoles or tanks

Work under sheer blouses or sweaters. If adorned with lace or bows, also can look nice under cardigans.

9. Cardigans

A good work staple. But don’t limit yourself to neutrals. Cardigans are a great way to add a punch of color to the wardrobe. Go for purple, teal, aqua or pink – nice vibrant jewel tones. Or, be daring and wear a leopard print cardigan. It’s fun without being inappropriate. No one has ever hissed, “My word! Did you see her cardigan? Disgusting!” 

10. Accessories

Don’t forget earrings, necklaces, belts. Jackie points out that a casual outfit can get some lift with large statement jewelry.

Accessories are frosting on the cake… sure, frosting isn’t necessary, but a cake sure looks crummy without it.

Two items on the prior list we didn’t bother to include:

Scarves: Jackie covered this perfectly -> Wear scarves in winter and use color. We aren’t French.

Knee-high black boots: This doesn’t even deserve commentary. They have no place in the office.

I used our list to built my outfit for today! 

Jackers - this is for you (since you said I need more pictures of me on the blog!)


Ripped from the Headlines

22 Jun

Ok, so this was really just ripped from the inside of the magazine. But I was excited, none-the-less.

The other evening I was at the gym reading the latest edition of Self magazine, checking out the newest suggestions for summer.

I'm so tired of Zooey Deschanel. I don't know what she has done since 500 Days of Summer other than pose for several magazine covers. Yawn.

Imagine my surprise when one of Self’s suggestions was MY dress, recommended as the perfect “city wear” dress!

I was so excited I ripped the page out from the binding.

Let’s get a closer look.

Yup. That's my dress. Those shoes are a big fat NO. Good thing the flashed blocked most of it.

You’ll recognize this dress in the logo of my blog heading, as well as from this post.

My version - brighter cardigan and belt added. A dark blue cardigan can calm down the vibrancy of the dress.

This dress has been a great spring and summer find – I’ve already worn it to a wedding and a bridal shower. I won’t lie, though, I had my concerns about the dress when I first wore it, based on this conversation:

Erin: What do you think of the dress so far? (I didn’t have a belt, cardigan, shoes or jewelry on yet)

Fiance [New name of “Boyfriend”]: I don’t know. It looks like an apron.

Erin: Think again before you go any further.

*Once outfit was complete*

Erin: Ok, now what do you think?

Fiance: You look beautiful.

Erin: Good answer.

It is a chameleon depending on how you accessorize it with cardigans, shoes and accessories. A really versatile piece for my closet. A good find, for me and Self magazine.

Tape Me Up, Scotchy!

16 May

I don’t have many professional make-up tricks. I pretty much got by on a tutorial I received from Clinque in downtown San Francisco when I was 14. Of course, back then I had persistent acne, a face still plagued with baby fat and bangs. So the beautician had her work cut out for her.

Over the years, I have found ways to work around my shortcomings.

  • I use a green color-corrective below my foundation, to help ease the ruddiness in my face.
  • I apply my eye-shadow with my fingers, as opposed to using a brush.
  • I dip my liner brush in water before dipping a thin brush in the color to line my eyes. This is a much easier technique than using actual eye-liner. That requires the hand control of a surgeon. I can barely brush my hair without bodily injury, so actual eye liner is out.

But, I do have one specific make-up trick that gets me out of a pinch every time. No matter if I apply my eye-shadow with a brush or my finger, it is inevitable that I get a dusting of shadow below my eyes.

My old method was attempting to wipe it away, which would only rub it in and give me dark circles under my eyes. No amount of concealer or foundation over that would correct the problem.

A few years ago, I decided to use Scotch tape.

My shadow kit.

Here’s how it works:

1. After I finish my eye make-up, I take a small amount of Scotch tape and lay it right under my eye, lightly, directly over where the shadow crumbs landed.

2. When I pull the tape off, it removes all the shadow that is resting under it. For the most part, the foundation or concealer will stay in place. It might take a tiny bit of retouch, but it’s a heck of a lot easier than trying to undo the mess of shadow you would otherwise have there.

Now shadow up and get out there!

Mix ‘n’ Match

13 May

While I enjoy fashion trends as much as the next person, ideas or concepts will come along that I have a hard time wrapping my head around. Granted, different styles are meant for different people, but there are times I will waffle between absurdity and creativity. So, I’ll let you, trusty readers, help me suss this one out.

Mixing and Matching patterns is a popular look right now. One of my favorite bloggers, Jessica Quirk, who blogs What I Wore has done it a few times. One was a feline theme and another was a blue spring combo. I feel she’s managed this with mixed success.

Another blogger, Anh of 9to5Chic, put together floral and gingham here.

After seeing this trend in magazines and other blogs, I decided to give it a whirl today. Here’s what I put together:

Hip & Trendy?

Frankly, in wearing this outfit today, I feel more like an extra on “The Big Bang Theory” and less like a fabulous fashionista.

If you think mixing and matching works – what do you think the rules are? Or are there no rules? Thoughts?

Rrrr! Me Booties!

28 Apr

Do your tall boots slump over like an ’emo’ teenager at a Stephanie Meyers book signing?

So sad.

Do you also have left over magazines that you’ve read, but feel guilty for throwing out? If not, you are a tree hater. HATER.

When I see these workout pages, these magazines immediately go inside my boot.

Roll up those magazines and put them inside your boots. It’ll keep your boots upright and from creasing at the slumped folds.

Ah! Everyone is happy!

Baby Needs Some New Shoes!

14 Apr

This is a short and sweet post about Boyfriend. Not “my” boyfriend or “the” boyfriend. Just Boyfriend. Like a proper noun. That is how I shall henceforth refer to him, to protect his identity. I’m positive that 96% of what I say and do is embarrassing to him. Rightfully so.

Anyway, last Valentine’s Day Boyfriend was on his death-bed. Gravely ill from a severe Man-Flu, we missed enjoying a nice Valentine’s Day together. While I understood the predicament, I was still just a tad disappointed. Just a tad!

About two days after, I received a package at my apartment. Inside this package were a sweater, Giants’ t-shirt, and a pair of pointy-toed Nine West shoes.

I will admit, these shoes would not have been my first choice if I had gone shopping on my own.

…and at one point I might have said to Boyfriend, “your interpretation of my fashion is unique.” Boyfriend still won’t let me live that down.

However:

1. They are in camel and navy – Boyfriend knows I wear those colors ALL the time.So his theory is “what can I not wear with them?”

2. They have the strong structure and form to be expected in Nine West shoes.

3. Boyfriend thought long and hard about what to buy me, and knowing I liked fashion, he went for shoes.

 

Ends up, with my dark jeans these shoes will match about anything!

How can a girl not love the shoes… and the guy?

Everyone Needs Therapy

16 Mar

Early this week I found myself in the South Bay – Man Jose, The Jo, The Concrete Jungle. San Jose lives by many names, but I love that town. Tons of places to go, explore, friends to see, things to eat and to buy. And only a few hours from home. As Charlie Sheen would say, San Jose is “winning!”

It is no surprise that my favorite shop, Therapy, is now headquartered in Campbell, a small enclave of the meaty giant SJ. I first mentioned Therapy in my blog about the doomed pencil skirt. A shop with 5 or 6 regional locations, Therapy features individual designers and clothing makers, uniquely mod furniture and home decor. If you want something chic, modern and colorful for your closet or home, Therapy is the place to go.

This menacing exterior is the Mission Street location. Photo care of http://www.missionlocal.com

My biggest find in my trip to San Jose was this speckled dress from Therapy. Created by Tulle 4 Us, this dress flatters the figure in a very early-60s modern way. The colors are vibrant, but don’t overwhelm the style or the person who is wearing the number. I paired it with a bone colored skinny belt (also from Therapy) and a tomato shrug from Nordstrom’s BP Department, all of which were finds on my shopping trip up in SJ this week.

 

This outfit might be one of the best combinations I've purchased for myself in eons.

This year, I have four weddings to attend. Granted, I’m in three of these weddings, but this dress will be smashing as a rehearsal dinner dress, or as a guest to a nice springtime wedding.

 

Freda says her shoulders are her best feature. I told her it's her face.

Additional details of this dress that I love are the pockets, the cinched waist, and the delightful brass button at the nape of the neck.

Until next time, Teal and Tulle shoppers!

 

Delightful mini reuseable tote!

%d bloggers like this: