September 12 OOTD: Outdoorsy

I just recently returned from spending some time at my in-laws lake house. It’s a bit outside of Yosemite and has a bunch of gorgeous hiking trails, camping spots, and such.

Unfortunately, outdoorsy clothes aren’t exactly cute, are they? I mean, sure there are people that own that ish, but it’s hard to put the outfits together given the just general blah-ness of what we have to work with. So without further ado, here’s a cute outfit for your fall adventures (specifically for mildly cool, not-too-rugged conditions).

Fall Hiking Outfit

TOP: Kuhl Aspira Tank Top – $22.99

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Breathable and layerable, a good base layer for your trekking!

SWEATSHIRT: Alternative Apparel Athletics Hoodie – $15.24 – $54

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I love Alternative Apparel – they’re super duper soft, really breathable, and not too confining. This is not a heavy sweatshirt, so you won’t overheat if you are on a tough trail in cool weather. Nothing worse than getting sweaty and picking up a chill…

VEST: Uniqlo Women’s Ultra Light Down Vest – $39.90

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This is such a great added layer – it scrunches into a tiny-sized carrying case that you can pop into your backpack and pull out as needed. I’d suggest going for a bright color, like red, though this burgundy shade pictured is nice, too.

PANTS: KUT from the Kloth ‘Diana’ Stretch Skinny Jeans – $36.97

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If you’re not getting super rugged, a pair of jeans with comfortable stretch should do the trick. I’m all about premium denim, but not for an activity like hiking, where I’m almost guaranteed to destroy my pants. If I dropped $180 on jeans that snagged on thorns, I think I’d cry.

BOOTS: Kodiak Surrey II Hiking Boot – $121 – 170

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Don’t skimp on price for anything that connects you to the ground! Meaning, don’t cheap out on shoes, tires, or your mattress/bed. Seriously – you’ll thank me later. Having destroyed my feet in fast fashion high heels on cobblestones for a few years, I can assure you that the scars aren’t prettier with each year. And particularly with an activity like hiking, you want your shoes to be sturdy and safe. Make sure you break these in sufficiently, and always wear the appropriate socks when hiking!

OTHER (MAYBE ESSENTIAL?) ODDS AND ENDS

 

July 31 OOTD: Beach Babe

I’ve recently quit my job, and as of next week will actually have some beach time and an ability to go out into the sunshine during the week. If you look at me, you’d have no idea it was the peak of SoCal summer – I’m so darn pasty.

So, here’s a cute beach outfit that also translates well to a glam pool party — looks super luxe.

A DAY AT THE BEACH

BATHING SUIT: Myraswim Enzo One-Piece in Vanilla – $120 AUD

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Hi-cut and with a bustier detail to keep the girls looking perky and… less like headlights, this classy white suit is easy peasy lemon squeezy. Pop on a pair of shorts and wear out like a tank top, tight jeans if you’re going beach-to-clubbing, or just a traditional kaftan or cover-up to complete the look.

COVER-UP: ASOS Design Slinky Glam Long Sleeve Plunge Beach Dress in Rust – $51

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Holy moly, how cute is this dress? I don’t advise blowing a huge budget on cover-ups, though I do think good swim items (specifically bathing suits) are worth the price tag. That said, every cover-up I’ve ever owned has taken a ton of punishment. If I put things on after the beach, light colors get dingy, and it’s difficult to wash items with a lot of beading or embellishment. If I wear things in the sand or poolside, the sand itself is harsh, as well as chlorine and sun – you get regular bleaching punishment. Of course, if you don’t plan to actually go in the water… worry less about what you wear 😉

SHOES: Steve Madden Bandi Platform Wedge – $89.95

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Cork for sand, easy slope, not much that will chafe… and very Côte d’Azur. You can wear these all day with no pain – the straps are textile, not anything that’ll sweat.

OTHER (NONESSENTIAL) ODDS AND ENDS TO FINISH THE LOOK:

Enjoy your suntime funtime – I know I will!

July 30 OOTD: Sassy Florals

Sorry for my absence – despite best intentions to post twice a day to get this blog up and running initially, real life called. I’ve quit my job and am tying up loose ends.

That said, what this has meant for me is a deep dive into fashion magazines I’m behind on reading, a schedule for how I will fill my days, and a reinvigorated focus on the things I love and am personally trying to accomplish.

Yield: The Florals. I absolutely love the continued presence of big and bold florals we’re seeing across the board, with Gucci and D&G and others. I was ripping out page after page today from Elle to tuck into my sketchbook because this ish made me SO HAPPY. And this mother-daughter post from one of my favorite Instagram accounts (Mrs B.C.) was so darn cute.

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Elle Magazine… June (?) 2018

But, because most of us don’t have a few K just laying around to spend on Dolce and Gabbana, here’s the hot summer rose look for less.

Casual Floral Outfit for Summer

TOP: Rebecca Taylor Silk Blend Floral Blouse – $129.97

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Admittedly on the pricier end of the spectrum for a casual outfit, I think the material is worth the splurge. When looking for something that follows a trend, most of the dupe items you find will be polyester, which frankly doesn’t breathe in the dog days of summer. This is cool and breezy.

BOTTOMS: 7 For All Mankind Distressed Denim Skirt in Montreal – $134.99 (or 40% off retail with code – $80.99)

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I am totally in love with this skirt, and 7FAM jeans are my favorite, by far. This isn’t too short/high, but is youthful enough to be a really good multi-purpose piece – wear to brunch or daytime activities with your boyfriend, or throw on a blazer and sleek blouse and ankle boots for a night at a bar. At the time of prepping this post, there is a 40% off code on Off5th, but these sales are not infrequent – if you miss this, you’ll catch another. Plus, 2% cash back on Ebates.

SHOES: Adidas Cloudfoam Advantage Sneaker – $44.97

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These Cloudfoams land on my Wardrobe Essentials list. Unbelievably comfortable and versatile as just a general daytime shoe.

OTHER (NONESSENTIAL) ODDS AND ENDS TO FINISH THE LOOK:

July 23 OOTD: The Not-Outdated Powersuit

I think I’ve made my feelings on suits relatively clear – the time of the old-school power suit has passed. Women’s suiting has a long and illustrious history of an attempt to level the playing field between the genders.

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The 80s power suit in particular, with its gigantic padded shoulders mimicking the broad structured shoulders of Wall Street suits, did a fair amount to visually achieve that goal… and then didn’t progress all that much for 20-30 years. These “modern silhouettes” attempted to liken the genders by, in my opinion, reframing traditional femininity within the outlines of what was perceived to be masculine.*

Unless, of course, they were fetishized.

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*Note that the trend toward androgyny in attire is, at least to my mind, a completely different and intention in fashion, something to reclaim pieces and fashion as “neither-nor”  as a concept when gendering attire, rather than “either-or” and forcing women to choose the latter in order to play with the boys. Own that androgynous style – just recognize the difference and nuance between the motivations of why these styles are worn.

The reality is that we don’t live in a world anymore that sees being womanly or feminine as a weakness – we don’t need to necessarily have to have linebacker shoulders to be taken as seriously as men. Being female is a power in and of itself, and not one that’s sexualized or fetishized – it’s about perfect comfort in ones own skin, in one’s own clothing, and accounting for the sexism behind the office thermostat.

That said, we’re hitting summer sale season. It’s a good time to stock up on your transitional suiting pieces.

THREE SALE SUITING SUGGESTIONS TO HOP ON RIGHT NOW:

#1- THE PRICEY: Theory Sculpted Chevron Jacket and Theory Adbell K Chevron Stretch Pants – Nordstrom Anniversary Sale total: $514.80

Yes, I know this is pricey. This viscose and wool set is the highest end of the price spectrum I’ll suggest today. The chevron print is both timeless and youthful, and these pieces can liven up an outfit when worn either together or separately – plus, I love a good mandarin-style collar. Good suits, with fine cut, cost money, but they should last years. Consider the amortized costs to decide if this is worth it for you.

#2- THE MODERATE: WHBM All-Season Peplum Jacket ($150) and Essential Slim-Crop Pants ($89)

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Super tailored to accentuate the positive, with some unusual detailing to draw away from the strictly-classic structure. The crops would be good for transitional seasons.

#3- THE ULTRA AFFORDABLE: Zara Cape Jacket ($99.90) and Flared Pants ($69.90)

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I love capes! Zara is pretty fast fashion, but with an item as on-trend as a cape, it’s tough to beat the price… plus, no uncomfortable shoulder-pulling from your sleeves, and an easy piece to use/transition into evening wear!

#4- ULTRA AFFORDABLE AND PRONE TO SALES: Nine West Kiss-Front Blazer and Flare-Hem Skirt – $168

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With some added frill detail on the skirt and a notched collar / kiss-front closure, the set pictured here is such a dressed up version of a classic. And Macy’s frequently has sales (48 hour, etc.), and offers up to 12% cash back via Ebates.

Happy suiting!

July 20 OOTD: Brunch with Friends (under $150)

Look cute and stay cool for a mimosa brunch out with your girls this summer! Better yet, all these pieces are super affordable and effortless.

OOTD WHEN YOU’RE DRESSING TO EFFORTLESSLY IMPRESS YOUR GIRLS AT BOTTOMLESS BRUNCH:

TOP: Laundry by Shelli Segal Ruffled V-Neck Blouse – $29.99

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Easy and not fussy, the slight lace ruffle detail on this gives it some added panache and takes it out of simple t-shirt territory.

BOTTOMS: Tahari ASL Flora Striped Tiered Shorts – $27.50 (with last call’s 50% sale)

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Confession: I’ve always loved skorts. And this piece isn’t quite a skort, but it’s close. Gives a little oomph to an otherwise simple stay-cool outfit. Plus, it’s slightly naval-themed and beachy, perfect for sipping some champ at a beachside venue in Malibu. Side note: get Ebates. At the time I’m writing this, LastCall has 9% cash back!

SHOES: Ugg Elena Platform Wedge Sandals – $79.97

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Classic UGGs might be hideous (albeit comfy) but they really do craft a great shoe – every pair of heels, booties, and such that I’ve bought from UGG have been excellent and lasted me quite a long time. These wedges in particular are super cute – with a gentle slope, you won’t lose your step after a bottomless Sunday.

OTHER (NONESSENTIAL) ODDS AND ENDS TO FINISH THE LOOK:

Happy brunching!

July 19 OOTD: Work-to-Date Double Duty

The Proposal was a solid rom com. I mean, I barely remember more than the initial premise (though I can’t suspend my disbelief about Ryan Reynolds being a secretly rich publishing assistant-slave, which, to be blunt is absurd– the only thing comparable to killing oneself as an entertainment assistant is being a publishing assistant, and I don’t recommend these career choices for anyone who’s not passionate. Live off the trust fund, Ry Bear, trust me).

Um, segue, sorry. I barely remember more than the premise, as I said, but god knows I remember Sandra Bullock owning the SHIT out of a tight black pencil skirt that hit just below her knees, with a blazer fitted to perfection. Oh my god and strutting around in those pencil thin stilettos- for some reason this outfit, with bitch-boss Bullock, struck me so hard as one of the sexiest outfits I’ve ever seen, and it jarred me.

I hadn’t previously ever thought of a power suit as sexy… just something to level the playing field with the men. But suddenly, power suit had a whole new meaning- it owned Bullock’s femininity in a way that, I felt, gave her an advantage. I never advocate dressing for a man (or woman or non-binary identifying partner- I love everyone here!), but I DO advocate wearing something that makes you feel gorgeous, powerful, and incapable in walking in any other way but a confident strut. And yes, that translates well to a hot date after work.

OUTFIT TO GO FROM DESK TO DRINKS

TOP: EVERLANE SILK V-NECK CAMI, WHITE – $65

A really utilitarian piece, the material adds a touch of luxury to your outfit and makes it appropriate for a nighttime rendezvous. Tuck this into your skirt, with a gentle overhang, if possible. It will control the flutter of the hem.

BOTTOM: WEEKEND MAX MARA APLINO PENCIL SKIRT – $165

This viscose skirt basically fulfills my Sandra fantasy. It’s a little pricey but this is another versatile piece that works just as well for court or Chinese food with the boo. Imagine this with virtually any button up, or with a silk one- shoulder blouse with a bow flourish for a cocktail party… you get the point. I usually wear mine a day or two after I do a squat circuit at the gym- my butt rarely looks different but I feel like flauntin’ after all that work.

SHOES: HALSTON HERITAGE RITA SUEDE STRAPPY PUMP – $95.40

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Love this shoe in either pink or black! Retails for $159 at LastCall.com, but pretty frequently discounted (like now) for 40% off, plus 9% cash back from Ebates. Sexy but office appropriate.

BLAZER: BCBGENERATION WOMEN’S TUXEDO BLAZER – $52 — $118

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Revisiting this blazer! Wonderfully versatile and the cut is unusual enough that it doesn’t look too plain. Pull it off and bare your shoulders for your date! I’d suggest the rose quartz color for this outfit.

OTHER (NONESSENTIAL) ODDS AND ENDS TO FINISH THE LOOK:

REMEMBER: Balm or gloss, not messy lipstick for that first kiss!

July 18 OOTD: Business Casual Babe #2

Let’s talk bizniss some more. I work in entertainment, which on the West Coast, is frankly pretty casual. My company is boutique and I’m able to avoid the CAA business attire requirements. Even meetings are business casual, for the most part.

Frankly, thank goodness, because the days of the women’s matchy-matchy suit (especially for younger women in their 20s, 30s, and 40s) have long since passed, and there are so many ways to be expressive (and frugal) with your selections. With a few right pieces, you can rotate a number of combinations and look like you have a much, much bigger closet than you really do.

This is my second OOTD suggestion for business casual. This is the more “dressed down” option with a number of items I own and love. Check out my post here on how to “dress up” for business caz.

OOTD FOR A CASUAL OFFICE WITHOUT CLIENTS TO IMPRESS:

TOP: FREE PEOPLE TWO TIMES THE FUN CAMI – $28.99

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No, you’re not coming bare-shouldered with side boob into the office, don’t worry. This pop of color offsets a lot of light neutrals in a good way, and the racerback detailing adds a little visibility when worn under an off-shoulder blouse or sweater.

BOTTOMS: LUCKY BRAND LOLITA SKINNY JEANS IN VINTAGE PINK – $35.78

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These “vintage pink” double as a warmer, more palette-friendly khaki, perfect for spring and summer. Mostly cotton and viscose.

SWEATER: FREE PEOPLE LOFTY V NECK BOUCLE SWEATER – VARIOUS PRICES

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Unfortunately, these Lofty sweaters are largely sold out among primary retailers (retail price was $128, FYI). There are, however, many Poshmark sellers who have many sizes listed, new with tags. If you want to go with a primary seller, you can find the turquoise color here for $57.60, the lavender version here for $38.36, and black, wine, and (more) turquoise colors here for $49.97.

Three notes on this sweater purchase. First, I recommend sizing way down. Free People generally runs way too big, and though I typically wear a Medium or M/L in most sizes, the small is still (appropriately) oversized for me. Second, if electing to purchase another color of sweater besides the white I have displayed (and that I own), make sure your cami appropriately matches. I like Free People camis underneath because of their delicate round strap style.

Third and most importantly: please don’t ever pay full price for a Free People sweater if you can help it. Their clothing is beautiful and hippie chic, which frankly means a lot of loose weave that pulls easily. It requires care to last longer, and I highly recommend only ever dry-cleaning them, regardless of what the instructions on any of their sweaters suggest. I can guarantee with most FP sweaters that paying the full value will only lead to frustration and disappointment.

The Poshmark marketplace, Gilt, and Nordstrom Rack are excellent for finding FB items at a good discount (but read my post on Poshing before you go that route). I got my Lofty sweater NWT on there for $40.

SHOES: ADAM TUCKER YALE LEATHER SMOKING FLAT – $49.97

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I love a nice smoking shoe, especially one with perforated leather to make them more breathable! It’s easy to dress up or down, and this nude color complements the rest of the neutrals in this outfit really well.

OTHER (NONESSENTIAL) ODDS AND ENDS TO FINISH THE LOOK:

Kill it at work today, yo.