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 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 17 OOTD: Business Casual Babe #1

The days of the women’s powersuit have passed, and there are more ways to stretch your creativity than a basic oxford and slacks.

I work in entertainment, which is fortunately pretty relaxed when it comes to attire. This is my first of two posts for a business casual environment – the dressier option. Here is the dressed-down post. Like a day I actually have to see people outside of my work spouses.

OOTD FOR A CASUAL OFFICE WHEN YOU HAVE TO BE SLIGHTLY FANCIER THAN USUAL:

TOPGap Softspun Tank Top – $16.99

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Honestly, any easy-to-tuck, drapey top will look great and is easy enough for a business caz outfit without getting fussy or losing comfort. Gap frequently has 40% off sales, so it’s usually worthwhile to wait for these.

BOTTOMS: 7 FOR ALL MANKIND SLIM ILLUSION LUXE SKINNY – $179

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These jeans are part of my Wardrobe Essentials list because they’re so damn versatile. Check out my Jetsettah post on how to cop them for cheaper and why they’re worth the splurge.

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

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This blazer has so many colors, go buck wild! I personally really like the garnet, gray frost, and dusty olive colors. You’re wearing black pants and a white top; you can afford a splash of color.

Downside: this is mostly polyester (boo) so you might sweat a little, but man, it’s cute.

SHOES: SPLENDID LARCHMONT SLOUCHY ANKLE BOOTS – $48.60

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Fold over the shaft to make this a true ankle bootie with a slouchy feature, and this will cause your shoes balance out the tapering of your skinny jeans. P.S. I’ve owned these for over a year and they’re unbelievably comfortable and well-crafted. Good for office-to-happy-hour.

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

  1. If you want a more versatile blazer with better fabric, this Soft Joie women’s knit blazer ($178) is washable at home and should be super comfortable throughout the day… but Joie/Soft Joie is a costly brand. Think about Poshing.
  2. Daniel Wellington Classic Petite Bondi Watch- $96
  3. Vince Camuto Openwork Linear Drop Earrings – $16.97
  4. Sterling Forever Sterling Silver Roman Numeral Band – $24.97 (this is a Tiffany-reminiscent dupe)
  5. French Connection Hollis Leather Tote – $39.99

Work it, girl.

July 16 OOTD – Jetsettah

Want to fly business or first on a coach ticket? Flight attendants generally say to show up early, be polite, and dress well – you’re more likely to be bumped up the upgrade list if you look the part.

What does that mean? While you won’t get kicked off for your leggings or your favorite holey jeans, you probably aren’t gonna get that upgrade, either. So here’s an idea for how to be cute, comfy, and stylish enough for a bump.

Remember: you can always pack a lightweight lounge outfit and fuzzy socks in your carry-on bag to change into for that redeye once you’re on the plane.

OOTD FOR A JETSETTER

TOP #1: EDDIE BAUER WOMEN’S WRINKLE FREE 3/4-SLEEVE SHIRT – $39.99

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This is fitted yet not constricting, and more importantly it’s moisture wicking and wrinkle resistant. Leave the top unbuttoned, roll the sleeves, and loosely tuck into your trousers for a look of casual, strategic sprezzatura. I prefer this to the top below because of the cotton-blend fabric content, and I am pretty staunch in my love for more natural fibers, where possible… BUT…

TOP #2: BEDFORD FAIR FAUX WRAP TRAVEL TOP — $21.59

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While this is a polyester/spandex knit, I can’t help but love this wrinkle-free design. It is less businesslike and a little more flattering, to be frank… plus, you can’t beat the price!

BOTTOMS #1: 7 FOR ALL MANKIND SLIM ILLUSION LUXE SKINNY – $179

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Good bottoms are an investment piece. Seriously- there is something to be said for certain types of premium denim that makes them worth every penny, particularly when you have weirdly oblong hips and a healthy butt like mine – H&M jeans just don’t cut it. I’ve legitimately never owned a pair of jeans as flattering as 7FAMs. If you have a nice pair of inky-black jeans, they’re multi-purpose– I’ve worn mine to job interviews, to nighttime events paired with a gray or white blazer and heels, or casually to a ball game. I’ve owned them for over 2 years with very little color leaching and they’re just as soft as day 1. My friends who cop to $40 jeans from H&M complain about crotch holes after a year of very regular use. The way I look at it, they have since replaced their jeans twice now (at least $120, right?) while I’m still wearing the same pair. So while they think they’re saving money, I’ve come out ahead (I didn’t pay full price for mine*). Remember to AMORTIZE the cost to see if a purchase is sensible.

BONUS: THESE DON’T FEEL OR LOOK LIKE DENIM. Seriously, 7FAM’s slim illusion luxe line feels like sweatpants but have a tighter knit that puts them in trouser category. That said, they seem to be replacing this line with their b(air) line, which while comfy, doesn’t have that luxe satiny feel… so jump on these whenever you can.

*Note – I bought my black, straight leg version of these slim illusion luxe jeans on Amazon by setting a sale alert on camel camel camel, and paid $69 when it dropped to that rate for the day (Amazon pricing is not static, so if you want something from there, monitor the pricing using any number of tools). I ordered my heritage blue slim illusion luxe bootcut jeans from Bloomingdales during their Black Friday sale in 2016 for $99. The 7FAM website has sales regularly, and Nordstrom Rack/HauteLook sometimes brings these at a steal, too.

I know I’ve written an essay on how great these are, and I wish I had an endorsement deal for this– ha!

BOTTOMS #2: Betabrand Straight-Leg Dress Pant Yoga Pants – on sale for $52.20

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Disclaimer: I don’t own these myself, but I might have to cop for them. I have friends that sing their praises, and they’re supposed to be super cute/comfy! Plus – they have lots of colors and patterns to choose from. Also check out Betabrand’s travel-specific products (like these Gray Travel Jeans for $89.60 with lots of handy pockets)- they have cute items, but many of them can be costly (though you get 20% off your first order).

SHOES: ROTHY’S THE POINT — $145

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I referenced Rothy’s in my post about comfort shoes, and this is another versatile investment piece. I personally think the pointed toe is a bit dressier than the round toe, and I love this Port color, but there are tons of color choices here. These are your best bet for easy kickoff on a plane, dressy enough to pass muster, and great for walking from terminal to terminal if you’ve got a layover.

LAYERS: BB DAKOTA ROLL WITH THE PONCHOS REVERSIBLE PONCHO – $70*

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I’m always cold once a plane gets in the air, even if I’d been sweating my makeup off five minutes prior on a hot Angeleno tarmac. This guy is a super warm, easy-to-wear layer that you can flip depending on the color palette of your outfit. It’s acrylic and polyester (meh), but I use this as a blanket on the plane or at work and it’s fabbity fab and easy to pack and carry (I have the mulberry color, which is much more casual).

*Disclaimer: I have to be blunt, I don’t think this poncho is worth $70, and you’re paying for a name, but I DO think the poncho is worth having if you can get it at a discount. I received a free FabFitFun box from an entertainment industry event, and this was one of the items inside. Realistically, I’d probably pay up to $40 for this, maybe even a bit more. However, the BB Dakota site offers 15% off for first-time customers and will often have sales. Also, I have seen discount deals on GiltCity a couple of times in the past year for the brand (GiltCity will often give free discount codes for cosmetics brands, and clothing brands will often have $50 for $100 deals or similar, so it’s worth getting a login and signing up for alerts). BB Dakota has enough cute sale items and sweaters to take advantage of such a Gilt deal.

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

Happy Travels!

July 15 OOTD (under $175) – Summer Daze

I don’t know about y’all but I’m melting. The dogs have essentially become a part of the tile floor and refuse to move, and our air conditioning is slowly limping along. I’m just waiting for the sun to go down, and mayyybe we’ll be able to get outdoors for a bit without feeling like death.

So what does one do besides binge watch Nikita and surf Reddit? Online shop. I think it’s important to invest money in good, versatile pieces (hopefully that have decent resale value if you need to refresh your closet!), and then keep them in rotation where possible. All pieces below are super translatable to other outfits.

OOTD FOR A SUMMER WEEKEND

TOP: Madewell Flutter Off-the-Shoulder Blouse, on sale for $34.97

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This is such a breezy, easy cotton top. One of the biggest issues we face when trying to be frugal with clothing finds is that the majority of items we have access to are synthetic. If you found the polyester version of this top at Forever 21, I guarantee you’d sweat through it. I advocate natural fibers and materials wherever possible, so finding them at a reduced rate is always a treat! I’ll do a post on pros/cons of fabric types in the near future.

BOTTOMS: Splendid Hunter Skinny Cargo Pant, for $49.99 (Gilt Login Required)

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Modal and cotton twill pants that keep legs covered. On days like today (that I’m being lazy and have minimal activity besides a casual dinner out), I actually advocate longer pants. If you’re like me, you sweat like a pig and burn if the sun so much as looks at you. I like breathable pants that don’t show sweat, and I can wear this whole outfit all day with no issues, even sitting outdoors. Plus, utility pants translate really well to fall (and for outdoorsy activities).

SHOES: Jessica Simpson Sirella Espadrille Wedges (“Fawny”), for $49.99

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Super cute leather mule espadrille heels. Dresses up or dresses down anything, depending on the mood! Wear these to brunch or a casual date night. Won’t sink into grass, won’t kill your feet.

BAG: Neiman Marcus Lena Box Flap Crossbody, on sale for $25.20

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At time of publication, this bag dropped from $105 to $70, and is currently on sale for $28 with an extra 10% off to land at a tidy 25 bucks. Plus, Ebates returns 6% if you open the shopping trip through them.

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

 

Happy summering!