The Chameleon

If the two separates I posted about the other day are an alternative to the typical suit, this must either be the anti-suit or just an example of something further from the classic example of a suit. An even greater alternative? If that term makes sense.
I wanted to use what will be the chameleon of my spring wardrobe, skinny cargo pants, to put together a more casual suiting alternative. I am using a loose interpretation of the word suit: a pair of pants and a jacket.
Let’s talk about the pants. The pants are so fitted and structured that they could almost pass as a dressy pair of olive matchstick pants until you get to the cargo pockets and material.
With that in mind, I went for a jacket and blouse that would not be too great of a contrast for these pants as I wanted the outfit to still have a flow of colors and material. I could have created an even greater contrast and wore these bottoms with a tuxedo jacket and white button down blouse, but that’s not really my style. Although I should probably never completely rule it out as an option.
I paired this outfit with my nude heels mostly because they are new, and I was excited to wear them!
Thrifted Evan Piccone blazer; Marshalls button up; Gap skinny cargo pants (on sale in stores; not online); Candies pumps via Kohl’s (on sale); Ray Ban Wayfarers; Silver Mine jewlery

(Style blogging is not as glamorous as it seems. There is a lot of mud. Especially in Cleveland.)

Alternative suiting


I was prompted by a networking event to browse the mall for a new jacket. Remembering that I had seen some jackets similar to this style that were on sale at Sears, I thought I would look there. After not finding the original jacket, I settled on this lovely Chanel-inspired jacket on sale for $5! Although the cropped length makes it difficult to find things to pair it with, I like the modern look of it. The fringe lining makes it just wild enough and helps bring life to these simple black pants and nude color top. True to Chanel style I had to pair this with classic pearls, red lips, and a low bun.
Sears jacket; Forever 21 top; The Limited pants; Nine West pumps; Vintage pearl necklace; Worthington pearl earrings

Spring essentials

I was able to narrow down my list of spring essentials to these few items. This is what will be in the forefront of my mind while shopping this spring.

Disclaimer: Spring in Cleveland equals a variation of temperature that ranges between 30 and 60 degrees, which is why my picks for summer and spring are not combined into one list.

I have been wanting a chambray shirt since last spring, but for some reason, I never bought one. This year there are a variety of shades and price points to choose from and the American work wear inspired material is definitely still on trend.

The brighter the better was the message from the spring runways. Bright separates will be great for colorblocking, a trend I can’t wait to try.

Maybe because we are getting closer to the beloved summer and sandy beaches that makes me tend to wear more gold jewelry in the spring. And since I probably wont be buying the gorgeous gold Michael Kors watch that I really want, I am browsing the vintage watches from American Apparel.

I love a good bow tie blouse for spring. It’s light and airy and makes a cute statement appropriate for the work place. I can see something like this going with my tapered trousers very nicely.

I have been loving all of the cateye sunglasses out right now. Combined with a Prada-inspired clear frame, these are pure perfection.

I love it when the quality of a casual piece pushes the item beyond its boundaries making the possibilities endless. That is what I love about  vintage sweatshirts. This item can be paired with a nice pair of chinos and high heels for a shabby chic work look, and would be equally perfect for lounging around.

Nude shoes are nothing new, but I can’t help but think you will need something neutral to pair with bright separates especially if you plan to colorblock.

I have already confessed my love for skinny cargo pants. The potential for creating both work and casual outfits with these pants for spring is endless.

I was on top of bright lipstick when I first found out that J.Crew’s spring 2011 models were wearing Nars Heatwave. I have been loving the way it jazzes up an all black ensemble or complements the bright colors for spring.

What are your must haves this spring?

Style History: Jack Rogers Navajo sandals

Last summer, when Nordstrom started carrying Jack Rogers’ Navajo sandals, I started seeing them everywhere, and I just assumed that they were a new, popular brand. It wasn’t until reading Unabashedly Prep one day that I became privy to the knowledge that the sandal became popular due to Jacqueline Kennedy’s style influence. The style of sandal was first rooted in the streets of Capri and soon after Jackie’s debut wearing them, Florida’s independent cobblers were also making the sandals. The Miami Footwear company put it into expanded production in 1960 and the rest is history. I love learning about the history behind certain styles and trends so I thought I would share. Also interesting to note, Jack Rogers sandals are still made by hand in Florida today. This information is extremely timely as a Jack Rogers flagship  store just opened in NYC. If you don’t live in NYC, the website features an online shop and is full of spring styling inspiration. Check it out.
(Photos via Unabashedly Prep, AP, Jack Rogers, and Nordstrom)

Layering

Nothing too exciting to report here. Just a simple black and white color scheme paired with my blue flare jeans. I am, however, excited that I was able to pull off the proportions of this outfit. I felt like maybe the blouse sticking out of the cropped sweater may have made the sweater look too small for me. Pulling the sleeves of the blouse all the way through the arm holes and letting the cuffs pop out in a messy way, helped to match the layering of the body of the blouse. I like how tailored the blouse looks compared with a cropped sweater and dressy jeans. Oh, and this is the debut of my new hair cut. Not very different right? But it was exactly what I wanted. My hairdresser tried to match the layering from the Miss Dior Cherie Natalie Portman photo I brought in. I think she did a really nice job.
INC sweater (gift); Gap jeans; NY&Co. blouse; Nine West shoes; Ray Bans Wayfarers

The "Annie Hall" argument

Ladies and gentleman I give you the tapered trouser. I understand that this trend is not for everyone. But for those of us who want to try it, regardless of how bad it looks, can all of you naysayers involve yourself in disliking something else for today? I promise this minor blip on the style frequency is just that, a passing fad. It’s hard enough finding pants that fit well, let alone pants that purposely accentuate the hips and shorten your legs.

The last time I involved myself with tapered pants, I was a Freshman in high school, and I mistakenly chose to wear tapered khaki pants to my first day of high school instead of the more popular skirt that everyone else had chosen. As you can see I am learning from my mistakes. Regardless of how bad I looked then, I actually really like this particular pair I found at Sears. I think if you follow some strict guidelines when choosing your tapered trouser, you may strike gold.

First of all, you need to look for something that is closer to a straight leg cropped pant. The pants don’t have to narrow too dramatically, which is why I think these pants are not terrible. Secondly I think you need to pay attention to the width of the leg hole. If the leg hole is hugging your ankles then you need to say goodbye. But if the leg hole is rolled like this pair and is still wider than your ankle then I think you have a winner. The other reason I like these pants is because they are on the longer side, which means they cut me off at a lower, more narrow part of my leg.  I also chose them in a darker color. Dark colors are slimming, especially black.

Even with all of these conditions met, I have to admit these pants are still not the sexiest things I’ve ever worn, but I like them. They are my Annie Hall moment…quirky, dorky, and cute…however, it’s probably more than just a moment as I have been a dork for as long as I can remember. Writing that in a blog post doesn’t really prove otherwise.
J.Crew cardigan; Old Navy top; Sears pants; Antonio Melani shoes; Banyan Tree necklace; Ray Ban Wayfarers; Nars Heatwave lipstick

White turtleneck

When I read this article on Glamour’s website about white turtlenecks, I responded by saying, “Do you know who I am? I have a closet full of white turtlenecks that are on hangers spaced 1 inch apart. And yes, I enjoy early bird specials and Agatha Christie novels. Why do you ask?”

I know this has been the week of the turtleneck, but think of yesterday’s outfit as the free-spirit version of this trend and today’s outfit as the minimalist, structured version. Mostly, I just love that I have a different way to wear this shift dress, which I have for some reason relegated as the dress I wear when I want to look professional, but not trendy. I will never doubt you again gray shift dress. Never again.
Target turtleneck; H&M dress; Franco Sarto boots; Forever 21 leggings; The Limited necklace; Nars Heatwave lipstick