Summer Work Outfit: Maxi Dress with a Blazer


As we start yet another new month, the end of summer feels near. Now is the time to get as much out of the warm weather as possible (even though I can’t wait for fall!!!). For me this means trying to wear as many dresses as possible. Soon I will long for the days when I didn’t have to wear pants. I love to change up a maxi dress for work by throwing on a blazer. I especially love that this dress is actually backless, but because of the high-neck front can be worn in different ways. The pattern lends itself to both a bohemian flair, but also a put together look.

British Khaki Blazer / Sugar Lips Maxi Dress / Francesca’s Earrings / J.Crew Factory Necklace / Fergalicious Sandals

Summer Outfit: Green Gingham and White

For a casual Sunday filled with church, an impromptu ice cream run and relaxing outside, I broke out the gingham and whites. I love the color of this green gingham boyfriend shirt from Gap. It fits a little looser, which is much appreciated in the hot weather. I’ve had the white skirt for a while, and it’s such a cute way to stay cool. The green and white together create such a crisp, fresh look. This outfit could not be complete without my J.Crew straw tote.

We tried Piccadilly on Washington Road in Mt. Lebanon for the first time. Piccadilly offers organic and vegan frozen yogurt options. I tried the salted caramel with cheesecake bites, berries and chocolate syrup. It was to superb! I pretty much fell in love with the decor. It’s bright, cheery and little funky featuring pieces from local artists.

Outfit Details: Gap Shirt / J.Crew Tote via Goodwill / American Eagle Skirt via Avalon Exchange / Lou Lou Earrings / Unionbay Sandals / Michael Kors Watch and Cuff

American Flag Scarf

The American Flag is an inspiring thing. 50 little white stars twinkling at you on a blue background paired with strong red and white stripes. Don’t you just love it? I found a scarf like this while shopping in Annapolis last year, and I regretted not buying it all year. When I went back this year with my sister I had to see if they still had it. Since I was in a serious saving mode at the time, I decided not to get it. When my sister saw me put the scarf back she offered to buy it for me as an early birthday gift. I accepted her generous offer without much hesitation. I love that the scarf creates a cool American vibe without looking overdone. I’ll find any excuse to pair it with my chambray shirt at work or a white t-shirt and jeans for a more casual look.

I hope you have a lovely Fourth of July. Here are some other patriotic scarves I love:

Lou Lou Scarf / Free People Tattered Flag Scarf / Infinity Scarf on Etsy / American Flag Scarf on Etsy

Leopard Print Dress

I fell in love with this dress from Loft at first sight. I quashed my unrequited love by telling myself to wait for it to go on sale. When there was a flash sale a few months ago, I made sure to look for this dress. I was happy to find it again at a price tag of about $30 — down from it’s original $80. Since then I have worn it to work many times. It was perfect for the FUSE concert at the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra: Brahms + Radiohead. Amazing by the way! The next one is Coldplay + Beethoven on October 7.

I love that I can throw this together with a few pops of color, and I am ready to walk out the door in a few minutes. The moral of the story is if you see something you love, try it on in the store to make sure of your size and then wait for it to go on sale.

Loft Dress / Lou Lou Earrings / Francesca’s Necklace / Nine West Clutch / Calvin Klein Shoes

Lobster Shorts

I found these Lobster-print gems while visiting one of my favorite consignment shops — Avalon Exchange. They are perfect for a few of the trips I have scheduled this summer — first to Annapolis, MD and then to Charleston, SC. The shorts speak for themselves as far as what both cities have to offer. Great seafood and impeccable preppy style to match. They were only $6 after I used my store credit. I had been obsessing over lobster prints the last few summers. So glad I was patient! Above I styled them for a dressier dinner date and below is a more casual option for sight seeing.

Option #1: $6 J.Crew Lobster Shorts via Avalaon Exchange / $15 J.Crew short via Cleveland Flea / Tommy Hilfiger Shoes via T.J. Maxx / Gap Belt / Vintage Bracelet

Option #2: $6 J.Crew Lobster Shorts via Avalaon Exchange / Ralph Lauren Shirt / Converse Sneakers / Michael Kors Watch and Cuff

Soft Shorts

Target Shorts / The Limited Top ($12) / Old Navy Jacket / Unionbay Sandals via Kohl’s

Soft shorts are this perfect mix of totally acceptable going out clothes and lounge wear all in one. I looked around for the perfect pair and finally settled on these from Target. Order one size larger if you want to add some length.

I wore these over the weekend with this lace top for a girl’s weekend at Lago Winery in Jamestown, PA. These are considered festival wear after all. I can’t think of anything more similar to a festival in the life of a 29-year old than going to a winery in the middle of a rural town. There was wildlife, a barn and even cows. I layered on this army jacket at night.

Now it’s time to work on that tan.

Green and Purple Wear to Work

Summer is still alive and kicking so I am not yet abandoning this tried and true formula: floral prints + brights = fashionable yet easy wear to work outfit. With this outfit in particular, I was proud of myself for trying the mix of purple and green — a color combination I don’t try that often but really like. The green flower print pattern definitely elevates this look past your typical color blocking. It’s like color blocking on caffeine. This look was relatively inexpensive to create when you consider I purchased the top at Goodwill for about $4 and the skirt at a consignment shop for $20.

Details: Thrifted Old Navy blouse / J.Crew skirt via Avalon Exchange / Nine West Pumps / J.Crew Factory necklace

White and Floral Print

I got this dress at Old Navy Factory store for Easter. It’s spring pattern seemed like the perfect fit for that time of year. Since then I’ve gotten a lot of use out of it for special events such as my sister’s White Coat ceremony in Baltimore and my other sister’s Bridal Shower in Cleveland. In this picture, I try to take it from special occasion dress to every day work dress by layering a white button down under it. This button down is a no iron blouse that I got at Marshalls for $16. So far it has lived up to its name. I can definitely see this outfit working for fall with a cardigan, tights and booties.

Details: Old Navy dress / Jennifer Grace shirt / Nine West heels / J.Crew Factory necklace / Michael Kors watch and cuff

One Jersey Dress, Two Ways

I’m sure you have a piece or two in your closet that leads a double life. This dress with its sporty cut and jersey material is especially adept at shape shifting from casual to dressy. Just swap out a few accessories and I’ve gone from baseball game to dinner and drinks without much effort. What versatile piece do you rely on in your wardrobe?

Casual: Banana Republic dress, Old Navy jean jacket, Chuck Taylors, Stella and Dot earrings

Dressy: Banana Republic dress, Ily Couture necklace, Stella and Dot earrings, Tommy Hilfiger shoes, Coach purse

A Perfect Dress

 This dress comes pretty close to perfect in my opinion. It has so many of the elements I look for a in a dress. When I saw it at the H&M in Georgetown, the sophisticated cut of the skater skirt with fitted bodice was something I couldn’t easily put down. I like how the skirt is high on the sides giving it that flirty edge, while the neckline is prim and proper. And the print? It’s just so fun and makes the skater skirt and high neckline look modern. The test of wearability? I wore this to my sister’s bachelorette party and out to dinner, and I have to say it performed equally well in both situations.

Details: H&M dress / TJ Maxx necklace / Tommy Hilfiger via TJ Maxx shoes / Target bracelets