A Good Sweater Blazer Can Update Your Work Look

Details: J.Crew Factory Sweater Blazer (Similar) / Banana Republic Factory Blouse (Similar) / Banana Republic Factory Leggings / Everlane Loafers

We just got back from Paris on Saturday and I’m admittedly still a little jet-lagged as I write this. Despite that fact, I’m excited to get back in the swing of things because Paris had such great style inspiration. Everywhere you go there are Parisians mastering the I’m-not-trying-but-look-amazing look. This outfit is definitely inspired by that philosophy. It’s a simple look yet it has interesting details.

The sweater blazer, which is my new favorite addition to my wardrobe, offers a modern and relaxed fit that instantly updates any work outfit. I especially like this version (which is unfortunately sold out, but I found a similar version) because it doesn’t have the button like some sweater blazers. I think that makes it look too similar to an actual blazer when the appeal of the sweater blazer is the looser fit. And I love the lapel because you can either turn up or down depending on what top you wear with it. Turned up, I think it looks especially sophisticated. It adds the necessary structure to the blazer, which really complements the relaxed fit. The blouse adds another element of interest with pleats that pop out of the collar and sleeves. And the color scheme is once again simple yet sophisticated. The menswear inspired loafers reinforce the look. I can see a lot more outfits like this in my future. What do you think? Are you inspired by Parisian style sensibilities?

Black Legging Pants

Gap Legging Pants / Audrey Brook Shoes / HD in Paris Shirt via Goodwill / Target Cardigan / J.Crew Factory Necklace / Stella and Dot Earrings

My typical black work pant just hasn’t been doing it for me lately. It harkens back to high school when I had about a thimble of style sense, reaching for the thing that was simplest, easiest and cheapest. There is nothing wrong with purchasing clothes with that mentality. If that works for you, more power to you. Personally, expressing myself and emoting a certain level of confidence is achieved in the way I dress. Not to mention I work in a creative field that allows and behooves me to be more expressive.

I first noticed the black legging pant via J.Crew’s Minnie pant. Wanting to avoid spending $90 on a pair of pants, I decided to keep my eyes open for other options. I found these black legging pants at Gap over the summer marked down to $15. I could not pass them up. Although I will admit there have been some growing pains, I feel like I am finally getting used to them.

They are a little higher waisted and revealing in the wrong area, which makes them an interesting match for most of my tops. It’s best to wear a top that covers the butt of these pants, however, when a tunic is not readily available, I have found that some sophisticated layering tricks will take care of this problem.

You are probably aware of the look that J.Crew and Abercrombie and Fitch seem to think is completely normally — intentional untucking of shirts. It’s been around for a little while. In fact, I think it paved the road for conscious uncoupling. I employed that trick here by tucking in only the front of the shirt to create that neat, appropriate-for-work look, but left the back untucked. I then layered a cardigan over this to cover most of the untucked shirt. A little shirttail peaking out can actually look cute and still seems appropriate for work.

Bright on Bright Work Wear

After being on vacation for a week, I needed something simple for my first day back to work. I chose this dress because it never requires ironing. It’s a $20 purchase from Gap that will continue to more than pay for itself in time saved. This jacket that I purchased from Goodwill years ago was a last minute decision as I was rushing out the door. These colors just complement each other so well that the bright colors do not feel overdone. Not to mention, I have complementary burn tan.

Details: Goodwill jacket; Gap dress; Fergie sandals via Shoe Department; Ily Necklace

On the Horizon

Details: Gap sweater / J.Crew Factory skirt / Loft tights / Halogen boots via Nordstrom / Anthropologie necklace

Last week I talked about wearing winter appropriate brights. Red being an obvious choice with its distinct holiday color scheme and its roots in the classic buffalo check pattern that adorns winter scarves, coats, hats and the like. This week I am all about mixing spring brights with winter separates. There is something about the month of January that makes me extremely hopeful. It may be that spring is right around the corner. I am already starting to see bathing suits in stores so it can’t be that far away, right? With bright winter mornings like today’s, it’s hard not to look toward the horizon. 

To incorporate this bold-print skirt with my winter separates, I tried to keep things fairly neutral with my gray sweater and tights. Not completely ignoring the warm colors in the skirt, I wore my brown riding boots, and I added an interesting texture and color with this gold and turquoise statement necklace.

Work Wear: Brights and Neutrals

I was looking for a simple outfit to wear to the airport yesterday morning on my way back from Chicago, so I decided to wear this gray turtleneck with my bright orange pants for a nice contrast of neutrals and brights for fall. I was at a loss for what shoes to wear. The gray sweater wasn’t really pairing well with any of my brown shoes, but the oranges pants begged for something warmer. That’s when I realized these fuchsia flats were the perfect complement to both colors. Sometimes the purchases that you think are impulsive and foolish are the most helpful in a bind. I bought these shoes on sale for $17 even though I had originally doubted their flexibility. Here I am rocking these flats with a pale blue skirt and white blouse. Have you been incorporating brights into your fall wardrobe this year?

Details: Macy’s cashmere turtleneck / Loft pants / Gap flats / J.Crew outlet necklace / Michael Kors watch

Skinny Cords

I was super excited to share with you my most recent Marshalls find, these Blank NYC skinny cords. They were in the clearance section for $39.99 marked down from $80. The wale of the cord is very thin so they almost feel like velvet. (Don’t even get me started. “I would drape myself in velvet if it were socially acceptable.”) On top of that I scored this great Tulle jacket with an Avalon credit. The tan and wine together create such a great fall look and my sailor stripe t-shirt adds that extra bit of pattern to break everything up. I wore this on a Friday when I had a lot of meetings and wanted to look professional but still casual.

Details: Tulle jacket via Avalon Exchange / Old Navy shirt and ballet flats / Blank NYC cords via Marshalls / J.Crew necklace

Orange You Glad I Didn’t Say Banana

 
(Photos: Top Left / Bottom Left / Middle / Right

I started my Christmas shopping over the weekend. Black Friday shopping is always a seasonal right of passage for me and my mom and sisters, but by the time we get to the mall, everything is picked over and the sales are pretty average. A couple of the stores I went into already had sales going on and I was able to get some pretty decent deals. One such deal was the purchase of these orange cropped pants on final sale for $14.88 at the Loft. At first, I was skeptical about buying orange pants, but then I realized there would never be another better opportunity for me to buy orange pants. I quickly did a search on Pinterest when I got home to make sure I wasn’t crazy and found some great outfit inspiration seen above. Orange pants in question below.