Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Olive and Cherry, At It Again

Is it silly that I remember the first time I wore olive and red together?  It was almost a year ago after seeing it in InStyle.  I never would have thought to wear them together, but now I love the combo!  A little pop of red at the end of an outfit full of neutrals makes me happier than a pair of shoes should.

I bought this shirt when I went hunting for more tops I could nurse Addie in.  (More on those finds later.)  As if I needed another striped top, but you know...it's for the baby.  ;)  It's soft and a comfy loose fit, and STRIPES.  Can't.Stay.Away.  The exact pattern isn't online anymore, but it comes in 15 other colors and patterns.  FIFTEEN!  And it's only $10!

Links to Shop:
one  |  two 
three  |  four

Shop for the Look:
Top: H&M (exact, similar)
Jeans: Target (similarsimilar, similar)
Shoes: Gap (similar, similar, similar)
Bag: Nordstrom (exact)

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Pieces for Casual and Business Casual

I recently had a friend ask me to help her with her wardrobe.  One of her hopes was to have pieces that could work for both casual activities as well as business casual settings.  She has young kids and said, "I need clothes for being able to can bend down and pick up my kids but also clothes that look nice when I have to go to a meeting.  But I can't bend down and pick up my kids in a pencil skirt!"  (Oh, but you can!  We'll get to that!) 

Anyway, another reader asked me the same question so I figured it'd be a helpful topic!  I scoped out Target to show you pieces that can easily be mixed and matched to go from casual to business casual settings.

In choosing pieces for the dual purpose I simply used the rule of thumb from Part 2 of the Building a Remixable Wardrobe Series that checks if you can pair the piece with a staple for casual wear and a staple for business casual.  In my mind the most basic staples for each are dark or medium wash jeans and a pencil skirt or trousers, respectively.  So for every piece I asked, "Can it be paired with jeans AND trousers or a pencil skirt?"

Row 1 - Ponte Blazers:  Option 1  |  Option 2  |  Option 3
Quite a few people have written to me saying they like the look of blazers but feel like they don't work for casual lifestyles.  I used to say the same thing until I discovered ponte blazers.  Ponte blazers feel almost sweatshirt-like, which means you can move around and pick up kids or feel more laid back and comfortable while hanging out with friends.  However, the blazer structure helps them work for business casual settings when paired with a nicer blouse and trousers or khakis.

Row 2 - Button Up and Popover Blouses:  Option 4  |  Option 5  |  Option 6
Button ups always look nicer and can easily be tucked into a pencil skirt (or other skirt) for business casual looks.  However, they look great dressed down with jeans and sleek flats.  Option 6 isn't a button up or a popover, but it functions similarly.

Note: Each of these comes in at least 4 different patterns/colors.

Row 3 - Loose Blouses:  Option 7  |  Option 8  |  Option 9
Loose blouses are also great for toggling the line between casual and business casual.  Paired with jeans, they make for very easy and comfy outfits that you can move around easily in because they're loose.  If you get blouses with some structure and detailing they look great with trousers or a pencil skirt.

There are tons of blouses that fit this "loose blouse" category, so I chose three different kinds to show the variety: a tee, a tunic, and an empire waist.    But don't get overwhelmed--just remember the basic question, "Does it go with jeans?  Can it work with trousers or a pencil skirt?" (Or whatever type of skirt is your business causal staple.)

Note: Each comes in at least 3 different patterns.  And doesn't Option 9 look like it could be from Anthro?  Love it!  

Row 4 - Pullover Sweaters:  Option 10  |  Option 11  |  Option 12
These are very easily dressed up or down.  Just wear a white button up underneath and change up the bottom half according to the occasion!

Note: They all come in at least 3 colors.

Row 5 - Stretchy Skirts & Dresses:  Option 13  |  Option 14  |  Option 15  |  Option 16
Lastly, stretchy skirts and dresses made of either ponte or jersey material are wonderful for both casual and business casual.  I said at the beginning that you CAN bend down to pick up kids in a pencil skirt--as long as it's ponte or jersey!  Pair it with a t-shirt and denim jacket when you're going causal or wear it with one of the button ups or sweaters above for business casual.  Easy peasy!

Stretchy dresses are also awesome for the dual purpose.  Throw a blazer over them and pair with heels to instantly dress them up for a meeting!

Compensation for this post was provided by Target and ShopStyle.  All opinions are mine.  For more on PMT's sponsorship policies see disclosure.  

Monday, October 20, 2014

Introducing Golden Tote!

Like I've mentioned before, I've been exploring different styling and shopping services since quite a few of you have asked me about them.  Many people love using these services to have someone else style them and shop for them, which is great if you need help finding your style or hate shopping.  However, I think these services can be useful and fun even for people who love shopping!  

Besides having someone else style and shop for you, depending on the service, they can give you access to unique boutique items which is great if you don't have access to a lot of boutiques, get you to try things you wouldn't otherwise try, help you spice up your wardrobe, or get you great items at discounted prices.  

This month I got to try Golden Tote, who I've seen on Merrick's and Kendi's blogs and LOOOOOVED, and was beyond excited to try myself!  

Golden Tote is a service that sends you a tote with either 2-3 items or 5-7 items, at $49 and $149 respectively.  Initially those prices seem like a lot of money, especially to a cheap-o like me, but broken down it turns out to be anywhere from $16 to $29 per item.  Those are prices I can totally get behind!

You get to choose 1-2 items for your tote, and they'll surprise you with the rest based on a questionnaire you fill out about your style preferences.  I am NOT a fan of surprises...like, at all...but this was a good surprise.  Really good!

In the end, if some pieces in your tote don't work out for you, while unfortunately there are no exchanges, you can swap with other people on the Golden Tote Facebook group.  

I chose the items in the first two pictures, and the rest were a complete surprise.  Here's how I styled them!

Cardigan: Golden Tote c/o
Jeans: LOFT
Shoes: H&M
Bag: Target

Sweater: c/o Golden Tote
Tee: Everlane
Jeans: LOFT
Shoes: Target

Dress: c/o Golden Tote
Belt: Kohl's
Shoes: c/o White Plum (similar)
Bag: Nordstrom

Sweater: c/o Golden Tote
Shirt: c/o Conversation Pieces (similar)
Jeans: Target
Boots: Macy's
Bag: Nordstrom

Kimono: c/o Golden Tote
Tank: Target
Jeans: Target (similar)
Shoes: TJ Maxx
Bag: Target
Necklace: Forever 21

Tee: Cotton On
Sweater: Old Navy (similar)
Scarf: c/o Golden Tote
Jeans: LOFT
Boots: Macy's
Bag: Target

The sample collection from which I chose my 1-2 items honestly had me worried.  I didn't LOVE most of the pieces and there were a lot of dark colors.  I thought my tote would be full of black/white pieces, but actually the rest of the tote is filled with pieces from a totally different collection that you haven't seen yet.  And mine included some color and pattern, like they really had a handle on my style based on that questionnaire.  All a pleasant surprise!

All the pieces were things I would totally wear but may not have chosen for myself and loved being pushed out of my wardrobe routine.  I was also surprised at the quality of the pieces, especially given that they averaged less than $25 per piece!  Told ya this surprise was the good kind!

Don't want the service?  Shop the boutique!
They have a ton of great pieces.  Seriously!  And if you're not too into surprises you can shop the boutique to buy individual items.

You can either subscribe to Golden Tote's service OR shop their boutique separately.  There are also monthly sales which begin the first Monday of the month and last through out the month.  If you subscribe to Golden Tote's newsletter you can scope out the sales and the new merchandise so that you can jump on it!

Which is your favorite outfit or piece from this tote?  

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Fall Wardrobe Favorite Items

Last month I posted a list of my favorite items for the fall transition that you could easily wear in the fall with some layering.  Today is a list of my favorite items for fall!

It was pretty hard to narrow down this list since fall is pretty much the best and everything about dressing for fall is awesome.  But I managed to get it down to my favorite building blocks for a great fall wardrobe.

Below are two types of links: 1) Links to purchase the item shown above and sometimes similar additional options, and 2) links to my past posts wearing those items to give you inspiration for how to wear them.

Most items/options are from Target, Old Navy, and H&M.

Plaid Button Up: Option 1 (exact)  |  Option 2  |  Option 3  |  Option 4 (I <3 the blue one)
outfit ideas 1  |  outfit ideas 2  |  outfit ideas 3  |  outfit ideas 4
Can you get more FALL than this?  If you answered anything other than "no," then joo crayzee.  One of my first One Piece Many Ways posts was on wearing a plaid button up 10 ways, but that thing is old and embarrassing, and myyyyy my how far we've come.  I should probably do another one now that I've learned a thing or two about remixing over the years.  Until then, there are 4 links to my past posts with various plaid button ups.

Chunky Knit Scarf: Option 1 (exact)  //  outfit ideas
What is cozier than one of thse?  I got this herringbone scarf towards the end of last year so I didn't get to wear it much, but I loooooooove it.  Though, any chunky knit scarf will do.  I have an orange one that I also adore, but I didn't label it in my outfits so I can't link you to the posts.  Sorry!

Pullover Sweater: Option 1 (exact)  |  Option 2  //  outfit ideas 1  |  outfit ideas 2
These are great for layering over the plaid button ups, or you can wear them by themselves and mix and match them with different statement necklaces and scarves.

Faux Leather Jacket (Cognac): Option 1 (exact)  |  Option 2  //  outfit ideas
This is probably my favorite piece for fall.  And spring.  And whenever the heck I can wear it.  Cognac is a great color for leather because there's less of a worry about it looking too "biker chick"-ish.  And really, it goes with everything.

Scarf: Option 1 (exact)
Another option besides a chunky knit scarf is a cozy plaid scarf like this.  This Target one is going all over the blogsphere.  I got the Zara one last year, but I didn't know that it would be ENORMOUS and I'd overheat in it in San Diego.  I might try to sell it in exchange for this Target one since it's smaller.

Ankle Boots: Option 1 (exact)  |  Option 2  //  outfit ideas 1  |  outfit ideas 2
You can pair these with jeans, but my favorite is with dresses and skirts!

Chunky Textured Pullover Sweater: Option 1 (exact)  |  Option 2  //  outfit ideas
The pullover sweater I showed above is plain and simple while this one is chunky and has some texture.  It's gives the outfit more character without any type of crazy pattern or print.

Gingham Button Up: Option 1 (exact)  //  outfit ideas
I love these because they can be dressed up or down or professional or casual.  You can pair them with a pencil skirt and heels or jeans and boots.  Wear it under a blazer or under a sweater or cardigan.  (Sorry, the outfit ideas link above only has one post because I haven't labeled the posts prior to that.  Dah!)

Tights: Option 1 (exact)
You might have noticed that I don't have any dresses or skirts on the list.  That's because tights allow you to wear any skirt or dress in the fall!  My most worn are black, brown, and maroon (all of which are in the link above).  I think maroon is the safest color if you want to venture out from neutrals.

Boyfriend Cardigan: Option 1 (exact)  |  Option 2  |  Option 3  |  Option 4  //  outfit ideas
I have a thick boyfriend sweater cardigan that I totally love wearing in the fall.  It's perfect with any button up and keeps me warm and cozy.  The shopping options above link to boyfriend cardigans of various thicknesses.  Some are pretty thin while others are on the thicker side.

Riding Boots: Option 1 (exact)  |  Option 2  |  Option 3 (black/brown)  |  Option 4 (black)
outfit ideas - cognac  |  outfit ideas - black
Okay, I take back what I said in the plaid shirt post about not being able to get more "fall" than that.  RIDING BOOTS WIN.  I don't know that I need to say more about them except <3 <3 <3.  And... <3 some more.

Faux Leather Jacket (Black):  Option 1 (exact)  |  Option 2  |  Option 3  //  outfit ideas
I've found myself reaching more for my black leather jacket than my cognac one, which is really surprising to me.  I think it can look really chic and not too hardcore, and I expect we'll be seeing a lot more of it this fall!

What are your favorite fall pieces?

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