Thursday, December 8, 2016

5 Outfits With a Grey Cardigan

Outfits With a Grey Cardigan
While I've always been into cardigans, over the last year or so I have unconsciously moved from the thinner and more fitted cardigans to these thicker oversized cardigans.  On Instagram I've worn both the maroon and grey versions of this cardigan a ton, and I've already blogged a remix with the maroon version HERE.  Why not time for a grey cardigan remix?  :D

Usually for remix posts I try to create distinct outfits by not using the same pieces over and varying them instead, or by creating outfits for different activities (dressy, casual, work, etc.)  In case it wasn't obvious, sometimes that means I haven't personally worn every outfit if they haven't worked yet for my lifestyle (usually the dressy or work looks), but I show them as ideas to give you a wider range of how to remix a piece.  

ANYWAY, that might have been nonessential info, haha.  It's just to contrast that to today's remix, which are all outfits I've actually worn!  That's why they're all in the casual realm, repeat a lot of other pieces, and aren't super distinct from each other.  A grey cardigan has been the perfect finish to a lot of my softer color palettes, but it would also work with something bolder like my red plaid shirt (THIS one).

Here are all the outfit details!

1. Blush + Black Jeans
I almost did black booties here, but I liked the mix of neutrals with taupe booties thrown in better!  I've been loving blush this year, and I really, really, really love it with grey.

Shop for the Look:
Top: Nordstrom (pretty similar, exact--in other colors)
Cardigan: Nordstrom (exactsimilarsimilar)
Jeans: Paige (exact--sale, similar--much cheaper, similar--much cheaper)
Boots: Nordstrom (exact--25% off, exact--in one more color, similar--25% off)
Bag: Nordstrom (exact)
Watch: c/o Daniel Wellington (exact)
Necklace: c/o Dear Mushka (exact)

2. Green/Navy Plaid + Mustard Yellow
Gotta love green with mustard yellow.  The grey cardigan is a perfect neutral to complement the two colorful pieces and complete the look.  

Shop for the Look:
Top: Old Navy (exact--sale for $18!, similar)
Cardigan: Nordstrom (exactsimilarsimilar)
Jeans: Nordstrom (similar)
Boots: Fergalicious (similar)
Scarf: (similarsimilarsimilar)
Bag: Nordstrom (exact)
Watch: c/o Daniel Wellington (exact)

3. Tunic + Leggings + Printed Scarf
I already talked about how awesome these leggings are HERE, and I was finally in cold enough weather to wear a huge blanket scarf when we visited Northern California during Thanksgiving week.  I still love this outfit so much!

Shop for the Look:
Top: Nordstrom (exact)
Cardigan: Nordstrom (exactsimilarsimilar)
Leggings: Nordstrom (exact--see review HERE)
Scarf: c/o ModCloth (exact, very similar)
Boots: Fergalicious (similar)
Bag: Nordstrom (exact)
Watch: c/o Daniel Wellington (exact)

4. Neutrals + Pop of Mustard
I'm pretty in love with this simple look full of basics.  I love all these neutrals mixed together, but to me, the addition of the mustard scarf makes the whole outfit!  

Shop for the Look:
Top: H&M (similar, similar)
Cardigan: Nordstrom (exactsimilarsimilar)
Jeans: Nordstrom (exact--sale for 25% off, similar--much cheaper and one of my fave brands for stretch, similar--also cheaper and another of my fave brands)
Boots: Nordstrom (exact--25% off, exact--in one more color, similar--25% off)
Bag: Nordstrom (almost exact)
Scarf: (similarsimilarsimilar)
Watch: (similar)

5. Olive + White
Olive is another pseudo-neutral, like blush, that helps make a softer palette with the grey cardigan.

Shop for the Look:
Tee: Nordstrom (exact)
Cardigan: Nordstrom (exactsimilarsimilar)
Jeans: LOFT (similar)
Boots: Target (similarsimilar)
Bag: Nordstrom (exact)
Necklace: c/o Dear Mushka (similar)

Overall, I've done a lot of neutral looks, but that's because I've been pretty into neutrals lately.  Perhaps I'll need to do an updated grey cardigan remix to show some outfits with more color, but for now hopefully this gives you some ideas for how to use your grey cardigan!  

PMT Winter Style Challenge
If you'd love further help building a mix-and-match wardrobe AND guidance on how to put them into tons of outfits, stay tuned for an upcoming Putting Me Together Winter Challenge!  I'll post all about it tomorrow with a GIVEAWAY.  In a nutshell, you'll get a list of pieces to help you put together a winter capsule wardrobe (including 4+ shopping options and plus sized options for each item), 45 days of outfit ideas laid out for you, and access to a private Facebook group of other soon-to-be-friends who are also taking the challenge.

Sooo many of you have written saying that you've wanted more hands on style help, so here it finally is!  If you've ever wanted someone to just tell you exactly what to buy to have a mix-and-match wardrobe, this is for you.  If you've ever written to me or thought to yourself, "I have many of the pieces that you show now, but I still need help putting together the outfits!" YOU WILL LOVE THIS CHALLENGE.  If you've wanted to sharpen your remixing skills, this will help you!  If you've wanted to connect with other women who are growing their style and have fun doing it together, this will give that to you.  If you want 30 of my best style tips to pull together your outfits, you'll have them at your fingertips to put into action one at a time.  If you don't want to think about what to wear for 45 days, this is perfect for you.  If you want to have fun with your style and grow it while making the most of your closet, jump in!

Registration will open on Friday, December 16th, but tomorrow I will share all the details so you have time to think about if you wanna join.  (Or if you wanna ask for it for Christmas!  :D  )  Plus I'll be giving away some free memberships to the challenge!  

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Ankle Boots That Dip in the Front. Hollaaaaa!

grey cardigan + black jeans + stripes + pop of mustard + tan booties
grey cardigan + black jeans + stripes + pop of mustard + tan booties
grey cardigan + black jeans + stripes + pop of mustard + tan booties
ankle boots that elongate your leg line

Over the last year or so I've written a handful of posts on choosing the right pair of ankle boots for your leg shape, namely singing the praises of two pairs of boots I own.  My two favorite ankle boots share one thing: they show a bit of your ankle with jeans without having to roll your jeans super high and cutting off your leg line.  One is the pair that's cut really low HERE (still available in 5 colors and on sale big time!), and one is a pair I got a long time ago with a cutout dip in the front shown HERE.

Because of all of those posts on ankle boots I have been asked SOOOO many times for similar options to the pair with the dip in the front, and unfortunately I couldn't find similar ones anywhere for years--until now!  And actually, I found TWO pairs with cutouts, both from Nordstrom.

Now, neither pairs dip down quite as much as my very old pair, but there is still *a* dip, and they're the most similar I've seen in a long while.  The first is the pair I'm wearing above by Lucky Brand, and as you can see, the effect is pretty much the same.  I can get that little peek of ankle without making my legs look stumpy.  Hurrah!

BTW, these boots are COMFY thanks to padding in the footbed and comfortable suede upper.  They feel great!  Also, I was worried about the heel because it's over 3" and that's a little over my limit for an everyday shoe (I can usually tolerate 2.5" or less), but the heel doesn't feel that high when I walk in them.  Honestly, like a weirdo, I keep looking at the heel height to try and figure out if they are really as tall as they look because it feels so manageable to walk in.  Haha!

They come in 7 colors, and they are on SALE!  I normally wear size 8.5 to 9 and got these in 9.5!  9 might work if you have a regular or narrower width foot.  Find them HERE.  There's also one more grayish brown pair in a few sizes HERE.

The second pair is by BP HERE which I haven't tried because my size wasn't available.   I don't know how comfortable they are, but they have 220 reviews with 4.5 out of 5 stars, so there's gotta be something good about them!  And they are cheaper than the pair I'm wearing (YES!) though they only come in 2 colors.

Lastly, if you're looking for a lower heel boot that still won't cut off your leg line, I want to point you again to my other favorite pair of boots by Franco Sarto HERE!  The shaft is super super super low which lets you show some ankle while hardly rolling up your jeans, if at all.  See them on me plus read a more in depth review HERE.  They are comfortable, and the low heel makes them easy to walk in all day.  I wear these in size 9, but if my foot width was average or narrower I could probably have gone with 8.5 because that was long enough.  Mannnnyyyyy of you have said you got this pair and love them too!  Makes me soooo happy that you found a pair that works for you and makes you feel great!

Lastly, I found some very similar scarves at various lengths, each between $11.98 and $25.  The $11.98 one is HERE, and the other two are linked below.  The pop of mustard yellow on this neutral palette makes the outfit for me!

Shop for the Look:
Top: H&M (super similar)
Cardigan: Nordstrom (exact, similar, similar)
Jeans: Nordstrom (exact--sale for 25% off, similar--much cheaper and one of my fave brands for stretch, similar--also cheaper and another of my fave brands)
Shoes: Nordstrom (exact--25% off, exact--in one more color, similar--25% off)
Bag: Nordstrom (almost exact)
Scarf: (similar, similar, similar)
Watch: (similar)

Created in partnership with Nordstrom!

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Gifts for Him: Husband's Tried and True Favorites + His Wishlist

I hear a lot of people say that men are hard to shop for, but I've never found that to be the case.  (Shopping for my mom is the real challenge!)  If you need ideas for what to get some guys in your life, hopefully today's post will help you out.  

My husband Benson is a huge researcher.  HUGE.  Many, many, many of our friends go to him when they need recommendations on what to buy, whether for tech or specific clothing items or kitchen items or other household things, or even to find a product to solve a problem in their lives.  Today's post features some of Benson's favorite things, along with things he wants but hasn't bought so that other people can get him gifts.  However, if none of these gifts help you still, wait for one of my upcoming gift guides called "Our Favorites," which will include a broader range of really, really, really awesome things that we have given both guys and gals and have been big hits!

I say that especially because there are a lot of clothing items here that are very particular to Benson's size, frame, and taste, and those probably aren't helpful for everyone.  In the Our Favorites gift guide, sizing won't matter.  Anyway, some background on Benson, he leans pretty minimalist--in all things. He only keeps what really counts, in both clothing, household, and tech.  Minimalist is also his aesthetic.  Sizing for clothes: He's 5'8", size 30x30 in pants, Small in tops.  He likes his clothes fitted and clean cut, but definitely not skin tight.  (You can see him HERE.)
Best Gifts for Men
Links to Shop:
1. Plaid Shirt  |  2. Backpack  |  3. Sneakers  |  4. Joggers
5. Water Bottle  |  6. Steel Cup  |  7. Headphones  |  8. Massager  |  9. iPhone Charging Stand  
10. Black Stretchy Jeans  |  11. Speakers  |  12. Chinos  |  13. Layering Tee
14. Map Print  |  15. Neighborhood Print  |  16. Map Cups  |  17. Watch

Special notes:

1. Bonobos Button Up Tops - Bonobos slim-fit tops fit him PERFECTLY.  Usually Banana Republic "works" for him, but Bonobos is slightly more fitted, making it an absolute perfect fit.  

5. Water Bottle - Have I talked about this in every gift guide so far?  Haha.  Cuz it's THE BEST.  We've sold all our friends on these because they keep water cold up to 24 hours and hot up to 6.  

6. Steel Cup - After loving the water bottles for so long, Benson "splurged" on this cup.  I guess it's supposed to be for beer to keep every last sip perfectly cold, but Benson uses it for both cold and hot water.  He's said over and over, "It's kiiiind of expensive for a cup, but I'm not sad that I got it AT ALL."  

8. Massager -  In the last 2 months we've given it to 3 guys and man, you should see the sigh of relaxation and contentment they let out when they use this thing.  Our most recent recipient said, "I'm taking this to every single meeting ever from now on!"  It helps get out knots in harder to reach places, and I like that I can massage myself because at some point I feel bad asking people for massages!  

9. iPhone Charging Stand - This is not a "WOW!" kind of gift, but Benson has one on his desk and we have one in the kitchen for when we're in the common area and for guests to use when they come over.  For some reason it gets a lot of compliments once people actually use it!  While it's not terribly hard to plug your phone into a normal cable, there's something really nice about just plopping your phone on top of this stand to charge, and also how it holds it upright so you can see any text or notification without having to reach for your phone.  It's one of those, "it's the little things that make it nice to have" kind of items.  

10. Black SOFT Jeans - These are Old Navy!  They are extremely soft and stretchy.  Even though they're for men I tried them on just to see what my husband was talking about.  They feel like a pair of Paige Denim that I own that retails for $180, except these cost way, way, WAYYY less and are for men.  Our friend immediately went and tried them after seeing them on Benson, and he loved the stretch.  They were just too slim for his taste!  There's a less slim pair that Benson also got in grey HERE, and while he says those are also stretchy, the black pair I linked takes the cake.  But they were both good enough for him to keep!

11. Speaker - Did you see that it's WATERPROOF?  Whaaaat?  The product video shows this speaker clipped onto people's belts or swimsuits as they jump into the ocean with it!  It's also wireless and portable for everyday use!  Comes in 4 colors.

13. Layering Tee - Both Benson and I swear by these.  We wear them when it's really cold, and they are usually lower cut in the neck with slim fitting waists and shorter sleeves so that you can't see them peeking out at the neck or sleeves or waist under your normal clothes.  They're thin and keep you warm, but also have wicking material to keep you from being sweaty.  And they're nice to your wallet!

14, 15, 16.  Map Stuff - Benson really likes map prints like these for some reason.  Option 14 is a map of the city of your choice whereas Option 15 is a design of popular neighborhoods in a city.  You can get them on pint, whiskey, and wine glasses for a unique, but really useful gift.

17. Watch - If you want to get a watch for a guy but don't know how to start or what to consider for the, try a guide I wrote a while back called How to Choose the Perfect Watch for a Guy HERE.  The one I showed above transcends from casual to office to dressy casual looks, and that brand is a great place to start!

Any other suggestions for things guys in your life LOOOOVE?

Other holiday gift guides include:

Upcoming gift guides will be one about Benson's and my favorites and one about practical gifts for your stylish friends.  

Friday, December 2, 2016

Style 101: The Completer Piece

Since the weather's right for layering, it's the perfect time to talk about one section of a wardrobe that makes it super easy to look put together: completer pieces!

I mentioned them in Part 4 of the Building a Remixable wardrobe Series (HERE) and since then have only mentioned them here and there through out the blog.  It's been a while since I've explicitly posted about them and I've been getting asked about them by some new faces around here.  So, here is all you need to know about completer pieces!

What They Are and Why They're Awesome
Completer pieces are things like blazers, cardigans, vests, and other jackets like denim, bomber, moto, or utility jackets that you can layer over a top or sweater.  Besides keeping you warmer thanks to the extra layer, completer pieces do what their name says--they complete an outfit!  I find they do so for a couple of different reasons.  First, the extra layer provides more visual interest.  Second, often a piece like a blazer, vest, or jacket will provide structure to an outfit which helps pull everything together.  

They Define Your Outfit
Completer pieces can also define your overall outfit, taking two basic pieces like a t-shirt and jeans and making them appropriate either for a night out or for chasing small kids, depending on which completer piece you choose.  For example: 
How blazers, cardigans, and jackets complete an outfit

Above I'm wearing a striped t-shirt with jeans.  If you throw on a cozy cardigan and booties, you have a casual, laid back outfit for hanging out with friends.  If you throw on a blazer and pumps, you'll have a shaper, dressier looking outfit.  With my utility jacket and sneakers, I'm in one of my go-to mom outfits for keeping up with my toddler.  The base is the same--a tee and jeans--but the completer pieces (in addition to shoes and accessories) play a large part in defining the outfit.  Isn't it amazing?  And soooo simple!  

If you want to pull together your outfit, throw on a cardigan, a blazer, a vest, or a jacket!  There are a lot of different kinds of completer pieces, but if you're looking to build this section of your closet, here are my favorites and why.

Cardigans - I find these to be the most comfortable because they are flexible and soft.  You can wear thinner cardigans, more fitted ones, cropped ones, or oversized ones like the one above which are the ones I've been preferring lately!  I used to only have a black and a grey cardigan, but then I realized how different colored cardigans totally change up your outfit!  

One note: Because cardigans are softer and sometimes more drapey, sometimes they can drag down an outfit.  If you're still feeling unpolished, even in a casual outfit, try adding something with a "harder" texture, like a belt, leather or suede shoes, a leather banded watch, or even a small simple pendant necklace like the one I'm wearing in the picture above. Even a tiny thing like the pendant necklace can go a long, long way.  

Below are a few different cardigans that I love:
Links to Shop:
one  |  two  |  three
four  |  five  |  six  |  seven

Ways I've worn cardigans here:
Mustard Cardigan HERE  //  Maroon Cardigan HERE  //  Grey Cardigan HERE  //  Tan Cardigan HERE

Blazers - Did you know there are a lot of different types of blazers?  Maybe that sounds like a dumb questions, but there was a point where I had absolutely no idea that blazers didn't all have to be super professional looking.  There are very professional ones that are part of suits.  There are twill ones that can be worn in business casual settings or for a night out.  And then there are ponte or knit blazers that are suuuuuper soft, feel like sweatshirts, and can provide you the same polish of a sharp blazer but be flexible enough for you to chase a kid around in.  YEAH.  I had no idea until a few years ago!

Blazers are the easiest way to sharpen up an outfit or help you look a little more sophisticated, professional, or pulled together--even the soft, sweatshirt-like ones!  

Below are different examples of blazers:
Links to Shop:
one  |  two  |  three
four  |  five  |  six

Ways I've worn my blazers here: 
Navy Blazer HERE  //  Grey Blazer HERE  //  Black Blazer HERE  //  Grey White Striped Knit Blazer HERE.

Vests - I used to think vests were pointless because they didn't keep your arms warm.  I was sooooo wrong!  Turns out they're perfect for a warmer climate like San Diego, where I live.  It also turns out you can wear them over sweaters which are thicker than a normal shirt, so my arms are still warm.  It also turns out that they're just darn cute!

In the spring and summer you can wear a utility vest which is thinner.  In the fall and winter (though, maybe not harsh winter areas!) I loooooove puffer vests!  Old Navy has one that I'm in love with that comes in several colors, and it's often on sale between $15-$22.  J.Crew Factory also has one that I just added to my wardrobe that I am also already in love with, though it is more expensive.  (Wait for it to be on sale between 40%-60% off!)  Both the Old Navy and J.Crew Factory puffer vests are thick without being super bulky, they are flattering for despite being a puffer vest, and the Old Navy has fleece lining on the inside and inside the pockets and the J.Crew Factory has beautiful quilted detailing.  See them below:
Links to Shop:
one  |  two  |  three  |  four

Ways I've worn my vests here: 
Black Vest HERE  //  Navy Vest HERE  //  White Vest HERE  //  Utility Vest HERE

Utility Jacket - I talk about this a whole bunch, but I just can't imagine my life without one.  I know that sounds dramatic, but it's probably the completer piece I choose most often.  Olive, surprisingly, goes with everything.  When I need a light layer and nothing else really works, usually this one does.  Also, it provides a tiny bit of structure, so if the pieces I'm wearing need that, this fits the bill.  Not to mention it's the best choice for mom life.  It has huge pockets for storing all that crap you need to carry when you're with kids (or maybe that's just my child?  haha) and they're usually pretty durable against dirt or sticky fingers!

I've been asked a ton if I could actually wear one all day, like I would a cardigan or blazer.  The answer is YES, absolutely, but it depends on how soft your utility jacket is.  Some are very stiff or thick and heavy, and I probably wouldn't wear one of those all day.  The one I have is moldable, lightweight, and fairly soft, so when I wear it I typically do wear it all day, even indoors.  After having that one for a couple of years, this past year I found one that's even softer!  Like sooooo soft.  Didn't know they even came that soft!  Anyway, just something to consider if you're looking into one.
Links to Shop:
one  |  two  |  three

Ways I've worn my utility jacket HERE.

Moto Jacket - Lastly, I have a couple of faux leather jackets that make outfits instantly cool and chic.  I grab one of these most often when I need to dress anything up with a cool factor for a night out, whether that's a plain t-shirt and jeans or a lace dress at a wedding!

My jackets are super old from Forever 21 and Shein, and I need to replace them but I've been having a hard time finding good affordable options.  Below are some that people have liked, and I've tried a couple but they are too broad in the shoulders for me.  They could work out for you though since lots of other people like them.

Links to Shop:
one  |  two
three  |  four

Ways I've worn the tan moto jacket HERE.  Black moto jacket outfits HERE.

Please let me know if you have questions about completer pieces, and I'll do my best to answer them!

If you like this post, stay tuned...
Also, if you like posts like these that are more directive and lay out style help and outfits in a plain and simple way, stay tuned for an upcoming Style Challenge program that I'll be launching shortly!  If you register for the Style Challenge you'll get a guide to build a winter capsule wardrobe, 45 days of outfits with those pieces (!!), and you'll get to do it with a community of other women who opted into the same style adventure!  Oh!  Plus, there will be weekly giveaways to my favorite stores like Nordstrom, Old Navy, ModCloth, and LOFT for anyone who registers for the challenge.

Basically, if you've wanted more hands-on style direction, if you've wanted someone to tell you what to wear each day, if you've wanted someone to curate your wardrobe for you, if you've wanted someone to put together outfits for you, DEFINITELY consider this Style Challenge and look out for more details about it in the next couple of weeks!  

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