Wednesday, July 27, 2016

The Easiest Top

black blazer outfit
white jeans business casual outfit
black blazer + white jeans + tan accessories

Just looking at this outfit as we are going through the middle of a heatwave makes me sweat!  But then again, in the middle of a heatwave it's hard not to sweat.  I wore this outfit for a presentation I did last month when I was in Madison.  Truth be told, since I was wearing jeans I would have preferred a closed toed shoe just to make the jeans a little more professional.  But, I didn't want to pack another pair of shoes that I was only going to use for that one day, and I knew no one would really care.  And they didn't!  

I've done a remix in the past with this top HERE.  I liked the top a lot when I first got it, but the longer I've had it, the more I like it!  It's really loose and easy, but because of its material it can be dressed up a little.  It's effortless to wear, and it's one of those basic building blocks in my closet that I would be really surprised if I didn't like it years from now.  I reach for it whenever I don't want to think about what to wear but need to wear "real" clothes, haha.  

For this outfit I lightened it up with white jeans and tan accessories.  That's one of my favorite color pairings to lighten up black.  But, come fall, this will be great with maroon or grey pants and a large statement necklace.  Easy peasy.

And BTW, it's currently 50% off and under $20 HERE!

Shop for the Look:
Top: Nordstrom (exact--on sale; wearing small)
Blazer: Old Navy (similar)
Jeans: Old Navy (almost exact)
Shoes: Old Navy (similar)
Necklace: Nordstrom
Watch: c/o Daniel Wellington (exact)
Bag: Nordstrom (exact)

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Fun Business Casual Clothes

Quite a few of you have expressed interest in talking about business casual looks here, and while my lifestyle and job have gotten increasingly casual I've been giving it a go!  While I don't have to dress business casual very often, I have been working on that section of my closet.

Last week I posted some recs for great biz-cas basics, also showing one of those tops styled 4 ways for work (HERE).  Today we will be talking about mixing in some more fun pieces!

I've noticed that on the rare occasion that I've needed to dress business casual, I didn't love doing it.  I realized it's because the few business casual pieces I have just didn't seem that fun.  In building my wardrobe I like to have a good foundation of basics and staples, and then I add a few colorful statement pieces to create a unique and fun wardrobe.  The latter was missing in the tiny business casual section of my wardrobe--I only had basics.  And yeah, that was understandably boring!

Recently ModCloth asked if I'd be up for featuring some of their many workwear pieces, and I was so excited about it!  I've always loved ModCloth for their many, MANY unique, colorful, and non-traditional pieces with adorable prints.  When they mentioned workwear, I was like, "OMG, duh.  Why didn't I think of looking there for business casual clothes?"  I've been so ready to add some life to that section of my wardrobe, and ModCloth is the perfect place to do that!

(BTW, when I mention "business causal" I'm talking about that as distinct from "business professional."  I'm working from the general comparison HERE, though of course it's not exhaustive.  Find similar pins with even more categories on my Stylist Pinterest Board.)

ModCloth curated a selection of cute work clothes which you can see HERE.  I absolutely loved how fun everything was!  My favorites are in this outfit:

Prior to adding fun pieces from ModCloth, the workwear basics I had were all neutrals, and mostly darker neutrals.  But you know me--I like having a little color and pattern in my life--and I love how this outfit came together!

Shop for the Look:
Top: c/o ModCloth (exact)
Cardigan: c/o ModCloth (exact)
Pants: c/o Modcloth (exact)
Shoes: H&M
Bag: Nordstrom
Watch: c/o Daniel Wellington

Here are more details on each of the pieces.  Or you can skip below to more of my picks.

Maroon Pants - Large (I'm normally 6/8)
The pants come in several colors including mustard yellow, deep teal, olive, navy, and black.  If I needed to expand my business casual wardrobe I'd consider the mustard and teal too.  In person this maroon pair is a little darker and more purple/dark red.  The product page HERE reflects the color better.  The waist and rise are a little higher, so beware of that if those don't usually work for you.  The fit is slim but not ultra skinny, which I know many of you prefer.  In the future I might take the hem up to make them more ankle length on me.  Find them HERE.

Floral Top - Medium (I'm normally S/M, often M/L at ModCloth)
This top--I'm in love with the print!  It's so pretty and can be worn with jeans--bootcut or skinny--for a night out or cute daytime look.  But I love it with colored trousers for business casual!  This top would also work with mustard or navy trousers, or could look more traditional with black.  It is somewhat sheer, though here I'm wearing a bra that matches my skin color and it seemed fine.  Find it HERE.

Cardigan - Medium
Instead of wearing a neutral cardigan, I went for teal!  I really feel like teal goes with a LOT of things, almost acting like a pseudo-neutral.  This cardigan is one of ModCloth's staples and is available in lots and lots of colors that vary depending on the season.  I often link to the mustard version of this cardigan (HERE), so I was glad to finally try it first-hand in teal.

It's very soft and is a little thicker than most other cardigans like this.  Overall I feel like it's pretty good quality, though I haven't washed it yet so I don't know how it holds up there.  But, given that these cardigans have been reviewed several thousand times (!) hopefully it washes fine.

I just love how these pieces will liven up the business casual basics I already have!  You can view all of ModCloth's curated workwear selection HERE or see the favorites I've narrowed it down to below.  (Sometimes the widgets below don't show up on phones and/or if you have ad blockers turned on.)





So fun!  Anyway, in the near future I'll compile a small business casual capsule wardrobe to combine basics and fun pieces.  Look out for that!

Huge thanks to ModCloth for partnering on this post!

Friday, July 22, 2016

Outfit Ideas Catalog for Best of NSale Staples + REVIEWS

Hooray!  The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale is open to everyone TODAY!  You can find all my past Nordstrom Anniversary Sale posts HERE, including my picks, reviews of many of the items, and outfits with some of them.  Though many items have already sold out, sometimes Nordstrom will restock them, so always check back every couple days or so.  

I tried on tons and tons of items and have been able to tell you what's worth trying out and what's not.  Today I've rounded up the highlights from the sale.  Click through the past reviews HERE to read more about each item.  Additionally, if I own a similar piece to that I linked to all the ways I've worn that item.  (BTW, the olive tunic I linked to isn't part of the sale.  I linked to one I like more.)  Some of you are building wardrobes and have mentioned that you've bought a lot but still don't know what to wear with them.  Hopefully this post gives you ample ideas for how you can use them!

Lastly, at the bottom are a few more reviews of some items I ordered online that I couldn't find in store.  

best pieces from Nordstrom Anniversary Sale

ROW 1:
OUTFITS //  Bootcut Jeans  |  Grey Jeans  |  Olive Jeans  |  Maroon Jeans  |  Black Jeans

ROW 2:
SHOP  //  Red Navy Plaid  |  Olive Blouse  |  Blush Blouse  |  Tan Jacket  |  Black Jacket
OUTFITS  //  Red Navy Plaid  |  Olive Blouse  |  Blush Blouse  |  Tan Jacket  |  Black Jacket

ROW 3:
OUTFITS  //  Tan Cardigan  |  Maroon Cardigan  |  Utility Jacket  |  Grey Blazer  |  Navy Blazer

OUTFITS // Black Trousers  |  Cobalt Top  |  Pencil Skirt  |  Floral White Black Blouse 


OUTFITS  //  Black Bucket Bag

Remember, you can read reviews of all the items for info on fit, sizing, and material HERE.  Now for even more reviews!

For sizing reference, I'm 5'6" with a shorter torso.  I'm normally S/M or 6/8 in clothing and 8.5-9 in shoes--usually 9.

Workout Leggings: Pair #1  |  Pair #2  |  Pair #3 - all Medium
Thousands of people have reviewed Zella leggings, so I was excited to give them a try during this sale.  I see why people love them!  They are really soft and smooth and all the pairs shown above were thick enough to not be see-through.  My only comparisons for workout leggings are Old Navy and Target, so I have no idea how Zella compares to higher end brands.  I always try but never buy Old Navy leggings because I find them somewhat itchy, but more importantly I feel like my legs can't breathe in whatever material they're using. I have a pair of Champion leggings from Target that I like.  But Zella leggings are still better than my Champion pair and definitely better than the Old Navy pairs.

I point that out because at NSale price, Zella leggings are comparable to Target or Old Navy pairs, but the material feels much better against your skin!  I would highly recommend trying these if you are at all interested in expanding your athletic wear.  

One note, though: I tried both the black full-length pair above and its crop counterpart (HERE) and found they fit smaller than the two printed crop leggings shown above.  The Medium fit me perfectly in the printed pairs, but I wouldn't keep either of the black pairs.  

These are quite cute and fairly comfortable.  There is a tiny bit of padding in the footbed.  The color is more of a mushroom greyish brown kind of thing rather than a sand or tan.  It goes a little too high up the ankle for me and doesn't look great with dresses.  (For reference of what I look for in ankle boots, see HERE.)  Otherwise, I think it's a good boot.  Really cute, has some nice texture to make it a little different, and decently comfortable.  However, I have not actually walked in them so I can't speak to how comfortable they really are.  

Tan Cardigan - Small
The tan seems to be the one selling out the quickest, but hopefully it gets restocked.  It's also available in 6 other colors: olive, grey, maroon, black, teal, and red.  

This is the same as the maroon cardigan I featured in the last review.  I really love this color, and while I have a tan one like this from Old Navy I need to replace it because it's pilling.  (Boo.)  It's not super duper thick, but I'm confident with a long sleeve shirt underneath it'll keep me warm in the fall.  I like that it doesn't feel heavy on me, like some other cozier cardigans do.  It's easy to wear for that reason, IMO.

I'm wearing small here, and even that is a little roomy on me.  This will go very well with a t-shirt and jeans like above, paired with a fall dress and booties, or over a button up shirt with jeans like THIS.  Shop the t-shirt HERE (wearing S).

These come in 6 colors, and I had been eyeing them back in the spring when I was looking for blush lace up flats.  I ended up not even trying these because they were pretty expensive at their original price.  I tried these in both maroon and tan, but I'm waiting for tan to arrive.  

It's slightly narrow for me, so I would have to wear them around the house more to see if they stretch out at all.  Otherwise, they're more or less what I expected them to be.  Not super duper comfortable or full of cushioning, but also not necessarily uncomfortable.  The part I actually didn't like much was how pointy the toe is.  Above I showed it in comparison to my blush pair from Amazon, and you can see how much shorter the point is.  Maybe I'll get used to it, or maybe it's better in tan for some reason.  Tons of people love this shoe, but I don't think it's for me.

Wit & Wisdom Grey Jeans - 6 (left above)
I was told that Wit & Wisdom isn't sold in store anymore and can only be purchased online--at least from my local store.  This is the same brand as the super stretchy yoga-like bootcut jeans that I've talked about (THESE) and have the same stretchy "technology."  Stretchy leg and elastic in the waistband.  However, the material didn't seem as soft as the bootcut pair.  Also the color seems to be more blueish than grey, which isn't exactly what I was looking for.  The stretchiness is really nice though!

Caslon Grey Jeans - 28 (right above)
This color was more grey than the pair above, though not really what it looks like on the product site (HERE).  As with the maroon jeans I mentioned in the last review these aren't as stretchy as I'd like them to be, particularly in the thighs.  But if your thighs don't have ongoing feuds with jeans, these would probably work for you.  :) 

In both pictures above I showed one leg rolled up if hemmed and one leg as is.  

I said before that I love this pair of boots.  They're decently comfortable and hold their shape, and the ankle doesn't sag like with some other boots.  I feel like for what you're getting they are a pretty good price.  I just wish the brown was more tan than brown!  But again, if you aren't picky about that then try these boots!

That's my list of favorites that I think are worth your attention, and again all reviews of those items can be found in my previous NSale posts HERE.   Let me know if there are other pieces you'd like to know about!  I may have tried them on or examined them in store.

What are you excited to grab today?  Anything you really wanted but is sold out already?  Best of luck! 

Thursday, July 21, 2016


blush top
how to wear a blush top

blush top outfit

Another outfit with this blush top?  Don't mind if I do.  I said in my last Instagram roundup post (HERE) that I loved this light and subdued palette--very different from my bold colors I've typically worn in the summer.  And really, I've mostly been loving neutrals and softer colors this summer, like this blush color.  Luckily I think the blush will actually transition well into the fall!

I've been wearing it with olive shorts this summer already, so I know it'll go well with olive skinny jeans in the fall.  I can also imagine it with maroon, grey, black, and even medium or dark purple.  It's actually quite versatile, which is mayyyybbbeee a bad realization because that might help me justify getting more blush items.  Oops!  Well, if I've convinced you too, here are some blush tops that are out right now.

Option 1 below is one of the shirts I reviewed in the last post HERE.  Currently on sale, but not part of the #NSale.  You don't need a Nordstrom card to get it.  If I didn't already have the top I'm wearing, I'd get that pink one.  Instead, I'm going to replace my very similar cobalt top.

Option 2 is the pink version of my favorite grey tee (see HERE, shop HERE).  And Option 3 is the same brand as the one I'm wearing and seems to be of similar material--the front is woven and the back is t-shirt like.

Links to Shop:
one  |  two  |  three
four  |  five  |  six

P.S. The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale will open up to everyone starting FRIDAY!  If you've been waiting to shop the sale, you can create a wish list on Nordstrom's site so that you can order first thing on Friday.  See all my NSale posts and recs HERE.

Shop for the Look:
Top: LOFT c/o thredUP (similar, similar)
Jeans: Old Navy (exact--size down 2 sizes.  I'm wearing 4, and normally 6/8)
Shoes: Nordstrom (exact)
Necklace: c/o Dear Mushka (exact)
Bag: Nordstrom (exact)

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