March 31, 2014

April Workwear Edit: Khaki Pants (And an Exclusive Bradamant Discount of 40% Off)

A reader emailed sometime last year, wondering if I ever wore plain black pants or khakis.  My initial thought was, "why on earth would I do that?" and then I set the email aside and the whole thing got lost in the shuffle so to speak.  But as I was cleaning out my closet recently, lo and behold was a pair of plain 'ol khaki pants.  They aren't skinny, they aren't patterned, they don't have moto details….they're just…..khaki pants.  "Chinos" if we want to sound like old people.  

Hunh.

As I recall, I bought the pants when I went back to work after Raines was born.  I bought them because I couldn't come up with an easier, cheaper option for someone still in-between sizes in a work environment whose "business casual" decree outlawed denim. 

But you know what?  I liked them OK then, and I like them OK now.  The key (for me, at least) is to pair them with something professional, polished….and a little bit quirky.  A bow blouse and interesting (yet closed-toe) shoes nails it.

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Here are a few ideas for playing around with this combo:

Work the Monochrome

Khaki pants and bow blouses are perfect alone, but I really like adding in a sweater in the same tone as the pants.  Not only does it make you look taller and slimmer, but it pulls together the look and really makes the bow pop.  So French-girl chic.

ps.  I'm wearing Everlane's seed stitch sweater, which is a perfect hybrid of sweater/sweatshirt.  Thin, drapey, and affordable.  I've been wearing this unassuming little piece to death.

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wearing:

bow blouse: c/o Bradamant Bodysuit The Mogul, $120

sweater: c/o Everlane Seed Stitch Raglan in birch, $60 

belt: Coach (old)…almost exact replica at Gap, $35

khakis: Gap (old)….Iove their new tux stripe khakis, $55….or the skinny cropped ones.

pumps: Aerosoles (old)…love this Cole Haan version now 60% off at Nordstrom

lipstickTarte Power Pigment in fearless, $24

 

Add a Jacket

At my Engineering firm, denim jackets were accepted (meaning I wore them and no one said anything?), but if your office is more conservative, swap the denim jacket for a blazer.  Buttoning a few buttons draws attention to the fabulous bow. 

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wearing:

bow blouse: c/o Bradamant Bodysuit The Mogul, $120

jacket: Joe's Jeans (old)….currently loving Gap's

belt: Coach (old)…almost exact replica at Gap, $35

khakis: Gap (old)….Iove their new tux stripe khakis, $55….or the skinny cropped ones.

heels: Shoemint (now sold out)….or try the similar Laney pump by Joe's ($135)

lipstick: Tarte Power Pigment in fearless, $24

 

Swap Out The Bow For a Man's Tie

This is such a masculine look….but the silky blouse and pointy-toe heels make it sexy, rather than mannish. ("Sexy" in a totally office-appropriate way, of course.)

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wearing:

bow blouse: c/o Bradamant Bodysuit The Mogul, $120

tie: borrowed from Mike (it's this one from J.Crew)

belt: JCrew (old)…but I'm dying over this reversible cork belt

khakis: Gap (old)….Iove their new tux stripe khakis, $55….or the skinny cropped ones.

heels: Pixie Market Erin Wrap Heels, $134

lipstick:  Poppy King for J.Crew 

 

When In Doubt, Add A Striped Tee

The most casual of the outfits, but still meets dress code!  If men can wear those horrible company logo polo shirts (gack), then I can wear my stripes.  With a darker lips and a cool shoe, the vibe here is decidedly gamine.

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wearing:

bow blouse: c/o Bradamant Bodysuit The Mogul, $120

tee: St. James….similar at Boden

belt: Coach (old)…almost exact replica at Gap, $35

khakis: Gap (old)….Iove their new tux stripe khakis, $55….or the skinny cropped ones.

heelsShoemint (now sold out)….or try the similar Laney pump by Joe's ($135)

lipstick: Poppy King for J.Crew

 

Ok, now for the best part:  My bow blouse is actually a Bradamant bodysuit called The Mogul.  And the amazing crew over at Bradamant is currently offering ANMJ readers an exclusive:  a whopping 40% off of their entire purchase with code ANMJ!  But it lasts only as long as April Fool's….the code expires on the 2nd.  

My favorites (in addition to the bow blouse) are The Adventurer ($100) with it's sleek leather detail, the silky one-shouldered Provocateur ($100), and The Hostess ($60) which you can see me wearing here.  

And then there's the Visionary.

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Rather sexy, no?

Happy Shopping!

xo,

S

 

 

13 Comments
  • Susan Wilson
    March 31, 2014

    First: Shana, with your adorable current pixie and precious smile, you’re the definition of gamine.
    Second : I adore those bodysuits, but as a hippy, 10-months post-partum, size 14, I’m always looking for blousy shirts that cover the hips and I NEVER, EVER tuck. How would you recommend wearing these (if at all) on a curvy body??

  • Cath
    April 1, 2014

    Love your adorable Jean Seberg crop and the poppy lipstick! Thanks for noting where it was from, I totally would have asked. :)

  • DontBlameTheKids
    April 1, 2014

    I love that bow so much I’m not sure it’s healthy. For the first time ever, I actually wish I could wear khakis to the office.

  • Tanaya Mankad
    April 1, 2014

    All completely adorable, as always.
    How is it that a sweater that you wear “to death” shows absolutely no pilling?!? What’s your secret?

  • Maggie
    April 1, 2014

    Yes!! Also, what size is yours, S? And do you wash it? Trying to judge whether it’s long enough to start and will stay that way if washed. Thanks!

  • kirsten
    April 1, 2014

    Thanks, S. I’m thinking the the last pic is you showing off your sweet new boobs!!! Lookin good, yo!!

  • Shana
    April 2, 2014

    I’m wearing an XS. And, to be honest here…..I’m not a big washer. (cringe) I’m more of a hang-and-air-it-out kinda girl. So it has to get pretty dirty before I wash it. This particular sweater is 85% cotton, and 15% cashmere, so even when I wash it, I won’t be putting it in the dryer. (But yeah – it’s really resisted pilling so far. And a few cold nights I actually wore it to bed. (by accident, but, you know how that goes.)

  • Shana
    April 2, 2014

    ME TOO! I’m bow-crazy!

  • Shana
    April 2, 2014

    Thank you, Cath. :)

  • Shana
    April 2, 2014

    Let me ask Tamar (the designer). She works with these concerns everyday. I’m inclined to think that pairing one of these with the right kind of bottom would be crucial. Are you more worried about hips or post-partum pooch?

  • Belinda
    April 2, 2014

    Shanna
    The code doesn’t work today ?
    Help

  • Lindsay
    April 3, 2014

    So…might you someday take on the black pants part of the challenge? I never wear them outside of work, but for work wear I cannot seem to get away from them!

  • tamar
    April 5, 2014

    Hi Susan, sorry just seeing your comment now. I always encourage my ladies to try a tuck. A structured pencil skirt might give you the support you need to accentuate the curves while diminishing the wiggles. I would start with a pencil skirts with a waistband that hits in line with your belly button for a first tuck.. Then you can take it from there :) Happy to discuss further, and of course we have a friendly return policy and free shipping both ways, so you can always give it a try.

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