February 18, 2016

LOFT Dressing Room Selfies – Work Wear Edition

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A new contributor? Nope, it’s me, Amanda! (yay…?) Some of you have been asking for work wear ideas, so I braved the camera and tried on a bunch of new arrivals at Loft. Postpartum mamas headed back to work, this one’s for you, too! Most of the tops and jackets I’m wearing conceal mum tums with a flowy plus structured formula. Overall there were some really great pieces and a few misses – I’ll give you details on fit, cut, quality and my absolute favorite piece that makes you look taller and slimmer and instantly put together. Bonus – most of these are on sale for 40% off right now!

Note: It might not look like it, but I swear I was having fun! It was really ridiculously hard for me to figure out where to position the phone to capture the neckline area so I was concentrating on the shot, not mah face – if you can’t tell, I’m a virgin dressing room selfie snapper. Also, wee case of resting b face (b for business?)

Also – this post isn’t sponsored, it’s just me and my opinions of Loft’s work wear.

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November 18, 2014

Reader Q: How To Wear Flares With Flats

I received this awesome question from Leslie:

Hi Shana, I am a long time reader of your blog and I love how you are encouraging moms to be stylish in ways that work for our lifestyle. I am taking your Fall Edit to heart and looking for some interesting jeans and am particularly drawn to flares…I love my skinnies but am ready for a break! But I am having the hardest time figuring out what shoes to wear them! Everyone styles flares with heels, which I love, but this momma needs the practicality of flats for everyday life (parks, play dates, Target runs…). Any styling tips?

Thanks so much!
Leslie

 

Leslie, I HEAR YA.  My biggest problem with flares is that they look so much better with heels.  Like, no contest, heels win hands-down.  But like you, I’m most often in flats.  So I took this styling challenge to heart to see if I could figure out a chic way to wear flats and flares.  After an embarrassing amount of tries over many weeks, I think I came up with something worth hemming for.

(And only one pair of flares were harmed in the process. RIP, Seafarer flares.  Thank goodness you were bought on sale for a mere fraction of your usual cost else I would’ve lost my mind.  #allinthenameofresearch)


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October 23, 2014

Your Closet Called. It Said It Needs These Faux-Leather Jeans – Sponsored Post

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Nordstrom asked if I’d like to take a look at their latest selection of denim. [snort]  Little do they know that I’m ALWAYS looking at their latest selection of denim.  BWAH HA HA-

Anyway.  There are few things in life that get my heart beating faster than denim.  Denim is my currency.  (And I still do that trick my friend Amber taught me:  “I could buy that shirt….but it costs half a jean.  Hmmmmm…..”)

So.  After pouring over pages and pages and pages of denim (seriously, Nordie’s selection is pretty staggering), there was one pair I couldn’t get out of my head.  Not my typical choice, brown(??), but the faux leather and the zipper details….well.  So I ordered them.

Holy Mary Mother of G– these are comfortable.   Here is my ode to the brown faux-leather:

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June 2, 2014

TEAM FANNY PACK! (Oh yes I did just go there)

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GO TEAM!  

Fanny packs, Mamas.  I'm totally in.  I tested them out for reader Melissa, and the whole hands-free thing is life-changing.  I forgot how good it was, Mamas.  Hands-free is so, so good. 

It all started with Melissa's email:

I’m a long time reader and huge fan of your blog. I value your opinion in all things fashion, and especially appreciate your high and low price point options. I’ve used the price-per-wear argument many times with my husband! I’m 37 with 3 kids (ages 9, 7 & 4).

Summertime and festival season is fast approaching. Thankfully, our family no longer requires a diaper bag or loads of emergency snacks when we hit the town. But, I always need my keys, phone and some money. I hate stuffing all that in my pockets, so what are my most unobtrusive options? Last weekend, I stuffed it all in my trusty butt pack and was ready to go. However, my ultra-hip 9 year-old strongly disapproved (photo attached—I love how the Despicable Me band-aid reminds us she is not a teenager J). Can you suggest anything for this situation? I’m imagining something like a leather belt with a small purse attached—but not something that looks like the holster the workers at beauty counters wear for their makeup brush collection.

Thanks so much for your input!

– Melissa

Downwithfannypacks

 

 

Ok so first of all, I need to copy your nine-year-old's exact outfit.  

Secondly….thanks for including a pic.  It helped me narrow down the whole what works/what doesn't pretty quickly.  I think fanny packs can work, but it has to be in one of the two following combinations:

Super chic fanny pack + casual outfit

or

Casual fanny pack + super chic outfit

 

For the purposes of testing out the fanny, I picked up Herschel Supply Co's canvas fanny pack because A. it's $25 and B. dressing around a casual fanny pack is the harder of the two. 

 

Tip 1:  Wear Your Fanny Slung Low on the Hips

I think this goes without saying, but casual fanny packs should be slung low like a tool belt, rather than around your waist like an actual belt.  (If you do opt for the seriously fancy fanny packs, they can be worn higher up, but should still stay an inch or so below the snap on your jeans.)

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wearing:

shirt: Madewell Linen Folktale Blouse

jeans: old AG…try Acquaverde's Patched Skinny Jean

shoes: old Shoemint…similar sandals by Rebels

sunnies: Ray-Ban folding wayfarers

On Raines: Geofox pants and tee, saltwater surf sandals

On Pax: Tribe is Alive tank, FabKids pants, saltwater surf sandals….I like Nordstrom for kid's sunglasses

 

Tip 2:  Keep The Rest of Your Outfit Chic

The key to making your fanny look ironic rather than sad is to make sure that the rest of your outfit looks intentional.  Wear a pretty shirt, bust out your big girl lipstick, wear glam sunnies.  

   

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Tip 3:  Show Some Skin

Whether it's your arms, boobs, or a little bit of hip….adding some sex appeal really helps to style the fanny.  (And it'll make a believer out of your husband.)

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wearing:

tank: old Sunner…try Bailey 44's Mesh-Back Top (check out the back) or their fully cropped version if you dare

sweater: old Qi Cashmere – they make really cool, unusual cashmere sweaters like this one.

jeans: old AG…try Acquaverde's Patched Skinny Jean

accessories: Ray-Ban folding wayfarers, Chan Luu wrap bracelet

 

Tip 4 – Use a Fanny Pack to Belt a Dress 

You'll have to play around with this one – depending on the dress, you may need to violate the whole "wear fannys slung low" tip….but it can work.

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wearing:

dress: old DVF…but I'm DYING over this strapless minidress…or try Old Navy's basic strapless mini

shoes: old….but I'm seriously considering these Dolce Vita flat sandals with the cool beading

accessories: Gorjana Taner collar necklaceRay-Ban folding wayfarersChan Luu wrap bracelet

On Raines: Geofox Good Vibes Tee, FabKids shortssaltwater surf sandals

On Pax: Geofox Sunshine and Daydreams tee, Nico Nico dot surf shorts, saltwater surf sandals, old Atomic kid's pack….Osprey's Zip 25 is a similar size

 

 

 

Tip 5:  If Nothing Else, Wear Chic Shoes

This really should be my life mantra.  

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wearing:

shirt: French Connection (sold out)…try this French Connection top

shorts: A&F…try 

shoes: old Shoemint…also love Everlane's simple sandals

accessories: see above

On Raines: see above

On Pax: see above

(Notice that my kids wear the same stuff everyday?  They'd go weeks if I let them.)

 

 

Melissa, I suspect that if you swing your fanny pack around, let it ride a little lower on your hips, then swap out your sneaks for chic flat sandals…even your nine year old will approve.  

Ok you guys – let me have it: Are you still hating the fanny pack?  Actually, the new term is "belt bag", which make us Team Belt Bag.  Does that help?

GO TEAM.

xo,

S

 

 

 

 

April 29, 2014

Street Style: The Coolest Everyday Outfits From The Gals of Freda Salvador

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At the Reward Style conference, I was so pleased to meet Megan, Cris, and Hillary of Freda Salvador.  Freda Salvador is a small footwear company based in San Fran (you're looking at the entire company right here) who uses a family-owned factory in Spain to produce their line of cool, edgy, and, to quote Megan, "infinitely walkable" shoes and boots.

That's a big statement, infinitely walkable.  So as cute young bloggers teetered around us on their impossibly high heels, I fixed her with a skeptical look.  "No really!" Megan laughed.  "I'm a mom – I totally get it!"  

So we bonded – they were all great fun.  And I will say this:  The shoe leather is very soft.  

In addition to their shoes (which I did cross the conference room to ask about – I mean seriously, white oxfords, black laces?  I'm drooling) they were each(!!) wearing an outfit worth copying.  Love when I see a perfect mix of comfort and edge.  And y'all – I learned that in Dallas –  know how my heart beats fast whenever destroyed denim or camo is involved.

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On Cris:

(BTW, there's a baby bump underneath her chambray shirt)

headscarf: vintage Gucci….I'd probably try this Turban Headband at Anthropologie since I can't tie anything

shirt: MiH Simple Shirt in Chambray

necklace: Pamela Love Dagger Rosary

denim: Citizens of Humanity Maternity Skinny Jeans

shoes: Freda Salvador White Oxford with Cut-Outs

 

On Hillary:

glasses: Oliver Peoples

necklace: old…try Bauble Bar's black beaded necklace

jacket: Wilfred Free Rayder Jacket at Aritzia

top: from Planet Blue (now gone)…try Gap's Fitted Floral Shirt

denim: from Urban (gone)…try One Teaspoon's Freebird Skinny Jean (destroyed)

shoesFreda Salvador White Oxford with Cut-Outs

 

On Megan:

top: Madewell (gone).. try the  Lace Collage Tee at Anthropologie

necklace: J.Crew (gone)…try Bauble Bar's Crystal Feather Bib Necklace

pants: Sanctuary Camo pants (gone)…try Current/Elliott's Army Buddy Camo Pants…or maybe even these camo pants at LOFT?

denim top (wrapped around waist): Madewell Denim Shirt

shoes: Freda Salavador Ivory Snake Sandal

 

 

Megan, Cris and Hillary – so nice meeting you, and thank you again for being such good sports!

xoxo,

S

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

 

 

March 12, 2014

Make Your Legs Look Longer While Wearing Flats – Part 3

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Here we go…the last part of the series on leg-lengthening while wearing flats.  You can find a list of key pieces, as well as other styling tips in Part 1 and Part 2.

Today?  Let's talk about my most unexpected find:  Over-the-knee flat boots.  

Over-the-knee boots help to create a long, lean line…making your legs look longer.  The key is getting the proportions right.  I wouldn't worry so much about how high they come up your leg….the trick is to pair your over-the-knee boots with tops (or skirts) that still show off at least 2-3 inches of leg.   Let's get into it, shall we?

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March 10, 2014

How To Make Your Legs Look Longer While Wearing Flats – Part 2

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In Part 1 of this series, we talked about the key wardrobe pieces for leg lengthening, and did a little fashion math involving sneakers.  Today I want to focus on the leg-lengthening miracle flat: the nude ballet.

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March 7, 2014

Six Free People Beach Tops, Perfect For Mamas (Pooch Hiding and/or Nursing, Too)

As promised, here are my favs….

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1. Breezy Tunic, $68

The whole over-sized shapeless dress thing is so hard to get right.  Despite the obviously fabulous pooch-hiding abilities, these dress/top hybrids are often unflattering everywhere else.  The one?  NAILS IT.  The fabric is gauzy and sheer (so it's a little sexy – especially in the nude color), and it has a tie-back waist so you can reign in the volume.  

2. Lakeside Cami, $68

This is Free People's current version of my hardest working post-partum top.  Would be perfect over a nursing cami (or shaper cami) for new mamas.  It's a surprisingly silhouette:  I love mine over flare denim, cut-offs, maxi skirts, and long slim shorts.

3. LA Livin Shine On Tank, $58

This is the least embellished one of the bunch, but the gorgeous colors (sea green or peach) and stunning swing back make it seriously special.  (The model in the peach one makes me want to wear this cage-back bra instead of a black bikini top.)

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4. Outskirts Lace Cami, $48

A perfect little wisp of a thing for distracting from a slight tummy.  

5. Pintuck Crochet Button-Down, $118

I don't typically do sleeves on the beach, but I'd make an exception for this one.  Love how this looks like pretty little vintage blouse.  Equally good with destroyed denim for everyday or menswear trousers for an unexpected work look.  

6.  Work Wearin It Tank, $98

Love the combo of stripes, crochet and….rope?  I'd pair this top with light pink lipstick and a baseball hat. Crazy good for hiding a stomach pooch, and the back is stunning.  (Smaller busted nursing mamas would probably be able to pull down this top if you really, really wanted to.)

 

Happy Weekend!

xo,

S