While I’ve never attended prep school, as a New Englander I’m no stranger to the occasional popped collar or monogrammed accessory. Preppy style just goes so naturally with this coastal area, like dropping “r”from the end of words and complaining about the weather. Windswept beaches and Hunter boots? Madras plaid and Cape Cod? Nude flats and…everything? All the yes.
But it’s too easy to go overboard and start looking like a Stepford wife in head-to-toe classics. So I started with ten essential preppy pieces and found updated versions with a twist or maybe a teeny bit of edge. Traditional can be a good thing, but shaking things up is refreshing – let’s give it the old college try, shall we?
Raise your hand if you hate gaping button down tops? Soannoying, right?
I love a good button down top, especially buttoned all the way up (like my bestie Nicole taught me). But. I have a wide rib cage. I know, the struggle, but seriously. I couldn’t wear all those cute(?) empire waist prom dresses in high school either and I’ve dealt with the dang button gape in button up shirts since.
Button down? Button up? I don’t know the proper term, but I’ve found a version of the shirts that work for me, are comfy and are everywhere right now. Yay! Shall we…
It’s always exciting to stumble upon an amazing online sale, and even better when you can share the excitement with others. Ann Taylor is currently in the middle of their massive Cyber Spring sale where every. single. item. is 50% off plus free shipping from now until Monday night but they are already going fast. Here are just a few of my favorites on offer:
I woke up one day and decided I finally had enough of dealing with the ever growing piles of cheap junk clothing I’ve accumulated from years of chronic impulse buying.
So, I made it one of my goals this year to work on becoming a more conscientious buyer; to be more thoughtful and deliberate with my clothing purchases. This is no easy task for me, I’ve always been more of an act now, suffer the consequences later kind of a person,but acknowledging that I have a problem is the first step to overcoming right?
Quality over quantity is my new motto. I am going to work really hard at simplifying and buying only the essentials: quality clothing items that are versatile, durable and timeless.
Which brings me to my new chambray denim blouse, the 1969 Chambray Western Shirt by Gap, $59.92. I never realized the true potential of this unassuming top. There are soooo many different ways to style it. Seriously, just go onto Pinterest and search ‘How to style a chambray top’ and there are literally hundreds of outfit ideas. Here are my five favorites – outfit combos that hit the right note of ease and modernity:
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.
In college, I wore a navy pencil skirt to all of my job interviews. My parents had bought me a conservative navy suit from JCrew (“it’s the most professional color, honey”) and I remember feeling very grown up. Plus, it was the late 90’s, I had a math degree, and the dot-com boom was in full swing. Basically, if you could breathe, you got a job.
Me? I’d been breathing my whole life. #nailedit
This is all to say that most of us, at least those who have worked in an office environment, probably have a navy skirt lurking around somewhere. Navy skirts (especially pencil skirts) are a perfect summer office staple: pair with nude pumps, add some sort of silky blouse….done. Chic and professional and even a little sexy.
But what the heck do you do with your navy skirt in the winter? Tall boots? Sure. *IF* your pencil skirt hits right at the knee or above, tall boots (which hit below the knee) could work. But most pencil skirts fall right where tall boots end and the two end up in some sort of day-long war, both fighting for position.
So when it’s cold, we’re left with….tights. But what color – navy? NO. Cream or white? Probs not. You could maaaaybe get away with an oxblood tight or forest green or something, but then you run the risk of becoming The Girl With The ColorFul Legs and as choices go, in a conservative office environment, that one might be best described as Career Limiting.
It all comes down to the black tights.
Black and navy is one of my favorite color combinations, but it can be tricky. The key is to make the look intentional. Here are three ways to style a navy pencil skirt with black tights for the office….using pieces you might already have.
We spent a week in NYC last month – the whole fam. Mike had a conference to attend, so myself and the boys tagged along.
It was no hardship.
We rented an apartment near a park, and spent our days exploring, just the three of us. I had a ton of tips from my Instagram buddies about where to bring the boys (thank you thank you thank you!!) and the whole week was a good reboot for all of us. (I’ll share the where-to-go tips in another article – they’re too good to miss.)
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:
My friend Shannon recently remarked that her favorite date nights always tend to be the spontaneous ones, the ones were you roll down to the corner dive in your sweats because there’s no food in the house and then one laugh leads to another and suddenly you find yourself Partying, with a capital P, in the manner of rockstars. High-five, us!
Shannon, obviously, doesn’t have kids. Our date nights require a little more advanced planning these days (unless we’re using the ipod-at-the-restaurant babysitter, which is great for dinner but eventually puts a damper on Partying), but the spontaneity and casual nature she describes is right up our alley. We work too much and are (frankly) to damn tired to always be Going Out All Fancy, and my pretty-pretty dresses aren’t typically part of our usual date-night rotation.
(all photography by Vafa-Coffman Photography – a seriously talented husband-and-wife team who splits time between Michigan and San Diego )
Sole Society asked me to take a peek at their latest footwear line. If you haven’t heard of Sole Society, they’re an online retailer of on-trend shoes, bags, and accessories at affordable prices. I was pumped to find a few different iterations of my latest boot obsession: the short, flat, gray-ish/greenish/dishwater-blondish boot (aka taupe).
I love throwing on boots with my summer standards (Hello, cut-offs) as a way of easing visually into Fall. For this purpose, short boots work best. And besides, there’s just something so cool about short boots + bare legs, you know? It has a relaxed, end-of-summer vibe that I dig. (And the oh-so-soft-suede that won’t rub annoyingly on my legs is much appreciated, Sole Society. Keep it up.)
Even better, taupe boots will pair just as nicely with black pants as they do with denim. Taupe. The neutral of all neutrals.
If you’re interested, Sole Society has a bunch of seriously cool, everyday boots in taupe. Now….my definition of taupe is pretty loose. Sometimes taupe is a bit green (like the pair I’m wearing), sometimes it’s gray. And sometimes taupe skews a bit warm….almost to camel. I don’t think it matters – the styling works regardless of the exact shade of taupe. Just find one you love. Here are my favorites:
And because I’m still messing around with which widgets work best, here’s a traditional Shop The Post (I threw in some bags, baubles and scarves just for funsies – Sole Society has some really great ones):
A huge thank you to Sole Society for sponsoring this post!! As always, all thoughts, opinions, product choices and taupe obsessions are my own.