Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Button Downs + Dresses

My love affair for dresses endures the winter months. But, given the limited number of long sleeve dresses out there, I wear my short sleeve and sleeveless dresses year-round. Normally, I just throw a blazer or cardigan on top and run out the door. 

But, in attempt to mix it up, I decided to reach for my button down this week. This is not a novel outfit combo, I know. But, I usually feel like a school girl when I wear a button down under a dress. Does anyone else feel the same way?! Please tell me I'm not the only one! I found pairing it with a grey (instead of navy or black) dress with feminine details like the cutout on the shoulder and pop of color seems to do the trick for me!

PS: The weather in DC can't seem to make up its mind. One day it feels like winter and the next I'm walking around without a jacket. I don't want to complain about the warm weather, but it would be nice if we stuck with one season's temperatures (and Fall works for me!).

Dress: old, similar here | Shirt: old, similar here | Necklace: here | Shoes: here

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Comfy Corporate

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday and Merry Christmas to those of you who celebrate! We spent the week with my in-laws in southern Texas where we enjoyed nearly 80 degrees weather. I know for some that would dampen their Christmas spirit, but I loved every minute of it! It truly felt like a tropical getaway. Our first Christmas as a married couple was a success.

It's no secret that I love comfortable work wear. Returning to work after a long vacation and holiday is always the hardest so to ease my pain, I reach for the easiest, comfiest outfit I can find. This outfit is it. See this cardigan styled casually here

I haven't wanted to take this cardigan off since I bought it so I figured out a way to wear it to work. 

Cardigan: here | Shirt: old, similar here | Pants: old, similar here

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from our family to yours!
Photos by:  Life With Owen

Ruffled Tunic

I love shorter "tunics" because they're normally a great length on me to wear with skinny jeans or straight legged dress pants. I prefer shirts that are 27'' to 29'' from shoulder to hem and have come to learn that the shorter tunics fit the bill. They do tend to be a bit flowy or loose fitting so I normally pair them with my skinny dress pants. But, sometimes I need a dressier outfit or they're in the dirty clothes hamper so I reach for my more traditional dress pants which aren't as fitted. I usually steer away from the flowy tunics when I wear these pants, but I've found that pairing them with a blazer adds definition, structure, and doesn't make me feel like a blimp.

Top: here | Pants: old, similar here | Blazer: old, similar here

Lace Pants

These pants aren't something I'd normally wear; they're a little out of my comfort zone. I'm not one to get dressed up without a special occasion and then I typically reach for a dress. I loved the idea of them, but I wasn't sure how to style them or where to wear them. Bottom line, they didn't seem that practical and I love practical easy to style and wear clothes.

But a good friend convinced me to give them a try and I failed to pull the trigger before they sold out. I regretted not giving them a try so when they were restocked, I didn't give it a second thought. I'm so glad I bought them! They aren't as decidedly dressy as I thought. I've tried them on with a chambray button down, this striped top, and I'm on the hunt for the perfect chunky sweater to pair with them. They make for a great outfit for date night, brunch with girlfriends, or for upcoming holiday dinners with family. The elastic waistband will certainly come in handy when I eat more than I should! Plus, pockets are always an added bonus in my opinion!

So, here's to pushing our comfort zones in the New Year! 

Pants: here | Top: here | Necklace: old, similar here | Shoes: old, similar here

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Black on Black

I wear a lot of grey and black year round, but it seems as though it's all I wear in the winter to work. When wearing black tights with a black dress or skirt, one of my favorite ways to break up the tone on tone look is to add textured tights.

When buying tights, I always buy a large to give myself additional length to accommodate my height. Buying a larger size and avoiding control top tights makes them a really comfortable option in the winter.

Happy Friday to everyone! I'm looking forward to a week off of work and Christmas Hope everyone has a wonderful Holiday however you choose to celebrate!

Blazer: old, similar here | Dress: old, similar here | Tights: old, other great options here, here, and here | Necklace: here

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Travel Wear and Beyond

Christmas is NEXT week. I can't believe it! I don't know where this year went, but it has absolutely flown by. Last weekend we enjoyed some of the holiday decorations in the city and stopped by US Botanical Gardens. We've been experiencing unseasonably warm weather, so this lightweight cardigan was all I needed! The warm weather hasn't dampened my Christmas spirit one bit!

I know a lot of us will be traveling over the holidays and this outfit would be perfect for those travel days. I'm certainly planning on wearing it while we fly cross country. Plus, these items can be re-worn throughout your vacation which is a huge plus if you're trying to limit yourself to a carry-on.

This cardigan is soft, warm, and lightweight. I've paired it with jeans as pictured here, but I also wore it to work over a black ruffle top and black dress pants (because it's just that comfy!). It'd also go well with a shift dress and boots. 

Cardigan: here | Shirt: this year's version here | Jeans: here

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Sweater Weather

Although we've been experiencing abnormally warm temps in DC lately, my office has remained chilly. So, I've been searching my closet for all of my warm sweaters. The changing seasons always gives me an opportunity to go shopping in my own closet, and I never fail to discover something that I'd forgotten about.

This is one of those items. I wore it last season and then shoved it to the back of my closet when warm weather showed up. Out of sight, out of mind. Then, when I was scrounging through my sweaters this week, I found it. It'd fallen to the shelf below and our [er, my husband's] cat apparently made it into a bed because when I took it out, it was covered in cat hair. I do mean covered. It took me four sheets with the lint roller and about fifteen minutes to get it looking presentable. But, it was worth the effort. It's my favorite color, I find the shape flattering, and the belt can be tied in the back or front depending on your preference.

This is another boiled wool sweater from Anthropologie, and although it's slightly itchier than my other one (here), it's very warm and can accommodate a long sleeve shirt underneath. I've also paired it with a suiting dress for the office or jeans for the weekend.

Sweater: old, options here, here, and here | Pants: here | Shirt: old, similar here | Shoes: old, similar here

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Corporate Casual Remix - Striped Dress

In this post, I transitioned a dress from summer to winter and from the office to the weekend. I'd say its earned its closet space, for sure. This dress is a work horse for me year round. 

See it styled for the office during the summer here.

In the winter, I love styling this dress for the weekend with riding boots as pictured here or with my booties, here. PS - I'm jealous of all of you with newer Toms desert booties because they finally got the hint and did away with the ugly blue logo on the back of the bootie. Mine are still in excellent shape so I continue to sport the blue label. Has anyone tried removing it with a seam ripper? I've always thought about it, but never pulled the trigger.

At any rate, apparently this dress requires leopard print! 

Happy Friday!

Dress: old, similar here | Scarf: old, similar here

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Statement Piece

In the winter, I love adding a statement sweater to complete a work outfit. They pair so easily with a suiting dress or dress pants. And they're so cozy. I reach for scarves frequently for added warmth while at my desk, so a warm sweater is a nice alternative.

This particular cardigan is an old find from Anthropologie, but they've got lots of great options to choose from currently - my favorites are linked below. I've picked up a couple of Anthro's boiled wool cardigan/jackets and I've found them to be well worth the investment, they are very warm, hold up well, and aren't itchy.

Sweater: old, options here, here, and here | Dress: old, similar here | Shoes: old similar here and here

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Gift Idea: Puffer Coat

 With my recent relocation to DC a warm all-weather winter coat was top on my wish list. I want to be prepared for Snowmaggedon 2016 should it hit.

I knew a puffer was the most logical option, but I've never really wanted one. But, leave it to JCrew to make a puffer coat that I almost have to have! For starters, their wintress puffer comes in tall. That alone probably would have sold me. I have such a hard time finding coats with sleeves that are long enough which is essential in my opinion for a coat to help keep my arms and wrists warm. The faux fur and gold hardware sealed the deal for me. The belt as an added bonus.

Reviews on this coat seem to be extremely mixed. Some find that it runs small, others are disappointed in the quality, while still others find it to be perfect. So, I wasn't sure what to expect. But, when it arrived, it exceeded my expectations. The sleeves are plenty long enough (dare I say bordering on too long, but they aren't), and it is a great length which adds even more warmth. I find the hood to fit me well and the faux fur is very well done (and I say that as someone who is not a fan of faux fur typically). 

As reviewers have commented, the pockets are "top down" instead of slanted on the side. I agree, side pockets are generally preferred. However, I think that's normally due to the fact that they're placed too high and lead to some awkward arm placement to even get my hands in the pockets. Because this comes in tall, the pockets are appropriately placed and I find it really easy to slide my hands into them. Plus, they're fleece lined so they keep my hands really toasty.

I've already gotten quite a lot of use out of this coat (I'm cold natured and walk the dog 3-4 times daily) and I've only had it a month - I received it as a birthday present from my mother-in-law in early November. It will be a staple this winter and for winters to come.

Coat: here
I'm wearing a Tall Small.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Christmas in the City

Christmas is by far my favorite holiday because it's more than a single holiday, it's a season. I love all the things that come with Christmas - cheer, lights, music, hot chocolate, decorations, family time, giving, and a sense of magic. 

Neither my husband nor I have put up a Christmas tree of our own since leaving home. We've both lived in dorms or apartments and returned home for the actual holiday so we passed on the decorations. Last year, I got a little crafty and made several decorations for the holiday, but still skipped the tree. This is our first Christmas together EVER (in 8 years!) and our first as a married couple, so we wanted to do it up right. We live in a condo so space and storage is at a premium. I didn't want a mini Christmas tree, so I did some searching online and found this six foot tree. I paid $30 + $6.99 in s&h so if we decide we can't spare the space to store it, I won't feel guilty tossing it. You can find it here (note, prices have gone up since Thanksgiving, so now it is just at $40 with shipping). It's a great deal. I was super impressed with the quality and fullness. The top is a little shaky, but we used light plastic ornaments and it's held up just fine so far.

In addition to a tree, we needed all the trimmings. Again, I didn't want to invest a fortune since I'm not committed to the tree, so we picked up some ornaments from Target. You can find the ones on the tree here and here. We added lights (here) and tinsel (here) then topped it with a gold star (here). Don't mind the white extension cord. :] I think I might get a skirt for the tree to help hide it. Overall, we're thrilled with the way it turned out!

I purchased our stockings on sale from Pottery Barn last year after the holiday and had them monogrammed, but they're still available (here). The mini stockings are for the animals and are available here and here (depending on the letter you need).

I made the santa hats (tutorial here), snow globes (tutorial here), and mini tree last year (no tutorial - I just used a left over cone from the santa hats and covered it with balls like these from Michaels).

We decorated the tree the Saturday after Thanksgiving while listening to holiday music and we had an absolute blast!

On Sunday, we saw the Nutcracker at the Kennedy Center. We're hoping to make it an annual tradition; last year we saw it at Warner Theatre. It was so fun to see a different rendition of the same Ballet. Not to mention, I love getting dressed up! I got this dress last year intending to wear it to the Nutcracker, but I didn't take note of the sizing guidelines and failed to size up so I had to exchange it. I'm so glad I did and I was able to wear it to a company holiday party. It is still available here. Be sure to size up 1 to 2 sizes.

Other holiday outfit ideas (for work and play) I'm loving: here | here | here | here | here | and see a full post here.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

When in doubt

When I'm really not sure what to wear these days, I throw on all the patterns in my closet. Surprisingly, this typically turns out better than I expect since all of my patterns are black and white. Fool proof pattern mixing at it its finest.
I'd been eyeing this blazer for a while now. I love Target's blazers - I already own a handful. So, I finally caved and picked up this one. I took my larger size in this year's version but find it to fit the same as my older versions. I plan to also pair it with black suiting dresses for some added interest.

Blazer: here | Top: old, similar here and here | Pants: here

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Easing into the Work Week

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving with friends and family! My husband and I enjoyed our first married Thanksgiving in North Carolina with my family but were fortunate enough to see his family as well. We ate entirely too much and spent more time on I-95 than we would have liked, but it was totally worth it!

We returned to DC and immediately welcomed the Christmas season.We attended a local tree-lighting ceremony and put up our own Christmas tree and decorated the house while listening to Christmas music. It was so much fun and I just love having the decorations up - it makes the home that much cozier.

I'm not ready for the long weekend to end so I'm copping out on office attire a little bit. I picked this top up on Wednesday last week and I wore it while traveling home, decorating the tree, and running errands. So, why not wear it to work?! It's a jacquard, almost sweatshirt material so it's super soft and cozy. And warm. I just don't want to take it off.

Top: here | Pants: here | Necklace: here | Shoes: old, similar here

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Black Friday Starts Early

Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals have started early and this means I can get a head start on my holiday shopping and avoid the crowds (I never participate in in-store Black Friday deals). I thought I'd share some of my picks for the tall women on your list (including yourself!). These are items that are on my wishlist or things I already own and recommend.  All are on promotion.

Top (left to right): pajama bottoms (available in tall!) / hat / Kendra Scott necklace
Bottom (left to right): slippers  / dress coat (available in tall!) / Tory Burch bag

 I own the coat in navy in tall. See it here. I also own and love the necklace. See it here and here.
The coat is very tall friendly, the sleeves are plenty long and it falls just below my knee which I love for an overcoat because it means it totally covers my dress or skirt. Also, I've never considered searching for pajama bottoms in tall. I have no idea why not because I've never had a pair that weren't complete high waters which leaves my ankles a little chilly in the winter. These are top on my wish list. As for the slippers - how can I pass up leopard print slippers (especially when paired with striped pajamas)!?

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Wishing everyone safe travels and good times!

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Anything Anywhere

This top and vest combo has become my go to for any occasion lately. I stumbled on it a few weeks ago when I was throwing something together for my birthday dinner with the husband in early November. The night was a little chilly, but I didn't want to pull out a coat, so I figured what the heck - I'll try my favorite shirt with my favorite vest. It was a winner in my opinion and I've reached for the combo again and again since. 

I've worn the top and vest to work with dress pants. It's worked for sight seeing and weekend adventures when paired with flats (as pictured here at the National Portrait Gallery), for grabbing drinks with a friend, and for date night when paired with heels or wedges. I've also played around with my accessories to change the look up a bit. 

This shirt was originally a dress that I had made into a shirt (it was originally a dropped waist dress so they moved up the waistline with the ruffles instead of simply chopping them off). See how I've worn it before here. I've styled this vest for the office here. For some reason (probably because our photography and editing skills need improvement), it always photographs more neon than it actually is. Don't get me wrong - it's definitely bright, but not quite so neon. 

See another dress I turned into a shirt here. I've found that if I get the dress on sale and I love the color, pattern, or style it's well worth it to me to spend a little extra to have it altered.  

Here's to a short work week!

Vest: here | Jeans: old, Joe's via Marshall's | Shoes: old, but identical here