Friday, July 31, 2015

Dresses as Shirts

Yes, you read that right. I wear dresses as shirts. This is one of my biggest go to tricks. Sometimes I let the hem out of dresses to make them a couple of inches longer. But, if the dress is just way too short, that's not an option. So, that's when I wait for the dress to go on super sale and snatch it up, take it to a tailor, and ask them to chop it off so I can wear it as a shirt.

That's exactly what I did with this shirt. It was a dress on JCrew Factory's website and I fell in love with the print. But, most of the factory dresses are too short for me and they don't offer tall. So, I figured I'd buy it and wear it as a dress if it happened to be long enough, but if not, I'd make into a shirt. Well, this dress was exceptionally short on me. Letting out the hem wasn't going to cut it. So, I resorted to Plan B.

I will warn you, if you try this, the tailor might laugh at you. My tailor in Raleigh chopped off a couple of dresses for me and never blinked an eye. And she did it for $10-$15 so it was a very affordable option. Then, I moved to DC. The tailor here laughed at me. She didn't understand. But, she did it and I think it turned out ah-mazing-ly. I'm so glad I did it. I also let her know that I did it all the time, so hopefully she's ready for me the next time.

I've been on the hunt for some stretch, skinny, ankle dress pants. They're harder to find than I ever expected. They're either too tight in the legs, too big in the waist, or hit at an awkward spot on my leg. I found these on Loft's website during one of their sales and decided to give them a try. I had no idea what fit to order or what size, but I ordered them in a few sizes. A bit of advice: size down, the waist runs big, but the legs don't get terribly tight when you do size down.

Dress/Shirt: here | Pants: here | Necklace: from Target (I couldn't find it online), similar here | Shoes: old, similar here, here

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Ruffled Perfection


I've been searching for a colored suiting dress that wasn't too bright. For some reason, wearing a solid color dress is most of the time out of my comfort zone. Color prints, on the other hand, are an easy go to for me. I know, it makes no sense. 

 I have a purple Tahari suiting dress I picked up from TJ Maxx or Marshalls a while back that's the exception to the rule. Ever since then, I've been trying to find another color that I love just as much. I've tried several with no success. And then, this  aqua,* ruffled goodness showed up and it hit me: jeweled tones are the solution. They provide me with color without being too bright, cross seasons well, and look great paired with navy, grey, or black blazers (I find the mint, and dark reds/oranges too bold and blunt when paired with grey and black blazers or cardigans). The ruffles are only a bonus. When paired with a cardigan, it's possible to leave the ruffles exposed, but if you prefer to go ruffle-less, a blazer covers them completely. 

This dress does not come in tall like many of JCrew's suiting dresses, but when the details listed the shoulder to hem length as 40 inches for a size six, I knew it was a contender. At 5'10'' I require at least a 38 3/4in. shoulder to hemline based on a size six, preferably 39 inches. As you can see, it's the perfect length, so it's a keeper. 

I wear these leopard wedges at least once a week. I'd wear them more often, but I feel like it's probably a good idea to switch up your footwear. So I talk myself out of wearing them at least once a week. I also own leopard print flats and sneakers, because I require a lot of leopard print in my life. I find leopard to be a great way to infuse some print and fun into my work wardrobe. Plus, it's considered a neutral, so it goes with everything. I do mean everything (stripes, polka dots, etc.). 

Because I don't already own enough leopard, I'm on the hunt for a leopard skinny belt to pair with this and other dresses.

Dress: here | Wedges: old, similar here, here | Necklace: here

*I think the below photo better captures the color. 

Monday, July 27, 2015

Midi is for Me

I wear dresses probably four out of five days of the work week. They're comfortable, professional, and most importantly, easy to throw on in the morning when I'm running late. But, the explosion of cute elastic waistband skirts got my attention. As an added bonus, this one has pockets! It has been on regular rotation since I bought it earlier this spring.

As you can see, the skirt falls to my knee. It's a midi skirt, but I don't love midi skirts on me because of my itsy bitsy calves so I had it hemmed. Although the midi skirt isn't for me, I'm welcoming the trend with open arms because it means more skirts to choose from that are long enough. I have no problem tailoring an item to make it work. I'm just not used to hemming a garment to make it short enough, normally I resort to letting the hemline out to gain a couple extra inches. This problem is a pleasant surprise!

A few sizes are still available in this exact version, but JCrew just released a very, very similar version of the skirt. So, it's not too late to jump on the bandwagon.

I'm a fan of these off-red colors and I love this shirt because of the color.  But, buyer be warned, it wrinkles. A lot. For that reason, I probably wouldn't recommend it. A great alternative is linked below.

Let's talk about this blazer. If you read this blog for any length of time, you'll see it quite a bit. It's a workhorse. I picked it up in navy and black from Target. They're $34.99 full price and you can catch them on sale occasionally. But, it's worth full price. They're a great length for skirts and dresses and I love cuffing my blazers (they tend to get in my way while working at the computer), so I love the super cute lining (pinstripe).

You might also realize that I wear these pearls with everything. I can't help myself. I'm from North Carolina where pearls are always appropriate. But, I realize my accessories game needs some help. I'm working on it. 

Skirt: here, solid colors here, new similar version here | Shirt: here (I did purchase in Tall for added length when wearing with pants), but I'm in love with this one (I have it in white and it get's a lot of wear, doesn't wrinkle, and washes really well) | Blazer: here | Necklace: here Shoes: old, similar here, here

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Full of Firsts

This first post has been a long time coming. I first created this blog weeks ago after thinking about it for months. Once I had the blog up and running, I felt the pressure to come up with an awesome first post. But, I couldn't come up with the "perfect" outfit to debut the blog. This isn't the perfect outfit either, but it's a first for me so I thought it was an appropriate first post for this new blog.

I've seen several swing dresses around recently and they peaked my interest. While they're not my typical style - I normally gravitate towards dresses with defined waists - I just couldn't pass this one up without giving it a shot first. For starters, it comes in tall!! Second, I snapped it up during Loft's 50% off almost everything sale, so at $40 I figured it was worth a try. I've tried several of Loft's tall dresses and oftentimes they're still too short for me to wear to the office.

I'm SO glad I decided to give it a try. It is just long enough for me to wear to work (the tall is longer on me than pictured above)! It's super soft, almost a combination of terry cloth and sweatshirt material. The fabric is weighty enough that it keeps its shape and drapes away from your body. And, most importantly, it's super comfortable. It's going to be like wearing pajamas to work. . . tomorrow. I just can't let this sit in the closet for too long.

I'm an attorney by day (and sometimes nights and weekends), so I hope to use this blog as an inspiration for fun work-appropriate attire. I find it really easy to get lazy with my Monday through Friday wardrobe, relying exclusively on a black, grey, or navy dress and blazer or cardigan. Don't get me wrong, I love a great black work dress (and I plan to post about my "power" black dress in the near future), but it's nice to add some color to my week.   This pastel peach is an easy way to add color, even in a conservative office.

I've paired it with my go to JCrew Factory cardigan, which I own in several colors and find a workday staple (for pairing with dresses, I find it a bit too short for pants). If a cardigan is too casual for your office, swap the cardigan for a blazer. This dress is certainly more casual than most of my professional clothes which are mostly JCrew suiting dresses, but I think the pearls and wedges help dress it up a bit. I'm also excited to wear it on the weekend.

Dress: here | Cardigan: here | Pearls: here | Wedges: old (and dirty), but similar here, here, and here

I will return with real life outfit inspiration soon. Thanks for starting this adventure with me!