Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Holiday Party Inspiration

This weekend got the better of us and we weren't able to take any outfit photos. I have to admit, I feel a little defeated. It's the first time since I started the blog in July that I have no outfits to post for an entire week. As I've mentioned before, we take pictures on the weekend and I do my best to blog in advance for the week. Sometimes an outfit doesn't photograph well - we're amateurs - so I swap out an outfit post for favorites or wishlist items.

I'm going to take this opportunity to share my holiday party picks for the upcoming season. Every year, the holidays sneak up on me and I find myself overwhelmed with Christmas shopping, travel, and events without the time to figure out what to wear to all of the work events and parties. It's never too early to start looking, and my picks for your work party are below.

I own this dress. I purchased it last year for holiday parties and a night out to the theatre. Unfortunately, I didn't size up as recommended and it was way too tight in the waist which is not a common problem for me. So, I recommend sizing up one to two sizes. I was able to exchange (after I found myself purchasing a dress at the last minute to wear to the theatre while I was out of town), and it was totally worth the hassle. I LOVE the three-quarter length sleeves. I know you're inside for holiday parties, but I'm always still a little cold when I go sleeveless. The lace sleeves provide just enough extra coverage. Plus, if the sleeves don't sell you, it has pockets. Which means, it's perfect.

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Although this dress does not have sleeves, I think it would pair well with a cardigan or a faux fur shawl if that's your thing. Also, I don't wear a lot of embellished clothing items because I fear that they aren't very durable (not to mention I have no idea how to wash them - and I'm not about to hand wash an every day top, I'm too lazy to do regular laundry on a weekly basis). An embellished party dress has my name written all over it because it's a fun way to get in a little sparkle and it saves me from having to purchase dress specific accessories. It too has pockets and the color is spot on for the season (and I'm obsessed). The fit and flare will be especially flattering and forgiving if you happen to eat too much (or drink too much).

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I love all things jacquard. This dress is very similar to the dress I bought in a pinch last year when the dress above didn't fit. It was also a green floral and I loved how festive but sophisticated it is.
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If you're looking for something a little sexier that will work for date night and the office party, this is my pick.

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You can wear this last dress to work on Monday and to the office party on Saturday (because if you're like me you repeat your favorites often). It's a great option fro those in conservative offices who need to dress accordingly even during off-hour events.
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I'm really looking to the holidays this year - it'll be our first as a married couple and our first Christmas together in our eight years together! We took photos for our holiday cards this weekend and I'm very excited to mail them out to our friends and family. We're also hoping to make a tradition out of going to the Nutcracker every year.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday! This week was filled with lots of good sales and fall finds. I'm sharing my picks with you today. All images are clickable.

Red Full Skirt Product Image 

 Everything about this skirt is spot on for work wear and upcoming holiday parties. You could even wear it casually (think a button down cambray top or tee with a jeans jacket). I fell in love with the color and material and thought it'd be the perfect choice for our upcoming holiday photos. It exceeded my already high expectations and I can't wait to wear it for our photos. I tried two sizes and didn't notice much difference between them, but I preferred it sitting a little lower on my waist and I think the larger size was even more full which suited me better. Some reviewers complained about the uneven pleats and I did notice that they were uneven (although, I'm not sure I would have had it not been for the reviews), but it didn't diminish my love at first sight. 

I also picked up this shirt from Banana Republic and it too exceeded my expectations. I have to say, while a lot of people have been loving Banana's recent collections, they've been a little too edgy and trendy for me. However, their newest arrivals have me falling in love with BR all over again. 

 Pieced Jacquard Sleeveless Top Product Image

This shirt is made of a thicker jacquard-like fabric and I think the neckline is simply the most flattering neckline to exist. I've professed my love for peplum before and this top feeds my obsession. Plus it's complete with a self-tie belt. I wish this shirt came in more colors and patters because I'd buy them all. This pattern is beautiful and I think the combination of the bright pink and olive makes it versatile across seasons which means I'll be wearing it a lot. 

As you know, comfort is a priority for me and the oversized chunky sweater trend is too good to pass up. I've been looking for the right sweater to jump on board and this one from Loft does the trick. It didn't catch my eye online, but when I dropped by the store this week, I had to give it a try.

The black and white pattern keeps the sweater classic and versatile while the silhouette is a nod to the grandpa sweaters or coatigans that are popping up everywhere. I plan to wear it with dresses and jeans.

Primary Image of Spacedye Coatigan 

My latest find are these black jeans. Can you believe I don't own casual black pants (...besides yoga pants)?! These are a bit thinner than jeans, but they are not jeggings or jeans material which is a plus in my book. And they can pass for dress pants. 

Primary Image of Modern Skinny Jeans in Black

 These do run smaller than my other Modern skinny jeans from Loft, so I do recommend sizing up. 
Have you picked up any fall finds recently?

Wednesday, October 21, 2015


Flares are back. I wasn't sure how I felt about this initially. But, they made it on to my fall wish list seen here and I picked them up while on discount. 

I have to say, I'm really excited for the comeback. I forgot how awesome they are. Really, they're super practical, especially in the winter. I think they're perfect for thick socks coupled with booties or over riding boots.

When I dress myself on the weekends - which is rare - one of my favorite casual outfits is a sweatshirt blazer with a scarf. I wore this outfit on Sunday and it kept me fairly warm (we've had a really bad cold front recently). I do find myself gravitating towards more fitted and structured tops when wearing flares to balance out the flares. A blazer does the trick.

This scarf. I know - you've seen it everywhere. BUT, it is not a blanket scarf. That's another trend I haven't jumped on board with. They're just SOO big I feel like I'm drowning. But, I do really love this plaid pattern and color scheme. So I went searching for the same pattern in a non-blanket scarf version and found this one on Amazon. I decided to give it a shot - I wasn't sure if I'd be pleased with the quality or the material. But, it's perfect and very warm (without being itchy). 

Blazer: old, similar here | Jeans here | Shirt, old similar here | Scarf: here | Booties: here

Monday, October 19, 2015

Faux Leather + Pearls

Leather is a big trend this season, especially faux leather midi skirts. I'm loving this one, this one, and this dress.

I haven't fully embraced the faux leather trend. It's a little edgy for my general style, but I have to say I'm really tempted by those I linked above. 

I have, however, fully embraced tweed. This jacket let me subtly try the leather trend without going full force. Sometimes if I'm not sure about a trend, I like to get my feet wet by buying a cheaper version or incorporating it into something more "me" in small amounts. I think the tweed balances out the edgy-ness of the leather trim and if the tweed isn't sufficient to soften the leather, I added pearls for good measure. 

I wear this suiting dress year round (last seen here). These are standard black tights that I picked up from JCrew Factory last year. I have to size up because of my height, but I've learned that sizing up even more (I usually buy L or if available (L/XL)) gives me even more comfort and makes the tights more opaque. I also steer clear of control top tights to maximize comfort. This makes wearing dresses in the winter a very comfortable and practical option. Also, if I pair a black dress with a grey blazer I will add patterned tights to break up the monotony.

Blazer: old, similar here or here | Dress: old, similar here | Necklace: here | Shoes: here | Tights: here

Friday, October 16, 2015

Back to Basics

Some days, let's make that most days, I'm looking to throw something on and get out the door. I usually hit snooze a couple of times, the dog needs a walk and some morning loving, and my husband and I do a lot of chatting in the morning since our evenings are usually hectic with work schedules. That makes getting dressed pretty low on my priority list. 

This makes filling my closet with easy to wear clothes essential. But, then there are those days where not only am I rushed, I'm also completely uninspired. That's when I resort to my fail safe basics. Basics don't have to be boring, by the way. There's nothing fashion forward, new, or creative about this outfit. But, it does the trick while hiding the fact that my give a damn was busted.  (Or, at least I think so). Just because I don't care doesn't mean I want to look like I don't care. 

Here, I accomplished a simple outfit by taking basics with a twist. The silk blouse in a bright color paired with a statement pearl necklace and finished with leopard print wedges combine for a basic yet pulled together look.

Shirt: old, similar here and here | Pants: here | Necklace: here | Shoes: old, similar here

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Double Duty

I love it when my casual wear can double up as office attire. Something about wearing my weekend look to the office with a few minor tweaks makes getting up and out the door a little easier in the morning. It also usually guarantees a comfy outfit for sitting at the desk all day. I'll be wearing this cardigan and top to work with dress pants and on casual Fridays.

I don't have a very large wardrobe - so I do wear and re-wear the same items quite a bit. Which makes coming up with new outfits for this blog challenging sometimes. However, it does give me an opportunity to come up with new combinations and making the most of what  I do have. And, I will (and have) wear and re-wear things here because it's real life. Unfortunately, I've gotten into a rut lately and so this outfit isn't particularly inventive, but it's been on heavy rotation.

If you follow me on Instagram {@prettytallthings} you saw me wearing this top and sweater last weekend coupled with a polka dot scarf and leopard slip-on sneakers. I also wore variations of this outfit all weekend long. So, here's a more Casual Friday appropriate version of my Instagram selfie. And this is the cardigan I told you I was going to pick up - and I'm so glad I did! 

Cardigan: here | Shirt: here (for some reason the striped versions aren't online, but they are in stores) | Jeans: here | Flats: here (prices fluctuate, so keep an eye out). Also, way cuter version here

Monday, October 12, 2015

Vested Work Wear

I've been wanting to jump on the vest bandwagon for a couple years now, but I haven't been able to find a vest that fit well. I've been crossing my fingers that JCrew's quilted vest [here] would come in Tall this year, but unfortunately that didn't happen. The versions available are too short and too boxy. I even tried Old Navy's vest, which is available in Tall [here]. But, it too was too big and boxy (insert rant here about how everything in tall always runs bigger and they don't offer the smaller sizes available in regular). 

I rarely shop in store anymore, but I was returning something at my local JCrew when I stumbled on this vest. I'd seen it online, but it didn't appeal to me. I also wrote it off based on the measurements; I thought it'd be too short (details state it's only 24.5'' long which I don't think is accurate). But, when I was in store - the gold accents popped against the navy and I really loved the material which I think is best described as a cross between shearling and fleece. It does run big and they were out of my size in store so I ordered it online when I got home. I have to say, it was worth the wait and time spent searching! I never anticipated pairing it with my work wear. I assumed I'd pair it with jeans on casual Fridays and over the weekend. But, when I was brainstorming outfit ideas for these cool mornings and warm afternoons, this ensemble came to mind. And, I have to say, it turned out better than expected. Or, maybe it's just these shoes. They pretty much make every outfit. This outfit also makes me want a leopard print belt that will fit my natural waist.

Vest: here | Shirt: here | Skirt: old, similar here (though, I think this version will be short for taller women) | Shoes: here

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Our Wedding

My husband and I got married in May of this year and I spent fifteen months planning our big day. I really enjoyed the planning process and couldn't be more pleased with the way it all came together! We are honored and humbled that Snippet & Ink featured our wedding on Thursday of this week. It is a beautiful tribute to our wedding! You can read the feature here.

We got engaged in February 2014 and I started planning immediately.  Although we'd be been together for many years, I'd never thought much about what I wanted our wedding to look like. I was willing to consider any and all venues, including restored warehouses, churches, museums, and homesteads. I was dead set against any colored or patterned carpet. Weird requirement, I know.

Selecting the venue was the most difficult and influential decision we made throughout the entire wedding process. We knew we wanted a more formal, elegant wedding so we decided on long gowns for the bridesmaids in dusty shale from JCrew (here) and black and white tuxes for the men. These decisions inspired the black and white stripe table runner along with the blush table linens which created a color palette that grounded the entire design (including floral and stationary). I wanted a design that was cohesive, but not repetitive or matchy-matchy. I think we achieved that!

The rehearsal was almost rained out, but I insisted on practicing outside where we knew we'd be holding the ceremony. So, I was bit of witch and made everyone stand outside to practice in the rain. I figured I was allowed to have a bride-zilla moment. 

On the day of the wedding, we couldn't have asked for better weather. It was perfect, sunny, dry, and in the 70s with no humidity. Although I didn't want an outdoor wedding initially, I'm so glad we pulled this one off (I did make arrangements to tent the area in case of rain). 

Although we had a minor hiccup on the day of the wedding with my wedding dress (it arrived a bit wrinkled), my bridesmaids took great care of me and I had a truly enjoyable, stress-free day getting ready with my friends and family. We got married in the evening so we weren't rushed getting ready and I truly enjoyed hanging out with the girls for the day! 

As the ceremony approached, I never became nervous. I'm not sure why. I thought I would. But, the butterflies never came. I'd like to think that's because we'd been together for so long at that point that I was entirely comfortable with the proposition of spending the rest of my life with the man I was about to marry. Oh, and by the way, things don't feel so different or daunting now that we're married, either! But, I did expect to become nervous about the details of the day. I didn't. I'd planned so many details that I knew something would likely be forgotten, but in the moment I was so excited and content to marry Tyler, that I wasn't concerned about a missed detail or a wrinkled dress (OK, maybe I was worried about a wrinkled dress). Turns out, not a single detail was overlooked.

The actual ceremony is somewhat of a blur. I vividly remember waiting to walk down the aisle, walking down the aisle and generally repeating our vows. I was the most nervous as we prepared to repeat our vows only because I was afraid I'd misspeak. Fortunately, I managed to repeat after the officiant just fine! But, we did have to re-do our "first kiss" because it didn't pass muster. Whoops. 

The reception was an absolute BLAST. I had no idea we'd have so much fun. I don't think I've ever danced so much in my entire life. But, I spent as much of the night as possible on the dance floor with friends and family and I'm so glad I did! I also ate dinner (though, I missed out on dessert); I know a lot of couples aren't able to do so on their wedding so I arranged for Cook-Out to be waiting for us in the get-away car in case we were starving (it was where we ate the night we first met). Unfortunately, it went un-eaten. 

Our reception ended earlier than we would've liked because of venue restrictions, but an impromptu after party meant we didn't miss out. I ended up at a local bar and restaurant after the wedding in my wedding gown (we walked so I even crossed the road and stopped traffic in my dress). I wanted to get as much use as possible out of it!  

The pictures above are a random assortment that aren't already featured on Snippet & Ink. There are so many amazing photos and Snippet & Ink did a wonderful job selecting those that tell the story of our day the best. So, these are just some extra details along the way. I truly enjoyed planning our day and I'm ready to do it again (marrying the same guy, of course!). So, if you're in the Raleigh, NC area and have any questions or need any vendor recommendations, I'm happy to help! All vendors are listed on Snippet & Ink.

All pictures are by Michael Moss Photography

Wednesday, October 7, 2015


This dress is more colorful than most of my wardrobe, but the belt and long sleeves convinced me to give it a shot. I love the pattern and colors even more in person and I find the length and sleeves to be a perfect fit. And the benefit of a pattern like this is that it does the styling for you, no accessories needed.

The belt is a little too big for the dress size, so I may add another hole, but it does tend to stay put when looped. 

We take outfit photos on the weekend and did so this past weekend on Saturday because my husband was leaving for a business trip on Sunday. Unfortunately, I realized after we took the photos that this dress when paired with black wedge booties makes my pale, white legs glow (in photos, at least). It's not a good look, I promise. We'd hoped to re-shoot this outfit on Sunday, but it just didn't happen before he left. So, here's the one photo that turned out half way decent. I apologize. 

Dress: here | Booties: old, similar here

Monday, October 5, 2015

Stripes on Stripes

I picked this sweater up last year from Target and I'm pretty sure it's paid for itself a couple of times over by now. I wear it to work with dress pants or on top of a suiting dress. And, if you follow me on Instagram [@prettytallthings], you saw me pair the same sweater and top with jeans and Sperry duck boots. It's pretty much like wearing a blanket to work which makes getting out of bead a little easier when the temperatures drop.

Waterfall cardigans are a big trend this year and Target brought back a similar version [see it here] of this sweater that I'm planning on picking up - I just need to decide on which color. Easier said than done.

When doubling up on stripes, I recommend pairing two stripes that share the same color combination and are in varying widths. Here, the cardigan features narrow stripes whereas the shirt has wider stripes.

I added colored pants in an effort to add a pop of color and because, as you know, I'm obsessed with maroon. Leopard wedges sealed the deal for me. 

Cardigan: old, similar here, here, and here | Shirt: old, similar here and here | Pants: here | Shoes: old, similar here | Necklace: old, similar here and here

Friday, October 2, 2015


Buffalo check, gingham, and plaid are all the rage. But, I'm not a huge fan. I'm very particular about my plaids because I find that they often make me look and feel manly (which is something I notice a lot with collared shirts generally). 

When I found this dress on super sale last year at Gap, I thought it was the perfect opportunity for me to embrace the plaid trend on my terms. The color, belted waist, and the fact that it's a dress (with pockets!) all softened the look for me, making it a pretty feminine piece. The problem: a high-low hem. I love high low hems on shirts (when the front isn't too short), but as you may have noticed, I don't like dresses or skirts to fall below my knees because I have toothpicks for legs, ugh. So, I decided to have the back hemmed to match the front. The result was dress perfection.

Luckily, Gap brought this dress back again this year (with the high low hem) in two awesome color combinations that kinda make me want to add to my plaid shirtdress collection. It does run big and long.

I've worn this dress as pictured and I've also paired it with riding boots (with and without tights) and booties (again, with and without tights). 

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