- Always wear three pieces. On a typical day, I wear trousers, a colorful shell and a cardigan. Even when I am wearing a dress, I make sure I have two other pieces, usually a blazer or cardigan and a belt worn at the waist. Putting three pieces together makes an outfit look like it was thoughtfully arranged. One of my biggest problems is not accessorizing enough so my three piece rule helps me make sure my outfits have some visual interest to them.
- Balance the tight with the flowing. If I am wearing a fitted sweater or oxford, I will pair it with a trouser leg pant and if my blazer is a looser boyfriend style, I will pull out slim leg pants or a fitted pencil skirt. A head-to-toe slim fit is making your body do all the work to make the outfit look good- let the shape of the clothes help to show off your best features. The same goes for wearing only loose and flowing pieces- all the extra fabric can make you seem shorter.
- Add in at least one pop of color or pattern. This can be as simple as wearing a bright coral belt with an otherwise all black outfit. Belts and scarves are my two favorite ways to pick up the trendy color of the moment and incorporate them into my outfit. A (lightly) patterned cardigan is also a great investment piece. One of my favorites in my closet is a grey cardigan with a black floral pattern on it. It creates a big impact on an outfit, but is still neutral enough to go with almost anything.
Style can be very personal. Many people consider your outward style to be an indication of who you are as a person which is pretty terrible if the thought of getting dressed in the morning makes you want to crawl back in bed. I work in retail and every day when I get dressed I have to be aware that what I am wearing says everything about me. That is pretty overwhelming and so I've created my own formula for work, a formula you will start to notice in my style guides on this site:
Colorblock Ponte Skirt
Ann Taylor $69.99
The cobalt blue in this skirt makes it a great statement piece and the black sides keeps it looking slim and polished. Since it is made from ponte, this skirt is perfect for busy days on your feet. Plus, 30% off everything at Ann Taylor with code SALE30!
Wear to Work:
Play with patterns and pair this skirt with a blue and white striped oxford. Accessorize with a black belt. Have a meeting to go to? Add a black blazer for an updated take on the skirt suit.
Pair with grey or black tights, black riding boots and tuck in a white long sleeved tee. Accessorize with a black belt or a patterned scarf. On a chilly day, layer a black cardigan over the tee.
Tuck in a black cowl neck shell. Finish off sparkly earrings, a statement bracelet and of course, your favorite heels (I love a pop of matte silver!). Bring a large scarf to cover your shoulders if you get cold.
Colorblocked Cowl Neck Shell
Ann Taylor $34.99
Use code SALE30 to get 30% off at AnnTaylor.com!
Wear to Work:
Tuck into black or khaki trousers and accessorize with a contrasting belt. For a cozy, fall look, pair with a light colored tweed blazer.
Tuck into a khaki skirt for a work to evening look that could be mistaken for a chic dress. Layer with a cardigan or blazer during the day and then switch into black patent heels in time for dinner and drinks. Looking for an extra pop? Add a skinny gold belt around the waistband of the skirt.
Lurex Colorblock Stripe Scarf
40% off sale styles at LOFT.com
Wear to Work:
Pair an aubergine top or sweater over grey trousers (or trouser jeans for a more casual workplace). Wear a gold skinny belt at the waist and loosely wrap the scarf around your neck.
Slip into warm-colored corduroys and a long sleeved tee. Red and purple cords are easy to find this season and give a high impact for little effort. For a fun play of pattern on pattern, try a khaki &winter white striped tee to contrast against the scarf.
Ponte academy blazer
This is exactly what I look for in a non-suiting blazer. It is tailored, low-maintenance and easy to move around in. Ponte is a great fabric because it has some stretch to it, resists wrinkles and transitions well from work to casual.
Also, Gap is having a 30% off sale that ends tomorrow (October 2nd).
Wear to Work:
Layer a colorful knit or shell under the blazer. Pair with trouser jeans and a dark belt. Accessorize with either a colorful scarf or by cuffing the sleeves once to show off a sparkly bracelet.
Pair your little black dress with a skinny belt worn at the waist. Throw on this blazer instead of a cardigan and scrunch the sleeves for a sleek dinner outfit. Don't forget the colorful heels!
It all started with a compliment.
I have been shopping for my sister and giving her style tips for years. But a couple weeks ago I attached personalized style guides to the items I was sending her. The next day she tried out one of my outfit suggestions and got a compliment on it. In the ensuing conversation, she mentioned my style guides and the idea to share them was born.
I hope you enjoy my thoughts on fashion, shopping, and of course, practical style!