I recently purchased a black and white tailored blazer from Talbots, and it has quickly become one of my favorite pieces (it’s still second to by navy blazer). The Dobby Dot Jacket has personality without being as loud as a colorful or floral print, so it still works in professional settings, and the top button hits at my natural waist, so it’s very flattering. Unfortunately most smaller sizes are no longer available online, but if you click the “find it in a store” button you can easily locate any size and have the individual store ship it to you, or reserve online and then pick it up in person- very convenient!
Dobby Dot Jacket, $169 at Talbots
Here’s a close-up of the stitched pattern and black piping:
When I first wore the jacket a few weeks ago I styled it with fuschia! Sometimes black is harsh against my pale skin, but the light pink sweater brings color back to my face.
It seems to me that the world is obsessed with mint this season- and I’m absolutely part of the frenzy! Mint is a perfect summertime color, it’s so gentle and cool. Unfortunately, it looks best against a glowing tan, something that I will just never have. Wearing mint near my face completely washes me out, but I have found a solution: colored denim.
Talbots Signature Fit Colored Denim Crop Jean $69.50
I purchased these about a month ago, and I have definitely been getting my money’s worth! These denim mint crops are from Talbots (shown above), but here’s a gorgeous full-length pair on Piperlime, and a less expensive pair from Target as well.
Using my mint denim, on three different days I put together 3 different outfits:
2.) Worn with the same shoes, a single-button navy blazer, and navy striped tee. I actual stole this one from a stylish coworker. I describe where to find these pieces in a previous post, but here’s a another great navy blazer from Banana Republic, and an extremely affordable striped v-neck tee at J. Crew Factory.
3.) This look is a departure from the first two, no navy or royal blue at all! The long cream boyfriend cardigan is from American Eagle. It’s about five years old now (it might be the oldest item in my closet,), but this one at Nordstrom is similar. The gold-dotted Monteau top is not available, but I found a few other neutral/metallic combination tops that would work (Nordstrom, Tommy Hilfiger, Forever21).
Tucked with gold belt
How are you working mint into your summer wardrobe? Check out my mint board on pinterest for some interesting ideas!
By just about anyone’s standards, I have a problem. I am OBSESSED with everything nautical; every starfish necklace, every striped tee with an anchor design, and every bright red accessory. Why? Because a nautical style is more than just a look, it brings to mind sandy beaches, lobster bakes, the smell of the salt air and the soft rush of an ocean tide. I’ve been very lucky to spend large chunks of my life breathing in crisp ocean air and feeling the sea breeze, and I have always loved history, tradition, and fashion. For me, and so many others, the nautical look combines happy memories and beautiful minimalist sensibility. It is emblematic of a rich cultural heritage that will never go out of style.
Not convinced? Well allow me to persuade you, because one of the best reasons to try the nautical look this summer is that it is so darned economical! It looks lux, but just invest in a few basic pieces (most of which you can carry into your fall and winter wardrobe) and you are set for the summer. Allow me to demonstrate…
I was able to create a week’s worth of outfits from the following: two tops, one blazer, two bottoms, one dress, two pairs of shoes, and several accessories. Altogether there are 12 pieces which could fit in a single carry-on bag. Voila!
I have a confession: I love Target. I am admittedly a snob when it comes to many bargain stores, but for some reason I have a weakness for this one. Considering how many of my friends and I are just starting our careers and are low on funds, Target’s vast selection of fashion staples and low-price home goods is a blessing. I managed to put together 2 full autumn/winter looks complete with jewelry and shoes for $100-$150 each. Enjoy!
*I should note that I personally own many of the pieces in this article, and I have only had good experiences. Also, I know I did leopard print with a bright blazer last time, but stay with me, this is a one-stop shopping trip.
Not one of these individual products costs more than $30!
Some items are perennially in-style and flatter every figure. These pieces really are non-negotiable, but I meet women every day who still have not managed to furnish their closets with the most basic necessities of a modern working-girl’s wardrobe. It may sound sexist, but let’s be real; every man should know how to change a tire, and every woman should have these items in her home.
Readers can find a selection of each of these items for the Shopper who likes to Splurge, the Responsible Shopper, and the Shopper who loves a Bargain, at our Pinterest Board “Closet Staples.”
1. A pair of beautiful versatile black pumps.
These are for work, for play, for a special event… the uses are endless. Even if you are not a fashionista, every woman needs a pair of black heels that are appropriate for both an interview and a night out, and that make her legs look AH-mazing. I must admit I have (eek!) 10 pairs- each valuable in their own way- but if you are aiming to find a pair that will suit almost any occasion, look for a pump with a closed toe, a classic silhouette, and a heel that is between 2 and 3 1/2 inches. Anything higher might not be appropriate for a conservative work place, and anything lower really doesn’t count as a heel. I don’t care that you don’t know how to walk in them, it’s a skill worth cultivating.
For the Shopper who Loves a Bargain: Women’s Mossimo Black® Pamela Pointed Heel at Target, 3/12″ heel, $29.99
2. A flattering pair of dark jeans.
Skinny jeans are best, but not everyone feels comfortable in that cut. Straight and boot-cut styles can also be useful; find a pair that skims the top of your foot when you’re wearing a mid-height heel (so they can arguably be worn with every heel-height, low or high) and that make your badonk-a-donk look fantabulous. Dark wash jeans that make you feel amazing are an asset in any closet.
3. A fun patterned cardigan
This piece adds interest to any outfit, is safe for the office, and can dress different separates in your closet up or down. Try wearing it over a white button-town blouse and turning the cuffs of the shirt up, or experiment with belting it over a pencil skirt. Don’t you get cold in that frigid, air-conditioned office?
4. A fitted sweater in your favorite color
Wear it with jeans or wear it with a collared shirt underneath. It is a safe reliable piece that will take you through every season. You know your favorite color brings out your eyes and puts you in a great mood.
5. A pair of sophisticated nude pumps.
They go with everything and they make your legs look impossibly long. Why would you resist the urge to buy them? Believe it or not, black heels do not work perfectly under all circumstances; with lighter or brighter colored outfits they can look harsh. Nude heels solve that problem.
For the Shopper who likes to Splurge: Christian Louboutin Decollete 554 100mm nude patent leather pumps $625
5. A white-button down blouse
I’m praying you already have one, since they can be worn all year round anywhere and everywhere. I’ve already described how well they work with a sweater- it’s all about the accessorizing.
6. An LFD
I call this a “Little Fabulous Dress,” most women think black, but as long as it hits slightly above the knee, would be appropriate at a funeral or a cocktail party (to be blunt), and makes you feel lovely and confident, it will get the job done.
For the Shopper who Loves a Bargain: The Gemma Wrap Dress in Purple Orchid at Banana Republic, on sale for $68. The cinched waist, body-skimming cut, and v-neck shape flatter almost everyone.
7. A handbag that takes your breath away
Because you need a bag that is professional enough to double as a brief-case, feminine enough to be used as a regular purse, and that you absolutely love. Stick with solid leather in understated tones, but accept you may have to pay the most for this item. Suck it up, it’s an investment that will last you years!
A bag for the shopper who likes to Splurge: Tory Burch ‘Amanda’ Tote at Nordstrom $495
8. A small and elegant evening bag
This is for special events or an evening out when a full-sized shoulder back is just too much. Try a black or neutral-toned leather clutch if you want something extremely versatile that can be used on casual occasions as well.
9 and 10. A perfectly fitted black, navy or charcoal grey suit.
I cannot stress this enough, if you are, or plan on being, a female professional, you need to take yourself seriously. If you have a big presentation or an interview in conservative office setting, do not mix and match pieces: buy a suit. Chances are, even if you cannot tell the difference between blacks and navys, someone on the hiring team can. It’s not that they’re hiring you for your fashion sense, but they do care about the way you present yourself and your attention to detail. Once you own a suit that fits you impeccably, you can mix and match separates.
The pencil skirt
Wear it with a sequined tank and strappy heels on a Saturday night, and with a button-up blouse to work on Monday morning.
The blazer really deserves its own heading, because it goes with everything. No, really it does! Lauren Conrad is the queen of mixing and matching closet staples, which may be why she is known for her classic and effortlessly chic style. She wears her blazer with skirts, dresses, jeans, heels; you name it. And it all looks fabulous.
Here Lauren Conrad mixes and matches classic pieces.
So what essential item did I leave off the list? Let me know what I missed in the comments below, and follow us on Pinterest!