Archive | October, 2013

Building a Wardrobe : Outer Layers You Can’t Live Without

29 Oct

Here’s part 3 of the Building a Wardrobe series; parts 1 (Tops Every Woman Needs) and part 2 (Shorts, Pants and Skirts Everyone Needs) can be found here.

outerlayers

I seriously don’t know what I’d do without my layers. For someone like me who gets cold easily, its always nice to have something that I can put on or take off depending on how I feel. Especially if you work in an office like mine that is perpetually ice cold year-round. Not only that, but layers can add dimension to an outfit and therefore increase the number of different outfits you can put together.

A leather (or faux leather) jacket can add a great edgy feel to an outfit. I have a brown faux leather one that I picked up when I was in France, and now looking for a black leather one to round out my collection.

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A plain black blazer is a must-have in anyone’s closet. I love this particular one because it’s the perfect length and fit for almost any purpose. It looks great on a skirt, on jeans, and on dress pants.

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As a California girl, I never really needed anything warmer than a light jacket until my study abroad experience in France. Since then though, this wool peacoat has come in very handy for my trips across country. So while the material of such a coat depends on where you live, a peacoat is always a great thing to have. I have two: my nicer wool one which I typically don’t wear unless I’m traveling somewhere cold, and my lighter one that I got from Forever 21 which is much more practical for California weather.

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I love cardigans in general. They come in so many different cuts and lengths that can be then styled in so many different ways. Its always nice to have a bright cardigan to add a pop to a simple outfit.

Simple, neutral cardigans are also great ones to have to throw onto any outfit. I have grey and cream ones that work really well.

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A print cardigan works similarly to a colored cardigan. It can be used if you want to experiment with print mixing, or just to incorporate a print into any look.

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And who can forget the trench? Its length makes it the perfect piece to layer over a dress, yet it still works great with jeans and pretty much anything else.

Also keep in mind that all of your button up tops can also be styled as outer layers over another shirt.

Print Mixing - Bows and Stripes-1

Here’s where you can find all of these pieces for your own wardrobe:
Leather Jacket: Uniqlo/Dillard’s
Peacoat: Calvin Klein/Target
Blazer: H&M
Colored Cardigan: Target
Neutral Cardigan: Old Navy/Target
Print Cardigan: Target
Trench Coat: Macy’s

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Pop of Yellow

22 Oct

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T-shirt: Target
Cardigan: Old Navy
Jeans: 7 for All Mankind
Shoes: Betsyville via JCPenney
Watch: Micheal Kors
Sunglasses: Armani Exchange

For those who aren’t huge colored jeans people, this post is for you. I love colored jeans because you can add a big pop of color to a relatively neutral outfit, or build a more unique color scheme that you may not have been able to do otherwise. Just switch out your traditional blue denim for something colored and I guarantee you’ll fall in love with it.

I also love these flats I’m wearing. I was so sad to find that Betsy Johnson went out of business because her pieces are so fun, but thankfully she’s still doing her store lines.

Building a Wardrobe: Shorts, Pants and Skirts Everyone Needs

18 Oct

Well this took me significantly longer than I had initially thought it would, but here is part 2 of the Building A Wardrobe series. You can check out part 1, which gives a breakdown of the must-have tops, here.

bottoms

As I mentioned in the previous post, these are the pieces that I personally cannot live without, but depending on your activities and preferences, your list might vary. I like that all of these bottoms are very versatile and can be easily paired with a wide variety of tops.

I can’t live without my skinny jeans. I pretty much live in these Forever 21 ones. I know I know, these are pretty low quality on the scale of jeans, but I have a big butt and small waist, and  so for me, shopping for jeans really stinks. So I go for the ones with the most stretch, and still belt them most days. The Forever ones work well for me because they don’t stretch out too much after a couple wears.

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I also love my boyfriend jeans. I own a lot of feminine pieces and the looser fit on these jeans makes them a perfect match for a more fitted, feminine top. The incorporation of a more masculine bottom can instantly make an ordinary outfit something more fashion forward.

Bleached Jeans Part 2-5

I also think white denim is a huge wardrobe must. Sometimes with my clumsiness white pants can be as much of a curse as a blessing, but I can’t deny how sharp they make any look appear.

Oh colored jeans, how I love you so. I love that you can incorporate color in a slightly different and unexpected way with colored jeans, and I’ve found that even the slightly wackier, or the really bright colors can be a great purchase. This yellow jean was an investment buy for me because the color is so versatile, but I also bought a bright mint jean at Forever 21 that I got a ton more wear out of than I expected.

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I’m not normally a huge shorts person, so there aren’t a huge number in my closet, but the ones that I definitely can’t live with out  are just my plain denim shorts, and then my tweed shorts that have a little higher than normal waist. I like that the tweed ones offer a dressier look that’s kind of different, and denim shorts are just a must-have in everyone’s wardrobe.

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I love skirts. I love how fun and girly they can be, and I love the huge variety of different skirts that you can get. So it was very hard for me to narrow it down to my favorites, but here’s what I ended up with.

A black pencil skirt is a must. It can be paired with nearly any top and still look fantastic. You can pair it with a graphic tee, a plain t-shirt, a button up, a blouse, or something a little more blinged out. It’s a great basic piece that can be repurposed in so many different ways.

Lazy Print Mixing-2

Everyone needs a little print in their lives, and a fun printed skirt is a great way to incorporate prints. Also if you can find one that’s just slightly above the knee, that’s pretty much the most flattering length on anyone.

Playing with Floral Print-5

And then to round out your skirt collection, a long maxi in a neutral color. This one from H&M is just perfect. The length is good, the fabric is nice, and it has pockets! What more could a girl want?

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Here’s where you can find all of these pieces for your own wardrobe:

Skinny Jeans: Forever 21
Boyfriend Jeans: Asos
White Jeans: Levi’s
Colored Jeans: 7 for all Mankind/Forever 21
Jean Shorts: Calvin Klein
Tweed Shorts: Gap
Black Pencil Skirt: Target
Knee-length Print Skirt: Target
Long Maxi Skirt: H&M

I hope this part of the series was helpful, and I’d love to hear some of your wardrobe must-haves that I may not have mentioned here, or any of the pieces that I did mention that you really can’t live without.

Playing with Colors and Prints

16 Oct

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Button-down: Old Navy (similar)
Cardigan: Gap (similar)
Jeans: 7 for all Mankind
Shoes: Unknown (similar)

Had so much fun playing in the playground early in the morning during this shoot. I love how fun and cheery, bright colors and print mixing can make an outfit.

Tip: When layering a cardigan or a sweater over a button-down, or anything with sleeves, cuff up the sleeves so you get a pop of color from the lower layer showing through.

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Playing with color theory again in this outfit. Yellow and blue are part of a triad on the color wheel, which you might remember me talking about in this post. That means that they complement each other well, with a perfect balance between boldness and subtlety.

This photoshoot was also shot by the amazing Bhavna’s Photography.

Lazy Weekend Look

14 Oct

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Sweatshirt: H&M
Pants: Old Navy (similar)
Shoes: Unknown (similar)

Spent the weekend with one of my favorite photographers, so photo credit for this post and the one you’ll see later this week all goes to Bhavna’s Photography. Check her out because she’s kind of amazing.

Lately my hair has been tending towards more curly waves instead of its usual softer waves, and I’ve definitely been embracing it. Maybe it’s the lazy thing to do, but it’s also fun and different. I just let it air dry and then curl the two or three chunks that have decided to stay straight and I’m good to go.

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Also, I love this top so much. The 3D embroidery effect is different and really neat. It’s subtle but it still really pops.

Barely High-Waisted Shorts

12 Oct

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Sweater : H&M (similar)

Shorts: Forever 21 (similar/similar)

Shoes: Soft Soles (similar)

If you can find the perfect high-waisted short, it can really do fabulous things to your legs. The trick is to find one that doesn’t cut your torso too short in the process. That’s why I’m a huge fan of the barely high-waisted short, as I like to call them. This pair is an older one from Forever 21, but there are many great ones that you can find.

I know that I’ll be wearing these well into winter because the slightly looser fit on the bottom and the tweedy texture makes them easy to pair with tights or leggings.

Blazer + Graphic Tee

10 Oct

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Blazer : H&M
T-shirt: Unknown
Jeans: Forever 21
Heels: Jessica Simpson (similar)

I was on the hunt for the perfect interview blazer last month, and seriously I must have checked almost every single store. Excluding a stunning purple blazer which Nordstrom sadly didn’t carry in my size, the only place I found an appropriate, flattering blazer was H&M.

I love all of the little details on it. Like how it’s lined with a striped satin that peeks out when you roll up the sleeves, and how it is structured and looks significantly more expensive than it was.

Tip: Layer a blazer over a casual graphic tee to take a simple day outfit to a more dressed up level.

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Also I’ve been obsessed with fishtail braids lately. I love how my highlights really accent the braid, since when I used to try braids when my hair was completely black, a lot of detail of the braid was often lost. But since my hair has so many layers right now, I have to be careful to braid very tightly otherwise by the time I get home in the evening my hair looks messier than I’d like.