Friday, July 31, 2015

outfit post: no-brainer work outfits "The Print Dress Formula"

There are so many mornings when I wander bleary-eyed into my closet and stare at the clothing zombie-like with zero motivation to be creative with my outfit. I just want to get myself dressed and out the door quickly while still looking presentable for work.

This brain dead "I have no idea what to wear" scenario is when I depend on my tried and true "outfit formula" that was deeply ingrained into my wardrobe psyche by Stacey & Clinton during my many years loving to watch TLC's What Not to Wear.  The formula says: basic piece + interesting piece + cardigan/jacket/completer piece = outfit. This is forever the formula in my brain for getting dressed for work while looking reasonably put together.

Over time that general WNTW formula has developed into a few specific formula patterns in my wardrobe. And since I use this method so regularly - I thought it would make a good set of infographics to share here on the blog. I've been going back through my blog archives to grab some outfit examples of each of those specific formulas I use to share with you.


I think this formula is the least brain-power required formula. When you wear a dress it's just putting one step of putting it on and you're dressed. Then on your way out the door if you grab a cardigan and some shoes - you are now dressed and looking polished. Done and done. The formula I'm sharing today I call, "The Print Dress Formula":

Print Dress + Coordinating Cardigan + Classic Accessories = Outfit

1. Print Dress:
This outfit starts with a fun print dress. The print can be floral or geometric or striped or whatever pattern speaks to you. For me, my main object is to find dresses that have multiple colors in the print that coordinate with cardigans I already own. When I found the floral dress shown above and realized it had purple, green, teal, navy and white in the print - I was excited because I already had cardigans in every single one of those colors.
2. Coordinating Cardigan:
Next pick a cardigan (or jacket) in a color that you love. It can be any color that is found in the print or even one that just sort of 'goes' with the existing colors. I try to pick what I think is a fun color because the cardigan is pretty much the only interesting thing about this outfit.
3. Classic Accessories:
Finally add your most classic accessories. Neutral shoes like black pumps or black flats. A simple necklace or your favorite stud earrings.
When I get dressed using this formula I'm not trying to be a fashion standout - it's just more about looking presentable for work in a hurry. So there is no need to figure out an amazing statement necklace or perfectly coordinating scarf. The pants are the pop in the outfit and everything else is background. I feel like this outfit formula can easily be used over and over again for pulled together professional looks for work.  Just sticking with the same blueprint and switching out the individual pieces - the outfits possibilities are endless!

***
You can find all "formulas" I've posted using this link.




Thursday, July 30, 2015

outfit post: purple floral sleeveless ponte dress, nude wedges, brown laptop tote

Inspiration - Jessica Chastain

Too hot for completer pieces today so sheath dress solo it is! Yay for dresses with fun prints!

I got a comment on the post that I first shared my new work tote that suggested I try a base shaper for this bag so the bottom doesn't sag & get stretched out. It was a great suggestion. So I found one on Amazon and it's on its way. I will let you keep you posted & update you on how well it works out. :)

(Thanks for all the emails & suggestions about Napa yesterday! All the help is very much appreciated!)

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Wednesday, July 29, 2015

outfit post: striped dress, white/ivory blazer, grey pointed toe pumps

Inspiration - Kim Kardashian

Fun outfit today rewearing two recently purchased items together! Love how the white blazer dresses up the casual ponte dress. Cute & simple summer work look. 

SO EXCITED because husband and I are going to Napa at the end next week for our anniversary! We've never been before but I have heard so many good things. And it'll be our first getaway alone since the kiddo arrived in January. Yay grownup time! Well sorta grownup - hubby is coming after all... ;)

I've been having fun brainstorming what to bring and I promise a packing list with what worked & didn't when I get back! (Also, any tips/suggestions for Napa-newbies would be greatly appreciated. We're staying in the actual town of Napa.) Yayyyy I love vacation!

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Tuesday, July 28, 2015

outfit post: chambray shirtdress, nude wedges

Inspiration - Pippa Middleton

Here's what I wore on a super casual Friday when it was hot as balls outside and a/c in the office was on the fritz. I even ended up wearing flipflops I found in my desk drawer while I was at my desk because even my feet couldn't stand being inside close toed shoes. Hot hot hot.

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Thursday, July 23, 2015

outfit post: white/ivory blazer, black top, black ankle pants, black pumps

Inspiration - Emma Watson

Black and white Thursday.

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Wednesday, July 22, 2015

outfit post: white sleeveless eyelet shirt dress, jean jacket, white pointed toe pumps

Inspiration - Pippa Middleton

Yay for my fun white dress. I wore this to work with a navy cardigan and then when I got home swapped it for a jean jacket for a impromptu sushi date with the hubby and kiddo. Totally shocked that I made it through a full dinner wearing white while eating with chopsticks and holding baby and had zero drips on the dress. Dinnertime miracle! :)

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Tuesday, July 21, 2015

outfit post: white/ivory blazer, blue print blouse, skinny jeans, white pointed toe pumps

Inspiration - Reese Witherspoon

I pulled the trigger on buying the white blazer I'd been eying at H&M! (Mentioned it in my wishlist post here.) My concern with the purchase it was that I have always felt too 80s fabulous in super white blazers. Once I saw it in person I saw that it's a little more ivory then bright white and it helps me a lot mentally to not feel Miami Vice. Excited to have found one that I like because I have a whole Pinterest folder of white blazer ideas! Stay tuned! :)

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Monday, July 20, 2015

outfit post: polka-dot blouse, grey boyfriend cardigan, black editor ankle pants, grey pointed toe pumps

Inspiration - Kristen Bell

Monday monday. It's going to be a busy week. Head down. Get $#*^ done. Little polka-dotted happiness to make it slightly better.

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Friday, July 17, 2015

outfit post: july shopping wishlist - work & weekend wants


Last week I posted about my recent purchases and today's post is a rundown of things that I have my eye on purchasing next:

***WORK WANTS***
1. White Blazer - 
I have tried quite a few white blazers over the years and I always feel a little Miami Vice when I put them on. But I am endlessly pinning inspiration photos of celebrities looking chic wearing them. So I have two on my radar - one from H&M that is slightly off white (which might help my brain getting over 80s vibe) and then a Chanel inspired one from Ann Taylor.
2. Print Shoe
I have been eying two different styles of printed shoes. I love snakeskin heels as an alternate to leopard ones. And I saw the pictured tortoise flats browsing the Asos site and fell in love. Love both.
3. Solid Top - 
I have a good number of button down shirts thanks to my over purchasing of portofino shirts. Now I want to add in a few bold colored work blouses that fit across my larger then normal chest. Cobalt blue is always great.
4. Fun Cuff - 
Because the tiny human likes to grab my necklaces and earrings I've been upping my bracelet game. Love a simple geometric cuff. 
5. Bright Pencil Skirt - 
I have one mustard colored pencil skirt and would like to add another fun color. Saw a 'poppy' color on J.Crew Factory and thought it was fun.

..... ***WEEKEND WANTS***
1. Summer Dresses
Love summer dresses. Love love love.  The ones pictured above in particular.
2. Wedges
Kate Middleton has the Stuart Weitzman wedges pictured above. I love them but not their $425 price tag. I'm on the hunt for something similar but less expensive.
3. Summer Tote
I'd love to find a cute casual bag for poolside & casual summer days. The Stella & Dot one pictured above might be a little fancier then I'm looking for but it's so pretty with it's laser cut details!
4. Wide Brimmed Hat 
I'm outside a lot lately. And in Florida our sky is always either pouring rain or super strong sun. And the hat would help with the latter.


outfit post: coral portofino shirt, frond pencil skirt, brown wedges

 
Inspiration - Loft

I wore this outfit today for casual Friday. (Except with the shirt tucked in and not tied because the tie at my midsection looked a little too casual for the office.) I was trying to branch out color-wise for what I thought 'went' with this skirt. I liked the idea of the color combination in the inspiration picture but I'm not sure I love actually wearing it. I sorta feel like putting coral and burgundy together makes me look confused by what colors ought to be worn together as opposed to looking like I'm super cool with my sartorial know-how. Maybe I'm just a one pop piece of clothing per outfit kind of gal... :)

PS I'm really far behind on responding to comments on the blog. I'm sorry. I love all the good advice & feedback you guys give me. I'm just still figuring out how to juggle everything. It seems like with Baby, Work, Husband, Blog, Family & Friends, House, Fitness and Sleep/Sanity (in no particular order) - I can keep about 6 out of 8 going pretty well at any one time. But usually some balls are dropping on whatever the remaining two happen to be. So hopefully at some point soon I'll neglected the kid and write you all back... just kidding... maybe. :)

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Wednesday, July 15, 2015

most popular clothing clicks - june

Because I use affiliate links on this site (I get a few cents each time you guys click a shopping link) I am able to see a dashboard of what items were the most clicked on each week/month. I think it's really interesting to see which clothing links you guys are engaged by and click a bunch. And then compare those to which ones you decide to pass over. Here's the most clicked items for June.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

outfit post: striped dress, brown wedge sandals

Inspiration - J.Crew

This is the cute striped ponte dress I mentioned in my shopping purchases post. I love that the material is heavy enough to hide flaws but breathable enough for a summer dress. I wore it to dinner & a movie with the Hubs this weekend. Easy casual summer date night. More work appropriate outfits with this dress to come! :)

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Monday, July 13, 2015

outfit post: black ruffle shell, navy pencil skirt, black wedges

Inspiration - Miranda Kerr

Weekends are just too short. We spent ours doing nothing. Which was wonderful after a few months of houseguest or travel or busy plans. Hubs and I got a babysitter on Saturday night, went to dinner and then to see a 10 PM showing of Jurassic Park. I was super cool and fell asleep about 15 minutes into the movie on my husbands shoulder despite the roaring dinosaurs. (The whole getting up at 5:30 AM to fit in my workouts sure doesn't lend to staying up late.) Oopsie.

Simple classic outfit for this summer Monday. I copied Miranda pretty closely but looking at this picture - I think the outfit is slightly too simple - I should have added a belt or necklace for a little bit of shiny interest. But I'd rather err on the side of too minimal then too fussy!  :)

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Saturday, July 11, 2015

outfit post: recent shopping purchases - june


As I've lost a little more of the baby weight I am feeling more comfortable going out and buying things in close to my previous 'normal' size. When I count back through the pregnancy months - I haven't been able to buy 'normal' clothes in almost a year! Nuts! So I've had a bit of fun shopping over the last month and this post is a rundown of things that I bought:

1. Tops that flow away from my mid-section - 
Because I'm nursing - I still have a huge rack - and my mid-section isn't quite where is used to be - so I've found that all the shirts I've purchased have been lightweight, non-wrinkle, flowy shirts. I liked that style of shirts before my body created a tiny human so they should stay in the rotation going forward regardless of what size I end up at.
2. Fun dresses - 
Summer is always about dresses for me! As far as getting dressed, dealing with the Florida heat & still looking professional - there is nothing better. I have purchased three sleeveless work dresses (I have posted quite a few outfits with the floral dress but still need to do blog posts with the white one & striped one) and a fun 'night out' maxi dress (post needed for this dress too). The maxi dress has a fitted, short underlayer part and a very swingy sheer top layer. I have found it to be very forgiving body-shape-wise which is great for my ever changing body shape!
3. Pencil skirts - 
I'm not quite back into my pre-pregnancy work pencil skirts yet. So when J.Crew Factory was having a sale I bought two skirts in a slightly larger then normal size. They've been wonderful additions to all the tops I have in letting me create work outfits with something other then the few pairs of pants I've been wearing on repeat.
4. New Work Bag - 
As I mentioned yesterday - I just invested in a new work bag and I'm in L-O-V-E love. It holds two laptops with assorted stuff, is very sturdy and super pretty. Winner.

Friday, July 10, 2015

outfit post: black buttondown top, striped pencil skirt, black wedges, brown laptop tote

Inspiration - Limited

I'm in love! My new pretty pretty work bag makes my heart go pitter-patter! Love love love.

Two years ago I wrote about how I'd been carrying a beat up cheap-o Target laptop bag around when I went onsite with clients.  Here's what I wrote:

I have owned the same random Target laptop bag since the very beginning of college. (13 years - eep.) It is black and basic and well past it's expiration date. It has traveled the world with me, often carrying two laptops at a time, and after years of abuse it was really showing it's age.
Right before I went to DC for work in July I started thinking about how I was spending time, money & effort on my wardrobe to look polished & professional and yet I was lugging the Pig-pen (dirty kid from Peanuts comic) version of a laptop bag around. It had gotten so beat up & worn out that it was detracting from my overall business appropriate impression. (In my head I imagined clients thinking, "Why did this competent & professional project manager go dumpster diving for her laptop bag?") It was well past it's time to be replaced.

I decided to look into an investment priced bag considering I carried the last one for so long and when I travel (frequently) it's glued to my side the whole trip. My fashionable & great-at-deal-finding friend mentioned that if you keep an eye on Kate Spade laptop bags they go on decent sale a few times a year and when I checked Amazon I was lucky it happened to be one of those times! I bought the Kate Spade Calista laptop bag for half-off full price. Score! (Sadly, it's not on sale anymore.) And I love it. It's super lightweight, has a decent number of pockets and the inner lining is a polka-dot pattern. Too cute.


So being a nerdy Engineer at heart - I often lug two laptops around with me plus notebooks and other crap. While I loved how lightweight the Kate Spade bag is - my heavy duty use of throwing it around airplanes with two laptops inside - meant that the strap busted off not once but twice on me in the first six months while traveling. Grr. So I reverted back to my Target bag for another year and a half.

Until I saw this pretty pretty Tory Burch tote bag online! I decided to try again at upgrading my laptop bag and after carrying this new tote for two weeks now - I totally love it. On the site it says it fits a 13" laptop but I've been putting my 19" Macbook and my 13" work Thinkpad at the same time with no problem. And it feels like a really sturdy but still not a heavy bag. So I'm hopeful that this bag will survive my abuse for a good number of years. And did I mention I think it's pretty? :)

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Thursday, July 9, 2015

outfit post: blue print blouse, teal cardigan, black ankle pants, black wedges

Inspiration - Michelle Obama

Work has been super busy. Miss this little munchkin face when I go in early & stay late. Customer project goes live today so hopefully the pace will return to a more 'normal' one after today!


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Wednesday, July 8, 2015

outfit post: white midi skirt, navy shirt, jean jacket, brown perforated wedges

Inspiration - Asos

Looking at this picture - I sorta wish I'd worn my white heels with this outfit. But eh, next time. Wore this to the movies with my bookclub girls. Easy and fun and I managed to avoid wiping my buttery fingers on my white skirt-  success!

Goals - Week 17 update:

  1. Start eating healthier - Did really well with meal prep during the work week. All bets were off over the long weekend. Mmmm 4th of July pool party food & drinks are delicious!
  2. Walking lots -  Did great during the week but lost motivation during the long weekend.
    • Weight:
      • Weight - lost 0.0  lb (Seems about fair - next week will be awesome!)
      • Total weight lost - 18.4 lbs (43.4 lbs since my top pregnancy weight!)
      • 14.6 to go
  3. Post at least 4x a week-
    • Post 3x: Fail. Close but unsuccessful. :)

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Tuesday, July 7, 2015

outfit post: purple sleeveless floral ponte dress, green/mustard cardigan, nude wedges

Inspiration - Michelle Obama

This pretty dress continues to make me very happy with the fact it goes with a zillion cardigans. (Dress worn previously here) So many great colors to pick out in the floral print. Love love love.


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