Death by Elocution-Inspired

The simplest outfits are often the best outfits. It’s hard to keep this in mind when whatever is trending is the opposite of simple, but when I look back at outfits that I’ve worn and felt really good in, the uncomplicated ones come to mind first.

That being said, Death by Elocution has been a major source of not just style inspiration, but wardrobe editing as of late. Her account is a great reminder that, if the cut is good on you and the fabric is high quality, you don’t need all of the bells and whistles of trend pieces.

Who or what is your style inspiration these days?

Parker Sample Sale

Getting the skinny on New York City sample sales is not nearly as difficult as it used to be, which can pose a problem for someone who loves a deal as much as I do. This past week Parker, Reiss, Zadig & Voltaire, and many more brands worth blowing your budget for were having sales, but a girl has got to be selective. I decided to just hit Parker, a brand that is “for the city girl in all of us.” They have long been a favorite of mine for their flirty dresses and date-night tops (which, in my day were referred to as “going out tops” and were purchased on a weekly basis at F21 so you could toss them without guilt if someone puked on you at The Green Turtle – where are my Maryland people at?) and they added “Parker Black,” an evening line label, back in 2014. With two weddings (one of which is in three weeks!) and a cruise with my in-laws coming up, this was my sale.

The selection was huge – tops, rompers, shorts, skirts, dress – each category offering items with various amounts of beading, from none at all to Vanna White. My inner magpie was in her glory, it was really hard to remind myself that I’ve been trying to pare down my wardrobe lately (dammit, KonMari!). Halfway through the sale I assured myself that I had found exactly what I needed and went into the “dressing room.” If your idea of sharing a dressing room means telling your bestie that she can come in with you, then a sale like this may very well traumatize you. Dressing rooms tend to be fences of rolling racks draped with fabric; inside women have varying comfort levels when it comes to getting changed, so be prepared to see a lot of brightly colored pairs of Hanky Pankies (they truly are one-size-fits-most).

Sometimes these dressing room situations can lead to try-on buddies (can you zip this for me? do my arms look good in this? would you wear this to a beach wedding down the Shore?), but that was not the case at this sale and so I only had myself to celebrate with when I tried on the below items:

Oh, Going-Out-Top, how I have missed you. It is so much easier to spend $90 on you when I know that I will most likely be wearing you to dinner instead of a smoky bar (I went to college in Maryland in the early 2000’s when you could still smoke in bars – a dry-clean-only tag was a non-starter). This top can be dressed down with jeans or dressed up with fabulous white pants for summer nights in the Hamptons.

Retail price: $275

I paid: $90

This dress makes me feel like a beautiful figure skater from the 1920s (I’m sure they dressed differently than this, don’t ruin my fantasy). It’s fancy and fun, but also light and comfortable. I cannot wait to wear it.

Retail price: $528

I paid: $100

And now for the pièce de résistance – the ball gown. Next month we have a black tie wedding for a dear friend who has the most discerning taste of anyone I know. Needless to say, finding the right dress has been daunting. I had just decided to borrow a gown from my sister when I found this. It fits like a glove (minus the hem, but at 5’1″, that is to be expected on any full length item) and I feel like a work of art.

When I got home I immediately tried it on for V. Before walking out I said, “I want your genuine honest opinion, but I really love it.” No pressure, right? Thankfully he loves it too.

Retail price: Unknown, but their gowns generally go for upwards of $300

I paid: $150

Now I just need to decide on accessories, hair, and make-up. I would love to hear your suggestions in the comments!

 

Not #girlboss, #justboss Outfit

Sarah Michelle Gellar recently took to Twitter to ask, “Why does it have to be ? Why not Gender is not relevant to work ethic or success.” While I had taken a liking to the whole #girlboss thing, I’ve been an SMG fan since the Swans Crossing days and I decided to take the time to ruminate on it.

All of my life I have looked young for my age. For almost a decade I worked in a male-dominated industry and I was often underestimated because my gender and my general appearance. I have taken great joy in showing the doubters, and the nay-sayers, and the – dare I say it – haters, just who’s boss. In retrospect, the sweetest victories were always the ones where my adversary acknowledged that I was damn good at my job, no qualifiers necessary.

Recently, I’ve experience some real growth at work. I’m feeling truly confident and empowered. After a year and a half, I’m realizing just how strong the bonds I have developed in that short time truly are. To put it succinctly, I’m feeling like a boss. #Justboss

On a lighter, but still related note; I wore this outfit the other day and felt like a total boss. In the wise words of Stacy London, “Seeing, feeling, thinking, believing – these are the stages of how we change our style on the outside and our self-image on the inside.”

 

Side note – You’re seeing the commuter version here (I didn’t rock my black Underarmour trainers all day), but I still feel like it totally works. During the 9-5 I sported these shiny loafers from Zara instead:

 

Making Monochrome Work for Me

Petite ladies like myself can really benefit from dressing in one color from head to toe.  When I initially purchased these Banana Republic pants I figured I’d style them à la Katharine Hepburn and pair them with a classic white button down. After trying them on I realized that the waist is far lower than the kind ol’ Kath wore and wearing them that way would elongate my waist and make me look boxy.

Then I remembered that I had this slim-fit, fine-rib wool turtleneck which is also from Banana Republic (albeit about 15 years ago – seriously, I’ve had it since High School). When I put them on together I had one of those fantastic a-ha/new favorite outfit moments. I’ve been trying to get back to a simpler style of dressing and this just felt so right.

The pants are nicely lined and a really great weight, so they are perfect for winter work wear in NYC. While I normally wear a 2P in Banana Republic pants, I needed to go a size up in these. The charcoal is sold out in petite, but some standard sizes are still available here or you can buy the petite in brown instead here.

What are your favorite winter wardrobe items and looks? Leave them in the comments.

Some prettier poses…

 

And then the outtakes

 

Cheers to 2016

V and I celebrated the New Year with dinner at out favorite local spot, Viaggio Tapas, which is just a short walk from the apartment. It’s a cozy place with rustic chic decor and a staff that really makes an effort to get to know you, find out what you like, and offer suggestions if you’re interested in that sort of thing (which V and I definitely are).

The weather was pretty mild, but chillier than it’s been, so I took the opportunity to break out my leather pants.

Blazer: Zara Tee: t+j Designs Pants: BCBG Boots: Rosegold

The restaurant was packed, as is to be expected on New Year’s Eve, so my jacket had to go once we were seated.

 

Posing with the remains of my glass of Albarino

Dinner was delicious. Since Viaggio is a tapas restaurant, we’d been searching for that perfect series of small plates that combine to make a perfect meal and we think we finally found it:

  • Shishito Peppers with Black Maldon Salt
  • Confit Garlic Shrimp with Tio Pepe Sherry
  • Lamb Meat Balls
  • Lamb Chops with Mascarpone Pistachio Gelee
  • Dessert: Ice Cream Sandwiches served on teeny-tiny Macarons

The staff did such a terrific job of moving things along that by 10PM we were on our way home.

Upon our arrival I promptly ditched my dinner attire for a more couch-friendly ensemble.

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I’m ready to Par-tayyyyy!

Loving our new gilded monogram DOF glasses – a Christmas gift from my mom – you can get them here.

And that’s a wrap – wishing you a happy, healthy, and successful 2016!

Finally, Fiorentini+Baker

What do Kate Beckinsale, Charlize Theron, Halle Berry and I have in common? These Fiorentini+Baker boots. For years I have wanted these boots. They have lived on my Pinterest “Lust List” board pretty much since it’s inception, but I always held off on buying them because I owned a perfectly nice pair of Calvin Klein motorcycle boots that fit well, looked nice, and I always received a lot of compliments on. And so I waited.

We’re prepping for a major event at work, so I’ve been spending long days at the office that have run well into the evening and, even when I get home, I’ve been doing more work. Sensing my stress, Vinny decided to do something beyond sweet and surprise me with them. They were waiting for me on the kitchen table when I walked in the door on Wednesday. I. FREAKED. OUT. I put them on right away and just wanted to live in them forever.

We were already home for the night so, naturally, I had to wear them the very next day. Unfortunately, I was a total struggles getting dressed this morning and I broke one of my cardinal rules (leggings are not pants), but I didn’t care because these boots are just instant badass.

So, thank you, V. You did not need to do this, but I am so, so, so glad you did.

My dear readers, do you have these boots or a pair that are similar? If so, how do you wear them? If not, how would you wear them? Discuss…

Outfit Post: Go for the Gold

This weekend V and I attended a daytime wedding at a classic Long Island venue, the Cottage at The Milleridge Inn. Knowing that this would be a festive affair, my grandparents often visited the venue around the holidays as they are fairly well-known for their Christmas decorations,  I embraced the opportunity to wear my new gold skirt from Banana Republic. Here are some post-wedding outfit pics:

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Blazer: LOFT Top: Theory Skirt: Banana Republic Petites Shoes: Gucci Watch: Michael Kors Bracelet: Vintage

The bottom left picture is a reenactment of when I dropped teriyaki chicken on my top during cocktail hour. Thankfully, V is speedy with the club soda and no permanent damage was done.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Outfit Post: Work Wear

October brought a very big and exciting change – I got a new job! Deciding what to wear on the first day of a new job is both exciting and daunting. It’s a marketing position in a creative environment, so I wanted to strike the right balance between professional and fashionable. I decided on this all black look with some of my favorite accessories to keep it interesting.

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The total look

 

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Some much needed accessories spice up the all-black look.

Top: Zara Pants: Express Scarf: Burberry Bag: Tory Burch Shoes: Gucci Watch: Michael Kors Glasses: Chanel

The only drawback? Whenever I caught a glimpse of my puff sleeves from the corner of my eye I had the desire to say, “I’m just a temp” (Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter’s Dead, Google it). Other than that, I’m off to a strong start.

Date Night: Dinner and a Movie

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Waistcoat: Zara Muscle Tee: Madewell Pants: Gap Belt: Nanette Lepore

Bag: See by Chloe Sandals: Naturalizer Glasses: Chanel

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Last night V and I had a classic date night: dinner and a movie. It was beautiful out, high 70’s and sunny all day, so I took the opportunity to go sleeveless. I wanted to be comfortable enough for the movies, but dressed nicely enough for dinner. Plus, I’ve been dying to wear this waistcoat and I really like how it looks paired with the muscle tee.

For dinner we tried out a new restaurant in Malverne, Uva Rossa. The space is adorable, the regular menu is delicious, and the specials were excellent. We shared Stracciatella and prosciutto as an appetizer and then V had gnocchi in a meat sauce finished with a layer of mozzarella for a main course and I had Branzino with a bruschetta topping — both were perfectly prepared. V also had a delicious glass of sangria while I had a glass of sauvignon blanc. While we both passed on dessert (gotta leave room for popcorn at the movies), I did have a cup of coffee and our waitress (who was awesome the whole time) even brought me some freshly baked biscotti to dip in it. We will definitely be back.

After dinner we walked to a nearby theater that plays mostly independent films to see The Skeleton Twins. While we were both impressed with the performances (particularly Bill Hader, Ty Burrell, and Luke Wilson) we thought that the film could’ve been tightened up and the back story with the father could’ve been clarified to strengthen the plot on the whole. There are some really funny and beautiful moments though, so ultimately I’d say that it’s worth seeing.
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Outfit Post: Something Missing

There are some pieces that are difficult to style. You want them to work in a certain way and they just don’t quite come through. This gray, sheer Vince top with keyhole back is one of those pieces. There was a time in my life when a sheer top paired with a black tank were all I needed in the world (Express was also my favorite store, don’t judge) and every so often I go back to those roots. Unfortunately, when I go to wear these items I have trouble reinterpreting them; the 16 year-old inside of me instinctively reaches for black
ass-pants or flared jeans and black belt with a huge buckle. (Hey, at least I’m not busting out the platform Steve Maddens and, on an exciting note, flares are rumored to be making a comeback this fall.)
In an attempt to make this top appropriate for dinner with the girls at a casual restaurant on the South Shore of Long Island (The Boathouse in Merrick for you fish lovers out there get the Chilean Sea Bass over fresh spinach, it’s delicious) I wore it with simple J. Crew crops and flat sandals. I like the look, I just don’t love it. It’s hard to tell here, but the neckline is beaded, so I feel like a necklace or earrings would be too much and I don’t really love the idea of tucking it in because then you miss out on the back detail. Suggestions on how I might style it would be greatly appreciated. Help a sister out and leave some love in the comments.

Top: Vince Tank: Excellent question, I’ve had it so long that the printed tag has worn off. Pants: J. Crew Sandal: Nine West Bag: See by Chloe Bluebell Small Bag (it’s new and I got it on sale and I love it!)