In Search of Style: Rediscovering Sources Inspiration

Just when I thought I was over FB for good, I joined the Classy Career Girl network and got involved in their private community page. The questions that my fellow female hustlers have been asking are getting my brain going on topics I love to think about like tips for being a successful woman in business, the challenges of starting a side hustle and work wardrobe inspiration.

Earlier this week, a fellow CCG (Classy Career Girl) asked where other group members go for fashion ideas and it got me thinking, where do go these days? I used to be a huge fan of Blair Eadie’s (if you don’t know Atlantic Pacific, you should) and for awhile I was really into Alexandra Pereira of Lovely Pepa, but in more recent months I’ve been in a real Death by Elocution phase (the looks they post are generally more neutral and minimalist in nature, but it reminds a magpie like myself to keep things simple). If I had to pick a person, I would definitely say Victoria Beckham—even her most casual looks are so well edited (and not impossible to replicate on the average budget).

For as long as I’ve had this blog, fashion has been a major component. I love style as a form of self-expression and I find searching for outfit inspiration to be downright therapeutic. The thing is, when I’m stressed and overworked, I find that that’s the first thing I let slip. I revert to all-black outfits that require little thought (and preferably even less dry cleaning) and provide little-to-no joy in wearing.

Blair Eadie of Atlantic Pacific

I used to spend hours poring over the looks of style bloggers, making notes on what I liked or didn’t like about the way they put things together, but it’s been ages since I truly followed any one person. Many times I just wait to see what Pinterest sends me as a suggestion and go down the rabbit hole from there.

Somewhere along the line I convinced myself that these bloggers I once loved had just gotten so extra, that all of their looks were like this one to the right (I love Blair’s style, but this ensemble makes her look like she’s going to play croquet in the early 1900s). I told myself that it was a waste of time to follow them because the looks they were posting were full of designer items that I couldn’t afford and didn’t have time to shop for knock-offs.

Now I see that the issue wasn’t the bloggers, it was me. I was in a place where spending my free time on fashion seemed frivolous and selfish. The thing is, it’s not, it’s actually something that really brings me joy.

Now I’m getting back to a place where I am once again indulging in my love of fashion. I am once again finding inspiration in the outfits that bloggers (old favorites and new ones) post.

I’m also taking the time to read the outfit credits. It turns out that Blair is indeed wearing items from previous seasons and that many of the new items were absolutely from brands I could afford like Zara, J. Crew, and Topshop (don’t I feel sheepish).

That being said, I’ll leave you with the very first look I ever pinned from Atlantic Pacific. Now I’m off in search of inspiration once again…

Vintage 2012 Blair Eadie

The first Atlantic-Pacific look I ever Pinned

 

 

Stilettos and Sweatpants

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V has the best taste, don’t you think?

I’ve been trying something new around the apartment. It started on Christmas morning when V gave me the most beautiful shoes – a pair of Valentino Garavani Rockstud Noir pumps, that I had never seen before, to be exact. While I used to spend all of my time pinning pairs of sexy shoes and studded attire, the majority of my boards these days are focused on interior decorating, career tips, and – when it comes to attire – work clothes and relaxed weekend wear. Leave it to V to discover them and deliver them under our Christmas tree when I least expect it.

The minute I opened the box I put them on. Since we had just woken up, I was relaxing in sweatpants. I wanted to share the shoes with my friend Steph, who I knew would appreciate my new footwear finery, and V helped me set the stage complete with “Naughty” box. I wore them around the apartment until it was time to leave for V’s parents’ house.

A few days later – after a week off from work spent mostly in sweats, jeans, and slouchy sweaters and tees – I was going through my clothes for my seasonal trip to the consignment shop when I came across the box for my Alexander McQueen booties. I slipped off my slipper socks and slipped on my stilettos and proceeded to wear them around the apartment for the rest of the morning – and it felt good. I stood straighter and there was a pep in my step (much to the chagrin of our downstairs neighbor, I’m sure). I walked out of the bedroom and V smiled and said, “so this is your new thing, stilettos and sweatpants?” And so I decided, yes, this will be my new thing.

Because getting dressed doesn’t have to about who is going to see you, it’s an outward reflection of how you want to feel. And I’ve got a closet full of shoes that are begging to make me feel fabulous. Cue the Kinky Boots soundtrack…

#stilettosandsweatpants

 

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

 

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: Summer Sunday in The City

V and I recently went into the city for lunch and a show with his family. The show was Off-Broadway (iLuminate at New World Stages for the America’s Got Talent fans out there), so we could be a bit more casual. It’s hard to tell in the pictures, but the skirt has a neoprene feel to it that makes it perfect for the warmer weather. The shirt is the women’s version of “That J. Crew Gingham Shirt” (which, in case you were unaware, now has it’s own Instagram account). My style is increasingly functional and I am full-on obsessed with cross-body bags at this point. This Gorjana bag can used as a handbag or, since my arms are small, worn as a shoulder bag, but 9 times out of 10 this is how you’ll see me wearing it. I only noticed as we were walking out the door that the yellow zipper matched my skirt, call it a happy accident.
This post could have also been titled, “Hooray for Natural Lighting!” since I actually remembered to have V take these outfit photos before we got back to the apartment. The best part was that in the last photo where I’m sporting a big, goofy grin, we’d just noticed that a couple was sitting in their car at the train station watching our mini-photo shoot. Caught in the act of blogging!
 
Shirt: J. Crew Skirt: Zara Sandals: Tory Burch Bag: Gorjana Sunglasses: Rayban

Outfit Post: Sunday Funday in NYC

This past Sunday V and I went into the city with some couple-friends of mine (now ours) who had yet to meet his acquaintance. The game-plan was brunch at Catch in the Meatpacking District, a spot I was happy to revisit as I had only been when they first opened, and while brunch is casual, Meatpacking is scene-y. My compromise? Sporty-chic.

Dressy track pants have been the rage for awhile now and I’m happy to see that this trend will be continuing into the fall (partly because they’re comfortable and partly because I overpaid for the ones I’m wearing here). I was originally going to pair these pants with white Converse, but I changed my mind last minute and wore these sandals instead. In my last outfit post I neglected to call attention to them, but they’re new, they’re super comfortable (it’s better than wearing slippers) and they were only $27. I couldn’t resist, I bought them in black too (last I checked they were still available on the Naturalizer website). It feels like you’re wearing slippers out, seriously, your feet will thank me.
Top: Project Social T from Urban Outfitters Pants: Theory from the Theory Outlet in Riverhead Glasses: Prada Sandals: Naturalizer Watch: Michael Kors from Nordstrom Bracelet: Vintage

Outfit Post: NYC Birthday Drinks

This week V and I went to a birthday party for a wonderful friend in NYC. It was at an intimate venue on a Thursday night so I wanted to be comfortable, but stylish (I guess that’s pretty much anyone’s goal on a random day/night). It’s still pretty hot in New York (80’s during the day, 70’s at night) so I seized the opportunity to wear these Rag & Bone shorts I’d scored at a sample sale a few months back. The waistband is undefined and there are no belt loops, so I didn’t want to wear a top I had to tuck in. They also have leather trim. V actually selected this great ASTR top that we picked our together at Nordstrom and I love the beaded detailing.  It’s the details that pull this look together and it was really fun and easy to wear.
 
 Top: ASTR Shorts: Rag & Bone Sandals: Naturalizer Bag: Tory Burch
 

And how could I forget my fabulous new lipstick? Tom Ford

Outfit Post: Adventures in Conservative Crop Topping

Crop tops have been all the rage for awhile now and, while my first instinct was to groan at the thought of exposed, dangling belly-rings (sorry, my last mental image of this type of top is from the 90’s), my second thought was that this could really work in my favor. You see, at 5’1″ I am petite. When paired with high-waisted pants and skirts, a crop top can really add length to my little frame. And so I began to experiment…

Here I am in Montauk back in June. V and I went out late Friday night and stayed at a fabulous little place called Hartman’s Briney Breezes. The room and grounds were immaculate, the view was spectacular (an unobstructed view of the ocean, which was just across the street, no complaints here), and the location was great. While Montauk has gotten a bit more scene-y in the past few years, it still has a reputation for being laid-back, so I figured this was the perfect place to try out this trend.

Outfit #1 Lunch at Navy Beach
It was a bit chilly so I actually layered a Ralph Lauren Supply Company “Boyfriend” button-down over this look (not pictured). The outfit was super comfortable and I almost didn’t want to change for our evening out (almost). Crop top: River Island Maxi Skirt: MINT Shades: Ralph Lauren Sandals (not clearly pictured): Nine West

Outfit #2 Dinner at Clam and Chowder House at Salivar’s Dock and out (The Harbor Raw Bar & Lounge, The Electric Eel at Ruschmeyer’s*, and The Surf Lodge)
I’ve never been one for dressing scantily-clad on my birthday (did I mention that that’s what this staycation was for?). Instead I usually opt for light-weight tunics or feminine separates. This year I decided to mix it up and go for a look that could probably be best described as Jenna Lyons-inspired (I dunno, you can see it, if you have something more clever feel free to leave it in the comments). I love every single item that went into this outfit and I was beyond comfortable. Every outfit should feel like this. The only bummer is that you can’t see how adorable this crop top truly is in this photo since I layered my favorite drape-y cardigan over it. Oh well, I’ll just have to wear it again… Tank: Nordstrom Pants: Banana Republic Petites Cardigan: All Saints Kicks: Converse Crossbody Bag: Tory Burch Specs: Chanel

*Fun fact: Ruschmeyer’s is an old summer camp that was turned into a hotel with cabin-inspired guestrooms.

Verdict: I “heart” crop tops.

Outfit Post: Shopping in NYC

There are some big doin’s in my life right now which require some serious apparel purchases. My mom and I went into Manhattan to look for a certain white dress and I wanted to be comfortable, but look put-together at the same time. This is the outfit I came up with and as soon as the weather is crisp again it’s going to be one of my favorites:

Flats are my new obsession – I can’t believe it myself.

Blazer: Zara (it’s navy with black leather trim, kind of hard to tell from the selfies) Sweater: J. Crew Tank: Vince Pants: J. Crew Flats: Chanel Scarf: Burberry Phone case: Kate Spade

Outfit Post: Birthday Happy Hour in NYC

As tired as I am of talking about the cold, I feel the need to point out that it’s still frigid in the NYC area. Last Friday V and I braved the elements to celebrate the birthday of my fabulous best friend from College, Laura. Laura writes the awesome workout blog, werkitinnyc, you should check it out.

The temps have been in the 20’s during the day and the teens at night, so warmth was an absolute priority. On our way in V and I actually entertained the idea of walking from the station to the venue (Bo’s in the Flatiron district), but we quickly realized that that was just crazy talk. In the few minute we were waiting on the train platform the 4″ space between where my boot ended and my skirt began were already showing the signs of frostbite.

All my life I’ve had a weakness for pleated skirts, especially plaid, kilt-style skirts, so when I saw this Burberry number at my local consignment I had to have it. Pairing over-the-knee boots with what some might deem a “Catholic Schoolgirl Skirt” can be tricky, but I covered up everywhere else and felt much more Andy Sachs/The Devil Wear Prada than Pretty Woman.

Still working on these poses…

…haven’t quite got it yet #jazzhands

Another consignment score

Turtleneck: Lord & Taylor Skirt: Burberry Boots: Vince Tights: Hue Earings (not pictured): Alexis Bittar Glasses:Chanel