Jeanne says: I bought this intense cobalt blue maxi dress at the end of the summer because I could see it with a tee underneath as the weather got cooler. Now, of course, I just want to move on to my winter wardrobe! The important point is that cobalt blue is a spectacular color that looks good on everyone, regardless of hair or skin color. I cannot think of any color that doesn’t complement cobalt. So if you don’t have any cobalt in your wardrobe, look for something now to brighten up your cold weather clothes!
Kate’s cobalt tee changes the whole look of her little skirt. We’ve seen that skirt before in different ensembles, but here you can see how the cobalt blue makes her skirt seem like a more intense color. This is another advantage of cobalt blue. Although we can’t see it here, I am also sure that the cobalt blue makes Kate’s blue eyes even more blue. This tee and skirt ensemble is one of Kate’s go to looks and it works as well here as it does every other times she puts these easy to wear items together!
Kate says: This is a new combination for me, but I loved the way my cobalt tee and magenta skirt played against each other. In person, I think this worked better — the colors were even more vibrant and the fluid fabrics of the top and skirt went together nicely. Mom is right: you can wear anything with cobalt. It’s one of the best basic colors you can include in your wardrobe.
I love Mom’s maxi dress. It’s the perfect combination of bright vibrant color and a nice fluid style with a defined waist — the kind of maxi dress I’m always looking for! She’s made it very Grecian here with the her chain belt, but the addition of the blue leopard scarf is a fun one. I can’t wait to see how she styles this for fall — maybe with a leather jacket or collared shirt underneath?
I think what will be most obvious here is how long it takes me to adopt trends! Most of these trends have been around since last year, but I have finally started to love the look and want to incorporate them into my wardrobe!
One of my challenges during the fall and winter is that I get really bored of my clothes — I think you guys know how I feel! So this fall I want to add some items to my wardrobe that will make interesting layers and keep me entertained.
Another blazer: I get a lot of wear out of my blazers in the fall and winter, so I think it’s time to add another to my collection. Right now, I’m into blazers with leather details, like these options, but I’m also considering a camel blazer.
D’Orsay flats: I know, I’m way behind the times on this one. But it took me a while to like the way these look, to be honest! Now I’d like to find some affordable and comfortable black d’Orsay flats to add some interest to my black flats game.
Wintery lace top: I have a few lace blouses that I can wear through the fall, but I’d also like to find a more wintery lace top — in a nice autumnal color, and maybe that I could layer OVER things.
Plaid scarf: Another item that was very trendy at the end of last winter was the Zara plaid scarf and all its knockoffs… now I’d like to add one of those knockoffs to my scarf collection:
Fun sweaters: Cardigans and pullovers really are the workhorses of my fall and winter wardrobe, but I end up SO tired of them. So I’m looking to breathe a little life back into my sweaters with some new additions, like these J.Crew Factory options:
Did we miss any big trends you guys are shopping for? Let us know!
Jeanne says: My black top was so popular at Urban Outfitters that it sold out — it is actually a dress that I’m wearing as a top. It has a single French quote written down the middle of the back. It goes wonderfully with my black and white striped pants — an old Zara design. Yes, the pants probably remind you of a circus but I still love them. Black and white striping is such a universal fashion theme — so easy to style, so crisp and clean. One of my favorites!
Not only is Kate wearing this cute black and striped dress, but she is taking all the beauty shots with her new seated pose! Anyway, what a cute, easy summer dress. Kate funks it up with the unexpected cognac oxfords — truly, black and white go with everything. And as Kate proves, black and white stripes complement any jewelry color or design.
Kate says: This dress is a recent purchase from Old Navy, and I really love it. It’s got that perfect full skirt that’s not super full, so it’s really flattering, and I love the half sleeve length. It’s a nice fall version of my navy and red striped dress. For late summer/early fall, it was a no brainer to pair these black and white stripes with a fun turquoise necklace and oxfords. When it gets cooler, I’ll try layering a collared shirt underneath and adding booties or tall boots.
This outfit is very Mom — those striped pants are wild, and somehow her extreme high-low top seems to tone them down! I do love this top — I wish we could get a photo of the back with the script down the middle! She shows how black and white stripes can really hold their own with great accessories.
Jeanne says: Boy, I love this lemon tee shirt, but I don’t wear it as much as I should. Doesn’t it make you smile? But I love my black maxi skirt — every black maxi skirt — even more. Every top goes with it; it can be dressed up or down; it can go demurely to a picnic or confidently to the opera; and it works almost any season. If you don’t have one, buy one right now.
Kate pairs her maxi skirt with a very feminine blouse and it works perfectly. She looks professional — yes, black maxi skirts work on the job too — and chic with her gold sandals. Kate actually wears her maxis more often than I do and combines them in very interesting ways. And who hasn’t taken a black maxi skirt, pulled it up over the bust line and belted it? (no? Well I have!) Truly this is an incredibly versatile piece of apparel.
Kate says: I think Mom and I are both showing here how easy it is to pair a fun print top with a black maxi skirt. Mom’s version is a little more casual; mine is a little more dressy. But as Mom points out — this shows the versatility of a black maxi skirt!
Sometimes I struggle with what to wear with my black maxi skirt — you need to add an injection of personality to keep things from being boring, but we all know not ALL tops work with a maxi skirt. So I think being able to tuck things in — whether a full tuck or a half tuck like Mom — helps a lot. And of course color and pattern!
It’s that time again! I, of course, have already purchased most of my picks, while Kate is still eyeing some of hers. She is so patient and thrifty. But today is my day and here are my five favorite items for fall.
1) Long black vest: I have been looking for a chic but inexpensive black vest to wear with tees as well as dressier tops. My favorite affordable version has been this vest from Ann Taylor (left). But I found a great alternative at Choies. Although my version is sold out, here is another possibility from Halogen:
2) Silver or Patent Loafers – I love the look of the clunkier loafers that are showing up this year. I can see them with boyfriend or skinny jeans – even with midi culottes. Here are a few I’ve been eyeing:
3. More neoprene! OK, so I love my neon green neoprene pencil skirt with the ruffle and I’ll probably wear that all winter. Now I want more. Both my purchases are from Asos. The first is a wonderful and feminine dress. And the second? Midi culottes. I love , love, love both of these.
4. Green stuff! Yes, I want some green in my wardrobe — a rich emerald green. I cannot afford the gorgeous designer apparel, so I’m settling for green accessories — mainly these great pumps from Madewell:
5. Some updates for my sweater collection: I don’t actually believe in collecting sweaters, but I’m ready to move away from the J.Crew Tippi sweater a bit. Here are a few I am thinking about. I have to have something cropped!
So those are my selections. Sure, there are lots of other items I lust after — sleeveless trench! One more moto jacket! The perfect black pump! More culottes! But those will have to wait for sale season!
Jeanne says: Yes, I know this is me wearing yet another pair of camo pants — I simply can’t help it. Anyway, camo is so subtle that it almost counts as a solid, right? I thought I’d combine it with this hot pink top to get some colorblocking and I think it worked! This was a dress down day for me, but I think that’s really all you can do with camo!
Kate looks very professional here and her colorblocking is using two adjacent shades on the color wheel — blue and green — a wonderful combination. The top and skirt together actually look like a little dress especially accented with the nude belt and pumps. This is an example of another colorblocking idea — using separates in different colors to create the look of a dress — I love it!
Kate says: When Mom offered to buy me this short-sleeved sweatshirt, I was skeptical — how the heck do you wear a short-sleeve sweatshirt?! But I really love it belted like I’m wearing it here, and also layered over a collared shirt. This outfit felt a little mod, which was fun. Green and blue are one of my favorite color combos, and it’s easy to color block with colors that are so close to each other.
I love Mom’s bright pink blouse paired with her green camo jeans, which are essentially a neutral at this point! But the bright pop of color takes these jeans to a new level — very chic! And this is an easy outfit formula — subtle printed pants + solid colored top. The rhinestone necklace and silver sandals are no brainers add-ons.
Jeanne says: I felt almost wintery in this sweater, scarf and dress combo. It won’t be long before we’re all trying to stay warm by layering like this. However, on this occasion, I stripped off the sweater by noon and stayed cool in my sleeveless dress. So this is a lesson in transition dressing — making sure you are dressed warmly in the morning but ready to strip by afternoon!
As you know from our post on Wednesday, Kate is wearing the REAL color of the year — green. She looks cute and very businesslike at the same time, doesn’t she? I love her little polka dot top and her simple gold necklace. I have a feeling her day started out warm and got HOT by afternoon, but, if not, it would be easy for her to pair a cute cardigan and scarf with this combo, right?
Kate says: This is another of my favorite outfit formulas: take a normally very business-y piece (like a pencil skirt) and pair it with something more casual (like a t-shirt). For my business casual work environment, it’s the perfect mix of appropriate and fun. I’ve had this green skirt for years, and it’s such a great shade of green that it feels current from season to season. With polka dots and simple accessories, it works great for a summer work outfit.
Mom shows how a white shift dress can be the perfect backdrop for bright summery colors and accessories! I love her combo of neon green cardigan and bright floral scarf. Her summers in Northern California are cooler than here in DC, so I can see how she would need to layer up for the foggy mornings. But with bright colors and a great peep-toe bootie, she keeps her layers summer-perfect.
OK, so here’s the thing. A beautiful grass green was supposed to be THE color of 2013, right? But guess what? Green, a year late, is coming on fast! While we were out shopping for 2014 Pantone Color of the Year “orchid”, green was racing up on the outside lane. Apparently the high end designers never got the memo, or maybe they, like us, simply fell in love with the color green.
In either case, Jeanne, never wanting to be late on any fashion trend, recently hit her online sources searching for chic green clothing, shoes and accessories. But, while the couture world showed every shade of beautiful green for fall — soft light green, true emerald, and rich dark green — there was very little green to be seen anywhere else! Jeanne did manage to find some great green suede pumps from Madewell (see below) and even a green Zara bucket handbag but little else.
But mark our words — green is about to show up all over the place a year late and you should get on board. It is a glorious rich hue that shines with almost every other color — from burgundy to navy blue to hot pink. Check out Angie at You Look Fab for some additional green looks for fall. She calls green a fringe trend, but we’re here to say she is wrong in this one!
Jeanne says: I love my peach waffle midi from Topshop. It came with a matching crop top, which really dresses it up. It goes perfectly with a silly fuchsia and white tee shirt. Many people think midi skirts call for dressier combos but Kate and I know that a more casual tee shirt is perfect. Aside from its matching top, I think a tee shirt is the best complement to a cute midi skirt!
I love Kate’s ensemble here. First of all, there is NOTHING like the perfect white tee with anything and everything and she proves it here. Her tee looks fabulous with this purple midi skirt. And, may I add, any skirt that looks fabulous with a white tee looks equally good with a black turtleneck and tights in cooler weather. These are universal fashion rules for those in the know!
Kate says: I ordered this skirt before I even knew what a midi skirt was — and it’s been one of my favorites ever since. You know that one item in your wardrobe that you get compliments on every time you wear it? This is it. So it’s a no-brainer that an item that fabulous can hold its own alongside a white tee. With a statement necklace and strappy sandal, you’ve got a complete outfit.
Mom did find a great midi skirt at Topshop. Great color, great texture, great shape. Last time we saw it with a striped top; it looks perfect here with a graphic tee and skinny belt. I love how Mom has combined different pinks in the most nonchalant way… and don’t miss those great chartreuse sandals!
Kate says: Anyone who has been following the blog for a while has seen my hair gradually get shorter and shorter. In fact, it’s hard to believe how long it was at the start (see on the far left above?).
But ever since high school I’ve gone through the same cycle: grow it out (down to my lower back in high school!), then start chopping it off when I get bored. And repeat. I’ve also played around some with my color, although certainly not to such drastic measures. My natural color is a very dark blond, but I’ve been getting highlights for almost a year now.
The great thing about my hair is that it is super thick and, although it’s naturally wavy/curly, it also holds heat styling really well. So longer and shorter style both work quite well. But these days I’m definitely more inclined towards the short… hence my most recent cut:
This is the shortest my hair has been since college, and I love it! It curls so much better when it’s shorter — the length doesn’t weigh it down as much — and the angled bob feels super chic.
I think the next move will be to darken things a bit for winter (see below for my inspiration). But no matter what, I’ll keep playing around!
Here are some of my inspiration photos.
The one I took to my hair stylist (Karen!) this time: