Jeanne says: I am still loving my camo skirt, especially with lime green. The true highlight of this outfit, however, is my insect necklace from Mango. All these shades of greens and yellows make me happy. And generally they look great in the summer when our complexions are a little sun-kissed, right? When I am shopping I have to consciously stop myself from buying olive/drab green items. I love them all, but, invariably, it is hard to match them with other items.
Kate’s dress has EVERYTHING! Fabulous bright colors, great shape, and amazing patterns. I covet this dress. Dresses like this are so great because they are no-brainers. Find a shoe, throw on some jewelry and go — it really doesn’t matter what you pick because people will be so dazzled with the dress they’ll never notice the details! Yes, I really covet this dress.
Kate says: This is one of those dresses that I stalked for quite a while. I saw it on the Anthropologie website and hukked it … and miraculously combined a gift card and major sale to finally make it mine. I love it for its fun, colorful print and its unusual style, with the drop waist and longer short sleeve. Mom is right — this kind of dress can stand on its own with just a simple shoe and maybe some jewelry.
Mom has hit on a great color combination with her lime green and camo. I love this! I think it’s fairly unexpected, and shows how neutral a camo print can actually be (not ALL camo prints are like this!). Her top and shoes are a little matchy (I might have opted for a more neutral shoe color), but I like how she grounds everything with the jean jacket. Cute!
Jeanne says: Ugh – this outfit looks uncomfortably hot for the weather right now. The marvel of this ensemble is actually the striped shirt which J.Crew intended to simply be a shirt, but I have learned to use it as a summer sweater with a pattern-mixing shirt. Then adding this wonderful navy necklace is a no brainer. Mixing these with dark boyfriend jeans is simply another no brainer!
Kate and I were together (sigh) when she purchased this little top – so, so cute. Truthfully, it would go with almost anything — it’s that cute. But she has paired it with her favorite jeans and mixed metallic flats and it is darling. This top would be a little too girly on me, but she wears it with aplomb. Good thing she works in air conditioning though, because any jeans could be too hot in D.C. summer weather.
Kate says: Black jeans are a go-to for my business casual work environment — many people wear jeans to work, but black jeans dress things up a just a bit. I LOVE this sale top — it’s one of those items i had to carry around for a bit in the store, and really think about whether I would wear it. But it has so much personality: an adorable mixed print (it’s lemons!), great silky feel, and interesting flutter sleeves.
Mom does indeed look hot, but keep in mind that finicky Bay Area summer weather — I’m sure for many summer days out there, this would be perfect. She’s showing a great summer strategy though: a shirt (whether long-sleeved or short-sleeved) is a great layering option when sweaters are too heavy. I love her rugby-striped shirt with the gingham underneath!
Shop black jeans (from the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale!):
Of course, the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale (or “NAS”, as we’ve seen it called!) has been covered everywhere on the style and fashion blogosphere, but it’s our observation that all the blog coverage centers on women’s clothes and accessories. We’re taking a different look at everything (almost) besides women’s apparel, shoes and accessories. Hope you like it!
To start with, why only look in the women’s section to find great accessories? We found a few in the men’s section that are worth considering:
Where better to find the big watches that are all the rage right now? Take a look at these two beauties and we’ll bet that they are both less expensive than comparable women’s watches.
A well-worn and very chic messenger bag? Here’s a pricey version to consider.
There are many items in the Home section of the Anniversary Sale that are very well-priced and chic:
Put a bird on it? How about these two darling decor pillows? (Kate’s favorite home decor colors!)
And who doesn’t want this in the master bedroom?
Next let’s turn to some items – yes, for women – that are ONLY available online.
First, great workout capris at a very good price:
Jeanne loves this dress which would work as a dress, jumper with a tee shirt underneath, and as a long vest!
Backpacks are really in right now and this one is very well-priced:
Finally why aren’t bloggers featuring NAS jewelry deals? Here’s a darling one for you:
So, as you go through the sale items on line, don’t forget to broaden your horizons! You might find items you really love in unexpected places! Happy shopping!
What items do you have your eye on at the Nordstrom Anniversary sale?
Jeanne says: Ah, yes my red lace skirt purchased for about $10 from Mango online. I was so desperate to get this that I sized up two sizes. Yes, its a little big and should probably be altered but I wear it anyway! I like the contrast of the very feminine lace skirt and the tailored shirt I am wearing with it.
Kate bought her skirt last year and has gotten lots of wear out of it. I like it with her little chambray shirt. She looks cool but business-like, an important combo during a D.C. summer. I know it is hot when I don’t even want to wear a statement necklace and it looks like Kate agrees since she has stuck with earrings here.
Kate says: It’s true, this eyelet skirt has been a great wardrobe addition for me. Isn’t it crazy to think about pieces like this that you actually felt unsure about buying? This outfit feels very Americana — red and blue, eyelet and chambray. In the heat, I do prefer to keep things simple. This is a thicker chambray shirt, so I’d rather wear earrings than a heavy statement necklace, for sure!
It’s amazing how a too-big skirt can really work well on Mom, but as she’s mentioned before, this tactic helps her get some additional length, and also keeps the skirt from being very tight. I like it paired here with her pajama-style Liberty print shirt — although I have to admit that a buttoned-up shirt feels very hot these days!
Here are some cute lace and crochet pencil skirts to check out:
On Kate: Banana Republic Factory Store dress (similar), Old Navy sandals (similar), gift necklace (similar)
Jeanne says: I like wearing maxi skirts to work because it is possible to get a somewhat dressy look while still being really comfortable. I bought this one on sale after a long search for a simple black maxi skirt without high slits on the sides — this year’s skirt slits are a good example of how the fashion industry can ruin a style that works for all ages. Pairing this with orange? A slam dunk.
Kate’s got a pretty simple look going here; it is all about her coral maxi dress. But’s that is all she needs since it looks pretty chic. Just like I said above: a little dressy, but also very comfortable. I’ve found that lighter colored maxi dresses get dirty fast (at least when I wear them) and can show every lump and bump, so I tend to go with prints or dark colors myself. Bravo, Kate! A great look for a summer day!
Kate says: I got this dress very cheap — it was my first maxi dress and is still my favorite. I love the color, soft fabric, and twisted straps. But to Mom’s point, I do wear a slip underneath to help smooth out any bumps. I love this coral color paired with almost any bright color — here I’m wearing it with a green necklace, but I also love it with a cobalt cardigan.
Mom looks great — she managed to make two flowy pieces look flattering by utilizing the half-tuck. This outfit plays up the great pattern of her top and adorable orange sandals. She’s right, that maxis can be dressed up for work while also being very comfortable — and they’re perfect for summer!
Here are some cute maxi skirts and dresses to try:
For this installment of our One Piece, Two Ways series, we are styling a cute floral mixed-print tee from Zara (here’s a similar option). A print top like this can be very versatile — as you’ll see below, it’s easy to dress up or dress down. Definitely a wardrobe staple!
Jeanne says: In truth, I think Kate was horrified by my silly Zara outfit. However, I adore the top and bottom together. Certainly, I don’t run into anyone wearing the same ensemble – even in California!
Seriously, this is an adorbs top — fitted under the bust and then a little flared and we are proving that it looks good on many different figures. I almost want to gift it to Kate because she looks so cute in it. It is very versatile — I’ve worn it with jeans and I’ve worn it to work. It would work with a little blazer and with a faded denim jacket.
Kate says: I decided to play up the sportiness of this tee in my outfit. It has a very athletic-style banded collar, and also some cute details like ruching in the chest and a bit of a peplum at the bottom. I think this top’s perfect for summer with shorts and some easy slip-on sneakers.
The simplicity of my outfit is a nice counterbalance to Mom’s — a top like this can carry an outfit or hold it’s own against another strong pattern.
Jeanne says: So much bright blue, orange and pink! I love the bright colors of summer (although I wear brights all year round). This little top from Zara was so cheap that I couldn’t pass it up — I even offered to buy one for Kate, but she declined. The lesson in this outfit is that one can wear any combination of colors if the look is grounded in a neutral — like my black pencil skirt.
Kate’s outfit is grounded in her taupe dress which allows her to combine other bright colors together — in this case, pink and bright blue. This little taupe dress has been a “workhorse” for her and it is easy to see why. Of course, if I owned that dress, it would be covered with little marks and stains after a few wearings and I’d have to throw it out!
Kate says: When I first got this taupe dress, I had no idea what to wear with it — it’s such a funny grayish-brownish color. But I slowly realized that this type of dress can serve as the backdrop for all kinds of bright colors. I think I’ve worn it with every color in my closet! And blue and pink are a great summery color combination — we even see it showing up in Mom’s cute peplum.
Mom’s top is very “her” (even though she wanted to buy me one!). The graphic floral print, bright colors and scuba material (her fav) make it a perfect piece for her. I like how she balanced out the strong pattern with a black skirt and solid cardigan — but I can also see her pairing it with bright pants or another pattern! Mom makes a good point about bright colors — they are a natural for summer, but also a great choice for winter, when they can bring some cheer to a dreary day and brighten up dull winter skin.
Jeanne says: You’ve seen this high-low tee shirt on me before. I love it so much that I bought a Topshop version of it as well. It is indeed a simple white tee shirt, just with exaggerated proportions. It seemed like a perfect match for my polka dot “clown” pants, right?
Kate looks much more poised and sophisticated in her white tee shirt. She’s paired it with this darling skirt and peep toe heels. She looks ready for any business meeting, while I look like I’m ready for extra curricular activities. It just goes to show that a white tee shirt can come in many different designs and inspire many different ensembles!
Kate says: I love pairing a plain cotton tee with dressier pieces for work. It helps make my work outfits a little more business casual, and I really like the juxtaposition of casual and dressy in any outfit. A few years ago I got really into v-neck tees — the ones from J.Crew are the best, but this Old Navy version is a great cheaper option. I probably own at least 5 in different colors!
Mom is one of the few people who can really pull off an exaggerated top like this in real life. I would definitely feel clownish, but Mom looks great. I like how she kept her jewelry simple — with the polka dot pants and red shoes, this could have gotten quite busy with a big statement necklace. This goes to show that great white tees come in many shapes and sizes, but they are definitely a versatile closet staple!
Given the current trend of shorts suits and the sweltering temperatures some of us are enjoying, we thought it’d be interesting to look at shorts for work. Of course, this could only fly in a business casual or creative workplace. But a longer short or even culotte easily mimics the look and feel of a pencil skirt or full skirt, and usually the lengths are about the same (that’s usually the big issue, right?).
We each took a stab at putting together an outfit that dresses long shorts up for work — let’s see what we came up with:
Jeanne says: As you can see from my picture, these shorts almost look like a skirt because they are skirt length. I think that is the secret of wearing shorts to the office for women of a certain age. After all, it is the length of the short or culotte that makes the look office-acceptable. I dressed my shorts up with other office-like apparel — namely, a peplum top and jewelry. If I quizzed my workmates, I’ll bet hardly anyone even noticed I had on shorts that day!
Kate says: I took a similar tactic to Mom — our outfits are almost identical! The key is here is pairing your shorts with a blouse (a dressy top ups the office factor), a heel (which makes it look like you’re putting some effort in), and jewelry (to pull everything together). I wasn’t sure what the reaction at my office would be to this outfit, but aside from a few comments about my new shoes (!), no one seemed to notice my shorts!
Tell us: would you try longer shorts for work? How would you pull the look together?
Jeanne says: Ah, red shoes. I love them! I had a pair of red ankle strap heels from Target last year, but then I found these and they seduced me. I am sure it was the lipstick red color. I always have a lot of red in my wardrobe — red goes with virtually every other color and I can always think of endless combinations. Whether I ever get around to wearing all those combinations is another thing!
Kate’s shoes are also very cute and she wears them differently than I do. I always go for matching red in my ensemble, while Kate usually wears her red shoes as a final bright accessory. Nothing in her outfit here matches per se, but somehow the shoes bring sweater, top and pants all together. She looks darling!
Kate says: Mom is right, I do often wear my red shoes as a pop of color rather than matched with my outfit. In this outfit, my sequin top and striped cardigan are pretty neutral — I do love the stripes and sequin combo — but the red shoes really make it all come together as a “look”.
Mom is definitely more matchy than I am, but I love how she plays with the red in this outfit. We see it in her pants, necklace, glasses, and of course shoes! I also love her eyelet-sleeved shirt — that texture adds a bit more interest to the outfit. If I were wearing this outfit, I probably would have skipped the red glasses and balanced things out more with a neutral frame. But she looks adorable!