What Jeanne Wore: Little Black (Midi) Dress

black midi dress | Two Take on Style

black midi dress | Two Take on Style

Silence & Noise dress (similar), Hinge top (similar), Jessica Simpson shoes via DSW (similar), Banana Republic earrings (similar), Timex watch (similar)

black midi dress | Two Take on Style

I am in love with this simple little $20 midi dress last seen here.

black midi dress | Two Take on Style

Bought on sale at Urban Outfitters, this dress is flattering, machine-washable, and a little funky (see gathered portion at the bottom of the dress!).  It is perfect for summer, for travel – I could go on and on.  I could even see it with a white tee underneath going into cooler weather.  And it is perfect for layering – whether I choose a crocheted top or a sheer button down shirt.

I cannot say it too many times – if you buy the perfect black midi dress (perfect meaning relatively cheap and a little flow-y), you can find a MILLION ways to wear it!

Shop our picks:

See how I’ve worn this dress before:

black dress with white accessories | Two Take on Style

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My Style Challenge Summer ’15: Off-the-Shoulder Blouses

off the shoulder | Two Take on Style

 off the shoulder | Two Take on Style
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This is my final style challenge of the summer and perhaps it is one that I shouldn’t even be considering.  Among the good features that I (still!) like to play up are my shoulders.  So naturally I adore the off-the-shoulder blouses that abound this summer.   But…

Unfortunately I think this style fits into the category of items I could still wear, but shouldn’t.  It is an inherently young look — in the same category as miniskirts and crop tops.  And then there are the off the shoulder tops that are crop tops! NOOOOOOO!

off the shoulder | Two Take on Style

I don’t want to “dress my age” necessarily, but I also need to know where to draw the line. Yes, my shoulders look pretty good, but that doesn’t mean I’ll look good in a style that basically bares the upper third of my torso. So I’m giving up on this one – and just in time since it is almost Labor Day!

There are some modifications/variations of the off-the-shoulder top that we all might consider however – the one shoulder look, a top with strategic arm and shoulder cutouts and an exaggerated boat neck which bares the very top of the shoulder.  Take a look at these!

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Clothes From the 70’s – Really?

70s style | Two Take on Style

70s style | Two Take on Style

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If you’ve looked at any fall fashion in the latest fashion and style magazines and you have any memories of the 60’s and 70’s, it surely felt like deja vu all over again!  My heart actually sank when I began to peruse fall fashion.  I had been holding my breath, hoping that bell bottoms, high-waisted jeans, headbands, fringe (yeah, you know what I think about that!), ribbed turtlenecks, long uncombed hair and the like would slip right on by without become a “thing”. But, sigh, I was wrong and this stuff is everywhere!

Not all memories are bad.  I had a darling peach suede miniskirt that I adored AND lots of silky long sleeved blouses – and scarves galore.  I  made myself a pair of neon green hot pants and wore them to meet my future in-laws at the San Francisco Airport.  But I cannot go through it again!!  Can you?

However, I believe one can always find something pretty and flattering in every fashion trend. So here are my thoughts on the current 70’s trend:

  • Flared jeans, if not bell bottoms, can be very flattering since they balance out a broader hip area.
  • I actually am a fan of long sweater coats — they are a wonderful alternative to jackets and add some drama to any outfit.
  • Present-day faux versions of suede and leather look pretty darn good – just pick a classic shape that you’ll wear when the trend dies.
  • Ponchos (without fringe) are trendy and practical, and showing up everywhere again this year.
  • And ribbed turtlenecks CAN be flattering with today’s shapewear underneath!

Here are some 70’s-influenced looks that could look modern and chic on fashionistas of every age:

 

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Finding the Perfect Black Shoes for Travel

black travel shoes | Two Take on Style

black travel shoes | Two Take on Style

My husband and I are going on a vacation in a few short weeks — not a “sunning in a lawn chair” vacay, but one with a lot of tromping around on quaint Northern European streets. Every trip like this sends me into a paradox of shoe shopping.  I mean, it’s easy for my husband: one pair of urban hiking shoes, a pair of Vans and a pair of casual leather slip-ons and he’s ready to go.

For me, it is not so simple. Because I want the perfect pair of black flats to wear on the trip and I have a strict set of criteria:

  1. They must be chic.
  2. They must be extremely comfortable; not sandals (too cool) and probably not boots.
  3. They must be chic.
  4. They cannot be traditional “older woman” walking shoes.
  5. They must be chic.

This is not an easy task.  Oh, and I also hope to complete this task online and at a reasonable price.  What’s a girl to do?

So I have turned to Nordstrom.  Their shoe buyers do seem to get the idea that comfort and chicness can go together without going to Dr. Scholl’s. I had hoped I could model my options for you, but unfortunately none of my selections have arrived yet.  I do promise to show you my choice when I pack for my 14-day journey.  Fingers crossed and here are the options I’ve been considering:

And one from Garnet Hill:

Kenneth Cole King Slip-On Sneakers | Two Take on Style

Which do YOU think will win the Black Shoe Vacation Sweepstakes???

In the meantime, check out a post I wrote about traveling in style when I went to Thailand 2 years ago.

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What Jeanne Wore: Pattern Mixing to the Max

pattern mixing | Two Take on Style

pattern mixing | Two Take on Style

Zara culottes (similar), Alice & Olivia top (similar), Joe’s Jeans shoes, Zara necklace (similar), Michael Kors watch (similar)

pattern mixing | Two Take on Style

I couldn’t help myself.  These two patterns looked SO RIGHT together and, even though I had second thoughts, I wore these culottes and tee together – with my head held high!

Separarely, of course, these items have a lot of versatility but I love the idea of summery printed culottes.  I am also glad that yellow print tops seem to be everywhere – I gravitate towards yellow anything so I’m on board.   Are you?

pattern mixing | Two Take on Style

Shop our picks:

See other ways we’ve mixed patterns:

pattern mixing | Two Take on Style

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My Style Challenge Summer 2015: Jumpsuits and Rompers

jumpsuit | Two Take on Style

jumpsuit | Two Take on Style

Don’t she look chic in her jumpsuit?

I was all over the jumpsuit/rompers trend when they first came out. I bought three of them and you’ve seen them here:  a Zara olive green from last summer, a khaki number from H&M that cost $30 and a chambray version from Loft that I got on eBay.  I was happy, proud even that I had mastered the jumpsuit trend.

Then I wore my jumpsuits…and I learned what a fashion disaster they really were!  Just try to run quickly to the ladies room! Sporty jumpsuits (the kind I have) require sporty accessories – wide belts, scarves, you name it.  It took ten minutes to undress and redress in the ladies room.  This is impractical fashion!  I’ll wear mine again but not without gritting my teeth every time I must take a bathroom break.  And, I’ll add, jumpsuits and rompers have to be perfectly proportioned to be comfortable; otherwise you will feel like you are being cut in half.

Jumpsuits are certainly age-appropriate but be warned:  there is extra work involved!!! You might want to focus on strapless versions with the fewest fasteners and buttons.  However rompers, in my opinion, are a non-starter – barely appropriate for anyone beyond the toddler age – usually too short overall or in the crotch.  If you MUST wear a romper, test it before you buy – is the leg too wide to be modest?  Can you bend over without showing half your lady bits?

OK, OK, I admit that there are a lot of cute jumpsuits and rompers around (not surprising, right?).  Here are a few for you to peruse.  Just remember forewarned is forearmed!

See how I’ve worn jumpsuits:

jumpsuit | Two Take on Style

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Print of the Week: Toile de Jouy

toile | Two Take on Style

toile | Two Take on Style

This is one of my favorite fabrics – whether used for interior decoration or clothing decoration.

Let’s go to Wikipedia for a good definition: “Toile de Jouy”, sometimes abbreviated to simply “Toile”, is a type of decorating pattern consisting of a white or off-white background on which a repeated pattern depicting a fairly complex scene, generally of a pastoral theme such as a couple having a picnic by a lake or an arrangement of flowers. The term, Toile de Jouy, originated in France in the late 18th century. In the French language, the phrase literally means “cloth from Jouy-en-Josas”, a town in the south-west suburbs of Paris.  There you have it!

Putting aside the fact that I once had a bedroom where the wallpaper, bed linens, AND curtains were all the same black and white Toile, I am weak in the knees every time I see Toile clothing.  To be fair, its hard to find and most often seen in couture gowns if at all.  Here are a few of my favorites at the moment:

toile | Two Take on Style

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But there are wonderful items out there in Toile de Jouy.  Do check them out because Toile looks particularly dreamy in the summer!

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What Jeanne Wore: Black and White AGAIN

black dress with white accessories | Two Take on Style

black dress with white accessories | Two Take on Style

Silence & Noise dress (cutealso cute), Forever 21 shoes (similar), Banana Republic earrings (similar), Timex watch (similar), Chicos ring

black dress with white accessories | Two Take on Style

I’m sorry, I’m just in the mood for black and white!  It’s such a clean look and, somehow, in hot weather, that is perfect.  Layers feel too complicated as does pattern mixing.

And this is another incredibly cheap dress from Urban Outfitters this time – sale on top of sale and then reduced some more.  I love any dress with an odd detail – and the gathered bottom portion of this dress qualifies!  So much fun.

Over time, I’ve also acquired some white accessories and now is the perfect time of year to use them.  So it is possible that you may see me again in black and white before summer is over.  Why don’t you join me with a similar cool summer look?

black dress with white accessories | Two Take on Style

Shop our picks:

See other ways we’ve worn black and white:

black and white | Two Take on Style

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Lately, on Instagram

peach sweatercoat and print pants | Two Take on Style

Here are a few favorites from Instagram lately. And Kate is back for a cameo – including her first work-from-home OOTD!

Kate’s Instagram | Jeanne’s Instagram

peach sweatercoat and print pants | Two Take on Style

Moth sweater via Anthropologie (similar), J. Crew pants (majorly on sale!), Addison top (similar), Mango shoes (similar), Target necklaces (similar), Chico ring (similar)

mint top and print maxi skirt | Two Take on Style

C. Wonder top (similar), GAP Factory Store maxi skirt (similar)

Anthropologie maxi skirt | Two Take on Style

Maeve skirt via Anthropologie (similar), Asos shirt (similar), J. Crew sweater, Forever 21 sandals (similar), Alexis Bittar earrings (similar)

neon tee and jeans | Two Take on Style

J.Crew tee (similar color), Levi’s jeans (similar)

cape top with print pants | Two Take on Style

Free People top (similar), Asos pants (similar), J. Crew shoes (similar), old necklace (similar)

embroidered top, skirt and oxfords | Two Take on Style

Skies Are Blue top via Golden Tote (similar), J.Crew skirt (similar), Steve Madden oxfords (similar), Bauble Bar necklace

pink shirt with red pants | Two Take on Style

Mango shirt (similar), Mango pants (similar), J. Crew belt (similar), Sole Society shoes (similar), J. Crew earrings (similar), Kenneth Jay Lane ring

striped dress with pearls and sandals | Two Take on Style

Joe Fresh dress (similar), Loft Outlet necklace (similar), Target sandals (similar)

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Linking up with Summer Style, Fashion Friday, Sophisticated Style.

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