Jeanne says: I love this leopard blouse with white collar and cuffs. This is an interesting way to style this blouse making it just a little bit different from others I’ve seen! And I’ve been dying to wear my new on sale faux leather skirt from Zara. Actually the shoes are new this year as well. The bottom line is that animal print fashion is no longer a fad and it looks great with everything so get out there are buy something in leopard!
I have the exact same sweater Kate is wearing! She looks feminine and darling here and, of course, her backdrop wins. I mean how often can we match our necklace to the landscape like that? She is also proving that leopard print goes with everything — here a demure little dress gets jazzed up with some saucy leopard and a few bright touches of blue.
Kate says: I’ve gotten more wear out of this leopard print cardigan than I thought I would when I bought it! It’s my go-to cardigan when I need some print in my outfit. In this outfit, it’s a nice contrast with all the blue going on in my dress, necklace and shoes.
Mom’s outfit is so very her! Sassy leopard blouse with exaggerated collar, leather pencil skirt, wide belt… This blouse is super cute — I’ve been eyeing similar ones with super pointy collars myself. And her brown leather pencil skirt is a nice change from all the black leather skirts we’ve been seeing — and works well with the leopard. I usually stay away from pairing leopard with leather (seems a little too much) but with brown it works!
As a part of the trend towards “athletic wear as street style”, joggers — also known as track pants or, let’s face it, sweatpants — have definitely become fashionable for all settings, except maybe funerals and weddings! It was probably inevitable once we all began to wear skinny pants and jeans. Today you can find joggers in every fabrication from French terry to leather and you’ll see them worn with everything from high heels and booties to Birkenstocks. What do we think of this trend?
Jeanne says: I bought faux leather joggers in the Fall of 2013 and I’ve never looked back. I also bought a few pairs this summer and enjoyed wearing them with sandals and a summer top. But I understand that this is a borderline trend for someone in my age group and I must think carefully about how and when I wear my joggers. I CAN wear them to work but not when I’m having a meeting with outsiders; I can wear them out on a Saturday night, but not to church on Sunday morning.
If you try joggers out, watch out for a look that is simply too baggy or has ill-placed pockets….you may also want to tuck the waist drawstring inside the pants like I do.
Kate says: This is another trend that I find adorable but doesn’t work on my body. The cut of joggers, with a pleated waist and pockets right on the hips, just don’t flatter my hips! I even bought a pair of sweatpants that are cut like joggers so I can enjoy this trend in the comfort of my own home.
I think the trick to making joggers work in a real woman’s wardrobe is to pair them with something dressy or structured. So either heels, a blazer or crisp white shirt can take joggers from frumpy loungewear to a fashion statement.
Jeanne says: Oh, the versatility of denim/chambray. Kate is really the champion of chambray; she always finds a new way to wear her chambray shirt. My Old Navy shirt is a little heavier, making it ideal for transitional weather. I found this skirt on sale at Anthropologie and its gray/blue stripe really makes the denim shirt “pop”. Add in my cheap Forever 21 belt and my on-sale booties and I’m ready to go!
Kate scored this wonderful dress at Target; I even tracked it down for myself on eBay because I loved it so much. But, alas, by that point it was too expensive for my taste and I cannot copy Kate ALL the time. Anyway, the chambray with this little dress is “adorbs”, although she needs to try the “Jenna Lyons” style for rolling up her sleeves like I did!
Kate says: This dress has provided a fun challenge to my layering abilities. I actually think it looks better layered over a collared shirt or turtleneck than on its own, so I’m constantly looking for new ways to layer it! I particularly love how my chambray shirt picks up the blue in this dress — it makes it look like these pieces were made to be worn together!
I’ve been seeing more and more dark chambray shirts around, and they really are a completely different look from my lighter style. I love Mom’s version combined with rich brown accessories and a striped skirt that, let’s be honest, only she can wear! I probably would have looked for a punch of color — maybe bright earrings? — but I love this outfit.
Jeanne says: Hot pink is a favorite of ours and rightly so because it goes with virtually everything! My top is actually a peplum top that I tucked into my skirt — almost like wearing a dress as a top. This skirt is always a winner and I am wearing it year round. Kate laughs at how much I love this skirt because it is neoprene — never wrinkles, goes in the washing machine, what’s not to love?
I love Kate’s outfit — she’s mixing kind of an animal print in her trousers with hot pink and turquoise and it is fabulous. She should wear these pumps more often, don’t you think? Pink is a wonderful color with her skin tone and it looks wonderful on her here. I don’t think we’ve seen that sweater lately and I say wear it often and proudly because it looks great on you!
Yes, we know that this is an awkward post title, but how else can we describe all the fun non-jackets available to keep us warm for fall this year? We’re talking ponchos, capes, shawls and ruanas — you know — non-jackets!
Capes are a definite “thing” this year. Somehow they always remind us of the hooded version worn by Little Red Riding Hood. But of particular interest this year is the “minimalist” cape look which buttons up the front and has two slit openings for one’s arms. Here are a few great examples.
Ponchos typically have an opening for the head and drape over the shoulders and arms. They can run the gamut from the plastic ponchos one takes on a camping trip to luxe versions in cashmere with fur trim. Here are a few that we think are contemporary, chic, and affordable.
Ruanas can be mistaken for ponchos or capes, but they are designed to look like one is wearing a very big shawl, but one that is constructed to cover the back and the front. Ruanas can even be worn over traditional outerwear in very cold weather. Here are a few great versions.
So as you plan for transitional outwear for fall, don’t forget to check out these chic alternatives to the transitional jacket.
Jeanne says: I bought both this plaid sorta patchwork top and these vegan leather track pants last year before plaid and track pants were a “thing”. It’s so much fun to wear them THIS year when they are so in style. I have always had a weakness for plaid — skirts, pants, whatever. I have to stop myself from buying plaid on a regular basis, so I am in fashion heaven this year.
Kate has been wearing her plaid for a while too; it must be hereditary! But she pairs hers with bright cobalt flats and a cozy sweater vest — perfect for fall. Interestingly, plaid is the one fabric design that doesn’t lend itself to pattern mixing. Instead it stands on its own, I think. Check out the great plaid items below and you’ll be buying more plaid yourself!
Kate says: Ah, this vest. I love it but never know how to wear it! I tried it here for a bit of a schoolboy look, which I think works, right? Plaid does seem like a natural combination, although I feel borderline professorial. I tried to keep it up-to-date with black skinny jeans and bright flats. Plaid button-up shirts are super versatile for fall and winter — wear them on their own now but layered with sweaters and dresses later!
I love Mom’s more sophisticated take on plaid. I love her plaid top with the floral detail on the sleeves — we’ve seen a lot of this going on with striped tops as well. With her vegan track pants, Mom seems almost like a grown-up version of a punk, doesn’t she?? But she keeps it demure with kitten heels and black jewelry instead of moto boots!
Jeanne says: Yes, this is a lot of blue tweed. I am not a suit-y kind of person, but occasionally this jacket-pants mixture seems to work. A suit is actually a wonderful alternative in fall; one can wear it in the morning and remove the jacket in the afternoon when the temperature climbs. This suit has a little gold thread running through the tweed which dresses up my look. Hooray for blue tweed!
Kate’s outfit is what I would call a “virtual” tweed — her skirt is made of a fabric that mimics the tweed look with a more modern twist. Kate “punks” up her tweed with beige booties but keeps the look more work-like with a pretty cap sleeve top and her turquoise necklace. Kate can also convey a different look by changing her hairstyle — not an option open to me. She can do this sassy look — a bit rocker — or wear her hair smooth for a more business like look.
Kate says: This blue tweed skirt was one of my favorite purchases this spring. I love the red and white running throughout the fabric, and the faux leather waist band! My first inclination would be to pair this skirt with a sweater and tights (as seen below), so combining it with a blouse is a nice change of pace while it’s still a bit warmer out.
Mom’s suit is great — although I think this may be better categorized with the “co-ord” trend rather than as a suit! No one wears such sassy suits. These pieces have been super versatile for Mom — we’ve her wear both the jacket and pants separately and together a few times (see below for a great example!). I love how she’s styled it here with the bold rugby striped top underneath. Very unexpected!
Fall is that beautiful time of year when it’s actually the right temperature to wear jackets. On the east coast, the length of time between “hot and humid” and “chilled to the bone” is depressingly short. On the west coast, however, you rely on jackets much more — they get pulled out during cooler summer evenings and also worn late into winter.
So Kate savors her chance to wear jackets while it lasts, and Jeanne needs to keep herself entertained during her long jacket season. Good thing there are so many options! Here are some of our favorite jacket trends:
Jeanne says: This was one of those days when I only thought through half of my outfit — the skirt and the tee. I decided it was too late in the year for sandals so I grabbed these old smoking slippers and THEN I remembered my neoprene bomber — Score! It is easy to make your maxi skirt work into cooler weather — a longer sweater, a little jacket — they all work to make your look seasonal.
Kate is doing practically the same thing – combining her vivid sweater with a black maxi skirt. I like how she tucked in her sweater and did a belted look. After that, adding a turquoise necklace to offset her coral top. Now it would be easy for her to add a jean jacket or her cute denim jacket with faux leather sleeves.
Kate says: I’ve really struggled with how to make my maxi skirts more cooler-weather-friendly without feeling super conservative. This is one way I liked it, and I think the key is bright colors up top and a tucked-in sweater. In my mind, I could substitute the black maxi skirt for black jeans and this is an outfit I would totally wear. But the silhouette avoids looking frumpy or oversized.
Something about Mom’s outfit is so California to me — maybe it’s the palm tree on her tee? Either way, she shows a perfect way to carry your maxis into fall with a great jacket and loafers.With this style of banded-waist skirt, I’m not sure I would have gone for the half tuck, but it does help add some waist definition. I think the bright color of her maxi skirt is also key here, which is then grounded with grays and blacks.
Jeanne says: This is about as casual as I go for the office. I love these jeans — a little distressed but not too, a little skinny but not too. You get the picture, right? I love taking a frilly top like this one and combining it with a very low key sweater and cute heels. This combo pushes the concept of “hi-low” dressing which I love.
Kate starts off her casual look with her faded boyfriend jeans and she adds a casual tee and a more formal blazer. She is also doing the “hi-low” look and then she grounds the look with her cognac oxfords. She could have added some bling to this outfit, but I’m not going to quibble about that!
Kate says: I loved this outfit. Something about the tomboy-ish-ness of it, I guess! My secret to dressing up a super casual outfit for work is to throw on a blazer. I also like to keep things simple on Fridays — I put so much thought into my outfits Monday through Thursday, it’s nice to take a break!
Mom takes a similar twist on her casual outfit, dressing things up with a lace top instead of a blazer. I love this coral top dressed down (you can see it dressed up below) and Mom looks perfect for a Friday workday. She has several pairs of boyfriend jeans by now — on the never-ending quest for the perfect pair — but I am partial to this dark wash version.