Have I said this before? I truly love all the long tunics/shirts out and about this year. They can be worn buttoned up over pants, jeans, long pencil skirts or leggings or worn open like a duster over all of the above. They’d even look good with wide, flowy pants for day or evening. I’m not sure how long they’re going to be in style, but I’ll wear mine to death as long as they are!
Here I’m wearing mine with a wide belt to give my waist some definition and I felt quite confident in this look! Perfect for transitioning between seasons – wear another top or shirt underneath or don’t, depending on the weather.
I spent many years traveling for business, but I never had to “dress for travel” because I was always in business ensembles. Because of that experience, I continued to think carefully about what I wore for traveling when that part of my career ended. I always wanted to look sophisticated and well-dressed – like maybe I was still a road warrior.
As the years passed, I slowly changed my travel apparel to reflect two things: 1) the fact that most people were dressing down and I stuck out, and 2) the fact that I wanted and needed to be comfortable – you know, i case I had to spend the night on the floor in the airport or really run to catch a train.
Now I follow some simple guidelines which I thought I would share:
Wear clothing that you plan to wear in some combination at your destination. If I wear leggings, I know they can double as exercise tights once I arrive. I will wear a duster sweater (bulky to pack) and then wear it later in my trip. This also presumes that I have picked a base color for my travel wardrobe of either black, navy, or a shade of brown.
Wear cute AND comfortable shoes. Nothing is worse than finding out that your shoes are uncomfortable halfway to your gate. I used to always wear a shoe with a heel (because I wanted to be taller than everyone else), but I have gradually shifted to certain low heels, cute flats, or sneakers.
Organize your clothing layers before you leave. Perhaps, like me, you fly from California to the East Coast in winter. I don’t need a coat on the front end but I’ll surely need one on the back end. So my winter coat is packed with gloves or mittens on the top of my bag for easy access after I land. Then there is the issue of staying warm and comfortable on the plane. I always carry a big scarf, an eye mask and earplugs.
Wear makeup and take the time to look nice! You never know who you’ll meet on the plane and don’t you ultimately just want to look better than everyone else you’re with?
Carry a chic carryall or backpack in addition to your handbag. What’s in mine? Earplugs, eye mask, big scarf, all my medications, my jewelry bag, reading materials, nutritious snacks, water, the newspaper and my computer and mouse. In the handbag (always!): Kleenex, ID, phone with boarding pass displayed, Ibuprofin, mouth freshener, lipstick, credit cards and cash.
Take a look at these great items for your next travel day.
Welcome to another of Jeanne’s current obsessions: sleeveless turtleneck tunics! Actually any cozy turtlenecks will do, but this particular style is perfect and very versatile. Wear it as a sleeveless tunic in between seasons or wear it with a crisp shirt or another turtleneck in cooler weather. I even love these tunics with simple tees underneath. They work with leggings, jeans and even sleek dressy pants. There should be plenty of these on sale after the Christmas rush so keep your eyes open. I think you’ll learn to love them too!
Shop my picks:
See how I styled another of my favorite turtleneck tunics:
Jeanne says: So much hot pink, so little time! I DO love this color especially in the winter months. I feel like the peplum trend is ending, but I still love mine because they dress up any outfit. Kate’s little dress is adorbs — another of her 12-month dresses. Perfect with tights and a jacket, so also light and airy in the summer.
Kate says: I was getting tired of my winter dresses, so it was time to bust out a summery one! Leggings and a blazer are the perfect way to warm up a dress like this, and of course the bright colors help ease my winter blues. Mom has also shown us how versatile hot pink is — we’ve seen her wear this top so many ways (like here and here).
Jeanne says: First of all, this Golden Tote dress is beautifully made — the fabric is great and the color sublime. But it is too short for someone my age to wear as a dress; hence the legging solution and another reason to wear knee high boots!
Kate says: It was so nice to be in California and wear this dress without tights! But I do love the color of this dress and the cut, which is why I let it shine on it’s own here with a simple pendant necklace and metallic flats. This isn’t a shape I feel 100% comfortable in, but the fitted sleeves help — and I always have the option to belt it!
Jeanne says: Most of my casual workday outfits are probably not, by normal standards, very casual. But this outfit sure was! Not only leggings, but plaid leggings. I lusted after these Tory Burch leggings and finally got them on deep sale. I’m still a little hesitant to wear leggings to work, but I think this look with a tunic sweater worked out and I didn’t feel too….exposed.
Oh how I love the look Kate has on. This combo of belted cardigan sweater, frilly shirt, and knee high boots with pants always looks great on her. She has a lot of casual work days — most of them, I think — and this is a great example. I still remember when Kate had to buy a little black blazer and black pants for work; she finally understands that she doesn’t need a little suit to be a successful professional.
Kate says: I am lucky that I can choose most days whether I want to casual or more business casual for work. Particularly on rainy days like this one, I’m more inclined to go with jeans and boots, but I try to balance that out with a blouse like this printed peplum and nice jewelry. This has been my formula for my business casual work place: always balance more casual pieces with dressy items, and dressier pieces with more casual items.
I would not have guessed that Mom wore this outfit to work, but I think we can see that she is settling in a bit at her new job and getting a better sense of what she can wear to work! Her plaid leggings are a fun spin on the trend. Although I’m still not a huge fan of leggings as pants, she is showing the right way to do it, with a loose, longer top that balances out the tightness of the leggings and covers her tush!
It is wintertime and, if we were ever going to bundle up in a big sweater, this would be the time to do it. The trend is really on this year with huge sweaters shown over tiny lace skirts, skinny jeans and leggings. Are you into this trend?
Jeanne says: As someone who has always worried about looking too big in certain clothing designs, I can tell you that this look is not for me. I’ll toy with wearing bulky knit sweaters, but I am very careful about the proportions — i.e.sleeveless big knit sweater that I can belt, sweater coat with high, narrow armholes, sweater with a chunky turtleneck and a body in a finer knit. The idea of throwing a big fisherman’s knit sweater over leggings would never tempt me. And, of course, this girl is not wearing a miniskirt of any kind, so that idea is out.
Kate says: I have to agree with Mom on this one (do we actually agree against a trend for once??). I love the way this looks on other people — they look so cozy and chic. But I don’t think I love this idea on myself. Like Mom, I also stay away from styles that add a lot of bulk or size to my frame. As someone with some curves, I think it is way too easy to look heavier than you are in bulky knits. My nod to this trend is my love of sweater coats and cozy, bulky cardigans — these styles you can at least belt or wear something more fitted underneath. But isn’t this what we all do — adapt trends to find our own style and comfort level?
Jeanne says: It was dress down Friday — can you tell? I really am not a dress and leggings girl, but, without leggings, this little dress is boring. And if I throw on a belt, it is definitely too short and leggings are the perfect answer! So there’s some fashion advice if you have either longer tunics or too short dresses. I love my new Jeffrey Campbell shoes — he has a wonderful sense of humor and, as you may know, designs either bizarre 8″ platform heels or wonderful, reasonable classic shoes. I think these are the latter….
Kate has this dress and leggings thing down better than I do. Here she is wearing her versatile black and white dress with leggings and a long sweater — a perfect example of winterizing a light dress. This would also look great with any of her high or low boots. I personally think she needs to put this dress on her “best dress of all time” list. She looks smashing! Interestingly, Kate wouldn’t wear leggings for a long time, but she finally understands their value 🙂
Kate says: Here I am again, in this dress I claim to hate! This is a good reminder of how useful a black and white print dress can be in your closet. I like the look of this longer cardigan with the high neck of this dress — the proportions are interesting, and still lets me wear a fun necklace. I definitely am a late-adopter of leggings, and still really only wear them like I do tights!
Mom looks so cute in these photos — I love sharing these more casual photos of her on the blog. She looks very sleek and chic in her all black outfit. We all know I would need some color in there, but she breaks it up with a zebra print scarf, big belt, and silly alphabet loafers. A perfect casual outfit.
Kate says: As I looked back through my outfits of the past year, I very quickly remembered which ones made me feel awesome and which ones felt pretty meh. The common theme running through my favorites? Each of these days I felt like I was taking a chance with a risky outfit. I think I also really love layers!
Jeanne says: I felt so good in this outfit. Everything was acquired very inexpensively and it all came together so well! I’m actually wearing the obi belt inside out because this way it matches the shoes and the blouse perfectly. Don’t you love it when random items in your closet end up matching perfectly?
Kate’s outfit is way too bohemian for me, but she looks cute and on-trend. She has a very good eye for complementary colors, whereas I am pretty matchy-matchy as you know. I would have put on black boots or something but she trots out her cute oxfords — of course they match her belt. Nice ensemble, Kate!
Kate says: I find it so interesting that Mom thinks my outfit is bohemian! It is kind of “flowy” but I find her patchwork printed obi belt and clutch paired with her peasant top and silk pants to be the ultimate bohemian outfit! I do like this outfit of mine — it was very comfortable and warm. In retrospect, I’m not sure I love this scarf with the dress — I might have preferred something pink or even the right shade of green.
I love how Mom combines her various red patterns into a fun bright outfit. I probably would have paired this peasant top with more structured pants for greater contrast, but her wide obi belt adds a nice “anchor point”. I really struggle with peasant style tops because I don’t really think they’re very flattering…. but as a look I enjoy them.