Work Wardrobe and Then Some

July 31, 2009

Seems like every week there’s a special sale, friends and family event, or what have you that entices me to bring out my credit card and swipe it like it’s hot. This time it’s the Banana Republic/Gap/Old Navy F&F weekend that gives 30% discount on everything! I took the opportunity to amp up my work wardrobe for the fall.

I work in a conservative industry, and yet there are varying degrees of professional dress. My specific group gives a little more leeway to office wear; rarely do I see my supervisors wear full suits, and even then they wear skirt suits.  Actually, something I learned this year is that for very formal professional attire, a skirt suit is the way to go for women – not the pants suit as I originally thought. As apparel becomes more and more unisex (skinny jeans on guys anyone?), the skirt is one item that is still decidedly feminine. I like this differentiator in the workplace – women should not not have to dress up like men in the office; they can establish their own form of power attire.

Through these observations and seeing how colleagues and supervisors dress in my particular group, I now prefer to don skirts and dresses above pants. It makes working that much more interesting, and putting more effort into work wardrobes heighten confidence. Ok, that was a tangent, but it all segues into the pieces I chose and like from BR.

Pencil skirts are the skirt of choice for me, love the tapered bottoms which are more flattering. The high waist is also very “in” right now, and covered with a jacket allows you to wear a more casual blouse underneath vs. a button down shirt. I got a gray pencil, and this joins a black and navy one, filling in another “need to get” in my workwear.

 

skirt

No pictures online, but picked up a navy blue sleeveless sheath dress with ruffles on the shoulders. It’s super cute and comfy though! The silhouette that a sheath gives is so classic and slimming. Also ordered a wrap dress that I don’t know if it fits well yet. Wrap dresses are adorable for work and for weekends, the sash cinches the waist and the v-neck created by the overlap gives the illusion of a longer swan-like neck.

wrap

For fun, picked up two jewelry pieces, a mixed metal chain necklace, and a darker gray chain bracelet. This will go with both blacks/grays and warmer golds!! Love multi-purpose anything. 

mixed

Going back this weekend to see if there are any good way-in-advance presents for my dad and bf. Stock up while the sale is still going on!

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Nordstrom’s Anniversary Sale

July 18, 2009

It’s here! Nordstrom’s Anniversary Sale, which only happens once a year, and is different from all other sales because the prices drop BEFORE the season starts. Which means there are actually all sizes and colors available! But you gotta act fast, because the sale ends August 3.

The Anniversary sale features the newest fall styles at lowered prices, so you can nab that coat/jeans/sweater/dress/boots you would’ve bought ANYWAY right now! Usually, I like to buy for the season, and am terrible at taking advantage of stocking up on pieces for the opposite season. Yes it’s what you’re should do, but who can think about puffy jackets when I want to do is run out to Central Park and soak up the kisses the Sun generously gives out?

Maybe I’m growing up, but I’m learning an adult skill called planning ahead. It’s smart to start collecting for the fall/winter while the getting is good. I picture myself as a squirrel boarding up acorns for the winter haha. Here are my top picks for the Anniversary Sale:

papell

Adriana Papell dress in Deep Blue.

Beautiful and work appropriate dress. I love the neckline – mandarin collars are so flattering and the V isn’t too deep.

floral

A girl needs to have some florals in her closet.  The dark background and chiffon material makes it less casual, and underneath a leather jacket would edge it up even more.

mk

Michael Michael Kors double breasted jacket

Thinking ahead to winter, need more jackes and I like the color, but am wondering if this is too similar to my Theory jacket? That one is dark blue, also double breasted, with three rows of buttons..

leather

Omg if there were a perfect little leather jacket, this would be it!! The collar is perfect, and I think the collar is the most important part of a leather jacket.  The color is unique, it’s cutely cropped, it has epaulets, and slashy zippers! $300 is a little steep though… hmmm.

/edit: I took the plunge and bought the leather jacket, buuuut it was disappointing. The picture doesn’t show just how flashy shiny the buttons are, and also that the zipper is actually asymmetrical and goes diagonally across the chest. Those features, along with the epaulette shoulders and slashy zippers on the front make this jacket entirely too much to handle. A leather jacket is already calling out for attention, so I prefer more toned-down details. Back to the warehouse this one goes.

I miss California and all the Nordstrom stores. There are none in NYC, how tragic!


If the Shoe Fits

July 15, 2009

Have you ever heard of the phrase “to wear many hats”? It means to play different roles and to assume a new set of rules/functions based on that identity.  The analogy is true for me and shoes (I don’t wear hats because my hair is already flat and I don’t need any more help in that department, no thank you!)

Lately I’ve been on a shoe buying binge, and have justified each purchase by telling myself that each has a separate purpose – one is fancy going out, one is summer casual, and another is sporty practical (do you appreciate all my double adjectives? It’s like I’m giving them a proper name. That or I’m further convincing myself of all their different utilities, ha!)

First, I recently moved into a new apartment and one of the best features is the top floor gym! Seriously, it has been a year since I’ve regularly worked out, and even longer when I last bought a new pair of running shoes.  I’m a little embarassed to admit that my current pair are K-Swisses that I got my freshman year of college (um, definitely thinking about deleting this last line), so with all these incentives, I decided it was high time to get a new pair. I knew I either wanted a pair of Nike Shox or Asics; the former because I like the look and cushion from the Shox, and the latter because I’ve heard great things about the comfort of the Asics running shoe. Well the cuteness of this pair won me over:

shox

Nike Shox Turbo Mesh Si (what a mouthful). The Nike website showcases the shoes better...

Looove the color combo. Ladyfootlocker and all those similar companies were having sales on the exact style I was looking at, buuut they did not have the black/white/pink! Had to get this pair, but the baby blue pair would’ve been a second choice. There’s a guy version of this shoe also, and I’m digging the black/white/yellow.

A note: when I ordered, the sales rep said Nike’s tend to run small, so I got my normal size (6.5) + a half size up (7) just to see. After putting on socks and lacing them up, there’s a bit of toe room in the 7’s.  Not a lot, but I’m thinking that my feet will swell up and won’t want to be restricted by a tight toebox when I’m working out. (You can tell I havn’t actually worn my shoes yet, just admired its pretty color combo in its box.) I believe the rule of thumb is to order half size or full size up, depending on the company’s usual sizing standards, and Nike is one to size down. If you get a pair that’s tight, you end up with painful toenails, blisters, and decreased incentive to run. The key is to get a snug pair so that your feet don’t move around too much, but not tight that it suffocates them.  The 7’s give me about a half inch of room in front, which are good.

The second pair of shoes came after I realized I can’t walk around all summer in NYC with just flip flops. I’ve always thought the gladiator trend was cute, but wanted to find ones that wasn’t too out there. These fit the bill:

seychelles

Seychelles Get Outta Town sandals

I’ve had a pair of Seychelles before, and the padded soles are the best part, super comfy! I’ll be able to walk around all of Union Square, up to Central Park, and down to Midtown with these. I got the dark brown for practical reasons, but I love love the yellow! They’re so cheerful and brighten any summer outfit. When I put these on, the side strap make my feet look slightly wide but they are cute nonetheless.

The last pair was purchased on a whimsy, after a random trip to J.Crew’s final sale. Additional 20% on top of already lowered prices, making the decision to buy these babies easier. I was doing okay in the fancy heels department, let’s face it, they all get dirty and stepped on at clubs anyway, and was only allowing myself to get a black strappy pair. Sadly, these are neither black nor strappy but they are beautiful!

jcrew

J.Crew Greer pleated sandals in Golden Cypress

The pleats and satin material sold me. I really wanted to get the natural/shell color but satin + light color in a shoe just clashes with my sense of responsibility about shoes. They would be dirty and messed up in no time. This richer color will be great for fall, and the heel height is perfect for more conservative outings, like brunch with parents, or a wedding.