Q&A Tuesday


As we get used to the crazy and complicated world of blogging, know that we are constantly figuring things out along the way. In that spirit, we are flipping around some of our weekly series. Q&A will move to Tuesday and Thursday will rotate between Beauty Buzz and Accessorize.

Please keep your questions coming! They truly fuel the blog and keep it fresh and timely.

“What are strategic pieces for a stay at homes mom? To keep herself pulled together but practical and able to keep up with toddlers?” – Samantha

First, let’s talk about retailers I love for this question: LOFT, J Crew Outlet, Old Navy and Target are all you need. Look for pieces that are cute, but washable, with enough stretch to keep their shape and allows you to move.

Dresses, especially in the warmer months are a must have. When my girls were little, I reserved these for days out, like at museums or parks. This simple chambray dress would be adorable with flat sandals.  This tunic feels special, but is a easy as shorts and a tee.  You would think a maxi dress would be too much, but its simple design and stretch is ideal for long days out with the kiddos.

If you like dresses for day to day wear, this old navy jersey dress is basic, chic and $15.  I also love the look of this waist defining striped dress.  

Jeans, of course, are a go-to.  I would still recommend wearing your better denim.  The ones that fit you best.  A great fitting pair of jeans just make you feel better.  I use to reserve my slightly worn out designer jeans for kid days.  This way my jeans fit great, but I wasn’t devastated if play dough or a juice box ended up on them – it will still wash out.

With the summer practically here, you may want to wear shorts.  The trick with shorts is you want them long enough to be comfortable, but short enough to keep your leg looking long and lean.  You could do something bright and cheerful, or perfectly tailored.

Old Navy makes a fantastic 5″ short for under $20.  When it doubt, go with 5″ length shorts.  You can sit, but they are still short enough to look modern.  Any longer and you’ll look frumpy.

For tops, keep it simple. I like a 3/4 sleeve top with shorts. The balance of a longer sleeve with a short is chic.

Take a few minutes when you get dressed to put on an accessory you love. Maybe not a necklace, since the little ones are likely to yank it off your neck. A simple scarf around your neck before you leave the house, or a stack of bracelets will help you get that pulled together look.

Finally, learning a quick, 5-minute face is worth its weight in gold. You’ll feel like yourself no matter what you end up wearing.

“I’m having trouble with wear to work pants. Every pair that I buy/own/wear lately seem to be completely stretched out by the end of the work day! I buy my pants from a variety of retailers, J Crew, Loft, Nordstrom etc – all seem to have the same problem! Any suggestions of some pants that will hold up throughout the day? I’d love some ankle/crop length suggestions for spring/summer. Love your blog!”– Anika

You’re buying your pants from good retailers.  Without seeing you in person, I wonder if you are between sizes.  If your pants fit snug when you first buy them, you may consider sizing up, and having them altered to fit your body so they skim your shape but not cling to you.

Alternatively, look for pants with less of a stretch content.  You may want to try a seasonless wool or microfiber blend.  They have less stretch by nature and the pant should keep its shape better.

“I absolutely love Kristel Closets emails! I look forward to them more than any other!  My question is where can I find wide with shoes – both heels and flats –  that are attractive and stylish?  It’s so difficult! Appreciate your suggestions!” – Lori

It’s such a challenge! So many of them look like orthotics. In our experience the very best comfortable and stylish wide width shoe is Stuart Weitzman. Buy them on Zappos so you can order as many as you like, you’ll see a great variety of heels and flats and then it’s easy to return them.

“When I was living in Montana, I bought a gorgeous pair of Old Gringo cowboy boots that were not inexpensive. I love them, (beautiful brown leather with gold stitching and a few gold-ish rhinestones). Now that I am living back on the East Coast though, I feel like I am wearing a costume when I wear them. Do they need to be committed to my fond memories of living in the Wild West or can I actually wear them -here in Philadelphia- on days other than Halloween?” – Colleen

I love them! Part of finding your own personal, authentic style is to incorporate things you love into your look. I would reserve them for cool fall or spring days. Whatever you choose to pair them with, keep it simple. The less embellishments the more east coast friendly 🙂 A girlfriend of mine wears hers with a simple shirt dress. It looks amazing. Or try a full knee length skirt and fitted top.

“Thanks for the great suggestions. I travel a lot for work. When I travel on Sundays I want a comfortable, yet polished look. Grateful for recommendations!” –M

There is nothing I like less than traveling on a Sunday.  When dark jeans and a fitted top feel boring and redundant, look for pieces from Eileen Fisher.  Her pieces are simple, classic and most of them are washable.  You’ll feel like you are in your pajamas or favorite loungewear, but will look chic enough for that dreaded moment when you run into a client in line at security.

These navy washable crepe pants are lovely paired with a simple white button down or sweater, or these ponte pants are the perfect base to any travel outfit, especially for longer flights.  She makes a beautiful, simple long sleeve that you could easily add a scarf or necklace on top.

Megan Kristel

Megan Kristel is an entrepreneur, working mom, and former personal stylist. Tired of the one-dimensional portrayal of women online, she founded The Well Dressed Life as a resource for other professional women.

  1. To Lori looking for wide shoes, I love Sofft! Their styles are modern and the shoes very comfortable. Best of all, you can usually find a good selection at a good price on 6pm.com.

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  • A simple, classic sheath (currently 50% off) is a wardrobe workhorse. Today on the blog see how we make it work for the office now and in the cold weather. Follow the link in profile. All designers and retailers are tagged!

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