A Dress to Rebuild Your Work Wardrobe

Getting dressed for work is hard enough, but getting dressed in the heat of the summer after living in elastic waist pants for a year is a whole other situation. To make matters worse, if you’ve tried to shop recently, you know what’s out there is nothing but prairie-inspired styles covered in busy prints and ruffles. 

Not exactly office-appropriate. 

So as I was sorting through some new arrivals at Ann Taylor, I landed on this navy square neck sheath dress, which feels like 2019 in the best way possible. A throwback of sorts before waist-up dressing became the norm. It’s just the thing if you’re struggling with rebuilding your professional wardrobe, and it’s on sale for only $75. 

Ann Taylor makes lovely workwear, and they are continuing to expand their size range, offering many items in regular, petite, and tall. 

A Dress to Rebuild Your Work Wardrobe 

NAvy Dress, Tan leather bag, Tan ankle strap sandals, navy polka dot scarf, and resin hoop earrings

 

 

Square Neck Sheath Dress, $75 | Ankle Strap Sandal, $84 Resin Hoop Earrings, $48|Large Leather Tote, $298 |Scarf, $48 

Dresses are my favorite way to dress professionally. You always look appropriate, and it takes seconds to get out the door. Just zip up and go. This dress is made from what they call a seasonless stretch, which means you can wear it year-round. Go bare-legged in the warm months and add a tight in the winter. 

Having updated basics on hand will help elevate the dress, so it looks modern. Here, I’m using a neutral ankle strap sandal from Nine West, but you can wear any neutral-to-you summer heel. 

For accessories, I am in love with these tortoise resin hoop earrings from Vince Camuto at Nordstrom (under $50). They are oversized, so limit your other jewelry and let these standout. 

If you need a summer work tote, this Kate Spade option is beautiful. It’s simple, hardware and logo free (always a plus) and goes with everything. For an extra wink of style, I included a navy polka dot scarf that I would tie on the hand of the tote. 

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Our Style Content is Inspired by Our Readers

Our readership inspires all of our posts and is not sponsored or paid for by brands or retailers. 

Recommendations are based on my experience as a personal stylist and wardrobe consultant for over a decade. I worked with busy, down-to-earth women who wanted to look chic and feel confident but were often confused by so much of retail. 

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The Best Strapless Bra That Stays Up!

With all of the strapless and off-the-shoulder styles popping up this summer, the most popular question in my inbox and DMs right now is, “What is the best strapless bra that stays up?”

So today’s post is short and sweet: the Wacoal Red Carpet Convertible Strapless Bra is the best strapless bra I have ever worn and is deserving of its almost cult-like following. 

There is a common misconception that a bra’s straps are what keeps it up and in place. But the truth is that the bra’s construction, and making sure you are wearing the correct size, matter most.

Wacoal Red Carpet Convertible Strapless Bra

Wacoal Red Carpet Convertible Strapless Bra

 

Wacoal Red Carpet Convertible Strapless Bra, $68

The basis of any great outfit is appropriate undergarments. We all need a little bit of extra help. I know I do! After three babies, I need all the support and shaping I can get. This bra not only stays up all day without having to fuss and put yourself back together constantly, but it’s comfortable.

It has molded underwires, and an very light padding that molds to your body. The gripper strips on the inside help it stay up and in place. It also comes with removable straps, but I’ve never used them.

Nordstrom currently has the best size and color selection, going up to a size 42 H. My best advice, especially if you haven’t been properly measured for a bra in a few years, is to head to the store and have someone help you. Or, you can follow the steps in this article and do it at home before you order. 

Our Style Content is Inspired by Our Readers

Our readership inspires all of our posts and is not sponsored or paid for by brands or retailers. 

Recommendations are based on my experience as a personal stylist and wardrobe consultant for over a decade. I worked with busy, down-to-earth women who wanted to look chic and feel confident but were often confused by so much of retail. 

Some links are affiliate links, which means if you purchase via our site, we receive a small commission.

If you enjoy our content and would like to help us grow, please  follow on Instagram and join our Private Facebook Group to access more advice and exclusive in-depth conversations with other like-minded women.

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What to Buy at J. Crew Factory

Last Friday, I took my oldest daughter to the mall. It was the first time in over a year that we shopped in person. We arrived as the stores opened, grabbed a coffee, and set out with a list of things we needed, like shoes for graduation, a party outfit for me, and some summer basics.

We left with lipgloss.

Macy’s was ransacked. Bloomingdales had four hangers-on on each rack with size options from 00 –  2. 

And J.Crew was filled with useless, overpriced pieces. Do I need a see-through bathing suit cover up for $150? I don’t think so. 

Since before I turned 40, I’ve found shopping for myself frustrating. Finally, at a place in life where I can comfortably buy whatever I want (within reason, of course), I find myself leaving store after store empty-handed.

Online is a better option since many stores are limiting their in-store merchandise, but generally speaking, there are only a few retailers that I would call my go-to. And while I can’t give my money away at J.Crew, I have no problem spending it at their factory store. This probably makes me the most basic of basic, and I am just fine with it. 

The trick is to keep it casual, skip their jeans or dressy options. J.Crew Factory is an ideal resource for a casual weekend, loungewear, fun accessories, and easy basics.

J.Crew Factory is always having some kind of sale, right now, online is 40% with an extra 15% off if you sign up for their (free) reward program. 

Below are some options worth checking out. 

 

What to Buy at J.Crew Factory 

What to Buy at J.Crew Factory in June

These posts are inspired by my years as a personal stylist. Before a client arrived at our shopping appointment, I would spend hours going through stores, selecting only the best pieces, and filling up her dressing room. It was such fun for me and immensely helpful for our clients, who worked with us because they didn’t have the time or patience to shop independently.

Think of this series as just that; these are the pieces I would put in your dressing room, based on everything I know about our readers who are looking for help creating a timeless, classic, modern wardrobe on a realistic budget.

Please note, prices are subject to change. 

Striped Sleeveless Popover Tunic

J.Crew Factory Striped linen-cotton sleeveless popover tunic

Striped linen-cotton sleeveless popover tunic, $29.50

If you’re tired of the ruffle-puff sleeve trend we see on almost every single top in stores,  you may love this sweet and simple sleeveless tunic. Its classic style will work with any casual warm weather bottom. Add a statement earring or layer delicate necklaces under the collar. 

Available in regular and petite up to a size 3X.

Sleeveless V-Neck Midi Dress

J.Crew Factory Sleeveless V-neck midi dress

Sleeveless V-neck midi dress, $44.50 

This dress is ideal for extra hot days, or afternoons when you get off the beach late and you want to slip into something light and airy. I’d wear this out to dinner on vacation with my hair pulled back and an oversized earring. 

Available in all sizes up to a 3X for under $45. 

Top Puff-Sleeve Pintuck

J.Crew Factory Puff-Sleeve Pintuck Top

Puff-sleeve pintuck top, $26.50 

This top won’t be for everyone, but there is something sweet about it. I love the fresh green color (it’s also available in white), and the pintuck detail on the sleeve adds an extra touch of femininity. I’d pair it with white bottoms and tan sandals.

Easy V-Neck Tank

J.Crew Factory Easy V-Neck Tank Top

Easy V-neck tank top, $14.50

A great basic in six colors (including black and white) and fits well and pairs with any causal bottom. Available in all sizes up to a 3X for under $15.  Easy-peasy. 

Short Sets

J.Crew Rainbow Striped Sweatshirt and Shorts

Rainbow Striped Sweatshirt, $34.50 and shorts, $29.50 

J.Crew Factory Ombré crewneck sweatshirt

Ombré crewneck sweatshirt, $34.50 and shorts, $24.50 

The quality of these two shorts sets is impressive. You can wear them together or separately. They are great for vacation, summer mornings or sitting outside with a glass of wine after a long day.

Crewneck Beach Sweater

J.Crew Factory Crewneck Beach Sweater

Crewneck beach sweater, $39.50 

I look forward to our time at the shore every summer. I love everything about it, especially the slower pace and laidback attitude. My beach uniform at night is a pair of comfy shorts and a lightweight sweater. So I grabbed this crewneck option in white to wear with my favorite cut offs. 

It’s available in five colors up to size 3X. 

Printed Tunic Cover Up 

J.Crew Factory Border-printed cover-up tunic

Border-printed cover-up tunic, $44.50 

Still need a swim cover up? I love this pretty printed tunic. It’s perfect for sitting pool side when you want to relax but feel finished and it looks more expensive than its $45 price tag. 

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Our Style Content is Inspired by Our Readers

Our readership inspires all of our posts and is not sponsored or paid for by brands or retailers. 

Recommendations are based on my experience as a personal stylist and wardrobe consultant for over a decade. I worked with busy, down-to-earth women who wanted to look chic and feel confident but were often confused by so much of retail. 

Some links are affiliate links, which means if you purchase via our site, we receive a small commission.

If you enjoy our content and would like to help us grow, please  follow on Instagram and join our Private Facebook Group to access more advice and exclusive in-depth conversations with other like-minded women.

Learn about our mission to help women look and feel their very best, every day, here

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Pinterest in Real Life: Vacation Ready

Today’s Pinterest in Real Life is personally indulgent. I leave for Greece (open to fully vaccinated Americans) in two weeks. It’s been long-planned, initially scheduled for this time last summer to celebrate my 40th birthday.

I started 2020 in excellent physical and mental shape, maybe the best I’ve ever been in my adult life. But after this last year (plus a few months), I’m back at square one and so incredibly frustrated and infinitely more tired and worn out than before Covid started.

I’m trying to give myself some grace and not beat myself up for not looking how I thought I would for this trip. Of course, that’s easier said than done. But I’m am hopeful that the time away will be the reset I need.

Instead of leaning into my negative feelings, I thought I’d try to have some fun and wear outfits I could never pull off in the suburbs of Philadelphia. So I did my own Pinterest search for breezy looks that will work against the blue and white backdrop of Santorini.

As I start to pack, I’m looking for forgiving, feminine, and affordable pieces.

Here’s a look I pinned and how I recreated it to stay in my budget and work for my body.

Pinterest in Real Life: Vacation Ready 

Pinterest Inspiration outfit of a white off teh shoulder dress, tan tote, tan studded sandals, white floppy hat, and gold bangles

 

Off The Shoulder Dress, $30 | Floppy Hat, $12 | Studded Sandals, $79 | Tote, $50 | Sunglasses, $70 | Set of Bangles, $58 

Our inspiration picture is chic yet casual and something I could never wear in my real life at home. It features an off-the-shoulder day dress with a fitted waist and short skirt.

To make this work for me, I searched for something less structured around my waist. Since I don’t want to spend on something I’m likely not going to wear again, I decided on this option from Amazon for about $30. It meets all the requirements: light, vacation-y, and easy to pack.

Because I’m not comfortable with my Covid weight gain, there are a few elements that will help me feel more confident. An off-the-shoulder top is a fun element that draws the eye up, and the high low hem creates the same effect a v-neck does by visually pulling in your waistline. 

I’ll bring along the Wacoal Red Carpet Bra,  my favorite strapless bra that stays in place all day and night. 

Then I needed a hat, so I bought this $12 packable white hat from Target. It won’t take up any room in my suitcase, and I can wear it with everything for the duration of the trip. 

The outfit maker here is these under $100 studded sandals that will work back to most outfits. The studs act like jewelry, so use them as a neutral and pair them to elevate simple looks. 

Our model is carrying a gorgeous, rich tan leather bag. I found this similar option at Nordstrom Rack for $50 that creates the same look and feel. In reality, I’ll probably carry a simple tan or straw clutch and not an oversized bag. 

I love a look that doesn’t rely on a lot of stuff, especially when you’re traveling. You never want to pack more than you need. Instead, some effortless accessories make a significant impact across all of your outfits.

These oversized Roberto Cavalli sunglasses are a major steal. They were original $400 and are currently on clearance for $70. Finally, a stack of bangles in gold-tone is all you need, like this set from Vince Camuto for under $60

 

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Our Style Content is Inspired by Our Readers

Our readership inspires all of our posts and is not sponsored or paid for by brands or retailers. 

Recommendations are based on my experience as a personal stylist and wardrobe consultant for over a decade. I worked with busy, down-to-earth women who wanted to look chic and feel confident but were often confused by so much of retail. 

Some links are affiliate links, which means if you purchase via our site, we receive a small commission.

If you enjoy our content and would like to help us grow, please  follow on Instagram and join our Private Facebook Group to access more advice and exclusive in-depth conversations with other like-minded women.

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How to Dress a Pear Shape Body Type

Our How to Dress Your Body Type is a series designed to help break down the basic guidelines for dressing all body types. To get started, use this mathematical equation to figure what you are; you may be surprised!

Today, we continue with How to Dress a Pear Shape Body. 

Pear shapes are also called triangles. 

It’s Important to Note: Bone structure tends to dictate body type rather than weight and height. Of course, we need to consider all these factors when we get dressed, so these guidelines are just that, guidelines.

In our conversations here, I hope that we start to change this narrative that one body shape is somehow superior. Women’s bodies are a marvel, and we should celebrate them in every shape and size. And no matter our shape and size we all have features to celebrate and ones we’re not so crazy about. 

Think of it like this: 

Body Type is your bone structure. 

Fit/Size is your proportion; you may be “regular,” petite, tall, or plus. 

Weight fluctuates for most of us, so it’s very possible to straddle between two body types if you tend to gain weight in one specific area. 

The Pear

There are a few things to remember about the pear body type.

Your hips are wider than your shoulders, and your shoulders may be narrow. 

Below, I rounded-up four images of famous women with a pear body types to give you a visual. I included different heights and sizes to show the diversity in the category. 

Famous Pear Shape Body Types

 

Alicia Keys, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Kristin Davis, and Catherine Zeta Jones have a Pear Shape Body Type

Let’s start with Alicia Keys, who is 5’6. Her look provides some great lessons for dressing. Here she is wearing a strong, structured shoulder, creating a stunning silhouette. The placement of her jacket buttons pulls the eye into her waist, and I love that her straight skirt hits at the top of her knee.

Next, 90s It Girl, Jennifer Love Hewitt, is petite and curvy. This wrap dress is a fantastic example of details that create balance. The flutter sleeve of the dress brings the focus to the upper half of her body while balancing her hips. The v-neck, the wrap style, the ruffle on the bias all give her a lovely, feminine shape.

Also, note that the pattern of her dress gives visual interest that almost moves with her body.

Next, Sex and the City star Kristin Davis, in a pair of figure-flattering pants. The only pants a pear shape should avoid are super skinnies. Instead, you can wear a slim-straight, straight, boot or flare cut easily. She brings balance and focus to her top half with a trendy puff sleeve. She’s also wearing an elongating heel that gives the line of her body an elegant finish.

Finally, Catherine Zeta-Jones is so incredibly stunning. Now, I know we’re not wearing red-carpet gowns to the grocery store, but this is a fabulous example of balance. Take a look at how beautifully the shape of her shoulder complements her curvy hips. The v-neck and pulled in waist is another way to highlight your curves. 

Best Tips for Dressing Pear Body Types

The Pear shape has one general guideline: create a strong shoulder. Try to create a look that pulls the eye up, to help balance your hips. 

What should you avoid? 

If you like pattern, avoid wearing it exclusively on your bottom half. Any kind of top that drops your shoulders and makes them appear narrow should be avoided. Skip tight bottoms, oversized tops and jackets and chunky flat shoes. 

Best Tops for Pear Body Types 

Off the shoulder, boatnecks, cowlnecks, and a v-neck when accompanied by a structure shoulder detail all help broaden your top half. For jackets, you can wear something slightly cropped or hits at your natural waist, a moto will look fantastic, so would a wrap style.

Try bold color and, texture and fun patterns, 

Best Bottoms for Pear Body Types

Focus on straight, wide or boot leg bottoms. Avoid super skinny bottoms that cling to your calfs. 

Best Dresses for Pear Body Types 

A wrap, fit-and-flare, and an a-line with a complementary top similar to the ones mention above are all perfect options. 

Remember, these are guidelines.  I can’t reinforce this enough. Everyones body type is unique. Use these recommendations as starting point in dressing well, knowing that you’ll have to make adjustments for your unique needs. 

Our Style Content is Inspired by Our Readers

Our readership inspires all of our posts and is not sponsored or paid for by brands or retailers. 

Recommendations are based on my experience as a personal stylist and wardrobe consultant for over a decade. I worked with busy, down-to-earth women who wanted to look chic and feel confident but were often confused by so much of retail. 

Some links are affiliate links, which means if you purchase via our site, we receive a small commission.

If you enjoy our content and would like to help us grow, please  follow on Instagram and join our Private Facebook Group to access more advice and exclusive in-depth conversations with other like-minded women.

Learn about our mission to help women look and feel their very best, every day, here

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Why You Might LOVE a Bodysuit

Last week, my 14-year-old, Maddie, ordered some summer clothes online. I gave her a budget and told her she could get whatever she wanted. Knowing my need to control everything, I’m attempting to be more “chill,” encouraging her to develop her unique style. Luckily she isn’t into some of the more skimpy pieces marketed toward her demographic, so I didn’t have to worry about what she bought.

I never saw her so genuinely excited, from the autonomy she had placing the order to waiting for it to arrive. Then, finally, it showed up yesterday, and she tore it open, squealing as she pulled each new piece from the box.

Every single item could have been from the Delia’s catalog.

From the color combinations and styles to the daisy dangle earrings, she looked like the coolest girl from the mid-90s.

Boy, have the 90s have come back with a furry.

It’s wild to see how everything old is new again, and surprisingly, one trend I’m not mad about is the rise in bodysuit popularity.

Why You Might LOVE a Bodysuit

Yummie Women's Cotton Seamless Shaping Full Back Bodysuit

 

Bodysuit, $18.50 in black and white

As I’ve gotten older I just assumed they would be a pain in the neck to wear. But to my surprise, they are pretty comfortable and practical.

The trick is to find a decent one that gives you some support. After reading reviews on dozen of different options, I ordered this affordable bodysuit off of Amazon by Yummie. 

Yummie is a brand that creates undergarments, activewear, and a selection of fashion pieces that incorporates elements of shapewear into its designs. Described as a “hug, not a squeeze.” 

If you want to give one a try this bodysuit (under $20) is a fantastic option. It’s NOT a thong (can you imagine?), and it has a high back, so you can wear it with your everyday bra and a universally flattering neckline. 

So why is this so great, and how can you wear it?

It’s kind of like wearing a tank top and Spanx at the same time. Wear it alone or as a layer under a summer-weight cardigan or light blazer.

I like it styled simply with shorts, jeans or a long pair of linen trousers for a tucked-in look that smoothes out your waistline.

Easy-peasy. 

Our Style Content is Inspired by Our Readers

Our readership inspires all of our posts and is not sponsored or paid for by brands or retailers. 

Recommendations are based on my experience as a personal stylist and wardrobe consultant for over a decade. I worked with busy, down-to-earth women who wanted to look chic and feel confident but were often confused by so much of retail. 

Some links are affiliate links, which means if you purchase via our site, we receive a small commission.

If you enjoy our content and would like to help us grow, please  follow on Instagram and join our Private Facebook Group to access more advice and exclusive in-depth conversations with other like-minded women.

Learn about our mission to help women look and feel their very best, every day, here

Sign Up for Daily Content and Receive Our Free Classic Wardrobe Checklist

 

 

St. Tropez One Night Only Wash Off Face & Body Lotion

Long-time readers know I consider myself to be an authority on self-tanning.

I wish I could blame a year of Covid isolation for why I look like I live in a cave, but I am just naturally as pale as a ghost.  And as I age, I’m getting paler and my skin thinner, so you can see everything.  A little healthy color helps make my skin look smooth, slightly toned and hides all those veins, lumps, and bumps.

This time of year, I’m all about achieving a realistic faux tan, whether it’s at the local salon or in my bathroom, but I don’t always have the time to go through the whole process. And it is a process. 

Earlier this month, I found myself getting dressed to go to a wedding (I wore this high/low maxi in red from Nordstrom) and just ran out of time to pull off all the steps for an at home tan. But I knew I would feel better if my legs didn’t look like they glowed in the dark so I ran to my local Ulta and picked up St. Tropez One Night Only.

So far, it’s my best beauty buy of 2021.

St. Tropez One Night Only Wash Off Face and Body Lotion

St. Tropez One Night Only Wash Off Face & Body Lotion

Face and Body Lotion, $18

Meg’s Rating: 10/10 

Here’s how this works: 

Apply this while you are in your undergarments before you put on your outfit. You don’t have to, but I use this mitt to apply, just like you would with a self-tanner. It helps you cover more area. This lotion goes on dark and sets immediately. It goes on quickly, and a little goes a long way. You can build the color quickly, so start with a light hand and go from there.

You may get a little on your underwear/ body shaper, don’t worry, it washes off. I put my dress on 10 minutes later, went to a wedding, and danced my butt off. It didn’t sweat off during the night but came off right away in the shower.

Unlike a traditional self-tanner, you don’t need to do all the skin prep. This is essentially makeup, so it doesn’t have to activate.

The key is to blend it out evenly, which is simple. 

Use this for any upcoming event.  It works wonderfully on your legs and arms, chest and neck. I added a bit to my face too using my beauty blender. It looked totally natural and was just what I needed for a night out. 

Our Style Content is Inspired by Our Readers

Our readership inspires all of our posts and is not sponsored or paid for by brands or retailers. 

Recommendations are based on my experience as a personal stylist and wardrobe consultant for over a decade. I worked with busy, down-to-earth women who wanted to look chic and feel confident but were often confused by so much of retail. 

Some links are affiliate links, which means if you purchase via our site, we receive a small commission.

If you enjoy our content and would like to help us grow, please  follow on Instagram and join our Private Facebook Group to access more advice and exclusive in-depth conversations with other like-minded women.

Learn about our mission to help women look and feel their very best, every day, here

Sign Up for Daily Content and Receive Our Free Classic Wardrobe Checklist