Outfits in Real Life: Talbots

Thank you to Talbots for Sponsoring this Post 

Now that we are finally out and about in the world, wearing real pants and such, I thought it was time to bring back an old favorite series: Outfits in Real Life. Here, I highlight looks I wear in my daily life, with pieces you’ll be familiar with from the blog, and new recommendations. 

As a reminder, I’m so uncomfortable in front of the camera, but it’s hard to find over 40-year-old women, with “normal” bodies and budgets online so here I am. For context, I am 41, I’ve had three babies, am 5’10, and wear a size 10.

I’m apparently called “mid-size.” 

Anyway, we’re starting our series back up with Talbots, who was nice enough to partner with us on this post.

Long-time readers know I love Talbots. I feature them frequently because I appreciate everything they offer. Their inclusive size range, fit and quality keep me going back 

Below I’m featuring three outfits I wore this week, with Talbots items as my key piece. 

Lunch Meeting

Blazer: SUMMER HOPSACK BLAZER, $169

Have you ever put on a piece of clothing and just felt right? That’s how I feel in this blazer – like my best self. Done in a cotton and linen blend, this blazer is lined and available in Missy, Petite, Plus and Plus Petite. I’m wearing it in a Missy size 10 and it’s an absolutely perfect fit. 

I paired it with an inexpensive white bodysuit, light-washed straight jeans and an old pair of bone colored pumps for a casual work lunch. You can also swap out the jeans for a pair of white trousers. 

Drinks with Friends

Top: BAND COLLAR POPOVER – SUNNY STRIPE, $69.50

We met friends last Friday night for drinks outside and I wore this popover top with a simple pair of white jeans. The top is great because it’s more polished than a basic tee or tank but super lightweight. You do have to wear a cami underneath since it’s slightly sheer. It’s available in Missy, Petite and Plus size. I’m wearing the Missy in a large. 

Date Night 


Dress: OASIS PALM VOILE FIT & FLARE DRESS, $129

Finally, Bri and I can only pull off midweek date nights these days since the weekends are packed with our kid’s busy schedules, so I try to get dressed up to make them feel a bit more special. I picked up this pretty red dress with a subtle palm tree print and paired it with simple neutral-to-me strappy sandals and a straw bag. It’s available in Missy and Petite sizes. I’m wearing a large, and it fits well. Bonus points for it having a lingerie clip in the straps, so your bra stays in place.

 

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What to Wear When You Don’t Wear Shorts

If shorts are on your “do not wear list,” you are not alone. I hear from readers daily, asking for alternatives to shorts in the warm weather. 

I don’t mind wearing shorts. For me, they are a practical, sporty option for long, hot days jumping between working at home and raising three kids. But lately, as they have been getting shorter (and shorter, and shorter) and I’ve been getting older, they are not always my first choice. 

So today, I thought it would reshare this helpful post, highlighting all of your options if shorts aren’t your thing. 

All links have been updated, with a wide size range still available at great prices. 

What to Wear When You Don’t Wear Shorts 

 

Tee Shirt Dress

 

Navy Tee Shirt Dress

Tee Shirt Dress, $27  

This tee shirt dress from Amazon is awesome and under $30. I discovered it last year when I was looking for easy ways to feel pulled together while we were stuck at home.

It’s 100% cotton, so it breathes nicely, and has slits on either side so you can move around easily. You can wear with sneakers, sandals, or flip flops – the definition of “throw on and go.” 

Available in 13 colors, sizes XS – XXL. 

Midi Dress

Midi Dress, $45.00

A midi dress will cover your knees while still showing some leg. You can pick them up anywhere in solid colors or a cheerful print like the J.Crew Factory option above. The beauty of a dress like this, is it is one step dressing at it’s finest. 

Right now, you can grab this dress for under $50, in XS – 3X in pink (above) and a sweet navy floral.  

Maxi Dress

red maxi dress

Maxi Dress,$96 

Maxi dresses come in all kinds of styles, from stretchy cotton to linen blend. They can be cut slim or full and work on any occasion, from a casual day at the beach to an outdoor wedding.

Nordstrom has this red under $100 Maxi (also in pink and black) available in sizes small to large. I like how the bottom is cut, so it is higher on the sides; it feels dressy even though it’s a simple stretchy dress.

Shirt Dress

Tencel Shirt Dress

Shirt Dress, $108

A shirt dress will provide some shape and structure to your look. This one from Banana Republic should hit right below your knee and has a lovely swing. Note: It arrives wrinkled, so you have to steam or iron it.

I like it with a lightweight, long cardigan and sneakers, or wear it as is with a chic pair of leather slides.

Available in regular, tall and petite from an XXS – XXL. 

Linen Crop Pants

gray linen cropped pants

Linen Crops, $79 plus an additional 50% off at checkout.

If covering up your legs while staying cool is your goal, than linen pants are a fantastic alternative. I adore these linen crops, also from Banana Republic. Available in four colors, in regular and petite sizes. 

Wear them while you work from home, or pack them in your suitcase for a trip this summer. 

Ankle Pants

Black Ankle Pants

Ankle Pants, $79 

You can dress an ankle pant up or down. Take them casual with a flat and simple tee or to the office with a mule and blouse.  These ankle pants at Nordstrom are $79, in sizes 00 – 16 and have been a reader favorite for months. They feature a flat front and back zipper and are just a great, year-round, everyday bottom. 

Skort

Skort, $59 

 

Skorts are rising again in popularity and I am here for it. If you like the idea of shorts, but wish for a little more coverage, try out a skort. They’re cute, preppy, and sporty. Athleta makes a fantastic one called the Brooklyn. Available in black and navy from an XXS – 3X. 

What about Capris? 

You likely already know my opinion on capris. I loathe them because they have been over-designed and mangled to the point that they are unflattering on just about everyone.

They have too many pockets, are often over-embellished, and they hit you at the worst possible place on your leg. I recently read somewhere that they make it look like you are standing in a ditch, and I couldn’t agree more.

Any of the options listed above are a practical alternative to shorts and capris. 

 

Our Style Content is Inspired by Our Readers

Our readership inspires all of our posts and this post 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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STILL The BEST Purse Organizer for All of Your Totes

The BEST Purse Organizer for All of Your Totes

Two of the questions I’m asked all the time are: “Do you switch out your bag with your outfit?” and “How do you keep the inside of your bag organized?

I have three active kids, one of which is a toddler who requires a lot of stuff. So I change my bag frequently depending on what I’m wearing, where I’m going, and who is coming along. 

With the exception of a night out, I’m carrying a large neutral bag like an oversized shoulder bag or a tote in a range of sizes most days. 

One of the best products I ever discovered is this simple felt bag organizer. It makes swapping bags a breeze and keeps the inside of your oversized bags tidy. 

The Secret to Keeping Your Tote Bag Organized

The Best Tote Bags for the Office

St. Anne Tote from Barrington Gifts, fully customizable, $180

My everyday bag in the summer is this St. Anne Tote tote from Barrington Gifts. This baby fits everything, as you’ll see below. It’s super lightweight and easy to keep clean. I love it. You can customize it by picking out the pattern, trim, and if you want to have a monogram.

Like many bags these days, without the addition of an organizer, the inside becomes a jumbled mess. But with it, you can easily see everything you need, and when you need to swap bags, pull the organizer out and place it in the new bag. 

The BEST Purse Organizer for All of Your Bags

Organizer Insert: Price Varies, All Under $30

Seriously, this organizer is a game-changer. It’s one of the few things I can honestly say makes my life easier. At first, I was skeptical. I tend to buy things like this and forget about them in a month. 

Now it’s been YEARS, and I still use this every single day.

As you can see, I lug around a lot, and all of my things have a place, making it easy to grab what I need quickly. 

It fits perfectly inside many of your favorite bags, including the LV Neverfull and Speedy. I also use it in my large L.L. Bean boat and tote for travel softball weekends and trips to the pool. 

When purchasing, be sure to check the measurements. I ordered the medium, but measure your bag and see what will work best. 

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Our Style Content is Inspired by Our Readers

Our readership inspires all of our posts and this post 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

 

 

 

Basics Building: Perfect Leather Belt

Are you looking for the perfect, casual leather belt?

I’ve been on the hunt for months, at the request of many readers, and finally found it.

Madewell’s “Perfect Leather Belt is, in fact, perfect. 

This bestseller has hundreds of 5 Star Reviews, is only $45, and runs true to size. 

The best part? It’s available in classic black and a gorgeous tan, or “pecan” with gold or silver-tone hardware.

Madewell Medium Perfect Leather Belt in Brown and Black

 

Madewell Perfect Leather Belt, $45 

Remember, a simple way to create a cohesive outfit is to make sure all the hardware in your outfit is in the same tone. So if you are wearing a belt with a metal buckle and a bag with chain detail, you want them to match. 

Wear this all year long with shorts in the summer or your favorite jeans in the fall and winter. It’s a true wardrobe basic that should last for years to come. 

Our Style Content is Inspired by Our Readers

Our readership inspires all of our posts and this post 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

 

Pinterest in Real Life: Travel Outfit

For today’s Pinterest in Real Life, we’re talking travel outfits. I spent a few hours scrolling Pinterest looking for an inspiration outfit to work with and what I found was hilarious.

First, so many crops tops, with either sweatpants or jeans, as one does.

There were countless photos of influencers perched on top of their $10K suitcase wearing leather leggings and stilettos – AT THE AIRPORT.

Then there were the jumpsuits, the ones you have to pull down to your ankles when you use the restroom. I’m convinced these women have never actually stepped foot on an airplane. Yet here they are, taking their picture at the baggage check. God bless them when they have to pee.

Our inspiration outfit is from the blog Fashion Jackson in 2019 and the most practical of anything I could find. It’s a helpful reminder that with a few swaps, you can add practicality without sacrificing too much style.

Pinterest in Real Life: Travel Outfit

Airport outfit

 

 

Beach Sweater, $39.50 | Skinny Jeans, $68 | White SneakersCrossbody, $68 | Cat Eye Sunglasses, $55 

This is exactly what I wore on my flight to Florida last week. Whenever I fly I think about were we are landing. In this case, we flew out of Philadelphia around 7pm.  If we arriving in the morning, before check in, I would have worn some kind of maxi dress that could double as a cover up at the pool. 

But for this trip we were checking in after 10pm, so I wanted to be comfortable and casual but still well dressed. 

For this outfit, I used several familiar pieces. Our inspiration model is wearing what looks like a sweatshirt. I swapped it out for this J.Crew Factory “Beach Sweater.” It was a reader fave last month. Sizes are getting limited, but if you can grab yours do it. I wear mine frequently. 

It’s slightly sheer so you will want to wear a cami underneath. Another, not-so-sheer option is their cotton teddie sweater on sale for $17 in white in all sizes

Not everyone likes to wear jeans on a flight. I happen to prefer them to leggings, but only if they have a lot of stretch, like these by Wit & Wisdom. These are available in regular and petite (limited) and are great to buy now, wear now and later in the fall. 

Instead of Gucci mules, go with classic white sneakers. I love these by Cole Haan. Always try to wear your bulkiest items on the flight so you save room in your suitcase. 

The piece I was most excited to find for this look is this white quilted crossbody with a separate pouch for your phone. It’s not Chanel, but it’schic and practical and under $70. I picked it up in white and black for the fall. 

Finally, nothing screams casual glam like oversized black sunnies. Quay makes affordable options in a variety of styles. These cat eye sunglasses are at Nordstrom for $55

 

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Our Content is Inspired by Our Readers

Our readership inspires all of our posts and this post 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

 

 

 

My Favorite Party Dress is 50% Off

I featured this dress from Express back in May and wore it to my daughter’s graduation dance and parent party. I received compliments all night long.

It was fun to see my fellow moms, who are also in their early 40s, react to it being from Express. We shopped there in and fresh out of college, so the fact now, with kids going into high school, the stores is kind of back in the mix is wild.

It’s currently on sale for 50% off, making it only $54.

So I thought I would show you exactly how I wore it (you can also see me in it here on Instagram).

If you have a baby or bridal shower, wedding, or just an extra nice date night, it’s a lovely option that looks so much more expensive than even its regular price. 

My Favorite Party Dress is 50% Off

 

Leopard ruffle maxi dress, rattan earrings, tan cloud clutch, and tan ankle strap heels.

 

The pattern of the dress is both bold and subtle. While traditional leopard print can be a bit jarring, using muted neutrals makes this sophisticated. It feels very DVF to me. The flutter sleeve isn’t overwhelming. Because I’m a rectangle body shape, the sleeve extends my shoulders, creating the illusion of a smaller waist. 

Typically, I see an in-your-face print and keep everything else simple. However, I had these inexpensive rattan earrings in front of me and threw them on as I left. I’m not one for bold jewelry, so this was way outside my comfort zone, but they were perfect.  They are only $11 on Amazon, and though they are large, they are incredibly lightweight. I’ve worn them a dozen times now. 

It’s available in XS – XL (petite is sold out). I sized up and comfortably wore a large. 

For shoes, I wore an old pair of strappy neutral Via Spiga heels. Every time I wear them, I hop online to see if I can find a replacement pair with no luck. I would buy a dozen of them, so I always have them as an option. This pair from Michael Kors is similar in style for under $100. 

Finally, I carried this clutch inspired by the cloud bag by Bottega Veneta (yours for only $2700). I found my version on Amazon for under $20. I picked it up this time last year on a total whim, and it’s one of my most loved and used bags. 

 

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Our Content is Inspired by Our Readers

Our readership inspires all of our posts and this post 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

 

 

 

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. 

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