Weekend Inspiration: Polka Dot Midi Skirt

It’s been raining on the east coast for days. Maybe it’s the weather, lack of inspiration, or the fact that I haven’t had the occasion, but lately I’ve had little desire to get dressed up. 

I’m hoping, that as the weather clears there’s more opportunity to break out of my jeans and tee shirt rut.  For today’s post, I wanted to show something different.  If I did have a place to go, what would I want to wear that’s the opposite of my jeans/tank/blazer combo. So today I’m showing you how to wear a polka dot skirt on the weekend.

 

How to Wear a Polka Dot Skirt

How to Wear a Polka Dot Skirt

Skirt, $125  |  Heel, $70  |  Blouse, $98  |  Jacket, $80  |  Clutch, $34

Boden has been at the top of my radar lately, which is funny because generally,  it’s a little too preppy, even for me. When I found this skirt, I knew right away I wanted to make it the key piece in this look.  Take a close look at it.  The pattern is large polk a dots on small dots, which creates a beautiful, layered appearance of texture and movement.  It adds depth to the outfit.

You can wear a number of shirts with this, but I went with a sleeveless ruffle button down.  The ruffle plays off the femininity of the pattern, and the shape of the shirt balances the swing of the skirt.  In this case, I would tuck in the shirt to highlight your waistline. This is an easy piece to incorporate into all kinds of looks, especially with a clean lined blazer for work.

Next, a denim jacket is a springtime must have.  In this outfit you can wear it properly or just drape it over your shoulders.  Aside from keeping you warm, the denim grounds the look and, again, creates balance.

For the shoe and bag, I went a little off script.  I love the idea of using a dusty pop of color as a neutral.  These pink sandals by Sam Edelman compliment the navy beautifully. They have a comfortable block heel and simple style.

The bag is what excites me.  My defalt is always a beige clutch.  Practically speaking, they go with everything but let’s have some fun.  I wanted to show how patterns can also mix and match.  Polka dot and stripes are an easy combination because neither is too busy so they won’t fight with each other.  The trick is to make sure the colors you are using are the same saturation and that one pattern is dominate.  Here the skirt has the primary pattern, and the stripe on the clutch is an accent.  They play off each other and kick up the style factor in a subtle yet impactful way.

Need some more Weekend Inspiration?  Drop us a note in the comments with questions or requests and will add it to our editorial calendar for coming weeks.

Steve Madden Greece Sandals: Your New Favorite Summer Shoe

Your Favorite Summer Sandals

Today’s post is short and sweet; I want you to buy these Steve Madden Greece sandals if you are looking for an easy, casual and flat summer shoe.  I just picked up the style below and can’t wait to wear them. Many of you already know, I’m not the sparkly spangly type. Some sites are calling the detail on the top “rhinestones,” but they are not that obnoxious, more just a tiny bit of detail that reflects the light.

Steve Madden Greece SandalsSteve Madden Greece Sandals, $99

If you need extra arch support they’re not for you as the sole is super flat.  However, if you need something for vacation, or just to wear on the weekends with a cotton dress, or shorts, they’re a fantastic option. They’ve been selling out quickly, so get them while there are still sizes.

They also come in black, cognac, rose gold and white.

We have another jam-packed weekend ahead of us.  On Saturday our daughter makes her First Communion, and we’ll celebrate with a family lunch at a favorite restaurant, then a birthday party for a neighbor, a friend’s Communion party on Sunday and wrapping up with another birthday outing for my oldest and a few friends.

I’m putting my running shoes on now!

Have a great weekend!

 

3 Chic and Easy Olive Green Pants Outfits

How to Wear Your Olive Green Pants - Outfit 1
How to Wear Your Olive Green Pants - The Well Dressed Life

Olive green pants are a fabulous alternative to wearing jeans or leggings everyday.  A few weeks back we featured a post about how to wear gray jeans, and so many of you told us how much you loved it. So today we’re working with a similar pant that brings so much versatility to your wardrobe and showing you how to make three olive green pants outfits.

A few seasons ago I impulsively spent a small fortune on a pair, and to my surprise and delight, still wear them frequently. But you don’t have to spend a ton. Many affordable versions look and fit well, like these popular Wit and Wisdom pants.

What to Wear With Olive Green Pants

How to Wear Olive Green PantsPants, $68 in missy and petite 0 – 18, or try these from Old Navy available in all sizes

For today’s post we’re breaking down how to wear these pants three different ways.

 A Chambray Shirt and Neutrals

Olive Green Pants Outfit

Outfit One: Pants, $68  |  Shirt, SOLD OUT similar here  |  Shoe, $50  |  Bag, $49

Over the last few seasons I’ve amassed quite a few chambray shirts and wear them all the time.  They create an easy and casual outfit.  I like pairing them with black leggings and flats, dark skinny jeans, faux leather leggings, or even a feminine skirt.  So. Many. Options.

Here, I paired a slim, light washed shirt that I would half tuck into the front of the green pants.  Be sure to roll your sleeves for extra style.  Keep your accessories neutral.  I like these sandals with a block heel if you want to dress up the look a bit.  A flat works just as well.  Because this is an everyday outfit, I used my everyday tote.  This Street Level tote from Nordstrom is a great price for the quality and usability.

A Crisp White Button Down and a Bold Print

How to Wear Your Olive Green Pants - Outfit 2Outfit Two: Pants, $68  |  Shirt, $26.50  |  Shoes, $100 SOLD OUT, similar here Bag, $99 SOLD OUT, similar here for $40

We talked last week about the ageless versatility of a classic white button down.  I like the modern twist on this one by J.Crew Factory. The tie front is both chic and easy.  (If you are long waisted this particular shirt will not work because it’s cut to sit at your natural waist.)  Again, roll and zhush your sleeves to keep the shirt from feeling too stuffy.

I used these beige flats that work perfectly with the leopard print bag.  The neutrals ground the outfit, and because the colors all work together, the outfit is cohesive.

 

A Casual Denim Jacket and Classic Pumps

How to Wear Your Olive Green Pants - Outfit 3Outfit Three: Pants, $68  |  Jacket, $118  |  Heel, $70  |  Tank, $7  |  Necklace, $110

Finally, I wore a version of this outfit last weekend to a fundraiser at a friends bar. It was perfect for a chilly spring evening that found us moving from inside the bar to the adjacent patio throughout the night.

The pants and denim jacket are a match made in heaven. 

I used a simple loose tank similar to this one from H&M.  If you have the Old Navy scoop tank we’ve featured a dozen times, that will work well too.

I love a simple outfit that is easily elevated with accessories.  A pump (these by Cole Haan are remarkably comfortable) dress up your look.  I wore this exact pair and lasted in them all night.  And this gorgeous necklace by Kendra Scott pulls all the colors together helping the look make sense.  Again, it creates a cohesive feel with makes your look feel purposeful.

Shop this Look 

 Have a piece hanging in your closet and need some inspiration around how to wear it?  Let us know in the comments below and we’ll help you out in future posts.  

Weekend Inspiration: Patagonia “Better Sweater” Zip Pullover

Weekend Inspiration: Patagonia "Better Sweater" Zip Pullover
Weekend Inspiration: Patagonia "Better Sweater" Zip Pullover - The Well Dressed Life

It’s almost spring, which, in our house, means softball season. Growing up, I lived across the street from our neighborhood recreation center. My bed was tucked underneath my bedroom window, facing the little league field.

On Saturday mornings I woke up to a beautiful crisp breeze wafting through my room and the clanging sound of metal bats. To this day, every time I hear it I’m filled with comfort and nostalgia.

These days our weekends start early, we stop and grab a coffee and spend the afternoon bouncing back and forth between fields. My husband coaches our youngest. I help out on the bench, managing the batting order, teaching the girls to cheer for their teammates and helping the catcher get her gear on and off.

I smile when I hear Bri say the same things my dad tried to teach me: bend your knees, keep your eye on the ball, and, my personal favorite, don’t catch the ball with your face.

After being cooped up in the house for months, the sunshine and fresh air are just what the doctor ordered. I get all mushy watching these little 8-year-old girls swing their bats and drop into “ready position.”

A few of the players already have such fierceness and focus. It makes me so happy to see how they are learning confidence, teamwork, friendship, and determination.

This is our last weekend before the season officially starts, so I’m spending some time organizing the house for spring and going through equipment. It dawned on me that I needed a few things so our weekend mornings run smoothly too. 

I have literally worn through most of my active wear over the winter, to the point that my leggings look sheer (yikes!) and my go-to hoodies are tattered.

 

 

Weekend Inspiration: Patagonia "Better Sweater" Zip Pullover

Patagonia “Better Sweater” Zip Pullover, $99

I decided to replace all my random hoodies and sweatshirts with this Patagonia pullover.  It’s so soft, and lightweight but still warm. It’s called “birch white” but looks more like a very light gray.  Perfect.  I’m going to live in it all season.

 

Weekend Inspiration: Patagonia "Better Sweater" Zip PulloverLeggings, $54  |  Tote, $30  |  Water Bottle, $35  |  Aviators, $65  |  Sneakers, $120

If you want to look pulled together while super casual you have to look at what you’re wearing like any other outfit.  What works best for me is keeping all of these pieces limited to a few colors: black, gray and white.  This way everything goes together with little thought and effort.

Zella Live in High Waist Leggings are our favorite legging to wear outside the gym.  They stay in place, and are thick enough to keep you covered.  (These are the only leggings I have found that do not get sheer with time.)  They also wash well so the $54 price tag is worth it.

We have a zillion boat and totes in our house: one for the pool, one for the beach, one in my car to corral random items. I bought another just for softball season so I can schlep water and snacks, wipes, and anything else we might need for the team.

Let’s talk about sunglasses for a moment. I love a good, over the top, designer pair of sunnies, but when you’re fielding balls hit by eight year olds a pair of oversized Gucci’s look ridiculous.  I picked up these $65 of Aviators by Quay Australia “Gold/Smoke” and they are fantastic and don’t cost a car payment.  They will probably be my everyday pair for the summer.

If you are in the market for a new sneaker, I really like my Nike’s. Aside from a sleek design, they are incredibly comfortable and supportive.  Some sneakers are so awkward and because I’m tall (with size 10 feet) they often feel oversized.  These are streamlined and just disappear.  You can train in these and wear them outside the gym.

Finally, spending $35 on a water bottle seemed silly at first.  But I bought it anyway and am so happy I did.  I’m not buying a plastic bottle and wasting half of it, probably saving some money and definitely drinking more water.  Once you make a habit of filling and packing it, you’ll be happy you have it too.

 

Shop this Post 

 

 

How to Wear Gray Jeans

How to Wear Gray Jeans - The Well Dressed Life
How to Wear Gray Jeans - The Well Dressed Life

A few weeks back we featured these gray jeans in a Weekend Inspiration post.  Since then, we’ve received dozens of request for more ideas to get as much wear out of them as possible. So today we are showing you how to wear gray jeans three different ways.

How to Wear Gray Jeans

How to Wear Gray Jeans

Jeans, $189

I’m not going to lie, this is one of my most favorite posts.  Everything came together just right.  We wanted to show not only three options, but three totally different looks.  Many readers bought these Paige jeans last month, and just as many picked up these Old Navy Rockstar jeans.  We always try to provide as many price options as possible in a variety of sizes.

Let’s start with the prettiest causal outfit ever:

How to Wear Gray Jeans: Casual

 

How to Wear Gray Jeans - The Well Dressed LifeOutfit 1: Top, $49  |  Sneaker, $130  |  Scarf, $13

I’m in love with this mix of soft neutrals.  Remember casual doesn’t ever have to been sloppy, in fact, it can be super chic.  Just like we did last month, I paired pink with gray. It’s a classic combination that looks so fresh.  I like this simple fleece Gibson top.  It’s under $50 and comes in four wearable colors and an array of sizes including petite.

Can we talk about these sneakers?  Because the are heavenlyCole Haan makes such a good shoe. These, in a soft dove gray buttery leather, are the chicest sneakers I’ve ever seen.  They are not inexpensive, but might be worth the spend if you are in the market for a weekend sneaker that makes no effort to look like a sneaker you would wear to the gym.

Finally, this scarf is exactly what I was looking for.  It’s equally soft and muted, and adds just the right layer without bulk.

How to Wear Gray Jeans: Date Night

How to Wear Gray Jeans - The Well Dressed LifeOutfit 2: Sweater, $30  |  Heel, $70  |  Bag, $35

Hello, date night.  One of the easiest ways to wear gray is in a monochromatic outfit. To pull off all one color, you need to work in shades of that color.  If you wore the exact same tone and saturation of one color your outfit would be flat.  Instead, look for varring tones.  This will give your look depth and interest. Here, we did just that.

I don’t think I want to spend more than $30 on an off the shoulder sweater.  I’m wearing it a few times, and then I’m done, so this one from H&M is just what I want.  For the shoe, I went with these simple suede heels.  They are higher than what I would wear all day, but for a few hours I could manage.  Dolce Vita makes a decent heel, especially when they are on sale

For the bag, I found this gorgeous burgundy suede crossbody that can easily be carried as a clutch.  It’s $35 at DSW, a steal if you consider wearing burgundy is the equivalent of a neutral.  To pull the look together with a burgundy lipstick.

How to Wear Gray Jeans: Brunch

 

How to Wear Gray Jeans - The Well Dressed LifeOutfit 3: Sweater, $102  |  Heel, $120  |  Bag, $595

Finally, an everyday outfit.  You can wear this to a casual work meeting, or brunch with friends.  I like to combination of beige and gray, it’s wonderfully sophisticated. We featured a similar sweater last year in gray from Banana Republic, and readers went crazy for it.  This version is available in black, gray and beige.  You’ll leave the cardigan on, so layer a simple shell underneath.  Old Navy makes a fantastic and crazy affordable tank.

The shoes are a bit of a trend. They have a V-shaped topline, so they almost look like a hybrid of a pump and a bootie.  The bag is a total splurge, I know.  I like its look and line. Even though Coach jumped the shark for a few years ago and sold out by covering every single product it made with a hideous logo (I have no strong opinions) when they actually make a traditional handbag, it’s gorgeous.

Shop this Post

 

Weekend Outfit Inspiration: Cozy Pink Cardigan

Weekend Inspiration: Cozy Pink Cardigan
Weekend Inspiration: Cozy Pink Cardigan

There are some pieces in our wardrobes that we just love to wear together.  For me, it’s a pair of jeans, a tank and a long cardigan. It’s a straightforward formula that is easy to dress up or down and adjust based on the season.

For today’s post we’re showing you how to create two weekend outfits to wear now and later, just by changing out the shoes and accessories.
Weekend Inspiration: Cozy Pink Cardigan

Cardigan, $25  |  Jeans, $189  |  Tank, $17

Pale pink and gray is a winning combination. It’s soft and has a cozy feel.  I found this cardigan at H&M.  The quality is pretty good.  It’s one of those pieces you’ll get a lot of wear out of, until you can’t wear it any more.

Surprisingly, the most impactful component of this look is the tank.  Not all tanks are the same.  This one drapes off the body and scoops in the front, complimenting the movement of the cardigan. (Pick it up in multiple colors.)  It’s a little detail with significant impact.

The outfit would not work the same way if the tank were fitted to your body.

Finally, gray jeans. I love Paige, they fit well and are worth the price tag. Looking for something less expensive? These Old Navy jeans are worth checking out.

Wear Now

Weekend Inspiration: Cozy Pink Cardigan - Wear NowWear now with: Necklace, $80  |  Boots, $45  |  Bag, $33

Earlier this week, I woke up around 6:30 with a little sunlight streaming through my bedroom window, and the first sounds of birds chirping.  Maybe, just maybe, I thought, we’ll have an early spring.

Not the case, since this weekend we’re set for more snow.  Making this look winter weather appropriate is easy by adding a boot.  I tend to lean toward clean lined ankle or riding boots. You can absolutely wear them with this look, or you can wear something like these faux-fur collar chunky bootsAt $45 they are a fantastic alternative that won’t break the bank.

You need a bag to balance the weight of the boot.  This Street Level tote does the job and is super versatile.

Finally, a long necklace adds additional weight and movement.  We used the black stone version of the Kendra Scott piece, white would work just as well.

Wear Later

Weekend Inspiration: Cozy Pink Cardigan - Wear LaterWear later with: Shoes, $50  |  Clutch, $32

The second the weather breaks, you can break out your spring sandals.  I wasn’t always a fan of the open toe cage shoe, but as the style evolved, they grew on me.

With this look, the cardigan is heavy, so you need the shoe to create balance. The block heel keeps the overall look grounded.

Finally, grab a clutch.  I’m CRAZY for this one by ASOS.  The pink is darker than the cardigan but still in the same family of color, giving depth and interest without having to add a lot of “stuff” to your look.

Because the shoe is suede, I used a suede clutch. This trick creates cohesiveness and elevates the look even though it’s so simple.

Shop this Post

 

Weekend Inspiration: Varsity Tee Now and Later

Weekend Inspiration Varsity Tee Wear Now
Weekend Inspiration Varsity Tee

At my core, I am a jeans and tee shirt kind of girl. It’s a laid back and casual combination that makes me feel most like myself.  But not all jeans and tees are the same. At my age, I try to find something that feels grown up without being frumpy and also doesn’t look like I picked it up at CrewCuts.  I look for better quality piece but I’m not willing to spending $100+ on a tee shirt.

Weekend Inspiration Varsity Tee

Varsity Tee, $45 Available in 7 other colors here.

Enter this varsity tee by Treasure & Bond at Nordstrom.  When I’m working from home, and on the weekends, this is the kind of top I live in.  It’s long sleeve (the sleeves are rolled in the photo), soft, and sporty.  For the next few weeks we’ll be featuring a “must have piece” for our Friday post with outfit inspiration for now and into warmer weather.  This way, you get maximum wear out of any piece you might pick up.  Let’s start with how to wear now.

 

 

Weekend Inspiration Varsity Tee Wear NowJeans, $89  |  Shoes, $40  |  Backpack, $58

Whether you’re chaperoning a school field trip or trekking all the way down to Disney, there are certain occasion when you want to look cute but not overdone. Here’s how you do it. I paired the tee with cozy boyfriend jeans.  These are by KUT, a well priced brand with fantastic fit and quality.  Don’t like the distressing on the leg?  I know you don’t. Our Denim Closet has dozens of different style options for any kind of jean you like best.

For a casual, sneaker alternative, don’t overlook Toms.  They have a slim profile, a nice alternative to most heavy, chunky sneakers.  You could also wear a slip on sneaker, which were super popular on the blog last year.  For a bag, I’m NUTS for this small backpack from Everlane.  There is nothing better if you need to be hands free but want to look chic.

Moving to the summer …

Weekend Inspiration Varsity Tee Wear LaterShorts, $74  |  Flip Flops, $8.50  |  Crossbody, $128  |  Sunglasses, $168

If you run into me in Cape May this summer, I will be in some version of this outfit.  I’m 38 years old and I’m still wearing shorts.  I don’t care. I think I can pull them off, and what is my alternative?  Capris?  No. These shorts are from White House Black Market.  The distressing makes them feel cool, and the 5″ length is a winner. (Available in sizes 00 -16.)

Since I am all limbs, when I do wear shorts, I always wear a long sleeve or 3/4 sleeve top.  It balances out my proportions and feels a little more sophisticated.  To make this feel like a cohesive look, the flip flop (under $10!) and crossbody are rather important.  The British Tan color adds a richness and grounds the overall look.  Finally, aviators, because nothing says summer like a cool pair of sunglasses.

Shop this Post