The $30 Wrap Dress I’m Living In This Summer

$30 Wrap Dress from Amazon

Lately, I have not been feeling great about my body. As a creature of habit, I thrive in routine. Four months of stay at home orders took its toll on me mentally and then physically. 

Fitness-wise, the accountability I get by going to group classes and the scheduled time out of my house, free of distractions and interruptions, helps me create the boundaries I need to take care of myself.

So once gyms closed and homeschooling started, I was really at a loss for what to do. I am getting back on track and am beginning to feel better. But I’m nowhere near the weight or fitness level – more specifically, I don’t feel as strong, energized, or healthy as I was pre-COVID.

It’s frustrating, of course, but I know that if you feel like crap while you’re trying to get back to yourself, you’re never going to get there.

Doing little things, like getting a manicure, or putting on some makeup in the morning is so important. It sends a single to your brain that caring for yourself is a priority.

And finding a few things to wear that make you feel pretty is like jet fuel for motivation.

So a month or so ago, my sister-in-law came over in what looked like the perfect summer dress, from Amazon. I loved it so much I ordered one, then another, and then another. 

I feel slim, feminine and so pretty in them. 

And don’t be turned off by the model photos, you can see them on me and my very normal body below. 

The $30 Wrap Dress I’m Living In This Summer

Wrap Dress, $30

We’ve been trying to take advantage of the weather and support our local restaurants with a weekly date night. It’s lovely to sit outside and decompress for a few hours, out of the house and away from the kids, especially since there is nothing else to do. 

I am wearing these dresses on repeat. To dinners, for drinks outside, even to my daughters softball games. 

 

 
 
 
 
 
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I’m wearing the large and it fits perfectly. There are two styles available, one has flutter sleeves and a high/low hem, the other has a short sleeve and long maxi skirt (shown in red). 

Below is the blue version. I wore it to dinner last night in the city with my sister-in-law. 

 

 
 
 
 
 
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To care for them, I put them in a lingerie bag and wash on delicate. Then, I hang them to dry and use my steamer to remove any wrinkles quickly.

 


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Our 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 consider following on Instagram and join our Private Facebook Group to access more advice and exclusive in-depth conversations with other like-minded women.

How to Wear Wide Leg Pants

How to Wear Wide Leg Pants

Wide-leg, lightweight pants are a fabulous option in the summer if you want an alternative to shorts or capris.

BUT, they are one of the trickiest bottoms to pull off because the success of the look is entirely dependent on balancing proportions.

You can’t just throw on any top. 

So today, I’m breaking down how to wear wide leg pants, with three outfits that can take you pretty much anywhere this summer. 

How to Wear Wide Leg Pants

How to Wear Wide Leg Pants

First, let’s talk about what you should look for in the pant. 

For this post, I went with these navy crepe trousers from 1.STATE. They are on sale at Nordstrom for $59 in sizes XXS – XXL in navy and white, and black for $39 here

Plus size? This option from Lane Bryant in a similar crepe looks perfect.

As an alternative, Lands End has a simpler pair, also in crepe, also a pull on with less fabric. Available in all sizes, plus here

Like many wide leg pants, these are high waisted. That’s important to note because it comes into play with the featured tops. 

Regarding length, you have options. If you want a length, they need to be hemmed perfectly for your height, meaning that when you’re in a shoe, they need to just skim the ground. This look works best if you are tall.

In the summer, many of these pants come in some kind of crop. Generally, the area around the top of your ankle to the bottom of your calf is ideal. Once you start cutting through the calf, you enter capri territory, and we all know how I feel about that.

Depending on your frame, the width of the pant may be overwhelming. If that happens, remember, you can have these easily altered. If you try these (or any pair) on and you the fit of the waist and rear, have them hemmed to your most flattering length and ask to take a little bit of fullness out. It’s an easy fix. 

How are you wearing these? 

The outfits below are ideal for the office, a date, or a small get-together. As always, you can shop this post full of practical recommendations OR use it as inspiration so you can see how the components work together. 

Related: Why I Hate Capris and What to Wear Instead

Simple Structure

How to Wear Wide Leg Pants

Wide Leg Pants, $60  |  Shirt, $28  |  Sandals, $150  |  Bag, $30  |  Necklace, $13

This is one of my favorite looks because it’s elegant and has structure. Because the pants are so full, you need a top that will help create balance. This simple white jersey top from COS brings a lovely drape and feel.

They are calling it a “crop” top, but it’s not, it’s just short, and that’s what you want. You won’t show your mid-drift. Instead, this will sit over the high waistband, and you can leave it out, full or half tuck it. I LOVE it.

For the shoe, I used these reader favorites from Sam Edelman in bright white. A flat sandal works well here, so would a block heel. Avoid a delicate shoe because the fullness of the pant will overwhelm it.

Keep accessories simple with this long necklace ($13 on sale at Nordstrom Rack) to give a subtle layer that drapes against the fabric of the top, and a round straw bag from H&M provides texture.

Pretty Pattern

How to Wear Wide Leg Pants

Wide Leg Pants, $60  |  Top, $69.50  |  Sandal, $248  |  Clutch, $25  |  Earrings, $45 

Next, this patterned sleeveless top (from Banana Republic) is another lovely option because it gathers at the waist, creating a beautiful shape to the outfit. It’s a great top for the summer and available in several prints and colors. All are on sale for under $50, in regular and petite up to and XXL. 

I used these sweet earrings from Gorjana that mimic the top’s pattern, my favorite, splurge-worthy Tory Burch sandals, and this fantastic $25 woven clutch to add depth with texture

Monochromatic

How to Wear Wide Leg Pants

Wide Leg Pants, $60  |  Top, $39.50  |  Sandals, $120  |  Clutch, $17  |  Earrings, $68 

Finally, a monochromatic navy look. This is important because wearing one color can help you look taller (and slimmer!)  so if you are on the petite side, and want to try out a wide leg pant, this is a way to do it. 

This navy top has subtle lace trim on the sleeve – another easy-to-wear summer piece from Banana Republic. It also comes in white, light blue, and olive in regular and petite up to an XXL for under $40. 

Tuck the top in to show off the detail on the waistband. 

The sandals are the block heel version of the flat Sam Edleman sandals in the first outfit. Remember, you can add a heel, but keep the balance by using a block heel. 

Then the accessories are effortless. For earrings, my new favorite Soho studs from Julie Vos, and this $17 clutch, again, from DSW. 


Our 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 consider following 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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A Pretty $50 “Date Night” Dress

Date Night Outfit

Remember date nights?

It’s been over three months since Bri and I went out or did anything even remotely fun. The most exciting place I’ve gone is Target, and I’ll be honest, wearing a mask while you’re walking around it hasn’t lowered my bill, but it has removed all joy.

My home state of Pennsylvania has had some of the strictest stay-at-home orders in place since March. But today, my county’s restrictions are lifting, and restaurants can open for outside dining.

I made a reservation the second they were available (they all filled up in minutes) at one of our favorite places. Pretty sure we’re eating under a tent in a parking lot – but I do not care one bit.

We’ve been part of our community for over 15 years. We’ve watched it grow from an up-and-coming neighborhood to a robust and thriving urban suburb. Supporting our small business, especially our restaurants after all they have been through, and getting away from my kids for an hour or so is a no brainer.

AND I’m putting on a real outfit.

A Pretty $50 “Date Night” Dress

 

Date Night OutfitDress, $100 (ON SALE $50)  |  Sandals, $90  |  Clutch, $35  |  Earrings, $38 

 

LOFT is having another great sale. I picked up a few dresses early last week. Their shipping is some of the quickest without having to pay more, which is nice since generally shipping can take up to two weeks.

I picked up this dress anticipating outdoor dinner dates and I love it. I ordered the large and medium and end up keeping the medium which is my normal size. There isn’t a ton of difference in sizes so if you’re in between you might want to size up. 

It’s available in regular from an XXS – XXL and plus size from a 14 – 26. The sale price is fantastic. It’s gathered at the waist, has a pretty split neckline, a subtle shimmer thread running down the fabric, AND it’s lined.

A block heel is practical and stylish. These by Via Spiga are fantastic at an incredible price. They are so comfortable. You can certainly wear a strappy, lightweight option, but I like how these ground and dress down the look.

I added these oversized hoops from Gorjana to add some movement and layered detail. They are on sale for under $40. 

Finally a clutch.

A CLUTCH!!!!

Oh how I have missed tiny handbags. I featured this one in May’s Ten List, so many of you already have it. The “white” option is more like a bone. It’s only $35 and is inspired by Bottega Veneta’s “Cloud” bag which will run you about $1400. 

In Real Life

 


Our 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 View Post 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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A Sweet Floral Top for Jeans

A Sweet Floral Top for Jeans

One of my goals as we move through our seasonal content is to offer recommendations you can build on. A pair of jeans you purchased in January, work with boots you grabbed in February. So it only makes sense that a blouse in March creates a whole new outfit. 

That’s what we have today. A simple outfit created with wardrobe staples featured here on the blog, freshened up with this pretty floral top

But first, a quick note about sponsored content.

One of the reasons I don’t take sponsored content is so I can share my honest opinions. For example, I find physically shopping in Nordstrom more and more difficult, and I say this as someone who basically lived in the store when I was a stylist.

Their sales floor is scattered, their departments make no sense, their inventory mix lacks direction and their prices continue to rise.

Who, exactly, are they trying to target these days? 

If I took sponsorship dollars, I wouldn’t be able to say that. But I think it’s important for you to hear it from me in case you find yourself roaming the store wondering if you’re the crazy one. 

You’re not. 

But, if I were holden to sponsored dollars all I can do is praise my retail partners. 

That’s not to say Nordstrom doesn’t have great pieces. They do, but these days they are hidden in their oddly expensive, youth focused merchandise. 

Take this blouse by their private label brand Caslon

It’s the kind of reasonably priced ($59), nice quality, simple to wear piece I expect to easily find there.

It’s available in missy (up to a size XXL which equals an 18) and petite – so my petite ladies (!), be sure to grab this if you need some cute tops to pair with jeans. And plus sizes here. 

Pretty Floral Top for Jeans

A Sweet Floral Top for Jeans

Top, $59  (Plus, here)  |  Booties, $60  |  Jeans, $129 (marked down to $77 with code BLUES)

 

I picked it up in what they are calling Navy Pink/Yellow Cayce Floral print. It feels like spring with warm tones that look great with jeans.

It’s also available in a few other colors and patterns including a navy gamine floral (featured below), a pretty pale pink floral print, and solid ivory, navy and a gorgeous yellow. 

There is a little ruching at the top of the sleeve for an added bit of detail. It’s not as obvious on the patterned pieces, but you can see it clearly in the solid options. It also has a flattering split-top neckline. 

Sizing runs true. I’m wearing a medium (for context I’m 5’10 and usually wear an 8 or medium). 

Keeping with the idea that many of our recommendations are meant to build on past purchases (because that’s how you shop in the real world) this pieces is perfect for these Joe’s Jeans (on sale at Off 5th for about $77 with code BLUES)  and the most popular boots I’ve ever featured, the Sam Edelman bootie in Whiskey leather also on sale for $60. 

How to Wear

 

A Sweet Floral Top for JeansTop, $59  |  Booties, $60  |  Jeans, $129  |  Earrings, $50  |  Bracelet, $60 

Here’s a break down of the outfit, with the top featured in Navy Gamine Floral. I included some new pieces for Gorjana, my favorite line of reasonably priced jewelry.

I love these $50 earrings with tiny stud details. Their shape is fun for a casual jeans look. And this bracelet for $60 can be layered in with pieces you already own or stand by itself.


Our 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 consider following on Instagram and join our Private Facebook Group to access more advice and exclusive in-depth conversations with other like-minded women.


Wrap Style Going Out Top

Valentines Date Night Outfit Ideas

One of the biggest voids in many women’s wardrobes is the “going out top.” Spending so much time at work, raising kids, and generally running the world, a night out with your partner or friends, even for a little bit is a rare treat. 

So it’s no surprise that when the time comes to open your closet and throw on something cute – something that you didn’t just wear to work, you have nothing. 

In the coming weeks, we’ll focus on a variety of “going out” top styles. 

Today, we’re starting with a wrap top, because it works on so many shapes and sizes, and is a style available at almost every retailer. 

These are all reasonably priced, most are on sale, since this particular category doesn’t get much priority in our budgets. 

Wrap Style “Going Out” Top

Valentines Date Night Outfit Ideas

Top, $50  |  Pants, $285  |  Heels, $120

This blouse, by J.Crew is a faux wrap, which I like since you don’t have to fuss with keeping it closed. The shape is flattering bringing you in at the waist and elongating the line of your body with the v-neckline. 

The bow is dramatic, so keep that in mind. It acts like an accessory, but does add some bulk. 

I love the texture, which adds drama without being too in your face. And the sleeves are sheer (see below on me) fulling committing to a look you won’t likely wear to the office. 

It’s on a CRAZY sale right now for under $50 ( I paid retail!) and is available in all sizes up to a 3X. 

It dresses up easily with simple black pants and classic pumps – all must haves in your wardrobe. You can also pair it with your favorite pair of dark jeans

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Other Options

This Halogen wrap is a simple crepe that drapes beautifully, available in Missy and Plus

Banana Republic has a satin version in an updated cut, available in Missy, Tall and Petite up to size XXL.

If you don’t love the idea of a tie consider this wrap-inspired top by Karen Kane (on sale). You get the flattering cut with a little ruching in a cleaner application. 

Way at the other end of the spectrum is this sequin Michael Kors top (on sale). It is just the thing for a girls weekend. Maybe you have something planned in Vegas, or you’re being dragged to a bachelorette party.

Trust me, I’ve been the “old mom” out with the 20 somethings, you never want to look like you are trying to hard but don’t want to feel frumpy either. This is perfect if you want to look classy, but ready for a good time. (Also available in this stunning silver.)

Sheer Sleeve Detail 

Valentines Date Night Outfit Ideas

Keep it Simple

Valentines Date Night Outfit Ideas

Any time you wear a piece with a lot of drama, keep everything else as simple as possible. Here, I’m essentially keeping the bottom half of my outfit like a pedestal. It helps create a long and lean look, and balances the top. The only “accessory” I added is a bold-for-me red lip. 

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Our content is not sponsored or paid for by brands or retailers in any way. Recommendations are based on personal experience and my time working with women as a stylist and wardrobe consultant for over a decade. 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 consider following on Instagram for even more free tips, and join our Private Facebook Group for access advice in-depth conversations with other like-minded women.

 

Under $20 Holiday Ready Sweater

Under $20 Holiday Ready Sweater

When I host a holiday party at home, I skip the heels and party dress and opt instead for a festive sweater and comfy pants. I want to be able to move around the kitchen, chase after a kid, and curl up next to a friend.

Many of you have similar needs and requested a few options for your casual end of year entertaining. So today, I’m kicking off a series of posts that feature holiday-ready pieces at super affordable prices, starting with this pretty ivory beaded sweater

Under $20 Holiday Ready Sweater

Under $20 Holiday Ready Sweater

Sweater: $19.99 | Pants: $89 | Clutch: Old 

Let’s talk for a minute about what is going on in retail right now. I ran to the mall for the first time in forever this week and could not have been more underwhelmed.

Everything looks the same, is designed for tweens, or is frumpy. I spent most of my adult life looking forward to the day I could walk into Nordstrom and buy whatever I want, and now that I can afford a few nice things, I couldn’t find anything that looked special.

So I wandered around the mall and ended up in H&M, where I could have bought half the store.

They currently have lots of pretty neutrals, fun little details and super affordable prices – so you can try something a little outside your comfort zone without feeling like you have to make a huge commitment. 

Everything use to run small, but lately they have made strides in aligning their sizes with more standard American sizes, Additionally, they committed to becoming more sustainable and transparent with their manufacturing practices

Under $20 Holiday Ready Sweater

This sweater is $19.99 and that feels like a steal for a sweater I’ll wear a handful of times this season, and maybe next. I bought it in ivory, but you have four other color options, in XS – XL. It’s suppose to be oversized, with a drop shoulder. I’m wearing the medium. 

I’m wearing it here with a stretchy pair of black pants by Liverpool that feel like leggings but are cut like a jean. They are available in size 0 – 16 including petite. I’m wearing an 8. 

Under $20 Holiday Ready Sweater

I don’t normally wear embellishments, but the tonal look here helps it feel subtle. I like that it’s lightweight, so you can be in a warm kitchen or crowded house and not over heat. 

Have a great weekend!

Weekend Inspiration: Date Night Jumpsuit

Weekend Inspiration: Date Night Jumpsuit

If you’ve been considering a jumpsuit but not sure if you can pull it off, I hope today’s post convinces you to give one a try. I was also hesitant, mostly because of my height. I’m 5’10, so I figured the fit would be awkward, and the length would be too short overall.  

To my delight, I was wrong and now own not one, not two but three different black jumpsuits. I thought it would be helpful to see a normal person in one, with fit issues like everyone else and a lifestyle that doesn’t require getting dressed up for most occasions. 

A couple weeks ago, after a long few days with the kids and an overwhelming week of work, Bri and I found ourselves with a rare opportunity for a spontaneous date night. I should say, I’m not starved for a night out, but it’s always pre-planned with our sitter lined up well in advance. There’s something fun and almost nostalgic when one is dropped in our lap.

So when Bri grabbed a reservation and asked if I could be ready in 15 minutes, I knew just what to wear. The jumpsuit I turn to the most is this Vince Camuto tie-waist option we’ve featured here a few times. I wear it often, because it feels special without being fussy.

I am wearing my usual size 8 in this, which fits perfectly without a bit of alterations – always a bonus.

Date Night Jumpsuit

Weekend Inspiration: Date Night JumpsuitJumpsuit: $99, similar style for plus here.  Block Heel Sandal similar here.

First, the v neckline is super flattering and modest. Why v necks are cut down to the navel these days is beyond me. Plus, you can wear your favorite everyday bra. No need for some special contraption you’re only going to wear a handful of times.

I have, let’s say, a substantial booty, which, I’m not mad at thanks to years of squats. Usually, if I do have to size up in something, it’s to get it over my rear, but this fit is very comfortable and flattering. Because I am fuller on the bottom I tend to avoid wide leg pants, but here, the cut is on point and helps minimize the waist.  

The length is just enough for me to wear about a two inch heel or a pair of flats sandal. I prefer a heel with a wide leg to help balance out the look. If you are any shorter than me, consider your preferred heel height and have the pants hemmed from there. 

Classic Clutch and Simple Jewelry 

Weekend Inspiration: Date Night Jumpsuitsimilar clutch here

This clutch is one of my favorite purchases from Henri Bendel, which sadly went out of business at the end of 2018. I splurged on it, but every time I carry it, I’m reminded of how important it is to invest in certain classic pieces occasionally. For a similar style and price point I like this Gigi New York Croco Clutch

Carry anything you like, and dress it up or down with accessories. You’ll see I tend to keep things simple and wear my better jewelry every day. I figure why wait for a special occasion?

Date Night Ready in 15 Minutes

Weekend Inspiration: Date Night Jumpsuit

The tie waist is a lovely detail, it kind of mimics a wrap dress. I like it this way in the summer since it feels light, but would wear a leather belt in the fall to add a layer and interest. Something like this would be super cool

Speaking of the fall, carry this right into the new season by changing out the shoe to an interesting pump (I like these on sale at DSW), and add a blazer. You’ll look just as chic and seasonally appropriate. 

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