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

 


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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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How to Wear a Jumpsuit 3 Ways and Style Tips

3 Easy Ways to Wear a Jumpsuit

Jumpsuits became popular a few years ago. What was at first considered a trend has turned into a staple in many wardrobes, and I am here for it.

They are a sophisticated alternative to our standard jeans and cute top outfit formula. You can easily dress them up or down which is extra helpful when many of us are traveling or just have busy weekend schedules. 

Now that they have hit mainstream retail we get asked about them frequently.

Do you wear them to work or on the weekends?

Am I too short or tall to wear them? 

Why can’t I find the right fit?

What happens when I have to use the bathroom?

That last one always makes me laugh, it’s seriously the number one question I get in my inbox about jumpsuits. I haven’t figured out an answer other than, you pull it down and go? 

Anyway, potty breaks aside, I’m a fan. I like one step dressing and the relaxed and casual ease of a well-fitting jumpsuit. So today we are going to share a round-up of tips to find the perfect one for you, what to pair with it, and how to go from chic, to casual, to a dressed up evening. 

How to Wear a Jumpsuit 

Because jumpsuits have become more of a basic than a trend, there are a lot of options out there, and by “a lot of options” I mean a lot of bad ones.  Run for life away from baggy, drop crotch styles (yes, that’s a thing). Avoid the ones that look like pajamas, or are covered in a busy pattern with lots of ruffles and bows (also a thing). 

Focus instead on a reasonably priced classic style. Today we’re using an Eliza J jumpsuit that is under $100.

Plus size? Vince Camuto has an almost identical style. 

It’s reminiscent of a wrap dress but might be even more versatile. The v-neck top is flattering on everyone and the jersey stretch fabric is what makes it applicable across different categories of style. 

Find the Right Fit 

I feature a lot of Eliza J because of the price point, quality, size range, and fit. Regardless of what brand you purchase, keep a few things in mind: 

If you are only buying one and want the most versatile, go with a full-length wide leg. There are so many styles available, from tapered and skinny legs to wide cropped legs. We can make all these work in different ways, but the easiest to wear are the full lengths. 

Have the leg hemmed based on the kind of shoe you plan on wearing. If these are too short on you, you’ll lose the elegance of it, and it will seem awkward.

Be sure it fits well throughout. You want the waist to hit you at your natural waistline. There’s not a lot of wiggle room here due to the nature of the design so play around with different cuts and styles.

If the width of the leg seems too wide, you can have some of the fullness taken out by a tailor. It’s a simple alteration that will make a big difference in fit. 

3 Easy Ways to Style a Jumpsuit 

Date Night Outfit 

3 Easy Ways to Wear a JumpsuitJumpsuit, $98  |  Earrings, $32  |  Sandal, $45  |  Clutch, $55 

For a chic date night in the city when the temperature is warm yet comfortable, wear the jumpsuit as is. With the right combination of accessories, you can create a composed look that doesn’t involve layers or any fuss at all. 

This whole look is $200, and all the elements will get a lot of use throughout your wardrobe. How great is that?

I used whimsical tassel earrings by Madewell to keep the look from feeling too serious. There’s something about a tassel that feels more appropriate for the warm weather, so even though this look is all black, it doesn’t feel heavy and is seasonally appropriate

The open toe sandal helps keep the look light as well. They have a block heel which is important to help ground the look. It maintains the casualness, and the shape of the heel balances out the width of the pants. 

The more I look at this clutch, the more I love it. It has a high fashion feel for only $50 (aaaannd it just went in my shopping cart). I like that it complements the earrings in terms of shape, so you instantly create a cohesive look.  

Keep in mind, when you are creating a look for the warmer weather, you don’t have the option of adding many layers. Since that is what helps create depth and interest to a look, you have to be strategic about your accessories.

Casual on Vacation Outfit3 Easy Ways to Wear a Jumpsuit

Jumpsuit, $98  |  Jacket, $90  |  Clutch, $195  |  Sandal, $186  |  Earrings, $85 

Next up is a look I would wear on vacation. The jumpsuit is easy enough to pack because of the nature of the fabric. It also pairs with a range of other materials, like the denim jacket above

My idea here is you are going to dinner; your hair is pulled back in a low ponytail, or wrapped in a bun. You wear a bold-for-you lipstick and a few accessories. 

I just know people are going to ask about what to wear when it gets chilly. You could wear a denim jacket, or, you could carry a lightweight wrap, either one would work and will keep the chill off your shoulders.

This striped raffia clutch is perfect for making the outfit look vacation-y.  Looking for something less expensive? We’ve featured this straw clutch several times, and it would work just as well. 

Finally, I’m so happy with how the earrings work with the sandal. Again, this is how you create a cohesive look without adding layers. 

Dressed Up Evening 

3 Easy Ways to Wear a JumpsuitJumpsuit, $98  |  Jacket, $50  |  Pump, $60  |  Clutch, $160  |  Ring, $187 

Finally, if you have an after-work function, an evening event, a casual wedding or a cocktail party, you can wear a jumpsuit. 

To give the outfit a more grown up, or professional vibe, add a blazer for some structure. You could wear black like we have above, or white. I like how this blazer isn’t too stuffy. The sleeves are permanently ruched, and it has shape without looking like you took a suit jacket and paired it with a jumpsuit. 

For shoes, you can wear a pair of pointed pumps. A slingback would work well because the openness in the back keeps it feeling light, and that will work with the weight and drape of the pants.  Be sure here that the pants are puddling on top of the shoe to create a long line to your body.

Then grab a black evening clutch, I love this box style one by Sondra Roberts. Finally, have some fun and slide on a cocktail ring.  

Weekend Outfit Inspiration: A $35 Floral Dress Two Ways

Weekend Outfit Inspiration: Floral Dress Two Ways

I love the idea of taking a dress, in this case, an inexpensive one, and finding different ways to wear it.  Today’s post is a testament to buying multifunctional basics because, while the dress isn’t a staple, the supporting pieces are, and they are hanging in many of your closets. 

First, let’s talk about this dress. Once again, I’m pleasantly surprised by Old Navy. This under $40 dress has a universally flattering sweetheart neckline which is open without being low cut. This helps elongate the line of your body. 

If you are average height the length should be fine. For someone like me (I’m 5’10) it’s a little on the short side. Depending on where you like your hem to hit, a simple alteration to let the hem down will work wonders and is worth the extra cost – at most you’re looking at an additional $10 – $15.

Even though the dress is inexpensive, the quality is there, and the sophistication level can be elevated by incorporating some slightly better pieces.

Don’t love the pattern? It’s also available in three other prints, including a chic black and white dot that would easily slip right into these outfit ideas. All patterns are available in petite, tall and missy from an XS – XXL and from 1X – 4X here. 

 

Weekend Outfit Inspiration: Floral Dress Two WaysOutfit One:  Dress, $17.50  |  Jacket, $79  |  Sneakers, $50  |  Bag, $25  |  Hoops, $58

Outfit Two:  Dress, $17.50  |  Blazer, $78  |  Sandals, $275  |   Clutch, $51   |   Earrings, $100

We went casual for the first look.  I love a dress/denim jacket/sneaker combination. (You can see a version of me wearing it here.) 

Grab a denim jacket, like this one that I have by KUT from the Kloth, or this one by J.Crew. Either one is a classic that you will turn to for years.

Next, add a sneaker. The thing to remember here is that you are not wearing your gym sneakers. White sneakers are for outfits. Their slim profile and toned down styling balances out the weight of the denim jacket. These Keds have a subtle eyelet detail for some extra femininity. 

Finally, a modern gold hoop and a streamlined crossbody bag (for only $25) creates an easy yet pulled together outfit for the weekend or any time you want an alternative to jeans. 

The second look can take you from day to night with a few simple swaps.  Imagine you’re on vacation, you have a day of sightseeing in outfit one, and then with a quick stop back at the hotel, you could be ready for dinner in 5 minutes. 

We’ve featured this Eliza J. one button blazer several times this season. It’s been around for so long that I use to put it in clients dressing rooms, and I haven’t worked with private clients in almost five years. 

The cut and fabric pair perfectly with the dress.  It’s a true separate jacket, and you’ll get a ton of wear out of it

You could keep in your hoops or switch to these pearl earrings, another popular item from our last few weeks of posts. 

A straw clutch adds texture, and makes the whole look feel more “dressed.” If you love extra preppy goodness, you can even get it monogrammed. 

Finally, I added these block heel sandals from Via Spiga. I have a version of these from about three or four years ago, and they are still one of my most favorite, most worn and most comfortable shoes in my closet. They go with everything.  They’re more of a considered purchase, but I think they are well worth it considering how much wear I’ve gotten out of them. 

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