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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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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Weekend Outfit Inspiration: Date Night Blouse

Weekend Outfit Inspiration: Date Night Blouse

Last Saturday Lauren and I, along with our husbands, headed to a party in the city. Our text exchange, while trying to get ready, started with, “What do people wear to parties?”, and “What do fun people wear?” 

Sad, considering I write a style blog, for a living, and Lauren helps me, but true. 

Quick back story: I met Lauren when she was roommates with my brother, Bill. Lauren and Bill were good buds, then she got married, and her husband became friends with Bill, and my husband, and now everyone is friends.

So this group circles around my brother, who is, infinitely cooler than me.

Bill, his wife and their friends mostly live in the city, they don’t have kids yet, and every time we see them, we have the best time.

Not wanting to look like suburban moms and maybe wanting to feel like the fun-loving, carefree girls of our youth on a rare, fun, late night out, we had to think about what we were going to wear because “country club chic” was not going to cut it. 

We pulled it off with a combination of joggers, skinny jeans and moto jackets, and had a blast, but it got me thinking about the need for variety.

Most of us don’t have a few pieces hanging in our closets that make us feel youthful and modern. Something that, when you put it, on you think, ” Yeah, I still got it.” 

So I started looking for some affordable tops to keep on hand, to throw on with a great pair of jeans, that makes me feel like myself. Something I could wear to get drinks and dinner in town and hang out past my bedtime.

That’s when I stumbled on this smocked, peplum blouse by Leith on sale for under $40.  There is still inventory across all sizes including plus, so scoop it up now if you like it. 

 

Weekend Outfit Inspiration: Date Night Blouse

Top, $35  |  Jeans, $39  |  Clutch, $99  |   Heels, $60  |  Earrings, $50

I like it because it feels both grown up and youthful. The color is sophisticated, and waist with subtle peplum is flattering across my midsection. This cut blouse works best with slim or skinny style jeans. 

And can we talk about these jeans for a minute? Because they are also under $40 without being on sale.  They have a high waistband which complements the cut of the blouse beautifully.  When you wear a loose shirt or one that drapes over your middle, it’s important to pair that with bottoms that sit under the blouse to allow it to drape. 

The jeans, by 1822 Denim, fit true to size and go up to a 34 waist (about a size 18). 

I didn’t want to go overboard with accessories or jackets and layers. That was a big part of our back and forth on Saturday, “Are you bringing a jacket?” “Is a blazer dorky?” 

You know we love a blazer and jeans but ultimately decided that yes, a blazer to this particular party would be dorky. 

To pull the look together, you want to find ways to incorporate the blush of the blouse without going too matchy-matchy.  Blush pumps add texture and color.  I went with a kitten heel by Steve Madden, currently on sale at Nordstrom Rack for $60.  

I wanted a black earring and found these by Kendra Scott in black and gold. Finally, the clutch combines all the colors in an edgy yet totally wearable python pattern

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Weekend Outfit Inspiration: Patterned Chiffon Dress

Weekend Outfit Inspiration: Patterned Chiffon Dress

Like Megan, I’ve been poking around H&M this Spring and I’m loving what I’m seeing. Over the years, I’ve had a lot of luck at H&M with blazers, dresses, and trendier sweaters. This patterned chiffon dress caught my eye because despite its bold pattern, it can be worn a couple different ways. 

Casual: Dress, $70  |  Jacket, $70  |  Crossbody, $55  |  Necklace, $42  |  Sandal, $90  |  Date Night:  Dress, $70  |  Hoops, $25  Stacking Rings, $32  |  Heels, $118  |  Clutch, $98 

I’m in love with this dress, which should not be a big surprise to those who know me. My wardrobe has a lot of zush. I love a bold pattern and gravitate towards silks and chiffons. Even though I am working hard on building up my basics, I would argue that this particular patterned dress is more practical than you would think.

When I was putting together these two looks, I realized that you have so many color options. I chose a rich brown bag and shoe to go with the casual look and white for the date night look, but you could easily choose nude-to-you shoes or a dark navy. It’s likely you already have something in your closet that goes with this dress. So even though it’s a bold print, you can change the look of it easily so that it’s not a one-hit-wonder. 

I would like to note that this dress might need some hemming, depending on your height. Check out Megan’s tips for the best skirt lengths. I am 5’6″, so I know I will need to take this up a bit so that it doesn’t hit me in an unflattering spot. 

For a casual look, I added a denim jacket, the same one I mentioned in my last post. I still have the denim jacket that my sisters’ bought me for my sixteenth birthday. Thanks to them for buying me a good quality one. It still looks perfect, only now it’s more broken in and has my name written in the inside from dorm life. Buy a classic shape and a good quality denim jacket like this one, because it will never go out of style and will only get better with age. 

To accessorize, I added a gold layered necklace which will look lovely with the V neckline of the dress. Add a cool circle crossbody bag and some comfy, yet cute flat sandals and you’re ready for your fun weekend plans. 

For date night, I paired it with the same white heels Megan featured in this post. I am a huge fan of Banana Republic’s Madison 12 Hour Pumps. Even though the heel is relatively high, I find them to be one of the most comfortable heels I have ever worn. I add a color to my collection each season. 

While we’re on the topic of Banana Republic, I would also like to express my love for their jewelry. They always have cute options and it holds up pretty well, considering its price point. I thought this floral statement ring was perfect for this dress; it picks up a bit of the floral motif in the chiffon.

To finish off the look, I added a sparkly inside-out hoop earring for under $25 and a simple white envelope clutch to round out the look. Believe it or not, but it was hard to find an attractive white clutch that had gold metal accents. Rebecca Minkoff to the rescue! It’s important to make sure you match your metals throughout your entire look so that you look cohesive and polished. 

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