Jazz Up Your Basics with Embellished Summer Slides

Fancy Slides to Jazz up Your Basics

A popular topic around here is how to update an outfit with accessories. When it’s cold out, it’s easy to add a scarf, stack some bracelets, even add an interesting blazer. The challenge is when it’s hot and humid out, the last thing any of us want to do is add layers.  So how do you create visual interest and depth without pilling on extra layers?

One word: Shoes.

On the blog, I have a tendency to show neutral, classic, versatile shoe options because I’d rather you “invest” in a few high-quality shoes you can wear over and again instead of having a pile of disposable, novelty shoes you wear once or twice.  But sometimes my practicality is boring, so today we’re featuring a few pairs of embellished slides that are perfect for jazzing up your basics this summer.

 

Fancy Slides to Jazz up Your Basics

one, $118  |  two, $73  |  three, $72  |  four, $80

Why slides?  In the summer, I often feel silly wearing a higher heel.  Of course, it all depends on the outfit, but generally, a flat, or a low heel, works best with ankle pants, shorts, and skirts with a higher hemline.  They tend to complement the weight of seasonally appropriate clothes and add to the general, casual vibe of the summer.

I was inspired by this first pair I found at Anthropologie.  I love the combination of a bold floral pattern with equally bold embellishments.  Many of you know I’m not a big fan of prints, but I do like a wink of them in an outfit when temps are high. I would wear these, and this similar pair from Steve Madden with white summer pants or shorts, linen pants, or even a simple, solid cotton tank dress that hits at or around the knee.

If you wear a lot of denim or chambray (raises hand), than these Sam Edelman slides are the perfect pair.  I would wear them with my white jeans, relaxed ankle length blue jeans, a box tunic in chambray, or a tank dress in shades of blue or white.

Looking to dress up neutral basics?  I can see these gold slides with pearl details at the shore. Going to dinner at the beach is always more laid back than in the city.  Wear these with your summer weight “dress” pants and a tunic, or cotton shirt dress or loose fitting sheath.

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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.

The Perfect Spring Sheath

The Perfect Spring Sheath

Back when I was working with private clients, every season there were a few go-to pieces that would end up in most dressing rooms. This dress, for sure, would be one of those pieces. It’s a great staple you can dress up for work or weekend events with a can’t-beat price.

This time of year, weekends are crazy. Just looking at our family calendar for April and May, every Saturday and a few Sundays have at least one, sometimes two events.

I feel like we are going to blow through the Spring and Summer, which would usually bum me out, but my brother is getting married in early September and I am out of my mind excited about it.

Before that, our next big event is my daughter’s First Communion.  That’s what got me looking for a simple, affordable, and versatile dress. If you have any kind of shower, graduation or similar event in the coming weeks this dress might be for you.

The Perfect Spring Sheath

Sheath, $90  |  Necklace, $50  |  Clutch, $70  |  Heel, $99

I ordered it in “serene” (above), but it’s available in eight other colors.  The sheath silhouette is perfect for layering under a blazer (take a look at our picks for classic spring blazers here). For the office or after work, black or navy would be perfect. But, don’t be afraid to pick up a bold color. I have a similar dress in bright pink that I wore to all kinds of events last summer.

For this look I wanted it to be super simple and elegant. I love a nude (to me) sandal, and these by Vince Camuto are different yet still wearable with their 3″ heel. 

For the bag, I’m going matchy-matchy.  This box style clutch in patent leather is quintessential Spring.

Finally, you can skip a necklace if you prefer but I wanted to show it as an option. If you can pull off a bold statement, I L.O.V.E this necklace. The shape will mimic the neckline of the dress and act almost like a collar.  The mix of color adds a really lovely depth to the outfit.

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Weekend Wear: The $55 Moto Jacket You’re Going to Love

Moto Jacket
The $55 Moto Jacket You're Going to Love - The Well Dressed Life

I discovered this jacket last month when I ordered it as part of my Rent the Runway (RTR) Unlimited Subscription.  It’s the kind of piece that is just outside my style sphere, so being able to rent it, and try it out with my wardrobe, is such a fantastic option. I found it to be a great alternative to my typical casual blazer and feels edgy but still classic.

One of the options in (RTR) is that you can buy the items you rent at a discount. When I realized it was on sale for $50, I quickly bought it.  Because I like it so much, I wondered if it was still available at stores, and turns out; it is, $55 for black, and $33 in Navy. 

The only good thing about January is the sales.

I bought both.

 

Moto JacketMust Have Piece, $55  |  Jeans, $198  |  Shoes, $40  |  Clutch, $198  |  Earring, $38

For me, this is the perfect Saturday night out look.  Whether I’m meeting friends for dinner or spending it with Bri, it strikes the right balance of casual and polished.  There are a few things to keep in mind when creating an outfit around this jacket.  The shape and length work best with either skinny jeans or jeans with a long leg and subtle boot cut.  Anything too full and you’ll be overwhelmed. (To see a variety of jean options at different price ranges, check out our Denim Closet.)

You can throw this jacket over just about anything, though I love how it looks over a turtleneck. That’s right, a turtleneck, I’m such a turtleneck girl.  Bloomingdales currently has an array of colors for under $80.

For a night out, I like a pump.  These silver fabric pumps at DSW for $40 are affordable and stylish. The jacket as a lot going on, so I would hold off on lots of jewelry and accessories. Keep it in one piece, like a long necklace or these earrings. They are simple, but complement the hardware on the jacket without competing with it.  Finally, a silver clutch, like this one by Michael Kors has the right line and shape.  It’s an investment, so think about how often you’ll use it.  For a less expensive option, I like this $30 silver envelope clutch.

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