Holidays at Home: Chic and Affordable Sweaters

5 Sweaters for the Holidays

Before the world stopped in March, I spent a lot of time traveling for work. The fourth quarter was always the craziest time. I would book up my December calendar until the last minute, trying to squeeze everything I could out of the year.

I left it all on the field, always worried that I would never again get an opportunity if I said no to a job.

Of course, this year forced us all to stay home and, it confirmed what I always knew, I LOVE being home. 

I love being home with my kids. I love the chaos of family life. While this year was challenging in so many ways, I wouldn’t give up the experience for anything because it was another reminder that I started my business to be home but got away from my original intent in my attempt to be successful. 

So a quiet Christmas and New Years’ at home, with my kids and immediate family sounds like Heaven. 

I thought it would be helpful to wrap up the year with a week of posts designed to help make celebrating your holidays at home special. Starting with a round-up of cozy sweaters, all well under $50, that you can easily pick up and pair with any of your favorite bottoms.

5 Chic and Affordable Sweaters for Holidays at Home

5 Sweaters for the Holidays

You can wear these options with anything, like your favorite pair of jeans, faux leather leggings, velvet pants, or even silk pajama bottoms. I’ll have a post tomorrow rounding up some of my ideas for dressy, yet comfortable bottoms 🙂 

Under $20 Pullover 

Red Cable Stitch Sweater from Target

Cable Stitch Pullover, $17.50

If you’re pushing a cart around Target, which is pretty much the only place we’re allowed to go in PA, look for this sweater by A New Day. It comes in six colors, but the red is the real show stopper. AND it has over 70 five star reviews. Available in XS – XXL for only $17.50.

Fancy and Fuzzy

White Fuzzy Sweater from LOFT

White Fuzzy, $25 

LOFT has pretty much given clothes away this year. Marked at $79.50 this soft and fuzzy sweater is $25 right now with the code GIFTS. Available in White Whisper (above) or a Grey/Ivory combo, in XS – XXL. I would wear it just like the model with a pair of either faux leather, or coated bottoms and a fun pair of earrings.

Waffle-Knit TunicWaffle-Knit Cowl Neck sweater from Old Navy

Waffle Cowl Neck, $40

There’s no shame in spending your days off in a cozy sweater, leggings, and slippers. I pretty much live in it. If you could use a new tunic style sweater, I recommend this waffle-knit option from Old Navy. Available in regular, petite, and tall, it comes in six colors, including black. I’m featuring the mauve, which would look lovely with leggings or with grey jeans and boots.

Classic Cable-Knit 

Vince Camuto Cable Stitch Sweater in Ivory

Cable Stitch, $49

I adore cable-knit sweaters. This one, by Vince Camuto is 50% off at Nordstrom, making it just under $50. It’s perfect paired with dark jeans and boots. Give it a little half tuck to easily kick up the style factor. Available in XXS – XXL. 

Purple Perfection

H&M purple cable knit sweater

Cable Knit, $35  

H&M has been my holiday sweater go-to for years. They have everything you might need, including the perfect Christmas Sweater or something over-the-top, like this gorgeous pearl covered sweater. But I adore this purple sweater so much I had to feature it. It’s part of their sustainability collection, designed to help with their commitment to being climate neutral by 2030. Sizes go from XS – XXL and tend to run true.


Our Style 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 Dress Up Leggings for the Holidays

How to wear leggings for the holidays

Today we’re talking about how to dress up leggings for the holidays, so you can maintain your 2020 comfort level while looking festive and chic. Because, if ever there was a year to embrace loungewear as holiday attire, I guess this is it.

First, let’s talk about the kind of legging. Contrary to popular belief, not all leggings are created equal. For these looks, you do not want to wear the leggings you wear to work out.

Just like we keep gym sneakers separate from “dress up” sneakers, leggings follow the same rule. Gym leggings will look out of place.

My hands down, absolute favorite pair of all time are the Zella Live-In leggings. Even though they are sold as work out bottoms, I prefer to use these as my “better” pair. 

These higher-waisted leggings are thick, and pull you in and lift you up while still being comfortable. I have had several pairs for years and I am always amazed at how well the wash. They don’t fade or stretch out over time. 

Zella Live-In Leggings

Zella Live in Leggings

 

Leggings, $58  

Style note: If you’re not totally comfortable wearing traditional leggings, swap these out for your Spanx Perfect Pants, you’ll feel more finished in them. Want to make these looks extra special? Wear the Spanx Faux Leather Leggings OR their new  Velvet Leggings

For the outfits below I worked with a combination of items I know you have and added in some new affordable pieces to help build out your options. 

How to Dress Up Leggings for the Holidays

How to wear leggings for the holidays

Cozy Glam 

 

How to wear leggings for the holidays

 

Sweater, $40  |Loafers, $95 | Hair Bow, $10 Studs, $40  

This first look is simple yet chic. I like leggings because they allow you to wear a big oversized sweater, and this one from Express is fab. It’s on sale for $40 and comes in four colors up to an XL. Above, I’m using the grey because I love the neutral combination. There is also a seasonal red that would look lovely.

Then, I used the Birdie loafers we are all loving, in black velvet. For accessories, a fun pair of CZ studs and a simple velvet bow hair tie I found on Etsy.

 

Chic by The Fire 

How to wear leggings for the holidays

 

Sweater, $52 | Thermal Tee, $12 | Booties, $125 Beanie, $19 

Many people are getting creative this year, hosting smaller get-togethers outside. Whether you’re sitting by a fire or snuggled up under a heat lamp, this look would be adorable. I created a simple column of color by adding the popular Old Navy long sleeve tee (another reader fave) as a base. Then, I found (and ordered for myself) this Fair Isle wrap cardigan

When I first saw it, I swore it was expensive, but much to my delight, it’s another Old Navy find for under $50 available in regular, petite, and tall sizes. 

Then I used these Sam Edelman tan booties. In our INSIDER group, we talked about when you can wear tan shoes with black bottoms and when to keep it to all black. My best tip is to add the tan to a look when it is casual because it will elevate it and add interest. If the outfit is more formal, keep it to black. 

Finally,  a hat is a fun accessory. You’ll stay warm and bonus points since you won’t have to do your hair.

Classic Combo 

 

How to wear leggings for the holidays

 

Tunic, $25 | Earrings, $12 | Mules, $88 | Lipstick, $28 

This last look is as easy as it gets. Add a long white tunic, like this one from J.Crew in all sizes up to 3X for $25. You want this to feel and look oversized. 

I love the look of an over-the-top earring with a collared shirt. It feels dramatic and perfect for the holidays. Here I used this $12 pair, also by J.Crew. These are big and will add some movement and glamour. 

Speaking of glamour, holidays at home should be a little extra, so I went with these gold fur-lined slipper/loafers and, for an added touch of flair, a bold red lip with my go-to brand Kosas. 

Tell us below, what are you planning on wearing at home this holiday?


Our Style 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.

 

5 Fair Isle Sweaters for Thanksgiving and Beyond

5 Fair Isle Sweaters

I usually wait until after Thanksgiving to decorate for Christmas, but I started this week. My kids have been in full-time, in-person school since the start of the school year (it’s been wonderful) but are going virtual for two weeks, beginning on Monday.

Knowing the next few days will be filled with distractions, I’m putting in a marathon effort this weekend to get the holidays set up.

This year I want to make it as cozy and fun as possible. That shouldn’t be too hard since Vivi turns two a few days before Christmas. Getting to redo all of our holiday traditions with a little one again has been an absolute gift. I’m not sure who is enjoying it more, her or me. 

One of my favorite childhood traditions was how my mom made sure we always had a few special things to wear, like pajamas just for Christmas Eve and a new Christmas Day outfit. Of course, I do the same for my kids. Because what we wear can set the tone for the occasion and end up marking a memory. 

And for me, there is no pattern more memory-evoking than a Fair Isle print. 

So as we head into the weekend, I’m rounding up some of my favorite cozy Fair Isle sweaters for holidays at home. They are perfect for this time of year, for Thanksgiving, the night you decorate your tree, or just snuggling on the sofa with a holiday movie. 

5 Fair Isle Sweaters for Thanksgiving and Beyond

5 Fair Isle Sweaters

How fun are these? They’re the stuff of Hallmark Movie magic. If you pick one up, or already own one (and you really only need one) keep your look simple: a pair of jeans, a pull on pant, or a jogger, the pour yourself a glass of wine and relax by the fire. 

Below are my top picks in all sizes including regular, tall, petite and plus:

 

 

Fair Isle Sweater from LL Bean

LL Bean, $75 

Fair Isle Sweater at Nordstrom

Vero Moda, $65 

Fair Isle Sweater from The Gap

Gap, $80 

Fair Isle Sweater from The Gap

Gap, $70 

 

Fair Isle Sweater from The Gap

Ann Taylor, $90 (On Sale for $45)


 

Our Style 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.

A Classic Grey Dress Two Ways

How to wear a Gray Dress

We talk a lot about creating a chic and classic style on a budget. No matter your budget, you have one, and you need to know where to splurge, spend, and save. The best tip I can give you is to be selective about every item you bring into your wardrobe, especially those pieces considered a bargain.

Inexpensive, sale-priced, clearance items tend to be where we let down our guard. It’s too easy to throw a $20 top or dress in our carts. But what happens when we do that repeatedly is we end up with a closet that doesn’t make any sense.
You’ve been there, I’ve been there, we’ve all been there.

That’s why it’s important to know the style you are trying to achieve before you shop, and then hold even the most affordable item to that standard.

Today’s dress, this simple Ponte shift from Old Navy, is on sale for under $30. It is the perfect example of what to look for in a “save” piece that adds tons of value to your wardrobe. 

Old Navy Ponte Shift Dress 

How to wear a Gray Dress

 

Dress, $28 (Missy, Tall and Petite, up to XXL)

Ponte knit is ideal for this time of year. It’s stretchy, soft, and has a great fit. You can dress it up or down. It pairs with everything from tall boots (below) to sneakers and a denim jacket.

This dress works so well because of its timeless cut and heather grey color. It’s also not too short, so you can take it to work, dinner, or even a relaxed Thanksgiving.

Today, I’m showing you two sophisticated looks with this inexpensive piece at the center.

Layered Neutrals

Gray Dress with camel coat, ivory scarf, tan knee high boots, and gold hoops

Boots, $268 (Black Friday sale $134) |  Coat, $173 |  Scarf, $39 |  Earrings, $90 

To say I love this look is an understatement. My favorite way to dress is in layered neutrals. It creates such a gorgeous richness that works for any occasion.

Here, I paired the dress with these stunning cognac boots from Banana Republic, currently on a Black Friday sale for 50% off. Sizes are getting limited.

Then, a classic camel coat. I picked up a similar jacket last year and have got so much wear out of it. I like this one from Express; it has a flattering tie waist without looking like a bathrobe.

Finally, add an ivory scarf (under $40 at Nordstrom) and pretty pearl and gold statement hoops.

Simple, classic, timeless.

Basic Black

Gray Dress with black tights, black booties, black and gold belt, and gold earrings.

Booties, $105 |  Tights, $15 | Belt, $45 (on sale $15)|  Earrings, $7.50 

When you focus on wardrobe building, you’ll eventually get the point that you already have everything else you need to create a fresh look when you bring in one piece.

This look is an example of that. You likely already have a pair of black ankle boots. If not, these booties by Vince Camuto are on sale at DSW. Their block heel makes them incredibly comfortable. Pair them with opaque tights to give your leg a long line.

Then, I added this gorgeous belt from LOFT. Right now, it’s on sale for only $15. It’s subtle but has a designer look and feel. Wrap it around your waist to bring in some visual interest.

Finally, small door-knocker earrings mimic the belt buckle’s style, creating a cohesive, thoughtful outfit.


Our Style 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.

 

The Best Selling Over-the-Knee Boots I LOVE

Over the knee boots

Over-the-knee boots have been popular for some time. Over in our Facebook Private Group, I get questions about them frequently. Specifically how to wear them and if they are age-appropriate.

So let’s start with the question of age. It’s simple. AGE DOES NOT MATTER. The Well Dressed Life is all about helping you achieve a modern and classic style, which is inherently timeless and ageless. I break down my philosophy on age and “appropriate” dress here.

For style inspiration, you have a lot of options. But first, lets talk about the boot. 

I wanted one that was versatile, affordable, casual and easy to incorporate into my uneventful life. 

Last December, I started to hear (unsponsored) praise for these tan suede over the knee boots for under $50 from Amazon on social media, so I decided to give them a try. 

I’ve had them for almost a year now and still highly recommend them. 

The Best Selling Over-the-Knee Boots I LOVE 

Over the knee boots

Boots: $45, Jeans: $80

I will never be comfortable posting pictures of myself, but thank you to everyone for being kind. I know the pictures are helpful, even though I feel like a major dork in them. 

For some context I am (almost) 41 and am 5’10. However, I found these on Pop of Pippi’s Instagram and she is petite and looks fantastic in them. So don’t be afraid to give them a try if you are petite (and follow her Insta for some great petite looks).

Are they the best quality? They do the trick, which is to let you wear a trend while it’s popular without feeling committed to it and spending a small fortune. 

They are surprisingly comfortable. The block heel gives nice support and they are not too high making them super easy to walk in. 

I paired them with the Joe’s Curvy Skinny Ankle Jean. (On sale for $80 at Nordstrom Rack – they usually retail for $189). I LOVE these. They are high waisted, with nice stretch. But the slide over any skinny jean easily. 

I’ve worn them a few different ways, usually with jeans (above) or leggings and a long cardigan (below). The key is to keep it simple. Almost think of them as pants, if that makes sense. 

This weekend I’m going to wear them with this black sweater dress from the J.Crew factory sale for dinner on Saturday (I’ll share over on Instagram).  

I original purchased the tan suede, and just ordered them in black for the holidays. I think the suede adds a richness to the look but again, has a casual vibe. 

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Our Style 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. 

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.

_________________________________________________________

A $30 Blazer for Work

These days, workwear leans a little more casual than usual, which can make getting dressed feel redundant and boring. Instead of feeling like you’re limited to the same old outfits, use it as an opportunity to try something new.

This classic patterned, oversized blazer is just the thing. It’s only $30, available in regular, tall, and petite up to a size XXL. Whether you’re working from home (and running to Target in between conference calls) or heading into the office a few days a week, scoop this up and get inspired. 

Old Navy Oversized Blazer 

Wear to Work Plaid Blazer

 

Blazer, $30 available in regular, tall, and petite up to a size XXL, plus size option here  

When incorporating a trend or a style outside your comfort zone, it’s important to maintain some timeless elements. This is what helps your look stay modern. Here, I’m using an oversized blazer (trend) with a houndstooth pattern (timeless). The combination strikes the right balance, and the price point allows you to give it a try without making a significant investment.

Below are two outfits, created with items you already have, and a few you can easily pick up to continue to expand your wardrobe. 

Target and Conference Calls 

 

Wear to Work Plaid Blazer

 

Blazer, $30  |  Sweatshirt, $25  |  Sneakers, $90  |  Jeans, $59  |  Bag, $23  |  Hoops, $45  |  Bracelet, $58

Making a casual look fresh and pulled together comes down to combining casual pieces with a few polished ones. It’s that tension between a sneaker and a proper handbag that is unexpected and modern.

Here, I’m layering the blazer over a grey sweatshirt. Fit-wise, this works because the blazer is oversized. Use a sweatshirt that is lightweight and not too boxy. It’s extra cute if you have one with a zipper and hood. Use whatever you already have; just be sure it’s thin enough to fit under the blazer.

Then, a pair of sneakers. These Cole Haan sneakers continue to be a best seller. I love using them in outfit posts to show just how versatile they are. The British tan accent on the shoe tongue gives them a sophisticated feel and pulls out the blazer’s rich tones.

To keep the look cohesive and add the right amount of structure, I used a similar color bag. This one is from ASOS for under $25.

For bottoms, grab a pair of casual jeans. I’m using light-washed ankle length boyfriend jeans because I like the contrast. You can wear whatever you prefer, from dark wash straight jeans to distressed skinnies.

In the Office 

 

Wear to Work Plaid Blazer

Blazer, $30  |  Pants, $119  |  Booties, $85  |  Sweater, $79  |  Bag, $23  |  Hoops, $45  |  Bracelet, $58

When I create these outfit posts, I always want to provide some helpful tips. Maybe it’s an unexpected way to wear something or a product recommendation you end up buying and loving. Then, I want you to feel inspired. Perhaps you have similar items hanging in your closet and never thought to wear them together until now. 

Finally, and perhaps what makes this site different from other style sites, I want you to build a functional wardrobe. You’ll see items repeated throughout a season and even the year because that’s how we dress in real life. 

The blazer works with so many items many of you already have, like your favorite black jeans. Or go ahead and wear it with the Spanx Perfect Skinny Black Pants. It will look fantastic.

Want to kick the style factor up even more?  Try wearing it with these leather leggings

To give you some variety, above, I’m featuring them with these new to me, Curves 360 by NYDJ Ponte pants. If you want a slim cut pant but don’t like skinnies, give these a try. You’ll create a similar look in a more flattering cut. These are available in all sizes, including petite and plus. 

Because these pants are straight leg, you can easily wear your favorite ankle boot. Just remember that the pants’ hem should sit on the top of your boot, creating a break. 

If you have the Sam Edelman Walden booties, wear them, in either black or tan. Above is  a different Sam Edelman in classic black leather, with a higher shaft. These work well with straight or bootleg pants. 

I’m using this washable wool crewneck from the Banana Republic, another Reader Fave, in vanilla cream to layer under the blazer. 


Our Style 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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5 Fresh Workwear Blouses for Fall

five work blouses

Mock neck blouses are popping up across retail, providing a welcomed change in the sea of your standard v-neck tops. These overtly feminine pieces are an attractive option for work, especially if you only dress from the waist up. They bring attention and color to your face, which is all most of your colleagues are seeing of you these days anyway.

If you are back in the office, they pair beautifully with any bottom, like a slim pencil skirt, a full pleated skirt, and your favorite trouser in the best cut and shape for you. 

Of course, take this out of the office to drinks and dinner with a pair of jeans. Or, add a faux leather skirt and wear these straight into the holidays. 

Pick this style up if you have narrow shoulders and a small bust; however, avoid if you are bustier since it will only make you look wider and fuller than you are.

General body types this will complement are triangles since it will add volume to your upper half balancing out the lower, and straight up and down because it creates curves and visual interest. Hourglass could also pull it off as long as you balance your waist and hips.

It’s also a fantastic option for Petites with a small frame

I found five seriously gorgeous options in a range of sizes and prices. 

5 Fresh Workwear Blouses for Fall

 

five work blouses 

 

Banana Republic: Satin Billow Sleeve Blouse | Under $50, in regular, tall and petite, in rose (above) and navy.

J.Crew: Long Sleeve Ruffle Neck Top | Originally $89.50 (on sale for Under $50 with code FALLTIME) Sizes XXXS – 3X in green (above), white, pink and navy

Ann Taylor: Seersucker Mock Neck Top | $69.50 in dusty teal (above) sizes XXS – XXL

Anthropologie: Letizia Blouse | $98 in mauve (above) sizes XS – XL 

Nordstrom:  1. State, Keyhole Blouse | $69  in green (above) and pink sizes XXS – XXL


Our Style 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.