Weekend Inspiration: LOFT Striped Sweater

Weekend Inspiration: LOFT Striped Sweater
Weekend Inspiration: LOFT Striped Sweater - The Well Dressed Life

The sales keep rolling in this January, including this adorable and preppy striped sweater at the LOFT for $23. That’s not a typo, it’s $23. Of course, I picked it up, because I love stripes and this feels fresh and new. It’s available in Navy (below) and Yellow, in XXS – XXL in Missy and Petite.  Currently, all sizes are in stock. Pick it up today while it’s on sale and you can wear it now and straight into spring. 

Weekend Inspiration: LOFT Striped SweaterMust have piece: LOFT Striped Sweater, $60 ON SALE $23.90

How to Wear LOFT Stripe Sweater 

 

Weekend Inspiration: LOFT Striped SweaterLOFT Striped Sweater, $60 ON SALE $23.90  |  Jeans, $90  |  Flats, $18  |  Bag, $139  |  Bracelet, $39  |  Earring, $98

Let’s talk about this sweater.  It’s effortlessly chic. Maybe it’s because this January has been so cold and dreary but I’m really gravitating to more bright and cheerful looks. It’s a straightforward jeans sweater. You could wear it with a variety of styles, (check out our Denim Closet for all size and style options).  We featured a clean lined boyfriend jean. If you go for a style like this, keep the roll cuff at your ankle, otherwise, you’re getting into capri area, and I have some strong opinions on capris.

This outfit is as easy as it comes.  You could wear it with a simple pair of slide on sneakers, or whatever flats you own.  I added a pop of yellow with these $18 flats for a fun accent. With weekend outfits I don’t like to fuss with accessories.  This bracelet from Henri Bendel is on sale for $39.  These earrings, also at Henri Bendel are an easy, wear-every-day-earring.  Finally, what’s a weekend without a cross body bag?  You have tons of options.  This J.Crew bag is ideal.  It sits on your body, keeps you hands free, but is big enough to carry all your stuff.

Hope everyone has a great weekend – it’s been a LONG week!

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Wear to Work: Liverpool Ponte Knit Legging

Liverpool Ponte Knit Legging
Liverpool Ponte Knit Legging - The Well Dressed Life

By now we all know that we shouldn’t wear leggings as pants. But what if we found a pant that was a legging and a pant? Because I just discovered these Liverpool Ponte Knit Leggings (plus size here) and they are the best of both worlds.

They showed up a few days before Christmas in my Stitch Fix delivery. (Yes, I started that up again. More to come in a later post.) I almost sent them back without trying them on. 

“I don’t need another pair of black pants,” I thought. Thank goodness I changed my mind at the last minute because they are fantastic.

Liverpool Ponte Knit Legging

Pant: Missy, $68 and Plus, $89 (Sizes 18 – 24!)

There is a lot to love. The fabric is soft and comfortable but doesn’t look like athletic wear. The waistband sits high (hallelujah!), has a proper waistband and back pockets. These details help make these less legging and more pant. I would still wear them with a top on the long side, but you don’t have to cover all of your bottom if you don’t want to.

I pretty much lived in these since the holidays and found that tops that hit at around my hipbone worked best for my proportions. Of course, you could wear something longer. If you do go longer, look for something with a bit of swing that cuts away from your body. Below is two ways you could wear these to a casual and creative office.

 

Day in the Office 

Liverpool Ponte Knit Legging

Outfit one: Blazer, $298  |  Shell, $40  |  Bag, $378  |  Scarf, $35  |  Boot, $83

Navy and black is a chic and sophisticated combination. This navy blazer by Ralph Lauren is the stuff of dreams. It hits around the hipbone giving you the length we’re after but fitted to show your shape.  I love a gold button but if you’d like something more traditional and in a variety of sizes, including petite and plus, check out this Talbots optionFor a less expensive look, this Lush blazer is on sale for under $30.  You could pair any of these blazers with a black or white tank. I prefer white as it adds a crispness to the look. Both colors are available in the Ann Taylor tank.

One of the reasons I love these pants so much is because you can layer a boot over them seamlessly. I have these Nine West boots, and they are the best shoe I’ve bought all year. The heel is reasonable (ish), they are comfortable, and the price is right. To bring the look together I used this navy and black scarf. You can loop it around your neck or tie it to your handbag. Don’t get stressed about it, the messier you tie your scarf the better. I kept everything else simple in this look. Add your daily jewelry, grab your work bag, and off you go.

 

After work Dinner and Drinks

Liverpool Ponte Knit LeggingOutfit two: Sweater, $80  |  Necklace, $50  |  Bracelet, $48  |  Clutch, $128  |  Pump, $119

For the second outfit, we still kept it simple, but bold color, a statement necklace, and patterned pumps make it look so much more complicated. I’m pretending we are closer to spring than we really are and using a poppy, hot pink cashmere sweater. I reads red online but it’s a bright pink. C by Bloomingdales makes high-quality, reasonably-priced cashmere. This comes in a ton of gorgeous colors, but the pink feels fresh and preppy. Need plus size?  Look at Sejour, a private label at Nordstorm, for high quality basic sweaters.

A simple tip to make any outfit look and feel cohesive is to repeat the main color (black in this case) three or five times. Here, I included a black crystal statement necklace and animal print pumps, in addition to the pants. A few things make this impactful. First, three is a key number because it creates a pattern. Second, the placement of the pieces is essential. If you were to divide your body into thirds, the main color is in each section. This creates balance and harmony. Cool, right?

I rounded out the look with a black and gold bangle; you can wear one or stack them up your arm. I included this clutch because you can slide it into your work bag and grab it for dinner and drinks. Also, I just really like it.

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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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Wear to Work: Feminine Loafer

Wear to Work: Feminine Loafer
Wear to Work: Feminine Loafer - The Well Dressed Life

Here’s the deal with how I get dressed for work: I either look lovely and professional or so bad I would deny I spent a decade dressing people. I’ve always struggled with that category between professional and super casual. Frankly, part of it is just laziness. If I know I’m not leaving the house or will be the only one in the office, I can talk myself into spending the day in my gym clothes. But, I can’t deny that I feel better and get more done when I’m dressed well.

Wear to Work: Feminine Loafer

Around the holidays I started to pick up a few pieces to build out my casual wardrobe. (I feel like I’m always doing this!)  Thinking strategically, I wanted to be able to have enough pieces to pull an outfit together quickly. We’re talking 60 seconds. I bought a fresh pair of black pants, a few crew neck cashmere sweaters, and these loafers with pretty and feminine pearl detail.

They are a nice change from my go-to boots without feeling as precious and impractical as a pair of pumps. Loafers can feel too heavy or masculine, and while I like a good menswear look, it doesn’t always complement the rest of my pieces. The pearl accent give these a feminine feel while the slim shape of the shoe keeps the line of your body long and lean.

I’m currently wearing these loafers with a pair of slim pants (featured below) and rotate a few simple sweaters, most from J.Crew factory. I also like them with a lived-in pair of boyfriend jeans and a casual white button down.

This time of year, I only want to bring in pieces that will transition with the seasons. Below is an example of how you can take these loafers into the spring, perhaps in a casual office or one that leans creative.

How to Wear a Feminine Loafer in the the Spring

 

Wear to Work: Feminine Loafers

Shoe, $90  |  Pant, $89  |  Top, $68  |  Earring, $23  |  Bag, $265

Let’s start with the pants (size 2 -18) For the last few seasons I’ve been thrilled with Vince Camuto’s pants.  They fit well, have a classic shape, and are under $100.  #winning.  You can wear them to work and socially easy-peasy. The top (comes in regular, petite and tall) has more going on than what I usually go for – and I love it!  Will it be for everyone, no, but use it as inspiration.  If you like the idea of a more conservative gingham, I like this tunic, or this button down shirtThe earrings mimic the detail on the loafer, it’s subtle but intentional.  Finally, Dagne Dover makes a good, sturdy, straightforward tote.  If you’re a lady that likes a quality bag without any logos or over the top hardware, The Legend Tote is for you.

Shop Loafers and Other Finds in this Post

 

How to Clean Out Your Closet in 60 Minutes

How to Clean Out Your Closet in 60 Minutes

This weekend marked the official start of Spring which makes now the perfect time to clean out your closet.  Since we had a taste of spring-like weather earlier this month, there is no turning back for me mentally. Even though, as I write this, I’m wrapped in a shawl with my space heater blaring at my feet under my desk.

I love spring cleaning.

L.O.V.E.

If I could I would take an entire week off and spend it moving from one room of my house to the next, clearing out, organizing and labeling. I’m hoping to get a little bit in this week, so we’re ready. Once spring break is over, we are in full-on softball and tennis season and there is little time to do anything else.

Your closet is a great place to start. You’ll get instant gratification; it will be easier to put laundry away and your mornings will be more efficient. Who doesn’t want that? The good news is you don’t have to spend a lot of time. Just one hour is all you need.

How to Clean out your Closet in 60 Minutes

What you’ll need:
– rolling rack (this is the one I use)
– trash bags
– a dry cleaning bag
– laundry basket
– multi-surface cleaner and vacuum
– notebook and pen
– plastic storage container
– extra hangers (velvet hangers recommended)
– wine (optional, but helpful)

7 Steps to Clean Out Your Closet

1. Set up your workspace.

I love my rolling rack. It makes packing, season swapping, and cleaning so much easier. I like to have a few trash bags and my dry cleaning bag on hand so I can work quickly. If you plan on storing your winter pieces elsewhere, be sure to have your bins ready as well. Also, an extra laundry basket to collect items that do not belong in your closet is helpful. Finally, have a notebook and pen handy so you can jot down a quick shopping list as you notice new items you need or things you have to replace. (Total time: 5 minutes)

2. 15/15 game.

Take 15 minutes and pull any piece that is out of season, and place it on the rolling rack. Next, take another 15 minutes and pull out anything that is dated, damaged or that you just don’t like anymore. After, you’ll have just your seasonless basics hanging in your closet. (Total time: 30 minutes)

3. Clean.

Care for your closet the same way you care for the other rooms in your home. Wipe down shelves and vacuum the floor, clean out the light fixture and sanitize the doorknob and any other surface. (Total time: 5 minutes)

4. Hangers.

Keep your space visually tidy by using the same hanger. We love huggable hangers. They save space and look chic. It’s amazing what happens when your space is perfectly organized. You’ll be calmer and see more outfit options instantly. (Total time: 5 minutes)

5. Pack.

If you like to pack up and remove winter items for spring and summer, do that now. Plastic containers with some cedar are an excellent solution. Be sure to remove dry cleaning bags as they will hold moisture and can damage your items if you let them stay in them for too long. Unpack your spring/summer pieces if necessary and add them to your cleaned closet. (Total time: 10 minutes)

Note: Because I travel frequently, I keep all of my clothes in my closet. At the beginning of each new season, I move the old season to the back and the new season to the front. Doing so saves me loads of time and allows me to pack quickly for a tropical vacation in the dead of winter.  To see how I organize my closet, check out this video.  

6. Process.

Before you finish, gather up any trash and dispose of it. If something needs to be clean or mended, add to a pile and put in your car. Organize donations and pack them up neatly. Drop them off as soon as possible. Whatever you do, do not leave action items hanging around, or they will never get actioned. (Total time: 5 minutes)

That’s it! In one hour you will have turned your wardrobe around.  Need some extra help?  Call send us an email and set up an appointment with one of our local to you stylist.