This is too much fun. Can't I just be an online personal stylist?
My next Dress You Up participant is the lovely E. E. says:
I want stylish clothes to wear to work (so business or business casual), plus cute clothes to wear to school or on weekends that aren't just jeans and solid long sleeved tees. Right now I'm in winter mode, but I definitely need work suggestions for summer (that don't include capri's) and for downtime in the summer (and no shorts but maybe capri's). Oh,and shoes.
This is E., complete with recently short hair. How cute is she??
Some things E didn't write, but I happen to know about her:
-she is a size 8/medium
-she's about to become a CPA
-she's a busy mom of 3 little ones
-she lives somewhere with a definite four season climate
My initial thoughts for E. are that I'd love to see her in sleek, professional clothes with fantastic shoes (she's not opposed to heels) and little pops of fun color. The outfits I am going to put together are spring-summer oriented, since E's climate pretty well dictates seasonal wardrobes.
First, I know E. has a pair of dove gray trousers she loves, so I thought I'd try to build a couple of work looks around those:
-J. Crew Perfect-fit mixed-tape cardigan
-Old Navy Womens Ruffled Linen-Blend Top
-Banana Republic Martin fit sleek trouser pant
-Restricted Ann Wedge
-Zara city briefcase
-Nordstrom 'Etchings' Floral Cutout Cuff
-ASOS Oasis Chain Drop Earrings
I love this so much. The simple color palette really lets the shoes have all the glory, and to me, the shoes say "SPRING!!" I also think the bag is just perfect, and I love the jewelry. This is casual, easy, and so pulled together. Perfect for work.
-retro drape front blouse
-Navy pleat front blazer
-Banana Republic Martin fit sleek trouser pant
-ASOS Squash Bow Suede Court Show shoes
-Mustard Chain Handle Pocket Bag
-Mandee Teardrop Chandelier earrings
-Old Navy Womens Embellished Cocktail Ring
This is a more formal, but still really fun work look. I am absolutely dying for this type of blouse, and I think it would make a great addition to E's work wardrobe as well. Under the fitted blazer and with the same trousers, it's business like, but way more interesting than a suit. Adding the great squash colored shoes and the mustard bag pulls it together and still keeps it looking a little bit retro, and the jewelry gives it just a touch of elegance. Incidentally, if these shoes came in my size, I'd have bought them already.
I love dresses, especially in the spring. Why? Easy and versatile, baby. Two examples:
-Fred Flare Spring Retreat dress
-J. Crew Jackie cardigan
-Miz Mooz Sophia pumps
-Under One Sky Double Buckle Bag
-Tarina Tarantino Classic Flower Stud Earrings
-Spring Street Design Group Wood Bangles (Set of 4)
How great is this? A cute, comfortable flowered dress, paired with a cardigan and great shoes that bring out its colors, with simple jewelry and bag. This would be a wonderful spring work outfit. And that same dress?
If E. ditched the cardi, traded her heels for flat sandals, and grabbed a big unstructured bag and more fun jewelry, she'd be adorable to head out somewhere with her kids on a weekend.
Another versatile and flattering option is a sheath dress. Paired with conservative jewelry and a monochromatic bag, low heels, and jacket, the dress is exceptionally professional:
-AB Studio Pleated Sheath Dress
-Black tailored Boyfriend jacket
-MICHAEL Michael Kors MK - Flex Low Pump
-Nine West Wrinkled Denver Shoulder Bag
-Single Pearl Pendant Necklace
-Banana Republic Genuine freshwater pearl earring
Make a few changes, though, and the dress screams "date night!"
The dress remains refined and even conservative with the matching clutch and simple silver jewelry, but E.'s sense of fun and daring can still come out in the great pink peep toed shoes. I love this idea for her--classic clothes, wildly hot shoes.
One casual spring/summer option E. mentioned was capri pants. I don't love capri pants, but I do love slightly longer cropped pants, for both casual and less casual wear, so I thought I'd try a pair of those for E:
-Delia's Boho Printed Blouse
-Hollister Marina Park tank top
-Gap Slim Crop Pants
-ZiGiny Women's Ginger Ballet Flats
-Mondani Graham Messenger Bag
-Kenneth Cole New York Turquoise Wrapped Ring
-Turquoise Pebble Fireball Necklace
Cropped pants, a peasant blouse, and flats--totally comfy, simple, and cool. I love how this mixes hippy boho stuff like the blouse and turquoise jewelry with the more understated and classic crops and flats. I think the juxtaposition works really well.
Of course, even if she thinks she can't, E. could also wear her crops to work:
-Anthropologie On The Agenda Shell
-Red Izod Cardigan
-Nine West 'Hiala' Sandal
-Faux-Leather Tote with Cross Strap
-24k Gold-Over-Silver Polished Hoop Earrings
-kate spade new york ultra thin idiom bangle
I love the mix of retro sailor and retro glam in this outfit. The slim cropped pants and high-heeled sandals are so chic with the polka dot blouse, but the pretty Izod sweater keeps it from being too serious. And how cute would E. look in this red/tan/black palette?
Another thing I'd love to see E. take from work to weekend is a fun spring skirt. I happen to adore this one:
With a simple tank, flat sandals, and a dramatic necklace, this print skirt couldn't be any cuter, or any easier, for spring/summer weekend wear.
-Old Navy Womens Ruffle-Trim Tank
-Manor and Manners Blazer
-Nine West Shoes, Quirky Pumps
-Francesca's Collections Sea Level Bag
-Spring Street Design Group Metal & Wood Bangles (Set of 7)
-Lauren by Ralph Lauren Wood Beaded Drop Earrings
To take the fun skirt and tank to work, all E. really needs to do is add a jacket and some heels. The more serious bag and slightly less quirky jewelry helps, too.
So what about remixes?
Two work looks:
And two casual ones:
My boiled-down advice for E?
1. Embrace a well-fitted pair of crop pants.
2. Look for pieces that can dress up or down.
3. Focus on great shoes.
Who wants to be next? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with your specifics and I'll put you in the queue!