Layers and a Tangerine Dress

Dress and cardigan: Ann Taylor Loft, Belt: Anthropologie, Shoes: Clarks

Someone mentioned to me yesterday that they loved how I do layers, which made me quite happy indeed, since that’s often one of my big getting-dressed goals. Especially now that we’re in the hot outside/super air condition inside sort of weather, layering is a must – otherwise you either boil or freeze. Or both. Ugh.

This tangerine dress is one of my all-time spring/summer favorites. I often wear it as just the dress, but have been trying to jazz it up lately with layers and/or belts. What are you favorite summer outfits?

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Lazy Days

Dress, top, belt, and sandals: Ann Taylor Loft, Necklace: Ten Thousand Villages, Earrings: gift

This weekend is one of those rare times when I actually get a day off, so I’m taking advantage of the opportunity to dress casually! There’s not too much to say about this outfit – it’s comfortable, cool, and easy to move around in; just what I need for the holiday weekend! What are your favorite “day off” outfits?

Going Green…

Dress: thrifted, Cardigan: Ann Taylor Loft, Belt: Ann Taylor, Shoes: Ann Taylor Loft, Earrings: Ten Thousand Villages

After an insane weekend of concerts and other end-of-the-year events, I’m back to the land of the living (and the blogging!) – whew! At this point in the year, I just want to be done with things, so the fact that work keeps going for another three weeks is…GR. So, to cheer myself up today, I thought this green print dress would add some fun pizzazz. I rarely wear this dress on non-dressy occasions, since the top of it is, well, dressy. However, I discovered that if you cover it with this handy little cardigan, the dress can pass for a cute skirt with a neckline that’s even appropriate for the workplace (without the cardigan it’s rather scandalous!). Here’s to hoping that fun, colorful outfits will help get me through the rest of my work responsibilities…

Happy Mother’s Day!

Top: Banana Republic, Pants: Ann Taylor Loft, Belt: Banana Republic, Shoes: Ann Taylor

Y’all will have to forgive this for being a day late – I was out celebrating with my wonderful mommy yesterday! Just a quick note about this outfit. This pair of pants is another example of a great wardrobe piece with a “problematic fit.” Like my brown cropped pants from a week or so ago, these pants have an awkward waistline, as they are just a teensy bit too big. However, since they’re cotton with lycra (i.e. stretchy!) and machine washable, they are near the top of my favorites list, so I’ve been looking for creative ways to solve the waistline problem. As I noted in this post, I wanted to experiment with untucking the dress shirt and adding a belt to create waist definition, and here is the result. I think I like it!

Et voilĂ !

Top: Ann Taylor, Skirt: thrifted, Shrug: thrifted from sister’s closet, Shoes: Chinese Laundry (via DSW)

Did you ever read the stories about Madeline, the little French girl attending a boarding school in Paris? This outfit kind of reminds me of something she might wear. My favorite part is the adorable black bow on the shrug – seems somewhat reminiscent of the French schoolgirl, non?

The shoes are another favorite. I don’t bring them out that often, since they’re a bit too slipper-like for everyday wear, but they seemed appropriately floral for that day. I got them for my graduate voice recital in 2010. The recital was on May Day so…how could I resist :).

Danger Zone

Jacket (above): Ann Taylor Loft, Top: Ann Taylor Loft, Pants: White House Black Market, Shoes: Payless

I got these white cropped pants from a good friend who was cleaning out her closet a month or so ago. I have never owned white pants before, and now I know why. My propensity to spill things and my love for chocolate means that these pants are highly prone to little brown stains. However, I also fell in love with these pants (hence the title). They solve problems that no other clothing item can solve, such as providing the perfect pairing for this 3/4-length top. Thus, stain removers have become a necessity…

I also fell in love with these shoes. While they’re somewhat uncomfortable, the multi-colored accents they bring are (often) worth it. (I also love the azaleas blooming in the background :))

Always Be Prepared…

Jacket (above): Ann Taylor, Top: Ann Taylor Loft, Skirt: Ann Taylor Loft, Shoes: Clarks, Flower pin (above): Claire’s

In addition to being a great life motto in general, this has been my getting-dressed mantra for our extremely unpredictable spring. This past Friday was one of those days that started out cool and then slowly worked its way up into the 80’s. Since I was running around at no fewer than three different jobs that day, I had to give myself options, or else freeze/roast as the day progressed.

I like the way the eyelet pattern of the top is long enough to peak out underneath the jacket. Normally, I don’t like for tops to show under jackets (sometimes that can look “unfinished” or too casual), but in this particular case I rather enjoyed the result. What are your strategies for being prepared this spring?

Enigma

Top: Ann Taylor, Cropped pants: Ann Taylor, Cardigan: (guess where?) Ann Taylor, Shoes: Clarks

These pants are an enigma to me. I love the concept of cropped dress pants – they provide a great solution to warm spring/summer weather when I need to look professional and can’t wear a skirt. I love this pair in particular, since they’re linen and a great neutral color. However, I have trouble figuring out how to wear them, since they’re a size or two too big (and have been since I bought them – that’s the problem with sale items that are too good to pass up!). I always end up feeling like a hobbit.

My attempt at a solution yesterday was to pair it with this top, with a detail near the neck to draw the eye upwards and away from the somewhat awkward waistline. The addition of the cardigan also helps to obscure how low the pants ride on me. I think next time, though, I might try un-tucking the top and wearing a belt to create a new waistline, bypassing the low rise entirely. What do you think? Do you have any garments that you just love but don’t fit you quite right? How do you solve your fitting enigmas?