Oct 1st, Month in Review

One of my favorite things to post at the end of each month is a review of everything I wore. To me, it’s fun to look back and remember what I did- and I think it’s fun for the reader to get to see a bunch of outfit ideas all at once.

So, without further ado- here is what I wore last month! Is there one that is your favorite? Is there one that I should NEVER wear again?! (be nice :))

Please comment- you have no idea how much it pleases me to hear from you all!

Linking with Momtrends for Monday Mingle!

Sept 30, Navigating Nordstrom

I can’t tell you how many of my friends don’t shop at Nordstrom simply because they find it to be totally overwhelming.

I can understand- I used to feel the same way. Walking into an enormous department store- it’s easy to be confused and not know where to even begin.

Today I am going to break it down for you!

Basically Nordstrom’s is divided into mini boutiques- all with their own identity.

Point Of View

This is the section that I frequent the most, it has somewhat trendy pieces- but is also mainstream and more affordable than most of the other sections! Examples of designers are Halogen and Vince Camuto. The top I’m wearing above is from this section!

Individualist 

This is definitely more trendy- and more expensive. There are more designer labels in this section. It is designed for hip and trendy fashionistas! Here you will find Vince, Theory, Tory Burch to name a few…

Savvy 

Savvy is even more upscale that Individualist! In our Nordstroms you have to walk through this section to get to the ladies room (which is lovely in itself!). You will find J Brand, Marc by Marc Jacobs and Joie. According to Nordstrom’s website,  Savvy is for ‘Edgy, of-the-moment looks for the confident, fashion-forward woman.’

Via C

You can tell just from the furnishings that you are now in an even more expensive area- different lighting, decor, even glass walls separate it from the other sections! Here you will find the most expensive designer wear- at very expensive prices. They often have clothing from new designers in this section- for example you will find Rag & Bone, Rachel Zoe, Helmut Lang… hint: I have NEVER bought anything in this section!!

B.P.  (Brass Plum)

This is the teen section- but don’t let that scare you off! I have seen plenty of 40 somethings browsing in this area (and not for their daughters!). I have bought scarves, belts and even a top or two in B.P. I will say though, be prepared- the sizes are small and quality is poor. Prices are cheaper though! I’d also recommend not shopping in this section too often- trends for 16 year olds just aren’t cute on 40 year olds.

T.B.D.

This is where to find your new jeans! Ask a salesperson to help you- they know each brand very well and can steer you in the right direction. The best news is that if you pay full price for jeans, they will do alterations for free! Yes, for free! Quick note- when having your jeans shortened, be sure to ask for the original hem to be re-attached! Brands in this section: Free People, Citizens of Humanity, Paige and 7 for all Mankind.

Studio 121

Again, according to the Nordstrom website, Studio 121 is ‘Chic, sophisticated wardrobe essentials for work and weekend.’. Here you will find classic pieces, nothing too trendy, but great basics that are well made and will never go out of style. Look for brands such as Eileen Fisher and Classiques Entier. It’s perfect for anyone over 40!

Narrative

Ralph Lauren, Anne Klein, Isaac Mizhari are all brands you will find in this section. Similar to Studio 121, this area is for mature shoppers who like classic, well made pieces from mainstream designers. You will also find coats in this section.

I haven’t covered every section- it is a big store- but hopefully this breaks it down a bit for you! Don’t be afraid to wander into any section and ask for help- the salespeople are usually extremely friendly (they are known for their excellent customer service). One time I brought in a skirt from home and asked for help finding a top to go with it. The sweet sales gal hunted all over the store and filled a dressing room with about 12 different options that I never would have found on my own!

Top and Jeans from Nordstrom, Shoes: Target, Necklace: Macy’s

Sept. 28th, Skinny Cargos

If you’re a regular reader- you may remember that I was on the hunt for a pair of skinny cargo pants last year.

Thanks to the excellent shopping eye of my little sis (love ya Kara), I found these at Michael Kors.

Even though they are skinny, they are very stretchy and comfy (as they should be)!

Today I have paired them with what I consider to be a bit unexpected- a bright blue silk shirt.(similar)

I used to only wear my cargos with neutral colors (think black and white), but I have been trying to branch out a bit and treat the cargos as the neutral and add color on top.

I have to confess, originally I wore this shirt untucked with my black stretch pants. I was incredibly comfortable- but after seeing my photos realized it looked like I may have a bun in the oven or I forgot my pants! Yikes!

I quickly changed into the cargos- and love the way it looks! Just look at how much longer my legs look! Amazing! And, I like the contrast of the rugged pants paired with a silk shirt!

I was going for the ‘half tuck’ where the front is tucked in to reveal my belt, but the back is left out to cover my butt. It looks a little strange- I know! I can’t seem to get this quite right. Argh!

I’ve linked up with Girlymama for Fashion Friday. Go check out the adorable Sorel boots she is showing… I’m jealous!

Side view of the half tuck!

Yes, these are my orthopedic Dansko sandals… my feet were sore today and these are so amazing!

Sept 27th, Yep- It’s Madewell

Have you heard of Madewell?

It’s a cousin to J Crew- yet has a little more edgy side to it- it’s not quite as preppy.

It kind of reminds me of what we wore in college… flannels, denim shirts, chunky sweaters… yet with a modern take  (meaning don’t be pulling your college flannels out of your closet and thinking no one will notice!).

I went into Madewell last week with a friend to show her their fabulous skinny jeans. These jeans are truly like wearing sweat pants- the cotton is the softest I have ever worn- they are sublime.

While I was there I spotted this cute little lace top. I didn’t even try it on- just grabbed it knowing it would find a home in my closet. I love the texture of the lace- love that it isn’t too fussy or dressy- and love that it can be worn under practically anything.

Today I’ve paired it with my skinny jeans and a dark gray cable knit sweater. I like the juxtaposition of the ladylike lace with the chunky cardigan. I then added my favorite Tory Burch flats- the colors in the shoes reflect both the cream top and the cardigan perfectly. To finish it off, I threw on my pearls.

If you are going to try lace- be careful that you don’t look dated- or slutty.

I had a little fun finding a before picture (gotta love Pinterest). I’m not trying to be mean- but this outfit above right is not working for me. The sheer lace top is too revealing, the bell sleeves are dated, and this light denim pleated skirt is awful.

The next before picture (again, thanks Pinterest) is what I call the slutty look- the title under the picture was ‘nasty gal’. That about sums it up!

My jeans are a very dark denim wash- but they are blue (hard to tell in my bathroom lighting). The cardigan is a charcoal gray.

Sept 26th, Living in My Car!

Some days I feel like I live in my car.

Yesterday I left my house at 3:30- got home at 7:00- and all I was doing was driving kids from one sporting event to the next (pick up from tennis, drive to basketball practice, drive to soccer game…). Over scheduled much?

Argh! On days like these I want to be dressed super comfy- and ready for anything,

Today’s outfit is a good example of that. It’s an easy outfit for running around town in- it’s casual & comfy- yet looks pulled together.

I like the look of the shirt tails peeking out- and I love the cable knit detail on this sweater- I even decided to skip a necklace and let the sweater speak for itself.

As for my jeans- these are my old favorites! They are Diva style from Old Navy (which I’m not sure if they are still making this style- these are old). They are straight leg jeans in a shorter length that I simply roll up to make them look cropped. They are the perfect casual jeans for running errands in!

Linking up with Pleated Poppy for What I Wore Wednesday!

Jeans & Sweater: Old Navy, Shirt: Land’s End, Shoes: Puma (Nordstrom)

Sept 25th, Right On, Target!

I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again- I LOVE Target! Whoever is their buyer is a genius!

Today’s outfit is a good example of that!

I have been wanting a pair of purple skinny jeans for a long time- and even went so far as to buy a pair last year from Anthropologie, but after a little hemming and hawing decided they were too pricey for my budget and I returned them.

Then, this year I spotted a pair in the exact same color at Target! Woot Hoot! I quickly snapped them up- and have enjoyed having this trendy addition to my wardrobe.

Let me take a minute to say that although these are ‘technically’ skinny jeans- they are anything but.

They are actually called curvy skinny- which is perfect for gals like me who are wide in the hips and narrow in the waist. They are not too tight at all- and have plenty of bend and stretch to make them comfortable. I will say, I do have to belt the waist, but I am planning on having the waist taken in and having the length shortened by my tailor.

Speaking of skinny jeans, I read a hilarious blog article on them- and while it made me laugh out loud- it also made me realize that many people are terrified of skinny jeans.

I’m hear to tell you that not all skinny jeans are the same. The truly comfy ones have lots of stretch in them. Before you totally discount skinny jeans- try on lots of different pairs-in lots of different brands- and lots of different sizes!  You may surprise yourself!

As for my top- this cape/ sweater is made by Converse. I saw it and knew I had to have it! I love the flowy style- love the gray (goes with everything color) and thought I can easily wear that top about 5 different ways- so I snapped it up as well. That is one of my rules for shopping, I won’t buy anything unless I know about 3-5 ways to wear it!

A quick note about my before picture- I am wearing a grey fleece, the purple jeans and my awful tennis shoes! Let me say that the top on the left is as comfy as the fleece- and oh- so- much more stylish! The Tory Burch flats bring a bit of designer style to the entire look and my necklace with the purple stones polishes the whole look off!

Linking to prettyshinysparkly for her Oxblood Link Up Party!

Sept 23rd, Rainy Day Soccer Mom

 This post is for a reader, Shannon, who wrote yesterday asking what to wear to a soccer game when it’s raining.

Living in the Pacific Northwest, I’m pretty much a self proclaimed expert on rainy day wear!

The key component is having the right boots!

I coveted these rain boots (on the left!) for several months before I finally splurged and bought them. I will tell you- it was so worth it. Not only are they super comfy and stylish- but paired with knee socks- they are very warm!

I wearing black stretch pants (go for ones that are really thick & warm), and then I decided to go with a cream turtleneck and my trench coat in the same color. It’s a very mono-chromatic look- but I liked it- and I was very warm- and so much better than the look on the right. Luckily, it didn’t end up raining- but a cute umbrella would have been the final touch to keep me totally dry!

On the right (in case you are wondering) my jeans are too baggy for boots (see how they gather around the knee), the bright pink boots are a little dorky, and this coat isn’t doing much for me. Yes, I’m warm and dry- but I can also be warm and dry and look good too, right?!

I do wonder if I was a little overdressed though? I did get a bit of teasing by a dad (ahem, Jeff B you know who you are!), but I think he was just jealous that I was warm!

Pants: Nordstrom, Trench: Target, Turtleneck: J Crew, Boots: Nordstrom

Sept 21st, White Jeans Again!

If you ever wondered what my favorite item in my closet was- just look back over a few months worth of posts and you’ll probably notice I LOVE my white jeans and I LOVE stripes!

I just can’t help myself!! There is something so crisp about them, and as I said last Friday- the old rule of no white after labor day is no longer true.

In fact, Lloyd Boston*, author of Before You Put That On says: “Ladies, wear your creams and whites straight through the fall and winter. Those rules are gone.”

Today my before picture is one I’ve used before, sorry! I’m showing my white jeans with this collared long sleeve pink shirt. While I love the bright pink color- the long sleeves are covering up too much and the collar needs to go! I tend to repeat myself, but I really have a thing against collared shirts!

On the left I have replaced my golf shirt with this cute blue and white striped shirt from J Crew. I have rolled the sleeves to expose a little skin, and added this cute coral Stella and Dot necklace that my friend, Carrie gave me. I also added my leopard flats as a little unexpected pattern mixing.

Jeans: J Crew, Top: J Crew, Shoes: Target

To my local friends- yes, I wore this yesterday! Today I am working from home and wearing sweats… oh yes I am!

*Read more: http://www.oprah.com/style/Dressing-for-Your-Age/5#ixzz2772c91M7

Sept 20th, Sending a Message

 My typical ‘go to’ outfit for days when I’m not working is jeans and a shirt.

Before Everyday Mom Style I would have worn the outfit on the right.

It is just so easy to throw on a shirt, jeans and my Birkenstocks and call it good- however, there is nothing appealing about this outfit and the message that I am sending is ‘I take no time for myself’.

Is that the message you want to send?

Not me! I want to look somewhat pulled together, somewhat stylish, somewhat like I care!

Hence- the outfit on the left! This is as comfortable as the outfit on the right- but it is so much cuter. The blue and white striped tank is more interesting than a solid shirt, and the bright cardigan gives the outfit a pop of color. The cuffed jeans are casual- yet look a little more stylish than the ‘before’ pair . As for my shoes- anything is better than my Birkenstocks- and we all know how much I love my Puma ballet flats!

I wore this to dinner last night at our new local pizza place- and I only had time for 1 photo, sorry!

Jeans: Old Navy, Cardigan: Target, Tank: Gap, Shoes: Nordstrom

Sept 19th, LBD (Sort Of)

Every gal needs a LBD in her closet (in case you’re wondering- Little Black Dress) but for everyday use, I also think everyone needs a LBD- Little Blue Dress… or some alternative to the standard LBD. (I swear this dress is blue- the color looks a lot darker in the photo, to see the real color, click here).

I know I’ve said this before, but if you are comfortable wearing dresses- than do it!

Don’t be afraid of being over dressed- don’t worry if all you’re doing is running to the grocery store- wearing a dress is so comfy and so easy- you really can’t screw it up- because the outfit is done for you!

Just be careful with how you style it. For running errands, grocery shopping or volunteering in the classroom- keep it casual- wear flats instead of heels, and add something unexpected- like the cargo jacket seen here (scroll to the bottom of the page, and forgive me for the blurry pic!).

I love wearing a dress because I don’t have to worry about matching tops and bottoms- the whole outfit is 1 piece,

All I have to do is add accessories!

Today I have added a leopard belt and a Tiger Eye necklace. Nothing to exciting- but it adds a little something to an otherwise pretty plain outfit.

I love finding dresses at Marshalls, TJ Maxx and Nordstrom Rack. Go with an idea in mind of what you’re looking for- and be picky. There are a lot of duds out there- take your time, try it on and try to visualize at least 3 occasions where you would wear it.

Necklace from Forever 21

Again, I apologize for the quality of the photo… my strength is definitely not in photography! Sorry!!

And yes- I know I said I was getting rid of all ankle strap shoes (they make my legs look short), BUT- these are my orthopedic Naot shoes- and in this case I will sacrifice style for comfort. These shoes ROCK!!!

I’ve linked up with The Pleated Poppy for What I Wore Wednesday!