I’m a huge fan of separates but let’s face it, some occasions and professions call for an actual, grown-up suit. It’s a good staple to have in your closet, at the ready (think: meetings, interviews, and even funerals).
Most offices and lifestyles don’t require a suit every day, so if you can get more fun and mileage out of your investment, all the better. Remember, my mantra…versatility!
I found this navy suit at Banana Republic (they’re having a sale right now too…code: BRFAMILY). It has tiny dots on it, so it’s updated and different, but can still be treated like a solid navy suit.
Let’s see how this closet workhorse can give you lots of different options – from business, to casual, to “chic In-between”. Maybe you already have a navy suit and you can use these ideas to breathe new life into it.
Wear it as a matching suit with a simple white shell and add a cool necklace and accessories. I love the idea of a splash of unexpected color in the shoe – shows personality and polish.
Create a chic look that can go dressy OR casual. This pattern shirt is cool with the dots, and the blush cardigan is a great “3rd piece” that ties it all together. Too warm for a sweater? This outfit stands on its own too.
On that note, I had an idea for a new Facebook Live feature called B.Styled Quickies – a series of 1 minute live videos. I’ll be sharing easy tips and tricks, and in the process, I’ll learn how to get my point across in a minute or less 😉 You can catch them by going to my B.Styled Facebook page and following me. They’ll be starting next week and will usually air at noon EST.
The other thing going on over on Facebook is my free, private, #justgetdressed group. This is where members can ask questions, post outfit pictures (that no one else sees) get advice and share tips. CLICK HERE and ask to join. It’s a fantastic group of fun, supportive and all-around awesome women, and is a great source of help, support and laughs.
Now, back to my tips for keeping it simple and focusing on versatility:
KEEP IT SIMPLE:
This was last Friday when I had meetings during the day and went out with friends at night. Did I change my entire outfit? Nope. I changed into jeans and the same color top as the dress — everything else (including my favorite boots) stayed the same. I was out the door in 2 minutes. Don’t reinvent the wheel! Keep it simple!
2. Focus on VERSATILITY!
This sweater converts from a cowl neck to an off-the-shoulder and can be worn out, or with a half tuck. Versatile! My two-tone necklace features gold and silver and can be worn long or doubled up. Versatile! In the video, I also demonstrate the wonders of this amazing $48 crossbody bag that can be worn 4 ways. Click here to order from FlirtyFinds!
The next time you’re considering whether to buy something, ask yourself if it’s versatile. Don’t buy something because it “goes with (fill in the blank)”. And I don’t care if it’s on triple clearance either! Find pieces that can be styled in various ways and be paired with several things in your closet. Got it?
For this week’s Back to Work Monday, I’m answering this reader question from Barbara S.:
My office is freezing cold, especially in the winter — some of my co-workers literally wrap up in blankets or throw on a North Face fleece over their outfits. It doesn’t exactly scream competent and professional. Do you have any recommendations for how to dress and look professional but also be warm?
Even if you live in a warmer climate, some offices are cold no matter what’s going on outside. So how can you stay warm while still looking professional and stylish? Here are some tips and shopping links. Many of these items may already be in your closet too!
You may have guessed that the key is LAYERS:
Cashmere and merino wool sweaters: If most of your sweaters are cotton or a polyester blend, you may want to upgrade to cashmere or merino wool — I notice a huge difference in warmth. Now is a great time of year to invest in your sweater collection – both of the linked sweaters are on sale and available in crew and v-neck.
“Undershirts”: I joke that I’m like a preschooler because I wear an undershirt most days. I’m in love with this one because it’s smooth and stretchy and provides a perfect barrier between me and my blouses and sweaters (reducing my dry cleaning bills too).
Cardigans-and Wraps: . You could wear a wool blazer with a merino or cashmere sweater, and if it’s really cold, throw a cashmere wrap or ruana around your shoulders. It’s almost like wrapping up in a blanket, but definitely more polished looking;). a less expensive alternative to cashmere, and available in 6 colors.
Long Cardigans:Longer cardigans and sweater coats can be a great for both warmth and good looks. You don’t want it to look like a bathrobe though, so choose wisely. Make sure it fits well (petites — look for styles that come in petite sizing). A long cozy cardigan can be warm and chic – and better looking than a down jacket;)
Have a question you’d like me to address? Feel free to drop me a note! Now go #justgetdressed😉
It’s that Leggings-Time-of-Year again. We’ve hashed and rehashed the whole “leggings aren’t pants” issue and I think we’re all clear on how not to wear leggings at our age. In case you need a refresher though, here’s another post on the subject. Or, for a visual, you can just head to your local high school to see what I’m talking about. ‘Nuff said.
Today I want to focus on what does work with leggings.
The B.Styled 1-2-3 Leggings Formula:
First of all, my favorite are the Hue, Ultra WW wide waistband leggings. They don’t pill and are totally opaque –you can’t see through them AT ALL (oh, so important). I have them in black and charcoal and wear them a few times per week all fall and winter.
2. The Shoes:
The top you choose is probably the #1 priority but shoes are key too. My personal opinion is that the most foolproof shoe to wear with leggings is a pair of tall boots – either flat riding boots or a pair with a medium, thick heel or wedge. Booties can look cute too but it can be easy for them to look too clunky, and I like them to be the same color as the leggings. At the end of the day though, go ahead and wear whatever shoe you want – but let’s skip the clogs ok? And please, no hate mail on that one – it’s just my preference – wear what you want!
3. The Top:
But, (pardon the pun) the covering-up factor is one area I’m less flexible on…unless you’re a teen, or you spend a zillion hours a week doing squats and lunges….In which case you’re probably not reading this anyway.
(*Clarification: I have no issue whatsoever with wearing work out tights, or yoga pants, etc. without a long top when you’re working out or coming and going from the gym…I’m talking about “real” clothes here…)
Anyway, for the top, we want it to be long enough – without being a muumuu and without making us look like Maude (and if you don’t get that reference, chances are you’re young enough to go ahead and wear leggings as pants).
The top should be simple and comfortable– and most importantly, it needs to cover your nether-regions completely.
The #justgetdressed Challenge for today is to experiment with layers. Layering is key to fall and winter dressing. It’s also a great way to add interest to your outfit. If you do a quick search of fall outfits on Pinterest, you’ll see that some of the most pinned outfits feature the look of a longer layer peeking out from under a sweater or jacket.
It can be a tough look to pull off in non-pinterest-land where the rest of us live, so here’s a simple layering formula for you to try:
5 Steps to a Chic, Layered Look:
Start with a basic, lightweight top in a solid, neutral, or stripe. Make this first layer fitted to keep your shape looking slim. A longer t-shirt, tank or blouse is a great place to start.
Add another layer such as a soft cardigan or sweater. This can be an opportunity to mix in a bold color to give your outfit some interest and zing.
Then add a jacket or coat. If you went with a colored sweater, go with a neutral coat: camel, black, navy, grey. If the rest of your layers are neutral, add a colored coat…maybe wine or cobalt. Or keep with the neutral theme and include varying shades and textures.
Next, add a scarf and/or necklace. Go neutral or tie in your color of choice.
Accessorize with earrings, watch, etc.
Some more Layering Tips:
Remember to keep the under-layers more fitted to keep your shape looking slim.
To accentuate your waistline, try topping off your look with something belted.
Length and proportion is key when layering. If your pants/skirt is long and flowing, go with something shorter and fitted on top. If your top is long and flowing, go with something fitted on the bottom – i.e. skinny jeans or leggings.
Play with texture. It’s best to incorporate a mix of materials when creating a layered look. If you use all of the same fabrics, especially heavier fabrics, you risk coming off as frumpy and adding extra weight.
I hope that helps… Any questions? Fire away. Now…go #justgetdressed.
Here are some great layered looks to get you thinking. Cheers! Beth
I always include a fitted blazer or jacket whenever I talk about closet staples and must-haves.
But, I can hear some of you ladies out there saying, “Nope, don’t need it.” Maybe you don’t work in a profession with a business dress code. Maybe you work from home. Maybe you’re home with kids. Or, maybe you’re retired and don’t see the need.
Let’s rethink it though, ok? Blazers are no longer stuffy and stiff and only for business meetings. Trust me here… a jacket is a must-have layer that IMMEDIATELY makes any outfit look more sharp and polished. If you want to bring your look up a notch, a blazer is a great place to start. And, as the pictures below show, a fitted jacket can elevate denim to a new level and look fun and flirty – definitely not stuffy or staid.
The key is (surprise) the right jacket for your figure and your lifestyle. If you still have “work jackets” from the 90’s hanging in your closet (think shoulder pads and masculine, boxy cuts in colors like “hunter green”), that’s NOT what I’m talking about. Those need to be put in a bag and donated, because someone who doesn’t read my blog may just love them. 😉
Seriously though, the perfect blazer is going to be fitted and tailored. You can’t go wrong with a neutral color like black – or navy, tan, grey or denim. The more neutral, the more—you got it–versatile, it will be.
I also love a statement blazer in a favorite and fabulous color, or something with texture or cool zippers. But before you invest in something like that, make sure you have the perfect, fitted, neutral blazer in your arsenal.
And, remember to WEAR it…even if you’re just running around doing errands. You’ll look amazing. I mean seriously, check out Gwyneth below, tooling around town in a blazer, white button down and jeans…drinking an odd-looking green juice thing. So cool. And you could totally pull off that look, even in the ‘burbs. And even without the green juice thing. Just button one or two more buttons…
Need some more inspiration on how to wear a jacket and look positively chic and fabulous.? C.heck out these pictures of jackets styled in various ways. Nothing stuffy or serious about these fabulous looks, huh? Which is your favorite? (You can click on the picture to see a bigger version).
Do you think you could wear the same “outfit” every day, Monday through Friday?
I’ve done it – jeans and a white top – 5 days straight, and no one even noticed. And it was easy. The hard part was keeping the white top clean and getting the pictures taken.
Jeans and a white (or other plain, neutral top) is the perfect foundation for just about any look. If your work or lifestyle negates wearing jeans, you could replace black slacks, ankle pants or a pencil skirt and have the same result.
The secret is the third piece that makes an outfit special. It can be a jacket, a cardigan, a vest, a scarf, a statement necklace, a wrap, a poncho…. The third piece is the game changer. .
Day 1: Sporty Vest and Accessories
Day 2: Classic Trench and Leopard Flats
Day 3: Long Cardigan
Day 4: Grey V-neck Sweater and Tan Boots
Day 5: Faux Leather Jacket
Do you think you could do it? Maybe this should be our next 5 day challenge! Join my free private Facebook group where I run occasional challenges like this one.
“What shoes do I wear with that?” is probably one of my most asked questions. As we enter jeans-wearing season, I wanted to help answer this question as it relates to different styles of jeans. So below is a handy dandy visual to help guide you.
And speaking of jeans and shoes and your fall wardrobe….The B.Styled Fall Essentials Challenge is launching in just a few short weeks (Sept. 7th).
Here’s how it works: Before the challenge begins, you’ll receive a list of classic and trending essentials to purchase, with links to where you can find them at both high-end and discount stores. The idea is to first “shop your closet” before buying new.After you have your pieces, the challenge begins. I will send you a daily email throughout the challenge suggesting wardrobe combinations using the pieces on your shopping list. Or you can get all the outfit combinations at one time and skip the emails. You’ll also be able to swap shopping tips and gather advice in a private Facebook group during the challenge. By the end of the challenge, you’ll have 21 outfit ideas and lots of inspiration and ideas so getting dressed will be easier everyday.
Click HERE to make sure you are in the know when the challenge launches. There will be a bonus for signing up early and jewelry give-aways throughout so I hope you’ll join us!
Any questions? Drop me a note below. Now go #justgetdressed and have a great weekend!
Teens get a bad rap for wearing nothing but leggings and sweatshirts — and given the college lifestyle and schedule, who can blame them for falling into a comfort-seeking rut. But you don’t have to let lounge wear (code for pj’s) become your everyday go-to.
Instead, mix things up with other items that are just as easy to throw on, and that are comfortable, cozy and still good looking.
Keeping your wardrobe simple, classic and uncluttered will make life in the dorm easier too.
Here are my top 25 mix & match staples you need to make it easy to #justgetdressed at college.
Pattern mixing? Do a search on Pinterest and you will see it everywhere, and somehow these bloggers and fashionistas make it look so fabulous and effortless. I’m drawn to mixed patterns when I see them, but when it comes time to pulling it off in my closet, I confess, I’m a bit of a novice.
Lately I’ve attempted to incorporate more pattern mixing into my look, but my closet is a sea of solids so it can be a challenge. Not to mention the fact that I was brought up by a (gorgeous and stylish) mom who never, ever, in her wildest dreams, would pair stripes with plaid. But, I’m all for adventure and trying new things, so let’s start with baby steps and some easy rules of thumb.
1. Keep it in the family. As in color family. Different patterns within the same color family is an easy start for us mixing rookies. It’s not quite so in your face, but still a statement and look how fabulous her pairing of navy and white stripes and dots looks:
image: Cape Code Collegiate
2. Faux Solids. Sometimes small prints act as if they’re the solid. It’s a slight identity crisis because they’re very much a print, but they can totally stand in as a neutral solid. A tight geometric print or pin stripe, a small consistent polka dot, a leopard print, even camo. Let them act as your solid.
3. Opposites attract. This is pattern mixing 101. Pair together a floral and a stripe, a plaid and a polka dot, floral and geometric, animal print and polka dot, a big print with a tiny print… Your options are really only limited by your imagination. The key is to remember to keep a your colors consistent, and remember proportions. Pair a tight stripe with a larger floral, a wide stripe with a tighter floral. Make sense?
I hope this helps demystify the pattern matching challenge and inspires you to try something new. Experiment, have fun, and…#justgetdressed.