Three Ways: Knot-Wrap Navy Sheath

Dress Knot Wrap Dress ($77)

Business Attire H&M White Blazer ($55) // Lucky Perforated Belt ($39) // Drop Studs ($48) // Edelman Nora Pumps ($47)

This is a simple summer look with a navy dress and a white blazer.  I like the knotted detail at the waist; it’s very slimming.  To accentuate the waist, I added a perforated belt.  I would actually turn the belt around so the buckle was in the back.  I think it makes for a cleaner, more feminine look.

These pumps offer a bit more office appeal than your standard “nude-to-you” pump.  For a simpler pair, these Sam Edelman Hazel pumps are a good choice.  As for the earrings, I chose a cross between a pretty drop earring and a simple stud.  These simple white topaz drops are another great option.

Cocktail Hour Quincy Star Clutch ($198) // Kim d’Orsay Pump ($299) // Chandelle Noir Earring ($19)

The great thing about this BR dress is that the shape works as a day-to-night option.  Changing it up for cocktails, dinner, or a professional reception is easy.  Just add a clutch, a fun shoe, and a statement earring.

This BCBG star clutch monopolizes my dreams–the wood, the print, the handle.  I keep looking at it and thinking, “I need this.  Why is it the only thing on the website not on sale?”  For something a bit less expensive, this black and white spotted clutch is a chic look.

As for the shoes, I chose something really unique.  The wave design is timeless but still different.  This architectural Vince Camuto heel is also worth a look.  For the earrings, I chose these bold drop earrings.  These Oasis Statement Earrings also caught my eye.

Business Casual Ron Herman Chromatic Sweater ($30) // Audrey Brooke Flat ($50) // Kendra Scott Aiden Necklace ($85)

You can take your sheath dresses farther if you layer on a cropped sweater.  I like this pinstripe Ron Herman sweater because it blends masculine and feminine.  Everlane’s cropped sweaters are also lovely.

To make the look more casual, I chose these d’Orsay grey flats.  I think the pointed toe is a bit more professional.  If you like round-toe shoes, try these perforated flats from Me Too.

Completing the look is this sleek necklace from Kendra Scott.  I love the mix of metals and the soft filigree in the pendant.  For something under-$50, this filigree leaf pendant is lovely.  I also love the slightly exotic look of this turquoise pendant.

Seven Summer Handbags for Under-$75

One of the best ways to spruce up your summer wardrobe is with a new bag.  Bringing a new color, texture, or style purse into your closet is always a good idea.  With these seven bags you can breathe a little life into your wardrobe at an affordable price.

Mango Metal Applique Bag ($59)

Style & Co. Reversible Tote ($21)

Cynthia Rowley Miranda Satchel ($47)

Mango Pebbled Crossbody Convertible ($29, four colors)

Street Level Braided Strap Crossbody ($45)

Fashion to Figure Satchel ($45)

Tote with Metal Ring Handles ($30)

 

The Workday Reading: June 21, 2017

***

1) Three strategies women can use to counter sexist interruptions. (Quartz)

2) BR’s split sleeve top and Avery pant make the perfect casual Friday look.

3) Single woman downplay career and salary expectations. (Chicago Booth Review)

4) Love briefs? Skin makes ‘granny panties’ pretty with their briefs and hipsters.

5) How to deal with useless informational interviews. (The Cut)

6) LastCall Musts: A Tahari a-line dress, a chic $69 sheath, and an ivory peplum sheath.

7) The truth about being a working mother, and why they need to ask for help. (Red)

8) Do not miss ALLSAINTS superb minimalist hobo bag and convertible crossbody

9) Are women borrowing student loans to get ahead of men? (The Guardian)

10) Amazon has the best selection of stone jewelry.  This Danielle Nicole cuff is so chic.

11) What we get wrong about women who don’t have kids. (Refinery29)

12) I am strangely obsessed with these Pour la Victoire Mary Janes.

***

Who I’m Following. @copycatchic on Instagram.

What Stabilized My Acne. I went back to Differin (now that it’s OTC); it seems to be helping.

What I’m Eating. Strawberry Honey Butter.  Adios, cream cheese.

Where I’m Going. Back to D.C. next week for a quick trip.

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Fashion & Beauty Queries: Vol. IV, No. Nineteen

Hi Belle!

Love your blog!  I’m hoping you can help me.  I recently bought this pair of yellow chino pants from Zara.  Apart from a white top I don’t know what else to pair them with.  I intend on wearing them to work.  For some context: I am a 31-year-old and work at a non-profit in DC where we don’t have a strict dress code. 

Hopefully, you can help me!  HB

Colored pants can be a great addition to a business-casual or casual Friday wardrobe.  They bring a lot of personality to otherwise boring attire.  And in the summertime, they’re a great alternative to denim because they’re lighter and more fitting with the season.

For yellow pants, I would start with a navy boatneck tee and a long pendant necklace.  Green is also a nice color to mix with yellow.  A short-sleeve kelly-green sweater would create a nice preppy look.  If you do choose to wear white, I would go for the tie neck blouse with the coordinating white blazer.

If you are having trouble finding shoes, I would stick to a nude-to-you heel or flat.  Your other option would be a snakeskin print.  I like the color of these Ava & Aiden pumps.

Hi Belle,

I need a simple bag to use as a work tote/gym bag/beach bag.  Do you think canvas is a good option or should I be looking for something nicer?  

Thanks, LI

A simple canvas bag is a fine choice if you’re looking for a second bag to carry extras.  L.L. Bean makes two nice canvas bags a casual beachy tote and a leather-handled option.  Another place to look would be Mark & Graham, they make a lot of casual tote bags.  I’m a fan of their canvas with leather tote.

If you’re at all concerned that canvas isn’t professional enough for your office, I would advise looking for something else.  There are so many other options, I wouldn’t chance it.  It seems like a small thing, but it never ceases to amaze me what bosses/co-workers will take notice of.  The next closest option to canvas would be a nylon tote.  I loathe Longchamp bags, but for this application, it’s the simplest solution.

Hi Belle-

I have my company headshots scheduled in a few weeks. Wondering what you suggest to wear. I know it is limited on what you can actually see, but I want this to turn out well. I was hoping to not wear a blazer, they make you look so large in such a small frame IMO.

Thanks so much! SO

First off, my best advice about headshots is to focus on your hair and your makeup.  That’s what will stand out.  If you can get a simple blowout, do it.  Your makeup should be simple, but just one hair heavier than you would usually wear.  And skin the metallic eyeshadow or highlighter; it can look weird in photos.

Second, your outfit should follow a simple formal: neutral color, demure v-neck, little to no jewelry.  This is generally the most flattering look.  I would try a v-neck dress like this Ann Taylor sheath if you don’t want to wear a blazer.

I would wear a jacket, but choose a lighter color if you’re concerned about bulk.  A pale grey jacket would be a nice choice.  This Talbot’s jacket doesn’t have a lapel, and that will remove some of the bulk.

Finally, if you do have your headshots retouched, make sure your photog uses a light hand.  I’ve seen more than a few people try to do a Vogue-quality touch up and end up looking like a Photoshop fail.  Best to look like a slightly better version of yourself or do no retouching than look like a Picasso.

Item of the Week: Bell Sleeve Jackets

While I was in London, I picked up a white bell sleeve jacket.  I’ve been wearing it quite frequently.  It’s quite chilly out West, so I’m wearing it to dress up casual tops and jeans.  I’m also wearing it over sheath dresses.  It’s the kind of piece that adds a bit of style to any outfit.

This Mango ruffle sleeve coat ($149) is a nice option.  This black Banana Republic jacket is lovely, Wallis has a similar black jacket for $57.  This blush Misguided jacket is also worth a look.  Plus-size?  This floral bell sleeve jacket is pretty.  Petite?  Don’t miss this Halogen jacket.