So, the party is over. College is ending and it is time for the “real world”. Stop crying! It can be fun, I swear.
First challenge, transitioning seamlessly into the work world by looking the part. This is often times not an easy task for those who have never set foot in an office. You own the staple uniform of jeans, t-shirts and sweatshirts for daytime and black pants with sexy, little tops for nighttime… Now what?? Basically you have a closet full of “weekend wear”. Get out your parents credit card (you don’t have any money yet, you haven’t started working) and get ready to shop.
I LOVE this look from J Crew and I think it is a great middle ground for someone just entering the work force. Let’s be honest, you can’t really afford to buy an entirely new wardrobe at this moment, so it is time to be creative. Owning pieces that are great for multiple occasions is the key to this great leap you are about to take.
Let’s focus in on the details of why I think this is a great look for almost any working situation: First, you are put together, but you are not stuffy. Remember that you are 22 years old, look it. Be sophisticated, but don’t try to age yourself by 20 years. The gig is up, everyone knows you just got out of college!
The top half of this outfit is so accessible that it could even be worn with jeans! Look, it really is just a fancy t-shirt and a colored cardigan. The print ups the ante of the tee (don’t think Ed Hardy here!) and the color of the cardigan makes it a bit more youthful. The piece making the entire look so “office appropriate” is the pencil skirt. A necessity in any woman’s closet of any age and almost any shape, this garment will kick it up a notch at the workplace. Plus, it is a great foundation piece and can be worn multiple times without your co-workers calling you out. Topped off with a complimentary red colored flat to offset the yellow cardigan and paired with funky bracelets, this outfit has full on green light approval! Mix and match any of the items shown here for looks ranging from casual to work. You can do it!
Another great item is the wrap dress. It is basic, simple, straight forward and can be accessorized how ever you like! This means that you have the power to exercise your styling muscle…. Within means! This is another garment that will stand the test of time, just like the pencil skirt. It has the flexibility to be worn in a sophisticated way or a playful way. You are in control. Adding a fun shoe, as this Banana Republic ensemble is showing, gives it that younger edge that you are going for. No need to be stuffy just because you are out of college. Fun and appropriate are the key words class.
Check out a Sass N Style video I did about being “Office Chic”. My friend and I are just a few years out of college (OK, maybe 8), but you should get some fun and easy tips for looking great as you enter the workforce. Remember ladies, your look is going to get you immediate approval from your boss, but your confidence and attitude is going to get you a promotion!
College Photo courtesy of Getty Images
J Crew Outfit
Banana Republic Wrap Dress: $120
I take great pride in the fact that I am a self-taught genius of flea markets. This essentially means that I am capable of finding fabulous treasures among what looks like piles of trash. People are easily overwhelmed by situations like this, but I thrive on it. It is a talent that has been honed over many years, but I want to give you, my fashion audience, some quick tips about how to “find the fab”.
Take this dress to the left. It was on a sad little hanger in the back of a parking lot flea market looking tired and bored. That is until I found her and breathed new life back into her body! I was just strolling past this particular flea market, as it usually goes in NYC, and I decided to do a walk through. Nothing too crazy, I just wanted to take a glimpse. I usually only go toward jewelry and bags in these situations because they are the easiest to search through, but for some reason, I decided to look at a rack of vintage dresses. The word vintage can be deceiving. People think of celebrities wearing vintage gowns on the red carpet, but mostly it just means that things are old! And so was the story with this long, wine colored polyester gown from the 70′s. Right there in the parking lot I tried this baby on over my clothing to see if it even remotely fit. And lo and behold, my eye was right on. It was a little long and a little loose, but for $25, it was sold. Of course the fun part of this story is that I then had to have it tailored for $96. The key to this type of shopping is knowing that often times, tailoring is a part of the price. I still got a floor length gown that I have worn numerous time for $130. Not too bad.
Another one of my great finds is this snake skin bag. Sure she’s a little beat up, but she just keeps on ticking! Whenever I pair this bag with an outfit, I receive a compliment. It is over-sized and relaxed, creating a laid back vintage look every time I rock it. For $12 in Chicago, this snakeskin bag has been put to good use. At any retail store a new bag just like this one would be upwards of $200 to $250.
Just this weekend I found this amazing art deco bracelet at my favorite flea market in Hell’s Kitchen. I am in way too many weddings this summer and I am trying to save money by styling two dresses different ways. This way I feel like I am wearing different outfits, but not buying completely new ensembles. This is totally for my own benefit since I will literally not be seeing the same people at any of the seven weddings I am attending. Yes, I said seven.
This little bauble only cost me $28 and was worth every penny. The detail and quality of it are amazing. To me, it also adds a bit of character to my look knowing that every piece of jewelry I am wearing I searched for and found a fabulous deal on! I will, of course, let everyone at every wedding know this and how much I paid for each piece. I can’t help myself.
So here are a few quick tips to navigating a crazy flea market:
PATIENCE IS KEY: You are never going to find anything if you are rushing through the market. You have to accept the fact that this is an activity and enjoy the search. Sifting might take time, but it will totally be worth it if you find your next favorite piece.
DON’T GO WITH ONE THING IN MIND: You are never going to find exactly what you are looking for. Certain pieces are more plentiful then others, i.e. vintage jewelry, but this place is NOT merchandised for your pleasure. Go with the idea that you might find something fabulous…. Whatever it may be!
GO FOR QUALITY: There is a lot of junk at flea markets. Piles and piles of it. At some flea markets, that is all there is. Be discerning. If it is clothing, look at the stitching and stain possibility. Check for missing buttons. If it is jewelry, look for tarnishing and broken clasps. It may look cute, but if it is inexpensive crap, then you will look like inexpensive crap when you wear it:)
ACCESSORIES ARE A GIRL’S BEST FRIEND: This is going to be the easiest thing to pick up. There is always a ton of bags and jewelry at any flea market. If you are looking for a trinket to get you through your shopping lull, then this is the place for you. Again, patience is key and only buy it if you love it.
CIRCLE AROUND ONCE BEFORE PURCHASING: Look at everything and make a short list of what you love. Go with a certain amount of cash and when you run out, it is time to leave. Most vendors only take cash so this is an easy way to stay on budget! Make wise choices and you will always love what you buy.
I love big, shiny things. They call to me in my sleep, “Come here and buy us Amy… You want to wear us Amy….” Just a normal night’s sleep for a fashion stylist.
Kendra Scott jewelry is an awesome line that actually lets you create your own big, shiny things. She basically gives you the map and tools to choose your own fabulous color palette. It is simple and easy, not to mention fun.
When romping around Henri Bendel’s a few weeks back, I came across this designer. I was a bit confused at first because there was a long table with tons of different stones in amazing colors. There were also a bunch of empty skeletons for earrings, necklaces and rings. It was quickly explained to me that this was a “do-it-yourself” type of jewelry project. Ooohhh goody!
There are a few, easy steps to this creative, jewelry making process:
Step One: Select your jewelry silhouette
Step Two: Choose your custom stone combination
Step Three: Watch the Kendra Scott representative create your custom style in just minutes!
Step Four: Awesome (I created that one:)
So there you have it, custom creations created by you. Not only is this project great fun for your own personal collection, but what a great gift idea? You can give the same pair of earrings out to all of your friends in different colors! Did I mention how easy this was?????
Danielle Earrings in Plum on Gold-Tone: $60
Danielle Earrings in Cobalt on Gold-Tone: $60
Ignacia Necklace in Smoky on Gold-Tone: $200
Otylia Ring in Python on Gold-Tone: $75
When I have meetings all day all over the city, I have to make sure I look cute and professional…. Not to mention comfortable! This outfit literally started with a hat and a hair-do. I had a bra and underwear on and was having a brain fart when it came to my actual outfit. But have no fear, I barreled through it and managed to create one of my more favorite ensembles.
When my head hurts from trying to put together something amazing, I usually grab for my go-to foundation piece, a white button down. It is a no-brainer for almost any gal because it looks clean, crisp and sophisticated. If you have trouble closing it because of a “bust” issue, layer a white tank underneath. I paired it with my flare leg Seven jeans and called it a day. It really was my AWESOME gold 50′s style jacket that made the outfit anyway:) Remember ladies, your outfit does not have to be the most complicated part of your look, your outermost layer can say it all! Especially if you are outside all day as I was…..
As for styling, the part that made this look the most interesting was the fact that the sleeves of my jacket were 3/4 length. This allowed the wide cuff of my tuxedo style white button down to peek out. The collar of the shirt also showed just enough to make the look a bit different. A jacket is not always just for warmth, it can be your look!
To finish out my fab Parisian chic ensemble, I put a day’s worth of stuff into my Prada saddle bag. Let’s not get crazy, I did not pay full price for this. I got it almost 6 years ago at Filene’s Basement in Chicago. At the time dropping $400 on a purse was a lot, but I mulled it over and decided it would be well worth the large price tag. I have never regretted the purchase and have used it over and over and over and over…. You get the idea:)
Buy things you love and styling yourself will not be the most difficult task of your day….
I absolutely love working with pregnant women. They are going through a crazy, body changing period and getting dressed (never mind actually looking cute) seems borderline painful. Being able to give them back their fashionable confidence is definitely a favorite part of my job.
My first pregnant client ever was lucky enough to go through it on television. That is obviously a joke. Imagine having to handle your body continually evolving for 9 months, and then most likely another year past that, and having to do it all on camera. You know the term, “the camera adds 10 pounds”? Think how frightening that statement would be when combined with your first pregnancy. Lucky for her I am a fabulous stylist and I love a good challenge!
Ladies, it is really all about making sure that no matter what month of pregnancy you are in, you still show that you have a body. Much like I promote wearing silhouette conscious clothing when you are a curvier woman, this is very similar. Once you put on a garbage bag of a dress, you look even BIGGER than you are. Stop with the frumpy, slouchy clothing when you are pregnant! In fact, my biggest pet peeve for lovely pregnant women is when they try and shop in the “regular” sized section until their 7th month. You are pregnant, not fat, wear clothing that is made for your new, curvy body. The maternity section is designed to fit this new body of yours, therefore it is going to fit you properly. What a fabulous concept!
This particular dress is a great example of a silhouette that will truly work on almost every pregnant woman at any month. It clearly shows that you have a womanly figure by being fitted around the arms and bust. An empire waist, when it cinches just under the bust, is a fantastic choice for any stage of pregnancy. It allows for movement and comfort around your stomach while remaining fitted on the upper half of your body. Also, this particular neckline is great to not over-accentuate a growing bust line. It does not drape over your boobs drawing attention to them, but rather draws the eye upward to the neck. Of course the fact that it is a jersey material is only more enticing being that it will feel like you are in a nightgown! Comfort and style DO go hand in hand.
Photo courtesy of showhype.com
Long sleeve babydoll maternity dress $29.98