Faux fur vests were everywhere earlier this fall and winter. And I totally see why. They keep you warm without causing you to overheat. Similar to the concept of wearing a wind-blocking vest when running in the winter. Keeps your core warm! I’ve worn my faux fur vest to work at least one other time and I also wore a belt with it then. The belt helps define your waist so you don’t get swallowed up by the vest.
I actually saved an inspiration photo for this outfit almost 3 months ago.
I loved the fur and the animal print with the stripes and the neutral pants. Apparently this is Joanna Hillman, the senior fashion market editor for Harpers Bazaar and she is known to be quite fashionable. The fact that I was easily able to recreate her outfit tells me that it can’t be too difficult to emulate looks that you love. In fact, this outfit may be one of my current favorites!
Of course, it helps that my husband took some rocking pictures!
Yes, strangely, the parking garage of our building has the best indoor lighting. Who knew?
Riding boots came into style for everyday wear a few years ago and seem to be here to stay! And by riding boots I mean basically any knee-high boot with a slight heel, the occasional buckle, strap or button, a zipper and with a slightly more casual flare. There are tons of riding boot options available and at this time of year you can probably get a good deal on a pair since stores are clearing out their fall and winter items to make way for sandals and swimsuits. But don’t get me started on that rant.
Anyway, due to the overwhelming number of options at multiple price points it can be difficult to narrow down a pair that will be both functional and flattering. Sure, it’s easy to find ways to wear riding boots, but how do you know what criteria to consider when purchasing a pair?
Here ten suggestions you can use when looking for the perfect pair:
1. Make sure the heel isn’t too high or chunky. That will help them last through lots of seasons & styles.
2. An almond or more pointed toe is better than a completely round toe as these shapes will help elongate your leg. But don’t go too pointy! That’s a different kind of boot altogether.
Round Almond Pointy
3. They should hit you just above the widest part of your calf or 2-4 inches below your knee. If they are too short they can make you look stumpy.
Same jeans, different boots
4. Real leather or faux leather is your choice depending on your feelings, but I will say that real leather ones will last for years and years and can be repaired and polished whereas faux leather will fall apart eventually and cannot be polished or repaired as easily. Also, I have found it difficult to buy faux leather brown riding boots that don’t look cheap. But, if that’s not your priority then that’s okay, too.
5. Measure your calves! And note the shaft circumference on the boots. You don’t want them too tight or they’ll be uncomfortable and you’ll never be able to tuck pants into them. Note: the calf circumference noted on most online shoe stores is measured from a size 7 or 8. The larger the shoe size typically the larger the calf width as well. If you’re right on the edge of the stated calf circumference but your shoe size is larger than the one listed as the standard then I would suggest going ahead and ordering them. Zappos has free return shipping so it’s easy to send back anything that doesn’t work.
6. I personally prefer to avoid anything that has a strap at the ankle as I think these can make you look sawed off at the ankles. Some people don’t minds this, though. Try on a pair that have an ankle strap and see how you feel when you look in the mirror.
8. Brown boots or blackboots? Personally, I wear my brown riding boots WAY more often than I wear my black riding boots. If you’re okay with mixing brown and black you can always pair your brown boots with black pants. But, really, it just comes down to personal preference. Sometimes it’s easier to make black riding boots look classier for the office and brown more casual, but you can make outfits with either.
9. Let’s be honest about price. Nice riding boots that last will not be cheap. $100 seems to be the lowest price you can expect to pay for a new pair unless you find a great deal in the clearance section at DSW or have some killer coupons. Both of my pairs cost me just under $100 and both are from DSW. Leather riding boot can cost upwards of $700 to $1000 or more. I certainly don’t think you have to spend that much, though! $100 to $150 should get you a great pair that will last you season after season.
10. Finally, think about your lifestyle and where you plan to wear them. Are you mostly casual? Then you might be able to spring for a pair with more flair. Do you get tired of your clothes and shoes and want to replace them every season? Then why not get something trendy. But if you want to wear them to a more business casual office then you’ll probably have to stick with a more traditional pair.
Thoughts? What did I forget? Do you already own riding boots? If you do, what did you take into consideration when you bought them?
Turtleneck – H&M (really old)| Skirt – The Limited (similar)| Tights – Walmart (really, really old) | Shoes – Gabriella Rocha via 6pm.com (similar) | Necklace – JF&A Show (similar)
Remember when I posted about wearing a sequined skirt to the office…but then it didn’t happen? Well, today’s the day! I actually swapped out the cardigan for this turtleneck sweater even though the weather is abnormally warm today. I just wanted to wear gray and blush and I don’t own a gray cardigan. Wearing the sequined skirt with something other than black takes the sparkle down a notch and makes it less New Year’s Eve and more day at the office.
My husband told me this outfit was “boring”. Um, it has sequins! And sparkle! And shine! How could it be boring? What do you think? Boring or no? Would you wear sequins like this to work?
P.S. I apologize if the title of this post got that horrible Rhiana song stuck in your head. I can never change the radio station fast enough and I always get the worst earworm when it comes on. Ugh.
P.P.S Don’t forget to enter the giveaways over at Frills for Thrills! We could be jewelry rack twinsies!
Shirt – J. Crew (similar) | Tank – The Limited (similar) | Skirt – The Limited (similar) | Shoes – Via Spiga (similar) | Long necklace – The Limited (similar) | Short necklace – gift
Get excited! You’re going to be treated to some indoor shots this week! Yes, I took all my outfit photos on one day and that day happened to be cold and rainy. On the plus side, I think we’ve figured out some new indoor photo spots.
In addition to having to negotiate where to take today’s pictures, I also had to think long and hard about what to actually wear. See, this is today’s Inspiration Monday photo:
Well, it certainly is interesting. And I do have both a plaid flannel shirt (obviously) and several maxi dresses. But I just couldn’t figure out how to make my maxi dresses work appropriate. Or maybe I wasn’t in the mood to try very hard. So I went with the easy option: a pencil skirt. However, I did incorporate some pattern mixing with the plaid flannel shirt and the pinstripes on the skirt.
Would you wear a maxi dress to work? I’ve done it in the past but that was during the summer when our dress code is a little bit more relaxed.
Before I had a style blog, before I even knew what Pinterest was, I saved an image on my computer from the Banana Republic website. I loved the preppy, equestrian vibe it had going on. I even sent the picture to another style blogger I read at the time to see if she would be willing to show me how to interpret it with items that didn’t require dropping a whole paycheck at Banana Republic. She told me she didn’t wear much red and that was that.
I recently re-discovered this image saved on my computer and THEN I learned you can upload photos to Pinterest! That they don’t have to already be on another website to “pin” them. Look, I may be book smart but I’m still learning about all these new-fangled Internet things.
Anyway, while perusing my pins for something to recreate for today’s Copycats Friday from Frills for Thrills I saw this pin and the light bulb went off. I now have all those items! In fact, I’ve had the gray blazer since September and all the other items for much longer but this week was when they finally all came together in my head.
Which is why you should totally save images of outfits that catch your eye even if you don’t have the items to recreate them at that exact moment!
do you j.crew? styles up a closet staple: the tweed jacket! Check out her gorgeous round up!
the luxury rehab features a sneek peek of the upcoming Prabal Garang for Target line. This floral dress is just stunning! (find the luxury rehab on Twitter!)
everything but ordinary looks simply adorable in this polka dot on polka dot look. Wearing double polka dots is definitely on my spring-to-do list! (find everything but ordinary on Twitter!)
live. work. style. is showing her ‘blogger day off’ outfit, which of course is just as fabulous as her blogger day ‘on’ outfits! A perfectly casual and comfortable look! (find live. work. style. on Twitter!)
rose a la mode is perfectly Florida-chic in this striped top, casual shorts with a bright pop of color by way of her purse! I love this look and am longing for spring! (find rose a la mode on Twitter!)
my confidence + me pulls together the perfect ‘comfy & cozy’ work from home outfit. I am really digging this, especially with all the cold weather the midwest has been having! (find my confidence + me on Twitter!)
a little bit of wo.we experiments with layering in a new way (to her!). It looks adorable and was well worth trying something new! (find a little bit of wo.we on Twitter!)
from carpools to cocktails pulls off the perfect ‘day date’ look. It’s charming and beautiful, but also totally appropriate for the day time. See how she does it! (find from carpools to cocktails on Twitter!)
my thrifty chic steals her husband’s top and styles it so effortlessly cool. Find out how she tweaked it a bit to make it fit her perfectly! (find my thrifty chic on Twitter!)
loop looks invested in a great navy blazer and was excited to pair it with an adorable polka dot top. The look is classic and modern – check it out! (find loop looks on Twitter!)
the second best dishes on her two must have items in her closet and wears them together. Hint: you are going to want these two items as well! They are classic and beautiful! (find the second best on Twitter!)
a fashion fixation is hosting a giveaway for a gift card to LOFT! Head on over to enter! The LOFT is having some great sales right now! (find a fashion fixation on Twitter!)
dahlia lynn lane is talking Alt Summit, unicorns and red maxi skirts. Random perhaps, but definitely worth checking out! This outfit is so fabulous! (find dahlia lynn lane on Twitter!)
one hundred inspirations features Olivia Palermo in floral pants and a neon top. While this look sounds wild, it is pulled off effortlessly and worth recreating!
sweetie pie style is jumping right into spring style on her blog, and really, aren’t we all totally ready for it? Check out her fun looks! (find sweetie pie style on Twitter!)
You probably have a sleeveless dress in your closet, right? Have you ever worn it in winter? Sure, you could wear it over a button-down collared shirt but what about wearing it over a turtleneck? I have no idea why it took me so long to pair these two items together, but now that I have I think I’ve opened up an entirely new area of my closet. You mean I don’t have to buy long-sleeved dresses for the winter??
Now, this doesn’t necessarily mean every single dress can be worn with something underneath. It probably works better with more tailored dresses. Although, admittedly, I haven’t tried this pairing with any other dresses in my closet.
Still, I’m excited to find new ways to wear my “summer” dresses in the colder months of the year.
Sara recently contacted me and wrote the following:
I have a style question I need help with: I love the rockabilly pin up style, like the clothes from Pin Up Couture. Everything with anchors, swallows, cherries and polka dots in particular. But how do I calm down this striking look for a more office-appropriate setting? Our dress code is very casual. Most of my coworkers don’t care and wear washed out jeans everyday. I don’t want to stand out to much, but on the other hand I don’t want to lose myself and my clothing style.
Since this is not a style I rock on my own, I did a little research and found Rockalilly. Per Rockalilly the key components are:
1. Rockabilly Prints and Patterns – leopard print, polka dots, gingham, nautical prints, tattoo prints.
2. Jewelry – A statement rockabilly piece, earrings, rings, bracelets. Usually pretty cheap and cheerful.
3. Cut of clothing – jeans can be cropped, skirts are pencil etc.
4. Hair – Victory rolls or bandanas are easy ways to give any outfit a rockabilly girl twist.
5. Glasses – vintage or cats eye. Statement pieces.
6. Make-up- Red lips and rockabilly eyeliner flicks.
9. Shoes – Converse are pretty comfortable for a rockabilly girl doing casual.
With that in mind and Sara’s comment that her office is pretty casual, I went about finding ways to incorporate the rockabilly motif into casual yet office-appropriate outfits.
Sara told me she’s just recently purchased this cardigan so of course I had to incorporate it into one of the looks! I originally had it paired with black and white polka dot jeans but felt that might be a bit too casual for the office. But, if it’s not, just know it looks awesome that way, too.
For this outfit I went with the cherry print and made it the focal point of the outfit. I toned it down by pairing it with a cropped black cardigan with a fun retro-style button, some cherry heart earrings, and a pop of color with the shoes. The jeans could be worn cuffed or straight.
If you’re feeling spunky you could wear a fun skirt to the office. Although a polka dotted pencil skirt would work well here, I personally feel that a full skirt is a little more casual, especially when paired with the denim jacket. The stripes and anchors on the shoes and the animal print scarf bring in two more typical patterns for some fun mixing. The scarf could be worn around the neck of the sweater or even in your hair!
Cat-eye glasses and bright red lips can take an otherwise preppy outfit and turn it rockabilly. And changing up the shoes can take this outfit from casual to a little crazy.
Finally, I took one of the va-va-voom dresses from Pin Up Couture and made it more appropriate for the office without losing the rockabilly edge. By tying a chambray shirt over the dress and adding some (fishnet!) tights but keeping the cherry pattern, the mary-jane heels and the bow headband you get the rockabilly look while not being too over the top. You could even swap out the heels for flats and the patterned tights for plain ones and still keep enough of the rockabilly vibe.
What do you think? Are you into the rockabilly style? Sara, I hope you got some good ideas from this post! And for the rest of you, don’t be afraid to submit your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org for a future You Pick Wednesday post!
Inspired by Jessica of Bows & Sequins I decided to keep myself warm on this chilly Chicago day by layering a sweater over a chambray shirt. Her outfit was for a casual day with the family during the holidays but I took my up a notch for work by wearing burgundy dress pants, heels, and some jewels.
To be honest, I saw an adorable gray snowflake sweater at H & M earlier this month and almost bought it. But, really, how often can you wear a snowflake sweater? Especially when you already have a perfectly serviceable gray sweater in your closet? See, look at me using things I already own!
Doesn’t mean I’m not still thinking about that sweater.