“Scarves for Under $75”? Please.

I receive a daily fashion email that I generally enjoy.   I like the trend updates, seeing how celebrities (or their stylists) put outfits together and reading the articles.  Sometimes the outfit pics inspire my own outfits; sometimes what I read inspires a blog post.

This week it inspired a post…this post.  And this headline is what inspired me – “Scarves for under $75!!”

Um.  What?!

Now, you know I love me some scarves.  When the weather (eventually…mercifully) begins to cool off here, scarves are an excellent way to add color and texture to an outfit, as well as provide a little warmth.  But, who pays $75 for a scarf?!  Even “under 75!!” is kinda cray-cray, am I right?

I mean, here are just a few fabulous scarves you can wrap around your gorgeous neck for far less than $75.

Banana Repbublic – all less than $30.

Don’t misunderstand – if you can afford to spend big money on scarves, more power to you.  But I don’t think I should have to sacrifice style because I can’t – or won’t – throw big bucks around for a scarf.  And neither should you.

Have an awesome weekend!

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You Can’t Go Wrong With the Classics

This is a basic denim shirtdress from The Gap that I love so much because I can easily switch up my accessories to make it work for almost any occasion.

With brightly colored sandals for brunch on the weekend:

 With a belt and platform leopard slingbacks for work:

 With a belt and black ankle booties for an evening out with friends:

Worn over leggings with flats.  With boots.  With a scarf, a colorful tank and a pair of Converse sneaks.  Worn as a jacket over a shift dress…SOMEBODY STOP ME!

The point is this dress will be a part of my wardrobe for years to come and as my personal style changes and evolves, this dress will continue to work for me.

You really can’t go wrong with the classics.

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Better Late Than Never – Colored Denim

I’m nothing if not persistent.

All summer I’ve searched for the right pair of brightly hued jeans – a big trend this year.  I tried on countless pairs of yellow, blue, orange and green denim in an assortment of styles: high-waisted, straight, boyfriend and even, God help me, jeggings.  But none of them fit me in a way that was flattering.  I almost gave up.

Then I found these bright red skinnies at that Ann Taylor Loft sale a few weeks ago.  I’ve been test-driving them on the down low but now I’m ready for a public viewing.

This short-sleeved, neon yellow and white tailored blouse from New York & Co is an appropriately bright accompaniment.

But I chose a neutral belt and platform wedges to keep this look from visually spinning out of control.  I mean, there’s colorful and there’s “Oh wow – I can totally see you with my eyes closed.”

Moral of the story?  Persistence pays off.  Which, I know, sounds like something you’d read on a cheesy motivational poster with a picture of a tortoise arduously making its way back to the ocean.  Or the message in a fortune cookie, after which you’d add “in bed” like the 12-year-old boy we are all capable of being on any given day (maybe it’s just me?).  It’s still true!

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Wearing White Before Labor Day

I’ve written before about the whole no-white-after-Labor-Day “rule” and I do sincerely believe it’s a BS rule in this day and time….BUT, I also do sincerely feel as if my time with white pants will come to a close after September 3rd.  That’s how deeply ingrained the BS is!

At any rate, today it’s still totally legal to wear white and I’m wearing my Ann Taylor Loft white jeans with a yellow blouse – so yellow it lights up a room on its own – and my fabulous, bright blue, Colin Robertson platform wedges.

And last week I wore white linen cropped trousers with a bright purple, sleeveless top (both Ann Taylor Loft…there was a sale a couple weekends ago), leopard print flats and turquoise accessories.

Yeah, I’m living it up in my white pants now but I’ll still be in them after September 3rd because I make my own fashion rules.  And so do you.

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Fall 2012 Trend: Menswear

One of the trends for Fall/Winter 2012 is menswear.  I’ve always liked menswear touches in women’s fashions and, occasionally, I dabble in the look myself.  These wide-leg, navy Anne Taylor trousers are definitely inspired by menswear yet they’re so elegant.  And I’m kicking myself for not getting them in other colors when I bought them on sale several months ago.

Carrying through with the menswear theme, I wore them with a crisp, white, sleeveless blouse from JCPenney but the small ruffle around the neckline – and my leopard print belt from Target – add necessary touches of girly.

What makes menswear work on women, in my opinion, is when the pieces, or a suit, are styled very femininely.  Otherwise, you’re just a chick in a dude’s suit.  (Though if that’s the look you’re going for, work it.)

In keeping with the menswear theme, did you notice my super short “boy cut”?  I finally let my hairstylist go all the way.  It’s very Mia Farrow in Rosemary’s Baby and I love it.  I especially love how quickly I can get ready in the mornings now.

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The Things You See in a Wine Bar…

I’ve written once before about age appropriate dressing and my thoughts thereof.  Well, over the weekend I was at my favorite home away from home wine bar and was treated to a wondrous sight.  Unfortunately, once again, I failed to take photos because the woman in question was seated directly across from me, about eight feet away.  It only occurred to me later that my pal, Melissa, and I could’ve pretended we were photographing ourselves with my phone while sneakily snapping a photo of her.  What can I say?  I was, after all, drinking wine.

But I’ll do my best to paint a picture for you.  I first caught sight of her from behind.  She was a tall, naturally curly redhead wearing a silky, very short – if she’d bent over I’d have billed her insurance company for a gynecological exam – lingerie-inspired dress with a lace hem and v-neckline.  Around her neck was a long, silk scarf of almost the exact color as the dress.

What caught my attention, though, was what was on her feet.  Actually, what was on her legs: suede, thigh-high boots.  In Austin.  TexasIn mother-freakin’ July.  It was hot. And not in a good way.

Now, I have to tell you this woman had fantastic legs and the boots – and dress – looked A-MAZING on her.  But, even though we were indoors, in air-conditioning, the mere sight of those suede, thigh-high boots raised my core body temperature several degrees.  Again, not in a good way.

Then she turned around.  Chick was easily mid- to late-50s.  Hell, she could’ve been 60, for all I know.  And she was working that dress like you wouldn’t believe.  Age appropriate?  Maybe not.  But so what?  If we all start dressing our age, we’ll be expected to act our age, too, and I’m not down with that at all.  She rocked that outfit and I say “Brava!”

Still.  I’d have ditched those boots.

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Style on a Budget

I have a dear friend who’s also in the HR biz and works for a small company here in Austin.  This friend and I regularly get together for wine & catch up and to complain about the employees we have to deal with, day in, day out.  (Maybe we should start calling these tête-à-têtes “wine & whines”.)

Anyway, it was during one of our get-togethers that my dear friend told me about an employee she works with who dressed very, very badly.  She never looked professional; she rarely even looked ‘put together’.  When my friend took her aside to discuss her appearance, the employee said she couldn’t afford to dress better.  My friend is a sympathetic soul but said “Honestly, I was just tired of looking at her”.

So, what did my brilliant friend do?  A few weeks later, she, again, took the badly dressed employee aside and told her she’d won a company drawing and the prize was a gift card and one of her (well-dressed and equally-paid) co-workers was taking her on a shopping spree!

Yeah…there was no drawing.  But the prize was real and the upshot is that the better-dressed employee helped the train wreck learn how to shop on a budget – problem solved!

I don’t have a big shopping budget either.  Between race fees and gear [my last three shoe purchases: road running shoes, trail running shoes and fitness training shoes], my disposable income has been taken a hit and I’ve had to restrain my shopping impulses, which, let me tell you, is tough to do.

This colorful, boldly printed halter dress is from JC Penney and was on sale over the weekend for $12.  I’ll enjoy wearing it on the weekends and for socializing after-work.

I can’t wear the halter dress by itself to work but I add my Forever 21 vest – et violá! – it’s work-appropriate.

Moral of the story: lack of funds is no excuse for looking like a train wreck.

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