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10/25/17

Fall Style: Timeless Tweed Dress, Custom-Sized Belt + Camel Overcoat

 

Timeless Tweed

You can't go wrong with tweed when it comes to Fall style. Not only has it stood the test of time over the decades, but it's the ideal cool-weather fabric, making it so popular this time of year. I guess you could say that tweed and Fall go together like peanut butter and jelly...or Nutella and crêpes -- whichever your preference. (Mine's the latter, personally.) 

But what do you do when you're facing another heat wave in late October like here in L.A.? You compromise. Today I'm sharing a Fall look that incorporates timeless tweed and gives it a modern, pretty, and practical spin that's perfect for both cooler and warmer days alike.


New Favorite Tweed Dress

Meet my new favorite tweed dress that I scored for only $40. 
From its charcoal color and black piping details, to the figure-flattering cut and shape, I simply adore it! The fit-and-flare style is so feminine and ladylike! When I first saw it, I knew it would be one of those pieces that could be styled numerous ways; the color and shape are so classic, and I could see it being worn for years to come. 

Funny thing: this dress was a chance purchase. I was returning another item in-store when I caught a glimpse of it on one of the clothing racks off to the side. Because I was rushing, I grabbed it, noting it was a size 2 (which I already knew to be the smallest size available) and took it to the register. I wasn't sure what to expect, but was thrilled when I tried it on at home and found that it fit so nicely right off the rack! The waist and bust are snug but not overly so, and the fabric drapes over the hips and flares out slightly. For fit reference, I'm 5'2", 99 lbs., and measure 33-24.5-36" at the bust-waist-hips. 

The measurements of the size 2 (taken while laying flat and doubled) are:

Bust: ~29"
Waist: ~24"
Hips: ~34"
                          Length: ~37" (shoulder to hem)

There's 1% spandex in the fabric, lending it some stretch and allowing it to conform to your shape, which is why I imagine this dress will sell out soon. It's so flattering! It zips smoothly up the back, making it easy to get on and off. And the fabric is not scratchy or itchy at all, which is a major peeve of mine and a problem I tend to find with some other tweed varieties. The fabric is actually surprisingly soft, which is a saving grace because the dress itself is unlined. That said, the fabric is still thick enough to allow you to go without a slip if that's your preference.  

This is such a pretty dress that embodies a modern take on a classic tweed! It's light and breathable for these hotter days, too. Once the weather cools down long enough to actually enjoy some layers, I plan to layer it over a collared, long-sleeved blouse. A white one would be simple and elegant. A rich mustard, burgundy or teal blouse would add a beautiful splash of color, too; they're such perfect colors for Fall!  Or for more warmth, swap out the blouse for a long-sleeved sweater with a fine weave (to avoid bulk) for another adorable, but cozy, Fall look.


Black Gucci Belt & Custom Sizing

When visualizing styling options for this dress, this Gucci belt immediately came to my mind. Wearing a skinny belt at the waist adds more definition and polish, and is a look I repeat often with my dresses, especially with these fit-and-flare dresses. I hadn't planned on buying this particular belt; I was thinking more along the lines of any black skinny belt because, in truth, this one is definitely more on the spendy side.

But, after I tried this style on in-store on a whim and learned that a sales associate could easily customize the fit of the belt for me free of charge, my husband actually nudged me to get it. He must've been in a really good mood that day because not only did he encourage the purchase, but he wrangled the kids while the friendly associate carefully punched 4 extra holes into the belt for me. I was over-the-moon with this complimentary service because I had been wanting to wear the belt higher up on my natural waist and couldn't before then! I didn't dare attempt it on my own with a belt puncher; for a belt at this price point, it would just be my luck to accidentally ruin it with my amateur belt-punching skills! No way. I left it to the experts and am so happy I did. The holes are evenly spaced and look like they were always there. Now, the belt fits me perfectly at the waist and at the hips, allowing me to wear it multiple ways as I choose.

I wanted to mention this customized sizing option for those of you who were unaware of it or who were worried about not being able to style this belt the way you originally envisioned because of sizing limitations. A Gucci store associate will happily help you, provided you purchase the belt in-store. They may also help you if you provide them with a copy of your online receipt (for online purchases) but you'll want to verify by calling first. I also asked the associate to detach the leather belt loop so that I could slide it down to keep the "tail" of the belt secured, and he obliged. I just have to be extra careful that I don't slide it down too much or it will fall off, since it's no longer attached to the belt. Also, it's important to note that once you customize your belt, it's considered "final sale" and can't be returned.

For those of you wanting the look for less, this belt is a great designer dupe for only $40!


Camel Wrap Coat

If I were to recommend one staple item for Fall/Winter, it would be a camel coat. Adding a classic, camel coat to an outfit instantly elevates it, giving it a chic and pulled-together look that I love. Plus, a high-quality, thicker coat is sure to keep you warm on even the chilliest of days. Choosing one with a self-tie belt is best since it nips you in at the waist and gives you a figure-flattering shape, even when worn over multiple layers. 

This camel wrap coat I'm wearing is even better than I expected! I mentioned it in a previous fitting room/current favorites blog post here, and have to say, it's such a classy and warm coat. It's the perfect camel color that pairs well with everything. I'm wearing size 2, and it fits nicely except for the long sleeve length (~23" long.) I'm also on the fence about the overall length (~40" long) since it runs longer than I usually prefer, hitting me below the knees. Then again, I'm growing fonder of the longer length since I think it gives it more of a refined look, and will be perfect styled with tall, suede boots. For that reason, I haven't altered it. Either way, I'm so glad I snagged this coat when I did because it keeps selling out online. I've seen the occasional size pop back, though, so you can keep checking for it.

Or, you can try this similar camel wrap coat, which I also ordered for comparison. I like that it comes in petite sizes, and ordered the size 00P to try. I'm uncertain about the collar on this one, though; it looks like it might be too pronounced for my liking, giving the resemblance of bat wings across my chest (lol) but we'll see which one I end up liking more. I'll keep you posted. I also recently found this one that I wish I had seen sooner: it's the same style but with added princess seams and a convertible neck that can be worn up for extra warmth. It has a very sharp, tailored look. Plus it, comes in regular and petite sizing and is currently 25% off! It's definitely worth checking out, too.

As you've probably guessed, it's still too warm here to really get much use of a coat, but I still like to drape this one over my shoulders for an extra dressy, evening look. I've actually had strangers stop me to ask about it, which is always nice! 


Black Suede & Caviar Leather

To round out this Fall look, I added a pair of black (faux) suede bow pumps and a black vintage Chanel caviar tote. You'll notice I like mixing various textures when keeping a look pared down to only a few colors. The suede, quilted leather, tweed, and camel wool all work together harmoniously, and give the overall look dimension. 

This is easily one of my favorite outfits this season! And it's all thanks to a little tweed dress I happened upon for only $40. It inspired this entire look.

OUTFIT DETAILS:
Tweed Fit & Flare Dress (sz 2) //
Gucci Monogram Belt - fit customized (budget-friendly dupe here for $40!) //
Camel Wrap Coat (sz 2) - most sizes sold out online (also love this & this! //
Black Faux Suede Bow Pumps - old (similar here - also have; love these & these, too!) //
Chanel Vintage Black Caviar Tote (similar herehere & here; budget-friendly here, here & here) //
Kate Spade Pearl Stud Earrings //
Kate Spade Sunglasses


Do you have a favorite tweed item in your wardrobe that you turn to every Fall? 

Thanks so much for stopping by, and I hope you have a great rest of the day! XO






10/21/17

Falling for Fall: 6 Fall Outfits to Re-create



Happy Saturday, loves!

Fall weather is finally here in SoCal (even if it's being temperamental), so in my excitement, I've put together:  

6 Fall Outfits to (Easily) Re-Create!

These are some of my most-loved Fall looks that I turn to year after year, and that are super easy to pull together, even when pressed for time! They're classic, cozy, and quintessentially "Fall." And the best part is that all of these outfit components can be mixed and matched for even more outfit combinations! I re-mix them all the time when trying to breathe new life into my wardrobe and to get the most use out of them. 

To get started, you'll need a few of the seasonal basics like plaid scarves, suede boots, and cozy sweaters, and I'm sharing them all with you -- many at amazing price points! Just scroll beneath each photo for all the pieces you'll need to easily re-create the look. :-)


LOOK 1: PLAID & STRIPES
SHOP THE LOOK:



LOOK 2: PLAID & PLEATS
SHOP THE LOOK:



LOOK 3: CASHMERE & CAMEL
SHOP THE LOOK:



LOOK 4: KNOTTED & RUFFLED
SHOP THE LOOK:



LOOK 5: MUSTARD & STRIPES
SHOP THE LOOK:



LOOK 6: OLIVE & NAVY
SHOP THE LOOK:




You'll quickly notice a theme of neutrals running throughout each of these looks, which makes outfit planning and re-mixing so effortless! Sprinkling in a couple of classic prints, i.e. stripes and plaid, helps as well, varying the looks by adding more dimension and color, especially for Fall when darker and earthy colors come more into play.

Creating cute Fall outfits doesn't have to cost an arm and leg, either; several of the items I linked for these looks are less than $30! I hope this gives you a small dose of Fall style inspiration!

Which of these 6 Fall Looks is your favorite?
If you re-create any of these, I'd love to see them! Please tag me on Instagram (@stylemepretty661) and I'll feature them in my IG stories! Or, feel free to comment/email me; I'd love to see them! ;-)

Thanks so much for stopping by, and I hope you have a wonderful rest of the weekend! XO

10/17/17

Exclusive Promo: 50% off at Ann Taylor + My Sale Picks

Tassel Suede Clutch (comes in 3 colors!) // Camel Wrap Coat (comes in regular & petite sizes!) //
Turtleneck Poncho (online-exclusive) // Striped Knit Top (comes in regular & petite sizes!) // 
Suede Tie Pumps (online-exclusive)

Hi, Everyone!

I just wanted to pop in quickly to share an amazing, exclusive sale promo with you! If you're a PayPal member and an avid Ann Taylor shopper, then this is your special day!

EXCLUSIVE PAYPAL / ANN TAYLOR PROMO:

 Now through Sunday, 10/22/17, you can get 50% OFF at Ann Taylor when you pay with PayPal and apply promo code "PAYPAL" at check-out! This promo is being offered for a very limited time in honor of Ann Taylor's recent addition of a PayPal check-out option. Woohoo!

I've been a longtime PayPal member and shopper of Ann Taylor, so I may have done a little happy dance when I opened my email to this news this morning. (lol)

FINE-PRINT DETAILS:

This exclusive promo ends Sunday night at 8:59pm PST / 11:59pm EST.

Promo excludes select items, i.e.:

- cashmere
 - leather
 - Ann Taylor Cares cards
 - taxes/shipping/handling fees
 - gift card purchases

Promo cannot be combined with any other offers/promotions. So, if an item is already on sale for 40% off (as some select items currently are at AT) then the 50% off discount will be applied to the original retail price only. 

*UPDATE (10/19/17): STORE-WIDE PROMO*
Ann Taylor is now offering 50% OFF + FREE shipping with code "SOGOOD"!
Sale is valid online and in stores, but hurry -- it's only valid today, ending at midnight PST / 3am EST Friday, 10/20. 

This is the perfect time to score your favorite AT goodies at half off, especially those pricier ones like coats/jackets, sweaters, and shoes you've had your eye on. The free shipping sweetens the deal even more! Start shopping here!

MY ANN TAYLOR PICKS:

I rounded up a few of my recent AT faves in the collage above, including this camel wrap coat that comes in both regular and petite sizing. I adore the color and sleek styling. I had picked up this similar one from H&M a few months ago and love it, though it's a bit longer on me. You can see it on me in this blog post for reference, in case you missed it. As you can see, the AT coat is very similar. I may order size XXSP just for comparison's sake and keep the one I like more. You really can't beat $99 for a classic, versatile coat that will last you season after season!

Also, how darling is this turtleneck poncho? I love that it has self-tie belt to help cinch your waist, giving you more of a flattering shape than most ponchos. Hallelujah! 

And this luxe tassel clutch from last year is back in the same rich bordeaux ("vino") color as well as a pretty blush color ("paloma") and black. The fold-over style is so chic and will pair perfectly with casual outfits and dressier ones alike. The only question is, which color to nab? They're all so beautiful!

I can never pass up sparkly statement pieces either. This flower necklace and the matching earrings will make even the most basic pieces stand out. There's a matching bracelet, too! It's such a pretty set and would make a great gift for your girlfriends, mom, sister, ...or yourself. ;-)

If you've been on the hunt for a classic, striped tee, try this one! It's only $24.75 with the promo, comes in regular and petite sizing, and is the quintessential top that can be worn on its own or layered under your favorite vests and jackets. I love it layered under this blazer as shown in the stock image.

A FEW MORE FAVORITES:


There are so many great wear-now, wear-later pieces included! Definitely take advantage of this limited-time promo while it lasts! Happy browsing/shopping, and I hope you all have a wonderful day! XO

10/13/17

Office Style: Pretty, Polished Polka Dots + Electric Orchid


Pretty, Polished Polka Dots

When it comes to prints, polka dots are right up there with stripes, in my book. They're fun, whimsical, and when done right, pretty and polished.

Today's look features one my go-to "recipes" for styling polka dots for the office (or any occasion, for that matter) and it's really quite simple. Ready? Here it goes: pair your polka dots with a solid foundation piece in a bold, bright color. The end. I told you it was simple! 

This combo works like a charm and is one I repeat often. I'll vary the colors and patterns, alternating them in my tops and skirts to create multiple outfits. In fact, I shared another example of this "recipe" in this recent blog post, where I swapped out the dots for stripes, and chose a patterned sweater to offset the bold color of the skirt. Adding a solid color is key because it helps anchor the outfit, balancing out the print.



Let's talk about this skirt! This cute, little number from J.Crew is my favorite polka-dotted skirt in my closet, hands down. I immediately snapped it up when it went on sale. Great news! After checking online, it appears that a couple of the petite sizes in this skirt are still be available in-store! It's definitely worth checking out if you've been on the hunt for this exact one. You might also try calling J.Crew's customer service line to try tracking one down. If that doesn't work, no worries; I was also able to find a couple of cute, similar skirts online here and here.


Electric-Orchid Silk

Silk ruffles in a gorgeous, striking color? Always! 
This electric-orchid silk blouse from Banana Republic is such a beautiful, stand-out piece! I just adore the color and style so much. It's soft, drapey, and perfectly feminine. I admit I have far too many of these ruffled blouses in my wardrobe, but they're such a staple for me and layer so nicely under blazers and cardigans -- perfect for the office!

This blouse has since sold out, but I found two similar ones in the same, vibrant color here and here. The electric-orchid color is super flattering on all skin tones, and really pops against a contrasting pattern like the one of this skirt.


Complementary-Colored Accessories 

For accessories, I chose colors that complement the orchid color of the blouse: a powder-blue satchel and light grey suede pumps. I love these colors against the blouse! They're close together on the color wheel (pinks, violets, blues), so they work really well together, and add a softer layer of colors. It's playful yet still polished and office-appropriate.

A cluster of pearls around the neck adds an extra touch of elegance.

OUTFIT DETAILS:
Banana Republic Silk Ruffle Blouse (0p) - sold out (similar here, here) //
J.Crew Polka Dot Tweed Pencil Skirt (00p) - limited stock in-stores (similar here, here) //
Forever 21 Grey Faux Suede Pumps (5.5) - old (similar here, here, here) //
J.Crew Pearl Cluster Necklace - old (similar here) //

This outfit "recipe" is foolproof! Give it a try if you haven't already! And I hope this look shows you that polka dots can be pretty and polished for the office. It's all in how you style them. And I choose to style them pretty. ;-)

Thanks, as always, for stopping by, and happy Friday the 13th! Make it a great one! XO






10/10/17

National Handbag Day: Bags I'm Loving


Hi, Everyone!

I thought it'd be fun to pop in and share a quick round-up of several of my favorite handbags for National Handbag Day! (#nationalhandbagday)

I've always been a handbag addict, or "bag lady" as my husband lovingly refers to me, and have collected quite a few over the years -- a good mix of vintage and new. My taste in bags has changed somewhat over the years, but I'd say one element has remained a constant: I'm partial to top-handle bags, structured satchels/totes, and crossbody bags. I think they look more clean, streamlined, and chic. And I love a variety of colors to mix and match with multiple outfits as well; after all, what's prettier than a wall of your favorite bags in a rainbow of colors? ;-)

So, here are my current handbag favorites -- all at varying price points, colors, and brands. I hope you love them as much as I do! Let me know which of these are your favorites, too! XO

10/9/17

Fall Office Style: Stripes with Bows + A Pop of Mustard ($60 Outfit!)


This time of year, I start pulling out all my favorite sweaters and knitwear, especially in colors and patterns that I associate most with Fall. In this case, it's mustard-yellow and stripes. You can never go wrong with classic stripes; they're timeless and can be styled year-round in multiple variations, but I especially love them paired with a bold pop of color. And since mustard is such a warm, rich color that complements those found in the turning leaves of Fall, it was my pick for this particular look, which is one of my takes on a pretty (and seasonal) office look.




I think it's easy to see why I adore this sweater so much. The sleeves! Are they not the most darling detail? Love, love love them! The ribbon bows and the chiffon ruffles had me sold the moment I saw them. They're the perfect touch that blends classic and feminine style so seamlessly. I couldn't be happier with this sweater!

I actually ordered mine a year ago here, but it sold out quickly soon after. Then, a week ago or so after I styled this look, I was thrilled to see it had been re-stocked online, and quickly shared the news along with a sneak peek of this outfit via my Instagram. Soon after posting it, though, it sold out again! (Always seems to happen!) Fortunately, I had already found this exact sweater totally by chance on Amazon here! I was so surprised to find it, along with its other color counterpart in black with white stripes here! I love both, and the great news is that they're just under $22! Cute and affordable -- can't beat that!

If you're worried about the one-size-only sizing, don't be. The fabric is nice and stretchy and will look flattering on all sizes. It's also a nice, medium-weight thickness and doesn't require a layering cami underneath. Just stick with a nude or white bra and you'll be fine. ;-)



Another recent re-stock is this mustard pencil skirt in double-serge wool from J.Crew! The mustard color is back this season at J.Crew Factory here with a host of other yummy colors that I just raved about in my Columbus Day Sales blog post on Saturday. These pencil skirts have been a longtime favorite of mine; their colors, their fit, and their quality remain intact and as good as new even after years of wear! To me, they're worthy of the investment even at full price, but when you can get them on sale, it's even better! Today is the last day to take advantage of the 50%-off sale price of $34.95. (Prices go back up at 8:59pm PST, 11:59pm EST.)

In addition to the mustard color, I own and love the burgundy and camel colors, which are also back this season with all sizes in stock!



Leather camel accessories warm up the look and infuse more Fall-like colors. Every gal needs a pair of leather camel pumps in her wardrobe!

 Mine are older from Ann Taylor, but I was able to find an almost-identical leather pair by Calvin Klein here on sale for only $74.25 (25% off) plus FREE shipping through today only! (Use code "COLUMBUS" at check-out. Prices go back up at 8:59pm PST, 11:59pm EST.) I love that these ones have the same classic and sleek silhouette and heel height of 3.5," which is my ideal heel height for pumps.

My camel dome satchel is by Michael Kors, which I scored at TJ Maxx a few months ago for around $100! I found similar MK ones online here and here if you love this same color (called "luggage") and style. I love the clean, simple shape of it, and of course, the versatile color. This one and the ones I linked all come with a removable crossbody strap, too -- great for us mommies on the go who need a hands-free option!


OUTFIT DETAILS:
Striped Bow-Sleeve Sweater - only $22! (also in black here) //
  J.Crew Double-Serge Wool Pencil Skirt - on sale for $35 today! (Also cute here) //
Ann Taylor Camel Leather Pumps - old (similar here on sale for $74.25 today!) //
Michael Kors Dome Satchel via TJ Maxx (similar here, here) (Also love this frame satchel) //
Kate Spade Pearl Stud Earrings

And there you have it: a classic-feminine office look that's easy, effortless, and transitions nicely into Fall. Even better? Most of it's on sale today! Snag the sweater and the skirt and you have a ready-made outfit for less than $60! 

Have a wonderful rest of the day (or long, holiday weekend to those of you with no work today!)

Thanks so much for stopping by! XO






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