Whether you are a hopeless romantic or a cynical “Valentine’s Day is a made up Hallmark holiday” kind of girl, one thing we can all agree on is that this “love day” is the perfect excuse to get dressed up! (Not to mention the candy!!) I ran across this flirty little ruffled number by After Market when I was recently checking out Pomp & Circumstance Boutique’s precious new Rice Village location. I’m a sucker for seersucker, and the flattering ruffled double v-neck on this dress sealed the deal for me. These ombre BaubleBar drop earrings gave this outfit the perfect Valentine’s vibe, and a hot pink lippie by NYX was just the right finishing touch for a romantic look. Although my real V-Day evening plans include ballet class, tae kwon do, guitar lessons, and the final pee wee basketball game of the season, at least I have an outfit ready should another Hallmark holiday appear on my calendar in the near future!
I got this fur and leather Theory vest a few years ago, and it has proven itself to be a worthy investment piece. I love it so, and it’s perfect for adding a little texture and warmth during the winter months. The only problem? I was limiting myself to wearing it to evening events only; it just felt a little fancy and didn’t seem to fit into my everyday wardrobe. I love a good fashion challenge though, so I became determined to figure out a way to make my fur work for day time. What better piece to pair it with than my favorite flare jeans?! With the cropped silhouette of the vest, I think the flared hem balances out the look and makes it all more proportionate. And layering a great vintage-inspired Led Zeppelin tee under it makes it feel more me! I tucked the front of the top into my jeans to avoid the frumpy, no-waistline effect an untucked tee can give, and I went to my go-to accessories: the skinny version of this J. Crew leopard belt and my trusty Rag & Bone Margot booties. Now this fave investment piece is a truly versatile piece too!
I’m that girl who totally identified with Shelby’s pink-infused wedding obsession in Steel Magnolias. “Blush and bashful” makes complete sense to me. I have never met a pink that I didn’t like (“pink is my signature color” said in my best southern accent), but I am partial to what I refer to as “sweet southern pink” — meaning the color of ballet slippers or even paler. All of my daughter’s baby bloomers were monogrammed in this pink! I like the femininity and the neutral vibe of the color. While my wardrobe as a lawyer leans to the black and navy spectrum, this shade of neutral pink jumps in from time to time to remind me not to be so dark. Actually, my favorite suit out of law school was a pale pink pants ensemble that I’d kill to fit in today! I’ve never thought of pink as a weak “girl” color. To the contrary, pink is powerful (that’s why it was chosen to be the color of breast cancer awareness I suppose). You’ll find subtle pops of pink in my wardrobe from tees to handbags and everything in between.
When I spotted this Club Monaco dress not only did the color catch my eye, but the style and the unique cut of the sleeves gave me major dress obsessions. The understated half pleats on the 3/4 sleeves was such an unexpected touch. Of course the length is perfect for the office or power lunch, and this dress can be worn belted or changed into a shift dress sans the monochromatic sash. Some would shy away from wearing this blush toned dress in the fall and winter months, but why limit yourself? Designers from all over the globe are boasting various shades of pink in their collections for all seasons. Pink should never be relegated to the months surrounding Easter or for little girls in smocked dresses. Pink can be as authoritative and sophisticated as austere black if you want it to be. Because it is a neutral, pink can also compliment many looks from casual to glamorous.
From the court room to the boardroom, women are not afraid of color in the workplace. Pairing this dress with black pumps and classic jewelry makes this office appropriate and the idea that pink is only for little girls is so antiquated. My Presmer python clutch complimented the look without taking over. Without the belt, add a pair of booties (gray would be a fun combo) and layer on bold accessories, and the look takes you to a fun date night. I love the versatility of this blush hued dress.
Y’all know I could not discuss pink as a fashion statement, being a child of the 80’s, without a shout out to Molly Ringwald as Andie Walsh in one of John Hughes’s best films, Pretty in Pink! Oh what a movie and classic Brat Pack film. Andie, with her teen angst and clique-ridden world, single-handedly changed the way we looked at prom dresses (who didn’t want to tear off the sleeves of a frou frou thrift store formal and create a unique look for prom?). Even with Jon Cryer, James Spader, and Andrew McCarthy in the mix, that pink prom dress stole the show! Imagine OMD’s “If You Leave” and pretend you don’t want to wear that dress dancing with Blane! The show had so many lessons and teachable moments, and when Andie got the confidence to show her true strength, she wore pink.
One of the most iconic suits ever worn is the one Jacqueline Kennedy wore on the day Camelot was no more. The images of her in that car, in the hospital, on the plane, in that dress are forever seared into our minds. Faced with incomprehensible grief, she again, was the epitome of class and strength. When I think of our former first lady, I think of grace, I think of style and I mostly think of strength. So don’t hesitate to wear my favorite color any time of the year — be powerful, be bold, be you!
Dress: Club Monaco | Pumps: Christian Louboutin (less expensive options by French Connection and Sam Edelman) | Clutch: Presmer (similar by Diane von Furstenberg and Gigi New York | Necklace: similar by Dannijo
Fall has officially arrived (yes, even in Houston!). Football, cooler temps, and pumpkin spice everything marks the season of giving. Growing up in a small town, football was our favorite, and sometimes only, pastime. So to this day, when the cooler weather arrives and the daylight leaves us a little earlier, you’ll hear me say “It smells like football weather!” I swear I can hear a high school band somewhere playing the fight song and feel the bleachers shake. Nowadays, my Friday nights don’t have to be spent wearing school colors and shaking pom poms, but I am happy to toss the summer linen and sleeveless dresses and pull on sweaters and jeans.
No one represents tunics better than the lovely Tory Burch. She designs them for every season, and they exude the “chic, bohemian, ready to travel the globe” vibe. This Tory tunic, with its southwest-inspired pattern, looks great with my favorite distressed boyfriend jeans. I am a huge fan of tunics in the fall as they can be paired with a structured pant, jean, or skirt. I’d even venture pairing this one with a patterned skinny pant since the embellishments are minimal. Pulling on some rough hewn cowboy boots gives it a great sassy girl flare; but, try booties or even heels to throw off the casual vibe for a more sophisticated look. The best part about wearing an outfit anchored by your favorite tunic, is that they are totally comfortable but still make you look completely put together. This ivory, drawstring sweater tunic is perfect for an easy chic everyday look. Since the neckline is so simple, I chose this gorgeous collar necklace (gifted to me by my stylish sister) featuring bold semi-precious stones. I am somewhat intimidated by this piece and hesitant to wear it. I’ll pull it out and think about wearing it and carefully wrap it back up. But given this neutral background, the necklace makes a statement without being overpowering. Sadly, this necklace is long gone, but I linked a gorgeous similar piece by Janna Conner below.
Even with the jacquard and fringe trims, this versatile sweater can be coupled with graphic patterns and fun, bold accessories. This Sole Society clutch typically fights for attention (and wins) with most pieces; however, it is the perfect complement to this understated top. This global traveler-esque clutch stand out amongst the neutral look of the sweater and is never a stranger to the often asked “where did you get that bag?” Of course, the turquoise on brown leather Chan Luu wrap bracelet was a no-brainer with this particular look. Chan Luu’s wraps can be stacked, but I chose just one so the necklace wouldn’t start a competition with my arm candy. Since Houston did not get the memo that autumn has arrived, the weather allows for these great cork wedges. They dress up the distressed jeans, and, because the color is rich, they fit with the season. Speaking of these jeans, I’d be remiss to not shout their praises. Oh how I love my boyfriend jeans. I adore them, and they adore me. If they asked me to the Homecoming dance, I’d say yes, big Texas mum and all! I have paired a boyfriend jean with everything under the sun and I love the way they are so casual but you can surprisingly, with the right top, shoes, and accessories, look so polished.
Friday night lights, bon fires, brown sugar and cinnamon on my toast, cobbler for dessert, and cooler, crisp weather bring out the best in me. Back home in Northeast Texas, kids can even jump into piles of raked leaves that have actually changed colors. Add the smell of burning leaves to my favorite autumn memories — we cannot do that here in the city, but I wonder if Yankee Candle has thought of that scent? William Cullen Bryant said it beautifully, “Autumn….the year’s last, loveliest smile.” I know I am smiling — Happy Fall Y’all!
Tunic: Tory Burch (similar Soft Joie cardigan) | Jeans: Gap (also love this Citizens of Humanity pair) | Wedges: Elaine Turner (now on sale!), also love this pair of Sam Edelman wedges | Necklace: Amrita Singh, sold out (similar by Janna Conner Lada)| Clutch: Sole Society | Bracelet: Chan Luu
One of the most stylish pant trends this fall is culottes. And why not? From afar culottes appear to evoke a midi; but, with the split cut and wide leg crop these pants can be office appropriate and still look amazing for a night out on the town. A bonus is the wider the leg, the smaller the waist looks. Again, why not? So, convert your wardrobe with these stylish culottes and rock the bifurcated skirt. For those of you that fondly recall wearing these in your youth, you will be surprised at the multiple ways you can style this look. I remember wearing these to school (but we called them gauchos) with knee socks adorned with tassels and a ribbed turtleneck. I could probably still pull off the turtleneck, but it’s questionable about the knee socks.
Culottes, like most everything on trend in women’s fashion, began as menswear. Of course, way back they were a posh French pant reserved for the upper class male. But as time marched on, as it always does, they evolved into a symbol of feminism for politically active Victorian-age women to give them the freedom that corsets and lace could not. These “divided skirts” became iconic pieces for many high end designers. The ever-beautiful super model before the term super model, Lauren Hutton rocked culottes in the 70’s and who could forget how effortless Ali McGraw made them look. Culottes give off a playful vibe that is flattering (when accessorized correctly) with a nod to history.
Pairing these culottes with patent wedges make the look more polished. I just think heels bring an elegance to this trend (not that I have anything against flats!). Stilettos take the look to new heights for a sophisticated evening ensemble. Pair them with booties or even knee boots for a cozy winter feel. If the pants are not right below the knee or mid-calf, flats can make the ensemble look like a dress up game gone wrong. Because the pants billow, a heel or at least some height give off a sense of thoughtful styling.
This simple bright clutch pops against the navy pants and I adore the contrast with the stripes on the shirt. A fun crossover would be a nice addition for a leisurely stroll. I would recommend against big, bulky bags as they tend to overwhelm the cut of the pants. Personally I’m a fan of solids for this style, but bold patterns certainly can make a statement this season. Since the pants are your statement piece, I recommend going for simple accessories so as to not overwhelm the flowing nature of the culottes.
I love this navy and white shirt! I chose to tie it at the waist for a little less stuffy look. My favorite aspect of the top is how well it wears. After a day at the office, no visible wrinkles! I still looked like I did when I left that morning (well, the clothes did anyway!). I also love that this shirt can be paired with a pencil skirt or even jeans. It’s versatile but lends itself to a classic piece. A great alternative to pair with the pants is a cropped sweater. It makes a great weekend look and elongates your legs. Adding a cowl neck sweater or cropped jacket to these pants allows you to really cash in on the versatility of the pants.
These pants! Oh, where have you been? I have a fashion crush on them. Seriously. They look great but feel even better. I’m pretty sure I was a little sassier when I wore them. These are work pants, brunch pants, evening on the town pants – you name it! They can be dressed up for an event that demands cocktail attire (think silk tank top) or scaled down for a raucous girls’ lunch (cropped sleeveless sweater). Did I mention how comfortable they are? They’ve become a substitute to my typical office suit pant. You can find culottes in a variety of fabrics from leather to wool to everything in between. These definitely are not the culottes of our youth! This borrowed-from-the-boys look can put off vibes from bohemian to sophisticated in the blink of an eye. So don’t be afraid to rock those culottes ladies. They have come a long way!
Culottes: Club Monaco (similar and super affordable style by Alfani Prima)| Striped Top: Club Monaco (also available at Shopbop, similar sleeveless style by Joie) | Clutch: Elaine Turner (similar clutch by Diane von Furstenberg and two gorgeous splurge clutches by Delvaux and Givenchy) | Wedges: Christian Louboutin, sold out (similar style by Pierre Hardy)