An ongoing love affaire with all things fashionable, tasty and fun

Posts tagged “Banana Republic

MCLV Style: Embellish Me

Fun accessories and embellished pieces are a great way to take a basic look to a new level. So next time you’re putting together a nighttime look be creative and layer on the extras!

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{You can shop similar pieces by clicking these hyperlinks: Pleated Leather SkirtThe Limited, Embellished Top – Zara, Oxblood Knit Tights – DKNY via Bloomingdales, Spike Embellished HeelsThe LimitedBlack Patent Clutch – MICHAEL Michael Kors via NordstromRing – BCBG Max Azria & Bracelet – Forever 21}

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{You can view this outfit on Lookbook.nu and Pose}

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{Check out outtakes from this shoot here – Just log into Facebook to view}

This outfit could have just been black skirt + black top but with the addition of brightly colored tights, an embellished collar, fun jewelry, and spiked heels it’s a more one-of-a-kind look. But I did discover that the downside of this too-cute pleated faux leather skirt from The Limited is that it wrinkles sooooo easily. And quickly. Thus the absence of straight-on shots!

What’s your favorite fun extra this Winter or the piece you’re most excited to try out?


MCLV Style: Lazy Stripes

Sometimes what a girl needs is layers. And lots of them. This was a look that I threw together for a CrossFit competition a few weeks ago – The keys for that kind of day are :(1) Comfortable, (2) Easy to move in, and (3) Warm! The third ended up being especially important as the venue had a huge open door and it started raining when we first got there!

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{You can shop similar pieces by clicking these hyperlinks: Striped Sweater Tunic – H&M, Leggings – Forever 21, Cropped BlazerBanana Republic, Studded Ankle Boots – C Label via Piperlime, Patent Satchel Express, Skull Pendant Asos, and Bracelets – H&M, Asos & JewelMint}

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{You can view this outfit on Lookbook.nu and Pose}

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{Check out outtakes from this shoot here – Just log into Facebook to view}

I have a confession to make. This blazer is one of the oldest {non-heirloom} pieces in my closet. My mother bought it for me SEVEN years ago when she took me on a shopping trip to equip me for interviewing and starting my first post-collegiate job. When people say “classic” or “investment piece” this, my friends, is what they’re referring to!

Do you have any classic, it’ll-always-be-in-style pieces in your wardrobe? What’s your favorite investment piece that you’ve bought over the years?


MCLV Style: Prim & Proper

Working in the corporate world means that my office style tends towards classic and traditional – I keep my arms covered and wear knee-length skirts or dresses 4 – 5 days a week. But just because my style is fairly formal doesn’t mean I can’t have fun with work fashion!

{You can shop similar pieces by clicking these hyperlinks: Embellished Empire-Waist Dress – Donna Ricco from Nordstrom, T-Strap Heels – Zara, Top-Handle Handbag – Zara, Black Leather Bow HeadbandBanana Republic, Geometric Gold Bracelet – BCBG, Gold Wrap Ring – JewelMint & Black Bow Ring – Forever 21}

{You can view this outfit on both Lookbook.nu and Pose}

{Check out outtakes from this shoot here – Just log into Facebook to view}

What drew me to this was the embellished empire waist, it gave the retro-silhouetted dress a little something extra. And because the waist is already so dramatic I usually skip the necklaces with this dress and just pile on bracelets and rings. Or in this case, a black faux leather bow headband – J’adore! ❤

What’s the dress code in your office? Do you usually dress formally, informally, or business casual like me? Do you have a work “uniform” that you usually wear?


Fall On A Budget

At the beginning of October I shared my Fall 2012 Must Haves, which included eye-catching patterns & prints, faux leather, fun pants, tweed pieces, asymmetrical details, and the color de jour for Fall – Oxblood.

It’s easy to see pictures from the Fall 2012 collections and put together a mental list of all the things you want, and then give up in frustration because you can’t afford straight-from-the-runway pieces. But I’m here to tell you that we can very easily update your wardrobe for Fall without having to dip into your 401k. I promise!

I like to get one or two great new investment pieces each season – something like an updated but classic Little Black Dress, a chic new handbag, or a timeless trench – but I’ll also collect a handful of fun, on-trend pieces from less expensive stores that quickly update my looks for the season. There are great stores like Zara, ASOS, H&M, and TopShop were you can find trendy, well-made pieces each season for a steal. Read on for some of my personal suggestions & recommendations as well as a collection of great articles that’ll steer you in the right direction for all of your Fall 2012 needs.

I have to confess that some of my favorite places to shop are the Spanish retailers that I was first introduced to when I lived in Italy at the age of 21 – H&M, Mango, and Zara. The clothing is stylish and well-made, but doesn’t cost a fortune and the collections are updated frequently so there’s always something new in stores and online.
{Lace Trousers – $90 @ Zara, Blouse – $60 @ H&M & Contrast Panelled Dress – $30 @ Mango}
  • Where Do Editors Really Shop from Refinery 29 is just the sort of article that I love to read – Knowing where the most fashionable and stylish women in the fashion world shop is like being handed the keys to the kingdom! And wouldn’t you know it, along with the high-end designers that you’d expect them to mention, they also list great inexpensive shopping destinations like E-bay, Target, Zara, Amazon, Madewell, J.Crew, TopShop, JewelMint, ShoeMint, and even The Salvation Army. Great news, isn’t it?

Another lucky break for us fashion obsessed is that more and more high-end designers have been coming out with reasonably priced collections for retailer giants like Payless, Target, and Macys.

{Long-sleeve Shirt Dress in Red Geometric Print – $40 @ Kirna Zabete for Target, Long-Sleeve Satin Blazer – $60 (on sale) @ Nicole Richie for Impulse & Racquel Side Zip Bootine – $50 @ Christian Siriano for Payless}

  • Lucky Magazine’s 100 Cheap Fall Finds is a trove of fun Fall pieces from printed pants and embellished collars to chic dresses and leather trimmed jackets. In addition to featuring clothing from Luckymag.com, they included other retail websites like Romwe.com, Pixiemarket.com, Urban1972.com, Levis.com, and Ulta.com.
  • Two of the trends that I’m most excited for this Fall are printed pants and leather-trimmed pieces and luckily for all of us the fun website The Cheap Chica’s Guide to Style featured fabulous recommendations for both trends –  Geometry Class & Just The Sleeves Please. So no matter what type of fashion you’re in the mood for this site has what you’re looking for!

The less expensive secondary lines created by designers and sold at department stores like Bloomingdale’s, Macys, Nordstrom, and Kolh’s are great pieces to keep an eye out for.

{Left to Right: Marc by Marc Jacobs ‘Jac’ Denim Leggings – $140 @ Nordstrom, MICHAEL Michael Kors Sleeveless Cowl Neck Banded Bottom Dress – $45 (on sale) @ Bloomingdale’s, and LC Lauren Conrad Embellished Ruffle Tee – $40 @ Kohl’s}

  • Not quite sure how to approach stores like Nordstrom Rack, TJ Maxx, Marshall’s, or Ross? Refinery 29 took it upon themselves to teach us how in their piece Discount Shopping – How To Shop At Marshalls where they had three different editors put together 6 cute looks under $50. Wow!
  • Waiting for stores to have announce a big sale is a great way to find the pieces you’re craving without paying full-price. Not sure just how to make this tactic work for you? Check out Sales Rack Skinny: The Subtle Statement’s Sale Shop Tactics for tips that’ll help you find just what you’re looking for in stores or even online.

Are you still in the mood for more tips, recommendations, and suggestions for updating your wardrobe, Fall dressing, and online shopping? Stay tuned for an upcoming interview with Style For Hire and a series of informative posts all about online shopping.


Inspiration Saturday

Happy Saturday!

Why not start this weekend off with some beautiful photographs and inspiring words? The perfect way to prepare for a fun, fashionable day if you ask me. Enjoy!

Pinned Image

Pacey

{Sources: Vintage Virgin, Champagne & Strawberries & Pinterest}

Hope you all have a great weekend!


The Man Behind The Camera

Other than my dear friend Liz, the remainder of the MCLV Personal Style photographs are taken by the current boyfriend Sean. He has written a guest post for us in the past and trained me in the ways of CrossFit, but has never been featured on the blog for his fashion prowess before.

That is, until today.

True, he spends the majority of his waking hours in workout clothes, but when he does deign to put on street clothes, he has a great personal style.

When we initially met in our senior year of high school he was extremely preppy – Polo shirts, button downs, and wool or cashmere collared coats. But over the years his style relaxed, becoming more and more low-key, and when we got back together two years ago he wore very little other than t-shirts, jeans, and flip-flops.

But miracle of miracles, over the last two years his sense of style has begun evolving again. And more than that, he has actually started to enjoy clothes and fashion more, like he did when he was younger. Now he shops online, asks for advice on putting together pieces in his wardrobe & picking things out, and genuinely has an interest in shopping and expanding his wardrobe.

These days he prefers to keep his daily look low-key and minimal, and primarily wears black, white, and navy. Jeans are usually his preference and he traditionally pairs them with a Lacoste Pima V-Neck, a button down, or a Polo shirt. As for brands, we’ve found that the shirts that fit him best are Express for Men and Lacoste, they both have slim fit versions that work well for his frame.

When it comes to shoes he’s tried virtually everything, from boots to slip-ons to boat shoes to loafers. He loves slip ons and its all I can do to make sure he doesn’t wear his rubber soled slippers out of the house. The most worn pair of shoes he has are his tan, lace-up Banana Republic loafers, but he did just get a new pair of slip-on boat shoes that are very versatile.

They can even be worn with pink!

And a style post wouldn’t be complete without mentioned his creativity, he picked a kick-ass Halloween costume last year that suited him quite well despite being an incredibly last-minute choice – The Travelocity Gnome! 🙂

In the mood for more? Check out my Let’s Hear It For The Boys post filled with tips, ideas, and inspiration for putting together a complete and stylish wardrobe.

What do you like most on the men in your life? Are there certain styles that appeal to you more than others? When it comes to mens accessories, do you think less is more?


Links You’ll Love

Health/Fitness:

The title of this article got my attention for a number of reasons, but primarily because I’m deeply in agreement. I’m 29, I’ve been working 12+ hours a day for 7 years, and I’m ready to retire! LifeVest – Why Women Are Burning Out at Work Before 30.

Roasted Garlic-Beet Socca Pizza

Pizza is hardly considered a diet food and any healthy eating regime is likely to outlaw it, but I’m a rebel and I think these versions sound ah-mazing! From the Fit Community: 6 Diet-Friendly Pizzas. From fresh veggies and goat cheese to whole wheat dough to mini versions, there’s something to make everyone’s mouth water! I’m partial to the socca myself, I’ve been making socca-crust pizzas since I was first diagnosed with gluten intolerance and I can’t recommend trying them enough!

To me Summer is all about fresh produce and as much I as love the colorful array of options at the farmer’s market, not all produce is created equal – Game, Set and Match to Strawberries: The Superfruit.

One of the first things that my doctor did last fall after my spinal injury was write me a prescription for a stand up desk. My office amazingly had one in storage so three days later it was up and running. The results have been amazing and I’m planning to keep it even once I’m fully healed. Interested in learning more? Fit Bottomed Girls – Stand Up for Your Fitness: Review of the Standing Fit Standing Desk. And if that’s not enough to convince you, this piece for the SF Gate may change your mind – Sitting Less Adds Two Years to U.S. Life Expectancy.

You don’t need hours and hours at the gym, even squeezing in 10 minutes a few times a week can make a difference if you’re also walking and eating a healthy, balanced diet – Get R.I.P.P.E.D. in Just 10 Minutes With This Total Body Workout!

Fashion:

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Whenever I get the urge to freshen things up in my apartment I turn to wall decor for that extra zing of  unique creativity. If you’re the same check out Apartment Therapy’s – 10 DIY Wall Art Ideas That Anyone Can Do.

If you’re still dying for more fashion week madness after the Spring 2013 Resort and Fall 2012 Couture collections, check out Harper’s Bazaar’s Moda Operandi and Taylor Tomasi-Hill Go To Sao Paulo Fashion Week.

There are many celebrity “designers” out there but few who really have the fashion chops, a la Victoria Beckham, to make a real impact on the fashion world. Which side of the line do you think Miss Gwyneth Paltrow’s first collection will fall on? FabSugar has the details – See What Gwyneth Paltrow Designed For Her Special Goop Collection So Far.

Get in the mood for next season’s crop of fabulous frocks by checking out Banana Republic’s Anna Karenina inspired holiday collection, Karl by Karl Lagerfeld for Fall 2012, and the H&M Summer 2012 Magazine.


Looks of the Week – Workwear Edition

I thought that I’d take our usual Monday Looks of the Week post and specialize it just a bit this week. Rather than including just the street style looks that catch my fancy, this week is going to be all about fashionable looks that you can try out at the office. They’ll run the gamut from power suits for you corporate ladies out there to great separates, and inspiration for working pants and pencil skirts into your work wardrobe.

Frequently my sartorial excitement is focused on my weekend and evening looks – those are the ones that I plan in advance and day-dream about. Unfortunately that can mean that on workday mornings I just throw on a black dress and pumps without giving my choice much thought, even though I’ll be wearing them for 12+ hours.

Sound familiar?

My goal with this post is to inject a little enthusiasm and inspiration into our how we dress for work. Why not add some spice to the pieces and outfits that you end up spending most of your day in?

The Pencil Skirt:

This is SUCH a versatile piece, a building block for an unlimited number of outfits and styles. You can try a retro silhouette, put together a traditional suit look, or spice things up with a printed or brightly colored version for a more fun spin.

Whatever you’re in the mood for!

Think stripes or prints wont work for the office? Think again. A subtle pattern can go a long way.

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Don’t be afraid of color! This is a great example of a stylish look that’s fashionable and fun, but still office-appropriate.

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The Wrap Dress:

A basic wrap dress is one of my favorites for the office. You can go with basic black, a fun color, or even a print like the one I donned below from Banana Republic during the Mission: Put Together 2012 challenge.

Printed Wrap Dress: Banana Republic, Shoes: Zara & Jewelry: JewelMint, Banana Republic, Forever 21 & Juicy Couture

The Slacks:

When you’re mixing separates like slacks, a button down, and a blazer, you have more freedom to be creative than with a suit or a dress. So take some chances and make the most of it by includes bold hues, mixing colors, or even adding prints & patterns.

Tired of basic slacks? Why not roll the cuffs? Or add a contrasting blazer? Or both? 🙂

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This is a gorgeous, colorful look. No need to stick to boring black this Summer, why not draw inspiration from this look and try out some fun colors?

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Wide leg trousers can be chic chic chic – Just see how The Glamourai spices hers up!

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The Suit:

Luckily the suit has come a long way from its initial inception, we’re no longer constrained to a boring, basic black pants and jacket blazer combination like we were in the past. These days there are an endless number of choices out there and all sorts of different colors, cuts, patterns, fabrics, and silhouettes to choose from.

Head-to-toe color is a great way to stand out. This chic emerald-green suit is phenomenal and I love that she accessorized with white rather than black.

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You don’t have to match your suit jacket to your pants, so why not wear slacks with a shell and pair the look with a contrasting coat?

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If you need some more workwear ideas check out The Everygirl’s Transcend The Office Dress Code With IFB, Harper’s Bazaar’s Fabulous at Every Age: Workwear Refresh, or my Workin’ That Tee or What NOT To Wear To Work.

Does this inspire you to try something that’s new for you, or add some color, prints, and fresh silhouettes to your everyday work outfits? Did this post give you some fun ideas for how to update your wardrobe?


MCLV Style: Workin’ That Tee

Last year I published a post called What NOT To Wear To Work where I discussed, among other things, whether or not a T-shirt could be considered appropriate office attire. Ultimately my conclusion was that while casual graphic and burn-out tees were out of the question unless you work in fashion-forward industries like fashion, music, or film, there were appropriate possibilities out there if you looked hard enough and styled them properly.

 

To make this type of look work you just need to keep the pieces clean and simple, and go for a thick, well-made shirt in an appropriate cut, color, and silhouette for the occasion.

In this case I went with a royal purple Zara Basics t-shirt with cap-sleeves paired with a basic black pencil skirt, round-toed pumps, and a vintage-inspired gold belt.

Tee – Zara Basics, Pencil Skirt – Zara, Pumps – Franco Sarto, Bracelets – JewelMint, Vintage, & Forever 21, Rings – Vintage, Multi-Strand Gold Necklace – Express, and Retro Gold Belt – BCBG

You can HYPE this look on Lookbook.nu, shop similar pieces on ASOS Style Finder, or click the hyperlinks above for some comparable pieces that you can buy.

And believe me, I’m not the only one who enjoys a good tee. Mixing high and low, like adding a basic shirt into a work or night out look, is an art form practiced by many.

A loosely fitted highlighter colored t-shirt can keep a slouchy black suit from being boring or too business-like.

Old-school denim overalls are perfect for a hot summer day and a little white tee is the perfect finishing touch.

If you’re going to work a layering look nothing beats a basic t-shirt. It’s the perfect building block!

You can even roll up the sleeves of your basic t-shirt to give it a more unique and one-of-a-kind feeling.

What better than a basic white tee to pair with denim cut-offs and a vintage style leopard print coat for a walk on the streets of New York City.

Even high-end designers like Oscar de la Renta can’t help but enjoy a good striped tee.

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Are you creative when it comes to building new and fun looks using your favorite tees? What do you think about wearing a T-shirt to work – ya or nay?


Mission: Put Together 2012 – Week II

I’m here today to give you a Week II breakdown for Definitely RA‘s 2012 fashion challenge – Mission: Put Together (similar to Freckles In Aprils’ 10 Day Style Challenge from earlier in the year) – my initial post on Week I post was published on May 15th. Clearly I’ve had a hectic Spring, but I’m glad that I’m finally sharing these fun pictures.

Ready for some color?

M:PT 2012 Challenges

Week #2 was about one thing – Prints Prints Prints! I went from a solid black girl to mixing patterned pieces like a pro, the very reason that I wanted to take on this challenge in the first place.

Summer Stripes:

I feel like I should preference this by saying that this is the first time I’ve worn shorts since JUNIOR HIGH.

Striped Top: Zara, Royal Blue Shorts: Zara, Sandals: Vintage, Black Bag: Chanel, Sunglasses: Christian Dior, & Jewelry: JewelMint

You can HYPE this look on Lookbook.nu, shop similar pieces on ASOS Style Finder, or click the hyperlinks above for some comparable pieces that you can buy.

I traded in my vintage sandals for MaddenGirl heels to grab a glass of wine outside at a cafe.

That’s right. Junior High.

And of course I paired these too-cute bright blue Zara shorts with fun zipper details with a basic striped T-shirt. We all know how much I love stripes!

Polka Dots:

Polka Dot Blouse: Zara, Pleated Chiffon Mini Skirt: Zara, Black Blazer: Aqua, Clutch: Chanel, & Nude Heels: BCBGeneration

You can HYPE this look on Lookbook.nu, shop similar pieces on ASOS Style Finder, or click the hyperlinks above for some comparable pieces that you can buy.

I was totally mad for this outfit! Every once in a while I put something together that makes me just plain excited to go outside. And this is an example of that. I was bouncing around like a sugar-crazed little kid while Sean and I were waiting to meet my parents for dinner that night. I couldn’t even wait until after dinner to take pictures, we ran across the street from the restaurant after placing our orders to take these shots.

People were definitely stopping to stare at us while we were taking these pictures in Washington Square Park. I think trying to figure out who I was and why I was posing for photographs on a bike path…

Graffiti Girl:

When I saw this dress I knew it had to be mine.

Geometric Print Dress: Mango, T-Strap Heels: Zara, and Handbag: Zara

You can HYPE this look on Lookbook.nu, shop similar pieces on ASOS Style Finder, or click the hyperlinks above for some comparable pieces that you can buy.

I have a bad habit of wearing dresses that aren’t ideal for my body type. For example, I absolutely adore 6o’s mod-inspired styles and shift dresses, which are better suited for someone with a boyish figure – a la Twiggy.

Flower Child:

What do you wear when it’s gorgeous out on a lazy Sunday morning? Go hippie of course! And since I wanted to stay true to the challenge, I made sure to pick a fun floral printed dress to run errands in.

While I adore this print, what really made this dress stand out to me was the crocheted strip around the middle. Such a fun, unique detail.

Floral Dress: Vintage, Sunglasses: D&G, Cross-Body Bag: BCBGeneration & Floral Cuff: Vintage

You can HYPE this look on Lookbook.nu, shop similar pieces on ASOS Style Finder, or click the hyperlinks above for some comparable pieces that you can buy.

Print On Print:

Who would have ever guessed that me, the girl who wore nothing but solid black for years, would be involved in something as crazy as pattern mixing?

I love this dress and I’ve worn it a few times this season, but it was really fun to try to pick out a great patterned bag to pair with it this time, something that I wouldn’t necessary choose during a random wearing.

Dress: Lilly Pulitzer via Bloomingdale’s, Sandals: Vintage, Striped Tote: Forever 21, Charm bracelet: Juicy Couture, Flower Ring: Forever 21, & Turquoise Ring: Asos

You can HYPE this look on Lookbook.nu, shop similar pieces on ASOS Style Finder, or click the hyperlinks above for some comparable pieces that you can buy.

Color. Prints. Mixing patterned pieces. This was a big week for me, I definitely stretched my sartorial muscles. I’m sure that you also noticed that these are all weekend after-hours looks. I included a number of work outfits in Week I and wanted to try to incorporate more street style type looks this week.

Do you like the idea of a fashion challenge that forces you to make new and interesting fashion choices? Are you getting inspired to try out some fun new looks for Summer?