Summer Tuxedo Style

One of my favorite things to wear is a stylized tuxedo.  I'm attracted to tuxedo stripes, tuxedo blazers, and even tuxedo style blouses.
Pants:  New York & Company
I wear a lot of this type of look in the winter, especially around the holidays, but I was contemplating how to get a similar look for summertime.

While I came up with a few creative solutions, the more classic trouser look won my favor.

Blouse:  The Limited
My pants have a satin piping down the leg that adds a subtle dressy vibe.  I added a sleeveless button down bow blouse and played around with the buttons and tie to create slightly different looks for evening, depending on one's level of modesty or personal preference. 
Heels:  Target (Similar here)
I styled the look for evening, but an extra button (or two) would make the outfit suitable for work.
I added bold gold and black jewelry for a more dramatic feel.

Necklace:  The Limited (Available here)
I'm always a fan of an all black look, but I chose a color blocked clutch to add a little color.
Clutch:  The Limited
Rings:  Torrid and New York & Company (Available here and here)
Bracelet:  The Limited (Available here)
Do you like tuxedo looks?  Do you like the simplicity of an all black look?

For these pants in another outfit, see here.
To see the blouse styled differently, see here, here, and here.


Style Cassentials Turns Two!

My blog turns two today, and I just wanted to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their viewership and support. 

It really means a lot to me that anyone reads my blog, let alone comments or follows regularly!!

Dress:  Sophie Theallat for The Limited
This past year has been a year of change and growth for my blog, and I'm very proud of my efforts to offer various content over the last year.  While I did not achieve all the goals I had planned a year ago, I also adapted and changed some of these goals as the year progressed.
Heels:  Target (Similar here)
In December 2013, I started working as a contributing writer for The Curvy Fashionista, and this experience has taught me so much!  (Thanks Marie!!)  It has given me tons of tips, tricks, and ideas that I have started intepreting for Style Cassentials.

I have also expanded my presence on Facebook this year.  If you're a Facebook user and you're not already following me, check out my page here for lots of additional content not offered on the blog!

My blog has always been about personal style and its evolution.  That focus is based on the foundation that ALL women deserve to partake in fashion, if they so choose.  Body size, shape, age, income, race, sexual orientation...NONE of these things should be relevant in having fun with fashion.

I hope to continue to promote these ideas and share body-positive content with you in the coming year.

I will continue to explore my own personal style and share my fashion joys, challenges and growth with you.

In addition, I have ideas that I hope will make my blog a more interactive experience for all of us.  More on that later...

I have some questions for you: 

What would you like to see more/less of on the blog?  Do you have any style questions you want answered? 


In the meantime, a birthday celebration wouldn't be complete without a birthday look!

I had wanted to do a really fun photo shoot like I did last year, but I seriously could not decide what I wanted to do!

So, this year, I'm a little more subdued and classy in a lace dress that I actually wore on MY birthday last year.  :-)

I'm looking forward to the year ahead, and hope you'll stick around with me because there's so much more to come!

Again, thank you so much for joining me on this journey!


Sundress Spectacular: 24 Dresses for Summer Fun!

My mind is on fall fashion, but summer is far from over!  Now is the time for airy sun dresses that take you from day to night with ease.

Being curvy and petite, it is always a challenge to find a proper fit. 
I wear mostly straight sizes and buy petites when I can.  I also wear a few plus-size brands. I know that many of you can relate to this! 

For that reason, I'm open to shopping just about anywhere and alter as needed.  I've been doing a ton of "Windows" shopping lately to bring you a round-up of fun sundresses and other casual sundresses in a variety of sizes. 

Here are some of my picks for dresses that are perfect for those dog days of summer, when you just want to throw on something easy and breezy.

The plus side?  Many of these dresses incorporate trends that will be big this fall, such as botanical and animal prints and shades of cobalt, royal, and navy blue.  Add jackets, tights, and/or boots, and you're sure to get a lot of wear out of them come cooler weather.

Trapeze Artist
Airy, flowy trapeze dresses are the ultimate in summer ease and comfort!

Asos Petite Printed Indie Halter Dress
Lane Bryant Asymmetric Colorblock Dress

Myrda J abstract peplum tent dress

Stripes Ahoy!
Striped dresses have a slight nautical vibe that is always summertime chic.

This petite dress from Target goes up to a 2X, and it also comes in plus sizes (not petite plus) up to a 4X here

try a striped body con dress for sexy summertime fun!
Merona Petites Ponte Dress by Target
Eloquii Striped Body Con Flounce Dress
Maximize Summer
Pretty maxi dresses with special details like beading or a backless silhouette are perfect for summer weddings and other special events, but they also work for day with flat sandals!
Forever 21+ beaded maxi dress
LOFT Petites wallpaper floral maxi dress
The Limited Printed Hi-Lo Maxi Dress
Made for You
Customizable options allow you to get the perfect length and perfect fit!

eShakti tie-dye print cotton hi-lo dress
Smart Glamour Arianna Convertible Dress
Prints Charming
Have fun this summer with quirky or sweet prints sure to put a smile on your face!

Mod Cloth Pull Up A Cherry Dress
Asos Curve zebra print dress
Keep It Easy
Sleeveless dresses with wide straps provide enough coverage to cover bra straps.  No need to fool with strapless bras!

Torrid Butterfly Mesh Skater Dress
Old Navy Cross-Front Jersey Dress
Peter Som for DesigNation by Kohl's Solid Eyelet Dress
Flirt Away
Want something playful?  Flirty little dresses in florals, fuchsia, or polka dots are just the ticket!
Wet Seal Floral Knot Back Dress
AX Paris Floral Print Camisole Dress
Lane Bryant Lane Collection Zipper Back Dress
H&M jersey dress

Artsy Prints
Artsy prints were a big trend this spring and will continue into fall. Express you inner Kahlo or Van Gogh with some cool painterly prints.
Mod Cloth Down To A Fine Art Dress
Target Junior's Sharkbite Printed Dress
Vince Camuto Sleeveless Watercolor Print Dress
Strap Happy
Interesting straps provide interest and edge to summer dresses.
Eloquii Strappy Flare Dress
AX Paris Animal Print Cami Dress
So, what do you think of this round-up?  Have a favorite pick?


Change It Up

I talked earlier this week about how scarves can change up an outfit or give a little more pizzazz to a simple look.

Today, I wanted to talk more about using accessories to update favorite basics.

Trench:  eShakti
I enjoy those features on "8 Ways To Style a Dress" or "1 Shirt, 6 Ways," but I always wonder who actually wears their clothes in so many different ways.  It is fun to play around with the possibilities, but the reality is that while a piece can often be styled in many different ways, one's personal taste  usually means that only a few of the options will ever be worn (or is that just me?)

When I find a style or particular type of look that I love, I tend to stick with it.  I have worn my khaki trench with a black pencil skirt and black skinnies so far.  Yesterday, I decided to style it for work with yet another pair of black pants. 

Pants:  The Limited
Blouse:  Outback Red by The Limited
To keep the outfit feeling fresh and not too similar to previous looks, I changed up the jewelry and the shoes and added a more flowy blouse.  I opted to keep use the same tote as I did the last time I wore the jacket.
from "Perfectly Polished"
There are multiple small changes that make this outfit feel different than the neutral look I wore previously.  The blue top adds an understated pop of color, and the gold jewelry adds a fun statement. 
Shoes:  Target (old)
Jewelry is often more subtle of an accessory change-up than scarves.  The key is to opt for a statement piece while keeping the other pieces more simple.  Here, the purse locket adds a unique touch, while the bangle and rings add more shine without competing with the necklace.
Locket:  Vintage
Rings:  New York & Company (Available here)
Bangle:  Ann Taylor (Available here)
Tote:  New York & Company
Do you use jewelry to change up an outfit?  Do you have any "statement" jewelry that you love?

For these pants in other looks, see here, here, here, here, and here.
For this blouse in other looks, see here, here, and here.