Stop by for a Spell: Halloween, Part 1

Tonight, on this All Hallow's Eve, I'm bringing you two wicked looks.
Skirt:  Target Petites (Available here)
Shirt:  The Limited (No longer available, see here)
The outfit featured here is what I wore to work today.  Since I can't wear a costume to work, I celebrated during the day by wearing Halloween colors and adding in a few scary touches.
Tuxedo blazer:  Forever 21+
Boots:  Payless
Satchel:  The Limited
I had planned on wearing this outfit during St. Louis Fashion Week but never got around to it.  I am a firm believer that you can mix black and orange any time of the year (as I did here and here), not just on Halloween.  That said, this outfit is perfect for Halloween too!
Necklace:  The Limited
The proportions make this outfit a little less conservative and more trendy than I normally like to do at work, but I made a concession for the holiday.
Rings:  Torrid (Nail ring available here)
The skull and nail rings add a spooky touch without taking the look over the top.  The web necklace completes the subtle Halloween theme.
Bracelets:  The Limited (Available here and here)
Beware!!!!  Another scary look coming up soon!!

For this skirt in other looks, see here and here.

For this top in other looks, see here and here.
For this jacket in other looks, see here, here, herehere, herehere, and here.
For last year's Halloween outfit, see here.

For more on fall's midi-skirt trends, see here.


It's My Birthday, and I Can Wear What I Want To!!

So, today was a great day.  It was my birthday, and I was in a really good mood.

The weather was positively dreary though!  Grey, rainy, and chilly.
Dress:  Sophie Theallat for The Limited (Similar here)
Belt:  Torrid (Sold out on-line; May be available in stores)
The man and I were going out to dinner to celebrate my birthday, and I really wanted to wear this outfit.  The weather was not cooperating, but I decided to wear it anyway.

We went out for a nice Italian dinner, so what could be better than a dress that makes me feel like Sophia Loren?
Shoes:  Vera by Vera Wang (Kohl's - sold out on-line)
I like the juxtaposition of the ladylike dress with the moto jacket.  Some would say that these two pieces don't go, but this gal likes her sweet mixed with a little spice.  Leather and lace is a new classic in my book.
Clutch:  Target (old)
As I looked around the restaurant, all I saw were jeans and other casual clothes.  I suddenly felt a little overdressed, but I'd rather be a little overdressed for an occasion than under-dressed. 

After dinner, we picked up the kids from the grandparents and went to DQ to enjoy dessert as a family.  I was DEFINITELY overdressed for Dairy Queen, but as the man and kids loudly and embarrassingly sang me "Happy Birthday," my wardrobe choices hardly seemed to matter.  I felt special and silly and had fun with my family.  Also, the new pumpkin pie Blizzard...not too shabby.
Bow ring:  The Limited
Moto jacket:  The Limited
Who cares if this outfit was not exactly weather or event appropriate?

It's my birthday, and I can wear what I want!    :-D

For this moto jacket in other looks, see here, here, here, here, and here.

P.S. I altered this dress to suit my needs.  The dress was too long, but hemming meant losing the pretty scallop hem detail.  I opted to have only the lining hemmed to keep the lace and to show more leg.  I love that the flash of skin at the hem echoes the neckline.  The shortened lining creates a longer leg line that I find more flattering for my petite frame.  I am all about making clothes work for my body and for my personal aesthetic.  Alterations are a great way to make that happen.   After all, we should ALL be able to wear what we want EVERY DAY!!


Foulard Me Once...

Today, I am featuring two ways of styling my foulard blazer from last year.
Blazer:  The Limited (old)
Skirt:  The Limited (Similar here and here)
Purse:  The Limited
This past week, I wore this the pants look to work.  Over the summer, I shopped my closet and created this skirt look.
Shirt:  The Limited (Similar here)
Shoes:  Target (Similar here)
While I find the skirt look very figure flattering, it feels a little too "Real Housewives" for my personal taste.  
Belt:  The Limited
Necklace:  Torrid
Pants:  The Limited (Similar here)
Shirt:  The Limited
The pants outfit is a little more low-key and feels a little less fussy, making it much more of a go-to option.
Clutch:  The Limited (Available here)
Which look do you prefer?

Do you shop your closet to try out new combinations?

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

P.S. I had some alterations done to the blazer between the photos of the two looks.  The pants outfit reflects the shortened and slimmed sleeves and side tucks from underarm to waist.


Cassentials Links, 10/28/13

Lovely words from a lovely woman.  Love Kiah's look too!  It's urban, country, sophisticated, and earthy all at once.

Hate and anger towards others and/or towards ourselves can so easily eat away at who we are.  Meagan discusses how overcoming her hate has made her a happier person

Sally offers tips on how we can learn to love our bodies and ourselves

Isabel calls for inclusion and catering to by the fashion industry of "medium-sized" women.  I say the more diversity in the fashion industry, the better!!

Love the proportions and shapes of Karla's look.  I appreciate the love of black...hard to resist the allure of a simple, polished all-black look during the summer/spring...impossible in the fall/winter. 

Love the mix of black, soft grey, and fuschia in this outfit.  We should all have at least one outfit that makes us feel this amazing! 

As I turn 36 tomorrow, I have been reflecting a bit on my own growth and transformation over the last few years and how this confidence has played into my style.  Marie echoes this idea that confidence does truly grow with age and with some positive efforts.  Confidence is what makes us reach for that shorter skirt, amazing pair of jeans, motorcycle boots, stilettos, whatever it is that makes us feel like the best possible version of ourselves; and more importantly, it's what allows us to see ourselves accurately and lovingly in all our flawed and gorgeous fabulosity.  

Yes, Confidenceville is a pretty terrific place to live.  We always welcome newcomers, and the locale is perfect -  just up Assurance Road from Sasstown, and you can see the gorgeous Feisty Mountain in the horizon.

Cozy Day to Night

Happy Monday, everyone!

Hope you all had a great weekend.  I spent the past weekend getting some much needed R&R; 'twas a blissfully lazy time.  :-)

Sweater:  Target (Available here)
Camisole:  LOFT (Available here)
Belt:  Torrid (Sold out on-line; May be available in stores)
As pictured, today's look works well for evening, but this outfit is actually a tweak on a recent work look.  I wore this same outfit to work last week, but changed the accessories a bit to make the look more modest and conservative for work.  

For work, I paired the outfit with ankle booties and a classic work tote.  More importantly, I moved the belt down to the waist to create a blouson-y and less cleavage-y look.
Tuxedo stripe pants:  The Limited (Similar here)
Shoes:  Target (Available here)
Clutch:  Target
Whether for work or play, this outfit is super comfortable, which is becoming more and more of a requisite in my book!
Cuff:  Express
Earrings:  Target

How important is comfort to you in choosing a look?

For this sweater in another look, see here.
For these pants in other looks, see here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.


Textured Neutrals

As I discussed in yesterday's outfit post, I gravitate towards neutrals in the fall and winter.
Blazer:  The Limited (Available here)Camisole:  LOFT Petites (Sold out on-line; may be available in stores)
I love today's look.  I mixed black, beige, and navy with touches of gold.  The mix of textures, trims, fabrics, and metal details on the jacket and pants makes the outfit feel both interesting and a little more luxe.
Pants:  The Limited (Sold out on-line; may be available in stores)
Boots:  Payless (old)
Necklace:  The Limited (Available in silver here)
Most importantly, this look is so comfortable!  These booties are my go-to in fall and winter for their comfort and easiness, but they are starting to show some definite signs of wear.  I'm worried I'm not going to be find boots this perfect any time soon!

Earrings:  The Limited
Rings:  Vintage and The Limited
Clutch:  The Limited (Available here)
For this military jacket in another look, see here
For this cami in another look, see here.
For these pants in another look, see here.

For more on the military trend, see here.

P.S. Sorry for the grainy photos the last few days - getting my camera to take good pics after dark (the only time I've had to take pics) is difficult!!


Cassential Links, 10/22/13

This layered mixed print look is so sweet and cute but still manages to look grown-up!

While the relationship between food intake and body size vary for individual women somewhat, in general, the amount of food consumed by many actresses on TV and in movies is incongruous with their body shapes.  The media has worked to perpetuate a myth of the "eating actress"

Love Jennifer Lawrence for so many reasons, but I really appreciate that she is open about the insane standards placed on Hollywood actresses!

These brave women are speaking out to help break the stigma of sexual assault victims.

Cheryl manages to look both ultra sexy and ultra classy in this chic black dress!

Wondering if a Wonder Woman movie will EVER get made....

I always hated the term "nude" to refer to shades of beige and champagne.  While not an attainable shoe for many of us, it's nice to see that designers, like Christian Louboutin, are more cognizant of the racism in something as seemingly benign as color naming AND actually offering flesh-tone shoes for a larger variety of women.

I recently discovered Kiah and her wonderful blog, "From the Rez to the City."  Love Kiah's fierce style!

Melissa McCarthy's recent "Elle" cover sparks controversy for the continued censoring and differential treatment of those few plus-size celebs who get featured on mainstream fashion mags.  For the record, she reportedly picked the outfit she wore on the cover (and she looks gorg!)

Lace and Colorblocking

Happy Tuesday everyone!
Jacket:  Target Petites (Available here and in regular sizes here)
Today's look is a recent work look.  I always seem to add black jackets to this dress, but I really do love a black and white look!

Overall, I really like this outfit.  It has a simple color palette, but the textures and subtle prints add a lot of visual interest.
Dress:  The Limited
Boots:  Payless (old)
I tend to gravitate strongly towards neutrals in the fall and winter (especially my forever friend, black), but I also don't want to get bored with my clothes.  
Ring:  Torrid (Available here)
Long earrings:  Torrid (Sold out on-line; May be available in stores)
Stud earrings:  The Limited

Adding special details keeps me from getting too bored.
Tights:  The Limited (old) (Similar here)
Tote:  The Limited
I wish these tights fit better though.  :-/

Most of my tights come from The Limited and fit very similarly; however, this pair is too big (hence the sagging towards bottom of the tights).
Belt:  The Limited (Similar here)
To see this dress in other looks, see here, here, and here.


Go Bold, Go Casual

Hope you all had a wonderful weekend and that getting back to work today wasn't too rough!
Sweatshirt:  Torrid (Sold out on-line; May be available in stores)
Earrings:  Torrid (Sold out on-line; May be available in stores)
Today was dreary here in St. Louis, so I decided to feature a colorful outfit to beat the early fall blahs!  

This look is actually from the last casual Friday at my job.  I like jeans, but I do not always reach for them on casual Fridays.  Instead, I like to take pieces that are usually too casual for work, like this sweatshirt, and give them a little professional polish.
Pants:  The Limited (Similar here)
Button-down shirt (Available here)
Boots:  Payless (old)
Casual Friday also gives me permission (at least in my own mind) to add boldness to my look by mixing red and leopard print.

Ankle booties and dangly earrings lend an edge to this outfit.

Purse:  Express
Bracelet:  New York & Company (Similar here)
Do you like mixing red and leopard print?

If you work in a professional work environment, what do you like to wear on casual Fridays?

For this sweatshirt in another look, see here and here.
For these pants in other looks, see here, here, here, here, and here.


Sweater Season

If you follow my blog, then you know I love jackets, but I wear very few cardigans and sweaters.  
Pants:  The Limited (Available in other colors on-line here)
 I just tend to find most sweaters boring and a little too classic for my taste.   For me, the basic cardigan usually feels too conservative while most attempts at adding additional details and flair leave me cold.
Sweater:  New York & Company (Similar styles here and here)
Blouse:  The Limited
I'm always looking for more unique knitwear because I do love the softness that sweaters provide.  I am definitely drawn to oversized sweaters - grandpa/boyfriend cardigans, cocoon sweaters, etc.  Maybe it's just the desire for comfort and warmth when the temps drop, but I always seem to opt for big cozy sweaters.

I love this tweed sweater coat because of its interesting shape.  The faux leather trim adds a cool detail that makes this sweater feel a little more polished and less casual than most oversized sweaters.

Tote:  New York & Company (Similar here)
Shoes:  Target
Ring:  Target
Do you prefer sweaters or jackets?  What shapes and styles of sweaters do you like best?

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


Ode to the Black Suit

I know that most people don't find suits very fashionable or comfortable, but I love them...especially when they are fitted and come in black like this one here.
Jacket:  The Limited (Available here)
Pants:  The Limited (Similar here)
Blouse:  New York & Company
Mixed with a houndstooth bow blouse and pumps, the suit is classic but has a chicness to it.
Heels:  Target
Purse:  New York & Company
Ring:  Earthbound Trading Co.
I always love adding an edgy touch or two to my work looks.  Here, I added a silver knuckle ring for a simple but bold statement.  A black suit offers virtually limitless fashion possibilities.
Earrings:  Target
A few of my favorite black suit looks from the blog archives:
Tuxedo Redux
Suited Up
The Dark Side of the Sun
Neutral Sophistication
Channeling Chanel
Gaga for Lady Gaga
Graphic Flow
Do you like black suits?

For this blazer in another look, see here.
For this blouse in other looks, see here, here, here, here, and here.