smart fashion for the ambitious woman
Thursday's outfit, featuring a striped Brooks Brothers shirt that is quite literally older than I am. Totally by accident, I've kind of been living the capsule wardrobe dream lately. I've definitely found that while I like to wear a bold print or a skirt every now and then, I'm really pretty happy with my pants, neutrals. and classic prints like this stripe. More on that to come!
jeans and sweatshirt, Old Navy
shoes, Cole Haan ZeroGrand
shirt, Brooks Brothers circa 1980
bracelets, see My Closet page
earrings, vintage gold hoops (thanks Mom!)
The weather has been utterly insane this week, at least for those of us on the East coast. Monday was brutal and freezing, Wednesday was 50 and mild. Wardrobe logisitcs are just one of the many challenges, along with not getting frostburn on all my extremities. I once read that Scott Schuman (The Sartorialist and god of all fashion/street style bloggers, for the uninitiated) said that even though he bundles up for those cold NYC winters, he never really covers up his ankle or stops rolling his jeans because his ankles don't get cold. Well, except in the most extreme circumstances, I tend to agree. So, to brave this indecisive weather, I stick with ankle pants all through the winter while adding sweaters and my other go-to pieces of the season.
P.S. I should also say that, while I make an effort to swap out cheapies for investment pieces as I get older, some things I stand by. Case in point: H&M will always have the best sweaters, IMHO. I bought two of this divinely chunky cozy turtleneck and I have not stopped wearing them. Stay warm y'all!
P.P.S. A disclaimer about these pants: If I wear something on my blog, it's an implicit endorsement of the thing. It means I love the garment, it fits, and I think it's well made/ good value for money. However, in this case, I put a caution on these pants. I'll be blunt: the fit in the crotch is weird. I only discovered this after ordering 3 pairs on mega clearance and hence, final sale. The print is great, and they're fun, but you've been warned. Maybe it's just me with my oddly short legs and long torso. I don't know. Just sayin'
Photos by Emma McAlary @ www.emcalaryphoto.com
Shoes, bag, and bracelets, see My Staples
Trousers: Old Navy (no grid print at the moment, but I also have a pair in the leopard print that's available. The fit on those also seems to be a bit better, for some reason.)
Sweater: H&M (nearly sold out)
Coat: ASOS (old, but they still have tons of great outwear and a few piece similar to this)
Despite my love of cool weather and all its layering possibilities, I do start to miss summer denim right around this time. Adding a thick winter scarf with a bold pattern and earthy colors is a super easy way to ground your denim in the right season. Plus, if you're lucky enough to have a casual office like I do, it can be a great way to dress down some formal trousers.
Photo Credit: Emma McAlary photography (check her out!)
jacket, Old Navy (old, but usually always available)
denim shirt, Old Navy (old, but usually always available)
trousers, Sejour at Nordstrom Rack (stock varies by week)
scarf, H&M (old); similar here, here, and here.
shoes, Calvin Klein
Like many fools before me, I'm making a few New Year's resolutions. If nothing else, to do my part to make 2017 just a little bit better than its wacky older brother, 2016. This past year was one of change for me personally, mostly good. But, politically, yikes. Regardless, there's always room for improvement.
First and foremost is to begin posting regularly again and make The Style Room the fully fleshed out blog I've envisioned. I finally found an incredible freelance photographer in the DC area to shoot with, so there will be LOTS of new content, starting with a new post on Thursday that will take you guys through a couple of my style resolutions for 2017.
Oh, and I'm also trying to eat healthy, raise my credit score, go to the gym, blah blah blah. You know the rest!
There are only two ways to go for a Hump Day outfit: big or home. I'm only human, so I normally go for the latter but today, I went for it. My office's business casual carte blanche supplied the final ingredient. Sadly, I only have some cheeky elevator photos as visual aids, but I think you'll get the gist. (An aside: once I am no longer broke AF I'll get back to PA and see my personal Patrick Demarchelier and old friend Ally, and/or find a budding photographer here in DC. Soon, my pretties, soon.)
I found these pants in Nordstrom Rack after trying literally every pair of pants in the store. (Not an exaggeration.) I've never found dress trousers that fit so well and gave me that Olivia Pope/ Nessa Stein realness that I dream of. The brand is Sejour and they had quite a few styles and sizes, so if you're perpetually in search of trousers like I am, I highly recommend getting down to your nearest Nordstrom Rack and taking a look around. They don't catalog on their website, so you just have to roll up your sleeves and get down there. The bag and shoes are my trusty standbys, Calvin Klein Cirilla, and Tumi Lucca City Tote, the denim jacket and shirt are both Old Navy and have truly seen some sh*t, and the scarf is an old find that has been in every country and situation that I have. I'll take this opportunity to state the obvious: even though I love to shop, I blog for women like me who need new ways to wear the things they already have and love. All the outfit repeaters in the place say yeah.
Finding a well - tailored suit is difficult for most people, and super difficult to do without spending a ton of money. I heard about Sumissura, an online tailor for women, and immediately jumped at the chance to give it a try. Full suits start at $229, and everything is made to order. I chose a blue suit with a one button blazer and ankle trouser, somewhere in between a French and Navy blue.
photo credit: Ally Harrison
top: Gap Outlet (old)
bag: Tumi Lucca City Tote (no longer available from Tumi, sometimes they shop up secondhand)
necklace: Primark (old)
bracelets: top, vintage costume from Magpie in New Orleans; bottom, Nora Kogan
shoes: Calvin Klein
The verdict on the suit is mixed; on the one hand, you won't get custom tailoring with that variety of fabrics anywhere else (at least not in this country). However, I find that plain cotton actually doesn't make such a great suit fabric for my body (and I suspect other plus size bodies as well) because it has zero natural give or stretch. If you've got to walk to the metro and spend all day in your suit, it's going to lose its shape and become uncomfortable. Unfortunately, Sumissura doesn't offer any stretch fabrics at this point. I would also say (while acknowledging this as my mistake) that if you decide to try this site, you really, really 100% need someone else to measure you. Don't be dingus and try to do it yourself because you'll mess it up. Call your mother, she would agree with me.
You can visit Sumissura here and see what they have to offer. If I order again (and I might), I would definitely get another blazer, or try a coat. I really enjoyed the fit and construction. Let me know what you guys think if you've tried Sumissura and have opinions or questions!
I'm currently loving this fine - knit pull over from H&M. Despite the fact that the DC weather remains warm and muggy, I'm still holding out hope that by the end of this month, it will feel like ~fall~. I'm considering buying this sweater in every color in preparation, especially since it's on sale for $12.99! See my layout below for a super comfortable business casual look. (I will not be starring in any photos until next week, when I am no longer a congested mess)
Sweater, H&M; Trousers, Larry Levine at TJ Maxx (lots of similar styles at both TJ and Marshall's); Shoes, Calvin Klein; Bracelets (clockwise from top), Nora Kogan, vintage find from Magpie in New Orleans, and the shop at the National Gallery of Art, similar here and here; Necklace is an old vintage find, similar here.
Hello friends, I know I went on an impromptu hiatus, but let me explain: the latest phase of my job hunt took me to Washington, DC to take a summer econometrics class at Georgetown and intern on Capitol Hill with the House of Representatives. My schedule got bananas and so I didn't have the time or the right headspace to update the blog. Plus, my skill set does not extend to taking cute outfit selfies in muggy 95 degree weather. So there you have it.
BUT, in honor of London and New York Fashion Weeks, the start of fall (bloody finally), and a whole new chapter of my life, it's time for TSR to make its triumphant return! I've got tons of outfit posts, clothing and product reviews planned for you guys, as well some news about what my life will look like this year. The first full new post will be up next Wednesday, with plenty happening on Instagram to tide you over until then. Follow me here!
Everybody humor me for a second while I cogitate on ~metafashion~; that's a term I just came up with for issues of fashion that aren't about any specific piece or designer, per say, but about more abstract concepts of style.
Something that every woman has heard, though I suspect plus-size women with much more frequency and vigor, is that fashion is all about flattery. Wearing shapes, colors, and prints that "flatter your figure". Of course, most of us know that this is just a euphemism for "make you look as thin as possible."
This is a tricky one, isn't it? Especially because if you love to consume fashion information, like me, you inevitably become obsessed with fit and how tiny details of your clothing alters the way it looks on you. The next step is of course to make those same judgements about other people. I'm totally guilty; ask any of my friends or family and they will tell you I am savage. What gives? What gives me the right to blog largely in the context of the body-positivity plus-size movement while simultaneously analyzing the fashion choices of every woman I see?
Hear me out. I'm totally with you that the whole, only wear black and slimming cuts blah blah blah. Nonsense. BUT, there are two instances where I feel justified in my judge-y, "Oi that is truly unflattering" thoughts...
1. Women who look like they are trying to opt out of dressing themselves. I know everyone has leggings and sweatpants days, me very much included. I feel like I have a pretty good read on that and women who are using pajama pants as trousers. Maybe I'm old fashioned in my belief that for adult women, the latter is not ok.
2. I see a lot of women dressed in what, to me, are outfits where they sacrifice their own comfort and confidence for something trendy and it doesn't land. This just bums me out, especially when it plagues my plus-size homies. It sucks that girls my size feel like their only style options are the ill-fitting versions of whatever bone fast fashion throws them.
I don't think that a woman's fashion objective is to look as thin as possible. It's great to see a woman of any size wearing something that makes her feel so powerful, the confidence oozes from her. That's what's flattering. What do you guys think? Tell me! Shout at me!
P.S. Before anyone gets too upset with me (although, feel free; I welcome that), know that I have a whole other set of judgements for the guys, don't worry about that!
This past weekend, I drove to Bucks County, PA for a trip down memory lane at my old high school. Even though I swore I would never show my face at a reunion of any kind until 10 years on, George School is a special place and it felt right to take advantage of my proximity and recently acquired license. Plus, a good high school friend in the area happens to be an incredible photographer. Coming back for a reunion calls for an outfit that's casual and comfortable, but shows that your fashion sense has grown up since high school. Smart trousers and a denim jacket fit the bill.