Cardigan Shell Style

I recently purchased a cardigan with matching cardigan shell from J Crew Factory and I love the look. It reminds me of an “old school preppy” style that you’d see a polished lady from the 1960’s wear. I love how J Crew & J Crew factory have been offering more of these matching cardigan/shell styles in the past few years as a resurgence of the timeless attire.

The monochromatic look of having the shell and cardigan match is very stylish and lady-like. I styled it with simple pearls and a scarf tied around my handbag to make the outfit look even more refined.

As you can see from these vintage photos above, it’s a classic item that will never go out of style. I love how Jack O (middle left) wears a patterned cardigan and shell.

How great are these styles from J Crew / J Crew Factory? After buying the red cardigan & shell, I’m tempted to get a patterned version of the style! Check them out here.

What do you think of the cardigan / shell look?

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Q&A Friday: Are Statement Necklaces Still In Style?

my personal collection above

Question: Are statement necklaces still in style?

Answer: Most statement necklaces are still in style. I don’t remember “statement necklaces” being such a huge trend before 2010ish when J Crew came out with the bubble necklace, and since then they seem to be everywhere. When I say most are in style, I don’t think ones that were super popular for a time and died out still are – hence the bubble necklace, but something like pearl clusters are timeless. I still love and wear statement necklaces like the ones on my vanity in the photo above. I wear the pearl ones way more than the other two since the other two are so fancy, but I think fancier statement necklaces can be dressed down quite a bit such as buttoning up a chambray shirt and wearing the necklace over or under it.

When wearing a statement necklace, keep all other jewelry simple. I see so many statement necklaces paired with matching earrings, and it can be too much. You want your look to be effortless, not too matchy-matchy.

So while the current trend seems to be more minimalist/dainty jewelry, statement necklaces are still thriving and have staying power. Try to look for statement necklaces that are more timeless rather than the latest and great trend.

What to Wear Wednesday: Gym Starter Pack

Deciding to workout more is a great goal for anyone, but starting a fitness wardrobe can be daunting with all the choices. It takes time to know what type of workout you enjoy doing most and investing in pieces that are right for it. For example – someone can decide they want to do yoga and spend lots of money on yoga workout clothes and accessories, and then three months later find their yoga mat collecting dust in the corner of their room. As a fitness instructor, I have streamlined the absolute necessities that will prove to be a great base to start you on your fitness journey.

  1. Tops: I prefer tank tops to t-shirts overall because I sweat a lot when I workout and tanks are most comfortable, but t-shirts can be great too. Stay away from 100% cotton and stick to moisture-wicking material like a spadex/lycra blend. You should not be working out in your old high school/college t-shirts because they will trap odors, and it doesn’t help you feel your best when you’re dressed slouchy. I would recommend having at least one looser tank for most workouts, and one that has a fitted bottom for yoga sessions. I once wore a looser tank to a yoga class and it’s a horrible idea to wear in down dog.
  2. Bottoms: For starting out, black is the way to go to be a solid base for future purchases. You should have one capri style and one legging style as you will end up wearing both at different times of the year. I would invest a little more into leggings than tops because it’s more important to find a pair that fits you well, isn’t see through, and holds you in.
  3. Sports bras: I only buy racer back sports bras since you can wear them with both racer back style tanks and regular style t-shirts. Your sports bra might show at times under your top, so opt for black or something colorful vs white/nude.
  4. Socks: This is more important than you think, but socks can make or break a workout. Once you find a pair that feels comfortable during the entirety of the workout, keep buying that brand. I prefer ones with a tab on the back so they don’t slip down. I am brand loyal with my workout sock purchases and only buy Lucy socks.
  5. Tennis Shoes: Running is great, but if you plan on doing literally any other workout, opt for cross trainers. You should not be wearing running shoes for every workout since they are made with more cushion and are meant to be worn in a front to back motion (hence, running). Cross trainers are great for a majority of workouts like strength training, kickboxing, etc. I always wear Nike TR FIT and they feel like walking on air.
  6. Headband: Nothing is worse than forgetting a hair tie, but I also need a headband too to keep the hair out of my face. It’s necessary for me to have both a hair tie and headband readily available so I don’t fuss with my hair and can be focused during my workout.
  7. Water Bottle: I’m very partial to Camelbak water bottles because it’s easy to track how much water I’m drinking, they are spill proof, and I like the straw vs unscrewing a lid. I stock up on colors and keep them readily available for my daily workout .

Once you have a great base for your workout wardrobe, you can start figuring out what works best for you and investing in those pieces. I definitely recommend spending more money on shoes and workout pants, than tanks, socks, etc.

What do you recommend for a great “starter pack” to a workout wardrobe?

 

 

Q&A Friday: When to tailor and when to skip?

image via jcrew

Question: When should I get an item tailored and when can I skip?

Answer: The answer to this question is truly a case-by-case basis because everyone has different body types and preferences to how their clothes fit. I do think a lot of young people skip tailoring because they think it’s too pricey / unnecessary, and that is simply untrue. You’d be surprised how little tailoring costs if you know how to ask for the right things.

  1. Go through your closet and figure out what items you would love more if only they fit a little better. There are many items I wasn’t wearing because I didn’t like the fit. After getting them tailored, I wear them all the time. Fit is everything – I’d rather have less clothes that fit well than tons that aren’t just right.
  2. Determine if it’s worth getting tailored. Will you wear it more if it fit better? Or is it something you shouldn’t have bought in the first place? Would the tailoring be too complicated to make it worth the price? It’s always better to tailor something of better quality than of poor quality. When I was younger, I went to get an item tailored (from forever21…) and the cost of tailoring was more than the item itself. That’s a good example of when to skip!
  3. Figure out exactly what needs to be done to make the tailoring process a simple as possible. If I need a pair of pants shortened, that’s going to be inexpensive and easier than getting the entire shape of the pants done. I once had a wide legged J. Crew pant turned into a skinny cut, and it just wasn’t meant to be done. It was expensive and they still don’t fit correctly. I shouldn’t have bought them in the first place because the tailoring was too complicated to be worth it.

To find a tailor that isn’t going to break the bank doesn’t have to be hard. A good estimation of a tailors price is the cost to get a shirt taking in at the side seams. It’s simple and should only be $8-$15 and be able to finish within a week. I usually negotiate a few dollars off every time I go to the tailor as well, so that helps overall with costs. The most important tip to consider – over communicate exactly what you want done. You can never be too thorough!

When to Tailor:

  • Shortening pants that are too long
  • Shortening a skirt that doesn’t hit at the right spot for your frame
  • Side seams adjusted on a shirt that’s too boxy for your liking

When to Skip:

  • If you normally cuff pants, skip the tailoring
  • Shirts with long sleeves can easily be cuffed or pushed up
  • Anything too trendy might not be worth tailoring over time

 

Do you get items tailored or is that something you haven’t considered before?

Marco Island with Mark & Graham

My family look a trip to Marco Island, Florida at the end of January, and we had such a wonderful time! It was sunny every day and it was just what we needed after such gloomy weather back in Michigan. This is our second time to Marco Island as a family, and Joe and I’s third time to the area. There are so many great things to do in Marco Island and nearby Naples, and being on the Gulf of Mexico side makes for gorgeous sunsets.

Coastal Cut-Out Bag – c/o Mark & Graham  /   Terminal 1 Carry-On Luggage- c/o Mark & Graham

I decided for the week long trip I would only bring a carry-on luggage and tote, and I had more than enough room to do so. I’m a big fan of doing carry-on only when possible, so I’ve been searching for the perfect luggage for years. This carry-on luggage is the answer to my prayers! It’s the right size for all airlines to qualify, has a hard case that makes a great structure for fitting all the essentials, and has handy organizational compartments inside for easy access (see photo above of it opened up). You can even lock it if you’d like! The quality and style are always a home run from Mark & Graham and this luggage is no exception. 🙂

The coastal cut-out bag is the perfect compliment to the luggage as it’s the right size to count as your “personal item”, but also roomy enough to fit tons of other items. The best part is that I used it as a beach tote and purse all week – it’s functional and stylish! I put all my “liquids” on the top of the bag so I could easily access them during the airport security, as well as items I wanted easy access to during the flight like my ipad, magazines, etc

Yoga class on the beach at sunset!

.We had a fantastic time in Florida, and can’t wait til the next time we go back!

What to Wear Wednesday: Valentine’s Day

Whether you’re celebrating with a significant other, a few girlfriends, or have no plans and just like to dress festive, I have three Valentine’s Day outfits for inspiration below.

Casual

This would be a great outfit to wear to work, school, or a casual Valentine’s date. I love incorporating pinks and reds into a Valentine’s day outfit and this pink sweater is such a fun shade. I like the main pop of color being the pink sweater while toning down the rest of the outfit, including the shoes. Subtle feminine details like pearls and the ruffle collar make it even more lady-like.

Dressy

Most Valentine’s Day dates would fall into this category – something a little more dressed up than your usual date night outfit. I went with a fancier sweater that has pink jewels on it, pink drop earrings, and kitten heels with bows. Skirts and dresses are always a go-to when you want to dress polished, and soft details will tie it all together. The main look of this outfit is on the neutral side but I brought in pink feminine touches to make it Valentine appropriate.

Formal

This is the fanciest of all the Valentine’s Day dates – such as a night at the symphony, an evening at a gala, or an extravagant five star restaurant. Time to pull out your favorite dress paired with elegant accessories to complete your look. I love that this dress brings moody florals to life on a stunning silhouette of fuller skirt. It’s the perfect pairing of red and pink!

 

What’s your favorite Valentine look? What are you wearing on Valentine’s Day?

 

Past post on Valentine’s Day outfits.

Hubbell Hille Smoking Slippers

Smoking Slippers c/o Hubbell Hille

I’m a big fan of the smoking slipper as they are a staple in the preppy, all-American wardrobe. I love all types of smoking slippers – needlepoint, kilim, linen, but these “hubblers” may be my new favorite! Saying I love the laurel wreath crest would be a complete understatement. These shoes are stunning both in photos and in real life. 🙂

The shoes fit large, so as a size 7 1/2 I went with a size 7 and they fit great without socks. There’s a 1″ heel that dresses it up a bit and adds an appropriate height to the shoe. I was most surprised how comfortable this pair was right out the box. It’s not uncommon for smoking slippers to have to be broken in over time, but I wore these two days in a row in complete comfort and no blisters. Mine are navy blue, but they also come in black.

Check out Hubbell Hille, the company who makes this shoe started by two sisters who work in the financial industry. This shoe has quickly become one of my favorites that I own and I’m excited to see what the future has in store for this company!

Use code “ROBIN15” for 15% off for your own pair of Hubblers!

Q&A Friday: When is too early to start wearing white?

Question: When is it too early to start wearing white?

Answer: Years ago I religiously following the “Memorial Day – Labor Day” rule, and would never wear white in the winter. I’m so glad I don’t follow that rule anymore because wearing white is great year round. White makes the other colors, textures, & tones in your outfit pop a little more and also makes a great base for a look that appears fresh, not frumpy.

There are a couple guidelines I still follow while wearing white in the fall and winter months. I have a favorite white, cotton dress that is perfectly lightweight for summer, but would be challenging to wear in the winter even with tights and a sweater. I look for heavier weight white items to wear in the colder months to tie in the item appropriately, such as white corduroy pants, sweaters, quilted vests, etc.

So yes, I love wearing white all year round, but do caution against wearing white in fabrics that are better suited for warm weather (think seersucker, linen, thinner cotton).

Do you wear white year round? 

Past Blog Posts on This Topic:

Loggin’ Around

RVC x CRA 1

Joe and I love spending time outdoors whether it’s evening walks, summer bootcamp workouts, or getting lost in the woods. The early darkness in the winter makes it hard to get outside, so we are extra mindful to take advantage of time off or unexpected nice days. We always put dressing for the weather first!

Fleeces are my go-to for the winter months as they are nicer looking than an over-sized hoodie but easily just as warm. They can easily be layered with a flannel underneath or a vest over it, and overall look more “put together” than your average fleece. Charles River Apparel makes my favorite fleece and I did a post on their half zip in oatmeal heather version last year.

C9Vz7U5A

I LOVE this fleece in the jade heather version. The green is such a rich color to pair with fresh whites and blues, and  it can also be monogrammed. Heathered fleeces have a little more texture to them giving your outfit some depth when you’re on the go. For sizing – I prefer a roomier fit for these because I love to layer underneath so I recommend sizing up.

RVC x CRA 2

Fleece – c/o Charles River Apparel , Vest – J Crew Factory,  Pants – Talbots  , Boots – LL Bean 8″ Thinsulate 

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