STYLE: THE 9-5 EDIT, PATTERN DRESSES

If you look at my dress collection, it’s full of prints and patterns. As much as I love my stripes, I also LOVE preppy, bold prints. I used to shy away from wearing bold prints to work – I didn’t want to look too flashy or stand out, I thought I needed to dress conservative and professional, etc. But as I’ve grown more comfortable and confident with my style, I realize that it’s okay to dress bright.

With several years of working in the professional world under my belt, I’ve learned that wearing clothes that make me feel confident and put together are the keys to my success. It shouldn’t matter what we wear to work, but in all honesty (and from experience) what you wear to work does matter. I’m much more productive and confident when I’m wearing an outfit that is perfectly styled and comfortable. Whether that is a bright dress, tailored pants, or a pretty blouse, the key is making sure YOU feel good.

One of my favorite work appropriate brands is Jude Connally. I love the ease and effortlessness of their dresses. They are stretchy enough to ensure a great fit, no matter what your body type. The fabric is wrinkle-free, soft, easy care, and the cuts are so flattering – they are perfect for work, date night, church, running around the house – you name it! Plus the patterns are just so darn happy and fun and they don’t fade over time.

Wearing a patterned dress to work doesn’t mean you aren’t professional, and you can easily style it to make it professional. Below are a few tips for dressing boldly and wearing a patterned dress in your work environment.

Keep your accessories minimal. 

Because your dress is already full of life, you don’t need a ton of flashy jewels. Keep it simple. When I wear bright dresses I opt for two simple and classic bracelets and usually pearls or low maintenance earrings. Simple is better. Also, make sure your handbag is a solid color – you don’t want clashing prints.

Opt for neutral colored shoes.

Whether you choose pumps, flats, or wedges, keep your shoes neutral.  It will keep things classy and minimize noise.  If I’m wearing a bright pattern, I tend to opt for nude wedges, classic ballet flats, or my Jack Roger sandals. 

Add a blazer or cardigan.

If you work in a more conservative, professional environment, add a solid color classic blazer or open front cardigan for a chic update to your look.  I love to wear my sweater blazer from J.Crew over my dresses (see how I styled mine here and here). 

Fit is important.

Make sure the dress you choose is flattering. In other words, dress for your body type. You want to choose a dress that won’t result in awkward tugging or pulling. You 100% want to feel comfortable in the fit. I love dresses that are A-line or form fitting. Because I’m so petite, these classic styles work better for my body type and don’t swallow me up.

The single most important part of dressing bold is making sure you look and feel put together. There is power in confidence and confidence is the key to your success, whatever that may look like.

I’m including a few other styles of Jude Connally dresses that I love below.

Megan Dress in Sail Geo | Ella Dress in Cheetah Classic | Kristen Dress in Sail Geo | Laney Dress in Tonal Stripe | Holly Dress in Chain Link 

Slainte,

Shannon

Thank you to Jude Connally for sponsoring this post.  The item was gifted but all opinions are my own.

STYLE: CURATING A SUMMER WARDROBE COLLECTION

Summer.  My favorite season.  Full of long, slow days spent at the pool, fresh vegetables from the Farmer’s Market, refreshing white wine, easy-breezy dresses, and a general sense of warmth and happiness.  I love summer.  But I also love my summer wardrobe.  

I’ve spent the last couple of years curating a summer wardrobe that is timeless and classic.  I rarely need to buy summer clothes because the items I choose are good quality and never go out of style.  (Don’t get me wrong though, I still shop for summer clothes every year because I love shopping). 

My motto for summer dressing is easy and effortless. The goal is to look and feel great while being able to run and play. The last thing I want while strolling through the local Farmer’s Market or chasing Lilly at a park are clothes that are clingy, uncomfortable, and hot. I always opt for pieces that are basic and classic, because really, who wants to be fussing with their clothing when it’s 90 degrees out?!

Flowy dresses, denim shorts, boyfriend tees, sleeveless button ups, and boat shoes (or Jack Roger sandals) are just a few of my favorite things to wear in the summer. I’m a huge sucker for J.Crew Factory when shopping for these basics, but I also enjoy shopping for summer pieces at Banana Republic, Loft, Target, and local boutiques. My summer wardrobe is definitely casual, but if we are going on date night or I’m getting dressed for work, I throw in some fun accessories or espadrille wedges to dressen up the look.

Below are basic pieces that are must haves in my summer wardrobe. 

Denim Shorts: I love my high-waisted denim shorts.  I have them in blue and white denim and they are just the perfect short every day summer living. 

Sleeveless Button Up: A perfectly flowy sleeveless button up is chic and stylish while keeping you cool. It can instantly dressen up any look.

Boyfriend Tees:  I probably have way too many of these, but honestly a boyfriend tee in a solid color or in stripes is so versatile, easy, and perfect paired with denim shorts, chinos, or linen pants.

T-shirt Dress: My favorite go-to outfit for summer.  Easy, classic, and the perfect ensemble for hanging around the house, drinks on the patio, or even adding a chunky necklace to make it work appropriate. 

Linen Pants: Everyone should own linen pants. I love to wear these to work during the summer and pair them with a striped tee or sleeveless button up. I have them in pink, navy, and khaki!

Jack Roger’s Sandals: My favorite sandals.  They are the perfect amount of dressy and casual and look great with everything from dresses to shorts to linen pants. 

Boat Shoes: Any All-American lady needs a pair of boat shoes.  They are comfy, easy to slip on, and look so cute with denim shorts and a striped tee. 

I also love chino shorts, a good maxi dress, a rattan bag, sunnies, and my Kiel James Patrick nautical bracelets.  For more classic styles, check out two of my favorite bloggers and their summer picks: Sarah (Cozy Little Joy) and Stephanie’s (Linens & Littles)

Slainte,

Shannon

STYLE: BASIC WHITE TEE

Is there anything more classic than a basic white tee? Every person should own at least one, if not several, basic white tees.  This iconic and easy piece goes with virtually everything.  

There are so many different varieties of white tees to choose from.  They come in an array of materials, price points, sleeve length, some with pockets and some without, etc.  Heck, you can even pull a classic Hanes white tee from your husband’s closet and wear it with leggings. However, you choose to style it, you are bound to look put together and chic.  

KEEP IT CASUAL

You can easily keep a basic white tee casual by styling it with a pair of comfy distressed jeans or polished skinny jeans. During the colder months I will throw on a long cardigan for warmth and extra style. In the warmer months I like to pair a white tee with scalloped shorts, a chunky necklace, and some easy slide sandals. I mean is there anything more comfortable than a lightweight tee on a hot day?!

If I ever need a quick, effortless and stylish outfit, I always reach for a basic white tee with denim – you seriously can’t go wrong. And I either style it with a front tuck or wear it knotted. I also love to roll the sleeves for some added drama.

DRESS IT UP

A basic white tee can also easily be dressed up with a chunky necklace, pleated skirt, and pumps. Wearing a white tee under a class navy suit jacket with skinny pants is also chic. You can also style it with a long boyfriend blazer and skinny black leather pants for a statement look. If your work environment is casual like mine, wearing a white tee tucked into a pair of colored linen or chino pants and some trendy jewels also gives it a dressier look.

Below are some of my favorite places to shop for white tees:

J. Crew Factory

Everlane (Ethical brand!)

Gap

Madewell 

Target 

How do you style your white tee?!

Slainte,

Shannon