STYLE: CREWNECK SWEATER, 3 WAYS

STYLE:  CREWNECK SWEATER, 3 WAYS

It’s getting to be that time of year where I think we all start to get tired of our winter clothes and we are itching to bring out our spring wardrobe. But alas, living in Ohio means we have at least two or three more months of winter weather (I really need to move south!). It’s usually around this time of year that I start to think of creative ways to mix up my winter staples.

Today I’m teaming up with my good friend Stephanie from Linen and Littles to share three fresh ways to style a staple crewneck sweater. Stephanie and I share a love for classic and timeless fashion and we both own many of the same pieces (especially from J.Crew Factory!). We both just recently purchased this beautiful, crewneck sweater in extra soft yarn in the J.Crew Factory After Christmas Sale. It’s seriously one of the softest and comfiest sweaters I own so I’m excited to be styling it three different ways for you guys!

SIMPLE WITH JEANS

The easiest and most comfortable way to style this sweater is with your favorite pair of denim jeans. I paired this easy combination with a gingham headband (adding a hint of spring!) and some white canvas sneakers. You can easily swap out the headband for a baseball hat and throw on a puffer vest for an incredibly classic and chic look that is perfect for mom’s on the go.

WINTER WHITES WITH A BRIGHT BUTTON DOWN

The second way I styled this sweater is with my white denim jeans (yes you can wear white denim in the winter!!) and my favorite blue gingham button down. I love the monochromatic look with a pop of color. The light blue and the gingham print also give this look a hint of spring (something I’m desperately pining for!). Throw on a pair of leopard or nude flats, some bracelets, and statement earrings and you have a fresh new look that works for just about occasion.

OVER A HOUSE DRESS

The house dress has made a comeback this past year and is growing in popularity. I have always loved dresses so I’m more than happy to see it’s stylish to wear a beautiful dress around the house. I picked up this midi classic striped dress from the J.Crew Factory sale and I’ve been trying to find a way to wear it in the middle of winter! Throwing the crewneck sweater over the dress and adding tights or leggings instantly makes this an easy, put together, and cozy look for working from home. Add some fun bracelets and a skinny leopard print headband and you are ready for a day of Zoom calls.

Hopefully you found some extra inspiration for styling a basic crewneck sweater with these ideas!  And if you need more ideas, don’t forget to check out Stephanie’s blog to see the three ways she styled this sweater!

Slainte,

Shannon

BRAND SPOTLIGHT: RUDDER USA

I’m so excited to be kicking off my Brand Spotlight series this year with a Midwest based, female owned business. Rudder USA is a timeless, preppy brand with strong American values.

The owner, Nicole, has such a strong entrepreneurial spirit that she created Rudder USA in between her Freshman and Sophomore year of college! She is passionate about supporting the American economy and the American dream. One of the things I have loved most when getting to know Nicole and her brand is her passion for connecting with and getting to know the people she works with. She really invests in helping those she works with achieve their American dream, and to me that is beautiful.

At just 23 years old, Nicole officially launched Rudder USA in August 2020. Nicole created Rudder USA to be a common ground for people that love life around the water, boating, and the lifestyle that comes from those things. This brand is for the water lovers – from rivers to lakes to oceans – this brand values life on the water and the feeling associated with that lifestyle. The products reflect the classic, American style that you guys know I love.

From sweatshirts to t-shirts to baseball hats to seersucker and koozies, there is literally something for everyone. I love the simplicity and timelessness of the styles. The pieces are designed and made to be worn for years and years, all while making precious memories along the way.

I’ve been fortunate enough to style the brand new hoodie in ivory that launches today!! This hoodie is amazing. It’s beautifully made and so, so comfortable. I love the simple, classic logo on the front. I also love the relaxed fit because it pairs perfectly with jeans, leggings, and will be so cute styled over denim shorts this summer.

I also want to gush about the American Flag baseball hat. Is there anything more perfect for boating and beaching on the lake in the summer? It comes with a beautiful leather strap and brass clasp that makes it adjustable.

If you are a passionate boater, water lover, and love supporting small businesses, then you have to check out Rudder USA. You can shop all of their products here and you can say hi and give them some love by following them on Instagram (@rudderUSA). I promise you will fall in love with this female owned brand just as I have.

Receive FREE shipping on orders over $100 with the code SHIPSHANNON!

Slainte,

Shannon

STYLE: PREPPY STYLE ON A BUDGET

It’s no secret that my style is classic. I love the preppy look – New England and Southern prep. My style is very much a mix of the two and I’m totally okay with that. Think Lilly Pulitzer, J.Crew, Kate Spade, Vineyard Vines, Ralph Lauren, Longchamp, Jack Rogers, Sperry, Northface…you get the picture. Wearing the brands I love has the potential to be costly, but over the years (especially my years in retail) I’ve learned some tricks that make it easy to get that bright, classic, preppy look.

I think the number one piece of advice I can give anyone looking to curate a classic and preppy wardrobe is to skip the trends and invest in the classics. It might seem daunting to drop $300 on a nice wool coat, but I promise you the investment is worth spending $300 on one timeless piece versus 15 trendy outfits that you will wear for one season. Case in point: I have four pairs of Ann Taylor black skinny pants that I bought for probably about $100 each. I’ve had them for about 8 years. They literally do not go out of style. So my point: don’t be afraid to spend a little for quality.

I also understand that the preppy brands have the potential to cost an arm and a leg, so I’m teaming up with my friend Katie from Sunshine Style to share some ideas that help you get that preppy, classic look on a budget. I’m breaking my ideas down into tricks I use when shopping and examples of wardrobe pieces you shouldn’t hesitate to invest in.

TIPS AND TRICKS

Shop the Sales

Honestly, this is how I purchase ALL of my Lilly Pulitzer and J.Crew items.  Lilly Pulitzer only has two sales a year and everything except new arrivals are usually 40-65% off.   I budget about $150 each sale and I can usually find three outfits for that amount during these mega sales.  It’s the best way to shop LP.  And to be honest, I think I’ve only bought two or three pieces at full price! 

Buy in the Off Season or End of Season

The best time to buy a winter coat? At the end of winter and beginning of spring.  Retailers are trying to make room for their spring and summer collections beginning in February, so winter outwear usually gets marked down to up to 70% off! The same goes for swimwear.  Sometimes swimwear goes on major sale at the end of summer and beginning of fall.  It might seem foolish buying pieces as the season is winding down, but you’ll save more money by planning ahead and shopping these sales. 

Shop the Outlet Stores 

I’ve purchased some of my favorite J.Crew and Kate Spade pieces from the outlet stores! J.Crew Factory is actually my go-to for 75% of my shopping purchases. Everything is always timeless and classic and the prices are much more affordable than J.Crew. And another little trick I’ve learned – sometimes Amazon, eBay, and Poshmark carry older items from brands like Kate Spade, Ralph Lauren, Vineyard Vines, Jack Rogers, etc. If you are looking for an item from a few seasons ago, sometimes these sites will have those items at a fraction of the price.

WARDROBE STAPLES FOR FALL/WINTER

The following pieces are staples in my wardrobe and I’ve learned over the years not to skimp on these.  I always invest in these pieces because I will wear them season after season and year after year.  

Skinny black pants: My go-to places are Ann Taylor and J.Crew.

Wool Coat: J.Crew and J.Crew Factory are my favorite places to shop quality wool coats.

Winter boots:  Hunter Boots, L.L. Bean, and Sperry have the best boots.  You’ll pay over $100, but they will last you for years.  I’ve heard of some people owning their L.L. Bean Duck Boots for 10 years! 

White button up: Ralph Lauren, J.Crew, and J.Crew Factory have the best white button ups.

Holiday Dress: J.Crew, Banana Republic, and Lilly Pulitzer are my go-to’s for holiday dresses.  The most important features to look for when buying a holiday dress is fit and style. You want the style to timeless and the fit to be perfect (think Audrey Hepburn or Jackie Kennedy).

Booties: Nordstrom and J.Crew have the best (and most comfortable) suede booties. 

Fleece Pullover: Vineyard Vines, Lands End, and Columbia have the best options for cozy pullovers.  (I’ll be honest though, I’m very passionate about supporting local so my pullover is from Erie and Anchor!)

Cashmere Sweater: J.Crew and J.Crew Factory have the best and most classic cashmere sweaters. Opt for colors in navy, camel, or blush pink (but also don’t be afraid to add a little color to your wardrobe).

Hopefully this post gave you some ideas and some inspiration for how to get that timeless, preppy look on a budget! And if you need more ideas, head over to Katie’s blog to read her suggestions.  


Slainte,
Shannon

STYLE: THE 9-5 EDIT, NAVY BLAZER

This past weekend we watched On the Basis of Sex and not only was the story brilliant and inspirational, but the fashion was fantastic. The outfits that Felicity Jones wears while playing the character of notorious Ruth Bader Ginsburg are outstanding. One outfit in particular is the inspiration behind this month’s 9-5 Style Edit. In the very last scene of the movie, Felicity Jones is wearing a navy blue blazer with white trim and a white tee underneath (click here to see the outfit!). It’s pure perfection. I loved her look so much, I had to recreate it, changing it slightly to match the casual dress code of my job.

It’s always a good idea to invest in a blazer or two if you work in a professional or semi-professional field. Working in the PR world, I always have to look presentable, as I never know when I’ll be called upon by the media.

This navy blazer in particular is eight years old!! I bought it back in my retail working days at The Limited. It truly has stood the test of time and I think it will continue to do so. A classic navy blazer will literally never go out of style. And this one with the white trim detail adds just enough to make this classic blazer one notch preppier.

I love the look of a classic blazer over a casual tee. A white boyfriend tee with a front tuck makes this the perfect professional, yet casual look for the office. Polish it off with a belt (love the anchor detail), ballet flats, and skinny jeans (no holes please!) and you are office ready. I tend to grab my pink Longchamp or blue Kate Spade totes for a professional, put together look.

I’ve rounded up some navy blazer options below. You don’t have to spend an arm and a leg on a quality navy blazer! J.Crew and Banana Republic have some great options, but you can also find a classic option at Old Navy too!

Navy Blazer Option 1

Navy Blazer Option 2

Navy Blazer Option 3 (great value!)

Navy Blazer Option 4 (amazing price!)

Navy Blazer Option 5 (found a Ralph Lauren on Poshmark with the white trim!)

Slainte,

Shannon

HOME: FALL-ING FOR BLUE & WHITE

I love our home in the spring and summer.  The blue and white color scheme always feels so fresh and calming.  I love the peaceful vibe that the coastal details provide.  But, come fall and winter, I struggle big time with decorating.  I enjoy the cozy aesthetic that these two seasons bring, but sometimes I struggle to combine the darker and muted shades of fall and winter with my bright blue and white.  

When it comes to fall decor, I will spend hours studying Pinterest for ideas. I’ve tried so many times to decorate using the traditional orange, yellows, and reds that come with fall, but it just never looks right in our home. And the same goes for Christmas decor – the traditional red and green just don’t spark that joy for me.

So I’ve completely switched to fall decor that is blue and white (I’ll occasionally throw in a mini orange pumpkin, mostly for L).  This post is for anyone struggling to find a nice balance of mixing your vibe with seasonal decor, I’m providing some ideas that have worked for me.  Please remember, I am not an expert in interior design – I just enjoy decorating our home and making it aesthetically pleasing to my eye.  

Ideas for Blue and White Seasonal Fall Decor

Patterned Pumpkins: This year I made patterned blue and white pumpkins using a little Mod Podge and cocktail napkins and they turned out so cute! A fellow Instagrammer who I follow posted how to do this easy DIY project and you can find it here.

Colorful Pumpkins: Consider switching to ceramic pumpkins. Many retailers offer pumpkins in different colors and it’s a lot easier to find blue pumpkins than in year’s past. I’ve also seen green, pink, gold, purple – the options are endless!

Candles: Candles can easily transform your space into the cozy vibe that we associate with fall. I prefer to use tall, skinny candlesticks in varying heights. I have a few of these types of candlesticks in white, but purchasing some in gold or brass would be perfect for fall.

Colorful Plaid: As I learned in Scotland, plaid doesn’t have to be your traditional reds, dark greens, oranges, or browns.  Plaid comes in so many different color options.  Consider finding a plaid blanket with blue, gray, or even purple.  Like the candlesticks, it will add an extra element of cozy. 

Wheat Sheaves/Ornamental Grass: If you aren’t big on fall florals, wheat sheaves and ornamental grass or even a eucalyptus plant are a good alternative. Find some beautiful pottery or a vase in shades of blue, gray, and white and you are good to go.

A few other thoughts.  I actually think that seasonal decorations can be expensive and some years I don’t want to spend hundreds of dollars on pumpkins and gourds.  My mom always tells me to add a few new pieces to our collection each year and eventually we will have enough seasonal decor to fill the house.   We’ve been in our house for four years now and I have enough fall decor to decorate our living room and dining room (the two rooms we use the least haha!).  

Another idea – Target and Amazon offer bulk plastic pumpkins in white for super cheap. I bought a few bags of these and I love to throw them in a decorative bowl. This year I actually found some nautical rope pumpkins so I ordered two for our family room!

And finally, I like to decorate our bookshelves with blue and whtie pumpkins. But it can feel crowded, so I lay out all my pumpkins and take everything off the shelves and completely re-style them. Anything left over goes into a plastic tote and I’ll bring it back out for spring and summer. Having the pumpkins mixed in with the books adds an unexpected touch.

Now, if someone could help me decorate our fireplace that has a baby proof foam edge protector surrounding it, please send your ideas my way!!

Happy Fall! 

Slainte,

Shannon

STYLE: THE 9-5 EDIT, SIDEWALK SKIRT

It’s been several months since I published a blog post from my 9-5 Edit series! With everyone working from home over the past year, this series was pushed to the wayside.  But many people (myself included) are slowly making our way back into the workforce so what better time to bring this series back to life.

Since tomorrow is officially fall, why not showcase a classic fall staple – the J.Crew Sidewalk Skirt. If you are a J.Crew shopper, you’ll recognize this skirt season after season. I have the best selling wool blend sidewalk skirt from J.Crew Factory in a gorgeous magenta. This skirt is the perfect skirt to transition from summer to fall. You can wear it in early fall with a button up shirt or sweater and flats, and as the temperatures get chillier, you can swap out the flats for tights and boots.

For this look, I styled my skirt with a sleeveless button down underneath a knit navy blue v-neck sweater and leopard flats. The perfect sixty degree day ensemble. I played around with a crisp white button up and a belt, as well as a striped crew neck sweater. You can also do a crisp button down or turtleneck with an open front cardigan. The options are endless!!

I do feel the fit of this skirt is a tad big. I’m wearing a size 2 and it’s a wee bit long for my short frame. And the elastic waistband gives you a lot of extra room, so my recommendation is to size down.

J.Crew and J.Crew Factory also offer this skirt in a summer linen version with a scalloped hem – so cute! This piece is perfect for teachers, collegiates, lawyers, my PR ladies – basically it’s the perfect skirt for everyone. It’s an easy dress up or dress down item and easily transitions from season to season. It’s a must have classic, preppy piece that should be in everyone’s closet in every color.

Slainte,

Shannon 

SHOP THE LOOK – You can always shop my looks by following me on the LiketoKnowIT App!

Sidewalk Skirt | V-neck Sweater | Leopard Flats | Pearl Earrings | Pearl Necklace | Pearl Bracelets

STYLE: BEACH SWEATER

Last week on Instagram Stories I did a poll asking if you guys would rather see me style a beach sweater or striped terry top sweater.  It was incredibly close, 55% to 45% in favor of the beach sweater.  I personally was feeling the striped sweater this past weekend, so I decided to style both.  Full disclosure: there is little to no difference between how I styled these because I realized once we arrived at the beach it would be very hard for me to change! Nonetheless, I think the subtle differences create two different enough looks; and besides, “Simplicity is the key to perfection” (read that in a book and very much liked it!).

Beach Sweater 

Every classic lady needs at least one beach sweater. I enjoy this grayish-blueish sweater from Old Navy, but I also just bought this pretty sky blue one from J.Crew. I’ve actually been pairing this beach sweater over my t-shirt dresses lately, but for our beach day, I chose white cutoff denim shorts with a basic white tee underneath. This time of year the mornings are chilly so you definitely need a sweater, but I also suggest dressing in layers, hence the white tee underneath.

To finish this look, I grabbed my favorite sunhat, my classic Rayban’s, and my favorite slide sandals. Simple, classic, and timeless!

This sweater would also be cute paired with white denim jeans and a baseball cap as the days continue to get cooler.

Striped French Terry Top Sweater

A striped sweater and white denim shorts are always a perfect pairing for the beach. To switch this look up slightly, I swapped my Rayban’s for my oversized Tortoise shell sunglasses, and removed the white tee and sunhat. I also did a front tuck, which I almost always do because I think it makes wearing a sweater with shorts look less frumpy. Again, easy, simple, and classic.

I know these outfits were very similar, but hopefully one or both will provide you with some inspiration. And if ever in doubt, simplicity is the key to perfection.

Slainte,

Shannon

SHOP THIS LOOK:

Beach Sweater | Striped Terry Top | Denim Shorts | White Tee | | Rayban’s |Tortoise Shell Sunglasses| Sandals (similar)

STYLE: SUMMER CARDIGAN, THREE WAYS

Even in the thick of summer heat, I keep a lightweight open front cardigan or sweater nearby.  I love wearing dresses in the summer, but sometimes I get a wee bit chilly in the house and a long cardigan (with pockets!) to throw over my summer ensemble works perfectly.  

This particular cardigan from Nordstrom is the prettiest shade of grey and pairs well with 90% of my wardrobe.  It’s lightweight, has pockets, and is long enough to cover my bum (a must post baby).  I love layering this cardigan with a button up and skinny pants in the winter.  Below, I’m teaming up with my fellow mama, Stephanie from Linens and Littles, to style this sweater three different ways for summer! 

OVER A SHORT DRESS

Whether it’s a t-shirt dress, strapless dress, spaghetti strap dress, or even romper, this grey cardigan is perfect for layering. The length hits perfectly just below the dress (because I’m petite, my dresses always hit me two inches or more above the knee, otherwise I get swallowed by the dress). I paired the cardigan over a flirty, floral, skinny strap dress with a high bun – the perfect ensemble for a super hot, summer day.

OVER A MAXI DRESS

I love a great fitting maxi dress.  You can dress them up or down depending on your mood and they are just so comfy.  If you are looking for instant elegance, a maxi dress should be your go-to.  A long cardigan works great over a maxi dress.  If you are short like me, a long cardigan over a maxi dress will elongate your frame, making you appear taller, and that’s a win for me!

OVER DENIM SHORTS

Because I’m always on the go and always chasing a very quick toddler, I tend to wear denim shorts (jean and white) with a t-shirt or v-neck cami top. I need to be able to move quickly, which means I cannot be fussing over my outfit. Adding this long grey cardigan to any of my “mom uniform” looks is a perfect, quick addition.

Hopefully you have some new ideas on how to style a long cardigan in the summer! I’ve rounded up a few current favorites below. For more ideas, head to Stephanie’s blog, Linens and Littles!

Cardigan 1

Cardigan 2

Cardigan 3

Slainte,
Shannon

STYLE: EASTER OUTFIT, STAY HOME EDITION

This coming Sunday is Easter and it’s no secret that this year’s celebrations will be very different.  Rob and I both are fortunate to have family close by, so holidays are usually large, loud, and full of people.  Just because we are staying home though doesn’t mean we can’t celebrate. 

We fully intend on cooking a nice meal, giving L an Easter basket full of goodies, and setting up an Easter egg hunt in our backyard (although it may be indoors as the forecast is looking a bit gloomy).  

I also plan on getting dressed, as is my normal routine each day. Normally I wear a Lilly Pulitzer dress or top on Easter. But since we are staying home this year, I am going to pull something together that is a little more casual yet still springy, chic, and effortless.

When I saw this violet colored gingham button-up from J.Crew Factory, I knew it needed a home in my closet and I knew I’d be wearing it for Easter. (Side note, I actually don’t have much purple in my closet and I have no idea why because it’s so pretty!) The familiar checked pattern that represents gingham is classic and charming. I love seeing classic photos from the 1950s and 60s of women styling gingham cropped pants, sleeveless tops, and dresses. Wearing this pattern always gives me a boost of confidence because I know it will always be stylish and classy.

This top paired with white denim and some easy flats (or even tennis shoes) is a perfect stay home Easter ensemble. It’s comfy yet stylish and classic. Adding a front tuck or simple knot in the front adds a little extra style.

Below are some links to more easy outfits you can wear for Easter at home.

Easter Outfit 1

Easter Outfit 2

Easter Outfit 3 

Easter Outfit 4

Stay well friends! 

Slainte,

Shannon

SHOP THIS LOOK!

Gingham Button-Up | White Denim | Earrings | KJP Bracelets

STYLE: THE 9-5 EDIT

WORK FROM HOME CASUAL 

When I started this series last month, I didn’t anticipate the recent events that have taken hold of the world. In an effort to keep things normal, I’ve decided to continue this series and still keep styling work inspired outfits. And even though I’m now working from home, I still make a point to get up and get dressed each day (Click here to read my reasons why).

As I write this, it is not lost on me how fortunate I am that I am able to work from home. I want to express a heartfelt thank you to all of the essential workers who must still report to work and don’t have the option of staying home. I admire and appreciate your courage, strength, and sacrifice. Thank you for being on the front lines to protect and keep the rest of us well and safe.

This month’s 9-5 Edit is an easy and comfortable work from home outfit. When I’m working at home I like to be comfortable but still feel good. My go-to combinations are jeans with a cute top or blouse or a dress in the summer. This striped top from J.Crew Factory is so easy and effortless. I paired it with my blue denim, a striped headband (stripes on stripes and blue on blue!!), and my Keds. Simple, chic, and casual. Which are the three essentials when styling an outfit to work from home.

Below are a few other links with outfit inspiration when working from home.

Outfit Inspiration One

Outfit Inspiration Two

Outfit Inspiration Three

Outfit Inspiration Four

Outfit Inspiration Five 

You can also shop the details of my outfit below!

Stay home, practice social distancing, and stay well friends!

Slainte,

Shannon 

SHOP THE LOOK

Striped Top | Denim Jeans | Headband (sold out) | Keds | Kiel James Patrick Bracelet 1 | Kiel James Patrick Bracelet 2