STYLE: THE 9-5 EDIT, SUMMER CASUAL

With Ohio slowly re-opening again, many people are heading back to work.  That means the summer work wardrobe is in full swing.  My summer work attire is very casual (partly because of my work environment and partly because it’s summer).  I’m either wearing a dress or linen pants/white denim with a blouse.  I can easily make these casual looks for work by how I style them.  Below I’m breaking down my formula for dressing summer casual with white denim and a blouse.  

The Basics: White Denim + Blouse

Start with the basics, aka classic white denim or easy linen pants. Make sure your pants are clean, tailored, and pressed (and avoid denim with holes, even if that is trendy). I make sure my pants hit just above my ankle for slim pants and about an inch above that for my linen pants. Avoid mini-skirts, capri pants, and shorts.

If I’m wearing this pants and blouse combo, I make sure my blouse is dressy – this can be a structured fit or loose depending on the style of pants. Avoid tank tops, halter tops, and anything that shows cleavage. If you choose sleeveless, style with a cardigan sweater, just in case. For this style shoot I chose a fresh take on the button up. With the square neckline, bold buttons, and oversize cap sleeve, this J.Crew Factory blouse is perfect for summer.

Accessories

I’m a firm believer in accessorizing. I think accessorizing an outfit with jewelry and a handbag instantly adds style to any ensemble. Dressing it up with bold floral earrings, bracelets, a chic straw tote, and Jack Roger sandals makes this look casual, yet work appropriate. Sometimes I will swap out the bold statement earrings for a long necklace and hoops.

Shoes

Most work environments don’t allow flip flops or sandals. Luckily, mine allows dressy open toed shoes, so my Jack Rogers are usually perfect. If your work environment does not allow open toed shoes, opt for ballet flats or a comfortable wedge. I like these flats from J.Crew Factory and espadrille wedges from Sam Edelman.

At the end of the day, make sure your look is tailored, fits well, and comfortable for you.

Happy summer!


Slainte,
Shannon

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: THE BEST IN FASHION BOOKS

“What I believe in is the timelessness of an attitude, the timelessness of style.” – Ralph Lauren

For as long as I can remember, I’ve collected books about style icons.  I have books from Oleg Cassini, Kate Spade, and Nina Garcia, and books about Audrey Hepburn, Lilly Pulitzer and my personal favorite, Jackie Kennedy.   During my college years and time in fashion school, I devoured books about fashion, personal style, and style icons.  

I have always been drawn to and fascinated by the classics.  In my mid twenties I gave up shopping for fashion trends and instead began investing in classic pieces.  A great fitting pair of denim jeans (blue and white denim), classic striped tees, crisp button up shirts, timeless Lilly Pulitzer shift dresses, ballet flats, and pearl studs are now my go-to uniform.  

Below I’m sharing all of the books that have influenced my style in some way. For all of you still finding your style or for those who have found it and just love fashion icons, I hope this list provides some enjoyment and some much needed break from reality.

A Thousand Days of Magic by Oleg Cassini

Hands down my favorite book on Jacqueline Kennedy. Written by Oleg Cassini, the favorite designer during the Kennedy’s White House Years, this book chronicles over 300 outfits that Mrs. Kennedy wore during her time as First Lady. A MUST if you love the Kennedy era.

In Vogue by Angeletti Olivia

This is truly a fascinating look into the world’s most influential fashion magazine.  In Vogue is one of the most interesting publications I’ve read on the subjects of culture, art, fashion, photography, and media.  Plus, it has some of the most gorgeous images of fashion photography I’ve ever seen. 

Style by Kate Spade 

Another favorite, this book explores the people and experiences that influenced Kate Spade.  It talks about how style comes with age and opening up one’s self to difference experiences, cultures, and ideas.  But most importantly, style comes from your own self-confidence.  

The Black Book of Style by Nina Garcia

This fun, easy book outlines Nina Garcia’s (previous judge on Project Runway) rules of style.  It comes with some really cute fashion illustrations, which is probably why it’s L’s favorite book to flip through. 

Audrey Hepburn, An Elegant Spirit by Sean Hepburn Ferrer

I think I have four books on Audrey Hepburn, but this one is my favorite.  Compiled by her son, this book contains hundreds of images straight from the family’s picture albums.  It’s a unique history that celebrates this much loved fashion icon and remarkable woman. 

The Fashion File by Janie Bryant

Calling all Mad Men lovers, this book is for you!  The author is the costume designer behind the show Mad Men.  This book provides a peek into the design process Janie Bryant used to create each character’s look.  It also provides tips for the everyday woman on how to cultivate their own personal style. Definitely a fun book to add to your collection. 

Lilly by Kathryn Livingston

Perhaps my favorite biography to date, this book tells the true story of fashion icon Lilly Pulizter.  You will get a full dose of Palm Beach society, scandal, and the beginnings of a fashion empire. If you love this iconic brand and are fascinated by privileged American society, this is a book for you! 

Fashion: The Twentieth Century by Francois Baudot

My sister gifted me this book while I was in college and actively exploring my style and love of fashion.  It’s still one of my favorite historical references for fashion. Spanning the 20th Century, this book showcases the most famous fashion designers of the century and details all the silhouettes and styles that defined a specific decade.  Definitely a must if you love fashion history! 

On my radar:

Classic Style by Kate Schelter 

Ralph Lauren: In His Own Fashion by Alan Flusser 

All of these books have brought me great joy over the years.  I hope one of these sparks some interest for you and brings you a little joy too.

Slainte,

Shannon

STYLE: FIVE WAYS TO TRANSITION YOUR WARDROBE TO SPRING

Spring is only four weeks away – YAY! This warm weather girl is incredibly happy about this fact.  Although in all fairness, Ohio has experienced a VERY mild winter.  

Nonetheless, this time of year I’m always ready to transition my wardrobe into spring.  Below are five easy ways to bring a little color and warmth to your style. 

White Denim

If you don’t already wear your white denim all year round, now is the perfect time to bring out this classic pant. White denim is the perfect blank canvas in which to pair bright colors and prints. For me, wearing my white denim jeans gives me an instant warm weather vibe. My favorite pair of white denim is from J.Crew Factory (love the high rise), but these are also good styles: white denim 1, white denim 2, white denim 3.

Floral earrings

A simple easy way to feel those spring like vibes is with a cute pair of floral earrings. I’m all about the flower power and these pretty white and pearl flowers from Sea Marie Designs (thanks for the rec Claire!) are a lovely addition to your wardrobe. These particular ones also come in black and pink!

Gingham

Gingham is the universal print for spring and summer. Adding a subtle touch of gingham with a headband (this one is also from Sea Marie Designs) is a perfect way to add a summer aesthetic to your outfit. You can also try a button down gingham top and pair it with your white denim. I have this shirt in navy, pink and light blue.

Flats

The easiest way to make your wardrobe feel more springy is by swapping out those winter boots for some easy, breezy flats. By mid-February I’ve about had it with wearing heavy boots, so any time the temperature rises above 40 degrees, you better believe I’m bringing out the leopard flats or a pair of loafers.

Bright Handbag

Although I don’t limit this handbag to spring and summer, carrying a handbag in a bright hue always adds an instant warm weather vibe to your look.  In my opinion, color never goes out of style, so don’t be afraid to buy a classic, structured handbag in a bold color. 

These five easy switcheros to your wardrobe will instantly help you feel a little more hopeful that warmer, sunnier weather is on the horizon.  Be bold and bright my friends! 

Sláinte,

Shannon 

SHOP THE LOOK:

CHAMBRAY TOP | WHITE DENIM | GINGHAM HEADBAND | FLORAL EARRINGS | LEOPARD FLATS | KATE SPADE HANDBAG (OLD)