To wear or not to wear ...

Do you have a favorite pair of pants?  You can't count jeans!  I do.  Well, more so, I have a favorite style of pant.  I found 2 pair I love equally, from different brands, so I bought them both.  The pants?  A simple wide leg cropped pant in black.  The fabric on both is a mid-weight washable fabric that makes these pants perfect for almost any time of year.   The styles though very similar, have just enough different details that it was worth buying both.  One pair is plain, zip in the front button closure.  The other pair zips on the side with silver buckles at the waist on each side.  The seaming on both pair make the pants flattering for all body types.  

pants 1.jpg

This look I paired with my MaryJanes, tights and a layered blouse and cropped sleeveless sweater for a holiday party.  If the temps had been really cold I would do fleece lined tights for warmth but otherwise I love this look for colder months.  For me, the wider leg balances my body shape and helps me own my style.  

pants 2.jpg

This look is great for fall or spring.  I have the mules I'm wearing in both fur-lined and unlined.  I paired the pants with the mules, a sleeveless mock sweater with a denim jacket.  I love the mulit-strand pearl necklace to add a pop to the outfit.  All these elements together for this outfit again, helped me own my style. I have also worn the pants with a simple long sleeve tshirt and mules and a light cardigan (or the jean jacket) for Spring or Fall.  In the summer I do the same thing with a short sleeve shirt and sandals or wedges, depending on the occasion.  I love all the options for these pants.  I have added a khaki green pair in canvas recently because I am such a fan of this silhouette.  

If you want to get technical, in most cases you see 2 key silhouettes if you are searching for a wide leg pant.  A search for a full leg/wide leg full length trouser will most likely show examples of palazzo pants. A cropped version is often called a culotte which typically reaches either knee length or calf length.  For my style, I like the cropped length better because, you guessed it, there are more options.  I love a full palazzo pant for a dressy look.  I think, if styled with perhaps a glittery top, can easily replace a cocktail dress. But, I digress or trail off... here are some examples of the cropped styles:

One of my favs....

cropped black pant - dressy.jpg

If I have a fav look, this might be it.  I paired the pants with tights and my MaryJanes (surprise!), a beautiful flowy top and used a scarf as a belt to complete the look.  This outfit I wore in the winter as well and it was perfect, regardless the temps.  This outfit was perfect for a holiday dinner the Mister and I attended.  I topped it off with my vintage pink wool full length coat which adds just the right amount of "dress" for me.  Once again, I was able to own my style in this look.  I am 5'4" which some would say is too short for a cropped wide leg pant but I disagree.  First, I don't like rules like that and second I don't think it's true.  What's always been most important is that you own what you're wearing and make it yours.  I think confidence is the best thing you wear.  

What's your favorite pant?  How are you wearing it?  How are you owning your style?

The Mister recently took me to Chicago to celebrate my birthday and a "labor day weekend show".  While in Chicago we stayed at one of my favorite hotels there and did some great, yet limited, shopping.  I may share some of my shopping stories later but for now we will focus on where I had the most "luck".  

After working in retail most of my professional life, customer service is really number 1 for me.  If the service is poor I won't stick around to shop.  If the service is great, I will give almost any store a try.  Do you know what I mean?  There are stores that just aren't right for me whether it be my age or size or whatever but, of the stores I choose to shop it's the service that determines if I stay long enough to look around.  We visited one of my favorites first.  I was in the mood for some new shoes and this store is  known not only for shoes, but also for it's service.  I was looking for a particular brand and style.  I had to approach a sales associate which is not typical of this store.  When I inquired about the shoe in question she pointed to "where they would be if we had them".  Guess what I did next...well I typically would have exited.  But, I tried one more time....this time I got a different denial "nope, that doesn't sound familiar".  I replied that I had seen them on their website, after her shoulders shrugged,  I left.  

We traveled on.  The next stop was Loft.  Loft is a store I either have a ton of luck at or can't even find a scarf.  This time was awesome and it started the minute I walked in the door and was greeted.  The service was fantastic which caused me to try stuff on (key to making a purchase).  I was treated with respect, and had fun and some laughs while there.  It was a great experience overall.  I bought some great pieces for fall and never would have bought as much had it not been for the sales associate.  I thanked her personally before I left the store as she did not take care of my purchases, someone else did.  Folks in retail always hear the bad but don't hear the good often enough :)  

So on to the shopping and what I got (or as the folks say...my haul).  What caught my eye initially was a pair of cropped pants in the window that looked stunning....really. I immediately walked in, asked for that pant and chose them to try.  Here is what I bought:

A few things about each piece...

1)  The back button sweater.  The color is a lovely shade of gray, which for me is a great neutral.  The sweater is lightweight enough I won't sweat to death in it but truly says cooler weather.  It will be to layer or wear alone.  It will be great dressed up with pearls and a skirt or casual with a pair of distressed jeans.

2)  I don't remember the official name but this is a long sleeve tee "ramped up with style"  It's again gray (okay it's my new obsession).  It's long enough to wear with a lot of different bottoms.  Again, this piece can be worn alone or layered.  It can also be dressed up a bit with the scarf seen in the haul :) 

3)  You guys this skirt!  It's a great knit material.  It's got fantastic detailing with the buttons in the front.  The minute I put it on I had tons of ideas swirling in my head for what I could do with this single piece.  Dressed with tights, a turtleneck and my chunky Mary Janes.  Tights and high boots and a sweater.  Sheer hoisery, dressy Mary Janes or my SJP Carrie heels and dressy sweater or silk blouse, Long sleeve tshirt and booties and tights, or as pictured with a denim shirt and tights and brown boots....on and on.  

4)  The scarf...the picture does not do the colors justice.  There is a vibrant persimmon type shade in this scarf paired with the shades of wine in this.  It's beautiful.  It can be worn simply with a sweater, jean jacket or would look great with a camel blazer.

5)  The star ...the black pants.  I have already worn these.  The material is wonderful.  It's washable (yay) and soooo comfortable.  The cropped length is great year round with so many shoe choices.  (Including those shoes I was searching for at the fancy store).  I can't say enough good things about these pants.  Worn with a denim shirt and loafers for fall or paired with a beautiful silk blouse for New Year's Eve...both will work.  Win!

The best part of the whole deal...ALMOST all of it was 40% and I earned the infamous Loft Cash to spend later.  Go ahead, get out there and shop.  Shop wisely - get versatile pieces you can wear lots of different ways and more than one year.  Have fun!  Reward great service with a sincere thank you!  Have fun!  As always, if you need advice or tips don't hesitate to contact me.  

Casual Days - 2 Ways

I love versatility in my wardrobe.  I love options.  It's another beautiful day here in West Michigan with temps set to hit the high 70's again.  I have many different things I have to accomplish today and I want to be comfortable but I don't want the frump factor to ease in today :)  

I chose a linen blend pant with a loose tshirt to start my outfit. I want the option of being more casual for the first part of the day and perhaps a little more "finished" yet still casual for the later part of the day - without changing my entire outfit.  I am going to achieve this by simply changing out the accessories and the footwear.  


The outfit on the left is a little more casual and relaxed.  The shoes and the simple necklace give it that ease of comfort yet no frump.  I know I look a little sad in the pic on the left (maybe because I have to go to the grocery) but I really do like this outfit.    On the right, I simply change out the shoes along with a different necklace and bracelet to give me, what I think, is a little more put together for  dinner out with the Mister or perhaps drinks with friends.  Either way, there is enough of a difference in the two looks to give me options...a woman loves options.  

Clothing in the pics:

Loft pants and shirt from last year


Shoes:  Circus by Sam Edelman 

Necklace: from a local boutique 


Shoes:  Korks by Kork Ease

Necklace:  Bronzo Italia from QVC

Bracelet:  Betsey Johnson