When a Dress is more than just a Dress

Your wardrobe needs options!  I love options!  I love when pieces in my wardrobe can be worn in multiple ways.  Recently I picked up this beautiful dress at one of my favorite consignment stores in Grand Rapids.  It's a dress by the brand Maeve, which is sold exclusively at Anthropologie.  This dress in particular is a simple silhouette.  It's burnished colorful burnished floral overlay with a beautiful almost persimmon patterned "slip" underneath is perfect for all seasons, I think.  I bought the dress late last week and have already worn it twice!  I wore it twice but made it different each time.  

Here are the two ways I have worn it so far:

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I love a dress over skinny jeans or leggings to give it that tunic feel.  Since I'm only 5'4" I often pair this look with a wedge or platform sandal.  However, I could easily put on a simple flat or dressy flat sandal and complete the look as well.  For accessories I keep it simple when wearing a bright pattern like this.  I added large earrings, and in the future maybe a large bangle as well.  

Though the dress is no longer available, here are similar dresses from Maeve currently available along with the rest of the pieces to complete this look.



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I first wore the dress (as a dress) when the Mr. and I hosted a few friends for a warm, humid evening on our patio.  The ease and effortless style of the dress was perfect for the evening.  Style without many accessories or worry was perfect for this casual night.  

I love these two looks so far.  I am already picturing the third look for early fall.  The dress, brown boots, brown belt and a denim jacket will be perfect.  Do you have a dress in your wardrobe you're thinking about wearing in different ways?  You should shop your closet and check it out!  

A Top and a Pair of Pants...

If you have followed me for any length of time, or you are a client of mine, you know I really love versatility in a wardrobe.  I love knowing you can start with 2 pieces, say a top and a pant, and create many different looks with those pieces as the "base".  At this time of year when temperatures are still all over the place, layering remains the key to dressing.  Last week I started with this adorable sleeveless top from Loft and then paired it with khakis or distressed denim and discovered all sorts of outfits.  Read on to find out about some of what I did.  

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I started with a sleeveless top and simple pair of khakis...

I started with the top.  It's a great print and it's sleeveless.  What I love:  all the colors in the print give me a ton of options for the layering pieces, bottoms and accessories.  Because it's sleeveless I have many more options for layering, but also for wearing alone if temperatures are warmer because it's not just a camisole.  

Layering options shown here are a great jean jacket on the left for when it may be a bit cooler or the short sleeve cardigan on the right for a bit warmer.  In addition, the jean jacket gives a more casual vibe while the cardi makes it a bit more dressy without trying too hard.  The shoes could easily be swapped - maybe sneakers on the left and a flat sandal on the right?  Options....


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Switching out the khakis for denim...either blue or white.

This top is a great way to dress the denim up a bit.  In the outfit on the left I've added my favorite Jeffrey Campbell slides.  I might also pair this look with my bright green heels or espadrilles as well.  The colors in the top give me so many options!

The outfit on the left I've added a khaki jacket (no longer available but here's a similar one (http://shopstyle.it/l/KcLr) along with black strappy sandals to dress up my jeans a bit.  In the center I am trying the top with the white denim again, keeping it casual with flip flops.  On the far right I've layered a 3/4 sleeve cardi for the extra layer.  Because this cardi is a true black I could easily change my shoes the black mules I've shown in the look above for another option.  Another easy look would be to layer with a white blouse left unbuttoned and tied at the waist with any of the pants shown for even more options.  

Once again, the key is versatility and making your wardrobe work for you.  Here, I started with a top and a pair of pants and created many options and looks from just a few pieces.  What do you have in your wardrobe you can do the same thing with?  I'd love to see what you come up with...post in the comments below!  Let me see how you #ownyourstyle !  


The exact pieces I have are sold out but I've listed some similar pieces below. Check it out! 

A Glimpse at February.

February is a true Winter month here in West Michigan, at least for me.  It's generally cold and snowy and I don't think this February was any exception to that.  February is also typically the month in which I start to get bored, tired, and sometimes annoyed at my closet.  Again, this February did not disappoint on any of those fronts.  Here is a glimpse at what I wore this past month.  


Cashmere is always a good idea

I think cashmere will always stand the test of time in both style and wearability.  This sweater I purchased a couple of years ago but is still available (http://shopstyle.it/l/AR2Y).  I love it because it can easily be worn dressed up or more casual.  It can be more classic with some pearls or add some "edge" with boots and chunky jewelry.  


At Home for the Day

Even on the days I stay home, for me, it's important to get dressed and ready for the day.  On this day I wore a casual outfit of comfy wide-legged pants and a cute tie top.  I gave my skin a break and went make-up free which is always a great idea.  When I need to accomplish a lot from home, I will not get it done in my pjs, but that's just me. 



Winter Uniform

I've talked before about the uniform.  We each have one, to some degree, for each season.  My winter uniform, forever, has been a turtleneck with some sort of pants.  Currently it's denim.  There is something about the simplicity and ease of the turtleneck that makes me love it.  Here, paired with a Calvin Klein belt fresh from TJMaxx and my boot cut Lauren jeans I'm ready for the day (along with Stuart).  


Empty Nester Dinner 

Some of our very best friends formed a dinner group after our youngest kids started college.  Each time we get together we each bring a dish we have prepared and the host chooses a theme.  This time the theme was "cooking with wine".  I had to match the theme so I pulled out this gem from my storage.  A beautifully pleated wine floral skirt.  


My love/hate for leggings

I really am okay with leggings as long as they are worn with a long shirt or tunic or dress or whatever - that covers far enough.  This was a snowy Saturday full of chores and errands.  I layered a long sleeve tshirt, distressed denim shirt, and a cashmere cardi along with snowboots, for full day.  


Faux Fur is always a good idea

This faux fur vest was an impulse buy from Target - I don't even remember how long ago.  I will continue to wear this vest every year.  Again, it's a piece that can be dressed up or worn more casual.  It can worn as a layering piece or even as outerwear on a warmer Winter day.  


My favorite pant silhouette

I've mentioned enough...I love the wide-legged cropped pant.  This pair is no exception.  When I purchased them I was determined to wear them all seasons.  I paired them to wear for a day of merchandising with a lightweight gray sweater and my danskos.  


Long Cardi

This beautiful cardigan was a gift from the Mr. last year for Christmas.  It has a removable fur collar that chose not to wear on this day.  The muted colors in this sweater make it easy to wear with almost anything.  I have a turtleneck and distressed jeans on with my danskos and I was cozy and comfortable. 

I am so looking forward to Spring and dressing a little lighter.  I would love to hear what you wore in February as your favorites.  What are you most looking forward to for Spring?  


Valentine's Day is right around the corner and I'm really hoping that Spring is not far behind that.  I love to create gift guides to help a special someone find the special gift, which I still may post.  In the meantime, though, I did want to suggest (some would say self-promote) to my local friends perhaps it's time to receive the gift of a wardrobe service.  If you live outside the West Michigan area we can get creative and do some virtual style/shopping boards or even a Skype style call.   If you live in West Michigan I do want to spend just a bit of time letting you know more about 2 of the possibilities/packages for you to add to your wishlist.  

 Spring is so close and it's that time in the current season where you are getting tired of your Winter wardrobe.  Area consignment stores will soon be accepting Spring goods which is a sure sign it's almost time for the season closet change over.  As I mention often, now is the time to at least purge the items you currently own that you know you won't wear next Winter.  If all of this feels overwhelming I would love to work with you in a Closet Restyle package.  The best part of this is making new outfits from clothes you already own.  Here are a couple of pics of the Restyle "in progress":

Creating new options !!  A girl needs options!


Making outfits from clothes already in a client's closet!  

The Closet Restyle package allows us to spend 3 hours pulling everything out of your closet, purging what will not go back in, and then creating new outfits from what remains.  In addition you will receive a photo lookbook of all the outfits we created along with a shopping list for some things you still need.  This is probably my favorite service that I offer.  

Another idea, which is really a combo of a couple of options, is something I recently did as a surprise for a client's wife. They were going on vacation and he contacted me to put together (and shop for) several outfits for their trip!  This.  Was.  So.  Fun!  I created virtual styling boards, sent each to him for approval, and once approved I purchased the items.  Next, I put the outfits together and wrapped them in "daily outfit packages".  In each box I included some styling tips for different ways to wear each item beyond the vacation.  I think she really loved it all!  How thoughtful was he to do this????  

Wrapped and numbered.  The gift giver has a "cheat sheet" that describes what's in each box.


The styling card give some tips...

If you're ready to get started on a new season or just a new closet and live in the West Michigan area, I would love to work with you.  Comment below or contact me directly and let's set a custom package for you.  If your Valentine needs a little help with the perfect gift give them my info and we can do that as well.  Here is a quick link to my services page http://bit.ly/2qW5odj  


The story of the $12 dollar skirt

A few months ago on a trip to one of my favorite consignment stores I found the cutest skirt.  It didn't have a label in it and looked to be a one-of-a-kind beauty.  I immediately loved the print of the fabric and the cut of the skirt itself.  It is an A-line skirt and the print is a blend of patterns with blues and greens.  As I talk about often, I love it when a gem in my wardrobe can be worn in different ways.  Not only can I wear this skirt in different ways and in different seasons, again I mention, it was $12 bucks! 

Here is how I wore it first:

Skirt in late November

In late November I wore it with a black turtleneck, jean jacket, tights and my all time fav MaryJanes.  Everything I'm wearing isn't available anymore, but here are some suggestions that are close 

Here is how I wore it today:


Today I wore the skirt with a simple gray long sleeve tshirt, a black cardigan and black boots.  

The t-shirt is still available here:  http://shopstyle.it/l/vY6N and the cardigan here:  http://shopstyle.it/l/vY7v  Both are on sale!  (p.s. these too are affiliate links, just so you know).

I am looking forward to Spring (I mean is anyone not???).  Here is one way I will be wearing the same skirt when Spring finally shows her face:


This is a simple tie waist white shirt from Chico's (no longer available) and my favorite pink Dansko clogs (also not available).  I did post some items similar for you to check out


All three of these looks are easy to duplicate.  Choose a great skirt and wear it with some simple closet basics - a long sleeve tshirt, turtleneck, white blouse and layer (depending on your preference) with a cardigan or jean jacket.  Add your favorite shoes or boots - simple or with a pop of color or flair and there you have it.  A fun, easy to wear skirt is the star of all of these outfits - it just happens to be a bonus because I got it for such a great price and it's wearable in any season.  Check your closet - if you wear skirts - I bet there is one you can pull from your wardrobe, match with the same items as I have, and wear it multiple seasons.  

Have fun putting together a new look and of course, owning your style.


** just a note - there are affiliate links in this post.  Not comfortable using them?  No problem just google for the items or shop for yourself at your favorite sites.