Lovely Links: 2/12/16

LOCALS! I will be hosting a fundraiser for the
women’s leadership group that I co-chair
Leaders of Today and Tomorrow
at the Uptown John Fluevog store!

There will be raffles, treats, demos, and if you donate to LOTT you get to take home a piece of jewelry from my collection.

This is a ticketed event, all proceeds to LOTT – get your tickets here. Don’t delay, it’s a small space so tickets are limited.

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Weekly Kitty:

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Trying out a new bedspread.

All-black layers, all elegance from Stephanie.

“The only rule you shouldn’t break is to have fun with fashion at any age, and the most important style tip of all is to to be patient with your style. It takes time, energy, resources, a good sense of yourself, a positive attitude, and several retail seasons that are in line with your style preferences to build a wardrobe that you’re happy with.”

Alice does a great job of bracketing her mixed-print outfit with pops of burgundy.

Well look at that: We now have petite, tall, and curvy Barbies, as well as a variety of new skin tones and hair textures. Sadly, Hello Barbie still has some stereotypical leanings.

Loving your body isn’t a one-step process. I wish it were, but it isn’t. You can’t decide, today, that you’re going to love your body forever and that’s that. But you can do something just as important: today you can decide to try.”

On About.com I shared tips for tracking down your perfect tee shirt style.

Evereve has become my go-to spot for personal shopping clients looking to up their casual style game. The stuff isn’t cheap, but it’s funky and arty, and they carry several made-in-the-U.S. lines and a handful of organic ones, too.

Jane’s luxe grey layers and faux leather skirt create an outfit that’s sophisticated and cozy.

I’m so tempted to poke fun, but as a sufferer of Itchy Winter Shins, I find I cannot: Guess has made jeans that moisturize your legs as you wear them.

Lots of cute options in this roundup of orthotic-friendly boots.

Rochelle is ready for spring in an outfit with mixed prints and blush accents. Also adore Cheryl’s blush pink, feather-and-sparkle ensemble.

“Courtney Demone, a transgender woman who lives in Victoria, Canada, has started a campaign called #DoIHaveBoobsNow? Demone hopes the experiment will both help challenge the western sexualisation of female bodies and highlight how social networks categorise trans and non-binary people.”

Five fun faux braid tutorials from Hair Romance

This leather and silver bracelet is sleek, unique, and affordable.

Style is about you, your personality, body, colouring, lifestyle. It’s not a prescription that can be given to you by a stylist. Sure a stylist can help you discover your style, but it should be an inside-out process not an outside-in one. This is why so many ‘makeovers’ don’t work, as they are someone else’s vision expressed on that person, rather than a discovery of who the person is and how that can be reflected authentically through their appearance.”

Jessica shares her power outfit recipe – what’s yours?

I finally made my way through the Spring/Summer lookbooks, and pinned most of my favorite designs, in case you’re curious!

Do you all follow the typical guidelines for when to throw out your makeup?

‘You’re so skinny,’ became a judgment about everything I was doing or not doing to heal, but it exposed more about the speaker’s own body image than what they saw in front of them.” (Disordered eating discussed)

How to create a wardrobe you value

I’ll always adore the yellow, black, and red combination for bold, graphic outfits. Other bold colors like purple and turquoise are fabulous for shaking off the winter doldrums, too.

Creating a self-acceptance verb list is an easy way to support your own body image journey.

I blame The RealReal for sparking my current obsession with Yigal Azrouël. Asymmetry, leather, and a ridiculously cool aesthetic. Also stalking pieces on eBay.

Love hats on others but fear them for yourself? Peek at this post for encouragement and tips on how to enjoy wearing hats.

“I don’t know the fear, embarrassment, and/or anger that comes with unwanted sexual attention. A not insignificant part of me wishes I did, though. I’m not just exceptionally lucky, or exaggerating, or somehow oblivious. I’m a wheelchair user: a visibly, physically disabled woman. And my wheelchair acts as a strange sort of forcefield. People register ‘disabled’ before they register ‘woman’ and the former always overrides the latter, because in our ableist society, a disabled body is necessarily a desexualized one. ”

Gina talks frankly about the politics of wearing a cheongsam as a mixed-race woman.

Rowan is a vision of elegance in clean-lined gray and black.

And from the Department of Random: Meet Mulan, the short-spined Peruvian mongoose, and Kayak, the Mongolian bush tiger.

**Disclosure: Actions you take from the hyperlinks within this blog post may yield commissions for alreadypretty.com. See Already Pretty’s disclosure statement for more details. Sustainable options are either used, handmade, made in the U.S., artisan made in non-sweatshop conditions, or made using sustainable/fair trade practices.

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Insomniac Sale Picks: Comfy Flats and Micro Wedges

*In this late-night feature – which will run on Tuesday and Thursday of each week – I’ll gather up three fun items that are currently on sale online and share them with you! I would LOVE suggestions: Stylish wide-width pumps? Classic v-necked sweaters? Chandelier earrings? Petite dress slacks? What would you like to see featured?*

Becky requested a few picks for comfy flats and micro wedges, so here we go:

 

brown micro wedge

Rose Petals Fine – was $144.99, now $50.99

Rose Petals is a Walking Cradles company, so this pair will most certainly be comfy to wear. I love this burnished tobacco color, and the micro wedge makes the shoe so sleek. Available in this tobacco brown as well as black stretch fabric in U.S. sizes 5 -10, including D and EE widths. Size availability varies by color.

clarks wedge

Clarks Concert Band Wedge Pump – was $140, now $41.01 – $99.99

I’m a die-hard Clarks fan since I know how well the company merges chic design and reliable comfort. I haven’t tried this specific pair, but the rounded toebox and small wedge show promise for a cushy fit. Available in this burgundy patent as well as black patent, black leather, bronze metallic leather, and navy patent in U.S. sizes 5 – 12, including some 2A and C/D widths. Size availability varies by color.

sporty ballet flat

LifeStride Intellect Wedge – was $59.99, now $20.31 – $59.95

This style is considerably more casual and sporty than the other two, but still versatile and great for creative workplaces. It’s got a memory foam insert for all-day comfort and a walkable 1.5″ wedge. Available in this gray as well as black or taupe in U.S. sizes 5 – 11, including some 2A and C/D widths. Size availability varies by color.

Sustainable resources for comfy flats and micro wedges:

  1. Munro – This company is all about comfort, so you’ll find plenty of supportive flats and small wedges from this quilted ballet flat to this wedge Mary Jane.
  2. ECCO – Also comfort-focused and a great resource for chic flat shoes. This snake print micro wedge is so pretty.
  3. Oka-B – If you dig Melissa shoes, you’ll love these. Flats come with a built-in insole.

Other not-currently-on-sale resources for comfy flats and micro wedges:

  1. Anne Klein – Potentially not super supportive, but cute micro wedges like these two-tones.
  2. French Sole – The Zeppa style is a classic round-toe micro wedge.
  3. Dansko – Chunky, comfy, and supportive as always.

**Disclosure: Actions you take from the hyperlinks within this blog post may yield commissions for alreadypretty.com. See Already Pretty’s disclosure statement for more details. Sustainable options are either used, handmade, made in the U.S., artisan made in non-sweatshop conditions, or made using sustainable/fair trade practices.

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Reader Requests: Formulas, Uniforms, and Office Attire

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Instead of tackling one question with a long-winded answer, here are a few that have come in over the past few months that pertain to related topics!

I’ve heard that many leaders choose a “work uniform” to avoid making decisions about what to wear each day. I love the idea, but I’m stuck on what my options might be. What work uniform options would you recommend I consider? (I’m a professional in my thirties, and my work environment is business casual.)

Some style mavens find personal uniforms dull and predictable, but plenty of fashion tastemakers do outfits on repeat. Have you ever seen Carolina Herrera in anything other than a white button-front? Or Vera Wang without her beloved leggings? Uniforms make dressing quicker and easier, but also broadcast power and confidence. Picking a few for yourself can be a smart and savvy practice.

When I work with style consult clients, three business casual formulas generally arise. The first is an outer layer (blazer, cardigan, jacket), a printed top, and a skirt or pair of pants. The idea here is that the printed top adds interest and movement, but also serves as a bridging piece. For instance a floral top with burgundy, navy, and olive in its print allows you to wear a burgundy blazer and navy pants, or an olive cardigan and navy skirt. Use the print’s colors to guide your choices.

The second is a jacket or blazer with a dress. The jacket adds instant structure and formality, which means you can opt for a classic sheath dress or a more casual fit-and-flare and still look professional. The two elements create balance, and also a bit of a blank slate. You can include a statement necklace to liven up your look, belt the dress to accent your waist, or throw on a scarf to add color or print to the mix.

The third is a solid top, a solid bottom in a different color, and an accessory in the same color as the bottom. (So red sweater, black pants, black necklace.) Worn alone, the solid top and bottom have no visual relationship to each other. A necklace, scarf, or brooch that brings the bottom color into your top half unites them.

Do you have an opinion on patterned tights in the office?

I do indeed! Overall, I think subtly patterned tights – especially small, regular geometrics like dots or basket weaves – are suitable for all but the most conservative of office environments. Sheer, patterned tights are a fabulous option for transitional weather: If it’s too warm for opaques but too far into the season to do bare legs, a pair of black tights with low-contrast diamonds or chevrons will look a bit more interesting and contemporary than sheer black nylons.

Now prepare yourself for a big boatload of “howevers”: Fishnets are risky across the board, because for many people that pattern still screams “lady of the night.” There are some marvelous fishnet variations on the market, including microfishnets over a layer of sheer black nylon, but still proceed with caution. Multicolored patterned tights are far more quirky and casual than tone-on-tone and low contrast options, so reserve them for creative environments and casual wear. And bold patterns like large-scale florals, wide stripes, and busy paisleys won’t look as sophisticated as their more subdued cousins.

Still unsure? Ask HR about dress code specifications, or check in with your coworkers. Every working environment is different, and I’d hate to get you fired for splashing out on a pair of pin-dot tights.

Is it sloppy not to tuck in a button down shirt for work if you’re a woman? What are the rules here?

Style “rules” are merely guidelines, so remember that you can always bend and break them as you see fit. That said, here’s what I know about tucking:

Button-front shirts were once tucked by women and men in all professional situations, but style preferences have changed. Nowadays, lawyers, C-level execs, and other suit-wearing folks are generally still expected to tuck. The rest of us aren’t, and many don’t. So long as your shirt fits properly and is freshly pressed, it will be office-appropriate worn untucked. Since wrinkling happens organically when you actually WEAR a shirt, consider wrinkle-free fabrics to minimize your level of mid-day rumpled-ness.

Be aware, though, that your tucking preferences may be proportion-dependent. We expect to see a longer torso line with pants, so untucked button-fronts usually look natural with them. We expect a shorter torso line with skirts, so tucking may work better.

Of course, if you just plain prefer the look of a tucked shirt, by all means tuck. And if your generation sees untucked shirts as a sign of slovenliness, tuck your own shirt and do your best to give your untucked coworkers a pass.

Images courtesy Banana Republic, Nordstrom, Talbots (left to right)

**Disclosure: Actions you take from the hyperlinks within this blog post may yield commissions for alreadypretty.com. See Already Pretty’s disclosure statement for more details.

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