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Monday Must (or Lust)-Haves: Gorgeous Red Flats

29 Mar

Gabriella Rocha 'Neve', Zappos, were $79.95, now $70.36

We’ve mentioned before that we find it a necessity to wear ballet flats for our morning daycare drop-offs and sprints to the office.  (DC sidewalks are not kind to the stiletto.)   In spite of our acquiescence to comfort, we will not sacrifice our love of style.  Just any old flat will not do!

There is nothing like a brightly colored ballet flat to keep you looking chic, but feeling comfortable.  This is why we love a flat in a gorgeous red.  In our view, it’s a professional woman’s must-have.  Red shoes will give a blah outfit some oomph and can keep you from looking matronly when you do need/want to wear flats!  Thought we’d share a few of the red flats we’ve been eyeing with you.  (We are especially in love with the Gabriella Rochas with the ankle straps pictured above and the DKNYs pictured below.  May just have to squeeze these into our spring shopping budget.)

DKNYC 'Stella' Red Patent Flats, Zappos, were $98, now $77

Repetto BB Distressed Leather Flats, Saks, $250.00

Daniblack Master red patent flats, were $135, now $67.50 (sizes 5.5-7.5)

We’re not generally into Eddie Bauer shoes, but these Eddie Bauer red flats with gold hardware are a cute find (and on clearance too!).   And we couldn’t resist mentioning these cutesy, penny-loafer-inspired Aldo Shoes either.

Next to red, animal print ballet flats are our faves.  We’ll have to do a post on those someday soon!

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Monday Must-Have: The Skinny!

15 Mar

Photos by Marcio Madeira, Courtesy of Firstview.com/Style.com

If you work in a conservative field, accessories may be your only way to squeeze at least a wee bit of creativity and pizzazz into what might otherwise be a dull, boooooring wardrobe.  Belts, one of our favorite accessories, can serve so many purposes – they have a slimming effect, distract attention from problem spots, add just the right pop of color to a neutral outfit, and transform a Plain Jane outfit into a more memorable one. 

Belts were all over the 2010 Fashion Week runways; thank goodness the skinny belt is still around because that means we won’t have to donate all those belts we bought in past seasons.   Although the looks pictured above are for Fall 2010, (with the addition of slacks or a skirt, of course) similar looks can definitely be used in the workplace during this transition period between winter and spring.  Perhaps the cardigan and coat could stand to be a bit less chunky for springtime though. 

So go grab yourselves a skinny belt (or two or three) and if you already have some in your belt collection, wrap one around your cardigan or jacket for a more updated look!  (We see that the models have slightly looped belts that were a bit too long for them; glad to know that is actually fashionable because we’ve done that on more than one occasion, not knowing if we were committing some unwritten fashion crime or not (smile!)).

Monday’s Must-Have: The Timeless Trench

8 Mar

Jil Sander Trench Coat, Net-a-Porter.com, $1,895

We are soooooo thrilled that the trench coat is a timeless piece.  What we adore about this season’s trench is that it comes in vibrant colors.  After experiencing Snowpocalypse 2010 and alternating between charcoal grey, dark brown, and plain ole black coats for most of the winter, we can’t wait to put on some springtime color!  No better way to usher color into your career wardrobe than in your outerwear.  You can flirt with color a little more in your selection of outerwear than you can with other pieces because you take coats and other outerwear off before starting a meeting or hearing.  So show a bit of your creative side!  Pick a conservatively cut trench coat in a bold, express-yourself color!  Here are some of the head-turning colors we’ve seen in trenches for the season:

Burberry Ruffled Trench, Nordstrom, $795.00

Bottega Veneta, Net-a-Porter.com, $1,100

Below are some more budget-conscious picks:

Michael Kors Trench, Nordstrom, $138

Impermeable Platinum by Weatherproof, Nordstrom, $98

Old Navy Trench, $49.50

And for the wild ones among us, here’s a zebra print Lauren by Ralph Lauren for ya ($199 at both Lord & Taylor and Macy’s)!   (While we might not be bold enough to wear this one to work, we’re seriously considering it for non-work outfits.  Cute, cute!  Would definitely want to try it on first though since prints like this one aren’t always the most flattering to all body types.)

Monday’s Must-Have: The White Blouse

1 Mar

Robert Rodriguez Blouse, Zappos.com, $125

Every professional woman (no, make that every woman) needs a few white blouses in her arsenal.  One of these blouses must be simple and versatile (yes, your traditional button-down in a nice, quality material will do) – it can be worn with a power suit or (depending on the material) can be dressed down with a pair of jeans, funky jewelry and heels.  While not necessarily the most exciting piece in your wardrobe (in fact, shopping for the most classic white blouse can be pretty boooring), it is an office essential and will likely become one of the most-worn pieces you own. 

When you’re having one of those I-don’t-have-a-clue-what-to-wear moments, a classic white blouse might be just what you need.  A chic look is wearing a simple white blouse under a v-neck sweater with a thin belt.  You can also add a wide belt and pencil skirt (just not too tight, working ladies) with high heels and there you have it…ooh, la, la.  Also, you may want to pair your blouse of choice with black slacks and a red pump for pop.   Soooo maaaany options…and we love options!

In addition to your simple, classic white blouse, you may also want to get a more statement-making one.  There are plenty of ultra-feminine white blouses out there right now.  For your viewing pleasure, here are a few girly-girl ones that caught our attention (and we just love, love, love the Rodriguez blouse above, but could probably never manage to get that tie like the one in the picture ever):

First, the wraps which are so flattering for most any shape.

Lauren by Ralph Lauren's Faux Wrap Blouse w/ ruffles and sash, Bloomingdale's, $79.50

Diane von Furstenburg Batiste 'Rasmula' Wrap, Bloomingdale's, $210

 Then, a ruched option with a simple ruffle.

Natorius Novelty Shirt, Bloomingdales, was $275, now $137.50

 And, last but not least, a bow-adorned beauty…Although we couldn’t find a large picture of the blouse below which is so uniquely adorned in bows, we had to post it anyway because it is such a gem.  Dying to go to Neiman Marcus to see it in person!

This one is adorned with the most interesting bows (click image to check out a larger pic at Neiman Marcus). Go Silk Bow Blouse, Neiman Marcus, $150

For the more budget-conscious, check out this Ann Taylor Loft ruched and ruffled option for $39.50 or this Empirio Armani bowtie blouse on sale for $39.00 (but hurry and get it because, in our experience, supplies in the right size(s) of cute white blouses do not last). 

If you don’t have a fundamental crisp, white blouse (or two), stock up, stock up before Spring arrives!

Monday’s Must-Have (or Lust-Have): Wrap Dress

22 Feb

 

Classic Wrap Dress, Banana Republic, $120

As busy professionals, we have a lot on our plates – taxing work loads, overbooked social calendars, dreadful exercise regimens, overwhelming family responsibilities and on and on and on.  Sometimes shopping has to take a back seat because we don’t have the time to find the things we need and want.  Well, we hope to help you a little in the don’t-have-time department by posting what we deem to be a wardrobe essential each Monday (i.e., “Monday must-haves” or, in our case, “lust-haves” – – items we just can’t stop thinking about and feel that we “need” in our closets). 

Today’s must-have item is the classic wrap dress.  It’s the versatile, go-to dress when you can’t figure out what to wear.   This gorgeous gem of a wrap dress comes in an irresistible shade of sapphire blue (we looooove sapphires, so this color immediately caught our eye).  It will take you from your office to happy hour with a simple change of accessories (an elegant strand of pearls for daytime and a more elaborate silver necklace for nighttime). 

For those who need a little black dress, it also comes in black .  Of course, the black option would get even more wear than the blue but, if you’re like us, you have a gazillion black dresses in your closet already and like to jazz up your wardrobe every now and then.  If you do not have several black options, get the black – – you won’t regret it.  Every woman can use a classic black wrap dress.

We do not like the style of the nude shoes that the model is wearing with the blue dress (who picks the shoes for these models anyway?); however, the nude color works with the blue.  We’d recommend a nude classic pump like this lust-have Jimmy Choo splurge, this sleek patent Stuart Weitzman beauty,  or this more budget-conscious BCBGeneration pointed-toe pick.  Of course, you should go with the classic black pump for the black dress; black pumps would work with the blue dress as well.

If you have suggestions for our next must-have (or lust-have), please feel free to email them to cornerofficechic@gmail.com.