Work From Home Wardrobe – Fall 2015

It’s true, when you work from home you can spend all day in your PJ’s. (Trust me, I have.) But eventually you’re gonna need to leave the house and it’s nice to put on something besides yoga pants and an over-sized tee shirt (standard writer’s uniform).

Since I don’t work in an office it’s hard to justify spending much on clothes but I like to get a few new pieces each season. I’m rushing fall, I know. It’s still closer to 100 than 50 degrees here in Memphis but the new season of Project Runway and back to school have fall clothes on my brain. I perused my go-to fashion sites (see list below) and a few stores and came up with the following list of key fall pieces.

  1. Utility Jacket. utility jacket collageMy niece wore one on her two-week trip to Europe. It was a great choice because it went with almost all her casual clothes, had a ton of pockets and was roomy enough to layer another jacket or sweater underneath on cold days. I have one that I picked up a few years ago at Target that I love to wear with jean or dress it up more with black pants and animal prints.

 

 

click image to see more on my Pintrest fall fashion page
click image to see more on my Pintrest fall fashion page

2. Leather leggings. I would be more accurate to say Pleather leggings (no way I’m springing for the real thing). They look a lot like black skinny jeans but with a little more edge. Bonus: they are super comfy for travel. Most of the mall stores will have them for around $15-20 a pair. A small investment to look a little more cosmo or dangerous.

 

click image to see more accessories on my Pintrest page
click image to see more accessories on my Pintrest page

3. Gold Jewelry. It’s easy to stack necklaces, rings and bracelets in simple geometric shapes and not have them look overwhelming. Charming Charlies has an entire wall of short, medium and long necklaces for you to mix and create your own look.

 

 

 

There’s a few other trends I’ve got my eye on like fringe. It would be easy to add a fringy skirt or sweater to pieces I already have for the holidays. Chunky heeled shoes are growing on me too. I’ve already pinned a few pair of leather ones to my Pintrest accessory page (click here to see.)

What trends are you adding for fall? Which ones are you avoiding? Comment below and link to your latest pins or favorite sites. If you’re not sure yet, here’s a list of links to a few of my favorite fashion bloggers. Click on each name to visit the site.

Wendy’s Lookbook

Penny Chic

The Budget Fashionista

 

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Inside Out Fashion (Part Deux)

Last Friday I wrote about the importance of all the things are that go under my clothes.  I started with my attitude about myself and ended with hair, skin and teeth.  But there is more to the story, so today I want to post part 2 (deux, if I’m being all sexy and French).  

As much as I would like to pretend it doesn’t matter, I am going to have to throw weight into the formula.  Beyond a certain weight, I can’t fit into clothing from regular stores and that seriously limits what I can buy.  It might be a shallow reason, but one of the main reasons I will follow a diet plan is to keep myself fitting in sizes 8, 10 or 12.  Beyond that, it gets really difficult to find a variety of clothes that fit.   I will keep posting all my best tips from my years at Weight Watchers on TFS (Tips From the Scale) Wednesdays.  Hopefully, that way, we can all maintain our best size together.  

The Asymmetrical skirt I want from ASOS for $33.75

 The next layer is the basic pieces of my wardrobe.  These are always in a few generic colors (navy, black, grey, white, tan) so they can be used all year long for years on end.  These pieces aren’t much fun to shop for because I have very precise requirements:  they need to fit and flatter my curvy shape, they need to be descent quality (no cheepie mall junk), and they need to be a basic color, usually without a pattern, so almost all the pieces can work together. 

 Since I work from home I don’t need “work” clothes.  Jeans are the basics I invest the most time and money in.  I am not convinced that spending over $100 on a pair of jeans will guarantee they will be flattering, on the other hand, the cheaper jeans are, the more skimping the manufacturer has done on fabric and cut.  A great pair of jeans can make your legs look longer and thinner and your butt look smaller.   I usually have to try on 5 or 6 pair to find the fit and look I want in a store, so I can’t imagine how anyone orders jeans online.  I’d love to know the secret if anyone would want to share.  

Jewelry from H&M to create the Alexander McQueen look for less than $20 each.


The final layer is the fun stuff.  Colorful, patterned pieces that keep the rest of my clothes looking current. This is not where I spend a big chunk of my clothes budget because these are the things I won’t want after two or three seasons.  H&M is one of my favorite stores for fun clothes.  The styles are always current (and sometimes weird, like the completely sheer lace pants I found there.  Who wears those?  Where?)  My latest online obsession is ASOS.  They offer free shipping both ways and have an enormous inventory.  Both of these stores are aimed at a market that is younger than me, but as long as I don’t get my entire wardrobe from there, I can pull off a few pieces at a time. 

Inside Out Fashion

I feel like I have finally developed my own fashion sense.  I’ve reached that fantasy I chased for years where I can put together an outfit using only what I currently have in my closet, throw my hair into a style, put my make up on in 5 min., and the end result is a look I am happy with.  I love to shop for clothes, but time has taught me that it’s what’s under the clothes that makes the most difference. 

Working from the inside out, my attitude makes a huge difference in how I present myself.  Not a perpetual smile on your face so people wonder if you are a little strange type attitude (women have emotions besides happy and perky, shocking, but true), I’m talking about your attitude about yourself.  Call it confidence, self- esteem, or moxy, it is sexy and it makes you stand out in a good way.  When you like yourself, you take better care of yourself.


Which leads to the next layer:  hair, skin and teeth.  Investing in a great haircut and good haircare products made the biggest difference in my looks.  Hair is wonderfully changeable (to a point). You can’t make thin hair thick and vice-versa, but you can tame wild curls, color away your grey and get a cut that flatters your face shape and works with your type of hair.  I know I have a great cut when I can just finger comb it into place.  

Taking care of my skin was definitely a lot of trial and error.  Every woman’s magazine is full of articles and ads for ways to deal with lines and wrinkles.  But, that’s only a small part of the picture.  I don’t need spa facials (although I love them).  I keep the products I need at home and take time out, usually once a week, to do a home facial.  I claim the tv remote, pour a glass of wine and exfoliate, tone and slather on the lotion on Friday nights.  (Now you know my big plans for tonight.)  

Finally, there’s teeth.  Not something I thought much about till a book on beauty after 40 pointed out that stains from coffee, tea, and red wine can really age you. I was sold on the idea when some friends had whitening done through their dentist (beware of the mall whitening people!  Scary idea.)  The result was just subtle enough that it didn’t jump out at you, but effective enough to leave you wondering why they looked so much better.  

My Investment in Me (and Aveda)

All of this requires an investment of money and time, but in the end, you save money and time.  When I have these basics taken care of I look better in all my clothes and it takes less time to get ready when I’m in a hurry to get going. 

New York, Paris, Milan and My House

I love runway fashions.  I know they are over the top and like the rest of you I wonder who buys these clothes and where do they wear them?  Here’s a piece from Alexander McQueen’s line for Fall 2013.


It’s beautiful, daring, amazing art, but it won’t fly for my weekly trip to Target or even a big night out with my husband’s business associates.  So why do I pour over fashion mags and runway reports when I live about as far from the runway as possible?  Inspiration.  

I can sew, but whether you make your own clothes or not, you can be inspired by a style or technique to update your own wardrobe and stay current.  I am inspired by the McQueen collection.  I love the pearls on the sheer black fabric in a diamond pattern.  I would recreate that on a scarf or top for evening (or a scarf that doubles as a top under a blazer).  I might use pearl fabric paint to recreate the design on a black tee to add a regal touch.

There are also always simple updates in color or style I can use to keep my wardrobe from looking like I am stuck in a different era.  Since I work from home I live in jeans and casual clothes, but that doesn’t mean I can’t bring a little McQueen, Dior and Emanuel Ungaro to what I’m wearing to Kroger this fall.   

After hours of (joyful) studying, here are the trends I’ll be adding to my Fall/Winter ’13 Collection.

Anthony Vaccarello F/W 13

  Asymmetrical skirts were all over the runways.  I like this embellished black one.  I would wear it a little longer and with black tights.  For embellishment I would pick up a few gold studs from Michaels and add them to the long corner in the front.  

I’ve already started wearing more gold jewelry, but I might get one two cheepie chunky pieces for the holidays.  

Emanuel Ungaro and Dolce and Gabbana

I like the gold pins against the black coat dress.  One gold butterfly on a black blazer would work for me (along with a black belt with a gold buckle, details).  Earrings are always an easy way to update.  I’m sure I can find a smaller, but no less regal, version of these from Dolce and Gabbana to update my LBD (Little Black Dress). 

Finally, hair and make-up.  The change might be subtle, but it can make a big difference to keep you looking current.  Since I already have bangs I think I can pull off a side sweep.  Luckily, pale skin seemed to be all the rage (I’ve got a lock on that).  What I still need is a great red or burgundy lipstick or gloss to contrast it (add that to my shopping list).

Prada

I have no idea if anyone notices my bits of couture at the local bar and grill, but I like the way it makes me feel.  It’s a little daring, a touch of creativity, wearable art.