She She Me Sponsor: Zappos
The Look for Fall:
Two Weeks' Worth of Ensembles
I thought I was so clever. Had a bit of a lull at work, so I thought it would be fun to hop a plane back home and surprise my parents for the weekend. (The dears, they are so lonely with me so far away and I just knew it would brighten their weekend—I do seem to have that effect on people.) Well, the surprise was on me, for as the cab dropped me at my parents' doorstep (in the icy sleet no less, thank heaven for my gorgeous new coat and boots) I noticed that things seemed to be awfully dark and quiet at the ole homestead. I rang the doorbell and pasted a cheery smile on my freshly touched-up lips, knowing that my spur-of-the-moment ambush would be met with smiles of joy, hugs, kisses, cries of "Oh Darling She She! What a fantastic surprise we are sooooo happy to see you those jeans are fabulous let's get you in out of that nasty weather and into a nice toasty robe and slippers while I fix you a hot mug of cocoa and a slice of freshly baked apple spice cake! (Yum.) It was then that I realized my little reverie had not been interrupted by a sudden glare from the porch light or the front door being opened. I rang a second time thinking that my parents, in their current state of empty-nestedness (and, therefore, sheer boredom) must have already gone to bed. Yes, that must be it and they can't hear the doorbell. So I knocked sharply on the door with the handle of my umbrella. And I rapped again. Then I pounded.
Suddenly, I heard a window sash being raised and found myself abruptly caught in the high beam of an industrial strength flashlight. It was Mrs. Remington, the Nosy Parker from next door (and self-appointed one woman neighborhood watch), who promptly informed me that my parents had gone to the lake house for the weekend and wouldn't be back till Monday morning, to avoid the weekend traffic, and I must be in some kind of trouble to just show up like this unannounced and carrying a suitcase, and her daughter would never dream of behaving in such an inconsiderate and impulsive manner, but then she had raised her daughter properly yada yada yada…I left her to her rant and dragged my suitcase and roomy new tote bag around back, baffled by the fact that my parents had actually left town without telling me (my mom phones to let me know she's thinking about having the wheels rotated on her Volvo) and wondering if they had also had the locks changed.
So…remember way back in the day when you were still at home, and your parents would be out to dinner or out with friends and how much fun it was to have the whole house to yourself? You'd crank up the volume and dance around the house singing into a hairbrush and pretending you were on MTV? Then you'd make a pan of brownies and eat the entire thing yourself? Then root through closets and drawers, trying on your mom's makeup, jewelry and that luscious pair of Ferragamo D'Orsay heels which she kept under lock and key and which I begged to wear to any and every formal event of my high school life, but just because of that one time I snapped the heel of her only pair of Christian Dior pumps while playing dress-up with Janie Remington (the properly reared offspring from next door), so now she won't let me borrow anything but her sheepskin slippers… But I digress.
Anyhoo, having the place all to myself isn't quite the same now that I am in my twirties. The singing and dancing ended abruptly when I pulled a hamstring. I had to limit myself to one brownie unless I wanted visibly larger thighs by morning. And while I may no longer be tempted by my mom's stash of makeup, her jewelry and to-die-for shoes still beckon. (The lady has great taste, what can I say?) Her funky new pearls really do look fabulous on me, especially with my new wrap sweater. And those Ferragamo heels…yes! Still under lock and key, still in their box, still gorgeous beyond belief and still two sizes too big. Oh well, at least the pearls fit!
With my impromptu fairytale-warm-and fuzzy-homecoming completely blown, I decided to give Shop Girl a call to see if she was up for a girl's weekend (as if she needed to be asked!) since I was already in the neighborhood, so to speak. Not only was she up for it, but she was on a fall shopping rampage, needing to pull together two weeks' worth of ensembles for an upcoming business trip, and she enlisted my expertise (and my firmly muscled shopping biceps) and fashion prowess. Here's what we found:
Two Weeks' Worth of Ensembles
The key here, darlings, is mixing great classic pieces with distinct items to achieve several different looks, from weekend casual to business chic to drop dead gorgeous. Let's start with the key basics:
Jackets: One structured blazer which will go as well with jeans as it will with tailored trousers and skirts. One casual twill or knit jacket which can be worn loose or belted. A knee length trench coat.
Trousers: One pair of classic, menswear style trousers in a rich fabric. Pinstripe is great or even a basic black in a wide (but not too wide) straight leg style. One pair of neutral wool or gabardine trousers which can be dressed up or dressed down depending upon the occasion. One pair of classic straight leg jeans in a dark wash. Dark washes are a little more dressy, but can still be worn with casual separates for a more relaxed look.
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Tops: One classic white button down shirt. This is an absolute wardrobe must. One silky, dressy blouse in a solid neutral color like ivory, blush or cream. One printed blouse with 3/4 sleeves or long sleeves. Go for something graphic and vibrant. One cashmere or silk shell in a rich color. A cashmere turtleneck. An oversize sweater or even a sweater dress. A unique cardigan.
Dresses: A basic black sleeveless shift dress. This, again, is one of those items that you shouldn't be afraid to splurge on. (A timeless classic like this is an investment.) A great figure flattering wrap dress. A floaty tunic style dress which can be worn with opaque tights and heels, or belted at the waist and worn over skinny jeans.
Skirts: A classic A-line skirt in a dark shade like black, charcoal or dark brown. A feminine pleated skirt in a graphic or floral pattern.
Shoes: One pair of sleek leather pumps. One pair of peep-toe slingbacks. One pair of strappy leather platforms. One pair of dressy flats. One pair of kick-asterix black boots with a heel.
Handbags: A basic leather satchel style or tote style handbag. A chic leather shoulder bag, (not too large). A fabulous clutch with attitude.
Accessories: A gorgeous patterned silk scarf. A solid cashmere scarf. (Scarves are a great accessory because they add such panache to your ensemble. They can be worn around the neck, tied in so many different ways or just loosely wrapped. A long scarf can also be used as a belt, and a square scarf can be tied around the handle of your handbag for a very chic statement.) A skinny patent leather belt in a vibrant color. A mid-to-wide leather belt. A one of a kind necklace. A long chain necklace. Delicate bangles. A chunky bracelet. Also, just for She She girls, enter coupon code SHESHE20 for 20% and free shipping from The Silver Loft!
OK girls, let the fun begin! By mixing and pairing these basics you have a plethora of possibilities for your wardrobe (even more than two weeks worth!) Case in point: The structured blazer can be worn over the cashmere turtleneck and wrap dress. Add black tights, the suede slingbacks, bangles and the satchel and you are chic, sophisticated and ready to face the wrath of winter. The same blazer can be paired with the white shirt, dark denims and tall boots. Add the patterned scarf, chunky bracelet and shoulder bag and you are ready for a casual dinner with friends. The black shift dress can make its own elegant statement worn with sheer hose and the leather pumps. Finish the ensemble with the colorful necklace and clutch. Or take that same black shift worn over the white button down, turn up the collar, roll up the sleeves, add the skinny patent belt, opaque tights and suede slingbacks and you are ready for a leisurely lunch with clients. You get the picture. Each basic can be paired in a variety of ways to take the look from casual to trendy to elegant. The possibilities are endless! Have fun mixing and matching dear girls!
She She Me
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She She Me Sponsor:
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