A Pop of Color

There are many reasons why I want to live in a J. Crew catalog, among those being that no one ever has to brush their hair, everyone has cute kids, and everyone always looks so happy to be there. However, one of the reasons why pieces at J. Crew (among other stores as well) is that they utilize pops of color on neutral shades.


One of the best ways to look professional (and expensive) actually seems to be counterproductive – use basic shades and pieces without a lot of pazazz that are in high-quality materials. There’s a reason why you were in kindergarten you wore shirts with sparkles and ruffles and pompoms and whatever else on them – because they were cheap and your parents knew that was where your milk and pizza was going to end up anyway.


However, now you’re an old person with a real job. One way to always look put together is to choose clothing in very basic shades, preferably neutrals, such as grays, beiges, whites, blacks, and browns that were made well (even if you bought them on sale). Obviously, another great reason to do this is because the pieces will take you farther since they can be paired with tons of other shades.

Then, you can pull the whole thing together with a pop of color. This means pair your blacks, whites, stripes, and grays with brightly colored scarves, cardigans, belts, shoes, bags, and jewelry in shades such as turquoise, yellow, hot pink, and red. And voila, no one ever has to know that you’re actually broke and you live at home.




How To Choose Your Next Work Bag

Before I joined the brigade of the real world, somewhere in between graduating (and crying) and starting a full-time job (and also crying) I spotted a Michael Kors Jet Set patent leather gold tote. On sale for $110 at Century 21 when normally priced around $250, for any normal person, this tote would be a no-brainer, especially for a soon-to-be working woman who needed something to get her to and from the office. However, when you’re poor (and cheap) as I am, you gotta know how to make your purchases investments instead of buying a bright pink purse and throwing it in the closet for the rest of the eternity. Not really sure what’s a bust and what’s a bargain when you get stars in your eyes at the mall? Keep these tips in mind for your next shopping center excursion.

1. Choose a bag in a basic or neutral color and design. That means don’t buy the giant leopard print and bedazzled and bowed leopard print bag, the studded black motorcycle bag, or the colorful flowered bag, because chances are, as cute as these prints are, they aren’t to match every ensemble you can come up with. Obviously, what is “neutral” and “basic” depends on what your wardrobe is, but generally, blacks, whites, and nudes with small gold or silver accents work well. For me, my gold bag matched my typical neutral (and boring) wardrobe.


2. Don’t scrimp on quality… today. I’m all for a bargain. I don’t need my shoes to last forever (because they won’t anyway), my earrings to take me to my wedding, or my socks to even make it to next week. However, if I’m going to be lugging all my crap to the office every single day, I need that bag to make it. In that case, get something with a designer brand. Buy something with a name behind it that costs you a little extra, because sometimes, it’s worth it. 


3. Bigger is better. Don’t buy a tiny work tote because you just looooove it and figure you will make the size work. Everyday, I pack in my lunch, makeup, heels (for driving, duh), GPS, phone and charger, binder, pens, and water bottle, and it still barely fits. Don’t be that person falling into the front door with your belongings in your arms. Get a bag that’s appropriate for the amount of junk you lug around.


4. Don’t forget about functionality. How does the bag close? Is it zipper or button? Does it seem secure? Does the zipper look cheap, like it’s going to get stuck and break next week? Will the button fall off? Is it strong enough to stay shut when there is stuff about to fall out of it? These are all things to examine before dropping a pretty penny on a work tote.


5. Check out the inside, too. I had one defining moment about six months about I bought my Michael Kors Jet Set. It wasn’t a well-worded compliment from my boss or a happy eyebrow raise from the gay guy in the cubicle next to me. Instead, it was the day I accidentally spilled teriyaki sauce all over my bag on an unhappy Thursday (don’t ask). When I saw what had happened, I pretty much saw my life flash before my eyes, however, after further investigation with some baby wipes and air freshener, I realized my bag was going to make it. Inside, it was lined with a material that didn’t absorb the sauce, but instead was easily freed of it and didn’t even hold a smell. My bag didn’t have one stain on it. And that in itself was worth every dollar of my 100.


What To Wear on New Year’s Eve

A New Year’s Eve outfit is a terrible thing to waste. The items that you will be wearing on December 31 will also be the first items to be seen on the first day of the best year thus far of your life (in theory). And you don’t want to bring it home in the same ol’ thing – instead, keep these New Year’s Eve staples in mind when you’re planning where to bring the party for 2014. 

1. Leather Shorts

Yes, it’s cold, but there are always ways around this – alcohol and possibly black tights. Pair them with sky-high black stilettos for a classic and edgy party look this year. These are a great way to show off your legs in the depths of winter when most people are trying to cover up they Christmas cookie weight. 


2. Jumpsuit 

Because really, how are you going to dance on elevated surfaces in a miniskirt? Instead, take advantage of the jumpsuit trend and keep warm and still look hot. Get one in a classic color, like red, white, or black, and pair it with some eye-catching jewelry and bag. 


3. Classic Glitter Gown

You can’t go wrong with a classic glitter dress, this year and any year. However, if you do choose to invest in this trend, be sure to keep your hair and jewelry simple to avoid looking too over-the-top… even on New Year’s. 


4. The Ladies’ Tuxedo

Suits aren’t just for men! Take this modern trend to New Year’s Eve with a fitted black and white tuxedo. Keep it feminine with bright and glittery jewelry, black stilettos, and a flawless hair-down style. 


5. Leather Skirt

If you choose to go with the leather skirt, be sure to go with a pleated, slightly longer style and pair with a fitting or crop top shirt in another neutral color.