Month: March 2014

Six Reasons to Embrace the Boyfriend Jean

Last Friday, while walking out the door in what was obviously an expert ensemble of cuffed boyfriend jeans, a dark blue and white striped button down, navy blazer, and nude heels, my mother stopped me and actually said, “Oh my god, what are you wearing?”

I didn’t take this to heart because my mother wears my own hand-me-downs, but nonetheless, I was awestruck! Flabbergasted! Mostly, I was shock that there was a person in this world who didn’t appreciate the beauty of boyfriend jeans from a nonexistent boyfriend.

Back in the day, we dropped dollars on the wonderful jegging, which felt like a legging but looked like a jean. Miracles do happen. Now, not only do my jeggings no longer fit (it’s been a rough couple of years), but each time I put them on I feel like I’m trying to live in 2003 by squeezing into way-too-tight jeans plus I can’t wait till 5:00 pm when I can put my pajama pants back on.

Anyway, baggy jeans have made a comeback, which is great for me and my continuously ballooning post-grad figure. So why exactly are boyfriend jeans such a blessing?

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1. You don’t actually need a boyfriend to wear them. Actually, my boyfriend only wears Chubbies and basketball shorts. If you did actually borrow jeans from your boyfriend, there’s a good chance they would fit you just as weirdly as they fit him anyway, but I guess if you had to (maybe walk of shaming?), you could probably rock the trend with a tucked in collared shirt.

2. They flatter all body types. Unlike most trends, the boyfriend jean favors even the short and squat, such as myself, alongside the beanpole type. This is great because us unmodelesque people don’t need to try to shove ourselves into tight clothing and count the minutes until we can breathe again. Instead, we can hide our chub and look nice.

3. You can instantly hike your fashion game. Paired with other more coiffed pieces (such as heels, sleek shirts, and suave jackets) you can make an otherwise pretty comfortable outfit trendy and fashion-forward. It’s pretty much the best thing to happen since… jeggings.

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4. Boyfriend jeans are not limited to one season. On chilled summer days or spring days, you can wear them with short boots or sandals – tackling the issue of what to wear in 65 degree weather. On the same end, you can bring them into fall with short boots, as long as it isn’t too cold since those holes get awful breezy.

5. You can wear them any day of the week. Besides having Casual Friday to rock them (the most perfect day of the week), you can also bring these babies out to the bar on Fridays, shopping on Saturdays, and to the grocery store on Sundays. Depending on the pairing, you can bring them to tons of casual occasions… just like you did with the jegging.

6. The trend can be extended to other pieces. I love this baggy piece so much that I bring it into the summer… sort of. Short, tight jorts are long over. Instead, baggy, gypsy and loose pieces are in, as long as they are paired with seemingly clashing pieces that are more chic. I love ripped, frayed, and holey shorts to go to the beach and back to the bar.  Image

The bottom line? A pair of well-made boyfriend jeans is worth the investment and designer price tag. We never thought we would get the blessing of the comfort of a jegging once again, but eureka, they live on.

How to Take Your Leggings to Work

As businesswomen, we often cringe when we see wedge heels, too much cleavage, short skirts, and poor-fitting tops. However, what do you think when you see a pair of leggings, a wardrobe staple once we realized we could basically get away with not wearing pants?

What makes your leggings a hit or a miss depends on your place of employment (do women wear heels every single day? Or do they sometimes go for jeans?), the color of them (always black at work), and the fit, as always. The real deciding factor, however, isn’t your leggings themselves (or the fact you have worn them since high school), but instead the outfit that you wear with this sometimes-stylish staple.

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1. Never be fully exposed. The shirt you are wearing should fall long enough to comfortably cover at least half your butt – and that doesn’t mean you are constantly pulling it down to make it so. If your shirt is too short, not only will you look like you belong in a college dorm, but you will look short.

2. Your shirt should be loose enough. Sometimes at work you can get away with tight tops if you pair them with modest dress pants, however, with leggings, there is quite literally no wiggle room. Your shirt can be completely shapeless, have cinches in the right spots, or just have a little space, but it cannot be skin tight. If you want to try to bend this rule then pair with a blazer or cardigan.

3. Stick with shoes that cover the most skin. Once in a while you can sneak by with sandals as well, but just don’t with leggings. Even short boots are a gamble since it’s going to make you look squat. The best pairing is with high boots that fall just below the knee with or without a heel.

4. Only wear your best leggings. I don’t know about you, but quite a few of my leggings are clearly fraying, holey, thinning, and are otherwise unsightly beyond their normal use of trudging to Target on a Sunday afternoon. Keep these at home Monday through Friday and consider investing in designer leggings or otherwise well-made ones.

5. Keep everything else in top shape. If you’re wearing leggings, unfortunately you can’t really slide by with crap boots, old tops, or no jewelry – everything else needs to be at the business-casual level to keep up.

You can wear leggings to work… however only if you can be sly about it and never make someone say, “What is she wearing?”

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The Unappreciated Art of Menswear

To be perfectly honest, I had thought of this blog post idea with the intent to bash men’s fashion. And this is why: when my boyfriend goes straight from my house to his job, he doesn’t think twice about what he is is going to wear to work. If he does dress nicely, which is not very often, it’s easy for him throw on any colored button down + gray or black slacks + (possibly) a jacket to match the pants. What’s so damn hard about that?

Because of my unfortunate lot in life, I have to give business attire more thought than the average attire-savvy semi-professional: I quite literally live in two places, so every time that time of the week comes along, I need to figure out how many days I am going to be in the other location, how many of those days I will be working, what the weather and temperature of my office will be like, the correct accessories and footwear, and of course, if all this crap is going to fit in my suitcase. It’s pretty strenuous planning for an entry-level job.

I was fully prepared to rant to you why it must be damn easy to be a man and how nice it would be to pick one pair of black pants out and a couple of button-downs and call it a day. However, when I really thought about it, we as women can do that too – hell, some of us do. We are just as capable to pick one pair of neutral pants out, one pair of matching heels, and a couple of plain blazers and jackets.

But, not all of us choose that, such as myself. As much as I complain about needing to go through all this trouble just to live my day-to-day life, I choose to do this because life is boring enough and I don’t need my clothes to be boring too. Men have this choice as well – I think menswear is an unappreciated art, too often solely employed by those working at well-to-do art-y jobs when menswear can be incredibly interesting.

It’s not all about neutral pants and colored button-downs – it’s also about fine Italian leather shoes and thousand dollar watches. It’s about accenting colors via ties and dress shirts and choosing a perfectly-fitting jacket and interesting key pieces – which, put simply, is the same thing women do. I choose a shirt in a fit and style that complements a pant fit and style ad I pair it with eye-catching accessories – at least I try to.

Men, you’re not off the hook. Women are looking… make it count.

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What are you favorite menswear pieces? How do you bring them into your own daily attire?

Work the Lazy Sunday

No, I don’t literally mean work on Lazy Sunday. However, if you do plan on venturing outside of your home (i.e. bed) on this treasured day of the week, it’s important to dress the part… like a classy slob. If you’re poor like me, you probably only have so many pieces anyhow, but don’t fret – there are several business trends fitting for weekend wear and they don’t include heels and dress pants. Check out my favorite Sunday Bests below.

1. The Boyfriend Jean. Besides being able to bring the Boyfriend Jean to casual Friday with a chic blazer and patent leather heels, the boyfriend jean is obviously a perfect match for Sunday, especially with a lazy down ‘do, sneakers, baggy tees, and obviously; sunglasses.

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2. Stripes. Stripes are a great piece to mix and match for work, especially with an army vest and patterned belt or a fur vest and high-waisted pants. But, stripes were, in fact, made for the weekend, perfect with a cute baseball cap or a pair of flats.

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3. Jean Shirts. These tops are OK for work when paired with a fluffy scarf and pearls or a tall pair of boots and leggings, especially on these cold snowy days when heels aren’t going to cut it. Once again, this piece was made for the weekend; doubling as a light jacket on spring days and great with a cute hat and crossbody bag for daytime shopping.

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4. Oversize cardigan. When you’re office is reminiscent of the Arctic, these cardigan/jackets are warm and stylish when paired cinched with a belt and paired with boots and leggings. An open cardigan with a patterned tee is a great lazy Sunday pairing.

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5. The Flannel Shirt. This staple piece can be taken to work with some heels and a colored blazer, but it was born on the weekends with a pair of jeans and sunny weather. On the weekends, throw it together with a vest and a scarf and you’ll be ready to go with the weather.

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Click Your Heels…

Even though I am at the bottom of the corporate food chain and I’m pretty much the only paper pusher who doesn’t wear jeans and Uggs to work, I still try my best to dress for a higher part so that one day I won’t be hanging around in the back of the pack. And, of course, one thing that goes hand-in-hand with colorful dress pants, coiffed blouses, and expert blow-outs is a nice pair of patent (p)leather heels.

Sometimes people actually make fun of me for my heel-wearing ways; it seems so obviously out of place in a work environment where people seeing clients usually throw on some leggings and boots and call it a day. However, to be honest, the reasons I’m putting on heels don’t just include the fact that I’m shorter than most 15-year-olds and that I’m trying to not be a paper pusher. It’s also too ridiculously easy. 

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Here’s the secret: even if the heels are stunning! beautiful! sexy! if they’re uncomfortable, you’re only going to wear them once. I’ve got some beauties who are sky high and got me plenty of second glances when enjoying Porta Friday, however when I’m getting ready for the next night out, I think back to how I was begging my friends to trade me their sandals in the bathroom by 11:30 pm and then I put on some ankle boots instead.

This is actually what makes work heels simple – they’re not supposed to be sky high. They’re supposed to be classy, chic, and professional, and if they’re not, you’ll know because your feet will be crying before lunch. And just because you’re not rocking five inches on a Tuesday doesn’t mean that your heels should ever be dowdy – go for a patent p(leather) in classic colors with a medium sizes heel (two inches) and a pointed toe to keep yourself from looking like you’re on your way to the eighth grade dance. If you chose right, it won’t bother you that you have to run in them through the front door to make it by 9:00 am and you’ll still get those coveted second glances.

“…That’s why we need really special ones now and then – to make the walk a little more fun.” – Carrie Bradshaw, Sex & The City