The biggest event we’ve ever handled is only days away and all my time is spent triple checking last minute details. So in my current state of mind I choose this fitted, knee length, patterned blue dress with tulip capped sleeves. The inverted pleats above and below the waist, and the tie in the back, create an intricate origami that flatters any figure in a perfectly planned way. And it’s intricate busy-ness looks the way my hectic schedule feels. I’ve also been thinking hard about presentation and representation. Logos, color palettes, and any product you associate with become part of your public image. So I found myself drawn to this beautiful blue, almost stately, print that reminds me of the patterns on traditional club ties. Then I bring out the dashes of orange, and the complicated pattern, with a structured, coral, snakeskin handbag and intricate white, retro heels. I keep reminding myself that If I just focus, and prioritize, then everything will get done in time.
Regardless of how much we plan and organize, sometimes life throws things our way that we have no control over. And when those things are in direct opposition to the goals we are trying to accomplish, the ability to negotiate a compromise is a valuable skill. Here are a few thoughts on finding common ground that can be applied to both your professional and personal life.
So if Jane wasn’t busy enough lately she spent most of the party dealing with an over abundance of socializing and questions about her personal life. But she still took the time to make an effort and dress for the occasion. Personally, I think she did a wonderful job. This lovely, sleeveless, 1950’s style white dress is conservative enough for a private person but still very figure flattering with it’s high neckline, cinched waist and full skirt. The sheer overlay gives it a sophistication that only comes from subtle, tailored details and the large, melon colored blooms have an air of innocence perfect for a baby shower. Paired with simple, thin strapped, taupe summer sandals and a matching, perforated, taupe shoulder bag, Jane fit right in. Even if it wasn’t really her usual kind of party.
The other day was my best friend Annie’s baby shower. And though I was really looking forward to it I admit I got a wee bit distracted with work. But I tried my best to make an effort, truly I did, even down to what I wore for the event. I thought back to my own childhood and all the things I use to love growing up. My first find was this neon peach, knee length, full skirt made up of cascading, pleated folds. Perfect for twirling as little girls do, and who didn’t love neon colors in elementary school? Next a white, short sleeved top with a wide cropped hemline and slightly open, tulip back. It’s patterned with clusters of sparkling sequins and silver beads, the effect almost magical, the way everything is magical when you’re young. Finally a grownup, summery, modern take on the classic Mary Jane’s with these white cutout heels. I adore the black piping and buckled straps across the front. Makes me want to try tap dancing, as I often did, across the kitchen floor. Overall, the perfect outfit for the perfect party. I only wish I had been able to enjoy the whole afternoon.
A recent conversation with my coworker Jane about the Peruvian mountains, and her ease in describing them, reminded me how well traveled she is. It also reminded me that the best part of her personal style is the way she picks individual pieces with lots of personality and a worldly flair then somehow makes them all work together. The perfect reflection of someone with a variety of different personal experiences that all come together when applied to her work. Like this peplum, pale blue blouse with white lace overlay in a distinctive pattern of circles and stripes. It’s feminine and reminds me of traditional spanish lace. She wears it with rolled up, fitted jeans to better show off her earth tone, cutout sandals that have an ancient Greek flair. Her satchel, like so many of her bags, is an adventurer’s dream made of distressed, brown, faux leather with a skeleton key clasp that reminds me of old European villas and mysteries ready to be unlocked. Finally this floral inspired, statement necklace is like a modern take on a Hawaiian Lei. One look at Jane reminds me of all the places I’ve been and makes me long for all the ones I’ve yet to go.
I know I’ve put a lot on Harriet’s shoulders lately. Finishing up our last event, helping with our current event, and planning another one practically on her own. She’s doing an incredible job, while staying immaculately organized. Sometimes I have to marvel at how she handles everything we throw at her with such effortless grace! She even manages to pull together the perfect wardrobe for her day. Like this bright-coral blouse with its won’t-get-in-your-way mid length sleeves. It drapes in a flattering way but is loose and comfortable when you’re running around all day. Fitted jeans and sandy brown, faux suede wedges are great for running around and a large, dark blue, gold bead studded, structured bag can carry everything you need without getting weighed down. But the best part is the jewelry. Her choice of a multi colored, beaded necklace made up of dozens of tiny loops and bursting with colors of aqua, ruby-red, olive, and burnt-orange goes with anything and it’s busy-ness emphasizes how much Harriet has on her plate!
Regular readers may have noticed by now that I like when my clothes tell a story, capture my mood, or act as a metaphor for whatever is happening in my life. Fashion is at its best when it’s a form of self expression, after all. Today I was thinking about things that seem simple at first glance but are much more complicated once you look closer. We’ve been pretty busy around here lately, more than I expected, and so when getting ready I quickly choose this light blue dress with clean lines, a cinched waist, and a full knee length skirt. Simple, elegant, flattering, and comfortable. But looks can be deceiving and it actually has a lot of detail in the caged, cutout collar that continues all the way down the straps that reach across the back. Even the folds of the skirt are purposely layered, almost but not quite pleated, to create a similar striped effect. Once I noticed that I just had to choose heels to match, going with these delicate sandals with red backs and black and white striped straps. And to emphasis the shoes a red, patent leather clutch. Finally, just to drive the point home, this fantastic gold ring made up of small, intertwined gears. It reminds me that everything is connected, everything is in motion, and everything works together to get things done!
No matter what life throws at her Jane’s approach is always the same. Stay on target, and look straight ahead to whatever comes next. To some people that might seem like a mood killer, but when things get tough there’s no one better to get everything back on track, and that’s to be admired. I think that’s why Jane has so many practical and comfortable outfits in her wardrobe. It might seem like a waste not to take the opportunity to get dressed up everyday but Jane proves you can still look fantastic without your wardrobe getting in your way. Like this adorable, coral, polka dot button-up blouse. Simple, professional, kitschy, and classic it’s easy to wear and easy on the eyes. Paired with fitted jeans, neutral ankle strap dress sandals, and a pale pink, perforated purse she looks refreshingly ready for anything!
No woman is an island. No matter how hard you try to handle everything by yourself, you will inevitably be affected by other people. Other people who might threaten to ruin everything you’ve worked so hard for. In moments like this it helps to escape to a happy place in your mind. Perhaps a soothing, breathtaking, deserted beach where everything is wonderful and no one can come along to take it all away. My inspiration for today’s particular daydream was this gorgeous, abundant, full skirted dress. With a cascade of pleats and a pattern of orange, pink, and purple tropical flowers it’s like a vacation waiting to happen. And speaking of secrets, the sash-tie waist creates a customized fitted look, but blends in so the effect seems effortless. With a pair of chestnut cutout booties and a large, bright white structured bag. I’m more than ready to jump on a plane and escape this day. Not that I ever would. Of course not. Running away solves nothing. Still, it’s nice to dream!
I had a conversation with Harriet, our events coordinator and my close friend, that women everywhere have been having since the dawn of time. It was about perception. Harriet was worried that she isn’t always taken seriously because of her youthful look and demeanor, which doesn’t always communicate her strength or mature insight. In situations like this my advice is to never stop being who you are, and just make extra effort to emphasize all of your traits. That includes your wardrobe. For example, I think this outfit does a wonderful job! The dress, with it’s gorgeous pattern of blooming ivory daisies shows both her sweetness and her busy mind, while the high neckline and empire waist suggests innocence. But by pairing it with black, multi-strap, ankle boots she displays an attitude and defiance of convention. Finally, this sleek black and light taupe tote brings it all together in a way that speaks of her organized and practical work ethic. I’ve been nothing but impressed with Harriet’s growth this past year, and does a very good job of letting you know exactly who she is the minute she walks through the door!