Pleats for Days

I’m quickly becoming a Donna Morgan dress addict. Thank goodness Lord & Taylor eventually slashes their prices so I can snap them up for around $30 instead of $130.

The price on this pleated midi dress gone up a bit since I bought it, but it’s still a steal for under $40 right now (use code LABORDAY)! FYI all clearance items are 25% off and all other items are 20% off this weekend. There are limited sizes available there so you can also get this lovely dress here and here (both on sale!).

It’s also available in a pink version and this version with a bolder print. It took me quite a while to decide which I liked best, but I’m glad I got the one I did. The print and colors make me happy – ’nuff said.

I still find that Shoptagr is the way to go as the prices will usually drop around the weekend, but I don’t want to have to constantly be checking. Instead I add the item I want in my desired size and color, wait for an email from Shoptagr telling me it’s on sale, and then immediately snap it up for a steal. Getting items for way cheaper than the original price thrills me!

I wore this dress to my doctor’s appointment (had to get a biometric screening for work) and in the space of 1 hour I got three compliments – one of which was from my male doctor. I’d call that a good day 😉 Doesn’t it feel extra special when a guy notices your clothes? I hate to stereotype, but they don’t always seem to notice stuff like that.

I love the way this dress looks with my nude ankle strap sandals (my color is now sold out, but the nude patent version is very similar), but it also goes well with wedges and flat sandals. It could easy go more boho with more jewelry and less dressed up accessories. I forgot to take pics with it untied, but it also looks really great that way.

Of course I had to pair it with my new bag – which I am still in love with! The mushroom color is such a great neutral, I’ve found it goes with seriously everything, Score! The cheapest price I found today is here (under $110!). They offer it in black, red, and putty and I think all those colors would be great investments.

I wore this dress to dinner with a friend last week and paired it with my go-to denim jacket, but it was just too hot to add a layer when we shot these pics. It would look AWESOME with this one (under $55). It’s been around 100 degrees lately here in SD, but I keep seeing people posting fall outfits on social media. Not with this heat wave!

In the past I’ve stayed away from halter tops as they can sometimes make one’s shoulders look bigger and over accentuate the bust, but I felt like this one really worked. Alas, it requires a strapless bra, but it’s still worth it.

What’s your take on pleats? Some people say they add bulk, but small ones these don’t seem to have that problem. I’ve been on the lookout for a pleated skirt so when I find the right one you’ll see it here!

Much love, Kate

Photo credit: Sarah Jordan

Keeping it Causal in All Neutrals

I feel like neutrals can get a bad rap – like they should always be in the background or something. However, I find that most of my closet is neutral colors and that’s just fine by me! FYI traditional neutrals are grey, olive green, black, brown, white, and navy. Yes, adding a pop of color can make an outfit more visually interesting, but neutrals can stand on their own too.

One tip for elevating an outfit full of neutrals is to add a “completer piece.” Does anyone else remember this term from What Not to Wear? I miss that show, I learned so much about figure flattering fashion from watching it! Anyway, a completer piece is that extra layer or bold accessory that takes a somewhat basic look to a look that really draws attention.

In the case of this outfit the completer piece would be my straw hat. This one was a random $5 purchase from AE’s clearance section to get free shipping, but I ended up loving it! A boater hat is a great choice for summer and they come in many styles.

This one is so cute! I love the crochet band. And this one is a great classic option. The site listed mine as a wide brim fedora, but it’s actually more of a boater hat due to the flat crown (top) and brim. This one is very affordable and this super wide brim boater hat would work for many women.

In fall/winter I usually go for extra layers of warmth as my completer pieces, but when the temps rise, lightweight accessories just make more sense. This is a very causal look, but the nude, low heels, bag, and hat take it up a notch or two.

This outfit would work just as well with flats, but I chose these low block heeled pumps to give me a bit of extra length in my legs – and they feel like flats! I seriously can’t stop wearing them.

IMO heels are like lipstick – they take some getting used to if they’re not something you usually wear, but they quickly become staples and you end up wondering why you went without for so long. You just have to try them on, possibly add some extra cushioning, and make sure the fit is right. Blisters/pain are no fun at all. Obvi!

I just happened to stumble upon my purse for a steal when I saw the mini version of my Rebecca Minkoff “love” bag go on sale during Nordstrom’s anniversary sale that just ended. Mine is the middle size and they also sell a jumbo sized one. I always do that – when I see something I like online I immediately do a web search for the same item and see what comes up.

Nine out of ten times I find it somewhere else for a lower price! FYI the price has gone up a bit, but it’s still on sale and you can get 15% of your first purchase by signing up for their emails. I have already worn the heck out of this bag and I just got it a few weeks ago. It’s so versatile due to the color and you can wear it 3 ways!

My tee is a favorite – I wear it all the time. I also like the raw edge side slit tee Lush just came out with. You can never have too many great tees!

I looked around and while my shorts don’t seem to be available online anymore (they’re a rare in-store purchase from Express), I found this pair and this pair. Both of which seem awesome! I’m all about comfort whenever possible and this type of unstructured short feels amazing on a hot day. I could seriously sleep in it. Sounds a little weird, but that’s a super useful feature when traveling.

What’s your favorite way to jazz up an outfit?

See you soon friend! Love, Kate

Photo credit: Leo Amar