Style Ideas

I love to be inspired by other real women when it comes to style.  I post these ideas in the hopes of inspiring at least one person with a new idea.  I am honored that in my first year of Sweet on Style in 2014, Lauren Conrad chose me to be her "Chic of the Week" and Second Time Around chose me as their first featured blogger.  Thank you!!! XOXO


One Sweet Find:  5 Ways to Wear It

We all have items in our closet that get one wear and then just sit there and never see the light of day again.  Last year, I created the "One Sweet Find:  5 Ways to Wear It" to challenge myself and to hopefully challenge you to "Make it Work!" as Tim Gunn's famous saying goes.  I love the incredible challenge of pairing one item whether it's a jacket, necklace or dress with 5 different outfits.  It shows how you can stretch your wardrobe and your personal style.  Perhaps my husband is right; I shouldn't ever be saying, "I don't have anything to wear!"

5 Ways to Wear It: The Modern Pearl Necklace
Luxe Lace & Pearls with an Edge

I almost didn't pair these two together, but I am glad I did.  I love the look of lace.  My wedding dress was pure white Chantilly lace.  So, when I first saw this black and white lace dress, I had to have it.  I am always inspired by Kate Middleton's gorgeous lace gowns and dresses.  I'm not sure I can ever have enough lace in my closet!

Daisy Pearl Necklace:  Stella & Dot with Erika Lehman
Dress:  Arden B

5 Ways to Wear It:  The Modern Pearl Necklace
Purple Black Halo & Daisy Pearls

I love a pearl necklace because it's timeless.  I've usually worn the more traditional pearl necklace, but this one is pretty amazing!    I know it's a necklace Charlotte will one day wear.  Actually, though, my sweet baby girl tried it on it before I did.  As soon as I got it in the mail, she said "On!" and so I let her wear it.  She's loved it ever since.  Great taste! 

This necklace given to be by Stella & Dot with Erika Lehman is said to be a vintage inspired steel chain pearl necklace.  The Daisy Pearl Necklace  can be worn as a short necklace (as it is here), long necklace (with the help of the extender) and you can wear the extender as a bracelet (seen here). I absolutely love the sparkling accent piece on it because it makes a unique and memorable pearl necklace.  

Daisy Pearl Necklace:  Stella & Dot with Erika Lehman
Dress:  Black Halo / Second Time Around
(The wind was not so kind as to how the front of this dress should fall.)

5 Ways to Wear It:  The Modern Pearl Necklace
Layers of Pearls & a Restyled Velvet Classic

I think you know by now, I love to restyle things I love.  This velvet skirt is one of the key staples of my wardrobe I will always love.  I hope I can still wear it and restyle it decades from now!  I wore this skirt on the Miss America stage in 2002.  I wanted a different evening look. So, the owner of the dress boutique I frequented, Cinderella's in Rhode Island, created  the look for me.  The original "gown" was a white satin fitted midriff top along with a black velvet skirt.   I decided to restyle it here with a faded Calvin Klein shirt and layers of pearls to give it a classic American look.

Daisy Pearl Necklace:  Stella & Dot with Erika Lehman
Denim Shirt:  Calvin Klein
Skirt:  Miss New Hampshire & Miss America Evening Gown

5 Ways to Wear It: The Modern Pearl Necklace
Orange, Navy & Pearl White

To be honest, I've never worn anything bright orange other than my favorite Syracuse University sweatshirt and this orange top.   And if you ask me, yes, I bleed orange; I am an SU (Syracuse University) grad.  So, I'm partial to orange and navy any day.   I love this orange shirt because I think it brings these pearls to life.   I paired it with white pants.  It's something I never would have done a few years ago because I always stayed true to the rule about not wearing white before Memorial Day.   However, that rule has become old-school to many in the fashion industry these days.  Pure white pants and jeans are often worn in winter now, which makes me very happy.  (I am armed with Oxy and bleach to clean them - I have an almost 2-year-old who loves avocados and pink popsicles!)

Daisy Pearl Necklace:  Stella & Dot with Erika Lehman
Orange Top:  Target
Sunglasses: Ray Ban
Jacket:  Charter Club for Macy's 

The Blush Pink Jacket

Day 1:  Transforming My Engagement Dress

 I absolutely love this dress!  This is my second favorite dress (my favorite is my wedding dress).  It features silver lace over a blush pink skirt for a dreamy look.  I bought it at a BCBG Outlet in 2009 a few months before my now husband proposed to me.  When I saw the dress, I thought, "I'd love to get engaged in that dress!"  I honestly had little idea I actually would!  I almost wore it to a wedding instead but I don't like to wear anything even close to white at a wedding, so that saved me :)  (Below is the full engagement story.)

I've worn this dress a few times since my engagement, but I really wanted a different way to wear it.  (Plus, honestly, it doesn't fit quite the same post-pregnancy.)  This challenge of finding five ways to wear this blush pink jacket is really what sparked this combination.

Dress:  BCBG Outlet
Jacket:  Target
Belt:  Banana Republic
Collar:  Bloomingdale's Outlet
Clutch:  Target

My Engagement

July 2010 New York City / Cherry Hill in Central Park

My husband, Ben, surprised me and exceeded every expectation I had for our engagement.  The weekend of our engagement, I thought we were traveling to Boston for the Fourth of July.  Little did I know, Ben had made plans in New York City and had my engagement ring tucked in his pocket.  As soon as I found out we were traveling to New York City, I became suspicious he was proposing.  I thought he'd likely have the ring in his suitcase since I didn't think a jewelry box could fit in his pants pocket (that's where it was).  So, I was dismayed when we got on the train and he threw his bag on the overhead bin several seats away!

That night, we went to dinner at Tavern on the Green.  We sat outside on a hot July night under pastel lanterns hanging from the large trees. It was magical.  After dinner, Ben rushed out the front doors.  I wondered what he was in such a rush for - he had a horse-drawn carriage waiting to take us through Central Park.  The "driver" asked if we wanted to stop to take a picture at Cherry Hill.  That's where Ben proposed.  I was even more impressed when he pulled out my favorite jeweler's box (a wonderful friend, which made it even more special).  It was more than I could have ever imagined - and Ben is more than I could have ever imagined!

The Blush Pink Jacket
Sparkly Baubles & Navy Suiting

 This might be one of my favorite looks of all time because it's incredibly ladylike.  I didn't honestly think I'd like the look of blush pink and navy so much.  They complement each other well.  As for the necklace, 
I bought it to meet Lady Antebellum behind the scenes.  (Below is the picture.)  I wanted a necklace that would sparkle and make a statement!  I wore it a bit shorter here and longer for the concert.

Blush Pink Jacket:  Target
Necklace:  Bauble Bar
Top:  Target
Skirt:  J. Crew Factory
Belt:  Banana Republic
Clutch:  Target

The Blush Pink Jacket

Gray Wool, Peach Baubles & Blush Pink

 I got this dress last year from Ann Taylor Loft online and it is warm and comfortable!  I've worn it the same way - with pearls - so many times I got sick of the dress.  So, it was refreshing to restyle it and add some new life to it.  I was almost ready to get rid of it but I am glad I didn't.  Again, it always pays to shop your closet!

5 Ways to Wear It:  The Blush Pink Jacket
Blush Pink & White Lace

 It's officially spring (according to the calendar).  I still see quite a bit of snow outside my windows.  This outfit is some wishful thinking that the warm weather will soon follow.   I pulled this lace top deep out of my closet for this look.  Truth be told, I've had this BCBG top for 4 years and never worn it.   I bought it to wear for my bachelorette party but ended up wearing a black sundress instead.   I just wasn't sure what to pair it with until I found this blush pink jacket.  

The price of this blush pink jacket makes me blush just thinking about it!  I always scan the clearance racks at Target as I'm doing my errands to see if there's anything that catches my eye.  This absolutely caught my eye!  This blush pink jacket was marked down to around $12 on clearance.  It's one of my best deals of the season so far!  I searched for the same jacket on the Target site but had no luck finding it there.  I did, however, find some similar jackets at Kohl's for between $20 and $100. This Guess jacket at Bloomingdale's is a very close match.  It has more details (buttons on the sleeves and epaulets) and is priced at $118.

Photo:  John Gauvin/Studio One (from my wedding).

The Blush Pink Jacket

 Leopard, Sequins & Blush Pink

 I pretty much love leopard with anything!  Here I wanted to use it to liven up the gentle blush pink color.  The silk subtle gold skirt is one I absolutely love.  I wore it to the Late Show with David Letterman 6 years ago in New York City on a 95 degree day; it felt about 40 degrees in the studio!  It was the first time Ben and I traveled to New York together. Aside from loving the way this skirt falls, I love the memories it carries along with it.

5 Ways to Wear It:  The Bright Pink Bag

Hello!   I am thrilled that it's finally June!  In my little world, it means after 4 very long months of being away from my husband (because of his new job), Charlotte, Ben and I are finally together in our new house.  We are settling in and going through all the boxes day by day.   After we sold our previous house and waited for our new house to close, I was stayed with my parents for 3 weeks.  My dad (former pilot and aerial photographer) shot these pictures for me!

Restyling a Treasured Dress

This dress will always be one of my favorites because I wore it when I was pregnant with Charlotte.   I bought it because I loved the print and it was high quality (and on sale!).  I didn't actually think I would be able to wear it again after carrying a nearly 10 pound baby in it.  However, it went right back to its original size without a problem (wouldn't it be nice if our bodies instantly did that too)?  

Dress:  Rosie Pope Maternity
Jean Jacket:  Old Navy
Pearls:  Bloomingdale's Outlet
Sunglasses:  My Husband's

I think Charlotte already loves bags as much as I do :)

And here is the original way I wore this dress!
(With my sister, Anne)

I found this bright pink bag, called the Clarabelle Solid Satchel, at Charming Charlie and immediately scooped it off the rack.  I wear it every day and it's actually even big enough to carry my essentials and Charlotte's.  The best part?  It has a shoulder strap you can attach (and you can clean it very easily).  It's also lined with black and white striping, which I love.  It's bringing new life to both my new and older clothes.  At our closing, the bank attorney commented on it and mentioned how she has a similar bag but has always been afraid to wear such a bright color until she saw mine.  It's amazing how one accessory can make an outfit!

5 Ways to Wear It:  The Bright Pink Bag
Going Nautical with Sparkle

This coat is probably the one item in my wardrobe I receive the most comments on routinely.   I found it at Macy's on the clearance rack a few years ago.  It's such a statement piece, I know I've got to take really good care of it so it stays in my closet a long time.   Hot pink was a natural pairing with it for me, but I can't wait to try it out with a yellow bag too!

Coat:  Macy's
Dress:  Banana Republic
Necklace:  Bauble Bar
Sunglasses:  My Husband's / American Optical (AO)

Making a Statement:  Black, White & Pink.  One of my staples is always a great, versatile pair of pants I can dress up or dress down.  I got these at Old Navy and they're perfect for nearly everything - errands, playing in the grass with Charlotte or a dressier dinner paired with a black silk tank.   They are the kind of pants that won't last forever though.  The quality just isn't that great.  But for the price, they're perfect for a season of wear.

5 Ways to Wear It:  The Bright Pink Bag
Black, Gold & A Splash of Pink

Sweater:  J. Crew Factory
Belt:  Charming Charlie

Amelie Sparkle Bracelet:  `Stella & Dot by Erika Lehman
Gold Cuff:  Teeney Treasures

5 Ways to Wear It:  The Sparkly Wool Sweater

Day 1:  Sparkles, Neon Pink & White

I love this Banana Republic wool sweater because it's incredibly warm and it's different than the average wool sweater.  The looks I paired this sweater with are actually all items I had in my closet already that I hadn't worn in a while.  I wore this neon pink J. Crew Factory top once and decided it was too bright; however, I think the ivory and light brown tones in this sweater help to soften the look of it.

Sweater:  Banana Republic
Pink Top:  J. Crew Factory Store
Pants:  Macy's
Clutch:  Target
Necklace:  Forever 21

Day 2:  Stripes & Sparkles

At first, I realized I was pairing this sweater with all solid colors and I had to change that.  I knew stripes or a pattern would work well with this too.  This is actually one of my favorite looks.  In fact, I tried it with a few different belts and couldn't decide.  I guess there are more options for just this look than I could have imagined.

Day 3:  Sparkles, Green Ruffles & Pearls

I really want to pull out all of my spring clothes but Mother Nature is not cooperating.  So, this is a way to wear a spring dress - with a wool sweater.  This dress is extremely versatile. It has a beautiful full-waisted skirt.  In fact, it's so full, I wore this dress while I was pregnant.  I found it at Old Navy and I fell in love with the Kelly Green color!

5 Ways to Wear It:  The Sparkly Wool Sweater

Day 4:  A Soft Backdrop to a Bright Red Statement

I almost didn't buy these ivory pants when I saw them on the rack at Marshalls last year, but I'm glad I did!  I've used a lot of stain stick and will continue to, though.  But I love the way the sweater and the pants create a soft backdrop to this bright red top and fierce crystal statement necklace.  They draw your attention up, which I like because, let's be honest, wearing white or ivory pants can be intimidating.  They're not always the most flattering color of pants!

Day 5:  Winter Warmth

5 Ways to Wear It:  The Cotton Button-down Shirt
Spring Trend 2014

Office Chic to Leather & Crystals

I've always had the tendency to pair this pinstripe button-down shirt with something, well, boring.  A pinstripe suit or a black suit is certainly classic, but without an element of surprise (statement necklace, bold belt, leopard shoes, leather, etc.), it is unfortunately, not very exciting... Unless you're interviewing for a job and don't want to test fashion boundaries, then that is clearly different!

So, today, I decided to have more fun!  I paired the pinstripe shirt with a pair of faux leather striped pants (you can more clearly see the stripes five pictures down), a leather jacket and crystal necklace.  Perfect for a night out!  (And if it weren't for all the snow and ice lately, I'd definitely be wearing my leopard heels or black stilettos with this!

5 Ways to Wear It:  The Cotton Button-down Shirt
Spring Trend 2014

Pink, Khaki, Pearls & Dreams of Spring

I am dreaming of spring - make that summer!  I've always wanted to pair this pinstripe shirt with these hot pink pants but never had the courage.  Now, that I did, it felt good :)   It actually all came together with this khaki and pink Kate Spade bag.  One of the reasons (aside from this bitterly cold weather this week) I am dreaming of spring and summer is this pearl necklace.  I found it on a summer vacation to Block Island, R.I. and fell in love.  It was a trip for my birthday and Charlotte's birthday, so it's a wonderful reminder of those days.  An adorable boutique called Bonnie & Clyde had it in their accessory section.  I could have bought one of everything in the store had my husband let me...  I hope to visit Block Island again soon when we're in the high 80s!

5 Ways to Wear It:  The Cotton Button-down Shirt
Spring Trend 2014

A Warm White Sweater & Silver Details

We're back in the polar vortex, which means I am back to wearing sweaters!  Normally, I wouldn't pull out my white jeans until after Memorial Day; however, the rules on white are much looser than they used to be.   It's now commonplace to see white jeans year round!  And, yes, it matches all that snow!

5 Ways to Wear It:  The Cotton Button-down Shirt
Spring Trend 2014

Graphic, Gold & Classic

This shirt has been a staple in my wardrobe for many years now.  It is a cotton J.Crew 
classic shirt that I absolutely love.  I was thrilled when I saw it was made a big comeback on the runways for Spring 2014.  This is the classic workday look.  However, I had to resist pairing it with my usual black or navy J. Crew suit.  I chose this black and white graphic patterned skirt because it adds some fun to the workday classic.

5 Ways to Wear It:  The Cotton Button-down Shirt
Spring Trend 2014

Pinstripes, Aqua & Animal Print

I love the way this aqua sweater brightens up this serious pinstripe shirt.  To add another element of surprise, I paired it with the animal print belt and tortoise shell accessories.  It's still a preppy look, but the animal print breathes more life into it.  Plus, these colors make me think spring - and that's not a bad thing!

5 Ways to Wear It:  The Bright Pink 3/4 Sleeve Top

Bright Pink, Red, Leopard & Gold

Today, I am walking on the wild side!  And it's not because I integrated leopard into this outfit.  I have never paired pink and red together.  It scares me a little bit!  But when I saw the cover of the designer/company Kate Spade's newest book, "Things We Love," I knew I had to take the plunge.  Now that I've taken the plunge, I have to say I love the result.  It actually makes me question past choices.  Why have I always stuck to basic black and avoided fun colors paired together?  I guess it was the safe thing to do.  Sometimes it's fun to live on the edge and have people look twice :)

Here's my iPhone photos of the cover of this beautiful new book!  I look at it every day because it's filled with bright, beautiful colors.

Top:  Banana Republic Factory Store
Banana Republic Factory Store
Belt:  Ann Taylor Factory Store
Coat:  Old Navy
Bag:  Kate Spade / Second Time Around Consignment (Mint Condition!)
Necklace:  XSRe

5 Ways to Wear It:  The Bright Pink 3/4 Sleeve Top

Bright Pink, Polka Dots & Zebra

Shopping is like a treasure hunt for me.  There are gems and then there are, well, less desirable items that can suck your money away and take up valuable space in your closet.  This bright pink top is one of the gems.  And it came at a great price.  I found it the day after Christmas at a Banana Republic Factory Store.  The best part?  It was on the clearance rack and on that day, clearance was an extra 50 percent off.  Plus, since I am on their e-mail list, I had an additional $20 off $100.  I love the exhilaration of getting some incredible deals on items you absolutely love!  It doesn't happen every day, but when it does, it's well worth it! (Note:  If you follow this Banana Republic Factory Facebook Link, there are usually coupons!)

Top:  Banana Republic Factory
Skirt:  Macy's
Target Necklace
Handbag:  Second Time Around / Banana Republic

5 Ways to Wear It:  The Bright Pink 3/4 Sleeve Top

Things I Love: A Shimmering Bow Skirt 

I recently bought the designer/company Kate Spade's newest book, "Things We Love," and I love it.  It's my everyday source for some fashion and life inspiration.  It's colorful and fun.  Needless to say, I now have a slight obsession with bows like Kate Spade does.  When I saw this shimmering silver bow skirt at a Banana Republic Factory Store, I had to have it.  Luckily, it was also on the clearance rack along with this bright pink top.  It's certainly a way to dress up the top and have more fun!   Looking at my daughter's wardrobe, sometimes I wonder why I don't have more fun and just go with something different and shiny and leave out the "What will everyone else think?"  thoughts!  

5 Ways to Wear It:  The Bright Pink 3/4 Sleeve Top

Statement Pendant, Ponte & Rosie Pope

My black riding boots are undoubtedly part of my "uniform" or in my case, "mama-form," this time of the year.  So, in looking for a comfortable outfit, this is one of my favorites.  The pants are made out of a ponte fabric similar to the ones I featured last week.  Ponte is a tightly-woven knit that doesn't wrinkle easily.  I've never ironed these pants!  Need I say more?  :)  I like this look because it is easily dressed up with a black and gold pendant.  

And speaking of "mama-forms," do you know a fun, stylish mama?  In about a month, I will be featuring a beautiful mama each day here on Sweet on Style.  To submit photos, just e-mail me at  And in one week (by popular request), I will be doing a special pregnancy and post-pregnancy style week.  I will take you back to my days being pregnant (all 41.5 weeks of it)!  It was a long pregnancy, but honestly it was the time in my life I felt most the beautiful.

The sun was setting in this photo, so you will notice the color here is more of a magenta than the bright pink it truly is below.  Another reason I can't wait until the sun sets later!
Top:  Banana Republic Factory Store
Pants:  Target
Jacket:  Marshalls
Pendant:  XSRe

5 Ways to Wear It:  The Bright Pink 3/4 Sleeve Top

Sparkly Hat, Ivory Coat & Glistening Snow

5 Ways to Wear It:  The Black Quilted Ponte Pant

Bright Pink Silk, Black Ponte & 
The Solution for a Bad Hair Day

This is one of my most comfortable outfits.  I love this hot pink silk Ralph Lauren wrap sweater.  The only drawback is that it's dry-clean only.  So, I'd say this is one of my top two "mama-forms," again despite the obvious issue with the dry cleaning and a baby who loves to throw food.

The best part about a wrap sweater is the sheer number of ways you can wear it.  You can wear it:  1) pulled to the side as I have it   2)  knotted in the front  3) as a scarf (since it's silk, it's light enough) 4) belted 5) Loose and Draped - exactly how I wore a wrap sweater after I had Charlotte because it's ultra-comfortable and more figure flattering.  (Once I defeat this cold I have, I will eventually take photos of these ways and post them.  It's much easier to see.)

Black Ponte Pant:  Target Quilted Ponte Pant
Hot Pink Silk Wrap Sweater:  Similar Silk Wrap Sweaters
Hat:  Similar (with black bow)

5 Ways to Wear It:  The Black Quilted Ponte Pant

Purple STA, Black Baubles  & Ponte

After one of my posts on vivid winter colors, I pulled this purple jacket out of my closet. I bought it at a Second Time Around (STA) store.  If you aren't familiar, I have to share this gem with you!  One of STA's themes is "Resale Goes Upscale."  I first discovered them on Newbury Street in Boston. I found a brand new Trina Turk silk blouse with the original tags for a fraction of the price and I was completely hooked!  (It was on a mannequin and I bought everything the mannequin was wearing they styled her so well!  Looking back, my mom and I must have looked quite interesting excitedly pulling all of the clothes off the mannequin...)  Anyway, I've sold several items there and found dozens of gorgeous items.  On my wish list:  a Louis Vuitton neverfull tote, a Burberry trench and the list could go on and on...  They're a class act and you'll likely see many more items from them here in the years to come!  And aside from the amazing prices, there is something to be said for helping to create a smaller carbon footprint - one designer item at a time :)

Black Quilted Ponte Pants: Target Quilted Ponte Pant
Necklace:  Target
Clutch:  Charlotte Russe
Short-sleeved Turtleneck:  Marshall's

This necklace can go a long way!  It looks great with black - almost looks as if the baubles were sewn onto the fabric.  It also reminds me of a gorgeous pink Kate Spade necklace.

5 Ways to Wear It:  The Black Quilted Ponte Pant
Cold Weather Blues:  Black Lace, Quilted Ponte & 
Red Butter London

As I write this, it's "warm."  It's a balmy 17 degrees compared to around -10 late last week.  Lace can always cheer me up.  I wore a Chantilly lace Melissa Sweet wedding gown and I'd wear it every day if I could.  So, it was a no brainer when I saw this black and white lace shirt at Maurices.  It immediately reminded me slightly of the Tory Burch Reese Tunic, which I absolutely love.  And by the way, the red nail polish is an absolute obsession of mine.  It is Butter London "Saucy Jack."   Butter London never uses Formaldehyde, Toluene, DBP, phthalates or paragons to any of their products.  What's not to love about that?

5 Ways to Wear It:  The Black Quilted Ponte Pant
Sparkle, Quilted Ponte & a Coat with a Silver Lining

Today, I decided to dress up the black quilted ponte pant a bit.  This look would be more suitable for a night out or a special occasion.  I actually wore this same look on Christmas night.  It's comfortable yet fun and sparkly!  The jacket by "Laundry by Shelli Segal" is one I've had for years.  And, yes, the best part is it literally has a silver lining!  Pure love, especially on a freezing day like this one.

Quilted Ponte Pant:  Target Quilted Ponte Pant
Shirt:  Ann Taylor Loft Similar from Charlotte Russe
Necklace:  Target (Bought Several Seasons Ago)
Similar:  Guess / Juicy Couture
Coat:  Laundry by Shelli Segal  Similar

I love the way the crystals sit on the bright red fabric!  This will always be one of my favorites looks.

5 Ways to Wear It:  The Black Quilted Ponte Pant

I got the idea for a personal uniform of sorts from my favorite blog, What I Wore, by Jessica Quirk.   As a new mom at the time, I desperately needed to create a smart look to rely on.  Just getting out the door was a huge challenge.  I always found myself frantically searching for something, anything to wear that fit, and most of all, wasn't sitting in a  wrinkled pile as a result of my lack of sleep as a new mom and adjunct professor.  Recently, I found these quilted ponte pants at Target. I instantly knew they would be part of my first official uniform!  So, thank you, Jessica Quirk, for inspiring me to first of all create this style blog, and second of all, build a uniform or perhaps I should say 
"mama-form," to hopefully inspire others!

I've had this beautiful wool sweater for nearly 10 years. My sister, Anne, bought it for me while studying in Cork, Ireland. It's the perfect winter uniform because it's warm and comfortable.  I paired it with a well loved Arden B Scarf and my favorite Marc Fisher bag.

Quilted Ponte Pants: Target Quilted Ponte Pants
Scarf:  Similar at Macy's
Sweater:  Similar (Hard to Find an Exact Match)
Inis Meain Women's Sweaters
Bag:  Similar Marc Fisher / Brooks Brothers Quilted Bag (Gorgeous!)
Sunglasses:  Ray Ban

I absolutely love the detail on the arms of the sweater.  I think the gentle look of it is a nice contrast to the look of the faux black quilted leather on the ponte pants.

And here is the real sweet reason behind my new "mama-form" of sorts!
 ( You can find the details on this DIY flowered hat here. )

The Black Sequin Skirt:  5 Ways to Wear It
Denim, Faux Fur and a Splash of Sequins

This look is easily the most casual and classic look of the five, especially without the ivory faux fur vest.  I will be honest here, the frigid temps went to my brain.   I forgot to wear the earrings and ring I'd specifically bought for this outfit in the photos.  You can see them below.  They definitely dress up the look adding some sparkle!  Perhaps I will be able to wear them on another occasion - hopefully a much warmer one!

Denim Shirt: Calvin Klein/Macy's; Ivory Faux Fur Vest:  Macy's;
Black Sequin Skirt: Calvin Klein/Macy's; Clutch:  Charlotte Russe

Ring and Earrings:  INC at Macy's

The Black Sequin Skirt:  5 Ways to Wear It
Anchors, Pearls & Dreams of Warm Beaches

I just can't do it; I can't tuck away my favorite nautical accessories until a vacation or summer!  So, here I was dreaming of a St. Maarten beach on a chilly Lake Champlain beach in the most frigid part of winter.  I found this turquoise anchor necklace on a vacation to Newport, R.I., over the summer.  I bought the bracelet at a New York & Company sale separately not knowing had a use for it until now.  The pearls are one of my key pieces.  I found them at a J. Crew factory store and wear them with almost everything.  Some of my favorite memories were made wearing these pearls.  The white shirt is a deliciously soft scoop neck I found at T.J. Maxx.

The Black Sequin Skirt:  5 Ways to Wear It

Hot Pink, Black Sequins & a Black/Gold Cuff that says "I'm in Charge!"

No doubt about it, this pairing makes me feel powerful.  It is honestly a mix of random
things I already had in my closet.   I've had this black Kay Unger suit jacket for at least 10 years.  I found the hot pink shell at Target on the clearance rack for around $9 last month!   I discovered the black/gold cuff at a Bloomingdale's outlet.  The belt was a "find" from Talbot's winter sale last January.  And the Michael Kors shoes?  They are surprisingly comfortable and were a great find at Macy's.  Yet, you'll notice I shot a picture of them separately. I did not trudge through the snow in them to get a photo with this beautiful backdrop!  I'm not sure I'd still be walking on two feet had I worn them on the ice and snow!

The Black Sequin Skirt:  5 Ways to Wear It

Lace, Sequins & Oh, Josh Groban!

I absolutely love the look of a lace top or dress.  Call it
the Kate Middleton effect.  I may not ever let go of this lace shirt; I had the honor of meeting one of my favorite musicians of all time, Josh Groban, in Montreal.  He is a class act. So, yes, this item may stay in my closet forever!

With Josh Groban in Montreal.  Photo Courtesy of Mountain Lake PBS.
This look had to be ultra comfortable since my friends and I walked through Montreal.
I wore warm black "skinny" pants, black leather flat boots and a warm coat that night. To dress it up
on the top, I paired it with the same crystal chandelier earrings in this post.

Shirt:  I found this at the last minute at Maurices.  I have never shopped
there before and I fell in love with the lace detail.  I also fell in love with several other items there too! The quality of the lace is excellent, but the maroon fabric could be better.  However, at this price point, I am not going to complain.  It was exactly what I was looking for at an exceptional price!
Here is the link:  Maurices High-Low Shoulder Button Back Top  Happy Shopping!

The Black Sequin Skirt:  5 Ways to Wear It

Crystals on a Black Turtleneck

After all of the looks from a week ago, I now think this may be my new favorite!  
I love the look of the crystals on a clean black canvas!  It looks as if the crystals 
are a part of the sweater.  I added a red Ralph Lauren scarf for a pop of color.

I've had these heels for well over 10 years now. They're well loved.  I wish I
could tell you the brand but it's worn off.   I can tell you they are Italian leather.  These round NH
stickers grace the bottom of the shoes - my memory that I first wore these heels to my
Miss America interview back in 2002.  We labelled everything because the changing room is so cramped.

The Little White Dress (LWD):  5 Ways to Wear It

Ivory, Red, Gold & Leopard

I love the pairing of red, gold and leopard any day!   Without the sequin clutch, this could be a great work suit.  The clutch adds some sparkle and can take you out of the office.

Red Jacket:  Kay Unger.  This jacket is part of a suit that was definitely an
investment, but I have worn it countless times over the years.  

I am in love with this sequin clutch!  I found it at Charming Charlie and when
I went to the register, it was half off!  So, it ended up costing me $8.99.

Leopard is another very versatile wardrobe staple.  I have both leopard heels and flats.
I found these heels at Macy's and couldn't live without them.

 Ivory and Crystals

Today, it's all about the sparkle. I paired the ivory dress with a faux fur vest from Macy's and accessories from Charming Charlie and New York & Company. 

Faux Fur Vest:  Macy's 

Earrings:  Charming Charlie

Belt:  New York and Company

Ivory, Turquoise & Denim

 I love the look of turquoise against ivory.   It reminds
me of the tranquil waters of St. Maarten.  A nice thought on a chilly day like today!  

With the denim jacket, this is the most relaxed of the five looks.  There is nothing like the feeling of a worn, loved denim jacket!  It's like coming home.

Necklace: Macy's 
Simliar:  Design Darling
Jean Jacket:  Old Navy
Similar:  Old Navy

Ivory & Black Lace/Cashmere

This is a dressy, yet comfortable look!  I absolutely love the look of lace.  It's ladylike and timeless.  I added the emerald ring for a pop of color in contrast with the black and ivory. The belt was a "find" I discovered at a Barney's New York outlet store.  It took me through my pregnancy (it sat pretty high up!) and I still wear it constantly.

Dress:  Liz Claiborne;   Jacket: Talbots Outlet Store;     Belt: Barneys New York Outlet Store;
Ring:  INC at Macy's;    Earrings:  Charming Charlie;    Cashmere Scarf:   Gift from a Dear Friend

I wrapped the cashmere scarf over the lace jacket for added warmth.  I'm
always cold, so a cashmere scarf with nearly every outfit is a must! Plus, it dresses the look up
a bit more for a night at the theater or orchestra or drinks!

Hot Pink, Ivory & Sparkle

This last look was all about staying a little bit warmer.  I love the look and feel of a Pashmina and had to add some sparkle for a statement.  

Dress:  Liz Claiborne;
Necklace: Target,
Similar Necklaces

The Crystal Necklace:  5 Ways to Wear It

Casual Yet Elegant
I paired this crystal necklace from Target with a down vest, 
warm red sweater, dark blue jeans and a clutch.

Down Vest:  Land's End; Sweater:  Mossimo for Target;
Jeans:  New York and Company; Clutch:  Charlotte Russe

Smart/Elegant for a Night Out 

I dressed the look up a bit more with a velvet jacket and white shirt. 
Black and white are classic and I love the pairing of the two colors!  The 
feather clutch is DIY.  I thought the outfit needed some more 
character and feathers can always add character.

Velvet Jacket:  Second Time Around Consignment; White Shirt:  Target;
Feather Clutch:  DIY.
See below for description.

Clutch:  DIY.   This is my same Charlotte Russe clutch, but it needed something extra for this look.
I love feathers, so I attached some black feathers to it.  You can get feathers at most craft stores, but these
feathersare special to me.  These feathers came from my train during my classical piano talent presentation at Miss America.  My theory is that everything can be used again in a new and different way.
Nothing should just "sit" in your closet forever.  Easy to say, right?

Winter White Elegance

This is my favorite look.  I love the clean elegance of the crystals 
sparkling on an ivory canvas.

You may notice, I clipped off the crystal "drops" for the other posts.  I like the necklace
better without the "drops" for the other looks.

Red, Blue and Sparkle

I love a chambray shirt and a bold red skirt, so I couldn't
resist pairing these items together.  This red Kay Unger skirt was certainly an investment, but I've worn it countless times over the years.

Shirt:  Calvin Klein at Macy's;  Skirt:  Kay Unger;
Clutch: Banana Republic

Bright Blue Sheath

I love this bright blue color.  The dress is perfect for work or a 
night out.  I added a clutch and a crystal bobby pin that I created to pin
my hair back in the snow.

Dress:  Gap

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