Tag Archives: banana republic

You can’t escape it

Despite the fact that temperatures are still in the 90’s, fall is on its way.   And the best evidence is hanging on the racks at just about every store in the mall.  So, today I bring you an excellent transition piece from Banana Republic.

Image courtesy of Banana Republic

Image courtesy of Banana Republic

 

 

This cotton/silk blend top ($60) is lightweight enough to be appropriate in warm weather but the rich color is great for fall.  

I like how they’ve styled it here – with a belt but if that’s not your thing, I think it would look equally excellent tucked into a pair of wide-leg trousers.

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Off-season colors FTW!

I’m kinda-sorta maybe a little in love with this Banana Republic dress ($98).

Image courtesy of Banana Republic

Image courtesy of Banana Republic

 

You don’t typically see a ton of purple going on in the summer, especially paired with grey.  But I think it definitely works here.

This dress most definitely requires a heel, since the length would be down around the knees on a mere (5′ 3″) mortal, but I feel like the shoes they’ve styled this with are a little too “matchy-matchy”.  (But I do love the color of them otherwise.)

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Dresses and discounts

At the risk of sounding like a low-budget version of Rachel Zoe, I could die for this dress ($130).

Image courtesy of Banana Republic

Image courtesy of Banana Republic

 

 

The color pallette is gorgeous.  I love how the blue jumps out of the neutrals.  The wide waistband is very figure-flattering.  (Trust me on this one.  I have a dress that almost makes me look like I have an Audrey Hepburn waist.  And believe me when I say that I do not.)  And I think I’ve already mentioned just how much I love a halter neck.

 

And if you love this dress as much as I do, have I got good news for you.  Banana Republic is currently running an online only deal where you get 15% off any purchase of $100 or more.  The deal jumps to 20% if you spend $150 so pick out an accessory to go with the dress to bump your order up by twenty dollars and get the extra discount!

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Ask The Fashionista: Champagne brunch

Another content request…  My friend Catherine wants to know what she should to wear to a champagne brunch.  I’ve come up with a couple of options for her.  And since I know she’s budget conscious, nothing here is over $130.00.

Image courtesy of Nordstrom

Image courtesy of Nordstrom

 

 

I love this MICHAEL Michael Kors dress ($129.50) because it’s light and swingy and therefore, comfortable.  The color is beautiful and eye-catching and the length is perfect for showing off good gams (which I happen to know Catherine has).

 

 

 

 

Image courtesy of Banana Republic

Image courtesy of Banana Republic

 

 

These patent wedges ($120) are a perfect compliment to the dress above.  The patent shine dresses them up but the wooden heel brings them back down a notch, making them great for daytime.

 

 

 

 

Image courtesy of Banana Republic

Image courtesy of Banana Republic

 

 

The other option is a top and trousers combo.  This cowl neck top ($39) in a coral print is gorgeous.  I would pair it with white trousers for a really fresh spring/summer look.  

 

 

 

 

Image courtesy of Piperlime

Image courtesy of Piperlime

 

 

My footwear choice for the second outfit is a flat sandal.  I like this patent t-strap version ($49) because once again, the patent looks very polished but the stones add a slightly casual daytime-appropriate look.

 

 

Do you have a style question for The Raleigh Fashionista?  Post it on my Facebook page or simply leave a comment on the blog!

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My Favorite Things: Cuffs

Cuffs are one of my absolute favorites types of jewelry for a couple of reasons.  First, because I have freakishly skinny wrists, bangles are almost always too big for me and slide right off whereas cuffs are usually adjustable.  Second, they make for easy accessorizing because they’re typically so bold that there’s no need to think about what other piece of jewelry it “goes” with.  Just throw on the cuff and leave the rest in the jewelry box.   

My first few examples are all from Net-A-Porter.com and would make a fairly sizeable dent in your piggy bank.  Coming in at a hefty $1,065, $280 and $265 respectively, none are very attainable to the average girl.  But they sure are pretty to look at, no?

Photo courtesy of Net-A-Porter.com

Photo courtesy of Net-A-Porter.com

Photo courtesy of Net-A-Porter.com

Photo courtesy of Net-A-Porter.com

Photo courtesy of Net-A-Porter.com

Photo courtesy of Net-A-Porter.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

Don’t get me wrong.  If you have the means, I highly recommend these.  But if you don’t, I assure you that gorgeous cuffs are available at all price points.  I, myself, have a few from a great little shop in the UK called Accessorize.  Oh how I wish Accessorize would make the great leap over the pond.  But while I fantasize about that, here are a couple that are available right here in the good ol’ USA.

Photo courtesy of Target.com

Photo courtesy of Target.com

 

I absolutely fell in love with this recycled metal version from Target.  The leaf motif, the gold color, the width…  I love everything about it.  And at only $39.99, my wallet (and my long-suffering husband) loves it too!

 

Photo courtesy of BananaRepublic.com

Photo courtesy of BananaRepublic.com

 

 

This mixed metal woven cuff from Banana Rebublic is great because it incorporates both silver and gold tones.  The woven look works for day or evening because I think it’s either edgy or preppy, depending on how you look at it and what you wear it with.  And again, at $44.00, there’s no reason not to treat yourself!

 

 

 

And while I’m at it, I thought I’d show a couple from my very own jewelry drawer.

Here’s one from the aforementioned Accessorize that I picked up last summer for a whopping ₤6.00, which, at the time, amounted to about $12.00.

Gold Floral cuff

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And my favorite, my piece de resistance, is this vintage 1960’s rose gold number.  I picked it up at a vintage shop in Chelsea.  I came across a table strewn with all manner of 50’s and 60’s costume jewelry and this stood out instantly.  It was love at first sight.  And let me tell you, just about every single time I wear it, I get compliments on it.  

Vintage Rose Gold cuff

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

P.S.  If you get inspired and decide to google “cuffs” at work, you should know that I encountered a few interesting search results during my research for this post.  Use your imagination…

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Working it

My friend Suze raised a very good topic recently.  She’s got a new job and unlike her old job, which allowed her to work at home – and thusly in her favorite pj’s, she now has to actually get dressed to go into an office every day.  She’s asked for guidance in building a basic, stylish work wardrobe.  The key word here is “capsule”.  Build a collection of a few essential items.

First off, and certainly nothing groundbreaking here, get yourself two great pairs of trousers, one black and one grey.  I don’t mean just any trouser either.  I’m talking investment trousers.  My personal favorite is Theory ($235 – $295 depending on the style).  I find that the cut is always flattering and they transition well from work to evening, depending on what you wear with them.  For an office environment, I would go for a more classic silhouette – basic bootcut or straight leg.  Save the skinny for evening, unless you happen to work in a more fashion-forward industry.  Check out Saks and Bergdorf Goodman online to view cuts and styles but don’t buy.  Go to your local store.  Try on 25 different styles if you need to.  See which ones work for your body type.  More importantly, see which ones don’t.  Then buy as much of what works as you can afford.  This is a purchase you will not regret.  Ever.

Photo courtesy of Nordstrom.com

Photo courtesy of Nordstrom.com

 Next, build a wardrobe of tops that you can layer and wear in different ways.  My philosophy is that you must must must spend a lot on your trousers and jeans but you can skimp in the tops department if you need to.  (Though I don’t necessarily recommend going cheap when it comes to structured button-ups.  They’ll pull in all the wrong places and won’t wear well at all.)  Here’s a great example from Banana Republic:

Photo courtesy of BananaRepublic.com

Photo courtesy of BananaRepublic.com

This silk top ($69) adds a nice punch of color.  You can wear it alone, with a statement necklace, with a cardigan, with a jacket, or with a scarf or wrap.  And speaking of Banana Republic, during my research for this article I found out that they have a great tool that makes shopping for office wear simple.  It’s called their Stylish Work collection and it contains a range of key coordinating pieces that can be worn different ways.  Well worth a look, even to just get ideas and inspiration.

While trawling Banana Republic, I also found a perfect example of a great everyday work shoe.  This black leather platform pump ($140) hits all the right marks.  

Photo courtesy of BananaRepublic.com

Photo courtesy of BananaRepublic.com

It has a 4-inch stacked heel, which gives nice height but is much more stable and offers more support than a stiletto.  The rounded point toe will stand the test of time and changing trends because it’s neither overly round or pointy to the extreme. It also comes in a “nude” (light tan) leather upper and a “dust” (brown with a hint of grey tone) suede upper.

The bottom line here is to spend as much as you can on your basics (trousers, jackets, cardigans, shoes) and add less expensive pieces (tops, jewelry, belts, scarves) to mix it all up.  It’s as simple as that.  So if you’re one of the poor working slags who has to get up and go into an office every day, count your blessings.  At least it’s an excuse to shop!

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