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Fancy A Plum? Skirt. And Other Pretty Things…

Sometimes we use this word (see below) for things that actually aren’t extremely impressive or attractive, but this is arguably one of the most stunning ensembles I’ve ever laid eyes on. It’s not for everyone (I know we’re not all into ball skirts, but perhaps we should be), in fact it’s currently only available in a size 4, but it’s for somebody, and I hope I know them. Please buy it, pair it with the blouses shown or something equally gorgeous, get dressed up like a million bucks (or $900 at least – it’s on sale!) and take a selfie because I want to see!
stun·ning
ˈstəniNG/
adjective
  1. 1.
    extremely impressive or attractive.
    “she looked stunning”
solid, full-length skirt
www.honornyc.com
You could even wear this with a cropped sweater if you wanted to “dress it down” a bit. No, I couldn’t possibly. YES, you can. Look:
A pinterest inspiration pic for one
of my clients. I’m not sure where this
look came from. When I saw it, I fell hard.
Where will I wear this look? Everywhere. Okay, not everywhere, but to your holiday parties, galas, charity auctions and weddings. And maybe just around your house a little? For fun? Send me a pic.
Wondering where to get a well-made, sophisticated cropped sweater/top that shows just a bit of skin? So is everyone else. Good luck to you. If you see one you like offered in your size, snatch it up immediately. I received an email from shopbop the other day, and within 30 mins the cropped top on the email was sold out. People are quick-draw, gunslinger-like serious with their mouses, trackpads, fingers, whatever. Don’t hesitate, it will be gone. This will be a great investment piece when you find it. There are so many great high-waisted options right now that pair perfectly with cropped tops. Below is a great example of how putting a cropped top over a dress completely changes the look.
sold-out winter white cropped top from the Shopbop email (left)

If you’re looking for a cocktail dress that won’t break the bank, try this fun and flirty frock from Jack Wills, Lanting Dress $238:

 
 
This is a fantastic choice for this holiday season and beyond. And it has pockets! It goes perfect with the black pumps you probably already own. Done. Erin by Erin Fetherston Lace-Bodice Combo Party Dress, $330:
 
www.neimanmarcus.com
 
One more, just for fun! This dress is for work and play. It’s perfect for a party with colleagues or NYE. Throw a blazer over it, add some black tights and booties, and it’s office-ready. Asos Metallic Panel Shift Dress, $99.82:
www.asos.com
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In my Dreams, I McQueen

In my dreams, my closet is full of Alexander McQueen. I’m also 6 feet tall with a 24″ waist, but let’s talk about what could actually happen if money grew on trees. Alexander McQueen is at the very top of my fashion bucket list. From gorgeous, floor-length gowns to coats and jackets for every occasion to ornately detailed shoes, handbags and jewelry, this iconic label produces show-stopper after show-stopper, and I want it all, even my head in a cage.

 

Alexander McQueen maxi dress
$2,755 – brownsfashion.com

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In my Dreams, I McQueen

In my dreams, my closet is full of Alexander McQueen. I’m also 6 feet tall with a 24″ waist, but let’s talk about what could actually happen if money grew on trees. Alexander McQueen is at the very top of my fashion bucket list. From gorgeous, floor-length gowns to coats and jackets for every occasion to ornately detailed shoes, handbags and jewelry, this iconic label produces show-stopper after show-stopper, and I want it all, even my head in a cage.

 

Alexander McQueen maxi dress
$2,755 – brownsfashion.com

Continue reading ...

Dressing Meredith

Time to play dress-up! I’m 34 and it’s still one of my favorite things to do, especially with my friends. This particular friend, Meredith Hopping, is six feet tall and uniquely beautiful. She has porcelain skin, dark hair and striking features. And there’s so much more than meets the eye! “Mere,” as I like to call her, is a classically trained opera singer, a gifted wedding and event planner, an intense God-lover and an amazing friend. She’s one of those rare finds, where knowing her is knowing someone who will always be there to back you up, lift you up and push you forward. Mere shares her gift of writing and her incredible journey on The Hopping Home.

mere and eleonore bay (2)

The afternoon kicked off at my house with a bare-faced Meredith (who showed up with coffee, thank goodness!) and our fantastic photographer friend, Julie Ann Johnson. Julie is one of those women who has never met a stranger. She has an energy unmatched by anyone I’ve ever met, and an incredibly strong call to help others. From the moment I met her, we were collaborators and thinking of what types of projects we could create together. She supports me like we’ve known each other for years, like all women should support each other. She’s a passionate advocate for visually impaired children, a talented blogger of Life Astonished and she loves to tell stories from behind the lens.

julie ann Johnson

Mere is headed to an afternoon wedding this weekend. She wants to look young and fabulous, of course! The wedding is casual and the last thing she wants to be is over dressed. Most importantly, whatever she wears has to be breast-feeding friendly. Her husband, Nate, is co-officiating and her five-month old Francesca River, is her date for the wedding. Mere and I established a budget, and then I went shopping. And this is what I found:

grey shirt dress, brown belt,
maroon & hot pink bird scarf,
various leather bracelets
 
 
a beautiful canvas
  

a little Bobbi Brown ballet pink for mere’s lips
 
 
adding the scarf, we tried it a couple of different ways
 

we tried several belts to get the best look
 
  
 the bracelets
 
 
the look
 

 beautiful fall colors, perfect for a fall wedding

 
between the boots
 
 This process started way before shoot day and included a couple of missteps regarding the dress. The grey shirt dress was the third option. (giggle) We started with a mutually agreed upon maroon dress that Mere later decided was more her mom’s style. (shoot face) Second, we tried a beautiful cobalt blue dress we both loved, but it was the wrong size. When I took that back, the store was out of the right size and the closest one was in Kansas City. I don’t like to drive to south city, much less KC. (crying) That’s when I found this super fun, step-into-fall grey shirt dress that met all criteria. (woohoo!) The look just came together after that, adding the scarf, a vintage gold necklace, various leather bracelets and Mere’s belt and boots.
 
 
mere and francesca at the wedding

 
 
happiness abounds
 
Continue reading ...

Dressing Meredith

Time to play dress-up! I’m 34 and it’s still one of my favorite things to do, especially with my friends. This particular friend, Meredith Hopping, is six feet tall and uniquely beautiful. She has porcelain skin, dark hair and striking features. And there’s so much more than meets the eye! “Mere,” as I like to call her, is a classically trained opera singer, a gifted wedding and event planner, an intense God-lover and an amazing friend. She’s one of those rare finds, where knowing her is knowing someone who will always be there to back you up, lift you up and push you forward. Mere shares her gift of writing and her incredible journey on The Hopping Home.

mere and eleonore bay (2)

The afternoon kicked off at my house with a bare-faced Meredith (who showed up with coffee, thank goodness!) and our fantastic photographer friend, Julie Ann Johnson. Julie is one of those women who has never met a stranger. She has an energy unmatched by anyone I’ve ever met, and an incredibly strong call to help others. From the moment I met her, we were collaborators and thinking of what types of projects we could create together. She supports me like we’ve known each other for years, like all women should support each other. She’s a passionate advocate for visually impaired children, a talented blogger of Life Astonished and she loves to tell stories from behind the lens.

julie ann Johnson

Mere is headed to an afternoon wedding this weekend. She wants to look young and fabulous, of course! The wedding is casual and the last thing she wants to be is over dressed. Most importantly, whatever she wears has to be breast-feeding friendly. Her husband, Nate, is co-officiating and her five-month old Francesca River, is her date for the wedding. Mere and I established a budget, and then I went shopping. And this is what I found:

grey shirt dress, brown belt,
maroon & hot pink bird scarf,
various leather bracelets
 
 
a beautiful canvas
  

a little Bobbi Brown ballet pink for mere’s lips
 
 
adding the scarf, we tried it a couple of different ways
 

we tried several belts to get the best look
 
  
 the bracelets
 
 
the look
 

 beautiful fall colors, perfect for a fall wedding

 
between the boots
 
 This process started way before shoot day and included a couple of missteps regarding the dress. The grey shirt dress was the third option. (giggle) We started with a mutually agreed upon maroon dress that Mere later decided was more her mom’s style. (shoot face) Second, we tried a beautiful cobalt blue dress we both loved, but it was the wrong size. When I took that back, the store was out of the right size and the closest one was in Kansas City. I don’t like to drive to south city, much less KC. (crying) That’s when I found this super fun, step-into-fall grey shirt dress that met all criteria. (woohoo!) The look just came together after that, adding the scarf, a vintage gold necklace, various leather bracelets and Mere’s belt and boots.
 
 
mere and francesca at the wedding

 
 
happiness abounds
 
Continue reading ...

Vesta Jo: Full-Figure Fashion

My gorgeous and fashion-fantastic friend, Vesta, is taking over the blog tonight. She’s one of those women who is always dressed to the nines, donning the best outfit, jewelry and handbag. She’s an expert at inspiring full-figured women to relish their shape and show off their curves.


As a mother of two, a wife and an executive, it’s easy for fashion to take a backseat to the every day demands of life, but as a full-figured woman, I find it ever so important to pull a look together that seems effortless and turns heads no matter the situation.

This fall, leather is all the rage. Now, you may already be giving pause to the idea of a plus-sized lady wearing leather, but trust me on this. You can do it.

Here’s a quick guide to some of my faves this season. Leather is fun and flirty, but more importantly – it’s bold. 

1. CAREER: Sejour Faux Leather Front Peplum Top (Nordstrom)

This top will look perfect with a plaid wool pencil skirt and black pumps. Dressing it down is easy too, for casual Fridays in the office. 

2. CAREER: Leather Pencil Skirt (Talbots)

A leopard cardigan paired with a starched denim shirt and black pumps with this skirt is a bold look for the boardroom. Or, keep it simple and sleek with a black turtleneck and leopard pumps. 

3. CASUAL: Daring Laser Cut Top (Forever 21)

Saturdays are meant to be fun. This comfy, stylish top looks great for running errands or a play date with your children. Pair this one with your favorite skinny jeans or leggings and round it out with flats or low-heel booties.

4. DATE NIGHT: Exclusive Leather Trouser (ASOS Curve)

Red is nothing to fear. Wear with a black dip back top, long blazer, or turtleneck. I love seeing this look with a high pointed-toe heel.

5. CAREER/CASUAL/SOCIAL: Shift Dress with Leather Look Yoke (ASOS Curve)

This is the perfect dress with a touch of faux leather. It can be dressed up with tights and pumps for the office, high heel booties for a night out or flats to attend your best friend’s baby shower. 

If you enjoy these tips and want to read more recommendations from me, be sure to check VestaJo.com coming this November. I’m a reader of Thoughtfully Dressed, and I enjoy collaborating with my friend!

date night selfie: me and my husband, Sean
 
 
my amazing babies
 
Continue reading ...

Vesta Jo: Full-Figure Fashion

My gorgeous and fashion-fantastic friend, Vesta, is taking over the blog tonight. She’s one of those women who is always dressed to the nines, donning the best outfit, jewelry and handbag. She’s an expert at inspiring full-figured women to relish their shape and show off their curves.


As a mother of two, a wife and an executive, it’s easy for fashion to take a backseat to the every day demands of life, but as a full-figured woman, I find it ever so important to pull a look together that seems effortless and turns heads no matter the situation.

This fall, leather is all the rage. Now, you may already be giving pause to the idea of a plus-sized lady wearing leather, but trust me on this. You can do it.

Here’s a quick guide to some of my faves this season. Leather is fun and flirty, but more importantly – it’s bold. 

1. CAREER: Sejour Faux Leather Front Peplum Top (Nordstrom)

This top will look perfect with a plaid wool pencil skirt and black pumps. Dressing it down is easy too, for casual Fridays in the office. 

2. CAREER: Leather Pencil Skirt (Talbots)

A leopard cardigan paired with a starched denim shirt and black pumps with this skirt is a bold look for the boardroom. Or, keep it simple and sleek with a black turtleneck and leopard pumps. 

3. CASUAL: Daring Laser Cut Top (Forever 21)

Saturdays are meant to be fun. This comfy, stylish top looks great for running errands or a play date with your children. Pair this one with your favorite skinny jeans or leggings and round it out with flats or low-heel booties.

4. DATE NIGHT: Exclusive Leather Trouser (ASOS Curve)

Red is nothing to fear. Wear with a black dip back top, long blazer, or turtleneck. I love seeing this look with a high pointed-toe heel.

5. CAREER/CASUAL/SOCIAL: Shift Dress with Leather Look Yoke (ASOS Curve)

This is the perfect dress with a touch of faux leather. It can be dressed up with tights and pumps for the office, high heel booties for a night out or flats to attend your best friend’s baby shower. 

If you enjoy these tips and want to read more recommendations from me, be sure to check VestaJo.com coming this November. I’m a reader of Thoughtfully Dressed, and I enjoy collaborating with my friend!

date night selfie: me and my husband, Sean
 
 
my amazing babies
 
Continue reading ...

St. Louis Fashion Week Project: Design

Cocktail hour, held in a room chock full of St. Louis Fashion’s “who’s who,” was buzzing with excitement for Project: Design. A contest for emerging designers who would leave their guts on the floor of the runway upstairs.

I was lucky enough to tag along with Suzy Bacino backstage to meet all the designers while they pitched their collections to the judges before the show started. This was my favorite part. Not because I saw fashion I couldn’t live without (although there are a few things I can’t get out of my head), but because these courageous people were laying their hearts on the line as they described each collection, why they made it, what it represents, what inspired it and how they hope it makes us feel. The collections were wildly adventurous and unique. From thrift store clothes cut up and re-sewn to other vintage clothes to translucent coats to beautiful, bright African fabrics to dresses made from hand-molded felt and wool (seriously these were only one piece, no seams. Q Liu HAND MOLDED THE PIECES. It’s actually called felting.), they were all making a statement. And the statement was, “Pick me!”

Miita (visit www.miitacollection.com) won 1st place. Their collection is incredibly cool, especially their coats. I want one. The coats are translucent vinyl, which is perfect for people who love their outfits because wearing a Miita coat means never leaving the house wearing only your coat. People do that, right?

my favorite of the whole show, the vinyl coat. wish you could feel it

meet Miita
Kristen Carsrud & Angela Brigioni

Q Liu, the designer gifted with felting, was awarded second place. Her collection is very impressive and unlike anything I’ve ever seen. Each peace is seamlessly molded by hand and portrays a bird on the front. The birds were not painted, but felted into shape as well. Unbelievable works of art.

my favorite piece in her collection
 

meet Qun Liu
Other designers at Project: Design were Abaya Drake, who won the people’s choice award, Maria Silver, Lauren Bander, Elise Lammert and Spansen Files. It was a great night, full of things fresh and new. It’s a rare and wonderful thing to find something new.
floating shoes –  Is this what heaven is like?
Before heading to the show. I know, I know, I’m ASOS obsessed.
Asos dress, Banana Republic booties, YSL clutch
necklace & bracelets: Stella & Dot

 
Quin loves the BR booties too



 

Continue reading ...

St. Louis Fashion Week Project: Design

Cocktail hour, held in a room chock full of St. Louis Fashion’s “who’s who,” was buzzing with excitement for Project: Design. A contest for emerging designers who would leave their guts on the floor of the runway upstairs.

I was lucky enough to tag along with Suzy Bacino backstage to meet all the designers while they pitched their collections to the judges before the show started. This was my favorite part. Not because I saw fashion I couldn’t live without (although there are a few things I can’t get out of my head), but because these courageous people were laying their hearts on the line as they described each collection, why they made it, what it represents, what inspired it and how they hope it makes us feel. The collections were wildly adventurous and unique. From thrift store clothes cut up and re-sewn to other vintage clothes to translucent coats to beautiful, bright African fabrics to dresses made from hand-molded felt and wool (seriously these were only one piece, no seams. Q Liu HAND MOLDED THE PIECES. It’s actually called felting.), they were all making a statement. And the statement was, “Pick me!”

Miita (visit www.miitacollection.com) won 1st place. Their collection is incredibly cool, especially their coats. I want one. The coats are translucent vinyl, which is perfect for people who love their outfits because wearing a Miita coat means never leaving the house wearing only your coat. People do that, right?

my favorite of the whole show, the vinyl coat. wish you could feel it

meet Miita
Kristen Carsrud & Angela Brigioni

Q Liu, the designer gifted with felting, was awarded second place. Her collection is very impressive and unlike anything I’ve ever seen. Each peace is seamlessly molded by hand and portrays a bird on the front. The birds were not painted, but felted into shape as well. Unbelievable works of art.

my favorite piece in her collection
 

meet Qun Liu
Other designers at Project: Design were Abaya Drake, who won the people’s choice award, Maria Silver, Lauren Bander, Elise Lammert and Spansen Files. It was a great night, full of things fresh and new. It’s a rare and wonderful thing to find something new.
floating shoes –  Is this what heaven is like?
Before heading to the show. I know, I know, I’m ASOS obsessed.
Asos dress, Banana Republic booties, YSL clutch
necklace & bracelets: Stella & Dot

 
Quin loves the BR booties too



 

Continue reading ...

More Than Once

The worst thing about dressing for a formal event, is buying a dress you’ll only wear once. Let’s face it, there aren’t many dresses that can accomplish fancy-frock and shopping-with-the-girls. (No matter what your best friend, the bride, says) But this gorgeous floor-length dress will make you the belle of the ball and street chic!


More Than Once
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