Posts Tagged: outfit inspiration

How to work athleisure into your wardrobe

By IN Create Outfits, Find Your Style

how to work athleisure into your wardrobe

Sportswear as fashion is nothing new; it first emerged in the 1930s in New York, most notably from designer Claire McCardell, and reached a new zenith in the ‘70s with collections from Bill Blass and Geoffrey Beene. So the recent trend of “athleisure” is really just a 21st century version of a 20th century concept.

Some credit this latest emergence of the trend to women who began wearing their gymwear everywhere, and some tie it to the rise of Lululemon (and maybe even back to Juicy Couture), but it’s come a long way since then, as designers have entered the category and begun to merge it with the recent emergence of technical or “smart” fabrics.

For Sporty aesthetic mamas in particular, this means you have more choices than ever. Here’s how all of us can work athleisure into our wardrobes.

How to wear athleisure

  • Be careful about wearing it head to toe. Some athleisure pieces are more athletic than leisure. If you have on nothing but gym clothes, then you’ll look like you’re dressed for the gym. Mix in your athleisure pieces with others and now your outfit is more transitional: Weekend Casual, not Gym Ready.
  • Use them as layers. I began mixing athleisure clothes into my everyday wardrobe when I realized how much more comfortable some of the technical fabrics were. Lightweight, wicking and often smooth to the touch, they make great layering pieces.
  • Go beyond the ordinary. The athleisure wear category has expanded so greatly that it’s no longer just a matter of fancy running tights or $100 yoga pants. You can find designer collaborations like Mary Katrantzou and Stella McCartney for Adidas, niche brands like Splits59 and Outdoor Voices, and specialty lines like Tory Burch’s Tory Sport. Even Beyoncé has entered the game with her Ivy Park label. You’d never know some of these pieces are athleisure (and at some of these price points, I’d never wear them to the gym!).

Athleisure pieces also work well in situations where you might be, well, sweaty, if not sporty, such as a day at a theme park or a summer festival.

How (and where) to buy athleisure

Not sure whether you’re Classic or Modern, Sporty or Chic? Discover the style that’s right for you with “What’s My Style?” Available now for instant download.

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Capsule wardrobe: 20 pieces to wear this fall

By IN Find Your Style

capsule wardrobe: 20 pieces for fall

 

// denim hoodie / soft blazer / button front / printed tee
open cardigan / cowl neck / 3/4 sleevemesh tee
denim skirt / twill pants / cropped chinos / trouser denim
patterned scarf / natural stones / black boots / desert boots
leather satchel / menswear watch / knit tights / moccasins //

In pulling together this 20-piece autumn capsule wardrobe, I was drawn to pieces that were a mix of warm and neutral tones and tended toward looser shapes and softer fabrics. I also wanted items that could be layered in this oh-so-transitional season.

Jackets

By the end of Fall, I’ll be reaching for heavier coats, but on those perfect crisp days I like the idea of a hoodie jacket: half denim jacket, half hoodie. It splits the difference nicely.

And a soft knit blazer can perform all sorts of functions in cool weather, from providing another outerwear option to dressing up, well, pretty much anything.

The Tops

Shirts here run toward the more casual end of the spectrum, with the exception of the button-front shirt. But everything can be taken up a level with accessories and, as noted above, the blazer. Sleeve lengths range from short (the athletic-wear tee) to ¾ length and long.

The cowl-neck sweater is just a step warmer than a regular tee. Wear it over the longer-sleeved tees or under the cardigan.

The Bottoms

Bottoms are the easiest way to change the flavor of an outfit. Want dressier? Go with the denim skirt (last seen sometime in the early oughts, they’re coming back around again). Wear it bare-legged in early fall if you can, with tights when it gets frosty.

Trouser denim is a little nicer than your average pair of jeans and a looser silhouette, too. The twill pants are a straight-up classic; in navy they can also substitute for denim. The cropped khakis go with everything, too. Roll up the cuffs of either to show off your ankle boots.

The Shoes

Did somebody say ankle boots? Desert boots are one of those styles that are sometimes trendy, but always stylish. I like this dusty taupe color for its versatility; I’d wear them with tans and browns as well as shades of black.

The waterproof Hush Puppies boots are tall enough for rainy days and skirts, but should fit nicely under longer pants. And I like moccasins as a flat shoe alternative to ballet flats and loafers. They’re just a touch more rugged somehow.

The Accessories

I am a committed scarf fan and in changing seasons they also double as added warmth. Something about the earth tones in this capsule also suggested the simple beauty of unshaped turquoise stones, a color that matches anything.

I have a leather tote in a butternut color and it’s a surprisingly complementary shade. With all of the solid shapes and warmer shades in this collection, a brown leather menswear style watch seemed like the way to go.

How to Use This Capsule Wardrobe

How best to work with 20 items? You can use them

  • as a starting point: make this the baseline and supersize it with more jackets or tops or bottoms (your choice!)
  • as an inspiration list: pick a few things to add to your own closet; make your own capsule with the combination
  • as a true capsule: a limited wardrobe of just these pieces to mix carefully for the next 90 days, give or take

Me, I’m going the “inspiration list” route and coveting those Hush Puppies boots. I am forever searching for the pair that will keep my feet toasty and dry on cold rainy days.

Say goodbye to “I have nothing to wear”! Get step-by-step help editing your closet of the clothes you no longer need and filling it with style for the way you live. It’s all included in your instant download of “No More Yoga Pants: How to Dress Better, Shop Smarter and Reclaim Your Style”, the Frantic But Fabulous wardrobe makeover workshop.

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What to wear to a theme park

By IN Create Outfits

what to wear to a theme park

travel shirt / travel shorts
athletic skort / athletic shirt
swim shirt / swim shorts

In our family, we’re big fans of amusement parks. Our Mid-Atlantic location puts us in driving distance of four different theme parks, so we typically visit one at least once a year, usually in the summer.

A cotton T-shirt and shorts have always been my go-to’s, but sometimes even that combo can feel too heavy on a hot afternoon standing in line.

Instead, I’ve started taking my cues from the athleisure trend and dressing for these outings like the semi-sporting events they are (I walked over 7 miles on a Spring Break day at the Magic Kingdom, if my FitBit is accurate)!

These amusement park outfit ideas combine comfort and style to help you look good and keep your cool.

Theme park outfit ideas

Travel wear. Most companies’ travel lines, like Eddie Bauer’s Travex, are designed to be durable and cooling, with wicking fabrics to keep moisture away and mesh panels to allow venting.

I bought a pair of Travex capri pants for a summer trip to Europe for their packability, but they also made a perfect shorts alternative on Spring Break in Orlando; the zippered leg pockets were also a practical way to carry entrance tickets and my phone where I could reach them easily.

Athletic wear. Like travel clothes, athletic wear is designed to keep you cool when you get hot, and the fabrics are often wicking and quick-drying, too. While you probably don’t want to wander the theme park in running tights, many sportswear shirts just look like, well, regular shirts.

The beauty of a tennis skirt (or running skort) is that it’s like wearing a pair of shorts, but with less form-fitting fabric across the bum. If a tennis skirt is too short for you, try Bermuda length golf shorts. I picked up a pair of Puma golf shorts at an outlet mall in Orlando and they were ideal for warm weather; the fabric is quick-drying, so I could duck under one of those overhead water cooling sprays without worrying about having soggy shorts the rest of the afternoon.

Swim wear. Many theme parks now have water parks attached, so you either have to wear a swimsuit under your clothes or bring a change of clothes and store them in a locker. So why not go swimwear all the way?

Swim cover-ups look increasingly like regular clothes; Lands’ End has a full range of shirts in swimwear fabric meant to be worn over suits, and even tunic dresses. And if you opt for swim shorts on the bottom, all you have to do is toss a cover-up or rash guard on top.

All of the above. Or mix and match! If you have a piece of two of each type of clothing, you will probably find that they are more similar than they are different. Pair a travel shirt with athletic wear on the bottom, or swim shorts with a running shirt. No matter the combination, you’ll probably find you’re cooler and more comfortable at the theme park than you were before.

Say goodbye to “I have nothing to wear”! Get step-by-step help editing your closet of the clothes you no longer need and filling it with style for the way you live. It’s all included in your instant download of “No More Yoga Pants: How to Dress Better, Shop Smarter and Reclaim Your Style”, the Frantic But Fabulous wardrobe makeover workshop.

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Outfit idea: Easy chic for casual days

By IN Create Outfits

Outfit idea: Easy chic

When it comes to comfortable denim, fit doesn’t get much easier than boyfriend jeans. (The trick is to find a pair that looks slouchy on purpose, and not like you’re wearing a size too big. I’m a fan of Calvin Klein’s slim boyfriend cut for this reason.)

This outfit idea pairs slouchy jeans with a slouchy sweater for roomy comfort; that’s the “easy” part.

Too much baggy can be sloppy, though, so we pull it back from the edge of frump by adding pattern and color; that’s the “chic” part.

A failproof contrast to simple stripes is a bit of leopard print. It shouldn’t work, but it does.

Add a dash of color with red accessories, like this watch and sneakers, and your casual days just got a little more fabulous.

Learn more about how to dress for your body shape, clean out your closet and create outfits you’ll love in the Frantic But Fabulous style makeover workshop—including a checklist of closet essentials.

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How to wear a maxi skirt in winter

By IN Create Outfits

Outfit idea: How to wear a maxi skirt in winter

Last summer a flowing knit maxi skirt quickly became one of my favorite things to wear. It was somehow both chic and sporty, and could be dressed up or dressed down.

Once the temperatures started dropping, I hung it in my closet and initially forgot about it as my outfits turned to heavier fabrics, like wool and denim.

Maybe it was boredom from weeks of wearing those more wintry clothes, but for a friend’s New Year’s Day open house, I was inspired to pull it out and pair it with a new cowl neck sweater.

The result was an outfit that was a little dressy and a lot comfortable. Worn over leggings with silver ankle boots, it was plenty warm, too.

Now I’m going to work it into my winter wardrobe rotation. For a dressier evening look during an evening out with friends, I think I’ll pair it with a turtleneck and blazer, knit tights and knee-high boots.

Both outfits will work with a simple structured bag, like the one shown here. For a finishing touch, I always like a bit of bling, whether it’s a long sparkling pendant or a chunkier be-jeweled statement necklace.

Mamas, are you winter skirt wearers? How do you create outfits that are both warm and dressy?

Learn more about how to dress for your body shape, clean out your closet and create outfits you’ll love in the Frantic But Fabulous style makeover workshop—including a checklist of closet essentials.

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Working mom outfit idea: Fall to winter transition

By IN Create Outfits, Find Clothes You'll Love, Find Your Style, Personal Style, Try This Thursdays

Outfit idea: Fall to winter transition

One shortcut for creating outfits for colder winter weather is to take the building blocks of your autumn wardrobe and transition them with layers. (It helps with variable fall temperature days, too.)

On an early fall day of blue skies and warmer sun, this weekend casual outfit of classic pieces like a simple long-sleeved tee, cords and flat shoes will do.

Once the highs get lower and the sun gets weaker, trade the sneakers for more insulated suede desert boots and add a cardigan and scarf (this Burberry is from my Fantasy Closet).

When winter arrives, pile on more layers with a chambray shirt and taller, warmer boots.

In any of these scenarios, the outerwear you add on top will depend on the temperatures where you live and your tolerance for cold. You might toss a puffer vest on any one of these, or go all the way to turtleneck underneath and down coat on top. That’s the beauty of layers; you can adapt your way from “cool and crisp” to “downright Arctic.”

Learn more about how to dress for your figure, clean out your closet and create outfits in the Frantic But Fabulous style workshop—including a checklist of closet essentials.

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Working mom outfit idea: Outdoors in autumn

By IN Create Outfits, Find Clothes You'll Love, Find Your Style, Personal Style, Style, Try This Thursdays

What to wear outdoors in the fall
Calvin Klein puffer vest /
Joseph Long Sleeve Sailor Tee
/ patterned scarf / Citizens of Humanity cargo khakis / MiH Jeans the Tomboy narrow cords / TOMS suede desert booties / Vans Authentic Lo Pro shoes

Autumn is such a great time of year for outdoor activities: crisp, clear, moderate. This weekend casual outfit will suit you for a range of activities, from the neighborhood block party to an apple-picking day trip.

Start with a ¾-length T-shirt, longer-sleeved if you’re in colder climes. I love a classic mariniere, like this one, but any pattern or solid color will do.

You could always wear a pair of jeans, but why not mix it up with slim fit cords, or cargo khakis? The pockets on the latter come in handy for stashing extra Kleenex, binkies or anything else a mama-on-the-go might need.

If it’s a cooler day, or you’re outside for a while and the temperatures start to drop, wrap a scarf around your neck and toss a puffer vest on top. If it’s later in the fall, keep adding layers, like this or this.

Leave the running shoes at home and try something equally comfortable but with a bit more flair. Desert boots, or chukkas, have been around for decades, but are making a bit of a trend resurgence. Speaking of long-time classics, lace-up Vans or Keds like these are a great choice, too.

Accessorize with a cross-body bag (hands free!) and an insulated mug of your favorite warm beverage.

What’s your favorite outdoor fall activity?

Learn more about how to dress for your figure, clean out your closet and create outfits in the Frantic But Fabulous style workshop—including a checklist of closet essentials.

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