Style

Tips for professional dress with a bun in the oven (and saving dough!)

19th Sep
When you are pregnant, there are so many things to plan. As a result, you might not want to bother so much with your wardrobe. At the same time, you want to look professional at work. My colleague Heather (pictured below) mentioned it is simply too costly for her to go out and buy maternity suits she would wear only a few months. Even if you could find suits to fit your budget, the purchase might not be how you really want to spend your "mad money". Here are some of her money-saving tips/tricks to look professional at work while you are pregnant: 1) In the first few months, stretchy professional dresses with a blazer are an ideal combination. The jacket can be worn open (unbuttoned), while a dress with "give" will often accommodate to a larger belly. Hopefully, your closet already contains some of these dresses, as it happened with Heather. If not, you can at least reduce your spending by buying dresses in a stretchy fabric which match or coordinate with jackets you already own. 2) A jacket can be buttoned at the top and unfastened at the bottom. Heather fastened only one button in the look pictured below. As a result, the jacket is fitted from the collar and shoulders down to the top of the waistline, highlighting her slender frame. Clothing which is fitted in areas other than the belly is infinitely more flattering, in my opinion, and looks more modern and distinguished than garments which loosely drape over the entire body. 3) Since skirts tend to be larger in the hips than in the waist, you can often pull up a suit skirt to cover your bump. If you are trying this at home, be prepared to end up with a shorter skirt, but as you can see in the photo below, it can still be a decent length and flattering. Heather did have the advantage of a concave belly in her pre-prego days. If that weren't the case or if she gets considerable larger further into the pregnancy, some tailoring can provide more room in the belly area, although this does require a bit more from the pocketbook. 4) Lastly, you need not tuck in your top. Notice that Heather's blouse is untucked to cover the "jerry-rigging" as she calls it. If you want to try this, it is best if the blouse closely matches the suit color. A contrasting color would draw attention to the pregnant belly, and this can be cheeky and fun for casual dress, but the subtlety shown in the example above projects a more sophisticated, professional image. Even before "showing", I noticed Heather often wore untucked tops with suits, so that details of a top were visible between the jacket and skirt/trousers. It is an unconventional look which does work when done the right way. The exposed top is almost an accessory, adding spice and a little extra color. For a great article regarding this look, check out a posting on Commandress here. If I had not been made privy to Heather's clever fitting tricks, I would have assumed her ensembles were put together at a special boutique for maternity wear. So you see, you truly can expect to carry style into your pregnancy without breaking the bank. Do you have any tips for maternity dressing to share? XO, Janea [line] ???? [jetpack_subscription_form title="" subscribe_text="If you enjoyed this post, you can get free updates straight to your inbox by entering your email here. We promise to never spam you!" subscribe_button="Get updates!"]

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Fashion

Is grey and white the new “black and white”?

17th Sep
I would have to say my favorite color combination for this summer is light grey with white. It's a softer, more sophisticated variation of the all-white look which has been so popular this summer. Just adding a slightly darker tone - light grey - makes an outfit look airy and light but not glaringly in-your-face. When I first saw my colleague Alyssa wearing the Banana Republic ensemble pictured below, I was reminded of an old black-and-white negative print: a reversal of the more commonly seen dark suit with white collar. She also looks a little celestial with her cloud-like white polka dot top, don't you think? The black accents at her collar and feet "ground" her and nicely frame the outfit. My favorite element here is the double-stranded coral colored choker necklace, handmade by Alyssa herself. It is a perfect accent of color, contrasting beautifully with the black-to-white spectrum. Notice also how it draws your eye upward to her face. This next look (pictured above) is cool, casual and youthfully lady-like. The fitted, long-sleeved top is a more polished alternative to the more typical tank top or t-shirt, and the grey skirt keeps the white top in check so as to prevent too stark an impression. It is the perfect outfit for a warm Saturday afternoon. [caption id="attachment_178" align="aligncenter" width="450"] If you look closely, you will see that these pants have grey and white stripes.[/caption] This third ensemble (pictured above) is a casual, comfortable look which I originally photographed for an earlier post regarding alternatives to yoga pants for everyday wear. It is simple and uncomplicated, but definitely stylish. With something like this in the closet, there's no need to resort to those boring yoga pants for a weekend stroll about town, now is there? This woman was pictured on a shadowy sidewalk, but I assure you that when she stepped into the sunshine, she glowed (oh so softly). Sandy's lovely ensemble (pictured below) was featured in an earlier post about sparkly sandals. I include it here as a beautiful variation on the grey-white combination. Both Sandy and Alyssa (in the first photo) demonstrate how adding an additional color can wonderfully enhance the palette. Adding a third color works best in my opinion, if it is very close in tone to the grey - as is the light wintergreen pictured above - or if it is a strategically placed small detail, as in Alyssa's ensemble. Both ladies chose accent colors which flatter their natural coloring. The only problem I can foresee with this grey/white pairing is the upcoming change in seasons. But then, we can always resort to grey and winter white! Does this combination get your vote?

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