Archives For cato fashions

Work It!

March 16, 2014 — 18 Comments

IMG_1059Work where? No matter how you bring home the bacon, you can always be on the clock in style. In this week’s Style Study, I’m going to show you three different professional outfits tailored to different workplaces and a quick DIY to reveal your creative side.

Outfit #1: Executive Excellence

IMG_0927You’re the corner-office cutie who’s dressed to impress! This look is great for any workplace with a suit-and-tie dress code or for that all-important interview to you snag the job of your dreams. The power suit doesn’t have to be too matchy-matchy. I paired this plain black blazer with a chevron-striped pencil skirt, both from Lane Bryant, to show that you can mix and match your suit separates to get versatile looks from your business wardrobe. The ruffled top from Cato Fashions adds a pop of coral to brighten up your daily grind.

IMG_0932Chevron earrings from dELiA*s, a Lane Bryant belt, and black patent, pointy-toed heels from Zappos gives the outfit professional polish to show you mean business. Ready for a night out with co-workers? Lose the blazer for a party-perfect evening look.

Outfit #2: People Person

IMG_0988Let’s face it. Heels and short skirts aren’t always practical if you spend all day on your feet. You may be a teacher running to keep up with the kiddos one second and having a parent-teacher conference the next. Or, you may work in retail where you have to look put-together for the public but still have to be comfy enough to spend eight hours without sitting at a desk. This is the outfit for you! This sheer teal top from Torrid layered over a Lane Bryant cami gives the outfit a dressy look without being too fussy. The black slacks, also from Torrid, are casually functional and have a little bit of stretch ensuring that you can keep up with whatever the day throws your way.

IMG_0989I can testify these sensible flats from Zappos with cute knot details have helped me to survive many shifts on the sales floor. I used the same Lane Bryant belt from the first outfit to emphasize the top’s empire waist. The little rose earrings from Charming Charlie compliment the fabric detail of the top as well, and a cute hair bow from Carter’s (Yes, the baby store! I was shopping for my niece, and one thing led to another…) finishes off the outfit.

Outfit #3: Creative Comfort

IMG_1053Ever want to show up to work in your sweats? Some people are really this lucky, especially artists, designers, and writers. If you’re one of these folks working either from home or from a dressed-down workplace, you can still look polished without taking too much energy away from your creative endeavors. Pastel and pretty, this graphically inspired Lane Bryant sweatshirt layers effortlessly over an Old Navy mandarin collar shirt. Stretchy, skinny jeans from Torrid are comfortable for a long day sitting in front of a computer but are polished enough for if you actually run into another human being.

IMG_1052The accessories pull from the pastel palette of the rest of the outfit. You’ll swear these mint flats from Simply Be are your favorite slippers, and the earrings? Well, that’s our DIY project, and you can make them in no time!

IMG_0843The how-to on how to make the earrings can be found here, and she even gives a few different designs you can pick from. As for me, I started off with a pair of big, gold hoops from Charming Charlie that were beginning to tarnish and not look so great. Picking the embroidery thread, I chose colors found in the sweatshirt going with shimmery mint green and pink and a solid black. Full disclaimer, the shimmery thread was a bit more difficult two work with because the strands wanted to separate more so than with the black thread, but I made it work, and here’s the end result!

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Hopefully no one has a case of the Mondays with these outfits! Until next time, work hard, play harder!

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Yes, this is a picture of a potato. No, this hasn’t turned into a cooking blog. You wouldn’t want to take my advice in cooking anyway. Keep reading to find out how potatoes play an important part in this week’s DIY.

But first, I was browsing on Pinterest not so long ago, and I came across this:

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These are Pantone’s hottest colors for spring. (The pin I found links to here.) Just who are these Pantone people? They’re the go-to people for standardizing colors, especially in the printing industry. Here’s some more info about them on Wikipedia. Fashion folks follow Pantone, too. Pantone declares a hot color for every year, and this year’s hot hue is the Radiant Orchid shade seen in the above picture, and I’m also a fan of 2013’s color, Emerald. As you can see in the spring palette, there’s a good mix of neutrals, brights, and pastels.

In this week’s Style Study, I decided to put together three outfits using these spring colors (or as close as I could get). Unfortunately most of the pieces are from years past, so I could only provide direct links to a few of them. The good news is you probably already have some of these colors in your closet, too.

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In the first look, I was super stoked to find that I had this maxi skirt from Cato Fashions with three of the spring colors on it: cayenne, sand, and hemlock. I pulled up the top of the skirt and used this belt from Torrid to make an instant dress. I played up the cayenne shade with the cardigan from Old Navy, the bracelet also from Cato, and the earrings from Charming Charlie. The pearl necklace is from Charming Charlie as well and the flats are from Zappos.

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Since purples are prominent in this group of colors, I used a purple tube dress from Ross as a foundation for the second outfit. On top of it, I tied this blouse from Old Navy in a sand snake print. I added some accessories in freesia, hemlock, cayenne, and placid blue (The ring is from Lane Bryant, the earrings are from Target, and the necklace is from Fossil). I finished the outfit with some beige shoes from TOMS.

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In the final outfit, I went for a casual look. Dark rinse denim goes with any color palette, as do these straight-leg jeans from Lane Bryant. The top in paloma is also from LB. The dazzling blue shoes from Avenue dazzle a bit more with the studs near the toes. As for the accessories, the freesia earrings are from Charming Charlie, the celosia orange ring I believe is from Torrid (but I got it some time ago), and I used the same cayenne bracelet from Cato.

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 The triangle tote brings us to our friend, the potato, and to our DIY. Potatoes can be used for art projects! Who knew? Cut them up, and they make great stamps. I found this tutorial on Pinterest, and it was extremely helpful. I got the blank canvas tote from Michaels.

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When working with potato stamps, use simple shapes—for example: triangles, hearts, squares, and crosses. Anything too detailed will look too blurry. Put a sheet of wax paper flat inside of the tote so that the paint doesn’t bleed through to the other side.

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Also, I chose to apply the paint to the potatoes with a foam brush as opposed to dipping the stamps directly in the paint. I felt that it made the edges crisper (and we all love crispy potatoes!). When stamping on fabric, remember that not all acrylic paints will survive in the washing machine without adding a textile medium. You can usually find them by the paints at the craft store. Luckily, I used Martha Stewart’s satin paints (also from Michaels) that are made for a variety of surfaces, including fabric. The colors I picked were purple yam, blue sky, wet cement, marmalade, love bird, and chamomile. I also used beetle black to make the other colors pop.

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It really is as simple as it looks. Let it dry, and you’re ready to go!

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I had so much fun putting these outfits together. The Pantone colors encouraged me to take some chances pairing pieces that I never imagined would go together. Now, go do it! Raid your own closet, and mix it up!