Outstanding Outfit Bloggers

Fab Business Casual in New York City

New York City-based Olivia from Corporate Catwalk has Business Casual dressing down pat. She loves to wear skirts and dresses to work, and sports smart casual looks on weekends. Her creative Modern Classic style is elegant, feminine and polished. She wears high heels almost daily and uses her trademark bright red lipstick to spice up both neutral and happy coloured outfits.

Olivia - 1

Olivia has a wonderful collection of skirts and day dresses! Here she’s sporting a black and white striped sheath that fits her perfectly. The above-the-knee length showcases her shapely legs and lengthens the leg line. Low-contrast shoes like black, nude, or metallic shoes would all work with this fun frock, but our blogger likes to add a bit of zing, so she opted for bright red pointy toe pumps. For outside, Olivia pops a chic Modern Classic trench over the dress. The graphite satchel, gold watch, statement necklace, our blogger’s lush brown tresses, and bright lipstick all work beautifully with this outfit’s neutral colour palette.

Olivia - 2

A matchy-matchy off-duty look for Spring or Fall. Matching the colours of the shirt, gilet and footwear creates visual cohesion. Going with a vibrant burgundy instead of neutral colours makes it fun and sassy. Wearing a striped shirt with the top buttons unbuttoned relaxes the strict vibe. The tailored long gilet provides lightweight layering interest and lots of polish, while the wedged suede peep-toe ankle boots add playful soft edge. Tucking the black skinnies into the boots streamlines the outfit. Oversized sunnies, Oliva’s trademark red lipstick and a handy petite crossbody bag with gold hardware finish off the look.

Olivia - 3

If you still need convincing that a classic pencil skirt outfit can be fabulous, then here’s your proof. Olivia’s jacquard striped skirt with frayed hem is undoubtedly the star of the show. The ladylike vibe, happy colours and flattering on-the-knee length suit her to a tee. Pairing the colourful skirt with a black blouse could have felt a little harsh. It works perfectly here though because the sheer material and ruffled flouncy sleeves create an elegant and airy integrity. Tucking the blouse creates a long lean line. On trend bright blue suede block heel ballerina pumps, silver jewellery and a pebbled leather satchel complement this amazing Business Casual look to perfection. 

Olivia - 4

As an elegant Modern Classic dresser Olivia likes to sport smart casual outfits on weekends and on days off. Here, she’s paired dark wash skinny jeans with a two-in-one top consisting of a cropped knitted top part and flowy woven lower part to create a sweater-over-shirt look. The longer length of the navy midi trench coat works well, even on shorter gals, because of the tailored fit on the shoulders and the low colour contrast against the jeans. Low-vamped patent stilettos in nude also help. A long blue and white striped scarf, Olivia’s pebbled leather satchel and go-to lipstick are the polished finishing touches.

Olivia - 5

Olivia - 5

This crisp white shirt dress can easily take you from the office to date night or after-work drinks. The fit-and-flare style is a flattering silhouette. The self-fabric belt accentuates Olivia’s waist and creates structure. The eyelet fabric mimics a graphic square pattern which creates both visual and textural interest. Nude-for-her pointy toe pumps elongate the leg line. Olivia’s minimalist tote bag matches her shoes. A gold watch and spikey bracelet are the arm candy of choice. Bright raspberry lipstick, a pair of eye-catching chandelier earrings, oversized white sunnies and Olivia’s nonchalant updo create chic beachside glam.

Olivia - 6

Another stunning and creative Business Casual look! As a modern take on the classic white button-down, Olivia is wearing a crisp white popover with short diagonal cuffed sleeves. She’s tucked it into a gorgeous chevron striped pencil skirt with higher waist, which gently hugs curves and creates fabulous hourglass proportions. The diagonal lines of the sassy chevron pattern draw the eye back to the waistline, thereby accentuating a defined waist. The vertical lines on the sides have a slimming effect. No extra bells and whistles needed, so Olivia finishes off the outfit with neutral-coloured dainty ankle strap sandals and a tan tote bag with strict architectural lines.

Let us know what you think of Olivia’s creative Modern Classic style, and then hop on over to her blog to check out the rest of her fab outfits. Or find out what inspires her on Pinterest.

Nordstrom Half Yearly Sale: Top Picks

Nordstrom’s Half Yearly sale is here. It’s a good way to top up your Spring and Summer capsules. If you have a long Summer and warm Fall, taking advantage of end of season sales is a win. 

I’ve seen most of these items in person, and am struck by how I like the simple items best. Browse all the colour options. Keep stalking the items that are out of your size as they can come back into stock.

Browse the collection page to see the items alongside my descriptions.

If you’re looking for designer options, check out my top picks from the Designer Clearance Sale.

Nordstrom Designer Clearance: Top Picks

Nordstrom’s end of Spring and Summer sales are here, just in time for the Memorial Day long weekend in the US. After browsing the designer assortments, these items look interesting. It’s nice to see some items that define the waist for a change. 

Generally, designer wear runs smaller than non-designer merchandise and there are far fewer colour options. Items sell out very rapidly during sale time so grab your size chop-chop.

Browse the collection page to see the items alongside my descriptions.

Be sure to check back in tomorrow for my top picks from the Half Yearly sale items.


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An Easy Business Casual Outfit Formula

I went shopping with a petite client who stands at 5 feet tall. She works in a corporate office and wears business casual attire four times a week, which means no denim. She prefers trousers over skirts and dresses for most days. She enjoys looking currently classic, professional and polished. 

Keeping in mind my must haves list for Spring and Summer 2016, the most important refresh of her look this season was adding cropped pants and ankle accentuating footwear. This combination set the foundation for a fast fall back outfit.

My clever client already had fabulous sandal booties to wear with cropped pants: Vince Camuto’s Lavette Perforated Peep Toe Bootie. They work very well for wide, high volume feet. The stable heel feels more like a two inch heel, it’s that comfortable. The ankle strap is in a great position to wear with shorter hemmed pants. My client got them in black and cognac and wears them all the time. 

With the sandal booties in hand, we headed straight to the petites department at Banana Republic and got the new Sloan-Fit ankle pants in black. They were still too long to wear with the sandal booties, so we had them hemmed to a shorter length right away using the Banana Republic alterations service. The pants look AMAZING with the sandal booties. 

At H&M we found a great non-crease, V-neck blouse with sleeves for $30 (it runs small so size up). We styled it untucked with the new cropped pants and sandal booties in the Banana Republic fitting room, and added a tomato red blazer that my client also liked. Right there and then, my client’s new Summer uniform was born. She completed the look with a brown tote that matches her brown hair and the tortoise shell button on the blazer. Here are the exact items. 

Later, I discovered that the $30 H&M V-neck blouse is available online in a cobalt blue. I suggested to my client that she get that one too, and wear it with the same cropped black pants, footwear and bag, but swap out the red blazer for the white one she has hanging in her closet. Here are the exact components of that outfit.

After also purchasing the Loft’s Riviera Cropped Pants in a petite white, and an abstract shirred blouse in light blue, we could use the same outfit formula by shopping for the rest of the items in my client’s closet. We added the Lavette sandal booties in cognac, the same cognac tote, and topped things off with a black blazer. Here are the exact components.

The outfit formula has become my client’s Summer workwear uniform because it’s easy to pull together, comfortable, great for domestic business travel, and looks fashionable too. The blazer is a must in air-conditioning, but feel free to leave it off in hot weather.

Fab Find: Lavette Perforated Peep Toe Bootie

The Vince Camuto Lavette is an excellent sandal bootie for high volume feet. If you have wide feet, bunions, high insteps or high arches, this is the bootie to try. It’s remarkably soft, cushioning and lightweight. The three inch heel is extremely solid, and feels more like a two and a half inch heel. It looks dramatic, fashionable and flattering on the foot. It comes in taupe, cognac and black and is offered in sizes 4 to 13. 

It’s ideal to wear to the office with cropped pants and jeans (if your office dress code includes open toe shoes.) The ankle strap is in a fabulous position to wear with that trend, and looks very grounding on any ankle shape. The sandal bootie also looks great with skirts and dresses. The peep toes are small and the bootie has lots of coverage. The rave reviews are well deserved.