After starting my career in ill-fitting, stuffy dress shirts (similar to this "before" top), I swore off collared button-downs for a while. Only in recent years did I discover how the right material or details -think pretty silk, chambray, or prints - can make these shirts stylish and fun to wear.
I got this top for 50% off thanks to Elle's helpful sale tweeting last month, and love the plaid crested pocket (pictured further below; possible DIY idea), contrast collar/cuffs, and textured fabric. The site describes these shirts as chambray, but I feel the material is more like an oxford weave. It's a good shirt for wearing un-tucked over jeans, or to work tucked into skirts or slacks. An XS fits casually loose on me, and the sleeves are not excessively long. Measurements of an XS: 17.5" across armpit, 13" across shoulder, 16" across waist, 22" approximate length, 22" sleeve length.
This custom map skirt from the talented SewPetiteGal remains one of my most special pieces. I can't wear it too much as it's such a recognizable piece - but every time I do, it manages to garner new compliments. I hope she has time in the future to open up her Etsy store again, so we can access more of her beautiful creations!
Nail polish - Essie "Hot Coco"
I love the versatile camel color of this J.Crew blazer, but these photos illustrate one of my biggest issues with it. The wool and lining are very thin, especially on the sleeves, and always looks crinkled from the slightest arm movement. The wrinkles don't stay, but are just present. I'm not sure if other owners of the wool schoolboy blazers have experienced the same issue.
I wore this outfit a few weeks back on a warmer day, and have been looking for the right tights to stretch it into another season. I'm thinking dark navy hosiery paired with same-colored pumps will be a good alternative to the standard black with black. Now if only I can find a shade dark enough so I won't look like a smurfette!
PS - Ann Taylor's current promo is 40% off all full-priced shoes, no code needed. For those who already own their classic "perfect pumps" (loving the seasonal dark jade in suede) and want the same comfort in a varying style, I've become a big fan the block-heeled pumps (closer photos here). They are sturdy without looking too matronly, and I'm enjoying not having to pull stuck thin heels out of sidewalk cracks.