Kit + Ace opened their first Houston location in August and since then it has become a true staple for my wardrobe. Their technical cashmere, as they call it, really does do wonders. Never have I ever felt such softness while enjoying a tailored look. Usually cashmere comes in high prices and not enough style options. But, that is not the case for Kit + Ace, which yes the prices are relatively pricy but the design is anything from bare. Founded by Shannon Wilson who is married to Chip Wilson, the creator of lululemon and her stepson JJ, these two great minds developed what is Kit + Ace. A seven-step process from sourcing their cashmere from Mongolia, China to collaborating with partner factories to engineer these unique garments really does make you cherish every piece you get. Just like this beautiful Ash Turtleneck, which I can’t seem to get enough of. My dear friend Ahrif Sarumi gifted me this fine piece and I wear it at as much as I can. I have dressed it up to go to dinner, wore it around the house, took a walk in the park with it and have worn it to meetings. The degree of comfort and warmth this sweater provides me and how versatile it is makes me obsessed with not only the garment but also the brand. Kit + Ace has become one of the few brands where I have become an honoree brand advocate and wear one of their pieces as least once a week. With my ever-growing adoration for this brand, and only a few days left for cold weather in Houston, one should visit the Rice Village Kit + Ace location ASAP to buy this sweater. You will not be disappointed.
One of the things that I find challenging for anyone in the workforce is what can I wear to the office and then still look amazing at dinner and not have to change. Now imagine throwing in meeting the parents or close loved ones for the first time after a day of meetings? With Houston traffic getting crazier and not having a second to go home and change, this COS Graduated Wool Dress is a great fit for the occasion. Wool is an easy material that gives structure and works well with you throughout the day. It holds up in many conditions and does not wrinkle easily. Why do I love this dress and look? Simple, the dress is still flattering on the bust, yet not revealing. The hemline shows that you have style and enjoy taking a fashion risk. Plus again I am obsessed with mid length skirts and this plays on that look. Finally, you can never go wrong with black, it is slimming and the cuts on this dress are perfect for hiding any extra weight you may want to hide from all the holiday festivities.
PHOTS: Fredis Benitez
If you live in Houston or have ever visited, chances are you are familiar with Montrose. This small area filled with coffee shops, bars, boutiques, art and tattoo parlors is the hub of all things cool. With the weather still cold & grey outside, having a rain coat should be a wardrobe staple. Hats are a great option to have, since it provides more coverage and for me it protects my hair from getting frizzy. Black leather moto gloves add a touch of style and edge to your look. This small haven in Houston still is as cool as I remember it to be as a kid and I love everything that makes this area so unique.
Photos: Fredis Benitez
Something I love wearing to work is a mid-length skirt or as some call it a "midi." This cut was made popular by Christian Dior in the late 1940's, while he was transitioning from the traditional boxy silhouette to a more sophisticated and feminine design. This type of skirt is perfect for any occasion at the office. It can be easily worn from day to night and can help you stand out in the office as well. Midi skirts showcase another fashionable layer to dress from the traditional pant suit or work skirt. It is office-appropriate considering not too much is showing and it really personifies a lady-like appearance.
Wearing a skirt like this allows you the ability to try on different looks with one skirt. I would recommend on the weekends to try a pair of sneakers with a nice t-shirt and the midi skirt. For the office, a great pair of heels and sweater and transitioning to the evening a crop top. All these elements will give you a space to create your own look with the base of a mid length skirt. Cheers to styling!
Many businesses promote casual Friday, even schools allow teachers to wear jeans on this relaxed day. So what if you want to be casual without the denim? For some reason, this can be tricky. You don't want to be too casual where you are wearing tights to work or even short shorts, but you don't want to look too uptight that you can't enjoy a casual day. The key is to look effortless (even though effortless chic is not so effortless). Since the tempters have dropped, this is the ideal time to layer up and put together the perfect ensemble. I recommend wearing a blazer with an easy top such as sweaters, t-shirts, silk tops or crisp button downs. For the bottoms, try a cotton pixie pant or wool trousers. Mixing the materials bring a different element to the look. Also, the best way to complete the look is with a pair of great shoes. Make sure to remember casual does not mean comfy or lazy. Your shoes should always be clean to really bring the whole effortless look together. This way your professionalism stays in tact and your look is a stellar example of what is appropriate for casual Friday.
Something that many girls tend to forget about is presentation etiquette. When speaking to a group it is important to not only to be direct but also to have appropriate style. A presentation can be ruined by just the distraction of what someone is wearing. The best advice I can give to anyone preparing for a big presentation in the fashion department is to keep it simple and cover up. This is not your time to show off your body, but to show off your mind. Gaining the attention of an audience is crucial for anyone trying to get their point across, but looking the part is the cherry on top.
I recommend wearing clothes that accentuates your body, but not in a bodycon manner. This look is perfect since my waist is the focal point, but the pattern is consistent, which won’t distract the audience from anything else I am wearing. The top covers my chest and the pants are form fitting, but not tight. There is also a flowing pattern from the top to bottom. The long lines in the pattern elongate my look and give the appearance of me being taller than I actually am. Finally, the cuts on the top and pant show a sense of flair and style, still giving a taste of my personality.
The pantsuit is one of the looks that can become dated for the office. I remember when I started working at my first job that required me to dress professionally. I went to Express and bought myself a few pantsuits. It was a great start for me at a young age, but with time something so basic should be approached as a blank canvas. Changing the way you look at pantsuits allows you to show your personality and experiment.
Some quick tips I can suggest in regard to elevating your pantsuit are that jackets should always be tailored. A tailored jacket on a women is so sophisticated and powerful as well as gives a polished look. Moving down to the pants of the suite, you can wear a high waist, cropped bottoms, trousers or flair. They all will look great with a tailored jacket and the pant allows for versatility. Choosing a top should represent the message you are trying to convey. Play around with pantsuits outside of just work. Wearing a crop top or something embellished is a great look to wear to dinner or to an art gallery opening. This not only allows you to grow your personal look, but your overall wardrobe.
It has been since September that I have posted. Over the last few weeks I intensified my training for my second Half Ironman. All the extra time I had available was dedicated to getting myself ready for the race. Now that the race has successfully been completed my energy will be back to writing the blog.
On that note, I will start a new style series called #workwearwednesday. What I hope to accomplish with this weekly style update is to encourage and inspire everyone to elevate their work wear. Getting ready to go to work can be such a drag at times, but I feel when you dress well and put in the extra effort to be presentable, not only does your attitude change but the energy you put out does too. If you look good you feel good.
Thinking outside the box and wanting to wear something more than the traditional black is always a great start. Choose a color pallet that is suitable for your skin tone and wear it from top to bottom. This a trend that I love right now, where you find a color tone and wear the various shades together. I decided to go for a lady look that I would wear to the office or to a meeting. It is suitable for work and Sunday brunch, and you could wear it with flats. Check out the look below.
Do you ever wonder when style experts say in interviews to "shop your closet," if it really works? Well, I think this time they may have nailed it. I purchased this 3.1 Phillip Lim dress when the designer was just starting out his brand and I "found" it in my closet. It was actually in the donations pile I have been meaning to drop off, but I decided to revisit the pile. To my surprise I did find some pieces I may reconsider and save and this dress was one. I remember I was a broke college student working at Barney's Co-Op, when this dress went on extra clearance and I had to have it. I purchased the dress with the little money I had saved. What I love about this dress are the pockets, the gold lining around the neckline and how freaking comfortable it is. I paired the dress with Vans and sunnies. So the lesson to this post, "shop" your closet, don't donate on a whim and if you really want something you should buy it... on sale. :)
The end of July and all of September seem to be the hottest time of the year here in Houston. With the humidity at a high and the heat index reading over the 100's, one can only want their wardrobe to be all bikinis. Unfortunately we don't live in a beach town and Galveston is still an hour away. Silk dresses are a great option to wear and keep you cool in this heat. This paisley number has been a summer staple in my closet for nearly three years. I am not huge fan of prints, let alone paisley. However, the dress comes with pockets and I am a sucker for dresses that have pockets. I paired the dress with strappy sandals and a belt to accentuate the waist. Finished the look with sunnies, a vintage bag & bracelets. Whenever I wear this dress I seem to always get a ton of compliments. I am going to need to buy more paisley dresses ASAP.
This is the first year I have worn so many white looks and I am completely okay with that. I wore this cute and comfortable outfit for a Tidbits event at Ann Mashburn. I don’t have this style of dress in my closet, yet I love how much cover up it gives (incase you are having a bloated day). The dress has a sexy vibe while maintaining a level of sophistication. I purchased the heals at Neiman Marcus Last Call a few years ago. The bag is a Chanel Caviar Flap Bag my boyfriend gifted me for a past birthday. The Panama Hat is from Target, Dainty Pave Cone Cuff from Juju & Luka and to finish the look a pair of Ray-Ban black Aviator sunnies. I could see myself wearing this outfit to brunch, dinner, happy hour and even shopping with a pair of flats. It is so easy, elegant and appropriate for almost any occasion. Hope this look gets your style juices going.
I am all about dressing on a budget and splurging where it makes sense. When I was in college I decided my look would be mid-fashion (mixing highs and lows) and years later, this is the norm. I am intentional about buying staple pieces that I can wear for at least three years. I don't follow fads or fast fashion, my wardrobe consist of pieces that can be versatile, uphold the use and make me feel beautiful. With the average mark up on fashion around 300%, being wise on your spending and finding styles that will stand not only the test of time but also stand the wear is something I think about when purchasing anything I am putting on. I purchased this whole look through sales and the oldest piece I am wearing are the shoes, which I purchased in 2011. When it comes to huge retailers, I wait for their sales unless there is something so cute I have to indulge. Be smart and be fashionable, make that look work for you!
With the heat in Houston officially here and not going anywhere for a while, wearing clothes that is not only breathable but fashionable is a must. I am always looking for clothes that allow me to have a day look for meetings and can be transitioned easily to evening. This look does that just for me, with it being work and dinner appropriate. My favorite time of the year is when ZARA has their twice a year sale. I needed a fabulous and comfortable outfit to wear all day, and this white ensemble completed my intended look. While the halter dress was $20 and the vest was $50, these two pieces work amazing together and apart. I think all girls should own these two styles, because they are extremely flattering and easy to wear. Working with these two pieces allow for professionalism by giving length to the outfit from the vest and covering up what needs to be covered. Once the vest is removed, the whole look changes with the halter dress and you are ready for drinks. It also adds an element of sexiness. The looseness of the dress is fantastic, because it give room to breathe. If you want to show off your figure, you can by adding a belt or on a bloated day it is the perfect cover up and it is easy to wear. Who wouldn't want to own this piece? Overall this look can work for anyone and everyone.
Mondays can be a drag, but this little yellow number is a great look for the office, dinner or the weekend. As silly as it may sound, when I had an office job I would dress up for the sole purpose of enjoying my day a little more. Adding a pop of color will not only add a spark to your look, but will guarantee a better attitude for any case of the Mondays.
- Top - J Crew
- Skirt - Lucy Paris
- Jewelry- Juju and Luka
- Shoes - Manolo Blahnik
Last year a few friends challenged me to take a 6 month break from shopping. They wanted to see if I had the willpower to control myself, and since I love a good challenge I did it. Agreeing to take this task on, allowed me to see how well I could stretch my wardrobe but also my budget. Ultimately I had to get creative with what I had. After my successful 6 months of going shopping less, I was ready to hit the stores. My first purchase was this military green dress from Topshop. I loved how I could wear it for work, to a concert and dinner. This entire look works and overall it is comfortable. Past the knee form fitting dresses practically work on any body type, and the cut of these dresses elongate the silhouette and show off a figure gorgeously. Details of the looks are below.
- Zara Sweater
- Topshop Dress
- Target Belt
- Reed Krakoff Bag
- Zara Jacket
- Topshop Dress
- Topshop Hat
- Rachel Zoe Shoes
- Sophie Hulme Cross Body Bag
- Topshop Dress
- Saint Laurent Bag
- Hermés Bracelet
- Fendi Shoes
Within the last few months my life has taken a drastic turn for the best. Great things have happened and there are more amazing things to come. But with all the great things that are going on with my personal life, my personal look is getting to be more casual. I am constantly running around so being on heels all day can take a toll. At this point, casual chic or as I like to call it casual dress-up is taking over my wardrobe. So I am beyond thrilled that I can get away with wearing sneakers and dresses.
This is a basic look that I would wear to work, the weekend and a happy hour with my girlfriends. It is totally casual with a splash of color.
I love hats and in the past year, my hat collection is growing. I had been on the hunt for a simple of sporty basic cap with no logos and I was lucky enough to find this one at Target on sale for $9. The dress has been a part of my wardrobe for nearly four years and I purchased it at Forever 21. I love skater shoes and these Vans were a must, I snagged them at Madewell. To close out the look the bracelet is from Giles & Brother, which I purchased at Man Ready Mercantile and the bag is Prada.
The key to this look is comfort and edge, with a pop of color.
Two weeks ago today I had the great pleasure of attending Runway for a Cure Houston. It’s an annual fashion show, founded by Omar Marcos, a local photographer. Now in its fourth year, the show has become a staple event with locals. I was fortunate enough to meet the kind -hearted Marcos last year and happy to support his event.
The event was hosted at Mr. Peeples and supported the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. The fashion show showcased collections from Stacks on Racks, Inclan, Jio’Zei, Demartini, Julio Sanchez and Danny Nguyen. Overall Marcos created a great line up, providing fashion goers an array of collections to feast their eyes on. I am truly looking forward to the next few years to see how Runway for a Cure Houston grows and creates a versatile fashion show for the city. Below are some of my favorite looks from the evening.
Photo Credit: Mike Charlton & Scott McCombs
A few years ago my mother and I were cleaning out her closet when she pulled out this dress that I had seen my sister wear when I was a little girl. Apparently it was my mother’s when she was young and she had saved it for us to wear. I’m not into vintage wear, since I feel that it never looks that great on me, but I wanted to wear this dress. I paired it with a bag that was hers as well, which was also from the late 70’s. I modernized it with a jacket from J.Crew and the shoes are Manolo Blahniks. My favorite part of the look are the pockets the dress has (I’m a sucker for pockets). It’s the perfect weekend dress.
Instead of having a fashion section, I decided to have a style section. Although the focus of this section is fashion, for me style suits my vision better. The definition of style is a manner in which something is done. I truly believe that how you dress is an extension of yourself and how you want people to view you. When I decided to start shopgirlblog, the intention was that it would be a fashion-driven site. But, that is just the surface to things I am passionate about.
My first magical moment with fashion came senior year of high school. I can honestly say, I didn’t have the style bug within me as so many others say. (kind of jealous) But the day my mom gave me a reality check on what I looked like, she was kind enough to also gift me with my first Vogue. My interests at the time were running, boys, social life and getting my braces off. But the moment I opened the pages of Vogue it was a wake-up call. After reading that issue, it was my goal to look my best.
Jump to today and the desire to stay stylish is still as strong, taking pride in how I look. Although I would never consider myself a fashion expert or one of the stylish people I know, I do take pride in the way that I dress.
I invest in my wardrobe, not to show off, but because it builds my confidence. That’s what clothes should do for all. Elevate your best self.