Tastefully Trendy

A life and fashion blog by Sarah Beth

Tag: Business Casual (page 1 of 2)

Baby It’s Cold Outside (sometimes)

It’s Friday, y’all, and that means a very busy weekend, as I get ready for Christmas and a cross-country move.  But, as one of my friends said, “sleep is overrated”.

The weather is actually unseasonably warm today – I’m not sure how I feel about that.  But, a few days ago when I wore this outfit, it was not at all warm, so I layered with long sleeves, wool, tights, and boots.

I love this wool skirt, one of my favorite examples of patience at work.  I almost bought it when it was full price at JCP a few years ago, but I couldn’t bring myself to do it.  Low and behold, a few weeks later, the clearance rack decided to bless me, and the black-and-white-plaid-with-the-pink-belt skirt was mine! My philosophy is generally that if you wait for something to go on sale and it disappears, you didn’t really need it in the first place.  With few exceptions, that principle has been stretching my money and expanding my wardrobe for years.

Thanks to a bracelet with inspirational colors, I decided to pair a deep green, almost teal, shirt with the pink accessories, keeping the bottom half of my look simple and warm!

I hope everyone has a great weekend – let’s go Christmas shopping!

Skirt: JCPenney
Shirt: Old Navy
Sorry, guys – I don’t remember the rest…

Pretend Professional

This is one of those “really too casual for work but it was cold so I wore it anyway” outfits.  I kinda love it, even if I was underdressed (the sparkles help, right?)

What do I love about this outfit, besides the fact that these once tight pants are now almost too big for me?  I love the colors.  Blues are easy to match – these two are different shades, but as is usually the case with blues, they don’t clash, so I went with it.

I’m also obsessed with my earrings, which I seldom wear because they’re pretty dressy.  However, by combining them with the casual look I toned them down a bit (as well as dressed up the overall outfit  a little).

And, I left more of my head in this picture because I was having an awesome hair day.  That’s really just for my benefit.

Scarf: My boss, via a NYC street vendor
Jacket: Rue 21
Pants: Kohls
Shoes: TJ Maxx in Boston (which is obviously cooler than TJ Maxx anywhere else)

Inspired Looks: Jack Frost

Okay, so this look really isn’t inspired, any more than any of my other outfits are.  But, I want to keep my Wednesdays consistent.  Just go with it.

It’s COLD, y’all!  I’m not used to this in November in Virginia.  I should still be wearing a light jacket, not bundled up in a coat, scarf, and gloves!

Of course, my office does have heat.  But, subconsciously, when the temperature suddenly dips, I feel the need to bundle up as much as possible.  Even if I then end up sweating most of the day.

This bulky sweater is one of my favorites – not only because it’s so warm and cozy and because grandma sweaters are in right now – but also because it legitimately belonged to my grandmother.  You know wearing her clothes is one of my joys in life.

I wore this on a gray day, so I decided to bring some color with my pants and scarf.  This scarf makes me feel a bit like the Chiquita banana girl, but I’m okay with that.  I wore a gray shirt underneath the sweater and gray pumps, since I had so much else going on with the pants and scarf, and I kept my accessories simple, so as not to compete.

Oh, winter.   My dry hands hate you, but my romantic heart loves the coziness that you bring.

Sweater: Grannie (I think from JCP originally
Pants: Kohl’s
Shoes: Payless
Scarf: Rue 21 (I know, it’s a cheap store – but, you can find really great accessories (especially scarves) for super inexpensive prices…so it’s worth a look now and then)

Time for Leggings!

One of my favorite things about fall is leggings.  In my opinion, they’re one of the greatest style inventions ever – a way to keep your legs warm, extend the life of your dresses, and be way more comfortable than if you were wearing tights.

Now, you know I do not support leggings as pants.  I’m sure before the season is over, I’ll get on that soap box again.  For now, thought, let’s focus on how cute this dress is.  I think it was intended to be a summer dress – it’s sleeveless and has a summery cut.  However, the forest green color and the bird pattern look Christmas-y to me, so I paired it with some more fall-appropriate pieces and it worked.

I did wear this to the office, which is probably not technically appropriate for my profession.  However, blazers and pumps give the impression of business, so I pushed the envelope a little and I think largely got away with it.

Dress: Target clearance rack – I was on a spree.  I think this was $7.
Blazer: H&M
Leggings: DSW, maybe?
Bracelets and earrings and bow ring: that same awesome Boston boutique
Shoes: Payless

Inspired Look: American Heroes

While today’s outfit is mine, the inspiration is those men and women who lost their lives that terrible day 12 years ago. Like everyone, I remember exactly where I was that day. Being a typical 16 year old with no New York or DC connections, through, I wouldn’t really understand the impact and significance of what happened that day until much later.

However, the thing that did most stand out to me from that period, even as a 16 year old, was the way Americans rallied together. Suddenly, it was not only not politically incorrect to say God Bless America, but highway signs in the Chicago suburbs said it. United We Stand became our mantra. I still have a sweatshirt with a glittery USA printed on it. American patriotism was at an all time high.

So, it is in that spirit that I’m wearing red, white, and blue today.  I may look a little costume-y, as I tend to do when I dress for a theme (no shame), but I love America.  With all due respect to other nations, we really are the greatest on earth.   

To the men, women, and children who died that day, we honor your memory.  To those who lost loved ones, know we have not forgotten.  And to any who would ever dare try to attack America again, never forget those poetic words of Toby Keith, “We’ll stick a boot in your ass, it’s the American way.”

Gunpowder and Lead

Happy Friday, everyone!

I don’t know if I’ve specifically talked about the omnipresence of sheer right now, but it’s everywhere.  And I really like it!  Of course, being the “tastefully” trendy girl that I am, I always wear a tank underneath.  Even celebs should have more class than to just pretend lingerie underneath sheer counts as being properly covered.  It doesn’t.

This $4 shirt from Body Central has gotten a lot of wear from me in the past few months.  For today’s look (which I actually wore yesterday), I paired it with my favorite coral, added a sparkly belt, a denim skirt I’ve had since college, and some heels to keep the denim from looking too casual.  (Also, the skirt is a weird length for me to wear flats – I look like a frumpy munchkin).

I then took this look on the road, swapping out the longer skirt for a denim mini and the heels for cute sandals.  Much more appropriate for the amazing Miranda Lambert/Dierks Bentley concert I attended last night, and an easy swap to transition from day to casual evening.  (Obviously, I just picked a random Miranda song for the title of this post.  It has nothing to do with what I’m wearing.)

Blouse: Body Central
Tank: Old Navy
Belt: Body Central
Skirt: Ann Taylor, via a friend, many, many years ago.  Quality.
Shoes: Macy’s

She’ll Look Eggplant

Yesterday I went nautical again, pairing my current signature color with navy.  (Remember, navy and white + any solid color, equals nautical!)

This outfit is actually not the most flattering look ever on me, but I really liked it for several reasons.  One, I felt very fashion forward by combining my two different stripes – the top and the shoes.  Since the shoes are far enough away from the top, the eye is not confused by the differences in widths and colors, and by keeping them in the neutral navy color, they’re subtle enough to not draw too much attention to themselves.

Two, I felt even more fashion forward – like I am a designer or something – because I’m actually wearing this top backwards. I’m not quite sure how it happened.  I just sort of tried it on backwards, and it worked!  More importantly, it didn’t feel awkward, like things usually do when they’re on backwards.  So, I took out the tag and went with it.   Also, I felt like Reese Witherspoon in this scene from Sweet Home Alabama (4:28-4:45 ish).

Finally, about my shoes again – they are espadrilles, so not only are they a perfect summer wedge like I described yesterday, but they also complete the care-free, I-have-nowhere-else-to-be-but-on-this-yacht look.

Top: Marshalls or somewhere, I think?
Dress: Ross
Belt: NY & Co, or Target – it was a gift
Shoes: Belk

There Will Be A Quiz After This

Let’s play a game called, “How well do you know Sarah Beth?”.  Based on the outfit below and what you’ve learned about me from reading my blog, what do you suppose is happening weather-wise where I live?  (Answer is at the bottom of this post.)

Since we were on the topic of wide belts yesterday, I thought I’d show you another outfit where my favorite accessory is fulfilling the same function – hiding the fact that this skirt is a little too tight in the waist.

I realized, though, that there’s another benefit of these magical waistbands that I’d forgotten to mention: they elongate a short torso.  By sticking a belt at my natural waist (which is high), I give the illusion that my waist is actually two inches (or whatever the width of the belt is) longer, since that’s where it looks like my skirt starts.   This makes me seem thinner, too, because I just look taller in general (the heels help with that, also).

A final note on this outfit – this shirt is by Bitten, which, you may realize, means I’ve had it for years.  Bitten was Sarah Jessica Parker’s line at Steve & Barry’s, a store which sadly, no longer exists (RIP, S&B!).  It went bankrupt, probably because everything they sold there cost about the same $3 as I spent on this shirt.  Oh well.

I don’t really remember where most of this is from.  Sorry!

*The answer to “How well do you know Sarah Beth”: it’s raining.  Obvs.

Celebrating the Royal Baby with Royal Blue

I’m too obsessed with the royal baby right now to write a real blog post, so here’s another look with my signature color to tide you over.  I love scarves in summer, which might seem weird to people.  But, if it’s light weight and if your office keeps the AC at sub-zero temperatures, why not? 

I also really liked this coral and blue combination, even if it did make me almost feel like a Florida Gator (not that that’s a bad thing). 

Happy (belated) birthday, little prince!  The world is so glad you’re here. 

All that’s missing is Bruiser Woods

Over the weekend, I went shopping – of course – and I discovered my new favorite department store: Belk.  If you live north of the Mason-Dixon line, you might not have heard of this magical place.  So, you should come south – first to visit me, second to eat Chick-Fil-A, and third to shop at Belk.

I am not really a big purse person because I am lazy – changing them requires effort.  But, I’ve been looking for a new bag for some time now, and when I found the one below – on sale – I just couldn’t resist.  For the purpose of this blog, I matched my outfit to the purse.  That will likely never intentionally happen again.  I also should have taken a side photo of the bag so you could better see the shape.  It’s basically the type of bag perfectly suited for a little dog.  And now I want one.

Also, pay no attention to the suitcase behind me.  Sometimes unpacking takes time, but fashion waits for no man.

Cardigan:Wet Seal (which is why it’s lost most of it’s shape.  Sadness.)
Tank: hand me down from my sister, I think?
Pants: H&M
Shoes: Plato’s Closet (I’m not too proud)
Earrings: Anne Klein, by way of my grandmother’s jewelry box
Purse: Belk 

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