Wednesday, May 11, 2011

WIWW: A Guest Post by the Expert

So instead of taking pictures of myself this week (see previous posts here, here, and here), I decided to call in help from the most snappily dressed  person among my nearest and dearest. Introducing my Super Snazzy, Sartorially Splendiferous Sister-in-Law ... Ms. Reneé Vergara!

(OK, technically, if you're working for and holding a gun to my head, she's not *exactly* my sister-in-law; she's my sister-in-law's sister. But it works for us, and let's not split hairs.)

A few things to know about Reneé: She lives in a different climate (Massachusetts) where summer is still a distant temptation. She teaches Spanish at an elementary school. She has an adorable toddler, Sofia (not the actress).  She likes to shop exponentially more than I do. And most important of all, she's caring and fun-loving, which means that she could probably wear a giant mustard-colored turtleneck sweater with holes in the armpits and still be beautiful. 

So, she's a great resource, especially for you mamas who need a semi-professional look, and/or are shaped differently than I, and/or live somewhere where you can still layer (sob!). 

Here we go! (Her comments are in parentheses; mine in brackets. We are helpful that way.)

Thursday - Dress: Calvin Klein - found at TJ Maxx for $40! (regularly $140!)
Belt: Express
Earrings: Express
Shoes: Nine West ( a non-Mary Jane style would be better)

Friday - Cardigan: Gap Outlet
Flowy Tank: Gap Outlet
Jeans (Matchstick): J Crew*
Shoes (THE best summer shoe ever - SO versatile! NUDE goes with everything): Aldo
Necklace: Forever 21 (absurdly cheap and fun jewelry options!)

Saturday - Cardigan: Banana Republic*
Sleeveless Blouse (very versatile blouse! plus has super fun detail!): J Crew*
Jeans (matchstick): J Crew*
Ellen Tracy Peep Toe Shoes: Marshall's find!
Earrings (adding a dangly pair of earrings like these can instantly bump up the style of any outfit): Express (always buy one, get one 50% off)

SundayDress: Banana Republic*

Earrings: Express
Shoes: Bandolino from Macy's

Monday - Shirt: Anthropologie
Skirt: Anthropologie 
Shoes: Nine West
Jewelry: Zinnia (jewelry shop in Harvard Square)
[remember, ladies, you can find Anthro items at consignment shops sometimes ... or check their clearance sales!]

Tuesday - Shirt: Forever 21 (fun lace detail under scarf!)
Jeans (matchstick): J Crew
Wedge Sandals: Bandolino found as DSW
Scarf: Express
Earrings: Old Navy (again...crazy cheap and cute options)
Bracelet: Martha's Vineyard shop
[I love how she used that GREAT scarf to "bump up" what could be a less interesting outfit. Taking notes here!]

Wednesday - Blouse: Banana Republic
Cardigan: Ann Taylor
Pant Leggings: Gap
Ellen Tracy Peep Toe Shoes: Marshall's
Earrings: Express (hard to see, but these are gold with a single drop stone...stone almost is like a grey diamond-looking "stone"...a super versatile earring!)
Bracelet: Martha's Vineyard shop

* Reneé notes that if she buys something at J. Crew or Banana Republic or the like, she nearly always waits until it goes on sale, which almost everything eventually does. 

Other tips: "Always accessorize!!! Even if you think you can't pull it off -- that's not true! You so can! The right accessories can bring an outfit from 'meh' to 'wow!'" 

For example, she wears the "Sunday" black dress all the time because accessories change the look with ease. Also, she recommends large dangly earrings for a plainer, more casual outfit. The "meh" to "wow" thing again. :-) 

Hoping this is all of service to you, my friends who want to look half as lovely on the outside as I know you are on the inside ... and linking up at The Pleated Poppy


lnatt said...

How have I missed this series?

I am in a blah state of fashion right now, not that I was ever as put together as you are. But it's hard when you are almost perpetually in the baby stage. Still need everything to be nursing-friendly. Can't wear too much jewelry with baby hands that want to rip it off. I have a high priority on comfort, and I'm assuming you are one of those really on-top-of-their-personal-hygiene women who shaves more than once a month, lol, which I am decidedly not.

So I will stick to jeans and capris, but I need to look for some cuter tops...

Vera said...

Love your style. I wear a lot of skirts and dresses too!

Hannah said...

Lnatt (Laura), I completely sympathize about the blah state of fashion. Doing these posts has helped motivate me to make the extra effort, which is why Lindsey at the Pleated Poppy started her series in the first place. Like you mentioned, I tended to buy the same boring tops over and over. Cuter tops have become a priority, as well as simple accessories that jazz up the boring ones a bit. :-)

I think I described my motivations more thoroughly in the first and second posts in th series ....

Jenny said...

Another great post in this series! Definitely enjoying this.

Bethy Lynne said...

I was thinking at first HOW is Renee Vergara your sis-in-law...hehe. I met her years ago and she has always impressed me as very fashionable pleasantly stylish as you describe here. Ironically I realized something about myself as I've been reading your posts...I feel fashionable in very few of my outfits...infact, probably only a handful that are specially selected for certain events or a handful of my teaching clothes are both designed for comfort and fashion...the others just comfort, and furthermore maybe this is strange but I feel more stylish and easy going in my maternity clothes...maybe because I'm not trying to suck in the pooch! Hahahaha! I think I'll post this and then erase it. :)

Hannah said...

Bethy Lynne, don't erase! :-) I think you make a great point about how we feel really good in so few of our clothes. I find myself trying to pare down my wardrobe so that I'm left with the things that I *really* like and make me feel pretty when I wear them. If I haven't worn something for months and months, there's a reason forthat -- and it would probably make some Goodwill shopper feel much prettier! :-)

Renee said...

Aw, Hannah, I'm hardly "the expert"'re way too generous with your evaluation of my style! I completely agree about letting things that I don't love the way they look on me collect in my closet....I'm a firm believer in purging!! I couldn't agree more with what you said - if I haven't worn something in months, then I'm not gonna choose to wear it - so its GONE! Thanks for asking me to was fun!
Oh, and Bethy, I loved wearing maternity clothes!! haha

Kristen said...

Proud to have such a snazzy sister-in-law!

Vanessa said...

Renee, I love your style! You seem to know exactly what works for your body type! All the outfits looks grrreat on you. Thanks for sharing some of your closet with us! Everything is fabulous.

Raji P. said...

Love these posts! Just don't start one on "What Not to Wear" or I will forever fear receiving a guest post invitation :-)

Jenny said...

I thought I posted here, but it looks like I forgot. I really enjoyed the guest post, especially getting ideas from another educator. It's so hard to find the right balance between professional, comfortable, and child-proofed when it comes to work clothes. Thanks for the ideas. :)