10 posts tagged the refined woman
There’s just something about the right outfit, in the right location, in the right light … when it all comes together, that is something that really fires me up.
A few months ago, when Aaron and I celebrated on our 5 year anniversary, I wanted to get some photos done by a photographer I greatly admire in the city we have come to love so much.
It was the best opportunity to get to STYLE a couple just how I would want to photograph them. And honestly Tec captured us better than I could have imagined.
I love these photos but more than that I’m hoping and praying for more opportunities to come along to style more photo shoots. So if you’re looking for a stylist…
All photos by Tec Petaja
Hair + Makeup by Elizabeth Chang
There’s just so much you can do with staple pieces in your wardrobe. Take the Denim Shorts. On Monday we showed you how to wear them 7 Different Ways!
Today we’re showing more of Em and I’s looks. Notice how we both are wearing denim shorts, but our outfits could not be more different.
Em is totally getting rocker chic on us while keeping it casual with her strappy sandals. On the other hand, my look is a little more dressy. The blazer and silk blouse paired with my wedges makes me ready for a day of summer client meetings. However, take my pony tail down and I’m ready for drinks with the girls!
Shorts: Thrift (similar + on sale for $20!!)
Jacket: Club Monaco + it’s on sale!!
Blouse: Vince Camuto (similar)
Happy Wednesday Ladies!
Kat + Em
"Great, just what the world needs, more women wearing baggy jeans."
- said my husband / when I told him what this post was about.
If I’ve learned anything from The Man Repeller, it’s that if my husband doesn’t approve, it’s probably awesome and I should wear it.
Take boyfriend jeans. They are so loose and baggy it’s like the next best thing to wearing sweatpants in public. I’ll probably be wearing them after they aren’t on trend because they just make me feel happy.
But have you tried to find boyfriend jeans at the department store? I could never find them with enough slouch - especially through the thigh - and I always felt like if they didn’t make my heart sing I sure wasn’t about to spend all that $$$ on them.
What I have found is that the thrift store is the BEST place to get them.
Here are some tips to make even the most daunting thrift store your friend:
1. Head straight for the men’s section (I guess that might be obvious but JUST IN CASE)
2. Look for Levi’s - especially 501 or 505 - those are classic fits that will have just enough straightness in the leg all the way through, plus the denim will be perfect - no elastic or anything weird like that to worry about. Lots of Levi’s will also have the waist and inseam on the back label so you can easily find a small enough waist size to work with.
3. TRY THEM ON. Seems like another obvious point here but I think many people don’t have thrift store success because they don’t want to commit to the dressing room but trust me YOU MUST go all in here. The waist size might say 32 but you want to know where exactly they are going to sit on your hips. Also the length is important. I usually am cutting them to make shorts or rolling them up - but depending on how long they are to begin with you will want to see whether they will require cutting.
4. Be Careful with the Scissors - I can’t tell you how many times I’ve ruined a good pair of denim attempting to make them cutoffs because I thought I would just wing it with the length. You want to cut them much longer at first and roll them to get a real sense of how short they are going to be. You might also find that they look better rolled up than cut and in that case you’re done!
5. Distressing - If you are lucky you’ll find a pair that some man carpenter wore for years and there will be paint or distressing on your jeans already. If not - you can always add your own by rubbing them with a cheese grater and ripping a bit away as you go. But just be warned it takes a while to get it right and it gets messy. I guess there’s a reason designer jeans cost so much….
And that’s all there is to it. Feel free to spend the whole of the $185 you saved on some fabulous accessories, shoes, etc. and feel ridiculously good about it.
Your boyfriends, husbands, brothers + fathers can send me thank you presents anytime.
ps. Do you have specific ideas for Refined on a Dime? We’d love to hear your feedback here. I promise we’re nice.
We were in Wine Country this weekend for this sweet couple’s wedding + I convinced the Mr. to shoot with me by bribing him with a night in Napa and (quite possibly our favorite thing in the whole entire world) BRUNCH.
It was the perfect chance to wear my new (old) men’s jeans (turned shorts.)
I’ve also been LIVING in my new sandals from Frēda Salvador. I found these gals when I shot a feature on them for Apartment 34 and I agonized for weeks over which pair I wanted to invest in. When I finally went back a last weekend there happened to be a Friends & Family sale (Can you say Destiny) and I *may* have walked out with 2 pairs… You will definitely be seeing these babies in Chestnut soon. These sandals are made of the most amazing leather and the crystal detail is unique but in black and tan it goes with everything I own.
Alright. Onto the outfit already.
Try pairing a beaded blouse with your denim to add interest to some boyfriend jean shorts.The slouchy shorts will come in handy if you accidentally overindulge in brunch goodness.
Silk Blouse : Scotch & Soda
Boyfriend jean shorts : Thrifted
Aviators : Ray Ban
Sandals : Frēda Salvador
Kat has convinced me to do a little tutorial on what I look for in my boyfriend jeans for this week’s Friday fun post so get excited for the first Refined on a Dime tutorial!
The Pencil Skirt. Every woman should have at least one if not multiple. As a working woman on-the-go; it’s one of those wardrobe pieces that you cannot live without!
Our favorite place to get pencil skirts you ask? JCrew’s No.2 Pencil Skirt does it right every time!
There is such freedom in wardrobe staples. BUT if you’re anything like me, then you get stuck wearing your staple pieces the same way over and over. I get so uninspired when I stare at my closet each day. Sometimes you just need a fresh set of eyes to get you to rethink the way you put together outfits.
We thought what better way to get inspired on getting out of your comfort zone with those go-to pieces then getting together with some of our favorite bloggers once a month to see how they wear their staple pieces!
Em and I are simply tickled pink that such fabulous women are partnering up with us on this collaboration!
Em of The Refined Woman.
- What we love about Em’s look is the mixture of textures and patterns. The necklace is the perfect piece to tie in two such opposing patterns!
Kat of The Refined Woman.
- We love how Kat chose a POP-O-COLOR with her skirt, then kept it simple by staying neutral with the rest of her pieces. Her tan and white belts softens the white and yellow nicely.
Casey Leigh of The Wiegands
- Miss Casey from Texas is a SoCal girl at heart! We love her flowy untucked top with her DIY scarf + fedora!
Hilary of Dean Street Society.
- Last week Hilary told me "keep it simple, keep it preppy", and her outfit reflects this statement wonderfully. We love her color blocking + who would have thought to pair a sweater with a pencil skirt! LOVE IT!
Sara of Glitter and Grace.
- We adore Sara’s neutral color palette. Her graphic tee keeps this look casual, yet her sassy heels keeps her uber feminine! We love how she took advantage of adding color with her accessories!
Jen of The Effortless Chic.
- Jen offers another take on the graphic tee + sassy heel look. She keeps her color palette simple, the tee + lace skirt make this a very wearable outfit, yet her sparkly heels and jazzy jewelry takes this look to the Effortless Chic style that Jen holds to!
Erin of Apartment 34.
- We’re smitten with Erin’s blue color blocking! There is so much freedom in color! Her billowy top makes her skirt feel more bohemian.
Stay tuned for our Wednesday Post as Em and I give details on where our looks are from!
Kat + Em
P.S. Mark your calendars for our next Refined How To Collaboration Post Monday June 10th!
I loved Kat’s post on Monday about the importance of the little black dress. It really shows how deeply we love a good black dress.
So when considering the styling for our launch shoot with Bess it was kind of a no-brainer to go LBD. If there is anything we want you to take away from The Refined Woman, it’s that style doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive. All it takes is the right little black dress to make you feel amazing.
I love this dress because I think it’s hard to find a good dress with sleeves that doesn’t feel too frumpy.
I will admit that the long sleeves / high neck / long hemline combo can be a tough one to pull off but somehow I like it in this dress. I think the key is the fitted sleeves and the slightly puffy skirt.
In any case it makes me feel classy and I think how you feel in a dress sometimes can be equally as important as how it looks.
If what you wear not only looks great but makes you feel great, then it can have the power to make you a more positive and (potentially) more productive person.
With that, I think I’ve given you a pretty compelling reason to go shopping (You’re welcome!) If you do - go find something that makes you happy to get dressed for work in the morning! You are worth it.
"A girl should be two things: Classy + Fabulous" Coco Chanel
The Little Black Dress.
There are a few non-negotiable staples to every ladies wardrobe:
Little Black Dress
A Tailored Black and Navy Blue Blazer
White Silk Blouse
Classic Black Pumps
Dark Denim Skinny Jeans
Our focus today: The Little Black Dress. Really every woman needs one, or two, or three. The LBD is that wardrobe staple that you can wear to a wedding, drinks with friends, client meeting, or date night. They are so versatile, and for the The Refined Woman versatility is EVERYTHING.
Now officially in my late 20s (yikes) I’m done trying to keep up with the latest trends. Gone are the days where my wardrobe is made up primarily of “throw away” trendy clothes that break apart after two wears.
My mother has always said Less is More, and I believe this to be true for many things… especially my wardrobe.
It is best to have a few well crafted staple pieces in your wardrobe as opposed to a closet full of poorly made trendy clothes. (Now don’t get me wrong the trendy stuff isn’t evil. You just have to know that it’s trendy. So don’t drop $400 on a pair of floral pants that will be out of style next season. Go to H&M or TopShop for those).
Here are a few tips when finding your Little Black Dress:
Find a dress around knee length. If you’re 5’8 or taller, you can go a bit past the knee. If you’re under 5’7, look for a dress 2-3 inches above your knee. This will help with proportions.
When trying the dress on if you can come up with 3 different ways to wear the piece; it‘s a keeper i.e. the cap sleeves on my dress and the cotton material allows me to wear this dress in all seasons. I can wear the dress as is, pair it with a blazer + pumps, a jean jacket and wedges in the summer, a cardigan and skinny belt in the fall.
Is it moveable? Let’s be real you gotta be able to move around in this thing. If it’s tight or uncomfortable in the fitting room; it will be 10x more uncomfortable after a night out.
Dress: JCrew (Similar)
Necklace: Bauble Bar
Stay tuned for Em’s LBD on Wednesday as well as more details behind the scenes on our shoot with Bess Friday!
One thing I loved seeing at New York Fashion Week was some incredible vibrant Reds on the runway. So this week to kick off a little runway to reality, Kat + I have two NYC outfits with a pop of red.
While I would have loved to have a different jacket to share with you, the other reality for this California girl is that I just don’t have that many fun coats. It just doesn’t get cold enough to invest in them, so most of mine are the standard black or navy. After last week though and some of the coats I saw at the spring J Crew presentation I am rethinking things completely.
What Kat wore for the most epic day of our collective lives.
On to more from the Runway! I saw so many incredible gowns that I considered changing my profession to actress just so I could have an excuse to go to a movie premier or, you know, THE OSCARS, so I could wear something this fabulous.
My favorite gowns were Naeem Khan… it was a gorgeous 20s art deco affair. So Gatsby of him.
I die for this one.
Possibly my absolute favorite.
Naeeeeem! You rascal you.
Badgley Mischka also had some stunners that I would be remiss not to mention.
Some of them even us mere mortals could wear even if one was not invited to a red-carpet event.
My personal favorite : I don’t know if it’s one piece or two but I’ll take it either way.
I am dying over all the jewel tones, especially the emerald.
Wait you need to see that one again? I know. Here you go.
What do you think? We would love to hear from you, I’ll be posting all our runway pics on our facebook page and whether you love it, hate it, or predict you’ll see it on the red carpet we’d love to know.
Our last fashion week post is tomorrow, are you sick of it yet? No? Great.
For this shoot I was going to be lugging a photo booth setup in addition to my normal gear and I just knew a skirt or dress wasn’t going to work for that. After I got the blazer as a gift from my (amazing!) husband I went on a search for pants to go with it and I love these navy high waist trousers from J. Crew. The color and the cut feel more exciting than regular black dress pants. Since it was still unseasonably warm a few weeks ago, I went with a short sleeve button up to keep from overheating.
Pants – Hutton trouser: J. Crew (they come in long inseam too!), Schoolboy blazer: J. Crew, Button up shirt: American Apparel, Watch: Michael Kors, Wedges: Salvatore Ferragamo, Camera Strap: Apolis; Glasses: Warby Parker