Two Ways: Dotted Chiffon Blouse

Top: J.Crew Chiffon Dot Top ($128 + 30% off with code CELEBRATE)

From Left, Earrings: Belle Noel Nugget Studs ($12.50) Scarf: Madewell Getaway Scarf (sold out online)  Bag: Snake Trim Boxy Clutch ($56) Shoes: Chinese Laundry Love Pumps ($59) Skirt: Donna Karan Misty Tweed Pencil ($383) Tights: Express Opaque Tights ($14)

From Right, Earings: Locked in Large Studs ($58) Rings: Ankora Rectangle Ring ($150) and Studio Arrow Ring ($59) Bag: DvF Haircalf Harper ($556) Shoes: Mark + James Elizabet Flats ($120) Jacket: Iro Sheena Jacket ($349) Jeans: Paige Skyline Jeans ($189)

For Casual Monday.  I’ve said this for, but it bears repeating: If you’re going to wear a voluminous item on top, you need to wear a snug item on the bottom.  It provides balance and enhances your figure.  So wearing a blouson shirt on top, requires a pencil skirt on the bottom.

This outfit pairs a grey melange skirt with an ivory blouse for a neutral palette that is soft instead of severe.  If this skirt is a bit more than you want to spend–and at over-$300, it certainly is out of my budget–this Ann Taylor tweed skirt is $85 and this Express skirt is $69. 

On the bottom, we have a grey shoe and a grey tight.  To add some color, I added a teal and navy printed scarf and a brilliant blue flap satchel.  Sadly, the scarf is sold out.  But this printed cashmere and wool scarf has a similar color palette as does this gauzy silk and leather scarf.

Also, I like these studs enough that I am willing to set aside the fact that Kim Kardashian will reap a profit from their sale, but it’s tough.  If you can’t look past the Kardashian affiliation, Arden B sells a set of three gold stud sets for $24.

For the hair, I would wear it half up/half down with some teasing at the crown or in a low updo.  For the makeup, I would wear a berry-colored lipstick (love this palette) and some charcoal shadow.

For Casual Friday. I adore IRO jackets. I purchased one for a friend last year (it was on sale), and it was so good, had it been my size, I would have kept it.  So if you’re looking to invest in a tweed jacket, I would definitely look at these jackets.  This leather trim one has just a bit of rocker chic.  This grey and white stripe is pretty fantastic.  And this funnel neck knit jacket is lovely too.

I chose to pair this blouse with a skinny jean and a slim cut tweed jacket, because I mentioned above, you should pair loose-fitting pieces with snug ones.  If you’re looking for a less expensive tweed jacket, this collarless blazer in a lovely blue-green is $129.  If you’re plus-sized, I found try great options: this dark brown one and this pink and grey one.

I added a leopard bag for a bit of pattern.  This will make my Mother happy, because after years of avoiding leopard, she has finally converted me to a believer.  I can hear her gloating from here.  Need a fiscally feasible option? This classic satchel is $98 and this clutch is $20.

These suede flats are fantastic, but if they’re out of your price range, JCPenney has a $25 pair.  You could also wear black tall boot if you need to stay warm. (Did I mention the Ciao Bella’s I love are back in stock? Seriously, the most comfortable boot I have ever owned.)

For the makeup, I would try a wine-colored gloss and black liquid liner.  For the hair, I would pin it up or wear it in a bouncy, high ponytail with teasing at the crown.



  1. Nancy says:

    Belle: love the looks today.. but have one question regarding the casual work look. the hose color is darker than the shoe color, creating a paler foot than leg in the finished look. I really struggle when I see this look anywhere – to me it looks wrong and very distracting. Am I just horribly out of fashion?

    December 20, 2012/Reply
  2. jWm says:

    Belle – When wearing the casual Monday outfit, would you tuck the shirt in?

    December 20, 2012/Reply
  3. Belle says:

    Match the tights if you can, but its not always easy. It took me a few months to find tights that matches my boots, so I understand its not always possible.

    And yes, I would def. tuck the shirt in. You could also wear a wide gray belt for more structure and definition.

    December 20, 2012/Reply