Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Wish List: Olive Green Essentials

Mary-Kate Olsen is by far one of my favorite fashion icons, so I was delighted to see her beautiful face on the cover of the September issue of Marie Claire magazine. She's wearing a fierce olive green jacket, similar in color to the skirt I featured a couple of days ago. Aside from the MKO endorsement, olive green is definitely going to be my go-to color when it comes to fall pieces. There are so many ways to incorporate it into your wardrobe, whether through one key piece or an accessory. Here are a few more olive green items I have my eye on. (All pieces featured are less than $75.) 


Staring at Stars shirtdress

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Express military silk blouse

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J.Crew waxed canvas tote

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We Love Colors tights

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What's your go-to color for the fall? Post a comment!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Style Diary: An Outfit in Transition

Happy August, chickadees! Does this mean I can start talking about fall? Truth be told, I haven't made as many purchases this summer as I thought I would. I did some closet reorganizing to make sure I was wearing all the clothes I already own. (One result of the reorganization: my overstuffed closet rod fell off the groove in the wall, and all the clothes are currently sliding down the rod toward the floor. Oy.)

However, the last time I did brave the shops, I purchased this fabulous Bow-Adorned Skirt in olive green from Forever 21. There are two very crucial aspects of this skirt that make it one of my favorites already. The dark color combined with the huge bow in the center makes this dress oh-so Daisies and Chains, n'est pas? A dash of girly and a sprinkle of masculinity is what it's all about! Secondly, while the length is great for summer, I can add tights to make it just as relevant for the fall months.

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What I'm Wearing
Considering the huge bow in the front, I am tucking a white camisole into the skirt. Then I'm throwing on a tissue-thin boyfriend cardigan in ballet pink that hits just a few inches higher than the skirt. For the feet, I am wearing nude pumps, but camel-colored ones would look great, too! Overall, I am pairing light colors with the skirt to add some summer flavor. And obviously, I am adding that men's gold watch that has barely left my wrist since I purchased it in April. 

Where to Buy
Price: $15.80 

Look for a post soon on more olive green essentials (and another one on how I'll style this skirt when it gets cooler)!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Get into the Groove at Peace Love Nails

Those of you that know me also know that I am currently training for a marathon. I joined a running group in May, and before that, the most I had ever run was one half marathon. Three months later, I can say that running approximately 25-40 miles a week has brought so much to my life: a consistent commitment to fitness, new friends ... and horrid-looking feet.

Ironically, these horrid-looking feet were carrying me through a morning run a couple of weeks ago, when I spotted Peace Love Nails. (It opened on July 17 near the corner of Steck and Mesa in the Far West 'hood.) Feeling inspired by a cute boutique nail salon on my side of town, I told a few friends, and we booked a group appointment for that afternoon.

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After arriving, we were led to a cozy room full of oh-so-comfortable overstuffed armchairs. We were offered drinks (Sipping white wine and getting a pedicure when it's 100 degrees outside? Yes, please!), and "Steel Magnolias" was set to play on the big screen on the back wall. The pedicures lasted for a good 45 minutes.

I've since been back for a manicure, which was just as wonderful. They have bar seating for the manicures, but you still get a drink and can check out whatever movie is playing. My manicure lasted for 45 minutes, also, but that could have been because they weren' too busy. That said, I definitely recommend booking an appointment, so you are guaranteed not to wait.

What I Love about Peace Love Nails

  1. They only provide natural nail services. (I think this is why it NEVER smells like a nail salon in there.)
  2. They soak your hands/feet with a milk bath.
  3. For the pedicures, they use antibacterial copper bowls to soak your feet.
  4. They almost exclusively use OPI nail polish (unless you choose the vegan, a.k.a. "Love," manicure/pedicure).
  5. They use an all-natural almond spray to set the polish.

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The 4-1-1 on Pricing
Peace Manicure -- $25
Love (Vegan) Manicure -- $30
Peace Pedicure -- $35
Love (Vegan) Pedicure -- $40

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Style Diary -- The Perfect Summer Outfit

A famous gal named Carrie Bradshaw once said that fashion was similar to politics, because they are both about "recycling shop-worn ideas and making them seem fresh and inspiring."

I make no claims to be an expert on politics (or fashion, for that matter), but I do know the dress I've been rocking hardcore this summer is definitely an old style that I'm trying to refresh.

A couple months ago, I made one of the most successful trips ever to Buffalo Exchange, where I purchased a honey-colored yellow embroidered dress. It has short, flared sleeves and a huge red toucan sewn on the front. It's equal parts girly and quirky, and I can wear it all the time. Seriously. I've worn it everywhere, from poolside to the movie theatre to a summer dinner party. (Because I thrifted mine, here's another adorable embroidered dress -- also pictured below-- to give you an idea of the style.)

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What I'm Wearing
I'm pairing my yellow dress with red canvas wedges, such as the new ones by TOMS, a neutral-colored straw bag, and virtually no accessories, save for a braided headband. My hope is the ubertrendy accessories make the "shop-worn" dress style more relevant.

Would you change anything about this style diary outfit? Let me know!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Inspiration Board: Twilight

If there is one thing you should know about me, it's that I am a closet Twilight fan. And by "closet Twilight fan," I, of course, mean that I am outrageously obsessed with the series and all things related.

I adore the book series, but one of the aspect of the films that I have really enjoyed is the clothing. I've read up on what the costume design department considers when they dress the characters, and the kind of prints and colors they choose for each one. The Cullens are always dressed in greys and blues, and Jacob's clan is outfitted in earth tones. Bella walks the fence between the two, especially in Eclipse, which I have seen twice already. (The first time was a sneak preview on Monday, so don't judge! It's not like I've seen it twice since Tuesday at midnight. ... But I practically have.)

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And as if the premeire this week isn't enough to have my mind completely engulfed in Twilight, I am also going to Seattle with my fella over the weekend. Three cheers for the Pacific Northwest! With visions of rainy days dancing in my head, I am all about the plaid shirt, like this one from J.Crew. I love that this one combines the classic plaid pattern with a subdued blue hue. It's so Team Edward.

To avoid looking like a lumberjack, I recommend wearing a long plaid shirt with black leggings or demin leggings, which I featured in a post from April. That way, you have one loose-fitting clothing item paired with something much more form-fitting. Throw on a pair of ballet flats and add some chunky jewelry -- whether it's gold chains (including that gold men's watch I know you own) or a set of black bracelets.

The "100-50-25" Where to Buy
Have a fabulous Fourth of July, chickadees! Stay tuned for more summer blog lovin'!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Wish List: "Blush and Bashful"

Hiya', ladies! Maybe it's the summer weather, or maybe I'm just in one of those moods, but I've been really attracted to girly things (the "daisies" aesthetic of my style) these days. Specifically, I can not seem to turn my head away from anything pink! I'm just like Shelby  (a.k.a. Julia Roberts) in Steel Magnolias when she tells everyone in the salon her wedding colors are "blush and bashful," and then sassy M'Lynn (a.k.a. Sally Field) exclaims, "Your colors are PINK and PINK!"

Well, my colors are definitely pink and pink right now, M'Lynn, and here are a few items that satisfy my superfeminine craving!

Annie Greenabelle babydoll dress

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Cupcakes and Cashmere for Coach:
Emily's Satchel handbag 

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Find out more about this design at

Alice+Olivia for Keds sequin shoes

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Forever 21 rosette headband

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As we're in full summer swing now, have your fashion tastes changed at all? Post a comment!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Inspiration Board: The Paper Bag Princess

Hey summer sisters! Please pardon my lack of blogging lately! I got into some kind of funk (P.S. Did anyone see the funky Glee episode Tuesday night!? I loved the outfits for the last song.) and wasn't jazzed about any of my posts, so they never went live.

Luckily I had a miniburst of inspiration yesterday morning when I was getting dressed and am going to run with it. No more funky time!  

So, one of my favorite books as a little girl was The Paper Bag Princess by Robert Munsch. Elizabeth is this young diva of a princess who loses everything in a dragon-breath-related fire and is forced to wear a paper bag around while she searches for her love, Prince Ronald. When she finally finds him, he tells her she looks a hot mess.

"You smell like ashes, your hair is all tangled and you are wearing a dirty old paper bag. Come back when you are dressed like a real princess."
--Prince Ronald
Instead of crying or pleading for his affection, Elizabeth totally holds her ground and tells Ronald she is just as fabulous without him. It's a great message for young girls ... and totally relevant to this fashion season!

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You've might have seen paper bag skirts, such as this one from Elizabeth and James, popping up this summer, and I am no stranger to this trend. They include a sash belt that cinches the fabric above the sash, creating the same effect of a paper bag when you squeeze the top. And because paper bag skirts tend to hit a few inches above the knee, I can't get enough of them. Being 5' 0'', I steer toward skirts that hit about 4 to 5 inches above the knee. Anything longer can make me appear even shorter than I actually am. So, when I grabbed a light blue paper bag skirt from my closet yesterday, I was reminded how fabulous Elizabeth felt in hers.

The point of these skirts is to show off the unique waist, so I can't really think of an instance where you would not tuck in your shirt. With that in mind, go for something fitted. The easiest option would be a plain tee in a heather grey or something that has that worn-in look of a men's gym shirt (which also plays off the masculine-feminine balance of a skirt with a very casual tee). You can also pair the skirt with a fitted screenprint tee (do I smell thrift store trip?) to add more personality and color.

The "100-50-25" Where to Buy
Where do you draw inspiration?

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Pale Is the New White

Hiya', chickadees! Are you keeping cool in the light summer frocks that are finally popping up in stores en masse?

With more of your skin exposed in strappy dresses and sleeveless knit tops -- and in light of May being National Skin Cancer Awareness month (umm, let's ignore the fact that May is nearly over) -- I want to share a few of the products I use to trick people into thinking I can actually spend time in the sun with burning. Hey, I'm not complaining. If we have learned anything from Twilight (and the Olsen twins), it's that pale is IN.

Cheek Stain
From March through October, I use cheek stain in lieu of blush 100 percent of the time. It creates that natural-looking flush that you get an hour after sun exposure -- without you actually having to go outside. I use Benetint, a dual lip and cheek stain from Benefit, and the price per wear is insanely good. Even using this everyday, a bottle will last several months.
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Lip Gloss
So if you're female and breathing, chances are you've made a trip into Sephora at least once in your lifetime. Not only am I a huge fan of Sephora, I actually really love their collection lip gloss, specifically the Super Shimmer Lip Gloss in Bronzed Beauty. Even being as fair as I am, this rusty red color complements my skin because it goes on so lightly, so it looks very natural.
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Bright Nail Polish
This summer, light pinks and peaches are definitely colors to look for in clothing (blog post on all of that soon to come!). But, for your manicure, I recommend punchy-hued colors, such as orangey-reds, deep melons, and bright pinks and purples. It sounds silly, but it will actually make your skin look brighter! My personal fave for nail polish is OPI, and something like the summery red below looks fabulous on. (The color is called Tasmanian Devil Made Me Do It.)
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Obviously, never forget to apply sunscreen or a daily facial moisturizer with SPF if you are out in the sun. And always smear on some lip balm with SPF before applying any color to your lips. Get ready for some summer fun, ladies! Blog ya later!   

Monday, May 17, 2010

Style Diary -- Retro-Inspired Romper Ensemble

There's something about the summertime that makes me want to run around barefoot and wear flowers in my hair. I have Rachael Yamagata's "1963" playing on repeat, and I constantly feel the urge to sit on my porch with a glass of iced tea, poured from a ceramic pitcher shaped like a watermelon that I found at a garage sale.

Maybe this ultra-casual attitude and the reminder of all things old-fashioned is behind the desire I have to mix a ton of retro-inspired styles together. But the piece that I am centering everything around is this Mossimo Supply Co. seersucker romper, because -- let's face it -- when you can wear clothes that are as comfortable as pajamas and look fabulous, why wouldn't you?

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What I'm Wearing
Out in the sun, I'm pairing this item with a colorful crochet bikini of the Ashley Paige persuasion, but I actually found mine at Old Navy for $12.50 a piece. I've never worn a crochet swimsuit before, but everytime I look at my new one, I imagine it being something my mom would have worn when she went to Hawaii in the 70s. (I have an adorable photo of her from that trip in which she's sporting heavy bangs and a knit halter.) I'm also adding a pair of Tom's Shoes in a purple Tangier print, which resembles a less-severe tie dye pattern. 

Where to Buy
Price: $19.99

What would you pair with this romper? Post a comment!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Heat Up Your Office Attire

Hola, chickadees! I know it's only mid-May, but as the temperatures rise above 90 degrees in Austin, all my blog ideas seem to be centered around the summer season.The bad news is that grown-ups don't get summer vacations, but the good news is that summer is by far the least expensive season to purchase clothes!

However, if you're like me, you probably haven't taken the opportunity to create and/or purchase your summer wardrobe for the office yet. With that in mind, I've come up with a few ideas on how to transition your work attire without breaking the bank. (All of the items I mention below cost 30 dollars or less!)

You Own ... A black/grey/navy wrap dress (with or without a collar), which serves as your go-to presentation day outfit.

You Need ... A lightweight, colorful scarf. Not only will you stay warmer within the frigid office thermostat settings, you'll add a much needed pop of summer color to your ensemble ... for as little as 10 dollars. 
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You Own ... An oxford shirt and black/grey dress pants. Any mix-and-match combination of colors serves as your everyday ensemble.

You Need ... A skinny leather belt in a punchy hue. And no, this doesn't mean you need to wear shoes in the same shade.

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You Own ... A dark pencil skirt and thin sweater or cardigan thrown over a white camisole.

You Need ... A ton of chain necklaces. The metallic color brightens up the outfit -- and it's something you'll be able to wear throughout the year (as I talked about recently in a post on metallic shoes). You can also substitute the chains for multiple strands of pearls, as long as your sweater or cardigan isn't white.

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You Own ... A T-shirt and jeans, because you work in an ultracasual office or from home.

You Need ... A white or light-colored blazer to throw on when you do have meetings. The light shade will make your outfit crisp without creating the stodgy effect you have come to avoid. Don't forget to roll up the sleeves!

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As temperatures continue to rise, stay tuned for some summer-related Style Diary posts! Blog ya' later!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Spring for Shoes that Last 'til Winter: Three Rules for Three Shades (Part 2 of 2)

Hey chickadees! It's been awhile, but I'm ready to finish my rant on spring shoes. By now, hopefully you have noticed that you can go glitzy or casual in each shade and spend as much or as little as you like. If you're a gal like me, you're looking to be as economical as possible so you can make BIG purchases with ease, such as signing up for a marathon training program (!!!). True story. I'm officially nuts.  

1) Keep It Classic with White
If you're going to go white this year, keep in mind that you're only going to be wearing them for a few more months. So, forego the ultratrendy styles and look for something that's going to be relevant next year.

If casual is the name of your game, my recommendation is buying something in canvas, specifically the Chuck Taylor All Star from Converse. They are playful, inexpensive, and something you can throw in the washer to keep clean for next spring. 

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If you want to put a bit more bling in your step, go for statement jeweled sandals. (Editor's note: When I say, "jewels," I do not mean "rhinestones." The last time I bought shoes with rhinestones, I was shopping for senior prom, and it's going to stay that way.)

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What I'm Wearing
I'm going the casual route, so I'm throwing on a pair of Chucks with my chambray shirt from J.Crew, a liberty floral skirt, and that gold watch you all know I love.

2) Hide Those Toes in Metallics and Nudes
Because these colors aren't super light or dark, metallic- and nude-colored shoes are  the best transition shoe to get you from spring to fall. (And if you live in Texas like moi, they'll probably carry you into winter, also.) With that in mind, my advice is to skip open-toed anything in these shades and purchase simple flats or pumps. You'll survive the summer, because neither flats nor heels require tights (but both look great with them when the weather is finally right).

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(brand: rsvp)
What I'm Wearing
Despite only being 5'0'', I gravitate toward flats, so I'd pair a pretty nude or light gold pair with my denim leggings and a breezy top for the next few months. When it gets cooler, I'll swap the top for a vintage men's oxford shirt.

3) Add Socks and Knee-Highs to Camel
How adorable are ankle socks and knee-highs? Umm, sooo adorable. Whether you purchase chunky sandals like these Chinese Laundry Bellflower sandals I featured in my last post or something close-toed like the Steve Maddens pictured below, you can't go wrong with adding colorful ankle socks or knee-highs (although I recommend solid colors only) when you're frollicking in a cute skirt that hits above the knee.

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What I'm Wearing
My plan is to pair a pair of Oxford shoes in camel with my J.Crew knee highs (any color would look fab) and a black slightly pleated skirt (that's right, chickadees, I'm pairing brown and black) with a white men's Hanes tank and a grey men's cardigan.

The "100-50-25" Where to Buy
Whew! OK, I'm exhausted. Off to run, but not in any of these shoes. ;)

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Spring for Shoes that Last 'til Winter: Good, Better, Best (Part 1 of 2)

I've been getting a few questions about shoes lately (thank you for asking!) and wanted to address them with a two-part blog series, starting first with colors. (In fact, I'm not going to mention anything specific about styles or include a "Where to Buy" section until the next post.)

With Easter past us, we are now allowed by The Fashion Gods to wear white shoes. But this doesn't mean we should ... at least not in the traditional sense. The days of stark white shoes are behind us. This year, we are seeing a lot more embellishment going on, with jewels and bows attached to shoes of all shapes and sizes.

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Metallic tints and nude tones are colors that will easily translate into your fall wardrobe. And with these palletes, subtlety is key. For example, look for shoes that are lightly brushed with a metallic finish. After all, chickadees, ghetto gold is best left to costume jewelry.

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Have you noticed a pattern yet? If white is good, and nude tones are better, then it makes sense why camel might be the best color to accesorize with this season and the following ones. And shoes will be no exception. If I can't convice you, check out one Vogue article written earlier this month.

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My hope is that visions of leather and suede are now dancing in your head, but before you open your wallet, spend the next few days simply looking around. Pay attention to the shoe styles you find in white versus the ones you spot in camel. And start to consider your budget, as that will help determine whether or not you purchase a style in each shade or save your pennies for the ultimate pair you can wear into 2011.

Happy Tuesday, and I'll blog ya' soon! In the meantime, feel free to post comments or questions!

Monday, April 12, 2010

The Foolproof Accessory -- Men's Gold Watches

My current accessory obsession, which I mentioned briefly in my last post, is men's gold watches. This kind of watch is the perfect add-on because it combines glamour with functionality -- what looks like a heavy gold bracelet can actually tell time, too!

What I'm Wearing
I spent 15 minutes and $15 at Target this weekend selecting the perfect one and couldn't be happier. Because I don't ever want my look to appear ultra-feminine or ultra-masculine (I live to mix it up!), I'll skip this watch on the days I wear my boyfriend blazer or tuxedo vest and opt to wear it with floral-print dresses, Peter Pan-collared blouses, or basically any clothing item that includes lace! 

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The "100-50-25" Where to Buy
You can also skip the chain stores and head to your favorite resale shop to purchase a vintage watch. Or if you don't want to make the monetary commitment, borrow one of your dad's for the day. (My dad rocked an awesome gold watch in the mid-80s.) I think men's gold watches are unique because you can't go wrong, whether you are wearing a new, sleek version or a more antiquated design.

Where did you purchase your gold watch? Post a comment!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Style Diary -- The Perfect Spring Outfit

Anthropologie is by far one of my favorite stores. I'm on the mailing list, and the daily e-mails to my personal account are both a blessing and a curse. Beautiful clothing (when it's on sale) is on its way with the click of a button. Never has there been a company that so clearly understands what it would be like to live inside my brain. However, Anthropologie constantly forces me to practice self-control if I intend to indulge in other luxuries such as eating and paying rent.

Its recently released "Finer Things" collection is exactly what I want this season -- the clothing includes all the delicate details I love to combine with more masculine pieces. Fortunately, I can purchase the Friendly Competition top (at full price!) without feeling that terrible ache in the bottom of my stomach, otherwise known as buyer's remorse.

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What I'm Wearing
I'm pairing this with grey cargo pants and thin-strapped leather sandals, probably something in a brighter, jewel-toned color because I'm a big fan of one pop of color among neutral shades. 

Because the neckline is already so intricate, I'll skip a necklace and try adding a heavier bracelet or maybe even a vintage-looking gold men's watch.

Where to Buy
Price: $68

How would you wear this top? Post a comment!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Keep It Classy with Denim Leggings

I definitely consider my style to be “trial and error” at least half of the time. I don’t always love the colors, styles, and/or combinations I select, but the point is to learn from your mistakes, right?

Because today is something like the 99th day out of 100 that I’ve worn denim leggings, I thought it would be appropriate to share three rules I have learned to wear them boldly, wear them proudly, and wear them correctly.

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1) Respect the Stretch
Denim leggings typically are made with 2 to 5 percent elastane material (such as Spandex or Lycra), which may not seem like a lot, but that is at least double the amount of stretch found in your everyday jeans. Think about how differently those regular denim jeans feel at the end of the day versus when you put them on that morning. That baggy effect comes from the elastane – so if you’re doubling the elasticity of your jeans, you’re going to double the bagginess at the end of the day.

With that in mind, consider buying nothing larger than your typical size in denim leggings. In fact, most of the chickadees I have talked to have purchased their denim leggings in the next smaller size.

2) Draw Attention to Your Feet
Denim leggings should feel tight all over (especially when you first put them on), but they fit especially tight around your calves and ankles. In other words, denim leggings make an already slim part of your leg look even slimmer!

Embrace this by wearing fierce biker boots, slouchy suede boots, colorful flats, or Grecian sandals.

3) CYA
The point of denim leggings is that they will always look like leggings, not jeans. They typically don’t have zippers, pockets, or intricate seams. There is nothing special about the waist of denim leggings, so there is no point in showing off that part of the pants. Furthermore, if you are wearing them in more conservative settings (for instance, on Casual Friday at your office), you probably want them to appear as close to skinny jeans as possible.

When selecting a top to pair with denim leggings, go long. I recommend tunics and men’s dress shirts, because they will effectively conceal your back side. Just ask yourself, “Would I wear this shirt with black leggings?” If the answer is no, then move on.

The "100-50-25" Where to Buy

• Less than $100 -– Madewell ( for locations)

• Less than $50 -- Express

• Less than $25 -- Kohl’s

Have any more tips to conquering denim leggings? Post a comment, and let me know!