If you're one of my email subscribers, you already know last month was quite busy for me. If you're not on the list, sign up here for style tips, behind the scenes stories, and notifications about availability for in-person styling services. As usual, many things have since sold out. Don't worry though, there are still many good finds in this post. So, what did my clients buy in May? Let's dig in.
Lucky Floral Print Cold Shoulder Top, $49.50
While cold shoulder tops are not my personal favorite (see why here), I have a few clients who love them. These tops work best on those with broad shoulders. This flirty number from Lucky is comfy-chic and perfect for a casual summer day.
Equipment Leema Button-Down, $278
While this silk Equipment top is styled a bit weird in the photo above, it looks gorgeous with black skinny jeans or red dress shorts (think Petra from Jane the Virgin).
Theory Silk Zabetha Top, $102
Nearly every career woman needs a few nice shells in her work wardrobe. This silky number from Theory is the perfect fit. With the interesting back detail, this top also looks great with leather pants or skinny jeans and heel for a night out.
Vince Camuto Ruffle Sleeve Top, $49
I'm always on the hunt for tees with a little something extra. This style from Vince Camuto offers ruffle sleeves and a unique hem. Wear it with jeans and earrings and you'll feel completely put together with minimal effort.
Splendid V-Neck Slub Tee, $48
I have a real soft spot for Splendid's basic tees. I wear a heather gray one all the time. They're soft, flattering, and hold up for years. I've yet to see anyone look bad in this V-neck slub tee.
Free People Uptown Girl Blazer, $100.80
It wasn't all t-shirts and tanks last month. One of my clients picked up this fun boyfriend blazer from Free People. Wear it open with the sleeves rolled up. I like it over a funky band tee and distressed light-wash jeans.
Theory Treeca 2 Good Stretch Wool Suit Pants, $275
Back to classic workwear pieces, these pants from Theory are a lightweight stretch wool that works all year in San Diego. The fit on pants from theory continues to be superb.
Alice + Olivia Cady Shorts, $195
Taking a turn toward summer fun, these adorable shorts from Alice + Olivia can go anywhere with you. Wear with a button down and nude wedges for a sophisticated look or opt for a graphic tee and flip flops for casual comfort.
Lafayette 148 Waxed Denim Slim Leg Jeans, $248
Note that the "white" of these Lafayette 148 pants is more of a beige. Also, they run large so order a size down. The waxed denim is a bit thicker (and thus more flattering) than most other light to white pants out there. While they're a slim cut, they're not skinny jeans so legs get a little breathing room. Tip: if you can see the outline of pockets in your white jeans, you can have the pockets removed by your tailor. Problem solved!
Leith Wide Leg Crop Pants, $59
If you really want to free your legs from the tyranny of skinny pants, try these wide leg crop pants by Leith. They look a bit silly above, but trust me; they are actually quite flattering. I prefer them styled more casually, think sandals and a white tee. Add a straw hat and you're good to go. Since these pants are quite voluminous, it's important to wear something more fitted on top. See my previous post on how to wear wide leg pants here.
NYDJ Pull-On Ankle Jeans, $99
The pull-on jeans from NYDJ are always a hit. They look very nice, but they're pretty much leggings in disguise. For those of you who can't stand zippers, buttons, and hardware, give these a try.
NYDJ Tummy Control Capris, $59.99
If you're bored of blue and white denim, you might be surprised by the versatility of an olive pair of jeans. I recommend sizing down; NYDJ runs large.
Dresses and Skirts
Ted Baker Highgrove Bodycon Dress, $188.98
This is one of those dresses I *almost* picked up for myself. I love the whimsical print and the bold graphic stripe on the bottom. Pattern mixing in one garment? Sign me up. Ted Baker has its own sizing, so look up the chart before you buy. For example, I am usually a size 6, but in Ted Baker, I'm a 2.
Tommy Hilfiger Floral-Print Maxi Dress, $149
This pretty dress works best on women who are 5'6" or taller and rocking a "C" cup or smaller. Wear to a wedding, on a date, or at the grocery store, especially if you're trying to get a date.
Bobeau Ruched Waist Maxi Skirt, $29.80
I love maxi skirts for my traveling clients, especially if they're planning visits to conservative countries or religious sites. This style from Bobeau packs well and is nearly always on sale for less than $30.
Kut from the Kloth Annie Belted Chambray Dress, $98
It is difficult to find a chambray dress that doesn't scream "Farmer's Daughter", yet Kut from the Kloth has managed to create one that is casually chic and flattering on most body types. It's perfect for all your backyard summer activities.
After striking out at Torrid and Nordstrom with a client shopping for a guest-of-the-wedding dress, we fell in love with this pretty printed number at Target. She'll be wearing this with gold layered necklaces, gold earrings, and olive espadrilles. Note: if you're ever invited to a wedding at the Martin-Johnson House, wear flats or wedges. The terrain is not friendly to thin heels.
Bailey 44 Lai Mirch Dress, $188
I use a series of "style types" to help determine the pieces, brands, and stores that will suit my individual client's best. One of them is "Sexy Sophisticate". This dress embodies that concept perfectly. There is no hint of cleavage or thigh, yet the silhouette is undoubtedly sexy.
Steve Madden Irenee Block Heel Sandals, $79
These block heels from Steve Madden are another perennial favorite. They look great with all your dresses and skirts and are short enough for all-day wear.
Michael Kors Platform Wedge, $98.95
If you're more of a wedge lover, this pair from Michael Kors is also quite popular. They are available in a variety of colors. I like the denim/navy color way because of its versatility.
The Flexx Band Together Sandals, $114.95
My love of metallic shoes is well documented on this blog. This comfort sandal from Flexx is another great travel option.
Tory Burch Miller Flip Flop, $198
While I don't recommend these Tory Burch flip flops for travel, many of my clients have 1-2 pairs of these and buy replacements when they wear out. They're certainly another favorite.
Paul Green Nicolette Pointy Toe Pump, $319
My favorite thing about these heels from Paul Green is the hidden velcro at the top--no fussing around with a tiny buckle! Also, Paul Green heels are typically so well-made even my clients with serious foot issues can wear them. If you find heels extremely uncomfortable, and want to find a pair you can wear for my than five minutes, check these out.
Gucci Ophelia Floral Sandal, $940
These whimsical Gucci heels do have a tiny buckle on the top, but they're so gorgeous, they're worth the fuss.
Argento Vivo Front Hoop Earrings, $58
I have these earrings in silver and I wear them often, probably too much. The gold version is just as pretty and versatile.
Tory Burch Fleming Shoulder Bag, $498
One of my clients grew tired of her larger tote bags and sought smaller options. This bright shoulder bag fit the bill. And, it adds a pop of color to any neutral outfit.
Baublebar Mixed Media Necklace, $58
Lately, I've been getting into tortoise shell jewelry as a way to pull together outfits that feature black and brown. This necklace is a great completer piece for those types of looks.
Eric Javits Bella Floppy Hat, $225
With summer just around the corner, why not try out a chic hat that can be worn to the beach, the races, and dining al fresco? Put on this one from Eric Javits and you'll feel like a glamorous old Hollywood star.
Moon & Meadow 14K Gold Layered Necklace, $360
For those of you who prefer fine jewelry and dainty options, this pretty set from Bloomingdale's is a treat. It's one of those necklaces you'll love wearing everyday.
BP Contrast Lining Faux Leather Contrast Lining Tote, $49
We'll end on this faux leather bag from Nordstrom, which is another crowd favorite. The price can't be beat and the color goes with everything, unlike black. It's great for work, travel, and/or Mom life.
Classic and work appropriate, a button down blouse is a wardrobe staple for many women. However, finding this top can be a challenge. Some tops are too wide and boxy, obscuring a feminine figure. Others are so tight they leave no room for the bust, leading to the gaping effect. And even more are so sheer they are inappropriate for an office setting. Having test driven these tops on a variety of body types, I can say with confidence these button down tops are the best around.
Hugo Boss Bashina Top, $195
The Bashina top from Hugo Boss is my all-time favorite for three reasons. First, it has a faux placket so those with larger busts can enjoy this top. Second, it has side zippers for a flattering, feminine sillhouette. And finally, it is machine washable. It is a slim fit top, so while it runs true to size, some prefer sizing up in this one.
Burberry Stretch Poplin Shirt, $250
Honestly, it would be irresponsible to talk classic wardrobe pieces without bringing a little Burberry into the mix. Their stretch poplin shirt is flattering, machine washable, and long enough for taller ladies. The collar is lined with Burberry plaid, which does peek out a bit when you wear it. Some love this element, but if obvious branding bothers you, skip this one. It runs slightly large. I recommend trying both your normal size and one down to see which you prefer.
J. Crew Perfect Shirt, $69.50
J. Crew is home to wardrobe basics, and their "Perfect Shirt" is a must-have for the athletically shaped woman. I find their button down tops work best on women who are A- C cups. It is machine washable with a hint of stretch. This top runs true to size.
Theory Tenia Stretch Cotton Top, $245
Like J. Crew, Theory's button downs lend themselves best to women with A-C cup sizes. Their Tenia Cotton Blend blouse is prized for its relaxed styling and lowkey sexy neckline. The way it opens makes this blouse perfect for showcasing your favorite necklaces. This top runs true to size. If you want a more of a boy-ish fit, order one size up.
Ann Taylor Perfect Shirt, $69.50
Another great brand for workwear basics, Ann Taylor does not disappoint with its own version of a "Perfect Shirt". Machine washable, breathable, and fitted, this is a true closet staple. It looks best tucked into work pants and skirts. It is available in petites and runs true to size.
NJDJ Pleat Back Button Down, $88
For a more casual option, NYDJ's Pleat Back Button Down is both flattering and comfortable. It can be worn untucked with ponte pants or skinny jeans. It also looks very polished tucked into a pencil skirt. The lighter colors are very sheer, so avoid those if you don't like the look of an obvious cami. Available in petite sizes too, I recommend sizing down for this one.
Lauren Classic Non-Iron Shirt, $69.50
The Lauren by Ralph Lauren Aaron Classic Non-Iron Shirt is also machine washable, while being incredibly affordable. It works as well with a pair of jeans as it does under a suit. This top runs large, try one size down.
Speaking of affordability, this flounce sleeve top from Talbot's is practically free. It is available in plus, petite, and plus petite. Have I confessed my love for Talbot's yet? It's a great store for basics and the occasional piece with a hint of flair, like this top.
While these tops are among the best you'll find, they are still mass produced and will not fit everyone. If you have a cup size larger than E, or a large discrepancy in the proportions of your waist and chest, you will probably still need to visit the tailor to get that perfect fit. Buy the top in the size that fits your largest part, and tailor it down everywhere else. I always tell my clients, "no one can see the size on your tag; everyone can see how great you look."
Like pencil skirts and v-neck tops, wide leg pants are one of those rare garments that work for nearly everyone. The trick is figuring out how to wear them without looking like a clown.
Pair with a Fitted Top
While your top doesn't have to be skin tight, a fitted tee or blouse is your best bet. Avoid anything flow-y or draped. To balance out the proportions of a wider look on the bottom, you need something that stays close to the body on the top. If you have a defined natural waist, a high-waist version will work beautifully on you.
Wear a Pointed Toe
Flats and heels can both work with wide leg pants, as long as they are both the pointed toe variety. This helps to elongate the leg line and make us appear taller. In warmer weather, open toe wedges or stacked sandals are also darling with wide leg pants.
Add a Necklace
Statement earrings rage on, but many of us know the impracticality of wearing large earrings at a desk, on the phone, chasing our kids, etc. Add a necklace to your look for an annoyance-free accessory. The visual interest created by the necklace also provides balance to the look while bringing the eye to your face. Ready to add a wide leg look to your outfit rotation? Shop my picks below.
Shop Wide Leg Pants
Topshop Wide Leg Trousers, $95
Please note that Topshop generally runs small and these pants are no exception. Try 1-2 sizes larger than your normal size. For example, a size 6 woman would need the 8. They have a 33" inseam, so taller ladies rejoice.
Halogen High Waist Wide Leg Pants, $89
Nordstrom's Halogen is one of my go-to brands for affordable, stylish workwear. These pants run large, be sure to order one size down. For example, a size 6 woman would need a 4 in these.
Beltaine Chevron Stripe Wide Leg Pants, $148
For my boho-inclined clients, these comfortable striped pants have been a dream. They run true to size.
Birthed by Style Pantry founder Folake Kuye, her clothing line FKSP features sexy, body-con basics and the only pair of white, wide-leg pants I recommend. Her pants have a 34" inseam so they are also perfect for taller ladies. These pants run true to size, but long.
The Fifth Label Changing Course Pants, $90
Looking for a bottom to pair with your black tops? These chic trousers from The Fifth Label are just the thing. They run true to size.
I'm Jaquelyn Wahidi. I'm a personal fashion stylist, writer, and entrepreneur in San Diego. I help women organize their closets, define their style, and shop with intention. My style blog features practical fashion advice for women everywhere. Addicted to blazers since 2004.