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The Blog

Approachable inspiration for a stylish life. 

 

Chill Mode

Kristen Berry

Okay. So truthfully, I don’t often lounge on my apartment floor reading fashion magazines in a sweater dress. But if I ever were to do so, this is the dress I’d do it in.

I love this thing. It’s made of a lightweight knit, making it warm and cozy but not overly hot. The body-skimming cut and open left shoulder make it subtly sexy, while the long sleeves and knee-length skirt keep things classy.

You might recognize it from my recent “Workwear in the Time of Athleisure” post. And everything I said is true, it does easily go from the office to a happy hour date. Just last week, I went from an afternoon meeting to dinner and a comedy show with girlfriends in this little number.

On a separate note, the apartment is slowly but surely coming together. Shoutout to the boyfriend for designing and building this amazing (and highly photogenic) bookcase from scratch.

ASOS Knitted Midi Dress With Cold Shoulder Detail in Navy, $46 at ASOS.com.

Bright + Cheerful Bathroom Makeover (For Under $200)

Kristen Berry

When I moved from the S.F. Bay Area to L.A. in October, I got rid of a lot of my existing home stuff. It was time for a fresh start.

Of course, decorating an apartment nearly from scratch is quite an undertaking. While the living room and dining room will take months to get just right, smaller rooms, like the bathrooms, are much easier to knock out over the course of a weekend.

I wanted a bright, colorful and cheerful vibe for the master bathroom, and a look that nods to my new Southern California home.

I’ve never purchased home goods from Urban Outfitters before, but while I searched for bathroom decor last weekend, I found myself falling in love with so many of the items available on their site. So much so, that I redecorated my entire master bath with their pieces.

Take this charming bath mat for instance. It’s a light and fun message to see when I get in the shower every morning. It’s also hella soft.

I also love the bold, blue tropical print of this shower curtain. It adds so much color to the simple white room.

The apartment came with standard-issue sliding glass doors, but I simply installed a tension rod in front of the doors to cover it.

When I saw these shiny, copper-colored shower hooks on the Urban Outfitters website, I knew I had to have them. There isn’t one metal finish in the bathroom – the large mirror has an antique gold frame, and the hardware and medicine cabinet are trimmed in silver – and rather than fight it, I decided to embrace the mix.

The curtain hooks also complement the copper-color-trimmed countertop accessories I previously purchased.

I wanted to bring a bit of greenery into the bathroom as well, without making the small space feel too crowded. These small gold-trimmed planters from Umbra were the perfect fit – I hung them above the large mirror, making use of the extra space.

The gorgeous air plants were a steal at only $11 from AirPlantDesignStudio on Esty. The plants arrived beautiful and healthy, with these incredible pink blooms.

This striped rag rug adds a bright, beachy pop of color to the floor beneath the sink.

Saturday at the Bates Motel

Kristen Berry

The latest stop on my ongoing tour of Los Angeles art installations/Instagram backdrop fodder was “The Bates Motel.” No, it’s not the set of Alfred Hitchcock’s “Psycho” – it’s the equally creepy abandoned Sunset Pacific Motel, which was entirely whitewashed by artist Vincent Lamouroux last spring, reinvented as a project called "Projection.” Entirely whitewashed – palm trees, billboard and all (read more about it here).

Photo: Timothy Norris.

I liked the contrast between the stark, post-apocalyptic bleakness of the former hotel and the cheerful, floral femininity of this dress by Darling London.

The denim jacket adds a slightly casual vibe, and the hat – in addition to keeping that LA sun out of my face – plays into the throwback style of the dress.

There was no way that I could wait til spring to wear this look.

  • Dress: Darling London, $61 at ASOS.com.
  • Jacket: H&M. No longer available.
  • Hat: BP for Nordstrom. No longer available.
  • Sandals: Michael by Michael Kors. No longer available.   

Workwear in the Time of Athleisure

Kristen Berry

We’re living in a time when many of us can stroll into our 9-5 offices wearing leggings on a Wednesday without the boss batting an eyelash. In many ways, this is a wonderful thing. Most of us spend so much of our lives at work. Shouldn’t we be comfortable while we’re there?

However, we are going to work, not to work out. So how can you find the right balance of comfort and professionalism? And how can you “dress for the job you want” without looking weirdly corporate in an office full of casual?

Here are some helpful formulas to achieve this mix, a few of my go-to retailers, and several items you can shop right now to get this look.

Everlane and Modern Citizen – Two brands that nail office-appropriate casual

Everlane and Modern Citizen – Two brands that nail office-appropriate casual

There is, luckily, a formula to all of this:

Casual Cut + Elevated Fabric

OR

Sophisticated Cut + Comfy Fabric

And what about footwear?

Dressier Outfit + More Casual Shoes

OR

More Casual Outfit + Dressier Shoes

It’s all about balance. Harmony. Sartorial Ying and Yang. There are a few relatively affordable brands that have nailed this concept – a couple that I’ve saved to my shopping bookmarks are Everlane and Modern Citizen. Choosing neutral and subdued hues for these pieces also helps to make them appear more elevated. It’s much more difficult to discern that something is made from sweatsuit material when it’s in black than in heather gray. And one of the best things about this look is that these pieces easily translate into weekend wear, ultimately extending your wardrobe.

Ready to get this look? Check out ten pieces under $100 available for purchase right now, and why they work, below.

The Street Fleece Pant in Black, $65, Everlane.com.

The Street Fleece Pant in Black, $65, Everlane.com.

These pants are made from sweatsuit fabric, and you’d never know it thanks to the clean streamlined waistband and fly, slim fit, and zipper detailing at the ankle.

Michael De Feo™ for J.Crew painted daisy vase T-shirt, $40 at Jcrew.com.

Michael De Feo™ for J.Crew painted daisy vase T-shirt, $40 at Jcrew.com.

The painterly details make this t-shirt feel instantly special. I’d totally dress down my pleated navy below-the-knee skirt with this top.

Pure + Gold Perennial Sweatshirt, $98 at Anthropologie.com.

Pure + Gold Perennial Sweatshirt, $98 at Anthropologie.com.

This is a sweatshirt. I’m just going to leave this here.

ASOS Knitted Midi Dress With Cold Shoulder Detail in Navy, $46 at ASOS.com.

ASOS Knitted Midi Dress With Cold Shoulder Detail in Navy, $46 at ASOS.com.

This dress just looks soooo cozy, and would easily go from the office to a happy hour date. If showing a little shoulder feels a bit much for your office, just throw a jacket (denim, perhaps!) on top.

Aerin Tie-Waist Knit Skirt in Grey, $62 at ModernCitizen.com.

Aerin Tie-Waist Knit Skirt in Grey, $62 at ModernCitizen.com.

No constricting pencil skirts over here. This piece is made from cotton, with an asymetric front closure that keeps things interesting.

Topshop Diagonal Colorblock Cardigan, $85 at Nordstrom.com.

Topshop Diagonal Colorblock Cardigan, $85 at Nordstrom.com.

Nothing will ward off the office chill like this puppy, and it’s so much more polished than the company-branded fleece hanging on the back of your chair.

New Look Minimal Wide Leg Pants, $38 at ASOS.com.

New Look Minimal Wide Leg Pants, $38 at ASOS.com.

Essentially your favorite comfy around-the-house drawstring pants, dressed up in an office-ready material and tie-front waist.

Top with Asymmetric Sleeves, $30 at Zara.com.

Top with Asymmetric Sleeves, $30 at Zara.com.

So much more than a basic white tee.

Silence + Noise Lara Dolman-Sleeve Utility Bomber Jacket in Cream Multi, $89 at UrbanOutfitters.com.

Silence + Noise Lara Dolman-Sleeve Utility Bomber Jacket in Cream Multi, $89 at UrbanOutfitters.com.

A stylish print and blousy cut give this bomber jacket blazer-like vibes.

Ambra Tie-Front Flutter Dress (Navy), $98 at ModernCitizen.com.

Ambra Tie-Front Flutter Dress (Navy), $98 at ModernCitizen.com.

The cut is both ladylike and casual, thanks to the relaxed knotting at the front.

What’s your go-to office style?

Cloud Nine

Kristen Berry

This dress is a perfect example of why you should never bypass the sale section at Anthropologie.

I wish you could feel how luxuriously soft, silky and warm this sweater dress is through the screen. Picture the coziest blanket you can think of, and then imagine wearing it on a cold, gloomy day while still somehow looking chic and put together.

I love pairing the dress with these metallic ankle boots to give the whole look a slightly futuristic vibe. Of course, standing in front of the mirrored walls of the Louis Vuitton store in Beverly Hills contributes to the effect.

A gray/blue Rebecca Minkoff Mini M.A.C. bag and mirrored Quay shades tie everything together.

  • Sleeping on Snow Eyelash Sweater Dress, now on sale for $50 at Anthropologie.com.
  • Kendall & Kylie Brooke Booties in Pewter, $100 at NordstromRack.com.
  • Rebecca Minkoff Mini M.A.C., available in a variety of colors starting at $175 (regular price) at RebeccaMinkoff.com (make sure to check the sale section for great deals!!).
  • Quay Cherry Bomb Sunglasses, $55 at UrbanOutfitters.com.

Which pieces are getting you through the final weeks of winter?