suit up

IMG_1053 Matching skirt sets are usually likened to Judy Bonner-esque red suits and floral patterned legging/tunic combos from pre-k. But 2014 brings with it refined digital prints and modern silhouettes worth replicating on both the top and bottom halves of your ensemble.

2013 was a year of print mixing; from plaid and polka-dot to stripes and florals, the perfect concoction of mis-matched was prized among street style gurus. This year it’s all about making a big statement with coordinating prints from head to toe. Mara Hoffman and Vivienne Tam offered their take on coordinating separates on their spring 2014 runway looks. The models used the conservative hemlines to their long-legged advantage—bathing in tribal and geometric prints.

I have been searching for the perfectly printed skirt/pant/shirt set for more than a year now—shying away from large floral suit sets, I looked for something on the neutral side; because practicality. You know.  I found it in the form of a Zara basic skirt/shirt combo and it was love. Paired with a few bright accessories and I think it will be one of my favorite professional-ish looks I so often find myself in need of.

Yeah, the Miley buns? I really have no explanation. I thought they looked cool.

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[skirt/shirt-zara, shoes-zara, necklace-dannijo, bag-dsw,  glasses-warby parker]

work wear

I’ve long run out of clothes to keep from repeating work outfits; something I previously thought a heinous crime, which rivals those convicted by Mariska Hargitay. My patterned dresses and palazzo pants are too recognizable to wear more than once a week and I refuse to fall back to unflattering slacks and boring button-downs. My wardrobe rules will prevail. That being said, I’ve rediscovered the basics and the power of great accessories.
Exhibit A: the shirt dress. Because wearing your theoretical boyfriend’s clothes has always been cool. I’ve found this to be easy to throw on when I have “nothing to wear” and pair with an edgy shoe or head scarf for an effortless work outfit. NYC doesn’t do “done up.” Undone is the new done.
Exhibit B: DANNIJO collar necklace. This statement accessory is my go-to piece when an outfit is feeling a bit drab. You know my love of superfluous layers, but with the pavement here emanating that urban steam heat, I am forced to remove said layers and end up with an empty outfit and an empty heart. I now substitute that extra layer (usually a vest) with a bold accessory. Thank you, DANNIJO for giving us mere mortals a chance and offering up your leftovers to the sample sale gods.

[dress-uniqlo, shoes-private gallery, bag-h&m, necklace-dannijo]
P.S. Be sure to check out ShoeDazzle for great shoes/accessories to jazz up summer work wear.

that one time I brought a suitcase full of shoes to NYC and how it's still not enough

I came to New York with approximately one suitcase full of shoes, prepared for just about any fashion predicament I might find myself, except walking that is. Just a quick little inventory of what I brought
with me to the city to get you guys up to date:
4 pairs of high heels that I will never wear because that's just not practical with cobblestones and subway grates to dodge.
2 pairs of flats. Right, I know, what was I thinking?
1 pair of booties 
1 pair of tennis shoes that many times have accompanied errand-running ensembles against my former chagrin toward the rubbered soles.
2-4 various other pairs that aren't coming to me right now, which I obviously don't wear that much since I can't even remember what they are.
Needless to say, NYC terrain is very different from the familiar UA sidewalks, which I've grown accustom. Back home there's no need to dodge and weave and cut in front of oncoming traffic. I mean, everyone else is doing it. You get caught up in the fast pace of city life and here I am proving New York stereotypes right. My pace is faster so I need my heels to be shorter and as much as I'd like to shop the streets of NYC for the perfect pair of black gladiators, this unpaid intern is on a budget. 
Thankfully ShoeDazzle's got me covered, my soles at least. I certainly can't afford Rachel Zoe's ready-to-wear line, but I am more than happy for her to pick out a collection of shoes for me via ShoeDazzle's 
To join, you take a quiz so they can get to know your style. You know, like what J.Lo look best describes you....the green breast-baring Versace number circa 2000 or are you that classy Maid in Manhatten style?  Based on the results of the quiz, they give you your first showroom of shoes and handbags they think you’ll love. At the beginning of every month you will receive a new showroom selection that fits your individual style, and as new styles get added to the site throughout the month, they continue to tailor your personalized recommendations. Y'all Kim K and Rachel Zoe were involved so...you're kind of missing out if you don't at least try it out.
I can't wait to get my hands on those black gladiators to spice up my American Girl-esque sundresses. 
shoedazzle

shoedazzle by abigailcrain featuring madewell

This post is sponsored by ShoeDazzle.