It occurred to me today that I may have been featuring too many pricey items lately, due to the fact that I'm on an unofficial spending sabbatical. When I'm not actually buying anything, I feel freer to post about $600 dresses and $1200 purses. So, in order to make amends, I would like to present some of my favorite pieces that'll take you from winter into spring, all for under $50.
From C&C California, the Wool Jersey Off the Shoulder dress is on clearance for $49, originally $148. Is there anything more cozily sexy than a chunky knit that exposes your shoulders? It makes me wish I lived someplace where it was always cold. However, this dress would be perfect for those early spring nights where it's too warm for a coat when you go out to dinner at 7, but is a bit nippy when you're coming home at midnight. I also like how this sort of dress is all about the hourglass figure-- I could see Joan Holloway rocking this dress with some pumps and her gold pen necklace.
I recently saw a photo of Michelle Obama in which she wore a cardigan over another cardigan, and I was both shocked and delighted. Layering cardigans! I didn't know you could do that! I believe she also wore a belt around her waist, to counteract any bunching--very smart. I'd like to wear this J.Crew short-sleeve cardigan, $29.99, under a thicker navy cardigan in the winter, and then throw it on over a flouncy dress when it warms up. It also comes in a bunch of warm, tropical colors, but I'm a fan of this crisp winter white.
Actually, that white cardigan might look sort of amazing over this Fred Flare Blue Check Drawstring Top, $38. Especially if you pull out the drawstring and retied it over the sweater, and also maybe found some way to tuck the cardigan sleeves into the cuffs off the button-down. I love how the subtle pin-tucking in the front gives it a casual tuxedo-shirt effect, and makes it serious enough for a relaxed office.
Bangles are so chic and timeless-- you really can't go wrong with an armful of thin, shiny bangles. From Banana Republic, these stackable bangles, $29.99, feature semi-precious stones and a mix of silver and gold. I love the look of an eye-catching bracelet worn over the sleeve of a solid, dark long-sleeved sweater-- it makes even the most basic black crewneck look glamorous. And, when it gets warmer, nothing is more fun than gesturing wildly with a bare arm, adorned only with some lightly clinking bangles.
Yes! This Gap tote finally went on sale, and is down from $39.50 to $19.99! The bodega bay print is perfectly suited for spring, and I plan to be using this as my go-to errand bag as soon as the sun comes back to New York.
You know how sometimes, when you have a really great outfit on, you take on the best characteristics of your clothes and almost start playing a role? Well, if I had this Cheap Monday (faux) Leather Caroline Skirt, $49.99, I'd be the most badass, assertive, confident girl in New York. Pencil skirts are usually synonymous with prim, demure ladies, but in black leather with exposed silver zippers, the look gets very rock and roll. I'd love to wear this with a printed silk tank, tucked in, or maybe just a white tissue-thin v-neck tee.
There really isn't any way to make this shoes winter appropriate, unless you go to Ibiza in February. From Old Navy, the Metallic Braided Sandals, $19.99, are so fresh and fun that I'd be willing to sacrifice a groundhog to make winter end sooner. I love the various shades of blue, white, and silver against each other--I'd be very tempted to paint my toenails to match.
But before it gets warm enough for strappy sandals, we must endure those weird, in-between days where your wool coat is way too heavy but you can't go out in just a sweater. The spring coat has to strike a tough balance, but I feel good about this cotton-sateen ruffle-collar jacket, $29.99, from Victoria's Secret. The fabric is lightweight but not completely insubstantial, and the zippered front allows you to cover up as much as you want. Also: ruffles! Adorable!
People think that as soon as Valentine's Day is over, us ladies have no reason to put on crazy underwears that make us look like professional burlesque dancers. I disagree! Nothing compliments a flirty spring dress like a pair of over-the-top undies, especially if you're in the habit of walking over subway grates. I am certainly not advocating showing your delicates in public, but... better to expose these adorable Honeydew Intimates 'Dot & Lace Rumba' Boyshorts, $23.99, than a stretched-out thong or boring grey bikini. The tiers of black lace, chiffon, and red w/ white polka dot satin create an old-fashioned but sexy look--very Minnie Mouse becomes a pin-up girl.