Fall Casual

img_1702img_1704img_1706img_1708img_1714

img_1896

img_1724img_1736img_1738img_1739

Photography: Greg Beuning

Wearing: Top- Express, Jeans-DL1961 , Boots- Guess, Bag- Kate Spade

Sometimes we just want to throw something on quick, be comfortable, and go on ahead with our weekend plans. But often, this kind of dressing is sloppy, and sacrifices style. But it never has to! Your go to weekend look could be easy and chic. Today I’m showing how you can throw together some basics and look effortless, yet amazing!

There’s nothing more casual and basic than jeans. If you invest in the right pair of jeans, you will have one of the most versatile, wearable pieces in your wardrobe for years to come. I like to play around with jeans shades, rips, and even designs, but nothing beats a classic dark blue pair, with a skinny fit. I’ve talked about jeans a little before, but I cannot reiterate enough, how key it is that jeans fit right. I prefer skinny, ankle length, and something that hugs my curves (rather than slouchy), since I am a little bigger in the butt area.

Once you figure out your jeans, the rest of the look is easy. I’ve styled a long sleeve, knit black top, perfect for chilly fall Saturdays, with a plunging neckline, since it is the weekend after all. Then I finished off with my chunky heel Guess boots, adding a bit of edge.

I wore this outfit to a backyard party about a month ago, and it worked really well for both the weather and the vibe of the party. While remaining totally chill, my look was well-fitted, and paired really nicely together. And if you’re going for that easy breezy style, that’s really all you need. The best part is that you can keep the jeans and substitute a different top and boots, and you’ve got tons of new outfit combinations with minimum effort!

-Masha

On Trend

img_1841img_1850img_1858img_1886img_1873img_1885

Photography: Greg Beuning 

I’ve featured these pants before, but because they’re such a great, interesting piece, I want to talk about another idea in how to style them. Printed pants, at least my printed pants, get a lot of use. They do all the work on their own, so I usually mute the rest of the outfit. It’s wonderful on days I just want to slip something on and go, and still showcase some edginess and playfulness. This time around, the pants still remained the focus of the look, but I added a lot of other details to take everything up a notch and encourage some risk taking.

I styled a black sweater with cutouts and bell sleeves (over a black cami since I was headed to work and see-through would have probably been frowned upon) to go with the pants. Cutouts, lace detailing, and bell sleeves are all very in right now, which is funny because I’ve actually had this top for quite a while. Just shows that trends rotate. Two trends together can seem bold, but I believe because there was only one colored piece, the rest of the statement was subtler. And though this is definitely a more eccentric outfit, it doesn’t go over the top. For shoes, because it was warmer that day, I chose my gold mules. Another trend, but I think they really work here. I kept all other accessories super simple, just my watch and a pair of classic sunnies.

Sometimes it’s tons of fun to take risks and be a walking trend. But of course, it’s not that fun looking like a crazy. So my advice is to stick to one loud piece and pair with smaller trends, like a detailing on the sleeve or the cut of the shoe. And, also it’s important to note that this can’t be worn just anywhere. I happened to wear this to work the other week, but it was a bold move, so if you’re just starting to experimenting with incorporating trendier pieces, I recommend this look for drinks with a close girlfriend or a casual coffee date. But don’t be afraid to do it in general. Rules are meant to be broken and style is meant to be played with. So go out there and have some fun with trends!

-Masha

Printed Sweater, Velvet Boots

img_1905img_1912img_1914img_1916img_1919img_1920img_1921img_1928img_1932img_1933

Photography: Oksana Berman

Wearing: Top- Michael Kors, Jeans-DL1961, Boots- Jessica Simpson,

Last weekend I visited my parents back in Minnesota, and while it’s still warm here in Washington D.C, in MN it’s definitely sweater weather. I brought my dog Jorge with me, which was of course loads of fun on the airplane (his little crate was so cramped, poor guy). But he was a trooper and he had the best weekend running around and playing ball in huge dog parks. My parents enjoyed having him there too :).

I wanted to stay warm and comfortable for all the outdoor activities, but still look stylish. I also didn’t want too many layers because even though the air was brisk, we stayed really active. And there’s nothing worse than having to carry your coat around everywhere. So I settled on this fuzzy Michael Kors sweater that my mom got me for my birthday last year. It’s so funky and definitely speaks for itself. The back is simple, just black, but the front is a white and blue leopard print panel that makes a statement. And I like making a statement with my clothes. Without going over the top, of course. This is why I love this sweater. The cut is very basic and extremely flattering, and the print is concentrated in just one area. I paired the sweater with my new dark wash skinny jeans. I’ve been on the hunt for a classic pair of jeans for some time now and am so glad I found these. They hug my body in all the right places and go with everything. Already, I’ve worn them for both work and play, and I plan on keeping these in rotation for quite a while.

Now while most people would aim to keep the shoes simple for this outfit because of the loudness of the sweater, I went with a different approach. I don’t think there is anything wrong with finishing off with some fun shoes, even if the rest of the look already has a lot of personality. The key here was to keep the style of the boot classic. These boots are a standard length with a chunky heel, pretty typical of fall boots, but the purple velvet just adds so much edge. I’m absolutely in love. And because the shoes and the sweater are in the same dark color family, they didn’t clash with one another. Instead they provided uniqueness from top to bottom, with some jeans in the middle to keep the whole outfit grounded.

I was so comfortable running around in this look. The heel on the boot totally didn’t bother me, and I encourage those who are scared of living life in heels to try a chunky one, as it adds more support and is great practice for the more advanced stages of heel wearing. Easy separates can always create a chic, effortless look, but when you add your own twist to show off some personality, that’s when the fashion really becomes yours to own.

-Masha

Weekend Outfit Inspo

img_0284img_0286img_0296img_0297img_0302img_0300img_0288

Photography: Greg Beuning

Wearing: Top- Genuine People, Skirt- Urban Outfitters, Shoes- Coach, Bag- Kate Spade Necklace- Gifted, Sunglasses- Michael Kors

This past Saturday Greg and I went to a birthday brunch with some friends and then headed over to the H Street Festival, which is a big street gathering on (you guessed it) H Street with lots of food vendors and live music and plenty of booze and such. It’s really great for the local businesses there, after the festival winded down we ended up getting drinks on several rooftops.

I wanted an outfit that was easy to wear, but was still really chic and had that festival vibe. It also had to incorporate fall in some way, since September is the perfect time to introduce that transitional piece or two into the wardrobe. That piece for me ended up being this really great cropped black sweater from Genuine People.

I actually discovered this brand while browsing on Spring, an amazing online shopping app I highly recommend to anyone who loves high-low mixing. It seemed like a lot of the pieces I was liking and saving for further examination were by this brand, so I figured I had to try them and see if the actual clothing would be just as stylish. This sweater is incredibly stylish. It’s sexy, but still sophisticated and I can see it being worn with jeans or a skirt in both a casual and more going out setting. I love that the neckline is high, as it really balances out the crop.

Since the weather was still hot on Saturday, I couldn’t make this look completely fall. The sweater did the trick to bring me into the spirit and give a tasteful nod to the start of the season, but the rest of the outfit I kept light and airy. I paired the top with a blue, polka-dot, layered mini skirt. This was definitely the standout piece. It had a lot going on and were I wear it with something equally as loud up top, it might not have worked, but the key is to have a balance and keep extra fun in subtle detailing.

For shoes, I went with my white Coach lace-up heels. This whole look is mad up easy separates and I wanted to keep that going all the way to my feet. However, I didn’t want to go too boring, so I think they add just the right element of surprise, while still working with the rest of the style.

I just love how easy it was to spend all day in this outfit. We moved around a lot, from brunch, to drinks, to festival, to rooftop, and I felt comfortable the whole time. I think great weekend fashion should always incorporate two things: comfort and a stylish opportunity to express your creative personality.

 

-Masha

Early Fall Transitions

img_0167img_0208img_0188img_0175img_0186img_0154img_0152

Photography: Greg Beuning

Wearing: Top- Bloomingdales, Jeans- Current Elliot, Boots- Via Spiga, Hat- Vintage, Bag- Coach, Bracelet- Gift from Grandmother

Happy first day of fall!

I’m so excited about fall transitions! I know it’s still 90 (and even higher somedays) degrees outside and my dreams of wearing knee-high boots and leather jackets are still a ways off, but September has just got me feeling the fall season. Not only is fall one of my favorite times of the year, but it’s also one of the most versatile times style wise. I love how many different looks fall allows you to experiment with.

For these early weeks, I styled a look that’s cooler weather appropriate, but not quite layered or bundled up. I’ve had these Current Elliot jeans for a couple years now, and they are by far my favorite pair. While most go for the classic dark blue as their go-to type, I really prefer a distressed look. They’re something so edgy, and yet at the same time chic, about cuts in your pants. It adds so much interest and personality, without much work. And by now you know how I feel about effortless fashion! These jeans, as well as most jeans I own, have an ankle cut, which makes them the perfect length for pairing with booties.

I chose a pair of black, suede Via Spiga heeled boots that my mom had bought me earlier this year. What I love about them the most, is the gold buckle detailing on the side. Edgy details like that immediately draw my eye, and make any classic piece a statement in their own right. I also am a big fan of the heel. It’s high, but actually quite comfortable (don’t overdo it with the walking though). I thought them to be perfect for prancing around Key Bridge in Georgetown and taking some beautiful shots of the water and historic views.

Up top I chose color and sparkle, in the form of a pink top from Bloomingdales, with a sheer sparkly front, and a pretty flower pattern in the back. The back also features a longer train, and the whole look is loose, which is a great compliment to my skinnies. This particular piece is just so much fun, and because the rest of the outfit is neutral, it could really take center stage. It’s also a great top for these transitional weeks as its strappy and can work as a stand alone while it’s still warm or paired under a leather jacket when temps drop.

To finish it off I chose a black hat and an oversized purple bag. There are not many accessories in this look. Because the shirt is so loud, I didn’t want anything to seem over the top. The bag is a fun contrast color to the sparkle and pink of the shirt, but because it’s such a muted dark purple (almost eggplant), it didn’t rival for attention, but rather pulled everything together. This hat is one of my favorite things to wear for fall, though I can’t quite make it work as much as I would like. This time around I think it fits perfectly with the early fall theme of the outfit. The key is to have it be in a neutral color and have soft loose hair to add structure.

I can see this being a great casual dinner or girls night out look. It’s very versatile because the formula is so easy to recreate; a great pair of jeans, something bold up top, classic booties (fun details optional), and a couple key accessories. As the weather keeps changing, stay tuned for more fall fashion inspiration!

-Masha

Cropped Sweater and Jeans

img_0241imageimg_0222img_0262img_0269-1img_0280

Photography: Greg Beuning

Wearing: Top- Zara, Jeans- Current Elliott, Shoes- Gifted, Bag- Coach, Bracelet- Gifted

Having an array of casual early fall looks is essential for your September wardrobe, and I’ve styled an outfit with my favorite Current Elliott jeans to get the ideas flowing. As I mentioned in a previous post, these jeans have been a staple in my closet for quite some time now. I originally bought these at Century 21 about two years ago, and I thought they would be a fun seasonal piece, but here I am two years later, and I can’t wait to wear them with everything in my closet. The rips add tons of edge, without going too far over the line. Plus, they are such a great cut and quality, and the wash is a bit lighter, making them truly original.

This time around I paired them with a dark blue, cropped turtleneck sleeveless sweater. There are a lot of aspects to this top, so let me dissect. First, I absolutely love the color. Such a rich, dark blue with a bit of sparkle. Perfect for fall. Let’s move on to the cut. It’s sleeveless, and a little short, so there’s just a sliver of stomach. Even though it’s a turtleneck and cleavage is totally covered, that ab and shoulder exposure makes it such an effortlessly sexy look. Sometimes less is more, and the allure is definitely in the details here.

For shoes, I decided that my gold mules would work best. The gold compliments the dark blue of the sweater, and the weather totally calls for something with foot exposure. I’m really allowed to breathe and not get too hot, while still looking like I’m ready for fall. I think this is a great transitional outfit, for when it’s just too hot to layer sweaters and jackets, but season enough to wear a pair of jeans rather than shorts.

Greg and I had so much fun at the Georgetown Waterfront taking these shots. It was a beautiful clear day, and the views looking out to the Potomac River and the Kennedy Center were spectacular. I can’t wait to wear this look out to dinner with friends or a date on a cool night!

-Masha

 

White Tee & Jeans

 

imageimageimageimageimageimage

Photography: Greg Beurning

Wearing: Top- Loft, Jeans- Rag & Bone, Shoes- Soludos, Bag- Rebecca Minkoff, Sunglasses- Michael Kors, Necklace- LouLou, Watch- Michael Kors

There’s nothing more basic, yet effortlessly chic than a white tee and jeans combo. It’s also a great transitional look for fall. I wore this on a casual Friday to my office, but can see it being so multifunctional for the weekend as well.

These jeans are so comfortable and they fit like a glove. My favorite kind of jeans tend to be low-rise, skinny, and ankle-cut. I used to wear skinnies that had a longer cut, but they would always bunch up at the ankle and make the shoe to pant flow a little awkward. The ankle-cut, however, I’ve found so clean and leaves just the right amount of space between the bottom of my pants and the top of my shoe. These particular jeans are Rag & Bone, a brand that I love for jeans because they make a really high quality product. I’ve had them for over a year now and they still look and feel great. I got these in a lighter wash, which is perfect for a more casual vibe.

That lighter wash pairs perfectly with a classic white tee. I bought this t-shirt at Loft during that major sale I’ve mentioned in previous posts. I’ve been on the hunt for a while, and finally stumbled upon this one. It’s so comfortable, 100% cotton, and appropriate for a more formal setting when styled right, while still remaining fairly casually. To tie the look together I added my black leather Soludos and a long gold necklace.

While I love intricate and complicated, sometimes it’s important to get the basics right. You could wear this anywhere and be very cool and stylish. The keys points to remember when building your basic look is a great cut and quality material. Add in a few interesting accessories and done. Happy Styling!

-Masha

That Friday Feel

imageimageimageimageimageimage

Photography: Greg Beuning

Wearing: Top- White House Black Market, Skirt- Loft, Blazer- Zara, Shoes- Coach, Necklace and Earrings- LouLou

I have a love hate relationship with Casual Friday. It can be such an excuse to look blah, but on the other hand it can be a total opportunity to shine. I suppose the same thing can be said about regular work clothes. But I’ve found that Monday through Thursday looks stay more polished and put together and Friday can get a bit lazy. This does not have to be the case! Here I’ve shown another take on what would be a great casual look for a Friday at the office, but also still professional and chic.

Of course, since Fridays are all about jeans, I brought out the jean skirt. A little more interesting than just jeans, and this particular one buttons down the front, which I think makes it such a cool piece. Also, a very on trend piece for this summer and transitioning into fall. I paired the skirt with a cashmere gray camisole that has beautiful lace detailing. Then, to make sure you feel like you’re at the office and not running errands on a Saturday afternoon, I added a patterned blazer. Finish with a pair of tie up heeled sandals, and some delicate black and gold jewelry, and you’re ready to go. The base of this look, the skirt and the top, are neutrals, which is why I’ve allowed the blazer to be the loud statement piece. It pulls the outfit together.

It’s important to be reminded that Fridays should be a reason to channel your style creativity and mix casual with more professional pieces, such as a jean skirt with a blazer. The outcome is a unique version of professional cool, and an awesome Casual Friday look will lead you straight to happy hour and weekend freedom.

-Masha

A Little on Basics and Accessories

imageimageimageimageimageimageimageimageimageimage

Photography: Greg Beuning

Wearing: Dress- Loft, Shoes- Soludos, Bag- Kate Spade, Sunglasses- Michael Kors, Headband- Gifted, Necklace- Forever 21, Bracelets- Gifted, Earrings- LouLou

August in Washington D.C is usually a sweltering affair (I’m glad it’s over and it’s the first of September!). I try to find easy pieces that can transition from Saturday morning errands to a much needed afternoon glass of rose. This particular look is one of my favorite summer outfits; it’s so easy to put together, it’s very airy, and looks incredibly chic.

I bought the tank dress on sale at Loft. My office is really close to a Loft, so I’m often examining their display windows as I walk by. Upon seeing an extra 60% off (on top of sale prices!), I couldn’t resist going on in to check it out. Of course the store is known for their professionally appropriated pieces, but what I found, and what my eye was actually drawn to among the selection, was the array of casual wear that they sell. I’m not especially interested in the cookie-cutter pencil skirt (trust me, I will show you much better places to find those), but I am very intrigued by a great casual dress that can be worn anywhere, and jean skirts that have become staples in my closet.

There are a couple of aspects about this dress I want to point out. First, it’s incredibly comfortable. Like slip on, never take off, comfortable. It’s also a functional dress, because for all intents and purposes, it’s quite simple. I love the color, but it’s nothing crazy, which is great because the accessories can do the talking.

For this post, I paired it with a drop necklace, some sparkly bracelets, a geometric Kate Spade bag, black Soludos, and a colorful headband. I think the headband in many ways makes this look stand out. It’s actually a scarf that I repurposed, I tied it around my hair and made a knot in the front. Statement pieces like this bring such a cool dimension to a casual outfit; it never looks like you’re trying too hard, but there’s just something about what you’re wearing that makes people notice. I made sure everything still maintained a nice flow by choosing a piece that had some blue to match the dress.

Of course the best accessory is my dog! He gets so hot during these summer months, so it’s important that we go on short frequent walks to get exercise and playtime. With all this walking and being outside, comfort is key, but (as hopefully demonstrated), comfort should always compliment style, and never replace it.

-Masha

Casual Evening

imageimageimageimageimageimage

Photography: Greg Beuning

Wearing: Top- Urban Outfitters, Skirt- Loft, Shoes- Coach, Bag- Kate Spade, Bracelet- Gifted, Earrings- LouLou

Because Brazil holds a very special place in my heart (it’s where I did my study abroad and met my boyfriend, and where I hope I have the pleasure of living for a while), Greg and I decided we should probably watch the opening ceremony of the Rio Olympics, and we should probably do it somewhere Brazilian. So we ended up going to The Grill from Ipanema, which is an excellent restaurant in Adams Morgan. I highly recommend their food for its authenticity, and even more highly recommend their caipirinhas, the national cocktail of Brazil. I like mine with extra limes.

We made the evening into a date night, but a casual one (just sitting at the bar enjoying drinks and the ceremony among other Portuguese speakers), which of course calls for an evening date night look that’s not too dressy, but still looks very pretty. As you may have noticed, I am obsessed with the jean skirts I purchased last month. I wear them almost everywhere I can. This seemed yet another perfect occasion, as wearing something jean to dinner and drinks almost always relaxes the vibe. I paired the skirt with a black and white crop top, which I’ve had for a couple years now, and am still very much in love with. I am especially enamored with the knotted cutout. To finish off the look, I added a summery pair of Coach heels.

I am a big advocate for easy and effortless styling. This look definitely embodies that, and I can see this outfit being very multifunctional. Sometimes, putting together something chic for dinner with your love can be a no brainer!

-Masha