Sweater Dress (on sale!) and Velvet Booties

We finally had a tiny taste of Fall yesterday! I jumped on the chance to get to wear a sweater dress and booties. I recently picked this dress up when I saw it on sale! It's now even lower in price (less than $30)!! The colors in the sweater dress are so pretty. I love the blues and greys! A sleeveless sweater dress works well in this in between weather, and you can throw on a jacket or blazer when it actually cools down! I wore this dress to a wedding shower yesterday but have also worn it to work! 

The fringe detail on this dress adds a fun detail! I like how the fringe goes down the left side as well as at the bottom. I paired the dress with my new favorite velvet booties! In this post, I shared my love for velvet and it has only grown. These booties are amazing! The rich color paired with the velvet fabric is something I can't get enough of. I've already worn them so much! I din't know if I would like the higher rise bootie, but I've found them very flattering. They even look great with my favorite skinny jeans tucked into them. 

Grey Suede Jacket, old (similar here)
Tory Burch Stachel, old (similar here)

Kara Krittenbrink

Business Casual Closet: Work Dresses

Now that I've been back in the business world again, I'm back to wearing business casual 5 days a week. Since this is what I'm in most days, I want to wear my work clothes just as much as the rest of my wardrobe. If you are just starting to put together a work wardrobe or wanting to refresh it like I am, focusing on classics is the best way to spend your money. All of these dresses are under $150 and many of them are under $100!

Dress + pumps + accessories = out the door

A dress is the fastest (and in my opinion chicest) way to get ready for work in the morning. The focus on your work wardrobe should be the fit. You want something fitted but not tight to keep the look professional. The dresses I've put together are simple but definitely not boring. Most of them only need heels and some jewelry to complete the look. Depending on where you work, you can gold bold or simple with your accessories!

This pleated green dress is the first one on my list! I love that it can go from work to drinks after. I love tie neck tops and I love this dress version. It's something new for me. Special details can elevate any look. The flutter sleeves on this navy dress give it a special touch. This dress is just asking for your favorite necklace!

This classic checkered style fits in almost any business situation. For a more formal look, layer over your favorite blazer. You can add some color to the look with my favorite pumps from this post!

Don't be afraid to wear prints at work! Stripes are my favorite print and it doesn't get more classic than black and white. The cut and way the stripes are placed creates a slimming effect. This dress is flattering on almost every body type! I've talked about shirt dresses a few times before and I love this print version.

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Kara Krittenbrink

A New Take on Plaid and Great Denim

I hate to sound like a broken record but it still doesn't feel like Fall in Oklahoma! The highs every day this week are in the 80s! Since it is almost the end of October, I can't help but wear my favorite Fall pieces. I've been using these tips to incorporate Fall into my warmer weather clothes!

Plaid is always a good idea when it comes to Fall fashion. I love this peplum take on your typical button down. If you've been reading for long you know that I love peplum tops. I think they are a fun and flattering way to switch things up. When you combine plaid and peplum you can an elevated top that can be dressed up or down! For a night out, I wore my favorite black jeans and pointy toe pumps with the plaid peplum top.

In this look, I'm wearing my newest pair of jeans. I've shared my love for Madewell denim before (see here) and I have found another pair! Their skinny jeans now come in a 10 inch rise. Initially I didn't think another inch of denim would make such a difference, but it really does. For me, the higher rise hits at a much more flattering position. The stretch in the denim holds in my waist and who doesn't love that? I've been wearing these jeans at least twice a week since I bought them!

Satchel, old (similar here) - Flat Booties, old (similar here and here)

Kara Krittenbrink

Lace Up Shirtdress and the Perfect Work Pumps

Now that I'm back to working in a business casual environment I've been wearing lots of shirtdresses again. I love the simplicity and classic look of the shirtdress. On days that you may have snoozed a couple times, simple no fail outfits are important!

The lace up detail updates this shirt dress! I have been loving the lace up trend for awhile and finally decided to pick up something. You can lace the top up tighter during work and then loosen it up for drinks after! This dress is currently sold out. I love this black lace up dress and the shirt version. This is another great option too!

I needed another pair of classic pumps to wear to work. After a friend recommended Banana Republic's pumps I purchased this pair. I've now worn this pair a few times and they are the perfect work pump! The height is just the right height to wear all day. I love the pointed toe and how it elongates your legs! The aren't kidding when they call it the Madison 12 hour pump, they are so comfortable!! After a crazy day at the office, my feet still felt great! We need to talk about the color too! The pump comes in 8 colors but the plum is by far my favorite. It's a rich stunning hue that is the color for Fall. I may need another pair in this stunning emerald green!

Lace Up Shirt Dress, sold out (similar here and here)

Kara Krittenbrink

The Latest Trend: Velvet

Certain fabrics lend themselves to particular seasons. Plaid pops up in stores even before the first leaf changes color. Another fabric that comes with the cool weather is velvet! This soft, luxurious fabric is especially popular this year. I would definitely call it the fabric of the season! I just ordered these booties and plan on wearing them all the time!

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Typically velvet lends itself to nicer pieces, like dresses and skirts. I love the burn out pattern on this shift dress! This bell sleeve dress would be a great item for upcoming Holiday parties. The draped back on this dress is stunning!

Velvet also works for less dressy occasions. For a date night this mustard top and denim works perfect. You can add a blazer or jacket if its chilly! The off the shoulder trend isn't going anywhere and this velvet take on it makes it Fall and Winter ready. To dress up a tshirt and jeans look, swap out your tshirt for this comfy blush top!

For more versatile pieces I suggest these pants and this midi skirt! The pants are subdued enough to wear to the office with a button down and blazer. Add a fun top, maybe with some embellishment, and the pants transform into a great party/date night outfit. The midi skirt length and grey velvet fabric lend itself to a variety of occasions, work or fun!

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If you aren't quite ready to take the plunge into velvet clothing, accessories are an easier way to ease into the trend. I am always look for more flats to add to my collection. These embellished loafers pair well with work pants or your weekend denim. Wear a little black dress to show off the ankle ribbon strap on these heels

Each season new trendy sneakers come out that tempt me to ditch my heels! The rose pattern and velvet fabric make these sneakers look nothing like your running shoes. 

This quilted velvet bag comes in two colors (burgundy/pink here) and is under $50! You don't have to spend a lot to partake in this trend! 

Are you as in love with velvet as I am?
Kara Krittenbrink

Tips for Transitional Dressing

The view, the views, the views... I don't know that I could ever get used to the views in Napa! I wish pictures could even do it justice. The truly breathtaking part is that the views are panoramic, you can't find a bad view if you tried. 

The weather just added to the wonderful trip. The cooler mornings and evenings gave me the taste of Fall that I've been craving! As much as I love this weather, it is sometimes hard to dress for the change in temperature throughout the day. 

Transitional dressing can be a bit challenging for some. As soon as you feel the first chill, it is tempting to bring out all your fall essentials (think scarves, sweaters, plaid, jackets) and put away everything you have been wearing all Summer. In reality, after the first sign of fall the temperature fluctuates daily. Here we've had beautiful days in the 70s followed by a few days back in the 90s. Even when it is warm, if its October I still want to dress for Fall!

The key to surviving the temperature changes and still feel Fall appropriate is the mix and color palette! When I get out my Fall sweaters and jackets I keep some key Summer pieces that I can mix up. Rompers, tops and a pair of jean shorts mix well with the Fall pieces you are ready to wear! I've put together my tips for dressing for this transitional period!

1. Switch out your sandles for booties or shooties. Just changing your shoes can make an outfit look Fall appropriate.  Pair your favorite romper with a jacket and booties.

2. Think about color. Emerald, mustard, crimson, camel and navy are major Fall colors. Even if you are wearing or mixing in summery pieces the right color palette can change the look. Florals are still appropriate when they are in the right colors.

3. Add a jacket. When the day begins and ends chilly a jean jacket or light moto jacket adds the warmth you want!

4. Mad about plaid. No other pattern screams Fall like plaid. Still warm enough to wear shorts? Pair together jean shorts, booties and a plaid button down.

5. Think about your beauty routine. Switch out your nail color for grey, brown, crimson or emerald and your lips to darker shades as well.

What are your favorite tips for dressing for the fluctuating temps?
Kara Krittenbrink

Matte Lip Color Reviews

The last few years matte lip color has become more and more popular! I've been a big fan of this trend from the beginning. I've tried lots of brands and there are definitely some better ones than others. The first matte formulas that I tried were beautiful colors but after wearing for an hour or two my lips were so dry! It was hard to wear those colors when they didn't feel good. The dryness also makes the color crack a bit. 

To combat the dry problem many brands came out with cream matte formulas! The creamy colors looked matte but felt silky. The problem with some of these formulas is that they don't last on your lips and you need to reapply all the time. 

I've done some research and found two formulas that I love! 

A friend of mine recommended the new Gen Nude lip line from Bare Escentuals. It didn't take much coaxing since Bare Escentuals is one of my favorite make up brands. The new Gen Nude line has lipstick, lip liner, lip gloss and liquid lipcolor. I fell for the Gen Nude liquid lip color because all the colors are matte. I bought the color Weekend, it's a great rosey neutral. The formula is soft and comfortable. I was surprised by how well it lasts since it is so soft on my lips! The color is a "my lips but better" look. My favorite way to wear this color is layered over my brighter lipsticks. It blends well and mellows out the colors. Layering lipsticks is a great way to extend the number of lip colors you have!

On a whim I purchased this Nars Velvet Matte Lip Pencil duo. It's nice to get smaller sizes when trying out a new product or brand. Both colors are great, but I definitely love Cruello more (seen in the 2nd pic above)! The Velvet Matte Lip Pencils go on smooth and very similar to most matte lipsticks. The difference is how my lips felt a few hours later. It is not the dry cracked feeling like other matte lipsticks I've worn, it still feels smooth! The formula is not what I would call moisturizing but it is hard to get that with any matte color. The pigment lasted most of the day, even through my morning coffee and then lunch!

Do you like the matte lip trend? What brands/formulas do you wear?

Kara Krittenbrink

A Jumpsuit for Everything

Our last full day on our trip started with a short road trip from Napa to San Francisco. We wanted as much time as possible in San Francisco so we were up early to leave. Driving away from Napa was so hard but knowing we were getting a day in San Francisco made it much easier. 

Once in San Francisco we spent the day walking, sightseeing, eating and shopping. With all the hills in San Francisco, the walking is exhausting. My outfit for had to be comfortable for a long day! My full recap of everything we did in San Francisco will be up on the blog soon, for now here's what I wore!

 I bought this jumpsuit over Labor day weekend and have worn it at least once a week since then. A simple casual jumpsuit can be transformed based on the rest of your outfit! This one is sold out but I've found plenty of others that are just as great. A soft fabric in a flattering fit is the key to getting a transitional piece. The first time I wore this piece I added black wedges and a statement necklace. The dressy accessories created a perfect look for a luncheon. I even managed to create a work worthy look with a blazer and black pointy toe pumps!

For travel, I like to pack dress, jumpsuits and rompers. A whole outfit with just one piece in clothing. This not only saves space in my bag but makes picking an outfit easier too. Comfy sandals got me thru the long day of sightseeing. For the cooler morning and evenings and when we were along the water, I definitely needed a jean jacket (see post here). 

A simple jumpsuit can really become a wardrobe basic and create countless outfits! Although this one is sold out, the silhouette on this one is almost identical! The wrap top and cinched in waist is flattering on most figures. The slouchy cut of this one has special details like a keyhole back. If you want something a little less typical, I would recommend this one! The fabric of this one looks really comfortable!

Similar Jumpsuit - Jean Jacket (40% off with code CRISP)
Tassel Necklace - Crossbody, old - Flat Sandals, old (similar here)

Kara Krittenbrink

Eats of Napa Valley

Wine may be the reason you visit Napa but the food will keep you there! We had numerous great meals in Napa. Every restaurant we dined at had been recommended to us by a friend or I'd found recommended on some blogs.  

Entrance to Celadon
Celadon - One of the most enchanting restaurants I've ever been to. The rustic elegant decor is particularly lovely outside. We dined out under the bistro lights. The meal was as wonderful as the spectacular as the decor and vibe. It's advertised as upscale eclectic comfort food. The scallops were some of the best I've ever had. If you have room for dessert, I would highly recommend the banana creme brulee. 

Gott's Roadside - I'll just start with this, it's worth the wait! The burgers, fries and shakes are not to be missed. This roadside burger joint has lots of outdoor seating and picnic tables. We all picked a different gourmet burger to eat and shared some fries! It was really delicious.

Farmstead - Local ingredients create special american fare. They have some unique salads and special dishes. The fresh ingredients are also extended to their cocktails! After tasting lots of wine it was nice to have a refreshing cocktail as we ate in the renovated barn restaurant. They have a cute shop and lots of outdoor seating so even if you have to wait there is plenty to keep you entertained.

Fremont Diner - This is comfort food at its best! One of the best breakfasts I've had in a long time. The vibe is very country diner and we all commented that we felt more like we were in a small town in Oklahoma than in Napa. The biscuits were huge and fluffy and everything on the menu was tempting. I recognized several of the pieces of decor as things that my grandparents owned!

Ristorante Allegria - Italian food at its best! The restaurant is a converted historic bank. It's packed even on week nights which is always a good sign to me. Come hungry and ready to wait a little bit. My advice is to get a drink from the bar and take in the cool atmosphere while you wait!

Kara Krittenbrink

Denim Jacket

As soon as I started packing for Napa and San Francisco I realized it would be chillier than I expected. I needed some things to transition my summer looks into the beginning of Fall! I realized right away that a denim jacket would be the perfect piece to bring. I can throw it on over my dresses and was ready for the chilly night air.

I didn't own a denim jacket when I was packing so this was a problem. Luckily I have some very stylish friends and could borrow one for the trip! I wore the jacket almost every day and as soon as I came home from my trip I bought one for myself. Gap designs great denim jackets each year. I ordered this one for it's classic look and soft denim. I love this darker wash as well! Right now you can get 35% off with code WANT.

Anthropologie is having 40% off sale this weekend! I picked up this fringed sweater dress and you'll be seeing it on the blog soon! I love the pattern on this off the shoulder top! I also love this fringe top and this patterned dress! This top and this top would look great under cardigans, leather jackets and denim jacket!

Denim jacket (Under $50 with code WANT) - Striped Dress, sold out (similar here & here)

Kara Krittenbrink

Napa Vineyards

After just a few days in Napa, I’m by no means an expert. However, I wanted to share the restaurants and vineyards we visited and my thoughts. Overall we truly had an amazing and relaxing few days in Napa. I loved the slower pace of Napa. It was a great contrast to the hustle of San Francisco.

Honestly one of my favorite things we did in Napa was driving from place to place. The views were stunning. No matter where I was or what direction I looked, I was in awe. The rolling hills covered in perfect lines of grape plants is something I’ll never forget. I think I took over a 100 pictures of just the views. My girlfriends and I found ourselves taking our time on the drives just so we had more time to take in the stunning scenery around us.

Beringer - The winery  is one of the oldest in Napa Valley and hearing the history was fascinating. We toured the grounds and got a chance to try the different grapes they grow. Our tasting was paired with a few appetizers. I liked learning how food and wine pairings can change the taste of both. My friends and I all agreed this was the perfect winery tour to start with. I think you need a reservation in advance for any tours or tastings.

Castello di Amorosa - After learning there was a castle in Napa, we had to stop and see it. We only spent a few minutes walking around and taking pics of the castle. I’ve heard the tour and tasting is amazing so I’ll definitely want to try it next time I’m in Napa.

Frog's Leap - After lunch we had a 1:30 porch tasting. I loved this leisurely afternoon tasting while we took in the views. We tasted 4 of their wines and they give you brief prescriptions. After the tasting you are welcome to a glass of your favorite and can take it as you walk thru the grounds. They have rocking and Adirondack chairs scattered throughout the grounds. I recommend a reservation for this winery.

Mumm Napa - As a big sparkling wine fan, I’d been waiting for this tasting all day! This winery is modern and they have a gorgeous patio! There are tours throughout the day but we decided to just sit and enjoy the view. We added some chocolates to our tasting to create the perfect ending to our first full day in Napa. You don't need a reservation for parties under 10.

William Hill Estate Winery - Casual, fun, cool. The vineyard tour was self guided which allowed us to stop and take lots of pictures. After the tour we sat on the patio for our tasting. I talked about my likes and dislikes and what I wanted to try and an individualized tasting was created! I loved every wine I tried. My friends and I all agreed this was our favorite winery of the trip and we really didn't want to leave! One of the things we loved most is that it wasn't crowded. I believe tastings are by reservation only but they are easy to make on their site.

Chandon - I already knew I love Chandon sparkling wine so when we had the chance I was glad we made it to this one. They have a huge area for tastings, indoor and outdoor. Once we had our glasses of bubbly we wandered thru the grounds for a bit to take in the views. This place is so big you don't need to make a reservation!

V. Sattui Winery - This was a busy, bustling place. It's in the town of St. Helena so your views aren't the vineyards like most other places. They have a picnic area and sell picnic food. We went at the end of the day and just did a tasting (there are so many wines to choose from). It's a different vibe than other places we went to. If you want a relaxing experience, I wouldn't recommend it. If you want lots of options for your tasting, this is the place! You don't need a reservation for it.

Kara Krittenbrink