Wear it now: Smoking slippers

I dream all year of wearing boots. They are the perfect fall/winter footwear. That is until you are tired of boots and can’t possibly imagine putting them on again. When you’re looking for something a little different, that’s where smoking slippers come into play. They are easy to just slip-on, comfy, and come in tons of different colors, patterns, and fabrics. Bonus! Wear them with tights and a skirt or a pair of jeans. Just whatever you do, wear them! Check out a few favorites:

photo 2 (2)These equine-inspired beauties are from J.Crew Factory. I love them (best birthday gift from my co-bloggers!).

photo (2)

Wouldn’t these be PERFECT for a holiday outfit or lounging by the fire? Get them at Old Navy. They’re only $18, everyone should own a pair. (Thanks for the pic, kp!)

download

These C.Wonder slippers are a little pricier. But I dig the sparkle. Sparkle = fun.

Enjoy! Your feet will thank you.

bb

Ahoy, a perfect red lip!

When I turned 25, I decided that it was high time to start wearing red lipstick and drinking whiskey. Don’t ask me why or where the inspiration came from – I guess they just seemed like proper adult activities to undertake after surviving the first quarter century of my life.

It took me about three years to find a whiskey that I truly enjoyed. On the rocks. And finally, three long years later, I have found my perfect shade of red lipstick! There are several articles out there about what red works for you like this one from Real Simple, but from my experience the only way to really know is trial and error. And I don’t mean slapping ten different lipstick shades on your forearm and making an educated guess. I mean wearing the lipstick in daylight, with a top knot, in a baseball hat, in a ballgown. Does this lip color work for you and your life? And, most importantly, does it make you happy?

My winning red is Pirate by Chanel. I found it last Saturday before a black tie gala. I was wearing a black dress (shocker) and needed a pop of color. And boy did I find it. I got my makeup done at the Chanel counter at Saks Fifth Avenue* and my makeup artist Melissa suggested Pirate as soon as I sat down in her chair. I seriously heart this lipstick. It is a true red that made me feel glamorous at night and slightly less dishevelled on my Sunday-morning bagel run. It is also the same red that Coco Chanel wore daily. Ooh la la.

What red lipstick do you swear by? Do you wear it regularly or save it for special occasions?

-mm

*Fun tip: this is a free service! I’m always surprised that people don’t realize this. I like to buy at least one item afterwards but it is well worth the full makeup services provided. Just call ahead and ask if anyone is available that day and most makeup counters will schedule an appointment for you. It’s a great way to test new products before purchasing, try new colors, and get professional makeup application tips.

Perfect Party Dresses

Party dress season is here! With all the holiday extravaganzas (and/or mediocre office parties) beginning to crowd your google calendars, you will undoubtedly need a new party dress. This is the one time of year you can wear sequins, bold metallics, and bright colors with abandon, so cast aside your LBD (unless it’s lace!) and fully embrace the holiday spirit. We have scoured the internet for the best frocks for budget-conscious ladies, and this is what we have to show for it:

Picture1

Sequins

  1. Not too short, not too long, not too sexy, and a classic shape keep this extra sparkly French Connection number from looking over the top.
  2. If you’re only going to wear that sequined mini once, it makes no sense to spend a fortune. Pick up this Forever21 skirt and pair it with a festive plaid button down. Jenna Lyons would be proud.
  3. I’d like to think that the long sleeves make this BB Dakota sequin minidress from LuLu’s a little less in-your-face. But they don’t and that’s ok. Take this one for a spin and you’ll twinkle the night away.
  4. If you’re looking for something classic, but with a hint of fun, this Boden dress in clotted cream is a great silhouette that can easily be dressed up or down.

Lace

  1. With a little leather and a little lace, this black sleeveless shift from Piperlime Collection is both naughty and nice.
  2. This lace sleeve dress from Ann Taylor Loft is edgy, but still appropriate for the office holiday party. Especially if you pair it with a fun, red shoe.
  3. Lace and a pop of color? Yes, please. The red DVF number is sassy and stylish at the same time. MM actually wore this dress in a different color as Maid of Honor in her best friend’s wedding and loved it. Highly recommend.

Prints

  1. This LBD by Boden is made merry by sheer polka dot sleeves and a sweet, but not too sweet, bow!
  2. Piperlime is chock full of cute dresses this time of year, but this floral shift is a refreshing departure from the season’s traditional prints and colors for your next holiday cocktail party.
  3. If you’re in the market for something to wear to a holiday sweater party, why not do a sweater dress instead? This cat sweater dress from Target is purrrfect.

Metallics

  1. Our favorite shape, the classic sleeveless shift, gets a holiday update from Kate Spade Saturday.
  2. Take this flattering, fit-and-flare Anthro number to your work party. It’s demure enough for your boss but festive enough for the post-office party karaoke circuit.
  3. This JCrew piece could easily transition into spring and works well for a cocktail party, a bachelorette party, or a New Years Eve fête. While it’s sold out for now, it’s so cute we’re hoping JCrew restocks!
  4. If you if simply must wear stripes to your next soiree, you can also check out this sassy JCrew Factory number.

-bb, kp, mm

Wardrobe Revamp

One of my goals for my 31st year of life was to start this blog. Another was to step up my fashion game. Living in Washington, DC, allows a 30-something professional to get by with a collection of shift dresses, JCrew cardigans and Target flats. Throw on a statement necklace and you’re basically ready for the Pennsylvania Avenue runway. Practical professionalism seems to rule this town, and when your feet feel fine after 90 minutes of commuting, justifying TOMS at the office gets a whole lot easier.

So why not stick with my sensible work dresses that leave no shade of grey unworn? Because I really do feel more confident (and, yes, a little cooler) when I’m wearing a piece that borders on trendy. Or at very least something that is well-tailored and classic. That being said, none of us at donuts&denim are in the position to buy the latest from the Paris Fashion Week runways. Or the latest from the sale rack at Anthropologie for that matter. Below is my four-step plan to upgrade my wardrobe this year without breaking the bank.

1. Accessorize!

It’s amazing what a well-placed accessory can do to an otherwise dull outfit. My standard “uniform” of skinny jeans and a black v-neck sweater becomes significantly more interesting with the addition of an arm party of fun bangles or a brightly-colored clutch. Plus, you can accessorize on the cheap! If you don’t want to break the bank or invest too much in a somewhat trendy piece, look to stores like Forever 21 and Target for inexpensive and fun baubles, scarves, and handbags.

2. Reduce, reuse, repair.

The three R’s as learned in second grade – reduce, reuse, recycle – were a succinct way to talk about protecting the environment. These three wardrobe R’s – reduce, reuse, repair – are a concise way to keep your closet fresh.

First and foremost: reduce. Get rid of the items you don’t wear! There will be (many) more posts about this in the future, but streamlining your closet will save you time and frustration when deciding what to wear. My personal goal is to have a closet full of items that I love. I’m still working on this, but I have realized that I don’t need 20 t-shirts. Six t-shirts that I love are more than enough.

Step two: Reuse. That blazer you bought for work? Try it with jeans and a t-shirt for a dressed up weekend look. You should aim to have versatile pieces that you can dress up and dress down. Besides a gown or two, try to make your clothes as multifunctional as possible. It will stretch your budget and force you to use your creative powers for garment good.

Repair. Take care of the things you wear! Weather-proof your leather goods, get your hems sewn back in place (staples and two-sided tape should only be used in an emergency), dry clean your fancier frocks, you get the point.

3. Invest in “forever” pieces.

Do I sometimes often wish that I could throw out all of my clothing and start over with an unlimited budget and a smaller waistline? Yes. Is that realistic? No. Is my salary of the nonprofit variety? Yes.

All of that being said, I do think it’s important to invest in forever pieces. For example, I have been looking for the perfect leather coat for about three years. Sure, I could pick up a pleather number for under $100 and be perfectly happy. For a season. At which point pleather cracks and poorly made garments lose zippers or buttons. A classic leather coat is worth investing in because you can wear it for years to come. The same can be said about a great handbag, a fantastic pair of boots, or beautiful cashmere sweater. When it comes to classic, key wardrobe elements that will never go out of style, invest. The extra money spent now will be well worth the mileage you will get out of those pieces.

4. Can’t buy it? Rent it.

So I’m late to this game but renting clothes and accessories is so smart! No wonder my friends have been using services like Rent the Runway for years. Instead of spending hundreds of dollars on a dress that you will realistically wear one time, you can spend a fraction of that and have your pick of the litter. On no planet would I be able to buy a Badgley Mischka ballgown but I can certainly rent it for a black tie gala. I am sold on these services and cannot wait to use them for future events. Plus, since it’s a relatively small investment, you can try styles that are a little more dramatic/funky/colorful than what you would normally wear.

mm

wardrobe revamp