Banana Republic

What I’m Loving at Banana Republic

What I'm Loving at Banana Republic

Um, how fast can you say Banana Republic? Well, what are you waiting for? Go on, run there…right now. Fine, after you read this post!

Can you tell that I am having a hard time containing my excitement? There are just so many pieces to love at Banana Republic right now for spring. And I am crushing—hard—on just about all of them. In trying to decide what to write about for today’s post, I thought I would share what I will be bringing along with me to Washington, D.C. for a work trip next week (stay tuned, that post will be coming soon). And then as I was putting the post together, I stumbled upon not one, but two (and then three, four, and five) amazing pieces from Banana Republic, and well, here we are.

It doesn’t take much for me to swoon over BR. After all, I have been shopping there ever since I found that everything in their petites section fits me perfectly. So, please, by all means, keep me restrained in a BR store with these pieces hanging around, because I would buy every one of them (and in so doing, probably blow my budget straight through the summer).

If you are in the market for some transitional pieces, you will like the three jackets I have selected above (actually, I think I’ve pulled that yellow suede moto jacket before, so that clearly means it should be mine, right?). If you’re not in the market for light spring jackets, BR still has you covered with cute off-the-shoulder tops, bold dresses, and oh yes, fun flats and heels.

So, if you just skimmed the post (don’t worry, my feelings aren’t hurt), here’s a quick summation—head to Banana Republic…like, now.

Nessie’s Picks for Spring

Nessie's Picks for Spring

At the first sign of spring, you can usually find me swapping out my heavy winter layers in favor of lighter looks. So when I saw a crocus pop up this week, I had to remind myself that we are just entering March (and that my transition would be premature).

In putting together a round-up of items for spring that I am currently coveting, I thought it would be fun to share some that I already own (and love), others that I have been dying to try, and ones that will be purchased (just as soon as payday rolls around).

So, let’s jump right in.

A must for spring: Few things get me as excited as a suede moto jacket. And this one from Banana Republic ticks all the boxes. It’s the perfect color and fabric for the upcoming season, so you won’t regret buying this fun transitional piece.

Will be buying ASAP: I have yet to find the perfect pair of lace-up flats. Despite numerous trips to DSW and Nordstrom Rack, I haven’t had much luck with this style. But that all changed when I spotted these Gap beauties. The blue jean color was just what I have been looking for—and obviously, I love that they come in suede. Let’s hope that they are as comfy as they are chic when I go to try them on.

Need to try: Now that I am making a hardcore effort to be healthy and eat better, using cleaner beauty products is a high priority. I have heard and read a lot of good reviews about the RMS products, and now that I am in the market for a new highlighter, it seems like the perfect time to give the brand a try.

Wish list: Fortunately, I don’t have to spend a hefty sum on this wish list item, thanks to Target. Mossimo has an almost identical version of these beauties for a fraction of the price.

Can’t resist: We all have items that we don’t need but would love to have, right? These tassel earrings from Baublebar is just that for me. How cute would they look with a nice sundress or chambray top?

Buy these: If this is the only piece of advice that you ever take from me, then buy these pants…now. The Sloan-fit pants from Banana Republic are a must-have for us petites. I have never found a pair of pants to be so comfortable and flattering that I go back and buy three more pairs…the same day. Oh, and did I mention that they don’t need to be hemmed? If you were to ask anyone in my office, they would probably describe these babies as my office uniform.

What are you swooning over for spring?

The (Seriously) Last-Minute Gift Guide

The (Seriously) Last-Minute Gift Guide

So here we are…down to the wire. In T-minus four days it will be Christmas and you haven’t even started shopping. Don’t despair (I say this as a reminder to myself as well). We are getting dangerously close to the point of no return when it comes to online shopping and having your presents wrapped and under the tree in time. With that said, plenty of retailers make shopping in-store a breeze. If you have a long list, I would suggest hitting up Target, Ulta, Sephora, Banana Republic, Anthropologie, and Gap for all of your gifting needs. I was at Gap over the weekend, and their inventory (combined with the sales!) made for easy shopping. The plaid shirt above was a recent purchase of mine, and given how soft the fabric is and how affordable the price was, this gift is a no-brainer. Of course, the Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick set (bonus points: it includes the glitterazzi top coat) is a gift that is hard to beat.

Regardless of what you decide to purchase for your loved ones, it is crunch time. I hope this last-minute gift guide (along with this one and this one) have helped you out this holiday season.

Stay sane and happy shopping!

How to Build a Professional Wardrobe

Before I started my new job, I stopped at a few of my favorite stores for some additional pieces to add to my work wardrobe. My search always begins with Loft, Banana Republic, Anthropologie, and J. Crew (but by the time I get to Banana Republic, I’ve usually found everything that I need to get me through at least the first month of employment).

If you are new to the professional world, you don’t need to spend a ton of money to build up your collection. Here are my key staples:

How to Build a Professional Wardrobe

Blazer: I love a well-fitted blazer…even when I’m out of the office. I have quite a number of them in my professional arsenal, but my favorite has to be my grey one from Theory. It fits me so well that it seems tailor-made for me.

Pants: Banana Republic is my go-to for dress pants. I prefer the factory outlet — because the prices are better, and I know that I will find what I am looking for in their generous petite selection. I’m no fan of having my pants hemmed, so my main requirement is that they fit sans alterations.

Dress: For those days that are full of meetings (or when your alarm clock fails you and you need to run out the door in mere minutes), you’ll be glad you have a professional looking dress to throw on. I’ve resorted to such tactics on plenty of occasions. There is nothing worse than running late and having to ponder whether your outfit matches. Do yourself a favor, invest in these key pieces.

Heels: After working at home for the last 13 months, my shoe game was lacking. I needed a pair (or two) of heels — and that’s where DSW came in. I picked up a pair of suede Vince Camuto’s (which, once I break in, will be a favorite) and a pair of black patent leather Michael Kors. Just remember to be mindful of the heel when examining and trying on shoes. Nobody wants to come home from a first day limping with sore feet — take it from the expert on that one! Walk around in a pair — and picture yourself wearing them for a full work day. Then decide whether you want to buy them.

Bag: I’ve been using my black Coach messenger bag since I was a freshman in college. It has accompanied me on many a first day, whether to school or the office — and still shows little sign of its age. But when it does finally need to be retired, I see another Coach bag in my future. I like bags that can accommodate anything from the day’s lunch to an extra pair of flats, without feeling like you are carrying your life on your shoulder.

What are some of your work staples?

Gift Guide: For Him

This gift guide would not be complete without something for the gentleman in your life! From the preppy, to the outdoorsy, to the polished professional and the world traveler, this list has something for everyone. Ties always make great gifts (I’m loving the exposed gear cuff links, too!), but if you’re searching for something more rugged, you can’t go wrong with a North Face jacket or a tech gift from Restoration Hardware.

Gift Guide: For Him

Sweater (Dress) Weather

Sweater (Dress) Weather

Winter is coming. Whether you like to deny it — as I do — or you enjoy colder temperatures, the fact is that snow will soon blanket the ground (it’s already there in many parts of the country!). So the time has come to put away the mid-weight fall dresses and opt for something more cold weather friendly. But since I refuse to bid adieu to my dress habit completely until the spring, a good option is the sweater dress.

I have struggled with finding the perfect sweater dress. After all, the criteria can be demanding: it must be of the right length, not clingy or frumpy, itch-free, and yes, office appropriate, too. H&M and Banana Republic are wonderful options for the elusive sweater dress. They offer a wide selection and have plenty of styles to choose from.

Once the winter rolls around, I prefer the more muted tones of black and grey (although if you saw my closet, you could argue those shades aren’t reserved for just the chilly season!). A color-blocked sweater dress is a great way to break up the monotone look, or you can stick to a neutral tone and style it with a belt and bold accessories.

Whatever your preference, a sweater dress is essential for the cold weather – and don’t forget the tights and boots to complete the look!

Fall Finds

Every fall I brave the pumpkin-picking traffic and head out east to Riverhead’s Tanger Outlets for a shopping trip. This year was no exception. While the drive was no picnic, the holiday sales more than made up for the delay. I scored some great sweaters, tops, and blazers from Banana Republic and the Loft at seriously discounted prices – which equals a successful shopping excursion for me!

Fall Shopping

Fall Shopping

Fall Pairings

Is it too soon to be pining for the warm, summer months? After two days of chilly (highs in the low 70’s, which felt much cooler) fall weather and having to break out the sweaters during the day and comforter at night, I am sorely missing those nice sunny days. I’m sure the grey, cloudy (and let’s not forget rainy!) weather isn’t helping any. Has anyone else noticed the days slowly getting shorter? Yes, fall brings the return of some of my favorites – riding boots, long coats, pumpkins (and pumpkin lattes!), apple picking, chunky sweaters – and makes me feel like it is okay to stay in pajamas all day while snuggling up with magazines on the cozy couch. But I am not ready to say goodbye to my summer staples!

In an effort to extend a few summer looks, I’m breathing new life into my signature dresses by pairing them with blazers, tights, and boots this season.

Fall Pairings

{H&M dress & Anthropologie sweater}

Fall Pairings

{Banana Republic dress & H&M blazer}

Fall Pairings

{Banana Republic sweater dress & Franco Sarto riding boots}