Casual Chic Outfit Basics | The Power Scarf

Casual Chic Outfit Basics | The Power Scarf

You’ve heard of the power suit but what about the power scarf?  It really does exist!  It’s a scarf with the power to transform your everyday outfit into something really special.

Let’s talk about the power of a scarf for a second.  It’s an outfit maker in the truest sense and an inexpensive way to amp up your basics.  That’s why this week’s casual chic outfit basic is dedicated to The Power Scarf.

If you don’t believe me, check out how a Power Scarf makes the outfit in each of these past looks.

scarf-outfits-fullOr in my Daily Style Diary selfies from the past couple of weeks.scarf-outfit-selfieSee?  The Power Scarf makes the outfit every time.  It’s an all-around amazing accessory.  So, what’s makes a scarf a Power Scarf?  Well, it’s a magical formula of size, color and pattern.

Let’s deconstruct one of my favorites – this black, tan and coral Power Scarf from Wallis.

scarf-outfits-wallisIt’s got all of the elements of a great Power Scarf – the colors are vibrant, the print is bold, the size is generous and it goes with so many things. I guess that’s why I wear it all the time.

Unfortunately Wallis doesn’t carry that scarf anymore (BUMMER!) but they do have one with similar colors – black, tan and a pop of coral.

[Tribal Print Scarf]

This one from Loft has a similar color combo too.

[Stripe Square Paillette Scarf]


Graphic patterns happen to be one of my favorites when it comes to scarves.  They’re bold and they always make a statement.  They’re also a lot easier to wear than you may think.  If they scare you, just keep the rest of your look simple.

[Glenda Scarf]


[Double Stripe Scarf]

[Get This Look]

[Sunrise Shadow Scarf]

[Geometric Patterns Scarf]

[Watercolor Hummingbird Scarf]

[Bright Stripes Scarf]


Floral scarves are probably my favorite for spring.  They look adorable with stripes and also pair well with denim shirts and pastel jeans.

Wouldn’t this one be perfect with a black and white striped top and some pink jeans?  It’s a great price too!

[Floral Print Woven Scarf]

[Gauze Watercolor Scarf]

[Pink Cameo Pastel Scarf]



I love this look featuring a simple t-shirt and jeans and can’t wait to try it out!



This has nothing to do with scarves but…

021414-green-popover-skinny-jeansYay!  I’ve heard from a lot of you this week and you’re loving the popover tunic as much as I do.  One reader said “It’s very J. Crew without the high price tag”.  YES!  I went back to Target this week to get it in pink and they were out of my size.  The good news is most sizes are still in stock online, so get them while you can.  My local Target doesn’t carry all eight colors, so I’ll have to order them.  At least has free shipping with the 5% Redcard discount!  Now the big decision is whether to get it in white and Caribbean blue too.  Which colors do you like best?

[Merona Popover Tunic]

I didn’t leave Target empty handed, that would be a shame.  Instead I got these super comfortable coral ballet flats.

022114-coral-flatsIsn’t this color great for spring?  Wish I had waited and ordered them online because I could’ve saved some money, they’re on sale for $15.99!  That’s OK because I’ll be ordering them in the ivory/black and metallic.  They’re just a great, comfortable everyday flat and fit true to size.  I wear an 8.5 and they fit perfectly.

[Madeleine Ballet Flats]


Even though spring is a little way off (well, a lot for some of you!), I thought it would be fun to start previewing some spring style.  I love that my favorite retailers are finally getting it – there’s a transition time between winter and spring and we need clothes for it!  They used to jump right into the warmer weather season without giving us ample choices for the awkward transitional time.


[Lace Front Cardigan]

I have a whole post coming up dedicated to trench coats.  Until then, this classic from Loft is a great investment that will last for years.

[Colorblock Trench Coat]


Pastels are all the rage for spring and Gap has plenty of transitional pieces to fill in the “gaps” in your wardrobe.  🙂

Shades of Peach

These fun legging jeans come in five pastel colors including a pretty mint.

1969 legging jeans

[1969 Legging Jeans]

Shades of Blue

[Sunwashed Sweatshirt]

Shades of Pink

[Essential Striped V-neck]

And of course, they still have their perennial favorites like the 1969 Boyfriend Jeans.

[1969 Sexy Boyfriend Jeans]

Old Navy

Old Navy’s spring styles usually win me over but this year they left me kind of “meh”.  I do love their jackets and still wear my white denim jacket I bought there five years ago.  I’m so happy they still carry it.  It’s a classic and looks great with all of spring’s pastels.

[White Denim Jacket]

I also love this striped hooded pullover.  It would be adorable with boyfriend jeans and red flats.

[Striped Hooded Pullover]

No spring transitional style preview would be complete without including some fun flats.  I seriously can’t wait to put my boots away for the winter.  Here are some I’ve got my eye on.

These would be perfect with boyfriend jeans, a white tee and a pink, mint or yellow cardigan.

[DV8 Totem Print Flat]

[DV8 Black/White/Coral Flat]

[Anne Klein ‘Buttons’ Linen and Gold Flats]

[Lucky Brand ‘Emmie Luxe Leopard’ Flat]

Of course, no spring footwear collection would be complete without a great pair of rain boots.  I saw these yesterday and fell hard in love.  I don’t need another but boy do I want them!

[Joules Ladies’ Wellington]

Check out the other Casual Chic Outfit Basics in this series:

Dark Wash Skinny Jeans

Riding Boots

The Boyfriend Cardigan

And be sure to stop by on Monday for my Daily Style Diary post for more casual everyday outfit inspiration.  Have a great weekend!

Getting my pretty on with The Pleated PoppyMonday Mingle and Fashion Friday.

Casual Chic Outfit Basics | Riding Boots

Casual Chic Outfit Basics | Riding Boots

Welcome back for the second post of my new series Casual Chic Outfit Basics.  Last week, I featured the first outfit basic, dark wash skinny jeans and this week we’re talking riding boots.

If you’ve been following my Daily Style Diary posts, you’ve probably already noticed that, other than dark wash skinny jeans, my other daily outfit essential this time of year is riding boots.  I wear a pair almost every day.

I’m normally not one to advocate for spending a lot of money on something.  But I have an exception when it comes to a few investment items and riding boots are one of them.  “Good” to me means quality, not necessarily name brand.  Don’t get me wrong though, a lot of times designer brands do equal good quality.  A brand name just shouldn’t be the main criteria.

Good also means real leather.  There are a lot of faux leather riding boots out there.  If you have a pair, it’s time to upgrade!

If you’ve been around here for long, you know I wear my Frye riding boots, like ALL the time.  From the time the weather cools down in early October until it warms back up in late April, they are in constant rotation.  Here are some ways I’ve paired them this fall and winter.

Frye Riding Boots OutfitsI can honestly say there has never been a piece of footwear I’ve loved more than these boots.  I’d marry them if I could (sorry Craig!).  They’re just that good – such high quality, a classic design that will never go out of style and the cognac color is drop dead gorgeous.  Plus they go with almost everything I own.

BUT they’re expensive.

As a matter of fact, they’re the priciest pair of shoes I’ve owned.  But also worth every penny.  Let’s do a little cost per wear breakdown, shall we?  On average, I wear them 2-3 times per week in the cooler months.  Take that times five months per year and divide by the purchase price and they are about $3 per wear (for the two years I’ve had them).  I’ll definitely be wearing them for a few more years so that number is just going to keep coming down.  Compare that to a pair of $50 heels I’ve only worn five times in two years and they are almost $10 per wear.  On a cost per wear basis, my Frye’s have been way more economical than a lot of the shoes I own.

My boots are the Frye Melissa Button Boot.  If you search for highest rated boots, they are right there on top for a reason – 583 reviews and 5 stars!  They come in nine different leather colors.  The cognac just happens to be my favorite.

[Frye Melissa Button Boot]

I understand that you might not be ready to buy the budget buster, though.  It took me a long time to pull the trigger.  That’s why I was so excited to find these similar looking boots, for a fraction of the price and they’re real leather.  They don’t have a lot of reviews, but the ones they have are really good.  They earned high marks for comfort.

Frye Knock Off Cheap[Rieker Riding Boots]

And now for some outfit inspiration…


Cognac Riding Boots Outfits[1/2/3/4]

I realize that Frye doesn’t make the only cognac riding boot around.  There are plenty of other gorgeous options out there at every price point.  Here are a few higher rated pairs.


Another beautiful Frye boot with a small heel.  These are on sale right now for 40% off!

[Frye Jane Strappy Boot]

MID-RANGE ($100-$200)

These boots are just the perfect color of cognac and have a nice distressing on the front.  They’re also a great alternative to the Frye at about half the price.

[Sam Edelman ‘Penny’ Boots]

It’s rare to find a boot this gorgeous at this price point.  These boots are normally $200 but on sale for 25% off.  Hurry if you want them, all sizes are in stock now!  I’m really going to have to exercise some self control because I want these pretties in my closet.

[Corso Como ‘Stirrup’ Boot]

UNDER $100

Yes!  There is a great leather option at this price point.

[Lucky Brand ‘Andria’]


While I was looking up cognac riding boots outfits, I stumbled across this little gem.  Let’s just call it the perfect casual Valentine’s outfit!

Valentines Day Outfit[Via]

The red and white gingham, lightweight v-neck sweater, white skinny jeans, statement necklace and cognac boots scream casual, chic Valentine’s Day.  Don’t you think so?


Valentines Day Casual Outfit Collage[Necklace/Sweater/Gingham Shirt/Jeans/Boots/Watch]


Two Tone Riding Boots Outfits[1/2/3]

Two tone boots are HUGE this winter.  I’m usually not one to recommend investing in a trend but this one is here to stay for awhile.

HIGH END ($250+)

This pair is the budget buster, but oh my!  Are they ever pretty.

[Frye Melissa Logo]

The original riding boot – Ariat.

[Ariat ‘York’ Boots]

MID-RANGE ($150)

[Donald J. Pliner ‘Prize’]

[Tommy Hilfiger ‘Delvin’]


Black Riding Boots Collage[1/2]

You just can’t go wrong with a classic black riding boot and I found some bargains in this category.

UNDER $150

The lines on this boot are just perfect and it’s 50% off!

[Louise et Cie ‘Verrah’ Boots]

This boot is also on sale and comes in four different color combos in all leather or leather and suede (as shown).

[Anne Klein ‘Ciji’ Boots]


Taupe Suede Boots Black and CreamMy second most favorite pair of footwear is my taupe suede riding boots.  They’re such a pretty neutral and go with so many things.  I swap them in when it’s time to give my Frye’s a break.

UNDER $150

The color and style of this boot is very similar to mine.  They’re also 30% off!

[Seychelles ‘Nothing to Hide’]

Be sure to stop by on Monday for a recap of last week’s Daily Style Diary!

Getting my pretty on with The Pleated Poppy, Fashion Friday.

Casual Chic Outfit Basics | Dark Wash Skinny Jeans

Casual Chic Outfit Basics | Dark Wash Skinny Jeans

Casual chic.

Honestly, I’ve never thought of the word chic to describe my style.  My goal has always been “not frumpy”.  So you can just imagine how thrilled and surprised I was when so many of you described my style as casual chic.  Over and over again in my reader survey, a lot of you said that’s why you’re here.

Here are a few of your answers to the question “What keeps you coming back every day?”

  • “Alison’s casual chic mom style.”
  • “You take casual up a notch to chic.”
  • “I love your chic SAHM style.”
  • “You add chicness to mommy-hood.”

Therefore it was a no-brainer to include the word chic in the title for my new Friday series Casual Chic Outfit Basics.


If you’ve been following my Daily Style Diary posts, then you know one of the building blocks of my daily style is dark wash skinny jeans. They’re universally flattering for all body types, they look great with any kind of footwear – sandals, ankle boots, ballet flats, riding boots, and you can easily dress them up or down for a day of errands or a date night.

Here are a few of my recent outfits featuring two of my favorite pairs of dark wash skinny jeans.

Repeat after me:  Every woman NEEDS a great pair of dark wash skinny jeans.

Here are some of my favorite pairs of dark wash skinny jeans – at price points for every budget.


At the high end are my Paige Premium Denim jeans.  I have the Skyline Skinny in the Carson wash.  They are made incredibly well, fit perfectly and are worth every penny.  When I want that perfect fitting pair of jeans that makes me feel like a million bucks, this is the pair that I reach for.

[Paige Skyline Skinny – Carson Wash]


A nice mid-range option is this pair by Articles of Society.  They have 33 five-star reviews.

[Articles of Society ‘Lana’ ]

If you’ve been around here long, you’ve heard me gush about my Kut from the Kloth jeans too.  They have a nice mid-rise, not too high nor too low. And I’m not their only fan, this pair also has near perfect reviews.

[Kut from the Kloth ‘Mia’]

Of course Gap always has some great skinny jeans.  I have this pair and love them.

[Gap ‘1969 Always Skinny Jeans’]


On the other end of the spectrum are my trusty dark wash skinny jeans from Forever 21.  When I say these are dirt cheap, I mean it.  I have a few pairs of them to swap out when they start to fade or if they’re in the wash.  They are just an all-around great everyday jean.

Forever 21 Dark Wash Skinny Jeans[Forever 21 – Dark Wash Skinny Jeans]

Old Navy is also a good choice for bargain jeans.  The Rockstar is a great mid-rise jean.

[Old Navy ‘ The Rockstar Mid-Rise Skinny Jean]


Here’s even more outfit inspiration.  I might have to copy a few of these myself.

Casual with Flats

Dark Wash Skinny Jeans Outfits 2[1/2/3]

Plaid Dressed Up or Down

Dark Wash Skinny Jeans with Plaid[1/2]

More Chic and Simple

Dark Wash Skinny Jeans Chic[1/2]

Come back next Friday for the next installment in the Casual Chic Outfit Basics series.

Be sure to stop by on Monday because I’m invited to be the special guest at Shay’s Pajama Party for February!  It’s seriously like getting invited to the cool girl’s sleepover.

PJ Party - Shays Graphic

Getting my pretty on withThe Pleated Poppy,  Fashion Friday and Getting Pin-spired with Sheaffer , Shay and Mel.