what to wear Archives – A Little Leopard
what to wear Archives – A Little Leopard

what to wear Archives – A Little Leopard

The shift in weather from winter to spring is great, but figuring out what to wear during that time? Um, not so much. Here are five transitional spring outfits to make your mornings a little easier (including shoppable options for each!):

MONDAY: JEAN JACKET SEASON IS BACK


Image: WhoWhatWear

Lighten up an all-black ensemble with a jean jacket, a warm-weather staple. I’ll be re-creating this look with my new Who What Wear sleeveless mock neck (obsessed, you guys) and Pixie pants from J.Crew. And black booties, because I do not own a fabulous white pair.

TUESDAY: DENIM ON DENIM + STRIPES


Image: Madewell

Canadian tuxedos are wonderful. I love this trick from Madewell to mix it up with some stripes underneath, too — a fresh twist on what has become a classic outfit.

WEDNESDAY: MOTO JACKET


Image: WhoWhatWear

Last year’s Rag & Bone v-neck sweater trend is still going strong, it seems… so I am very happy I scooped up an affordable version of the style at Banana Republic. Even Rag & Bone is re-creating the style this year, with their more affordable /JEAN line. I’m supposed to go check out CH Distillery after work on Wednesday, and this outfit can totally go from desk to happy hour. And also, apparently, the airport!

THURSDAY: MORE STRIPES


Image: Lindsay Marcella

For days when it’s still a little cooler, you can’t beat the simplicity of a striped top layered under a sweater.

FRIDAY: BLAZER FRIDAY


Image: Lovely Pepa

So some people in my office do this thing called blazer Fridays, and I’ve yet to participate because it’s been forever and a half since I’ve worn a blazer. Also, it’s mostly guys who do it. However, when I cleaned out my closet, I decided that a couple of my blazers still “spark joy,” so now seems like an excellent time to break out the trusty blazer, jeans and t-shirt combo.

Note to those who know me IRL, including coworkers: outfits subject to change based on Chicago weather. And my mood.

I was catching up on my favorite blogs the other day, and one shared an article featuring eight pairs of can’t-live-without-denim. Eight! That’s a pair a day for a week plus one extra. Meanwhile, I’m over here wearing essentially the exact same pair of Madewell skinny jeans every single day. (The high-rise fit? Life changing! I don’t know what took me so long, but I’ll never let go.)

And I think there’s something to be said for that approach, too. I’m not a true minimalist and likely couldn’t pull off a capsule wardrobe because frankly, I like stuff and shopping too much. However, streamlining and editing your closet really does make life that much simpler. And I firmly believe denim should be part of any good, streamlined closet. Everyone can wear it, from preps to tomboys to It girls and street-style stars.

I know it’s kind of in vogue right now to hate pants (see: Beyoncé), but I wear pants far more than I wear skirts and dresses — preferably those of the skinny, denim variety. Heck, sometimes I will even throw pants on underneath a dress. Because pants are actually great. They’re versatile, comfortable and, yes, flattering… when you find the right pair.

However, I don’t think I’d know what to do with myself if I owned eight pairs of jeans. Like I said, I’ve got one favorite pair that’s in heavy rotation, and I really only need (in the truest, literal sense of the word) that one pair. But because this is a style blog, and I’m really bad at distinguishing needs versus wants, we’re going to bump that number up to three, plus one “trendier” pair.

Here’s the thing, though: these are essentially the exact same pair of jeans. They work for me. High-rise skinny, preferably from Madewell, is my denim match. That style complements nearly everything in my wardrobe: flats, boots, tees, going out tops, whatever. Sure, I was very excited when I scored a pair of J Brand boyfriend jeans on super duper sale…but I keep going back to the Madewell skinnies. Because I love them. Your denim love story? It might be something completely different!

So, without further ado, here are the four pairs of denim that pretty much make up the foundation of my wardrobe:


Image: Madewell

ONE. LIGHT WASH HIGH RISE SKINNY JEANS

A great, everyday pair of denim in a classic wash – the OG, if you will. Buy: Madewell / Nordstrom


Image: Madewell

TWO. DARK WASH HIGH RISE SKINNY JEANS

A “fancier” pair, for when you need to dress it up a little. Buy: MadewellNordstrom


Image: Madewell

THREE. BLACK HIGH RISE SKINNY JEANS

Everyone needs a pair of black jeans, useful in occasions where you don’t want to wear a Canadian tuxedo and/or maybe can’t get away with leggings. Buy: Madewell Nordstrom


Image: Tuula Vintage

FOUR. BLACK DISTRESSED HIGH RISE SKINNY JEANS

This is the “trendy” pair. Distressing is in, and it’s hard to find a pair of jeans with the perfect knee rips — in fact, I’m still looking. This pair looks promising. But they just add a bit of “It Girl” to any outfit that other jeans don’t.

Buy: Madewell

Caroline de Maigret is one of those impossibly chic, cool French girls. She literally wrote the book on it (How to Be Parisian Wherever You Are) and embodies that enviable, quintessentially French je ne sais quoi, as evidenced by this video from British Vogue:

One other thing about French girls? They’re basically an endless source of sartorial inspiration, somehow managing to look effortless and chic no matter what they wear. Why do you think I’m so excited for Carine Roitfeld’s second Uniqlo collection? When you’re severely underwhelmed by your wardrobe, or faced with yet another “closet full of clothes and nothing to wear” dilemma, look to French girls for outfit inspiration. The French have mastered the art of getting dressed without being overly fussy, resulting in always-stylish ensembles.

Not all of these bloggers/street style stars/celebrities are French, but they’ve certainly got the effortless, casual-chic thing down — proving that you don’t actually have to be from France to get the Parisian look.


Image: Who What Wear

Aimee Song layers basic, timeless pieces like a blazer and camel coat (ugh so chic) for a very Parisian vibe.


Image: Who What Wear

Caroline de Maigret and Chiara Ferragni both love leather jackets, and with good reason. They’re endlessly versatile and can add a bit of roughness and edge to nearly any outfit.


Image: Who What Wear

Case in point: the leather jacket thrown over a slip dress and heels combination that would be too obviously sexy on its own.


Image: Refinery29

Seriously, how do French girls make a simple blazer, jeans and tee look so good?


Image: Adoreness

Clemence Posey, a.k.a. Fleur Delacour from Harry Potter, masterfully mixes a ladylike jacket with menswear inspired loafers.


Image: Harper’s Bazaar

Finally, Emily Weiss proves that sometimes, simplicity is best.

Put together your own French girl outfit with the style picks below:

Are you a fan of French style? Share your style muses and inspirations in the comments!

I love an excuse to dress up, and the holiday season provides plenty. However, I’m not as big of a fan of the one-and-done nature of buying a cute outfit solely for parties or New Years Eve. Enter Rent the Runway.

The brand was actually founded back in 2009 and started as an online-only operation, renting designer dresses for a fraction of the retail price. (Legit designers, too, like Elizabeth and James and Halston Heritage.) You get a dress for four days, and Rent the Runway takes care of all the shipping, cleaning, etc. You can even rent jewelry and accessories to complete your look, with some pieces renting for as little as $5.

However, for those of you lucky enough to have a brick-and-mortar retail location nearby, it is absolutely the best way to go. The Chicago store opened earlier this year and it. is. gorgeous. I also love that they support local female entrepreneurs, whether it’s a piece of art in the shop, or a “The Real Runway” blog feature with total girlbosses like Anne Owen of Owen + Alchemy. (Which just so happens to be my favorite juice bar in the city.) They also local workshops on everything from hair styling to cake frosting that all sound super fun.

You can book an appointment with a stylist ahead of time, or just walk in and try on. I popped in on Sunday hoping to score an outfit for our office holiday party this Thursday. Just because I graduated college a couple of years ago doesn’t mean I’ve stopped procrastinating, okay?

My only complaint about the store is that rental prices are not clearly marked anywhere on the dresses, and the only way to figure it out is to try to sneakily look it up yourself on the app, or rely on your stylist. I have champagne taste on a beer tap water budget, so needless to say, I pulled some pieces way out of my price range without even realizing they were. (Like this gorgeous Elizabeth and James shift that would have cost me $95 to rent…)

So, the best thing to do is go in armed with the app, and ideally a shortlist created of different looks you’d like to try. The store doesn’t have everything the website does, but it’s a good way to narrow down and at least somewhat try to keep yourself within a budget. I ended up selecting something slightly pricier (because of course), but luckily first-time renters get $25 off a rental of $75 or more – and my jumpsuit was exactly $75 dollars.

If your selected dress doesn’t hit the $75 mark, I believe they will also honor the website promo of 20% off for first time renters. Want a $20 credit? Leave your email in the comments below and I’ll send you my referral link! When you complete your first rental, we’ll both get $20 in credit – a win-win, wouldn’t you say?

Shop some of my favorite holiday-party rentals below – perfect for office parties, New Years Eve and more. And they’re all under $100, because like I said: champagne taste, tap water budget.

All images: Rent the Runway

It’s not just the earlier sunsets – with the go-go-go of the holiday season and to-do lists a million miles long, the days really are getting shorter. As fun as putting together outfits can be, there are definitely mornings where you just, ugh, can’t.

As editors at a major fashion publication, the ladies of Elle magazine feel you – except, it’s basically part of their job to look together no matter how blah they feel. The mag recently featured twelve editors’ go-to outfits, and over half of them featured black in some way, shape or form, from a timeless black turtleneck to, well, all black everything.

Black is sophisticated but secretly super duper easy. It’s one of the quickest, most foolproof ways to look like a million bucks. Below are five of my favorite editor outfits proving the power of black:

{ this one is my favorite – dying over that oversize blazer, skirt and oxfords combo! }

What’s your busy morning, caffeine-deprived outfit go-to? I usually default to a black turtleneck and jeans combination, myself – I love a good turtleneck.

Shop some easy, chic black pieces under $100:

All images: Elle.