1) Ganni Lousa Shift Dress in blue from Anthropologie
This dress met my criteria for being a staple item for work, but had many unique qualities that made it a must buy for me. It’s soft, thick and stretchy, has an embossed pattern and can be worn wrinkly if that makes sense. Royal blue in this fabric gives it a deep velvety richness. It maintains its form while being loose at the same time! Can be nicely dressed up with a scarf, necklace, or a thin belt. Would go well with some opaque stockings and flat oxfords or low heeled ankle boots. The dress on the model is a bit shorter than it is on me. I’m 5’5″ tall and got this dress in x-small, it ends just 2-3 inches above the knee. I can see myself repeatedly wearing this and mixing it up with different accessories.
2) J. crew Boy Shirt in Dots
This buy was intended to be another staple item for work, but could also be worn in a casual day outfit. The excellent fit and comfort were the selling points for me. It’s 100% cotton, very soft. The fabric is thick enough to be to be opaque in white (don’t have to worry about your bra showing through). There’s a button at the back of the collar that keeps the collar well folded and neat throughout the day. It looks chic buttoned all the way to the top, sleeves rolled up, tucked into a skirt or dress pants and “casual fun” when sleeves ironed and rolled down, untucked over some fitted capri pants or skinny jeans. I’m really digging button down collared shirts these days!
3.) J. crew Cafe Capri in Seersucker, Navy, and Camel
I loved these pants so much that I bought 3 of them. These are going to be great staple items for my wardrobe (notice a theme here?). The shape is just the right balance. It’s well fitted, somewhat skinny and tapered, but not at all tight. There’s plenty of wiggle room and a tiny bit of stretch but you wouldn’t guess that by looking at the fabric. You can iron a seam down the front of the leg to give them a more professional look but they can also be ironed flat. Can be worn straight or slightly rolled up for a more casual look. The fabric is 100% cotton and pretty thick compared to the average dress pant, which is good if you don’t want to have to think about panty lines or bunching of your tucked in shirts. Great with a colorful belt and because they are tapered, dress shirts look good tucked and untucked.
4) Baggu Backpack in chestnut
Thanks to my lovely friend who tipped me off to this! I love it! The picture on the right is via the Sartorialist. The Baggu backpack he is carrying is an earlier version of the one that I bought (on the left). The only difference is in the clasp. The old version had a strappy closure while the new version has a snap hardware closure. I wanted a backpack with no frills and large enough to carry my 13″ laptop, a water bottle, and some books. Its also unique in that the small pocket is hidden along the side and opens with a zipper. It’ll have some edge when paired with a green military jacket, black tights, and combat boots or just totally simple and understated when paired with casual workwear.
EDIT: this blue Ganni dress is now on sale for half price at anthro as of 4/24/13