Sarah Asks: Maid Day

Wedding Season is upon us. If you're not just a guest but also in the wedding, choosing accompanying attire and accessories can be fun. Don't look at it as something you have to to do but rather something you get to do. When one is friends with a mellow bride with great taste, it's even better!

My gorgeous friend and new mom Shanna sent the following question:

Q: I am a bridesmaid in one of my best friend's weddings this summer.  The maids' dresses are gorgeous (J.Crew - Silk Chiffon, Dusty Shale, Any Short Style We Like!).  I chose the Sinclair style:

I believe that she is going to incorporate coral into the bouquets to give you a sense of the color scheme.  The bride is also being very flexible about our shoes.  I'm not sure what we will do for hair and accessories but want to have a plan just in case.  I'm thinking nude shoes, a messy/casual up or side do and some fabulous earrings.  The venue is Dawn Ranch in Guerneville, California ( and the ceremony will take place on a stunning meadow.  The walk down the aisle possibly includes stairs and definitely includes grass.  Please help!  I haven't really been shopping since I found out I was pregnant last year and have no idea where to start or what is in style!  Thanks Classy Broad!
A: Ooh, girl. This bride did you a big favor. What a pretty color! Dare I say "You'll actually wear it again!" ??. You also selected a great style. Bravo all around! You are already on the complete right track. So take a look and see if you're picking up what I'm putting down.

First and foremost, Shoes. Here's what what first came to mind when you said stairs and grass:

With a wedge, you will be comfortable for many hours despite the heel and you will not sink into grass - a MUST at this type of venue. Here are just a few I found quickly. Note that since we're in between seasons there are fewer strappy/sandal types with a wedge out there on the interwebs but more should be coming soon...Any of the below can be worn with denim, skirts or other dresses after your maid duties end.

My gut told me to go nude with this dress, but a muted neutral gray might look really nice as well.
Leah Peep Toe, Banana Republic

Looking for a more elegant look? These patent leather taupe shoes give you some shimmer. And, patent leather means you can wipe off any dirt or grass!
Amped Up 3, Nine West

Want a little more detail? These are unique without being too much.
Qammie, Calvin Klein

Another sweet, simple option.
Power Surge, Nine West

Want to go for a more garden party look? These sandals will do the trick.
Olympia Leather Wedges, J. Crew

I could not resist... These are on the higher end, but they are too adorable not to include. Color - Check. Wedge - Check. Just the Right Amount of Detail - Check.
Cary Shoes, Kate Spade.

While I chose all neutral colors (gray, nude, taupe, etc.) since I have a love for nude shoes, I'd also encourage metallic options (Silver or Gold). However,  if you go this route, ask the bride what she prefers and definitely chose a strappier, less chunky look.

Last but not least, be sure to spray them with a protector on whatever you choose. This will make it easier to clean them off after frolicking in the grass and possible muddy areas of the rustic venue.

Now for the 'Do...
With that neckline and your bare shoulders, you must wear your hair up! I am loving these messy buns or even a bit of a messy volumized pony. See the below shots for inspiration.

You already mentioned coral. Mercy, this bride has fantastic taste. The photos are going to look GORGE! Again, the style dress you chose gives you a beatiful neckline that takes away any need for a necklace. With your hair up and  shoulders bare you should draw attention to your lobes. I love any and all of the below earrings.
Gumdrop Studs, Kate Spade
Gold Run Earrings, Anthropologie
Perlino Earrings, Anthropologie

So there you have it. Top off the look with a small clutch for your camera, phone and lip gloss and maybe a neutral or coral colored wrap and you're set!

Sarah Asks : A Lace for Everything

The namesake of "Sarah Asks"  is back, with another question. And, I must say, this one was fun to answer since I too love lace.  Here we go...

Q: I love love love lace, but I never go anywhere fancy. Is there a way I can work lace into my causal everyday outfits?

I have so many lace things pinned, but most of them I could not wear when running around with Avery [my little girl]. I am on the search to find more causal lace ideas. I don't want to be a yoga pants wearing stay at home mom. I want to be a MILF!!!

A: Join the club. Lace is a fantastic fabric and the fact that you love it just shows you have timeless, great taste! Let me start by saying that you should never worry about something being too fancy. No such thing. You can always dress something down. And, I find more often than not that I always feel better if I choose the "fancier" option when I am getting dressed. You never know who you may run into, even if you're being a super mom and giving all of your attention to sweet Avery.  However, if a more casual look with lace is what you really want, you're in luck as you have many options. Lace is truly a chameleon fabric.

A Day at the Park
Any of the options below give cotton tops that extra oomph. None of these will make you feel overdressed. And even if you were, who cares? You're wearing a cute top! These are all comfy and also functional. Throw either of these on with jeans (shorts in the summer months) or skinny black pants and you'll be stylish and comfortable at the same time. And most of these are under 40 bucks a pop!
Vintage Cotton Lace Tee, J. Crew

Lace Necklace Tee, J. Crew        

Crochet Lace Front Tee, J.Crew
Whippletree Cardigan, Anthropologie

Keep your hair out of your face with a sweet headband from Eliana Marie Design on Etsy
Park to After Dark
Maybe I've lived in San Francisco too long but I cannot overemphasize the magic of layering. There are plenty of lace tanks that can be worn over a long sleeve shirt or under a hoodie or cardigan during the day and transformed into a night out look with a blazer and a long necklace.

Start With a Cute Tank...
Eyelash Lace Top, Sabine from Piperlime
 Add a Blazer and Accessories for Later...
Weekend Gatherings
Regardless of lifestyle, there are always birthday parties, picnics, showers and brunches to be had. Any of these are perfect occasions for a daytime lace 'fit. Throw on a cute lace dress or skirt next time the opportunity arises. Worried about looking too dressy? A denim jacket or top over the look will put you at ease.

Start with the Foundation...

River Island Lace Dress, ASOS
Textured Eyelet Skirt, Forever 21

Then add your (optional layering piece....
Keeper Chambray Shirt, J. Crew
And, Viola!
 Note that lace skirts come in various lengths and fits; no need to go mini if that's not your style.

Dare to Bare

I've seen several designers come out with lace shorts for spring and I just need to post these here. I adore these and think they could be a great option for a beach cover up or even with a blazer and heels for night.
Lace Short, Free People from Piperlime
So there you have it. Just remember that lace is not as fancy as you think but it will add a girly, romantic look to any outfit. The only time I'd avoid lace in the white, ivory or even buff shades would be as a wedding guest. Too bridal. Don't be that girl.

*Online Shopping Tip* Use not just "lace" but also "crochet" and "eyelet" as search terms. You'll find the looks tend to overlap.
And, last but not least, I couldn't help but stumble upon this adorable toddler lace dress. Maybe Mommy and Avery could match???
Pleated Lace Dress, Baby Gap

Sarah Asks: Colored Jeans

photo c/o

It's time for another question from yet another Classy Broad. This question comes at a perfect time as we are in between seasons (Thanks a lot,  Puxatawney Phil). While we see fun brights - especially in the denim and other bottoms category- all over stores,  one cannot help but ask: How??? 

My lovely friend Janelle worded it perfectly....

Q: Okay Classy Broad.....I need some help in the area of colored denim. I am not sure how you feel about this trend, but I am branching out this spring and could use some help styling. I recently purchased a maroon and brighter blue pair of skinny jeans and I am struggling to style a cute daytime and evening look and also figuring out what shoes look best.

A: Glad you're asking for help - You're not alone! The fact that you have already bought two pairs means you've overcome the hardest part about colored denim: Trying them on, liking them and actually purchasing them. Congratulations! I am sure you look incredible in them but as many trends can be at first, bright bottoms can be scary to embrace. Now for even better news... I truly believe colored denim can be as attention grabbing or subtle as you, the wearer, want them to be. They also work for all seasons. So again, pat yourself on the back for making a purchase that will last throughout 2012. Here are some ideas, but really the list is long and I guarantee you have nearly all of the basics already.

Start Slow
Feeling nervous? Pair your bright bottoms with black, beige or white. Here are some celebs working this look:
Malin Akerman, above, pairs her cobalt denim with a black loose tank, blazer and basic pumps. Her necklace adds just enough extra spunk to make this a fun nighttime look.
Cameron Diaz makes her denim look girly and subtle with a tan blazer- great for daytime. Anna Kendrick dresses her green jeans up with a more distinguished blazer while Kim Kardashian works a leather jacket, chunky scarf and sexy heeled boots with her brights. The second two looks would be wonderful options for your maroon pair.
Now for the Fun.

Once you've gotten to know your colored jeans a bit more and are feeling more adventurous, your options are endless.

Striped shirt, chambray top and a blazer = layering done right. Photo Courtesy of The Brooklyn Blonde Blog.

And now for some styling overload! The above collection of outfits, courtesy of Pop! of Style is a very simple guide to all the possibilities. Bright on Brights, Brights with Stripes, Brights with Florals, Brights with Boots, Loafers, or Wedges. Keep them long or cuff them. Really, the world is your oyster!

 Have I already mentioned you made a fantastic purchase...?

Happy Dressing!

Sarah Asks: Styling an LBD

Do you have any friends with whom you share a very strong bond when it comes to taste? My classy friend Britta is very much that person for me. While I wouldn't say our styles are exactly the same, we often times see the other in something we would have bought on our own. Needless to say, when looking at her question about a recently purchased LBD, my mind went racing.

Q: I recently purchased this adorable lace LBD from Madewell:
Lily Lace Dress, Madewell
My question has two parts:

1. Can I wear it to a (most likely) formal wedding in June at a social club in San Francisco?  How could I dress it up and accessorize it appropriately?

2. Can I wear it as a bridesmaid dress in a church wedding in September in Carmel?  The bride instructed we wear any cocktail length black dress and nude heels.  How could I accessorize it marrying the appropriate formality due at a wedding with my youthful love of color and accessories?

A: To Start off, I adore this dress mainly because of all of the possibilities. This dress was an excellent purchase because it's classic, seasonal and sexy without showing too much. 
Here are your answers, in two parts.
1. Yes. You can absolutely wear this to a formal Summer wedding. The fact that it has sleeves gives you a lot of freedom since it can seem more conservative while still giving a sexy skin-peek. I am seeing this paired with a big, bouffant style bun or chignon.
 This dress would look great with a pop of color. I wouldn't wear a necklace with this, so a belt would be a great way to break up the black lace on black fabric. Patent leather was what first jumped into my mind since I think the shine will be a nice contrast with the lace. Bright patent heels are also a great way to sneak in some pop. If you're feeling bold, go with both the belt and shoes. This all depends on your comfort level with being matchy-matchy (something I have a hard time embracing but think many can pull it off and look fantastic).

Patent Leather Skinny Bow Belt in Azalea,  J.Crew
Drea Patent Peep-Toe Pumps in Neon Peach (also in Azalea like above belt), J.Crew

I'd also go with simple earrings in black, so as not to take away from your sexy hair and neckline. I absolutely adore the Kate Spade costume jewelry collection.

Kate Spade New York Boxed Drop Earrings, Bloomingdales

Last, it's San Francisco in June. Remember a wrap or blazer!
2. Your second question is tougher since, as we all know, when it comes to weddings what the bride says goes. I would first ask her if she is okay with lace. If she asked for a simple black cocktail dress this might be a little too elaborate. However, due to the sleeves yet again, it's certainly appropriate for a Church wedding. If the bride is okay with accessories that have color, I'd stick to simple earrings, your clutch and/or a colorful wrap. To appease her even more, I'd select something in whatever color scheme she is using in her wedding. Nude shoes will make the look easy to add in any color of your choice. 

Kate Spade New York Colored Stone Stud Earrings, Nordstrom
If you are discouraged from any kind of color, these earrings are just enough to stand out and make you unique without causing a bridal meltdown.
Kate Spade New York (yes, again - they're the best!) Japanese Floral Pearl Drop Earrings,

Have Fun with a Vintage Clutch. This one I found on Etsy.

If you end up getting a wrap, head on over to China Town or order on eBay.