Dress Well: Back to Business

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J. Crew dress (very similar), J. Crew heels, J. Crew necklace (no longer available), Michael Kors watch (old), Tory Burch bag (updated version), Tory Burch sunglasses (old)

This blog post title has layers, man!

It's a Tuesday after a long weekend, so this morning I am {begrudgingly} back to business. However, I must admit that my re-entry to the working world after an extended weekend is not so bad--I'm working from home today because I have a client meeting here in San Francisco this afternoon. I will then be going to a work dinner at my favorite restaurant, so really this workday is as close to a weekend day as a workday could possibly get.

Speaking of being back to business, my business meeting in Dallas last week gave me the opportunity to pull out this old J. Crew dress, heralding my {brief} return to business casual. While I miss wearing pencil skirts, tailored dresses, and button-down blouses to work exactly zero percent, I will say that slipping into business casual clothing every once in awhile makes you feel powerful. I've also decided that that I no longer aspire to "look like a million bucks" when getting dressed up for work events. Instead, my aim from here on out will be to dress like someone to whom you would feel comfortable giving a million bucks. In my estimation, this dress is one of those outfits. (Although here in Silicon Valley the million-dollar outfit generally consists of cargo shorts and flip-flops. Maybe I should try that.)

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DSC_7859Back later this week with more outfits and my take on this year's Best Picture nominees!

Dress Well: Taking Stock

Anthropologie blouse (SUPER old), Paige Denim jeans, Zara heels (similar), Madewell necklace, Michael Kors watch (old), J. Crew pavé bracelet, J. Crew bangles, Anthropologie bag (even older than the shirt), Ray-Ban sunglasses

I have to admit - when I was writing yesterday's blog post, I was overcome with fears of being a fraud. This happens to me from time to time - I'll be bopping along, happy with my own little corner of the internet, and then I'll spend some time on someone else's blog (usually a professional's) and spend the next week agonizing over the fact that what I wear is not nearly as interesting as what I see elsewhere on the web. And I start worrying that everyone who reads this blog thinks I'm a fraud, too.

I think I've also been in a serious clothes rut lately - for the past few months it's been jeans on jeans on jeans, usually with boots and one of about ten shirts that I reach for over and over. So when I got dressed yesterday morning, I resolved to step up my game. And you know what? I'm pretty happy with the results.

The first requirement of stepping up my game was reaching for something I hadn't worn in a long, long time - and this Anthropologie blouse fit the bill just fine. Looking at it in these pictures, I can't believe it's been so long since I've worn it - this is a great shirt! It's comfortable, surprisingly flattering, and a change of pace from my go-to pieces.

To finish stepping up my game, I opted for three things that always make me feel more fashionable: wearing heels, braiding my hair, and layering on an arm party. Stacking bracelets was one of those things that I LOVED to do back when I first started this blog - why did I stop? As a result of managing to put this all together, I felt great all day - fears of being a fraud are banished (for the time being). And you know what - why should I care what other people think about me anyway? Bucking expectations is why I started writing Name's Not Ashley in the first place. Sometimes it's hard to keep that in perspective.

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Dress Well: Day Owl

J. Crew vest, J. Crew blouse, Citizens of Humanity jeans, Rag & Bone booties, Michael Kors watch, Rebecca Minkoff bag, Ray-Ban sunglasses

You know, I thought I had worn this shirt on the blog before...but I can't seem to find the post. So maybe I'm imagining things! Regardless of whether or not I've said it before, I LOVE this button-down. The mascot at my alma mater, Rice University, was an owl, so I feel especially spirited any time I don this shirt. What's not to love about being able to show school spirit in a subtle way?

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Is there anything better than four-day weeks? I really don't think so. This one flew by, and I'm looking forward to another fun weekend spent with my husband. Hopefully all of you have something fun lined up. I'll see you back here next week!

Dress Well: Playing It Straight

Club Monaco blouse (old), J. Crew leggings, Old necklace, Michael Kors watch (old), TEXI leather bag

Man, am I excited for the weekend.

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I don't know what it was about this week - it's not like it was particularly bad or anything, but the whole thing just seemed to drag on for years. I hit the ground running Monday morning and just never got the chance to slow down. This weekend, though, things are going to change. We're going to dinner with friends tonight, trying a new restaurant and going to see a movie tomorrow (Nebraska! putting us at 8/9 on Best Picture nominees), and, of course, going to a friend's house to watch the Super Bowl on Sunday. What I'll lack in enthusiasm for either of the teams I will make up for in enthusiasm for eating queso. Which is the correct order of priorities, really.

Have an absolutely spectacular Friday.