I can’t quite decide how I feel writing about fashion during coronavirus… There is so much hurt, pain, and uncertainty in the news each day. Amid significant needs, like job loss and hunger, chatter about style can seem “fluffy” or tone deaf. On the other hand, I’ve caught myself actively seeking out that kind frivolous fashion fare! It’s a momentary escape from reality. And let’s be honest—when you’re spending all day, every day in yoga pants—browsing blogs, scrolling Instagram, or clicking through pretty dresses on the websites of your favorite stores can feel downright cathartic. It’s something “normal” in an upside down world.
Even when you have zero intention of buying something (which is regularly the case for me), the distraction helps boost the mood. You can get the same feeling by shopping your closet! So, I’m bringing back an old blog series: Tuesday Triple. These posts are all about affordability and versatility. We mix old classics (you likely already have in your closet) with a trendier new item. The goal? Creating three drastically different looks to maximize our dollar. Now, let’s take a closer look at this lantern sleeve top!
They say everything comes back — and in this case we’re going back 100+ years—to large, Victorian era-inspired sleeves! While the modern, trendy version is dialed back a bit, it still packs a major style punch for spring. The top I’m wearing is an Amazon Prime find and just $19. It’s a mock neck style and available in 7 colors. I opted for black for versatility, but the white or pink shades are super fun for spring. Fits TTS (I’m wearing the XS). As a shorty (just shy of 5′), I was worried the sleeves would be way too long. Thankfully, the puff detail and cuff allows for adjustability. This will work whether you have long arms or short!
Lantern Sleeve Blouse (just $19) | Jeans | Heels (similar) | Bag (similar)
This lantern sleeve top makes such an impact, you don’t need much else for your look to shine. Consequently, look #1 pairs it with simple, streamlined pieces that don’t fight for attention. A great skinny jean, polished purse, and classic heel will have you date night ready! I opted for a gray suede heel (instead of black) to avoid looking too matchy-matchy. The gray really softens everything up.
Side note: You won’t see me in jeans often on this blog (dresses are way more comfy in my opinion). However, I will always rave about Topshop denim – particularly these Jamie Jeans. Topshop denim is 50 percent off at Nordstrom right now, so you can get them for $35! (Looks like that sale just ended, but you can still find steep discounts on the Jamie in select colors). They are perfect for petites who have thicker, muscular legs (this blog post explains why).
Pleated Skirt (similar) | Earrings | Straw Clutch | Lantern Sleeve Top | Wedges
Because a black lantern sleeve top isn’t exactly the first thing you think of when pondering spring, I decided to really “go for it” in the color department with look #2. I wanted something bright and playful, so I settled on an old favorite… a pleated skirt I’ve worn again and again. If you have never tried a pleated skirt before, I highly recommend you test the waters. Why?
This silhouette works wonders for the female form. It conceals areas you don’t love, whittles your waistline, and offers beautiful fabric movement. Additionally, this coral/red tone is a super happy shade. My skirt is out of stock, because it’s so old, but I’m linking something similar. And why stop here, when we can bring in another happy hue! These sizable statement earrings in turquoise are all kinds of fun. To keep this look from veering into circus-like territory, I kept everything else neutral. The wedges and straw clutch seem to fade into the background, but still look polished.
Think sheer detailing is a non-starter for the office? I did too… But this lantern sleeve top made me reconsider! It deftly balances out the sheer sleeves, with a conservative/higher neckline. It’s far from revealing. In fact, when paired with classic pieces (like this pencil skirt I’ve had for 5+ years) it would be at home in nearly any workplace. If sheer sleeves feel like a “risk” to you, I find keeping the outfit super neutral — in my case in gray/black hues — helps to amp up the business-worthy vibe. For this look, I added a long pendant necklace. Pendants help break up the blockiness of a higher neckline and visually elongate/slim your frame.
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