What NOT to Wear to Military Functions

I’ve been inspired this week by the upcoming Air Force Ball and Miley Cyrus’s wardrobe at the VMA’s. Even if you are not a military brat or a spouse, you might at some point in your life end up at a military function. For instance a promotion ceremony or a pilot training graduation.  One rule of thumb that makes it easy is to match the person in uniform you are going with, however, make sure to always dress modestly and with class. You are a direct reflection of the person you are with, so make them look good! You can always ask yourself, what would Kate Middleton do? WWKMD.

Let’s start with the ABU or Flight Suit:

Now this is the most casual you will dress, besides of course the PT uniform. This would probably be an event like a squadron potluck or an assignment night. If you are really nervous about what to wear, I say wear a tee dress with a statement necklace. Here are some pictures for reference (pictures might be outdated):

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Oh Tom…. Ok, back to business!

If they are wearing this, you will wear something casual but cute.  This could be anything from jeans and a cute top to a sundress – so if you are not sure, wear something in between. Probably not the place to bring out your crop top or your cut off shorts, you might run into his boss or his work friends.  Also, this is what you would wear to spouse socials, such as OSC/ESC. Here are some examples:

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Air Force Blues: (This is going to look similar to a suit)

This is most likely to be worn at Change of Command ceremonies, retirements, promotions, and graduations.

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So if they are wearing this, you will wear something similar to what you would wear to a wedding – a sundress, a lace dress, a nice maxi dress, etc. I’d say avoid spaghetti straps, but a modest strapless dress would be appropriate. Some great places to shop for these occasions would be Banana Republic, Ann Taylor, Anthropologie, LOFT, and J. Crew. As a rule of thumb, don’t get your dresses from somewhere you shopped in High School, like American Eagle or Forever 21 – not that you can’t find a good one there ( I have a few), but you are most likely OVER 21 now, wear adult clothing.  Here are some examples:

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And here is a Kate example:

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WHAT NOT TO WEAR:  These dresses all have a place, but not to an event where your military member is wearing his/her blues.

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And finally, Mess Dress:

This is the fanciest you will get, and when I say fancy, I mean fancy-fancy. I’m not talking Easter Sunday, I’m not talking holiday party, I’m talking full length gown fancy.  So please don’t show up in a sundress.  If you are nervous about wearing a full-length gown, wear a fancy short cocktail dress. That is acceptable. Just make sure to have on some sparkle, cute shoes, and a clutch. Here is what it will look like:

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It is best to wear a full length gown or a fancy cocktail dress.  No poof, no see through, no low back, no side-boob, not a ton of cleavage, and no train. We are NOT talking your prom dress.  If your 16 year old self would have worn it to Homecoming, DO NOT WEAR IT TO A MILITARY FUNCTION. Channel Kate Middleton when you are shopping.  Great places to shop are BCBG MaxAzria Outlet, Nordstrom Rack online, Saks Fifth Avenue’s OFF Fifth, the J. Crew wedding section, and Rent the Runway! Here is what I would wear (and disregard the hanger straps – it seems it doesn’t matter how many times I stuff them back in, they always pop out!!! So maybe learn from me and just cut them off) :

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Here are a few more examples of what would be appropriate (disregard any trains):

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And here is what NOT to wear:

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Remember, you are a direct reflection of your spouse, your friend, or your family member – make them look good! It is not all about you and how hard you’ve worked all Summer to look good in that dress.  But YES, you can still have a lot of fun with it and be yourself, just not the Kim Kardashian version of yourself. Bring her out when you go to Vegas.

 

However, if your man is wearing this:

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You should wear this:

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I mean, obviously.

Pink Aluminium

J. Crew has a way with words.  Not only do they have the best colors, but they also are the best at naming their colors. I don’t usually go for pink, but this color has a little bit of an edge. I also think this color is going to start popping up a lot in the Spring (Along with a light to medium blue).IMG_9591

I look forward to wearing it with black skinny jeans, white jeans, and anything in medium blue — like the scarf pictured below!

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IMG_9599Oh how I love a good drapey sweater.  I am always looking for a good one that is cozy yet still flattering, and of course J. Crew has that look down.  They are not only the experts in color naming, but also disheveled chic. Which is how I try to dress on Mondays, even if it is by accident.

Where to buy:

J. Crew Sweater

BB Dakota Lace Skirt

Black & White Pumps (Similar)

Bindhi & Brutus scarf

Kate Spade Purse (Similar)

Window Pane

I bought this dress at LOFT and I’ve been waiting to wear it until got warmer, but I’ve become impatient.  However, I will admit I am thoroughly enjoying the snow.  There isn’t much better to me than waking up to a fresh blanket of snow, even if I do have to drive into work…. that just means I HAVE to treat myself to a Caramel Flan Latte, right?IMG_9550
 



But adding bright accessories to your outfit really will brighten your day, I promise.

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To make this Spring dress Winter appropriate I added the obvious tights and boots, but then also a chambray shirt underneath.  Comfortable, warm, and put together.  This look  is possible with almost any t-shirt dress, and there are tons of options available right now! I will also probably try this look with a crisp white button down as well.

Where to get this look:

Lou & Grey Tee Dress

LOFT Chambray Shirt

Bindhi & Brutus Necklace

Kate Spade Purse (Similar)

Madewell Booties (Similar)

Winter in White

Something that people do not expect in winter is for you to wear white.  It is the season of blacks and browns and all the boring colors there are.  But what about those white dresses you have from the summer, who in all honesty, didn’t get worn much because of all the opportunities for them to get a little ketchup on them at the family BBQ.  Take them out for a stroll, they deserve it.

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All you need to do is add tights, boots, and a blazer — BAM! Outfit done. If I had a maroon leather jacket, I’d put it with this for going out.

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As you can probably tell, I’m pretty obsessed with maroon right now.  Like, I want at least one of every of piece of clothing in it.

 

Here is another way that I’ve worn a white dress in winter. Not much has changed…. just the jacket and jewelry. 20140207-132458.jpg

 

Where you can get the look:

 

White Dress (Similar, Similar)

Scarf

Statement Necklace

Jacket (Similar)

Booties (Similar)

Black & White (& Taupe)

Since having a real job, I have realized the value of black and white more than ever before. It is the easiest to wear without sacrificing style! Plus all you really have to do is add a pop of color for a little bit of fun.  Also, switching out the black skirt for a white one really does make a difference!

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However I do have a very hard time wearing just black and white.  So a little taupe can help out with that.  I added this rose gold Rebecca Minkoff handbag and a Jersey Knit Bindhi & Brutus Scarf.

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Seriously obsessed with a white mini skirt right now!

Another way to play up the black and white is to try a white blazer.  Depending on the cut you can wear it with pants or a pencil skirt. I decided to wear my stretchy ponte pants with a leather trim and a black t-shirt.  I cannot even tell you how comfortable these pants are, it is ridiculous.

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Of course with a bright shoe, I think I might be obsessed with a colorful shoe right now. A good statement necklace can’t hurt either! There just needs to be a little more interest, since you are wearing a t-shirt to work…

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Add a leopard scarf for that chilly office and a Kate Spade purse for some class, and you have an outfit!

 

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Loft Skirt 

Express Sweater (Similar)

Bindhi & Brutus Chevron Knit Scarf

Bindhi & Brutus Statement Necklace

Bindhi & Brutus Leopard Knit Scarf

Loft Ponte Pants (ON SALE!!)

Express White Blazer (Similar)

Kate Spade Purse

What I Wore Wednesday

Cold weather, don’t care! When its cold, or if there is a chance of snow, there is no way I’m wearing anything but boots. Ugg boots are preferable, but if I HAVE to go out in public, I’ll wear riding or over the knee boots. Today, it was an OTK boot kind of day.

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And we go back to the basics, mini dress, tights, OTK boots.

Put it with a statement necklace and/or a scarf to dress it up (and a caramel flan latte from Starbucks if you wanna get like me – skim milk and YES whipped cream, don’t judge me Starbucks barista)

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A good sweater dress can be your best friend during the winter months, since you can wear it to work, out with your friends, and on a hot date. Just add different shoes and accessories!

Where to buy:

Banana Republic sweater dress (Similar) — EXTRA 40% OFF AT BR

Over the knee boots (similar)

Bindhi & Brutus Scarf

 

 

Nina’s Presidents Day Picks

So over the long weekend I planned on being really productive, however, failed.  There are too many good sales going on! I had to go through every single page to make sure I wasn’t missing anything good…. even if Nordstrom had 90 pages of Women’s sale items.  Here are my picks!!

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Nordstrom is having one of their major yearly sales, LOFT is having an extra 60% off their sale items and 50% off selected full price items, Banana Republic is having 40% off their whole store, Sole Society is having up to 70% off select items, and Old Navy is having 50% off all of their dresses and up to 50% off their entire store. Whoo! That was a lot to get through, now time to go shopping!

Clockwise from top left:

BC Footwear Black & White Pumps

Nordstrom Blush Tweed Cropped Jacket

Old Navy Striped Blazer

Banana Republic Graphic Tee

Rebecca Minkoff Mini Quilted Handbag

LOFT Striped Flippy Skirt

LOFT Striped Cropped Sweatshirt

Banana Republic Ruched Sexy Midi Dress

LOFT Floral Tee

Sole Society Maroon Wedges

Old Navy Striped T-Shirt Dress

Loft Skinny Jeans

Old Navy Grey T-Shirt Dress