Fool proof casual work to date looks

The denim shirt is a staple every woman should own, it’s such a versatile piece. If you work in a casual environment you can easily wear it with a great skirt, black ankle pant or even a dark denim. If not? Wear any of these outfits for a great date look.

One of my other very favorite staples?  You should have a versatile neutral jacket or vest.  It literally lightens an outfit and adds an extra layer so it is more of an “outfit.”

Add a fun leopard print and statement necklace- voila!

denim versatile

Keep the love on! Dating wardrobe essentials

Dating wardrobe is so important!  You want to know that you look good, you want to FEEL confident, sexy.  You want to know that walking into a room, everyone is looking at you (in the good way).

I work often with Smart Dating Academy, helping professional men and women rock their dating wardrobe, and I once heard Bela (owner) tell one of her clients “You’re still dating your husband when you’re married!”  It’s just different.  I loved that- because really don’t we want to feel confident all the time?  Marriage shouldn’t give us a pass to get lazy with our looks. Keep the love on!  But most importantly, you’ll need these essentials if you’re entering or re-entering the dating game.


Dating wardrobe


1. Undergarments: a t-shirt bra is a great neutral that will blend well. Please- if you have not been fitted, it is so important!

2.Dresses: find your best fit: wrap dresses are universally flattering or a v-neck style.

a. Neutral transition- day to evening (especially if you just need to take a jacket off and it suddenly transforms)!

3. Tops

  • a. Neutral cardigan or jacket
  • b. V-neck in best color suited for you
  • c. Unique top that can pair with denim or skirt
  • d. Tanks (my favorite are James Perse)

4. Bottoms

  • a. Skirt: Neutral transition
  • b. Dark denim- have one really nice go-to pair!

5. Accessories

  • a. Skinny belts (belt at skinniest part of waist; directly underneath ribcage)
  • b. Nude shoe- immediately elongates your legs!
  • c. Black purse
  • d. Red lip instantly transforms your look!

What are your dating wardrobe essentials?

Navy: the new neutral

navy: the new neutral


I LOVE navy! It should be in every woman’s wardrobe, and more often than not it should be replaced as the LBD. Navy looks much better on skin tones as a neutral than black. I am thrilled to see navy as the new neutral for fall 2012’s hot list.

1. Navy with chartreuse provides a great neutral just like a tan pant would with a black shirt.

2. Worn with bright colors, especially fuschia, navy softens the overall look so you’re not too bold. But- this is a great date look! (Could wear a navy bottom if the fuschia is too bright.) But a navy v-neck is a perfect staple to have this fall (and for all of your hot dates).

3. Navy & green paired? Read: preppy. Need I say more?

4. If you don’t know by now- go buy a nude pump! I promise if there is one staple to have- for your dating wardrobe and beyond (you can wear it with ANYTHING and it will always elongate your legs) it is the nude pump. Some of my favorites include Cole Haan, Corso Cosmo & Stuart Weitzman.

Is your closet giving you anxiety? Get organized!


Can you imagine knowing where everything is in your closet?

Imagine you knew where your jewelry, those thin black socks, slips, tanks, hats. Shoes. Every item you have had it’s own very perfect place.

Talk about efficiency!  Knowing where all your pieces and clothes are can dramatically save you time getting ready in the morning and putting your pieces away.

Closet organization is one of my favorite services I offer because it really sets you up for a lifetime of getting dressed easily!

What closet organization looks like:

  • We have a 30 minute consult at your home looking at your current closet.  What is working? What does not work?
  • I suggest/research tools that will make a difference for you: (bins & acrylic trays-see above some of my favorite tools!)
  • Shop for the tools we have agreed on
  •  Meet you at your house to create an impeccably organized wardrobe.  We take everything out (and I mean everything; jewelry, belts, scarves, workout gear, any “wearables”)

You’ll most likely discover “new pieces” you forgot you had! 

Matching hangers are a must have to any organized closet. It creates a streamlined, clean closet.  My favorite?   I began with the Huggable Hangers from HSN. Then, Costco started carrying the same velvet thin hangers, 35 hangers for $10, can you believe that?  Love it!

I then organize your wardrobe by:

  • Sort.   We make piles  1)donate  2) sell through Kind Closets: Consign for a Cause  3) Re-purpose (hem, change color with dye, change style)
  • Season.   We box or put your other seasonal wardrobe out of your current closet/immediate space
  • Styles (short sleeve, long sleeves, dresses, going out clothes, work clothes, pants, skirts..)
  • Color.  Organizing by color truly helps getting dressed.  You often know what color you want to wear or avoid-  immediately streamlining the search, you go right to your color bunch.
  • Final hanger change (if need be)

Organized! Labels will be on bins. Everything will have a place.


You will now have an organized, effective closet to shop from; getting dressed for work, social or an event will no longer be a chore but be fun! 

Perpetual Wardrobe: cross body bag

 What:  For the busy bee!  Fits across your body.  Or when you are out on the dating game and wanting to holds hands perhaps?   You’ll need a cross body.



Cross body bag: Hanna Lee Style

Gap outlet chambray, grandma’s Chanel purse, J. Ashley pencil skirt.

My grandma also left behind this killer Stella McCartney green patent cross body bag (one of my favorites for long days- it holds a ton!) but it doesn’t translate too well in photos.

If opting to wear this on a date, choose a smaller cross body, this could be a little hefty and obnoxious.



                   $        American Eagle has shockingly cute cross body bags, especially in great faux leathers. Great for the festivals etc in the summer. Casual lounging.  And TJ Maxx has some killer finds too!

                $$       Nordstrom Rack

               $$$     Stella McCartney, Louis Vuitton, Chanel



Perpetual wardrobe: Chambray

What: Chambray is made of cotton or cotton-synthetic blends, chambray is a plain- weave fabric. The warp threads are dyed and the weft threads are left white (as they are for denim).  It is used or making clothing, especially shirts.  * Martha’s Stewarts Encyclopedia of Sewing and Fabric Crafts


Wear: One of my very favorite staples because it is so versatile!  See below but there are endless options with this chambray shirt.  Can be paired with so many options from the perpetual wardrobe checklist. Again, I cannot reiterate enough but we want pieces that can transition from date looks to work (while this may be too casual in some work places it will totally work in fun, creative fields!)

Do I need to say more after these pictures?


**Chambray shirt is from Gap outlet

Chambray: Hanna Lee Style

Grandma’s Halston Maxi dress, grandma’s vintage belt

Chambray: Hanna Lee Style

Nordstrom rack bright top, Level 99 denim, Banana Republic necklace

Chambray: Hanna Lee Style

Level 99 denim, Old Navy vest

Chambray: Hanna Lee Style

Burberry outlet skirt, grandma’s necklace

Chambray: Hanna Lee Style

Jack E Ohs NYC necklace, J. Ashley pencil skirt

Chambray: Hanna Lee Style

Grandma’s Chanel jacket turned into vest, J. Ashley pencil skirt

Chambray: Hanna Lee Style

H&M vest, Gap outlet black pant

Chambray: Hanna Lee Style

J.Crew neon sweater, Gap outlet pant


Chambray: Hanna Lee Style

Kay Unger blazer, J. Ashley pencil skirt

Chambray: Hanna Lee Style

White house/black market jumper


Chambray: Hanna Lee Style

Banana Republic belt, 7 for Mankind denim, grandma’s necklace


Chambray: Hanna Lee Style

Tibi blazer, Gap outlet pant


Chambray: Hanna Lee Style

Tibi blazer, Burberry outlet pink skirt


Chambray: Hanna Lee Style

Gap outlet black maxi skirt, grandma’s vintage Dior belt

Final Chambray roundup in one place: 








Perpetual Wardrobe: Cashmere sweater

What: *Cashmere, like Mohair it comes from goats, not sheep. Because the goats produce usable hair in small quantities, the finished product can be costly. Cashmere blended with other fibers is a less expensive alternative than pure cashmere.



Cashmere: Hanna Lee Style

Ralph Lauren cream shift dress, turquoise Autumn cashmere sweater, grandma’s gold necklace

Wear this look on dates (probably a different neckline for the date ready wardrobe) in the boardroom or to a family festivity.  You’re set to go!  We love pieces that get us more than three looks!


If you are looking for the most bang for your buck- choose a versatile core neutral (I.e black, navy, tan) sweater/cardigan.   J.Crew has great cashmere cardigans.

White and Warren is great, especially for scarves.

Autumn Cashmere (above)  for great color options.




* Stewart, Martha. Martha Stewart’s Encyclopedia of Sewing and Fabric Crafts: Basic Techniques for Sewing, Appliqué, Embroidery, Quilting, Dyeing, and Printing, plus 150 Inspired Projects from A to Z. New York: Potter Craft, 2010. Print.

Perpetual Wardrobe: A-Line Skirt

What: A-line skirt or dress is an extraordinary staple piece. It literally forms an “A” shape.

A-line dress? Find your most flattering color (ask an honest friend or better yet reflect on colors you were wearing when receiving compliments.) Add a skinny belt and bright lip- voila.  In a dating ready wardrobe, an A-line skirt is a must!  It flatters all body types!

Perpetual Wardrobe: A- Line Skirt

J.Crew turtleneck, J.Crew denim shirt, Yves Saint Lauren Rive Gauche skirt, BCBG nude heel, J.crew belt, grandma necklaces

Worn here is my grandma’s, an Yves Saint Laurent Rive Gauche (in the investment list you’ll see many pieces are indeed my grandma’s. Hence why I too suggest investing in these specific pieces- they have carried 30+ years and are still in style!)

Some pieces I have from her fit me perfectly, however, most have needed a little trim and tuck (she 5’8 to my 5’3!)

Invest if you can afford with integrity (or of course thrift, E-Bay etc.)



$ JCrew & Tahari: very work appropriate.
$$ Halston Heritage: love. Colors. Cuts. Love.
$$$ Yves Saint Laurent: classic. Follow in my grandma’s steps-pass it along to generations! Very date-ready and appropriate to work appropriate!