Equipment Stripes and (Don’t You Step on My) Blue Suede Shoes


I love bright, saturated colors like jewel tones, and this cobalt has been a favorite of mine for a while. I love when this color comes back into style, because I really think it looks great on everyone. I’m especially fond of cobalt blue paired with crisp white and stark black. Cobalt with white is fresh and clean feeling, while cobalt with black feels elegant and chic.


Introducing the newest, happy addition to the AN wardrobe…cobalt suede point toe pumps!

A happy accident, these were sitting abandoned on a chair in the Neiman Marcus shoe department, open boxed, with a little receipt looking piece of paper tossed inside. Once I spied the shoe size was the one I had been looking for, I was desperate to slyly grab and shove them on my feet. My fear was someone else had already claimed them, and would scream at me from across the room to remove their shoes from my person. I hovered, eying and waiting for the owner to claim them, and nearly tripped over myself to stop the sales associate who swooped them up.

Turns out a fellow small-footed lady had tried them on just minutes before, but left them behind because she was hoping to find this shoe in black. These were a double score, considering I had a hefty gift card left over from Christmas still burning a hole in my wallet, making these cheapity cheap cheap.

The interesting thing is every retailer website I’ve seen suggests the purchaser to order one size up because they run small. Maybe it’s my narrow foot, but these are one 1/2 size down from my normal size (I normally wear a 35/5, and these are size 34.5), and even then, they could stand to be a little more snug. I’ve put a shoe cushion in the toe box which helped greatly. I’m out of luck to find a size 34 to try on, since none of the department stores I called ordered that size. Oh well…as Tim Gunn says…”make it work!”


Now, let’s chat Equipment blouses. They are the blouse du-jour of the fashion set at the moment, and are pretty much the perfect slouchy silk shirt. I’ve been rummaging through racks of them at department stores for months now, but their swamping, oversize shape don’t have great hangar appeal for me. I never even bothered trying them on.

Then Wendy visited San Diego for a few days and brought a slew of items for me to try on (making friends who wear the same size as me has been the best part of blogging!), including this blouse in another colorway. The size xs looked huge on the hangar, huge on me, but then pretty damn cute after some simple styling magic. It’s saving graces are the thin, wispy silk that drapes beautifully, and a surprisingly small shoulder that only slightly falls below my natural shoulder (which is pretty acceptable by silk shirt standards). My shoulders are narrow even compared to other ladies my height, so I doubt most people will have this problem.

I’ve heard the “signature” blouses run bigger, so I’ll be avoiding those.


Ready to see some fit-faking?

faking-fit via Instagram



:: photos – boyfriend ::

Outfit DetailsEquipment blouse (similar from Bebe) :: Banana Republic Outlet camisole (I love these & they come in petite!) (similar from BR) :: BlankNYC jeans (and here & here) (post) :Ann Taylor belt :: Manolo Blahnik shoes (similar on sale from J.Crew + extra 30% off with code SHOPNOW) :: Chanel handbag :: Kate Spade watch (customized:Stella & Dot necklace (c/0) (similar on sale, but larger sized. Check your local store) and bracelet (c/0) (in silver) (post) :: Daisy Knights ring (similar & really cool ring from ASOS) :: Banana Republic stackable rings (recent – check your local store) :Essie “Turquoise and Caicos” nail color

Join the Conversation


  1. says: Petite LG

    First of all, I want to say your man did a wonderful job on taking photos. I love them. They’re so dreamy =) Your outfit is wonderful as well, Kelly. Nothing says summer more than a pair of crisp jeans.  I haven’t ventured into the world of colored pumps yet but you’ve now inspired me. 

    1. Yeah, it seems like pretty much everything right now is oversized. With some clever styling it can look really great, and if not and you really love it, a simple slimming usually helps a lot. =)

  2. says: Cher

    Love the blouse and the shoes! But the one thing I don’t like about fake-fitting is that it can take away the versatility of how you can wear something. I think it would just really bug me that I could only wear the blouse with the front tucked in and the sleeves rolled up, or otherwise under a jacket. 

    1. Very true. This blouse is only good with some kind of tucking, unless I were to get it shortened, which is definitely an option. Although, it also looks pretty cute unbuttoned and untucked, like a really long sheer beach cover-up, although I’d never get this beautiful silk near a salty ocean or chlorinated pool. =P

  3. says: Alissa Futhey

    This post is SO perfect for me! I have had a blouse that is exactly like this and well I haven’t worn it yet because I cannot find a flattering way to hide the 3ft of material that is just hanging off me!

  4. says: TOBeautyReviews

    Sooo beautiful!!!  I love that blouse on you and good for you for making it work! Sometimes I feel like we get too caught up in how ill-fitting things are when all we need is a little creativity ;).  Those shoes are BEAUTIFUL!

    1. Thanks Elaine! I go through periods of getting really frustrated with all the things I want that DON’T fit me, that I throw my hands up and go, “Eff it! I’m just going to make it work”. =P

  5. says: Michelle

    Oh! Gorgeous bright blue! The blue and whites look so crisp…love these on you!

    And I love that shirt so much! I am definitely on the lookout for that style…just trying to find a nice bargain!  :)

    Your boyfriend did an excellent job with those photos!! I love the second-to-last…I am sure I sound like a creeper, but it is a good angle and nice pose!

  6. says: Katherine

    LOVE it! I am so jealous, I am another victim of the Manolo sizing myth and should have gotten my normal size – these are gorgeous on you! I think you’ll be wearing them for years and years! 

  7. says: Ana

    I love your new shoes! In all suede shoes for Manolo Blahnik I have to go down a half size from my normal because the suede is so soft and really gives.  Those are gorgeous and I love the story of you waiting to pounce on them!  Cobalt is one of my favorite colors, too!

  8. says: Elle

    gorgeous shoes! :) I am reminded of a pair of cobalt suede platforms from Ann Taylor that Sydney helped me score…will have to dig them out. 

    Your bf’s quite the photog – these are such stunning photos (it helps that the model is photogenic ;) )

    1. Thanks Elle! Yes, dig them out!! 

      Yes, the boyfriend is in trouble…all these years he kept telling me he was no good at taking photos while I lugged around a tripod, and then he goes and pulls these beautiful shots out of nowhere. And, oh boy, I’m not photogenic at all. It’s all about the lighting, photo angles, and ability to shift through 140 images to find 2 where I don’t look like a bridge troll. LOL =P

  9. says: Jacki

    I agree, this cobalt blue color is so stunning and flattering on everyone. I bought three shirts from Ann Taylor in their similar “Voyage Blue”, and can’t bring myself to return any of them. Simply beautiful!

    1. Yes! It looks gorgeous on everyone! I remember the first shirt I ever bought in this color was from the Nordstrom B.P. department which I wore non-stop until it pilled horribly after a few washes. I was so sad!

  10. says: AUBS*

    um mike is getting so good at taking your photos like MM.

    man that blouse is huge!  now i can compare the other bloggers’ sizes when i see them wear equipment blouses.

  11. says: phiphi

    yay!!! so happy to be BB twins with you – they are spectacular! i love how you paired it with the whites. you are just absolutely gorgeous!! xox P

  12. says: Joanna F.

    Great minds think alike! I also posted an outfit with blue and white elements on my blog this week. :) It’s such a great, fun pairing that makes the whole face just brighten up. love it

  13. says: Edith

    Kelly, yours is one of the few fashion blogs that I find useful. Thanks for the time you spend explaining what a difference it makes to have your clothes tailored. I was recently updating my wardrobe to look more polished and professional at work, when the company I work for decided everybody had to wear uniforms, so sad! I have to wear button down blouses in yellow and blue. The colors are not that ugly but the fit was terrible, really wide in the sides and the arms and super long sleeves. Following your advice I took them to my tailor to have them slimmed and the result is fantastic! Now I think I’ll have to invest in accessories to not get bored wearing the same blouses every day!

    1. Hi Edith! Ugh…those company issued uniforms never come in flattering sizes or shapes! So sorry to hear your company went that direction! I’m really glad your tailor was able to alter them into something more flattering. Glad I could be of help, and good luck on your accessories search! Fun brooches are something you don’t see everyday, and look great on button down blouses. And you can never go wrong with pearls. =) 

  14. You did such a great job making that blouse fit you well, Kelly! And I love the way you styled the look – you look sharp & stylish. Such great coordination with the jeans and pretty shoes!

    Have a great day!

  15. says: Llenduong

    This is by far one of my most favorite outfits you’ve posted thus far! I absolutely agree with you about the versatility of cobalt blue– you can pair it with white for a clean spring/summer look or black for mysterious fun during the cooler months.

    I’m also from San Diego as well (and also very petite!) so I hope I’ll run into you sometime in the future! :D

  16. says: Ceci

    I love the shoes. I love cobalt but somehow I’ve never thought to pair it with white, it looks really good!

    For readers on a small budget, H&M is selling a similar-looking shoe. The quality is not great (100% synthetic), but they’re still comfortable and I’ve gotten many compliments on the amazing color :)

  17. says: Lisa Ng

    does a great job with photos, dear. He must get good direction ;). Love the
    photos beachside! You mix blue and black so well! Love the teal polish too. And
    awesome “fake” with a fun drapy blouse! I’ve never even heard of
    equipment blouse before! Yay for same-sized bloggy friends. It’s like having a

  18. says: Fashion Blawger

    Amazing pics (kudos to the bf) and what a fabulous outfit! I was shocked at the sloppy look of the blouse before your styling magic! Throwing in the black accents makes the outfit not feel all matchy matchy although it basically is. –LOVE this look! I am too broad shouldered to pull off stripes but maybe I can balance myself with a white bottom like here? Hmmm!!

    A Preponderance of Fashion

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