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Here is a little known secret: back in my college and law school days I dressed like one hell of a prepster.

At the time I was interning on "The Hill" and my main source of style inspiration was Selma Blair from Legally Blonde. Pearls, sweater vests, Tory Burch flats, pleated pastel skirts, did I mention SWEATER VESTS???... you name it, I coveted it. When I became an attorney my style skewed more towards Angie Harmon circa 1999, and it wasn't until a few years after Liam was born that I shed the last of my preppy past. It's not that I didn't have an affinity towards the look anymore, it was more that my lifestyle just became better suited for jeans, high tops and diaper bags. I finally realized that one of the main reasons I dressed so preppy at such a young age is that I wanted to look older (read: be taken seriously) and then I was a SAHM that just wanted to look younger (read: cool mom.) Oh, the irony.

Here I am, some six years later. While I have definitely shed my preppy exterior, I do find that whenever I have something to attend that is more serious (school interviews come to mind) I immediately reach for the preppiest thing in my closet. I guess it's my wardrobe version of a security blanket. Many years ago I picked up this tie neck blouse from Emerson Fry (back when she was making silk flowers out of a farmhouse) and given its preppy nature I find that I just can't let go of it. Closet clean-out after closet clean-out the blouse survives and over the years it has become pretty lucky. (I'm guessing I just think of it that way since I really only wear it to the most important events in our lives.) I'm pretty sure I will be wearing this to the boys' graduations if it holds out that long! To play up the prep factor I often pair it with my favorite white skirt (a J.Crew find from years ago) and even though this look couldn't be farther from my everyday wardrobe, it's nice to dress like I did in my youth. Of course, this time I'm sporting some more wrinkles and just a few more tattoos. (I can only imagine what college Robin would have to say about that! ;))

Below you can find a few of my favorite tie neck blouses that are available right now as well as some great white A-line skirts, at all various price points. I have to say even though I'm not as preppy as I used to be I love the versatility of the tie neck blouse. You can wear it in a bow for more dressy events, and untied (with a few buttons undone) with a pair of jeans for a more casual look. I often pair the skirt with tights and booties in the Winter, and with a denim shirt and leather sandals in the warmer months. The A-line skirt has a bit of a cheerleader vibe and when you are pushing 40, there is nothing that makes you feel younger than that! xx

(price on hover)

Photography by Jaimie Baird Photography (@JaimieBaird on Instagram)

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