ASK SARAH: “Help for us busy gals that can’t get it together”


Hi friends,  Happy Friday!  I’m reinstating my ASK SARAH column, primarily because of this reader email, but also because I think I’ve learned so much these past few years (in some of the hardest ways) that I may have some serious challenge-induced thoughts to share.  OK, so I’m just going to get to it.  Here’s the email and my answer, after the jump: {photo: Pepito Mora}

Hi Sarah!

Your house and clothing are gorgeous, I’m sure you do well financially as a photographer and get discounts and freebies via the blog but I’m still left scratching my head as to how one can afford such a nice lifestyle? I don’t mean to imply in any way that you don’t work hard, obviously you do and you are very talented, and I love your blog. I only bring this up because you’re so honest and share so much with your readers. I’m frustrated, as I’m sure many readers are. I work hard, make six figures, and make good financial decisions yet there is no way I afford a lovely home in a nice location in Southern California, beautiful furnishings such as yours, vacations, and a gorgeous wardrobe. I know it’s too much to ask to share financials but perhaps an idea of how someone on a limited budget can have a slice. If I’m frustrated with a $130,000 salary, imagine how it is for folks making $50,000 or $30,000? I work well over full time and try to find time to exercise and cook healthy meals, so the usual suggestion to scour consignment stores for funky vintage furniture or used stylish clothing doesn’t work for folks that only have a few free hours on the weekends. How do you make it all work especially given the health challenges you have? I can barely manage to put a non-hideous outfit together each day, I pat myself on the back if I have time to put on mascara and fit in a workout, much less style my hair and weave a fabulous wall hanging. I know blogs don’t show the bad hair days and messy floors but on my best day my house and I don’t look as put together as you. Can you help folks like me out? And if you do take the time to read this, thank you for your time and your blog.

click to read yo


Dear Sarah,

I would love a post on what to wear to work. All you ladies who own creative businesses and dress so stylin’ everyday make me jealous! My office is business casual and although I don’t have to wear a suit everyday I have trouble putting something together that is professional but still cool and creative. Any advice?

Thank you!  -Katy


dear katy,

thanks for the great email!  you are the sweetest for thinking that I dress all stylish everyday.  here’s the reality of my working from home situation:  i have a grey cotton onesie (as in: long sleeves, pants, drawstring waist) that i spend 85% of my life in. ok, i have two.  and i rotate them.  i have my husband take pictures of me when i DO manage to get dressed and leave our house because it’s just that much of an occasion.  HA!  i kid.  kind of.  

along with my pair of grey onsesies i also have a very rich fantasy life where i get dressed to go into an office everyday.  so here is my advice:  invest in a high quality and versatile handbag, buy pieces that can be mixed and matched, make best friends with accessories (they’ll be what make you look put together). most importantly: remember that clothes are a tool that can be used to send a message to the people you work with. think about what message it is you want to send and invest time in putting together outfits that send it loud and clear.  good luck katy!  xx- sarah

who this is for:  the young femme in a creative field who wants to be taken seriously but doesn’t want to lose herself in business casual dressing.

why this look works:  it’s playful but still put together and polished.    it says “i take my job seriously, but I also have a personality.  RESPECT!”, which is what you want your clothes to say about you, right?  a simple gold necklace like this one and one of these will take this outfit to the next level.  

SHOP IT HERE:  zara blouse, linea pelle belt, philip lim pashli zip satchel bag, j crew pants, zara flats


who this is for:  the sophisticated woman in a professional environment who wants her clothes to be stylish but not a distraction. 

why this look works:  the dress is graphic and bold, the booties bring something unexpected and the necklace adds a pop of color and draws eye right on up to the face (which is where you really want people looking!)  ad another pop oof color with a coral lipstick or gloss and you’re KILLING IT!!

SHOP IT HERE:  zara dress, j crew necklace, philip lim pashli zip satchel, elizabeth and james booties

who this is for: casual friday for anyone who can get away with it!

why this look works: these black pants aren’t denim so you can wear them to the office without worries.  on any other day of the week you can pair them with a blouse and look perfectly dressed up. the leopard shoes bring some pattern to the look and the chambray shirt is effortlessly chic. add red lips and a well styled ponytail to pull it all together.

SHOP IT HERE:  madewell blouse (similar here), paige denim pants, linea pelle belt, phillip lim pashli zip satchel, zara flats


**do you have a question you’d like answered?  i’m not a one trick pony, you can email me about anything and i’ll search high and low for an answer, i promise.