Fashion trends … every season brings its own color picks and favorite looks. Trends come and go. They’re temporary. One season they’re in, and the next season … they’re out. It’s great to dress the trends. But it’s important to not lose sight of yourself and your personal style, amid the ever-changing trends. Let’s consider timeless style instead.
Why not let a few designers share their wisdom on fashion and what personal style really means? Their advice has been molded by time and experience ... and it's priceless! For thoughts on simplicity, and finding what works and sticking with it, we don’t need to look any further than Tommy Hilfiger and Rebecca Minkoff.
Fashion and style transcend the seasonal trends. Very rarely if ever, will one particular trend look right on absolutely everyone. That’s why it’s important to know your own style. Fashion icons, Max Azria and Tory Burch, both have great thoughts about this. Their message is to know yourself and what works for you … because the trends don’t always get it right.
Consider also words of wisdom on fashion and style from designers Elie Tahari, James Mischka, and Mark Badgley. Their focus is on fit and comfort. Trends can take a back seat when style and confidence are at stake. Remember, the most flattering thing you can ever wear is self-confidence. Be confident in yourself, your personal style, and what you are wearing!
With the holidays right around the corner and travel plans looming, it's time to make that packing list. The key to avoid overpacking is to know exactly what you need to pack. Here are a few suggestions to get your holiday packing list off to a good start.
Take one coat, and don't be caught off guard. Look up the extended forecast for your destination and decide which coat will make the cut for your trip. If you're staying within the state, a light coat might do the trick. But if you're headed anywhere north, it might be time for that overcoat with the down filling and faux fur lined hood. But decide ahead of time, because you'll save valuable space if you pack just one coat.
Boots are an absolute essential for any winter trip. But again, keep the forecast in mind. Whether you'll want your favorite ankle booties, or the tall riding boots largely depends on the weather. Packing space is precious: unless you're staying for over two weeks, try to keep it to one pair.
If you don't have a blanket scarf already, be sure to pick one up before your trip. It doubles as both a fashion accessory and a lap blanket. When you're cuddled up in a corner of the airport waiting for your flight, you'll thank yourself.
It doesn't matter the event and it doesn't matter the occasion. A little black dress is always spot on, especially for the holidays. Dress it up with sky-high heels and bold statement jewelry, or, dress it down with ankle boots and a cute cardigan. Don't forget to pack a warm wrap or shrug in case the cold weather bites!
Another holiday packing essential: the festive sweater. No, we're not talking about an ugly Christmas sweater here. Think instead of a tasteful, elegant knit with just the right amount of holiday jazz. Try one with all-over sequin detail or a jeweled neckline. Pair your sweater with jeans and ballet flats, or a short black pencil skirt and heels.
Consider packing one or two winter outfit toppers. Layering with a vest or poncho gives dimension and interest to your winter outfit, as well as extra warmth.
Vests and ponchos take up less packing space than jackets. They are perfect when a blouse or top isn’t quite warm enough and a coat is too much. When selecting your winter outfit topper, consider your activities. If you’ll be enjoying evenings on the town, a faux-fur vest would be perfect. Or if you’re keeping things easy and casual, a cowl neck sleeveless sweater is simple and stylish. Trust an edgy quilted vest or belted plaid poncho for warmth and style. Whether you are wanting to add just a layer to keep warm, or to make a fashion statement, a vest or poncho is the way to go.
Whether you’re traveling across the state or across the country, layering your clothing is an essential element. And those layers mean warmth! For the wintertime, tights and leggings make a wonderful extra layer underneath dresses and skirts. And of course, if it's extra cold, you can always layer a pair of tights under your jeans or trousers.
And speaking of layers, don't forget a sweater or a cardigan! Choose a thick, cozy sweater or cardigan in gray, tan, or charcoal. Keep it simple, because picking a neutral sweater or cardigan means you can mix and match it with everything else you pack.
Last, but not least, if you're staying with family or friends, be sure to pack a little something to say thank you! It doesn't have to be extravagant ... hot cocoa and festive candies are always tasteful, as are Christmas ornaments. Or how about a gift card to their favorite restaurant? Just a little way to say thanks!
True wardrobe staple items are key pieces that every fashionista should have in her wardrobe. They are ones that will last season to season. They are investment items that will continue to be relevant with each passing season. They are building blocks for the wardrobe. They are the pieces worth having. This week, we're sharing the must-haves of a few fashion greats, beginning with Anne Fontaine.
If you are a lover of her label, then you know where we’re headed: the white shirt. French designer and fashion icon Anne Fontaine is famous for the white blouse. Traditionally, the piece was a menswear staple, but Fontaine set out to make it a staple in women's wardrobes as well. Her label focuses on pieces that are perfectly tailored, polished, classic, and chic. Minimalism and elegance are two of the primary themes that define her label.
If a wardrobe is grounded with investment pieces that communicate both class and simplicity, then any outfit will look stunning. Focus on building blocks: basic pieces that will mix and match with anything in your closet, and are tailored to you and your style. A few basic pieces may not seem like much, but if they are perfect, they're priceless!
Karl Lagerfeld is the creative director and head designer of both Chanel and Fendi, as well as his very own label. It's safe to say that Lagerfeld is one of the most well-renowned names in the fashion industry. Lagerfeld's top pick for every woman's closet? The little black dress. Because, "One is never over-dressed or underdressed with a little black dress." Black is suitable for almost every occasion. It's slimming and chic. And the plethora of dress styles, cuts, and silhouettes is virtually endless!
If you don't have a little black dress in your closet, now is the perfect time to invest in one. Choose a style that you love and that flatters your body type. Then, stand back in amazement at how versatile the dress is! Have fun with your little black dress. Pair it with different accessories and jackets to change the look of the dress. Challenge yourself: how many different ways can you wear this wardrobe classic?
Building a wardrobe with beautiful foundation pieces is the best way to start. But where do you go from there? Take a page from the book of fashion designer Michael Kors, who describes accessories as the final touch.
According to Kors, accessories are "the exclamation point of a woman's outfit." Whether it's a unique pair of shoes, a stunning handbag, or fabulous jewelry, often it's an accessory item that ties the whole outfit together. You can transform a little black dress with a bold statement necklace. You can bring your favorite distressed jeans and white tee to a new level with a croc-embossed handbag. Sometimes, all it takes is the right pair of shoes to make a plain chambray shirt-dress look like a million bucks.
Embrace the accessories that speak to your personal style. Don't be afraid to experiment. And don't be afraid to try something new!
Fashion vs. style. Fashion is what rolls into the stores every season. Fashion is what you buy. Fashion is the trends filling magazine pages and splashing across advertisements. Style on the other hand, is the application of fashion. Style is what individuals do with fashion and trends. It's how you interpret them, and incorporate them into your own closet.
On that note, there's one last fashion icon we must mention. Iris Apfel. Her legacy as a businesswoman, interior designer, and fashionista is truly inspiring. You can read more about her story on her official Facebook page. For Iris, there are two absolute essentials to pull off any outfit. Are you ready?
Here they are ... hair done properly, and good shoes. Given that simple rule, it's no wonder she looks smashing for every occasion! Be intentional, be confident. Wear what you love and love what you wear.
Print mixing. It’s bold … it’s loud … it’s fun … and it’s eccentric at times. If you’re used to a simplistic color-scheme wardrobe, print mixing is definitely a level-up. Do you remember the fashion rule, “Don’t mix your prints?” Well that rule is gone. Print mixing is in style. These bold silhouettes are everywhere. Mix prints of plaid, check, scarf, floral, dot or stripe in any combination that suits you. It sounds strange, but the look is fantastic. So, how do you pull off this look? What are the keys for a print-mixed outfit?
There are print mixing rules to follow, to help you pull off the look successfully. Whether or not you choose to follow all of them is not the issue. One view in the fashion world is that color alone is the guideline, with no other rules beyond that. Another view says to consider size and variety of prints, as well as color.
Color is the print mixing key. The first step in print mixing is finding a common color. Choose prints that have one common color. The common color unifies the outfit. It brings together two varied prints that otherwise would not pair well together. Decide on your color and build your outfit from there. Always keep in mind you are matching colors and not prints, and you’ll be successful.
Once your color is determined, you are ready to mix prints. Dots and florals, checks and plaids, stripes and animal print, the combinations are almost endless. When mixing prints, there are some helpful guidelines to follow.
You can mix two patterns within the same pattern family. Try pairing two stripe prints that have one common color. Or, you can mix two patterns with the same color. Mixing stripes and dots provides a twist to two classic prints. Do you love to wear florals? Mix your florals with this technique: pair a monochromatic floral with a multi-color floral for a striking look.
One fool-proof technique is to mix a lighter pattern with a darker one. Pair a light scarf motif with a dark print. Proportion is your friend. Large, bold patterns paired together give a unique combination. Pair a large plaid with a large animal print. Pairing a monochromatic check with a multi-color check works as well.
Here are few tips for print mixing. Remember that leopard print is your friend. Leopard print is considered a neutral in the print mixing world. If you’re just trying out print mixing, you can’t go wrong with the monochromatic look; it always perfect. When you stay with classic color combinations like black and white, you can mix most any pattern combination for a winning look. If you choose to include a bold print in your ensemble, pair it with a delicate print for balance. Do you have more than one common color? Look for pieces that allow you to incorporate inverted color schemes for a stunning look.
Consider print mixing a fashion adventure. Build your outfit beginning with your favorite color and go from there. Enjoy!
The original denim pant … Levi’s. Levi’s and blue jeans were synonymous terms for years. Levi’s blue jeans were the answer to the California miners’ need for rugged and durable wear in their harsh work environment. Here we are almost 150 years later, and not only is Levi’s still a blue jean brand, but untold numbers of clothing lines produce their own versions of blue jeans, and the fashion industry is bursting with denim clothing pieces as well.
Let's look at the origin of the denim pant, and its evolution through the years. We could start at the very beginning, with the invention of denim fabric, but let's skip forward beyond that. Our focus is on blue jeans. When did these riveted blues first emerge in history? Levi Strauss and Jacob Davis formed the dynamic duo responsible for what would become an American wardrobe staple. The goal was to make a sturdy pant reinforced by copper rivets, and in 1873, the idea was patented. Initially, blue jeans were worn by California miners.
Over the decades there were style changes with button-front and zipper front, as well as the short-lived side-zip for the ladies. During the 1950's, blue jeans became a symbol of youth rebellion, and were frowned upon. But over the next decade, the wearing of blue jeans gradually became more widely accepted, and by the 1970's, they were a wardrobe staple of American casual wear. Practical. Durable. Tough. Rebellious. And definitely all-American. This is what blue jeans have become.
Blue Jeans have changed through the years. From the California miners of the late 1800s, to the symbol of rebellion and unrest, to the wardrobe staple that it is today, blue jeans have a long (and colorful) history. From wide legs, to flared, to skinny jeans, from low-rise to high-waisted “mom” jeans, with a range from crisp to distressed jeans, to dark wash, to stone wash, to almost pure white, jean styles continually change. With each passing year, the changes reflect the overall tone and style of the culture.
The intensity and saturation of the wash and the cut of the jean can communicate a lot about the level of dressiness. In general, dark wash jeans have always been dressier, while light wash and faded jeans are more casual. Wide leg jeans are more tailored and have a closer resemblance to trousers, making them dressier. The distressed jeans with their rips, tears, snags, and rough spots give a weathered and lived-in appearance ... while embroidery, applique, faux pearl, rhinestone, and sequin detailing can lend a touch of elegance.
Blue jeans … the bottom line is all about the fit, specifically at the waistband, the back pocket, and the thighs. The original blue jeans were 100% cotton. Now most lines of jeans offer a blend of cotton and spandex. This give the jeans a bit of stretch, making them more comfortable and form fitting. For a well-endowed and well-proportioned woman, spandex is the key for fit. Go for a sturdy stretch denim that will stretch, fit, and mold to your contours, without any awkward sagging or pulling. Mind the pockets, though. They could turn out to be your worst enemy if they aren't cut right. Steer away from back pockets that are too small or are too high up. That combo gives the illusion of an even larger backside. Instead, opt for pockets that are positioned a bit lower on the seat, and proportionately larger.
If you fall more on the small side, choose a jean with pockets that highlight your body's natural contours. Choosing a pair of jeans with a higher waistband is also a good option, because it creates the illusion of a larger figure. Make sure that there's no odd puckering or tugging through the thighs, because this can give the appearance that you're wearing a pair of jeans that don't fit your figure.
If you're flat ... go for a pair of jeans with a deep, V-shaped seam in the back, just above the pockets. This helps enhance and draw attention to natural curving. Be sure to avoid anything with pockets that are too big. It will just make you look even smaller.
When you find your perfect blue jean brand/style, take a quick picture of the labeling both on the inside and the outside of the jeans. That gives you a great reference point when shopping for jeans, especially if it’s consignment shopping, with so many brands in one location.
Something magical happens when September 1st rolls around. You know fall is here. Yes, fall doesn’t officially arrive until September 22nd. Yes, we still have the summer heat, and it’ll be many weeks before it really cools down. But, it’s September, and we’re thinking about all things fall!
Soon we will have cool fall mornings and brisk fall evenings; layering will be our friend. We’ll start out the day needing a little something extra, and then we’ll shed that layer as the day warms. When the evening cools off, that extra layer will be perfect to wear again.
Cardigans are at the top of our favorite transitional fall wear. This versatile fall wardrobe staple works well with knit tops and blouses. When layering a cardigan with a blouse, cuff the blouse sleeves over the cardigan for color contrast. Slip on jeggings and boots of your choice to complete your fall outfit. Or, pair your cardigan with a top, skinny jeans, and ankle boots. As the day warms up, the cardigan is laid aside, and you’re still going strong. When you’re ready to step out for the evening, don that cardigan and away you go. Top either combination with an autumn-hued scarf to give your outfit a polished look and you’re ready for the day.
Fall jackets! They’re perfect fall transitional wear. The fall jacket is a great layering piece that you wear as needed, based on how cool or warm it is during the day. Cool mornings and brisk evenings are great fall jacket weather. The perfect pairing? Layering a fall jacket with an autumn-hued tunic or blouse for a polished look. Add a deep tone knit trouser and heeled booties to complete your fall outfit. Cuff your jacket to three-quarter length if you want to give your outfit a more relaxed vibe.
Not quite ready to sport a fall jacket? Vests are a great option. Layering a tunic with vest is a great alternative for your fall transitional outfit. Don’t forget that earth-toned handbag, and you’ll be set.