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Spring Looks To Shop (AND Wear) NOW!

spring looks shop wear now

I just read a funny and all too true quote on Pinterest yesterday… you can have a well dressed home, or a well dressed person. You can’t have BOTH!

Given our recent renovation/moving focus, I feel as though all of my time and resources have been dumped into getting the new house looking its best. In the meantime, I feel as though my own wardrobe and style is literally coming apart at the seams. Now that we’ve moved in and the craziness is subsiding, mentally I’m more prepared to focus on the upcoming fashion season and getting myself back into shape.

Ugh… the gym… don’t remind me!

My workout has practically been as ignored as much as my closet. I might pass out next time I step up on a spin bike. Not from the class, mind you. Just from the exertion of getting my out of shape butt up on that spin bike.

But back to fashion… with Spring styles hitting the stores, it’s hard NOT to be tempted to snag a few great pieces. Even with the never-ending Cleveland winter, I’m still hankering for a sartorial freshening up. I’ve found 5 Spring-ready pieces for us impatient ladies who want a bit of zhuzsh in their closet to get them through these next few months until Spring is finally in full bloom.

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Style

Fall 2015 Key Trends

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Trends may come and go, but for the past few years we’ve seen some trends stick around.

Texture, fringe, cropped silhouettes, menswear inspired trousers and tonal dressing have once again made their appearance and there is no better season than fall to put them to the test. Layering is the simplest way to make even the most straightforward of clothes look special and I’m not holding back this season.

My generally cool toned wardrobe is getting an infusion of seasonal warmth with warm chocolates and caramels. (Which by the way, is totally making me hungry!?) I’ll be wearing colors bold enough to stand on their own, but even better when mixed and matched with blush and cream for a little modern contrast.

DAY:
SWEATER // COAT // TROUSERS // BOOTIES // BAG

NIGHT:
VEST // COAT // JEANS // PUMPS // BAG

How great is that Banana Republic SWEATER VEST? I walked into the flagship store a few weeks ago in NYC and I couldn’t get over how many great pieces they were offering this season. Even my girlfriend who was with me at the time (and listened my diatribe over lunch about how much BANANA REPUBLIC has changed for the better) agreed and had to be dragged out of the store!!! Thumbs up to Marissa Webb, their Creative Head of Design — you’ve brought me back.

Oh, and about that Gucci BAG… I’m not generally a fan of logos of any kind. Usually, I hate them. But there was just something so 70’s cool about this bag that seems to work perfectly with the textures and styles of the season, that I may be a temporary convert. The nude/pink/blush color is also so, so pretty!

What are some of the fall trends that you’ll be embracing this season? Are there any you wish would just go away?

XOXO-signature

Style

Chic At Any Age: The Crop Top

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Did you guys wake up this morning? In that case, congratulations are due! You’re a day older!

Sorry for the sobering way to start off your week. Unless you’re under the age of 25, getting older is not quite the celebration it used to be. Personally, I feel like year after year I essentially looked exactly the same, until one year I looked in the mirror and I didn’t. Unruly greys peeked out from my hairline, a few extra lines appeared around my eyes and freckles (I refuse to call them age and/or sun spots!) emerged where there used to be none. It’s like my physical body decided it was time to grow up and left my psychological self back in her late 20’s with a harsh, “Peace out, sistah’!

Don’t get me wrong, so far my 30’s have been fantastic and some of the best years of my life, but they’ve left me in this odd no-man’s-style-land of wanting to dress like the street style stars I’m following on Instagram or Pinterest, yet wanting to stay respectful of my age and place in life.

One of the most common questions I get from my styling clients is:

How do I stay “on-trend” when it seems the trends were created for and by 24-year-olds?

My answer:

Your age is just a number and a trend is just an idea.

Consider each season’s trends a little seed planted by the higher powers of designer fashion houses and the editors who interpret them in their magazine pages. Depending on where and how you plant it, that little seed can then grow and become a number of similar yet slightly different varietals.

Confused yet?

In plain language, with every trend you need to assess a few things:

1) Will it work for my body?

2) Will it work with my STYLE IDENTITY?

3) Will it work for my lifestyle?

4) If the answer is no to any of the above (#1-3), then:

4a) How can I interpret and adjust the style to make it work?

Pictures always say 1000 words, so let’s break down one of this season’s biggest trends below:

The Crop Top

Ahhhh, the crop top. You blessed us with your midriff baring presence last year and there are no signs you’re going away anytime soon. The good news about the crop top: for most women, their waist is the smallest part of the body and a crop is a great way to highlight a waistline. The bad news about the crop top: a crop is a style that highlights the waistline. Don’t worry, no washboard abs of steel are required to successfully wear a cropped silhouette. Just read on to get all of the style notes you need to keep the trend from wearing YOU!

IN YOUR 20’s:

Ahhhhhh, to be young and free! This is the time you can really dive deep into most fashion trends and take your biggest risks. Pair your crop top, or bralette with lower rise boyfriend denim, shorter shorts and bolder patterns. Just remember, if you expose skin up top, try to keep it covered down below (and vice-versa). Go ahead, you got it girl!

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IN YOUR 30’s:

The 30’s woman needs to take a step back and reign in the crop a little. Rather than a full exposed belly/navel, a sliver of exposed skin is more appropriate. Match up your cropped silhouettes with higher rise skirts and trousers for a much more sophisticated feel. Muted colors, higher necklines and simple patterns also play up what can be a very ladylike look!

IN YOUR 40’s + BEYOND:

Don’t feel excluded from this trend! Look at Cate Blanchett below… she’s totally owning the cropped look at 46! Hot damn, that lady has style! For those of you in this group, think about the crop as a shorter, boxier silhouette and consider what our goal is: to highlight the waist! So, in order to highlight the waist with a boxy top, it needs to be matched with a high waisted slim-lined bottom. Again, the cropped top pulls away from the body and reveals your smallest area even though no actual skin is exposed. Another trick to keep the body looking slim and trim in a cropped top, is to stay monotone in color or work a single pattern from head to toe. Again, it creates one continuous long visual line… which is a good thing.

cate-blanchett-crop-top-stella-mccartney-prabal-gurung

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SHOP THE LOOK:

Are any recent style trends stumping you? Go ahead and share your questions below!

I’m all ears.

XOXO-signature

(header image via)

Style

The Ugly Shoe

The Ugly Shoe Header

Since we’ve crossed into 2014, there has been a ton of chatter about new trends, new styles and new designs that are gaining traction for the upcoming seasons.  As far as trends go, I wouldn’t necessarily call myself a HUGE risk taker, but I’m willing to push the envelope at times in the name of personal expression and individuality.  For me, part of every trend is a balance between aesthetics and function.  The nerd in me breaks it down like so:

1) Does this trend appeal to me visually?

  • If NO, move on.  Find something else.
  • If YES, proceed to the next question.

2) Is there a place/function for this trend in my current life?

  • If NO, stop right here.
  • If YES, then green light to purchase and be trendy.

One trend that no matter how hard I try I truly CANNOT get on board with, is this ugly shoe thing going on lately.  I’m referring to the return of Birkenstock-esque footwear in plastic/leather/fur, in addition to the resurgence of clunky soles, lug bottoms and essentially anything that make your feet look like they belong to a long-lost cousin of Fred Flintstone.  Luxury brands and top designers are touting their ugly shoe wares and what shocks me, is that people are actually spending upwards of $1000 to buy them!

As somewhat of a luxury shoe fiend, I am all for investing in beautiful shoes.  The “ugly shoe” was created by designers as a shift away from the precipitous, impractical 5+ inch heel (occasionally, with added platform) to more practical and comfortable territory.  That notion, I can respect.  But why does practical have to equate to so much ugly!?  Again, this is wholly my opinion and I know there are folks out there that can see the beauty in these ugly shoes and pull them off seamlessly.  I’m talking to you, Alexa Chung.  Seriously, she makes anything look cool.

But, tell me, how is THIS practical!?

Balenciaga buckle boot

Wouldn’t a chic ballet flat, or even more masculine brogue be just as comfortable, lighter weight on the foot and 1000x more flattering? Don’t the cutouts leave your feet and ankles cold?  Perhaps, Balenciaga just didn’t account for #polarvortexproblems.

Behold, the “IT” shoe of Spring 2014.  Isabel Marant, seriously!?  You can do better than this.

Isabel Marant Holden Slide

If I’m going to walk out of my house in what essentially looks like a gym shower shoe, I know a place where I can buy a pair for under $30.  It’s called Dick’s Sporting Goods.

As they say, “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.”  In the case of the “ugly shoe” trend, I’m turning a blind eye and walking away…  in my classic, pointed-toe, single-sole, high heel pumps.

Are you on board with the “ugly shoe?”  I would love to hear your rants and/or raves!

XOXO,

Stella