Wednesday, March 21, 2018

What to Wear: Blush Denim Skirt

This soft, gentle shade of pink is every inch of ladylike grace and girlish whimsy. While this shade of pink might be too girly for some, the truth is, blush pink works well with a host of colors. Some of them might even surprise you.

1. Neutrals. I love a nod to neutrals. They ground everything. They can take an ultra-feminine color like blush and instantly make it more mature. When styling neutrals with blush, I like the lighter hues of white, cream, taupe, and soft gray. Navy is okay, and olive green takes blush into fall.
With this first outfit, I played with a mix of soft and dark neutrals by styling a taupe short sleeve sweater with a black jacket and black felt flats. I completed the outfit with a taupe and nutmeg braided headwrap.

2. Colors. One could argue that blush is a pseudo-neutral. It works as its own color and at times as a neutral base for other colors. Blush pink looks good with colors in its own family from soft reds to bold magentas. It plays well with other pastels like blue, yellow and lavender. Want something a bit more surprising? Try chartreuse, Kelly green, teal, or orange paired with blush.
For this outfit I played with both pattern and color by focusing on unexpected color combinations in pastel yellow and tropic teal. Here I styled a pastel yellow lace camisole under a tropical teal short sleeve sweater. I competed the look with a pair of giraffe print flats and rose pink head wrap.

3.Patterns. A strong pattern goes a long way in maturing blush pink, especially in a work environment. Go for neutral based abstract prints or prints based on a neutral background. Feeling fierce? Animal prints go a long way in making blush pink edgy and sophisticated. Classic patterns like navy and white stripes makes blush pink appear grown up yet casual.
For outfit number three I played with both color and pattern by using complementary colors in lilac and magenta. Here I have a lilac geometric print tee over a magenta tank. I completed this outfit with a magenta lace headwrap and silver sequin flats.

4.Textures. Blush is clearly a spring time hue. There is no getting around that. When styling a blush pink denim skirt, textures can play a part in taking this sweet pink up another notch. For spring, try pairing chiffon blouses, ponte knit blazers, and cotton blend blouse with denim.
I played with various textures in this final outfit by mixing denim with a neon patterned chiffon tank. I added some metal work with the buckle detail in the denim inspired flats, and finally a bit of cotton with the tee underneath the tank and the apple green headwrap.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Dressing Your Body Type: Hourglass

The hourglass shape is currently the shape all women want to go for, regardless of what your cultural background might be. In some countries the hourglass shape is called the "S shape" for the S like look of the proportions between the shoulders, waist and hips. If you fall into the category of the hourglass shape, then there is a fine line between dressing like a lady and dressing like tramp (the lack of a better term). However, there is a way to keep the hourglass proportions in mind and dress like a lady; and it is easier than you think.

How to know you are an hour glass: Your waist is the smallest part of your body with in a 5 to 10 inch difference between your shoulders and hips. Your hips and shoulders are the same size (or within an inch or two difference of one another).

Do: A fitted bra!

Don’t: Avoid all things low cut and low rise. These will make you look tarty.

Must haves: articles of clothing which skim your natural proportions while accenting your natural waistline. The best article of clothing: a wrap dress or blouse in a jersey knit or ponte knit.
Warning: the primary issue with having an hour glass shape is that the line between classy and tarty is very thin. An outfit that might look classy on a rectangle shape, or pear shape, might look sleezy on an hour glass shape.

Tops: Look for tops with an empire waist to bring the bust line up. Also look for wrap tops that lift the bustline and draws attention to your natural waist line. If the neckline is too low, wear a camisole underneath. This will keep with the overall proportions you want for the upper half of your body while keeping chest area covered properly.

Jackets: Look for blazers with one button and a longer lapel to deemphasize having a lot of curves without hiding them entirely. A more causal jacket can be a bit boxier with proper darting and fit in place. For these jackets look for three buttons under the bustline. Jackets and blazers should sit on top of the hip line to keep your proportions neat.

Skirts: A-line skirts help keep the body in proportion, but keep the volume of the skirt to a minimum. A fuller skirt will over accentuate the lower half of your body. Straight skirts also minimize a larger hips size and create a stream lined that accentuates some of your natural curves without hiding them or over exaggerating them either.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Styling Clover Green

Anyone who knows me, or at least follows my blog, knows that I am a fan of color. Clover green is no exception. Rich, emerald, Ireland, deep, lucky; all words I associate with this deep shade of green. Perhaps it is because St. Patrick’s Day is just around the corner as I write this. Deeper than the shade of new spring grass, clover is the quintessential shade of green for spring- other than Kelly green that is. Never limit clover to just March 17th, keep rotated throughout your entire spring wardrobe.

1.Neutrals. You can never go wrong with neutrals with a colored denim skirt. Navy creates a cool contrast which blends well with clover. Black and charcoal create stark contrasts, whereas white paired with clover green adds a freshness perfect for spring.
For this outfit, I kept everything sharp by playing up neutral contrasts. I paired a simple white draped back blouse, with a hint of embellishment around the neckline with black velvet flats and a black jacket.

2.Colors. Clover green plays well with a whole host of colors from pastel yellow for an Easter inspired contrast, to the warmth of coral for an unexpected pop. For a complimentary look pair clover with cooler tones of blue, like turquoise, or medium purple.
I wanted something a bit more wild and unexpected. So, I color blocked a coral short sleeve sweater and coral headwrap, and a pair of lace up faux suede flats.

3.Patterns. Patterns are fun no matter which way you slice it. As a spring color, it is important to put away the winter prints, and favor the spring and summer prints. Instead of plaid, go for gingham. Instead of deer prints, wear bird prints. Instead of dark florals, like roses, branches or vines, reach for lighter florals, like cherry blossoms, daisies, or dogwoods. Uncertain about the prints you are wearing, go for classics like polka dots, stripes, or animal prints.
Next to star prints and now heart prints, bird prints are one of my favorite prints to wear. This outfit is no exception. It's simple and causal with a gold bird print tee and denim buckle flats.

4. Metallics. Shimmer and shine adds a touch of visual interest to any outfit. It makes the outfit a bit more festive, depending on the time of year. For a touch of St. Patty’s Day fun, add a bit of gold. Gold is not the only metallic that works with clover green, try copper for an earthy glow, or silver for a bit of subtle class.
This outfit is all about St. Patrick's Day. I paired this white tee with a gold sequin bow with faux suede lace up flats. I then layered two head wraps, one a dark jade green under a gold, green, and white braided head wrap. St. Patrick's Day, here we come!

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Dressing Your Body Type: Pear

I am a pear. My top half has always been smaller than the lower half of my body. Frustratingly enough that makes shopping difficult. At least at first. Being a pear shape is just as wonderful as being apple shape, hourglass shaped, or rectangular shape.

How to know you are a pear shape: Your hips are the widest part of you by about 5 to 10 inches. Your waist is the smallest part of you. There is a 5 inch difference between your waist and your shoulders.

Do: wear lighter colors on top and darker colors on the bottom. Wear wrap tops and tops with ruching to emphasize your small waist.
Don’t: wear lighter colors on the bottom, wear pleated skirts.
Must Haves: a properly fitted bra! Also and A-line skirt.

Tops: Tops should be fitted. While for the most part, horizontal stripes are a faux paus, pear shaped women can get away with them, when the stripes are thin. Thin horizontal stripes create balance between the hips, shoulders, and waist. Wear catchy patterns on your tops as well.

Jackets/Blazers: should always emphasize the waist. Always. Look for jackets that have slightly puffed shoulders. This will help emphasize your hips in contrast to your waist. Look for blazers with one or three buttons under the bust line and with a small lapel.

Skirts: Straight skirts with a high or medium rise waist band, or a line skirts that fall just below the knee line are great ways to create balance and a fabulous, streamlined silhouette.

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Dressing Your Body Type: Apple

Style is more than just the types of clothing you wear or even who makes the clothes you wear. As much as the fashion industry would like us to believe that, it simply is not the case. Style is partly knowing yourself, knowing the point of view you want to show the world around you, and knowing your body type. Simply put, what works on my sister-in-law- who is a rectangle shape- does not work on me- a pear shape. Knowing your body type and what works for your body type might seem daunting or even a little bit boring. It doesn't have to be. The internet, including this blog, is chalk full of information tips and formulas for determining your body type and how to dress it. What I have attempted to do is condense all that I have read and researched into a series of quick tips.

How to you know are an “apple” shape: Larger midsection (this does not mean fat or obese! This simply means that your midsection tends to be wider by about 5 inches than your shoulders and hips). You tend to have a larger bust line, smaller shoulders and smaller hips- again by about 5 inches in comparison to your waist.

Do: Wear wrap tops that are narrow at the waist line, wear v-neck tops (but not deep v’s) and wear straight mid-rise dark wash jeans (if you wear pants). If you are “skirt girl” a straight or a-line skirt that hits just below the knee is perfect.

Don’t: skinny or tapered pants, or pencil skirts.

Must haves: a properly fitted bra!

Tops: blouses should generally drape away from the body, but neve be baggy. For the best form of draping, find blouses that have a smocked bottom hem. Wrap tops that have a v-neck line and which hit at the smallest part of you. (That’s just underneath your bust line). Blouses and tees that have an empire waistline are also essential. Tees should never ever be boxy, instead look for tees that have ruched sides. The length of your tops should hit at the top of your hipbone. Anything short or longer will make you look disproportionate.

Jackets/Blazers: invest in a structured jacket and blazer. Looks for jackets that nip in at the waist and have v neck line. Three button blazers with a smaller lapel will put more emphasis on your face and neckline, while keeping you locked and loaded.

Skirts: Straight skirts create a streamlined look. They also make you look longer and leaner. Skirts should fall just below the knee line. Anything shorter will make you look tarty anything longer runs the risk of making you look dumpy. A-line skirts are also a must. A-line skirts create balance to the waist line and shoulders, and will give you an hour glass silhouette.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Winter Denim Skirts: Wine

Deep, dark red goes by many different names: burgundy, maroon, and wine just to name a few. There is a difference between them. Burgundy is deep, dark, and primarily red based. From its hue to its undertone it is red. Maroon shares the same deep, dark shade of red. However, its undertone is that of brown. Wine, like maroon and burgundy shares that red shade, but with wine the undertone is of a deep purple. How do you tell the difference? Simple. Take a deep purple blouse or scarf (plum or eggplant will do) and place it next to the three reds. If it creates a cohesive color blocked outfit, you have burgundy. The red and purple will stand out against one another without looking garish or clash. If it clashes, you have maroon. If the purple looks as if it could blend in with the skirt, you have wine. We are going to keep this purple undertone in mind as we style wine denim.

1. Color. Colors that match in saturation will work wonders with wine, like eggplant purple, or a deep teal. Accent colors also play a key role in adding visual interest to your outfit. With wine, go with colors like a true peach, forest green, and mustard yellow.

Outfit #1: For this outfit I paired shades of plum with wine in order to play up wine's deep purple undertones. I accented the outfit with silver sequin flats and a silver head wrap.

Outfit#2: In this outfit, I wanted to create some cohesive contrast by pairing wine and pale yellow. I played up the pale yellow and purple undertones of the skirt with a paisley plum and gold head wrap. I completed the outfit with a tan military inspired jacket and silver flats.

2. Neutrals. Neutrals always look wonderful with color. With wine red, I have narrowed it down to a small handful: navy, olive, gray, and taupe. Each of these neutrals are soft enough to create a nice contrast without being too stark or harsh. White is okay, but can be too formal and runs the risk of looking too patriotic. Black, when paired with wine is too stark and too harsh of a contrast, especially when used as a blouse. If you are going to use black with wine, it is best left as an accessory.

Outfit #1: With this outfit, I kept it simple and easy for year round wear. I paired a charcoal blouse over a black and gold metallic printed tank. I added a bit of spunk and visual interest with a pair of giraffe print flats. To complete the outfit, I added a cranberry head wrap.

Outfit#2: I wanted something distinctly fall/winter for this outfit. I Kept neutrals the name of the game with an olive green lace camisole under a navy blue sweater. I completed the outfit with a chocolate brown faux leather jacket and faux leather boots.

3. Patterns. When selecting patterns chose pattern in a neutral, complimentary/contrasting color, or in a shimmer. Some patterns can be used not only on a top but as an accent piece, such as a layering tank or in a shoe or scarf.

Outfit #1: This outfit is simply fun. Color patterns when paired with wine pop and create beautiful, personality expressing, visual interest. I wanted to brighten up the dark days of winter with this teal and peach printed blouse. I completed the outfit with a pair of tan lace up flats and a denim blue head wrap.

Outfit#2: This final outfit is about playing up neutrals, which allows the beauty of the wine colored denim to take center stage. Here I paired my wine denim skirt with a white and silver printed blouse with just a hint of shimmer. Then I added a charcoal military inspired jacket for a speck of trend. Finally I added a plum head wrap and a pair of silver sequin shoes.

Monday, January 1, 2018

Developing and Insprining Your Personal Style

Developing one's style can seem like an endlessly impossible task. It does not have to be so. At the heart of it is discovering what fits- what truly fits, what is current and modern, what makes our hearts sing, and then purging the rest. The second part is about inspiration. As it is the first of a brand new year, it only seemed fitting that this post is dedicated to developing, curating, and discovering personal style.

Part 1: Fit, modernity, joy, and tossing.

Fit. Fit is all important when developing one's personal style. If it doesn't fit, then it won't look right and will send out the wrong message. Style is, as stylist Stacy London says, "the quickest short hand to who you are." If your clothes are too big, you look larger than you really are as well as making you look lazy, sloppy, and insecure. On the flip side, clothes that are too short and too tight send the image that you are just as insecure, and feel that all you have to offer the world are your physical assets. Not true. Neither style scenario is acceptable. When your cloths fit properly, you will feel good about yourself, show the world you care about yourself, and show the world that you have a lot to offer. Not to mention you will feel a thousand times more comfortable when your cloths fit properly.

Modernity and Quality. Check that closet of yours again. Just because an item of clothing fits does not mean you should wear it. Make sure your clothes are current- or of a modern cut- and age appropriate. Simply because you can fit into that mini skirt does not mean that you should. Just because that blouse with the shoulder pads from the 1980s still fits, doesn't mean you should wear it. Tied into this the quality of the item. If it has tears, rips, and holes it should not be worn. Your clothes should be well taken care of.

Joy. Once you have ticked these two boxes, consider this: do your clothes bring you joy? If you were shopping right now, would you purchase these clothes? Clothes should bring you not only use value to your current place in life, but should also bring you joy at the same time. When your clothes aid to your function and bring you joy when you wear them, the happier you will be.

Toss it. When all three of the above boxes have been ticked, it is time to toss everything else. Toss the too tight clothes. Toss the too big clothes. Toss the clothes in poor condition, and the clothes that are far too out of date.

Part #2: Style Inspiration
It make take time, a lot of time if you have collected a lot of clothes. It also takes a brutal amount of honesty with yourself. However, once the pay off is worth it. That is not all. Once we have completed all of these task we still remain vulnerable to falling into style ruts. When I get into style ruts, I look to several places and people to help lift me out of my style ruts.

1. Style Stalking. It does not sound as strange as it does. We all have people whose style we admire and sometimes try to replicate. Create a list of individuals whose style you admire and why you admire them. Here's a list of individuals that I like to style stalk. I may not follow their styles exactly, but when I get into a rut, I do like to look to them for some inspiration.

-Stacy London. I love her wardrobe from What Not Wear. It was a sleek combination of chic, feminine, modern, and sometimes edgy.
-Katherine, Duchess of Cambridge. First of all, most everyone knows her as Kate Middleton. However, we should be calling her by her proper title. That being said, I love the Duchess's style. She wears everything with ease and her pieces are classic and modern.
-Mayim Bialik. The actress best known for her roles in Blossom and in the Big Bang Theory, is also an activist for modest fashion-or as it is called in the Jewish community "Tznuit". I love it. She combines modern, modest, and edgy with ease and grace.
-Taylor Swift. While she is mostly known for her music and skimpy stage clothes, off stage Taylor does all-American girl next door mixed with vintage.
-Lisa Blenman. Sister Blenman is known to many as the designer and CEO of Jade Mackenzie Apparel. Her style is modest, modern and trendy. She has an eye for beautiful color, patterns, and design.

2. Style Challenges. If you follow me on Instagram, then you know that I am big fan of style challenges. While I may not always complete each day, I find them fun and helpful. The prompts allow each participant to rethink how items in their closets might be put together.

3. Pinterest. There is no greater place to find style inspiration than the well curated website of Pinterest. There are photos galore for all the style personalities and types imaginable. Pinterest is also the perfect place to style stalk our favorite style icons.

4. Personality. I firmly believe the Stacy London quote I mentioned earlier in this post. What we wear tells the entire world what we are about and what we are like. It is in essence, quick hand to sharing our personalities to those around us. Shouldn't our style show case bits of our personality from time to time. If you are sweet, but aggressive every once and a while a pink animal print blouse might be right up your alley. Make a list of your personality characteristics. Are you sweet? down to earth? creative? athletic? classy? aggressive? intelligent? witty? quirky? Each of your outfits should showcase a tiny bit of your personality, but your outfits should never showcase every single bit of your personality characteristics all at once.

Your wardrobe should always be an accurate reflection of the person you truly are. A well developed sense of style will take time and brutal honesty- as I have already said. But, just as importantly, a well developed sense of style should be inspired and showcase your personality.