Monday, December 11, 2017

Winter Denim: Emerald Green

Not to be confused with forest green or even Kelly green is a rich deep shade of green. As a shade of green it is also a jewel tone, due to its deep saturation; just like the gemstone itself. Emerald green is the perfect color for autumn and winter.

1. Neutrals. White and emerald create a simple but elegant ensemble. It also acts as a base to add accent colors that pair well with emerald. Black and emerald is bold and chic. These colors create a striking contrast, however, it runs the risk or being too harsh. In my opinion there is nothing more chic than chocolate brown. It’s my favorite neutral. Chocolate brown and emerald can go together, however use chocolate brown sparingly or else you may run the risk of looking like a dinner mint. Chocolate brown paired with a color that compliments emerald will break up the contrast and create a more cohesive look. Tan is toned down and creates a sweet and casual ensemble. Like white, tan will make emerald the focal point and creates a base on which to pair it complimentary colors.

For this outfit, I kept color palette dark and rich with a black sweater with lace sleeves, a hint of shimmer with a copper velvet head wrap, and a pop of fun with giraffe print flats.

2. Colors. Cobalt looks fantastic with emerald green and creates an eye catching color blocked outfit. Mustard, especially when used as a completer piece (like a jacket) will create a cohesive fall look. Fuschia is bold and stands out well against the richness of emerald green without looking festive or like the colors are competing for attention. Yellow works well as an accent piece or a completer piece. Be careful color blocking yellow as it has a tendency to look like you are dressed for game day. Peach is a soft shade of pink and orange that plays well with emerald. Peach either in a top or as an accent color acts to soften emerald green. Purple, primarily a deep shade like eggplant compliments emerald and creates a sophisticated color blocked ensemble that is perfect for fall and winter.

I went bold in this second outfit by pairing emerald with a hot fuchsia short sleeve sweater, a matching head wrap, and tan buckle flats. It may be simple but it is bold.

3. Shimmer. Shimmer adds a little something special to an outfit. With emerald green it is important to be careful with using shimmer, especially metallic. Gold contrasts well with emerald, especially when a completer piece is used. Silver compliments emerald green and spares the wear from looking like a Christmas ornament. Want to avoid the fear of looking to festive with your metallics? Easy, mix your metallics.

Christmas colors was the name of the game with outfit number three. I paired a gold blouse with my emerald green denim skirt, I topped the outfit with silver sequin flats, a denim jacket for a nice bit of casual appeal, and a gold and purple head warp.

4. Denim/Cambray. While many of the above outfit combinations could be dressed down or dressed up, sometimes there needs to be something strickly casual. Enter chambray. A dark wash chambray shirt paired with an accent piece creates a cute and causal weekend look. Likewise a denim jacket worn over another pattern or color will dress down a look and make it more weekend appropriate.

I switched things up by pairing two pieces of colored denim together: emerald denim skirt meets harvest gold denim jacket. Again green and gold for Christmas (but lets face it this is also cute for fall). I added a black and burgundy printed blouse to pull the outfit together, and then completed the outfit with a pair of wine pink velvet flats and a charcoal head wrap.

5. Prints. Prints are fun regardless if they are neutral or color inspired. Neutral prints include concepts like: navy and cream stripes, navy and white print, animal prints, and black/white polka dots. Color prints include: vibrant florals, bold or sweet painterly prints, plaids, and bold geometrics.

I kept with my standard stripes with styling this last outfit. There is something so chic and classic about stripes and I love it. I paired this emerald green denim skirt with a navy and cream striped tee and a white layering tank. To complete the outfit I paired it with a pair of black lace up flats. These flats can be easily substituted for black boots in a pinch.

Saturday, December 2, 2017

December Style Tips

December fashion is like November fashion. Adding layers without adding bulk. It is also about seasonal fun: red, green, fair isle print, and sparkle, lots and lots of sparkle. The temperatures in December are fairly consistent at around 30-45 degrees F. If we are lucky we get snow. While mass market media will display pictures of girls in leggings and oversized sweatshirts in beanies and thick knit scarves, I hate lounge wear for indoor or out of doors wear. I think it is lazy fashion. Since my wardrobe changes little from November to December, I want to place the focus of these style suggestions on fun and indoor wear vs. outdoor wear.

Indoors: When it comes to hanging out indoors during December, my wardrobe changes very little. I usually pal around in ballet flats, a sweater, skirt and sometimes a faux fur vest. For fun, I love sparkle and some plaid. On occasion a tastefully done and appropriate placed graphic is a nice touch. I created two outfits to showcase how to dress comfortably and stylishly while staying indoors without wearing lounge wear.

Outfit #1: For this outfit, I paired a denim skirt with a graphic print sweater, silver ballet flats, and a burgundy head wrap.

Outfit#2: For this outfit, I styled a long dark blue denim skirt with a burgundy and navy plaid shirt, wine pink velvet flats, and a charcoal gray head wrap.

Out of doors: It is about warmth. Whether moving from home to work or visa versa, or heading out to check out the local Christmas lights, It is about staying warm. A pair of boots with tread (for the chance that there might be snow), a wool winter coat, a sweater, and fleece lined tights/leggings are a necessity. Finally, it is time to add a scarf to the mix. Likewise, I created two outfits to showcase outdoor wear for those chilly December days.

Outfit #1: I styled a khaki denim skirt with a forest green sweater, and brown suede boots, olive green head wrap, and winter mint green scarf. I topped off the outfit with a red plaid wool coat.

Outfit #2: I kept day time in mind as I styled this outfit. While nine times out of ten the days are terribly cold, we still have a few days where there are tolerably warm. Here, I styled a wine red skirt with a black and white stripped sweater under a gray faux fur vest. I then added a pair of black boots with black fleece lined tights, and a red and black shimmer scarf.

A Note of Skirts. As of yet I have not mentioned skirts at all when offering style tips for each month. Nine times out of ten, I will wear a knee length skirt. On occasion I will wear a longer skirt. As the weather gets colder, I find that longer skirts either get wet in the rain or snow, or they catch on my boots. Therefore, I normally wear long skirts indoors on the weekend when I know that I do not have to go anywhere.

Just for Fun: December is full of fantastic Christmas parties and I love to get dressed up for them. There is nothing quite like wearing a cute plaid skirt and burgundy sweater, or an emerald green skirt, a cute graphic sweater, a faux fur vest ,and sparkly shoes either. Even on Christmas Day, I love to put together a cute little outfit to make myself happy. Here I created three outfits that are Christmas Day and Christmas Party ready.

Outfit #1: I kept this outfit simple and Christmas-y at the same time by styling a burgundy denim skirt with a pine green blouse with an embellished neckline, silver ballet flats, and a jade green head wrap.

Outfit #2: I love dressing up for Christmas Day and this outfit hits the spot. I styled a deep teal denim skirt with a gray fair isle print sweater, and a black faux fur vest. I added a pair of silver ballet flats and a slate blue head wrap to complete the outfit.

Outfit #3: This last outfit is perfect for Christmas Day or for a Christmas party. Here I styled a long navy blue and burgundy plaid skirt with a burgundy cowl neck sweater. I completed the outfit with a white shimmery scarf and a pair of black ruffle button flats.

Friday, November 24, 2017

Pinned It!

Every girl has those moments where they look into their closet and scream,” I have nothing to wear”! When our creative fashion juices are not working we can begin to feel frustrated and sometimes discouraged. Worry not. With the creation of Pinterest it is easier to find fashion inspiration. To beat my fashion doldrums, I scoured my fashion Pinterest board to find five outfits that I could recreate.

Day 1: bird print. I love that bird print is popular this fall. There are so many cute tees and blouses featuring birds. For the first day of this Pinned it challenge, I recreated this Pinterest outfit by pairing my black denim skirt with a white bird print blouse. Since I don’t have any tan booties, I wore my brown faux suede boots instead. I then completed the look with a chocolate brown leather jacket.


My Take:

Day 2: faux fur vest and stripes. There was something very trendy and sleek about this look that spoke to me. Now this is normally outside of my traditional comfort zone, but I thought I would give it a try. I paired a ¾ sleeve navy blue and cream striped tee under a dark gray faux fur vest. I then paired it with a dark teal denim skirt and a pair of black boots. The only things I didn’t have were the purse, gloves, or gold blouse. Still, close enough.


My Take:

Day 3: Magenta and animal print. Stacy London is one of my fashion inspirations. I particularly love this look. I recreated this look with a magenta pink skirt, black and white leopard print tee and a black jacket.


My Take:

Day 4: Pink and Gray. This outfit is so simple that it is elegant. I love that. While I am not a fan of cable knits or turtle necks, I found a way to recreate this look by using a gray denim skirt, and a light pink ¾ sleeve sweater. I then added my brown faux suede boots.


My Take:

Day 5: Hooray Sports! I am not a sports fan. So a football graphic tee does not suit my lifestyle. However, this hooray sports graphic tee does. I paired it with a distressed denim skirt and a gold jacket and brown faux suede boots, and a tan plaid scarf.


My Take:

Friday, November 17, 2017

What to Wear to Thanksgiving Dinner

Thanksgiving is just around the corner. Along with football, family, and the Thanksgiving Day Parade, is the main event: dinner. Whether you want to admit it or not, we all intend to eat as much as we possibly can. We also want to be incredibly comfortable before, during, and after we have eaten. Take that a step further and we ladies want to look fabulous at the same time.
Not everyone celebrates Thanksgiving in the same way. Some treat Thanksgiving as a special occasion to dress up for with friends and family members galore. Others still are a bit more casual in their attire. Others, still, are somewhere between the two. Regardless of the way you celebrate Thanksgiving, there is still a way to dress well and still be comfortable.

Dressed to the Nines. If getting dressed up for Thanksgiving Dinner is your thing, try a sweater dress and a faux fur vest. A sweater dress is soft, comfortable and still dressy enough for an evening meal with family and friends. A pair of tights, booties, and a faux fur vest adds a nice touch of texture and contrast without over doing it. Not the dress wearing kind of person. I can understand that. Instead of a dress opt for a nice plaid skirt (midi or maxi will do) an blouse in a mid to dark neutral such as navy, black, or camel, with interesting detail and a pair of booties will also do the trick.

For a dressier look, I chose this navy and burgundy plaid maxi skirt with an elastic waist band and hidden side zipper with a forest green draped blouse with rhinestones at the neckline. To complete the outfit I added a pair of black booties. The skirt is tailored enough to look nice and the elastic waist band provides comfort and the draping of the blouse coupled with the rhinestones adds a touch of elegance.

Dressy Casual. When it comes to Thanksgiving most of us like the idea of getting dressed up, but we like the idea of being comfortable. Why not marry the two together? Dressing up and being comfortable is easier than it might sound. A simple maxi skirt with a sweater allows you enough room to breathe (and eat) while looking adorable. Add a scarf in a complimentary color palette for visual interest.

There is nothing more casual than denim, let's be honest about that. To dress up this outfit, I selected a black denim skirt with a touch of shimmer woven into the fabric. I paired this skirt with a cranberry cowl neck sweater, burgundy and plaid shimmer scarf and red velvet flats. This outfit is both comfortable, casual, and yet dressy enough without looking too dressy.

Casual. America runs on casual. Just ask any of the international students that I used to teach. Americans love it when they can wear jeans and a tee shirt, and I am one of those people. Now that we are at the tail end of autumn, it is time to up the ante. Trade in that t-shirt for a sweater or a fun sweatshirt. Add a scarf and a cute pair of boots and you are on your way to a cute but casual outfit that will last you the day.

This outfit is one of my favorites. It is simple, causal, and fun. I paired this awesome medium wash stretch denim skirt with a rust brown sweater. I added a pair of brown boots and an orange and gold shimmer plaid scarf for an extra pop of fun. The stretch denim provides easy wear and comfort throughout the day, and the sweater is ruched on the sides to hide any unwanted attention at the mid section. P.S. ruching is great way to hide unwanted attention at the mid section, even when it is not Thanksgiving.

What is your favorite way to dress up for Thanksgiving?

Monday, November 13, 2017

Nifty Neutrals: Black Denim

Black is the most common neutral in everyone’s closet. In my opinion, many people have black in their closet because they believe it is slimming. Wrong. Fit over color- that’s the rule. However, people also think black is a safe color for them to wear when they want to hide. Black clothing should never be used as a crutch. Black clothing works and there is nothing wrong with it, but should be used sparingly. That is why I have saved black denim for last in my Nifty Neutrals series. I wanted you to see that there are other fabulous neutrals that work just as well as, and can even replace, black denim.
Black denim is great as a back drop that creates an incredibly stark contrast between it and the colors/patterns that are paired with it.

1. Neutrals. All neutrals look good with black. Brown and black, navy and black, olive and black; you get the point. They key to mixing your neutrals is to make it look intentional.

Spring/Summer: I kept the outfit casual by pairing a navy blue blouse under a dark wash denim jacket. The dark wash of the denim jacket also paired with a navy blue head wrap anchors the blue of the blouse to the skirt. For visual interest and an added pop of fun, add a pair of orange-red shoes.

Fall/Winter: never discount prints when doing neutrals. Prints are an easy to way to take the boring out of the standard black and white fair we often associate with pairing neutrals with black. I did this by pairing a black and white bird print blouse with my black denim skirt. I completed the look with a pair of black flats and a jade green head wrap.

2. Colors. All colors look great with black. They really do. When it comes to pairing colors with black it is about two things: which colors look best on your skin and for your age, and your personal preference. In my case, for my age (late 20s to early 30s) and for my skin tone, jewel tones are best. However, my personal preference is to lean towards brighter colors, which I do have to be careful with.

Spring/Summer: I paired coral and tropical teal together for a fantastic and bold look. The black of the denim skirt acts an anchor that makes these colors really pop. I completed the outfit with a hot pink head wrap and a pair of sandals.

Fall/Winter: Just because cooler temperatures prevail does not mean we have to give up on color. I kept everything on trend with this fantastic red cowl neck sweater, red and black shimmer plaid scarf, cranberry red head wrap, and gray suede boots. Red after all is the hottest color trend this season.

3. Denim/Chambray. For a causal Friday or weekend look, a chambray shirt paired with black denim is a chic way to do casual. Likewise, pairing a denim jacket with a cute blouse or tee if just as fabulous.

Spring/Summer: I opted for a completely different look this time around. I made my denim buckle ballet flats the focus of this outfit, by pairing a plain nutmeg tee with a knotted hem and a braided head wrap with brown and nutmeg accents.

Fall/Winter: I went with my standard denim button down blouse for this ensemble. I added a pair of giraffe print ballet flats and a cream braided head wrap for visual interest.

4. Prints. Prints always make a statement about who you are. Prints paired with black denim will stand out tenfold and take a simple closet staple from bland to fantastic. Another fun way to do prints is with a fun graphic or with a hint of shimmer.

Spring/Summer: In truth this outfit could really be worn at any time of the year. I however, especially love the concept of this idea in late winter to early spring. I paired my black denim skirt with a gray blouse with a metallic print. I added a pop of color with wine red velvet ballet flats and a silver blue head wrap.

Fall/Winter: Sometimes it is easy to push graphic prints to the back of our minds. However, they are a print. For this time of year, I love this rose pink sweater with a heart graphic paired with black denim, gray suede boots, and contrasted with a nutmeg brown head wrap.

5. Shimmer/Metallics. Shimmer and Metallics are a festive, bold, and romantic way to add visual interest to your outfit. Shimmer and Metallics-whether they be metal hardware on your blouse, sequins, or shimmer thread woven through the blouse- adds a special flare to your outfit.

Spring/Summer: Why not get dressed up for spring and summer with black denim and pale blue. I created this ensemble by pairing my black denim skirt with a pale blue faux wrap front sweater and a silver lace camisole. I completed the outfit with a pair of silver sequin flats and a silver blue head wrap.

Fall/Winter: When playing with metallics or any of the other style options mentioned above, always remember that adding texture is a great way to great visual interest. Denim on denim; lace on denim, or in this case, metallics, denim and faux fur. I created this outfit with mid autumn in mind. I paired a rust metallic print tee with my black denim skirt, and then topped it with a gray faux fur vest. I played off the brown undertones in tee by adding a nutmeg brown head wrap and a pair of brown boots.

Monday, November 6, 2017

November Style Tips

Well, these are rather some suggestions really. I gave consideration mostly to my region, but I also recognize that no matter where you live, the desert southwest and the Hawaiian Islands excluded, is going to be down right cold during November. As I began to write this post, I considered that weather patterns can change throughout any given month. The beginning of November is far different than the end of November. Stylistically, there are few things you can do on November 8th, that you cannot do on November 28th.
When styling your wardrobe for the Month of November, keep in mind your region, the weather you generally get, and how the pattern of weather changes. Across the board though, this is the time of the year when it does start to get cold.The average temperature for my section of Idaho in November is a crisp 53 degrees F. We also start to get windchills. So our 52 degree day feels more like a 45 degree day. Like October the temperature will ping pong, but not as bad. The temperature will generally maintain itself as it begin to drop into winter temperatures. The trick to November is dressing in layers without adding bulk.

Beginning of November: Most of what is worn are sweaters, though there is the odd occasion when a thick knit blouse is perfectly fine. Those much of what is worn are still boots and boot socks. Since 52 degrees paired with faux suede or faux leather boots is till relatively warm, I make sure my boot socks are a lighter weight so that my legs do not start to itch. Do you have a faux fur vest? This is the time of the year when it is still warm enough to wear it out of doors.

For example, a knee length denim skirt, a knit sweater, and a faux fur vest paired with a pair of boots is a cute and casual outfit for the early part of the month. If you live in an area that tends to get a lot of rain at this point in the year, an investment piece would be a solid pair of rain boots or duck boots.

Mid-November: The temperatures have begun their crescendo and occasional peak back up to warmer. This is where the transition from lighter weight boots socks transitions into fleece lined boot socks and fleece lined leggings/tights. While, the tights and leggings came out last month, this is about the time of year to begin wearing them.

For example, a heavier jacket, and knit sweater paired with this denim skirt and boots makes for an adorable outfit. The difference here is I have swapped lighter weight jackets worn in October for something a bit heavier. I have also added a pair of fleece lined tights. Fleece lined tights add warmth and a extra layer without looking bulky, best of all you can find fleece lined tights at any major department store for under ten dollars.

End of November: Simply put, it is blatantly cold at the end of the month. By now, the winter coat is out and ready to be worn, if it hasn’t been worn already. Beyond that, the rest of my wardrobe stays the same.

For example, I took the same outfit from above and swapped the heavier jacket for my winter coat. A winter coat like the one I have featured here is an investment piece. I have had this coat for 5 years and it is still going strong. When looking for a good winter coat, be prepared to spend more. Over the years that the coat will last you, you will get your money’s worth on it.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Nifty Neutrals: Khaki

I don’t know about you, but when I think of khaki, my mind immediately jumps to posh private schools, soccer moms, and that middle school teacher who always wore khaki pants and polos every day. To be quite honest, khaki is a bit of a snooze fest. At least that is the reputation it has developed. While khaki denim , like black denim, should never become the backbone or crutch of a wardrobe, it should never be discounted.

1. Jewel Tones. If you have been reading any of my colored denim skirt series or my nifty neutrals series, then you know that I love jewel tones. For us ladies in our late twenties or older, jewel tones make us look more polished and put together. Paired with khaki denim it makes for great work day wear.

Fall/Winter: For the colder months of the year, I paired this khaki denim skirt with a deep teal blouse with a floral lace yoke. I added a pair of gray faux suede boots, and a charcoal head wrap.

Spring/Summer: For the warmer months of the year, I paired a short sleeve tropical teal sweater with my khaki denim skirt, a pair of beaded sandals, and jade green head wrap.

2. Brights. Bright colors add personally and zest to an outfit, and to a wardrobe for that matter! A bright blouse paired with khaki immediately livens up this often bland neutral and gives it bold personality.

Fall/Winter: I like the contrast of something like a bright mint blue and a dark gray for winter and late fall. I kept that contrast as the focal point of this outfit by styling a bright mint blue 3/4 sleeve sweater under a faux fur vest in dark gray. I added a pair of gray faux suede boots and a jade green head wrap to compliment the mint blue.

Spring/Summer: What would summer be with out hot pink? Uninspired if you ask me. Then again I love hot pink in summer. That's why for this outfit, I paired a short sleeve sweater in hot tropical pink with beaded sandals and an apple green head wrap for contrast.

3. Denim. I had a hard time with this one. Normally I associate denim and khaki with soccer moms running to the grocery store before a game to buy capri suns and twinkies for an after game snack. It’s a one note wonder. Then it dawned on me, aren’t pastel florals always paired with denim and khakis? Usually. The key to pairing denim with khaki is this: Make your shirt or blouse the focal point. It has to have visual interest. Next, the denim must be dark wash. Dark wash denim is mature and sophisticated.

Fall/Winter: I kept the outfit simple. I paired my khaki skirt with a dark wash button down denim shirt, brown faux suede boots, and a sage green head wrap. For added pizazz layer a complimentary or contrasting tank top underneath the denim shirt. You can even added a faux fur vest over the top of the denim shirt as well.

Spring/Summer: Likewise, I kept this outfit supper simple. I paired my khaki denim skirt with a dark wash denim shirt, a pair of giraffe print flats and a hot pink head wrap.

4. Prints. I struggled with this part. To be honest, there is something about a print and khaki that simply makes me want to scream, and not for joy. I tossed it around, let it mull over in my mind for a few weeks. The more I thought about my aversion to prints and khaki, the more I began to notice that I had an aversion to pastel floral prints and stripes. While, I will not feature either floral prints and stripes together with a khaki denim skirt, I will showcase a couple printed tops that work well with khaki.

Fall/Winter: Since it is fall. I mean, November is basically here, I kept the fall color palette in mind as I created this outfit. I paired khaki denim with a rust blouse with a leaf print. I then added an light sage green jacket, brown faux suede boots, and copper velvet head wrap to complete the look.

Spring/Summer: I wanted to keep things away from the traditional floral prints of spring by pairing this icy blue confetti print blouse with khaki and a pair of orange-red flats for a fun contrast.

5. Metallics and Shimmer. As with any neutral shimmer and metallic add a special quality to your look. With khaki it will make it look more dressy and more festive. However, I recommend using metallic and shimmer (unless it is a color like cranberry) as a part of your accessories. Shimmer functions well as a subtle accent to a blouse or as a focal point in an accessory.

Fall/Winter: Red and pink are hot colors this fall. Especially red. However, I tend to be a fan of pink, therefore, it was a no brainer for me to pair this silver top with pink metallic thread with my khaki denim skirt. To complete the look I added dark pink velvet flats and a rose pink head wrap.

Spring/Summer: For a little taste of paradise, I paired a khaki denim skirt with a coral tee with gold embossed pineapples. I completed the look with a pair of beaded sandals and a chambray head wrap.

6. Neutrals. Normally, I begin each section with neutrals as they are easier to work with and often a person’s go to piece. As khaki is a neutral, all other neutrals will look good with khaki. Personally, though, I would leave out one neutral: Navy. Unless you intend to look like an employee of a major American department store, keep navy and khaki separate.

Fall/Winter: During the colder months, I opted to pair a black sweater with crochet lace sleeves with my khaki denim skirt. I added a pair of silver sequin shoes for visual interest and a garnet red head wrap for a pop of color.

Spring/Summer: I went more for spring with this outfit. I paired a gray knit blouse with a lace yoke with khaki. To complete the look I added dark pink velvet flats and a light pink head wrap.