Spring 2022 Color Palate

I always find it fascinating how the color palate for the season is a reflection of what is happening around us and how we are feeling about it emotionally. Keep in mind, that these spring colors were chosen by designers over a year ago when fabric teams and design teams began to imagine this season’s colors and styles.

Join me for a minute and think back to January of 2021. Do you remember what you were feeling? We had just finished 2020, and I remember hoping we were leaving Covid behind us, having just come out of a very difficult fall and winter with Covid infections and deaths. I felt shell shocked and yet hopeful, the way you leave a bad year behind and look forward to better times as the new year comes.

So it is out of this diverse state of needing comfort, familiarity and stability while at the same time needing to find hope and joy again that this season’s color palate and styles were born. This is how Leatrice Eisemen, Executive Director of the Pantone Color Institute, defines the season, “Colors for Spring 2022 bring together our competing desires for comforting familiarity and joyful adventure through a range of soothing and timeless colors, along with joyous hues that celebrate playfulness. As we enter this new landscape, one where fashion rules no longer apply, hues for Spring 2022 allow us to mix and marry as we please, encouraging the exploration of new chromatic realities, opening the door for personalized style and spontaneous color statements.” (https://www.pantone.com/articles/fashion-color-trend-report/new-york-fashion-week-spring-summer-2022)

Spring/Summer 2022 Color Palate, Pantone

As you look at this palate of colors, what feels familiar? Are there colors that you have seen before in previous seasons? What feels comforting or reminds you of a peaceful place? What feels playful? What brings you joy?

We all might answer these questions differently, but as for me, I’ve seen soft blues like Spun Sugar and pinks like Gossamer Pink for several seasons now, even in winter. Bright sunshine yellows life Daffodill as well as deeper mustards have also been consistent over the past several seasons. Denim blue is always foundational, so the Skydiver color feels familiar to me and grounding. Harbor Blue and Glacier Lake remind me of the ocean and a summer sky, so they make me feel comforted. Coca Mocha reminds me of my favorite latte and brings up images of holding a steaming cup of goodness. Dahlia, Innuendo and Poinciana are bright and playful colors, suggesting adventure and joy.

My pairing suggestions are to keep the softer, more pastel colors together as well as the bright colors together. The navy blue is your neutral, and every color in the palate besides the Cocoa Mocha will match well with it. Pair Cocoa Mocha with Gossamer Pink.

Spring/Summer Core Classic Colors for 2022, Pantone

This next grouping of colors are what we consider neutrals and foundational colors for the season. You can see that they are all easy to wear shades in soft flesh tones and greys. And then there is Basil. Does it seem out of place to you? Consider what green connotes – Pantone mentiones health and wellness, but green also symbolizes growth, newness, life, vitality, and change. Is it any wonder, coming out of 2020, that this color was included as a core color for the season? Pair Basil with any of these other neutrals for a delightful pop of color. The Poppy Seed will be a great grounding color for the brighter colors in the previous palate and the Northern Droplet will look beautiful for the softer, more pastel colors.

As you begin to shop for new items to add to your spring and summer wardrobe, you will likely be seeing these colors and versions of these colors in your favorite clothing lines. Pay attention to the emotional feeling they evoke for you. As a repesentation of our greatest hopes and desires, they are also a means to find healing. Look for colors that bring you comfort as well as those that inspire you to seek new adventure and find joy.

Watch my live video teaching series called Wednesday Wardrobing each Wednesday at 6 p.m. MST. I will be beginning my Seasonal Trends series tomorrow night and showing you examples of these colors and also how to pair them. Find out more about this series here and join to get messaged reminders of the videos. These classes are only broadcast in our VIP Facebook Group. You can join and watch live here: Fashion Crossroads Fashionistas.

Closet Clean Out Challenge One: Get Organized

pearsonphoto2018_102It’s a New Year.  How about a New You? With a year full of possibilities ahead, why not shake off that dead weight? I don’t know about you, cleaning out the old and bringing in the new feels like a great way to start the year.  That’s why I am doing a “New Year New You Closet Clean Out Challenge.” Want to know more? Read on…

There is something about getting organized that is so refreshing.  Shedding clutter makes me feel lighter, what about you? One of the most important places to get organized is in your closet.  We all know the frustration of searching for an outfit in the morning and pulling out item after item that is worn out, too big, too small or out dated.  Ugh.

I have a four-step system that I use every year in my own closet that is very effective in weeding out the items that I don’t wear and identifying items that require a match or another item to make them work more efficiently in my wardrobe.  I also find that when I take the time to apply these four simple steps, when I am finished, I can clearly see what I have and what I need.  Suddenly, I see new outfit options that I hadn’t noticed before because everything is organized in a way that makes sense.

This blog post is the first in a series of four New Year, New You, New Closet tutorials that will take you through this process, and hopefully, have you feeling lighter and de-cluttered as well as excited about your closet and shopping opportunities again.  I’ll be recording a video of today’s blog post during my weekly Wednesday Night Wardrobing Live Video broadcast within our VIP Facebook Group, Fashion Crossroads Fashionistas. Here’s a link to join the class: https://fb.me/e/2adC8R5Bm

So let’s dig in.

First, do me and yourself a favor.  As you complete the following steps, if you come across an item that you KNOW you will never wear again, pull it out now.  Don’t get bogged down yet in trying to decide about those scared cows…you know, the things you just can’t seem to let go of even though you haven’t worn them in 3 years.  We will deal with those in our next video.

Now, down to business.  The first step is to organize your closet by type.  First, separate your tops from your bottoms.  Put dresses in a separate section.  Now, organize your tops by sleeve length – short, ¾ and long.  Next, separate your tops by type.  Within the sleeve length grouping, separate the collared blouses from the pull overs.  If you have more than one season in the same closet, also separate summer from winter within each of the groups.  When you are finished, you should have your sleeveless tops grouped together.  Next should come your short sleeve tops and then your long sleeved tops, summer together and winter together.

Now do the same thing with your bottoms. Start with shorts and move to capris, ankle pants and long pants.  Then, within each group, separate by fabric.  Put your denim together, cottons together, slacks together, etc.  Then tackle your skirts, and organize them from shortest to longest.

I bet you feel lighter already! One more step! Now, within each group, organize them by color using the acronym ROYGBIV.  This stands for red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet.  Group like colors together.  For example, your pink tops will go next to the reds and your turquoise tops will go next to green or blue, depending on what hue the turquoise is.  Put your black, white and brown at the end.  Group your ivory and cream after white.  Next come the tans and browns.  Last, put your greys after the blacks.

Now, go have a glass of wine! You did it!

You have a week to enjoy your newly organized closet.  Watch for my next blog post and video called Closet Clean Out Challenge Two: Renew and Refresh.  In these tutorials, we will take a look at what you have and figure out what you need to get rid of and what you need to keep.

To watch my weekly Wednesday Night Wardrobing live videos where I will explain in more detail each of the steps, join my Fashion Crossroads Fashionistas VIP group page on Facebook and tune in Wednesday night at 6 p.m. MST.  I’ll be doing some fun giveaways at the end of the four part series which I will explain in this week’s video.

Happy organizing!

What We Will And Won’t Be Seeing On Wyoming Streets This Spring and Summer

I always have to laugh when I do my research for a trend review. I have my go to sources like In Style and Glamour magazine, but honestly, half of what they highlight, will never be mainstream here because, frankly, it is just too out there. Wyoming style is always practical; our weather makes it so. It has a hint to classic elegance if its dressy and mountain towns if it is casual. So what usually happens is we see elements of the trends without seeing the full trend.

As I looked through various trend reviews, I saw trends like low slung waists, super mini skirts, super sheer tops and pants, fringe, netted knits, ruffle explosions that looked like birthday cakes, ginormous (and I do mean HUGE) handbags, prairie inspired clothing, highlighter yellow, and crazy metallics all highlighted. No way.

Here is what we will see:

  1. Smocked and puffed sleeves on tops: this originates from the prairie trend, and I have seen Democracy doing this for two seasons now, but instead of putting this trend on prairie plaids, they have done it on animal printed tops.
  2. Straight leg crops with embellished legs: Practically every pant I have coming in from my brands this season is embellished in some way or colored. The focus is really on different and new
  3. Wide leg pants, with a move away from skinny legs: Some trend reports I read seem to suggest that skinny pants are totally out, but I have fringed hem skinny jeans in from Democracy this season. Be careful of the “what not to wear” bloggers. They may be representing a certain segment of fashion, but I’ll know skinny pants are out when I can’t find them anymore at market, and that is NOT the case.
  4. Denim Jackets: I’ve seen this trend for the last two seasons. While winter seemed to focus on denim colors, spring and summer are focused more on colored denim jackets.
  5. Camo Joggers: the jogger trend has been with us for several seasons, but adding a fun camo print or embellishments takes it to a new place.
  6. Metallic elements on tops: while I doubt I will see full on metallic on the streets of Casper, I am seeing the trend show up in simple ways like a metallic placard as a detail item.
  7. Super feminine prints, especially in dresses: this is the season to wear floral prints when you wear a dress. This is take off from the ultra feminine trends that are leading to the ruffle explosions on the runway. We tone it down here in good ol’ Wyo to just sweet prints.
  8. Bold colors: head to toe highlighter yellow will get you run out of town here, but a bright pop of color is always fun. You will be seeing neon colors similar to your favorite pack of highlighters, but they will be an accent or be relegated to a top.
  9. Button down blouses. Collared blouses have been strong for several seasons and they continue to be. This season, however, the fabrics are soft and draped.
  10. Colored leather handbags. If you are tired of your basic brown or black handbag, you will love all the amazing colors in leather this season. Our new HOBO shipment contains cactus green, merlot, mustard, citron green, ice blue, and sky blue, to name just a few of the fun new colors.

One blogger did say something I agree with….put your comfy, soft, I stayed home all day clothes away for staying at home! We can get out again. Dress like you mean it!

New Year New You Closet Clean Out Challenge: Organize Those Accessories

Chilling in Downtown Casper

In this last step to creating an organized closet, I am tackling organizational strategies for your accessories. A true Fashionista’s style is never complete without the finishing touches, and dis-organized accessories can be as frustrating as disorganized clothing. First, you need to apply the same closet organization techniques I taught you in step one. Then, you need to consider the things you have been holding onto and take yourself through my 10 questions so you can let them go! That’s step two. Once this is completed and you have gotten rid of the dead weight in your closet, it is time to take stock of what you need and start being a smart shopper by creating a shopping list and educating yourself about your best and most flattering colors. That’s step three. Step four is to apply all of these steps to your accessories, including your shoes, purses, scarves and jewelry. I have also done live videos on each step. These can be found in our VIP Facebook Group in the media tab. Let’s jump in.

  1. For shoes I recommend trying to group shoes by their category: tall boots, shoe boots, heels, casual/sporty, and flats. I like to separate my summer shoes from my winter shoes, so I have a cubby organizer for my summer shoes and shelves for my winter boots. I have friends that also use shoe boxes with labels or clear plastic shoe boxes to organize their shoes. You can still find the over the door shoe holders as well if you are limited on space. Perhaps you can use a bin to store your summer shoes when it is winter and vice versa. While you are organizing, make sure you are also examining your shoes. How is the tread? Are the toes scuffed? Do they look worn and outdated? When was the last time you wore them? Get rid of shoes that are outdated, worn out or so uncomfortable you never wear them (Refer to step two to help you decide). Create a trash pile and a donate pile. As you eliminate a style, write it down on your shopping list (step three) if you need to replace it. When you are all done, take stock of what you have (step 3). Are you over stocked in a certain style like shoe boots but don’t have a single tall boot? Additionally, with your colored shoes, consider if they are in your best colors (step 3). If you are an autumn and have bright cherry red heels, you are probably not going to find much in your closet to go with those. Wine colored heels would be a much better choice.
  2. For necklaces, I think organizing them by length and color makes the most sense. I have a multi-pronged hanger in my closet that I have my necklaces hanging on. They are organized from shortest to longest. I have grouped similar colors together as well. When I go through my annual closet clean out, I consider which necklaces I haven’t worn and analyze why (step 2). I have my earrings in a jewelry box with several small, earring sized boxes. I keep the basic, every day gold and silver on top and then have the colored earrings in the drawers. I also keep my dressy jewelry separate from my more casual pieces.
  3. For handbags, I have them sitting on shelves from smallest to biggest. Handbags work great in square baskets as well and can sit underneath your clothing if you don’t have shelves in your closet. I highly recommend that you apply the principles of your best colors (step three) to get rid of handbags that are not in your palate. When you build your wardrobe around your best colors and buy those colors in your accessories, handbags and coats, you end up with a very put together look that always matches. You avoid the hot pink purse with a red coat and olive pants debacle.
  4. For scarves, I recommend laying them out in a drawer or in a slim basket that you can slide under your bed. Having them piled so high that you have to dig through them isn’t very efficient, especially at 6 a.m. Organize them by color and type. Keep your outdoor scarves separate from your outfit scarves and your wraps separate from those. I put my wraps with my sweaters which are folded on the top shelf of my closet.

At the end of the day, an organized closet will save you time getting ready in the morning. And, while we are on that subject, a well thought out outfit rarely happens with sleep in your eyes. Choose what you will wear at the end of your day before you go to bed. Get everything ready, including what jewelry and shoes you will wear. Take the time to change your handbag, if needed. Consider what coat will look the best so you don’t pair your puffer jacket with a dress, as an example. When you feel put together, your confidence will go up exponentially. It is worth the extra few minutes to do this before bed.

Well, that is it!! You made it!! Congratulations on your newly organized closet. I know you will enjoy getting ready ever so much more now! Tune into next month’s blog and live video series where I will be talking Spring 2022 fashion trends, including color, style and fabric trends. I am also headed to market next month, so you will want to join our VIP Facebook group so you can follow along with my market journey and have a good laugh at the best and worst things I see each day. I will also be asking for your feedback on whether I should buy certain lines! You can get all of that on Fashion Crossroads Fashionistas.

Gifts for a Grinch: Easy Gift Ideas When You Don’t Know What To Buy

Sometimes, the struggle of not knowing what to buy someone makes us a little Grinch like. It isn’t that we don’t want to spoil someone or we are cheap, it may just be that we have no idea what to buy and hate the idea of having our gifts just returned after the holidays are over. As a business owner of a women’s clothing store for the last twenty-two years, I have some experience with helping men at Christmas time! Here are my top 5 suggestions for making a great gift choice and getting you out of your Grinchish mindset.

  1. Dressy Jewelry: Most women that I know love beautiful things, like sparkly earrings or, even better, a whole necklace set. The downside with buying precious gem jewelry is that not only is it expensive, but it limits you. That’s why I love our convertible jewelry line called Myka from Canada. This jewelry line offers lovely detachable pendants, chains and matching earrings so your special gal can add to it over time and build her collection. All of the crystals, pearls and elements are genuine Swarovski, which is unsurpassed for quality and sparkle. All of the chains, pendants and earrings are plated in Rhodium that won’t ever tarnish or fade or needs polishing. Additionally, I love jewelry as a gift because every time she wears it, she will think of you!

2. Jewelry with a story: A gift is also special when it has a story, and buying it makes us feel like we are doing something good for the planet and to help those in need. For this reason, I also like our Tagua jewelry. It is much more earthy than the Myka pictured above because it is made from the Tagua fruit, which is found primarily in the Ecuadorian forest. The fruit falls from the tree and hardens into a Tagua nut that is very similar in look and feel to ivory. In fact, the Tagua nut is sometimes referred to as vegetable ivory. These nuts are carved, died, tumbled an assembled by Ecuadorian artisans. It is fair trade and sustainable. The other thing I love about this line is that each of the necklaces are adjustable so they can be worn at various lengths.

3. Exquisite Leather Goods: Women love their handbags, and they love them to not only be functional but also to make a statement. If she is a leather lover and appreciates quality, may I suggest a HOBO handbag. This third generation handbag maker uses premium leather produced in their own tanneries. This means that you will never see the leather on any other handbag besides a HOBO handbag. The quality of the leather is apparent immediately by the feel and smell of the bag. A HOBO handbag owner myself, I can tell you these bags are well designed and very user friendly. They are also always on trend with the latest handbag colors and style trends.

4. Limited Edition Leather Goods: We women love to have something unique that we know will some day be a collectors item so that when someone asks us where we got it, we can say, “Oh, this isn’t available any more.” So sad for you! This is why I love our Anuschka handbag line that is hand painted by artisans in India. Anuschka develops copyrighted art work each season for their handbags and then retires that artwork after a year of so of use. Since the art is never repeated, her handbag becomes a collectors item. It is truly a special gift. The high quality leather just gets softer and softer with use, and Anuschka puts a lot of thought into the design of their bags, always including handy pockets for the gal who likes to be organized. Each bag is hand signed by a member of the family.

5. Items That Connect To Lifestyle: Another sure fire way to make a great gift choice is to choose an item that supports or highlights a lifestyle. An example of this is our Vintage Addiction crossbody bags that are made from recycled military tent canvas. These handbags have repaired tears and stains that tell the story of the canvas that was used to shelter a member of the military. The art work on the front is all original, and the utilitarian and casual style makes them a great choice for every day use. These bags will be loved by anyone with a military connection.

Hat And Glove Trends For Fall 2021

We often talk about clothing trends mainly as they correlate to color, fabric and style. Oftentimes, accessory trends are over looked. This is too bad really because making the wrong choice in your accessories, can effect your whole look. Choosing an out of date hat style, as an example, can your whole outfit feel out of date.

As a result, I wanted to take a little time today to talk about some hat and glove trends that are important for the season. This is by no means an exhaustive list, but these are the trends that I think most women can wear with confidence. Here is what I think you need to know:

HAT TRENDS:

  1. WIDE BRIMMED HATS (upper right picture): This style is great with jeans, plaids and vests. It also looks amazing with dresses and jump suits, as it lends itself to be paired up with shoe boots. The most common and easiest to pair hat colors are tans, browns and blacks.
  2. BEANIES (middle picture): Not only are beanies functional to keep your head warm, they can add a lot of style to your look. while you might be tempted to just grab any old beanie out of your drawer and throw it on, let me suggest you start pairing your beanie with your outfit. Match the colors and style. These trendy hats come in lots of different options, from slouchy to those with poms and those without. Choose what style fits your personality and look the best. Slouchy hats work well with urban styles and are a bit younger. Poms add a touch of whimsey.
  3. BANDEAUS (top left picture): These ingenious head accessories are essentially a tube that can be worn in a multitude of different ways. It is fun to wear them as a head band, like I’ve done here, and match the colors with your outfit. It just takes your style up a notch, while still protecting your ears on cooler days and nights. You can also pull them down and use them as a neck scarf or turn them into a beanie.

GLOVE TRENDS:

  1. PHONE FRIENDLY FINGERS: I’m sure you have had the experience of having to take your gloves off to use your cell phone. Glove companies have gotten smart and have added smart phone friendly fingers so you don’t have to freeze your hands to use your phone.
  2. FINGERLESS GLOVES: Another option for making cell phone use easier is to go with fingerless gloves. These hand coverings basically protect your thumb and wrist while allowing your fingers to be out. They can be utilitarian or fun and trendy with animal prints and fur
  3. PRINTED GLOVES; Just because you need to wear glasses, doesn’t mean you need to wear BORING glasses. In the same way, just because you need to wear gloves, doesn’t mean they need to be black. It is fun to match your hats and gloves together to create a coordinating style. You can then coordinate them with a vest, scarf or coat so you look all pulled together.

Want to see some examples of these trends? Watch my live Wednesday Night Wardrobing video tonight in our VIP Facebook Group at 6 p.m. MST.

Key Shoe Trends For Fall

From fun tennis shoes to loafers and shoe boots, this season’s shoe trends are sure to make your feet smile!

Here are a few of my favorite new trends:

1. Printed tennis shoes: Our love of sneakers goes way back, but I don’t remember a time when they have been such a key part of dressed up casual style as they are today. Whether it is a platform Nike tennis shoe or fun ones like the leopard print shown here on the top row, make sure you up your tennis shoe game this season! Wear them with cuffed ankle jeans and joggers.

2. Loafers: One of the first nice pair of shoes I ever owned was a Cole Haan penny loafer. Boy, I sure wish I still had those shoes! Loafers are a great alternative to a ballerina flat and almost as versatile. I am loving these souped up loafers in plum with the big flower (top row). Wear them with slacks, straight leg pants and bootcut pants.

3. Sleek shoe boots: You can never go wrong with a classically styled shoe boot that is elegant and clean. It can be dressed up or down. I am so enamored with this new classy black boot that has just arrived (top row). Wear them with dresses and skirts, over leggings, and with cuffed ankle boots.

4. Embellished shoe boots: When you want a little extra pizazz on your feet, try a shoe boot that combines different colors and textures. Also look for lots of belt and buckle details this season. Wear them with colored denim, cuffed to hit at the top of the boot.

5. Heels: Sometimes, the only style that will really do a look justice is a heel. When the dress is simple and solid, a great printed heel like the one pictured here on the bottom row is just what you need to take your style to a whole new level! I also love the Mary Jane style. Wear them with solid dresses, solid slacks, and solid palazzo pants.

You can see all of these shoes in my live Wednesday Night Wardrobing video airing tonight at 6 p.m. MST. Join our VIP Facebook Group to watch.

5 Surprising Colors To Pair With Mustard

Mustard is such a trendy color for the season, but it can be a bit intimidating to wear because many women don’t know what to pair with it. Let me assure you, mustard is a surprisingly easy color to pair up with a multitude of colors. The images above demonstrate how great it looks with black and olive, but this blog is about some pairing options that might surprise you.

Before we dive into color pairings, let’s talk a little about mustard as a color. First of all, there are a lot of variations of this color out there. Just imagine the condiments isle at the grocery store. The classic French’s mustard is what most of us think of when we picture this color. It is a traditional mustard. But…if you like dijon mustards, you know those come in a variety of yellows and extend into even some browns. Likewise, you will see many variations of mustard in clothing. Choose a mustard based upon your underlying skin tone. If you are warm toned, you can lean more toward the caramels. If you are cool toned, lean more toward the yellows. In my opinion, the easiest mustard to work with is the traditional color. For me, the pants featured in the pictures to the far right and left are a great example.

So let’s talk surprising color pairings:

  1. Rust: This super trendy color for this season looks amazing with mustard and is particularly good if you have warm toned skin. The combination feels earthy and very fall, harkening to the colors of falling leaves in October.
  2. Olive: Another great option for warm toned gals is olive. Like rust, it also feels earthy with mustard, but it adds a sense of the early fall, just as the grass is starting to change color in preparation for winter.
  3. Navy: Tending more toward the cool tones, navy is another great option with mustard and is a way for a woman with blue undertones in her skin to wear this traditionally warm color. Navy and mustard remind me of an autumn sun contrasted against an evening sky.
  4. Artic Blue: This brighter blue, some call it Ocean Blue, is also great for cool skin tones and works amazing with mustard. It is one of those colors that surprise people when I hold it up against mustard to show them how easily it pairs. It feels a bit like the ocean with a setting sun upon it.
  5. Emerald Green: A classic cool color, this lovely shade of green is perfect with mustard and offers yet another way for a cool skin tone to wear it. Emerald always reminds me of the mountains here in Wyoming and the pine trees. If you imagine a pine tree cast against a warm sun, you can imagine how these two colors work great together.

When you put two very different colors together, even when they pair up well, it always a good idea to find a third item, like a scarf, that helps tie everything together. In fact, I often use scarves to discover unique color pairings that I have not considered. This will make your whole look cohesive. You can do the same thing with a necklace or handbag too.

If you want some more ideas for ways to style mustard, check out my featured collection this week which focuses on this topic. You can find it here: Kyleen’s Picks Of The Week. Happy pairing! You can also watch my training video on this topic in our VIP Facebook Group called Fashion Crossroads Fashionistas. It airs Wednesday nights at 6 p.m. MST.

XOXO Kyleen

5 Ways To Make Casual Friday A Slam Dunk

Casual Friday means employees get a green light to wear jeans at work, but most employers want a dressed up casual style that still feels professional but is less dressy than the normal Monday through Thursday dress code requires. As a society, we are becoming more and more casual, and sometimes we forget how to do a casual style that is more than yoga pants and a sweatshirt. This blog post will give you 5 tips for making your Casual Friday wardrobe a slam dunk that still makes you feel great in your clothes and offers elevated style that is appropriate for work.

Tip #1: “Joggers” or pants that are banded at the bottom but slimmer in fit than a typical sweat pant are a trendy style right now. Most of us wouldn’t even consider wearing a jogging pant or sweat pant to work, but when you put this style in the right fabric, it can totally work. Take this olive green jogger set that is in the first picture as an example. Because this look is using a heavy weight travel knit that is a dressy and luxurious fabric, suddenly this style is taken up to a level worthy of the office.

Tip #2: Layer, layer, layer. You can easily dress up a simple sweater and jeans with a vest and boot and make the whole look not only trendy but dressy enough for the office on a Friday. Feminine details like the puffed sleeve on this sweater also add an element of dressiness. Clean jeans that don’t have any distressing can still be trendy when you have a bitty bootcut, like this style in picture number 2.

Tip #3: Printed denim is so in, and you can easily dress it up with the right top. I love how this waffle knit in olive green in picture number 3 is elevated by the banded bottom and the feminine button detailing on the sleeve. Look for added details like these to really help you do dressed up casual. The other tip that makes this look work is the dressy shoe boot and matching handbag. Keep in mind, your accessories really matter. This look, for example, would take on a whole different feeling with loafers, as an example.

Tip #4: Wear a blouse as a “shacket.” Stylish women have been using this trick for ions. Something magical happens when you take a simple blouse and layer it over a tank. It dresses the whole look up and adds dimension. This is another example of how layering can be used to give your look more dimension and style. The dark denim, skinny jeans and high wedges also help this look to be dressier, as do the accessories and handbag.

Tip #5: Take a work blouse, like the look in picture number 5, and make it more casual by pairing it with colored denim, which is dressier than regular denim. Oftentimes, it is difficult to tell if a colored bottom is actually a jean, so many women can get away with wearing colored denim for their Monday through Thursday office looks. Complete the look with some dressy shoe boots and a fun handbag, and you have a dressed up casual style that will have you feeling comfy and classy.

These tips can also work for dressing for work related travel when you need to be comfortable but still look nice when you arrive. If you want to see some more ideas, watch my live video tonight at 6 p.m. MST. In the mean time…thank goodness it is almost Friday! I hope you will try out some of these tips!

The Rules Of Getting All Dressed Up Have Changed

I would say nine times out of ten, when a customer comes in looking for an outfit to wear to a wedding, she comes in looking for a dress. While I love a great dress, there are so many other ways to look dressy enough for a wedding without limiting yourself to only a dress. As our society gets more and more casual, pants, skirts and leggings are getting more and more accepted within the realm of business professional and also for special occasions. Honestly, the rules for getting all dressed up have changed.

The difficulty with a dress is you have to deal with the nylon issue. It is not fashionable right now to wear nylons, and while tights are making a come back, women of a certain age don’t often feel confident enough to go bear legged. Let’s face it, when you are fifty and over, your legs just don’t look the way they did in your twenties. And even if you have great legs, you might now have unsightly veins and discolorations that you don’t really want to leave uncovered. So what is a girl to do? It is a real problem. Do you look unfashionable by wearing nylons or do you feel exposed and uncomfortable having to show off your legs. Certainly there are options to get around this…you can wear a maxi dress that comes to the floor, or maybe cowboy boots that cover your legs, but both of those options add new wrinkles like creating a style that can work with the wedding and cowboy boots, as an example.

This is why it always surprises me when women are dead set on wearing a dress to a wedding rather than branching out to the much more convenient and easy to wear related separates option. I just dated myself there a bit. The term “related separates” is an old fashioned retail term used by manufactures to describe an outfit that is designed to go together and looks paired but includes two to three different items. The down side to this option is it usually costs a bit more because you are buying three items instead of one. The up side, however, is that if you are smart, you can get two to three great pieces that can stand on their own and be worn with other things in your closet. To me, this is a BIG win. Dresses can only be worn with themselves, and in this way, they are limiting.

Oftentimes, when I have a customer that is in this dress or die mindset, I have to move her, carefully, through all of her options. We start by looking at the dresses, and inevitably, all the problems with dresses surface. This one is too long. This one is too short. This one needs a cover up because she doesn’t want to show her arms. If we do make it to the dressing room, then other problems arise. If we get it to fit her bust, it is too big everywhere else. Or, vice versa, if it fits her hips and rear, it is too big in the shoulders and neck. You see, by their nature, dresses are designed for a woman who is the same size top to bottom. But really, who do you know that actually can say they wear an 8 or small on the top and an 8 or small on the bottom? It is rare that we are proportioned that evenly. If you have ever struggled to find a dress, even though you really wanted to find one, this is probably the reason.

So after some pain in the dressing room, I will usually, tentatively say, “What do you think about a skirt and top? Or what about a dressy pant and top?” We then have the obligatory, “Is it okay to wear pants to a wedding?” conversation, to which I assure her that it is totally okay. Honestly, in my twenty plus years of getting women dressed for the most swank special occasions like Governor’s Ball or weddings on the East coast, my favorite looks were never dresses. That is not to say that I didn’t have some women who looked amazing in the dresses that they purchased. I’m just saying that my favorites were…well….not the dresses.

I write all of this to perhaps open your mind to this idea of showing up to your special event in an elegant pant or skirt outfit and not a dress. At the end of the day, you will be more comfortable, and you are way more likely to wear those pieces again with other items in your closet.

It is okay that rules of getting all dressed up have changed. We just have to accept that they have.

6 Styles For The Perfect Bonfire Night

The warm orange glow of a fire that crackles softly in the cool, crisp air; the warmth of a cup of hot chocolate in the palms of your hands; the soft Chenille of a cozy sweater; the tip of a nose turned red by the first cold fall night….oooh, I can hardly wait!

Truth be told, while I love summer and all the wonderful things I get to do, my favorite season is fall. I love everything about fall because, here in Wyoming, it is a time of transition – the season between the heat of summer and the dead of winter; I look forward to it every year. And, in my opinion, fall clothes are THE BEST clothes. It isn’t cold enough to warrant a heavy winter coat, so we get to wear soft and cozy sweaters, warm down vests, trendy capes, cute hats and scarves, tall boots, shoe boots and, my favorite, UGGS.

So today’s blog post is all about dressing for those bonfire nights and staying trendy and fashionable while you do it. Whether you are on a hay ride, finding your way through a corn maze, sitting by a campfire roasting hot dogs, attending a loved one’s football game or cheering on our good ol’ Wyoming Cowboys, these tips will ensure you look great while you are doing it.

My favorite fall trends for those bonfire nights:

  1. The Shacket: this combination between a shirt and jacket is like wearing your dad’s heavy weight camping flannel. The oversized fit means you can layer it over other things and also makes it perfect to pair with the season’s trendy leggings. Add some shoe boots or tall boots and a coordinating hat and scarf, and you will have a trendy fall style, perfect for whatever fun you have in mind.
  2. The Chenille Sweater: sweaters are huge this season and Chenille (ultra soft yarn) abounds. This fabric just oozes comfort and cozy. You’ll be giving yourself hugs, I promise.
  3. Wide brimmed Fedora: Your fall look won’t be complete without a brushed velvet Fedora. This style works well with plaid blouses, shackets, capes, and more. Match your hat to your shoes and handbag for a the classic classy lady style.
  4. Plaid Shirts: My sixteen year old daughter calls these her “flannels.” I haven’t pointed out to her that flannel is a fabric and what she really means to say is “plaid,” which is the print. Ugh…did I just sound like an English teacher? (You can take the girl out of the classroom but not the classroom out of the girl! He he.) At any rate, my daughter is enamored with paid shirts because they are so trendy and they work so well over the cropped tops she loves to wear with her high waisted shorts and jeans. Wear them open, partially buttoned, tied…you choose, but make sure you have a plaid shirt this season.
  5. Suede or faux leather leggings: the great thing about this trend is these fabrics are ever so much warmer than cotton knit, so here in the west, we love this trend! Pair them with a cute graphic tee and a long sweater cardigan. Wear them with a tunic length shacket. Match them to a longer sweater. The best thing about this style is you will be as comfortable as you are fashionable for all those cool weather activities.
  6. Puffy down vests: these will just not go away, and it is probably because they are the perfect transitional item for fall when you don’t quite need a coat, but a sweater is just not enough. Choose one in a trendy fall color like olive, rust or mustard to give your outfit a fresh look. Match up a cute beanie and scarf, and you’ll be rocking fall style.

The leaves are already turning yellow on the tree outside my office as I type this blog post. Soon, we will be seeing golden yellow patches on the mountain indicating that the Aspen trees are beginning to turn. This year, make sure you get out and enjoy this season with all it has to offer. And, make sure you look great while you are doing it for all those selfies!

Want more ideas for fun fall outfits? Watch my Wednesday Night Wardrobing Live Video at 6 p.m. MST in our VIP Facebook group.