How To Wear Velvet In The Day

One of things that trips us up sometimes is when a traditional way of looking at a fabric gets turned on its head by a new fashion trend.  This is the case with velvet this season.  Traditionally, velvet has been a dressy fabric, reserved for special occasions, holiday parties, and lounge lizards…smile.  (Don’t ask me why, but I just had an image of John Travolta singing “ah, ah, ah, ah…staying alive”).

Well this season, velvet has emerged as an every day fabric that can work for cozy weekend, work and date night.  Those of you who still think of  it as dressy only, may be struggling to figure out how in the world to wear this new trend.  The answer is really very simple: pair it with a casual fabric like denim.

Let’s face it, while the head to toe velvet active wear jogger is trendy right now, most of us (uh, um) older ladies are not going to go for that.  We can still do velvet, however, by toning it down and mixing it up.  For example, pair a velvet kimono with beat up boyfriend jeans and shoe boots.  Wear a velvet top with dark denim skinny jeans and boots.  Pair a velvet tailored jacket with a classic button down blouse, black slacks and heels.  Do you get the picture?  You have to re-think your old way of seeing velvet.

The truth is, this luxurious fabric is fun to wear.  What is not to like about velvet, unless you are like one of our employees who is wierded out by the fact that if you brush the velvet one way, it’s soft.  But, if you brush it the other way….yikes.  She is just skipping the trend all together.  If you have texture issues, you might want to join her.  For the rest of us, however, velvet is a wonderful fabric and should find a place in our wardrobes this season!

Travel Like A Boss!

Mom and I just returned from a market trip to Dallas, Texas.  Hopefully, you have already checked out my blog post on our Treska Warehouse tour.  If not, do it now so you can learn all about how a Treska necklace is made from start to finish!

Today’s post is on a different topic, however.  I want you, our precious customers and loyal readers, to know that we absolutely, positively, believe in the lines we sell at Fashion Crossroads.  How much, you ask?  So much that we wear them and use them when we travel!  You all know that we women take our very favorite things with us when we go on trips.  The ho-hums in our closets never see the inside of our suitcases and travel bags.  Oh no, only the coziest, cutest and most comfortable items get that special privilege.  For me and my mom and our trip to Dallas, those favorite things were Sympli and Vera Bradley.  Let me tell you why.

IMG_4216Sympli is the most wonderful line (not kidding) that I have ever worn.  It looks amazing because it has a fabulous fit, and it is oh so comfortable to wear.  Because you can pack it without worrying about wrinkles and because the line is so well thought out, you can literally grab two bottoms and three tops and have a whole week worth of outfits.  For example, I brought my Sympli leggings and mini skirt (I always wear these together) and my capris for my bottoms as well as a white pair of jeans.  Then I threw in my sleeveless Cascade Top (see picture above), my cold shoulder Nu Urban top, my Go To Tank Tunic and my favorite Sympli jacket.  These 7 pieces saw me through 5 days and took me from seminars, to show room floor, to dinner out on the town.

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When it came down to packing, both mom and I chose Vera Bradley travel gear even though we each have other options.  My mom took her Vera rolling carry on in black. She was able to push it through the airport with ease due to the four wheeled bottom.  I was able to lift it above my head to put it into the carry on luggage rack without breaking my back!  Yeah for me!

I took my Vera Grand Traveler soft sided bag, my Vera tote and my Vera cross body cell phone purse. You can see some of these items in the picture below.  The tote bag worked to hold my book, spare cell phone battery, headphones, files, Kind bar, and iPad while I was on the plane without being too bulky to fit under the seat in front of me.  The cell phone purse was perfect to sling across my body to keep my cell phone, driver’s license and credit cards handy and within reach while I was going through security and waiting to board the plane.  When it was time to get on the plane, I just took my cell phone purse off and put it inside the tote, and I didn’t have to get in a fight with the gate agent about having too many carry-ons.  Inside my Grand Traveler bag was the Vera hanging organizer that I could simply hang up on the back of the bathroom door and reach all my cosmetics easily without cluttering up the bathroom counter.  I also had my Vera jewelry organizer which kept my earrings and necklaces and bracelets in separate compartments (I love organization, especially when I travel). Then, while I was at market, the Vera tote worked perfectly as a brief case.  I have to say, I really do love these products.  IMG_4230

When I convince my customers to buy a product we sell based upon my recommendation, I take that very seriously.  Know that before I will tell you it is a wonderful product, I have put it though the test of my own life.  If we sell it, we believe in it!  We have just marked down a special rack of discontinued styles and colors of Sympli to 30% off.  (Mark downs in this line never happen so grab them while the gettin’ is good).  We also have several patterns of Vera Bradley that are 25% off, and we are expecting our new fall arrivals from Painted Medallions and Falling Flowers any day!

Happy travels, and don’t forget your Sympli and Vera Bradley!

What Is A Waffle Top?

One of the big trends this season is the waffle top.  It took be a bit by surprise because here in Wyoming, waffle tops are something we wear in the winter and not the summer. We call them thermals.  But, the powers that be in the style world have decided to fly in the face of tradition and saturate the market with waffle tops for spring!

The descriptor “waffle top” refers to the fabric.  It’s a bit hard to see the texture of these tops in the pictures above, but if you were able to zoom in, you would see that they have raised, nubby fabric.  If you have ever bought a thermal tee to keep warm, you can compare the fabric to that.  Of course, the spring waffle tops are not as heavy as what you might expect from a typical thermal top, so you can still wear them without getting hot.

The benefit to textured fabric is that the more body a fabric has, the less likely it is to lay against your figure and expose all of your lumps and bumps.  Heavier fabrics are more figure flattering that lighter weight ones.  Texture also helps draw the eye away from figure problems like muffin tops.  This is because the sheer weight of heavier fabrics pulls them downward, creating a better drape.

The nature of the waffle fabric lends these tops to pair best with jeans or casual bottoms.  Wearing them to work would be like wearing your thermal to work.  I’m guessing your boss might frown on that.  But, for a casual weekend, these tops make a great, trendy choice.

The two tops pictured above are available on our online store.  If you want to know more about other important spring and summer trends, check out my blog post 5 Key Summer Trends.  

How To Wear A Midi Cardigan

One of the best new cardigan trends this season is the “midi” length cardigan.  These longer cardigans hit near the knee, and come in hemlines that are asymmetrical, even or hi-low.  It’s a great new twist on an old staple.

Midi cardigans can be found in many materials from sweaters to light knits.  I have seen them plain, like the grey one on the right or embellished with stones or tie dye like the one pictured on the left.  A nice sweater knit midi cardigan, like the one in the center, is a great choice for work and can be paired with slacks and a blouse for a professional look on a cold day.

These versatile cardigans can be paired with short tee shirts and jeans or work great as a jacket for a tunic and legging.  I prefer them with slim legged pants and or leggings to help balance out the length.  If you are shorter, you may want to wear a boot with a heel to give your body some extra height.

These three styles are available in our store or on our  online store.

How To Wear Suede and Fringe For Work

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Cooler weather is just around the corner and stores are stocking their new fall every day.  I love this time of year!  Being a cool weather lover, I can hardly wait to put on my cozy sweaters and leggings.  I’m looking forward donning to the cute boyfriend jeans and plaid shirts I have added to my wardrobe as well.  But what I truly love is suede.  It feels amazing against your skin and exudes, if worn right, classy.

Fringe and suede naturally pair well, but it can be easy to over do it.  Head to toe fringe or suede borders on hot mama.  You may want that look, and if so, go for it.  Your employer probably won’t love it, however.  To keep this trend classy, choose one piece of fringe and one piece of suede per outfit.  For example, you might pair a suede dress with a fringe vest.  Maybe you could wear a suede skirt with a nice blouse and add a fringe handbag as an accent.  Or, you may want to wear a nice slack and blouse with a shoe embellished with fringe.  The key principle: for work, keep it simple.

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Celebrate Color

I love that this season offers two radically different color palates – soft and feminine as well as bold and bright.  We just received this new group from Multiples in lime and royal, and I could hardly wait to get it in the window.  I’m not sure any color screams summer quite like lime.  IMG_2662

I always feel a bit sad when a customer tells me they shy away from wearing color.  I don’t know about you, but in Wyoming when I am surrounded by brown, white and grey from November to March, I am ready for some color come April and May.  It literally brightens my mood to wear something cheerful, and, for me, cheerful means color.

If you are one of those people who feel intimidated by wearing bold colors, dial it down.  Wear one bright item and pair it with foundation pieces in a good neutral like grey, black or white.  Put your colorful item on the part of your body you like the best and wear the solid neutrals elsewhere.  My bet is you will have a million compliments from your co-workers who are used to you just blending in.

If you are comfortable wearing bold, then this is your season!  Get out there and get some color!  You have just 4 short months before the cool winds of September will force those summer colors to the back of the closet.  Make your wardrobe reflect your sunny disposition and how happy you are that warm days are just around the corner!

How To Wear Lace

IMG_2235I like to work out like the rest of you, and I don’t mind wearing my yoga wear on my days off, but as a boutique owner that focuses on career wear, the 24/7 workout trend never much appealed to me.  What I can embrace, however, is this season’s infatuation with lace. I laughed out loud when I read Cindy Weber Cleary’s comment regarding this trend in January’s edition of In Style Magazine: “In the age of athleisure and the 24/7 workout clothes, it should come as no surprise that many designers are now proposing you go about your business in what appears to be PJs and lingerie” (99).  Her teasingly sarcastic poke at designers fits for there are some rather risque lingerie looks out there this season.  For the rest of us, however, we can embrace this trend with grace and class.

The lace jacket pictured at the top is by Adore and is a great example of how really beautiful and feminine lace can be when it is not over done.  I toned this all over lace jacket down by adding a solid cement grey tank underneath and some neutral but bold jewelry from Treska. Because the jewelry has some weight, it contrasts the airiness of the lace and gives it some added dimension.  As with any trend, keep it classy by not overdoing it.  If you have a lace skirt, don’t have a lace top and vice versa.  This jacket would pair beautifully with a slick grey slack and solid heels for a work look or night out.

IMG_2236You will also see lace as an accent this season on shoes, on sleeves, and on purses.  While it doesn’t show up as well in the picture, the sleeves of this jacket (also from Adore) are lace.  It gives the jacket some extra oomph, transforming it from just another classic jean style.  Pairing it with a grey lace skirt would contrast elements of all over lace with a more casual jacket.  This creates dimension and interest in your outfit.

I will definitely be adding some lace to my summer wardrobe this year.  How about you?