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?

 

Ankle: The New Hip Length

When I mention an ankle length pant to a tall woman, she usually responds with a pained look and a determined shake of the head indicated she’d rather die.  At only 5:2, I can only imagine what it would be like to fear short pants.  I’m on the other end

Ankle length pant from Lisette L. Pantalon.

Ankle length pant from Lisette L. Pantalon.

of the spectrum and at that wonderful height where petite is too short and average is too long.  That’s why I LOVE ankle pants. I can usually get an ankle pant to be just the right full length for me.  But, if I want to wear the hippest new length for the season, its off to the seamstress I go to get my pant hemmed to the perfect ankle pant length.  So you lucky tall ladies, this blog is here to encourage you to put aside your horrific memories of too short pants when you were a kid, and embrace a new trend this season.

So let’s talk about the right length.  The picture on the left shows the optimum length for an ankle pant.  You want that hemline to fall an inch above your ankle bone.  Any higher,and your pant becomes a cropped pant.  Any lower, and the look is all wrong. This style looks great with heels, as pictured or with shoe boots.  See my blog from last week for more information about these.  Notice that this style usually coincides with a slim legged 60’s inspired cigarette pant.  Wider legged ankle pants look better with tall boots, and are trickier to pull off.

Full length hemline

Full length hemline

Conversely, the picture on the right shows the optimal hemline for a full length pant.  Hopefully this will help you visualize the difference between the two hemlines. Notice that the full length pant falls about midway down the back of the shoe or at the bony part of your heel. This is the perfect length for a slim legged pant because the fabric won’t pool or “break” too much on the top of the foot, creating extra and unnecessary bulk.

I find that ankle pants work better on me if I wear some type of a heel, wedge or dressier shoe boot.  I think its important to keep your shoe sleek and not boxy. Too chunky of a shoe creates a “cankle” (when your calf goes right into your ankle) and ruins the style.  Taller ladies can get away with more shoe options like ballerina flats, for example.  They already have the leg length to make the look work perfectly for them.

Fall is the perfect time to wear this style as the temperature is dropping but there isn’t snow on the ground forcing us into boots and socks.  This style can be a great work look, as it is dressy and chic.

Don’t know where to buy an ankle pant?  Check out our Lisette L. ankle pant on our online store at Fashion Crossroads Inc. This is a great jet black, all stretch, pant that will fit slim through the legs just like the styles shown in this blog as well as tuck your tummy.  The fabric is dressy so it can take you from work to evening to travel.

How To Wear Shoe Boots and Cuffs

Yellowbox Shoe Boots

Yellowbox Shoe Boots have arrived at Fashion Crossroads!

One of the trends you won’t want to miss this season is shoe boots. You’ll find everything from utilitarian lace up styles to sexy embellished cowboy boot styles lining store shelves.  This is a great alternative to the riding boot of last season while still providing warmth and practicality on those icy winter streets.  The key shape is a lightly rounded toe which offers a slimmer silhouette without squeezing your toe or looking too boxy.  Thus, even if you choose a lace up style, your foot will still look feminine.  You can choose classic colors like black and chocolate brown or branch out into saddle brown, grey and tan.  There is no wrong choice, so just pick what you love and will work best with your wardrobe.  Wear your boots monotone by matching your pant color to to your boot or choose a contrast for a little edgier feel.  Black looks great paired with grey jeggings and grey boots work to set off a black jean.  Chocolate brown looks great against dark denim.

Any shoe trend only works well when you wear it correctly.  As with any outfit, you need to consider the overall style.  What are you going for?  Is this a casual weekend style or something you want to wear to work?  Casual looks, like those worn with jeans, pair fabulously with lace up boots.

How to wear shoe boots

Three ways to wear shoe boots this season

Consider these three pictures. The woman on the left looks sharp in her brown wedge shoe boot with a cream sock cuff.  The heel gives the boot a feminine edge but the cuff keeps it casual, giving the impression of a cotton sock peeking out and the “I just threw this on and look how great I look” vibe.  Her jeans are clean (no beat up spots) keeping the overall style a little dressier.  The woman in the middle has a black fringe midi boot paired with dark denim jeans. Again the jeans are clean. Notice too the fringe is relegated to one accessory keeping her look trendy and classy.  Going for full utilitarian, the gal on the right pairs beat up jeans with brown lace up boots and a military style bag.  The scarf keeps the look feminine, saying, “I’m tough, practical and stylish all at the same time.”  These three styles work well, showing different ways you can wear shoe boots.  What I like best about this style is it can work for any age from 20 to 60.

For work, you can pair a full short skirt with bare legs or tights and a dressier shoe boot like the black style with silver

Shoe boots and skirts

How to wear a skirt and boot together.

rhinestones from Yellowbox pictured at the top of the page.  Pencil skirts can also be worn with boots, but that look is edgier and harder to pull off. These three pictures show fashionable pairings of boots and shorter hems, including short shorts.  Any of these styles could be paired with tights for a more practical style in the winter.  My only caution here is this style is a little younger, so be careful how you put this together if you are over fifty.

Lastly, this season you will be seeing more boot cuffs and leg

How to Wear Leg Warmers  Match to the Color of Your Shoes 2warmers.  Similar to the fun boot socks of last season, the look you are trying to achieve is a sock/boot combo.  Where a boot cuff differs from a sock, however, is that you wear it over the boot.  It’s a great way to help your boot look wintery and keep your ankles warm!  This boot cuff is stylish with its silver embellishment which compliments the chain detail on the boot perfectly.  Fashion Crossroads has already received some great shoe boot styles and will be getting a fabulous selection of boot socks and boot cuffs in October – just in time for the snow.

Get inspired about these new ways to wear boots this season and give one of these trends a try!