Not All Cold Shoulder Tops Were Created Equal!

I have found my go-to cold shoulder top, and I’m so excited about it,  I wanted to share it with you!  Sympli has added a new top to their line called the Nu-glimpse top, and it is the perfect cold shoulder top!

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Nuglimpse Top By Sympli available in store or online 

Why so perfect, you ask?  Well, let me tell you!  As I have watched a myriad of women try on various shoulder exposing tops at the store, I have noticed that not all cold shoulder tops are created equal.  Some are too big in the shoulder, causing them to fit poorly on the arm or droop. Some make it impossible to wear a bra which means fiddling with a strapless bra or bandeaux (just kill me now).  Some show so much shoulder, women feel a bit naked and too exposed.  This is why I love this top from Sympli!  It has shoulder cut outs that are the perfect size, giving you the cold shoulder look, but in a way that any woman can wear.  I also love that this top does not show your bra, eliminating the hassle that so many cold shoulder tops pose. Best yet, it has a slight a-line cut so it doesn’t show any extra weight you may be carrying at the waist.

What is also amazing about the Nuglimpse top is that you get all of the other wonderful features of Sympli – no wrinkles, no fading and no stretching out.  This top will look this black and this great 5 years from now.  With Sympli, you just wash in cold water and hang to dry.  It dries wrinkle free, and you are off and running! The use of 12 oz weight fabric instead of 9 oz weight, means that the fabric drapes rather than clings to your body.  It really does look amazing on.  The fact that it is the number one selling line in our 5,000 square foot store is a testament to this.

There is the issue of price, however.  Sympli is not inexpensive.  This top retails for $124, but when you calculate cost per wear, it really is a great value.  If you just wore this top 1 time a week for a year, you would only be spending $2.58 per wear.  Given the fabric’s longevity, you will have this top for much longer than a year so the cost per wear goes down the longer you own the top.  Considering the fact that it is black, it will work back into your wardrobe easily.  Given that it is a mid-hip length hemline that pairs with any bottom, the styling opportunities are endless! That $124 doesn’t seem so costly now, does it?  That is the magic of cost per wear! Spending more on a really great item ends up costing you less than spending less and having to replace the item in six months because it has pilled, lost its shape or shrunk.  And as always, Fashion Crossroads offers a great layaway program too!

So, that’s my product review of Sympli’s Nuglimpse top.  It is my favorite cold shoulder top in my own wardrobe, so I am unashamedly recommending it to you!

How Old Is Too Old To Wear A Romper?

One of the most common questions I get is the “Am I too old to wear a….?”  Let’s face it ladies, one of the most challenging things about fashion is figuring out how to stay trendy without dressing in an age inappropriate way.  Let me just say at the beginning of this blog that I flat out reject the idea that if you are wearing current trends and are past forty, you are dressing too young.  I don’t believe the problem lies in whether you wear the latest trends; I believe the issue is in how you wear them.

Let me explain.  Each trend will have an edgy side and a more conservative side.  Take the two pictures at the top of this blog as an example.  On the left is a romper that I would wear, and I am 45.  I wouldn’t wear the one on the right, however.  That choice doesn’t come from which I think is cuter because I love them both.  I would choose the one on the left because it is a toned down version of the romper trend.  It has a tank style top that is bra friendly; it has an adjustable draw string waist with a blousy top that will hide figure flaws; it is in a beefier fabric which is less flimsy; and it has slightly longer shorts because of the crochet detailing on the bottom.  My post forty legs just can’t do short shorts.  If I wanted to add another conservative element, I could put a white button up cardigan or denim jacket over my arms for coverage.

The floral romper on the right would perhaps be better suited for a woman in her twenties or even thirties.  With the chiffon fabric and shorter shorts, it will require nice legs.  The addition of the cold shoulder element further limits this romper because the more edgy trends you combine in one outfit, the younger the look becomes.  In other words, its okay to wear a romper if you are over forty.  It might not be the best idea to wear a chiffon romper with little flowers and cold shoulders that require you to wear a bandeaux as a bra.  Do you get my drift?

I use this same logic when I am considering any trend.  Is there a way I can wear the trend while still keeping the look conservative enough to be appropriate?  I can tell you that I have rarely skipped a trend altogether.  Only two “um…not only no but hell no” trends come to mind: short shorts and mini dresses.

So if you are like me and over forty but still want to dress in the latest trends, don’t despair.  You can stay fashionable and stylish well into your sixties and seventies.  The key is keeping it classy!

What is A Shirt Dress?

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Buy this in store or online at http://Fashion-Crossroads-Inc.shoptiques.com

One of the big trends in dresses this year is the shirt dress. Although it can take a few forms, a shirt dress is an elongated shirt.

My favorite version of this style is the button down,  like the one pictured to the left.  What makes these little beauties wonderful, is you can open them up and wear them as a long vest or keep them buttoned and wear them as a dress.  The versatility of style gives you more bang for your buck.

The high low hemlines (shorter in front and longer in back) are still popular, giving these dresses some interest at the bottom.  It’s trendy right now to wear a “shoe boot” style shoe with dresses.  I’m not fond of the heaviness of an actual shoe boot with a dress, but there are many styles of open toed sandals that mimic the look of a shoe boot without feeling so bulky and weighty on the foot.  The one the model is wearing in the picture above is a good example of this.  We have similar styles in the store that accomplish this same look, like the ones pictured here from Yellowbox.  Don’t hesitate to wear suede in the summer.img_3345

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Buy this in store or online at http://Fashion-Crossroads-Inc.shoptiques.com

The other style of shirt dress is a pullover style.  Again, it looks like an elongated collared shirt, but it doesn’t open up with buttons and thereby can’t be worn as a vest.

This style is usually offered as a mini dress, making it harder for everyone to wear.  If you don’t feel comfortable wearing a short dress, don’t hesitate to add skinny ankle jeans or even leggings with this style.  It will still look just as cute.

Again, you will want to pair this style of shirt dress with a “shoe boot” sandal to keep it really trendy.  Otherwise, a great flip flop and hat could make this the perfect summer run around town look.   It would also be a wonderful vacation item, as you could use it as a dress and swimming suit cover up.

It’s snowing here today, but writing about these dresses makes me long for warm summer days.  I know they are just around the corner!  Give one of these styles a try this year.  I think you will love how you look!

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 Mini Dress

The mini-dress trend is still in full swing.  Let’s be honest, only a fraction of us can wear a dress this short.  If we still have the legs to pull it off, we might not have the nerve.  If we have the nerve, we might not have the legs.  No worries!  There are still ways you can wear a mini dress and make it age appropriate.

The first, and most obvious solution, is to pair a mini dress with leggings.  The blue and white striped dress on the left would look fabulous, for example, paired with navy blue or even denim leggings.  The taupe plaid dress on the right, would look great with a soft grey. Add a cute pair of sketchers, boat shoes, or converse tennis shoes, and you have a casual style that will work great for your weekend adventures.

Mini dresses that are fuller on the bottom due to an a-line cut, like the one on the left, can also be worn over denim capris as long as they are a slim legged style that fit similar to a legging.  Remember, with a long, over-sized top, you must balance the fullness of the top with a slim leg so you don’t look boxy.  Pair this look with a wedge sandal and a colorful handbag for a punch of color.

Blouse mini dresses, like the one on the right, can be worn with boyfriend jeans that are cuffed at the bottom.  I’m particularly fond of this look paired with trendy tennis shoes and a vintage wash denim boyfriend jean.  Add a cute scarf loosely slung around the neck and a great tote for a day out shopping or on the town.

So, just because you can’t see yourself pulling off the mini dress, doesn’t mean you have to avoid buying them.  With a little bit of imagination, you can make this style work for any age or body type!  By the way, in case you want to try out the outfit suggestions in this blog, you can buy these two mini-dresses on our online store.

 

 

What If I Don’t Want Cold Shoulders?

Customer: “I’m looking for a top with…well…I don’t know what you call it….you know, where the shoulders are cut out?

Sales Clerk: “Oh, you mean, you want a cold shoulder top?”

Customer: “No, I don’t want cold shoulders.  I want the tops where there are holes for the shoulders.”

Sales Clerk: “Yes, that’s called a cold shoulder top.”

Customer: “Oh….” nodding her head in understanding. “I get it.”

 

I can’t tell you how many times I have had this conversation or something like it this season.  The “cold shoulder” trend is everywhere and can be found in tops, sweaters, dresses and tunics.  Even the missy lines are joining the bandwagon with cut out tops – styles that have portions cut out but not necessarily the shoulders.  It’s a fun new twist on fashion this season, even if its a bit hard to describe to the sales clerk.

I had a customer just last week that, after seeing how many items in the store had some form of cut out, decided she should try this trend for the first time.  She came out in a lovely cold shoulder sweater that had relatively small cut outs and just stared at herself in the mirror blankly.  “Do you like it?” I asked

“Well….I feel….exposed.” She said quietly.

“I know.   It’s a bit hard to get used to, but think of it this way…your shoulders are a great part of your body to show.”

I went on to explain that while our necks and arms show wrinkles, our shoulders oftentimes do not.  Thus, exposing the shoulders really makes a lot of sense.  It shows a bit of skin which is always appealing if its done tastefully, and it is exposing a part of the body that is still flattering on most women even into their sixties.  My customer thought that made a lot of sense and decided to buy the sweater she had on.  I hope she’s getting used to feeling “exposed.”

I see the cold shoulder trend as somewhat transient, but I think the cut out tops will be fashionable for many years to come.  If you want to give this trend a try but feel unsure of baring your shoulders, look for a style with an elegant cut out, like the one pictured on the far left.  If you are in favor of being adventuresome with your fashion, then make sure you buy at least one cold shoulder item this season.

Oh, and don’t worry about your shoulders being cold…that’s what coats are for!

All of the cold shoulder styles pictured here are available on our online store.  Shop now.

 

 

 

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!