How To Wear Long Vests And Jackets

One of the fun new trends this season is long vests and jackets.  When I say long, I mean at least mid calf if not almost to the floor.  It’s a great new look, but it can also be intimidating to know how to wear them.  If you feel a bit unsure, hopefully this blog will help you get up the courage to try!

IMG_2432One of the things I do at market is watch what the buyers are wearing.  Here in western America, we don’t get too edgy.  Trends are dialed down to a more conservative version. I have learned, however, that when I see a significant portion of women sporting a similar trend, it will be one that makes it to good old Wyo.

When I was at market in February, I watched carefully to see the different ways women were wearing this trend.  By in large, most women paired their long cardigans and vests with jeans and boots.  Several of them added a floppy hat to the look too, which was darn cute!  Some manufacturers picture this trend with shorts and boots, but I think that look is harder to pull off than jeans.  It is edgier and of course takes great legs.  Have no fear, however, if you can’t quite see yourself wearing a long vest and shorts.  At 44, I can’t see myself doing it either!  The jeans option is very viable and would be age appropriate from 30 to 50.

This style is very Bohemian so when you are putting your look together, keep this in mind.  As you can see in the picture, there is a crocheted version as well as a longer fringed style. I paired the one on the right with a denim shirt to bring out the denim blue tones in the cardigan but also because denim shirts are an important item for spring.  You could add a white jean to this fringed cardigan, denim shirt combo and have a stylish spring outfit.  Keep in mind the length of this jacket.  If you are short, you will need to add some heels to get you up off the floor!

The vest on the left is actually easier to pair up.  Wear it over a tee shirt or blouse in a natural tone and then add a washed out denim capris, boyfriend or ankle jean.  Add some Bohemian sandals like a wrapped ankle wedge, some BoHo jewelry and a fringed purse.  You’ll be one hot mama!

Not in Wyoming, but like what you see? We’re adding new items to our online store daily!  Check it out here. 

Colors of 2016

We have traveled a long way to get from the deep red wine color Marsala (Pantone’s color of the year for 2015) to Rose Quartz and Serenity, the colors of 2016. They are about as opposite as you can get.  From Marsala’s strong presence and blood pressure heightening hue, we have leaped to calming soft pink and blue. Perhaps as we enter into an election year and all the strife it will inevitably produce, the color forecasters felt we’d need a bit of serenity in our closet! Truth be told; I already do.

rosequartz

Rose Quartz

According to Leatrice Eiseman, Pantone’s executive director, “with our hectic lives and the frenzy around us, there is an increasing demand for tranquility.” (In Style, January, 19).  Too true, but have you ever considered that societal changes and trends affect the colors stylists choose for the fashions we will wear?  It wasn’t until mid way through my fashion career that I realized this truth.  A designer once told me that when the economy is good, the colors get lighter and when it is bad, they get darker.  When you consider color can cause physical reactions within our bodies (excitement or calm, for example) it isn’t surprising that color trends are impacted by our world.

th (17)Rose Quarts, for example, reminds me of softness, the early stages of a sunset, and everything feminine.  Serenity is a soft blue like the light blue sky in springtime.  Imaging these two colors causes a relaxed sigh to escape my lips.  I find myself smiling as I write this blog post and listen to ocean waves playing in the background.  That place – sunsets, blue skies and ocean waves- sounds like a great alternative to the 20 some degrees outside my office window.

Interestingly, Rose Quartz is a warm color and Serenity a cool color, so by combining the two you have a yin and yang, so to speak…a complete picture.  Eiseman calls it “balance.”  I like it.  It feels right to me.  Let these two colors lead you into your new spring wardrobe, destined to help you feel calmer, softer, and perhaps a little sweeter to those around you.

 

 

How do I Wear The Military Trend?

Utilitarian/Military style offers clean lines. earthy colors and casual chic.

Utilitarian/Military style offers clean lines. earthy colors and casual chic.

One of the trends I really like this season is what I like to call Utilitarian.  It is “utility” in concept, embracing a practical and casual style that works well for every day.  This trend can also be referred  to as military, but I like Utilitarian better because it is less limiting and doesn’t necessitate military insignia or design.

Military jackets were everywhere at market, indicating the strength of this trend for winter.  I saw them in many colors including olive, chocolate brown, black and oxblood.  Usually, this style works best with jeans, but In this store window, we highlighted the Utilitarian trend with several items showing different ways to interpret the trend.

The first model shows a dressier look that includes a light weight boxy  blazer in cream paired with a soft, draw string waisted harem pant in olive green.  Less easy to see is a military style vest with a draw string waist paired with a dark denim jean, a zip top in olive green paired with a black jegging and finally, a military jacket paired with a vintage wash jean.

The style offers clean lines and loose fits that work for many body types and it pairs perfectly with lace up boots.  The harem pant on the first mannequin could easily be worn with a heel for a dressy work outfit.  But, as a casual jean look, this trend rocks.  I love it with a beanie and cross body purse.  It is a fashionable way to run errands or meet friends for coffee that is comfortable, easy going and chic.

Key Fall Fashion Trend: Fringe

Fringe jacket from Blu Pepper.  Available on our online store.

Fringe jacket from Blu Pepper. Available on our online store.

Fringe is a key fashion trend this fall, and you’ll see it on everything from jackets and sweaters to purses and shoes.  In the picture to the left, I am wearing a fringe jacket with a full length sleeve, soft sueded polyester, and fringe that lines the asymmetrical hemline on the front of the jacket and then the straight hemline on the back of the jacket.  I paired it with a hunter green tank because I like how the colors compliment each other and a boyfriend jean and sandal.  This is a great example of a fall transitional look that gives you a jacket for cooler mornings and a tank for warmer afternoons.

One important thing to remember about fringe is to restrict it to one item in your outfit.  A fringe jacket, purse and shoe, for example, worn altogether would be overkill.  Better to understate the trend than overstate it.  This keeps it classy.  You don’t want to look like a seventies throwback.  Restricting the amount of fringe will prevent you from making this mistake.

I had a blast the day I wore this outfit.  I am not a child of the seventies (leggings and leg warmers are way more my speed), but I enjoyed the soft feel of the poly suede and had a ton of compliments on the jacket.  And, In Wyoming, suede and fringe always feel right, regardless of whether they are trendy.  We are rugged outdoors people with cowboy and Native American roots, after all.  For all the rest of you who don’t get to live in the west, right now is your time to try on some fringe!

Buy it now:http://www.Fashion-Crossroads-Inc.shoptiques.com

Who Is Your Fashion Icon?

Who is your fashion icon?  We recently had some fun with Rally to create three iconic looks from clothing in our store.  The photos turned out great, and it got me thinking about how fashion defines us as it has been defining women over the years.

Looking very Audrey.  Top and necklace from Fashion Crossroads

Looking very Audrey. Top and necklace from Fashion Crossroads. Photo by Raymond Craig.

Are you a classic Audrey Hepburn, like me?  Or, maybe you are an edgy Madonna. Perhaps you identify more with the flirty and voluptuous Marilyn.

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Desperately seeking Madonna. Clothing and jewelry from Fashion Crossroads. Photo by Raymond Craig.

To determine your fashion icon, ask yourself about how you choose your clothing.  Do you look for timeless pieces and shapes that evoke maturity and class and fabrics that look and feel rich like wool, silk and cashmere?  Do you like tailored, figure flattering styles?  If yes, Audrey is your girl.

Perhaps, however, you gravitate to black and like a harder edged style.  Is there a bit of a bad girl in you?  Do you love studs, chains, and zippers?  Is leather a personal favorite? If a pencil skirt, a refined motorcycle jacket and shoe boots is your idea of the perfect work outfit, you might just be a Madonna.

Maybe you love color and clothing that shows your assets off.  Perfect style for you is part flirtatious and part dramatic.  You don’t shy away from prints, you embrace them.  A flowy skirt is your idea of a must have item.  You were the little girl that chose her dress by its twirl value.  You adore cotton and soft fabrics.  If this all sounds like you, then Marilyn just might be your icon.

Just a little Marilyn.  Elan tiered tank from Fashion Crossroads.  Photo by Raymond Craig.

Just a little Marilyn. Elan tiered tank from Fashion Crossroads. Photo by Raymond Craig.

The point is that each of these women knew who they were and they said it with their clothing.  Fashion is a reflection of your own unique style and you should have one!  What do your clothes say about you.  If a stranger saw you walking down the street, could they discern anything about your personality from what you were wearing?  If you’re not sure, then spend a little time thinking about what inspires you and who.  Then, when you go shopping for new clothing this fall, make sure the items that you pick make you feel great and reflect who you are and who you want to be.

Check out rally.com for some great quotes from these three ladies.  My favorite is from my style icon Audrey: “When you grow up as a girl the world tells you the things you are supposed to be: emotional, loving, beautiful, wanted.  And then when you are those things, the world tells you they are inferior, illogical, weak, wain, empty.”  So here’s to not letting the world define who you are!

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 Boyfriend Jeans

Lately I’ve noticed that if jeans are rolled at the bottom, everyone calls them boyfriend jeans.  I’m pretty sure, however, there is a fundamental difference between a true boyfriend jean and a slim legged jean that is rolled. Curious about my presumption, I googled “how to wear boyfriend jeans.”  I always browse the pictures that come up first because I can learn a lot just from paying attention to how women are wearing “boyfriend jeans.”  What I determined is that some sites differentiated between the two types and some did not.

howtowearboyfriendjeans4So here’s my take.  A boyfriend jean is by nature your boyfriend’s jean.  What I mean by that is the look should be slouchy, like you are wearing men’s jeans.  The important thing to remember when trying this style is that the slouchy style of jean requires a slim fitting top or tee to balance the whole look.  Avoid legs that are too wide to roll.  You definitely don’t want to try to roll a boot cut jean.  The resulting roll will be too big and too sloppy.  Stick to straight or narrow legged styles that have a beat up or distressed look and a slouchy fit.  The bottom of the roll should hit your leg at the top of your ankle bone or one roll shorter.  Too long and it looks like you are waiting for a flood.  Too short and it looks like you are wearing capris.

An slim legged jean that is rolled is an equally cute look. I liked this picture from howtowearboyfriendjeans4 because it shows several types of rolled jean looks.  The true boyfriend jean is the one on the top right because it has that worn in and looser fitting look.  All of these styles were considered boyfriend by this site, but as I have already argued, I’m not sure I would agree.

As you can see, many types of shoes work with this look – everything from heels to flats.  Also notice that the rolls are different widths too, from narrow to wide.  What is important is that you get a clean roll that stays up.  Ironing your roll can help with this.

If you have been avoiding the rolled jean because you weren’t really sure how to pull it off, I hope this blog has encouraged you to give it a try.  It is a fun new way to wear jeans in the summer!