How To Wear The Latest Short Trends

Have you noticed the re-surgence of shorts in the market this season? The come back of shorts for all ages actually began last summer,  but this trend has truly taken hold here in Wyoming for summer 2020.  For some of you, this new trend will be a welcome change from the capris that have dominated the market for the last 5 years.  For others, it may have been awhile since you wore shorts, and you may be feeling a bit reluctant.  As a result, I thought it might be helpful to all of you for me to do a trend review on the latest short styles.

First of all, let me reassure you that I am seeing many lengths of shorts in the market this season from short ripped up denim styles all the way to the traditional longer Bermuda style that is pictured above. If you have been used to wearing capris and/or are reluctant to show your legs, the longer styles might be a good place to start.  Bermuda styles will hit just above the knee, leaving only the bottom half of the leg exposed.  If you are in for a shorter length, the mid thigh styles are very popular as well.  As a woman of almost 50, I’m going to leave the shorter, distressed jean styles to my 15 year old daughter, but the choice is totally up to you!

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Just as with denim, the trendiest shorts are printed, colored or embroidered.  You’ll see everything from checkers to stripes and every kind of embroidery and embellishment you can imagine.  Take a look at the denim shorts in the picture above from Charlie B and notice the cute embroidered flowers.  These details add a flirty and youthful feeling to the short as well as make them distinctive.  As far as color goes, look for mustard, yellow, coral, and olive denim as well as a variety of regular denim from vintage wash to dark and even striped.

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Another fun new trend are regular rise, fabric shorts with tie front waists like the one pictured above.  These make great dressy shorts and can be worn with wedges to casual weddings or other events that require dressed up casual.  Look for these in lots of checkered prints from black and white to coral and white.  Pair them with a tucked in top to show off the waist.

While many businesses allow capris, few will allow employees to wear shorts.  This is a downside to this trend, so if your employer won’t allow shorts, instead of sticking to your capris this season, go for slim, ankle length pants.  These are also very trendy and look amazing with a heel and dressy top.  To correctly pull off this style, the length is very important.  An ankle length pant should hit an inch above your ankle bone.

The good news about shorts is that I don’t see this trend going away anytime soon so you will be able to wear the ones you buy this season next summer as well.  And, let’s face it, when it gets hot, you want as little fabric on as possible.

 

 

5 Steps to Embracing Trends And Still Dressing Your Age

pearsonphoto2018_031As a boutique that focuses on career clothing for women aged 30 and over, I often get asked if wearing the trends means a woman is dressing too young.  My emphatic answer is a resounding NO! I have ladies in their sixties and seventies that keep up with the trends while still always looking age appropriate.  I think there is a misconception that at a certain age, you should stop worrying about being trendy.  I totally disagree.  We’ve all seen women who looked like they were dressing too young, and these experiences cause us to worry that we might be doing the same thing.  But, the key is not to avoid the trends; the key is to wear the trends appropriately.  Here are my 5 tips for embracing the trends while still dressing your age.

  1. Keep it classy: If you are over forty-five, you may want to avoid plunging necklines, too short of hemlines, spaghetti straps and overly tight fitting clothes.  These, more than anything else, can make you look like you are dressing too young.  If mini-dresses are in, for example, this doesn’t mean you avoid them altogether, but it may mean that you look for a longer rather than shorter mini dress and wear it with tonal tights to avoid drawing attention to the hemline.  If you love skinny jeans, wear them, but choose a longer top that covers your front and rear.  Use jackets and cardigans to cover problem areas and make the look more conservative.
  2. Choose the more conservative version of the trend: Every fashion trend has a scale from edgy to conservative.  As an example, consider the cold shoulder trend that we have just seen come and go.  As a buyer, I saw everything from the whole shoulder and half the arm to just a small sliver of the shoulder being exposed.  The latter of these would be the more conservative version of the trend.  Staying away from the edgy side allows you to wear the trend while still making it appropriate for your age.  As a general rule, the older you are, the more conservative you should go.
  3. Wear the trends correctly: Being knowledgeable about how the trend should be worn is key.  Oftentimes, a trend is dependent upon the other items in your outfit being the right style to pull it off.  As an example, right now the trendy hem length in bottoms is an ankle length (an inch above the ankle bone).  This style needs the right type of shoe to make it work.  If you are short, ankle length bottoms work much better with a little heel or wedge.  It is also important that the bottom hits you at the right place on your ankle.  Too long or too short, and the pant looses its trendiness and just looks strange.  Another example is the long, printed blouses that are trendy this season.  A long blouse worn with bootcut jeans will look strange.  You need a skinny or slim bottom to help balance out the volume of the top. To be sure you know how to wear a trend, ask your favorite boutique sales staff to educate you or google the trend and look a images.
  4. Let the brand help you decide: If you shop by brand, paying attention to the marketing images that company is using can really help you decide if the label is appropriate for your age.  Are you 50 but all the models for the brand are 20? That would be an indication that the target market for the brand is a bit younger than you.  If this is the case, you can go back to tip number 2 to be sure you are choosing the less edgy pieces from that brand.
  5. Pay attention to what other fashionable ladies your age are wearing: We can learn so much just by being observant.  Do you have a friend who dresses well that you admire?  What is she wearing? How do your clothing choices compare? Perhaps you’re in a rut with your style and need to freshen things up a bit.  Either your friend or a trusted boutique can help you transition into a trendier wardrobe that is age appropriate.

I hope these guidelines help you and encourage you that being trendy is not just for the young and thin.  Staying up with the times helps us feel beautiful and stylish.  There is no age limit for that!

For examples and more detailed information on this topic, please watch my video How To Embrace The Trends And Still Dress Your Age

What Trends To Buy Now And Wear Next Fall

When you are making your spring purchases, it may be helpful to know what will be trendy for this coming fall so you can buy with an eye to what will transition into the next season.  After all, that is just smart shopping.  Fortunately, many of the strongest trends for spring will also be important for fall.  If you think carefully about your color choices, you will be able to make spring purchases that will carry over.

Top Fall Trends To Buy Now:

  1. Printed tops: From beachy to polka dots and stripes, printed tops are a great way to add a pop of color to your neutral bottoms.  Since there are several carry over colors from spring to fall like mustard, navy, pink, and wine, if you choose your top styles carefully, you should be able to wear them this fall too.  This adorable leaf printed tank could easily be paired under a grey blazer and worn with black slacks for fall, as an example.  IMG_5685
  2. Printed bottoms: look for animal, camo, and herringbone to be key prints for fall bottoms.  As you are shopping spring and summer, you will see many of these same prints, but in lighter colors.  Keep in mind how you might be able to transition your purchases now into fall later.  Grey animal prints, for example, are season-less and can be paired today with a grey tank and next fall with a grey sweater.
  3. Colored denim: I saw everything from mustard, olive green, wine, and even pink for fall, so this is a trend you will definitely be able to carry into next season.  Obviously, some of the more summery colors like mint won’t work, but if you buy a mustard or pink jean now, you will most definitely be able to wear it next season.
  4. Colored blazers: Just as a rainbow of colored denim was a key trend, I saw this same idea in blazers.  Again, thinking forward, if you buy a color like denim blue, mustard, or pink, you will be able to wear it now while it is colder and then use it again when the leaves start to fall.
  5. Embellished jeans: The market was flooded with all kinds of embellished bottoms for spring and summer.  See my spring trends blog post for more info.  This trend will continue to be very strong into fall.  Look for raw edges, painted designs, and embroidery to grace the bottoms of jeans.  Again, since everything is about the ankle length right now, the ankle jeans you buy now will most definitely be wearable in the fall as well.  The great thing about ankle length bottoms is they are season-less!
  6. Teddy Bear Coats: This trend takes nubby fabric, like you might find on a teddy bear, and applies it to an over sized, zip up coat body.  The most popular color that I saw was teddy bear brown, see below.  We saw this trend be strong for this past fall season too, so if you bought one, you will definitely be able to wear it next fall or if you find one this spring that you like, you can feel confident that this trend will continue.  IMG_5689
  7. Wool Dress Coats: I am doing the happy dance on this one! While I love my down coats for warmth, I have missed the classic wool dress coat!  They are back for next season.  Now is the time to shop for coats, so if you find a wool dress style you like, buy it and put it away for next season.
  8. Vests: Here in Wyoming we love our vests.  They are so versatile, and a very handy extra layer when it is 2 degrees.  They will be fashionable next season, and I saw everything from down puffy vests to suede vests to menswear inspired styles. Vests are 3 season items, working for spring, fall and winter.  Thus, they are always a great investment.
  9. Shoe boots: Because the ankle length bottom is so strong, shoe boots continue to be an important trend in shoes.  I saw quite a few printed shoe boots, especially in animal prints.  Again, these are a great transitional style that will work now as well as into the next season.
  10. Polka Dots: The dots just keep going and going.  There is no slow down in the pre-occupation of designers with polka dots.  Again, a black and white dot top will work well for spring and fall.  Another great choice, would be a navy and white or mustard and white option.  These are colors that will transition easily into colder weather.  Wear white with them in the summer and then choose navy or black in the winter.

Refresh and Renew: Step 2 To Creating A Closet That Makes Sense

pearsonphoto2018_010I hope you have enjoyed your newly organized closet! If you missed joining me for Get Organized: Step 1 To Creating A Closet That Makes Sense, you can read my blog post about how to do that here or you can watch my YouTube video on the process here.

I performed step 1 on my own closet via a live video in our Fashion Crossroads Fashionistas Facebook Group last Tuesday.  To watch that video, join the group here.  It felt good to get things organized, and I eliminated about 15 items that I knew I would never wear again.  They were cluttering my closet, and having the extra space feels good! Heck, now I have the room to buy more…smile!

For those of you who are ready for step 2 in creating a closet that makes sense, this week’s step is called refresh and renew because we are going to take a hard look at what you kept.  I am guessing there were some items that you didn’t pull out because you just can’t bring yourself to get rid of them or because you rationalized their value in your wardrobe and the potential that you will…someday…wear them again.  I know you did this because I did the same thing.  This week, I have challenged myself to wear some of those “sacred cows,” as I call them.  If I can create an outfit that I like with them, they get to stay, but if not, they have to go.

As I have analyzed the top 10 rationalizations I used to determine which items to keep, I think they are probably some of the same ones you use too.  For me, these are the main arguments for hanging on:

  1. I might lose weight and be able to wear this again.
  2. If I would just take this to a tailor and get it altered I would wear it again.
  3. This is still fashionable, and I still love it, so how can I let it go?
  4. I wore this item for my anniversary with my husband so I should keep it for sentimental value.
  5. I might need this for a party, vacation, or special event some day.
  6. I wouldn’t be caught dead in this any more, but I could wear it around the house or when I go camping.
  7. I can’t have too many sweaters, vests and coats; I live in Wyoming!
  8. This is a classic that never goes out of style.
  9. I can’t fit in this anymore, but I will use it as “motivation” to lose weight.
  10. I just bought this item last year, so it is a waste of money to get rid of it.

Do any of these excuses seem familiar? Building from this, I think we can create a list of corresponding questions that will help you evaluate what you kept to determine if those items really do need to stay in your closet another year.  So, here is what I want you to do: go through your closet and gather up all your “sacred cows” (the items that you have probably considered letting loose before now but always talk yourself out of) and every other item you did not wear in 2019.  Take them out of your closet into another room and then, one by one, answer the following questions for each item:

  1. I might lose weight and be able to wear this again. Is this item either my current size, ONE size bigger,  or ONE size smaller than I wear today? If the answer is “no,” it goes.
  2. If I would just take this to a tailor and get it altered, I would wear it again. Can I take this item to a tailor in the next 10 days? If the answer is “yes,” put this date on your calendar and keep it.  If the answer is “no,” it goes.
  3. This is still fashionable, and I still love it, so how can I let it go?  If the item is still in fashion and you still love it but haven’t worn it in a year, you need to evaluate why.  Take a minute now and try it on.  Maybe there is just a fit issue that you don’t like.  Perhaps it clings too much in the wrong places.  Maybe it is itchy.  Maybe it drains the color out of your face.  If you discover any issue with the item that has been keeping you from wearing it, it goes.
  4. I wore this item for my anniversary with my husband so I should keep it for sentimental value. This one is tough.  We tend to attach sentimental value to items we wore for special events, and we hold on to them for that reason.  For me, the decision to keep these items is really about space.  Do you have the space to hold onto items that you will probably never wear again? If the answer is no, it goes.  Is there another place that you could store them, say perhaps a cedar chest? If the answer is yes, move it.
  5. I might need this for a party, vacation, or special event some day. So I am particularly bad about number 5.  I had dresses I hadn’t worn in more than a year (and that I didn’t wear on my last beach vacation) that I was saving for my next beach vacation.  I had a hard talk with myself and they ended up in the “donate” pile.  After all, part of the fun of a vacation is buying something new for it.  Do you know for sure that you are taking a vacation or having a special event in 2020 that you would wear the item to? If the answer is “no,” it goes.
  6. I wouldn’t be caught dead in this any more, but I could wear it around the house or when I go camping.  Do you already have enough “wear around the house” or “painting” or “cleaning” or “camping” items? (I’m guessing your answer will be “yes.”) Are any of those worn out? (probably yes again.) Consider adding these items to your comfy group after you have thrown some others out.
  7. I can’t have too many sweaters, vests and coats; I live in Wyoming! Yes, hoarding coats and sweaters when you live in a state that has 6 months of winter seems to make sense, however, how many coats do you really need? Let me help you out: 1 long dress coat, 1 3/4 length dress coat, 1 casual coat, 1 sport coat (like a skiing jacket), and 1 spring coat.  Okay, okay…maybe you can add 1 trendy coat, but I’m giving you that one, coat hoarder….I’m speaking to myself here.  Coats are especially needed by the poor and disadvantaged, so that is even more incentive to get rid of them.  As far as sweaters go, if you didn’t wear it last year….guess what….it goes.
  8. This is a classic that never goes out of style. Another particularly tempting rationalization for me is the “you should never get rid of a classic” argument.  Well, here’s what I know about clothing from having been in this business for over twenty years.  Even when manufacturers and designers bring back a classic like the blazer, they change it just enough to make the older ones seem out of date.  The changes are small things like length, number of buttons, collar style, sleeve length, etc., but they are just enough to cause your “classic” item to become “vintage.”  Here’s my rule for “classic pieces:” if you haven’t worn it in the last TWO years, it goes.  Oh, and just in case you need to know what items qualify as “classic,” here is a list: blazers; solid collared, button up blouses; layering pieces like tanks, turtle necks and light weight sweaters; suit skirts in neutral colors; slacks in neutral colors; basic black dresses.
  9. I can’t fit in this anymore, but I will use it as “motivation” to lose weight. Okay ladies, I’m going to be in your business a little here.  Pardon me.  I have your best interests at heart, I promise.  Our bodies change as we age.  At 48, I am going through this very thing myself.  There are certain aspects of my body that will never look the same as they did five or ten years ago.  I am a BIG advocate for staying active and healthy, however, I am also realizing that I need to let some expectations about my body go.  Size 4 may be gone for me…I don’t know.  I’m working on it to see.  But, I definitely know size 2 is out, and I don’t want to work that hard to get back there any way.  If it is too tight or too small for me to get into, it goes.
  10. I just bought this item last year, so it is a waste of money to get rid of it.  We ALL make buying mistakes.  Who knows why we do it? Maybe we were influenced by a shopping partner or we were in the mood for something new or out of the box that day.  Whatever it was that caused us to buy it, we have questioned that decision ever since.  As an example, I pulled a pair of floral wrap pants out of my closet during the first step of this process that I just bought last summer.  I wore them once and then passed them up the rest of the season.  Why? They really weren’t me.  If it’s new, but you keep passing it by for other things when you get dressed in the morning, it goes.

Okay, that’s it.  These are the top 10 rationalizations I have made (and I’m guessing you have made) and my answers for them.  If you need some more motivation or emotional support in this step of the process, join me while I apply these 10 questions to my own closet in a live video on our Fashion Crossroads Fashionistas group page on Facebook on Tuesday, January 14th at 10 a.m.  To watch the video, ask to join the group by clicking this link.

Or, if you want to watch my video explaining this process, you will be able to see that on YouTube or our Fashion Crossroads Facebook Business Page on Saturday, January 11th.

See you next week!

Get Organized: Step 1 To Creating A Closet That Makes Sense 

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 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 three-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 three 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 three Make Your Closet Make Sense 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 tomorrow and putting it on both our Fashion Crossroads Facebook Business Page as well as our YouTube channel.  This way, you can read about it in this blog and then watch the video.

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 Refresh and Evaluate: Step Two To Creating A Closet That Makes Sense.  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.

If you would like to see this process up close and personal, join me as I apply these steps in my own closet.  Oh the horror.  To watch me suffer as I have asked you to suffer, join our Fashion Crossroads Fashionistas group page on Facebook and tune in on this coming Tuesday.  I’ll be doing some fun giveaways at the end of the week. To get entered to win, watch my personal “Get Organized” video and then comment on your biggest “ah ha” moment in the comments.  Someone who does this will win a free Mixology bath bomb from the store.

Happy organizing!

 

How Old Is Too Old To Wear Boyfriend Jeans?

Before we get into that all important question of how old is too old to wear boyfriend jeans, I feel we need to start by defining just exactly what a boyfriend jean is.  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 (see the top pic on the right).  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.

A 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.

So, now that we have that clarification, let’s talk style and age.  Any one can wear a clean, slim legged jean that is cuffed to an ankle length.  This is a timeless style that can be dressed up or down.  Remember that with an ankle jean, you always want to wear some type of heel, even if it is just an inch high.  A little height from your shoe will help the ankle length seem intentional.

As you start to get closer to the true boyfriend, slouchy, beat up jean, things get a bit more tricky.  The simple truth is the more “distressed” the jean is (the more beat up patches and holes) and the slouchier it is (loose fitting, almost oversized), the younger the jean will be.  In my opinion, women aged 60 and over should maybe avoid wearing very distressed and slouchy jeans.  This does NOT MEAN you have to avoid this trend!  Opt instead for patched holes or minor abrasions.  Ladies in their 40’s and 50’s can pull off jeans with holes, but the holes and distressed patches need to be placed appropriately-like at the knee rather than upper thigh, as an example.  Also, women in this age bracket might want to avoid large holes in their jeans.  The whole knee being blown out, for example, is too young of a style.  Ladies in their 20’s and 30’s can go for it; wear distressed all you want!

Be prepared! You will pay top dollar for your already worn out jeans!  For women in that older category, this will be annoying! Just remember, the trend doesn’t work if the jeans look like the beat up places came from lots of wear. This trend is about the jean looking like it is new and intentionally distressed!  And, I have to add, my boyfriend jeans are MY FAVORITE jeans to wear because they are so comfortable.

So ladies, get in there, if you haven’t already, and get wearing this trend!

10 Key Summer Fashion Trends

Are you loving all the beautiful florals and embroidery this season?  I sure am!  2018 Spring  and Summer trends feel fresh and exciting, don’t you think?  I’m a busy lady, and I don’t know about you, but I appreciate lists that help me get the info I need quickly.  In honor of other busy ladies, here is my down and dirty top 10 key fashion trends for summer list.

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Soft Pink: Most definitely the color of the season, this peachy pink looks amazing on almost any skin type.  You’ll find it in everything, but especially in florals.  Hopefully it will make you feel beautiful; I know it does for me.  We especially like this beautiful soft pink romper that just arrived in our store.  Get it here.

 

 

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Denim Blue: Another soft and soothing color, light to medium denim blue is playing a key role in fashion this season.  It looks amazing paired up with white, sand, and grey.  You’ll often see it in sheer fabrics like this beautiful tunic with a peacock pattern.  Get it here.

 

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Long Blouses:  Blouses have gotten sheer and long this season, making them a fun new trend.  You can wear them closed and layered over a tank or open.  They pair best with slim legged pants to balance out the length.  We love the hi lo hemline on this one because it amps up the style and the soft print pairs so beautifully with vintage wash denim.  Get it here.

 

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Kimonos:  This fun new cover up trend is super versatile.  Pair them up with shorts; wear them over dresses; style them with a long tank and leggings….the possibilities are endless.  They also do a great job of figure flattery by hiding extra weight around the middle.  This is a trend any age can wear too.  We love this beautiful floral print on black.  If you do too, get it here.

 

 

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Lace: This could be called the season of girly, with the emphasis on floral prints and soft pink.  Another important trend that supports this is lace.  From inserts, to panels, to detailing, lace is playing a starring role in fashion this season.  This fashionable cardigan combines the “midi” length that is so trendy with lace as the fabric for an amazing piece.  Get it here.

 

 

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Embroidery:  Whether is is on jeans, pants or tops, embroidery is everywhere.  It is such a fun new way of embellishing clothing, and it makes this season’s trends feel fresh.  We love this top which combines silk and embroidery and is made in Italy.  Only 2 left!  Get it here.

 

 

 

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Off the Shoulder:  In keeping with the Bohemian trends of embroidery, the off the shoulder top has made a strong come back.  You’ll find this style in tops, dresses and rompers this season.  While it does force one to wear a strapless bra, it is such a beautiful style that highlights a usually flattering feature on your body.  We love this pink and white striped combo.  Get it here.

 

 

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Twists and Knots: You’ll find a lot of your tops have twists and knots this season, either at the hemline which creates a high low style or near the bust creating a draped crop top.  This fun new detail, is flattering on most bodies because it creates draping that often hides extra pounds.  We think this navy blue and white striped number is pretty special.  Get it here.

 

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Rompers: A romper is a jumpsuit with shorts.  They are a fun alternative to a dress and can be worn to parties and weddings when you dress them up with jewelry and a wedge sandal.  You’ll find them usually in prints, like this black and white stripe and they will be combined with other trends like the off the shoulder or embroidery and lace.  We think this one is so darn cute!  Get it here.

Spring 2018 Color Trends

spring-2018-color-palletteIt’s nearing the end of January, and I spent yesterday skiing with my family.  It was really a beautiful day with a warm winter sun.

Despite my fun in the snow, however, February is an absolutely rotten, no-good, horrible month in Wyoming.  There is nothing redeeming about February: it’s cold, grey, snowy and, usually, windy.  Which is why I relish the new spring arrivals at this time of year because they are a reminder to stay strong…spring is on the way.

Take a closer look at the Pantone color palate at the top of this blog post so you can see just all you have to look forward to this spring.  It includes Meadowlark yellow (which I love because that is our state bird), Cherry Tomato, Little Boy Blue, Chili Oil, Pink Lavender, Blooming Dahlia, Acadia, and Ultra Violet.  From earthy and warm to soft and cool, spring’s palate is sure to have you clamoring over at least one color.

My color crush for the season is Blooming Dahlia.  We just received our new Tribal Sportswear, and within our January collection are several pieces in Blooming Dahlia. It is such a wonderful, peachy pink.   It pairs beautifully with soft olive and navy blue, as you can see in the pictures.  Of course, it is always great with white too.  Best yet, it is a decidedly feminine color that just makes a girl feel pretty.

I would love to hear about your color crush for the season in the comments to this blog post, and in the mean time….stay strong.  Spring is coming!

10 Steps To Being A Smart Shopper

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We love practical and easy, don’t we?  I don’t know about you, but I am drawn to “3 steps to do this” or “5 steps to do that books.”  Somehow, knowing there is a fairly short list of things I need to do in order to have the desired result feels, well, encouraging.  So, in the spirit of getting right down to it, here are my 10 simple steps to becoming a smart shopper.

Step 1: organize your closet.  Let me warn you right off the bat.  If you are looking for quick and easy, step 1 might seem a bit daunting.  If I’m being honest, it is totally OCD, but I am completely convinced it will make getting dressed in the morning so much easier.    First, go through your clothing and separate out everything you haven’t worn in a year.  Next, separate your tops, pants, skirts and dresses into different areas of your closet.  Then, separate your winter items from your summer items within each category.  At the end of this step, you should have all your tops together, all your winter pants together, all your summer pants together, and so forth.  Last, organize each section by color using the ROYGBIV acronym for the colors of the rainbow: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet.  Complete the rainbow by putting your greys and blacks after your purples and your whites and creams after that.  Now, go back to the items you removed in the beginning.  Put all your classic items like black blazers, white blouses and black pants back into your closet unless they are out of date.  Donate the rest.  Whew….sit down and rest a bit.

Why, you ask, did I have you go through that arduous process?  Because now you can clearly see what you have.  If you have 20 short sleeved shirts and only 2 long sleeved ones, you know you need to balance out your wardrobe a bit in this area.  If you have 8 hot pink tops and no neutrals, you may want to shop for some great basics that will work with more things in your closet.  Make sense?

This leads us to step 2: make a shopping list.  Once you know what you need to shop for, write it down on a list that you keep with you all the time.  Shopping trips happen at unexpected times while you are waiting for an appointment or when you have a few extra minutes.  Keep that list with you so that no matter when you shop, you can check it and stay focused on what you need rather than wandering aimlessly through the store waiting for something to catch your eye.

Step 3: shop with a color palate.  This step also requires some work, but not to worry, I have a handy video that will give you a great start.  Shopping with a color palate will focus your shopping in amazing ways.  It will help you say “no” to items that you love but are in a color that is not flattering on your skin.  It will also help you have the confidence that when you get that item home, it will go with something else in your closet, including your accessories like purses and coats.

Step 4: know when the best sales happen at your favorite boutique or store.  For most of the industry, January and February are sales months for winter and July and August are sales months for summer.  Early markdowns happen in December and June as well.  Start checking back frequently in late December and late June to get the first chance at the best items.  If you wait to the end of the sale season, most of the great buys will be very picked over.

Step 5: use the store perks.  If your favorite stores have a layaway program with no fees, this is a great way to shop early in the sale season and put the items on layaway so you can pay for them a little at a time.  Does your store of choice have a rewards or loyalty program?  Make sure you are utilizing it and maximizing your shopping budget.

Step 6: shop for quality and not quantity.  Nothing is a great deal if you never wear it!  Don’t buy just because it is on sale.  In fact, when you consider the cost per wear of an item, in many cases you are better off to spend more on something that is higher quality and will last longer than less on something that is poor quality and will fall apart.  Check out my blog about cost per wear to learn more on this topic.  To determine quality, look at the button holes; they should be bound and not raw with clean edges and no hanging strings.  Next, examine the seams; they should lay flat with no ripples or bumps.  Then, look at the stitching; good quality items have 8-12 stitches per inch.  If the item is patterned, look at where the pattern comes together at the seam.  Does it match or is it askew?  The higher quality items will match the pattern all the way around the garment.  Last, look at the hems; a quality hem will be double stitched and will not be visible from the outside of the garment.

Step 7: shop alone.  I know, I know….you’re thinking that you need that teenage daughter or friend to tell you the truth about how something looks.  Who can trust a sales associate, right?  Well, speaking from personal experience, you can trust a good sales associate, especially one you have built a relationship with and who knows you and what styles and brands you like.  The problem with your teenage daughter or friend is that oftentimes their advice to you is based upon what they feel is a good style for them.  It is difficult for most of us to disassociate what we feel is stylish for what actually looks good on someone.  This is where a professional comes in who has been trained how to help you shop.  At the end of the day, you are the one who has to wear what you take home.  Shouldn’t you be the one to decide if it’s right or wrong?

Step 8: buy a complete outfit rather than pieces.  Nothing is worse than buying something amazing at the store only to discover that you have absolutely nothing to wear it with when you get home.  Worse yet are the various orphans in your closet that you were sure would match that pair of pants but didn’t and so just hang there…waiting.  You can avoid this scenario by buying an entire outfit from the start, including the accessories needed to complete it.  After all, good dressing isn’t just about the top and bottom you are wearing; it is about the complete look with the appropriate shoes, accessories, handbag and coat.  Not sure you agree with me?  Have you ever seen someone put a Columbia parka over a dress?  Sadly, I have.

Step 9: focus on building your basics first and then add the trends.  Make sure you have the bones of a good wardrobe – one or two pairs of black pants, a black blazer, a black skirt, and several nice blouses or tops that can work back with all of your basic bottoms.  Then begin adding other neutrals like browns and navy, all according to your color palate.  Make sure you have a nice casual coat and a nice dress coat.  Be sure you have shoes that coordinate with your wardrobe and are appropriate for dressing up or work.  Once you have this foundation, you can start spending money on trends like cold shoulder tops, embroidered bottoms, and the like.

And finally, step 10: don’t wait for sales to get your workhorse pieces.  There are items in your closet that wear out the fastest because you wear them the most.  Your basic black items are usually among these.  Don’t settle for less than wonderful on your workhorse items.  These are the things you splurge on to get the absolute best quality you can afford.  At the end of the day, quality = longevity.  The better quality fabrics and workmanship of higher priced items will hold up in the washing machine and will with stand wear much better than cheaper items.  Spend your money where it counts.  For these pieces shop in the prime season so you get the best selection of sizes and the most choices.  This means shopping in March and April for summer items and September and October for winter items.

What Is Style?

I read something this morning that resonated.  Fashion and style are not synonymous; while one definitely informs the other, they are decidedly different.  Let me explain.  Fashion refers to the trends of the moment – the styles, fabrics, cuts, and themes that inform what is trendy and what is dated.  Fashion, by nature, is a moving target.  It constantly changes from season to season, year to year.  Style, on the other hand, is constant, transcending the moment.  Style is the distinctive way we act, dress and talk; style is the persona we put on for the world around us.  

I think there are some inherent themes that determine personal style.  Are you classic, tailored, bohemian, organic, sporty, funky, utilitarian, or edgy, for example? If you’re not sure, the style you gravitate toward in clothing, is probably also reflected in your life style, attitudes and decorating.  Would you, for example, choose a leather couch with clean lines (classic) or an overstuffed couch with an ethnic feel (bohemian)?  Or maybe you are more of a futon person (utilitarian).

Whatever your choice, personal style will affect every clothing decision you make.  How you wear a trend will have much to do with your inherent style.  A classic, for example, might take a trend like a velvet kimono and pair it with a collared blouse, belt it at the waist, and wear it with sleek black pants.  A funky would take that same kimono and pair it with ripped leggings, military boots and a tee.  Therefore, having a clear understanding of your style preference is the first place to start in your journey to dressing well.  

If you’d like to learn a little more about this idea, join me Friday, November 17th at 9 a.m. for the first in a series of Fashionable Friday live videos.  I’ll be discussing all of the elements of personal style like how to choose the best colors for your skin, how to use style to direct attention to your best assets, how to evaluate fit, how to dress your body type and more.  The very first live video in the series on November 11 will delve into this issue of personal style: how to determine yours and how to use it to make good wardrobe buying decisions.  Join me on my Fashion Crossroads Fashionistas Facebook Group Page at 9 a.m. next Friday morning to begin your journey to becoming a well dressed woman.  

We all want to feel beautiful, so always remember, you are fearfully and wonderfully made.