I'm happy to report that with 2 days until Christmas, I am feeling quite chill and relaxed. I've realized that a big part of this is having older kids and none of the pressure and expectation that comes with good ole' Santa Clause. I miss the guy, but it does reduce the stress level, don't you think??
My guys want very little in terms of gifts (clothes and cash sums it up) and it's just fun having them home. This year I promised myself to not sweat the little-ish irritations that come with having college kids home for 6 weeks, and instead just enjoy the chaos. So far so good.
Talk to me on January 22nd.
Oh, and the food situation is a problem. The grocery bill is ridiculous and "there's never any food in the house."
But anyway, now that all the holiday gift shopping is (hopefully) behind us, and our winter wardrobes are (hopefully) in place and fabulous....guess what it's time for???
In mid-January and February, I have something really special for you....the
If I had to pick just ONE item to be my #1 Holiday Wardrobe Workhorse...I'm going with the black velvet blazer. It's the start of one of my favorite, easy, go-to holiday formulas too:
Black Pants or Denim + Festive Top + Black Velvet Blazer + Statement Earrings
I talk (all the time) about the Magic of the 3rd Piece for pulling an outfit together and elevating your look. This baby is the easiest item to add to so many looks and can take you so many places. And nothing says FESTIVE like black velvet!
1. Work Event/Party: Add instant polish and arm coverage to a sleeveless top or dress. Sophisticated jewelry and elegant heels finish the look.
2. Casual House Party: Your dark wash denim and top instantly becomes party-worthy (but not over-the-top) with the addition of the black velvet jacket. A pair of heeled booties and some whimsical statement earrings - BAM.
The flare leg sweater pants (pic #3) were a find from Anthropologie, on sale. They are the first high-waist pants I LOVE...unfortunately they are sold out in most -but not all- sizes.. regular and petite: http://bit.ly/2QIqGr4
"Dane" faux leather and ponte pants: I was skeptical about these at first, but I've worn them the last three times I've gone out and absolutely LOVE them. They have a slim fit and look great with tunics and long sweaters, but they aren't traditional leggings (like the famous spanx faux leather leggings) so you don't HAVE to wear long tops ...they are "real" pants. I love the flattering slant zippers in front too.
Statement Earrings: www.stelladot.com/ts/4zf6p (then enter earring name in search bar) French Twist Feather earring, navy Fireworks Statement (what I'm wearing - chapagne) More simple option but still a modern statement, gold or silver: Georgia Hoops
Favorite silver-tone statement suggestions: Crystal Burst The Showstoppers (convertible)
Phew! That's it! Now when you need to #justgetdressed for your next holiday event, you are ALL SET.
Know exactly what to wear this holiday season by joining my Winter Style System and B.Styled Challenge. Click below for the details, and for less than that new sweater you really don't need, you'll have a list, a plan, and done-for-you outfits for every occasion (and everyday life) all season long:
Happy Thanksgiving, ladies! I am so thankful for YOU, your business and your support. Thank for playing along with me, and #justgetdressed.
Have you been told by someone (maybe your mom?) that you're short-waisted? Or maybe you figured it out yourself just by the way clothes fit you.
There's not a body type out there without inherent challenges when it comes to getting dressed. We are all born with certain inherent body proportions and none of them are "right" or "wrong". The key to looking our best in clothes is creating the illusion of balance and proportion, even when it isn't really there;) The good news is that clothing is a tool that can help us look and feel our best and I'm here to help you use it to your best advantage.
So, if you were born with a torso that is short relative to your lower half, here are some tips to help. And if you aren't sure whether you're long or short-waisted, or neither - I give a simple 5 second trick for finding out in the beginning of the video.
Make sure you have good bras that are lifting your girls up off your waist!
Bypass the waist altogether with longer jackets and cardigans. The longer layer elongates and pulls attention away from your short waist.
Avoid cropped tops and cropped jackets that are shorter than your hipbone. They make your top half look squat relative to your bottom half - exactly what we are trying to avoid. Instead, choose tops that hit in the Magical Hipbone Zone - 2 to 3 inches below your hipbone. You could always layer a shorter jacket over a longer top if you love that layered look!
You don't have to wear low-riders but you may want to avoid the oh- so- popular high-rise trend. Instead, opt for mid-rise pants and jeans. They will give the illusion of the high-waist trend on you without having to wear pants that go up to your boobs:) Mid-rise pants generally have a rise between 7.5-10 inches and hit 1-3 inches below your belly button. My advice is try many different rises until you find you sweet spot. Mirror selfies are the best way to tell how well an item fits. And feel free to ask for my advice over in the free private #justgetdressed Facebook Group.
Avoid high contrast colors between your top and bottom as that just draws attention to the issue. Monochromatic or similar hued tops and bottoms create a longer-looking torso. Add a jacket or cardigan in a brighter, lighter, or more eye-catching shade than your pants and top -- another way to detract from a short a waist.
Vertical lines, stripes and seaming are your friend!
Look for tops with some shape at the waist (vs. boxy or wide) that fall within the Magical Hipbone Zone. Avoid lots of ties, wraps and belting at your midsection as these just cut you off.
Avoid boatneck tops that create a horizontal line across your shoulders...this will visually shorten the area between your neck and waist - the opposite of what you want! If you have a boatneck top you love, you can reduce this shortening effect by adding a long scarf or necklace or a jacket or cardigan that creates a vertical line down your torso. Make sense??
Tops with vertical zippers, button-ups and V-NECKS are your friends!!
Don't tuck in shirts! You can however, play with a half tuck, especially an off-center half-tuck that creates a flattering diagonal line.
If you want to wear a belt (I.e. leopard belt with your jeans that peaks out of a half-tucked shirt) go with a thin to medium width. Wide belts are not your friend!
Usually when we struggle with our wardrobe, it’s not because of a lack of clothing. In fact, many of us have way too much stuff cluttering our closets, and the sheer volume of random clothing makes it difficult to focus and #justgetdressed.
We’re constantly bombarded with images, special sales and can’t-pass-up deals that make it easy to acquire more and more stuff.
Heck, I go to Target to buy light bulbs and end up with a cart filled with everything from bananas to new pajamas. Instead, what we need to do is shop with a plan, a purpose…and a well-defined list (hint: this is just one of the features included in the B.Styled Style Systems.
We also need to allocate our clothing budget in a way that makes sense. To help, I created this graphic showing where to spend your money, and where to save. And see below for the live video I made on the topic:
WHEN TO SPEND:
Jeans: Cheap denim is tempting I know, but it also loses its shape and fades much more quickly than premium brands. I think everyone should own at least one pair of high quality, perfectly fitting jeans. When you find a brand you love, keep a look out for sales. I’ve even bought my favorite Paige jeans on eBay!
BRAS: Don’t skimp on the foundation. Invest in perfectly fitting bras – and get undies that show no VPL’s (visible panty lines). While only a few people will see them, their effects are obvious. 😉 I recommend going to a favorite, dependable department store’s lingerie department (Nordstrom is my top pick) and ask for their most seasoned, experienced bra-fitter. You can even make an appointement in advance. Or, if you are local to me in MA, I highly recommend the ladies of Jo-Karen in Acton. Tell them I sent you;) they will hook you up – literally;)
Jackets/Blazers: Don’t underestimate the power of a fitted blazer. It can complete a work outfit and gives shape to your casual looks, providing a polished finishing touch.
Shoes: Fabulous shoes can transform and upgrade a $20 dress. On the flip side, cheap shoes can instantly downgrade an otherwise fabulous outfit. Shoes (and handbags) are an area where quality over quality rules (my apologies to you shoe collectors out there;)
Coat: Your coat is something you may wear every single day and it makes a statement as you enter and exit. Invest in a coat you love that has classic staying power so you can resurrect it year after year.
WHEN TO SAVE:
Statement Jewelry: If you know me, you know I love a funky necklace. Take your wardrobe foundations and transform them completely with the jewelry you add. The options for fabulous, affordable jewelry are endless. The key is to find pieces that are inexpensive without looking “cheap”. After years of resisting it as being “too expensive”, I am now a firm believer in Stella & Dot jewelry, and chose to represent them as a stylist too. I love their high-end looking designs, incredible attention to detail and quality and phenomenal customer service. I have pieces that look exactly as they did they day I bought them, several years ago.
So, while you don’t have to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on 18k gold, diamonds, and other expensive gemstones – quality, on-trend costume jewelry gives your wardrobe a huge bang for the buck.
Occasion Items: Special Occasion = Infrequent Use. Don’t spend a fortune on glitzy bags, earrings or metallic heels when there are plenty of inexpensive options out there. Instead invest in a fabulous dress that’ll be ready for you when the invitation arrives. Or, borrow from a friend or rent those rare special occasion dresses.
Tee, Tanks & Knits: Premium knits made from fine, soft fibers often get holes and stains (think armpit) quicker than their bargain alternatives. It’s a good idea to have a couple of quality cashmere sweaters, but for tees and layering pieces, make sure they fit and flatter — but go for the bargains.
Scarves: When you see a scarf that speaks to you and it’s a good deal, grab it. Like statement jewelry, scarves are a fantastic and affordable way to add color and pattern to your wardrobe essentials….and display your individual personality.
In a nutshell:
SPLURGE AND SPEND: Frequent Use • Durable • Classic • Essentials • BRA’S & COATS • Signature Items
Tipsy Tuesday this week helps you decide how to wear tights or bare legs, with simple tips on how to style each look.
Here are some tips to help you decide what to wear on your legs and your feet when you #justgetdressed - in a dress - this fall and winter:
Bare legs are totally acceptable and some fashion gurus argue they are even more "on-trend" than tights. A shoe in a color that blends with your skin tone will be the most flattering to your bare leg.
Take it from Kate Middleton -- when it's cold or you hate to bare your legs, tights are completely acceptable. These are the nude tights she wears because they look bare, but provide coverage and at least a little warmth. Stick to closed- toe pump-type shoes when wearing nude tights:
3. If I'm not going bare-legged in the late fall and winter, I personally opt for black opaque tight like this highly rated pair that's only $8.
4. When wearing black tights with black shoes (I.e. loafers, booties, knee-high boots or pumps) I think it looks best to balance out all the black on your legs and feet with some black in your outfit. For example, in this outfit I swapped out my light denim jacket for a black cardigan when I added the black tights:
5. How about a little compromise? During the fall, I love the look of tall boots with bare legs...giving just enough leg coverage. Then when it gets colder, just add your black tights. Notice how I added a black scarf to tie in the black boots (see #4).
A one-and-done dress is a great piece to have at the ready to help you #justgetdressed with ease. If you have dresses in your closet that you love, don't ignore them! Learn how to dress them up and down to work with your every day style. I'm here to help if you have any questions! Drop me a note at email@example.com.
For answers to all your #justgetdressed questions, including "what to wear" on a daily basis, join the Fall Style System. The Fall Challenge starts up again on 10/29 and I'd love to have you! Use code spice15 to take 15% off registration. Click HERE to sign up or HERE to learn more.
I get a ton of questions about pant lengths and what shoes to wear with different style pants. The good news is that there are many options out there to suit various body types and tastes, but with all the options also comes lots of confusion.
For our purposes, I'm going to focus on the 4 main pant styles my clients tend to wear, and attempt to simplify things and give you some good rules of thumb and guidelines.
In the end though, the important thing is to wear what YOU like and feel best in.
If you are unsure, take a mirror selfie - "The selfie doesn't lie" -and is a better way to see if something works vs. just looking in the mirror. I don't know why that is - but it's true; trust me.
Skinny jeans and pants fit snugly from the hips all the way down. They look best when the hem hits right at the ankle bone. The beauty of skinny pants is that most types of shoes will work with them without having to adjust the length. This is probably why they've remained popular for so long.
Everything from booties to loafers, heels to ballet flats, sandals to wedges and tall boots all work with skinny jeans. Skinny jeans are easy to cuff too, allowing you to play with the length and adjust it to your shoes. With booties, they look best when they hit the top of the bootie shaft. This style is easy to wear tucked into tall boots too.
Not everyone has embraced the skinny jeans, which is fine. They tend to look best on women with a more balanced shape and those with thinner leges, but this is not a hard and fast rule. If you have thicker legs or are heavier on the bottom (i.e. a pear shape) you may look better in a straight leg style that will give the similar appearance as a skinny and with the same shoe flexibility. But don't be afraid to try a quality skinny jean. When styled correctly (I.e. with a longer top or layer) skinny jeans in a sleek, dark wash, can be a very versatile and flattering option.
Pant Style: STRAIGHT LEG
Straight leg pants aren’t as tight to the body as skinny jeans, instead they they skim the legs from hip to hem. Straight leg styles should hit just below the ankle. However, you'll see lots of current straight leg jeans with frayed hems cut to or just above the ankle as well.
Like their skinny cousin, you can wear straight leges with all shoe styles, and they are flattering on most body types. As mentioned earlier, straight leg styles are great for pear and hour glass body-types who prefer the looser fit of straight leg jeans vs. skinny.
The key to wearing straight leg jeans with booties is that the pant leg needs to be wide enough and the boot shaft narrow enough that the pants don't bunch or get stuck on the boot. Cuffing the jeans is an easy way to get this to work without having to hem them.
With trousers especially, it is important that straight legs don't puddle on the top of your foot. Hem straight leg pants to fall just below the ankle bone, giving you the most flexibility with shoe styles: pumps, loafers, booties and heels. Take the shoe you plan to wear with them to the tailor with you!
Pant Style: Bootcut and Flare
Bootcut pants or jeans are fitted through the thighs and flare out slightly from knee to hem (the degree of the flare varies from baby bootcut to wider flares.) They should hit ¼” to ½” from the floor so it's important to take into account the shoe you will wear with them. Unlike the other styles, there is really no flexibility here.
Bootcut styles look best with a heel - try heeled booties, open toe booties and heeled sandals and wedge or block heels. If you wear bootcut pants or jeans with flats, I recommend a shoe with a pointed toe to visually elongate the line of the leg, but this is not ideal, unless you are very tall.
And I'm laying down ONE hard rule here (take it or leave it) but please, no sneakers with bootcut jeans.
Bootcut pants and jeans are flattering on many figures and help to balance out a heavier lower body. When you wear them with heels and have them hemmed to the correct length, they can make your legs look a mile long. Remember to keep your top shorter or tucked/half-tucked to balance out the longer, wider pant silhouette.
Pant Style: Ankle
I think the most modern, versatile and easiest to fit and style pant length is the ankle pant. Showing some skin at the slimmest part of your leg is universally flattering and a very current, on-trend look.
Ankle pants should end just above or below the ankle bone depending on where the thinnest part of your lower leg is. If you have thicker or shorter legs, you may look best with your ankle pants hemmed near the bottom of the ankle bone. If you have longer, thinner legs, you may prefer them above the ankle bone.
The best part about ankle length pants is that they can be skinny, straight, or bootcut/flare and , you can wear just about any type of shoe with them without having to change the length.
I hear you cold-weather girls though...What to do when it's too cold to bare your ankles?
If you've cuffed your straight leg or skinny jeans to ankle length, you can simply uncuff them to get more length and wear them with your booties. Or opt for a higher shaft sock bootie to get the coverage you want and create an unbroken, sleek, flattering line. (See the pic in the Straight Leg section of blogger Jo-Lynne Shane wearing ankle length, straight-leg jeans and sock booties).
For a fun, casual look on cold days, I love the look of socks showing with your booties too. Be sure you are intentional with your choice of socks. Your safest bet is black or charcoal socks with black booties and gray or tan with neutral booties. I love to wear tan or gray marled socks with my taupe suede booties. Image below by un-fancy.com.
Hopefully this was helpful! Remember these are guidelines, not hard and fast rules. In the end, wear what YOU like. Play around with different hem lengths and shoes and try new combos using the selfie as your guide.
A great way to get ideas is to do a pinterest search, for example "booties with straight leg jeans". You can get a lot of inspiration that way and see what looks are currently on trend.
And, if you're unsure, I encourage you to head over to my private and free VIP Facebook Group. and ask away! We are here to help!
Or...simply post your questions or comments below. What's your favorite pant length to wear?
It's been about 6 weeks since you dropped your fabulous offspring off at college. If this is his or her freshman year, you may even miss him/her. I'm kidding - of course we miss them, regardless of how long they've been out of the nest.
But fear not. Most colleges host a Parent's or Family Weekend sometime in the fall, so you get a chance to see your kid in their new environment. I've been to 2 of these so far and here's some brief insight before I tell you what to pack/wear. (FYI, this packing guide can work for any casual fall weekend).
1. Best to have low expectations and then be pleasantly surprised.
2. If at all possible, make dinner reservations. Most of the time the campus will be a complete zoo and this could result in lots of aimless walking and long lines.
3. Have your kid invite any friends whose parents aren't making the trip. ( This year, that's us. So, anyone at Miami University in Oxford, OH...my son is free for dinner;)
4. Football tailgates and pre-gaming is fun, but remember it's not 1988, and there's no need to shotgun that beer. Your child will thank you for taking a hard pass.
Ok, that's all I have for you as far as practical tips. Now let's get to the important stuff...
What to wear.
Here's a handy capsule wardrobe you can shop your closet for and pack accordingly. Substitute with what you have.
My go-to black ankle pants that are stretchy, hold their shape, wrinkle-free, machine wash....AND comfortable, but polished and easy to dress down or up.
DO plan on weather changes. Especially if you're traveling, wear layers, bring an umbrella, and have a neutral jacket on hand.
I love my black ponte blazer because it's so very comfortable, easy to pack, and polished looking without being stuffy.
An olive field jacket is another versatile winner because it's on-trend without being trendy...and you'll blend in with the scenery which is your goal. Another go-to is my all-time favorite denim jacket - it's just cool enough without screaming "I'm 50+ years old and want to look like a teenager."
On that note: DON'T dress for fashion. Yes, you can be fashionable, but trust me, your kid doesn't want you to draw undo attention to yourself.
DO bring a scarf to add some personality to your neutral look. Scarves serve multiple purposes including adding some warmth, keeping your head dry in unexpected downpours, and covering the inevitable stains.
And remember my cardinal rule: put on a necklace...Heck, it's college, so go crazy and put on TWO necklaces. And hoop earrings. Now you're good to go.
So, what makes this a Capsule Wardrobe? Well basically it's like Garanimals for Adults...All the pieces are chosen because they can be mixed and matched together to make innumerable outfits.
Dress it up or down with jewelry, shoes and substitutions as needed. For example, need to have a dressy outfit? Swap the burgundy v-neck for a dressier top like this, and swap the booties for a comfortable heel like this, and you're good to go!
Use this capsule for any casual fall weekend at all. And if you are visiting your kiddo, have a great time!
Now, go #justgetdressed.
How about an entire SEASON of outfits using my Style System? A 36- piece capsule wardrobe with a hard copy book of 24+ fabulous and customizable outfits to get you dressed (looking and feeling fabulous) - for every occasion between now and Thanksgiving! Learn more and sign up here.
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I've said it before, I'll say it again...Shoes make (or break) the style. An outfit can go from meh to marv with a great shoe. But on the flip side, it can go from fab to frump with the wrong shoe.
Every foot is different and many of us have "foot issues." But the good news is that comfort shoes are more readily available now in flattering styles, so we don't have to give up style to keep our feet from screaming.
I am often asked what COLOR shoe to wear with various outfits, and like everything else, I like to simplify things. That way we don't go out and buy a zillion shoes in every color known to man (you know who I'm talking to;)
Here's a simple rule of thumb to use when deciding what color shoe to wear to make sure your outfit sings:
Pick a shoes that matches/coordinates with your
SKIN -- your #1 most important and versatile shoes for obvious reasons (i.e. versatility, leg lengthening and flattering-factor)
TOP - i.e. your shirt, jacket or third piece
HEM - i.e. the color of your pants or skirt - or the predominant color at the bottom of your outfit.
ACCESSORIES - matte metallic shoes work wonders here as they are an elevated neutral and you can tie in your jewelry, handbag, etc.
MAKE A STATEMENT - here's where you can add a contrasting color, a pattern or an animal print and have some fun!
Here's a handy-dandy graphic to help you visualize:
Click here to shop my Stella & Dot accessories (including the awesome black top!)
What's your favorite choice? Do you have a go-to shoe you love that is comfortable AND good looking? Please share...we're always on the hunt for those Unicorn Shoes!