Monthly Archives: October 2012

The Stripes of Life

The funny thing about living in Texas is that when I am doing laundry it’s nothing out of the ordinary to pull shorts and sweatpants out of the dryer in the same load. When I woke up this morning it was 36 degrees outside (colder than it was in Chicago this morning) but by the time I got ready to get dressed and head to the polls it was in the seventies…go figure. So, for me What I Wore Wednesday has to be about both fashion and function. The outfit has to be something that I can be warm in during the wee hours of the morning as I drop the kids off at school, but lightweight enough not to be sweltering by the end of the day.

This outfit helps to fit that bill. In the morning I can throw a light jacket over the striped Henley (from J Crew) to keep warm ,and then shed in the evening as the temperature rises. As a petite shopper, I am always a big fan of the cuffed capri. I am able to roll them up enough that the bottom of the cuff actually hits me in the right spot. These capris are a pair of Miss Me jeans I found at the beginning of the spring. I love two things about Miss Jeans. First of all, I am a sucker for bling and Miss Me knows how to bring the bling. I also love their quality. I have washed the capris multiple times and they always hold their color and their shape..win win. The simple bangle necklace is one I got at  Macy’s. It has a matching cuff and dangling earrings. Simple enough to pull off in a casual setting, yet interesting enough to dress up an evening look. Who knows, with the weather down here next Wednesday I just may be showing you my snow suit and boots. Gotta love the Lone Star State.

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That is A Wrap Using the Wrap Top To Create Shape

Every Thursday we head to the field to watch my son hit the grid iron and pour his heart and soul onto the field. For him, its his time to shine and count how many times that the announcer says his name. For me, it’s an opportunity to show off my latest conquest in the retail arena. This week I am excited to say that fall has finally found us in the state of Texas and I get to pull out some of the long sleeve pieces I have been collecting since they hit the stores this season. This week’s featured outfits are all about the crossover top.  I love wrap tops because they are universally flattering and add interest to any outfit.

The first piece is a layered wrap top that I found at Macy’s. I love the cream color because I can pair it with almost anything in my closet. The lace detail adds a feminine flare that draws a great deal of compliments when I wear it. In addition to using the wrap top to accentuate the waistline (which is the smallest part of the body) I also added a belt to create the illusion of an hourglass shape. After two babies I assure you that is truly an illusion. The vibrant purple top is from the basics collection at J Crew. I love their t-shirts because they hold their color and their shape even after multiple washes. I finished the outfit off with 3 necklaces in brown and multi-colored beads for an additional pop of color.

The next option for this week is a pair of Miss Me Jeans paired with a wrap top from Victoria’s Secret. I do love it, but I will provide a word of caution about ordering that way. When the top was photographed in the catalogue it looked as if the detail had a backing, but when it arrived the detailing has no backing and you can see my shoulders through the detail. I chose to not accessorize the piece as not to compete with the beautiful detailing of the shirt.

If you do not own a wrap top or thought that you could never pull it off, I challenge you to open your mind and a fitting room and give it a try…I think you will like what you find. Feel free to stop by and give a shout out to your favorite fall top or what you find the first time that you tried a wrap top.

Outerwear Meets Southern Fried Fall Style

Winter has finally found its way to Texas which means that the time has come to retire the summer closet in my office and delve into the winter closet in my bedroom. This means that I can now begin getting the return on my investment in the coat and boot industries. Today’s focus is about flaunting your signature style through your outerwear choices. In a previous post,  In the Trenches- The Fashion Forward Guide to Choosing Fall Outerwear, ( https://myfashionforwardblog.wordpress.com/2012/09/14/in-the-trenches-the-fashion-forward-guide-to-choosing-fall-outerwear/ ), we explored how to choose the best fall outerwear, so today the topic is how to style what is available this season.

This one from New York and Company I love. It incorporates a classic trench cut with the current trends in colorblocking. It is featured here styled with denim for a casual day out, but you could just have easily paired it with trousers or cords for a warmer look. If you want to set yourself apart from the crowd (and I did) the coat also comes in a vibrant blue and black combination.

This piece I love and is one that I got on clearance last year at Macy’s which made it a steal. Look for end of season sales to stock up on classic pieces for the following year. Choose neutral colors so that you do not date your wardrobe. Avoid pieces that were the it color of the season even if they are a great deal. You will be less likely to wear those colors the next year.

This piece I picked up today at JC Penney (thank you hubby). It is another take on the classic wool winter coat. I was attracted by the faux leather detail around the pocket and the collar. Then, when I turned it around and found faux leather patches on the sleeves, it was full on love in the store. I almost reverted back to my classic childhood game of pay for this with me in it. You will be glad to know that I did restrain myself, but just barely. Look for items that have unexpected elements that will set you apart from the crowd.  So, for all of you are finally enjoying your much needed cool snap, do it in style and do it with outerwear.

Shopping Is An Art Wear It Well

Shopping is my sport of choice, but it hasn’t always been that way. Not too many years ago, my kids were small and it was all that I could do to get them dressed and out the door, much less worry about me and what I looked like. Now that my twins are 13 I find myself with a little more me time and have rediscovered shopping as my sport of choice. What I have found though is after baby shopping has taken on a new form. The more I read about the adventures of others in this arena the more I began to think about the rules of the sport. Fashion is for everyone and I want everyone to love the sport as much as I do.

Make Peace With Your Body Type

Real women are beautiful and they should know it. Do not look to the cover of a magazine and aspire to that. Real women have shape, and curves, and flaws. Love them all. We all have parts of our body that are not our favorite. For me it is my baby bump (although since my kids turned 13 this week I am not sure that you can even still call it that). Try as I might over the years exercise and diet could not make it go away. Now I embrace my body and would not trade that bump for anything in the world. Whatever that body part may be for you know that it is part of what makes you unique and special. Once you embrace your body type, shopping will take on an entirely new meaning.

Let the Clothes Do The Work In Terms of Silhouette

Choose pieces that help accentuate your best features. Select tailored jackets that are fitted at the bust and waist. That will help give you an hourglass appearance. Choose darker wash jeans that will give a slimmer, longer appearance. Choose v-neck tops that draw your attention towards the face and your beautiful smile.

Define The Waist

Find items that help define you waist which is the smallest part of your body. Look for ways to add a belt to your outfits Belts draw attention to your waistline and provide shape to most outfits. Another way to define your waist is to choose a wrap dress or a wrap top. Wrap tops and dresses gather at the waist and provide an hourglass shape. The great thing about wrap pieces is that they are universally flattering.

Love It or Leave It

If you do not love it in the dressing room or the store, leave it there. Clothes look their best in the store. They will not grow on you once you get them home. They will hang in your closet and taunt you with the dangling price tag. Only purchase items that scream buy me, buy me in the store. Those pieces will be the ones that you can not wait to wear. Your entire attitude will change when you wear it and people will take notice.

 

The next time that you take the field in the shopping game, think about what you love best about yourself. Embrace that and find items that highlight that part of yourself. Shopping is fun and shopping is for everyone.

 

Do Not Tug on My Superman Cape

Fall is a wonderful time when the store is filled with every type of crop jacket and trench imaginable. The other day I was walking innocently along and minding my own business when out of the corner of my eye I was struck by a new collection that was hitting the floor. I was drawn in and a few minutes later I was on my way orange cape in hand.

The trick to styling fall jackets with ease is to keep it simple. Most jackets have an interesting detail that is the anchor for the piece. It is important to highlight those elements and avoid distracting from them. In this case the cape design is a strong element so to avoid distraction we paired it with a brown fitted turtleneck. The jewelry is a simple white beaded piece that adds a small amount of bling without pulling your eyes away from the flap collar. The flap collar should stand alone so avoid trying to style a scarf or large statement necklace with the piece because then the collar is simply lost.

If orange is not necessarily your signature style, you can still rock the piece by choosing a neutral color like black. Neutrals are always a great way to try a trend in a cautious way. Black always says classic style so don’t be afraid to add a trend piece in black, it’s life span will pay for itself. Above all fashion is fun. Be bold and try something new, you will not regret it.

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