Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Spring for Shoes that Last 'til Winter: Good, Better, Best (Part 1 of 2)

I've been getting a few questions about shoes lately (thank you for asking!) and wanted to address them with a two-part blog series, starting first with colors. (In fact, I'm not going to mention anything specific about styles or include a "Where to Buy" section until the next post.)

With Easter past us, we are now allowed by The Fashion Gods to wear white shoes. But this doesn't mean we should ... at least not in the traditional sense. The days of stark white shoes are behind us. This year, we are seeing a lot more embellishment going on, with jewels and bows attached to shoes of all shapes and sizes.

Photo source: ninewest.com

Metallic tints and nude tones are colors that will easily translate into your fall wardrobe. And with these palletes, subtlety is key. For example, look for shoes that are lightly brushed with a metallic finish. After all, chickadees, ghetto gold is best left to costume jewelry.

Photo source: stevemadden.com

Have you noticed a pattern yet? If white is good, and nude tones are better, then it makes sense why camel might be the best color to accesorize with this season and the following ones. And shoes will be no exception. If I can't convice you, check out one Vogue article written earlier this month.

Photo source: chineselaundry.com

My hope is that visions of leather and suede are now dancing in your head, but before you open your wallet, spend the next few days simply looking around. Pay attention to the shoe styles you find in white versus the ones you spot in camel. And start to consider your budget, as that will help determine whether or not you purchase a style in each shade or save your pennies for the ultimate pair you can wear into 2011.

Happy Tuesday, and I'll blog ya' soon! In the meantime, feel free to post comments or questions!

Monday, April 12, 2010

The Foolproof Accessory -- Men's Gold Watches

My current accessory obsession, which I mentioned briefly in my last post, is men's gold watches. This kind of watch is the perfect add-on because it combines glamour with functionality -- what looks like a heavy gold bracelet can actually tell time, too!

What I'm Wearing
I spent 15 minutes and $15 at Target this weekend selecting the perfect one and couldn't be happier. Because I don't ever want my look to appear ultra-feminine or ultra-masculine (I live to mix it up!), I'll skip this watch on the days I wear my boyfriend blazer or tuxedo vest and opt to wear it with floral-print dresses, Peter Pan-collared blouses, or basically any clothing item that includes lace! 

Photo source: armaniexchange.com

The "100-50-25" Where to Buy
You can also skip the chain stores and head to your favorite resale shop to purchase a vintage watch. Or if you don't want to make the monetary commitment, borrow one of your dad's for the day. (My dad rocked an awesome gold watch in the mid-80s.) I think men's gold watches are unique because you can't go wrong, whether you are wearing a new, sleek version or a more antiquated design.

Where did you purchase your gold watch? Post a comment!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Style Diary -- The Perfect Spring Outfit

Anthropologie is by far one of my favorite stores. I'm on the mailing list, and the daily e-mails to my personal account are both a blessing and a curse. Beautiful clothing (when it's on sale) is on its way with the click of a button. Never has there been a company that so clearly understands what it would be like to live inside my brain. However, Anthropologie constantly forces me to practice self-control if I intend to indulge in other luxuries such as eating and paying rent.

Its recently released "Finer Things" collection is exactly what I want this season -- the clothing includes all the delicate details I love to combine with more masculine pieces. Fortunately, I can purchase the Friendly Competition top (at full price!) without feeling that terrible ache in the bottom of my stomach, otherwise known as buyer's remorse.

Photo source: anthropologie.com

What I'm Wearing
I'm pairing this with grey cargo pants and thin-strapped leather sandals, probably something in a brighter, jewel-toned color because I'm a big fan of one pop of color among neutral shades. 

Because the neckline is already so intricate, I'll skip a necklace and try adding a heavier bracelet or maybe even a vintage-looking gold men's watch.

Where to Buy
Price: $68

How would you wear this top? Post a comment!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Keep It Classy with Denim Leggings

I definitely consider my style to be “trial and error” at least half of the time. I don’t always love the colors, styles, and/or combinations I select, but the point is to learn from your mistakes, right?

Because today is something like the 99th day out of 100 that I’ve worn denim leggings, I thought it would be appropriate to share three rules I have learned to wear them boldly, wear them proudly, and wear them correctly.

Photo source: madewell.com

1) Respect the Stretch
Denim leggings typically are made with 2 to 5 percent elastane material (such as Spandex or Lycra), which may not seem like a lot, but that is at least double the amount of stretch found in your everyday jeans. Think about how differently those regular denim jeans feel at the end of the day versus when you put them on that morning. That baggy effect comes from the elastane – so if you’re doubling the elasticity of your jeans, you’re going to double the bagginess at the end of the day.

With that in mind, consider buying nothing larger than your typical size in denim leggings. In fact, most of the chickadees I have talked to have purchased their denim leggings in the next smaller size.

2) Draw Attention to Your Feet
Denim leggings should feel tight all over (especially when you first put them on), but they fit especially tight around your calves and ankles. In other words, denim leggings make an already slim part of your leg look even slimmer!

Embrace this by wearing fierce biker boots, slouchy suede boots, colorful flats, or Grecian sandals.

3) CYA
The point of denim leggings is that they will always look like leggings, not jeans. They typically don’t have zippers, pockets, or intricate seams. There is nothing special about the waist of denim leggings, so there is no point in showing off that part of the pants. Furthermore, if you are wearing them in more conservative settings (for instance, on Casual Friday at your office), you probably want them to appear as close to skinny jeans as possible.

When selecting a top to pair with denim leggings, go long. I recommend tunics and men’s dress shirts, because they will effectively conceal your back side. Just ask yourself, “Would I wear this shirt with black leggings?” If the answer is no, then move on.

The "100-50-25" Where to Buy

• Less than $100 -– Madewell (madewell.com for locations)

• Less than $50 -- Express

• Less than $25 -- Kohl’s

Have any more tips to conquering denim leggings? Post a comment, and let me know!