Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Maximum Style Midi Dress

Record breaking warm temperatures this week in Seattle have made this a hooky playing, rose wine swilling, crack out the umbrella on the patio kind of week. And it is only mid spring--so that is sweet to those of us who live in the PNW, especially since April can tend to be a bit soggy. This fab weather also made me dig into my closet for a colorful off the shoulder dress I have been saving for a non-rainy day.

Embroidery details on the Marty Midi Dress
The midi length for dresses and skirts is on point at the moment and its really refreshing to see this silhouette back in the game again. Short skirts work great for some people, but they never really have been my favorite look, even back when I was a younger me. The midi length skirt, particularly the pencil skirt version, is super chic. And here is the trick with this length of skirt or dress: midi may not give a lot of leg, but how you maximize what it does show is what matters. Show off your gorgeous calves by wearing a flattering wedge or heel, or choose a midi that has a slit in it so it gives a wink of a bit of thigh. Or choose to show some skin elsewhere, like I did with this shoulder bearing dress. It is quality, not quantity, my friend. ;)

TULAROSA Marty Midi Dress from SHOPBOP

This TULAROSA Marty Midi Dress is beautiful watermelon gauze fabric and has lovely white embroidery that makes it the perfect boho style summer dress. It came with a belt but I have also switched it out with a brown wide woven belt and a brown and tan cowhide belt. I am a big fan of the off the shoulder trend, which I wore pretty much all last summer based on my assessment of my summer closet from last year. I will be wearing more of the same again this year too, because showing off your shoulders is subtly sexy, and incredibly flattering too.

I wore my Burberry tan patent wrap flats with my dress but a wrap wedge sandal to give a little height would also be really pretty. The beautiful color of this dress would also look amazing with an of-the-moment denim shoe. 

A little shoulder, a little leg, what is not to love? Have a sunny week!

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Spring Blues: The Denim Trend

Denim is the quintessential wardrobe staple for most of us, and its reinvention over the past couple of seasons has made denim into a not-so-basic basic. For Spring/Summer 2016 there have been a lot of great new pieces that make wearing denim way more fun than just pulling on a pair of pants. From fabulous footwear to gorgeous handbags, and of course great jeans to wear, denim is having a moment. Its all about rule breaking too: pairing denim on denim is big and is a bit like mixing prints, it works together when you keep things contrasting, in this case the washes, so they compliment each other. It was hard to choose, but here are a few of my favorite denim pieces for summer:

Denim x Alexander Wang Trap Crop Boot Cut Jean

These Denim x Alexander Wang Grey Aged Black Striped Trap Crop Boot-cut Jeans are kind of off the hook. (And so is the long name!). Cropped flares are big for summer, and this pair takes it to the next level. I love the grey stripe but if you prefer it in indigo denim, Intermix has them and they are just as cool. I would pair this striped denim with these IRO Nilow Leather Ankle Tie Strap Flat Sandals and a white t-shirt or blouse to make those fabulous jeans be center stage.

3.1 phillip lim small solei bucket bag

I am a big fan of Roger Vivier—his classic yet modern shoes and bags with the signature buckle are on my wishlist. When I styled the Spring Trend Show for Neiman Marcus this year, I chose this Floral-Denim Marguerite Buckle Wallet as a clutch for one of my looks because it is just the happiest little bag ever. The 3.1 Phillip Lim “Small Solei” Denim and Leather Bucket Bag is both edgy and polished, with a simple silhouette and fantastic details like a silver snake-chain strap and frayed edges on the denim. The Rebecca Minkoff’s handbags are always on trend, beautifully made and are a great way to wear a style without breaking the bank. The Denim Love handbag is a really chic little bag that is a real standout.
Norma Kamali Trench

I bought this unstructured Blank NYC Trench Coat this past fall and I have loved it. (I bought it from Shopbop and it is now sold out but its on sale at 6PM, click on the link above). The darker wash of my coat shown above looks really good paired with my FRAME distressed denim in a lighter shade for a great denim on denim look, which is how I often wear it. This Norma Kamali Trench is also a really killer topper. The white rough edges and wide belt give it a super chic look. I can see wearing it over a LBD or with sneakers—it is a really versatile coat.

Madewelll Flea Market Flare Overalls

Madewell has a laidback cool way of doing the trends, and I love the store’s vibe--it’s not just for whippersnappers. Overall have been around forever, both in and out of fashion. I love these Madewell Flea Market Flare Overalls with their cool criss-cross straps and flare legs. You can skulk about in them wearing a casual pair of sneakers or….you could put on a sexy pair of heels and a silk shirt and go out to dinner. I wore black leather overalls, a high neck white lace blouse and my favorite Miu Miu crocodile pumps to an auction this year and it was one of my favorite outfits. Consider a cute denim pair of overalls to jazz up your summer closet. I also love this Madewell x daryl k® denim shirt—I like to go dark with denim when it comes to a denim shirt, especially if it has a western look to it—it keeps it more street style and less rodeo. Not that there is anything wrong with that.

Joshua Sanders Denim Bow Slip On Sneakers

Handbags are one way of giving the denim trend a nod, but so is a snazzy pair of shoes. I am a little picky about denim shoes because they can easily come off as cheap and icky instead of groovy and fabulous. You don’t have to go for the Jimmy Choos, (although these Verni Tie-Up Sandals are awesome), but finding a unique feature with your denim shoes will help you stand out. Literally. I love the cheeky giant bows on the Joshua Sanders Slip On Sneakers, and the cool dark denim of these sweet Vince Robin Espadrilles. For a stylish wedge, go for the Vince Camuto Zigzag Platform Denim Wedge Sandals. 

Madewell x daryl k® denim shirt with contrasting denim pants

Exploring trends can add some fun to your closet, even if you know that some things are going to come and go rather quickly. Knowing when to investing good money into a piece that is on point or to take the “cheap and cheerful” route can sometimes be tricky. I believe that some of the pieces in this latest denim trend really are worth investing in because they will turn out to have longevity in your closet despite the fact that they are of the moment now. Denim will be reimagined yet again, but great pieces will always remain in a happy place in your wardrobe.

Still not convinced that the denim trend is a worthy investment? Here’s a little inspiration from fashion icon Iris Apfel. The uber stylish 94 year old is the new star of the Melbourne company Blue Illusion’s digital and print campaign for Fall 2016, set to launch Monday. Go Iris!

Thursday, April 7, 2016

A Black and White Story

Right now I am alternating between being freezing and wanting to pile on the fuzzy sweaters and the fleeting bits of sunshine make me want to pull out something floral and bright. But even if it is sunny outside, it can be deceivingly cool. April, you can be so two faced, can’t you?

The solution for me is layering in black and white, giving my favorite black pieces a fresh appeal by pairing them with crisp white. You can shed the winter look without looking like you are dressed out of season, and you can chase away the cold, which is a perpetual problem for me. Black and white gives a strong look, both bold and bright.  It is a chic go-to look for me in between seasons when I want to add a trend from the new season to transcend an ordinary look to the next level.

Overdressed as usual

Your favorite white denim and black blazer may be a no brainer, but what if you flip flop it and wear white on top and black undeneath? This long white lace blazer was from Zara last year and I wear it like a topper, but a shorter style would be cool as well--this INC one is on super sale at Macy’s. If you aren’t the lace sort (what do you mean you aren’t the lace sort?), you can do this on trend fringe edged Joie jacket, or my personal favorite, the Nanette Lepore Starlit Jacket with its edgy long slits up the sleeves.

The word leggings can understandably scare the hell out of people, but I have made peace with leggings if they meet my requirements: thick fabric and back pockets. These Vince Riley leggings have the perfect fit for my curves, the cut slims the leg and can slip easily into a pair of boots. They also have flattering back pocket and a slightly higher waist, which made them a great investment for me.

I have a little collection of black blouses with varying personalities, with L’Agence being my favorite label. The one I am wearing in the photos is a black silk long sleeved blouse from Fifteen Twenty, but this one is also beautiful all by itself or layered under a jacket, and so is this more casual Michael Stars top. You can also wear a sleeveless blouse underneath for a perfect day to night look too, and black lace under white lace would also be very chic.

J. Crew Midnight Crystal Chandelier Earrings

Silver shoes are a thing right now for spring and summer: silver sneakers, silver espadrilles, silver flats and heels—they are everywhere! I loved these silver ZARA square heel (also a big trend) loafers—they stand out on their own AND compliment my black and white pieces. I added some “go big or go home” Black Midnight Crystal Chandelier Earrings from J.Crew—I am constantly on the look for jewelry and accessories that have a unique quality to them.

Issey Miyake Bao Bao Prism Leather Tote and Zara Silver Flats
And finally, my favorite spring/summer handbag, my Issey Miyake Bao Bao Prism Tote. I am obsessed with this faux leather tote with its uber cool geometric pattern with a slight shine that make it so interesting you just want to touch it…it’s a favorite purchase for sure.

Here's to a meeting a colorful day in chic black and white. Cheers!