New York City’s fast paced and seasonal lifestyle requires your wardrobe to be as adaptable as the city is diverse. The demands of business, family, and personal life mean you have to be prepared for that stressful boardroom meeting, that fun backyard barbecue, and that chance you’ll need to impress on an evening out. In the fashion world, seasons mean everything! Now that fall is here, it is time to update your style with new trends and flexible apparel.
Fall is one of the best seasons for New York City fashion. It is that sweet moment before the cold, when you are weighed down with heavy layers, and just after the unbearable heat waves, when stripping down is so necessary.
My easy fall wardrobe includes: four neutral colors, two “pop” colors, two trendy styles, and one set of basics.
Fall 2013 Color & Style Trends
Neutral Options. These are the colors to select for your fall basics-camisoles, simple sweaters, sheath dresses, tailored skirts, pant suits, and always include a well tailored white shirt:
- Dark olive
- Midnight Blue
- Chocolate Brown
- Light Grey
- Winter White
Pop Colors. These are the colors to select more sparingly, but are necessary for taking your fall wardrobe to the next level:
- Deep Burgundy
- Mustard Yellow
- Dark violet
- Deep teal
- Sea Green
- Acai Purple
- Mykonos Blue
Trend Pieces. Buy a few of these of the moment pieces in either a neutral or pop color to mix in with your basics. Try finding them at lower-priced retailers in case you tire of the look before spring or aren’t sure it’s “you.”
- Leather Skirt/ Leather Shirt
- Plaid Capes / blazers
- Fur Vest
- Mixed media (wool coat/ leather sleeves)
- Paneled tailoring
Shoes. Here are the basics to get you started:
- Black/ Brown Leather Bootie (depends on Neutral choices)
- Black/Brown Knee High Riding Boot
With these simple tips, invest in your style with confidence and know you are staying on trend. Always remember the importance of having a wardrobe that goes the distance and will last you years to come.
Example: Crimson hues are powerful statements for the season. Mixing shades of red, such as deep burgundy, with rich blue gives a strong and fashionable look. Pair this look with a neutral base and, voila! You look fantastic
There is no easier way to update your wardrobe than to invest in a new handbag.
Did you know that more handbags are sold online than in stores? With so many places to buy handbags online, it can be difficult for a gal to know what to look for. Use these tips to steer you in the right direction.
Is it “You” friendly? Copywriters spend their days creating romantic prose to make you drool over their handbags. However, there are some key pieces of information that you must read. Dimensions, fabric content, and features such as pockets, zippers and whether the strap is adjustable will make the bag more “user friendly” to you.
Is it Real Leather or PVC? The #1 mistake consumers make in shopping online for a handbag is that they don’t understand the difference between real leather and PVC leather. Good quality leather is described by the words: tumbled, saffiano, cowhide, calf skin.
Synthetic leather or PVC is a man-made material that looks and feels like genuine leather but is actually made of plastic; it looks shiny and smooth but weighs less. The easiest way to spot a PVC bag is to look at the price; PVC bags are generally less expensive than genuine leather bags.
How will it look? Many sites display the bag “on figure” which means either a model or a body form is shown carrying the bag. Be sure to check where the bag hits the body at its lowest point. These images (as shown above) are a great way to look at proportion compared to the rest of the body.
Made in Where? High-end designers such as Chanel and Louis Vuitton produce their bags in Europe, generally in small factories with artisans doing some of the work by hand. If the copy reads “imported” that means it’s most likely made in China or Korea. That doesn’t necessarily mean that the bag is not of great quality or that the leather is not imported from Europe.
Get more handbag tips from Neepa here.
Who doesn’t love an amazing pair of jeans? If I had to pick three must-have items in a client’s wardrobe, a pair of jeans would definitely on the list because they offer so much style flexibility.
That said, jeans these days are definitely an investment piece. Ever since the days of the low rise “Sevens” the price of jeans has been on the rise. I must admit though, the investment is well worth it because an amazing pair of jeans can do wonders for your body and kick your outfit’s fabulous factor off the radar!
So, if you are going to drop some serious cash for a pair of jeans they should not only fit like a glove and feel like butter, but they must be taken excellent care of so they last you as long as possible! Try these tips and tricks:
Look For Elastane: When you buy a pair of jeans you want them to feel as fabulous as they look. To achieve this make sure you choose a jean with elastane; this will give the jean stretch or “give” and will either hug or forgive your body in all the right spots. So important!
Limit Dry Cleaning: While dry cleaning your jeans may be the easiest option around (and I admit I have done it before) it is also the worst option to preserve the integrity of the fabric. The chemicals used during the dry-cleaning process actually weaken the denim and decrease the life expectancy of your jeans.
Try A Machine Wash: If you’re unable to hand wash, then use the good ol’ washer. Turn your jeans inside out, select a gentle cycle and cold water settings. Since tumble drying causes excessive shrinkage and wear and tear, the best option is to hang your jeans to dry. If you insist on putting them in the dryer, I would use the lowest possible heat setting.
Get more denim tips from Melissa here.
Fashion Week across the world is upon us yet again, with Fashion Week Milan happening as I type this. Seeing images from the shows and all of the magnificent street style stars can be both exciting and a little intimidating for those of us not in the fashion-set. Many of us who don’t have the budget to dress in head-to-toe Dior will oooh and ahhh with more than just a tiny bit of jealousy.
High fashion, with its dramatic silhouettes and fancy price tags, may not seem immediately relevant to your everyday style, yet it’s where many trends evolve from and it influences what you find on the rack at an almost dizzying pace. In fact, it can be so overwhelming that many of us will end up back in our tried-and-true jeans and tees perusing fashion magazines or Pinterest pages wondering how to work our love of high fashion into our everyday style.
As a stylist who follows high fashion almost as closely as I’d follow my preschooler around the house with finger paint, I’ve got some tips for integrating what you see on the runway into your wardrobe.
1. Go for quality. You hear this one all the time, but what does it actually mean? I know you don’t have time to go inspecting seams and reading every label so I’ve got two simple guidelines for you:
- Purge your closet and your shopping habits of cotton jersey. This first one is going to break your heart, but trust me, your high-fashion-loving wardrobe will thank me. This slinky-feeling, ubiquitous fabric doesn’t look good on anyone except models and it reads more down-market than almost anything. Instead, try cotton poplin, silk, merino wool, blends or high-tech fabrics like neoprene. Look for weightier fabrics that lend a bit more structure to a piece
- Buy pieces that are well-tailored. By well-tailored, I mean they have a pleasing-to-the-eye structure that looks good on your body type. In other words, they don’t just hang there. That’s the great thing about a tailored, quality blazer-it’s like an instant fashion face (and body) lift.
2. Turn up the drama with silhouette: High fashion is, or can be, all about making a bold statement. Instead of over-accessorizing to achieve this, try playing around with shapes and proportions for a dramatic or unusual silhouette. Look to labels like Jil Sander, Marni, or Prada for inspiration. These fashion houses are not afraid of looks that contradict the lines of the body or exaggerate it, like oversized tops, full skirts, or even seemingly shapeless dresses. At first this might not feel comfortable because it goes against the cultural mandate playing up your feminine assets, but this is fashion. And we’re not afraid to make a little statement now, are we? In this vein, menswear-inspired pieces are always a fashion savvy choice.
3. Mix and match! Who doesn’t love flipping through a J.Crew catalogue these days? J.Crew creative director Jenna Lyons has done such an amazing job of turning the once dowdy jeans and t-shirt brand into a veritable distillation of Fashion Week through layering and mixing and matching color and pattern. If you’re new at this, try pairing a solid with a pattern in the same family. For instance, wine colored trousers with a navy and cream patterned top with similar warm undertones. Add a black pump with a gold toe and voila-mixed and matched-but you’ve got a common thread: warm tones. From there you can play with layering on another pattern, and with time and practice you’ll train your eye and become fearless in creating your own style.
Above all, channeling high fashion is about experimentation, so go forth and have fun trying something a little outside of your comfort zone. Take notes from your favorite runway models and, whatever you decide to wear, wear it like a boss!
Tea or coffee? Coffee ALL THE WAY. I go to bed excited to wake up and drink coffee in the morning. My favorite are the Americano’s from La Colombe in NYC-they have four shots. I usually get decaf but I enjoy it when they mess up and give me all caf.
I collect: 20th century ceramics and decorative arts.
Favorite city? So many, but New York City wins. But I love Florence for beauty, Paris for well, everything. And, Austin for Tex-Mex of course.
Style icon: So many, but in this moment I’m loving Garance Dore and Lee Radziwill.
Girl crush: Blake Lively, can’t help it.
On weekends you’ll find me… taking or teaching barre classes and hanging out with my family.
Favorite season for fashion: Definitely fall.
My styling superpower is: I have a laser eye for quality fabrics.
Thank goodness great fashion now comes in a variety of shapes and (plus) sizes!
Although you can easily “lose” weight by standing tall and avoiding oversized clothing, you can also find fabulous designs at various price points to show off your beautiful curves.
Luxury Plus Size Designers
Luxury plus size designs can start at $250, but are worth every penny when you consider the use of high quality fabrics which allow for a beautiful drape over curves or stretch without losing their shape over time.
If you’re looking for a luxury line that offers styles with more edge, consider brands like Anna Scholz or Elena Miro (thе οnlу plus size designer tο continually ѕhοw during Milan Fashion Week). These lines are impeccably tailored with fully lined natural fabrics, and have exclusivity іn feel аnd wear.
Contemporary Plus Size Designers
Contemporary plus size collections are usually designed by thουght leaders, innovators, аnd risk takers within thе plus-size fashion segments. Fabric quality is only a sidestep lower thаn thеіr luxury counterparts and many lines boast innovative blends іn fabrics, inspired silhouettes, and (similar to the luxury designers) hаνе more intricate detailing.
Low-Cost Plus Size Designers
In order tο deliver trends quickly, the quality of low-cost brands can often suffer. Expect polyester and wool blends, single stitched garments and you may also find that fit varies frοm garment tο garment (even in the same size).
Regardless of the designer you purchase from, what’s most important to know is that you and your beautiful curves make the garment!
In my book, there are two types of jewelry.
1. Second Skin Jewelry: You wear it all the time, it becomes part of you, you’d feel naked without it.
2. Statement Jewels: You plan a whole outfit around them, maybe even an entire wardrobe!
Anything in between confuses me.
Several years ago, I discovered Emily of BOET Jewelry and have been a follower ever since. I fell in love with her knotted and woven talismans. She grew up on boats and uses traditional knot tying techniques, colorful threads, horse-hair, metals and chain to create her Second Skin and Statement Jewels!
The art pieces, like these necklaces, are of course my favorite. Can you imagine how long they must take her to make? They’d be perfect with a long black dress as a backdrop, your hair up, and with orange-y red lipstick! If you’re petite, experiment with wearing one of the bigger monochromatic metal pieces so that it blends into the rest of your outfit. It won’t feel as large, but it will still start conversations!
Treasure your jewelry, but wear it often, and pass it down through generations.
Fall lasts about four or five seconds in Austin, TX. While the rest of the country is piling on the layers, it’s still about 90 degrees here, so dressing for this season can be a little confusing. There’s nothing I want more than to wear a cardigan and tall boots as soon as September hits, but it’s just not worth the discomfort. So, over the years I’ve figured out how to mix my summer pieces with my winter ones to create interesting transitional outfits that allow me to avoid spending cash on new “fall” clothing.
- Pair a summer dress with your cool-weather footwear. This is probably the easiest way to signal that it’s kind of sort of fall. Ankle boots are everywhere right now, so try wearing yours with a light summery frock. As the temperature drops, you can raise the height of your boots!
- Pair your lighter colors with darker ones. I always think of emerald greens, mustard yellows, and rusty oranges when I think of fall colors, but these look a little weird when it still feels like the height of summer. My blue and white dress screams summer, but adding black boots anchors the outfit securely into fall.
- Minimal accessories. If you’re going to start adding winter pieces to your summer ones, keep the accessories on the smaller side to prevent heatstroke and extra weight. Boots can be warm enough, so leave the heavy beads and cuff bracelets til winter.
Oh, this skirt of mine. Just looking at her brings tears. You see, when our eyes locked back in 2005 (ish) I never imagined we’d experience so much together. Especially since I had no right purchasing her to begin with. She was my first big purchase, from a high-end boutique and I couldn’t put her down. Every inch of her reflected who I was and, though I did not know it at the time, be the inspiration of who I was going to be.
At first, this skirt served as my Go To out on the town skirt which I’d pair with strappy pewter heels and a simple black top. I felt pretty. My husband said I looked pretty in it. What more can a girl want, right? Well, apparently I wanted more. I wanted to start a business that helped women make sense of clothes. I wanted it to be fun, colorful and more importantly, a place where I could help other women feel pretty again. The way my skirt made me feel. So, when it came to creating the brand for Well Styled, this skirt of mine led the way.
Over time, this skirt of mine made its way to the back our closet. I wish I could say it was because I found something better but, really, it was because she just didn’t fit in my life. Literally. She’s a solid 6 (and 100% silk). I was a solid 10 (and 100% not metabolizing). However, that never stopped me from taking her out once or twice a year, slipping her on (while holding the closure with my hands), and feeling pretty again.
Eventually, my metabolism kicked-in and I’ve been able to slip on my skirt and zip it up with ease. However, after multiple attempts to self-clean oil stains and pulled silk threads, I don’t take her out on the town anymore. Instead, she hangs on a wall as a piece of art in my home office where she’s admired by all who see her and reminds me daily of how far we’ve come.
If you’ve ever accidentally forgotten your sunglasses on your trip to the beach you know what a colossal devastation this can be. You have to spend all day with your head under the beach blanket or squinting and you probably can’t even glance at your Danielle Steel novel because the glare is too strong. So, in an effort to keep sunglasses on the top of your mind, or if you’ve accidentally sat on or lost the pair you’ve been wearing all summer, I’ve got some shady tips for you today.
- Find the right shape for your face. There’s nothing weirder on earth than me in wide square-shaped shades. I have a tiny head and a tiny face, and it’s been a years-long journey to finding flattering frames. This guide is helpful if you’re not sure where to begin or if you need some new ideas (and you have a regular adult-sized head).
- Put em in a case. The reason you probably don’t own your favorite pair of sunglasses anymore is likely because it wasn’t in a case. I am guilty of letting my sunglasses fall into my cavernous purse as soon as I go inside, but I wouldn’t if I owned a stylish protective case for my sunglasses. This one is gorgeous and minimal and it won’t take up too much room in your beach bag!
- Keep them simple. I like a trendy pair of sunglasses every now and again, but will they look good on the beach with my circa 2008 J Crew bikini? I like to keep my frames simple and just change up the color every so often so I can get the most wear out of them as possible. Always a great bet: the Wayfarer (they even make them for tiny heads)!