Fashion Fridays: Steal This {Casual Fall} Look

I’m in a fall kind of mood girls.  You probably picked up on that from my last Steal This Look!

This is not an outfit I would normally select.  First, it has stripes running horizontally which typically only works if you’re slim or the stripes are covered up.  Second, it involves a color pretty darn close to mustard which is hard to pull off for most folks.  Finally, it involves the knee high boot which I love but can’t make work without paste-on jeans because I end up with wrinkles around my knees, and I try to avoid looking like an elephant.

However, here’s today’s Steal This Look for fun fall weekends:

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(And also, I’m totally in a steal her hair mood on this first woman! Any ideas on how to achieve that?)

For the sweater, there are lots of great options out there this season at lots of price points.  Take this steal of a deal from Target for $20:

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For not much more, you can get this cable knit boyfriend cardigan from Mod Cloth in Honey which feels just perfect for fall:

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Or, for a twist, if you want to formalize this look for work, you could swap out the jeans and trade the sweater for this stunning velvet blazer from J. Crew (which I am TRYING to keep myself from buying, especially since it is ON SALE THIS WEEKEND):

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For the striped layering piece, I am in LOVE with this cashmere tee sweater from Land’s End but can’t bring myself to spend this much money on a top:

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In the much more reasonable category, you can get this striped boatneck from Ann Taylor Loft for $39 in either the dove gray stripe or a darker navy stripe:

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For the jeans, I leave it to you to find your best worn skinny jeans that work with a knee high boot because I am NO jeans expert!  Then, you will need a pair of knee boots to complete the ensemble, but you probably already have several pairs.  Just in case yours are a little dingy and in need of a revamp, I recommend either these cognac Sesto Mucci Boyle pair or burgundy Franco Sarto pair – both from DSW and run under $200:

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To cap off the outfit, try either an oversized scarf (if you’re less comfortable with the stripes layer) or an oversized necklace as your accessory to tie it all together.  With this relatively neutral palette, you can go as bold as you want with patterns and beautiful fall colors.  This leaves and blooms infinity scarf only runs $15 at Charming Charlie’s:

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Better yet, (y’all may think I am nuts) try this evergreen scarf with NAVY HEARTS (um, PRECIOUS!) from Old Navy to add visual interest to this ensemble (it only has to coordinate – so don’t freak out that it doesn’t “match”):

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The sparkle in this Courtyard necklace from Charming Charlie’s probably makes it a smidge dressy for this ensemble, but it could dress it up for date night.  Plus, I love the way they use the mustards and olives against gray – great color combo for this outfit!

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Even more in keeping with the feel of this steal, try adding an element of texture to your outfit by topping it with this wooden disc necklace from Mod Cloth (I have got to remember to shop there more often – such cute stuff at reasonable prices!).

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What’s inspiring you this fall?  Happy shopping friends!  Share your tips, tricks, and troubles for upcoming blog posts!

 

Fashion Friday inspiration this week via All Things Katie Marie and Stylin’ Mommies.

Fashion Fridays: Cleaning Out Your Closet

I try to seriously organize and clean my closet out once a year.  Truth be told, I should follow my friend’s advice and give something away every time I acquire something new (but I don’t do that!).

So here’s a few tips that I use when I try to clean out my closet.

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I’ll tell you right now that I don’t follow the “haven’t worn in a year” rule.  I’ve mentioned it before, but I am working to get back into some clothes that don’t fit right now and they will certainly be modern and work appropriate if (when!) I get back into them.

These rules disregard the time wearing rule and the size of the label and focus on a few key issues that plague every closet.

1.  The fabric should go.  There’s a few reasons the fabric in a piece of clothing requires you to eliminate it.

If it’s worn or faded looking it should go into the trash or a second-hand shop.

If the fabric is poor quality (see this black and white shirt) and detracts from the overall sophistication of the outfit by cheapening it.  (This doesn’t have to do with cost but some fabric, regardless of cost, looks cheap and you missed that fact when making an impulse buy.)

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Finally, if the fabric doesn’t wear well you should let go of the clothing.  These pants pictured are a great example.  They were super crumply linen khaki trousers and I always looked disheveled when I wore them so they needed to go.

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2.  The top, bottom, or outfit has a pesky quirk.

You may pass over an otherwise lovely wardrobe item because of a weird tick it has – it lays crooked on your neckline, it always folds in an awkward place, or as in the case of this gorgeous pink blouse (y’all, I loved this fabric so much) the buttons will not stay buttoned no matter what I tried.  If the outfit won’t work well no matter how much you love the color or fabric, you’re not going to wear it or you will fidget while you wear it and undercut your confidence, so release it to the land of secondhand clothing.

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3.  It’s seen its fashion peak and is now beyond its prime.

I don’t know if you get sentimental about clothes, I mean they do have a story to tell, but it may be time to rely on the photos and let it go.  An old sorority enemy sweet friend posted a #TBT picture yesterday featuring a lovely yellow and black shorts/vest/tie ensemble I was wearing in my early ’90s college days, and it was glaringly dated and donated many a moons ago.  But some items are a little less obvious.  These are two suits I donated because the pinstripe was too visibly prominent making it look super matchy-matchy.  The days of the uber matchy suit has gone and while a subtle navy pinstripe suit will always be a classic, these are past their prime.

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It may help to bring a third person in to give you some perspective – make sure it’s a friend who will be brutally honest with them and give them yummy snacks or wine for their service in the name of fashion.  Everyone needs a friend who will give you honest opinions.  You don’t have to take all their recommendations, but at least then you’ll more objectively consider what should go.

Where should you donate those things that can be repurposed like these items I cleaned out?  In Houston (and many metropolitan regions) you have so many good options.  For work clothes, I generally bypass Goodwill and donate to Dress for Success or The Women’s Home.  So do a little good and make some space in your wardrobe – you know it’s time!

Fashion Fridays: Steal This Look

I am SOOOOOO happy to be back!  I have loved learning all these cool tips and tricks from my guest posters but boy am I ready to be writing about fashion again!

I had a post already written about tips on cleaning out your closet as I just did some purging again, but then I saw this outfit, and fall is moving into Houston, so I had to post a steal this look instead (closet tips next week!).

Here’s my inspiration:

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I love this outfit for October except I’d darken the jeans a bit, ditch the bracelets, and opt for a little funkier shoe.  Here’s where you can land a few key pieces to pull together your own crimson and charcoal ensemble for fall.

For your accessories, this is a great all-purpose houndstooth scarf for $20 from KerriBren via Etsy.

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And you can either spend money on a pricey handbag like this red tote from Coach or go for low cost (under $30) trendy red tote from Charming Charlie’s.

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The topper is key in my mind, and you can go lighter or darker on the gray (stay away from dove gray) and still hit a home run.  If you live in a warmer climate and don’t have a chilly fall, you could pick up this lightweight draped cardigan from Macy’s which is on sale for around $50.

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Or, for cooler climates, you can don this heavier, and pricier, luxurious drapy cardigan from Nordstrom’s by Vince (and there are several good sweater options by Vince if you want to browse):

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As footwear, you can either go for the dark loafer or even an ankle bootie to modernize this ensemble more.  This Nine West wedge bootie comes in an assortment of colors from DSW at $79 or add some additional texture in black with these loafers by Anne Klein also at DSW (if you like the exact shoe pictured above, its identical twin is by Adrienne Vittadini at DSW).

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As for the other items, look for a straight leg solid dark rinse pair of blue jeans, and top it with a bright red long-sleeved crew shirt. (You can pick one up in a dozen different shades anywhere from Target to Land’s End.)  Then add a simple black stud earring or small gold or silver hoops and waa-laa, you’re ready for the fall!

What piece have you fallen in love with in a store’s fall collection?  Let us in on the scoop!

Fashion Fridays: Making This Season’s Hotest Trends Fit Into Your Wardrobe

I hope you’ve enjoyed this month’s fashion guest posters as much as I have!  For our final Fashion Friday guest poster, I introduce you to A PROFESSIONAL!  The warm and lovely Ashley Seippel is a recent transplant to Houston from San Francisco and, as a stylist and shopper, she makes fashion feel accessible and exciting.  Join me in welcoming Ashley to our fashion community:

As the month of September is coming to an end, I am sure all of us still have a stack of “September Issues” piled high on our coffee table, begging to be looked through.

From the runway to editorial advertisements, as a stylist, I often hear, “How is there any way I could ever wear this?”

In reality, the designers only create looks that are feasible on the runway and actually never make it to reality. But these glorious, over-the-top outfits dictate how the rest of society dresses for the season. It is not about wearing the biggest fur or the dress with the boldest pattern. Instead, it’s about seamlessly integrating the trends that you decide you like into your everyday wardrobe.

I’m going to make this season an easy transition for you!  Forget the 600-page periodical that is too heavy to take anywhere - here is a list of three major trends to covet right now:

Bordeaux: No, don’t go and pour yourself a glass of wine, instead wear it!

Deep, dark red is all the rage this season. This color is a standout for the Fall/Winter, and it is not hard to see why. Bordeaux is a universally flattering shade – from those with fair to olive colored skin, it looks great on everyone. Although head-to-toe looks in this color can appeal to a large audience, a great way to ease yourself into this trend is with nail polish. Yes, nail polish! Often the popular fashion trends of any season translate into hues that are also popular in nail colors.

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Another great way to experiment with Bordeaux is with a chunky knit cowl neck sweater, paired with slacks, a pencil skirt, or jeans for the weekend.

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Animal print: Leopard print is often shied away from by most people because they think it is too bold to wear, or they don’t know how they can tasteful incorporate it into their wardrobe. However, leopard print is actually a simple and classy way to showcase a Fall/Winter trend in your 9-5 outfit.

A great way to wear leopard print is in a scarf. I swear by scarves. Simply put, they are outfit makers, and can take any outfit from drab to fab.  A leopard print scarf in a neutral shade is the perfect addition to that little black dress that is your ‘go-to.’

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Another simple and subtle way to dabble with the animal print craze is through your feet. Leopard print heels and flats are a great way to add a little “pop” to your outfit.

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For the office, make sure you keep your outfit simple, and let the shoes be your standout piece. Think black suit, white blouse, and leopard shoes.

For the weekend, pair leopard heels with a sheath dress in a wide range of colors. The nice thing about leopard print is that there is no color with which it won’t pair!

Capes: Capes are a unique and easy piece to pull off, as they can be worn as a coat or a chic sweater. With so many materials, colors, and designs to choose from, you are bound to find the perfect one for you.

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Paired with jeans or over a dress, a cape is the perfect accessory for the cooler temperatures to come. One of the most unique pieces I have come across while shopping is a wonderful vest that transforms into a cape. The 2-in-1 item caught my eye at Houston’s very own Pomp & Circumstance boutique.

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This item is offered in five different patterns and colors, and is a necessary addition to anyone’s Fall/Winter wardrobe. Not to mention, who doesn’t love to shop local?

What’s your favorite trend this fall?  How do you incorporate couture into everyday?

ashleyAshley Seippel is a Houston based fashion stylist and wardrobe consultant. Her company, Ashley Nicole Style, offers a range of services including, personal shopping, event styling and closet refreshing and revamping. To find out more, please visit her website - Ashley Nicole Style.  If you are interested using Ashley’s services, you can reach her through her website or at ashley@ashleynicolestyle.com.

Fashion Fridays: Getting Creative With Color

I can’t wait for you to meet my fun, fashionable friend and co-worker, Kristen.  Not only does she have a playful sense of style, she’s downright hysterical (and she has a beagle named Snoopy – c’mon!)!  Join me in welcoming Kristen to our Fashion Friday community:

When I was younger, I was never very risky or inventive with the way I dressed. “Bottoms” were a mish-mash of blue denim jeans and neutral colored shorts, pants, or skirts. Well, times have definitely changed, and while I have yet to master the art of having two patterns in one outfit, I have stepped a little further outside the box to get more comfortable being creative with colors I love. Right now I’m having a love affair with trying to wear colors that pop in a new, unique way.

A coral jacket with a brown and pink dress is a fun way to slip into the Fall. Yet, my favorite blazer is still the one I have in cobalt blue, like these from ModCloth and Jones New York.

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My obsession for all seasons is still jeans that are any color but plain old denim blue. Take this adorable purple pair from Nordstrom (J. Brand ‘485’ Skinny Jeans) or this forest green pair from Anthropologie.

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One of my favorite year-round go-to outfits for a night out is the little black dress. At the same time, sometimes the little black dress needs a bit of a facelift. One easy facelift is to take a simple, cute dress (like this one from Ann Taylor) and make it more exciting by adding cobalt blue stilettos and chandelier earrings.  And there are A LOT of great colors out there. Kate Spade’s Lottie pump might set your wallet back a bit, whereas Ted Baker’s “Elvena” pump is a bit more reasonable.

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All in all it’s just about finding a color you love that gets you excited and figuring out new ways to wear it!

How do you get creative with color?

krist.exxKristen Roche Hulbert is an attorney for ExxonMobil.  She is enjoying all life has to offer right now, including a new job, a new house, a relatively new husband, and their two energetic, loveable dogs.  In her spare time, Kristen has a passion for travel, dancing and, as a die-hard Longhorn, college football.