Friday, December 17, 2010

Shopping for those PERFECT GIFTS...

...can be a complete CHALLENGE sometimes.

For some people on your "list" you can walk in a store, or hit that one website, and you find it--the one item they will immediately fall in love with. With others, it can be the hardest few weeks--as you search and search and can't quite put together that "perfect" gift.

So here are a few of our favorite places, or "go-to" gifts, websites, and stores that always seem to help us create the most amazing gift for that fabulous person on your list!

As the holidays are approaching, listen to the comments that your friends (and those who you will be buying gifts for) are saying. Is there something that they've always wanted, but never gotten. Or are they out of their favorite __________. Or perhaps it's those perfect flair paper mate pens that they love that keep disappearing.... Those of us who teach know how amazing these writing instruments truly are! A four pack, or the fabulous 16 pack, is the perfect gift-an item you know they love and will use, every day!
Pay attention to what they point out when you are shopping with them. What catches their eye in a store window, and what they longingly stop and look at 3 times, finally try on, but decide that they can't afford right now.
These are those items that will become the perfect gift.

One way to think about buying gifts is what would you like to find "under the tree." Especially when shopping for your close girlfriends, sisters, or your mom, think about what is on your list and that may lead you to the perfect item. If there is a purse you've been lusting after or an amazing necklace you've been dying to own...maybe they would love it, or there may be an item similar that would be perfect...and perhaps then you can purchase that one item for yourself as well. I can never seem to keep my holiday shopping solely for others...there are always those few items that seem to end up in my "shopping cart" that are for Me....but who doesn't do that, right??!!

Another rule I always keep in mind while shopping is to think of things that people wouldn't necessarily spend their $ on. There are always those fun, unique items that people love, but often think twice about before they buy--saying, "do I REALLY need this?" And in most cases, they decide it's not necessary. Holidays (& other special occasions involving gift-giving) are the time to buy and give those items. Maybe it's one of those purse hangers (pictured above) that you've seen others with, have always secretly wanted, but never gone out and bought for yourself. Give one to all your girlfriends or fill your sisters' stockings with one--they're fun and so practical! Or maybe it's that hand-warmer mug that is so unique and yet "functional." Fill it with a coffee shop gift card and/or her favorite tea, and it's perfect! Maybe she's finally got her own new place and you can help add to her holiday decorating by finding her a fun ornament for her Christmas tree or a holiday "centerpiece" for her new coffee table. When searching for these unique gifts, check out The Afternoon, at the Mall of America, the Bibelot or Patina (both with several locations)--these stores are filled, from corner to corner, with fun, unique and interesting items-perfect for the gift-giving season! (ALL three of these stores have items available ONLINE as well!)

I find that whenever I can give someone a one of a kind item, or something designed/created by a local artist, they love it even more. Knowing that no one will have this same item makes it even that much more special. In the Twin Cities, we are SO lucky to have so many fabulous local designers and artists--in all areas. The possibilities for unique gifts are just have to FIND them! I LOVE LOVE LOVE searching on ETSY for handmade, and often local gifts. Etsy now even makes it EASIER to find MORE items that fit what you're looking for....the Taste Test. You begin by choosing whether you are shopping for a guy or a gal, and then they show you 6 pictures. Out of those 6 you choose the one you love the best-or click on the button that says "I don't like any, show me more"--this continues for a few screens until you finish-and end up with pages of items including and related to those that you picked-how FUN!! I could do this forever! SO...using what you know about the person you are shopping for, you can find a gift that is completely unique and "just right" for them!

Also, check out the local boutiques in your neighborhood. I ALWAYS seem to find fun and fabulous gifts--they may be a little more higher priced, as many boutiques carry the local designers, but it's so worth it--especially knowing you are often purchasing one-of-a-kind pieces and supporting local designers/artists! I love St. Paul and all of the local shops along Grand Ave...Picky Girl and Karma are two of my favorites. PRIMP is a new store to the neighborhood, on Selby & Dale--with fabulous items all under $100--check it out!!

Another way to create that perfect gift is to make it personal. Whether it's finding that initial charm necklace or monogrammed ring they've always wanted, or it's putting together a collage of pictures in a frame... things that have memories are always more meaningful and fun to give. Creating a scrapbook of a trip you went on together, or a "shadow box" with black and white photos from when you were younger and now your older, much more polished selves is an amazing way to show how much someone means to you. All you need are the right pictures and a little "craft time" and you've got it made! There are also so many ways to use programs right on your computer, such as iPhoto, where you can design and create a book (with words and YOUR pictures) in minutes--for only $25--and it'll last forever. Or, find an item that shows their love for their city or a place they have traveled. These city-themed totes are super fun and, of course, eco-friendly! You can choose from almost 30 locations and several styles. These are perfect to carry rolled up in your purse for those unexpected, yet frequent, stops at Target!

When you just can't seem to find that one item that is perfect, go with plan B: a GIFT CARD. Even though it doesn't seem as personal, if you give a gift card to their favorite store, you know they will use it to buy something they love. Sometimes, as with shopping at any time of year, there just isn't anything in stores that you love. With a gift card, you can "save" it for that one item you finally splurge on--and how fun is it to use!! LOVE it. Gift cards to places for a service are also fun to get--a manicure & pedicure or a massage are things that many people don't like to spend $$ on, but when it's paid for, it's so much more fun! So even though a gift card may not seem as exciting of a gift, it can often be one of the best items to receive. I just love loading my wallet up after the holidays with all my gift cards-waiting to find the perfect item or time to use each one!!

Whatever it may be that you end up giving to each of your siblings, friends, co-workers, parents, and others on your list....remember it's more about the time spent together and celebrating the season. Don't let the shopping and creating of that "perfect" gift stress you out...and keep in mind that it's not about how much $$ you spend, but the thought that you've put into the gift and the time shared when exchanging those gifts. (Even if it does involve having to wear an "ugly Christmas sweater"!!!)

CELEBRATE, have FUN, and of course, LOOK GOOD, as all Fashionistas always do!!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Dressing for the Holidays

With the holidays approaching you may be dreading the decision of what to wear to all those holiday events.

Do you go out and buy an outfit for each event, buy one new item to wear to all of the events, or can you p
ut together something from the choices in your closet??
Depending on your budget, it is easier than you might think to put together an outfit worthy of any holiday event!


A great way to determine what to wear is to think “old Hollywood” when dressing for the holidays. Bring back old time glamour and elegance. Your dress should accentuate your figure & make you FEEL as good as you look! Bring out your fur, stoles, little short jackets, or your tuxedo blazer. A sequined bolero jacket or cardigan, a velvet blazer, or a satin skirt can be the perfect wardrobe essential for holiday dressing.

Just remember not to go overboard. You don't want to be dressed in sequins head to toe (just like you wouldn't do with animal print)!

A holiday party is also a time to get away from the typical cocktail dress and wear a pair of wool shorts or tuxedo trousers. Pair them with a sequined cardigan, a shimmery or tuxedo blazer, dark tights and your favorite pair of heels... Add your statement jewelry pieces and an evening clutch and you're ready to go! But if shorts or pants just isn't your style....finding that amazing dress isn't so hard either...


If your budget has no can go out and buy any number of items--I wish this was my status--where should you go & what should you get?
I LOVE this fun & fabulous icicle shift dress from J.Crew. It is so fun, and unique-you would definitely stand out from the crowd in this!! comes at a high price! If you are one who looks fabulous in green, like us redheads, this AMAZING jewel toned jade dress (again, from J.Crew) is a bit more affordable and would assure that you stand out from the crowd.

If you can afford to buy a new dress, but have a limit to what you can spend, there are many options out there. Anthropologie's dance away dress is a new take on the little black dress that can be worn to any type of holiday party. Love the uniqueness of the skirt details--add any fun shoes & clutch and you're set! Anthropologie has several dresses ranging from $130-$ here to find the one that's perfect for you!

Can you get a dress for under $100? Of course! This lace scallop dress, from Ann Taylor LOFT, is fabulous. Lace is big this fall/winter, and the black lace is dressy and festive! Add some
dark tights, or tall boots, some fun jewelry, and you're ready to walk out the door.
ModCloth is a great website with pages & pages of dresses at very affordable prices, such as the one shoulder mine all mine dress--love it! There are so many more, and with just as interesting "names"...check them out here!

If you can't afford to purchase a new dress for the holidays, you can easily work with what's in your closet by adding the right accessories!

Adding some statement jewelry is a great way to add interest to your "go-to" little black dress (LBD). As always, J.Crew is a great place to find fabulous, sparkly, statement jewelry. I love the ribbon (and silk) wrapped crystal bangles, and at only $39.50, it's fairly affordable. The olive moss green would stand out when paired with your LBD.
The silk-ribboned multi chain necklace would make a statement, and gives that layered look with only one piece. It's already on sale, and J.Crew is constantly putting out EXTRA 30% or 25% off of sale & free shipping, so buy now and save even more!! Ann Taylor LOFT is again another great place for statement-making jewelry!

Of course, our FAVORITES for AMAZING jewelry, realia by jen (etsy shop for realia) & Sheer Addiction are the perfect place to find that one piece that you can be guaranteed no one will be wearing! We LOVE that!!!

No matter what it is you choose to wear, as long as you FEEL BEAUTIFUL you will have an amazing time. Good luck finding that perfect new holiday dress or the right that you SPARKLE & stand out wherever your holiday plans take you!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Brown Paper Packages...

...tied up with strings!

These are a few of my favorite things!
Just wanted to share what's on one "fashionista's" wish list for the holiday season...

lines of floral sunshine dress, $39
Stitch Play Cardigan, $358
Two-Story Cowlneck, $78
Women's new arrivals - shorts - Drapey drawstring short - J.Crew, $68
Peruvian Pattern Legwarmer, $38
Lands' End Canvas | Buy Women's - Outerwear, Clothes, Swimwear & more
Needlepoint Platforms, $358
Longer Lashes Clog Boot, $268
Women's Navigation - Women - Ashbury bag - J.Crew, $350
Transcontinental Satchel, $348
Vintage Evening Bag, $268
Laced Snowflake Earrings, $30
Je Ne Sais Scarf Tee, $58

It's a fabulous time for shopping--as you have a constant excuse--you must go in search of gifts for all those people on your list!!

Here's to a little wishin' & hopin' you get what's on your wish list this year...and of course, enjoy the time spent with family & friends!!!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


One of our FAVORITE FABULOUS local jewelry designers is hosting a facebook giveaway--just in time for the holidays!! Her jewelry is the PERFECT statement piece to complete your look for all of those holiday parties!! LOVE LOVE LOVE it!!
To ENTER: "LIKE" Sheer Addiction on facebook....then suggest the page to all your fabulous fashionista ladies and post how many you shared it with on Sheer Addiction's page. The winner receives $100 gift card for Sheer Addiction & will be announced on Friday, November 19th at noon!!

GOOD LUCK....and here's hoping!!

Friday, November 12, 2010

How many is too many?

4 sandals...2 tennis shoes....6 flats...18 heels/wedges....and 9 tall boots!

39 pairs of SHOES in all....Is that too many??
Can a girl really have too many shoes?

One comment I read by another blogger:
Life is too short, just buy the shoes!

I completely agree!! Shoes are the ONE item that never (or very rarely) changes for a woman. If you've been a size 7.5, you usually still are a size 7.5. No matter what may be changing with your body at any time, your feet stay relatively true to you, making them an easy accessory to purchase!

When it comes to shoes, we all often have our favorite brands, perhaps multiple favorite brands, as well as those "to die for"...."wish I could afford those" brands! When is it a good time to splurge on a pair of shoes and when is buying the less expensive better for your wardrobe AND your bank account??

I have several favorite brands of shoes ... it all depends on the style of shoe.


I LOVE LOVE LOVE Frye. These are one of those brands that are higher priced, BUT are SO worth every penny. These boots are of the highest quality and will never go out of style. AND they are made right here in the US.
From the Frye website: Founded in 1863 by John A. Frye, The Frye Company is the oldest continuously operated shoe company in the United States. ... The Frye brand remains true to its heritage and vintage American roots with finely crafted, fashionable boot, shoe, and handbag designs featuring rich leathers and quality hardware.

How cool is that?!! So why not splurge? I recommend watching for sales, as many large department stores carry Fryes. I have purchased both of my pairs at Nordstrom, during their Anniversary Sale, and saved at least $100 on each pair!! LOVE that!! I own both the Jane Stitch in redwood (pictured right) and the Jane Tall Cuff in taupe (over-the knee-pictured above left). As they are more of the cowboy boot style, they do take some "breaking in"...but then they are FABULOUS!! I can wear both of mine for hours without pain or blisters!!

I think with tall boots you just have to try and find the best fit and style for you, which isn't always the same for everyone. ALDO was great for awhile with their selection, but I was rather bored with their tall boots this fall. Seychelles is a FABULOUS line of oh SO comfortable shoes--and they have varied tall boot styles also. Miz Mooz is another great line for comfortable tall boots in fun and unique styles. Target had an amazing selection of boots this year--particularly the tan pair with the red zipper up the back for only $34.99. AMAZING!!
It can be a struggle to find that pair that you LOVE, but it's worth the wait. I have learned not to settle for a pair that I's much more fun to have a pair you are in love with, as you will definitely wear them more and get your money's worth!

Heels Janes....kitten...chunky... so many much to choose from!

I couldn't resist this fabulous drawing done by Andy Warhol....I would LOVE to have this hanging in my bedroom...or perhaps in a future walk in closet or dressing room!!
This can often be a "tricky" category, as how do you know when to splurge on a pair and when too much is too much!? You need to look at the practicality of the pair of heels, the season in which you would wear them, the comfort, and how much you love them. It is easy to fall in love with a fabulous pair of shoes, only to purchase them, on your credit card of course, and later realize that you have worn them just once since that day you were dying for them.

Every girl needs a basic black and a basic brown heel that can be paired with anything...whether it's the office or a night out with the girls. A black heel is a definite must. This is one shoe that will never go out of style and is worth spending a bit more on, as you want it to last and be comfortable! I love my Enzo Anglioni open-toed heels for spring/summer and into fall, and my Mary Jane style Steve Madden's for winter. There are SO many different basic black heels out there...just start looking and trying on.

*If you're not one that can do any length of time in heels, try a wedge shoe/boot or a wider heel, avoid the stiletto style. The wider the heel base, or a complete wedge heel, the more your weight is distributed over the shoe making it more comfortable.

Once you have the basics in your wardrobe, it's time for the fun, more daring styles and colors to be added. I LOVE LOVE LOVE my new Seychelles, from Anthropologie (pictured left). They are a fabulous turquoise color and are SO comfortable. ALL Seychelles are incredibly comfortable....I own at least 3 pair, and would consider more (of course). They are also very affordable. I LOVE the Hawk (which I also own) and the Ring in the New Year....oh, and the Kiss at Midnight too (a great basic Mary Jane style)--SO fun!!!

Anthropologie consistently has unique and fun shoes--in all styles! Yet, the price tags are often what makes me ask-"do I really need these?" So I often add them to my "wish list" in hopes that they will still have my size when they do go on sale!!! I LOVE these Needlepoint Platforms (pictured right), but the price versus the practicality don't quite match up for me...yet!

Poetic License, Miz Mooz, Jeffrey Campbell, Fergie, and Boutique 9 are a few other fabulous lines with both fun and practical styles of shoes. There are just so many to list. DSW is a great place to find good deals on shoes--especially if you're lucky enough to find your size in the Clearance section!!

Just think of your shoes as an extra accessory--they can make a statement just like a fabulous necklace or amazing clutch. Pairing a fun color shoe, like red, with an all black outfit instantly makes your shoes the statement piece! Have fun searching for that perfect black boot, but don't be afraid to add a fun statement pair or two to your wardrobe! Stay true to your style and make your feet (and you) happy!!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Fashion Mythbusters

People often think that there are "rules" within fashion, or creating your style....but in truth, there are no true rules, but more what might be considered guidelines. And with many people, those "rules" are often the ones that should be broken!

Take, for example, a few of these such myths, as we will call them. You may have heard your mothers say, you can't wear white after Labor Day.... your shoes should match your purse... you can't wear black and brown together.....the list could go on.
When it comes to finding your style, the only rule that exists is that you LOVE and FEEL GOOD in what you are wearing--show your true & confident self to the world. Other than that, as long as you don't dress head to toe in leopard print or wear one of those screen printed sweatshirts with the holiday scene you can't really go wrong!

Here are a few "myths" or rules that we would like to no particular order.

I can't mix black and brown, or navy and brown, or black and navy.
So untrue...often, the best looking outfit is one that is completely neutral in color, like black and brown--I LOVE it! Even though they are two neutrals, they go great together. If you need to add some color, choose a bright color, or even white or natural, to do an accessory or two in. But going with all black with brown accessories--belt & shoes--is fabulous!

I can't wear white after Labor Day.
This is one of those rules you've heard over and over....or at least you used to. Hopefully more
and more people are realizing that this doesn't hold true anymore. You CAN wear white into the fall and even the just has to be the "right white" and/or the right fabric. (White linen is one exception--that should be put away until summer rolls around again!) There are so may "winter whites" out there that it's easier than you think! Even doing all black--black sweater with black dress pants, then adding a white/natural colored belt is enough of a pop that your outfit instantly has some interest!

Now that it's fall/winter, I can't wear my peep toe heels.

This is one rule that many people still follow. But with all the print and dark colored tights out there, this "myth" is easily disproved. Your favorite peep toe heels, that you think you can only wear during the warmest months, which in MN isn't very long, can easily be paired with a pair of dark tights and your favorite sweater dress or tweed skirt. Just make sure the tights you wear are opaque, not sheer.
The look is fun and perfect for fall!

Your shoes & bag (&/or belt) should match.

Ugh..this is one I can't stand, and SO many people still believe it!! With fashion, and your style, you don't want to be all "matchy-matchy"...who does??!! Your accessories should fit together, compliment each other, not completely and totally match.

I can't wear my gold watch with my silver jewelry metals should match.

NO THANK YOU!! Jewelry is meant to be mixed and creates interest. Whether it's gold & silver, black, gold, pearls, jewels, chain, and mesh, it all can work together. Layering on the pieces is a great way to add more depth and interest to your outfit with your jewelry---who really wears only one bracelet at a time??

There are SO many more "rules" or myths out there that NEED to be broken!
I really enjoyed reading this post, from another fabulous fashion blog: Oh my God, where did you get that? She gave her own take on some more of those infamous fashion rules & wardrobe/shopping tips. Click the link above and read her ideas!! I especially LOVE her rule #1--buying well means buying once. I wish more people would think about this....and not just buy something because "it's only $5" or "it's on sale"--but first think: will you wear it? Will it last??!! Do you absolutely LOVE it?

Remember....keep to your style and your brand, be true to yourself. If it feels good and you love it, then you will look a million times better than if you walk out the door questioning what you are wearing. Be confident, know who you are, and be proud to show it!

The dress must follow the body of a woman, not the body following the shape of the dress.
Hubert de Givenchy

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Vintage Loves

LOVE LOVE LOVE this collection from Free People!!

I cannot say enough fabulous things about the treasures they have found....WOW!! The collection caught my eye immediately when I opened the catalog to see this....

I was in love with the styling and the set which included such a gorgeous vintage vanity....LOVE LOVE LOVE.

Now, I have never been a major fan of Free People, mainly because of the high price tags on items I could do without...but this new vintage collection, I want to own it all!! If only there were an endless supply of cash entering my bank account....

oh....a girl can dream, right?!

Especially about this AMAZING cuff, the Erikson Beamon Opulence Cuff...listed in the catalog I received just this week for a mere $818...but not to be found on the website...hmmm? Could it be sold already? Because these Vintage Loves items are true vintage, they are one of a kind, so once an item is sold, it is gone....

My eyes continued to love what they saw as I turned the pages to find this, the Erikson Beamon Dripping Jewels Necklace...priced at a reasonable $978! Clearly I tend to fall in love with all things unaffordable....

Another piece I would love to own, and at a slightly more affordable price of $268, was this amazing vintage chainmail evening bag.....oh so perfect!

The catalog was amazing, as I continued browsing and wishing...all of my favorites came from "chapter 2 treasures"...but I loved how the next chapter, "the sketchbook" contained true sketches of the clothing pictured next to the model....FABULOUS!!

I was so impressed I grabbed the catalog the next morning to bring with me to work so I could scour the website in search of "my treasures"....only to "add them to my wish list" hopes that perhaps one item will still be available when my next paycheck arrives??!!

During my search, I also read a little bit more about this Vintage Loves collection and the vintage buyer Ali who discovers all the treasures:
I have handpicked each item with love, bringing thoughts and emotion to each piece. I am a pirate of the beautiful, a collector. Vintage loves is filled with items that will captivate you and lock you into a world of curiosity. I am thirsty for intricate detail and items that have a rare personality, items full of life and meaning. ...Bringing you a special collection of handpicked one of a kind vintage loves, a world of charm and charisma— a treasure chest of exclusive finds.

I agree...exclusive finds is right! I highly recommend checking out the fabulous Vintage Loves collection of treasures from Free People....if nothing else, it's fun to dream....and create wish lists!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Free Boots!!!

Ann Taylor LOFT is giving away 10 pairs of thier AMAZING Over-the-Knee Riding Boots this week!! These are so cute and definitely a MUST HAVE for your wardrobe.

Register between 9am EST-9pm EST each day from November 1 to November 5 on the day your size is up for grabs, see below:
  • TODAY - Size 7
  • Tuesday, Nov 2nd - Size 7.5
  • Wednesday, Nov 3rd - Size 8
  • Thursday, Nov 4th - Size 8.5
  • Friday, Nov 5th - Size 9

Here is the website to register at:


Monday, October 25, 2010

Fall Fashion: TIGHTS

...a simple, inexpensive, stylish way to update your wardrobe!

Remember back to those white tights with the little pink heart pattern you wore almost every other day back in elementary school?! Maybe your childhood wasn't as "colorful" as mine, but growing up attending a private school where girls weren't allowed to wear pants, tights were a staple in my childhood wardrobe, especially when the temperatures dropped well below zero!

Tights are yet again a major part of my fall and winter wardrobe. I am loving the many colors, patterns, and styles you can find tights in again, and not just for little girls! It's the quickest and often most inexpensive way you can change the look of an outfit. A dress or skirt that you're tired of can be revived with a bold solid, a fun lace, or a print tight! It couldn't be any easier!

Here are a few of my favorites I've seen this fall....

Remember, you can pair tights with wool or winter shorts for an alternative to your everyday skirt! I LOVE this look from J.Crew.

The wool drawstring shorts are only $68 and the herringbone tights are a classic look! Can't wait to own them both! Click HERE to see all 23 styles of tights J.Crew has right now! Besides these herringbone tights, I am loving the wool-blend ribbed tights in grey and the charcoal grey/black polka dot tights.

There are SO many options available for tights. Whether you're daring and want to try the bold, colorful look of the opaque fall colors, by HUE or a more subtle textured look in dark brown or black, they are all a fabulous and fun change-just what you may need as the weather starts to get colder and colder!!

Before it gets too cold, and you still want to wear those open toed heels or wedges a couple more times....throw on some tights--this look is unexpected yet so fantastic!

Love these, from Charlotte Russe, a fun lace pattern available in three colors!

As mentioned above, HUE has a large selection of all colors, patterns, and fabrics of tights! I LOVE their thicker cabled tights that come in an array of fabulous fall colors and this fun striped pair. The price on these is a bit higher, at around $20 a pair, but if you check out any discount stores, such as TJMaxx or Marshalls, you can find these for half that price...I just got myself a pair of the brown cabeled style for $9.99!

Target is another great place, as their tights are very affordable at around $5-$10 a pair. (You can maybe come home with more than one!!) They also have a cabled version and a heather grey ribbed sweater pair, perfect for a crisp December morning paired with a denim skirt and your favorite Frye boots!

There are oh so many more out there.....believe me, I know, and have purchased several in the last few weeks--my dresser drawer is slowly filling up with a variety of colors and patterns!! Go and see what's out there yourself and add some color and fun to what may have been a boring, bland outfit. Be bold, daring, and make a statement!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Are you Afraid of the Big, Bad Blazer??

So, I have to admit, there was a time when I was a little intimidated by Blazers - thinking they were only to be worn with suits and seemed oh so stuffy! Alas, the fashion world has provided so many wonderful, wearable options that I am no longer afraid!! Plus, as the weather is turning colder, there is no better time to try them on for size.

As I see it, there are 3 Main Types* of Blazers:
  1. Structured, Corporate Blazers

  2. Drapey, Evening Blazers

  3. Comfy, Casual Blazers

*Note: Even though a blazer could fall into the "Casual" category, I still think you could add a Pencil skirt & some heels and make it Corporate. This is true for all types of blazers ~ that's what makes them so great!!

Structured, Corporate Blazers

These blazers are often made up of suiting fabric, such as wool, tweed or houndstooth. You can buy them as a suit with matching pants, skirt, etc. OR they can also be great pieces to wear individually. You don't have to save them for just interviews!! The great thing about a structured blazer is that it will give you SHAPE.

Every woman wants that hour-glass figure, and blazers help to identify the waist and bring your eye in ~ which will in turn make you appear SLIMMER!! My Go-To store for suits in general is J.Crew - they have lots of options from heavy to lighter-weight wools, and even though the price is a little high, they will last forever.

This Super 120s Peplum Blazer (J.Crew) is great, because it shows that there are other styles besides the normal 2-3 button lapel blazer. It is made of a merino wool and is very lightweight. Even though it is a little bit flirty, it can still provide the professional look with matching pants & button up shirt. Although, I have to say, I LOVE the way it is styled here with a knit tee & slouchy, pleated pants ~ tres chic!

Drapey, Evening Blazers

These can be made up in quite a few different fabrics, most likely a heavy silk, satin or even lace as pictured here. These blazers can add that extra little sophistication to an evening out - whether over a cocktail dress, with a silk top & dress pants, or with a flirty skirt. These can also be used in the office or in addition to your casual look & will still be fantastic.

This Moonlight Blazer from Anthropologie can be yours for only $128 and is beautifully constructed with 3/4 sleeves and a slight gathering along the sleeves. I would recommend pairing this cute little blazer with a silk tank & satin pants ~ for a feminine version of the tuxedo. Be sure to add some jewels to bring a little sparkle to your night out!

Comfy, Casual Blazers

Often made up of sweaters, heavy knits, or other casual fabrics. These are best to be worn with denim and a casual top. I would recommend a V-Neck Pocket Tee, Skinny Jeans & Flat Boots - as that is normally my Go-To Outfit in life.

This Sweater Blazer by LOFT is TO DIE for - only $98 - the description on-line for this item was just too perfect to not include, so here it is: Part yacht club, part vintage varsity, this wool blazer is bound to make you feel like a scholar in style. As styled here, a silk top, jeans & minimal accessories helps to let the MA-JOR Blazer stand out.

Go out there and EXPERIMENT with Blazers ~ you won't regret it!!!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Fab Lines for Less!

There are many, many inexpensive lines out there from either Celebrities or Major Fashion Houses - but the question is - are they any good??

Here are a few of our favorites...

Target Designer Showcase
Target has done an AMAZING job partnering with the hottest current designers out there & offering very affordable lines to everyone.

  • Mulberry for Target - a handbag line just launched this week!
  • Tucker for Target - in stores now (love this "tucker signature dress"-and only $27.98!) *shop NOW, as many pieces are going out of stock quickly!
  • Temple St. Clair for Target - jewelry line in stores now
  • William Rast for Target -coming December 19th =fabulous denim for $50, outerwear & sportswear!!

LC by Lauren Conrad at Kohl's

What can I say, I have been a big LC fan since back in her Laguna Beach days. Her effortless style has been fun to watch mature over the years. After debuting her first high-end collection in 2008, she partnered with Kohl's for a lower price point that all the masses could enjoy. Lauren is not only a fashion designer, but also a successful author with her LA Candy series, and recently published a fashion book, titled Lauren Conrad Style.

This adorable Motorcycle Jacket is $72 and the Ruffle Skirt only $44 - BUT keep in mind that Kohl's ALWAYS has sales & you can expect this line to be at least 25% off most of the time.

Also obsessed with this sweater - the peek of silk ruffles at the bottom is too adorable for words!!It is priced right at $50 and comes in Grey (as shown) and Forest Green.

Rachel Roy for Macy's

Another great designer has brought sportswear and accessories to another one of our major department stores, Macy's. Her clothing line is high quality and "on trend." Some pieces are a bit higher priced, but again, just as with Kohl's, often go on sale.

This print dress is a great piece for transitioning into the cooler months. Wear it now with heels or booties, then add tights and tall boots and maybe even a cardigan when the temperatures drop. Faux fur is hot right now, and of course, Rachel has her take on the fur vest. This one is chic and in a neutral grey tone you can dress up or just throw on with a tee and jeans!

I "Heart" Ronson line at JCPenny
This line, at JCPenny, is only available until the end of this month--and many pieces are on sale, so now is the time to shop!

I love this navajo cardi--so over-sized and of those you just wouldn't want to take off! The tights are fabulous too, but I didn't see them online. I'm definitely going to check out the store to see if I can find myself a pair!! SO fun!!

To some shoppers, it is perhaps still up for debate whether these collaborations, or diffusion lines, are worth the money versus waiting & hoping for the "real thing" to go on sale.

An article in The Epoch Times debates this exact issue: These cheap offshoots of a designer’s luxury brand are called diffusion lines. Their emergence over the past few years has revolutionized the fashion industry, creating a clear division between those designers who participate and those who don’t. Diffusion lines have also affected the fashion industry’s audience, making designer labels accessible to many more consumers. ...They want to create a new client base in the midst of a recession, though experts insist the brands’ original clients have not been affected. (Click on the link above to read the entire article in The Epoch Times.)

No matter what others say, what you wear and how much you spend is up to you. I think it's great to incorporate lower priced items with higher priced items....a pair of $175 jeans with a $12 flannel shirt from Target can be a great fall outfit. Accessorize it right and you're good to go, no one will question the price you paid for anything--as long as you look and feel good!!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Have you been FITTED??

One of the most important parts to an outfit is what is worn underneath it! A shirt, sweater, blouse, dress pants, skirt, and even jeans can look a million times better with good fitting underwear under it all!

Did you know that 8 out of 10 women wear the wrong size bra?? WOW!! I couldn't believe that at first when I read it, BUT after my sisters and some of the girls
headed to Nordstrom to be "fitted," we proved that statistic to be true! Most of us were wearing the wrong size, and were very far from the correct one! And once we put on that correct size, we could FEEL the difference, along with SEEING the difference once we put our shirts on over the new one--it was AMAZING!

There are many people out there who claim to be "experts" on the fit of your underwear, but I have learned otherwise. A 34C is NOT the same as a 36B!

Personally, I recommend getting fitted at Nordstrom, on the 3rd floor in the Lingerie department (of course). It's FREE, and there's no pressure to purchase anything!

There was SO much to LEARN in just a few minutes spent with a "bra fit specialist." Here are just a few new tips I learned:
  • For one, because bras tend to stretch in back, your bra should fit firmly on the loosest hook when new. You don't want it to fit on the tightest hooks, but the loosest, because as you wear a bra, it will stretch and you will eventually have to tighten it. Once it becomes too loose on the tightest hook it's time to replace it.
  • You should definitely invest in lingerie wash, or if not, use gentler detergent and always HAND WASH your bras, then line dry (never use a dryer). This will prolong the life of each bra!
  • It is not necessary to wash your bras every day, but do not wear the same bra two days in a row. This way the elastic has a chance to resume its original shape, extending the life of the bra.
Be prepared to shell out some $ for new bras; they are not cheap, but if cared for properly, should last at least a year. My recommendation is after getting fitted at Nordstrom where you have found the brands and styles that fit the best (and maybe purchased one or 2), head over to Nordstrom Rack to find the same brand bras at often half the price! FABULOUS!!

Some of our favorite brands include: (click on the brand to view current available styles)
-Chantelle: higher priced, but SO worth it
-Elle McPherson: slightly higher prices, but SO SO pretty
-Natori:love the convertible bra with 3 strap positions: halter, 2 strap, & criss-cross, great basics for every day wear
-Calvin Klein: very REASONABLY price and comfortable--great "t-shirt" bras
-DKNY: another reasonably priced brand with great basics

I would also recommend shopping the great SALES that Nordstrom has during the year. The half-yearly sale is coming up in a month: November 3-6 --put it on the calendar!

Check out Nordstrom's online fit guide for quick tips, then get out there

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Recycle Your Blues is Back!!

We are SO EXCITED that Gap is bringing back their AMAZING campaign from last year!!

From this Wednesday, October 6th thru Wednesday, October 20th, you can donate your old denim (any brand) and get 30% off a new pair of 1969 denim!! Your old denim will be recycled by being converted into UltraTouch natural cotton fiber insulation and donated to communities in need.

What's better than that?? Well, since you asked...Facebook Fans will get an ADDITIONAL 10% off their new jeans - so 40% off new denim!! This campaign is perfectly in time for Fall and also a great time to try their new Flare Jeans, which are very figure flattering.

Check out their fun video here about the campaign & be sure to become a fan of their facebook page.

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