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.

Monday, October 4, 2010

PAID to SHOP??!!

Believe it or not, this is true...well, ALMOST.

MANY stores have their own credit cards, which isn't something new, BUT the bonuses and rewards are. Often times people avoid these cards because of the high APR (annual percentage rates), but most of the cards can be paid off the day you use them. You can literally put a purchase on the card to earn your points, and then the next minute, pay it off. It really isn't that much more work and you EARN $$/points towards $$certificates to spend on your next purchases, how much better can that get??!!

I think it's SO worth it, and I have earned myself so much $$ using mine. We've highlighted a few of the cards that we have that are worth adding to your wallet!


Nordstrom offers 2 cards: a basic Nordstrom store card AND a Nordstrom VISA card.

Every Nordstrom cardholder earns TWO rewards points with every purchase on their Nordstrom card. Nordstrom Visa cardholders also earn ONE rewards point for purchases made outside of Nordstrom, anywhere Visa credit cards are accepted. Accumulate 2,000 rewards points and receive a $20 Nordstrom Note, redeemable for any merchandise or services in
Nordstrom stores and through catalogs.

So spending $1000 at Nordstrom earns you $20, BUT if you shop during sales and special days, you can earn those points faster as there are MANY periods of time when Nordstrom has double and even triple rewards points days....meaning you could earn 4 or 6 points per dollar spent!!

It may not seem like the best deal, but the APR is fairly low on the Visa card, and I couldn't be happier with the bonuses I've received with mine! SO worth it!
Also, the more you put on your card per year, earns you more advantages such as free shipping and complimentary tailoring. Check out the website for more info!

*Upcoming SALE = half-yearly sale for Women & Kids = NOVEMBER 3-6 = DOUBLE rewards point days AND a FABULOUS time to find some of the BEST DEALS this store offers, but shop early before sizes are gone!!!

Ann Taylor LOFT

Ann Taylor LOFT also offers 2 cards: a LOFT card and a LOFT MasterCard.

You earn 5 style points for every dollar put on your card, and with the MasterCard, 1 style point for every dollar spent outside of the LOFT. And your card can be used not only at LOFT, but also at Ann Taylor, LOFT Outlets, and Ann Taylor Factory! Just like Nordstrom, once you reach 2,000 points, you receive a $20 rewards gift certificate to redeem in store or online! With the 5 points per dollar, this means you earn $20 for every $400 spent shopping! Fabulous!! *You also get a $15 bonus certificate for your BIRTHDAY!! LOVE those!! =)

Ann Taylor LOFT is a great place to find essentials and basics for your wardrobe, and they OFTEN have sales, and days where everything in the store is 25%, 30%, 40% etc. off, including the sale merchandise! Also, not only do you earn points on your card, but you also receive extra coupons towards purchases and exclusive "sneak peaks" of merchandise!

here to read more details about the card or to apply online!

J.Crew has only one card, and it's not a Visa or MasterCard, but it's got great perks!

For every $500 you spend on your card, you get a $25 rewards card. You also get invitations to private sales, early acce
ss to select items, complimentary alterations, and personal shopping. J.Crew is a FABULOUS place to shop, for both the basics necessary in your wardrobe and the fun night-on the town pieces.
Their jewelry is also AMAZING....and so unique! My recommendation is to wait for the pieces to go on sale and then fill up that shopping cart! Sign up for their emails, as there are often times when they s
end out codes for extra 20% or 30% off sale!! LOVE getting those!

Click here to read more about the J.Crew credit card and start shopping!

Banana Republic
Banana Republic is another store with 2 cards, an in-store only card and a Visa card.
With the BR Visa card, you earn 5 points for every dollar spent NOT ONLY at Banana Republic, BUT ALSO at Gap, Athleta, Old Navy, AND Piperlime!! FABULOUS!!

With every 1,000 points you earn, you get $10 in rewards! So for spending $200 at any of these 5 places, you get $10. That couldn't be any easier!! WOW!!!

BR also has birthday offers, free shipping on orders of $100 or more, and deals EVERY TUESDAY!! Also, just for signing up, you get a bonus of 1,500 points--that's one $10 rewards card just to sign up AND you're already half-way to the next one!! I think I might have to go sign-up this weekend!! SO worth it, as I shop in BR for their amazing JEWELRY, love Gap for their jeans and great basics, and Piperlime is a fabulous online site for shoes and accessories! Also, if you're in need of some fabulous "work-out gear" check out Athleta, they have amazing stuff!!


Target also has 2 cards, a Target Card and a Target Red Visa Card.

The Target Visa credit card allows you to earn one point for every dollar spent at Target stores. You earn one point for every two dollars you spend on other purchases. Once you have accumulated 1,000 points, you will be given a certificate that entitles you to a 10% savings for a day's shopping at Target. (certain items are exclu
ded). You can only receive one certificate in a month. Unused points are rolled over.

Who doesn't spend a ton of money at Target?! Especially in the fall, buying new school supplies!! Why not earn a day with 10% can really make a difference, as every bit saved truly counts these days. You can also choose to help out your local school: For every dollar that you spend at Target, 1% will be donated to your designed K-12 school. For every dollar that you spend on non-target purchases, 0.50% will be donated instead.

Click here for more info!

There are more store credit cards out there, for most department stores and even places like Best Buy and Home Depot. Just do a little research into the benefits of the card and decide if the store is a place you shop often enough to make it worthwhile!

Are you a TEACHER or Student??!!
Along with the credit cards, many stores offer DISCOUNTS for TEACHERS & Students!! Take advantage of this!! Even 15% off of your total can add up and make a huge difference in deciding to splurge on that new cardi or not, believe me, it's helped in making that tough spend or save (why not both)!! Here are some shops around the Twin Cities that offer discounts, all you need is your staff/student ID and you've got INSTANT SAVINGS!! FABULOUS!

J.Crew offers 15% off of ALL regular-priced merchandise ALL the time...just flash that ID when you check out! **You do NOT need to sign up for anything, all they need to see is proof that you are a teacher or a student. You can also get this discount online IF you register with your school email address!

Ann Taylor LOFT offers 15% off every time you shop (in stores only), BUT you do have to SIGN UP! But you also get 20% just for signing up!! =more saving!! You can sign up online or in any of the stores! Next time you're at the mall, get signed up, it's a quick form and worth the savings!!

New York & Company is just like LOFT, they also offer 15% off every time you shop, but again, you need to SIGN UP--and you also get 20% off just for signing up! FABULOUS!!!

Take advantage of these bonuses, rewards, and savings...and next time you're in your favorite store, just ask if they have any rewards programs or discounts for teachers--it NEVER hurts to ask...and you never know, it could mean $$ in your pocket!! Happy SAVING!!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Party Time!

Now that it is Fall and the weather is starting to turn, a great idea of something to do inside is to Host a Jewelry Party!! They are lots of fun, a great way to catch up with friends, and best of all ~ great benefits!!


We have hosted a few parties, and it's great to be able to pull all the gals together for a night of fun & shopping!! I usually provide some appetizers, fun drinks & yummy desserts - you don't have to spend a lot of money to get good stuff. I personally recommend Target Brand items... they are a favorite of mine, cheap & tasty!!

There are many, many jewelry lines out there, but a few that we have both hosted parties for are Lia Sophia and Stella & Dot.

Fun Facts about Lia Sophia:
  • All Jewelry has a Lifetime Guarantee - whether it breaks or is damaged or you just decide you don't like it anymore - you can return for a new item or credit towards future purchase.
  • They are partnered with Dress for Success: an international not-for-profit organization with the mission to promote the economic independence of disadvantaged women by providing professional attire, a network of support, and the career development tools to help them thrive in work and in life.
Lia Sophia Hostess Benefits:
  • Free Jewelry - receive 20% of your Show sales in FREE jewelry credits to be used on regular-priced items.

  • Hostess Bonus Items - purchase up to four items of your choice at the special Hostess Bonus price of $15 (unless otherwise stated).

  • Half Price Items - purchase up to two items of your choice at half price.

  • 40% Hostess Credit - With 10 orders and 2 future bookings, get 40% of your Show sales in jewelry credit for only $15. To be used on regular-priced items.

If you are interested in hosting a Lia Sophia show - please contact advisor Chrissy Ready @

Fun Facts about Stella & Dot:

  • It is a VERY fashionable line that is loved by Celebrities, Editors and Media alike.
  • "Stella & Dot is committed to supporting a sustainable and fair economy, empowering women around the globe, working only with credible production partners who share our values for social responsibility."

  • They introduced a kids line that is ADORABLE and affordable!

Stella & Dot Hostess Rewards based on Show Sales:

  • $300-$499.99 - Receive 15% in free jewelry & 2 items for 1/2 price
  • $500-$999.99 - Receive 20% in free jewelry & 3 items for 1/2 price

  • $1,000 and up - Receive 25% in free jewelry & 4 items for 1/2 price

If you are interested in hosting a Stella & Dot Truck Show, please visit their website:

Start planning, have fun, and enjoy the FREE JEWELRY you earn!!

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