Wrap It Up Wednesday, Sep 5 2012 

Fall is that great in-between season – it’s not too hot, not too cold. It’s the season of layers and a trench coat is the perfect fall topper. Trench coats are classically chic – they are timeless and make every outfit look polished, but there are always updated styles available each season. Mine is the classic trench color (tan) but has a full skirt, which allows for a lot of swing with each step. This makes it just a little bit girly without being too prim or prissy.

If you don’t have a trench coat and need a new fall piece, I would highly recommend purchasing a trench. You can find them everywhere now and at every price point. I did a quick search on ShopStyle and found a few that caught my eye:

 

Whatever your shape, trench coats are one of the most flattering pieces you can own. Find the right length for your height and then tie at the waist. A defined waist is the perfect definition of a female figure. You can also tie it in the back and leave it open for a more casual, but still body-skimming look.

Do you own a trench coat? Do you think it’s a piece that would enhance your wardrobe?

Images pulled from NeimanMarcus.com, SaksFifthAvenue.com and Nordstrom.com.

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In Need of a Fall Bag Tuesday, Sep 4 2012 

Woohoo! Summer is over and fall is here! Wait….oh, it’s still triple-digits in North Texas so I guess, really, it’s still summer. Womp, womp.

Even though we’re still in the midst of sweltering heat, once we hit September, I start slowly transitioning to fall attire. That may not mean boots and sweaters yet, but anything that looks tropical and summer-y gets put away. I start wearing darker jewel tones and layering a bit more.

I thought about this as I got dressed this morning. Only later at work did it dawn on me that it’s time to put away my summer bag:

My mom bought this for me as a birthday gift and I have carried and loved it all summer. But the straw definitely screams summer – nothing transitional about this piece. So my dilemma now is what bag to carry for fall. I still have a great deep purple Michael Kors bag – the smaller version of this:

MICHAEL Michael Kors Hamilton Large Tote

But there is just nothing like buying a new purse. I love a more structured handbag for fall, but I’m not sure what color I want. Do I want to go with another bold color, like teal? Or should I go classic and choose a neutral, like gray or camel? And, let’s face it, purses are expensive now. Do I even want to spend the money?

I have just browsed briefly in a few stores for a new purse and haven’t found anything I love yet. I guess only time will tell.

Are you planning on buying a new bag for fall? Any certain styles or colors you’re lusting after?

Image of Michael Kors Hamilton Tote from michaelkors.com.

Teal-Blue-Green Tuesday, Aug 21 2012 

One of my favorite things about fall is the color palette, not just in fashion but in nature. I love the rich, deep, saturated hues. For fall fashion, oxblood is supposed to be THE color. Basically, it’s burgundy with a fancy new name. ūüėČ

I’m still not sure how I feel about oxblood, but I am loving anything in the teal/blue-green/deep blue range. I clicked over to Nordstrom just now to see if they were showing anything in this color, and what do you know, they have a whole section devoted to blue dresses for fall. Sign me up! Besides being on the blue bandwagon, I love, love, love dresses. They are easy and versatile, and when you find the shape that fits your body best, they tend to be the most flattering piece in your closet. Browsing the blue dress section at Nordstrom, I found quite a few that would be a great fit for any closet. For the most part they are reasonably priced and would work well for work as well as church, cocktail parties or any other event where you want to look polished.

And if I had the funds and really started working my quality vs quantity view, I would love to add this to my closet:

These dresses can all be paired with tights and blazers for when the temps drop and would work with boots or pumps. I think gray is a great, unexpected neutral to pair with these.

What are your thoughts on the teal/blue/green color for fall? What’s your favorite fall color, either in nature or fashion?

All images from Nordstrom.com.

Capping It Off Thursday, Aug 16 2012 

The cap-toe pump is a hot shoe trend for fall. I’ve always been a fan of a closed-toe pump – they polish off every outfit and lend an air of sophistication. Adding the cap-toe gives a classic a fresh twist. I did a quick browse on Nordstrom.com (no surprise there) and found 3 in my price range that I would love to have:

This black and rose gold color combo adds a great metallic edge for day. Metallics have been big for a while now and this muted metallic paired with black keeps it from being club-ish. If that’s too far out of your comfort zone, they also have a black and pewter combo.

Animal print has gone from being a trend to being a neutral. The colors on this shoe will go with everything in your wardrobe, and the exaggerated cap-toe makes it a little more fashion forward. The beauty of animal print? On a day when you’re running late or just can’t get creative, you can throw this on with any all-black outfit and it instantly takes your look up a notch.

A truly classic, neutral shoe that you will wear with everything for years to come. It’s striking, yet subtle. This is the shoe that will always fill in when you think: “I’m not sure what shoe to wear with this outfit.” They also offer it in black-on-black (the shoe is brushed leather and the cap-toe is patent) or white with a black cap-toe.

Will you be adding a cap-toe pump to your wardrobe for fall?

All images pulled from Nordstrom.com.

Seeing Spots Tuesday, Aug 14 2012 

As I mentioned yesterday, I love fall. Fall clothing is by far my favorite and if I lived in a cooler climate, I would dress for fall year-round. Since fall fashions are starting to drop in stores, I thought it would be fun to detail some of the fall trends. Every season is rife with new trends and it’s rare that any one person adopts all the trends. (And frankly, that should stay rare. :)) So I’m going to dedicate a post to each of the fall trends that I’m loving, one by one.

The first trend that I noticed recently, especially in my most recent JCrew catalog, was polka-dots. Polka-dots can look young and frilly, but JCrew is showing them in a fresh way. Their take is definitely classically chic. Here are a few pieces from JCrew that I would consider adding to my fall wardrobe:

This dress is what really caught my eye and made me think: “I need more polka dots in my wardrobe!” I love how it feels ladylike and polished, yet very current.

I’ve been obsessing over tie-neck blouses for sometime now. They give off a very chic, polished, woman-in-charge feel, but with a bit of softness. I think it’s a little reminiscent of the Mad Men-era wardrobe that’s been so hot the last few seasons.

I especially love that this skirt is A-line. The full skirt has definitely taken a back seat in recent years to the tailored pencil skirt. While I love the polish and style of a pencil skirt, it’s not the best fit for everyone. I have a small waist and curvy hips, so I’ve never found a pencil skirt I feel comfortable in. And I’m not interested in accentuating my “junk in the trunk” a la Kim Kardashian.

If the tiny polka-dots still feel a little too prim and proper for you, JCrew also offers an exaggerated style.

Whenever I get around to shopping for fall, I will definitely be trying on some of these items. Hopefully, at least one sticks and I can add some spots to my closet. What do you think of the polka-dot trend?

All images pulled from JCrew.com.

 

Breaking the Rules Wednesday, Sep 21 2011 

In the last few years, many of the long-standing rules of fashion have disappeared. One of the newer trends that bucks the old rules is wearing tights with open-toe shoes. Specifically, opaque black tights with chunky sandals in a contrasting color. I expect that this is a very polarizing trend and it may be one of those things we see in magazines and on runways that just doesn’t translate to real life. But I love this look. I was recently flipping through one of my Glamour magazines and found this picture in the Michael Kors’ “Do’s and Don’ts” article.

It’s definitely not tights season yet here in Texas but I may try to get creative when the weather gets cooler and see if I can pull this look off. I’ll be honest – it’s waaaay out of my comfort zone so I may never get the courage to leave the house in this. But I could use a little “out-of-the-box” fashion in my life, so we’ll see.

What do you think of this look?

A Twist for Fall Tuesday, Sep 6 2011 

September issues of my fashion magazines are by far my favorite. They are chock full of new clothes, outfit ideas and glamorous ads. For whatever reason, September and the start of fall feel like a fresh start on fashion. I recently finished my September InStyle and read it cover to cover. One of the regular InStyle features that I love is their “Impress forLess” column, where they ask a famous stylist to put together an outfit where all items included are under $100. Now obviously, an outfit that contains 5-6 items, even if they are all under $100, can add up pretty quickly, but it’s really the concept here that I enjoy. Basically, the reader is shown how to put together a very current, trendy outfit based on pieces they might already have or that fall into their budget. I was particularly impressed with the outfit featured in this issue by stylist Jessica Paster:

This is an outfit that I think is very “now” and also very unique. I wouldn’t consider this work-appropriate¬†– I don’t think shorts in a standard office environment are ever appropriate. But it’s great for shopping or drinks with friends, or even a casual party or date night. In case you can’t make out all the details, it’s a blazer paired with a top and velvet shorts, finished off with tights and open-toe booties. Some gold jewelry, a structured cross-body bag and foxy fedora complete the look. It’s perfect for those chilly fall days where¬†you need some coverage but not a parka and wool pants. In addition to the tights and blazer, the fact that the shorts are velvet keep you from looking like you landed in the wrong season. I don’t own any fall-type shorts but I may add them to my fall shopping list. What a fun alternative to a skirt.

What are your thoughts on this outfit? Would you wear this?

My Fall Shopping List Wednesday, Aug 24 2011 

I’m pretty sure everyone across the country is ready for fall. This has been a super-hot summer and I’m over the heat. Plus, I’ve always loved fall clothing and the season in general.

I got to start a little of my fall shopping this past weekend. We were in Austin for a special family event, so my mom and I stopped by Dress Shop (you may remember me mentioning the belt I purchased that I built my pretend first day of school outfit). I also picked up a fabulous blazer. I love jackets of all types and blazers are at the top of the list for me. Check it out:

It’s a versatile gray, right in between heather and charcoal. Obviously, a gray blazer will go with anything and everything. But it’s the little details that set this one apart. The end of the sleeves and the collar are accented in a cool gold chain material.

The gold chain detail is just enough to make it unique and different without being too over-the-top. Love.

So, my fall shopping has commenced. However, this year, I’m trying to shop smarter. I tend to buy everything that I can afford that looks remotely good on me, whether it fits into my current wardrobe. This results in a lot of money spent and a stuffed-full closet of which I only wear 50%. And clothes that I later discover don’t look that great on me.¬†To help combat this, I’ve made a fall shopping list:

I’m going to work hard to stick to this list. That doesn’t leave me a lot of shopping freedom, but it does help me in my quest to buy better quality pieces that I will wear the heck out of. I’ll need my regular shopping buddies (my mom, Philene, Jessica) to help me stick to it. Friends don’t let friends over-buy.

What’s on your fall shopping list?

It’s a Mad, Mad World Wednesday, Aug 10 2011 

By now, you have probably heard about Banana Republic’s exclusive Mad Men collection coming out for fall (debuts in stores tomorrow, I believe). I could never get into the show – shocker, I know. Many friends encouraged me to watch it and I gave it a chance for an entire season but it just never grabbed me. I found it to be slow, anti-climatic and just a little too dark. The fashion in the show was an entirely different story. I LOVED IT. I loved the throw-back to that era and the way the silhouettes enhanced the feminine body. Mad Men fashion is definitely classically chic and I will be buying some pieces from the collection. Since I “like” Banana on Facebook, I was able to view the collection this evening. Here are just a few of the looks that stood out to me:

Leopard trench

Leopard trench?! Yes, please. A great piece of outerwear is essential for fall because, sometimes, that’s all anyone sees of your outfit.

Lace Tipped dress

A classic LBD. I love the asymmetric neckline and the subtle lace detailing at the hem. Would be great for the office or a wedding. Money well spent.

Houndstooth dress

I love the updated spin on the large, graphic houndstooth print and the color combo.

Animal Print cardi & Tie-Neck blouse

I love the styling of this animal print with the jewel-tone blouse. A tie-neck blouse alone could come off as a little preppy and old lady-ish, but this look is modern paired with a short cardi and casually pushed-up sleeves.

And even better, all of the clothing (at least what BR is showing on Facebook) is less than $200! How’s that for classic, quality pieces at affordable prices? Way to go, BR. This collection is a perfect testament to why I love you.

What do you think of the Mad Men collection? And are you a fan of the show? Is there anyone on the “not a fan of Mad Man” island with me?

Images pulled from the Mad Men collection app on Banana Republic’s Facebook page.