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.

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.

It’s Time to Shop! Wednesday, Jul 11 2012 

It’s no secret that Nordstrom is my favorite store. Besides carrying great merchandise in a wide and varied price range, the service is unbeatable. Their big anniversary sale starts on July 20, but if you’re a cardholder, you can get early access online or in stores, starting today! I logged on earlier and made some necessary purchases:

Enzo Angiolini “Demario” pump

I mentioned in yesterday’s post that I needed new peep-toe black pumps, and I’m hoping these do the trick. I was looking for a 3″ heel with a small platform and I like that the shoe is a brushed leather, not patent. I love a good patent shoe, but my closed-toe black pumps are patent, so I decided I needed to vary it up a bit. Plus, they were on sale for $59.90, down from about $90!

Zella “Booty” pants

I have previously professed my love for these work-out pants and I’m trying to slowly increase my stash so I can get rid of my old, cheap work-out pants. These were on sale for $39.90, down from around $62.

Zella “Pop Statement” tank

My collection of work-out tops is embarrassing – mostly old sorority shirts from college. Since I love the Zella pants, I decided to give this top a try. I like the black and white with just a pop of color and the style would be flattering on anyone. This was on sale for $37.90, down from about $65.

I’m excited for my new purchases to come in! If you’re a Nordstrom cardholder, get online and treat yourself to some discounted goodies. If you’re not a cardholder, pop into your nearest Nordy’s on the 20th and start shopping!

Images from nordstrom.com.

Line I’m Loving Thursday, Jun 28 2012 

A fairly new line of shoes has caught my eye over the last few months as I’ve browsed through Nordstrom: Ivanka Trump. Yes, she the daughter of the Donald. Regardless of your thoughts on Donald, I’ve always though Ivanka was smart and stylish. Now I haven’t tried on her shoes yet so I can’t speak to the quality, but simply based on style and price, I think she has knocked it out of the park. All of her shoes at Nordy’s are stylish and chic. She has a range of heel heights, from flats to kitten to high. They are reasonably priced and would be a great addition to the everyday working wardrobe. I’ve snagged a few pics:

 

Ivanka Trump “Perri” Sandal – $144.95

Ivanka Trump “Indico” Pump – $129.95

Ivanka Trump “Margo” Pump – $139.95, currently on sale for $69.90 (but in limited sizes)

I think when I’m ready to update some of my pumps in my wardrobe, Ivanka’s line will definitely be in consideration. Which is a good reminder to look at my classic pumps and see which pairs are still hanging in and which pairs need to go to shoe heaven.

Have you tried Ivanka Trump’s shoe line? Do you like this style?

All pictures pulled from Nordstrom.com.

Make a Statement Wednesday, Jun 27 2012 

I love accessories and firmly believe that a statement necklace can make an outfit. You can wear them with just about anything in any situation. Adding a statement necklace to a suit expresses your personality and confidence. Pop one on with a classic tee, jeans and flats for an upgraded casual look. The statement necklace broke into the style scene several years ago, and has morphed from a trend to a classic accessory.

Most of my statement necklaces fall in the “metal” colors – they are either all gold, or all silver or a mix of one of those with lucite or other textures. I have been trying to incorporate more colorful jewelry into my wardrobe. If I were adding some more statement necklaces to my collection – and although I always want to be adding more clothes, handbags, accessories and shoes to my life, I’m trying to make more thoughtful purchases and fill holes in my wardrobe – I would definitely snatch up these two:

kate spade new york “paisley park” necklace – $178 at Nordstrom

 

Bubble Necklace – $150 from JCrew

This one comes in a variety of colors other than “azalea pink” – turquoise, black, navy, white and a bright yellow.

Although these necklaces aren’t cheap, I typically find that when I buy a piece of jewelry that’s this unique, I wear it constantly. So I always get my money’s worth.

Do you wear statement necklaces? Have you been eyeing any to add to your collection lately?

Zella & The Bar Tuesday, Jun 12 2012 

I’ve never been the type of person to buy nice, cute work-out clothes, despite my love for fashion and shopping. I think it was due in part to the fact that I didn’t want to spend money on something that I would sweat all over and also partly due to the fact that I didn’t make exercise a consistent routine in my life. However, as I’ve gotten older, I’ve embraced, and even enjoy, a regular work-out routine. It’s become more than just trying to lose weight. For me it’s about overall health, energy, attitude and maintaining my weight.

My husband is always encouraging me to buy myself some nice work-out clothes. (I think he’s embarrassed by my super old sorority shirts. 31 might be too old to be sporting letters.) So I finally took the plunge and bought some Zella Booty pants with a Nordstrom gift card…and my life was changed forever. Dramatic, yes, but these pants completely transformed the way I feel about cute work-out clothes. They are the most flattering pair of tight, fitted pants that I have ever owned. They increase my confidence and inspire me to get to the gym. At $62 a pop, they aren’t cheap. However, I was always raised to appreciate quality and invest in long-term pieces.

No, this is not my body.

My newest fitness obsession is The Bar Method. Yes, I know that a ballet barre is not spelled bar, but this is the name of the studio. It is undeniably one of, if not the, hardest work-out I have ever done. Since I grew up dancing my entire life, I understand and enjoy the fundamentals behind it. I tried it for the first time this past weekend and I’m hooked. The classes during the week don’t quite work well with my schedule, but I’m already signed up again for this Saturday. And you can bet I’ll be rocking my Zella Booty pants.

What’s your current favorite form of exercise? Do you treat yourself to cute work-out clothes?

Image courtesy of Nordstrom.com.

Nordstrom at Your Service Wednesday, Mar 23 2011 

Several weeks ago I received an email from a Customer Relations Manager at the Nordstrom near my office, inviting me to come in and shop with one of their personal shoppers. The service was F-R-E-E and they would give me a $50 gift card to use toward my first purchase with my personal shopper. Um, yes, please! I was sold. The only real hitch was finding a time that I could come in.

Last week, I realized that I had some availability and scheduled my personal shopping appointment. I gave the lady my sizes and also mentioned that I was looking for everyday, affordable clothes. Nothing from the couture section for me. Only in my dreams….(Debbie Gibson, anyone?) Right, back to the topic at hand.

I was so excited! As I arrived in the Personal Stylist section on the second floor, a bit of nervousness crept through me. I started to doubt if I should do this. I was afraid that the personal shoppers at Nordstrom were used to working with uber-wealthy women with supermodel bodies. “Oh, well,” I told myself. “If it’s not fun, I don’t have to buy anything and I don’t have to do it again.” Within a minute, my personal shopper, Brittany, arrived and we got down to business.

Short version: it was a fantastic experience and I would highly recommend it to anyone. Now for the details. Brittany had already filled a large, plush dressing room with some initial pieces for me to try on – dresses, skirts and loads of tops. We glanced at the items and then made a sweep around the sales floor, picking out anything that caught my eye. I also mentioned that I would like to look for some wide leg pants.

Style Tip: These are cropping up as a huge trend for spring and I believe they balance out a pear shape.

We grabbed a few more items and started trying on.

Of course there were items that didn’t fit. They just weren’t right for my body and didn’t flatter me. Brittany never tried to convince me otherwise and even when she liked an outfit that I didn’t love, she suggested that we keep moving because it wasn’t worth it if I didn’t love it. That was a plus in my book – don’t try to sell me on something that doesn’t work.

There were two other great, unexpected results that came out of shopping with a neutral party: 1) She picked out things that I wouldn’t have tried on because I just assumed that they wouldn’t work for me and 2) She mixed and matched some pieces in ways I never would have. Score!

I ended up purchasing 4 pieces with several more on my wish list. Let’s start with the basic:

 

A basic long, black Splendid cardigan. It’s incredibly comfortable and way more reasonably priced than I ever expected! There are no buttons but it skims the body nicely and looks very current. I can absolutely see pairing this with a dress, skirt and top or even jeans.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I also purchased a dress:

I picked this one up as we strolled through the sales floor before our session started. I know this isn’t the best picture, but it’s a great graphic print with strong yellow accents and some deep bronze detailing around the waist. And the fit – flawless! This is the perfect example of finding the right fit for your body. This dress truly looked like it was custom made for my body. I know I will get a ton of wear out of it during spring and summer and even think I can pull it off for work if I throw that comfy Splendid cardigan over it.

 

My final two pieces were great examples of pieces I never would have tried on but fell in love with. The top is sheer (big trend for spring) and drapey. My initial thought is that it wouldn’t flatter me. Wrong! I loved the updated, sophisticated look of this blouse. We tried it on with two different camis underneath – nude (safe route) and black (oooh, daring!). Two different looks and they both looked fantastic.

The pants are black super-stretch Joe’s Jeans. They met my wide-leg requirement and looked great on. Between the inky black color and the stretch material, they don’t look or even feel like denim. These will definitely become a staple. Finally, I have an alternative to jeans that’s a little dressier without feeling like I’m going to a meeting.

 

 

 

 

So there’s the LOOOONG version of my personal shopping experience. I have two tops and two cardigans, plus a cami or two, on my immediate wishlist for my next round. I also want to purchase another pair of pants and a dress that I tried on, but those will have to be a little further down the line because, as my parents used to say, money doesn’t go on trees.

I would highly recommend the personal shopping experience. It’s a great option for everyone: if you don’t like to shop or don’t know how to dress for your body or even if you just want to shop for a lot in a little bit of time.

So who’s up for it? I want to hear what you think about using a personal shopper!