Today's top 10 Shopping List covers everything from blue-washed leather hobo, to a faux fur-framed collar on a coat I'm going ga-ga for.
Follow it up with a pair of sequined leggings that are fun to look at, let alone wear out, and you're all set. But first, it's montage time people, you know the drill:
There's something to be said about venturing outside the realm of your basic black, brown (or white for summer) everyday handbag, but what do you go for right? A metallic? Maybe. Something with an exotic print? Always a good option, or, you could try something on in a brighter color to pull things out of 'basic' and into 'original,' as far as style goes. Meet the blue bag, or more specifically, the 'Oliver' hobo, from Rebecca Minkoff (a favorite name of mine in the category, and I'm not alone, i.e. the Minkette), that says it all for me (which is kind of depressing since I have a tendency to be a 'talker'):
Here's the thing, fashion-forward pieces, an example being anything that falls onto the latest list of what fashion directors out there are calling a 'trend,' can be easily found out there. The buyers make sure that is the case each season.
It's the basics, the true-blue pieces that belong in your core closet, that are tough to get a hold of, but once you do, you must buy them, and sometimes in multiples. The core is where to invest, and on a sidenote, this is also where I spend the bulk of my time during styling consults.
You can't go for any black boot, basic crewneck tee, or trench coat, you have to try on and see what fits your body to a 't.' These pieces are the foundation of everything, and yes, I'm going on and on here, but I can't stress enough how significant having a core fashion lineup is. Not to mention, it makes life so ridiculously easy. Once you have your basics, what you know you look good in, you can throw in a trend-right accessory, a great statement necklace, or a pop-color pump and be completely pulled together.
All of that style-preaching aside (amen), I present to you a great classic knee-high boot that can be worn under pants/denim or stand alone under a dress, skirt, over leggings, etc. The list is endless, similar to the styling options, so have at it.
I am a pants girl. It's not because I'm trying to cover up my legs as a problem area, I happen to really like them. I know, take a minute, you just witnessed a woman speaking highly of some part of her body which is a rare thing in today's world. I'm definitely not gloating on this one, I just know where my strengths and weaknesses are, we all have them, and can all play to the best parts, our assets if you will. It never hurts to focus on the positive.
Pant-rut aside, a skirt will find it's way into my wardrobe, usually of the pencil form, every now and then. This almost-mini skirt, with the quilting going on, caught my eye. I'm seeing it over a pair of black opaque tights with an ankle boot (more daytime) or classic pump for evening. You could get a ton of use out of this one skirt, and instead of just being basic black, the details make it, and life, more interesting.
A white, button-front blouse is an essential in any closet, and, unless you've been living under a large rock for the past fifty years, you will know this. I'm not telling you anything new or divulging any style secrets here. Should you, like myself, want something a bit less commercial without going too far into the 'trendy' deep end, something like the below Hayden blouse is a perfect option. The shoulder details give this polished classic a bit of edge without going too far. It's such a simple touch that shows a little can go a long way here.
I mean, hello, how could I not get these leggings into a round of top 10 picks on the Shopping List right? A. they're sequined, B. they're sequined. This is a pick that was added because it shows how fashion is meant to not be taken too seriously. You can wear these leggings with a basic tunic on top, or what have you, and still work it. They are meant for play, to lighten up a bit, to work it out a bit, and just to have fun in. I can see my guy friends looking at this and thinking they're absolutely ridiculous, but you don't buy a pair of leggings like this because you want to follow the rules and please others' ideas of what is right and wrong when it comes to your personal style, it wouldn't be very personal if that were the case.
Wear them for you. If you feel good in them, and can balance out all the shine with some neutrals, go for it. If you can wear them and not have them wear you, go for it. Just do it when the moon is up and not the sun, that's my only caveat.
Outside of that, play a little. Fashion isn't meant to be taken too seriously. Taxes, bills, grades, income, food on the table, health, etc. Those are things you can get serious with. Fashion is where you get to take a little break, whether it's through a pair of outrageous leggings, a bright red lip, shoes you can't stop staring at your feet in, or a necklace that makes you smile. Right now, it's break time, the serious stuff with be there when you get back. Trust.
I don't usually throw down a pair of 'Loubie's' unless I really love them (mainly because only the tiniest portion of the population would deem them 'affordable' and I think everyone should have access to amazing shoes), but these Vampanados, I love. I mean, I adore them. The silhouette, the ankle-strap, the bow details, the Audrey Hepburn of it all, is so spot on it's hard to say no. And by 'hard' I mean 'impossible.' This is where you can invest, and if you think I'm completely warped, I don't blame you. You don't need to throw down this much on these sandals, but you should find something that you love and spend just a bit more on them to get the perfect pair. I guarantee, you will wear them to death (tip: heel caps can be replaced for under $20 at any cobbler). For now, just take it all in and try not to drool too much.
sources: 1-Rebecca Minkoff Oliver Hobo (www.saksfifthavenue.com), 2-Vince Camuto Fur Collar Coat (www.vincecamuto.com), 3-Aldo Wiegel Boot (www.aldoshoes.com), 4-Collette By Collette Dinnigan Ramie Dress (www.theoutnet.com), 5-Vanessa Bruno Ath Quilted-Jersey Skirt (www.theoutnet.com), 6-Giles & Brother Encrusted Cortina Cuff (www.shopbop.com), 7-213 Industry Hayden Blouse (www.piperlime.gap.com), 8-Sass & Bide One By One Sequined Leggings (www.net-a-porter.com), 9-Harlow Color-Blocked Envelope Clutch (www.bcbg.com), 10-Christian Louboutin Vampanodo 100 Sandals (www.net-a-porter.com)
The shopping list never ends, literally. Each week, we scour the our favorite spots on the web to hand-pick our best of the best that find their way either onto the Top 10 list, or, The StyleShaker Closet. See the rest of the line-up that may not have made it into today's hit list below:
Today's zen moment is brought to you by none other than Glenda, you know, the good witch? I know, it's random, but what good is life without something random and spontaneous mixed in?
A year ago I was in a situation I didn't want to be in, and I did everything in my power to find someone, something, or some other company to help me find my way out. I was living a life based on 'job security,' and moving in a direction that I was told I 'should,' be moving in. I was living someone else's life and expecting someone else to pull me out of it. I interviewed with a dozen companies, half offered me a job, the other half didn't. I rejected every offer.
I was shown a ridiculous amount of generosity from good people who were just trying to get me to make a move, and yet I turned down every request.
Every timed I turned something down, I did it because I knew it wasn't right for me. It took awhile to finally realize that it wasn't going to happen via someone else stepping in. This time, it had to be me acting and not reacting. I had to save myself, and I had it in me all along to do so. It's funny because I look back and see how everything I was searching for externally, could only be found internally.
Trying to push a round peg into a square hole can be exhausting, it's like trying to squeeze your size nine foot into a size eight at a sample sale. You may shove it in there, but the fit will never be right. It's only going to take more energy to walk in those new, pain-inducing, blister-manufacturing, toe-crunching shoes. It doesn't have to be so hard, just go for what fits you. Pick the size 9, and if it's not there, try another color you may never had thought would work, but secretly wished you could pull off.
Glenda was right, I had the power all along, and so do you.
Find what fits, try a few things on, and I promise I'll do the same.
See more when it comes to what to wear and how to wear it, here.