Get My Look | What I Wear When I Want to Show My Flare

Setting the intention: With everything I do on this site, my intention is simply to inspire you. It always has been and it always will be. Should you crack a smile on top of this, then my day is made. On to the Get My Look post..

Have you ever seen the movie Office Space? Better yet, have you ever watched it on a loop over the course of a weekend after a crazy (read: not-so-fun) week at work? Right, well, I used to do it back in the day, so inevitably, a few lines find their way into my life and writing every now and then. In this case, the line is one Jennifer Aniston delivered when she showed her boss both her 'flair' and her finger.

This time around you won't see any bumper-sticker-quote-buttons lining the fabric of suspenders. Actually, let's hope you never see anything like that EVER on this site. Instead of flair, I'm talking flare. Right. Stay with me...Check out how to pull off a flare leg jean with a little layer of color courtesy of a peach suede jacket:

get my look, shop by number

Shop the Look:

 

Clients often freak out (technical term) when I mention a flared leg on denim. They're picturing a throw back to disco, when all I'm envisioning is a slight flare attached to a classic boot-cut. It's all about a little emphasis at the hem, and when worn with a heel, the look (again, I'm talking a relatively subtle flare here) is ridiculously elongating, let alone flattering because it creates a proportion that balances any silhouette out.

Speaking of silhouettes, the million dollar question that follows 'what to wear,' and then, 'how to wear it,' would have to be: "how do I wear this for my body type?" Logical enough question and yet, it's one of the toughest ones out there.

It's also an incremental piece of the fashion/wardrobe puzzle. You could have the most well-stocked closet out there, and sure, you have some inspiration on how to pull off the pieces, but if you don't know how to pull them off for your body type, then all you have is a full closet with nothing to wear. Sound familiar? I know, it's what makes my world go 'round here at the StyleShaker, and the basis for 100% of the services I offer to my fabulous clients.

Check out what body types can pull this look off flawlessly and how the rest of us can make a couple of key alterations to keep things moving in the right direction, stylistically speaking of course:

body type img with checks

Pears: you can do this but keep in mind just a couple of things. You want the hem of the underpinning (read: tank top, sorry about the retail lingo, after a decade you can take the girl out of retail but you can't take the retail out of the girl) to pop out from under the jacket. This will elongate your torso. Have it hit right at the hips. I repeat Pear ladies, DO NOT get tricky and think that allowing the tank to fall over your bum is a clever cover-up, it just accentuates your naturally beautiful silhouette in the area you don't want to. Also, lean towards a darker wash on the denim. And finally, make sure the hem goes past the ankle. If you have the hem falling too high you will crop the vertical eye-line and lose any extension. Never good.

Moving along...Rectangles, you're all set here. You're made for this and so many other looks so at this point, you should know you've got the universal body type (almost all the time). You're like the O negative of body types, the universal donor if you will. Hemoglobin talk aside, it's time to talk to my Hourglasses. This is a great option for you. Stick with all the notes I gave to the Pear shapes above. And finally, my Apples. I'm going to recommend going with a layering piece that has a bit less bulk. Maybe a more streamlined blazer to throw over in a pop color or cardigan with a peplum.

For petite women, if you don't have a heel nearby or you want to give your feet a break and wear flats, you can do this, but you'd need to go with a boot cut jean and lose the flare leg all together.

You can (and hopefully have) shopped the above look, but things sell out or you may just want to see more options when it comes to the categories above (i.e. a different tank, alternative to the peach jacket, and the list goes on). If it's options you want, then options you shall have. I aim to please. Shop the StyleShaker Closet by clicking below and see where the magic happens:

closetfeature

I'm a broken record here, but to me it never hurts to repeat something I hold near and dear to the core of what I do on this site.

The StyleShaker is all about inspiration. Shopping inspiration, fashion inspiration, Look inspiration, and now quote inspiration.

It's one of my favorite things to do, share quotes that resonate with me, so I'm incorporating into a few posts, just, cause. Take a minute, take a breath, take a step back and just be for a second. Fill up that part of yourself. Like I said, my intention is to inspire so have at it, and by all means, get inspired:

Time for a quote close up:
quote

Get back to more inspiration when it comes to what to wear, how to wear it, and where to shop:

get inspired

 

Product Review Time | Splendid's Slub Stripe Cowlneck Pullover

Splendid's Slub Stripe Cowlneck Pullover | My Product Review

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It's time for some product reviews. I've been in the fashion game for over ten years now (over half of those in e-commerce) the thought of which instills both fear and pride in me. Fear, mainly because all of those people were right, time does fly.

Pride because, well, I've managed to stay in a world that I happen to love and make a living at it for over a decade. Pat-on-the-back moment aside, there's always been something missing. I shop for myself, but more so for my clients' Lookbooks & Shopping Lists. I recommend product based on my own unbiased opinion and my background, that said, a LOT (and I mean a LOT) of these products are lacking in one thing. Outside of my endorsement (having previously bought from the site or designer), there are no real-deal product reviews out there on a global fashion level.

Sure, there are the tweens/early twenty-somethings pulling off shopping 'hauls' from Forever 21 and CVS, but I'm talking about the higher price points and the non-disposable product that will put you out for a bit more than ten dollars.

I am ob-sessed (note: this is not an exaggeration) with Amazon and their product reviews. We all love product reviews, and why wouldn't we? We get the inside scoop. But when it comes to fashion, I see that they're just not consistent. Sure, I can look on Free People or Ann Taylor and see a blurb here or there, but these customers usually fail to go further than one sentence having been turned off by fit (ps. you would be amazed at how many people don't review the sizing chart before buying on-line; I do it too, ugh).

Bottom line: I want more. And NOT from a hired third party (which several retailers do). I want to know if the product I'm spending money on is worth it, we all do. I want to know if the heel cap is going to fall off again after about a month (recurring theme in my life), or if after one wash the v-neck tee falls apart (the one I spent $66 on, not a $20 kick in the bucket). I want the Consumer Reports of fashion from someone who 'gets' fashion, but isn't so far down the rabbit hole that three hundred dollars on a pair of pumps is acceptable ninety-nine, point nine percent of the time.

Listen, I've seen the purchase orders, I know the average markups (cue the cough under my breath that sounds a little like "sixty percent-ish) on these items, and I know the 'bottom line' mentality that is needed to  increase sales volume from last year to this year. I also know that, part of the collateral damage in this situation is the quality of product. It's not all the time, and I'm certainly not coming from a 'damn-the-man' (or buyer in this case) mentality. In fact, it's the opposite. A little honest feedback is a win-win for both parties. The vendor/retailer needs to (and honestly, should already) know that what they sell is a great product, but things move at the speed of light. The QA (quality assurance associates) line in the warehouse is compiled of amazing people (trust me, it takes major patience and attention to detail; both of which are qualities I do not possess) whose eyes are trained to catch a print that's off or a price tag that's missing. But it stops there, that's the extent of their job. This leaves factors (um, major factors) such as fit, wearability, and fabrication out of the picture. They become a toss up in on-line shopping, the one spot where they are SO necessary.

Enter me, and this post. I'm going to try this out. I'm the one  buying these products (they are not sent to me or sponsored in any way at the moment; when that day comes I will only accept product if the vendor/retailer implicityly understands that I am giving a 100% honest review). More importantly, these are the picks that I recommend to my clients/members, as I never give them anything I wouldn't personally buy myself. It's time to put the money where my mouth is, or into my closet really, whatever, you get the point. I'm buying and then I'm giving you my opinion.

It's a concept that's perfectly in-line with who I am outside of this web world. I'm the honest friend people take with them into the dressing room because they know I won't tell them what they want to hear (I'm honest, not cruel; there's a distinction). I don't sugarcoat, it's not my thing. A sales associate is working on commission, I am not. The same goes here, my virtual fitting room. My promise to you is that you will get my honest feedback on every piece I buy, and I'm not talking about the latest Cover Girl lip gloss here people. I'm talking about pieces that are a level up in quality (and price) that touch on trends but also fall in-line with what I deem as 'essential' to any wardrobe. You're getting it straight up from the mouth of a woman who has been on the other end of this shopping spectrum (i.e. selling). So, without further adieu, the coffee is kicking in, I'm going to start with the first pick from Splendid:

product image my shot

A couple of pieces of feedback on this guy. I actually bought this sweater for a trip to San Francisco last month. I'm based in Dallas at the moment (if you could even say based; I'm never here) where the winter weather is showing massive signs of global warming because it hasn't hit a high under sixty degrees in months. Gotta love it. That said, San Fran has a tendency to get a bit chillier, hence, the pullover. I wanted something that had volume to it, but stayed on the more sophisticated end of the spectrum, and not the shlubby (technical term in my own head, usually meaning: frumpy) side of things.

The cowl neck and striped, marled print pulled that off for me. I got it home, tried it on, and it fits really well. The hem is high/low, something I completely lost sight of when buying. It goes a little long (not a fan of covering up my bum; I happen to really like it; I know, a woman talking about liking a body part, soak it up for a sec) and I was wearing these with skinny jeans, so a heel was in order.

I tend to go towards the more structured, fitted look. I find when you are at a cup size above B, this is a good way to go or else items may appear larger than they really are. It's all about draping. That said, this sweater has two seams in the front that run vertically along the chest and curve out to the sides at the bottom. Love this, it gives you a subtle hourglass shape without any constriction or tightness. Pretty genius.

This pullover made it's cameo on the day that I literally walked across the city. San Francisco is only seven by seven miles, so it wasn't saying much, but I was walking for over four hours (in flat boots, not my best moment, but I made it work). The weather was gorgeous, sixty-five and sunny. The pullover has a pretty open weave so I felt that sixty-five degrees on my entire torso. The air cut right through the pullover and I wasn't wearing another layer, which I'd recommend if you don't want that 'drafty' feeling. After about 10 minutes of busting it across the city, I got warmed up and was really thankful for the breeze. I had a shoulder bag on the entire day and it did rub on the fabric which gave way a bit. It definitely shouldn't be doing that after the first wear, so take that into account. It's a poly/rayon blend so it gives, which is a plus. The downside being that the label reads, 'dry clean only.' I never follow that unless it's silk so I'll be hand washing in some potions from the Laundress (adore; must have; buy now) and watching to see if there's wear and tear. Since I will be hand-washing, hanging to dry is not an option. This will stretch, so I'll lay flat. Oh, and something else I saw on the label that stopped me in my tracks, this is made in the USA. It's rare, and I love to see it. Cheers to you Splendid.

These few details make this pullover a bit more high-maintenance, but so goes life. I would have still bought it knowing this. Speaking of buying it, I found it in several places on-line, but was in a pinch to get it home before I flew out, so I went with Amazon. I'm a Prime member, so it was a no-brainer. The price was just over eighty dollars, a bit more expensive than other sites (Bloomingdales.com, etc) but actually evened out because that number included shipping (two day; have I mentioned how much I love Prime?).

Here's the product shot I saw on-line as well. I love comparing that to what I get in my hands. Sometimes it can be SO enlightening. I've been at several editorial shoots, and it's hilarious to see how many clips a stylist can get on a dress to make it look like perfection on any model. These people are masters at making clothing look good, there's definitely some smoke and mirror action going on. We've all bought something from a catalog thinking it would look one way and when we open the box, our grandiose expectations are relatively shattered in a millisecond. It's fashion, they want you to buy it after all, but it shouldn't be deceptive. Not a fan of working too much 'magic' to make a product look better than it actually is. Whenever I saw this level of overworking, I would call the buyer so they could negotiate a return to vendor. Seriously, I have no tolerance for it and neither should they. Nine times out of ten, they were thankful to get the feedback.

Soapbox  moment aside, the pic on the site is pretty spot-on to what I received in the mail. Translation: happy customer.

as seen on amazon.com

Overall, right now this pullover is holding up. I put it through the ringer in San Francisco so I'm happy with the quality. That said, it hasn't been through the ringer in Dallas and wherever else I go, plus I've yet to hand-wash, so there may be updates.

I should also note my body type since this pullover isn't something everyone can pull off. It's pretty close to being a universal fit since there's plenty of room and the fabric has stretch, but just because it fits doesn't mean it's the right silhouette for you. So I'll go back to an old favorite, body types. Cue the visual, love this:

what's your body type

source: www.blog.julep.com

This Splendid pullover works for the following types: 1/Rectangle (the newspaper girlie) and 4/Hourglass (self-explanatory and also my exact body type). If you fall into the Apple or Pear (the fruitier shapes if  you will), then the cut on this pullover is not your friend. It will fall away at the hips, not good for our Pear girls, and the added volume, when filled out with a fuller bust, could make you look larger than you are, not good for our Apple people.

If you do fall into Hourglass or Rectangle, keep in mind that since this top floats a bit, it's a great opportunity to go with a more streamlined leg, be it a skinny jean or, my personal favorite, a straight leg jean that fits like a glove through the thigh and flares slightly at the hem (see the J. Brand Lovestory, a standby of mine and the most flattering jean on the planet). Heels are a must, unless you're walking the streets of San Francisco for hours, in which case, go with a flat riding boot, or for Spring, an open/flat sandal.

So right, back to shopping. I love getting these new deliveries. It's like Christmas (or Hannukah, whatever works, my family did both so I'm equal-opportunity) every time. Shopping is all fine and good. Getting something that works when buying on-line is bliss. But then it comes to how to wear it. Since you're most likely not buying an entire look, this involves shopping your closet.

This process is EXACTLY what I do for my clients (check out the slideshow below to get the 'deets'). They send over a pic of something they bought (or already have hanging in their closet, but have no clue how to wear) and I show them ways to pull it off. I offer this service for people across the country now, but it started in my own closet after too many mornings spent frustrated by the question, "what am I going to wear today?" It gets even more frustrating when your place of work just happens to be Neiman Marcus corporate headquarters. There's no room for slacking. Right, so it began with me, I get to help others now, but it will always be something I have up my sleeve and do for myself. Case in point, here are two looks I've pulled together and added to  my own Lookbook for future reference using the latest addition to my closet...

look1_header

look 1

source: 1. Splendid Top Norwegian Slub Stripe Cowlneck Pullover (www.amazon.com), 2. Hue Corduroy Legging (www.zappos.com), 3. Via Spiga Yara Pump (www.dsw.com), 4. 3.1 phillip lim 31 Hour Bag (www.shopbop.com), 5. Club monaco Crystal Thread Bracelet (www.shopbop.com), 6. Oliver Peoples Benedict 59 Sunglasses (www.barneys.com) 

look2_header

look 2

source: 1. McQ Alexander McQueen Military Green Wool Army Jacket (www.stylebop.com), 2. Splendid Top Norwegian Slub Stripe Cowlneck Pullover (www.amazon.com), 3. Mother Runaway Skinny Flare Jean (www.farfetch.com), 4. Ann Taylor Delaney Haircalf Stacked Platform Pumps (www.anntaylor.com), 5. One by Abaco Jamily Bag (www.shopbop.com), 6. Lady Grey Reflected Triangle Ring (www.elizabeth-charles.com) 

Like I said, this is what I offer to my clients. See the details here & feel free to contact me if you have questions or want to get on the waiting list!

 

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Hope you enjoyed the review. It's time to get more inspiration on all things that cover what to wear, how to wear it, and of course, where to shop.

What I'm Wearing | Wine Chat at the Mansion on Turtle Creek, Cheers to the Pencil Skirt

What I'm wearing to a wine chat you ask? Better yet, what is a wine chat? Well, a good friend of mine let me in on this weekly event that happens at one of my all time favorite Dallas institutions, the Mansion on Turtle Creek. The wine chat involves a good crowd of people who are there to try out whatever the sommelier feels like serving up at the time. A selection of Oregon Pinots? Sure. Italian reds? Um, yes, thank you. You're at the mercy of one of the best sommelier's out there, it's not a bad place to be at all. Actually, it's my new favorite place to be whenever I'm in town.

Since one can't hit up the Mansion on Turtle Creek looking like a slouch, it's just one more excuse to dress up a bit. Some would look at this scenario and cringe at the thought of having to put a look together. Trust me, I get it. The name of the hotel, the Mansion, let alone the interior once you step foot inside can be completely intimidating.

I worked at Neiman Marcus for a decade so I know what intimidating can look like from the outside. Thanks to NM, I also know what lies underneath the surface, and it's usually some pretty interesting stuff. If you're busy overestimating others and underestimating yourself at the expense of what you assume and imagine their grande lives to be like, you're missing out. Trust me.

We're all human, and sure, egos can flare now and then, but at the end of the day, I don't let the intimidation factor ever stop me. Instead I welcome a little discomfort because I know that those moments when you think you won't fit in, when you think you're totally out of place, are the ones that force you to be yourself (says the girl who moved so much she experienced the joys of being the 'new kid' more than a few times).

Some chose to go in the opposite direction, mind you I don't recommend this path of putting on the facade because most of us can smell a fake a mile away. But, when you get authentic and when you open up to what the best, and not worst case scenario can be, you'd be amazed at the experiences you can have, let alone the people you get to meet.

So, my focus for the 'wine chat' look is going to be the pencil skirt. I'm a big denim girl, but every now and then, I do love dressing up and getting in touch with my more feminine side, wine always helps with that.

I shopped my closet first, it's a step I always recommend my clients take as well, and found my favorite color block pencil skirt from BCBG. This puppy is super-snug, body con, but actually incredibly comfortable. I wouldn't have kept it otherwise. After that, I went through and hand-picked pieces out there that complete the look (all of which I can also find similar copies of in my closet, or if not, I can certainly go for a quick shop before tonight). Here's the look:

the montage

source: 1. Soia & Kyo Double Collar Walking Coat (www.nordstrom.com), 2. Splendid Draped Jersey Top (www.net-a-porter.com), 3. Marc Jacobs Baroque Single Large Quilted Shoulder Bag (www.net-a-porter.com), 4. Aldo Soun Boot (www.aldoshoes.com), 5. KORS Michael Kors Aberly Leather Pump (www.michaelkors.com), 6. House Of Harlow 1960 Navy Triangle Hoop Earrings (www.boutiquetoyou.com), 7. Carrera 38/S Aviator Sunglasses (www.amazon.com)

Time for some product close-ups (click the pics to shop):

1.

1Soia & Kyo Double Collar Walking Coat

2.

2Splendid Draped Jersey Top

3.

3Marc Jacobs Baroque Single Large Quilted Shoulder Bag

4.

4Aldo Soun Boot

5.

5KORS Michael Kors Aberly Leather Pump

6.

6House Of Harlow 1960 Navy Triangle Hoop Earrings

7.

7Carrera 38 S Aviator Sunglasses

At the beginning of the week, I reference my 'Happy Place,' my library of looks to use as inspiration, and start to narrow things down based on the upcoming week's agenda. Below are the picks I threw together for the Wine Chat night at the Mansion (god, that just sounds so Gatsby no?).

I went with look number twelve at the end of it all, opting for a pencil skirt. Again, these looks are used as inspiration, just to get some ideas. You'll notice I left out the super-saturated color. I was feeling a clean, slick, black ensemble moment for the evening so I went in that direction. The pencil skirt is really what stuck from the runway look to the real world. It only takes one picture to inspire countless looks, hence loving my Looks Library. It's my fashion gold mine.

weekly look line up

source: look 9 (www.style.com), look 10 (www.style.com), look 11 (www.style.com), look 12 (www.style.com)

Like I said, the Mansion on Turtle Creek is an institution in Dallas. See why in a couple of images below. The hotel that's a work of art.

First, the entrance. The solo term romantic doesn't seem to do it justice, but it's what's coming to mind right now...

mansion1

Next, the Library where the wine will be served and sipped down, all in the name of appreciating the good things in life and who knows, making a few new acquaintances (did I mention the wine chat is actually affordable? cause it is..see, don't make assumptions until you know the details; speaking of, click the link below to find out more).

the library at the mansion

source: www.rosewoodhotels.com

So there you have it. I took a pick from my closet, and built an entire look out of it that I can replicate on my very own. All the energy I would have spent stressing about what to wear can now go into enjoying every sip and catching up with some friends while making new ones...This is why I do what I do.

It's not for me, but it started with me. After all, why sell a service that I don't use myself? I love to share so naturally, I started creating these Virtual Lookbooks for close friends and family. From there, the list has grown. It continues to grow, so be sure you sign up sooner or later to try out your very own virtual Lookbook that will show you how to wear what's hanging in your closet in ways you may have never thought of yet...Get started, I know, it's a little ridiculous and I may have to raise it, but for now, as of January 2012, you're getting a great deal.

But don't listen to me, see what others have said. Oh and while you're at it, see why  you would want fashion advice from little ole me in the first place. All very good inquiries that I would have myself before signing up.

In the mean time, get more inspiration on what to wear, how to wear it, and where to shop for it (all so you can start dreaming up what adventures you'll have in your new looks) right here.