Fashion Mad-Lib: I'm an Apple Body Type, Looking for Something to Wear to Work

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sources: 1 Reiss Smyth Knitted Flare Dress (www.reiss.com), 2 FOREVER 21 Classic Faux Suede Pumps (www.forever21.com), 3 Rebecca Minkoff Mahogany Mini Lusciuous Studded Hobo (www.forzieri.com), 4 Oscar de la Renta Lace Gold Chain Bracelet (www.boutique1.com)

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The top of the dress works well for Apple Body Types with clean lines and solid color. Keep it simple on top so avoid any necklaces on this one. A waist is defined for you with the sewn in seaming details that will emphasize your narrowest part. Finally, the slight pleating at the hem, also in the solid navy hue, brings the attention to the lower half of your body, right where you want it.

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The soft caramel hobo acts as a neutral back to the navy. Substitute another brown or black for the bag. The grey pump keeps everything streamlined and is a bit more interesting than a classic black pump, but either will work. You could also factor in a knee-high boot in a chocolate brown for fall in this fashion equation.

 LTDACCESSPOSTSSIGNUPTEASER

Look-spiration | 1 Topshop Red Dress, 2 Ways to Wear It.

Look-spiration | 1 Topshop Red Dress, 2 Ways to Wear It

Happy Monday to you! Is that completely obnoxious to write?

You'll forgive me after you check out today's Look-spiration moment that features a red dress from Topshop well under $100, and two ways to wear it.

After ten years in the fashion industry, prancing (not all the time, but when I could, and the heels weren't too high, I would, trust me) up and down the halls of Neiman Marcus (i.e. still corporate America, don't let the shiny stuff fool you) I had developed a serious case of what I like to call a Jekyll/Hyde approach to personal style.

During the week, it was all business, well, all-business while working in the fashion industry still includes trends but still, the overall look was consistently polished.

The weekend would hit, and I'd slide right into my casual uniform (read: this always included denim in one form or another). The two sections of my wardrobe were exclusive from one another, until a few years ago when I started shopping with an agenda. Said agenda went as follows: if I bought something for work, it would have to be easy to translate into a casual look, and vice versa.

Versatility people. It's not rocket science. It's probably nothing new to you, but a good reminder never hurts. Especially when there are visuals involved.

look1

sourcesTOPSHOP Strap Back Slip Dress (www.topshop.com), DAY BIRGER ET MIKKELSEN minimalist blazer (www.farfetch.com), SERGIO ROSSI Black Pumps (www.en.colette.fr), 3.1 Phillip Lim Ryder Snakeskin & Leather Satchel (www.saksfifthaveue.com), Tory Burch Jordan Pendant Necklace (www.toryburch.com), Oscar de la Renta Firework Crystal Button Earring (www.oscardelarenta.com)

The first look polishes things up a bit for work with the simple addition of two core pieces every closet needs to have: 1. the black blazer, and 2. the classic, black pump. From there it's just a matter of incorporating some low-key accessories with one deviation, the bag. You can always go with a basic black leather tote or satchel. There's nothing wrong with that, and I totally get not wanting to move everything into another bag.

That said, I felt like a bit of 'edge' needed to come into play here (accessories are where I encourage you to play and bring out more of who you are) so I went with something a bit more exotic. Snakeskin works. Leopard, zebra, cheetah, or any other animal print would be a little overboard here, so, the adage of keeping everything in moderation definitely applies. Unsure? Like I mentioned, stick with what you know and go with a classic satchel instead. No harm no foul.

look2

sourcesTOPSHOP Strap Back Slip Dress (www.topshop.com), H&M Denim jacket (www.hm.com), Zara Leather Biker Mid-Cut Boot (www.zara.com), ALEXANDER WANG Handbag (www.yoox.com), Oscar de la Renta Lace Gold Chain Bracelet (www.boutique1.com), MADEWELL Ribbon Ring (www.madewell.com), Ray-Ban Oversized Original Aviator Sunglasses (www.shopbop.com)

Look 2 takes the feminine dress and toughens it up a bit with a biker boot and bucket bag. The heavier boot works best with a long and lean body type, i.e. Rectangle or tall Hourglass. This is a more trend-forward look which means it definitely doesn't work for everyone. If you're a Pear, Apple, petite Hourglass, or completely averse to wearing anything that masculine on the bottom half of your fashion equation, substitute a stacked heel pump or more streamlined oxford bootie to keep it Fall-centric. Still toasty where you live? Perfect. Add in a nude sandal and you're all set (nude will also elongate like none other).

One dress, two ways to wear it, done and done. One more look idea for good luck? Sure, why not, it's the most expected look in my mind and that is just to leave the dress alone, sans layers (no blazer, no denim jacket) and pair it with a flat strappy sandal and an oversized satchel or hobo.

Inspired? Good. Want more? Check out the latest from what to wear, how to wear it, and where to shop right here.

 

Get My Look | What I Wear When I Want to Smile Like I Mean It

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..

Quick question: who doesn't have those days when you wish someone else would do the talking for you? You know the ones, when even bathing your brain in copious amounts of caffeine doesn't bring you to the point of wanting to speak like a grown up because you're not sure you can take one more second of the Monday business review meeting, the fifty-two page (um, why people, why?) powerpoint deck, or the same guy who walks into the elevator every Wednesday and says, "well, at least it's hump day right?"

If you can't relate, good for you. In my past life however, there were those days when speaking to another human being in a cordial manner (let alone coherently) seemed impossible (this is huge coming from an individual who could hold a steady conversation with a brick wall for hours).

It was on one of those exact days recently that a good friend told me to, "smile like you mean it, until you mean it." Um, ok? So, I took my friends advice and walked around at an early 8am meeting with a blatant (almost comical and slightly obnoxious even though that wasn't what I was going for)  smile on my face, much to the wonderment of my pre-first-coffee-of-the-day retail peers attending the same planning meeting.

Five minutes in, I actually started to feel on the inside like I looked on the outside. On top of that was the added bonus of watching others in the conference room smile with me. Whether it was because they questioned my sanity, thought I looked ridiculous, felt sorry for me being all alone in Smiley La-La Land, or were genetically predisposed to respond by mimicking my facial expression I don't know, and honestly I don't care. The room went from lifeless to happy in five minutes. Could what started as a fake smile really have been the catalyst to this shift?

After a bit of digging, I found out that smiling sends a trigger to your brain that literally changes your mood. Sure, when we're sad, we frown. But what if we can also bring on sadness because we frown? The same question applies to any expression, in this case, smiling.

It's an outside-in approach that fascinates me as a stylist. I do my work on the outside for the client which is all fine and good. But then I get to witness something below surface level. I see an instant impact on a client's mood (let alone a change in the way they look at themselves in the mirror; read: they work their look out) when I get them into a look that has them feeling surprisingly (for them, I saw it all along) confident. 

Clients are one thing. When I need to inspire myself but don't have my friend around for support, I turn to what I'm wearing to start the chain reaction. My smile soon becomes an accessory. 

Today's Get My Look moment involves a pair of to-die-for, crazy insanely printed, Kenzo pants. Every time I look down at a print that isn't for the fashionably timid (understatement), not only will I get a dose of color therapy, I'll start to smile. Here's the fashion-induced chain reaction for further explanation and your viewing pleasure (cue my own form of fashion science):

Pants > smile > triggers Brittany's brain > mood lifts > big ole' smile > smiling is contagious so everyone walking past me smiles back not really knowing why > onlookers' moods are elevated > those walking past previous onlookers smile, again, not knowing why but hey, why not? > and the domino effect continues...

Get it? All from a pair of printed Kenzo pants. Do  you love it? Are you smiling? You should and then go out and show the world so you can pass it along.

Get My Look What I Wear When I Want My Pants To Do the Talking For Me
Shop the Look:

Paul's Boutique Stella Leather Tote- SOLD OUT (shop more totes here) asos.com

Studded Leather Bracelet-SOLD OUT (shop more totes here) oliverbonas.com

Body type. Right. It's one thing to know what looks amazing in a shop-by-number montage, but does it work for your personal body type? That's the million dollar question. See below:

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Rectangles, hourglasses (keep the heel, it's a must), you're all set. Apples, you can do it if you also keep a high heel in there to elongate. Pears, this is not for you as I'm sure you could imagine. Drawing the eye to the widest part of your fabulous silhouette is not the best style scenario (for you, or any other body type out there). Go with a fuller leg pant in a solid color to keep the fashion momentum going. Maybe even a washed, boot-cut jean in a warmer hue like peach or burgundy.

Love what's going on in the look but now you want even more Shopping Options, or (more likely) something has sold out? Don't let that stop you. Shop the StyleShaker Closet, category by fashion category below and see where the magic happens:

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

It's one of my favorite things to do, share quotes that resonate with me, with my friends, 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:
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Get back to more inspiration when it comes to what to wear, how to wear it, and where to shop:

get inspired

Get My Look | What I Wear When I Can't Make Up My Mind

Three words, 8 steps: Get, my, look.

Matchy-matchy can be predictable-predictable.  We are all guilty of going back to that 20% of our closets that we keep on heavy rotation because, well, it's easy. I get it. But what about the rest of what's hanging in there, that 80% you look at every day and wonder, "should I finally wear this, wait, how should I wear this, wait, why did I buy this?"

To my personal shopping and styling clients reading this, sound familiar? Right. Well, technically speaking, it shouldn't be all that familiar any more. It should be a distant memory...

When I'm working with a client or speaking to a group of women at one of my Sip & Style Sessions, I find that things really start to click as soon as I begin pairing pieces they have with ideas they would have never dreamt of. Now, are these combination novel? Mind-blowing? Absolutely not. Actually, I love the fact that they are incredibly simple, approachable, affordable, and at the end of the day, real fashion for real women. It just takes a little inspiration and some helpful direction. Hence today's Get My Look post.

See how I pull things off when I'm feeling creative and want to go in a direction that's the exact opposite of matchy-matchy (translation: you will NOT find any color coordinated twin-sets in this one). If it strikes a chord in you, try it out using pieces from your own closet and mix and match away. If you have questions, it's really simple, just ask. For now, soak up the look-spiration:

get the look opp of matchy matchy that works

Get my look, well, shop my look below:

 

Pop quiz: What good is a look if you don't know how to wear it for your body type? It gets the inspiration flowing, yes, that's a bad thing. But loving a look and shopping according to a Style by Number situation above while not considering what works best for you silhouette can also leave you with a full closet and nothing to wear. Frustration, peace out. You're no longer welcome here. See which body types this look works for and where you may want to consider making a few fashion tweaks or moving on to the next look all together:

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Rectangles and Hourglasses, this is all you. Apples, the reason you're not on this list is because there's too much volume on the top with the jacket. Swap that leather classic out for a more fitted cardigan (grey possibly, any neutral will do just not black) and you're all set. Pears, the pleats are why I left you out of this initial equation. Should you find a skirt sans pleats that is about midi-length (mid-calf) then feel free to partake!

Love what's going on in the look but now you want even more Shopping Options, or (more likely) something has sold out? Don't let that stop you. Shop the StyleShaker Closet, category by fashion category below and see where the magic happens:

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

It's one of my favorite things to do, share quotes that resonate with me, with my friends, 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.

Clothing, what you wear on the outside, truly can make you feel good walking throughout your day. I not only believe this, I live it every day in my own life and I see it in each and every one of my clients. That's the outside though and it can only take you so far. It's important, but it's one piece of the puzzle. Now it's time to try something on, this time, on the inside. Check out the quote, see if it resonates, and hopefully it inspires you the way it did me. Inspiration, inside AND out.

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

get inspired

 

Get My Look | What I Wear When I'm Trying, But Not Too Hard

It's ironic how, when you try to look like you're not trying, sometimes the best ensembles float up to the fashion surface, you know? I mean, there are definitely those times when nothing is working and after an hour you leave a wake of destruction in the form of three-quarters of your closet's contents strewn across your room, bed, bathroom, etc. Frustrated from trying too hard and attempting to now throw in the towel, raise the white flag, and come up with some excuse to not make it out that night.

That's one end of the spectrum. On the other side there's the get-dressesd-on-a-loop approach. The rinse and repeat that leaves you wearing out that same old ten percent of what's hanging in your closet because that's what's easy.

The point I'm going for is smack dab in the middle of these two styling scenarios. It's the point when there's definitely effort, but you don't feel the need to go overboard. You want to look pulled together, but you still want to look and feel like you, i.e. comfortable and hopefully, confident. This is the kind of look that, in my mind, achieves just that. It's a happy medium of polished and distressed, classic and creative, yin and yang, peas and carrots, wait...

Bottom line: This is what I wear when I'm trying to pull something together, but not into trying all too hard.

If there's one thing I've learned after ten years in the fashion industry, and this is also a great metaphor for life, it's that, when you push too hard, try too aggressively to get that square peg into a round hole, you end up feeling less-than. More importantly, you end up missing the entire point.

Loosening your grip a bit allows for space, and when you make space, new ideas are able to move in and out freely. Cue: evolutiona and growth. Sometimes we try so hard to get a look just right (or anything really) that we're missing out on all of the remarkable goodies that are right there in front of us waiting to be seen. We're too busy trying to perfect, to fit into a trend that doesn't fit into our personal style.

All I'm saying is, go with what works for you. If you don't know what that is, contact me. For now, what's working for me is the combination of a classic silk blouse with a slightly distressed short that reads, "casual," but with the addition of a few key accessories works it's way into an evening situation. I love when that happens.

The accessories pull it together, show I care, while the foundation of a button-front top and denim shorts keeps me grounded, or in this case, not trying too hard, but rather, going with the flow:

what I wear when I want to try but not too hard

Shop the Look:
Love the look and now you're in the mood? To shop, not the other mood, but more power to you if that's the case. If you're looking for more picks like the ones above, I have the perfect spot for you. Check out the goods lining the virtual shelves of my very own 'happy place' known at the Closet. Everything in there is updated weekly with my top picks pulled from my top shopping sites.
See what all the fuss is about and step right up:

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See more where that comes from. Check out more product reviews, style tutorials, and takes on how to wear the latest trends in fashion, all right here (click the images below):

get inspired

Online Shopping List | 20 New Arrival Finds that Just Hit my Favorite Sites

Good 'online shopping list' morning StyleShakers.

I'm always scouring away to find the new pieces that are hitting the virtual 'shelves' of my favorite online shopping spots on the web. It's a weekly/daily occurrence because, a. I love to check out what's new, and b., I tend to get plenty of questions from my personal styling/shopping clients as well as during my Sip & Style Sessions regarding where women can find specific pieces they're looking for in their wardrobe. Now, I'm sharing my finds with you.

This is what I consider 'research' (yet another reason I love this job) so take a minute, scroll through, and click to check out my latest finds from my top shopping spots. This round, I focused on: FreePeople.com, TheOutnet.com, Shopbop.com, and UrbanOutfitters.com.

Shop-on, and if you see something you need help with deciding on ('How could I wear this? is this top appropriate for my age?' or, 'Is this dress good for my body type?' or, 'Am I have a crazy moment for thinking these pants will be a good look for me?') ask a question. Its's that simple. These are the questions I've built my business on, and it's part of my life's mission to help women answer them but more importantly, feel good about what they buy so they can feel good wearing it when they're out and about, you know, running the world and all.

Was this just a 'warm up' for you? Keep the momentum going strong and check out the motherload of all shopping on The StyleShaker. It's what I call, The Closet, my happy place filled and updated weekly with new finds used for How to Wear Tutorials, Product Reviews, Personal Client Shopping Lists, and then some. Check out what's happening inside by clicking below:

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See more on what to wear, how to wear it, my latest shopping finds, reviews, and tutorials, all right here.

Style Tutorial #4 | 1 Tibi Sleeveless Scuba Dress, 5 Ways to Wear It

Question: How do you wear a pink, sleeveless, neoprene 'scuba' dress from Tibi?

Answer:

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Let's start it off with a video. Allow me to introduce both myself and the tutorial topic:

It's time for the Lookbook video where I shake everything up as I style-out the Tibi dress in five different ways. See what I'm talking about:

Check out the close-up of the five looks from the video (separated out below incase you want to get even more up-close and personal or print it out for your very own Looks Library):

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SHOP THE VIDEO HEADER
(Click the images to shop)

Tibi Sleeveless Neoprene Scuba Dress, SHOP MORE DRESSES HERE. my-wardrobe.com

Rag & Bone Lund Cardigan, SHOP MORE SWEATERS & TOPS HERE. lagarconne.com

10 Crosby Derek Lam Shawl Collar Jacket, SHOP MORE BLAZERS & JACKETS HERE. saksfifthavenue.com

Nine West Bezel Sandals, SHOP MORE SANDALS HERE. piperlime.gap.com

Giuseppe Zanotti Sandals, SHOP MORE SANDALS HERE. giuseppezanottidesign.com

Joe's Jeans Footwear Crossing Waters Sandal in Aqua, SHOP MORE SANDALS HERE. modcloth.com

Nine West Kenie Heels, SHOP MORE SHOES HERE. zapposcom

Zara High Heel Vamp Shoe, SHOP MORE SHOES HERE. zara.com

KENZO Leather Bag/Clutch, SHOP MORE HANDBAGS HERE. thecorner.com

Rebecca Minkoff Quilted Shoulder Bag, SHOP MORE HANDBAGS HERE. piperlime.gap.com

Givenchy Large Nightingale Bag, SHOP MORE HANDBAGS HERE. bergdorfgoodman.com

Merci Marie Marbela Hobo in Grey, SHOP MORE HANDBAGS HERE. couturecandy.com

Michael Kors Gia Studded Clutch, SHOP MORE HANDBAGS HERE. modaoperandi.com

House of Harlow 1960 Jewelry Gypsy Feather Necklace, SHOP MORE HANDBAGS HERE. pinkmascara.com

Belle Noel by Kim Kardashian GlamRock Ring, SHOP MORE JEWELRY HERE. shopthetrendboutique.com

Alexis Bittar 1940's Platinum and Diamond Wreath Ring, SHOP MORE JEWELRY HERE. alexisbittar.com

J.Crew Flower Lattice Necklace, SHOP MORE JEWELRY HERE. jcrew.com

Lucca Couture Braided Wrap Bracelet, SHOP MORE JEWELRY HERE.
swell.com

BCBGMAXAZRIA Metal Chevron Stone Necklace, SHOP MORE JEWELRY HERE. bcbg.com

J.Crew Ray-Ban® Classic Wayfarer® Sunglasses, SHOP MORE SUNGLASSES HERE. jcrew.com

 

Body Types HEADER
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PEARS: Looks 1 and 3 are where you'll be playing along here. The top layers will balance out the volume on the bottom of this sleeveless dress, evening things out a bit. Always, always wear a heel on this look.
RECTANGLES: All-skate. Feel free to pick from look 1 thru 5. This is a dress that will give you curves without going overboard so play a bit with the different ways you can pull it off.
HOURGLASSES: Looks 2 and 5 are your friend. This dress is only going to accentuate the classic hourglass shape you're working with so keeping things as simple and streamlined as possible will be key. Again, heel heel heel. Not a flat moment for you.
APPLES: Finally, my apple ladies. Look 2, 4 (if you have the height) and look 5 are where you will be living when it comes to this line up. The bottom half of the skirt will balance out the inverted triangle proportion your working with. If you're petite in stature, avoid look 2 at all costs. It will do the exact opposite of elongate you. As for the other two looks, have at it and do a little twirl in that scuba dress.

Sleeveless dresses are just one fashion sub-category of sooooo sooooo many. There's always more where that came from. Check out the pieces that are pulled each week while digging for my clients and content on the site. All of my favorite picks from my favorite shopping spots on the web are lining the virtual shelves in the StyleShaker Closet.

Welcome to your Shopping Starting Point:

(click the image below to dive in)

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Go look-by-look below to see all the details...

look 1:

look 1

look 2:

look 2

look 3:

look 3

look 4:

look 4

look 5:

look 5

See more when it comes to what to wear, how to wear it, and where to shop.

get inspired

Shopping List Video | 5 Bracelets to Love from the Latest Virtual Lookbook

While pulling products to create the latest Virtual Lookbook for my client I ran across plenty of bracelet picks that I couldn't stand leaving behind. So, here we go. Check out five arm-candy favorites that I edited down from the larger list (now living in the StyleShaker Closet here)...

See something you like? Shop every bracelet featured in the video here:
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1.
shop the Dannijo Oxidized Brass Plated Minetta Cuff
2.
shop the JENNY BIRD Jenny Cuff Bracelet
3.
shop the J.Crew Color Mix Bracelet
4.
shop the Iosselliani Faceted Agate Bangle Set of 5 in Green
5.
shop the Kelly Wearstler Single Sphere Bangle

Time for the quiz, it's true or false so don't stress. If you can answer 'true' to any of the below questions, click thru, sign up, and get started on your own style evolution...

trueorfalse

links to love header

Check out today's list of fashion-focused favorites out there. Here's where I get to show some love, share what inspires me, and keep the momentum going strong...

1. Post-Kenzo show, street-style. So adorably, and comfortably ladylike. (source: www.trendycrew.com)

1 Street Style Kenzo Pic

2. The J. Crew April Style Guide 2013 makes the link list yet again, and this time because I'm slightly obsessed how they took that dress and made it beyond casual-cool.  (source: www.www.google.com/catalogs)

2 J Crew Catalog

3. meow...city kitty spotted. (source: www.whowhatwear.com)

3 Meow Street Style

4. You don't bathe in this suit, you work it in this suit. In, love. Courtesy of Ete. (source: www.modaoperandi.com)

4 swim

5. Inspiration via Madewell's Spring 2013 Catalog. Crazy about the I-didn't-try-too-hard-but-I-look-on-point look.

(source: www.www.google.com/catalogs)

5 Madewell Catalog

If five bracelets aren't going to cut it, then by all means, hit up the shopping mother load, otherwise known at the StyleShaker Closet. Click below to check out every favorite fashion find pulled from my favorite web shopping spots, and all living in this one fabulous spot:

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There's plenty more out there to get you inspired when it comes to redefining your personal style:

get inspired

 

See more on what to wear, how to wear it, and where to shop.

Q&A | Les Amis Jewelry Dishes with The StyleShaker

It's time for a little 'Q' and a little 'A' from a favorite jewelry line of mine, Les Amis...

Meet Ami Doshi & Amisha Patel, the two friends, namesakes, and design duo behind the amazing jewelry line that redefines the term 'arm candy,' and doesn't stop there. ..The Les Amis collection  continues to serve up serious design with significant inspiration behind it each season. But don't take my word for it, this is all about their words. I asked, they told.

See what they had to say:

lesamis

1. Where did the name Les Amis come from?

Les Amis -It’s a little play on our names and an ode to the fact that we are friends as well (les Amis is friends in French).  We love that the name shares a little piece of our story, and portrays that the spirit of friendship is the basis of our partnership. It grounds us, and is a great reminder to us to work together as a team.

NM1

source: www.neimanmarcus.com

2. What is your inspiration behind the line (especially those bracelets)?

We both share a love for travel and are often inspired by the beautiful things made by the people we come across. We found the Jadau beads on a sourcing trip to Mumbai and immediately knew we wanted to incorporate them into our private label. We are both familiar with Jadau and Meenakari jewelry – it’s a craft that is used to ornate a lot of traditional Indian jewelry. We both love the history, the gorgeous colors, the beautiful skill that goes into it, and were inspired to create jewelry that celebrates this craft that is both contemporary and modern.

NM2

source: www.neimanmarcus.com

3. What makes Les Amis, Les Amis? 

Amisha and I bring a slightly different aesthetic to our jewelry. She has spent a lot of time in India, Africa and the UK, combined with my background in India and Singapore – we find ourselves creating jewelry that combines different cultural influences in a fresh way.  Also, our tag line is Shop Here. Give There. 10% of our net proceeds benefit the Global Fund for Children, whose mission is to advance the dignity of children and youth around the world. Les Amis is committed to donating 10% of our net profits to this innovative organization.

GFC uses donations from its strategic partners, including Les Amis, to fund grants to community-based groups that work with some of the world’s most vulnerable children.

4. What are your favorites & why?

My favorites are the single bracelets. They look so pretty worn singly, and so striking when stacked – either in the same colors or in an assortment. The little Jadau center bead is so delicate yet it stands out. We have them in 15 different colors and sell them as singles and in sets of 4 on our website.

bracelet2

source: www.shoplesamis.com

5. Tell me something I don't know about the line...

Our collection pays homage to the traditional Indian craft of Jadau jewelry.  Jadau, which means ‘Enameled & Engraved’ originally flourished under the Mughal Era (16 C) in India and is now the specialty craft of Jaipur, Rajasthan. 

Our Jadau accessories are handmade in lakh (a kind of wax), covered in copper and gold plated with 22k gold. They are decorated using natural pearls or semi precious stones in the Kundan tradition. The sides of the beads have been decorated in the traditional Meena Kari method which is the art of decorating metal with enamel. It involves decorating the surfaces of metals by attaching, or fusing colored glass powders, precious and semi precious stones. Before the introduction of claw settings for securing gems, stones were set in ornaments in the Kundan style by embedding stones in lakh and gold plating it. Meena Kari was often used to ornate the reverse side of such pieces so that both sides looked beautiful. 

with love

– Ami & Amisha @ Les Amis

Keep the inspiration coming and check out more on what to wear, how to wear it, and where to shop.

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 to Wear, How to Wear It: Tibi's Red Silk-faille Skirt

How to wear a romantic, red silk skirt? Coming right up. First, it's time to check out the inspiration, courtesy of Tibi. Meet the 'what-to-wear' portion of the equation:

1 Tibi Silk-faille Skirt

What to wear is one thing, figuring out how to wear it is something entirely different. Here's a way to wear this bright red skirt whether it's date night, time for cocktails, or whatever you want to play around in as the sun goes down...

montage

source: 1. Tibi Silk-faille Skirt (www.net-a-porter.com), 2. L'Agence Fine-knit Bandeau Top (www.theoutnet.com), 3. Luxury Rebel Peep Toe Platform Sandals (www.bloomingdales.com), 4. Michael Kors Love Twist Bracelet (www.cusp.com)

That's just one take on how to wear the Tibi red silk, uber-romantic skirt. You can shop all the picks that pull together the above look right here, or keep going with other favorites that made their way onto the virtual shelves of the StyleShaker Closet:

closetfeature

Have something hanging in your closet and in need of a little styling inspiration yourself? Check out how to get your hands on your very own Weekly Lookbook here, problem solved...

There's plenty more where that came from. See more on what to wear, how to wear it, and where to shop right here.

What I'm Wearing | Catching Up With Old Friends, Giving a Little Legging Action

I moved to Dallas almost ten years ago with two bean bags (not even joking) a teeny, tiny television, a bookstand, and a bed. I planned on being here for no more than a year. Best laid plans...

When I first arrived on the scene I was a fish out of water and on really REALLY hot, dry land. Then I met my first group of friends just north of the city where I was living. I was raised by east coat parents so I knew I'd never necessarily 'belong' below the Mason Dixon line, but this crew took me under their wing.  These people would have given me the shirts off their backs if they could have, actually some literally did just that. They were the ones that helped to make this strange land filled with Sunday-fundays at the pool, the football-obsessed, and every excuse to gather a group of friends around a  few (translation=way more than a few) margaritas, my not-so-temporary home.

Recently, one friend from the original 'crew' texted me, and I proceeded to do the one thing I absolutely can't stand. I completely flaked out on my response. I had good reason for said flakiness having just quit my job (a.k.a. the one others referred to as a 'promising career in retail') after ten years and diving head first into the world of the self-employed. Right, so the initial text came to me in August. My response, oh you know, was sent in December, four months after the fact. Pretty bad, even with the major life changes...

After a little groveling (which mind you, was totally unnecessary since the friends I've come to know and love here are ridiculously kind and forgiving, one more perk of being based in the area) I get to finally catch up and see what my old friend has been up to tonight.

You know what this means right? I need a 'Catching Up with Old Friends,' look of course. I'm using one pick from my closet (the Free People seamed navy leggings that I now own in four colors because they're just that good) and building a look around it with other pieces that resemble the rest of what's living in my closet (and if not, I can always call up my friends at my favorite Dallas boutiques to get what I need in a snap). This is exactly what I do for my What to Wear Weekly Lookbook clients, it started with me and I like to share. After all, why offer the service if I don't even use it myself? Seriously.

Now, instead of thinking about what I'm going to wear, I get to focus on catching up and enjoying the night. Here's the look:

montage

source: 1. J. Crew Collection Cashmere Long-Sleeve Tee (www.jcrew.com), 2. Marc By Marc Jacobs Dragon Scale Printed Wool Scarf (www.net-a-porter.com), 3. ALDO Romelia Suede Court Shoe (www.asos.com), 4. Vanessa Bruno Mini Sac (www.elizabeth-charles.com), 5. Vince Camuto Chevron Cuff  (www.macys.com)

Time for a little shopping close-up (click the pics to get your 'shop' on):

1.

1 J. Crew Collection Cashmere Long-Sleeve Tee

2.

2 Marc By Marc Jacobs Dragon Scale Printed Wool Scarf

3.

3 ALDO Romelia Suede Court Shoe

4.

4 Vanessa Bruno Mini Sac

5.

5 Vince Camuto Chevron Cuff

At the beginning of the week I line up a few key looks that I want to use as inspiration for the upcoming agenda of events. Whether it's a major event or just an everyday moment, the goal is to know what I'll be wearing so I can simplify life a bit and focus my energy on enjoying things. Here's the line-up I pulled this week. I ended up going with look number seven because of how easy, simple, clean and chic it is. Plus, with a few accessories, it seamlessly transitions into a look that can be worn for a casual evening out. Sometimes less is more (cue the collective gasp from the fashion community and accessory buyers all over the world; sorry but it's true)...

weekly look line up2

source: look 5 (www.elle.com), look 6 (www.style.com), look 7 (www.lamodellamafia.com), look 8 (www.myheartbeatsforvogue.tumblr.com)

So, there you have it, what I'm wearing to catch up, simple and easy. Cheers to old friends and letting the vino flow...

wineglass

It's about what to wear, sure. We all know and love that part. The part filled with fashion director's 'must-haves' for the season. But let's not forget about the whole, 'how to wear it,' piece of the fashion equation. What good is the ankle boot you have had sitting in the back of your closet with the rest of the 'untouchables' (you know where I'm going with this; every one of my clients calls me because they're wearing less than an eighth of what's in their closets and they need to figure out how to wear the rest or just some moral support when it comes to purging and donating; just see what they had to say) if you don't know how to wear it? And finally, what good is the outfit if you have no where to take it out for a spin?

Those three pieces are massively significant in life. Fashion, whether you like it or not, is an important part of your day and it doesn't have to be so hard. No more: 'what am I going to wear today?' Now you can spend your energy on figuring out the grand adventures you'll have in the looks you've got lined up for the week. Have fun with it, and get on the list now while you still can at that price. Why take my fashion advice in the first place? Good question.

On to more inspiration when it comes to the Style Trifecta...what to wear, how to wear it, and what you're going to do in it. It's all here.

What to Wear | 5 Looks That Will Inspire You To Change It Up a Bit

What to wear? You've got options. I love creating looks, especially for my clients when I get to use actual picks from their personal closets and show them countless ways to wear them they would have never dreamt up. I started doing it in my own closet as a method of survival while working in the land of luxury fashion. Ten years and hundreds of looks later, I now get to share what I love and help simplify life a bit for clients who can now spend the energy they were putting into 'what am I going to wear today?' on actually living their lives. They can walk into their day feeling good about what they have on, and consequently, feel good about themselves. It's a win-win.

Styling 'mush moment' aside... Sometimes I just cant stop creating these looks and a few favorites end up without their rightful cameo on the site or in a client's What to Wear Weekly Lookbook for one reason or another. So, now's their time, and no one is stealing their thunder. Check out five looks that will hopefully inspire you to switch things up a bit with what you have hanging in your own closet...

1.

look img 1

source:  1. Sandro Ciseau Silk Blouse (www.theoutnet.com),  2. Rachel Zoe Hutton Tuxedo Pants (www.shopbop.com),  3. One by Abaco Jamily Bag (www.shopbop.com),  4. Ann Taylor Delaney Haircalf Stacked Platform Pumps (www.anntaylor.com),  5. Lulu Frost Hera Studs (www.shopbop.com)   

2.

look img 2

source:  1. Alice + Olivia India Fur Cascade Vest (www.mytheresa.com),  2. Equipment Slim Signature Star Print Blouse (www.intermixonline.com),  3. All Saints Lucille Leather Skirt (www.us.allsaints.com),  4. Aldo Romelia Suede Court Shoes (www.asos.com),  5. Marc Jacobs Baroque Single Large Quilted Leather Shoulder Bag (www.net-a-porter.com)  

3.

look 5

source:  1. Topshop Crop Back Collarless Jacket (www.us.topshop.com),  2. Rebel Yell Viva Logo V-Neck Tee In Heather Gray (www.shopthetrendboutique.com), 3. J Brand Aiden Distressed Boyfriend-Fit Jeans (www.net-a-porter.com),  4. Opening Ceremony Oc La Small Satchel (www.farfetch.com),  5. Madison Harding Women's Barbara Ankle Boot (www.amazon.com)

4.

look 4

source:  1. Velvet by Graham & Spencer "Joss" Slub Cotton Slouchy Tee (www.bloomingdales.com),  2. Jacob Cohen Flared Jeans (www.farfetch.com),  3. B Brian Atwood Peep Toe Pump (www.blueandcream.com),  4. Rachel Zoe Tote Deux  (www.couture.zappos.com),  5. Carrera 32/S Sunglasses (www.piperlime.gap.com),  6. Adia Kibur Wide Cuff (www.shopbop.com)

5.

look img 3

source:  1. HELMUT / Drape Front Cardigan (www.lagarconne.com),  2. J. Crew Perfect-Fit Boatneck Tee (www.jcrew.com),  3. Citizens Of Humanity Avedon Slick Skinny Jeans (www.shopbop.com), 4.  Pauric Sweeney Python Satchel (www.farfetch.com),  5. Diane von Furstenberg Claret Platform Ankle Boots  (www.stylebop.com

 

It's not just about what to wear, but how to wear it, and even more so, what you're going to go do in that look. Are you not dying for a week off from having to ask yourself, "what am I going to wear today?" I know I was. It's like a weight is lifted, I'm not even being melodramatic here (which is rare). If you don't believe me, see what my client's are saying here.

Want to get on the list and start receiving your What to Wear Weekly Lookbook stat? Sign up asap to get in while one week is still under $20. Or sign up for the month if you're feeling like you want to be really nice to yourself today.

top lookbook sell banner

Keep the shopping momentum going strong. See the rest of the picks lining the virtual walls of the StyleShaker Closet:

closetfeature

Get more on what to wear, how to wear it, and where to shop, all right here.

What I'm Wearing | Movie Night, Silver Linings Playbook & Some Layers

Hmmm, what to wear to movie night. That is today's million dollar question...

I've had this pair of brown suede ankle boots in my closet for months now. Case in point, they haven't seen the light of day and we're already in January so it was time to pull them out and work them into a look. I'm finally going to see Silver Linings Playbook, I can't take any more gushing about how good the movie is from friends. I need to see it for myself, mind you, now I have this massive build up so hopefully it lives up to the hype. But really, now that I know what I'm wearing, I'm pretty much good with however it goes, Oscar-wirthy or not.

Back to the ankle boots that I found lurking in my closet, practically begging me to get out there with their plea, 'put me in coach, I'm ready.' What? Your shoes don't speak to you? How sad for you.

At the end of the day it style can be boiled down into three steps that I believe are mutually exclusive: there's what to wear, how to wear it, and what you're going to do in it. Obviously you need to know what to wear (not just trends mind you; as we all know, they come and they definitely go). But what good is having that without knowing how to wear it in a way that works for you right? And really, what's the point of it all if you don't have a great storyline to take the ensemble on an adventure in?

Need a little help with this? Who doesn't? Get your own Virtual Weekly Lookbook that covers each of these while stylishly serving up a week of looks personalized to you for under twenty bucks. It's a no-brainer...Get on the list here.

In an effort to check all three off my own list, here's what I'm wearing, how I'm wearing it, and what I'll be doing in it. I never said the 'adventure' had to be something for the books, it's all about what you make out of it. In my case, the look is going be on my back while I get to take in Bradley Cooper on the big screen, knock back some popcorn, and sip on a glass of wine (best thing to ever hit theaters as far as I'm concerned). Can't wait. Here's the look:

montage

source: 1. HELMUT Drape Front Cardigan (www.lagarconne.com), 2. Splendid Exclusive Thermal Henley (www.intermixonline.com), 3. Stouls Lambskin Leggings (www.farfetch.com), 4. Majo "BOCG 25" Rosa Leather Large Satchel (www.shirise.com),  5. Maison Martin Margiela Bangle Bracelet (www.shopbop.com), 6. Low Luv By Erin Wasson Double Finger Ring (www.shopthetrendboutique.com

Pick by pick for those who love a good close up like myself (click here or on the links above to shop):

1.

1 HELMUT Drape Front Cardigan

2.

2 Splendid Exclusive Thermal Henley

3.

3 Stouls Lambskin Leggings

4.

majo

5.

5 Maison Martin Margiela Bangle Bracelet

6.

6 Low Luv By Erin Wasson Double Finger Ring

At the beginning of every week I pull together some inspirational looks to choose from when I need to figure out what I'm going to wear to certain events on the agenda. I have a massive look library that I use so this isn't as out of control as one would imagine. Well, maybe it is, but then again, I keep that Looks Library at hand and always growing not only for myself but for the weekly lookbooks I send to my clients on a regular basis. Inspiration is always a good thing to have. They keep me creative and sane. 

I ended up going with look two this week. It just spoke to me. Mainly, I wanted to do the whole open-front cardi with leggings thing since I knew it would be a bit chilly and that cardigan is the equivalent of having a cozy blanket to cuddle up in while I watch the movie. The rest of these looks go right back to the Looks Library, sans dewey decimal system, to be saved for a later date...

weekly look line up

source: look 1 (www.kisforkinky.com), look 2 (www.thecupcakecartel.blogspot.com), look 3 (www.thecupcakecartel.blogspot.com), look 4 (www.sea-swept-hair.tumblr.com)

This is not just a pretend post people, I'm actually going to the movie. I figure, if I don't use my own Virtual Lookbook styling process, then why would anyone else right? Well, I do, and here's where I'll be later tonight, love the Angelika, so come by and join me if you're in Dallas:

Angelika Film Center

source: www.angelikafilmcenter.com

Had to throw in a movie poster for now, but later I'm sure I'll have pics to share when I recap my week...I'll let you know what I thought of the movie as well, as if you need one more opinion, I mean really. But after all, everyone's got one, especially on the web. 

61IssWm1J9L._SL500_AA300_

source: www.angelikafilmcenter.com, www.google.com

Like I mentioned, these looks are created by me, for me, and NOW for my growing list of clients.

I'm taking more on at the moment and the list is growing so make sure you get on there, oh you know, if you too wear only one eighth of what's hanging in your closet and are plagued weekly, if not daily (cue scene: you're standing in your closet, it's 6am, coffee in hand, eyes squinting at the harsh lighting, but more so the thought of having to figure out something new to wear, 'eh,' you say,'not today,' as you reach for the same old combination yet again because it's easy and you don't even want to think about it) with that 'what am I going to wear,' question. Yea, I know, that's why I started sharing this service with everyone I could get my hands on.

See what the Lookbook is all about, what people are saying, why you would want fashion advice from me in the first place, and why your twenty dollars (not even) will be the best you've spent in a long time, outside of any movies of course...

After you're done checking out the What to Wear Weekly Lookbook, make sure to keep the momentum going and soak up more on what to wear, how to wear it, and where to shop for it (let alone get ideas on what to do in it) right here.

It's Time for the Top 5 Shopping List, But First, This Leather Biker Jacket, I Mean, C'mon...Love

You've got to love any shopping list that starts with a leather biker jacket. The 'Yarrow' jacket from Muubaa is beyond. Follow that up with the next pick at bat, the twisted bracelet from Iosselliani, and there's your color for the day. After there, the list segues into the world of accessories with a classic everyday satchel and tough-stuff pair of Pedro Garcia heels. Finally, a printed shirt from Thakoon Addition that pulls off a strong print in a very wearable way.

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1.

This jacket is my budget's kryptonite and Muubaa is my new addiction.

1 Muubaa Yarrow Long Mac Biker In Black

2.

I love how you can get all of that color into a twisted metallic bracelet. It's a substantial piece, and totally different from anything else I've seen out there.

2 Iosselliani Twisted Multiwires Bracelet

3.

The Chloe heels from Pedro Garcia are the kind of shoes you either love or hate (although, I'm not sure how anyone couldn't love 'em, hence them making the list). I happen to love the gladiator-esque-ness of it all back to a skinny leg pant or legging.

3 Pedro Garcia Black Leather Chloe Heels

4.

This is the perfect everyday satchel at a price you will not be able to beat. I realize that line is borderline informercial-sounding, but it's totally true. Click through to see it worn crossbody style as well. Bonus round.

4 Selma Satchel

5.

This silk shirt is a whole lot of print. I'd recommend pairing it back to something simple. A brick red skinny jean would work well.

5 Thakoon Addition Printed Silk Shirt

source: 1. Muubaa Yarrow Long Mac Biker In Black (www.boutiquetoyou.com),  2. Iosselliani Twisted Multiwires Bracelet (www.shopbop.com),  3. Pedro Garcia Black Leather Chloe Heels (www.ssense.com),  4. Selma Satchel (www.nastygal.com),  5. Thakoon Addition Printed Silk Shirt (www.net-a-porter.com)  

The high five of fashion that made up today's list are just the beginning. See more picks that have found their way into my clients' Lookbooks lined up and down the virtual walls of the StyleShaker Closet:

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Zen moment time. Go get some popcorn, or a coffee, and settle in for a moment of inspiration in-between your stints of shopping:

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Right, so I'm putting a Lady Gaga quote on the site, not because Gaga said it, although I'm a fan. It found it's way onto this post because it bears repeating.

There is one thing I'd like to edit though. I'd like to substitute 'others' for the word 'men.' I think it works just as well.

Follow the leader is a game best left on the school playground. There's so much more to be learned by listening to, rather than following others. Take what you like, toss the rest, and go with your gut. It's the only thing that will get you where you, yes you (not them), want to go. In other words, you are your own North Star.

See more on what to wear, how to wear it, and where to shop.

Shopping List Time | From Vanessa Bruno to Haider Ackermann, Silk Crepe Tops to Peplum Leather Jackets

I love when you can throw a blouse over your favorite jeans and look completely pulled together in one fell swoop.  Today's shopping list begins with just that kind of blouse, courtesy of Vineet Bahl. From there, Vanessa Bruno finds her way into the mix with a mini sac, followed up by a woven bracelet from Lanno that had me at 'hello.' Bring it all home with a pair of Strategia wedge boots reminiscent of Isabel Marant's runway nod to going West (sans the price tag that leaves you dizzy or, if you're die-hard, begging your personal shopper for a payment plan) and a leather peplum jacket from Haider Ackermann that I would give my eye teeth to be buried in, morbid as it may sound. Sure, sure, I'd rather wear it while I had a pulse, but I'll take either scenario, the latter being the obvious preference.

And on that note, it's time to meet today's crew of heavy hitters:

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1.

See? I told you. This is the kind of top you can wear back to almost any neutral bottom in your closet (let the blouse do all the talking) and be effortlessly on-point.

1 Vineet Bahl Sequin-Front Printed Crepe Top

2.

Don't let the product shot fool you, this is the mini-version of a satchel. At a time when tote sizes are bordering at flotation device level (think: raft not vest), it's nice to pair things down a bit.

2 Vanessa Bruno Mini Sac

3.

As for Tati, I'm not sure where the name originated from, and to be honest with you, I'm not really focusing on that right now. I love this woven bracelet for resort moments, summer days and nights, and really any other scenario you could attempt to place it in. There are several that come to mind, but I still have two more picks to go on this shopping list so, I'll leave it at that. There's your topic, discuss...

3 Lanno Tati Bracelet

4.

When it comes to fringe, you need to be sure you don't cross the fine line between trendy-chic, and trendy-oh-god-no. It is a fine line mind you, and gets even finer when you add studding into the mix. So, wear these boots carefully. Translation: let them do all the talking in the ensemble. Less is more when it comes to all this detail, so a classic wash skinny jean would do the trick.

4 Strategia Suede Fringe Wedge Boots

5.

Oh right, the latest love of my life in peplum-jacket form. You know how people say you should visualize yourself living the life you want? Here it is: Me in that jacket walking the sidewalk of my favorite city on my way to dinner with  my closest friends who just happen to have a full glass of Palmaz cab waiting for me. Happy girl.

5 Haider Ackermann Leather Peplum Jacket

source: 1. Vineet Bahl Sequin-Front Printed Crepe Top (www.net-a-porter.com), 2. Vanessa Bruno Mini Sac (www.boticca.com), 3. Lanno Tati Bracelet (www.elizabeth-charles.com), 4. Strategia Suede Fringe Wedge Boots (www.luisaviaroma.com), 5. Haider Ackermann Leather Peplum Jacket (www.net-a-porter.com)  

See the rest of the picks that I scour the web for while on the hunt for my clients' What to Wear Weekly Lookbooks in my happy place, where the virtual walls are lined with  my favorite shopping picks. Check out The StyleShaker Closet:

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This quote came at a very, and I mean VERY, good moment. The holidays are two-fold for me. Sure, you get to see family you haven't seen for a long time, and then you get to reminisce. Oh, and then there's the other side where you get to see family you haven't seen for a long time, and then spend hours reminiscing. This is both a blessing and a curse.

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I understand that it's all about looking at the positive side of things. Right. I get it. Changing one's perspective to see the best and not worst case scenario. But if you're like me (and if you're reading this now I assume you may very well be) you're only human. The whole change-of-perspective concept is easier said than done.

I'm learning that this shift in perspective goes well beyond negative vs. positive. It's lies under that umbrella, sure, but for me it's looking at the difference between reactive and proactive. Not every moment is going to be bliss, things will get negative, and not all of that is so bad. How would we be able to see the positive if it weren't for the negative? And if it weren't for those moments of disconnect or sadness, we may never had been motivated to move forward, grow, try something else, and live our lives in a new way.

Maybe, instead of fighting against all of it, or trying to avoid it, we should just suck it up and put our left foot in front of our right knowing that, without the bad there would be no good. Sure, the timeline pictures lining the profiles on Facebook would tell us otherwise, i.e. that everyone is having the BEST DAY EVER, no really, EVER! But who would ever post anything that casts a negative light on their life anyway?

When did imperfection become the opposite of an asset? There's going to be clutter, so find the space in it. There will be discord, fine, accept that, and then go, "ok, so now what?" Now you can choose to find the harmony on the other side of that coin. And that difficult thing you're facing, it may very well be the precursor to something brilliant. When s&*t happens, you have two choices, you can let it own you or you can use it.

So for today, I challenge myself and my readers (if you're game) to find the beauty in the imperfect. I have a best friend who has this quality like no other person I've known. This girl could take me to the market, walk through the produce aisle, and find beauty in a root vegetable to the point of me thinking twice about the potential of rutabagas. She saw something stunning when others would only see 'blech.'

Fashion happens to be an amazing place to cultivate this new way of looking at things. The band of brilliant misfits known as designers work their magic each season seen by what they send down the runway. Each collection is inspired by the unexpected film, piece of art, natural phenomenon, latest travelling expedition, what have you. From there, clothing is created to yes, be worn, but also be appreciated as something beyond a cool cardigan or pencil skirt. It's not about creating what is expected, it's about looking at things in a new way. And then, doing it all over again for next season.

This is the life. Creation happens all [pause for effect] the [pause for effect] time. Hence why I adore this industry and being a part of it.

See more on what to wear, how to wear it, and where to shop.

The Promo-Heavy Christmas Shopping Wishlist

Happy holidays! If you're anything like me, you have one more reason to celebrate with the end of the omnipresent (and I mean, everywhere) playing of Christmas jingles. Oh wait, two more reasons to celebrate, meet the Christmas shopping wish list. It's not for the kiddos or for those who were 'nice,' (although, hopefully you were), it's for you and it's filled with picks that are on sale. Um, ok, so that's even one more reason to celebrate, which brings us to three?

'Tis the season of promotions! But before you dive in, first things first:

merry christmas

Cue the montage...

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1.

This bag is ridiculous. I mean, look at the leather, I only wish I could do some sort of sensory shopping moment right now, but instead, you'll have to stick with a visual. Gorge-ous.

1 Pauric Sweeney H-Box Leather Deerskin Effect Top Handle

2.

This is the cardigan you throw on, the go-to, cozy knit that belongs in every woman's closet in one form or another. This just happens to be Halston Heritage's take on the comfy classic, and so far, so good.

2 Halston Heritage Chunky-Knit Wool-Blend Cardigan

3.

3 Jean-Michel Cazabat Suede Elisa Pumps

4.

Sometimes I love a good statement bracelet. The trick is, you have to wear it and not have it wear you. So, if you're not cool with four golden snake heads dangling from your wrist, I suggest  you move along. However, if you're into Medusa and anything gold & fabulous, this Lulu Frost pick is for you.

4 Lulu Frost Medusa Bracelet

5.

Ruffled silk on an LBD, cue you're 'I feel pretty,' moment ladies. Aaaaaand, go!

5 Notte By Marchesa Ruffled Silk-Organza Dress

source: 1. Pauric Sweeney H-Box Leather Deerskin Effect Top Handle Bag (www.luisaviaroma.com), 2. Halston Heritage Chunky-Knit Wool-Blend Cardigan (www.theoutnet.com), 3. Jean-Michel Cazabat Suede Elisa Pumps (www.shopbop.com), 4. Lulu Frost Medusa Bracelet (www.shopbop.com), 5. Notte By Marchesa Ruffled Silk-Organza Dress (www.theoutnet.com)

Five is just the shopping warm-up. See what else is lining the walls in the virtual StyleShaker closet, filled with hand-picked favorites deserving of their own cameo on the site, even if it isn't in a Top 5 shopping list. Click below to keep the shopping momentum going strong:

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Right, right, it's time for what? Oh you know, a little quote never hurt anyone. Hopefully it does the exact opposite. Get some inspiration with the following line from Laozi:

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I have a 'thing' about using the term 'failure.' Why? Well part of it was an epiphany I happened to have on a flight to Seattle last year. I was going on my fifth interview (all different companies) and by that point, had turned down 3 out of the four I had been on. I was getting really good at being flown into a city with every intention of getting excited about whatever new position I was going for, and then realizing on my flight back to Dallas that my heart wasn't in it. But, before I would repeat this process (until one day I finally realized it was time for me to do my own thing, took the scenic route to get there), and arrive back at my apartment below the Mason Dixon line with a look of sheer confusion on my face, I would prep.

I love to prep. Part of the prep for the Seattle interview was to look at other case studies on-line of what previous interviewees had been asked. The company was Amazon so there was plenty of good info out there. One of the questions I saw every person post in the forum was, "they will ask you to speak about your greatest failure and how you dealt with it." Now, I knew that, by this point, Amazon had probably changed it up a bit, knowing that all of this info had been out on the web, they'd need to switch their questions to keep people on their toes. They're Amazon after all, I'd expect no less.

But the question stuck with me. Actually, it began to obsessively circle around in  my head until I just couldn't let it go. What was my greatest failure? Why couldn't I come up with anything? Was it taking the Neiman Marcus Executive Development Program test without a calculator and consequently not passing the first time? Nope, because without that I would have never been able to have two years worth of stories from the selling floor that I would never give back.

Was leaving Boston when I actually had a job in banking lined up (this was huge, as I graduated with a degree in Advertising the May following September 11th; not a very cushy time to go out into the work force; getting a job was a miracle) a failure?  Nope. If I hadn't left Boston due to a rough break-up I would have never had a year living with my brother in Chicago, which would have never motivated me to move to warmer weather in Dallas, which, would have never led me to this site due to sheer frustration with the corporate world.

So there it was. I was on the plane, talking to my new best friend in the center seat, telling him how I couldn't come up with anything and he said, "fine, then don't...Don't force an answer just for them. Be honest, be yourself." That flight was like three hours of therapy from a complete, unlicensed stranger.

So sure, maybe these instances in my life felt like small failures at the time. There's always going to be a pity-party moment that lasts about a minute. But then I realize that every one of these mistakes, misses, whatever you want to call them, brought me to where I am right now. They were the springboard to my personal and professional growth.

I don't have one greatest failure. I doubt I ever will. And anyway, Amazon never asked. Go, figure.

Happy Holidays to you and your loved ones.

See more on what to wear, how to wear it, and where to shop.

 

The Shopping List | It's Monday, Which Means, It's Time for Sequined Leggings Of Course

Morning sunshines. I know, most like that is the last phrase you want to be reading on a Monday but I'm following it up with a super-edited, hand-picked shopping list, so it can't be all that bad right? And besides, that's what my mother used to wake me up with at the crack so now, I'm passing along the tradition right before I dive into today's hit list that covers a couple of new discoveries making me ridiculously giddy at such an early hour here on the east coast...

I found Una Burke on-line the other day and have since fallen head over heels for her technically gorgeous designs. Think: wearable pieces of leather art wrapped together (bondage-esque) in ways you or I would never dream up. Best discovery so far, and it starts with a cinched cuff...

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3.

I have this thing with bags, a bit of a fixation really. It stems from living (literally, all I was missing was an acceptable bed) in the designer handbag buying office at Neiman Marcus. While there I saw the good, the bad, and the ugly of the handbag world, and I have to say, there were very few picks that fell into the 'good' category that didn't cost an arm and a leg.

Bottom line: A handbag is going to be an investment, if you want a great (unique, not talking about those logo-drenched numbers) looking bag that will last. Does it need to be a four figure purchase? No. Actually, hell no. I'm happy to say that, although I see some amazing quality out there starting at $200 and above, Zara is doing what they do best, and picking up where others have left off. The silhouette of the below bucket bag with zips, not to mention the color, is spot-on. It's a great bag (sure, the leather is not the kind you'd see on designer labels, but it's far beyond those plastic picks that smell like gasoline; pick one up and take a whiff next time, you can learn a lot about quality at the expense of the people around you looking at you like you've lost it, smelling handbags left and right), and the price is right in-line with what you'd expect from Zara. Oh happy handbag moment...

4.

Meet another new name, this time I found it on Etsy, and I had to share. The NOLAbead leather bracelet fits perfectly into what I'm always on the hunt for when it comes to casual that can be dressed up, but is just simple and easy. Loving the mint green color, the layering, and the price points that are essentially unbeatable. I love when that happens.

5.

Yep, it's a sequined legging, and yep, it's officially on the list. Don't squint, don't squirm, just think about a new take on a holiday party. These are not for the timid, nor the pear shape if I'm going to be completely honest here, which, I always am. If your legs are not your favorite body part, move along and go celebrate the part(s) of your body you love. Throw a tunic over these leggings, get some volume on top, and head out for the night. There are stories to be made here.

source: 1. Una Burke Cinched Cuff (www.notjustalabel.com), 2. Yves Saint Laurent Purple Suede Catherine Pumps (www.ssense.com), 3. Zara Bucket Bag with Zips (www.zara.com), 4. NOLAbead Beaded Leather Bangle Cuff Bracelet (www.etsy.com), 5. Carrie Sparkle Sequined Leggings (www.reiss.com/us)

Five is never enough, but it does get the shopping ball rolling. Shop the rest of the picks lining the walls and ready to be checked out in the virtual StyleShaker closet:

Time for a little inspiration:

It's true. It's a pain in the ass at times, which you know unless you've been living in an emotional bubble for the entirety of your life, and if so, wow, that's both frightening and quite impressive. But Robert Frost was speaking the truth on this one...

A good friend of mine was telling me this over wine one night, she worded it a bit differently than Frost (we were at least a bottle in mind you) but in the end, the message was the same. The amount of energy spent trying to find a way to not get hurt, a way around the things we're afraid of, can often times be exponentially greater than if we just faced things head on.

It's just another reminder that the unknown may be worse in our minds than it is in reality. I know you've heard it before, but the concept bears repeating, well, at least in my life it does, and you just happen to be along for the ride. Yay you!

Regardless of my little adventures, I do believe that Robert Frost, in just a couple of key words back in the day, has managed to sum up a range of emotions that are pretty close to universal.

Is there something you've been skirting around, trying to get through unscathed because you're afraid of the 'what if's?'

Cue these questions: What if I fail? What if it breaks us up? What if I never live up to their expectation? Sound familiar?

Try this: What if I succeed beyond any stretch of my imagination? What if I find true love in the process of it all and create space for healthy love to come into my life? Or what if, I mean, what if I decide to detach any emotional ties to what 'they' think and start living, really living my best life, the only way I can live it?

What if we looked at the good stuff that could happen and not just the bad right? I'm working on it as well so, we're in this together.

See more on what to wear, how to wear it, and where to shop here.

The Hunt for Bracelets is Officially Over. Shop Our Top 10 Bracelets, You Won't Regret It.

Brace Yourself | Yep, I Went There. Check Out the Latest Shopping List. Meet Our Top 10 Bracelets

It's come down to this, bracelets, the arm-candy piece of the fashion equation, painstakingly narrowed down to the Top 10. When it comes to ensembles, the accessories, namely the shiny stuff, can polish off a look and add originality like nothing else.



My favorite thing about having a bevy of baubles at my disposal is being able to take a basic t-shirt-and-jeans look, and elevate it to something that stands out. Layering on bracelets in particular, reminds me of when I was little and up to my elbows (literally) in rainbow-colored string friendship bracelets. Ah camp memories. Nostalgic moment aside, check  out the all-grows-up version with the Top 10 shopping list below...


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The shopping is done for you. Now it's time to get some inspiration on how to wear the arm candy in question:



source: www.thestyleshaker.tumblr.com: 1. look 1 / 2. look 2 / 3. look 3 / 4. look 4 / 5. look 5 / 6. look 6 / 7. look 7 / 8. look 8


The top 10 bracelets are one thing. But during the hunt for these hand-picked pieces, we inevitably come across other serious prospects that may not may this list, but land themselves a coveted spot in The StyleShaker closet right here. Get a sneak peek of what's lining the jewelry box right now:




Bracelets, bangles, and baubles are just one trend to add to your Fall essentials list. See more trends and classics that answer the, 'what to wear,' question, how to wear them, and where to shop right here.

What I'm Wearing Today. Wednesday's Look from a Fashion Industry Insider

What I'm Wearing Today? Think: Purple cropped pants:

No standing in front of the closet this morning. I picked out what I'm wearing today over the weekend and am loving myself for prepping ahead of time. Just one more step taken to simplify life a little bit. Every little bit helps right? So, time to get to it. Here's what I'm wearing today:

 

When it boils down to what I'm wearing today, I kept it pretty simple. The pop color in the pants takes a basic look and brings it into the realm of trendy, in a good way.

I'm obsessed with J. Crew's Minnie pant and am about to buy them in every color possible, seriously. The fit is amazing, the colors are killer, and the length hits right where I want it to, slightly above the ankle. Throw in a basic black tee and striped cardigan from Urban Outfitters, done and done. I'm looking at the shoes right now, and then the sky (grey and overcast), so I'm thinking I'm going to make a last minute addition of some flats.

As for the accessories, the Pour la Victoire bag can fit a small child in it, not that I have one or would ever do that, but it holds everything you could ever imagine needing throughout your day. The layered bracelets add a subtle touch and finally, a black enamel statement ring finishes off the look.

It's going to be a rainy day filled with a few meetings so these pants will keep the mood up, and the look will keep me completely comfy moving from one room to the next.

That's today's look. See more looks, past and present, what to wear and how to wear it when it comes to the latest trends in fashion, all right here.