The Shopping List | 10 Handbags You Need to See

When the concept of handbags comes to mind, I can't think of a better way to illustrate the difference between straight men and women. To the ladies, the handbag is a crucial addition to any look. Not only do we rely on these puppies to carry our lives in them throughout the day, but a handbag can make or break an entire outfit in seconds flat.

The pedestal we put our handbags on will forever be an enigma to the straight men in our lives. Sure, they 'get it,' as far as functionality goes, but beyond that, trying to explain to a man why you need more than one brown and one black bag is like trying to pull off a four inch platform heel for a night out in San Fran. It's an exercise in futility.

We've found ten handbag picks and lined them up for today's shopping list. They run from deceivingly versatile clutches to an everyday black bag you'll wonder how you lived without. Sounds melodramatic, but we've all been there before. Shop on:

1

shop the 10 Crosby Derek Lam Ombre Lizard Folio Clutch

2

shop the Diane von Furstenberg 440 Mini leather bag

3

shop the Club Monaco Sonia Clutch

4

shop the Alexander Wang Robyn Bag

5

shop the Sophie Hulme Mini Envelope Crossbody Bag

6

shop the MARC by Marc Jacobs Covert Katie Day Box Bag

7

shop the Ippolito Sui Maxi Messenger Bag

8

shop the Claramonte Zouave Bag

9

shop the Dareen Hakim Le Monaco Clutch

10

shop the Pelechecoco Wrap Recycled Leather Bag

1. 10 Crosby Derek Lam Ombre Lizard Folio Clutch (www.shopbop.com), 2. Diane von Furstenberg 440 Mini leather bag (www.matchesfashion.com), 3. Club Monaco Sonia Clutch (www.shopbop.com), 4. Alexander Wang Robyn Bag (www.theoutnet.com), 5. Sophie Hulme Mini Envelope Crossbody Bag (www.stylebop.com), 6. MARC by Marc Jacobs Covert Katie Day Box Bag (www.stylebop.com), 7. Ippolito Sui Maxi Messenger Bag (www.boticca.com), 8. Claramonte Zouave Bag (www.luisaviaroma.com), 9. Dareen Hakim Le Monaco Clutch (www.boticca.com), 10. Pelechecoco Wrap Recycled Leather Bag (www.luisaviaroma.com)

The shopping list covers the external. The zen-moment quote covers the internal. It's the yin and yang I love to encourage so here we go with another goodie I discovered at an incredibly relevant time.

Have you ever been in a book store and just wandered around until you find yourself at a random rack when all of a sudden, a book jumps into your eye line in front of all the others? You know what I mean, it's as if your hand is magnetically drawn in it's direction and so you pick it up, flip it open to a random page, and find yourself reading a passage as if it was meant for you to read it right at that very moment. Timing right?

As I scrolled through my latest feeds and found the below quote, the process felt remarkably similar to my book store adventures of the past (I haven't been in one for years unless it's a random used book store, love those). It jumped right out when I found it. Or did it find me? I always wonder about that...

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This one is simple and yet I forget it all the time. I was going to go off on a tangent about friendships and recent events but then realized, that's not why I chose this one.

Actions speak louder than words. If you say you want something and don't take actions, large or small, to move towards your desire, then highly likely that you don't really want it and/or don't believe you can have it/deserve it.

On top of that, it's never about the 'thing' you want. It's about what you believe that 'thing' will make you feel.

When I truly want something, to feel a certain way, it takes more than just the desire to get what I want, it takes belief that it's possible. And therein lies the tricky part. Sometimes the belief just isn't fully there. It's up to us to act, a little bit every day, and walk towards what we want whether we can see how it will happen or not. It's our job to put our left foot in front of our right.

With every uncertain step comes just the teeniest, tiniest bit of confidence to take the next small step. Belief begins to grow and that is when you begin to find your way. That's when I have at least. There's always an excuse waiting, those are easy. But if you really want something, you'll make it happen.

And here's the best part, it is your choice. Every day when you go to work, to the job you may or may not love, or put up with a person in your life you know doesn't have your best interest in mind, it is YOUR choice. It's a pain in the ass at times, but it's also one of the greatest things about being alive. Chose wisely. And if you can't make up your mind, your body may very well lead you in the right direction.

To get what you want, act. To believe you can get what you want, act. Keyword: act. And then, when you get to where you're going just ask how you can give back and help someone else find their way. Maybe it's a phone call, maybe it's a blog post, you just never know.

Going from zen back to fashion: Keep the shopping momentum going strong and continue on to the StyleShaker Closet where our team edits down our top picks and lines them up along the virtual shelves every week. This is where you can really dig into whatever you happen to be looking for. It's the perfect shopping starting point:

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While you're at it, keep the momentum going and get some more inspiration in:

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Get the Look | When Feeling Frou Frou is a Fashion Force to be Reckoned With

It's time to get the look...What exactly does feeling 'frou frou' entail you ask? Good question. It's different for everyone, but for me, 'frou frou' (also the name of a great electronic duo in music) means embellished. It's all in the details and 'frou frou' details usually have a strong femme spin on them. What better way to pull off said feminine focus than with strips of curled silk organza attached to a mini right? Throw in some studs, a clean white blazer for some coverage, gold, lots of gold, and you have yourself a bold evening look. This girl isn't drinking Cosmos, nope, she's more of a Satan's Circus kinda gal. Tough, sweet, and a little spicy.

Check out the look I'm loving:

look

Giuseppe Zanotti Bootie giuseppezanottidesign.com

Michael Kors Gia Studded Metallic Leather Clutch Bag (gold only available) neimanmarcus.com

ASOS Boxchain Choker necklace (SOLD OUT: shop more necklaces here) asos.com

 

Look-spiration is one thing. It's a very important part of any fashion equation. But if there's anything I've learned over the past decade in the fashion industry and more recently, working with my personal styling/shopping clients, it's that the 'what to wear' is only one half of the equation. It only makes sense, comes to life, when you add the other half, the 'how to wear' it half. Bottom line, you can't have one without the other. Well, I lie, actually you can have one without the other, and many of you I'm sure do. How can you tell? Easy, two questions:

1. You have a full closet and nothing to wear.

2. You keep wearing the same twenty percent that's in your closet, leaving the other eighty percent of what's hanging in there feeling ridiculously neglected (read: collecting dust before you gather up the strength to donate or list on ebay).

Sound familiar? I know. I have built a business on the above two style dilemmas and now, I'm taking it beyond my personal one-on-one clients via my Virtual Lookbooks, e-guides that spell out what looks are best for your body type. Allow me to repeat that, 'best for YOUR body type.' You can look through glossy mags and catalogs until the cows come home, but if you don't know how to take that inspiration and make it work for you then what's the point right?

Contact me to learn more about how to get your hands on one of my Lookbooks here.

In the mean time, there's always more to see. Get back to more inspiration here.

How to Wear | Coral & Cobalt in 7 Steps

You've got your coral, you've got your cobalt, so now what? Now I show you how to wear the color combination in 7 quick steps...

Supposedly, the color blue is the color of trust and responsibility. It's also the most universally liked of all the colors in the spectrum so there's a good change you're going to be a fan. Coral, brings a sense of calm and warmth.  I happen to agree with that one. So, am I a color psychologist (and yes, they exist)? Nope. But I do know how to coordinate a couple of bold colors and show you how to wear them without having them wear you.

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(click the links on the shopping list to see more)

shop item 1 shop item 2 shop item 3 shop item 4 shop item 5 shop item 6 shop item 7

The StyleShaker

Those pants are to die for, seriously. This is the kind of look you bring out during the first day of Spring, at a luncheon, whenever you want to add some life to whatever you're doing. Black is easy. We all know black. Time to shake it up a bit don't you think?

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Which body type does this look work for? This is the perfect look for an hourglass silhouette. That said, it would work well on rectangle as well, and depending on where the top hits, an apple may be able to work this one out. Usually, if the top hits below the waist on the pant, but stays above the bum, you're in good shape. Again, for the apples out there, if the top falls too high you'll end up with an emphasis on a shorter waist. If it hits too low, you'll stunt the vertical line and do the opposite of elongating, and WHO wants to do that right? I know, me either.

The clutch gives the cobalt from the top a little kick, courtesy of Kate Spade. And the B Brian Atwood sandal keeps it neutral, grounded, and polished. You have enough color going on with the main pieces of the look, the rest, the sunglasses and jewelry, should just complement, not steal any thunder.

Speaking of elongating, the cut on those trousers is ridiculously flattering with the thicker waistline, front seam detail, and very slight flare at the hem to keep proportions balanced. Ah, mazing. Something to keep in mind when you're out and about shopping.

Love the top but you're thinking you want to go with something a little less printed? Drooling over the trouser but you're just not into coral no matter how hard you try? No problem. Keep shopping all the categories in the StyleShaker Closet. The Happy Place that gets updates every week. It's the perfect place to start shopping when you have no clue where to go first. Join the club! Click the pick to get started:

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In the mean time, I always like to leave a little inspiration on the table. Check out today's top 5 links, with images of course, that I fell in love with and had to share.

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1.

living my life like it's golden. (source: www.sterlingstylelove.tumblr.com)

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2.

nail did. neon done. (source: www.luxeislife.blogspot.com)

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3.

Just Cavalli Spring 2013. (source: www.style.com)

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4.

spike. (source: www.theglamouri.com)

4

5.

walk towards the light. (source: www.fashforfashion.com)

5

Inspiration, check. How to wear cobalt blue and coral? Check. Now it's time to keep the momentum going. See more on what to wear, how to wear it, and where to shop right here.

get inspired

Today's Shopping List Starts with a Caged Ring and Ends with a Quote from Milton Berle. Yup.

Five more fashion favorites, hand-picked and served up for your shopping inspiration on today's list. It's all about baby-stepping your way into a wardrobe you love (not to mention knowing how to wear what's in there). But for now, it's time to focus on what to wear. It all starts here:

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1.

Great ring. It's so different from anything else I've seen out there. Almost like an optical illusion for your hand and I love it.

1 Odette New York Klaia Cage Ring

 

2.

Leah Lerner bags were a recent discovery. I happen to adore an oversized clutch and this large leather one with painted details was a perfect fit to momentarily satiate my obsession. It's simple but with a bit of a twist. You can't go wrong with that.

2 Leah Lerner Large Leather Clutch

3.

3 Sigerson Morrison Colorblock Ankle Booties

4.

This is a dress to own a room in. The architecture, let alone the color, had me the second I laid eyes on it. I bow down to you Mr. Berardi. Well done.

4 Antonio Berardi Sculpted Bolero Dress

5.

Finally, a feminine, edgy pair of teardrop hoops from a new favorite in Jewelry-Designer Land, Nadin Art Design. Simple, subtle, and chic.

5 Nadin Art Design Sterling Silver Teardrop Hoops

source: 1. Odette New York Klaia Cage Ring (www.needsupply.com), 2. Leah Lerner Large Leather Clutch  (www.etsy.com), 3. Sigerson Morrison Colorblock Ankle Booties (www.bloomingdales.com), 4. Antonio Berardi Sculpted Bolero Dress (www.farfetch.com),  5.Nadin Art Design Sterling Silver Teardrop Hoops (www.etsy.com

See more where that came from and check out the StyleShaker closet. The virtual space where all of our favorites go to live before they sell out (which for most of these guys is a very brief window). Shop away:

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And now a quick moment of inspiration should you need it:

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Ah yes, Milton Berle. He hit the nail on the head with this one. And then subsequently, another nail to get the rest of the 'door' on it's hinges.

I've definitely been guilty of waiting for something to happen, something or someone to make the decision for me or give me the permission I used to think I needed to move forward on my ideas. After all, growing up, I distinctly remember thinking less, acting more, and things just working out. I was perplexed at why this didn't hold true in my adult life for the first couple of years I spent outside of being a student.

But then there's that 20/20 hindsight thing. It looked easier back then, but was it really? I remember a good friend stopping me mid-conversation about a year ago when I was talking to her about my current situation. I was remarking on how 'lucky' I was to have the friends I have and options I have in my life on a professional level. I was saying how lucky I was to have this support system. She said, almost before I could finish my mush-moment, "No Brittany, you're not lucky, you need to give yourself a little credit. You have what you have because you've worked on it. Friendships take work, and creating options for yourself on a professional level takes work. Luck is not the term you're looking for here."

With those words, my 20/20 hindsight perspective shifted. Things 'just ended up working out,' because I made them work out. Not controlling the situation, that never works. Trust me, I've tried. But in my mind, I just always made the best of the situation. If I wanted something, I could hear that I clearly wanted it in the first place (there was less over-analyzing back then) and I would go for it. If the outcome wasn't what I expected, I pulled my, "ok, so now what?" card and moved along.

Milton Berle was on to something. In one line he moves us to think proactively, rather than reactively. It's a muscle that we all need to develop, some more than others. But it's there. We all have it, and we can all create our own luck, opportunities, lives, you name it. Maybe it could just be as simple as a change in perspective.

Did you hear that? That was the collective sound of the entire self-help industry scratching their heads...

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

Color, Color, Everywhere. See Today's Top 5 Shopping List Picks...

The name of the game on today's shopping list is color & print. Sometimes one or the other, usually a combo-platter of both. It's all about the bold details this round so dive in and check get a quick dose of daily color therapy while you shop...

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1.

How this bag was named a grocery tote I do not know, and really, at this point, I'm so taken with the print that I could care less. Love it.

1 Twelfth St. By Cynthia Vincent Leather Grocery Tote

2.

The fit on this tank dress takes feminine to an entirely new level. Hips will be accentuated here, so if you're not a fan of your hour glass, or don't need any help defining it, this may not be your moment. That said, it never hurts to take in the eye candy...

2 Gig Brasil Exclusive Fit And Flare Gold Lurex Tank Dress

3.

3 Valentino Clutch

4.

Hello! Wakey, wakey...Good morning! This is the shirt that will wake you, and all others within a ten foot radius, right up. The color supercharges any situation. Wearing this puppy in the morning Starbucks line is basically like wearing an extra shot of espresso. Don't get me started on how perfect this shirt is back to a tan courtesy of your resort vacay (or spray-on bronzer if you want to play it safe), because it is, and if I have to go into it, you'll end up reading a novel, not a post. On to the visual, it's the best part anyway:

4 3.1 Phillip Lim Silk Crepe De Chine Shirt

5.

5 Anthropologie Pastiche Geometry Ring

source: 1. Twelfth St. By Cynthia Vincent Leather Grocery Tote (www.shopbop.com), 2. Gig Brasil Exclusive Fit And Flare Tank Dress (www.intermixonline.com), 3. Valentino Clutch (www.footcandyshoes.com), 4. 3.1 Phillip Lim Silk Crepe De Chine Shirt (www.theoutnet.com), 5. Anthropologie Pastiche Geometry Ring (www.anthropologie.com)

There you have today's five shopping picks, but as you know, there's plenty more where that came from. So many favorites don't get their cameo on the hit list, but that doesn't mean we love them any less. As a matter of fact, they live on (as long as they don't sell out, which is rare) and find their home within the virtual walls of the StyleShaker Closet here:

shop the styleshaker closet

Time for a quick zen moment to lighten things up a bit:

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I love this quote. I could read it every day and never get sick of it.

Everyone wants love, that's a no brainer.

But what is love to you? Some of us get swept up in grandiose ideas attached to the word, and usually, those grand plans involve images about what will happen around us. The scene is set with perfect white dresses, rocks on fingers, almost getting to the security check-point at the airport when you hear your name, turn around, and see the 'one' running towards you, bursting at the seams before dropping the most unforgettable profession of love on you. The audience cheers, cue music, aaaaaand cut.

I'm thirty two (yes, I said it, I never understood the whole issue with putting one's age out there as a woman, seriously) and single. I've had loves of my life come and go. I'm happy to say that I'm thankful for them and what they have taught me.  About a year ago I started gearing up again for the big one, a big relationship, with big, sweeping romantic moments, honeymoon montages, emotional overtures, and other such rom-com-drenched scenery. I knew in my mind what I wanted, and wouldn't you know it, I got exactly that, served to me on a silver platter. I then promptly proceeded to turn the offer down.

I was starting at the wrong end of the equation. The 'scenes' weren't what I wanted, they were just the icing on the cake. The scenes were the cart that I put before the horse, the horse being finding myself in another. I write 'myself' before 'another' for a reason. The desire is two-fold and also mutually exclusive in my mind. I know more now than ever that it's the 'steady hand' and 'kind soul' (it's what I call a 'warmth' in another, it's one of the only ways I know how to verbalize it) I want and all of that starts within me.

I don't have a three step process to a happy and healthy romantic relationship, I don't think anyone does. I do however, know a very good starting point and that is to be open. I have heard that word so many times, so I want to clarify that I'm not regurgitating a self-help novel here. You know, "open your heart, open yourself to love, etc." That is all fine and good, but that leaves me with major questions, such as, "um, ok, how do you propose I do this?" In these articles I've found that the concepts are big, follow thru and tools for implementation that don't revolve around a twenty question worksheet, not so much.

When I, the furthest thing from an expert in these lovey-dovey waters, refer to being open, I'm just saying be open to this moment, be here, be now. If you're here with me right now, appreciating the air you breathe in, just for this second, you are not only in a loving state of mind, you kind of are love, personified. And there it is. You just found it. More always comes your way after that. It's simple, but if you have ever attempted a ten minute meditation on a rose, you know how challenging this can be. I'm not even breaking five minutes right now, but I'll get there.

I know, deep thoughts from a former-retailer. Take what you want, toss the rest out, or just keep shopping. But I will ask you to do one thing and that is, find something, one thing, to celebrate and appreciate about yourself, right now. Be your own 'steady hand,' and watch as other hands reach out to you. Baby-step to a mini-celebration, you don't even need a candle or cake. Balloons are completely optional.

So, what's one thing about yourself you can appreciate right now? Show some love.

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

So Now What? We Shop. Today's Top 5 Shopping List Line Up Has Arrived...

Good morning and welcome to the next round of the top five fashion picks that have been added to the never-ending (would it ever be any other way?) shopping list that is The StyleShaker.

Today's list ranges from a printed silk blouse via A.L.C. that I'm swooning over, to a clutch from a new name out there in Fashion Land I'm counting my  lucky style stars that I just discovered. Sit back, relax, and scroll away to start the shopping momentum...

today's shopping list

1.

There's a black pump and then there's a black pump. I know, that sentence makes very little impact when you can't hear the inflection in my voice, so I'll elaborate. This sophisticated Zanotti pump takes the go-to basic suede version and turns it on it's head, courtesy of a little metallic pop in the heel. Just because a black pump is a basic essential to any woman's closet doesn't mean it has to look basic right? Right. Classic, with a twist.

shop the GIUSEPPE ZANOTTI Black Suede Nan Pumps

Here's the look that inspired this pump pick.

Keep it simple. So often we go down the rabbit whole when it comes to putting a look together, and why wouldn't we with all of the shopping options out there that lead to massive style sensory overload? There's no need to stuff it all into one look, I don't care what 'they' say the trends are. Take a step back, and go with what works for you. If that happens to be a tank and skinny jean, perfect.

 

how to wear black pumps

 

2.

Artessorio is a newbie to the mix for our team, and we're happy to add the label to our roster. I stumbled upon this python-printed number while on the hunt for a clutch that had a little oomph to it, and lo and behold, I found this guy. Meet one of the top shopping discoveries this week.

shop the Artessorio Python-printed Construction Leather Clutch

3.

All right, let's just put it out there. I'm officially adding a printed blouse to the list of essentials that belong in every woman's closet. It's official (and yet I'm blatantly aware this semi-bold statement is nothing new or novel, just give me my moment). A.L.C. is a name I have grown to know and love, and for good reason. Why? The overall style aesthetic always, and I mean, always, resonates with me. It's just that simple. The below Marianne silk blouse is no exception.

shop the A.L.C. Marianne Silk Printed Blouse

Here's the look that inspired the blousy shopping list pick. It's casual, yet incredibly polished and pulled together thanks to Miss Conrad (we would expect no less). The best part about this blouse pick however, is the fact that this is just one of countless looks you could pull off with this one printed top. Versatility is a golden quality for anything hanging in your closet to have.

how to wear a print blouse

4.

I'm happy to admit I now have a full-on, designer-crush/soft-spot for Mademoiselle Felee. I first met the designer in this post after having fallen in love (pun intended, you'll get what I mean when you see the ring I featured) with her work. I'm actually writing to you now with that ring on my finger and I'm happy to report the image I saw on-line is exactly what I  got, if not better than expected!

Mademoiselle Felee's designs range from demure to bold, so of course, I had to give the latter end of that style spectrum a cameo in the way of this amazing statement piece, the etoile gold collar necklace. It's a work of art and now has it's rightful spot on today's shopping list.

shop the Mademoiselle Felee Etoile Collar Gold

5.

Ah yes, three little letters that hold such power: D, V, and F. Diane von Furstenberg needs no introduction, let alone someone to elaborate on her extensive and fabulously timeless body work, so I'll just get to it with the next shopping list pick, the 'Missy,' dress. Less is more anyway as this dress speaks for itself.

Meet the perfect dress to have in your bag when you vacate the chilly temps for something a bit more beachy this winter. Add this one to the resort packing list.

shop the Diane Von Furstenberg 'Missy' Dress

And finally, the look that inspired the shopping list pick. The bold, lemony-lime neon yellow is super crisp and perfect for a little infusion of citrus color into any woman's wardrobe. It's the kind of editorial image I could stare at for hours and never gets old...

how to wear a yellow dress

sources: 1. Giuseppe Zanotti Nan Pumps (www.ssense.com), 2. Artessorio Python-printed Clutch (www.boticca.com), 3. A.L.C. Marianne Silk Printed Blouse (www.mytheresa.com), 4. Mademoiselle Felee Etoile Collar Gold (www.boticca.com), 5. Diane Von Furstenberg 'Missy' Dress (www.farfetch.com) | Looks: look 1 (www.thedenimguy.com), look 2 (www.peoplestylewatch.com), look 3 (www.fashiongonerogue.com

And there you have it, the top picks for today's shopping list. See more lining the shelves of the StyleShaker Closet here, because our Top 5 is not meant to be the final fashion word, it's just the jumping off point. Keep the shopping momentum going strong:

shop the styleshaker closet

Time for a quick quote, or really this time around, the little three-word reminder I always go to when things get tough:

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I'll keep this short and sweet, just like the quote. Have you ever found yourself at the end of your rope, things just didn't go your way, and you're exactly where you really didn't want to be? Maybe this is a repeat of what just happened, making it even more challenging to swallow?

Yea, been there. We all have and I am making a generalized assumption that we all have also attempted to find ways to dig out and deal with it. Some better than others.

This is how I suck it up, for lack of a better phrase. These three words are the words I turn to when there's not much else to get me moving my right foot in front of my left. These three words shift my focus from looking at the 'blech' situation I'm in  for far too long, to looking at what I'm going to do to get out of it, and usually that involves lots of little baby steps. But the point is, this phrase gets me moving and sometimes, just those small steps are all we need to hang our hat on. Those are enough for now.

Examples of said 'blech' situation would be:

1. You just broke up with someone you thought you'd end up with. Ok, so now what?

2. You just left the job you spent the last ten years of your life stressing over. Ok, so now what?

3. You didn't get to everything on your laundry list of items for the day. Ok, so now what?

4. 'It' isn't what you thought it would be. Ok, so now what?

The oversimplification that comes with this expression is not a result of lack of compassion. Far from it in fact. In a way, it brings you directly back to yourself, back down to earth.

The, 'so now what?' moments in life are there to show you that life does go on, this too shall pass, and oh yea, hmm, this could get really good. Maybe even better than you possibly could have imagined had that 'blech' situation not brought you right here, right now.

Funny how that goes...

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

Today's Top 10 Shopping List Adds Go High/Low from Balenciaga to Mango & Rick Owens to Tibi

Today's top 10 shopping list picks are lined up and ready to go...

 As you well know by now, I love a good list. Should the word shopping precede the word list, even better. It all starts with the fashion pick grid:

The name of the game for today (and really, everyday for me) is high/low shopping. It's pretty simple. Mix in some high level investment pieces with a few basic lower-pricepoints (low shouldn't equate to poor, disposable, quality here) on your shopping list, and your bases are covered. I'm sure you've heard it all before, nothing new, but it doesn't hurt to have a quick refresher now and then right?

Speaking of, let's get started on the list with a strong shopping pick from Balenciaga. I mean, c'mon, gorge-ous....

1.

I usually sway away from the thought of blowing mass quantities of cash on a trend-driven look, but then again, shopping can be an emotional thing, practically Pavlovian. See the Balenciaga pump below, and before you know it you're drooling. It's instinctual (unless of course the neon pink/tangerine orange color combo makes you want to run screaming in the opposite direction). This one is about inspiration. I'm all about investing in the real deal, just not at the expense of missing a mortgage payment. Option B: just take it in, let the color wash over you, and shop more shoe favorites for something that feels just as colorful and significantly less painful when adding to your on-line shopping cart. I get it, but I also appreciate noteworthy fashion, regardless of price point. Blame it on ten years at Neiman Marcus.

2.

So here's the 'low' when it comes to high/low. Low is referring to price and not at all the look, don't let the negative connotation of the word fool you. You get major bang for your buck on the 'low' end of the retail spectrum when it's done right, . A label is just a label, whereas style can be found on several levels using the label for a little direction (not the definition of what style actually is). For instance, Mango is a solid label I happen to adore. There's a lot of look for what you shell out here. And let's be honest, when will I ever turn down a tuxedo blazer like this one? Um, not going to happen.

3.

4.

Pleating, a hugely transitional green hue, and a cinched waist. Need I say more? No, but I'm going to because I can't stop myself. Tibi is a go-to for me when it comes to finding pieces that have amazing color, print, and universally flattering cuts. My one caveat on this Guinevere dress, if you're bigger than a C-cup, I'd recommend looking elsewhere. The pleating at the front will separate according to your shape, which for some is a great thing, but for others (i.e. those with amazing racks; crude, but true) the dress loses it's overall aesthetic and goes from romantic to a bit distracting in all the wrong ways.

Other than that, this is a gorgeous dress to wear through Spring, into Fall with a cardi, and through winter with some tights and boots. Seasonal, definitely.

5.

Ob-sessed with this chain link necklace. So you think I would have figured this out by now, both parents having worked in the retail industry, me having spent the past decade in luxury fashion, but no. I took the scenic route to my own styling evolution, and finally decided that jewelry (or really all accessories) are the best, and I mean best (most efficient as well if you want to bring out my inner-organizational nerd), method of pulling together a basic look and making it your own. When I consult with my clients, I repeat the significance of a solid core closet, stocked seasonally with go-to quality wardrobe basics, to the point of sounding like a broken record. It's tough fashion love. But once you have your core, all you need are some amazing jewelry picks (cue the Adia Kibur necklace), scarves, wraps, you name it, and you can extend your wardrobe from 10 to 20 or 30 looks. No joke. It's not only possible, it's genius. Again, took me awhile to get here, but now that I am, I'm all over it like white on rice.

6.

7.

Hi, hey, what's up, ready to see the most amazing suede clutch ever imagined by a designer? Am I building it up too much? Do I care? Nope. In, love with this Matthew Williamson clutch for all the delish details. You've got to be a fan of green, and unfortunately, now that I'm looking at it, also yellow, which saddens me solely because those are the colors of the Green Bay Packers and I'm not a fan (if I lose a couple of readers on that one, so be it).

I grew up in the Chicago 'burbs, amongst several other areas (retail, not army brat if you must know), but while cities changed, my arch football nemesis remained the same, the Packers. Once a Bears fan, always a Bears fan, which is saying something because I know nothing about football, hardly ever watch the games (first and ten huh?what?) and couldn't tell you who's currently having a good season (mind you, I live in Texas at the moment, so to say that I don't fit into the culture would be a massive understatement). I do recall my older brother an I doing the Superbowl Shuffle in the '80's though, and to me, that's enough.

I can't even believe I'm talking about foozball right now in the middle of featuring a Matthew Williamson clutch. I think I've gone off the deep-end. Need, to, find, my, way, back...Fringe lining! Ok, I'm back. Sorry about that.

8.

Rick Owens, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways, starting with a cold-shoulder, draped jersey top that is going to be my no-brainer, going-out-for-cocktails-or-what-have-you, top. Rick Owens is a favorite, and I'm not talking price wise (ouchie), but there's something about his style aesthetic that is on-point. It reminds me of how every woman will always have a 'thing' (secretly or not, it happens at least once in a lifetime; own it) for the 'bad boy.' Rick would be the bad boy in this equation. You know you should watch yourself, maybe take a step back, but you dive in head first, and indulge anyway. You have to.

The exception here is, with Rick, once you get to know his designs, the thrill stays. In fact, it only gets better the closer you get to the designer's work. With a real-life bad boy, the opposite is usually the case. It gets old, fast. Been there, won't be doing that again, but it was so worth it.

9.

10.

And finally, a Tibi tank in a ridiculously 'pretty' pink silk that I normally don't go for. The shape borders on halter with the racer-back, which is a hugely flattering line for most body-types. Tip: bring out the strapless or bandeau bra in a fun color if you're wondering. It's just simple, that's why I love this tank. Throw it over some skinny jeans, toss on a massively gorgeous statement necklace, and let the compliments roll in. Sure, that's not entirely why you're wearing it, it should make you feel good first and foremost, but little love notes never hurt throughout the day. Make sure you pay it forward.

via: 1. Balenciaga Tri-Colour Cut-Out Shoes (www.matchesfashion.com), 2. Mango Tuxedo Blazer (www.shop.mango.com), 3. Haute Hippie Ruffled Silk-Georgette Halterneck Top (www.net-a-porter.com), 4. Tibi Guinevere Sleeveless Dress (www.tibi.com), 5. Adia Kibur Chain Link Multi Necklace (www.shopbop.com), 6. Madison Harding Women's Hanna Boot (www.amazon.com), 7. Matthew Williamson Swarovski Crystal-Embellished Suede Clutch (www.net-a-porter.com), 8. Rick Owens One-Shoulder Draped Jersey Top (www.net-a-porter.com), 9. 3.1 Phillip Lim Pashli Croc-Effect Leather Tote (www.net-a-porter.com), 10. Tibi Silk-Crepe Racer-Back Top (www.theoutnet.com

The Top 10 shopping list picks are one thing, but the buck never stops there. You've got options. This list is all about simplifying, a place to start the shopping momentum and get inspired. To keep the flow going, shop more hand-picked favorites from the StyleShaker Closet here:

Time for a little quote action. All this talk about love and 'bad boys,' has me thinking about the good ones out there that I've been lucky enough to meet and have in my life.

She says it so well you know? And it's so, damn, true. Or at least for me it is.

These quotes obviously hit the StyleShaker pages because they resonate with me, but always in hopes that they will do the same for you, or at least get you thinking. Fashion is wonderful, it's the air I breathe, but there's more to life (gasp) and it's important to keep it all in perspective. I get carried away with a Balenciaga bootie as quickly as I do with a quote from Marilyn Monroe. Both are loves in my life, and there are plenty more out there. I encourage you to find yours, or at least, reacquaint yourself with what you love, cause it's in there. It definitely can't be found externally in those ridiculously long Monday meetings, or the power point decks that go on for days (why people, why; you know you'll lose my interest after slide 3). You won't find it in those excel spreadsheets that cross your eyes, or the beige-covered cubical walls that, ps, are not walls at all.

Look inward, the good stuff is always there, living in the non-beige part of you. Go find it.

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