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

Today's Look | How to Wear a Pencil Skirt with a Printed Sweater

Today's Look: Prints & Pencil Skirts

Check out the latest sneak peek from our October 2013 Lookbook that covers how to wear a pencil skirt by adding a little edge into the equation. Look-spiration is one thing. Is this a look that would work for your body type? Have you figured out your body type yet (get a final answer on whether you're a Pear, Hourglass, Apple, or Rectangle PLUS what to wear and what not to wear, courtesy of our free Style Guide here)?

So many questions... See what body type this look works for and how to make it work for YOUR body type PLUS shop everything you see here in our latest Lookbook (click below):

 

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sources: 1 TOPSHOP Merino Tile Jumper (www.topshop.com), 2 Reiss Ajani Tuxedo Pencil Skirt (www.reiss.com), 3 Jeffrey Campbell Wine Snake Darling Pump (www.bonadrag.com), 4 Rebecca Minkoff Mini Affair Shoulder Bag (www.rebeccaminkoff.com), 5 Kitty Shades (www.nastygal.com), 6 Tory Burch Color Frete "T" Button Earring (www.toryburch.com)

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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.

 

Look-spiration | Cozy Sweater Styling Indecision Means Bonus Looks for You

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Look-spiration | Cozy Sweater Styling Indecision Means Bonus Looks for You

This is not a one-and-done kind of fashion situation people. Nope. It's all over the place. Ok I'm exaggerating, it's a double-take because this girl couldn't make up her mind when it came to cozy sweater options. What else is new?

Here's what's up: Inspiration hit via an image from the latest Lucky Magazine, (read: a random shot of Blake Lively nestled in the lower lefthand corner of this month's glossy caught my eye) & it called for a re-creation moment.

Cue: My Insta-inspiration (click to follow The StyleShaker on Instagram)

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That said, I couldn't make up my mind between the J. Crew v-neck and the more voluminous Jonathan Saunders option. Both fit the fashion bill, bringing volume to the top half of the equation in relatively soft neutral tones, and yet, the overall look is different. J.Crew keeps it classic, it's what they do, it's why we love them. Saunders on the other hand, adds volume and shape with a keen attention to detail that usually comes with a higher-end label, let alone price point. Both are gorge, and both needed to have their cameo:

how to wear an oversized sweater with skinny jeans

sources: 1 | J. Crew Cashmere Sweater (www.net-a-porter.com), 2| J BRAND 'Maria high rise' skinny jean (www.farfetch.com), 3 | Jerome Dreyfuss Ponyhair Carlos Tote (www.barneys.com), 4 | Manolo Blahnik Pointed Toe Suede Pump  (www.hirshleifers.com), 5 | House of Harlow 1960 Metallic Flatpick Necklace (www.shopbop.com), 6 | Ray-Ban Original Wayfarer Sunglasses (www.shopbop.com)

how to wear an oversized sweater with skinny jeans

sources: 1 | Jonathan Saunders Poppy angora-blend sweater (www.net-a-porter.com),  2| J BRAND 'Maria high rise' skinny jean (www.farfetch.com), 3 | Jerome Dreyfuss Ponyhair Carlos Tote (www.barneys.com), 4 | Manolo Blahnik Pointed Toe Suede Pump  (www.hirshleifers.com), 5 | House of Harlow 1960 Metallic Flatpick Necklace (www.shopbop.com), 6 | Ray-Ban Original Wayfarer Sunglasses (www.shopbop.com)

Fashion inspiration, or what I lovingly call, 'look-spiration,' is all fine and good. Actually it's more than fine and good. Inspiration is kind of a big deal. We all need it from time to time, to stay fresh, keep us on our toes, and above all, push us to think (or even better, take action) outside of our comfort zones. Inspiration comes in so many forms, you don't have to look to hard, you just have to keep your eyes open.

Today, inspiration comes to you courtesy of two style-by-number looks. But what to wear is only half of the story. A great half, but it's just 50%. The other half, the reason I've been able to reach triple digits on my roster of amazing personal (and virtual) styling clients, is because knowing what to wear won't get you anywhere unless you get the 'how to wear it for your body type' part of the equation.

You can certainly have one (what to wear) without the other (how to wear it for your body type) IF you're into having a full closet and nothing to wear, or even worse, wearing the same 10% of what's hanging in your closet on heavy rotation. Go for it, but I don't recommend that route.

Try this instead: First things first, we need to define your body type (pear, apple, hourglass, or rectangle; sign up for emails to get priority access to not only the Weekend Warrior Shopping Lists but also I'm compiling the sickest, simplest, most on-point fashion guide to help you figure out what your 'type' is). Got it? Ok good. Now that we know what we're working with, the next question is, will this look work for you?

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Answer:

Rectangles, you've officially found your happy place. The length of the sweater on this one makes it a tough call for Hourglass and Pear shapes. But Rectangles, you have the ability to pull of the additional volume on top as long as you keep the streamlined leg and a heel. I would say lean more towards the pink Jonathan Saunders option, but both work well for your shape.

Now, on to the Apple ladies out there. The v-neck action and emphasis on the hem of both sweaters works well for you, pulling the eye-line down and balancing out proportions. The only major change for the Apples out there would be to swap out the skinny leg for a boot cut option. It will keep proportions in-line. For my petite Apples, go with the J.Crew option, less bulk will be key, and be sure that the hem doesn't fall too far below your hips (too far will stunt you a bit, never fun).

Hourglasses, you could do this but the volume on top will just add to any bust-line your working with, and not in a flattering way. Keep to a more structured look to stay on-point when it comes to your silhouette. What am I talking about when I say 'structured'? Seamed details, a more body-conscious fit, something that will hug you, but not too tight.

And finally, Pears, the length of the sweaters will be a make or break for you here. Since both of these sweaters will hang closer to your natural hipline (drawing the eye right where you don't want it to go), you should look in the other direction. A slimed down sweater that hits at the waist would work, just be sure to keep the skinny leg dark and always, I mean always, wear some sort of a heel in this scenario. Extend the vertical eye-line and all is right with the world.

See more when it comes to what to wear, how to wear it, and to get dibs on the Lookbook launch that is on the horizon.

Wednesday's Shopping List | 6 Shoe Picks You Haven't Seen Yet

Wednesday's Shopping List | 6 Shoe Picks You Haven't Seen Yet

That's it, it has officially happened, I've gone into shoe overload. And yes, it's very possible. And no, it's not necessarily a mindset I would deem unpleasant (quite the opposite actually; figuratively speaking, Imelda and I are like two peas in a pod on this topic). The goal was to get shoe-specific on this one, pick a category, any category, and go with it, but with all the new arrivals out there, it was near to impossible to stay on the straight and narrow be it all pumps, all flats, or all sandals. So goes life, and plus, variety is a good thing right?

Check out the hit list of our top 6 shoes to shop right now that will have you transitioning out of summer temps and into those cool fall nights:

(click the image to shop)

1.

1 Charles Philip Sheila Chevron Flats

2.

2 MICHAEL Michael Kors Vivienne Pointed-Toe Suede Flat

3.

3 Maison Martin Margiela Ponyskin Sandals

4.

4 Vs2R Platform Pumps

5.

5 Jean-Michel Cazabat Ella Suede d'Orsay Pumps

6.

6 Jeffrey Campbell France Suede Boots

sources: 1. Charles Philip Sheila Chevron Flats (www.shopbop.com), 2. MICHAEL Michael Kors Vivienne Pointed-Toe Suede Flat (www.neimanmarcus.com), 3. Maison Martin Margiela Ponyskin Sandals (www.MatchesFashion.com), 4. Vs2R Platform Pumps (www.thecorner.com), 5. Jean-Michel Cazabat Ella Suede d'Orsay Pumps (www.shopbop.com), 6. Jeffrey Campbell France Suede Boots (www.shopbop.com)

Every week, the virtual shelves lining The StyleShaker Closet are updated by fashion category. Our top twenty picks from tops to denim, shoes to handbags and beyond, are curated by our savvy editors and served up weekly all for you.

Six shoes are just the beginning, as you know by now. Check out the fourteen other hand-picked pieces that made it into the Closet for the week and get 'em while they're hot!

Inspired? Good. See more on what to wear and how to wear it here.

How-to Tuesdays | How to Wear Pastels & Not Look Like an Easter Egg

It sounds simple enough, but all too often, mixing pastels can go very wrong very quickly. So, how do you pull off those pale pastels and make them look modern on holidays that don't involve talking white bunnies and egg hunts? Before I get to that answer, I have another question for you:

Do you remember paint-by-number? Right, well this is Style-by-Number. There's no paint brush involved, but it is the simplest, step-by-step formula to getting the look you want (for your body type). You won't even miss the brush, promise. It's the exact same premise as the fail-proof canvases you remember so well. Everything is laid out for you, all you have to do is connect the dots.

So, on to the answer, here's one way to wear pastels for an easy, polished daytime look:

4_hourglass

sources: 1. Vince Camuto Mixed Media Button Up Shirt (www.vincecamuto.com), 2. Isabel Marant Leon High-rise Flared Jeans (www.matchesfashion.com), 3. Bond Girl Pump (www.nastygal.com), 4. Rebecca Minkoff Skylar Large Studded Leather Crossbody (www.forzieri.com), 5. Kelly Wearstler Sonya Ring (www.kellywearstler.com), 6. Rebecca Minkoff Multi Feather Necklace (www.shopbop.com)

Looks used as inspiration are a fabulous thing. I've used them to help my personal styling clients see new ways to wear what they have in their closets time and time again. You've got your glossy mags, catalogs, and let's not even get started on the Pinterest boards. Inspiration is not scarce, this we know. What IS missing from the equation is how to actually pull off these looks for YOUR personal BODY TYPE.

Knowing what to wear is one thing. Knowing how to wear it is a fundamental part of building one's wardrobe and updating your personal style. You can't have one without the other. Scratch that, you can have one without the other but it tends to leave you with a full closet and nothing to wear. Sound familiar?

Today's How-to Tuesday look is perfect for a couple of the body types. I'll break it down for you and give you a snippet of what you can expect to receive in your monthly Body Type Lookbooks (more to come on that very soon).

For now, Hourglass ladies, this one is for you, and I'll tell you why:

The blouse offers some coverage while the v-neck elongates. The neckline is also where you can show off your assets without going too far. It's a family-show kind of look with a little edge after all. The neutral beige on top is your best friend when pairing it back to a pastel. Balance out the colors out a bit so you don't go overboard with brights.

The flare leg, Isabel Marant jean works well for several body types actually. Not only does the silhouette work for Hourglasses, but Apples and Rectangles can play here too. If you fear the flare, by all means, go for a toned down version in a boot cut. No harm done. The goal is to balance out the proportions on top with the bottom half of the look. Pears can pass due to the color. Go with something in a darker wash.

Tip: If the top hits too far below the waist of the jean, this look is out for you Hourglasses. With this look you want to highlight the narrowest part of your frame, your waist, and if the shirt goes on forever, you're defeating the whole point.

If you have a longer torso you can always tuck it in. If you're short-waisted, then make sure you leave it out, or just switch to a classic, clean v-neck tee. The fit of the top should be close to the body at the bust-line and then stay streamlined from there, but not too body-hugging (i.e. it shouldn't make you feel like a stuffed sausage). The jeans follow suit with those fit guidelines.

The shoes (love, love, love, obsessed, adore...) are perfect to pair with the look because they're subtle and neutral. You will also be able to put them with a ton of other spring/summer looks you have. The focus is not on the shoes, plus the flare leg will cover them up so don't waist your time there. The cross-body bag is probably, along with the jean, one of the more trend-forward pieces in this style-by-number equation. I fell in love with the lavender. A 'cooler' hue works well back to the warm pink on the jeans so if lavender isn't your thing, go for a pale, dusty blue or just put everything back to a butterscotch brown satchel and pass on the pastel all together.

This look is for you to use as inspiration, so mix-and-match as you choose. Like I mentioned earlier, style-by-number was inspired by paint-by-number, but this time around, you're definitely allowed to pick what colors you want to go where. And if you're anything like me, this will be nothing new to you (visual: paint-by-number canvases of my 10 year old past self showing scenes of lake houses that had magenta roofs, coral waters, and robin's egg blue trees; following directions have never been my thing).

On to more inspiration on everything from what to wear to how to wear it for your body type, all right here.

Weekend Warrior Shopping List | vol. 2 Shoes, shoes, & more shoes

It's Weekend Warrior Shopping List time, and this weekend, it's all about shoes, specifically the top ten hit list of our favorite pumps and sandals out there (all under $200). After sifting and scouring through hundreds of shoes from our top shopping sites, this curated mix of picks is our best of the best.

Saturday's are meant for relaxing and to me, 'relaxing' means NOT fighting my way through weekend traffic and crowds to cross off lines on my always-changing (read: growing) shopping list.

Whether it's your shopping starting point or final destination, the Weekend Warrior Shopping List is here to save you time so you can spend it doing exactly what your heart desires. Give yourself permission to work on that 'you-shaped' dent in the couch for a few hours, curl up with that book you keep meaning to read, get your face in the sun, or go grab a drink with a friend you've been trying to catch up with for weeks.

Here we go:

1.

shop the J. Crew Etta Cap Toe Pumps

2.

shop the Siri Pump

3.

shop the Selma Python Peep Toe Heel

4.

shop the Jeffrey Campbell Favor Sandal

5.

shop the Burke Patent Pump

6.

shop the MICHAEL Michael Kors Bridget Ankle-Strap Sandals

7.

shop the MIA Limited Edition Women's Lenny Pump

8.

shop the Bond Girl Pump

9.

shop the Grizzly Studded Pointed Court Pumps

10.

shop the L' Autre Chose Closed Toe Pump

(sources: 1 | J. Crew Etta Cap Toe Pumps (www.jcrew.com), 2 | Siri Pump (www.nastygal.com), 3 | Selma Python Peep Toe Heel (www.coach.com), 4 | Jeffrey Campbell Favor Sandal (www.pinkmascara.com), 5 | Burke Patent Pump  (www.nastygal.com), 6 | MICHAEL Michael Kors Bridget Ankle-Strap Sandals (www.dillards.com), 7 | MIA Limited Edition Lenny Pump (www.amazon.com), 8 | Bond Girl Pump (www.nastygal.com), 9 | Grizzly Studded Pointed Court Pumps (www.us.topshop.com), 10 | L' Autre Chose Closed Toe Pump (www.shoescribe.com)

Not ready to step away from the shopping-sphere yet? No problem, keep the shopping momentum going strong and check out more of the latest and greatest picks, from shoes to sunnies, all right here lining the virtual shelves of The StyleShaker Closet: closetfeature

For more on what to wear, how to wear it, and oh so much more, you can always head back here for some inspiration.

get inspired

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
body type img
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)

closetfeature

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

Product Review | Steve Madden's Realove Ankle Strap Sandal

It's product review time, and the latest purchase I'm following up on are the Steve Madden ankle strap sandals.

I was packing for my recent trip to San Francisco when it occurred to me that, for every evening look I put in the suitcase, I couldn't come up with a pair of comfortable black shoes that I can actually walk long distances (not to mention, up and down some particularly hairy and dangerous hills, especially after having spent the last ten years living on the ridiculously flat-as-a-pancake land that covers Dallas, Texas) in.

So, naturally I went on the hunt for a shoe that would get a lot of use, whatever city my virtual styling and shopping business takes me to. Low and behold, the latest addition to my closet that I would definitely qualify as an essential to any wardrobe:

steve madden sandal img

Here's how I saw it on-line at Amazon. No major differences which isn't too surprising. You can't really over-style a basic black, ankle strap sandal. 

as seen on amazon

From the back...

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Side angle love...

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Here's the review. I'm going with a simple, three-question evaluation system:

1. What do I like about the shoe? Easy, they go with everything I own in the closet. I tried them on and they're actually comfortable to boot (no pun intended; they're sandals after all). The look is exactly what I was going for, minimal, with a little 'oomph' courtesy of the thin metallic strap going across the toe. The heel height is fine for me (4.5"), and the pitch (angle the shoe has my heel at) is also beyond bearable. It's high, don't get me wrong, but they're definitely easy to walk in. Plus, one more thing to adore is the ankle strap. The shoes stay on my feet, right where they're supposed to. I threw in a little foot cushion to make sure I could stay comfy, and they've done wonders. Sometimes I'll go up a half size for comfort, but I stuck with an 8, and they work perfectly (true to size fit).  One more pro, I bought them through Amazon, I'm a Prime member, so free two-day shipping is definitely a massive bonus. For $79.95, I know I'll be getting plenty of use out of them. No question. 

2. What don't I like about the shoe? Right, you should know this but it bears repeating, I am not paid one cent to review this merchandise. Integrity people, that's what I'm talking about here. I don't get paid to write the review, I don't have the product sent to me, I'm just an industry insider who believes that you should get what you pay for, i.e. value. That said, here is some honest feedback about the 'cons' on this sandal.

You really do need to go out and buy a little foot cushion, especially for the toe bed. The heel height means you'll be putting a little extra pressure there, and with no platform, there's very little buffering between your foot and the surface you're walking on. When it's the sidewalks of San Fran, or just standing on a marble floor during a house party for a few hours, you will need a little lovin in the way of a foot pad. Trust me on that one. Save yourself the pain. And now I'm getting nit picky...The buckle on the ankle strap on the right shoe seems to wander off to the other side of my foot. The strap isn't sewn in place, so it moves around your ankle. Is it uncomfortable? Nope. Still, it's odd looking to have on buckle hitting the outside of the ankle and another buckle hitting the inside of the ankle. Odd, but true. It has only been a month since I've had them so the heel caps have held up.

Usually I have an issue with this as I've been known to have a pretty hard walk. I hit the floor with a vengeance, not sure why, but I've been told people can hear me coming a mile away. It must have something to do with finally being able to get away with wearing heels after years of trying on shoes in my mother's closet, only to have to take them off before I went to school. I take pride in rocking a heel, you'll rarely see me in flats, so when I walk, I really walk. Unfortunately, this also means the consistent need for replacement of heel caps. So far, so good on these sandals, but it's just a matter of time. I wouldn't hold that against them though.

Other than that, the fit is fine, the construction, solid enough for the price, and I can wear them for more than a few hours without holding back tears. Those days are done by the way, no more shoes that make me want to well up at the sheer thought of throwing them onto my feet. 

3. Am I keeping these shoes? Yes. They're sticking around and have now found a new home in my closet. I'm happy to report that they're getting along well with the rest of the 'crew.'

Finding the right shoe is step 1, figuring out how to wear it using what's in my closet is the second half of the equation. This is exactly what I do for my clients, but it started with me. 

Here are two looks to inspire ways to wear these new additions to my closet:

look1_header

This is a more casual take on how to wear the sandals. Mind you, for San Fran, this would probably be considered a bit more dressed up. Potato, pot-ah-toe. I didn't put a red lipstick in there, but I love the idea of it for evening, or day for that matter. Why not?

look 1_how to wear ankle strap sandals

1. Pleione Mixed Media Shirt (www.nordstrom.com), 2. Current/Elliott High-rise Skinny Jeans (www.theoutnet.com), 3. Steve Madden Realove Ankle-Strap Pumps (www.amazon.com), 4. Marc by Marc Jacobs The Classic Q Hillier Hobo  (www.net-a-porter.com), 5. Maiyet Natural Horn & 18kt Gold Plated Necklace (www.luisaviaroma.com), 6. Carrera Eyewear Retro Sunglasses (www.nordstrom.com)

look2_header

Dressing things up a bit with a super-feminine black dress, tough-girl leather jacket (loving the yin and yang of those two), a playful pink lip to add some color, and accessories with plenty of shine. 

look 2_how to wear ankle strap sandals

1. ASOS Sequin Dress with Fitted Bodice (www.asos.com), 2. Rick Owens Leather Jacket (www.theoutnet.com), 3. Steve Madden Realove Ankle-Strap Pumps (www.amazon.com), 4. Monserat de lucca Marciela Cross Body Bag (www.shopbop.com), 5. Rachel Zoe Teardrop Earrings (www.shopbop.com), 6. Bobbi Brown Rich Lip Color (www.nordstrom.com)

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The product reviews just keep coming. There's plenty more on the way, in the mean time, check out other reviews here and get more inspiration on all things that cover 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: Etoile Isabel Marant's Striped Top

What to wear? The Etoile Isabel Marant 'Malo' striped top is at bat today. See how to wear it, but first, soak up all the striped-ness in this close-up:

1 Étoile Isabel Marant Malo Striped Top

Now it's on to how to wear it:

htw montage

source: 1. Étoile Isabel Marant Malo Striped Top (www.net-a-porter.com), 2. Viviette Wool Blend Blazer (www.theory.com), 3. AG Adriano Goldschmied Super Skinny Legging  (www.shopbop.com), 4. Vc Signature Prunella Taupe Cap Toe Pump (www.vincecamuto.com), 5. Mark Cross Ostrich Mini Madison Satchel (www.barneys.com)

Navy back to neutral beiges and washed peach-hues pull together a sporty and sophisticated look. There's more shopping to be done with picks lining the walls of the virtual StyleShaker Closet that can be swapped in and out with these inspirational looks to keep the styling momentum going strong:

closetfeature

What to wear? Easy. Send over pics from your personal closet and get them styled out by a fashion-industry vet with over a decade of experience (moi). Sign up and get started on your very own Weekly Lookbook here.

Time to get back to where it all begins. See more on what to wear, how to wear it, and where to shop right here.

What to Wear, How to Wear It: Equipment's Bright Yellow Silk Blouse

Meet 'Adrianna,' the super-saturated yellow silk blouse from Equipment. Check it out before you see how to wear it...

1 Adriana Shirt in Blazing Yellow

Right, and here we go with how to wear the yellow silk blouse in question. Keep it simple and don't get scared off by the concept of working a pop color into your everyday wardrobe:

montage

source: 1. Equipment Adriana Silk Blouse (www.piperlime.gap.com), 2. Citizens of humanity Racer Skinny Jeans (www.shopbop.com), 3. Foley + Corinna Mid City Tote (www.stefanibags.com), 4. BCBG Paris Jaze d'Orsay Pump (www.dsw.com), 5. House of Harlow 1960 Zig Zag Tribal Collar Necklace (www.zappos.com)

The picks used to pull together the look around this lemony-yellow silk blouse are all lined up to shop on this post as well as in the StyleShaker Closet. You'll also find the rest of our fashion favorites, hand-picked and pulled every week to line the virtual walls. Check it out and keep the shopping spree going strong here:

closetfeature

These looks are your style inspiration. Sometimes inspiration only gets you so far. That's when the Weekly Lookbooks come in handy. It's that added 'oomph' of styling direction using picks from your own closet. No more, 'what am I going to wear?' See how it works.

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

3 Looks & New Ways to Wear What's in Your Closet

Today it's all about three new ways to wear some serious outerwear for winter, from a Barbara Bui leopard print fur coat that may lead to instantaneous swooning, to a faux fur vest from Rachel Zoe that can layer into any look you throw at it. Tis the season to bundle up, so you might as well evolve a bit and do it as stylishly as possible right? Or, just take these looks in and get a little inspiration on how to wear what you have hanging in your own closet...

look 1

This is my 'back in black' look that has served me oh so well working in the fashion industry, we LOVE our black. Each pick is tailored and has attention to detail when it comes to structure from the DVF sheath dress to the Mackage shearling coat. The 7 for all Mankind boot combined with the Alexander Wang satchel keep things super clean, sharp and sophisticated beyond compare. The right accessories have the power to do that, it's why they're really investment pieces to any wardrobe. I'd probably say bags more than shoes since it's easier to find amazing shoes at approachable price points than handbags unless you have access to sample sales. More power to you. Finally, those studs add a slightly severe but creative edge. Add in some color using cosmetics with a bold red lip, and you're ready to run the show in this one.

montage

source: 1. Mackage Black Shearling Trim Isabel-B Coat (www.ssense.com), 2. Diane Von Furstenberg 'Holly' Sheath Dress (www.farfetch.com), 3. 7 For All Mankind Vignet Boot (www.footnotesonline.com), 4. Alexander Wang Jamie Satchel (www.shopbop.com), 5. Tom Binns Hard Wear Small Bullet Studs (www.shopbop.com

look 2

Ah, good, time for a little color after the first black-out look. Nothing like a grey fur vest paired back to a bright printed midi-dress right? Right. I love this look for it's playfulness. Use it as a guideline if you're less into the boho-take on things. Substitute a classic black pump if the wedge isn't your thing, and if you want to tone it down further, go with a solid color dress as opposed to the print. In the end, always do what's best for you and gets you out the door in the morning feeling good about yourself.

the look montage

source: 1. Rachel Zoe Taupe Grey Vintage Faux Fur Marianne Vest (www.stylebop.com), 2. Topshop Graffiti Tank Midi Dress (www.topshop.com), 3. Forever 21 Crossed Strap Wedge Sandals (www.forever21.com), 4. Red Valentino Nappa Leather Bow Clutch (www.luisaviaroma.com), 5. Tom Binns Classic Large Ribbon Hoops (www.shopbop.com)

look 3

Finally, a leopard print fur coat from Barbara Bui's runway collection that you need to be a certain kind of woman to wear. I love how, when you take away the coat, the look is pretty clean and polished. Sure, I could have gone with a streamlined black blazer on this, but where's the fun in that? This is all about pushing the envelope and playing a bit. I don't feel fashion is meant to be taken too seriously, so might as well have fun with it, take in the inspiration, and if you feel daring enough, change up your own styling habits. Time to kick yourself out of your everyday rut. Go big with leopard, or start small with an injection of color on anything from your top to your tote...

the look montage

source: 1. Barbara Bui Long Leopard Print Rabbit Fur Coat (www.ssense.com), 2. J. Crew Perfect-Fit Boatneck Tee (www.jcrew.com), 3. Michael Kors Samantha Pants (www.theoutnet.com), 4. Aldo Gyal Pump (www.aldoshoes.com), 5. Jene Despain Turner Necklace (www.shopbop.com)

 

These looks are exactly what I create for my clients who are members on The StyleShaker. There's only two differences, their looks use pics of pieces from their actual closets, and their virtual Weekly Lookbook is completely personalized to their individual style profile. I could go on and on about all the goodies you get when you sign up at under $20 (gasp, I know), but instead of telling, I'm just going to show you. Click below:

top lookbook sell banner

Every piece I use in these looks comes from the mecca of all shopping finds we hand-pick and scour the web for on this site, the StyleShaker Closet. See the favorites that are pulled each week covering all of the fashion categories from shoes to sweaters and leather jackets to jewelry. It's all inside:

closetfeature

Get more on the latest when it comes to 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 I'm Wearing | Wine Chat at the Mansion on Turtle Creek, Cheers to the Pencil Skirt

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

the montage

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

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

1.

1Soia & Kyo Double Collar Walking Coat

2.

2Splendid Draped Jersey Top

3.

3Marc Jacobs Baroque Single Large Quilted Shoulder Bag

4.

4Aldo Soun Boot

5.

5KORS Michael Kors Aberly Leather Pump

6.

6House Of Harlow 1960 Navy Triangle Hoop Earrings

7.

7Carrera 38 S Aviator Sunglasses

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

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

weekly look line up

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

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

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

mansion1

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

the library at the mansion

source: www.rosewoodhotels.com

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

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

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

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

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.

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...

main post montage template 4_top

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:

closetfeature

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:

quotes

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.

 

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:

quotes

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.

Imelda, Beware. 5 More Shoe Favorites to Add to Your Shopping List

It's time to get down to some shoes on the weekly shopping list line up. Case in point, today's list of five hand-picked shoe favorites that made their way into the category mainly due to the swooning that ensued after one quick glance of the below images. See what we're talking about...

1.

This pump is essentially shoe candy. Is it realistic? Not at all, not even close. Since when does rational reasoning stop any woman from making the emotional purchase once she has fallen in love with said pump? Yea, it doesn't and it never will. B Brian Atwood is the diffusion line from the designer that churns out drool-worthy shoes every season and tis 'Fonatanne' colorblock pump is no exception. Seriously, I'm hypnotized, give me a minute and I'll get back to you...

2.

3.

Belle by Sigerson  Morrison is a solid go-to in shoe land without a doubt. These 'Krissy' pumps hit the nail on the head, taking what could have been a classic silhouette and adding a little oomph with an ankle strap and heel detail. Love, love, love...

4.

5.

Western wear has come into the twenty-first century. Isabel Marant helped out a bit with her recent collection, and Mango is following suit, covering the same look at a pricepoint that doesn't make you need to decide whether you get the shoe or forgo electricity for the month. Isn't it great when you get the look and the price? It's the shopping one-two punch...

source:  1. B Brian Atwood Fontanne Suede Colorblock Pump (www.blueandcream.com), 2. Sam Edelman Empire Suede Boots (www.shopbop.com), 3. BELLE BY SIGERSON MORRISON Krissy Pumps (www.lordandtaylor.com), 4. Aldo Morono Boot (www.aldoshoes.com), 5. Mango Suede Leather Ankle Boots (www.shop.mango.com)

See more shoe favorites lining the walls of the StyleShaker closet, because, let's be honest, we all know five is just the warm-up for this shopping trip:

Fashion isn't the only thing that can inspire out there, I know, it's shocking. There are also some quotes that find their way onto the site, the good ones that resonate and serve up our beloved zen moment everyday. Here's what's on the menu today:

That's the tricky thing about those wants and dreams you've held in your pocket for all these years, they involve that whole 'stepping out of your comfort zone' thing. That's actually one of the main reasons why so many people have a tendency to want and never really act or follow through on these desires.

Fear of the unknown is just that, fear of something you know nothing about. So why then, do we flip out if what we think we're afraid of is totally unjustified and all in our heads? When did not having done something make that thing something to fear? I'm not sure when this happened for me, but I do know it found it's way into my head over the course of my time on this planet and I'm kind of over it.

So often, the tendency is to look at the unknown and see only the 'what-if's' that fall on the glass-is-half-empty side of the equation. What about the glass-is-half-full train of thought? Why do we so easily toss that to the side when the negatives are just as unknown as the positives? I have no clue, and I'm certainly not going to figure this out in the next paragraph, but the questions are worth asking.

Sometimes questions are the perfect place to start, just don't stick around there for too long because the answers are never what you expect them to be (if you're lucky enough to see them when they're staring you in the face to begin with). At one point or another, you're going to have to take a step outside of everything you know, and why not? That's when things get interesting...

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

It's Shopping List Time, See the Latest Top 5 Picks from Pumps to Dresses with Pockets

It's Tuesday and it's time to check out the latest picks added to the shopping hit list. It starts, with a montage...

1.

2.

You have got to love a dress with pockets. This one comes to you courtesy of one of my favorites, Pixie Market. I'm in love with all of it, starting with the print and moving to the pockets of course. Great piece to wear with boots, sandals, flats and the list goes on...

3.

4.

Meet EON, the fashion brainchild of Lisa Cameron and Caroline Farina, and also a new discovery this week that I'm crazy about.  The design duo goes 'small,' numbering each item and championing quality over quality. It's a concept (as a former retailer for one of the big guys) I happen to believe very strongly in and you can see it translate directly into their work, i.e. the black leather neck warmer.

I have never really seen anything else like it. I love how, with the addition of this one layer, you can take a basic top and make it something completely your own. It's a unique piece you can play with back to almost anything you've got in your closet, plus the look it creates is ridiculously sophisticated, bonus round. I may have to start my very own EON fan club if this gushing continues, I'll need an outlet because right now, you need to keep shopping and I need to get out of the way.

5.

Veda is another find this week and the line is all about my personal fashion obsession, leather jackets. I'm not talking you're everyday bomber or biker jacket here. Each creation designed by the name behind the label, Lyndsey Butler, is perfection, completely raising the bar on what a leather jacket can be. Below is the Garde jacket that is about to sell out (not surprised), but you can find more at their on-line shop here.

source: 1. Sonia Rykiel Medium Leather Bag (www.yoox.com), 2. Pixie Market Leather Pocket Dress (www.pixiemarket.com), 3. Jean-Michel Cazabat Metal Toe Stiletto Pump (www.intermixonline.com), 4. EON Black Leather Neck Warmer (www.notjustalabel.com), 5. Veda Garde Jacket (www.ofakind.com)

Top five is one thing. See more picks that have been hand-picked and added to the virtual shelves in the StyleShaker closet here:

Today's quote is a little bit different. It's two words, it's from me, and it basically gets right to the point of things, something I'm a fan of whether I take that route on a personal level all the time or not. Here it is:

I love to be introspective. My natural and instinctive tendencies are to write, question, be curious, and have long conversations over wine sitting around a fire pit that lead to a string of epiphanies. But sometimes, all of that gushy stuff can get one absolutely no where. Sometimes I just want to quiet the chatter and just do, go, be...

Everyone has that thing they talk about 'wanting' to do. Sometimes we get really crafty and find other things we 'should' do that are the perfect distractions taking us further away from what it is we really want. Soon enough, we forget what we wanted in the first place, or worse, we remember it, but still don't act.

I'm a firm believer that, if you want it, you'll do it. Yes, I'm admittedly oversimplifying life to an almost remedial level, but you should have already expected that when you saw my two-word quote. I'm on a simplicity kick.

There's some line I've heard that sounds similar to, 'if you want it bad enough, it will happen.' In my mind, if you want it, you'd act on it. If you're not acting on it, take a second look at what excuses are getting in your way. Actions always speak louder than words and what you act upon will tell you very quickly what your priorities are.

Every now and then I like to take a step back and get some of this perspective in my own vida. I can talk a good game, but I also know, at the end of the day, it's what I do that matters.

So, you've taken in your deep-thoughts for the day, now it's on to play and get some more inspiration.

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