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

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

Answer:

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

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

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

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SHOP THE VIDEO HEADER
(Click the images to shop)

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

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

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

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

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

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

Nine West Kenie Heels, SHOP MORE SHOES HERE. zapposcom

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

Welcome to your Shopping Starting Point:

(click the image below to dive in)

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

look 1:

look 1

look 2:

look 2

look 3:

look 3

look 4:

look 4

look 5:

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

get inspired

Style Tutorial #3 | 1 Joie Top, 8 Ways to Wear It

Time for another StyleShaker Style Tutorial. Put down the blue books and No. 2 pencils people. This is all about soaking up some inspiration. No pop quizzes. Promise.

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The Joie Berkeley silk top was a recent find that I had to play with and serve up, Mix Master style (i.e. think of Cher's closet from the movie Clueless and you'll understand a bit more of what I mean when I throw down terms like 'mix' and 'master' all in the same sentence this early on a Monday morning). The bottom line on this top? It's just too versatile not to create looks with. Let alone the fact that it's a universally flattering silhouette.

First things first, here a quick intro, from me, to you, on what today's post is all about:

Like I said, one top (from Joie) and eight, count 'em, eight ways to wear it. Here's the Lookbook Video:

Here's the look line up:

looks 1-4
looks 5-8
SHOP THE VIDEO HEADER
 
(Click the images to shop)

Joie Berkeley Top, SHOP MORE TOPS HERE. saksfifthavenue.com

Rag & Bone Moto Sliver Blazer IV, SHOP MORE BLAZERS HERE. rag-bone.com

Reiss Nix Knitted Side Panel Skirt, SHOP MORE SKIRTS HERE. reiss.com

J.Crew Midrise Toothpick Jean Distressed Indigo, SHOP MORE JEANS HERE. jcrew.com

MiH Jeans Marrakesh Mid-Rise Flared Jeans, SHOP MORE JEANS HERE.

net-a-porter.com

MICHAEL Michael Kors Printed Jean, SHOP MORE JEANS HERE. farfetch.com

ALDO Kantimati Sandal, SHOP MORE SHOES HERE. aldoshoes.com

B Brian Atwood Cutout Suede Sandal, SHOP MORE SHOES HERE. bergdorfgoodman.com

GUESS Heshia Sandal, SHOP  MORE SHOES HERE. zappos.com

Gianvito Rossi Sandal, SHOP MORE SHOES HERE. thecorner.com

Diane Von Furstenberg ColorBlock Satchel, SHOP MORE HANDBAGS HERE. forzieri.com

Madewell The Essex Messenger, SHOP MORE HANDBAGS HERE. madewell.com

Givenchy Tricolor Medium Nightingale Satchel, SHOP MORE HANDBAGS HERE. kirnazabete.com

MICHAEL Michael Kors Sloan Shoulder Bag, SHOP MORE HANDBAGS HERE. cusp.com

Hive & Honey Seven Row Bracelet, SHOP MORE BRACELETS HERE. piperlime.gap.com

Monsoon Dante Ring, SHOP MORE RINGS HERE. monsoon.co.uk

Kenneth Jay Lane Five Piece Gold Statement Necklace, SHOP MORE NECKLACES HERE. bloomingdales.com

Amrita Singh Gold Leaf Earring, SHOP MORE EARRINGS HERE. amritasingh.com

BCBGMAXAZRIA Multi-Chain Ring, SHOP MORE RINGS HERE. bcbg.com

Gorjana Bloom Hexagon Stud Earring, SHOP MORE EARRINGS HERE. piperlime.gap.com

J.Crew Ray-Ban® Original Aviator Sunglasses, SHOP MORE SUNGLASSES HERE. jcrew.com

Alice + Olivia Luann Leather Wide Waistband Flare Skirt, SHOP MORE SKIRTS HERE. aliceandolivia.com

Rag & Bone The Skinny Jean, SHOP MORE JEANS HERE.

matchesfashion.com

Victoria Beckham Denim Powerskinny Jean, SHOP MORE JEANS HERE. seasonsclothing.co.uk

Mango Slits Sheer Maxi Skirt, SHOP MORE SKIRTS HERE. houseoffraser.co.uk

Tory Burch Amalie Sandal, SHOP MORE SANDALS HERE. toryburch.com

Tory Burch Metallic Ginny Sandal, SHOP MORE SANDALS HERE. toryburch.com

GUESS Heshialy Sandal, SHOP MORE SANDALS HERE. guess.com

Zara Leather Sandal, SHOP MORE SANDALS HERE. zara.com

Michael Kors Gia Studded Metallic Leather Clutch Bag, SHOP MORE HANDBAGS HERE. neimanmarcus.com

Coach Legacy Leather Rory Satchel, SHOP MORE HANDBAGS HERE. coach.com

Marie Turnor Accessories The Lunch Clutch, SHOP MORE HANDBAGS HERE. shopbop.com

J.Crew Farmer's Market Tote, SHOP MORE HANDBAGS HERE. jcrew.com

EABurns Iris Necklace in Neon Yellow, SHOP MORE NECKLACES HERE. boticca.com

Belle Noel By Kim Kardashian Empyrean Necklace, SHOP MORE NECKLACES HERE. pinkmascara.com

Gorjana London Hoop Earrings, SHOP MORE EARRINGS HERE. asos.com

J.Crew Double-tassel Necklace, SHOP MORE NECKLACES HERE. jcrew.com

Topshop Stackable Rings (Set of 5), SHOP MORE RINGS HERE. nordstrom.com

River Island Chunky Curb Chain Bracelet, SHOP MORE BRACELETS HERE. riverisland.com
Body Types HEADER
body type img
PEARS: You're all about Looks- 2,4,5, and 8. The trick here is to balance out your silhouette with what you're wearing on top, AND, keep a heel in the equation to elongate. So, if you're going the skinny jean route, the Joie top is a perfect piece to pull off the look. Leave it loose and untucked. And again, keep a higher heel to keep extending the eye-line vertically.
RECTANGLES: All skate. You can pick and choose your favorite look, 1-8, and try it on.
HOURGLASSES: Look 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8 are your friend. Look one is too much fabric for an hourglass silhouette. You can pull it off, but it's not the best look to accentuate your classic shape. Look 3 is going to flare a bit at the waist so if you're watching your hip action, go for the pencil skirt look as an alternate.
APPLES: Finally, my Apple ladies. Looks 3, 5, and 7 are going to be the looks you should gravitate towards. They are the perfect mix of clothing and accessories that will help balance out your inverted triangle proportions seamlessly.

Silk shortsleeve blouses are just one fashion 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. They're all lined up, all of the favorite picks from my favorite shopping spots on-line, in the StyleShaker Closet.

Welcome to your Shopping Starting Point:

(click the image below to dive in)

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Want to get in for a better look? Cue the close-ups:

1.

look 5

2.

look 6

3.

look 7

4.

look 8

5.

look 1

6.

look 2

7.

look 3

8.

look 4

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

get inspired

Style Tutorial #1 | How to Wear Tank Tops. 1 Rebecca Taylor Tank, 5 Ways to Wear It

Style Tutorial #1 comes into focus and shows you how to wear tank tops. In this case, it's all about a printed, floaty tank top (courtesy of Rebecca Taylor) just in time for rising temps. One tank, five ways to wear it, and that's just me warming up...
I decided to bring in a little Style 101 to the StyleShaker via some inspired videos that are short, sweet, to the point, and remarkably reminiscent of Cher's closet computer from the movie 'Clueless.' Seen it? Know the one I'm talking about? Have you been dying to figure out how to do that for yourself since the late nineties like I have?
Ok fine, maybe I'm alone in my obsession, but it was worth every minute of analysis when it came to figuring out how to replicate it.
Here's my version, an approach on how to (and a couple of how-not-to moments) wear one pick, in this case, a Rebecca Taylor tank that's at the top of the summer shopping list. Click play and see pieces slide in and out of the picture so you can literally watch how many looks can come from this one, incredibly versatile tank.
It's about optimizing your closet, a concept that is the foundation of my approach with every one of my clients (get the details on what I do here) I have that comes to me asking for some inspiration on new ways to wear what they have hanging in their closet. This is also about bringing it back down to earth. These looks are polished and fashion-forward, but above all, they are wearable and approachable for real women out there. That's the goal, SO, enough of me going on and on, check out the video and keep scrolling because there's plenty more to go thru here, read: see how each works for your body type.

Here's the big picture when it comes to how to wear tank tops, a summer essential. One tank, five ways to wear it, and go:

5 ways to wear the tank tutorial img
SHOP THE VIDEO HEADER
(Click the images to shop)

Rebecca Taylor Top rebeccataylor.com

Sara Berman Leather Skirt theoutnet.com

Alexander McQueen Pants matchesfashion.com

DVb Victoria Beckham Jeans theoutnet.com

Joe's Jeans Rolled Jeans farfetch.com

J.Crew Chino Shorts 3" jcrew.com

Sol Asana Ankle Strap Sandal needsupply.com

Bottega Veneta Ankle Strap Sandal barneys.com

KORS Michael Kors Sandal neimanmarcus.com

CO OP Barneys New York Ankle Strap Sandal barneys.com

Sam Edelman Sandal shopbop.com

Kelly Katie Straw Tote dsw.com

BCBGMAXAZRIA Sienna Lasercut Tote bcbg.com

Givenchy Antigona Envelope Clutch forwardforward.com

Collection Privée Shoulder Bag yoox.com

Saint Laurent Beige Suede Betty Bag ssense.com
Body Types HEADER
body type img
look 1: This look works well for every body type, there are just a few tweaks to make in each when it comes to accessories. For the Pears out there, this is a GREAT look. Keep the heel height up there and avoid any shoes that cut you off at the ankles (i.e. thick strap gladiator sandals, etc). Rectangles, you're good to go. Hourglasses, if you're fuller on top, a great way to streamline would be to incorporate a streamlined blazer (black, maybe a few sequins for evening to pop the look, or just keep it clean) as a layer over the tank to reel it in and not throw proportions out of whack. Same with our Apple ladies out there.
look 2: This is a universally flattering look. The proportion of the floaty tank back to a clean, polished trouser with a slight flare at the hem is a killer combo. Apples & Pears: Here's a good time to layer on a cardigan if you want to add some coverage or elongate a bit, just make sure it falls to the hip, is tight around the arm, and drapes across the bust easily (nothing too stiff).
look 3: This look you will either love or not be able to look at due to the shorts factor. If you're an Hourglass or Apple, be careful with this one. You don't want to accentuate too much volume on top so you could always substitute something a bit more curve-hugging on top, or even just a chambray button-front shirt to add a bit more structure to the look. Hourglass, Pear, and Rectangle, you're all good to go here. If you're completely shorts-averse, throw in a pair of white skinny jeans and head on your way!
look 4: This is almost universally flattering. Almost. Apples and possibly larger busted Hourglass ladies, bring in another layer, blazer, cardi, something fitted to cinch things in a bit and add structure, OR substitute a tank that is still flowy but with an empire waist or cinching incorporated into it to keep the proportions looking how you want them to. The rest of the silhouettes can have at it. Flats are ok, but not ideal with the higher volume on top and skinny leg.
look 5: Finally, the same goes for this look although, the straight-leg, or really, slightly flared jean, makes things so easy for every shape. This is going to add shape to the Rectangles out there, keep things proportioned for the Pears and Hourglasses, and actually do the same for the Apples.

There's always more where that came from. Check out the pieces that are pulled each week while digging for my clients. They're all lined up, all of the favorite picks from my favorite shopping spots on-line, in the StyleShaker Closet.

Need to shop but you're overwhelmed by the ridiculous numbers of emails flooding your inbox? Exhale, relax, and welcome to your Shopping Starting Point: (click the image below to dive in)

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links to love header

1.

pop of red. (source: www.valleyof-thedolls.tumblr.com)

1

2.

pack your bag(s). (source: www.pinterest.com)

2

3.

sunny dayz. (source: www.iloverunways.tumblr.com)

3

4.

black and white. (source: www.iloverunways.tumblr.com)

4

5.

Mulligan goes Gatsby. (source: www.vogue.com)

5

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

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Product Review Time | Splendid's Slub Stripe Cowlneck Pullover

Splendid's Slub Stripe Cowlneck Pullover | My Product Review

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

product image my shot

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

as seen on amazon.com

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

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

what's your body type

source: www.blog.julep.com

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

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

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

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

look1_header

look 1

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

look2_header

look 2

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

the montage

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

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

1.

1Soia & Kyo Double Collar Walking Coat

2.

2Splendid Draped Jersey Top

3.

3Marc Jacobs Baroque Single Large Quilted Shoulder Bag

4.

4Aldo Soun Boot

5.

5KORS Michael Kors Aberly Leather Pump

6.

6House Of Harlow 1960 Navy Triangle Hoop Earrings

7.

7Carrera 38 S Aviator Sunglasses

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

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

weekly look line up

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

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

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

mansion1

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

the library at the mansion

source: www.rosewoodhotels.com

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

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

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

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

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.

Top 5 Shopping List & the D'Orsay Pump That Puts All Other Pumps to Shame

Pops of pink have found a home amidst the five hand-picked favorites that make up today's shopping list. From the Noir 'Hacienda' cuff that looks best on a wrist that has a hand at the end of it holding a margarita (on the rocks), to a pair of Pura Lopez ankle boots that add some interest via a little blue suede. Next comes an everyday basic from Mason by Michelle Mason, turned upside-down with an injection of hot pink. Not for the fashionably timid. And finally, the perfect pairing of a Diego Dolcini super-soaked magenta suede shoulder bag and the Lavin Bow D'orsay platform pumps polishes the list off in must-have accessory form.

main post montage template 4_top

1.

This cuff is essentially a party on your wrist. Bring color into any fashion equation.

1 Noir Jewelry Pastel Hacienda Cuff

2.

Blue suede ankle boots? Yes, it actually works.

2 Pura Lopez Ankle boots

3.

Throw this top back to some distressed skinny jeans and you're done.

3 Mason by Michelle Mason Fine-knit Cashmere and Silk Top

4.

Color therapy, in shoulder bag form.

4 Diego Dolcini Suede And Laminated Leather Shoulder Bag

5.

Prepare to drool. Meet the epitome of feminine footwear, the bow d'orsay pump, courtesy of Lavin. Who else could pull this together so well?

5 Lanvin Bow D'Orsay Platform Pump copy copy

source: 1. Noir Jewelry Pastel Hacienda Cuff (www.shopbop.com),  2. Pura Lopez Ankle Boots (www.yoox.com), 3. Mason by Michelle Mason Cashmere and Silk Top (www.net-a-porter.com), 4. Diego Dolcini Shoulder Bag (www.luisaviaroma.com), 5. Lanvin Bow D'Orsay Platform Pump (www.barneys.com)

Time to keep the shopping momentum going. See more hand-picked favorites lining the walls of the virtual StyleShaker closet. These goodies are updated weekly when I shop for my clients' What to Wear Weekly Lookbooks. See more personal shopping picks and click below:

closetfeature

Zen moment...

quotes

Confucius says, well, you already read what he said. I suppose this quote could go hand in hand with, 'beauty is in the eye of the beholder.' This one is relatively cut and dry. I posted it here because I happen to be in awe of people who can find the beauty in almost anything. Actually, I try to hang around those people as much as humanly possible when I find them.

Isn't it interesting to think that, walking down the street, what one person sees is different from what another person sees? I know this is basic information, but when you dig in a little deeper, it's kind of a beautiful (pun intended) thing. It's what makes the word go 'round, what makes variety a good thing. And in the world of fashion, it plays a major role.

The industry is filled with people offering direction on what's hot, what's trendy, what you 'must have' this season. I agree with  a little fashion direction, we all could use a little fashion 101 from the experts. But that is just a solid (depending on who you're listening to) style foundation as each season comes and goes.

From there, it comes down to you and what your eyes deem as beautiful. Sure, there are general guidelines that we have evolved to recognize as 'pretty' or visually pleasing that differ from one culture to the next. But then there's the wild card, the edge of the commercial cliff where the social direction fades and your imagination begins to take hold.

This is where the magic happens. In the industry, this is the point where the business falls to the way side and the art of fashion begins. I happen to love this part. The part where you take someone's creation and make it your own.

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

The Shopping List from McQueen Bow-Back Booties to the Importance of Dreams. It Makes Sense, Promise.

Today's edited-down shopping list of hand-picked fashion favorites begins with a little 'look-spiration' courtesy of the all-colorful, all-inspiring product montage:

1.

These ankle boots are ridiculous, in a good way. The look is streamlined with a little leather wrapping at the top of the ankle that works well over a legging. I'd hate for these little details, bow included, to get lost in the shuffle under an elongated, straight-leg trouser or flared jean. Keep it clean with a skinny leg, that's the tip on these McQueen boots:

Here's one take on how to wear it, courtesy of SJP and her colored-skinny jeans that I'm flipping for:

source: www.peoplestylewatch.com

2.

3.

There's nothing like a slouchy shoulder bag that can expand in every way possible to accommodate the kitchen-sink-sized load that lives in your everyday bag. All of that accommodating in one accessory AND it's covered in a super-chic woven fabric with zipper embellishments? That is be-yond. That is Alexander Wang's 'Jane.'

4.

I'm in love with this dress, from the unexpected neckline to the body-conscious shape that accents all the right points on an hour-glass silhouette. It's a powerful L.B.D. where a classic bottom-half marries well with the not-s0-classic top half. Like I said, completely in love with this Darwin dress.

5.

Here's one of my favorite tricks that I've been pulling out lately in styling sessions. I take a basic, clean white tee, throw it back to a classic jean (skinny or not), black skinny pant, a wide-leg black trouser (the options are limitless so I'll stop at three so as not to totally go overboard here), etc and layer on one fabulous statement jewelry piece, in this case, the below Reine de la Nuit necklace from Juliet & Company. It's just, so, simple. Why waste all that time standing in front of your closet every morning trying to reinvent the wheel? Why not just go for what works? Cue my favorite yogi expression: 'try easy.'

source: 1. Alexander McQueen Bow-back Ankle Boot (www.thoutnet.com), 2. Thakoon Addition Striped Sweater (www.net-a-porter.com), 3. Alexander Wang Jane Shoulder Bag (www.net-a-porter.com), 4. Ralph Lauren Collection Darwin Dress (www.thoutnet.com), 5. Juliet & company Reine de la Nuit Necklace (www.shopbop.com)

Shop more picks that didn't make this list but still deserve their rightful cameo in the StyleShaker Closet:

Time for deep thoughts, by moi. Ok, so maybe they're not so deep, but when I stumble across a quote that resonates, I have to share it. It's an impulse, habit, mild-addiction, that just happened to have found it's way into fashion-centric posts. See? Fashion can be deep...ish. Here it is:

I'm a dreamer, we all were at one point or another as kiddos. As we 'grow up,' very little weight is placed on dreams.  Priorities shift to bigger, more 'important' things in life like rent, your inbox, or your 'busy' schedule. Dreams get swept under the rug, covered up and hidden to the point where we don't even remember that we had them in the first place.

What we do remember, every day it seems, is that something is missing. I can't even begin to tell you how many close friends, colleagues, family members, and clients have said this to me in one form or another. I happen to think that 'something' is us. And a big part of who we are comes from our dreams, you know the really outlandish ones that we xanax-popping, Starbucks-wired grown-ups shake our busy (very busy) heads at and see very little value in because, well, they don't usually correlate to money in the bank.

That one dream, the one that makes you the most uncomfortable because you haven't listened to it in forever, the one that leaves you thinking, "omg, something is wrong with me, that is the most insanely grandiose dream," or, "there's no way that's happening, oh look at the phone I just got an email, oh look there's a squirrel, oh wait, where am I again?," or, "there's no way I could have that," THAT is the one you go after with everything you've got.

I happen to believe that one dream, or two dreams, (or two hundred if you're Richard Branson) are why you're here. Those impossible dreams are what can change someone's world. I've gone all Don Quixote with this, but you know what I mean. Dream big, even if it's just 5 minutes, and like me, you're dreaming of sitting front row at the Burberry Prorsum Fall runway show wearing, what else, Burberry Prorsum. I have a few others up my three-quarter length sleeve, the 'biggies,' but I only have so much room and attention span to write this.

So with that, I encourage you to go find yours, your 'biggie' dreams. And when you're ready, share them. Don't leave them swept under a rug for the rest of your time spent hanging out on this crazy planet.

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

The Shopping List Continues: From Free People's Chambray Shirt to an MK Ballerina Flat

Today's Shopping List: Chambray shirts, ankle boots, cowl necks, oh my!

Helmut, Burberry, Rag & Bone, DVF, Tory, I mean, I went heavy on the names with this one, mind you, that is not (in any way, shape, or form) a qualification for making the top 10 Shopping Lists on the StyleShaker (it doesn't hurt mind you, but it's not the end all be all).

These are ten hand-picked favorites that found their way onto today's shopping list solely because they're each amazing in their own way, whether it be a result of  a spot-on detail, or a new take on a classic  silhouette.

I love a chambray shirt. They're all over the place right now, so the velvet-lining on this classic chambray is something a bit new and different. I love Free People for a few reasons, one of which happens to be their leggings (I own a pair of seamed, 5-pocket leggings in three colors, and I'm still going back for more), but they also have amazing selections on tops. Some can go a bit overboard on the boho-chic vibe, but when they hit the nail on the head, they do it well and with originality. Case in point:

1.

2.

Again with the cowl neck tops. I can't seem to get enough of them, and why not? The cowl neck is universally flattering. The neckline adds instant sophistication. You can keep a cowl neck basic, or easily add in some accessories to bring up the style quotient a bit. Helmut Lang happens to do this silhouette (amongst others) oh so well making a classic top look modern with, what feels like effortless (I can't see what's going on behind the scenes mind you, but they make it look easy) edge. This top, from anywhere really, is an essential add to one's shopping list if it's not already living in your closet, 'nuff said.

3.

4.

The 'mini-Harper' bag from DVF is an easy way to add a small, not too overwhelming, pop of color into any look. I'm convinced that red essentially at the status of being a 'neutral,' color since it can work back to practically any color out there. The maraschino cherry red on this little structured shoulder bag is the perfect color to liven up a black-and-grey tweed blazer, a basic tee-and-jeans look, or an L.B.D. for evening. The fringe detail is a vintage nod to the more classic shoulder bag, but closure and hardware keep it looking so fresh and so clean, clean.

5.

Here it is people, after ten years in the La-La Land of luxury fashion, I've grown anti-logo. A logo is less for the wearer and more for the image he/she wants to convey. I don't equate a label to a sense of style, I never have. So when it comes to the next shopping list pick, you may think I'm a complete hypocrite. Honestly, the cap-toe on this ballerina flat just made me too happy to not have it make a rightful cameo on the site. The 'MK' logo is there, but it's not screaming, so I'm dealing with it. It's more of a little whisper back to the gold toe and heel details. I love these flats for being both preppy and polished at the same time. The metallic accents keep things from going too far into the realm of prepster, so overall, they hit a very happy medium.

6.

7.

8.

Yea, hi, hellooooo, how could this blazer not make it onto a list? It is beyond, and of course, it comes at a Burberry Prorsum (translation=it's up there to say the least) price, but I'm not thinking about that right now, I'm stuck on the peplum and I can't seem to get my eyes off of it. If you're flipping out about your hips (translation: you're not a fan of that area on your body), move along. You could go for a peplum, but you will be accentuating the hourglass, practically defining it really. On the other hand, if you're comfortable highlighting curves and want to do it in a way that is, no joke, supremely sophisticated (not to mention sexy), this is how to approach it. I'm dying over here with this blazer. I'm in love, with a piece of clothing, been here before, and I'm perfectly fine with that thank you very much.

9.

10.

source: 1. Free People Blue Velvet Chambray Button-Down (www.freepeople.com), 2. Camilla Skovgaard London Ankle Boot (www.amazon.com), 3. Helmut Lang Cowl Neck Tee (www.intermixonline.com), 4. Rag & Bone Light Grey Samantha Biker Jacket (www.stylebop.com),  5. Diane Von Furstenberg Mini Harper Bag (www.shopbop.com),  6. MICHAEL Michael Kors City Logo Cap-Toe Ballerina Flats (www.cusp.com), 7. Sandy Hyun Deco Leather Bib Necklace (www.shopbop.com), 8. Helmut Lang Shale Jersey Drape Dress In Pond (www.forwardforward.com), 9. Burberry Prorsum Belted Blazer (www.farfetch.com), 10. Tory Burch 797 Satchel (www.toryburch.com)

Ten picks are never enough, this I know, but they do simplify shopping a bit and at the very least, inspire. Keep the warm-fuzzy fashion feelings going strong and keep shopping all of the hand-picked pieces we update weekly in the StyleShaker Closet:

There's always time for a quick quote, and today is one of my favorites. This is a line I heard about six months ago from a VP while attending our Monday business meeting, the one where where there's a lot of talking and  yet somehow, by some stroke of corporate luck, very little actually gets done.

An abbreviated version of this quote came out of her mouth ('if you do what you did, you get what you got') and it stuck with me. Actually, it did exactly what the VP wanted it to do, it inspired me. The only problem was, it happened to inspire me to quit my job and pursue my own business. Details.

This quote applies not only to one's occupation, but directly to fashion and personal style.

My client's come to me with certain style goals that all fall under one umbrella and that is change. They've been doing what they've been doing, living their lives according to what their priorities may have been, but those priorities have shifted, hence the need for a style shift.

Change (even though the word contains six letters) can be a four letter word for some. I happen to have an addiction to it, I crave it, you should see how often I reorganize the furniture around my home. Change really is a good thing most times, and yes, it can be scary, terrifying for sure, but that's only because we have this lovely little tendency to look at the negative side of what may happen if things change. What about the positive side of things that could start happening? I mean, what are those things, chopped liver (ew, I know, gross expression, especially when I see it in writing, but it applies)?

If you want something, stop thinking about it, and do something about it. *Sidenote: this applies to those things you want that are in-line with your true self, and come from genuine intentions (this should cancel out doing things because you think you should or to the disadvantage of others, that would completely go against the point).

Everyone says you just have to believe. Sure, but belief only gets you so far. There comes a time when your belief needs to manifest itself in physical action, small or large. For me, that time is now. What time is it for you?

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

10 Additions to the Shopping List this Fall: From Helmut Lang to Kate Spade, the Gang's All Here

It's Monday, kinda chilly below the Mason-Dixon line (a welcome change mind you) and it's time to dig into the top 10 shopping picks of the day...

Cue the montage (and coffee):

The pattern in today's shopping list picks is all about bringing things down to earth a bit, tonally speaking of course. Fall officially in the mix as winter edges it's way into the seasonal equation, as if I had to spell it out for you. What I'm really saying is, 'tis the season to stick with some soft butterscotch-brown neutrals in the form of a fringed boot and oversized, faux fur cardigan I could live in right now...

Jewel tones also make their cameo of course, in the literal sense, with a couple of statement jewelry pieces that I'm swooning over, and a cross body bag from Zac Posen that is the perfect (and I mean perfect) find for my latest client's shopping list. It also happens to take the cake on any other cross body bag I've seen lately, courtesy of few key geometric angles going on with the silhouette making it chic and very wearable simultaneously.

See what I'm talking about:

1.

2.

I can't get enough of this ballerina flat. In all honesty, I've never been able to walk like a normal human with flats on my feet. As anyone who knows me well, I flop all over the place. Doesn't mean a girl can't have dreams right?

3.

I was a little surprised with this blouse pick. I found it on Quicksilver of all places, and yes, there happen to be five hundred iterations of the look out there, but this take on the cream blouse with black piping hit the nail on the head in design and price. Plus, the v-neck elongates, and bonus, this blouse won't swallow you whole like some of the other 'boyfriend' shirts out there. I get that it's a trend, but seriously, I'm going to bypass. That's just me, oh One who believes firmly that, if you've got it, flaunt it (there are ways to do this without looking like you're working the corner, just had to squeeze that one in there).

4.

5.

Helmut Lang is a go-to when it comes to wanting a basic that looks a little less, well, 'basic.' Sounds like opposites day, but the asymmetrical cuts that go on with all things Helmut always add a little edge on top of what could have been a really simple look. If you're petite or pear shape, this tank may not be for you, but it is the perfect way to elongate a torso if you have some height (eh' hem, my shopping bias has made an entrance, I'll own up to it. I love to take my short waist and play with a little proportion magic).

6.

7.

Love this cardigan, especially since it's not 100% wool. I do love a warm cozy sweater, but wool, to me at least, is about as comfortable as wrapping one's self up with a blanket made out of those little prickers that used to get caught on the bottom of your jeans when you'd be out and about in forests as a kid. What are those called anyways? No time to Google, must keep writing.

You can tell how long it has been since I've been wandering around forests. I need to get the right boots for that I suppose. Just one more excuse to add to the shoe collection, but I digress, this is about the cardigan that meets the need of any layering you have going on this season.

8.

9.

10.

Stop it. I mean, c'mon, you're killin me Theyskens'. I get that this is the edgier line for one of my all-time favorites, Theory. I say 'edgy,' which is a term that is completely overused, but right now, other descriptors just aren't coming into my brain so you're going to have to deal with it and move on, which should  be very easy seeing as how I'm serving up the 'Jaco' striped lapel blazer as the finale pick.

You've heard me say it before, and yes, I will say it again (a.k.a.won't shut up about it until the day I die which may sound melodramatic because it truly is, and I own that), I love a good blazer. Key note here: The upper arms need to fit, not be baggy, but actually fit. It depends on one's shape BUT is also a determining factor on the quality of the jacket/blazer. If the tailoring is up to par, you won't have an issue with this, and you know what that means right? Invest.

source: 1. Z Spoke Zac Posen Eartha Mini Crossbody (www.bloomingdales.com), 2. Topshop Geo Print Ballerinas (www.topshop.com), 3. QSW Skyscraper Long Sleeve Blouse (www.quiksilver.com), 4. Kate Spade New York Steps Drop Earrings (www.couture.zappos.com), 5. Helmut Lang Draped Stretch-Jersey Top (www.theoutnet.com), 6. Kate Spade New York Desert Stone Bib Necklace (www.couture.zappos.com), 7. MINKPINK Intazia Faux Fur Trim Cardigan (www.urbanoutfitters.com), 8. MIA Women's Flirty Knee-High Boot (www.amazon.com), 9. Rebecca Minkoff Line Quilt Affair Handbag (www.museten.com), 10. Theyskens' Theory Jaco Striped-Lapel Blazer (www.theoutnet.com

I try, painstakingly, everyday, (cue round 2 of melodrama, god I'm on it today) to pull together 10 shopping list picks that I find notable based on one thing or another. And yet, there's so, so, so much more. The Top 10 lists are meant to inspire, wet the appetite, but most importantly, simplify what can be the overwhelming (on a good day) process of shopping. Where to begin? Here. Simple, done and done.

From here, see where things take you. There are always more options lined up. They live in the StyleShaker Closet. This is where all the favorites find a home, those that made the list and those that just didn't cut it, but deserve their rightful shopping cameo. See what I mean and shop the closet below:

 I love to shop, but I do have one rule, ok two rules and they are: First, if one thing comes in, one things goes out (usually, if in good enough shape, I'm talking donation), and second, fashion shouldn't be taken too seriously. So, I'm bringing this one to a close with a quote that is hitting home right now having personally just said, "good bye," to a company I've been with for over ten years and moving out to do my own thing. It's scary, there's risk, and above all, there's a big, fat, ominous, unknown factor involved. But I suppose that means I'm alive and learning something, which is all I ever really want anyway. Well, that and that blazer.

So, it's time to find a little space for your happy place (I think I've watched too many of Oprah's Super Soul Sundays, as if there is ever such a thing as 'enough' when it comes to 'O,'). Here's the quote that stopped me in my tracks last night.

If it hits something in you, sit with it. If not, move along.

See more daily picks to add to your shopping list, past and present here. Plus find more about what to wear, how to wear it, and where to shop for it. Bonus.

Rag & Bone's Silver Tuxedo Blazer & How to Wear It

 One cannot function without a well-tailored, black blazer in her closet (or his closet). This is a fashion fact and no, I'm not just referring to what to wear to work (as you're about to see). The black blazer is a go-to piece that everyone needs in their wardrobe for several reasons/occasions, and Rag & Bone is the perfect place to kick it off...

Speaking of, meet the blazer pick for today:

source:  www.rag-bone.com

How to wear it:

Shop the Look:

[SlideDeck2 id=9787 iframe=1]

This look is all about taking casual elements (a tank, a jean, etc) and throwing on a blazer as a top layer that pulls everything together. The details are in the accessories (and tank top in this case) and take the look from basic to a bit more polished, not to mention, that's where you can inject some color into the ensemble.

There are hundreds of ways to wear this blazer, hence making an investment in the right one for you because you will get plenty of wear out of it.

Want to switch it up a bit? If you're thinking you'd rather go with a skinny jean, shop here. Want to try something more basic for the bag? Shop here for other hand-picked handbags favorites. The shopping options are endless, so mix and match to your heart's content in the StyleShaker closet:

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

How to Wear Purple Flare Corduroy Pants, No Seriously. The Look Works, Promise

Cut the Cord (the basic beige version) & Dive into the Deep (purple) End. Check Out How to Wear Pop-Color Flare Corduroy Pants...

Usually pulling together a How to Wear post starts with an image from the runway or pure street style randomness that we collect on our Tumblr inspiration wall. This time around however, I died and went to heaven over the Rachel Zoe flare corduroy pants.

The impulse to figure out how to wear these corduroy pants dyed in a royal purple that has me swooning still (no clue how I'm keeping it together to even write this) was immediate.


via www.witanddelight.tumblr.com

Here's a little shop-by-number moment for you. Sure, based on the inspiration street-style image the shoes are not of any visual importance, but I figure, find a good tailor, hem the leg, and show off the bootie.

See how to wear the purple-soaked pant pick below:



Tibi Cable-knit Sweater (www.theoutnet.com) Rachel Zoe Rachel Corduroy Flare Pants (www.shopbop.com) Foley + Corinna Simpatico Shoulder Bag (www.foleyandcorinna.com) ENZO ANGIOLINI Suede Ankle Boots (www.lordandtaylor.com) Gorjana Graham Leather Bar Triple Wrap (www.piperlime.gap.com)

 Time for the shopping close-up...


1. Tibi Cable-knit Sweater *click the pic to shop

 

Shop more Sweaters from The StyleShaker Closet here:

 

2. Rachel Zoe Rachel Corduroy Flare Pants

 

Shop more Pants from The StyleShaker Closet here:


3. Foley + Corinna Simpatico Shoulder Bag

Shop more Handbags from The StyleShaker Closet here:


4. ENZO ANGIOLINI Suede Ankle Boots

 

Shop more Boots from The StyleShaker Closet here:


5. Gorjana Graham Leather Bar Triple Wrap

Shop more Bracelets from The StyleShaker Closet here:


Have a fashion question of your own? Trying to figure out how to wear the pair of fringe booties you fell in love with? Can't figure out how to mix the new printed silk blouse into a weekend look?

Cocktails coming up Friday and you're lost on what to pull together? Send over a link or image of the piece that's puzzling you with your question and we'll shoot over a few styling options on how to wear it.

Simple and you've got nothing to lose. Ask away...

 

 

See more inspiring looks, what to wear, how to wear it, and where to shop, all right here.

How to Wear | A Summer Sweater

How to wear a summer sweater, right. Well, I suppose I'll begin with this...There's a side of me that has always wanted to be the west coast, beach happy, sufer-chick. And by, 'chick,' I'm of course referencing an independent woman who frolics in the Cali sun all day with a smile on her face and a tan that only comes from days spent walking beaches. Just easy, peaceful, grounded and having major life questions that run the gammut from:

1. when the next wave will come in, to 2., what time I should plan on being back from the farmers market to start on a gorgeously divine organic dinner that can only be eaten in the company of good friends, bottles of good wine, love, laughter, and of course, I gotta have my fire pit.

This is just one side of this East Coaster's ever-growing montage of 'big-life' dreams. There are many sides, but for now, I'll stick with the So-Cal inspiration and pull together a look that makes me think of what I'd wear along the way.

See how to wear one of the holiest (think less Bible holy, and more swiss cheese hole-y) summer sweaters I've seen yet? Question answered, but first, check out the inspiration for this look:

Image via www.thestyleshaker.tumblr.com

Now it's time to get to the best part. The part that satisfies the control-freak in me, and that is the shop-by-number montage that I'm in love with because it's the closest thing to a list I have been able to pull off on here. What is it about a good list right? And marking off lines on said list? It's like mainlining happy juice. It's cool, I've been like this my entire life, I'm good with it. Moving right along...

1. BCBGMAXAZRIA 'Melia' Open Knit Dolman Sleeve Sweater (shop online: www.nordstrom.com) 2. Alexander Wang Mini Skirt (shop online: www.yoox.com)  3. IRO Ellen ribbed silk tank (shop online: www.theoutnet.com)  4. Heather Benjamin "Sea" Blue Mexican Turquoise Ring (shop online: www.endless.com)  5.  Jerome Dreyfuss Johan Bag (shop online: www.dianiboutique.com) 6. ASOS FLIGHT Leather Beaded Flat Sandals (shop online: www.asos.com)

Obviously this starts off with the focal point of the 'how to wear,' ensemble, and that is the sweater from BCBGMAXAZRIA. The holes present an opportunity to layer, and by all means, unless you want to give 'em a show, I'd highly recommend pairing the sweater with a tank like the one above from Alexander Wang.
Cut to the mini skirt, and 3.1 Phillip Lim is to the rescue, yet again. It's not a 'dumb' (aka basic) mini that you could find anywhere. I'm not saying a basic wouldn't work well here, it would, but it's all about the details and taking it from a potential of white denim to this cream, pocketed skirt with seaming detail, brings the entire look to a new level that leans a bit further into the chic end of the fashion pool.
Finally, some color already! The ring, it's like having a piece of the Pacific floating on your finger. It's a must-have and can cover day to evening when it comes to looks. The bag. I die for the bag, and yes, I'm paraphrasing the greatness that is Rachel Zoe because I've watched each season and loved every minute. It rubs off, and I couldn't be happier about that. Jerome Dreyfuss has some of the most unbelievable leathers out there. This I learned after petting one too many leather bags from my time spent in the buying offices on the seventh floor of one of the country's most recognized luxury retailers. This was also know as my second home at the time since I hardly ever saw the light of day. Fun times, crazy times, happy to have moved on. Not name dropping though. It's not how I roll.
But I can tell you that the bag is going to feel like, 'buttah.' Not butter, I said, 'buttah.' Make sure you get it treated so you can guard against stains, water, and all the other scary natural elements out there.
Now that we have the pop of soft blue back to the greys and creams going on  here, it's time to tie it in with e neutral-ish sandal. It's a fun take on the normal thong sandal but doesn't go overboard with color or detail, allowing the rest of the look to do what it does so well, just that.
So there you have it. How to wear a summer sweater with more holes than my new perforated Pour la Victoire satchel. I'll keep my west coast dreams alive with this one, and hopefully inspire some other dreams out there.
See more of my fashion favorites, top trends, and what to wear, plus the bonus round, how to wear them. One without the other is just incomplete when it comes to personal style and fashion.

How to Wear | A Neon Yellow Dress

I suppose I should have titled this one, "How to Wear a Neon Yellow Dress Without Looking Completely Ridiculous," but I'll stick with the original line for now.

When you throw down the combination of the words, neon and yellow in fashion it can come across slightly comical (think Body Glove of the late eighties) if you're not living in the industry like some of us, eh 'hem, me. In my mind, neon yellow is a spring trend call out so I'm cozy with the word combo right now. Did I ever think I'd be all about the color? Nope. I also swore up and down that I'd never wear a skinny jean years ago (cue to image of me typing this in my grey skinny jeans; never say never). So things change, trends come and go, but for now, this pop color of a hue is having it's moment.

See the inspiration behind it all:

Image via www.thestyleshaker.tumblr.com

How adorable is she? She's like a walking color palette right? The next part of any How to Wear It. post on this site always involves what I like to call my shop-by-number moment. I see a look I want, then I dig (because that's what I do all day long for work and closet clients) and pull it all together. Seeing something I love is one thing, knowing where to go to online to re-create the look is an entirely other matter. It's a left brain, right brain thing I'm sure. As any specialist in neuroscience and you'll hear the same. Ah yes, fashion and neuroscience in one little article, how much do I love my site? So much. Moving on...

 

1. Rag & Bone Harlow Dress (shop online: www.shopbop.com) 2. KORS Michael Kors Ysabell Sandal  (shop online: www.michaelkors.com) 3. House of Harlow 1960 Riley (shop online: www.designsbystephene.com) 4. Indego AfricaTM for J.Crew cloth wrap bracelet (shop online: www.jcrew.com) 5. Tory Burch Dual Color Logo Beaded Bracelet (shop online: www.shopbop.com) 6. Orly Genger By Jaclyn Mayer Annebelle Bracelet (shop online: www.shopbop.com)

The yellow dress from Rag & Bone is almost neon but more of an electric, saturated yellow. It's a bit more realistic for everyday life, especially a daytime look. The sleeves and cut keep it clean. Whether you want to take the streamlined look and wear it for day or evening just depends on the accessories. This look could actually go either way, I'm sure with that level of heel from Kors most would lean toward an evening look, but those sandals also work very well while the sun it out. Substitute a pair of colorful flat sandals if you want to give your feet a break and the sight of a four inch heel makes you break into one of those confusing, half-nervous-giggle, half-crying sessions. Emotional instability is not what getting dressed is about, so play to your strengths while stepping outside of your fashion comfort zones.

The bag is genius. Not too small, not too big, chain straps, and amazing detail in the to-die-for color of the leather covering the body of the bag. Thank you House of Harlow. On to the bracelets. Layer, it, up. Fabric bracelets are huge right now, and no, I'm not talking about the friendship bracelets you'd make on the back of the camp bus, there's a little more color and detail going on here. By all means though, don't let me stop you from taking back custody of your inner, ten-year-old camper. Go buy some string and bring it back to the good ole days, just make sure you layer in some other pieces like above.

How to wear a neon dress you ask? Not any more. Question, answered. This is just one take on it using a little inspiration, see more fashion favorites and trends I'm dying to pull off when you discover more on what to wear and how to wear it.