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.


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.


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.


Online Shopping List | 8 Jackets for Spring/Summer 2013

It's about that time for another compilation of our favorite, the Online Shopping List. The fashion focus today extends to the outer layer of an ensemble...

When you think of Spring/Summer, you usually don't think of jackets. Unless of course, you're me. I have an obsession with this outer layer and have for years (I blame the first Burberry jacket I tried on at a Neiman Marcus sample sale). My obsession does not discriminate against seasons. No Sir/Ma'm. For me, figuring out how to work a jacket into any fashion equation (it's not too much of a challenge mind you, unless we're breaching ninety degrees in Dallas) is a constant question floating through my mind at any given moment. If you could take a peek inside there (good luck with that), you'd probably also see the, "what's my purpose in life?" question floating around in there as well. Yes,I can delve a bit deeper than surface level people. I love a good Deepak moment just as much as the next spiritual guru-wannabe.

For now though, it's all about those gorgeous layering options on the outside. Cue: eight of our top jacket picks for the season. From a classically unclassic Cavalli print to a clean, bright white pick from Zara, you're getting a little bite of everything.

Bon appetit:

Shop the line up:


Time for a quick body type recap...

 body type img

When it comes to working with what's best for your body type, it's all about balancing out proportions. When it comes to jackets, the same guidelines hold true (note: I used the word guidelines because there are several factors when it comes to what we wear, no one fruit or shape is going to cover it all, but it will give you a strong fashion foundation to build from).

Knowing what to wear it one thing. Knowing how to wear it in a way that works for your body type? Well, that's something else all together. It's also a question that is the basis of the StyleShaker styling business. Let's get down to it:

To my Apples, my inverted triangles of the bunch, a good call when it comes to jackets, since you want to minimize the bulk on the top half of your body, is to go with smaller lapels and shoulders. No shoulder embellishments or pads for you. Think about pockets, drape-front jackets with gathering at the hem, and back-pleats. It's all about drawing the eye away from your shoulders and possibly bust, and balancing out your top with your bottom. V-necks are your friend as well so use that as a layering piece back to the jacket for added elongation.

Hourglass ladies, go for a peplum any day of the week. Cinch, gather, wrap, whatever you want to do, just make sure you emphasize the smallest part of you, the waist. That's going to be key. You can usually work with almost any silhouette and add some cinching action to make it work for your body type. Keep everything structured and not draped or loose and flowing. Oh, and try out a statement necklace to add some 'oomph' to the neckline as well.

Rectangles, you too can work with a peplum. Anything that has built in contouring and seaming is your friend. Your goal, should you choose to accept it, is to create definition at your waist where there may not be much currently. Easy, peasy. That said, a belt is not your best bet, that will only draw your eye to the part of the body you want to slim SO, use the top and bottom half of the ensemble to create volume, thereby making your waist a bit more defined. Go with a low rise pant or a drop-waist tee/dress under the jacket, use a billowly, loose blouse for added volume on top, and use your accessories to your advantage with a pair of statement earrings.

Finally, last but certainly not least, my Pear people. Ok well Pears, it's all about minimizing the lower half and doing so by emphasizing what you're working with on top. For fuller Pears, a great way to do this is with a solid wrap dress. If you're smaller at the bust line, don't go in this direction though. You're goal is to make your shoulders look a bit broader to balance out those curves below. Jackets should definitely hit no lower than the widest point of your hips. Above that is fine. Actually jackets are an amazing tool for you because they give you that added layer of volume and structure on top without going bulky. Cap sleeves are also your bestie since they help make your shoulder stand out.

 There you have it, pick your body type, pick your jacket, be on your way looking and feeling confident with what you have on. Love that.

 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:


While you're at it, there's always time to get some more inspiration in:

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Online Shopping List | 20 Just-In Picks This Week

Good 'online shopping list' morning StyleShakers. It's about that time again.

Welcome to the edited, super-condensed, Cliffs Notes (if you will) online shopping list serving up 20 of my top picks from my top shopping spots out there. Thousands of pieces of merchandise hit the virtual floors every week, scratch that, every day. I should know, I managed millions of dollars worth of said 'merch' for Neiman Marcus (in-store and then online) for oh ya know, just a few years (translation: ten).

On the e-comm side of things we quickly realized that the highest click-thrus on our product pages were found right at the 'VIEW ALL' link. And, if you follow the analytics, you'd then see another pattern develop. After clicking on 'VIEW ALL,' browsing would go for about two solid pages of merchandise (about 200-400 pictures of product) and go bye-bye or to another part of the site. The goal was obviously to get the customer to exactly where she/he wanted to go in an inordinately small amount of time (one must factor in the A.D.D. culture we live in), but one can only take so much new product before getting overwhelmed and moving on to something else. Attentions are tough to hold these days.

That's the game. There's plenty more to it, let alone more qualified analytical e-commerce minds out there that can spell it out for you far better than I can. But essentially, that's what's up.

Enter: The StyleShaker and my personal shopping services that have me scouring the web every day for the right pieces to fill in wardrobe 'holes' and/or update things a bit.

I'm here to edit, weed out and boil things down to give you the perfect shopping starting point using not one site, but ALL of my top shopping spots on the web (a 'hit list' I've been developing over the past six years). This is your shopping starting line that should save you time and hence, money (not to mention, I love a good markdown as much as the next girl when I find them).

There are 20 favorites (reminder: these selections are completely unbiased) below pulled from just a few sites (I go little by little; check out last list), but the list doesn't end there. Check out the Closet (link below) to keep the shopping momentum going strong. For now, check out my top 20 online shopping list picks of 'just in' fashion favorites:

insta inspo.