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.


Check Out Today's Handbag Heavy Shopping List, a.k.a. the Love List

Today's shopping list is a bit bag heavy, and by 'heavy' I mean there are two bags I had to get in the line up. Once you see them you'll understand why. But the bags are the only thing to drool over, lest we forget the embellished tank, boots that make every sidewalk a catwalk, and a necklace that oozes all things sweet and sentimental. So, let's get started:

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You want a black hobo that goes beyond 'basic?'  You got it. Courtesy of CC Skye. Meet Tyler:

1 CC Skye Tyler Hobo


Ok, I love, love, love this as a gift item (or anytime purchase really, but it's such a great gift). Sari Glassman is a new designer discovery and she had us as soon as we set eyes on her Name Necklace with birthstones that can be personalized for you and your loved ones. So sweet.

2 Sari Glassman Personalized Necklace 3 Names with Birthstones


This is the perfect, 'floaty' tank to wear for holiday parties if you want to go with an easy separates look that's still festive and of course, super comfortable. Pair them with a dark wash skinny jean, playful pumps, and you're good to go.

3 Parker Art Deco Bead Tank

4. Sabrina Tach is a name in handbags to both know and love. Case in point, the Tajos coral suede leather bucket bag. The quality is superb, the design has some interest and edge to it, and the colors, to die for. Loving this new designer discovery!

4 Sabrina Tach Tajos Coral Suede Leather Bag


Um, hi, hello super slouchy Sergio Rossi suede boots. How are you? Oh, that's right, you're gorgeous. It's time to meet Veronica:

5 Sergio Rossi Veronica Slouchy Suede Boots

source: 1. CC Skye Tyler Hobo (www.shopbop.com) 2. Sari Glassman Personalized Name Necklace w/ Birthstones (www.boticca.com) 3. Parker Art Deco Bead Tank (www.otteny.com) 4. Sabrina Tach Tajos Coral Suede Leather Bag (www.boticca.com) 5. Sergio Rossi Veronica Slouchy Suede Boots (www.theoutnet.com

The top five shopping list is our attempt at editing and simplifying the shopping process. It's our little 'less-is'more' moment on the StyleShaker. But let's be honest, there's plenty more that didn't find it's way onto today's list. Speaking of, check out the other fashion favorites currently lining the virtual walls of our StyleShaker closet. Take a peek and keep on shopping:


One should never shop A. hungry, and B. uninspired. I'm not sure how I can help you with the food, but I can serve up a little inspiration via a Henry Ford quote that is the definition of timeless:


It's pretty true. I'll keep it short and sweet. Sometimes we are our own worst enemies. And yes, sometimes we just need to get out of our own way. When doubt seeps in, and it does for all of us (we're human; give yourself a break) I have learned to lean on my friends and family. They're my re-set button, reminding me of who I am and what I'm capable of.

Surround yourself with your support team, tell them, or better, show them you love them, and re-charge yourself so you can get back to doing what you know you can.

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

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

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

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



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

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


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


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

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

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

Time for a little inspiration:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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