What I'm Wearing | Catching Up With Old Friends, Giving a Little Legging Action

I moved to Dallas almost ten years ago with two bean bags (not even joking) a teeny, tiny television, a bookstand, and a bed. I planned on being here for no more than a year. Best laid plans...

When I first arrived on the scene I was a fish out of water and on really REALLY hot, dry land. Then I met my first group of friends just north of the city where I was living. I was raised by east coat parents so I knew I'd never necessarily 'belong' below the Mason Dixon line, but this crew took me under their wing.  These people would have given me the shirts off their backs if they could have, actually some literally did just that. They were the ones that helped to make this strange land filled with Sunday-fundays at the pool, the football-obsessed, and every excuse to gather a group of friends around a  few (translation=way more than a few) margaritas, my not-so-temporary home.

Recently, one friend from the original 'crew' texted me, and I proceeded to do the one thing I absolutely can't stand. I completely flaked out on my response. I had good reason for said flakiness having just quit my job (a.k.a. the one others referred to as a 'promising career in retail') after ten years and diving head first into the world of the self-employed. Right, so the initial text came to me in August. My response, oh you know, was sent in December, four months after the fact. Pretty bad, even with the major life changes...

After a little groveling (which mind you, was totally unnecessary since the friends I've come to know and love here are ridiculously kind and forgiving, one more perk of being based in the area) I get to finally catch up and see what my old friend has been up to tonight.

You know what this means right? I need a 'Catching Up with Old Friends,' look of course. I'm using one pick from my closet (the Free People seamed navy leggings that I now own in four colors because they're just that good) and building a look around it with other pieces that resemble the rest of what's living in my closet (and if not, I can always call up my friends at my favorite Dallas boutiques to get what I need in a snap). This is exactly what I do for my What to Wear Weekly Lookbook clients, it started with me and I like to share. After all, why offer the service if I don't even use it myself? Seriously.

Now, instead of thinking about what I'm going to wear, I get to focus on catching up and enjoying the night. Here's the look:

montage

source: 1. J. Crew Collection Cashmere Long-Sleeve Tee (www.jcrew.com), 2. Marc By Marc Jacobs Dragon Scale Printed Wool Scarf (www.net-a-porter.com), 3. ALDO Romelia Suede Court Shoe (www.asos.com), 4. Vanessa Bruno Mini Sac (www.elizabeth-charles.com), 5. Vince Camuto Chevron Cuff  (www.macys.com)

Time for a little shopping close-up (click the pics to get your 'shop' on):

1.

1 J. Crew Collection Cashmere Long-Sleeve Tee

2.

2 Marc By Marc Jacobs Dragon Scale Printed Wool Scarf

3.

3 ALDO Romelia Suede Court Shoe

4.

4 Vanessa Bruno Mini Sac

5.

5 Vince Camuto Chevron Cuff

At the beginning of the week I line up a few key looks that I want to use as inspiration for the upcoming agenda of events. Whether it's a major event or just an everyday moment, the goal is to know what I'll be wearing so I can simplify life a bit and focus my energy on enjoying things. Here's the line-up I pulled this week. I ended up going with look number seven because of how easy, simple, clean and chic it is. Plus, with a few accessories, it seamlessly transitions into a look that can be worn for a casual evening out. Sometimes less is more (cue the collective gasp from the fashion community and accessory buyers all over the world; sorry but it's true)...

weekly look line up2

source: look 5 (www.elle.com), look 6 (www.style.com), look 7 (www.lamodellamafia.com), look 8 (www.myheartbeatsforvogue.tumblr.com)

So, there you have it, what I'm wearing to catch up, simple and easy. Cheers to old friends and letting the vino flow...

wineglass

It's about what to wear, sure. We all know and love that part. The part filled with fashion director's 'must-haves' for the season. But let's not forget about the whole, 'how to wear it,' piece of the fashion equation. What good is the ankle boot you have had sitting in the back of your closet with the rest of the 'untouchables' (you know where I'm going with this; every one of my clients calls me because they're wearing less than an eighth of what's in their closets and they need to figure out how to wear the rest or just some moral support when it comes to purging and donating; just see what they had to say) if you don't know how to wear it? And finally, what good is the outfit if you have no where to take it out for a spin?

Those three pieces are massively significant in life. Fashion, whether you like it or not, is an important part of your day and it doesn't have to be so hard. No more: 'what am I going to wear today?' Now you can spend your energy on figuring out the grand adventures you'll have in the looks you've got lined up for the week. Have fun with it, and get on the list now while you still can at that price. Why take my fashion advice in the first place? Good question.

On to more inspiration when it comes to the Style Trifecta...what to wear, how to wear it, and what you're going to do in it. It's all here.

Hey Boy, Heyyyyy. Time for the Top 5 Shopping List Picks for Him, From Her.

It's about that time, to pull out some heavy shopping hitters for him, all from her perspective. Meet the top five menswear-centric shopping list picks today:

main post montage template 4_top

1.

It starts with a simple, classic, clean-cut cobalt blue shirt from Carven that stopped me in my tracks a few days ago. How to wear it? This is definitely the shirt you don't want to mix with any hue of blue denim in hopes of avoiding the fashionably redundant blue-on-blue ensemble. A good way to pull this one off would be a classic black pant (flat front please), or possibly a charcoal grey distressed denim moment. Loving the super-saturated color here.

 1 Carven Long Sleeve Shirt

 

2.

Chuck Taylors, grey leather, 'nuff said.

2 Chuck Taylor Premium Leather

3.

A semi-fitted military jacket deserves a moment in every man's wardrobe. Diesel happens to be serving up said military moment for us today, and this time, it's got a drawstring. Leave this jacket loose over layers for Fall and you have the whole, "I don't care, but yes, I look good," thing going for you.

 

3 Diesel Drawstring Military Jacket

 

4.

I wanted to ramp up the men's denim quotient a bit here, so I mixed a little straight leg, distressed-ness in there from Prps, a new-to-me denim name. Meet the 'Barracuda' jean that will seamlessly take your snoring (yes, I dropped the 'b' for an 's' for added emphasis there; not a typo) everyday jeans up a level without going crazy (crazy= dropping a cool grand on the new jean from Balmain, which, mind you, is sold old in various web shopping spots; gotta love it).

 4 Prps Barracuda Straight Leg Jean

 

5.

Ok, so this is all about men's fashion/shopping picks from a female perspective, and while myself and the other editor's do have a strong sense of integrity (none of our picks our biased by advertisers, etc.) sometimes the male model sends us over the edge and making one pick an instant addition to our hit list over another. We can't help it.

In the below biker jacket scenario, we adore the jacket, but it didn't hurt to have it on the back of that model (quintessential bad guy one should walk away from and yet, most of us are like a moth to the messy-haired flame at least once in our lives).

Still, a solid leather jacket, biker in this case, is an essential in every man's wardrobe. The biker silhouette just happens to be a bit more modern and forgiving than most others, and when you throw in the added details seen below, it's kind of a no-brainer.

5 ASOS Leather Biker Jacket

 source: 1. Carven Long Sleeve Shirt (www.thecorner.com), 2. Chuck Taylor Premium Leather (www.converse.com), 3. Diesel Drawstring Military Jacket (www.neimanmarcus.com),  4. Prps Barracuda Straight Leg Jean (www.farfetch.com), 5. ASOS Leather Biker Jacket (www.asos.com)

We dig, every week, to pull together the best of the best for your fashion-savvy viewing pleasure. Consequently, we end up with a virtual closet filled of picks that never get their cameo and yet still deserve their time on the StyleShaker in one capacity or another. Cue: the StyleShaker Closet. Everything is updated weekly with our hand-picked favorites so if you're just wanting more (and really, who doesn't?) keep the shopping frenzy going strong and take a step inside:

 

shop the styleshaker closet

 

Time for an inspirational (to us and hopefully to you) quote to take us into today's little zen moment:

quotes

 

How am I going to go from Friedrich Nietzsche to a story about the complete lack of direction my mother is notorious for? Easily and randomly, as I normally do.

My mother, my favorite woman on this earth (understatement), happens to have a horrible sense of direction. As a little girl, we moved all the time and in every new place we lived, she would sign me up for classes from ballet to tennis. This meant my mom, like many others, was a bit of a chauffeur (didn't realize it at the time so, thank you for that mom).

It would be a normal occurrence on our way to ballet class (or any other class), for her to pause at a light/stop sign/whatever (i.e. panic; it's her way) and say something like, "Hmmm, I think this is where I go left, right Britt?"

To this statement, in whatever form it came and whatever day it came upon, my go-to response would be to suggest moving in the opposite direction. So for the above instance  I said, "No Mom, it's right."

Now, did I look up from my intense surveillance of my sticker collection at the time to make sure this was the right way to go? Usually not, but nine times out of ten, when my mother wanted to turn one way, it was usually best to go the opposite direction. It's actually how she still gets around sometimes, although I have to give her credit, she's gotten way better with age, the woman is a paradox, a beautiful paradox.

Mama-gushing aside, sometimes we go left when we should go right. Either our sense of direction is completely off, or, we're worried that the right turn will take us somewhere we don't want to go. Ironically, most of the time, the right turn takes us exactly where we need to be, we just couldn't see that far ahead at the intersection.

Letting go of whatever you have in your life that is holding you back (usually something based on fear that may or may not be irrational) freaks most people out, myself included. But when your grip begins to loosen, your hand begins to open and so will your eyes, heart, etc. you name it.

There's a vulnerability in this one act, trust me, I've fought against it for some time, and still do. But something else I've found out  is that while the vulnerability that comes with opening yourself up to the unknown can be scary to you, it is ridiculously magnetizing and attractive (people come into your life, and yes, sure, maybe you look good too) to others.

The funny part is, I've recently taken steps towards releasing my grip and letting go thinking I'd end up somewhat alone (we're never really alone, but the fear remains, it's human).

It was only natural for me to assume (assumptions are so annoying and yet I eat them up every day) that leaving the life I had known for the past decade to walk into the new one would leave me with one or two (or ten) less friends. But the opposite happened and continues to happen. The support I've received has been remarkable, I don't say this lightly, I'm literally in shock but just letting go and letting it happen.

Sure, it gives me warm fuzzies, makes me grateful for the people in my life, but above all, it's showing me how good it can actually be. I had no idea, and I'm thinking I still have a lot to learn on that one...

 

Zen moment, done and done. Got to get back to work? Eh, let go for a second and take in a bit more inspiration. Don't worry, the to-do list will still be there when you get back...See more on what to wear, how to wear it, and where to shop.