Runway Inspiration | My Top 10 Runway Looks, Resort ’13, Round 2

Time for the Top 10 runway looks line up once again. Meet my latest hit list from the Resort 2013 runway collections that just a few weeks ago, graced my presence, ok, my laptop's presence as I wasn't able to make it. That said, this is as simple as it gets. It's a line up of all things that have resonated from recent collections, and this is point A, where it all begins. 'It' being the entire basis of the site, the whole what to wear, how to wear it shtick. I take a runway look, one of these most likely, shop at my favorite online shopping spots, and pull a re-creation together to show you how to wear it without having to pay runway full-retail prices.

For now though, it's about soaking up the style inspiration. Enjoy:

There's plenty more inspiration out there so don't stop the momentum now. Check out more inspiration behind what to wear and how to wear the latest fashion trends here.

WTW | My Top 5 Satchels to Shop Right Now

So many people are tote crazed right now. I get it, I love a good tote. But what about the satchel? Lest we forget this east/west handbag classic for it's trendier counterpart. It's all about a bag you can work with, well, five of them to be exact.

Meet the Top 5 satchel picks out there to shop online, oh I dunno, right about now while they're still available. It's all about getting some inspiration on 'what to wear,' from summer that will transition to fall, and how to simplify the shopping experience. Mind you, we don't stop at five, this would be style sacrilegious. The top picks keep it clean and simple, but there's plenty more where that came from, which you'll see below. For now, it's about the favorite satchels of the moment, that will take you through this season and into next effortlessly, so scroll on and shop away:

1. Jerome Dreyfuss Max Viper Shoulder Bag (shop online:

2. Cleobella Selma Bag (shop online:

3. Sabina Two-Pocket Satchel (shop online:


4. Cleobella Lolita Studded Satchel (shop online:


5. Roccobarocco Emilie Zippered Tote (shop online:


That's just the Top 5. There's plenty more where that comes from. Shop more handbag picks, from satchels to totes, all lined up here:

See more favorites to shop, from satchels to sandals, that fall into the What to Wear portion of the fashion equation, and then check out how to wear them, all here.

What to Wear | Get the Alexander Wang S'12 Runway Look for Less, in 3 Steps

Yep, I said three steps.  What to wear? Easy. This sporty-spice look from the Spring 2012 runway collection, courtesy of fashion phenom Alexander Wang, was the inspiration behind this, get-the-look-for-less, virtual shopping trip.


Since these 'Get the Look for Less,' posts are all about just that, here's how to pull it off a few months later and on a significantly lower budget:

1.  ALEXANDER WANG Engineered Intarsia Silk T-Shirt (shop online:  2. Tory Burch Laura Wide Leg Trousers (shop online:  3. Dolce Vita Camila T-Strap Sandal (shop online:

The top is the statement piece here, and I love how, even though it leans towards a sportier look on the runway, it can also work it's way into a more sophisticated look seamlessly. I paired it up with a wide leg navy pant this time around, opting out on the white leggings because, let's be honest, when has the concept of white leggings ever sounded like a good idea in the real world? Outside of the eighties. Right, so, there you have it, navy pants.

And of course, I had to throw in a finishing accessory to bring it to life, again opting out of a bright-white shoe for this coral/orange T-strap sandal from Dolce Vita. The color will peek out of the wide leg pant just enough to show some fashion-savvy without diving head first into that scary land of all things Matchy Matchy.

So, a little patience can pay off when it comes to fashion right? I saw this look hit the runway months ago, and since I have a habit of utilizing runway images as a catalog, I held tight, waiting for the markdowns to come. It's a tricky business, but ten years in retail can teach you a few things on timing. Still, these picks sell, and fast, once they're marked down. That is something I have no control over, unless of course, I'm buying.

There's plenty more runway looks that I have held onto and am watching so I can get the look for less, but that's not all. See more on what to wear right now, how to wear it, and what I think about my favorite shopping picks (product reviews) all here.

What To Wear | Get 10 Crosby Derek Lam’s Spring 2012 Runway Look, For Less. Round 2

The question: what to wear? The answer: mixed stripes in a look inspired by 10 Crosby Derek Lam's Spring 2012 runway collection. It's all about how to get the runway look for less, and it starts with me using the runway as a catalog. Speaking of that, here's the look:


I love the color and the slightly kamikaze use of stripes on this one. Somehow, when you think the combination would never work, Derek Lam pulls off just the opposite, and it all coordinates in it's own, original way. Now, it's time to find this look, months after the collection was sent down the catwalk, and for a lot less than what you would have spent when it first hit the floors in the stores and the web:

1. 10 Crosby Derek Lam Shirt - Multi Stripe (shop online:  2. 10 Crosby Derek Lam Straight Leg Cuffed Combo Pants (shop online:  3. Christian Louboutin Summerissima Platform Sandals (shop online:

The multi-stripe top is still out there, for now, and marked down with the rest of Spring merch. The pants are following suit, and above are the links for you to shop. I will say, knowing after about a decade in luxury retail that it's all about timing, I wouldn't wait around on these picks. They will sell out sooner than later. Again, it's all about knowing when to look and taking the opportunity to get the designer runway look for a little, or a lot in this case, less.

I threw in a perfect platform sandal that just happens to be completely on-point with the color-blocking trend, and also happens to be from Louboutin. If you're not all about throwing down on a pair of 'Loubie's,' (neither am I, but I do love them for the inspiration element), shop more sandal picks that will fit into the ensemble and budget here.

My fellow retailers are most likely cringing while reading this, if they'd ever read something like this to begin with, and for that, I am in no way sorry. It is what it is and I happen to love finding these picks at a more reasonable price, and then sharing my finds with you.

See more runway looks to get your hands on for less, more what to wear picks, how to wear them, reviews of my shopping picks, and the list goes on here.

What To Wear | Get 10 Crosby Derek Lam’s Spring 2012 Runway Look, For Less. Round 3.

What? Stop it. You're saying I could get the Derek Lam look, well the 10 Crosby Derek Lam Spring 2012 runway look for less, um, right about now? Well ok fine, you're not saying it, I am. It's true, and honestly, it's a dress that is truly an original that I've been going ga-ga over for months since it hit the runway, all the way until it hit floors, my top sites, and now, post-markdown madness that comes around every time this year (says the retailer knowing that she is somehow crossing the line when it comes to the unwritten oath all of us have to sell at regular price when ever humanly possible; sorry guys, good margin or bad, I'm going with it).

So where to start, oh right, the runway look that brought up the initial 'what to wear' question in the first place would be a good spot no? Here it is:

How could you not swoon over that dress am I right? Now on to finding it for a more realistic price. This will sell out sooner than I can write this sentence so no rest for the weary. You likey, you buy. That's just how it goes with markdowns on hugely popular designer collections. Allow me to lay it out for you:

1. 10 Crosby Multi-Stripe Dress (shop online:  2. Yves Saint-Laurent - 140mm Tribute Suede Sandals (shop online:

And there you have it. The summer dress to end all dresses, along with a little accessory addition (cue the YSL sandal) I threw in to give you the overall picture on how to finish the look off. Simple and shop-worthy. Done and done.

There are plenty more runway to real-world opportunities out there so why stop now? See more of what to wear, how to wear the latest trends, how to get the looks for less, oh and all of this while figuring out the best spots to shop on-line. It's all here.

What to Wear | Get 10 Crosby Derek Lam's Spring '12 Runway Look For Less in 3 Steps

The concept is simple, it begins with love at first sight, on the catwalk. Several months later that look, if bought by the major retailers, hits the floors, virtual and other. A few months after that, the buyer's show that they don't actually allocate their 'buys,' with a magic eight ball (no one is perfect), and the sales start to pop up. I find the same look I fell for way back when, pull it together in a few, in this case three to be exact, steps, and serve it up for your viewing pleasure.

We begin at the beginning. What to Wear?

Here's the Spring 2012 runway look from 10 Crosby Derek Lam:


That look went down the runway aaaaaaaaaaaaall the way back in September of last year (2011). I saw it, I loved it, the layering was a stroke of brilliance, albeit lacking any element of surprise knowing Derek Lam's fashion track record. But, could I afford it, or better, did I want to spend over one thousand US dollars on the amazing dress alone? Yea, the answer on both is no. And this is coming from someone who has spent the last decade in retail, nay, high-end, luxury retail where the term 'markdown,' is equivalent to the word, 'calories.'

It occurred to me over the past weekend, and yes, I'm slow on the uptake at times, admittedly so, that the runway looks I've been pulling over the past, well, since I can remember, aren't just pretty pictures to me. I want to wear this stuff, and if I can't do that, I'm going to be inspired by the looks and buy something to pull it off all on my own. The rest of this site is about the latter, for now it's about using the runway pictures as my personal catalog. So, since I've been prancing up and down (you can actually prance on platform booties with enough caffeine) the luxury retail hallways for ten years or so, I know when the shows come, when the merch hits (stores or web), and when the markdowns (gasp, there I go again) happen.

Here is the runway look, for less, with a little addition of an accessory to complete the look:

1. 10 Crosby by Derek Lam Solid Drop Waist Shirt Dress (shop online:  2. 10 Crosby by Derek Lam Stripe Pencil Skirt (shop online:   3. Casadei platform sandal (shop online:

Let's just say, you could have blown over $1200 on the look, sans anything else on your body (just the dress and the skirt) or you could pony up $579 now, if your size is available (a hazard of shopping off price, but when it works out, the reward is totally worth the risk and extended shopping patience). That's over seven hundo that stays with you. Ok fine, for those of you who may not live in the warped world of designer fashion, this sounds ridiculous. I totally get that. You could get the look in one, two, three steps, or go on vacation and hit the beach with an umbrella drink. It's all relative, and trust me, I have taken option B several times, the beach has that effect on me. But this isn't about life's big questions, it's about me being a bit of an 'eagle eye' on shopping runway looks I love, and bringing them back to you at a more 'affordable' pricepoint.

This concept by the way, is reason enough to have me exiled from the retail world all together. It goes against all of the rules, and I'm sure I'm severing any future best-friend, pink-swear moments with some amazingly talented designers out there, but so goes life. I like the idea, I'm the one shopping, I know how IN-sane markups can be, and I think getting a bit more realistic about the runway, while still respecting it for all of the creative art that is sent down each season, is fine. Actually, I think it's pretty freakin enjoyable.

So for now, that's just one look from 10 Crosby. It hit the Spring 2012 trends on the head, so it was bought heavily, which means, it is now still available on sale in some very specific spots on the web. Wanna see what all of that means? Check out more looks, where to shop online for them, and how to get them for less here.

What to Wear | My Review of J.Crew's Perfect Paisley Shirt

I scour my favorite sites out there, I shop, and then I let you know whether or not the pick lived up to the on-line hype. It's kind of an equation I adore being a part of, so here I go with the next product review.

This time I was on the hunt for some color, and if you take a look at the current line up of tops (not v-neck tees which you can easily see I have an obsession with for weekends) in my closet, you'll see that there was a bit of a void that needed to be filled. The use of the word 'need,' may sound ridiculous, but when you live, work, eat, sleep and breathe within the fashion industry, it's completely valid, and actually pretty damn fun.

The Perfect Shirt from J.Crew is my latest pick. It's an easy, classic, button-front in a paisley print that I would normally never think to add to my shirt arsenal, and that is exactly why I bought it. J. Crew is throwing it down with the 'Perfect Shirt,' product title so I had to see if it held true.

Here's the shirt of the moment (source:, click the pics to shop):

So, what is the verdict? I know it would be better 'web entertainment' if some of my more recent product reviews went to town on substandard product quality or something falling apart as soon as I took it out of the box, but I won't lie, this shirt really is pretty close to perfect. I love it, what can I say?

The print is bright and all over the place with the paisley, but somehow that works with almost anything I want to pair it with. I love it with denim of course, that's a  no-brainer, but a white wide leg pant? Yes. Olive green skinny pants? Yes. Grey skinny jeans? Mm, hm. A classic, black, wide-leg trouser? Um, no question, tuck it in and go. So yes, this top is not only uber-comfortable, it's versatile.

I will say one thing. With my curves that come from a size C, I usually tend to lean towards a bit more structure to give good lines and keep things where they need to be. One pet peave on button-front shirts is when they fit everywhere except the where the two buttons sit right at the bust line. You've seen it before, women with amazing racks have no clue they're unintentionally showing off more than the the shirt. It's a bra-peeking-out moment, and it's mortifying. Adding some 'stretch' to the shirt, and/or wearing a tank underneath, usually solves the problem. That said, if the buttons are pulling, return that sucker. It doesn't fit, nor will it look good.

The J.Crew Perfect Shirt is a cotton/silk blend. There's no stretch to it, so if I'm wearing this to work and buttoned up, there needs to be a tank involved. For evening, it's perfect, left a bit more unbuttoned. But yes, there is a flaw. It fits, but due to fabrication, when buttoned-up, there is the possibility that a little more could be shown off to onlookers than you'd like. So, simple fix, tank top, and be on your way. That issue, to me, was not enough to send it back. There's no pulling,  just a little strategic layering for daytime looks, and at the end of the day, the print makes me smile every time I look at it.

There you have it, another shopping list purchase that  made it's way into my closet. I'm always on the hunt for what to wear out there amidst the latest fashion trends, and that shopping list is always growing, so check out more product reviews and shopping picks, plus how to wear them.

Meet & Greet | Pamela Love

I love discovering new names out there. There's so much talent that it's almost overwhelming to begin to approach, but having spent ten years playing in the ranks at one of the country's largest luxury retailers, looking beyond a label means something to me. The brand name is paramount to any designer, but so is the integrity behind what they create, and often times, those two concepts don't necessarily synch up. Pamela Love is not one of those cases.

Love is New York based, and has developed quite the following. You're about to see  why...

I stumbled across her work some time ago, but recently her name resurfaced after having watched the show The Fashion Fund (currently on hulu). It walks through the process CFDA candidates go through from nomination to win, and it is truly fascinating. Love, to me, really stood out within the group of brilliant designers as an artist, let alone with the pieces she created.

She lives and breathes what she creates, and the aesthetic stays true to who she is.  Not to mention, her jewelry is sick, in the best of ways. It's original, the price points are approachable, and most of all, it really is the definition of wearable art. Each piece is within itself a statement.

Time to show you the line up of all things by Love, to love:

1. I thought I'd start it off with something that screams originality. When  is the last time you saw something like this executed so well? I adore it and the Lookbook shot really brings things to life.

2. Statement necklace, redefined.

3. A ring I am drooling over. It's officially going on the shopping list.

4. Again with the statement necklaces. The details are so insane on this. Spoiler alert: you're about to see this pick coordinate with a look in tomorrow's How to Wear it post.

5. The pieces have an edge that I'm drawn to, and yet the details keep the look refined in an organic way. Not easy to do. Another spoiler alert, this ring is also a part of this week's How to Wear it look. I can't get enough of this stuff!

1. Pyramid Hand Piece (shop online:  2. Zellij Breastplate (shop online:  3. Red Jasper Mountain Ring (shop online:  4. Pamela Love Zellij Pendant Necklace (shop online:  5. Pamela Love Cross Ring in Silver (shop online:

So, if you didn't know, now you know about Pamela Love. I'm truly inspired by her as a person and an artist. Looking forward to what she comes up with next.

See more emerging designers that are making me swoon right now and more edited picks to cover what to wear and how to wear it.

What to Wear | My Review of Zara's Jacquard Blazer

It's product review time people! The latest addition to my shopping list was Zara's red jacquard blazer, and when I put it on the list, it's going to be bought, hence not calling it a wish list.

What got me on this blazer was the super saturated color. I was digging around in my closet last week, looking for something to wear to our monthly editorial meeting, and I realized (like I'm sure many of us do), that I was swimming in black or brown or grey or any other color without much of a pulse. Suffice it to say, the color options were few and far between.

This was something I needed to rectify and quickly, hence the new Zara blazer pick. But, enough about my countless hours spent wandering around in my closet, or what I like to call one (I have a few up my sleeve) of my 'happy places,' this is about whether or not the jacquard jacket was a keeper.

First, here's a close up of the bright red, almost persimmon, colored blazer  (source:, click the pic to see more info):

The box arrived ahead of schedule and I dug into that sucker like it was Christmas morning (or the first day of Hannukah, or Kwanzaa, or whatever, you get the picture) which I do with every delivery. I never gets old to me. Cue the bright green tissue perfectly folded and basically begging for me to tear into it. They do a good job at Zara with all the details, not too much and not too little, i.e. a plastic bag thrown into a  box (which, if you shop online as much as I do online, you've seen before unfortunately):

And here she is, in all of her Instagram'd-out glory. The colors are of course warped because I've gone completely insane with the filter options, but you got the accurate color when you checked out the product shot above. So, I'll just sit here and play for a minute with a  few more filters. Don't mind me, talk amongst yourselves...

source: Instagram

K, I'm back. No wonder it's all so addictive. Moving right along, did I keep it (sized correctly, color was as shown on-line, did it fit well, etc) or was this a return-to-sender sitch?

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 I bought this in a medium, and it fits really well (I usually go between size six and eight if that helps). The shoulders are  tad tight, there was bound to be something slightly off with a lesser-tailored jacket or blazer, always is, but that said, my non-negotiable is the arms and how they fit.

If the arm fits loosely, it's a goner. This blazer did just the opposite. It's fitted, doesn't run long, and has a strong vertical seam on the back which keeps things looking smooth. For what I paid, I'm extremely pleased with the product and within the first ten minutes of that creative meeting, people were going ga-ga over the color. Social approval is not the goal, the goal is to make sure you feel good and feel confident, however, it never hurts to hear a compliment or, um, twenty, about what you have on.

So, the Zara jacket stays. I adore it, from the color, to the fit, to the jacquard texture I didn't even touch on until now because I'm so swept away by this blazer. Can you blame me? Oh, and it also comes in a white that is perfection for summer, worn open over a maxi or really anything.

Spoiler alert: Finding the perfect piece to wear and making a new addition to my closet is one thing, figuring out how to wear it is another. I like to cover all of my bases around here, so you can expect to see a 'how to wear' it post inspired by this blazer coming soon, i.e. Wednesday. Be on the lookout!

See more product picks from the shopping list covering what to wear out there, and how to wear all of it, here.

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The StyleShaker Week In Review | In case You Missed It

In case you were, oh I dunno, kind of busy this week, I thought I'd wrap it all up in one pretty little recap of a package for you. Simple can be very, very good, so here it is, the round up of what went down on The StyleShaker this week, oh, and because I happen to be obsessed with sharing quotes, images, and anything else that hopefully inspires, I'm topping off the recap list with a little Zen Moment.

Enjoy and have an amazing weekend. Find something to celebrate. There's always something. On to the recap!

1. Monday was all about serving up some hand-picked maxi dresses that illustrate, yet again, why they're a must-have for summer:


2. Tuesday was product review time, and the featured pick was J.Crew's Minnie Pant. Did I like, love, or return this one?

3. 10 Crosby Derek Lam's S/S 12 runway look inspired a little re-creation. See how to wear it:

4. Thursday took the on-trend printed jean and, with a little inspiration,turned it into an entirely shoppable look:

5. My Zen Moment. It's a reminder to all the women out there to be brave. Follow your heart.

And THAT, is about it in a nutshell, or post if you want to get technical. This was a gorgeous week. It had it's ups and downs, but more ups than downs and for that, I can only be grateful. There is no end to the inspiration I come across every day while scouring the web for trends, products, and emerging designers that all deserve a cameo on the site.

See more of my favorite fashion picks edited down and also, how to wear it all, here.

Must Have | The Maxi Dress

Welcome to the latest round of my Must Haves for the season. This time around, it's all about the maxi.

It is officially summer in Dallas and, even though I've been living in this massive state for eight years (still coming to terms with that number), I still find myself bewildered by how ridiculously hot it gets here. Most people hibernate in winter. I hibernate in summer, or fly out of state every other weekend. That is what the Dallas heat has driven me to. Well that, far more hair product than I ever used in Boston, and the annual search (albeit last minute) for a maxi dress, the perfect complement to putting up with triple digits as far as I'm concerned.

Enough about the sticky weather, on to the fun part that makes living in this unbearable heat (almost) worth it all. Check out my top maxi dress picks, and get your hands on this trend if you haven't already. Or find another maxi dress to add the collection. You know you can't stick with just potato chips, or in my case, blazers.

















1. Young Fabulous and Broke Jude Layered Maxi Dress (shop online:  2. Gypsy 05 Long Zoe Maxi Dress in Turquoise (shop online:  3. Haute Hippie Colorblock Maxi Dress (shop online:  4. Malene Birger Aubergine Belen Silk Maxi Dress (shop online:  5. Tibi Strapless Jasmine Print Maxi Dress (shop online:  6. Heather Long Sleeve Maxi Tee Dress (shop online:    7. Splendid Dress Venice Stripe Maxi Dress (shop online:  8. Vintage Havana Open Back Maxi Dress (shop online:  9. Diane von Furstenberg New Krystal Print Maxi Dress (shop online:  10. Vince Tank Striped Maxi Dress (shop online:  11. Rachel Pally Boatneck Jersey Maxi Dress (shop online:  12. Karen Zambos Vintage Couture Gemma Maxi Dress (shop online:  13. Issa Deep V Maxi Dress (shop online:  14. Slinky Triangle Maxi Dress (shop online:  15. Rebecca Minkoff Long Dehlia Silk-jersey Maxi Dress (shop online:  16. Milly Tahlia Maxi Dress  (shop online:

See more of my Must Have picks covering the trends out there and more, plus how to wear it all.

Top 10 | My On-line Shopping List 6.22.12

 Happy Friday to all of you. Welcome to today's round of Top 10 shopping picks that answer that pesky, yet lovable, what-to-wear question oh so well. And like all other Top 10 moments on the site, this one has that lucky number 11, the zen moment, that this time around features a quote by Arthur Ashe. Yep, I worked him into the fashion line up, unexpected but true.

We all have dreams and hopes, shopping has plenty to do with that. But the older I get (and I do so very gracefully thank you, or I attempt to) I hear more and more stories about what could have happened as opposed to what did. Dreams tend to get left on the cutting room floor for one reason or another. For myself, it's always been about knowing where to begin when it comes to executing 'impossible' dreams (that ps, later come to be known as very possible). A good list can give you a clear place to begin, like this Top 10, it's as easy as #1. Life however, could be a bit more complicated hence the addition of the last pick from Mr. Ashe. Hopefully he can simplify and shed some inspirational light on figuring out your own starting point.

It's just how we roll: impeccably curated shopping lists and answering life's tough questions. Scroll away:

1. little sandal, big name (shop more shoe favorites)

2. a mini Pashli by Lim (shop more handbag favorites)


3. white out (shop more of my favorites in tops)

4. waterfalls you should go chasing after  (shop more earring and jewelry favorites)

5. what?@! I don't even know, but I kinda love (shop more shoe favorites)

6. comfort is a must, as are stripes evidently (shop more of my favorites in dresses)

7. flora & fauna (shop more blouse favorites here)

8. well, hello there (shop more dress favorites)

9. braids, check (shop more satchel favorites)

10.  lime love (shop more jean favorites)

11. Zen Moment

1. Alexander Wang Nadia Sandal (shop online:  2. 3.1 Phillip Lim Pashli Mini Satchel (shop online:  3. Diane von Furstenberg Mackeda Checkered Lace and Jersey Tank (shop online:  4. Kenneth Jay Lane Waterfall Earrings (shop online:  5. Charlotte Olympia Matryoshka Suede Sandal (shop online:  6. Madison Marcus Versed Striped Dress (shop online:  7. Tolani Jordan Floral Top (shop online:  8. keepsake One Way Window Dress (shop online:  9. Urban Expressions Braid Satchel (shop online:  10. Alice + Olivia 5 Pocket Skinny Jean (shop online:  11. Zen Moment

See more Top 10 moments that line up shopping hit lists filled with what-to-wear answers, and then go check out how to wear them. It's all right here.

Top 10 | My On-line Shopping List 6.21.12

It's Thursday and I could not be happier. Oh wait, no I could be, that's a lie. I get to post the latest round of Top 10 shopping picks so that has me pretty headed from happy to elated. Check out the latest line up that goes from Kirkwood to Burberry, and drop-earrings to printed dresses you will swoon over, well,  I did at least.

And don't forget the bonus  round, the Zen Moment at the end of the list to keep things in perspective and/or inject a little inspiration into your day. So, should you be asking yourself, 'what to wear,' this morning, look no further...

1. I've got my eyelets on you (shop more of my dress favorites)

2. optical illusion (shop more sunglass picks)

3. Meet the super skinny 'Hannah' (shop more jean favorites)

4. stop, drop, and adorn (shop more favorites in jewelry land)

5. Burberry pulls out a pleated peplum like no other (shop more of my favorite tops and blouses)

6. two words, one name, Nicholas Kirkwood (shop more shoe favorites)

7. red means go in some cases (shop more handbag favorites)

8. ready and 'Abel' (shop more of my favorite tops)

9. working on the chain (shop more bracelet favorites)

10. DVF makes an Edna (shop more of my favorite dresses)

11. Zen Moment

1. Tibi Printed Eyelet Shift Dress (shop online:  2. RAEN Optics Lenox Polarized '12 Sunglasses (shop online:  3. Siwy Jeans Hannah Skinny (shop online:  4. Adia Kibur Two Stone Drop Earrings (shop online:  5. Burberry Pleated Peplum Blouse (shop online:  6. Nicholas Kirkwood Suede Slingback Sandals (shop online:  7. Fendi Medium Satchel Bag in Red (shop online:  8. Rory Beca Abel Embroidered Tank (shop online:  9. Maison Martin Margiela Multi Chain Bracelet (shop online:  10. Diane Von Furstenberg New Edna Print Dress (shop online:  11. Zen Moment

Check out more fashion favorites that answer the what-to-wear question, oh, and see how to wear them all lined up for you here.

What to Wear | My Review of J.Crew's Minnie Pant

In the midst of a serious battle with the ever-present (in my mind at least; not necessarily proud of that, but I accept my fashion obsession with open arms covered by three-quarter length sleeves) question, 'what to wear,' I went on a little J.Crew shopping spree last week. New addition to my closet, number one: Say hello to Minnie. Skinnie Minnie, the new pant that I would wear every day and in every one of the five colors it's available in. So yes, as far as this product review goes, I like it, I gave it away in the second sentence because I couldn't hold it in. It happens, rarely, and usually only when I'm head over heels.

I have had my eye on finding a pair of cropped pants for summer, and since I have been in the dark hues rut for some time now, I figured it was time to step out in a big way with an insane pop color, hence, the orchid. It's true to the color you see on the screen, if not a bit brighter. It's almost one shade away from neon so if you're into stylish subtlety, then you may want to move on to the next product review or just go with a basic color.

The fit, oh yea, the fit. This pant in a cotton twill that stretches a bit to add some 'give,' but also holds onto curves in the right way, is perfection. It's ridiculously comfortable with the side zip and hook closure to keep everything where it needs to be, and runs very true to size. I'm sure I could have sized down actually to keep it super streamlined, but I wasn't looking for super-skinny, just skinny in general. It's an option though. The length is great with a heel, I tend to shy away from cropped pants and flats for two reasons: first, I'm 5'6, and while that's still tall, it's not amazonian tall which I feel you'd need for length if you wore a flat with the cropped hem cutting the vertical line right about the shin. A heel always elongates, which brings me to my second reason, pull out a great heel, something with some color or detail, because the cropped pant is the perfect piece to allow you to show it off.

So there you have it, I am a huge fan of J.Crew's Minnie pant.

Here's the inspiration...Everyone loves a little J.Crew catalog action am I right? Here's a look with the Minnie pant in the deep orchid color from the May Style Guide (source:

Here are some product shots to play with (again, source:; click the images to shop):

Side angle:

From behind:

I always like to make a note that this product review was not endorsed or paid for by the brand I'm writing about. This is my product pick and my unbiased opinion.

See more of my product reviews because I'm always doing heavy market research around here (job hazard), and also, keep your eyes open for the latest on what to wear and how to wear it here.

What to Wear | My Review of New Zara Shoes

The Shopping List is not just for show. Nope, it's what I like to call my very own, what-to-wear-inspired, occupational hazard. I scour the web everyday finding picks for my clients' Virtual Closets, and along the way, since I only pick for them what I would buy myself, I end up multi-tasking, much to the dismay of my CPA. One for them, one for me. Like I said, you could see it as the best job in the world, or a path that leads to trouble. That said, I don't just shop shop shop, I also give back. When a new purchase makes it's home in my own Virtual (and real life) closet, one little pick of the past has to leave, and usually ends up at my favorite local organization, Attitudes & Attire.

But enough about me. I was feeling the colored pump trend for a client's closet, and evidently, for myself as well. See the Zara shoes I bought and also what I thought of these bright pop shoes...

Whenever a package arrives it seriously feels like Christmas up in The StyleShaker office. It's the little things right? And even if it's just one box, the excitement is always there. It's one of my most random and most favorite reasons I shop online. That and the blissful avoidance of any shopping mall. So, I'll walk you through the day these puppies arrived...

First, it's time to tear open the box (source: Instagram)

What's inside? Technically I already know, but I'm just going to pretend it's a mystery for the moment. (source: Instagram)

As if I couldn't tell where the items came from, they put the logo on every open space of cardboard they could find. Job well done, maybe a little overkill, but it didn't steal my thunder as I kept things moving along. Sandal number one, from the box and then from the site:

1. Zara I BASIC SANDAL (source: Instagram)

2. Zara I BASIC SANDAL (shop online:

And now, #3, num num nummmmmmm, so pretty. Zara's COLOURED FAUX-SUEDE COURT PUMP: (source: Instagram)

4.  Zara's COLOURED FAUX-SUEDE COURT PUMP: (shop online:

So, what did I think? I love both. No joke. You'll see that I don't love everything I buy so, just trust that I will give you my honest opinion here (Zara is in no way endorsing anything about this post). It means a lot to me to have that level of integrity having spent a decade in the fashion industry trenches.

I'm not a paid third party, I'm the proud owner of these two shoe picks and have honestly never received so many compliments on shoes. That also could be a result of me doing the happy dance when I wear them into the office in the morning. You know how a newly engaged woman manages to get her ring finger infront of your face in a, not-so-sublte way? Right, well visualize that, and move your eyes, south to the foot. That was me, waving my fabulous shoe around for the world to see. I can't help myself. When I love something, I share. It's the basis of this site.

So, how do I rate these shoes? The sandal, five out of five stars. In, love. The Court Pump? Again, five out of five. Both are comfy. The sandal has an adjustable strap that keeps everything where it should be (no trip-ups here, or walking around like your on stilts, such an unfortunate look usually brought on by above-four-inch platform pumps), and the heel  height is very manageable. Same goes for the pump. It stays on my foot, is true to size, could use the day of breaking it in, but the faux suede, or what I like to call, you'd-never-have-a-clue-it's-faux suede, is insanely vibrant and adds plenty of color to the fashion mix. See and example of how I'm wearing it here.

And there you have it.  A love list, a fashion mush-fest if you will. This consumer could not be happier and these shoes have found themselves a new home in my closet. What to wear? Easy, I have two perfect options to fit into work looks for day or cocktails for night (unless it's a brunch moment, and cocktails will find their way into the daylight hours, as they should).

Back to more fashion favorites that answer the question, 'what to wear,' and so much more.