Friday, November 30, 2012

Beauty Product Review: Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure

I have to admit, I am SO not into the whole nail art fad that's going on right now. Tiny little flowers and hearts and bows meticulously painted onto fingernails just doesn't do it for me. At most, I might do a variation on the french-tip look. For example, I used a white polish to lighten up a dark purple polish. Using the two shades, and some carefully placed scotch tape, I had a bit of an ombre effect. It was cute. I also once painted my nails white with yellow at the tips. Or was it yellow with white tips? I can't remember. It's not only that I don't want to put the time and effort into carefully creating the design. (That IS a factor, thought.) It's that at the end of the day, I think it looks dumb. Anyway, my point is simply this: I am just not into nail art. Never have been. Probably never will be. What I am into is unique colors for my nails- something besides the basic red and pink that we grew up with.

At Target, I found this awesome color called "Pumice" by Sally Hansen. It's the "Complete Salon Manicure" line and I love this brand of polish because the brush is so well-designed. Even a klutz like me can get perfectly even coverage without getting it all over my cuticles and fingers. Seriously, check out this nail polish if you are are neatness-impaired when it comes to doing your own nails. It will be a godsend.

Anyway, what I loved about this color was the fact that is was a cool, neutral grey:

Isn't it fabulous? I like that it's a little bit green, but still very neutral. (It's a little less green in real life, fyi.) I've been wearing it all week and it hasn't chipped once! Impressive, right? 

What's your favorite nail color? Do you love or hate the nail art trend? Leave a comment! And thanks for reading! 

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Chic Outdoors-y

Sound weird, right? Chic, outdoors-y outfits? But this is exactly the time of year when these outfits are so perfect! Here, I'll set it all up for you:

It's Saturday afternoon and the sun is shining. It's crisp, but definitely headed into cold weather. You are about to go into downtown Boston for the afternoon on a lovely date. Maybe it's a first date. Maybe not. Maybe your amazing BF has decided to take you for an afternoon stroll down Newbury Street followed by an amazing Italian dinner in the North End. What to wear? You need something super cute and flattering for dinner, but also something to keep you warm while you walk through the city. You also need cute, but comfortable shoes since you'll be on your feet. Sounds like a challenging outfit to put together, but I believe I may have done it:

Outdoors-y Date

Fabulous, right? A snuggly, cozy sweater layered over a long-sleeve, fitted tee and a pair of leggings with flat, knee-high boots, a warm overcoat and some cashmere gloves to keep your hands warm. It's perfect! It's not only flattering and stylish, it's casual, but still date- appropriate. Nailed it!

Here, let's try another scenario: It's time to go pick and cut down your Christmas tree. You'll be doing quite a bit of walking through the Christmas tree farm trying to find the perfect blue spruce. Fortunately, someone else will be doing the actual cutting, but you're going to be outside for a little while picking out the tree and getting it bungee-ed to the top of your car. Again, this can be a tricky outfit if you don't want to actually look like a lumberjack, but I think I've found the right mix of rustic and feminine:

Outdoor Casual

Nothing says, "outdoor adventure" like a little plaid and fur-trim, so I made sure to incorporate both. A festive pair of burgundy skinnies, plus a long sleeve plaid button-down shirt, fur-trimmed booties and a puffy vest will all work together to keep you stylish, comfortable and warm.

Since I'm on a roll, I'm skipping the scenario, but I do think this outfit would work for a caroling outing, or an outdoor tree-lighting, or a trip to the local skating rink. In other words, it's versatile:

Winter Fun Outfit

It seems that the military trend is always in, and I just love how the feminine shape of the skirt contrasts the structure of the military-inspired coat. The colors are a fun, unusual combination, but still completely wearable. The stripes make it funky, but not overtly so. It's a look I'd love to wear!

I hope you've had as much fun looking at these fun outdoors-y outfits as I had putting them together. I just love layered looks and the colder months are when I get to play with them. What's your favorite season to style?

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

My Day With Joya Beauty

Remember how excited I was last week for my makeup lesson with Joya Beauty? If not, you can read the post here. Well, today was the big day and I loved every minute I spent with Joanne!

I even made a video to tell you guys all about the experience, so enjoy!

I have to admit, learning to record a video, then edit it and then upload it to YouTube all in one day was a little daunting. Fortunately, Macs are pretty much designed to be user-friendly, and it only took a few minutes of playing around to figure it out. Granted, the video is as simple as it gets, but maybe next time I'll be able to add some music or fun transitions or who even knows what else? They sky's the limit, as they say.

Feel free to comment on anything to do with this post- my makeup, Joya Beauty, my video recording and editing skills- anything at all! And have a great day!

Accessories Anonymous: A Handbag Quest

I was catching up with Beth the other day when she mentioned her current handbag quest. In case you didn't know, Beth has a major obsession with handbags and is nearly always on a quest for one. Sometimes it's something specific and others it's just for something inspiring. Either way, I can always count on her to be on the lookout for something great. This time, she was on the hunt for a stylish cross-body bag that is big enough to hold a laptop and a notebook. That's a pretty tall order if you ask me. She said that all the bags she'd found just looked so much like briefcases that she wasn't interested. Or, they were a gajillion dollars and she just couldn't see herself spending that much. So, I decided to hop on the interwebs and see what I could come up with.

Here's what I found:

I like the woven detail- especially how exaggerated it is. The bag is also available in three other colors- orange chocolate brown and light tan, but I prefer the grey. It is definitely big enough for Beth's requirements, and I think it's pretty stylish, but let's keep shopping, shall we?

The All Star Bag, Modcloth, $59.99

I'm always a fan of a pop of color and you really can't go wrong with green. At 14.5 inches wide, it could definitely fit a laptop without looking like a briefcase or a standard laptop bag. It's versatile, too- the color works year round and the interior has multiple pockets. Seems pretty ideal if you ask me! 

If green isn't your thing, but you love the idea of a pop of color, check out this gorgeous satchel by ASOS:

Metal Corner Satchel, ASOS, $49.95 

The cross body strap is adjustable, and the bag itself is roomy with a zippered inner compartment perfect for staying organized. Organization is Beth's middle name, so I know she'll like that aspect of the bag at the very least. 

For a more casual look, I love this one from Etsy: 

It's stylish, for sure, but in a decidedly casual way. It's definitely not for me, but I imagine it would be a nice, durable bag for all those city subway rides. The seller offers it in several color choices,so you're not limited to a neutral brown. I admit, I browsed this seller's store for a while and liked a lot of what I saw. The prices are great, too. I kind of love this one: 

Project Bag, Etsy, $44

The interior of this bag speaks for itself: 

Am I right? 

So, there you have it- a handful of bags that (I think) meet all of Beth's requirements. The question is: do any of them make her swoon or drool or both? 

Do you have a shopping challenge for me? Send me an email or leave a comment and I'll see what I can find for you! 

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Shoesday Tuesday: Glitter Booties!

You guys have heard of the blog Kendi: Everyday, right? She's basically this adorable Texan who started off writing a fashion blog, then ended up quitting her day job and earning her living blogging. Well, that and opening an adorable little boutique called Bloom.

Well, I read her blog and so it goes without saying that I love most of her outfits. Not too long ago, she wore the most fabulous pair of ankle booties with a gold glitter detail on the heel. I fell in love. They were so freakin' awesome, I just had to have 'em. Fortunately for me, they were available in the online Bloom shop, so I ordered those bad boys and I'm dying to wear them. Check 'em out!

At nearly a hundred bucks after shipping, they were a bit of a splurge. However, I plan to wear these puppies a whole lot. They better be comfy because I can see them with about a gajillion different outfits. I bet you didn't know that gold glitter was the new black, right? 

Let's take another look, shall we? 

I can't wait to wear these! Boots like these are the reason Shoesday Tuesday exists. Am I right? Feel free to give these boots (and me) a shout out in the comments. Tell me what you think- love 'em, hate 'em, want 'em, need 'em. Whatever your feelings, express yourself. And thanks for reading! 

Monday, November 26, 2012

Holiday Style: Fancy Pants

Do you have holiday parties coming up soon? Are you trying to find fabulous outfits and dresses for these annual soirees? Well, my advice to you this year is to think outside the box and consider the oh-so-trendy fancy pants. I know that's not the actual term for the trend, but you know what I'm talking about. Sparkly pants, shiny metallic pants, sleek satin pants- I know you've seen them out there. They're all over the runways and red carpets and now it's our turn. Check out these awesome fancy pants I found all over the interwebs:

Spot Jacquard Trouser, ASOS, $79.16

These are also available in green, but that was a little too much for my taste. I love the pink, though! Jacquard is a slightly stiff, woven fabric often in an intricate pattern. It can be a monochromatic pattern, or multi-colored like these pants, but it has a rich texture to it because of the pattern. Instead of a printed pattern, jacquard designs are woven into the fabric. It's so rich looking, don't you think? 

Michael Kors Shantung Pants, Nordstrom, $995

Unfortunately, there is no missing decimal point in the price of these bad boys, but they're still fun to look at despite being way beyond reach. I would love the sport such a bold color pant to a holiday party. Some metallic heels and a cashmere top would be the perfect finish to these beauties. 

So, how does one actually put together an outfit with such outlandish pants? Here's how: 

1.) Keep the textures contrasting. Sleek satin, silk or taffeta should be paired with textured cashmere, fur or wool. 
2.) Wear heels. They not only lengthen, they shape. Heels make your butt look better. 
3.) Keep all other sparkle and shine understated. Sequin pants do not call for a glittery handbag or satin blouse. They call for neutrals. 

Here's one way to do it: 

So, have I convinced you to try this new trend? Are you ready to start shopping for a pair of fancy pants? I rarely wear pants at all, so I think I'll need more time warming up to this trend. If I was a little more leggy, I might get on board sooner. Leave a comment and tell me what you think! 

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Retro to Modern: Mod Style

These days, vintage/retro styles are "in." They're beyond "in," actually. They're "it." Pick a decade and you'll be able to quite easily find clothes, shoes, accessories, home decor- anything, really- in that decade's most popular fashion. It seems that there used to be more drastic swings towards one specific style or decade. These days, there are colors, patterns, silhouettes, etc. all from so many different periods. Pick your favorite. I'm sure you'll find it in your closest department store.

I've always been fascinated with the "Mod" look from the early-to-mid 1960's. I love the color and pattern and the unique shapes of clothes. There was something exuberant about that period, something unashamedly outgoing and fun. From the psychedelic patterns to bold Mondrian-esque color blocking, it was all a feast for the eyes.

The key to wearing mod style today is to make it current, otherwise you'll look like you're wearing a costume. Today I want to focus on two ways to wear mod- shape and color. Avoid mixing these two and you'll stand a better chance of avoiding a costume-y look.

First up: shape. The mini is an iconic element of mod style, as was the shift dress. This dress has a very boxy, almost boyish shape to it. It was a bit contradictory in the way it simultaneously hid and showcased the female body. The curve of the legs contrasts so much against the nearly shapeless dress, but that is what balances the look.  Too long a dress and it becomes matronly, but when worn as a mini, the shift has a lot of sex appeal.

To wear it in a modern way that looks current, not costume-y, stick with a neutral color, or at the very least something solid. If you really need color and print, add some with your accessories, but exercise restraint. It's very easy to verge into looking like an extra from an Austin Powers movie.

Mod: Shape

Mod: Shape by rtboo featuring a zipper bag

The shoe and bag are also indicative of the shapes and styles popular in the early 60's, but they're subtle and complimentary. The shoe has a platform, but the heel is still dainty- in other words, the modern version of the platform shoe. The bag adds a subtle print, but it is far from psychedelic and the colors are muted. See what I mean about restraint? If you can keep yourself reigned in, it will work.

Maybe this isn't enough for you- maybe you want more than just the shape of the pieces you're wearing to evoke the feel of 60's mod. No problem. For you, I suggest the use of color and print. Here are three different Mod-inspired outfits for you:

Mod: Color & Print

From left to right, we have three very current outfits that could be worn today without causing a stir. They are decidedly NOT costume-y in their approach, but they all evoke the exuberance of the period through color and print. The bold pink and purple print would be too much if it were a dress or a coat, but as a top paired with slim pants and bright flats, it's the perfect balance. The middle look is inspired by the YSL Mondrian dress that was so iconic in the 60's, but it's updated into separates and accentuated with the purse. The youthful print on the skirt of the last outfit is a bright nod to the period while the styling of the sweater and boots anchor the outfit in the present.

Would you wear any of these outfits? Why or why not? Do you love or hate the popularity of retro/vintage right now? Maybe you're indifferent. Whatever your thoughts, I want to know, so leave a comment! And thanks for reading! If there is a topic you'd like me to cover here on the blog, let me know!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Rate My Look: Vest & Pants

I hardly ever wear pants lately. Jeans are fine for hanging around the house or running errands, but other than that, I typically wear a skirt and top or a dress to work just about every day. The other day, I was cleaning out my dresser drawers and I stumbled upon this green shirt that I had forgotten about. I thought to myself, "This would look great with the vest I have, but I think it will work better with pants than a skirt." And I was totally right!

Top: Target, I think
Vest: Maurices, I believe
Pants: Forever 21
Earrings: I forget...

The top is great in every way- color, style, fit- and the vest and pants are so slimming. This is a definite outfit WINNER that I will be pulling out again soon! What do you think of it? Leave a comment and tell me! 

Friday, November 23, 2012

Black Friday: Rate My Man's Look

Not too long ago, I was in Old Navy and of course there happened to be quite a few items on sale. I was pretty proud of myself for putting this outfit together for the Professor:

Is he adorable or what? This ended up being a great outfit for the day- he and I took his kids to a local arcade/laser tag, then out to lunch and then to the movies to see "Wreck It Ralph." (The movie was totally adorable, btw.) 

When I put it all together in Old Navy, I was a little nervous about the color of the pants and how well they went with the shirt, but in the end, the outfit came together just fine and it all fit him perfectly to boot! I have a lot of fun shopping for him and the kids. They all love Old Navy and there is pretty much always a sale happening there, so it works out for everyone! 

Since he lives in the mountains of North Carolina, the appropriate style of clothing is actually really similar to what a lot of guys wear up here in New England. It's a lot of plaid, a lot of flannel, a lot of cargo pants, a lot of rugged-looking clothes. I really enjoy having my own life-sized Mountain Man Ken doll to dress and he's such a good sport about wearing all the stuff I find for him. The kids are, too, actually. 

Speaking of shopping, today is Black Friday- the biggest shopping day of the year. How will you be spending it? I won't be shopping today because I'll be working. It's the annual sample sale at Madeleine's Daughter, so it will be like the running of the brides there today. Even if I were free today, I don't think I would shop. It's just so crazy out there! 

Do you ever find yourself shopping for your loved ones more than for yourself? I've been doing that lately. I suppose that since I've been so content with my own closet contents, I've had to find others to benefit from my love of shopping. Having a boyfriend has never been so convenient! 

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Throwback Thursday... also Happy Thanksgiving!

I saw a blog post recently that had this title and I have now ripped it off. Is it plagiarism if you admit that it's not your own? Anyway, the concept is exactly what you might think- a throwback to another time. Here is a pretty epic photo of me from my elementary school days. I think this photo is about as awesome as it gets:

I'm pretty sure you're all starting to understand where that deep love of fashion started. Yup. Plaid taffeta and white knee high socks are pretty much where it's at. The side pony is just a bonus. I'm guessing (based on the music books in the background on the piano) that this is me circa 1987 or 88. Third grade is my guess. Yup, third grade is pretty much right about the time my feet got too big for kids shoes and I had to start shopping in the "ladies" shoe department. I was SO depressed that day. Ladies size 7, I believe. As you can see, there weren't many cute options (or ANY cute options). Oh, well. I think I've since made up for it, right? 

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Joya Beauty- Not Just Makeup

I am so excited to share with you guys about Joya Beauty that I just couldn't wait until next week. I know Joanne because of mutual acquaintances in the wedding industry. She's pretty much the bees knees when it comes to make-up artists, and she does make-up for loads of Madeleine's brides. Just last Saturday she came to the store to do make-up trials for brides. Of course she did an amazing job. I love watching her work- she really is an artist.

Last March, I had a facial at her studio and it was an enlightening experience. It was my first facial and I doubt I would ever get a facial anywhere else after experiencing one at Joya. I went in with oily, splotchy red skin and I left with a clean, healthy glow and the products to appropriately address my particular skin issues. You know from the photograph in THIS POST a few years ago that my skin is incredibly sensitive and I'm incredibly sensitive to my blemishes and imperfections. I showed Joanne the same picture that you saw in that post and she delivered not only in terms of the products she used, but in the approach. She really made me feel like my skin was beautiful. That I was beautiful.

After such a great experience and several months with clear, non-oily skin, I decided to experience another aspect of her amazing skills. I booked a make-up lesson. I'm hoping to learn how to use my make-up in better ways. I'm not looking for the basics- I think I've got those down. I'm looking for the tricks. The special tips that only make-up artists know. I'm looking to learn about tools and how to use and take care of them. I'm looking for some mad skillz, yo. And I'm gonna get 'em.

Finally, as a frame of reference, here's a great example of what my daily make-up looks like:

Have you ever had a professional make-up lesson? Or attended a make-up workshop? Where did you go? Who did you work with? Leave a comment and tell me all about it. I will definitely be writing a follow-up post to tell you all about my make-up lesson with Joanne!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Shoesday Tuesday: The New Red

Oxblood, poppy, blood orange, coral- have you heard these color names recently? It seems in the last few seasons, red has been redefined. Any one of these is "the new red" for fashion and personally, I'm a fan. I love red in every shade and I love it in my wardrobe- dresses, shoes, jewelry, everything. I'm a fan.

Since it's Shoesday Tuesday, I'm going to feature shoes of these colors for you. Get ready for some eye candy!

Steve Madden "Vegass," Piperlime, $54.99
These flats are scrumptious. I love the pointed toe and the rich color. Wouldn't they be fabulous with a little navy natural-waist dress and maybe some nautical accessories? Or even with a casual LBD. Honestly, I think they'd work with just about anything. 

What is it about rich, burgundy boots that just makes me swoon? I'd love to wear these with my dark wash skinny jeans and a cashmere turtleneck. 

Lucky Brand "Tablita," Piperlime, $109
These boots are so delicious, I'm literally drooling right now. I love the idea of this color peeking out of the hem of some boot-cut jeans. 

Juicy Couture "Elise," Piperlime, 228
HOT! These shoes are SO hot!!! What great date shoes, right? I would love to slip into these and my sleekest LBD for a fancy dinner out with my BF. I love that they have a small platform, unlike the crazy platforms of so many pumps over the last few seasons. It's refreshing, really. But seriously, I think I need these shoes. They're just so HOT!!! 

Franco Sarto "Cicero," Piperlime, $69.99
If you are looking for the perfect pair of classy red heels for fall and winter, I believe I have found them for you. The heel height is practical, the color is luxe, and the price is so reasonable. Get them. Now. 

Envy Footwear "Lyka," Piperlime, $49.99
Wedges are perfect for fall and winter, but finding ones in such an incredible shade of red is so unexpectedly fabulous. Wear them with jeans, with a skirt, with tights, with just about anything. 

So, what do you think of "the new reds?" Do you have any of them in your wardrobe yet? Shoes? Bags? I know I'll be breaking out my reds right away and not just because of the holidays. 

Monday, November 19, 2012

Starry Inspiration

Right before my trip to NC earlier this month, I received an invitation to a holiday party for everyone at work. I didn't give much thought to it until a few days later. The Professor and I were driving back to his house one evening and I noticed how many stars I could see in the night sky. It's amazing how the lack of light pollution helps you see so many more stars. It got me thinking about the kind of dress I'd like to wear to the party- an LBD with lots of sparkle.

Whenever I need a really awesome party dress, I head over to ASOS- they just have the coolest things!

I can't say right now which one I'm most drawn to. Honestly, there is a dress I saw last year that was a slim shift dress with an open back and long sleeves. I fell in love, but unfortunately never found it. I've seen similar dresses, but nothing quite compares. Don't you hate when that happens? 

Of course, there's always the option to make something fabulous. The holiday party is December 8th, so there's a bit of a time crunch there. I don't know that I want to put myself under that kind of pressure.  Also, the prices on some of these ASOS dresses are just so hard to beat, even if I make something myself. 

What do you think? Do you have a favorite for me? I'm always so torn on silhouette with dresses like this- the slimmer ones are so flattering, but I love the movement of a full skirt. And since there will likely be dancing, I usually lean towards movement over anything else. 

Leave a comment and tell me what you think! Do you have a holiday party to shop for this year? Tell me about that, too! 

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Lace Love

I love lace. I love how feminine it is, how delicate it is, and especially how it can verge from sweet to sexy. I recently wrote a blog post for work all about lace wedding gowns, and it has inspired me to write this post which is all about lace in every day fashion. As much as we may think that lace is a bridal textile, it's everywhere in fashion lately.

I love how lace makes any black outfit instantly sexy and sophisticated:

Lace- sexy and sophisticated

Any of these black lace looks would work for a cocktail party, a nice dinner out, or for just about any special event. Lace is a great way to add visual interest to a basic LBD. Of course, there are times when black just isn't right. Lace is so hot right now- you can find it in literally any color:

Colorful Lace

It's also in every neutral:

Neutral Lace

And if you just aren't ready for an all-over lace look, you can always work it into your accessories:

Lace Accessories

Just like any trend you're not that familiar with, start small and simple to see how it works on you. Once you feel more comfortable, try something a little more daring. Begin with incorporating a lace scarf into an outfit you love. If you like it, try wearing a lace separate like a top or a skirt. Work your way up to the all-over lace look. When you are ready for the all-over lace, keep it modern. Some lace looks can very easily cross over into the retro-hippie look or (even worse) the Renaissance Faire costume. Strive for a sleek, modern interpretation and you can't go wrong!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Beauty Product Review: Falsies!

I have been no stranger to the mystical, magical world of false eyelashes. They were part of my daily life back when I worked in theatre- it was basically mandatory to wear them when on stage. Working in the bridal industry, I know that it's pretty standard to wear them for the big day as they photograph so well. As far as daily use, that was a different matter. No matter what mascaras I tried, no matter how much they professed to give you the "false lash effect," they never quite worked that well. And every false eyelash set I'd ever tried just looked a little too over-the-top for every day. It was quite the beauty dilemma.

While at Sephora one day, I happened upon their false eyelash section and the coolest thing about it was that they had sample lashes on a little wand. The wand allowed you to hold the lash up to your eye and see how they would look on your face once applied. It made it SO easy to find the perfect set that truly enhanced my eyes and didn't look fake AT ALL. The key is that they are not quite a full set. They are applied about mid-lid and extend to the outer lid. They blend beautifully with my own lashes, but they have a major natural-looking impact. I get compliments on them every time I wear them and most of the time, the person complimenting me on how they look had originally asked what mascara I was wearing. I'm always honest and tell them that it really has nothing to do with the mascara- that I'm wearing falsies!

And here I am actually wearing them: 

Another less expensive option that is nearly as effective are these by Ardell:

Have you ever worn false lashes? Are they part of your daily make-up routine or do you save them for special occasions? Leave a comment below. I'm dying to know what other people think of this little beauty trick. 

Friday, November 16, 2012

How To Incorporate Color Into Your Daily Wardrobe

People are afraid of color. It's true. Bold color is especially terrifying. Some people would rather go skydiving with Felix Baumgartner than try to incorporate a little color into their day to day outfits. It is especially difficult for someone in the professional world. Color done the wrong way in an outfit can very easily bring your look from polished to clown-like. Fortunately, for those of you terrified of color, or just not that great at it, I'm here to de-mystify the whole idea. Read on, grasshoppers.

For beginners, I begin with the basic: a simple pop of color.

Wearing Color- Beginner

From left to right, we essentially have the same completely neutral outfit with different "pops" of color. In option 1, the pop is the bright coral shoe. I love a pop of color at the feet- it's unexpected and so very fun. In option 2, we have the pop of color at the waist with a bright turquoise belt. In addition to being a fun pop of color, this is a great way to add emphasis to your waist and help accentuate your hourglass shape. Finally, in option 3, the neutral shirt is replaced by a colorful one. In this case, it's a striped purple, but you could do a floral, a plaid, or even just a solid that's a bold color. In all three outfits, the remaining accessories are completely neutral, but not match-y.

So why should you try this option? It's a great way to get your feet wet and experiment with color without going too far "out there." In terms of professional dress, a pop of color will never verge on too casual and will often help you stand out from the crowd in a really positive way. A pop of color is especially good when going to a job interview. The bold choice not only sends the message that you are a confident, self-assured person, but it makes you more memorable. Amidst all the grey and black suits they will see throughout the day, the royal blue scarf around your neck or tied to your briefcase will stand out and make them remember you.

For the intermediate students, I present the monochromatic use of color.

Wearing Color- Monochromatic

When creating a monochromatic outfit, simply take several items in varying shades of the same color and put them together. Use a print, or keep it all solids- it's up to you. Don't forget to use different textures. And keep in mind that in general, the darker of the shades will draw the eye more, so try to wear the darker color on the part of your body you'd like to emphasize. It can be easy to look out of balance if you have two extremely different shades, like a super pale mint and a dark forest green. Try to keep them about three shades apart and you'll be fine. A monochromatic look can be very slimming especially if you use neutrals like charcoals and black. But it can be just as sleek in a bold color. Most importantly, make sure it's a color you look and feel great in.

Finally, for the advanced in the class, I have the fully mixed color outfits. I've created three different versions for you. First, I used all primary colors, then all secondary and the last is mostly tertiary colors and a whole lot of them at that. (When I say "primary, secondary and tertiary" I'm referring to the color wheel we all learned about in elementary school.)

Wearing Color- Primaries

Wearing Color- Secondary

Wearing Color- Go Crazy!

These outfits are not for the faint of heart. It takes a lot of guts to wear this much color, but trust me when I say that you can do it! All three looks are created using complimentary colors. If you look at any color wheel, there will be colors opposite each other or- like in the case of the red, yellow and blue outfit- three colors that form a triangle when connected across the circle. These are colors that will always look good together. It's truly that simple.

For a successful and colorful look remember these rules:

1. Remember the "Rule of Three." Three colors will always have more depth than just two, but not be as overwhelming as four or five. Three complimentary colors will pretty much always result in a polished, put-together look.
2. Choose an "anchor." Whatever the look you're going for, choose one piece to be the anchor that holds it all down. The yellow pants are the anchor in the first look, and the green dress is the anchor of the second one. In the third look, there's so much going on that it's harder to tell. I would argue that the floral print top is the anchor since every other piece in the outfit is pulled from the color in that print.
3. When in doubt, try a neutral. If your outfit is looking a little too clownish, try replacing a colored piece with a neutral one and see if it pulls the look together.
4. Don't worry about trends- wear the colors you look and feel great in. Just because neon green is the "hot color for spring," doesn't mean you need to wear it. I truly believe that trends that don't flatter you should be IGNORED.

Now you know everything you need to know in order to successfully pull off colorful outfits. Leave a comment and let me know how you like to incorporate color into your wardrobe. Do you prefer the pop of color, the monochromatic color or the mixed colors? Let me know!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Trend Alert: Collar Necklaces

For years, the prevailing necklace trend has centered around bibs. No matter the medium, designers have been creating statement bib necklaces in eye catching colors, patterns and materials for quite a while. We were due for an update, or at least something new. I kind of love the new collar trend:

Whether the necklace is made with chains, beads, fabric, plastic, metal- there is something sweet and cool about them. They work with lots of different tops, but I especially love them on a button-front shirt that has a collar of its own. The contrast is usually so striking and interesting to look at. I honestly can't even remember when I first saw this trend, but I think it was around this time last year. It's only grown in popularity, and I just love it. I don't have a Peter Pan collar necklace myself, but I do have an adorable top with a jeweled Peter Pan collar attached that is just fabulous. I'll have to make an outfit with it soon so I can show it to all of you. 

What do you think of this trend? Are you on board? Do you think it will last or is it fleeting? Leave a comment because you KNOW I want to know what you're thinking! 

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Beware: Crap-tastic Photos Ahead!

I finally invested in a fancy-schmancy new MacBook Pro a couple of weeks ago and yet for some reason, now I seem to have lower quality photos than B.M. (Before Mac). That is forgivable with this particular post because it is actually a post all about color, not necessarily about the outfit. You can rest assured that I will do my best to take better photos in the future, but it became clear to me while taking the photos below that I will NOT be using the camera on my computer to do so. Fuzzy Wuzzy was a chick in purple jeans.

Ok, last Wednesday was a dreary, cloudy day. It was one of the first truly cold days we've had so far. I wanted nothing more than to stay in sweats as long as possible and just snuggle up with a good book on the couch for the day. Unfortunately, that was not in the cards. Fortunately, a day at the spa was. Juhree and I spent the day at the spa at Wentworth by the Sea, one of my all-time favorite spas. I got a mani/pedi while she got a massage and then afterwards we lounged in the outdoor hot tub. Not bad, right?

Something about the day just made me want to wear fun colors. It was so dreary outside that I wanted something bright, but I was headed to the spa, so I was also all about comfort. In the end, this is what came together:

See what I mean about the fuzzy? Sorry. 

With the time change, it's important to find a way to put a little sunshine back in your day. To me, that simply means to keep it bright. The deep french blue, the granny smith green and the pop of purple together create a combination that's just cheerful. Of course, with the chill outside, I had to add another layer, but it still works: 

Again, super fuzzy. My bad. 

A perfectly relaxed outfit for a perfectly relaxing day at the spa. What would you have worn on this kind of day? Leave a comment! 

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