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Styling Practice: French Chic

French Chic 1As I was playing around with a simple red maxi dress that was purchased for one of my clients, I came up with a very simple way to accessorize it.

Since the overall theme I was going for was feminine, effortless and minimal, my mind immediately went to a very stylish French woman.  French women hands down have this “effortless chic” thing down pat.

Here are my top tips on how to add a little French Chic” to your own wardrobe:

1. Less is More

French women often swap glam and glitter with self-confidence!  To me this means a few key accessories in high-quality materials is better than loads of junky cheap accessories.
 
 

2. Highlight your best features.

For instance, if you have nice curves, show them off with a perfect-fitted high waist skirt. Or if you have a very symmetrical face, wear something that draws attention to your upper half with a beautiful necklace or a pair of earrings that flatter your skin tone. That’s part of chic fashion!

In my case, my client is tall and lithe with a small waist.  The ruching on the side of this dress really shows that off.
 
 

3. Stick with Primarty Colors & Neutral Colors

If you want to embrace French fashion keep your color choices to primary colors and neutrals.

a) Primary Colors: red, blue, and yellow

b) Neutral Colors: brown, black, beige and white.

Muted greens and purple are also a part of their main color palette – either monochromatic or in small drizzles.

When going for bright red keep it the center of attraction or main piece of the outfit.
 
 

French Chic 24. Timeless Pieces

French women focus on simple clothing, and know that they don’t need the flashiest clothes to look good.
 
 

5. It’s a Scarf Thing

A scarf is a fabulous finishing touch to an outfit.

Very French.

Wear it around your neck, let it hang loose or wrap it around the handle of your bag. The choice is yours!
 
 

6. Caps and Hats

When fall is around the corner, most French women pull out their famous winter cap. It adds a cute and quirky vibe to their outfit.  Berets and knitted caps are typical French and a must-own during colder months. For a fashion statement try a hat in a typical Fall color – such as plum and red.
 
 

7. Sunglasses

Oversized sunglasses in either black or brown are a must! Black and brown go with everything. These dark neutrals also exude an alluring look that go hand in hand with French style.
If oversized doesn’t suit you try simple aviator sunglasses or square shaped frames.
 
 

8. Handbags

For French women, a bag should balance with the rest of their outfit. Select simple bags preferably in versatile colors like black, brown or white/cream. Look for handbags with a touch of luxury and elegance, such as gold hardware and croc texture material.

But of course, if you can also carry a bag that creates a statement or adds an unexpected zest to a simple outfit. Just make sure that your clothes are simple and solid colored to help highlight the bag.
 
So how “French Chic” are you?

What are the pieces of your wardrobe that define your style?

Comment below!

Fab on A Budget: Altuzarra for Target

Altuzarra for TargetIn the very recent days uber-fabulous designer Altuzarra has released their collection with Target.

This collection in a statement is fashionable and wearable.

The basics are all there, done in only a style Altuzarra can manage. Chic, bold, feminine, and a little mysterious.  There’s even a great pair of over the knee boots included in the collection!

Since shopping is my business, this is definitely a collection I recommend all my clients at least take a look at.

Why?

Between the price and the style, it’s a sure fire win even if you only wear a piece once!

No item in the collection is over $80 ($79.99 to be exact;) and the styles featured are versatile and will look as good this season as they will next season.

You’ll see lots of floral prints, gold embroidery and the staple color of black.

How do you feel about the collection?

What are some of the pieces you would wear?

Comment below!

Shop Altuzarra for Fall:


 
 

How Do Women Wear Brogues For Fall?

wearing brogues for fall 3Fashion trends are fleeting.

What was in vogue last year is now lying in a rumpled heap at the back of your closet.

It’s hard to admit how easy it is to get sucked into the “latest trend”, but it happens to the best of us.

(I speak from experience!)

The hardest part about taking on a new client is the balancing act I must play between their:

  • wants,
  • needs,
  • expectations,
  • personal fashion sense, and
  • budget

It’s enough to have me pulling hair out some days!

But it’s also something I love the challenge of doing.

That’s when knowing classic fashion comes into play.  Taking classic silhouettes and adding them to a client’s (or my own) wardrobe will keep said closet timeless…

…and not trendy.

wearing brogues for fallSo today’s post is about a classic shoe that is truly menswear but has been adapted over the decades by the “fashion gods” to work in a woman’s wardrobe as well.  I’m talking about the one and only brogue.

Now before you go running out to add this chic and versatile shoe to your wardrobe, here’s some facts to know:

Insane Fact #1: Most American Gents Don’t Dig Brogues

Maybe because the style has been adapted for women, but most of my American male clients hate the style!  For whatever reason they think it’s too old fashion, looks bad on their foot, or aren’t comfortable…oh well, every style can’t please everyone.

This is kind of awesome because it makes the style that much more wearable for the American women:)

Insane Fact #2: A Shoe Must Have “Brouging” To Be A Brogue

I’m not sure if “brouging” is an actual word, but what I’m saying is a shoe has to have the tiny perforated holes on.  To be more specific, these holes must be on the toe, around the sides (wing-tip) and the back of the shoe to be a full brogue!

There are also semi-brogues, quarter brogues, long wing brogues, and Oxford brogues. 

wearing brogues for fall 2

Insane Fact #3: Brogues Look Good When Worn For Work

This is why I love this shoe so much!  Even if you work in a business professional environment, brogues will work with a three-piece pant or skirt suit.  

If you want to wear brogues with a suit, be sure to choose a straight-leg or ankle pant and a slimmer-cut brogue shoe.  Your goal is to have a menswear inspired look without looking masculine.  Softening the lines of the silhouettes of your blazer, pants, skirt and shoe will achieve this balance.

Now if you work in a business casual environment, feel free to experiment with different style brogues and different length pants or skirts.  Keep the balance here as well and go for brogues that compliment your foot.

Insane Fact #4: Brogues Work Well For Play

Even if you’re stepping out for after hours or just running errands on the weekend, a swanky pair of brogues will work for your look.

  • For jeans, go for a more distressed or “worn” style of brogue in softer leathers.  Boyfriend, ankle, and distressed jeans paired with a chambray shirt is a great choice.
  • For a dress, jazz up your brogues and go for a spectator (meaning two-tone) style paired with a flared or skater hem dress or skirt.  It’s a very 50’s inspired look.

Insane Fact #5: Even the Heel-Lover Can Find A Pair of Brogues

This is something I’ve personally experienced.  I’m a lover of all shoes stiletto height and higher and I like to wear said shoes everywhere I go!  So I was more than a little surprised to find that I found (and really liked) brogues so well.

That’s of course because many designers have done heeled brogues that satisfy my love of heels as well as my need for comfort.  Choose a sleeker style brogue with less decoration–like a half or quarter brogue–and a thinner heel.  I loathe chunky heels so those styles didn’t work for me:(

Now that you know a bit more about this menswear adapted shoe, will you be grabbing a pair for fall?

Let me know, comment below!

 

 

photo credit: …love Maegan via photopin cc
photo credit: jaimelondonboy via photopin cc

What Different Ways Can I Wear Jeans & Stilettos?

Classic Pairings: Jeans & StilettosThis week has been, how you say stressful, to say the least!

Between traveling to multiple cities domestically to work with clients, I’ve also had two major events to attend.  There’s been lots of packing, unpacking, and running for taxis and planes.  But all in all it’s been a great week.  I’ve even rediscovered one of my favorite traveling style staples, and that’s no other than the classic pairing of jeans and stilettos.

Yes even in this crazy warm weather of summer, I still enjoy wearing jeans and stilettos.  I know for most this can seem a bit inconvenient or hard to wear but fear not…just follow my style tips below and you’ll be able to wear this easy pairing like a pro!

Easy Breezy Gi-Gi: Chambray Shirt + Boyfriend Jeans + Stilettos

For this first look you take the laid-back vibe of chambray and amp it up with touches of polished femininity.  I love pairing button-up chambray shirts (in either blue or red chambray) with lightwash slouchy boyfriend jeans and white stilettos.  This look can go from lunch with friends, riding on the plane, meeting with a client and everything in between!

When it comes to accessories a straw fedora and oversized sunglasses in either white or light colors help keep this look from feeling too dressy but still allows it to have the right amount of polish. If stilettos aren’t your thing, try this look with a pair of white loafers or ballet  flats to get the same effect.


 

Summery Femme Fatale: White Sleeveless Shell + Straight Leg Jeans + Stiletto Sandals

When it comes to dramatic think monochromatic! 

There’s nothing that packs more of a punch as when you wear one color head to toe.  To make my femme fatale look summery, I go for pastel colors or simple all white.  A fine knit sleeveless shell or mockneck turtleneck paired with straight leg jeans and stiletto sandals gives instant mystery and sexiness.  To make the look more wearable for summer, I go for lighter colors.

Street Chic: Graphic Skinny Jeans + Peep-Toe Stilettos

In the midst of my super crazy schedule and gazillion meetings I had a few opportunities to go out.  Of course I wore jeans, and to really kick the style factor up a notch I wore graphic print jeans with peep-toe sling back stilettos.

If you can find these type of jeans in a crop or ankle length, even better!

What makes this a perfect combination is that you can wear a basic top and simple handbag and still look super chic.  It makes packing infinitely easier.

Now that you know the “how” will you be trying my favorite classic combo of jeans & stilettos?

Comment below!

How Can I Wear Complementary Colors and Actually Match?

dress to impress-how to wear complementary colorsFor starters, lets clear the air by defining exactly what I mean when I say complementary colors.  Per definition, complementary colors are those that are exactly opposite of one another on the color wheel.

If you check out the cool graphic of the color wheel below you can see that colors that are exact opposites of one another will give you bold and audacious color combinations that the faint of heart might not want to try.

color-wheel

That being said here are a few keys things you may want to consider before trying your hand at wearing complementary colors together.
 

Try extremes

As black is to white, going to extremes with color is quit bold and eye-catching in fashion.  The key to making complements or opposites work is playing with styles that work well together in a look.  For instance a collared shirt and v-neck sweater is a traditional pairing that gets an extra dash of fabulous when the shirt is a yellow and white pinstripe and the v-neck sweater is any shade of purple cashmere.  Yellow and purple are complements and this can be a very sophisticated yet bold look when worn with slim fit jeans and purple or yellow pumps.  Just remember decide up front which color you want to be the main color and which color you want to be the complement.

Another fun example is blue and orange.  With this color complement I’d take a royal blue pencil skirt and pair it with an silk bow blouse in either a shade of orange (such as peach) or with orange in the print of the blouse (say a paisley or graphic print).  Since the royal blue is obviously the main color in this case, I’d go for royal blue patent pumps and a great handbag in a slightly darker shade of blue. The accessories could bring in a bit more of the orange.

Shop Bold Color Combos!

     
 
 

Work with Shades and Tones

When sticking to a true hue of a color (say for instance red) is a bit too dramatic for your taste, then play with the shades and tones or lighter and darker variations of a color and its complement.  Red and green are complements but worn together in their true hue can make your look like a Christmas present.  Therefore for this pairing of color complements I like to use a red-orange and emerald green.  You get just as striking an effect without the holiday theme.

Shop My Picks of Great Shades & Tones!

 

Go for Colorblocking

Now if you’re really not sure about wearing complementary colors the easiest way is to just go with colorblocking!  I mean finding the color combos you want may present a bit of a challenge but once you do pairing the piece with colorblocking with a simple top or bottom is all you need to do.

Colorblocking is also a great way to add print or pattern into your look with two pieces instead of adding several layers.  My best suggestion is to go for print in the accessories if you are wearing an article of clothing with colorblocking on it.

Shop Cool Colorblocking Picks!

So now you know how to wear complementary colors together, the question is will you try it?

Tell me either way, comment below!
 
 

What Is Chambray?

Dress to Impress - ChambrayIf you haven’t jumped on the bandwagon yet, you likely will very soon.  Anything made from this material is soft, easy to wear, easy to clean, and very versatile.  What am I talking about?  I’m talking about the one and only chambray!
 

What is Chambray?

By definition, chambray is a plain woven fabric made  from cotton or synthetic fibers, often produced in checkered or striped patterns. Usually made from blue and white yarns and used to make shirts, dresses and children’s clothing, the fabric originated in the town of Cambrai in northern France.

Also known as “cambric”, chambray uses a white weft and indigo warp to create a fabric that looks similar to denim, yet is much lighter. A heavy version of chambray is used for workmen’s shirts in the United States, and was what inspired the phrase “blue collar”.
 

Chambray vs. Denim

A common misconception about chambray is that it’s the same thing as denim.  Let’s be clear.  Chambray is not denim!  There are probably more similarities than differences between the two, but there are some differences.

Chambray and denim are types of cloth fabrics. Usually, they are both blue in color on the bolt, but color variations are available in both types. Both are coarse cloths, that is, the threads per inch in the cloths is lower than for finer, higher count fabrics such as percale. Both are made of cotton.

Chambray is the lighter of the two fabrics; sort of like muslin. It is also usually light blue in color. Denim is the heavier of the two fabrics; similar to a lightweight canvas. It is usually dark blue – darker than chambray. Chambray is usually used to make long and short sleeved work shirts, while denim is usually used to make work pants or jeans. Denim is also used to make overalls, skirts, jackets, purses, shorts, pillows, and sundry other useful items that require durability from the cloth. Chambray can be used where a lighter fabric is more appropriate.
 

Chambray Closet Must-Haves
  • Chambray Button-Up Shirt – This is a go to choice for summer as it pairs well with light denim, dark denim, and different prints and patterns.  It also can be dressed up or down easily depending upon the accessories you choose.
  • Chambray Baseball Cap – When you are having a bad hair day or just a low-key casual day, a chambray baseball cap is a stylish and feminine way to top off your look.
  • Chambray Short – For days when denim is just too heavy for the weather, try a pair of short made from this fabulous material!  Whether you like your shorts cuffed, knee-length, or shorty short, chambray can polish off your look.
  • Chambray Jumper – A simple look for an upbeat casual day, the chambray jumper will stay with you through many summers.  Just be sure to get a cut that’s flattering for your figure.
  • Chambray Maxi Skirt – A maxi skirt made out of this lovely material will be soft and have lots of movement.  Pair with a great plain white tee + a wide belt and you have a great bohemian inspired look for summer.

 

Shop My Picks of Chambray Wardrobe Staples!


 

So how do you feel about chambray?

Is it something you could see yourself wearing, or are you a die-hard denim lover?

Comment below!
 
 

Weekly Roundup – Vol. 6

weekly roundup vol. 6Here are my favorite posts from around the web this week:
 

I. Fashion

 

II. Personal Style

 

III. Celebrity

 

IV. Shopping

 
Check out some of these fab fashion posts!

Tell me what are some of your stories of the week?

Comment below!
 

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