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What Are Some Great Combos For “Sweater Weather”?

medium_5268233326Boot and sweater weather, a.k.a Fall, is the chicest time of year!

There’s so much variety and yet simplicity in finding the perfect fall pieces to fit your life and style.  In a previous post, I discussed how to choose the right ankle boots for fall.  Now as a follow-up I wanted to give you five timeless, easy pairings to wear for this transitional time of year.

For work and for play!

Combo #1: Cowl-Neck Sweater + Skinny Jeans

SweaterWeatherCombo1

This first combo takes casual to a sexy and sophisticated level.  Pair a cowl-neck sweater with a flattering pair of skinny or boot cut jeans.  Remember, it’s important to wear styles that compliment your figure, no matter the latest trend.

  • For the sweater: Choose a fine knit.  Avoid anything chunky, as the cowl neck adds enough volume to this look.  If you have a larger bust or mid-section, then stick with a dark color sweater (such as black or navy).  If you have a smaller bust and slim waist, you can play with brighter colors.
  • For the skinny jeans: Flatter your figure by going with a fit that works for you.  A dark wash, black, or grey will give the greatest slimming effect.

Combo #2: Sleeveless Turtleneck Sweater + Printed Maxi Skirt

SweaterWeatherCombo2

Business casual never looked so comfortable yet fabulous!  This pairing of sweater and skirt will take you from the office to after work with friends or even on a casual first date!  The key to making this look work is wearing proportions that work for you.  Make sure the sweater fits perfectly and the skirt isn’t too voluminous.

  • For the turtleneck: Update the turtleneck by choosing a fine knit in a sleeveless style.  If you don’t have arms as fabulous as you would like, then choose a cap, mid or 3/4 length style.  The most important thing is to choose something more fitted versus chunky.  A chunky sweater in this look can look a little “school marmish”.  A dark solid color will be your best choice and you can never go wrong with black!
  • For the maxi skirt:  Here’s a great opportunity to wear a fun print!  If you’re new to wearing print or want to keep it classic, go with a plaid or houndstooth.  But if you’re more daring, then go for one of the season’s hottest prints.

 

Combo #3: V-Neck Sweater + Gaucho Pants

SweaterWeatherCombo3

This is another office appropriate look for sweater weather!  If long skirts aren’t your thing, then go for a pair of tailored pants in a slightly shorter length.  Gaucho pants are perfect for the transitional temps of fall and are an unexpected surprise when you wear them in any look.

  • For the V-Neck sweater: You want to go a bit oversized here, yet still make sure the sweater compliments your silhouette!  If you choose a deep v-neck sweater, then layer a collared white shirt underneath it.  if you choose a more shallow v-neck, then it can be more fitted.
  • For the gaucho pants: When choosing gaucho pants for fall, you want a pair that hits around mid-calf.  If you go any shorter then you’re going for culottes which isn’t nearly as flattering in this look.  The fit through the hips and the the flare of the gaucho pants should flatter your figure.  Wool, a wool blend, or leather are the best materials to choose and dark colors will prove to be the most versatile in your wardrobe.

 

Combo #4: Graphic Print Sweater Dress + Opaque Tights

SweaterWeatherCombo4

This look will work at work or when you’re out and about.  It’s a bit on the dressier side but I love the versatility and the comfort of it.  A great sweater dress can be worn alone, with tights, with leggings, and with endless options of shoes.  The key is finding a fit and pattern that flatter you.  To disguise any areas, go for mitered or diagonal stripes which serve as the ultimate optical illusion!

  • For the sweater dress: Fit is king! A cinched waist with a neckline that flatters your bust (cowl always looks good, just go larger for small bust and smaller for large bust).  Keep the length at or slightly above the knee to ensure it’s appropriate for work as well as play.
  •  For the opaque tights: Anything with a sheen (paired with heels) will make your legs look longer.  Pick any dark color that’s also in the graphic print of the sweater dress you’ve chosen.

 

Combo #5: Fair-Isle Sweater + Leather Leggings

SweaterWeatherCombo5

A timeless pattern for cold weather, you don’t have to worry about the sweater you pick ever going out of style!  The most important thing is to pick a fit that flatters.  Avoid oversized styles in favor of a more tailored look.  Squared shoulder, cinched waist, or cropped style will add depth to your look.

  • For the sweater: Go for a sweater where the main color is dark (like black, navy or burgundy) and the Fair Isle pattern is a lighter contrast (such as white, ivory or gold).  This give lots of dimension to your look and further enhances the tailored styling you chose.
  • For the leather leggings: Leggings are tricky beasts so you want to make sure you choose a pair that flatters your legs and doesn’t slide down as you walk!  Faux leather is a more affordable choice, but less durable.  The best fit is usually with a pair of leather leggings that are mixed media meaning they have patches of leather as accents with the main material being a thick knit.  Stick with dark colors for the most wear.

Still not sure what you want to wear in this chilly weather?  Then check out some great articles from across the web:

  1. Sweater Weather – How To Wear High Waisted Shorts In The Fall {Found In Fashion}
  2. Sweater Weather IFB Project #66 {Wear in LA}
  3. Take Your Closet from Summer to Fall {Women’s Health Mag}
  4. What to Wear In Fall When It Feels Like Summer {Style Maniac}
  5. What to Wear to Work in the Fall {The Spiff}

Shop my top “sweater weather” pick below:

Sweater Weather_KR Lookbook 10.27.14

What are your favorite things to wear in sweater weather?

Comment below!

photo credit: ▲brian james via photopin cc

 

 

How Do I Choose the Right Ankle Boots for Fall?

ankle boots for fallThere are four types of ankle boots every fashionista needs to have in her closet.

And each of these ankle boots has to be three things:

  • comfortable.
  • timeless, and
  • compliment your style.

One size does not fit all in fashion and what may work for one woman may be a total miss for another.  That’s why with the waning weather of summer comes the oh so fun task of choosing the perfect boots for fall.  The most versatile boot, and the one this post is about, is the ankle boot.

In a previous post I described very fashionable ways on how to wear leather for fall.  I got a lot of comments and e-mails from readers who wanted to know how to translate that information on how to choose the right boots for fall.  Check out the most important types of ankle boots I’ve discovered from building my clients the most wearable and versatile wardrobes.

1. The Staple Ankle Boot

Staple Ankle Boot

Think of the staple ankle boot as the “LBD” of your boot collection.  This is the go to boot that you can wear with almost anything and it’s style and structure are built to last for several seasons to come.  Of all the ankle boots in your quintessential shoe wardrobe, these are the pair I suggest spending the most money on.  Here are the most important characteristics of the staple ankle boot:

  • Choose proper fit & comfort.  Above all, these boots need to be comfortable!  Whether that means a 1/2″ heel or a 4″ heel, wedge or stiletto, the height of the heel and the fit of the ankle boot on your foot must allow you to be comfortable whenever you wear them.
    • Two-Hour Rule: A good rule of thumb I use when working with clients to determine if a a shoe is comfortable is they must be able to wear and stand in the shoe for around two hours (not continual standing) without their feet hurting.  If the ankle boot you try on doesn’t pass this test, then you want to pass on it for your staple ankle boot.
    • A chunkier heel it best (I know that’s surprising coming from a lover of all things stiletto:), but it’s true.  A chunkier heel allows for better weight distribution on your feet and will be more comfortable when worn for longer periods of time versus a skinnier heel.
  • Durable material is a MUST.  You can choose fancy fabrics for one of your other ankle boots, but for your staple ankle boot go for a durable material.  Leather, suede, and shearling are the best choices.  To ensure extra durability, treat your boots with a weatherproof spray before wearing in any bad or inclement weather.
  • Go for a basic color.  This is the boot you need to be able to wear with most items in your wardrobe, so stick with a color that shows up many times in your closet. Black, navy, dark brown, and tan are all good choices.

 

2. The Statement (or Fashion) Ankle Boot

Statement Ankle BootAs the title implies, this is the ankle boot in your collection that’s meant to make a statement! You still want this boot to be comfortable, but it doesn’t have to pass my “two hour rule”. When choosing a statement ankle boot, remember:

  • Slender is more feminine.  A slimmer (aka stiletto) heel is much more feminine than a chunky heel.  For the statement ankle boot, your goal is to make your foot look as sleek and stylish as possible all while being able to comfortably walk.
  • Pick timeless details.  You want to make a statement, but you also want to be able to wear this ankle boot next season as well.  Choose timeless details such as woven leather, stitching, metallic accents, fringes, etc. versus something too “trendy”.
  • No limits on color.  Pick a color that’s unexpected yet still keeps in alignment with the overall color scheme of your wardrobe.  For instance, I have a lot of blues and grays in my closet, so a great statement ankle boot for me might be in royal blue leather with gray suede fringe.  Though this isn’t a boot that would necessarily work in most wardrobes, it’s a color and style that coordinates with many pieces in my wardrobe.  Exotic pick, yes! Still wearable, yes!

 

3. The Flat Ankle Boot

Flat Ankle BootA flat ankle boot is meant to work with shorter skirts, looks good when paired with tights and leggings, and gives you a chance to wear slim cut an casual pants in a different way. Flat boots don’t have to have absolutely no heel, but the heel should be 2″ or less.

  • Play with details.  Since you don’t have a heel, at least not a high one, to make this boot look stylish, you can really play with detail when picking the perfect flat ankle boot.  Think studs, grommets, buckles, and laces.
  • Ensure proper arch support.  This may seem obvious with any of the ankle boots in your collection, but making sure your flat ankle boot has proper padding and arch support is really important.  It’s easy to think that because a shoe is low it will be comfortable, but that’s totally false!  Once again you want to make sure this boot also passes the “two hour rule” I discussed above.
  • Go for rubber soles.  You want as much grip as possible when it comes to your flat boots and rubber soles will give you that.  Improved traction, the ability to absorb greater amounts of shock, and weighing less than leather soles are all factors as to why rubber soles are the best choice when it comes to flat ankle boots.

 

4. The Evening Ankle Boot

Evening Ankle BootThis is the ankle boot you can wear to an “after 5” event.  This ankle boot looks good with a dress or gown and would compliment a lady’s tuxedo impeccably well!  Since this is a special occasion shoe, you shouldn’t be able to wear it with jeans and tee as that’s not it’s purpose.  If you aren’t a woman who goes out to evening events alot, you can skip this ankle boot.  However I do advise you get a pair when it’s “off season” (like spring or summer) when this type of footwear is on sale.  It will make a huge difference in your look whenever you do get a chance to wear it!

  • Not everyday material.  Like the strappy sandals you’d wear with your best dress, you don’t want the evening ankle boot to be wearable with all other items in your wardrobe.  The point is for it to be for special occasions only.  Possible materials your evening ankle boot could be made of include:
    • fur,
    • lace,
    • mesh,
    • pony,
    • rhinestones,
    • satin, and
    • silk.
  • Height is important.  No flats allowed!  Seriously you want this to be a very feminine and ladylike ankle boot and so saying you want it to be high.  Even if you can’t pull off a 5″ heel, try not to go lower than a 3″ heel.  The higher the heel the longer your legs and silhouette will look overall.
    • Also these are the only pair of ankle boots were I don’t take comfort into account as much.  If needed, purchase insoles and practice walking in these beauties at home to make them more comfortable, but the point is for them to look good with your evening attire.
  • Think outside the box.  Think outside the traditional boot box that is.  Great variations of the traditional ankle boot can be a peep-toe style, mule, or even sandal style ankle bootie.  Remember these aren’t shoes you’ll be wearing everyday, so you can be a little impractical on the style and design.

Still confused on how to choose the right ankle boots for your wardrobe?

Check out these fashion articles I found on the web:

Now you’re ready to shop for these four styles of ankle boots to add to your closet.

Shop my lookbook and find a few pairs that fit you today!

Ankle Boots for Fall_KR Lookbook

Which ankle boots do you already have in your closet?

What styles do you need to add?

Comment below!

photo credit: …love Maegan via photopin cc

Besides A Leather Jacket, How Can I Wear Leather This Fall?

how to wear a leather jacketNow that it’s officially fall, it’s time to adjust your wardrobe.

A staple in any cool weather climate, leather is one of those timeless materials that just works for this time of year.  From cowhide to lambskin to vegan, leather should be a part of every fashionistas wardrobe.

Most of us have a leather jacket or coat hanging in our closets. However did you know that you can wear leather in LOTS of other fashionable ways for fall?

I put my stylist mind and love for shopping to work and came up with a few ways to add leather pieces to your wardrobe and still look like you stepped out of a fashion magazine. Follow these tips for flawless incorporation of one of my favorite cold weather materials.

1. Leather Shorts + Opaque Tights

Look of Leather 1

Early fall is when it’s still warm and not quite time to pull out the fluffy stuff (like goosedown coats and cashmere wraps) that will keep me warm on my daily commute.  That’s why I love the look of leather shorts and opaque tights for this time of year.

For the shorts:

  • Pick the right inseam.  Choose a pair that’s between above-the-knee and mid-thigh length. Too short or too long shorts won’t work.
  • Choose a focal point.  If you want to wear leather shorts with a print, I suggest making the shorts the focal point of your outfit.  This means everything else should be in solid colors.
  • Keep it animal free.  Stick with a vegan leather as leather shorts made from animal hides can get hot!

For the tights:

  • Darker colors work best in this look.  My picks are navy, black, forest green, and chocolate brown.
  • Make sure the tights are truly opaque. The level of opacity is up to you, but a blend of sheer opaque tights gives a nice sheen as well as coverage.
  • Avoid tights with texture.  Unless you have very skinny legs, any texture on the tights worn underneath the leather shorts can make your legs look chunky or unshapely.

Finishing touches:

  • A pair of flat oxfords or brogues works nicely in this look.  Make the legs appear longer by picking shoes in the same color as the tights.
  • Keep any jewelry simple and cluster a bunch of small pieces versus wearing any statement jewelry.  Remember the leather shorts are the star of the show.
  • As the weather gets colder, this is a perfect look to try with my la mere layering technique.
    • Layer on top by adding a scarf around the neck and fitted blazer.
    • Layer on the bottom by adding socks along with the tights and changing the shoes to a flat boot.

 

2. Metallic Leather + “All Black Everything

Look of Leather 2The old fashion adage is true, black never goes out of style!  It’s one of my favorite colors to wear (along with my love of stilettos) and can be worn in any season.  The key to successfully wearing black is proportion and fit.  Wearing things that fit well is important to pull off this color, especially when you’re wearing it head-to-toe in a monochromatic look.  That’s where texture and accents come into play.

For the leather vest:

  • Go for texture.  Or embellishment, since it will be paired with all black underneath.
  • Pick a vest that’s hip length.  Cropped can work if you have an enviable waistline (which many of us don’t).  Avoid a vest that’s too long as it will go over the hips and rear and potentially distort the shape.
  • Pick a vest that fits.  Make sure you can move in the vest!  If you don’t have full range of motion in your arms or it pulls tightly across the back if you hunch over, then it’s too tight.

For the jeans & top:

  • Choose jeans that flatter your figure.  If skinny jeans don’t work for you, then pick a style that does.  Bootcut is universally flattering.
  • Make sure the jeans are black.  The goal is a dramatic effect so find the darkest, truest color of black denim jeans possible.
  • Long sleeves are a must.  Whether you go for a body suit, turtleneck, or mockneck turtuleneck, it’s important for the top to have long sleeves.

Finishing touches:

  • Ensure the heel height is comfortable for you to walk in.  Although I love stilettos, they aren’t for everyone.  It’s more important that your shoes coordinate with the leather vest and are a statement shoe.
  • Match your metallics.  If you like gold, then match it with gold.  The same goes for if you choose silver, pewter, rose gold, or bronze.  This is not a time to mix metallics.
  • Match your blacks.  The jeans you pick and the long-sleeve top need to match almost perfectly.  That means no faded black denim allowed!

 

 

3. Pleated Leather Skirt + Cashmere Sweater

Look of Leather 3

A pleated skirt is a wonderful wardrobe staple for every woman.  Regardless of the length, this feminine and classic skirt can be worn to work, for play, on a date, or casually.  For fall, I like the leather pleated skirt because it adds a bit of edge and maturity to this effortlessly feminine piece.

For the pleated skirt:

  • Go for knee-to-shin length.  Since every piece of clothing in your wardrobe should be timeless, keeping lengths versatile will enable you to wear it for more seasons and for more occasions.
  • Keep colors classic.  Though I love colored leather, choose a pleated leather skirt in a classic color such as black, navy, chocolate brown, or camel.  Once again, you’ll get more wear (and for more seasons) out of a classic colored leather pleated skirt versus one that’s, say, electric blue.
  • Faux or vegan are best.  Since leather is a heavy material, it can look cumbersome in the form of a pleated skirt.  To keep the look and weight light, go for a pleated leather skirt in vegan leather.  This is also a more budget-friendly option.

For the cashmere sweater:

  • V-neck is best.  Whether you want to layer a collared shirt underneath your sweater or wear a dramatic statement necklace, a v-neck cashmere sweater will allow you to do just that.
  • Go for 2-ply.  This is considered “seasonless” cashmere and your best bet in being able to wear this look in cooler weather instead of just winter weather.
  • Keep it neutral.  The pleated leather skirt is the star so make sure all of your other pieces play the background role.  Pick a cashmere sweater in a neutral or basic color so there’s not competition for attention in your look.

Finishing touches:

  • Add print.  Since the pieces are basic, you want to add depth and interest to your look with the use of prints.  A bit of graphic print or animal print is a great add-in here.
  • Choose minimal accessories.  Simple and chic is what you want, so minimize the use of accessories.  As stated above, add interest with a bit of print.
  • Pick fun flats.  The pleated leather skirt is the star, so choose a cool pair of flats (like oxfords or brogues) to keep it that way.

 

4. The Leather Dress

Look of Leather 4

The leather dress in a word can be intimidating.  The images that a “leather dress” brings to mind when I’ve suggested it to clients is some type of dominatrix with whips and chains.  That is so not the case!  A quality leather dress is an investment piece that will last you for years to come with proper care.

For the dress:

  • Sheath is best.  A classic sheath dress is the best style to choose.  It’s timeless,simple and a classic that will never go out of style.
  • Keep it knee length.  For maximum versatility, knee length will serve you best. This is long enough to be appropriate for a professional environment or upscale dinner yet short enough to be flirty and fun for more casual activities.
  • Stick with a dark color.  Even if you feel black may be too daunting, stick with dark colors that always show up in fall wardrobes.  Think navy, cognac, wine, aubergine, or charcoal grey.

Finishing touches:

  • For the office, go for a fitted blazer that really defines the waist plus has a bold stripe or pattern to contrast with the solid colored leather dress.
  • To ensure your look stays feminine versus dominatrix, keep your accessories dainty.  The contrast between the strong statement the leather dress makes against the subtle statement of thin bracelets and pearl necklaces balances out the look.
  • If you want to make this look a little more retro, pair the leather dress with the same color opaque tights and flat or low-heeled knee boots.  Throw in a cropped jacket and your look is a refined homage to 60’s style.

 

5. Leather Leggings + Cropped Top

Look of Leather 5

Leather leggings are the ultimate in chic modern casual.  These beauties can be worn virtually anywhere, dressed up or down, and easily make you look like a million bucks!

For the leggings:

  • Choose panel leggings.  These give the wearer the best fit and are more budget-friendly than purely leather leggings.  The panels of stretch material and leather also make a great pattern.
  • Stick to black.  I love colored leather, but sticking to black is the most slimming and timeless choice.
  • Ensure proper fit.  Make sure the leather leggings aren’t too tight or too loose. Looking constricted and spilling over any place is just as bad as having sagging going on anywhere (especially in the crotch area!).

Finishing touches:

  • Pair with a crop top.  I love crop tops for their versatility!  You can layer a longer shirt underneath for cooler weather and get a killer urban inspired look.
  • Grab designer kicks.  A fun and sophisticated wedge sneaker is a great compliment to leather leggings.  Grab a designer pair in black for an easily accessible casual look.
  • Keep accessories fun.  A cool compliment to the designer wedge sneakers are accessories with “wordplay”.  Think of a beanie or jewelry with wording that expresses your style or personality.

 

6. Midi Leather Skirt + Blouse

Look of Leather 6

Think of the midi skirt as the one your mother used to wear.  This ladylike classic hits around shin length and is the perfect combination of sophisticated, ladylike, and sexy.

For the skirt:

  • Don’t be afraid of color.  Colored leather for fall is a chic way to add leather pieces to your wardrobe.  Navy, coffee, camel, and plum are excellent color choices for a midi leather skirt because it will look haute for many seasons to come.  These colors also coordinate well with lighter and darker tones.
  • Don’t be afraid of detail.  Think “femme fatale” and go for details that really emphasize a small waist or gorgeous gams.  Think of a bow accent on the waist or a killer split in the back that shows off beautiful legs.  Just keep it ladylike and don’t go too extreme.
  • Ensure proper fit.  Nobody looks good in a skirt that makes them look like a stuffed sausage!  Conversely, no woman looks good in a skirt that looks like she can hula hoop in it. This is especially important when buying a leather skirt as anything that’s wrong with fit will be magnified even more in this material.

For the blouse:

  • Don’t be afraid of details.  I’m a huge fan of bow collars and embellished necklines on blouses.  This is a wonderful accent when paired with a leather skirt.  It helps with proportion and silhouette.
  • Silk is the best choice.  Actually any silky or lightweight fabric is a nice contrast and compliment to a midi leather skirt.  Go for silk, satin, or charmeuse that lends a soft touch and polished finish.
  • Contrast the colors.  Since your leather midi skirt is a dark color for fall, choose a lighter color as a contrast.  This lends more femininity and “softness” to the look as well.  A shirt in a matching shade can look too intimidating with the skirt.

Finishing touches:

  • Pump it up.  Go for high heels with this look.  Make sure you’re comfortable, but this look works best with sky high stilettos that add to the blend of femininity and femme fatale being captured.
  • Let your bag make a statement.  No fashonistas wardrobe is complete without a statement bag for every season!  To keep it classic an easy tip is to stick with colors you’ll wear most of the season.
    • For instance a statement bag in patchwork black, grey and navy is versatile yet fabulous and will go with many looks throughout the fall/winter seasons if you have a lot of black, grey and navy clothes in your closet.
  • Glam it up.  In this case I’m talking about pattern, print and contrast. Don’t go crazy with it but adding a bit of detail in subtle ways (as in a shirt with detail) can really pull together this look.

 

7. Pastel Leather

Look of Leather 7

When you think of leather you think of tough and edgy, which is usually the case.  However to really make a statement picking pieces in a pastel leather not only makes leather easier to add to your fall wardrobe, but it also makes it versatile enough to add to your spring and summer wardrobe as well!

For the pastel leather:

  • Accessories are best.  Accessories such as handbags, bracelets, belts, and hair accessories are the best investment when it comes to choosing pieces in pastel leather.  They can be added to all different types of looks without being overpowering.
  • Think footwear.  A few pairs of shoes in pastel leather is a must for a fashionista on the go.  Ballet flats or sleek pumps are your most wearable options.
  • Rouge, blanc and bleu.  Blush, pearl, and baby blue are the pastel colors that will give you the most wear.  Light green, lilac, and light yellow are beautiful pastel colors but won’t give you as many style options and don’t pair as well with darker colors.

 

8. Fringe Leather Boots + Dark Denim Jeans

Look of Leather 8

If your style is bohemian, hippie, disco-inspired, or L.A. in the 1980’s fringe is likely your friend:-)  However even if none of these describe your personal style, adding fringe for fall adds definite interest to your look.

For the boots:

  • Keep the color dark.  Black is the best choice here but a dark brown will also work well. Remember, the fringe is already the accent so you don’t need to pick an exotic color.  Also you want to be able to wear these boots next fall as well!
  • Keep the heel high.  Whether you like skinny stiletto heels or chunkier Cuban heels, go for the maximum height you’re comfortable walking in.  I advise this because a fringe boot that is too low or flat will give you the look of a moccasin and, unless your going for a tribal inspired theme, will take your outfit in the wrong direction.
  • Make sure the boots are comfortable.  With any footwear comfort and proper fit are key. You should be able to comfortably wear and walk in your fringe leather boots for at least two hours.  If you can’t you may want to size up or pick a different boot.

For the jeans:

  • Choose jeans that flatter your figure.  If skinny jeans don’t work for you, then choose the style that does.  Bootcut is universally flattering.
  • Wash before wearing.  I advise this for any jeans but especially dark and black rinses.  Turn your jeans inside out and run through the rinse cycle with a tablespoon of white vinegar to rinse out any excess dye that would potentially rub off the first time you wear them.  Tumble dry jeans on low heat maybe once before letting them air dry.  I’ve found this to be the best way to preserve my jeans.
  • Highlight your assets.  Whether you have fabulous buns, long shapely legs, or a tiny waist even Jessica Rabbit would kill for, choose jeans that highlight your best assets.  The fit should flatter your height and silhouette.

Finishing touches:

  • Choose pieces that compliment your fringe leather boots.  I like pairing this with a floppy hat and cool shirt with details for a polished bohemian look.
  • Back to black.  Keeping this look all in black with only the dark denim jeans to break it up is perfectly ok.
  • Minimal accessories.  When you wear fringe boots, you want that to be the highlight of the look.  Therefore I suggest wearing little to no accessories to draw attention away from these fab boots!

Still need a few more hints on how to wear leather for the fall/winter season?

Check out some additional fashion advice I found on the web.

Now you’re more than ready to shop hot leather looks for your closet.

Don’t wait, shop the lookbook below for fun, fabulous and functional looks!

Leather Looks for Fall_KR Lookbook_9.24.14

 

 

photo credit: Idhren via photopin cc

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:(

Additional Resources:

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!
 
 

Can I Wear Graphic Prints in Changing Seasons?

graphic prints for changing seasonsPrints, patterns and detail are something that emerge in some way shape or form every season.  For instance, for Spring 2014 print and pattern was evident on the wearable trends of the moto jacket, the inverse buttoned shirt, and uber-cool bomber jackets.  This means even in the case a specific print or pattern isn’t highlighted as “vogue” for a season, it will still emerge with another trend.

To help you navigate the murky waters between different prints and seasons, follow these three simple tips on how to wear graphic prints from spring/summer to fall/winter.

Stylist Fashion Tip #1: Pair Graphic Prints with Darker Solids

Say you have a graphic print shirt that you love and want to wear it into the cooler months of the year, the easiest way to do this is by pairing that shirt with darker solids.  For example, you may have worn that fab floral print blouse with white linen pants for the summer.  So to adapt the look of that floral print blouse for the fall, you can pair it with navy ankle trousers and pumps.  Same blouse just worn in a way that’s right for each season.

Stylist Fashion Tip #2: Choose Prints in Darker Tones

I love patterns!  When the seasons change, I adapt the colors or those patterns to work best for the weather.  For summer go for graphic prints against light or white backgrounds.  Even lighten the wash of the denim you wear!  It will greatly increase the “summery” feel of your wardrobe.  For fall/winter go for prints on background that are black, grey, or navy.  These are the only colors I recommend for the color of backgrounds for prints as these are the easiest colors to coordinate with the rest of your wardrobe.

If you have a more robust closet, patterns against plum, burgundy, maroon, or teal backgrounds are also a lot of fun to play with.  Just make sure you have at least two bottoms that you can wear with any graphic print top in your closet.  And yes, denim jeans count as a pair of bottoms that you should be able to pair with any top.

Stylist Fashion Tip #3: Pick a Smaller Print

Lastly, just go for smaller prints.  A smaller, more clustered print automatically gives a garment a more “weighty” feel which is more suited for fall/winter.  Some great prints for the season include:

  • Polka dots
  • Small clustered fruit
  • Stars (non-white)
  • Stripes (horizontal, vertical, mitered, and diagonal)

Now you have the tips to effectively transition from summer to fall/winter wearing the prints you love!

What are some of your favorite prints to wear all year around?

Comment below!
 

Shop My Top Picks for Graphic Prints!

 

 
 
 

What Should I Wear on A First Date?!

what to wear on a dateRuthlessly rummaging through her closet, Kate pulled piece after piece out, grumbled, and threw it on the bed.

  • Sequin miniskirt?  No, that work.
  • Tuxedo stripe track pants and blazer?  No, that’s wasn’t right.
  • Pleated skirt?  No, that wasn’t right.
  • Designer crop top?  No, that wasn’t right.

In a huff of irritation, flopped on the bed and looked at the jumble of clothes and still was clueless as to what she was going to do about Friday.  Indecision swam in her head as her mind screamed “What do I wear on a date?!”

Has this ever happened to you?

Well if it hasn’t consider yourself blessed and fortunate.  If you’re like me, then this scene has definitely happened to you a time or two (or seven!) when you just had no clue what to wear on a date.  This situation becomes even more overwhelming when you are trying to figure out what to wear on a first date!

Here are my timeless tips on what to wear on a first, second, or twelfth date!

For the casual date

Remember that comfort, versatility, and clean lines should be your goal.  Choose pieces that can be easily layered in case you’ll be going some place where the climate may change (i.e. the movies, walk in the park, etc.) and you want to be comfortable the entire time.  Also keep in mind to wear shoes that are cute as well as comfortable.  Leave your 5” stilettos in the closet for this type of date (this is about the only time you’ll hear me advise against wearing your sky high heels:)  A beautiful flat sandal, loafer, lace up oxford, or ballet flat may be your best choices.

For the formal date

Bring on the glam!  This is the type of date you can get all dolled up for because you’ll likely be sitting in one place and there will be less movement as compared to a casual date.  Think a beautiful dinner date.  The goal of this look should be functional femininity.  While a fabulous bandage dress, smokey eye, and deep red lips might be perfect for the woman with a boat load of confidence and the perfect body, for most women this can be a bit overkill.

Go for pieces with silhouettes that compliment your shape and are preferably made of wrinkle-resistant fabric. You’ll likely be sitting for a long period of time, so anything that can reduce the amount of creases in your clothes when you get up is a plus!  Also think classy instead of overtly sexy.  Yes men like cleavage but if you want your date to look in your eyes when they talk to you (and not your breasts) try to go for drape style tops and dresses that accentuate not necessarily show off “the girls”

Separates can look fabulous here!  Think of a great a-line or fishtail skirt.  Work with the silhouettes that look good on  you.  Here’s where you can go back to your high heels (yes!), just make sure you can walk comfortably in them.

So there you have it, my fast easy and effective tips on what to wear on a date.

Tell me, what do you wear on casual dates?

What do you wear on formal dates?

What do you wear on a first date?

Comment below!

Still need a bit of guidance?  Then check out my ultimate series of what to wear on dates:

 

How Can I Wear A Maxi Skirt?

how to wear a maxi skirtThe maxi skirt…

This is one of the true transitional pieces that should be a staple in every woman’s closet.  By definition the maxi skirt is an ankle length skirt.  However there are so many ways this ankle length skirt can be worn.  If you go for one in heavier jersey knit or a lightweight crepe it will be the most versatile in your wardrobe.  If you ever wondered how to wear a maxi skirt, here are a few ways that will take you from day-to-night, casual-to-formal and back again!
 

Stylist Fashion Tip#1: Maxi Skirt + Denim Jacket

This is a look that works best with a richly printed maxi skirt.  Pair the skirt with a cropped or hip length denim jacket that has a great cut to accentuate the waist.  No boxy jackets here!  A beautiful semi-sheer tank and flats will make this a perfect look for a casual date, a day at the museum, or running errands around the city.
 

Stylist Fashion Tip #2: Maxi Skirt + Crop Top

I like this for more of a dressy or evening look.  Pair a maxi skirt with a crop top that looks good on your body. The material of the skit should say “chic and sophisticated”  Go darker on the bottom and save the beautiful print for the crop top, because after all that’s the show piece of this look!  Throw on some strappy heels and grab an evening clutch and you’re ready to go.
 

Stylist Fashion Tip #3: Maxi Skirt + Collared Blouse

If you want to take your love for maxi skirts to the office, then try this combo:  pair a maxi skirt with an embellished collared blouse for an easy business casual look.  To ensure your look stays work appropriate, avoid maxi skirts made of jersey knit or modal as these materials are too clingy to be flattering in an office environment.  A maxi skirt with more structure (and preferably a lining) will work best for an office look.

Some great fabrics to pick for a maxi skirt you plan to wear to the office include:

  • chiffon
  • crepe
  • lace overlay
  • silk
  • silk-crepe.

 

Stylist Fashion Tip #4: Maxi Skirt + Tee

For fun and functional a maxi skirt paired with a v-neck tee is very flattering.  What you’ll be doing that day will determine the best shoes to wear with this look.  If you’ll be running errands, a pair of canvas sneakers will be a good choice; if you’ll be doing lunch with friends, try a breezy scarf and peep toe patent leather wedges for a flattering look with a hint of vintage.
 

Stylist Fashion Tip #5: Maxi Skirt worn as Maxi Dress

Lastly you can make your maxi skirt the whole outfit!  For this look, simply wear your maxi skirt as a dress by pulling it up under your armpits.  For this look to work, you want a maxi skirt with an elastic waistband that’s not too structured.  Good foundation garments (read: underwear) are also important.  A strapless bra or strapless shaper will provide a bit more “grip” to help the maxi skirt stay in place.  Give this look plenty of shape by wearing a wide belt and a cropped cardigan.  My suggestion is to go for a skirt that has rich colors and patterns and choose accessories in solid darker complimentary colors.

Now you know how to wear a maxi skirt in a few amazing ways, which ones will you choose?

Tell me below!

 

Shop My Picks for Haute Maxi Skirts!

 

 
 
 

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