Classic

The Three Blazers For Fall

After returning from warm, sunny New Orleans yesterday after a week of sporting t-shirts and flip-flops, I was rather sad to take a look at the Jersey forecast for the week and see that temperatures were planning on dipping down to the 30s. It became real – the days of stripy sandals were over and it was time for cozy layers to prepare for the frigid cold.

So what’s the fashion staple of November work fashion? Blazers, of course, which I actually look forward to sporting because they give me a chance to mix up some prints, colors and fabrics. Before winter gets in full spring, check out my picks for the three blazers you need for your cold-weather wardrobe.

1. Navy

You can’t go wrong with a navy blazer – it’s the perfect staple for fall and gives a bit of color and class to all outfits, while also spicing up some neutral pieces. Plus, it complements other classic-colored pieces as well, like a flannel, jean or striped shirt.

Found on amyparent.cabionline.com

Found on amyparent.cabionline.com

2. Herringbone 

Who doesn’t love a classic style staple like a herringbone blazer? Grab one in shades of gray or black in white and pair with various brights to mix up an otherwise color blocked outfit. A very professional piece that will never go out of style.

Found on net-a-porter.com

Found on net-a-porter.com

3. Red

A pop of red mixes up neutral colors that are fitting for fall and due to the layering of the piece, it’s an item that is appropriate for work. Try mixing this up with other prints such as leopard, polka dots or stripes.

Found on expresarte-mujer.blogspot.ca

Found on expresarte-mujer.blogspot.ca

How to Shop Like a European

I’m standing in line at the department store, my arms stuffed with bags, shoes, blouses, and jeans. Items are practically rolling out of my hands, yet now that I’m standing here thinking about opening my wallet, I’m starting to realize…

Those heels were a little tight.

I have a blouse that looks exactly like this one at home. 

This bag is a little small to fit everything I need. 

And then I glance behind me and see that there is another woman, holding one swimsuit, looking enthralled. 

How many times have you convinced yourself to buy something in the store by saying to yourself “I’ll find somewhere to wear this” or “I can afford this”? And then how many times have you found yourself shoving that same item in a bag headed for the Salvation Army six months later?

In America, we overcompensate. Instead of buying one designer, classic piece that we can wear for the rest of our lives, we buy 15 trendy tops from Forever 21 which are going to fall apart and go out of style in a matter of weeks. We end up with empty wallets and closets full of nothing to wear. However, across the pond, it doesn’t really go down like this. Instead, European women tend to opt for smaller closets full of truly interesting, timeless pieces that they knew they couldn’t live without when they stood in that line in front of the cashier. If you’re sick of throwing dollars away to cheap chain stores and clothes away to thrift stores, see below about how you can learn to shop like a European.

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  1. Keep a list handy of items you’re looking for. In the notepad on your phone, make a list of some pieces you’re on the lookout for like white jeans, a pair of brown wedges or a skinny leopard print belt. Then when you get to the mall, glance at your list so you can keep an eye out. Having a list makes you less likely to buy things you don’t really need and more likely to pick up signature pieces that you considered beforehand.
  2. Imagine three events you would wear this piece too. If you find something you like but you’re not sure if you would wear it, consider the rule of three – is there at least three separate events/locations you could wear this to? If you can’t think of three quickly (to the bar, to work, and to a BBQ) then it’s not worth it.
  3. Tell yourself you can come back later. If you’re debating an item but can’t make a 100% decision, tell yourself you’ll continue on your shopping trip and if you’re still thinking about it at the end of the day, you’ll come back. Car salesmen put pressure on people to buy right away – you don’t have to put pressure on yourself too.
  4. Ask yourself if you think you’ll be wearing this in three years. If it’s a classic, beautiful piece you  love, you’ll be sewing holes back together and getting an item dry-cleaned until the tear-stained day you have to throw it away. But if it’s something trendy and cheap, it’s going to be gone in six months. Through promotions and moves to new cities, is this something you’re going to want to have in three years?
  5. Buy what fits now, not later. Never, ever buy something with the intent to fit into it after your diet, after your workout or after the winter because it’s not going to happen. Instead, buy what fits you now and tell yourself that when the 15 is off, then you’ll reward yourself with a new pair of jeans.
  6. Think of the price in terms of how much money you make an hour. If you make $10 an hour and you’re trying to decide if that $80 dress is worth it, realize that is one entire day at work. If the dress isn’t worth the eight hours you spend slaving away at a desk, put it back on the racks and look elsewhere. Your time is valuable.
  7. Ask yourself if you can find this cheaper somewhere else. You may loooooooooove those brown gladiator sandals, but don’t you think Target may carry them too at a quarter of the price? Ask yourself if you can find this somewhere else for cheaper at a comparable level of quality. And hey, if you’re wrong, you can always come back (or scour the Internet).
  8. Consider if you can make three separate outfits with this piece. Following the rule of three referenced in Tip #2 – try to put together three separate and different outfits you could pair each piece with. If you can only pair that leather high-waisted skirt with a crop top, is it really worth it? Or is it worth it instead to go with the black sleeveless button-down you can wear with white jeans, mint pants or jean shorts?
  9. Evaluate the material. That top may be pretty, but if the material is cheaply Sears-esque and sort of itchy, you’re not going to wear it more than once. You don’t want to be aching to get out of your clothes by 5:00 pm everyday. That designer top may look like the cheap generic version, but if one is significantly more comfortable and sturdy than the other, it may be worth it.
  10. Ask yourself if it feels like you. I want to do the crop-top trend too, but the second I put one on, I feel way too exposed to go anywhere outside of my own bedroom. Even if something is trendy and cool-looking, if you feel like you’re trying to be someone else when you wear it, you’ll never put it on again.

Stay Fashionable in the Frigidity

When your hair freezes five minutes after you leave your house and you ruined your outfit by shoveling out your own car, the struggle to stay chic from December through March becomes all the more evident. However, cold weather doesn’t also mean that you have to deal with ugly, puffy jackets and grandma hats. Especially if you’re taking cover in an all-seasons city like New York, a fashionable, yet warm, winter coat is a must to bring you through to the promised land of Spring. Check out some foolproof jackets that will get you from home to the office in one sniffling, pinked piece.

1. The Elongated Parka can be perfected with some caution and attention to detail. Be careful to choose a design that, although warm, doesn’t puff you up like a marshmallow and balances out by featuring a longer fit and ended a little above the knees rather than at the waist. Also, a stylish, girly touch such as a faux-fur hood can bring a jacket meant for utility into the realm of chic.

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2. The Printed Coat is a cool alternative to the typical black jacket. Go for neutral colors, like a black and white houndstooth or polka dot, to bring together any other look that you happen to be rocking that day. Bring the design together with a girly, curvy shape rather than a straight bottom. If you’re going to go, go all the way.

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3. The Poncho is the way to shield your beautiful designer bags from the harsh hail and snow and also achieve a different look from every other girl’s go-to jacket. To keep a classic shape alive, feel free to go nuts with some clever clips and feathers/hanging strands/etc.

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4. The Anorak Jacket is the tomboy’s take on a chic coat with a variety of pockets and zippers, a baggy (yet little fitted) shape, and equipped with a large hood, preferably lined with some sort of faux fur. Make sure your anorak, like your parka, keeps a longer shape and never ends at the waist.

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5. The Winter White is the 2014 all-weather staple. If you feel brave enough to face the elements with only dry cleaning on your side, then grab a classic winter white to beat the white after Labor Day rule for good. Go for a slender, elongated style with a fitted shape and no bells or whistles.

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