Cold Spring Fever

It’s that time of year again, when despite the lingering cool weather, it’s an exciting time to welcome spring fashion into your wardrobe.  Spring is a time to freshen up your style, shed some heavy layers and incorporate new trends into your outfits. There are many ways to transition into spring, such as selecting softer colors, floral prints and lighter fabrics, though still layering for warmth and added style.

Cold Spring Fever

For a casual everyday look, contrast ankle-length dark denim with a lightweight pale-colored blouse. Go even farther with your spring look by adding blush pink accents, such as a light pink leather jacket, spring coat or shoes.  Not only is pale pink the hottest color this spring, but it is also very feminine and flattering.  A styling trick that works wonders is simply adding color- either in small pops such as shoes or in statement-making pieces in soft tones, which will help you to look effortlessly stylish.

Another way you can transition into spring is by selecting more patterns, such as botanical and abstract prints. Switch out your typical jeans for loose-fitting printed trousers, or instead of wearing a solid blazer try one with a floral pattern. If these trends are too daring for your style, go instead for a printed blouse or a printed shoe.   Wearing printed clothing also allows you to complement your outfit with more colors. For instance, the white flowers on the blazer can be accented with white accessories.  White is another big trend for spring, as well as black and white together and color-blocked shoes and bags, which will give any outfit an ultra-chic, sophisticated edge.

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Transition your Wardrobe for Fall

It’s August, the kids are back in school, and although it’s still pretty hot out, the fall fashion season is here!  While you may not feel like pulling out your heavy fall clothes, there are several ways you can begin to transition your wardrobe and add some autumnal attitude to your style.  Click the link to my style tips from today’s Denver Post to learn more…

“Five Tips: How to ease your wardrobe into autumn”, The Denver Post

Transition your Wardrobe for Fall

Find your flattering denim

No matter how you style your look, it’s imperative to start with the right fit for your figure.  Spring is a great time to edit your wardrobe and add some new things to freshen your look for the season’s transition.  But as you go through your closet and hit the stores, be discerning about the way things fit, including your jeans.  If you’re not sure of the best silhouette for you, follow these guidelines… (click to read article in The Denver Post, and see more tips below.)
Denim for your figure type
Colored denim

“Curvy” figure

Though most jeans out there are skinnies, most women have curves!  If your curves are mainly in your hip area, then balance your figure by adding some flare at your pant leg with a boot cut jean.  This proportion will straighten your silhouette and minimize the width of your hips.

Also forgo the low rise and choose the mid or high variety to smooth out the tummy and avoid “muffin top.”

Back pockets are important, too- be sure the pockets aren’t too high, which could create the look of a larger back side then desired. And be sure to minimize the bling and bright stitching and say no to pocket flaps.

“Slim, straight or boyish figure”

If your figure is slim, or perhaps you want to add more curves, as many women with “boyish” type figures do, go for silhouettes that will accentuate your figure.  Skinny jeans that hug your hips and calves will create a curvy line.  Accented pockets will add shape to your derriere, and so will the narrow ankle width.   The wash of the denim is also important- when the jeans are faded in certain areas like the backside, the fading can contribute to a curvier look.

Skinny jeans can look sexy, but mystery is sexier.  Style your skinnies with a hip-skimming untucked top for a little coverage.  Straighter leg options can look great with or without your top tucked in.  And remember when styling your outfit, that third piece such as a jacket or cardigan will instantly amp up your look.

“Petite figure”

For the ladies who would prefer a little more height, create the illusion of a longer leg with a straight leg jean, or a skinny.  At the end of your hem, choose a pointed toe shoe to extend the length for as long as possible.   Beware the boot cut style which can visually shorten the leg, since there is not a lot of length between the hip and the flared hem.

However, if you need a boot cut to balance your hip (see “curvy figure” above) then go for a minimally flared version.  This subtle boot cut also works for the days when you want to wear boots and functionally need the width of the hem.  Keeping your jeans outside your boots (instead of doing the trendy jean tuck) will create a longer line to add height to your petite frame.

“Denim Wash”

For the most flattering and dressiest look, go for a dark wash.  This is also the best option for casual Friday if jeans are allowed.  (This is true for the guys, too.)

Subtle vertical fading down the center of the thigh can slim and elongate the leg, because the inner thigh and outer thigh will appear darker.  However, beware extreme fading, as well as fading at the backside which can make it appear larger.

While it’s cool to have the look of distressed denim, beware of bold or too much whiskering (the thin horizontal lines and folds created by linear fading and wrinkling around the fly and upper thigh area.) This denim finish can be unflattering and will draw attention to this area of the body.  Whiskering can often look too young, but also- why would you want attention at your fly area?

Lighter denim wash washes are more casual, and will also draw more attention to your lower figure then dark washes.

“Colored, coated and printed denim”

Pastel colored denim carries the same rules as white jeans- they will definitely draw attention to your lower half.  Bright colors do the same, though their depth of color can conceal slightly better than their lighter cousins.

If you want to go for a light color for a fresh spring look, but are self-conscious of your hip area, then wear a long, hip covering tunic or blazer in a color that’s at least a little darker, to deemphasize this area and bring attention down to your legs.

Deep jewel tone colors are easier to wear, and more flattering to pull off because they’re darker.

Printed denim for spring is au courant, but beware of patterns that accent the wrong places or appear too busy.

For rocking your patterned denim, I recommend keeping the rest of the outfit neutral and fairly simple.  A dark top will ground the look, and a long top will minimize the intensity, while providing more of a subtle “wow” factor.

Colored denim and patterned denim are fun fashion trends, but as with all trends—decide if these are right for your style (and your figure), don’t spend too much, and don’t be a slave to fashion!

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A Seamless Transition from Work to Holiday Party

For weeknight holiday events, choosing an appropriate outfit that perfectly portrays festive flair can be tricky if your event is right after work and you have to plan for it at 6am.  Luckily, there are some easy ways that you can take your 9-to-5 look straight to cocktails with just a few special tweaks that will avoid having to pack a whole separate outfit.

See today’s Denver Post for “5 Tips: How to take your look from the office to evening for holiday parties”, and read on for outfit ideas and more…

Seamless Transition: From Work to Holiday Party

Embellish your staples with shimmery pieces.  A party-perfect embellished tank or blouse works while concealed at the office, when the rest of your outfit is classic. Keep it understated with a sleek pencil skirt, basic blazer or cardigan, and daytime-appropriate scarf. But then bring that sparkly piece out to play for your after-work event by leaving your blazer or cardigan and scarf on your chair as you head out.   Then top it off by adding evening accessories – chandelier earrings, a luxe clutch, wrap and glam shoes – the better to sparkle with!

The day dress for night.  A tailored sheath dress stays incognito during the day with a blazer, simple necklace, belt, basic pumps and briefcase, all in neutral tones. But after hours, this navy staple sheath becomes a perfect backdrop for an over-the-top bib necklace, clutch, wrap and shoes in jewel tones. Winter blues? Far from it.

The lady’s tuxedo. A sleek black suit also transitions effortlessly from a work go-to outfit to a dramatic canvas for accessorizing.  Keep it tame from 9 to 5 with a teal tie-neck blouse and black pumps. Even hang up your jacket during the day if your office attire is less suited up.  But amp up your outfit for evening by playing off this season’s chic black-and-gold trend – swap out your top for a shimmery gold silk cowl-neck blouse.  Swap your professional pumps for strappy black and gold metal stilettos and swap out your day bag for a structured lace-inspired clutch. Finally, top it all off with a black laser-cut leather cummerbund belt.  Menswear-inspired it may be, yet so feminine, chic and of the moment.

All in the accessories.  Whatever outfit you choose, don’t be afraid to pile on the little extras for your holiday events.  You’ll shine a little brighter if you add some glitz to your look.  Especially with a minimalist outfit, more is more when accessorizing!  Mix your metals, mix your jewel tones and be bold with your statement pieces– after all, fashion should be fun!

Honorable mentions.  Adding a touch of fur- real or faux – to your outfit instantly glams it up.  There’s none shown here, but it’s certainly worth a mention, especially if your after-work event is particularly dressy.  A refined plush collar, scarf or wrap will keep you cozy and make any outfit look chic and luxurious.

The icing. A mini on-the-go makeup kit will refresh you after work, and adding a little drama is just as important to completing your party look as is jewelry. A swipe of red lipstick or smoky eyeshadow effortlessly takes you into night.

And for him… Your man can also easily prep for after work with a few added details.   Come party time, he need only add a sport coat, pocket square and maybe even a tie clip to his classic button down and office pants (or dark, stylish denim if they’re appropriate in his office).  Just make sure he wears his nice leather shoes in the a.m. to polish off his look.

Keep in mind… Even if you do have time to choose a whole separate ensemble for your soirée, you don’t have to wear head-to-toe sparkle to look festive. Dressing for the holiday season should be about expressing yourself, and you can do that even in your dressy jeans if the occasion allows.  Shine on!

Shop the looks:

 

You’re Invited: My Fall Trends Presentation at Goldyn of Denver

It’s the official first day of fall, and I’m kicking off the season next week with a presentation on fall style at Denver’s Goldyn boutique! On Tuesday, September 25 at 5PM, come learn how to adapt runway-worthy trends for your closet. With free cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, and 20% off your shopping, you’ve got a great excuse to make Tuesday a girls-only night out!

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Click the invitation to visit the event’s Facebook page for RSVP and a map!

Autumn’s Hottest Colors

Fall’s color palette is always decidedly moodier than that of sunnier months, but that doesn’t mean the mood has to be “gloom”. Add some drama to your autumn wardrobe with one (or three) of the season’s reworked jewel tones and neutrals.

The "It" Colors of Autumn
Jewel Tones. Rich colors continue to have a place in your fall wardrobe – just substitute summer’s cobalt for teal, orchid for aubergine, and crimson for burgundy. Like their brighter cousins, these hues take perfectly to tonal pairings. Take a cue from the changing leaves and try tangerine with rust, or brighten burgundy with bold magenta accessories.
Neutrals. Midnight blue and charcoal are great alternatives to black – more unexpected and just as versatile, a great way to ground autumn’s brighter hues. Try a navy leather motorcycle jacket over a bold printed blouse, or tame teal skinny jeans with deep blue pumps or oxfords. Keep less as more by using magenta or orange accessories as just a pop of color in a monochromatic gray outfit.  If bold colors aren’t your forté, keep neutrals classic by pairing a navy wool trench with cognac boots and gray trousers.
Edgy Black. Black gets a makeover this fall and takes a more front-and-center role than just  a neutral backdrop. Pull out all the stops and elevate your daytime look with a mix of inky leather and denim. Take an all-black ensemble to its natural habitat of glamorous evening events with black silk, a tux jacket, or a pencil skirt with a leather peplum detail.
Remember: If a particular color you love isn’t your most flattering, don’t despair – just wear it on your bottom half or shoes instead of near your face.
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Incorporating Your Fall Wardrobe for the Last Dash of Summer

It’s hard to hang up your breezy sundresses and rotate your strappy sandals to the back of the closet as the weather cools come September. Or maybe you can’t wait to shop for new jackets and fall’s “it” boots. Whether you’re clinging to summer’s last traces or eager for autumn, you can mix your wardrobes for both seasons together starting now. Who says you can’t have it all?
These pointers also appear in August 30’s fashion edition of The Denver Post‘s “5 Tips” feature, and can be found in print and at the DenverPost.com/Lifestyles.
Incorporate Fall Trends Into Your Wardrobe Starting Now

1/ Darken your palette but keep your brights.  Burgundy, navy, and black are this fall’s “it” colors, but you can start wearing them now.  Infuse your wardrobe with these rich hues, even mixing them.  Navy and black combined is unexpected, yet very chic and sophisticated!  Or layer a printed blouse with a cardigan or blazer in navy or burgundy, and your dark tone will act as a neutral.  Also, you don’t have to phase out all your hot colors once the weather cools. Carry forward your bright yellow, bold blue, cherry red and bright orange tones from summer.  For example, a tangerine tee or blouse will work effortlessly with the changing leaves when topped with a blazer in autumnal tones such as rust, cognac and burgundy.

2/ Add leather to your look.  Start small while it’s still hot out, then up the ante once the crisp air arrives.  For example, start by adding a wide leather belt to a soft blouse or dress, and leather booties, too.  Then get ready to switch out your blazer and cardigan for a hip leather jacket.  Try on a fitted style, and if the leather is a light enough weight, the jacket can be worn all day indoors as part of your outfit.  And for an extra trendy take on your jacket, choose a military-inspired style.

3/ Don your denim.  This fall’s denim trends are easy to incorporate once the summer heat breaks. The past spring and summer’s colored denim gets a sophisticated update with richer jewel tones and fall colors. Leather-like coated jeans come in light, medium or heavy weights (from their wax-like treatments), and add an instantly edgy attitude.  Metallic varieties are having a moment as a way to add shimmer.  Pair your daring denim with pretty, summery tanks and soft lightweight cardigans for a seamless season transition, as well as an interesting mix of textures.

4/ Dress in layers and layer your dress. Your favorite summer floral or geometric dress works straight into fall with tights, a soft leather jacket, and booties. And the accents don’t have to be black – gray, brown, navy, or maroon are great neutrals to ground the patterns.

5/ Summer shoes get the boot!  Try closed-toed pumps and booties with your summer clothes while it’s still warm.  Capped toes, platforms and embellished statement shoes are some of the new season’s hottest accessories. Just be sure to include burgundy in your fall collection—this sumptuous shade in leather or suede will stand out in the sea of black.

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Pantone’s Fall 2012 Color Report

Take a look at the colors of fall…they seem a bit brighter than traditional fall colors!  Notice that Tangerine Tango is continuing from spring, so carry over your bright orange tees and frocks and layer them for the fall season…  

Also I’ve seen in various trend reports that Navy is “the new black” and that jewel tones are back this fall- whether in colored denim, leather, velvet or wool… also be sure to score some burgundy in your wardrobe, or as the fashion world is calling it- “oxblood.”

More to come in the months ahead.  But for now, enjoy summer while it lasts!

 

 

Headed to the beach, looking chic…

My 5 Tips for The Denver Post this month are all about your summer getaway to a beach (or pool) destination.  Please click the link to view the article:

The Denver Post “5 Tips: Advice on packing for a beach vacation”

What to pack for summer vacation

1. For the beach                                                                                                                        • A swimsuit that flatters your figure is a good investment. Look for a style with built-in shapewear to flatter your bustline or minimize your tummy.                                                        • Shorts and a top will work as a cover-up, but the ease and simplicity of a dress style adds a sophisticated and even glamorous note.                                                                                     • Sunglasses are important, so protect your eyes and add a little movie star appeal at the same time.                                                                                                                                   • A big straw hat can act as your own personal umbrella to keep the sun off your face.           • Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen offering protection from both UVA and UVB rays. If you need to look tan, use a self-tanning lotion before getting to your destination.

2.  One piece                                                                                                                              • Dresses are an easy option, but mix up the styles: Go long for day and short for night. A casual belted maxi dress is a relaxed, comfortable daytime look. For evening, show off that fake tan with an above-the-knee shift and strappy sandals.

3.  A leg up                                                                                                                           Shorts come in all shapes, sizes and fabrics: cropped or Bermuda-style, printed or solid. Go by what looks best on your figure and legs. Not comfortable in shorts? Try capris in khaki or a range of colors.

4. Top it off
• T-shirts will lend versatility to your wardrobe. Pack modal/spandex blend styles in flattering colors. Avoid designs with sayings or logos that scream “tourist” or look juvenile.
• A knit tank top on a toned upper body looks great with a flowy skirt; just be sure to wear the right bra or use a bra clip to conceal your straps if it’s a halter or racer-back style.
• If you like blouses, try a loose-cut printed style paired with slim shorts or capri pants.
• A sweater might be the only cover you need on breezy nights. Try an open-knit linen style to throw over a dress or top, or a cardigan for air-conditioned restaurants and airplanes.

5.  Accessories
• A beach tote is a necessity. If you can’t pack a huge straw bag, fold a soft canvas one or a waterproof mesh bag into your luggage.
• A handbag in a bright color works for your carry-on and sightseeing adventures. If you’ve got the room, tuck a clutch style inside your handbag for travel. Then wear it solo for evenings out.
• A skinny metallic belt looks good with shorts and capris; a wide one in brown leather will work with your maxi dress.
• Try a big airy, gauzy scarf to make your shorts and tank look instantly chic and also help take the chill off of aggressive air conditoning.
• Two to three pairs of shoes should do it. Try open, strappy flat sandals for the beach, the maxi dress and casual daytime excursions; and strappy heels for night. Lightweight tennis shoes are great for walking. Try the ones that look like ballet flats. (Reserve your cross trainers for sessions at the gym.)
• Finally, pack a few jewelry items, such as a statement necklace in a wooden, tribal style. Or try glam-girl gold mixed with hot colors; these pieces will pair nicely with your dresses and your casual looks, too. Pile on bracelets for added style.

Shop it:
Do you have comments, questions or suggestions?  Post them right here on the Lefort Style Report!

Freshen your wardrobe with florals

This month my 5 style tips for The Denver Post focused on floral prints and ways of wearing them.  Please click the link and check out the article!  (Then come back here for more, and post your questions and comments!)  And remember to subscribe to The Lefort Style Report blog for style tips!

The Denver Post: “Five tips: How to wear floral prints this summer”

Memorial Day has passed (and yes–now you can officially wear white! ….That’s if you actually adhere to this strict fashion rule of days past.)  So let’s celebrate the warm weather, the gardens blooming around us and the anticipation of summer by infusing our wardrobes with a burst a florals.   Of course for those who are wary of the potentially busy patterns, remember that it doesn’t have to be head to toe in table cloth manner; instead, incorporate printed florals in small amounts that are just enough to freshen up your outfit.  Check out the fashion collage for ideas that you can replicate at home, and read on for the specifics…

Brighten up with florals!
1/ Brighten up!

If your wardrobe is filled with mostly solids, especially in dark colors, then adding a surge of summer with a fun floral can be just what’s needed for building an interesting outfit, injecting some personality to your look, and even providing a little extra joy to your day.  For example, a sleeveless floral blouse (and even a colorful belt) could be a perfect accompaniment to your business suit while remaining professional.  A floral blouse could also pair nicely with jeans to dress them up for casual Friday or Friday night out.    Additionally, try switching out your solid pencil skirt for a printed cotton sateen pencil skirt in a floral pattern. Then pair your printed skirt with a solid tee and cotton blazer for a chic, stylish warm-weather look.  Add a stylish necklace and closed-toe pumps for a polished, professional look.

 2/ Tone it down

Although floral patterns can be bright, bold and busy, you can easily tone down your floral pattern and über-feminine feeling by adding a little bit of “edge” to your look.  For example, top a floral dress with a cool jacket or vest, that just might channel a bit of rugged, utilitarian or tough-girl attitude.   Think a pinkalicious, petal-patterned floral frock, then throw on a cropped, fitted denim jacket, a motorcycle style jacket, or a lightweight anorak.  Instantly cool!   Or if it’s just too hot for the jacket, try topping your dress with an earth-toned leather belt instead.

3/ Big flowers, small flowers

The scale of the floral pattern should align with the frame of the figure wearing it.   A large floral pattern can overwhelm a petite lady.  A miniature pattern can look too dainty on a woman with a larger frame.  Other factors to consider are the placement of the patterns and the contrast of the colors.    If the floral is not in a pattern that repeats all over the garment, then beware of which part of the figure is being highlighted by the placement of the print on the body.  And keep in mind that bright, bold colors as well as high-contrast color combinations will draw more attention and potentially add more width to the figure, compared to lower contrast, darker or more tonal combinations.

4/ Floral pants?

Really?  You may have seen this trend in the store windows and magazines, but thought “no way—I’ll skip that trend.”  (And if you’d like to deter attention away from the lower part of your figure then you’re right, skip this one).  Otherwise, yes this trend can be done tastefully.  It just depends upon the colors, contrast, scale and the overall outfit.  Go for a floral pant in a softer palette and try pairing with a long top.  If you picture your figure divided into thirds, picture the lower third (from about the mid-thigh, down) showing your floral pant.  Think slim-cut soft floral jean with long tunic and khaki cotton belted trench jacket that skims the thigh.  Then go for an open sandal in a nude or soft metallic.  The only wow factor should be the pants, and the rest of the outfit toned down and cool.  And if you’ve got the gams, girly floral shorts are your “barbecue-chic” must-have.

 

5/ Accessorize with florals!

Accessories are a fabulous way to add a feminine touch to your look in a subtle, unexpected manner.  Pair your wardrobe staple black pants with a floral shoe, and wow!   Or try some floral flats with your slim cut jeans, tailored Bermuda shorts or solid skirt.  Add instant flair to your look by mixing a floral clutch bag with a solid cocktail dress.   And, of course, effortlessly tossing on a silky floral scarf with a simple outfit may just channel that inner Parisian in you.

Shop the looks:

Do you have style questions, comments or ideas?  Please share!  I would love to know if you found this blog post (or our other posts) helpful.  You can enter comments after the blog post, or you can post a style conundrum on the “Style Advice” page of the blog.  And subscribe now to receive style tips from The Lefort Style Report!

Colored Denim! (And ways to wear it…)

This month my Five Tips for the Denver Post are about colored denim- it’s a hot trend this spring so I wanted to share some ways of wearing it.  Check out the brief article in the Denver Post and then come back here to read more and see lots of outfits!  Enjoy!  (And please click the “Subscribe” link on the top right of your screen to receive blog posts with style tips every month!)

Five tips:   (Click to see the article) Today’s Denver Post Five Tips: “How to best wear colorful spring denim”

More tips…

It may be spring, but if your weather is anything like Colorado, you know not to put away your jeans just yet. And good news – the delightfully exuberant colored-denim trend has been a great way to transition your wardrobe from winter to spring, and remains a fun alternative to regular blue jeans as the weather warms up. The head-to-toe bright color blocking that’s everywhere in spring magazines may seem intimidating, but done right, colored denim is a deceptively easy trend to wear: keeping the look sophisticated by using soft shades and tonal color blocking is the key. With options in every hue of the neutral, pastel, and bright rainbows, you’ll no doubt find a color (or three) that flatters you. Be prepared to hear a lot more of, “I love your outfit! I wish I could wear that.”

Colored Denim Jeans
Colored denim jeans paired with patterns

Neutrals. These are the perfect starting point for the trend-wary. Not only do they play well with every color already in your closet, but color blocked with other muted shades like cinnamon or mauve, neutral jeans offer the same casual elegance as a monochromatic outfit.

Speaking of playing well together, camel denim also offers a great opportunity to incorporate coral into your outfit – spring’s hottest shade. A classic blazer and printed scarf in this juicy hue give your black staples the boot until next fall.

Pastels. Easter-egg hues are a fresh alternative to white. Complement buttery yellow cropped jeans with a stone-colored wrap cardigan, gold jewelry, and a smart structured wooden clutch. Or top peach denim with a frothy tiered lace tank top under an oatmeal cardigan – more creative tonal color blocking.

Brights. Not for the timid, neons and brights borrowed from the 1980s are the boldest choice for colored denim. Tomato-red jeans add punch to a soft peach tie-neck blouse, while navy and turquoise tops perfectly complement cool ocean-hued bottoms. Channel lush flower fields in bloom with a purple-and-lavender ensemble, or go pretty in pink with head-to-toe magenta and deep rose. To avoid a little too much ’80s nostalgia when accessorizing your brights, forgo black and instead go with modern neutrals and metallics.

Pattern. For a chic alternative to tonal color blocking, pair bright jeans with a pattern in an unexpected dark neutral, like bright pink with a nautical navy-and-white striped knit top, to keep the denim grounded.  Keep the look pulled together with accessories that match one of the contrasting hues – a mixed-print polka-dot and striped scarf in the same navy and white will instantly add that extra little something to your outfit.

Keep in mind…Colored denim deliberately brings attention to your bottom half. If that’s not your favorite feature, this is a good trend to skip. However, for the adventurous, a deep jewel tone like eggplant or teal will still slim and flatter your hips – nobody can tell you not to have fun!

Shop the looks:

Lauren Ralph Lauren tan cardigan
£135 – johnlewis.com

Silvian Heach purple top
€75 – welikefashion.com

AllSaints cotton cardigan
$130 – allsaints.com

Green top
€70 – welikefashion.com

Ralph Lauren scoop neck blouse
£89 – farfetch.com

By Malene Birger silk tie neck blouse
£209 – farfetch.com

Tiered tank
$22 – amazon.com

Uniqlo short sleeve tee
£15 – uniqlo.com

Wallis denim jean jacket
$56 – wallisfashion.com

MiH Jeans denim skinny jeans
$184 – piperlime.gap.com

MICHAEL Michael Kors zipper jeans
$80 – nordstrom.com

Habitual skinny leg jeans
$225 – nordstrom.com

Talbots denim cropped jeans
$80 – talbots.com

MICHAEL Michael Kors zipper jeans
$80 – nordstrom.com

MICHAEL Michael Kors zipper jeans
$80 – nordstrom.com

7 For All Mankind yellow jeans
$198 – bloomingdales.com

ZELDA JEAN LEGGING
express.com

Chloé slip on shoes
$450 – net-a-porter.com

Topshop flat shoes
$44 – topshop.com

Azzedine Alaia suede high heels
€810 – montaignemarket.com

DV by Dolce Vita silver shoes
$47 – heels.com

Steve madden handbag
$98 – zappos.com

Summer straw handbag
$50 – warehouse.co.uk

Stella McCartney snakeskin handbag
$1,295 – stellamccartney.com

Zara bag
$30 – zara.com

Bottega veneta handbag
$2,320 – barneys.com

French Connection brown handbag
£112 – vanmildert.com

Oversized clutch
$20 – dsw.com

Kate spade necklace
$148 – piperlime.gap.com

Wallis copper necklace
$28 – wallisfashion.com

Disc necklace
£20 – fashionunion.com

SHANKA resin jewelry
$256 – notjustalabel.com

Miso acrylic necklace
£12 – republic.co.uk

MTWTFSS Weekday copper jewelry
$12 – weekday.com

Wallis copper jewelry
$3.50 – wallisfashion.com

Kenneth Jay Lane cuff bangle
$112 – charmandchain.com

Banana Republic sparkle jewelry
$45 – bananarepublic.gap.com

Metal jewelry
$38 – nordstrom.com

Kate spade jewelry
$98 – katespade.com

Floral shawl
$36 – topshop.com


Donna Karan black and white top
$1,180 – stylebop.com

Bird by Juicy Couture graphic tank
£50 – theoutnet.com

Ralph Lauren stripe shirt
£110 – farfetch.com

Slimming pants
express.com

Castaner bow heels
$163 – boutique1.com

Carvela shoes
£130 – debenhams.com

Yves Saint Laurent studded handbag
£2,765 – net-a-porter.com

Mulberry oversized handbag
$1,550 – lagarconne.com

Balenciaga string bag
$1,545 – balenciaga.com

Yves Saint Laurent leopard scarve
£660 – harrods.com

Bajra oversized scarve
$298 – intermixonline.com

Oasis striped scarve
$17 – oasis-stores.com

Say goodbye to winter (delicately)

Time to store your winter wardrobe
           

As the weather continues to warm up, we are approaching that time when we need to make room for our tees and tanks by transitioning our closets for the new season.  How exciting that spring is finally here and we can start pulling out our light, spring wardrobe.  However, as we put our favorite frocks front and center, we need to take extra care with our coveted cashmere and cozy winter wear.  Here are some tips for preparing them for storage…

Knitwear:

Before storing your knits and sweaters for the season, be sure they are thoroughly cleaned according to the care label inside the garment.  If you are to hand wash the garment, do so in cold water with a detergent for delicate fabrics.  Then make sure that all the detergent is rinsed out.  And instead of ringing, remove the excess water by laying it carefully on a large towel and rolling the garment and towel up together.  Then lay the garment flat on a mesh sweater dryer to finish drying: http://www.containerstore.com/shop/laundry/dryingRacks?productId=10000496 (Be sure to carefully place the sweater on the drying rack so that its shape is in tact.  For example, “finger-press” ruffles down, adjust the hem so that it’s even and lay it how you would like it to look when it’s dry.)  If the garment is to be dry-cleaned, then be sure to remove the plastic at home and let it air out to remove the chemicals, let the fibers breathe, and to take it off the wire hanger.

Once your knits are thoroughly cleaned and dry, I recommend folding them carefully with acid-free tissue paper:  http://thelinenlady.com/acidfreetissue.htm  This will create a soft roll in the fabric on the fold lines to help prevent creases, especially on thin sweaters.  (I recommend using this method of folding with tissue paper for packing a suitcase, too.)  Then store them away in canvas fabric storage bags.    I do not recommend plastic storage cases for long storage periods of your knits and sweaters, because the fibers of the garments need to breathe, and they will not be able to breathe in plastic.  For cashmere, use individual canvas storage bags.  Inside each storage bag for your knits and sweaters, be sure to place a sachet or block of cedar or lavender (though not directly on the fabric) in order to prevent clothes moths from feasting on your finest cashmere!

Leather:

Leather garments should be cleaned before storage.  Only go to a reputable professional leather cleaning service who will have the proper tools and knowledge for cleaning leather.  Although it’s important to clean your leather goods before storage, there are some risks that you need to be aware of.   A leather garment is made up of several actual animal skins, and so each one will be slightly different and may react to the cleaning process differently.   There is the possibility of discoloration, texture changes and more, so be sure to ask your leather care professional for all of the details.  Some leather professionals may recommend conditioning your leather before storing, too.   When your leather garment is clean and dry, hang it on a substantial hanger- either a padded one or cedar wooden hanger.  Next, stuff it with acid-free tissue paper to keep the shape, which may have formed to your body over time.  Then store it in a cloth garment bag:  http://www.containerstore.com/shop/closet/storageBags?productId=10000084&N=72587&Nao=20 or in a cotton bed sheet made into a garment bag.  Never store leather or suede in plastic.  Leather and suede are natural materials from animals and these materials need to breathe in natural storage bags.  Also, be sure not to fold your leather garments for storage.

Shoes/boots:

Go through your fall shoes and boots to discern which ones should be tossed, donated or kept, based on whether they are outdated, uncomfortable or too worn out to keep, or whether they are still a favorite and in good shape or at least easy to repair and polish up.  Then take the “to be kept” pile and be sure to get them in tip-top shape for storage.  Get some polishing tools and creams for a “D.I.Y.” (do it yourself) project, or bring them all to a shoe cobbler to have them repaired, dyed, cleaned and polished up.  Then stuff the insides with tissue paper or cedar shoe trees in order to keep their shape.  I always keep the shoe boxes and boot boxes that come with the shoes, in addition to the cardboard inserts (especially for tall boots.)  These are perfect for breathable storage that’s just the right size for each pair.  (Though they are transparent and convenient, I do not recommend plastic storage boxes for leather shoes, because for longevity, the leather should be allowed to breathe.  To see your shoes better while stored in their original shoe boxes, attach a photograph of each pair on the outside of its box.)

High-tech winter outerwear:

For ski and snowboard jackets, pants, gloves, etc, wash in cold water on delicate, with an athletic wear detergent such as Sport Wash: http://www.penguinapparelcare.com/sport.html.  Then you can add an extra coat of water-proofing to each garment before storing for the season:  http://www.nikwax.com/en-us/products/productdetail.php?productid=267&activityid=-1&itemid=-1&fabricid=-1  Carefully follow the care instructions on the label for washing and drying.  Avoid fabric softeners and dryer sheets on high-tech fabrics.  Then store in a clear plastic bin all together so that your expensive outerwear and accessories are in one place and easy to find next winter.  (Plastic storage containers are fine for synthetic materials such as high-tech polyesters, just not fine for natural fibers such as wool, cashmere and silk.)  Have your skis and boards spruced up and waxed by a pro, then store upright with a thin towel between them.  Be sure your boot liners are all dry, then store your ski boots with the buckles closed, inside your padded equipment bag.

Wool coats:

Dry clean, then remove the plastic at home, change the hanger to a cedar wooden hanger and hang in a cloth garment bag or off-season coat closet until fall.

Time to bring out your spring attire for the long-awaited warm weather!

Freshen Your Winter Wardrobe

Check out The Denver Post article from today for my “Five Tips…” and then be sure to come back and scroll down the blog post for additional tips including a clothing collage with lots of examples– all regarding ways to freshen your winter wardrobe.  

The Denver Post, March 1, 2012:

 “Five Tips: Beat winter wardrobe blahs”  


With the remnants of winter stubbornly refusing to yield completely to spring, March brings high spring fever amplified by deceptively sunny days that are still too chilly to forgo a jacket. Fortunately, just because you can’t put away the sweaters and boots quite yet doesn’t mean you can’t punctuate your winter wardrobe with a pop of spring to stick it to the last weeks of cold.

This season’s brights may seem intimidating, but done the right way, they provide a great way to refresh your winter wardrobe. Spring is also an ideal time to introduce color into a wardbrobe full of of neutral black, navy, gray and camel – after all, whether in a vibrant print top, a cherry leather jacket or simply a bright scarf, the splashes of color will go with everything you already own.

Freshen Your Winter Wardrobe - March 2012

Starting small. For those still wary of spring’s sorbet and primary hues, bright accessories pack a lot of punch on a monochromatic outfit. You can keep it classic with a scarf knotted around your neck or a cuff in cherry red against a neutral backdrop. A bright handbag, belt or shoe also has the same effect. For the more adventurous, pair a coral bib necklace with a top in a contrasting color, like aqua, or pick up a pair of leather driving gloves in deep teal. Whatever you choose, accessories prove that good things do come in small packages.

Also consider the option of making bold colorblocked or patterned shoes your main statement. With a monochromatic or otherwise neutral outfit, bright shoes have an impact much bigger than their size. Draw attention to them by cuffing your jeans or wearing them with your favorite mid-length skirt.

Stepping out. If the promise of spring has inspired a bold, carefree attitude in you, don’t feel constrained to accessories for your fix of color. Swap out the traditional shell under your work blazer for a breezy chiffon blouse in candy-dish hues, or set off a classic camel pencil skirt with a luxe teal bow-neck top. For all things leisure, a leather jacket in cheerful red makes a great weekend staple, and you can rework your favorite navy cardigan and jeans by pairing them with a casual aqua spring-weight sweater.

The final touches. One key to pulling off this season’s brightest trend is to keep the silhouettes classic – there’s enough going on in the material. As for shoes, your favorite black pumps will prove reliable once again, but nude and metallic shoes also play extremely well with saturated hues – and the same goes for handbags and belts. (And given a few weeks, you’ll no longer have to worry about splashing slush on light-colored shoes.) Jewelry, if worn at all, should be kept simple to avoid competing, unless the jewelry itself is your statement.

Finally, as with any trend, know what works for you, both in terms of colors and silhouettes. Don’t be afraid to say no to bright yellow!  And don’t buy anything that isn’t distinctly “you”.

Shop It

Preen printed top
net-a-porter.com

The Row top
£325 – brownsfashion.com

True Royal silk top
£209 – farfetch.com

Jaeger short sleeve top
£75 – johnlewis.com

Windsmoor draped top
£79 – debenhams.com

IRO genuine leather jacket
$991 – my-wardrobe.com

Michael Kors straight pants
$302 – stylebop.com

Michael Kors high waisted skirt
$262 – stylebop.com

Paige Denim zipper jeans
£200 – harveynichols.com

Black Pinstripe Jacket
£45 – debenhams.com

Donna Karan Hosiery Nude Control Top
$20 – bloomingdales.com

Rupert Sanderson round toe pumps
$595 – rupertsanderson.com

Dirty Laundry bow shoes
$40 – zappos.com

R Y Augousti python handbag
$1,955 – calypsostbarth.com

Miu Miu flap handbag
$1,695 – bergdorfgoodman.com

Anya Hindmarch duffel bag
€400 – colette.fr

GUESS python handbag
£85 – vanmildert.com

Assad Mounser gold plating jewelry
$300 – net-a-porter.com

Amrita Singh clear crystal jewelry
$120 – amritasingh.com

Kate spade jewelry
$148 – piperlime.gap.com

J Crew layered jewelry
$60 – jcrew.com

Moschitto Designs cuff jewelry
$42 – nordstrom.com

Tom Ford vintage shades
$180 – theoutnet.com

Miu Miu acetate sunglasses
£190 – harrods.com

Portolano bow glove
$63 – bluefly.com

Tarnish leather flower belt
$28 – nordstrom.com

Forever 21 metallic belt
$8.80 – forever21.com

Hip belt
£8 – debenhams.com

H M printed scarve
£6.99 – hm.com