Top Picks From the Nordstrom Clearance Sale

There is a lot of Winter merchandise on sale at the moment, but you can also get an early start on your Spring wardrobe refresh if you choose the sale product wisely. These items caught my eye, and I’ve seen some of them in person. 

You can also see the pictures alongside my descriptions on the collection page.

Ensemble: Top, Sweater Vest & Denim Skirt

InspirationThis ensemble was inspired by a pin from last week’s denim skirt and dress outfit roundup. My enthusiastic Modern Retro self adores the ‘70s vibe of the look, and I so want to recreate it with my own pieces as soon as the weather warms up. I’ve also included jeans as an option if skirts aren’t your thing.

Choose any colour palette, solid or patterned item that works with the combination. Here are the components.  

Denim Skirt: Choose a blue denim skirt in a style that tickles your fancy. For a ‘70s vibe, substitute the skirt with flared jeans or bootcuts if that’s more to your taste. Of course, by all means opt for a trendy pair of cropped straight leg jeans too.

Shirt or Blouse: Choose a denim shirt to create a column of colour like the version on the left, or go with a soft blouse like the rendition on the right. Wear it tucked or untucked. 

Sweater Vest: Layer a sweater vest over the shirt. You can also layer a sleeveless peplum top over a soft blouse for a slightly different variation. A topper is optional. 

Footwear: Choose a pair of trendy shoes to finish off the look. I like the idea of heeled loafers and ankle strap footwear with the skirt. Platforms and pointy toe footwear work well with the flares. 

Accessories: Finish off the outfit with bag, jewellery, eyewear and watch as desired. 

Ensemble: Top, Sweater Vest & Denim Skirt

We at YLF wish you a happy Chinese New Year and Valentine’s Day. Both reasons why I couldn’t resist adding some red to this ensemble.

Juxtapose Hard and Soft by Belting a Long Blazer

I was looking at Topshop Unique’s 2016 Spring collection and noticed how fresh and wearable an unbuttoned long blazer looked when reined in with a skinny belt. One of the blazers was layered over a flouncy dress, and the other over a shirt with soft cropped pants. It’s a combination that was quite popular about seven years ago.

I like the juxtaposition of the rigid and professional blazer with the soft and flowing fabrics of the dress and trousers. The belts add a little more discipline, but their colours are playful. Great mix.

Example 1Example 2

Longer length blazers that cover the seat but not the thighs have been a fringe trend for about three seasons now, so they are available. I do find this ‘90s length of blazer harder to wear because it shortens the leg line from the hips down, especially when you create a high contrast between the hem of the blazer and your bottoms. That said, the horizontally cutting line is softened when wearing a more tonal combination or column of colour. A high-contrast belt — as the photos show — also draws the eye back up which helps to lengthen the leg line. And of course, heels will lengthen the leg line too. 

Blazers are available in softer fabrics if that’s more your cup of tea. You’ll probably find that a roomier blazer is more comfortable belted at the waist than a tailored one. Remember to belt the blazer at your NATURAL waist, which is in a higher position than you might expect. The skinny belt is also a lot more friendly to short waists, who generally don’t fancy shortening their torso even further in this way. 

You can try this combination at home as a way of reinventing a modern classic blazer, and defining the waistline. It’s fine if your blazer isn’t as long as the ones that the models are wearing, although it won’t work that well with a cropped blazer. I’m going to try this combination soon. Who else is in?


Swimsuits & Accessories

A selection of one and two-piece swimsuits, and swimwear accessories

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Boho-Lite Items

Update your casual wardrobe with a few boho pieces for Spring and Summer.

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Mint Items

A selection of mint tops, bottoms, bags and footwear.

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Soft White Tops

A selection of soft white tops that work well as layering pieces, or worn on their own.

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A selection of dresses for a range of body types.

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Black, White & Pink

A selection of soft and comfortable pieces for dressy and casual occasions.

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Weekly Roundup: White Jeans

The best time to buy white jeans is at the start of the season because size curves are full and styles are aplenty. By the time May and June roll around, pickings are slim and sizes are not restocked. 

I managed to update my white jeans capsule in January and I’m set for the year. It does feel good when I find great wardrobe essentials. I wanted to get a few pairs of cropped white straights and skinnies, and managed to find exactly what I was looking for with KUT from the Kloth’s Reese Stretch Ankle Jeans and Current Elliott’s Cropped Straight Leg Jeans. Both items run big so I had to have the smallest size altered in the waist and bottom. This is most unusual because I often like to size up in white jeans. 

The Loft’s curvy fit jeans are excellent for curvy figures, and are also available in petites and talls. You might find that they run a size big. Remember that cropped white jeans can usually be hemmed to a shorter length if they aren’t quite short enough. Here are my top picks based on what has worked for my clients (and me). No need to worry about transparent white denim since the denim on these styles is sufficiently thick.

You can also see the pictures alongside my descriptions on the collection page.

The Scale of Your Jewellery

The simple guideline goes as follows: wear jewellery that matches the size of your frame. In other words, wear small-scale jewellery when you’re small boned, and large-scale jewellery when you’re big boned. This guideline does work, and by all means stick to it if that’s your preference. Personally though, I believe that wearing jewellery in a size that complements your style is a little more complex.

After working extensively with clients across all body types and style personas, I’ve found that variables such as height, shoulder width, personality, and the actual outfit can also play a role in selecting the right scale of jewellery to complement your style. 

For example, tall women wear large-scale jewellery well because their height is in line with the scale of the jewellery. Similarly, a broader shouldered body type pulls off big jewellery with panache because large shoulders carry the size of the jewellery. People with bold personalties and bold dressing styles don’t seem to be overwhelmed by large-scale jewellery either. In the same way, someone with an introverted, quiet personality can look dead right in small-scale jewellery even if she is tall. As for the outfit, sometimes large-scale or delicate jewellery is just what it needs to take it from okay to fab, despite the frame of the wearer. 

I am 5ft 6 and very small boned. According to the guideline, small-scale jewellery is best for me. Small-scale jewellery does work, and that’s what I’ve worn most of my life. Back when I wore earrings decades ago, I wore small pearl and gold studs and never did chunky earrings. But despite my very small wrists and narrow shoulders, I DO wear oversized men’s watches and very chunky pearl necklaces. I don’t feel like they are wearing me or overwhelming me at all. Perhaps that’s a case of personality and the right outfit, or perhaps it’s because I’m just tall enough and have long arms and a very long neck. Either way, the scale of these jewellery pieces feels right, so I’ll continue to defy the guideline.

Here are some pictures of me wearing a big watch and pearls taken at New York Fashion Week five years ago. 

Jewellery Scale

Over to you. How does your preferred scale of jewellery compare with your frame, height, shoulder width, personality and style?