Fashion News Roundup: February 2017

Stitch Fix launches plus sizes, a sustainable collection at Mango, the most popular beauty products on Amazon, and more fashion news that caught our eye in February.

Fun Fashion Fact

I’m enjoying browsing through this list of fashion vocabulary on the Business of Fashion. Did you know, for example, that rickrack is “a popular zigzag braid that can be woven in various widths, colours or fabric types to edge clothes and curtains. Think Little House on the Prairie for this style of waved braid.”

Ensemble: Black & Grey with a Kick

You will probably be able to shop your closet for this look, maybe multiple times over. It pulls together black and grey pieces with a little something extra, a little “kick” to prevent the boredom that creeps in during long Winters when you’re wearing lots of black and grey. 

Here are two outfits ideas to get you started.

Casual Deluxe

Combine cropped straight blue jeans, or jeans that can be rolled at the hem with a chunky grey pullover (you can insulate the cropped jeans in cold weather.) The point of the cropped length is to showcase most or all of the high-top sneaker, duck boot, or similar casual Winter ped. Add a black puffer to top things off. 

The Kick: statement socks, a bright bag, bright footwear. 

Wear one, two or all three of the items that give the outfit a kick. I’ve chosen a sunny and happy yellow, but feel free to incorporate any colour. 

Frock Fabness

Combine a grey sweater dress (or regular grey dress) with black knee-high or over-the-knee boots. If that’s not your thing, add tights and booties. OR layer the frock over black leggings or cropped flared jeans. Top the look off with a black, grey or checked coat. Black Mary Janes, oxfords or pumps are another way to go. 

The Kick: navy bag, navy gloves, navy hat, navy sneaker hybrid, colourful scarf. 

Wear up to four of the items to kick things up a notch. I’ve used navy here so that there’s something for the neutral lovers, but feel free to use red, burgundy or cognac. Add jewellery, eyewear and watch as desired.

Ensemble: Black & Grey with a Kick

Save

Save

Save

Closing the Neckline Gap

I like wearing classic, crisp stripes in Spring and Summer, so Boden’s Tresco Stripe Pullover was instantly attractive. I ordered the ink blue and yellow combination. It came last week and I’ve already worn it twice because it’s fabulous. The cotton-cashmere blend fabric is soft, drapey, lightweight and screams Spring. The fluid cut is great over flared crops. And the party at the back — a colour blocked button stand with dainty buttons — is a lovely extra. 

I am however, extremely fussy about the cut of necklines on my body type. My long neck, narrow shoulder line, regular size bust, and very short hair look best in a high neckline, or a lower neckline that covers the shoulder neck point (like the collar of a shirt.) I lose important-to-me outfit structure when these design details are not in place. This lovely pullover would have been returned had I not been able to fill the gap of the neckline with a chunky pearl necklace or a festive scarf. In fact, thanks to the Maximalism trend, I like wearing my pearl necklace AND scarf together with the striped pullover. See the exact items from my wardrobe in this collection. 

Broad shoulders fill out wide necklines more effectively than narrow shoulders. So the same boat neck on the model sits higher on her than it sits on me. My short string of chunky pearls creates coverage, adding that necessary bit of structure to the outfit. A scarf adds even more coverage. The difference with the pearls especially is subtle, but it makes a huge difference to the way I see and feel about the top. 

So the next time you love an item with a slightly too wide neck, think of wearing it with a chunky necklace or a scarf.

Roundups

Embroidery & Floral

A selection of maximal items to kick-start your seasonal refresh.

Read More

Hints of Spring

Feast your eyes on fab new stuff as the first of Spring 2017 hits retail stores.

Read More

Fun Sale Items

A final sales roundup for the cold weather season.

Read More

Winning Socks

A collection of winning sock styles.

Read More

Camisoles

An assortment of tried-and-tested camisoles.

Read More

Accessories

A new accessory can make you feel like you have a new outfit, at the fraction of the price.

Read More
Outstanding Outfit Bloggers

Playful Classics & Rainbow Hair

Jennie Lamm (47) lives in Spartanburg, SC, and works as an Executive Assistant. She documents her outfits over at A Pocketful of Polka Dots. Her edgy rainbow hair is the focal point of her style, and makes a statement no matter what she wears. Jennie’s relatable style is Modern Classic and on trend. She also remixes Boho and the occasional Preppy touch into her style. Our petite blogger likes a good bargain, loves colour and is not afraid of patterns.

“My current style is quite eclectic, as I enjoy trying out new trends and pushing myself to think outside my normal style box in ways I never considered before. I am quite fond of contrast dressing — pairing hard and soft pieces, mixing fun graphic tees with my office wear, or throwing on heels and a blazer with my shorts. I am thrilled to be involved with a wonderful group of fellow over 40 bloggers — The Fab 40’s — where I am creatively challenged each month with a theme and it has truly helped me grow sartorially, as well as finding inspiration from my fellow group members. However, I do have to admit I lean towards a classic, polished look when I am left to my own devices.

My sartorial choices have made an impact on my life in other areas, as well. I was in my early forties making changes to my life all around, and choosing to start dressing differently at first did not seem that important. Except it was. It unearthed a different creative side to me I had not recognized before. To be stopped by strangers on the street with compliments on my outfit, or shoes certainly boosted my confidence level. I am known as our office fashionista. Then there is also my blog and how nice it is to hear from other real women who find my style inspiring.”

Jennie 1

Jennie found this patterned shift dress too short to wear on its own, so she has repurposed it as a tunic. For colder days she pairs the Boho tunic with fleece-lined leggings and flat suede over-the-knee boots. The leggings echo the tunic’s black background, while the tan boots pick up the gold and neutral shades. The V-neckline and asymmetrical drape across the front create vertical integrity. So does the long necklace. A stack of thin gold-toned bangles, big sunnies, and pale pink lipstick finish off the look. Finally, Jennie’s bright pink hair makes a statement in all her outfits.

Jennie 2

A simple black tee and blue boyfriend jeans are the starting point for this on trend casual look. Jennie uses a crocheted gilet with Boho vibe as a third piece to pull the outfit together and make it extra fashionable. The long gilet streamlines the look and creates textural interest. The scoop neckline and bare arms break up the expanse of black up top. A silver statement necklace adds a touch of Hard Edge. The contrasting brown wedge heel on Jennie’s sandal works beautifully with the outfit’s blue and black colour palette, and pick up the warmth in our blogger’s red hair.

Jennie 3

Our 5’2″ blogger adores colour, but also wears a monochromatic look with the best of them. Here the different shades of grey and texture-rich materials make for an elegant ladylike look. Jennie is wearing a pleated velvet midi skirt with a soft wool V-neck sweater with flattering dolman sleeves. The tonal lace cami peeking out above the sweater creates an alluring touch. Sheer black hose looks polished and lengthens the leg line. Grey patterned pointy toe pumps further elongate the leg line and add elegant pizzazz. Jennie’s diamanté necklace fills in the V-neckline and adds dressy bling. Her bright raspberry pink hair and lippie create colourful edge.

When asked if she approaches putting together outfits differently now that she is sporting bright rainbow hair, Jennie said:

“My hair — hmm… Once I started my style transition one of the very first things I did was get a pixie cut. My first bold choice. It didn’t take long for me to move on to my ever continuing journey with color, which has been fun. Initially when I chose red hair I shied away from wearing red, as I wasn’t sure how to do it properly, not being a natural redhead. Then I was asked to participate in a collaboration showing how redheads wear red, forcing me to look at all the red hanging in my closet. I loved the look I presented so much — It encouraged me to defy all of the old rules and go for an in your face, I Will wear red, and as much as I want attitude. Except for that brief period of time, I don’t believe I have altered how I approach building my looks.”

Jennie 4

Skinny jeans and a cosy duffel coat in a fun grey and red plaid is an easy-to-put-together look for busy casual days. It’s hard to see in the photo, but Jennie has paired the skinnies with a long-sleeved teal top with high-low hemline in the exact same colour as her scarf. As a matter of fact, the top came with the pretty patterned scarf. How’s that for easy accessorizing! The red in the coat picks up Jennie’s hair colour, and the scarf makes for fun pattern mixing. Rolling the jeans showcases whiskey-coloured booties that add a touch of warmth to the cool colour palette. A black newsboy cap is the playful finishing touch.

Jennie 5

Aren’t the different shades of brown delightful! They look extra rich with our blogger’s bright red hair. Jennie built this polished casual dress outfit around a simple black knit dress. Adding black fleece-lined tights keeps her gams warm, and elongates the leg line under the black dress. A moto-style leather jacket in reddish brown dresses up the look and gives it a Sporty touch at the same time. Refined high-heeled pointy toe booties add sassy elegance. A brown and cream leopard print scarf and oversized sunnies are the accessories of choice.

Jennie 6

An explosion of happy Spring colours to make you smile. Jennie dresses down a one-of-a-kind statement coat with intricate floral embroidery in bright colours. She’s paired it with blue boyfriend jeans and a grass green scoop neck top that echoes the green in the coat. A long necklace in different shades of green is wrapped around her neck twice, and fits the outfit’s aesthetic beautifully. Jennie isn’t one to shy away from extra colour so she’s added a pair of shocking pink ankle strap ballet flats that amp up the girly factor. Bright pink lipstick and our blogger’s wavy ‘do fit the vibe of this feminine Modern Classic look perfectly.

What do you think of Jennie’s fun and colourful style. Let us know in the comments, and then check out the rest of her outfits on her blog, A Pocketful of Polka Dots.

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

The Trouser Trade-off

I love wearing dressier trousers, and have a good assortment of them in my wardrobe. You can see the exact items in the collection below. Generally, I wear the first four pairs in Autumn and Winter, and the other five in Spring and Summer. I wear the black cropped flares, red trousers, and floral pants year round when the weather is mild. 

I feel great in trousers. Better than I do in jeans. They are dressier, more comfortable, and I think they look more flattering. Yet I reach for blue and white jeans a lot more often for two reasons.

  1. Jeans are easier and cheaper to maintain: This is the bigger reason of the two. I can throw jeans into the laundry, air-dry them, and give them a quick press. All but one of my pairs of trousers needs to be dry-cleaned, which is more costly and less convenient. 
  2. Jeans don’t crease: I don’t reach for my blush and citron trousers as much because they crease during the day, which drives me bananas. It’s a shame because they’re fun styles that look wonderful at the start of the day. The other seven pairs, on the other hand, are remarkably robust and barely crease at all. In fact three of them are crease-resistant. 

I could restrict myself to crease-resistant trouser fabrics, but I don’t want to limit my trouser purchases to machine washable styles when the ones that require dry cleaning fit better, feel better, are a more interesting silhouette, and look more pristine. Because of my line of work, I am extra particular about outfit polish and how things fit. If that’s off, I’m going to be unhappy with my outfit. So dry-cleaning is a fact of life.

I do want to break out of the habit of wearing jeans several times a week when I could choose a pair of fabulous trousers. In fact, it’s going to be one of my style goals this year to wear trousers more frequentlyI’ll do the dry-cleaning because life is too short to not wear the items that make you happy. Of course machine washable styles will be my first choice as I add more trousers to my wardrobe. But I will not choose a machine washable style over a dry-cleanable one just because it’s easier to maintain. It has to look and feel just as good.