Ensemble: Coral, Blush, Cream, Taupe & Ink Blue

This ensemble was inspired by a capsule collection I saw in Banana Republic last week. It combines four neutrals — cream, taupe, ink blue, and denim — with two colours — coral and blush. The result is a fresh, Summery, rich and versatile set of outfits. 

Banana Republic

By all means create your own mix-and-match capsule around this colour palette. Use patterns and solids, or solids alone. Patterns can be represented in items such as tops, dresses, scarves, skirts or pants. For starters, think of ways to combine coral, blush, cream, taupe, denim & ink blue with the items that you have in your wardrobe. You don’t need to combine all the colours in one outfit, but you can combine three to five of them. I’ve started the ball rolling with four renditions. There is a blush bag for every rendition to represent that colour of the palette, and either topper can be worn over the four outfits. 

Ensemble: Coral, Blush, Cream, Taupe & Ink Blue

Jeans, Coral Top & Cream Jacket

This is the easiest outfit to pull together if you wear coral. Combine a coral top with blue jeans and a cream topper like a blazer, vest or cardigan. Finish off the outfit with taupe, cream, blush or metallic footwear that works with the style of the jeans. Remember that the blush footwear matches the blush bag. 

Taupe Dress Plus Pattern

Combine a solid or patterned taupe dress with a scarf in the colour palette of the ensemble. I’ve used a cream, coral and denim scarf to bring in some blue. Top things off with a cream, coral or blue denim jacket. Add taupe, cream or blush footwear that works with the style of the dress.

Coral Skirt & Cream Top

Choose a solid or patterned coral skirt in a style that tickles your fancy. Add a cream top that works with the skirt. Leave it at that and add blush footwear and bag. Cream or denim jacket is optional. Of course, metallic, cream and taupe footwear will work too. 

Ink Blue Pants, Blush Top & Denim Jacket 

Combine ink blue pants with a blush top and blue denim or cream jacket. Add ink blue or blush footwear to work with the bag. I’ve omitted the coral from this rendition for those who do not wear coral. You can add a coral bag if you like the colour, but don’t like to wear it close to your face. Add jewellery, eyewear and watch as desired. 

Add five more tops that can be worn with these outfits and you’ll have a complete business casual capsule in the palette. The jeans will work for casual Fridays.

Link Love: This Year’s Jewellery Trends

After reading Angie’s recent post on big earrings, I was curious to see which other trends are making waves in the jewellery world this year:

Fab Links from Our Members

Skylurker found this round-up of ’90s runway shows interesting, especially since there’s currently a ’90s revival.

What if the true cost of your clothing purchases included the price(s) of the ones that didn’t work out, or the cost of returns you had to pay for? Vildy thought this is an interesting way of looking at things.

She also enjoyed this other post about sunk costs on the same thrifting blog which explains a “trap” many of us have probably fallen into once or twice: If you’ve invested money in something, you are tempted to hold on to that item because it makes you feel like your money is still worth something.

Aging and Adapting to Your Newfound Maturity

While having a pedicure last week I stumbled across a quote by Elle Macpherson in People magazine. I enjoyed the 52 year old supermodel’s thoughts on aging. She suggests that you learn to love change, and went further to say: 

“I don’t prance around in a bikini anymore, or a one-piece, or cutoff shorts, or very short dresses. It’s just not what I do. I’ll leave that to my 16- and 18-year-old stepdaughters. At this point I like to keep it simple and not adhere to any trends. That’s the secret—the beauty of a woman as she matures is not how she tries to look younger but how she adapts to her newfound maturity.

When it comes to bikinis, my thought process is different. Regardless of your age and so called body flaws, if wearing a bikini floats your boat – I vote wear it as long as you are mindful of harmful sun exposure. 

I also believe that you cannot separate fashion from style. You don’t need to be a trendy, avant-garde, arty, creative or fashion-forward person to have a great sense of style. Not at all. But a certain amount of “trendy now” is key to a stylish appearance because a current look is always better than a dated one. And you can be stylish and enjoy fashion at any age. 

It’s Elle’s final sentence that truly resonated with me. Accepting the way we look as we age requires soul searching, discipline, and a commitment to be kind to ourselves. Staying confident and upbeat about our appearance as we grow older is ultimately what makes us shine. Aging is merely moving into a new phase of beauty. The sooner we embrace this, the sooner we can stop fighting the aging process and start celebrating the miraculous journey that is your life.

Roundups

Summer Neutrals

A collection of trendy Summer neutrals that are easy to wear.

Read More

Quiet Neutrals

A selection of quiet neutral pieces for Spring that can pack quite a punch.

Read More

Summery White Items

Adding white to your wardrobe is a great way to give your outfits a more Summery vibe.

Read More

Comfy Gold Flats

A selection of comfy and casual gold flats for low and high volume feet.

Read More

Sleeved Casual Dresses

An assortment of nice casual dresses, some of which are on sale.

Read More

Hispanitas

A list of my top picks from the comfortable and well-made Spanish footwear brand.

Read More

Shapewear and Your Style

Shapewear is underwear that smoothes out the contour of your body. It reduces or eliminates the lumps and bumps across the midsection, upper torso, bottom and thighs. You usually wear shapewear over a regular bra and panties. It’s made of stretchy manmade fibres, is fairly pricey, and lasts a good long while. 

I shop for shapewear fairly frequently with clients. The items have come a long way over the years. Gone are the days when there was only one option that cut off your circulation. These days there are many different brands, each with a variety of options to suit all sorts of body shaping requirements. 

First, five tips to help you navigate the world of shapewear: 

  1. Shapewear is NOT essential. It’s a lot more comfortable to find clothing that’s in line with your figure flattering properties so that you can wear regular underwear and leave it at that. That said, you might wear shapewear a few times a year with a specific outfit for a special occasion. 
  2. Shapewear varies in performance control: You don’t need to wear high power “firm control”  shapewear. Gentle and medium control shapewear can do the trick and is more comfortable. Some of my clients wear gentle control shapewear daily, and feel uncomfortable without it! 
  3. Spanx is not your only option: Brands like TC, Commando, DKNY and Yummie can be better suited to your needs, so make sure that you fit a variety of brands before you commit to the final item.
  4. Size Up: The last thing you want is shapewear that, quite ironically, creates muffin top under the bust, on the waist, or on the thighs, because the hem openings are overly tight, or when the waist of the shapewear rolls down the body. Size up so that the hems create a snug but relaxed fit on the skin. 
  5. Match the shapewear to the item: You’ll need different styles of shapewear for different items in your wardrobe. You might need briefs for a skirt, thigh boxers for trousers, shape shorts for jeans, a slip or bodysuit for a dress, and a camisole or waist cincher for a top. If you’re shopping for shapewear in brick-and-mortar stores, take the clothing with you and pop them straight over the shapewear in the dressing room to assess how things feel, fit and look. 

Here’s a selection of winning shapewear to get you started if you’re in the market for the items. Read their rave reviews. Most of the styles are available in a selection of nudes and black. You can see the items alongside my descriptions on the collection page.

Do you wear shapewear? If so, would you like to share your experience?

 

Celebrating High-Low Style

I have high-low style, which means that I shop budget, mid-range and designer price points. I enjoy shopping this way because it achieves a sense of emotional balance and creates a diverse harmony in my style. I absolutely enjoy an Ann Taylor top as much as a Milly handbag. A higher price does not guarantee you quality, good fit, polish, or comfort these days, which makes this way of shopping, dressing and grooming even more beneficial. The fact that I wear items across a range of price points also makes me more relatable to a range of clientele. 

I get a kick out of combining an Alexander Wang bag with KUT from the Kloth jeans, a Marc Jacobs pullover with a Zara jacket, Stuart Weitzman shoes with a Gap top, Current Elliott crops with an Ann Taylor top, or a Gap turtleneck with a Smythe blazer. Every day I wear expensive underwear with a $12 cotton camisole. My pricey haircut is tempered by my inexpensive skincare regime. My pricey eyewear is tempered by costume jewellery. This way of dressing makes me support and appreciate all retail markets, which I find very satisfying. 

On that note, I’m celebrating some inexpensive wardrobe items that I wear over and over again by giving them a much deserved shout-out. The quality, fit and comfort levels are stellar, and of course, I like the way the items look too. An $11 ink and white striped peplum knit top from the Gap that handles itself beautifully after every laundry cycle. The fabric is substantial and quite luxurious. An old $9 distressed gold belt from Macys that’s on its last legs, but I can’t find a good replacement. It’s the most worn belt in my belt capsule, and it shows. Gold suede ankle strap flats that I picked up for $45 this season, and are as comfy as can be. Well made, on trend and supportive. And $12 cotton camisoles of which I have several in black and white. They are one of the few items that I throw into the tumble dryer, and wear like iron.

Gap
Stripe peplum tee
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18
6PM.com
Børn Remy
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13

I say it over and over again: Leave no retail stone unturned, and it doesn’t matter where you shop. High-end, budget, mid-range chain store, thrift store, Goodwill, clothing swap, eBay, boutique, or make your own clothes. This is 2016 and it’s ALL good when you love your stuff, when it works for your lifestyle, climate, budget and style sensibilities, and most importantly — makes you feel great when you wear it.