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Ensemble: Ink, Brown, Grey and Black

by Angie

This ensemble was inspired by four magnificent neutrals that are finally coming together for Fall 2014. We’ve seen black and grey dominate retail for many, many seasons. Dark blue made a stylish return a few years ago and continues to gain momentum. And brown is making a fashionable comeback after laying low for seven years. 

The point of the ensemble is to wear all four neutrals in one outfit. This is a very 2014 look because gone are the days when it was considered a faux pas to wear black with brown, or black with dark blue. Don’t worry about itJust wear it. Pair a dark blue jacket or top with black shoes. Wear a chocolate top with a black skirt, grey footwear and ink bag. Combine a navy pullover with black trousers, charcoal jacket and cognac footwear and bag. The possibilities for this modern take on darker neutrals is endless, and are a great alternative to wearing black and grey from head to toe. 

I’ve shown a few combinations in the ensembles below, and threw in a print for good measure. I’ve chosen a warm and rich cognac because it’s my favourite shade of brown. But all shades of brown will work, as will all shades of grey. Denim blue can replace the ink if that makes things easier. 

Outfit on the Left 

Combine light or dark grey trousers with a dark blue top like a blouse, shirt, tee or pullover. Layer over a jacket in a false plain (black and grey tweed), or a black jacket. Finish off with brown footwear and bag. A black moto would work really well too. Or swap things around by wearing black trousers and a grey jacket.

Outfit in the Middle

The next rendition is a lot more casual because faded denim represents the blue in the ensemble. It’s probably the easiest to pull together with items from your closet. Combine a grey top with blue jeans and a black jacket. Add a cognac belt and bag, and your choice of ink, black or grey footwear. Any style of black jacket is fab. Or wear cognac footwear and belt with a black or ink bag. 

Outfit on the Right

The last rendition includes a pattern and a skirt. Combine a black skirt with a grey top and ink patterned jacket. Finish off with a cognac bag and black footwear. Or wear the ink pattern on the skirt with a black jacket. Dark brown accessories will work too. More subtle but just as fab. Note that the pattern is quite neutral, and doesn’t veer too far from the palette. 

Ensemble: Ink, Brown, Grey and Black

Finish off the look with jewellery, watch and eyewear as desired. An animal print in shades of brown like cheetah, snakeskin and leopard is a great way to incorporate the brown part of the ensemble. And last, here are two more outfits that incorporate all four neutrals, AND add white into the mix. Five neutrals in one outfit. I love it.

Two Outfits

Angie's latest top picks

These are Angie's picks. You can collect items for your own wishlist or shopping list using YLF Finds. If you are logged in, you can collect the items right here by clicking the icon. Read more about using YLF Finds here.

Link Love: Subscription Services

by Inge

Have you ever used a fashion or beauty subscription service? Are you a fan? Then have a peek at StyleCaster’s roundup of The 8 Best Monthly Fashion Subscriptions that Deliver to Your Door.

For many people, the surprise element is one of the main selling points of subscription services, as you get to discover new brands and products each time a parcel arrives on your doorstep. However, for some, like The Guardian’s beauty writer Sali Hughes, that’s precisely what puts them off this type of service.

Popular beauty delivery company Birchbox, that started as an online subscription service, has recently opened its first brick-and-mortar store in Manhattan.

Not exclusively fashion-related, but I found this breakdown of 6 Rules to Live by When Starting a Subscription Business an interesting read.

Fab Links from Our Members

Kellygirl found this article about the Harvard Women’s Rugby Team posing for a photo series that celebrates body love and acceptance inspiring. “Lots of different body types, and every one of them fit and strong,” she added.

Anne likes red recommends listening to this radio report about textile testing at the Fashion Institute of Technology.

Amber, who was recently featured on YLF, had a fun and “adventurous” day at the beach. Lyn* loves that both Amber and Angie represent their true selves on their blogs: “there’s nothing artificial and photoshopped to make them look like they have perfect lives.”

In this Refinery29 article, 8 French women share their secrets on how to look great every day. Angie thought it a very interesting read.

Alana in Canada reports that Anuschka over at Into Mind is offering a workbook for wardrobe building that will be available on August, 5.

Milehighstyle (Linda) and La Belle Demimondaine both loved Unfancy’s tip on how to add variety to a tiny wardrobe.

Ummlila points us to Vanity Sizing: Compare These 25 Retailers at Your Local Mall.

Prince George turned one on 22 July, and Women’s Wear Daily celebrated with a roundup of his first year’s fashions. MsMary says “he’s obviously following in the footsteps of his Mum and late grandmother.” And adds that “those chubby cheeks are the perfect accessory.”

Bridget’s Casual Summer Style, Part 2

by Angie

Today we bring back beautiful Bridget, who is a dear friend and one of my very first clients. Bridget stands a little short of six feet, wears a size 12, and is in her late forties. As a busy Mum-on-the-Go her lifestyle is extra casual, which means practical outfits that are comfortable, on trend and fun. No heels, dresses or skirts unless it’s a special occasion. 

In this post Bridget is sharing two more of her casual outfits that work well for a Seattle Summer. Both combine new and older pieces, which is something she enjoys to do. 

White Jeans - Stairs

Bridget took to the oversized upscale sweatshirt trend like a duck to water because she adores soft pieces that are roomy, cozy and comfortable. That made the new Vince Camuto ‘80s sweatshirt an instant hit. At this stage in Bridget’s fashion life she much prefers a very fluid or oversized fit. I can’t remember the last time she tried on a tailored item, other than skinnies to tuck into boots (a must for our wet weather in Winter). Scrunched sleeves provide structure to the outfit, as does the welt of the top. 

White Jeans - Sunlight

White Jeans - Sunlight

Bridget’s long neck, broad shoulders, and regular sized bust allow her to wear all necklines with panache. She looks as good in a turtleneck as she does in a plunging V-neck, scoop neck, crew neck, cowl neck or boat neck. And dropped shoulder seams, which you might think don’t work on a broad shoulder line, work really well. They cleverly shorten a broad shoulder line, and lengthen a narrow one. 

Bridget and her mother Karen enjoy wearing white bottoms, so each season we make sure that Bridget’s white bottoms are fashionably fab and in good shape. This season we added a pair of cropped boyfriend jeans from the Loft into the mix to complement her capsule of long white boyfriends and straight legs. She wears them with most of her Summer tops, both untucked with a sweatshirt like you see here, or partially tucked in front with a belt. The pewter Ecco sandals are several seasons old and still going strong. 

White Jeans - Close

The combination of cropped bottoms with a warmer top and sandals is great for Seattle because our Summers have very few days that are extremely hot. As Queen Pattern, Bridget loves to wear and mix patterns, which makes the patterned bag a natural fit. Bridget is a soft and gentle person, so the fact that she is happiest wearing loud patterns is an interesting juxtaposition in itself. Bold patterns seem to bring out Bridget’s stunning light blue eyes and warm smile even more. I love that. 

Bridget & Angie

The next outfit might seem like a Fall look, but it’s totally wearable on a typical Seattle Summer’s day. The bottom of the outfit is new, while the top part is a few seasons old. I make a point of remixing old and new pieces during our outfit creation sessions because Bridget has a soft spot for her golden oldies. Here she’s wearing her new Rag & Bone Dre boyfriend jeans. She started wearing boyfriend jeans last year and never looked back. It was a big step for Bridget to wear a belt and partially tuck tops. To quote my darling friend: “I have belt phobia, Angie. I can’t do it!” Thanks to relaxed jeans, forgiving fluid fits, and the genius semi-tuck, Bridget has become a Belt Gal, and we chuckle about this often. One can truly never say never in fashion. 

Blue Jeans - Treed Path

Bridget loves to wear long cardigans, and for several years wore boyfriend and waterfall styles as casual lightweight toppers. She tired of those silhouettes last year so now she’s sporting cocoon styles with round bottoms to change up her look. A different style of drape that’s just as comfy and cozy. The gauzy cream topper layers beautifully over an equally gauzy striped tee, which is semi-tucked over a pewter belt. To finish off this look, Bridget adds lightweight cream Giove booties to bookend her hair, and pick up the cream in the outfit. The turquoise bag provides a happy pop of colour. 

Blue Jeans - Front

Blue Jeans - Side

Bridget loved the idea of slip-on sneakers when I wrote about them, so we added the Vince Blair Slip-On Sneakers to her Summer shoe capsule. You might find the patterned version less versatile than the solid, but Bridget is an adventurous pattern mixer, and will wear them like a solid neutral. They work with all her jeans and long length shorts, adding a trendy sporty touch to her outfits. Here they work just as well as the cream booties in exactly the same outfit. 

Blue Jeans - Sneakers

Blue Jeans - Sneakers

Thank you, Bridget, for being such a sport. You photograph beautifully and are a natural in front of the camera like your Mama. It was an honour to feature some of your fabulous and inspiring warm weather Mum-on-the-Go outfits. I love working with you, and love you as a friend even more.


Spring and Summer Tops

Dressier with business separates or dressed down with jeans.

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Crisp Jackets

Fabulous with trousers for business, or with jeans for smart casual.

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Fluid Tops

Roomy, fluid fits for Spring across a variety of styles.

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Not So Basic Tees

A little extra design detail means stylish sans topper.

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Boyfriend Jeans

Here are my top picks of boyfriend jeans from Nordstrom.

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Two Fab Camisoles and a Pair of Knickers

by Angie

These items were favourites with my clients in the lingerie section of the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale. With all three you save by purchasing two or three at a time. Read the rave reviews. 

  • Shimera Two-Way Seamless Tank (2 for $30): This is my new favourite camisole because it's seamless and has built-up shoulders that cover your bra strap. It's made of a nylon spandex which I've felt very comfortable wearing under sheer tops in hot weather. It launders beautifully and does not shrink in the dryer. It looks pristine and polished. And it is sufficiently long for tall gals. I bought two in black and two in white, but my clients went to town with the rest of the colours.
  • Natori 'Bliss' Briefs (3 for $36): A cotton brief with a bit of lace is a slam-dunk for my clients. It stays put and is very comfy. The lace does not show through clothing either. It also launders very well.
  • Yummie By Heather Thomson 'Stephanie' Two Way Shaping Tank (2 for $45): Some of my clients swear by this two-way shaping tank with built-in shaping panel and V-neck. It's made of a genius fabrication that keeps you cool in Summer and warm in Winter. Some might find the panel too girdling though, so consider yourself warned.

I used to wear camisoles with spaghetti straps almost exclusively. Now I’m wearing camisoles with built-up shoulders more frequently because they look neater under sheer tops. And I love to wear sheer tops because I find the effect very pretty. What’s your camisole preference?

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Outstanding Outfit Bloggers

Polished, Petite and On Trend in Texas

by Inge

Dallas-based Kileen Valenzuela (32) is a software developer and proud Mum of a little boy who documents her outfits over at cute & little. Our 5′ tall petite blogger’s style is feminine, dressy and polished. Kileen is a trendy dresser who wears bold, dramatic, and maximal outfits with panache. Heels and jewellery are also part of her daily style. She loves floral prints, likes to pattern mix, and sports bright colours and pastels equally well. 

Kileen Valenzuela - 1

If you need convincing that petite ladies can rock a full midi, then here’s your proof. This ’50s-inspired look with tea-length skirt and heels is delightfully romantic. The pleated skirt is made out of a neoprene-like material that gives it lots of body. Kileen has tucked the top, which exposes the entire skirt from natural waistline to hem. This lengthens the leg line, as do the low-vamped and high-heeled pointy-toe pumps. The semi-sheer blouse with gauzy yoke and bold stripe is eye-catching. I love how our blogger is wearing her long hair up to showcase the funnel neck and translucent shoulder of the top. The rose gold heels are favourites of Kileen that you’ll see pop up again. The subtle metallic pink works beautifully with this colour palette and further amps up the dressy factor. A rose gold watch and structured blush tote finish off the look.

Kileen Valenzuela - 2

Kileen has an excellent eye for colour pairings, and I love how oxblood, blush, khaki, cognac, black and dark denim all come together in this casual Winter outfit. Our blogger is sporting skinny stretch jeans that end at the top of her booties, which elongates the leg line. The black studded front sweater is a fun way to add both shine and a bit of hard edge. It also works great with the tomboy tough vibe of the utility jacket. The drawstring waist creates structure up top. The cowl neck scarf adds cosy warmth, and notice how the light blush draws extra attention to Kileen’s beautiful dark hair. The rose gold-tinted arm party adds girly charm to this maximal tomboy look. 

Kileen Valenzuela - 3

This Summery, subtly alluring lace look has stolen my heart. I adore the soft, feminine vibe, but it’s the mauve — one of my favourite colours — that sealed the deal for me. The crocheted lace is less dressy than ‘real’ lace, but still perfect for our blogger’s polished style persona. The skirt is only partially lined, which creates a playful peekaboo effect. The skin peeking through helps to elongate the leg line on 5′ tall Kileen, while the scalloped hem is flirty fun. The diagonal overlay detailing on the short-sleeved blouse creates further textural interest. The floral-stripe scarf picks up the colours in the outfit. It’s made of a light material that helps keep things breezy. Neutral-coloured footwear and tote allow the rest of the outfit to take centre stage.

Kileen Valenzuela - 4

When browsing her blog, you’ll quickly notice that Kileen loves florals. And they love her right back. With a statement dress like this sleeveless fit-and-flare number you don’t need extra bells and whistles to make a statement. The gorgeous oversized daisy print does all the talking. The above-the-knee length showcases Kileen’s fab gams. The black elasticated belt and cage heel sandals add edge to the Modern Classic dress silhouette, which makes for a fun juxtaposition. Solid black footwear might have felt too heavy for this outfit, but the lace-up sandals show plenty of foot skin so the outfit isn’t visually weighed down. I love how Kileen has opted for a bold red bag in a simple, sleek shape. Paired with the eye-catching frock, this creates an even stronger impact. Large floral earrings are a charming nod back to the frock.

Kileen Valenzuela - 5

Dressing down a pencil skirt with a cheeky denim jacket and playful graphic tee is a tried-and-tested formula that never goes out of style. Here, the classic navy and green plaid pattern, and booties worn with bare legs add extra spunk. The tucked tee, the kneecap-length of the skirt, and the waist-length jacket all work together to create flattering proportions. The high-heeled booties have a fun buckle fold-over detail, while the light grey echoes the colour of the T-shirt. Opting for booties instead of sandals also means this casual look can transition into a mild Texas Fall. A black Céline satchel brings strict structure to the outfit, which is a great juxtaposition with the relaxed vibe of the look. A sparkly vintage-inspired crystal necklace and large gold-toned watch are the accessories of choice.

Kileen Valenzuela - 6

Pointy toes, sheer panels, a sporty jacket, and pretty pastels… Kileen is using several of Angie’s 15 Trends for Spring 2014 to create a brilliant outfit. Isn’t she a vision in pink! Wearing distressed skinny jeans in a fluid fit, turns them into relaxed boyfriend jeans. She’s paired a pink chiffon cutout top with the prettiest floral bomber I’ve seen in a long time. Matchy-matchy fabness. Both the delicate organza jacket and the top feature sheer panelling. This makes for a very pretty and ladylike juxtaposition with the boyish denim. Clever accessorizing elevates the style quotient even further. The purple perforated clutch adds bright pep to the pink, red and grey colour palette up top, and Kileen’s favourite rose gold pumps complement the colour scheme beautifully. Our blogger’s ponytail is a fun ’80s throwback that fits the mood of this outfit perfectly.

What do you think of Kileen’s feminine and polished style? Let us know in the comments, and then hop on over to her blog to browse the rest of her outfits. Or find out what inspires our blogger over at Pinterest.

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