Weekly Roundup: Fabulous Fabrics

Here’s a small roundup of top picks, some of which will take you into Fall. I was particularly fond of the fabrics in this roundup because they looked and felt good, especially for the price. 

  • Bias Cut A-Line Skirt: The best bias cut skirt I've seen this year. Nice to the touch crepe fabric. The drape and fit are GREAT. Really good on a curvy body type because the bias cut is more circular than tubular. No bumps. They did not skimp on the cut! As good on a straighter body type because it moulds to the contour of the body. Runs big if you need a narrow fit. Available in other patterns and colours.
  • J.Crew Puff-sleeve button-down in Ratti scarf paisley: A fun jewel-toned 100% cotton blouse in a '70s pattern. Cute puff sleeve.
  • J.Crew Silk button-up shirt in tiger floral: The stock photo does not do the pattern or fabric justice. It's a lovely lilac silk with a mustard tiger pattern. A Modern Classic that can look fab with jeans or wide crops if you like that type of thing.
  • J.Crew Band-collar popover tunic in bold stripe: The stock photo does a bad job of showcasing this popover shirt that does not need to be semi-tucked. It's oversized up top, but slims on the hem to taper the volume. The gently rounded hem is a nice detail, as is the high-low hem and fun band collar. Runs a size big and comes in white, navy and a blue stripe. Great worn untucked over wide crops. Best on a straighter figure.
  • J.Jill Luxe Supima Ballet-Sleeve Tunic: The supima knit is luxe and feels gorgeous on the skin. The fluid silhouette is easy-breezy, but not too loosey-goosey. Comes in white and black, and size down.
  • J.Jill Mixed-Plaid Tiered Dress: Summer plaids are as fun as Winter plaids, and this ventilating dress is wonderful. It's cut quite open up top, yet you can wear a regular bra. Fab V-neck for those who enjoy the silhouette. It's fluid yet sufficiently structured and extremely comfy. Lovely fabric and runs big.
  • J.Jill Long & Light Sweater Vest: A gauzy long vest is a topper option for hot Summer weather, especially when you enjoy dressing in layers. Decorative and extremely lightweight. This one runs big.
  • Manhattan Bermuda Shorts: Dressy long shorts that can work for the office. These are best on a straighter figure.
  • Lee Vintage Modern Western Midi Dress: Who remembers Lee from decades ago. Fab to see the brand make a comeback. If you like the Western vibe, denim shirts, and sack dresses - try this frock. It's ideal with sneakers, really comfy, and the buttons do not gape because the fit is fluid. Lovely midi length, and you can move in the dress. The warm olive has a subtle pinstripe. You could add a waist belt for a '70s vibe. Comes in a sand-blasted blue denim too.
  • Loft Wide Leg Riviera Pants: These come in a whole slew of colours and they're really nice. They'll fit a curvier and straighter body type, but not a very curvy figure. Nice heft, drape and silhouette. Run a size big.
  • White House Black Market Washed Denim Jacket: An intricate and well made mauve jacket. Soft, tailored and comfy. A cooler shade of mauve than in the stock photo.
  • Sam Edelman Sam EdelmanAndy: These trendy slide-espadrille hybrids are comfy, and buttery soft. They're not wide across the toe box but there is volume in the instep and arch. Available in many colours.

Go to the collection page if you would like to see the images alongside my descriptions.

Also, here’s a collection of fashionable Naturalizer footwear that I haven’t seen or tried in person yet so I can’t comment accurately on their fits. But I wear a lot of Naturalizer footwear because of their extreme cushioning comfort and I’m confident that these styles are worth trying if they tickle your fancy. Many of them come in wide widths, and some are available in narrow widths.

Nordstrom
'Danya' Sandal
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Geraldine Loafer
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Cora Bootie
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Kalissa Pump
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Gaia Loafer
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Geraldine Loafer
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Adiline Loafer
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Five Ways to Add Interest to an Outfit

Styling strategies for adding interest to an outfit are as personal as our sartorial choices. I have found though, working with clients and styling my own outfits, that there are five very common approaches that are very successful. 

1. Colour, Pattern, Texture & Shine

Adding colour, pattern, texture and shine to an outfit is bound to make it pop. Add all four attributes to one outfit, or use a few at a time. You can be bold by wearing a bright outfit that pattern mixes with patent shoes and faux fur, or stick to neutrals with lots of texture. Shine and texture needn’t be as overt as wearing shiny clothing, metallic footwear, and faux fur. For example, I wear eye make-up, light lipstick, clear nail-polish, and chunky white pearls because it adds shine and texture to my outfits.

Colour needn’t mean wearing brights from head to toe. It can mean wearing a tonal grey and white outfit with a pale blue bag instead of a black one. You can leave the colour and pattern to the accessory component of your style, and add texture by wearing your hair curly instead of straight.

2. Irregular Juxtaposition

This means combining items that you wouldn’t necessarily wear together because the combination might be thought of as jarring or traditionally unstylish. Codswallop to all of it, because irregular juxtaposition is one way of making an outfit look interesting.

These days one can wear fashion sneakers and athletic sneakers with just about anything. Utility jackets look fab with pretty lace dresses, and boho tops are fun with combat pants and shorts. Sport cowboy boots with ballgowns, and denim jackets with cocktail dresses. Oversized toppers look fab with flared skirts, and moto jackets are lovely with frilly prairie frocks. Shorts can be worn with sweatshirts and boots, wearing multiple brights in one outfit is yummy, and so is combining zebra, giraffe and leopard patterns. Of course, you can wear black with navy or chocolate brown, and by all means mix warm and cool tones in one outfit. Wearing volume over volume can be fun and awfully comfortable, and socks in sandals can look super cute. Why not!?

3. Highlighting Your Best-To-You Features

We each have a set of attributes that we like to highlight in outfits because it can create the right pop. Some like to define their waist, while others like to showcase their legs, arms or décolletage. Some sport low back necklines because they like their backs. Long necks love the coverage of a scarf or high neckline, and lovely hands like the addition of statement rings. You might like wearing sandals more frequently because you like your feet. Those with big eyes might like to wear eye make-up because it makes their eyes look even bigger and brighter. Whatever your best-to-you features are, accentuating them is a great way to add interest to an outfit.

4. Bookending

Bookending means that you’ve styled an outfit so that the top and bottom of it match in colour. Doing this makes an outfit look interesting and cohesive. For example, white, cream, bone, and gold footwear looks great with shades of light blonde hair. Shades of tan, taupe, mushroom and pewter footwear are great with dark blonde hair. Burgundy and blue footwear are great with hair that’s streaked with burgundy or blue. And shades of grey and silver are gorgeous with grey and salt & pepper hair.

Eyewear that matches your shoes or bottoms is another way of bookending, as is wearing a necklace, scarf, or big pair of earrings with a matching pair of shoes. I wear white footwear to bookend my platinum blonde hair and to bookend my white pearl necklaces.

5. Statement Hair & Eyewear

Having statement hair and combining it with bold eyewear will add interest to an outfit before addressing the outfit. Statement hair can mean anything from having a mane of cascading locks to a shaved head that showcases no hair at all. It can mean rainbow hair, a bold cut, an asymmetrical silhouette, punk looks, stick straight long hair in immaculate condition, intricate braiding, intricate streaking, wild and woolly textures, spiked and disconnected styles, or adding an eye-catching hair accessory. Adding specs or sunnies that are bright, bold, big, eccentric or quirky adds another layer of interest.

I often feel that the modern classic and modern retro wardrobe items that I enjoy wearing are neutralized with my statement platinum short blonde hair and bold eyewear. I wouldn’t feel as sartorially balanced if I sported a classic hairstyle and subtle specs.

Over to you. I’m sure you use one or more of these styling strategies daily. Let’s hear all about it.

Tummy Control with Diagonal Hemlines

For years I’ve been saying that diagonal lines are magical because they have the ability to visually straighten OR create curves. Depending on your needs, diagonal lines can balance out proportions. They are typically created by diagonal stripes or asymmetrical hemlines, and some garments incorporate both. The interesting and flattering effect of diagonal lines on the body is not to be underestimated. They are an extremely handy and effective outfit styling tool.

Recently, fashion and style expert Brenda Kinsel mentioned just that when she described her outfit on Instagram:

I love a top that cuts across the tummy creating a diagonal line. A line straight across the tummy area makes me look wider. This is my version of tummy control!

Brenda Kinsel

An untucked fluid top with an asymmetrical hemline creates the diagonal line that can visually offset the curve of the midsection, which is precisely what the lovely Brenda is showing in her fab outfit. The gathers and puffing at the waist of a pleated skirt can make you feel wider than you want, which makes the coverage of the untucked top a super solution. Add the diagonal line and you’re in business. The combination allows you to look and feel more streamlined, without shapewear or tucking a top. And you don’t need to worry about midsection bloat after a yummy meal. Thank you, Brenda, for showing us how it’s done.

One of the reasons I like to partially tuck my tops is because of the subtle diagonal line it creates across the midsection, which to my eye looks interesting and streamlining, as well as leg lengthening in flat footwear.

Roundups

Fabulous Fabrics

The tops picks this week showcase great fabric, and there’s a fun roundup of shoes too.

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Assorted Items

A few fab items that worked well on clients and forum members.

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Dog Days of Summer

An assortment of casual and dressy top picks for warm weather.

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High and Low

This week’s top picks range greatly in price point and quality.

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Comfy White Sandals

My Summer top picks for white footwear.

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Cute, Casual and Comfy

This week's top picks in tops, toppers, bottoms, dresses and shoes.

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Outfit Formula: Jolly Jogger Jive

Joggers are pants that are cut similarly to track or sweat pants, but aren’t necessarily made of jersey or fleece fabric. And they needn’t be worn for athletic purposes. The jogger silhouette is fluid, yet slim, on the leg, and tapered at the hem. The waist is seldom structured, although that option exists. Waistbands are often elasticated or half elasticated, and/or have drawstrings. Many of the styles have side entry or patch pockets, and some are pleated on the midsection.

The beauty of the jogger is fourfold:

  1. It is a casual alternative to regular denim and leggings
  2. It is a breezy pants alternative to Summer dresses and skirts
  3. It has a forgiving waistband fit
  4. It works on most body types

Here are four casual joggers looks for Summer. The examples showcase joggers across a range of fabrics. Choose any colour palette.

1. Chino Joggers

This is the simplest of the four combinations. These joggers are like a pair of chinos or utility pants, but with the jogger finish on the hems. Combine them with a tee or knit top and sneakers that tickle your fancy. Fun how the tee and sneaks match, which you could replicate in any colour. Wear the tee over the bottoms if partial tucking is not your thing.

PAIGE Mayslie Joggers

2. Denim Joggers

Combine a pair of denim joggers with a tee or knit top and casual footwear. The tee is tucked to showcase the definition of the waist, which adds structure to the outfit. The long black topper elongates the outfit, and the belt bag is a trendy touch. The scrunch at the ankle adds a little extra interest to the outfit, but feel free to leave the bottoms unscrunched.

City Chic Jogger Jeans

3. Linen Joggers

A slightly dressier and more trendy classic version that combines bold striped linen joggers with an oversized cotton shirt that’s partially tucked to add definition to the waist and lengthen the leg line. The white slides are a trendy touch and the colour-blocked tote adds matchy-matchy fabness.

Anthropologie The Odells

4. Cotton Joggers

This is the most creative and complex of the four outfits. It combines patterned joggers with a striped tee that’s tucked to create waist definition. The pattern mix continues with the striped band on the fedora for an extra maximal touch. The outfit is topped with a utility jacket creating a contrast with the softness of the tee and joggers. The fedora and oxfords are a fun and formal touch, and the chain-strap baby crossbody is the glam cherry on top. Gorgeous look, and beautifully pulled together on the model. A lovely blue-green palette too.

Wrap Style Joggers

Although I haven’t shown the vibe here, joggers come in silky fabrics that can be dressed up with blouses, pumps, heeled sandals and blazers. Just as fab if the casual renditions are not your thing.

Link Love: Is Not Washing Your Clothes the Next Big Thing?

Over-washing clothes is not good for the planet, now a wave of startups is designing clothes that require less laundering. But all of these brands wrestle with how to convince customers to wash their clothes less frequently without grossing them out:

“Decades of marketing from the cleaning industry has conditioned many people to throw their clothes in the laundry after one day’s wear, even though this is rarely necessary. So one of the biggest challenges for brands pitching clothes that don’t need to be washed frequently is to convince people that they will not be gross, smelly, or dirty if they aren’t constantly doing loads of laundry.”

This Vox article explains how different fabrics repel odour and how they react to laundering:

“Brands that market their clothing as odor-fighting — from silver particles woven into the fabric, to a finish of triclosan or triclocarban, and fabrics such as bamboo rayon, merino wool, or saltwater seaweed fibers — almost always attribute it to the fabric’s supposed antimicrobial qualities. But according to McQueen, this can be misleading. Yes, the bacteria can continue to munch on your sweat and produce odors after they hitch a ride on your yoga tank, so in theory, incorporating antimicrobial ingredients into your clothing would help. But what really matters is whether the stinky, oily compounds the bacteria has produced will stubbornly cling to your shirt or drift away on a breeze. That is determined by the type of fabric.”

Fab Links from Our Members

Fashintern came across this article about colour in interior design, with a bit about wardrobes at the very end: “I think her thoughts on colour and encouragement to bring more of it into our lives can easily be applied to what we wear too.”

Runcarla is a Meghan Markle fan, and is interested in seeing what she and Misha Nonoo come up with.

She was also reminded of a past collaboration with Reitmans that was quite nice. It was cut short when the relationship with Prince Harry got serious.

L’Abeille directs us to this reflection on heels versus flats.

Angie loves Hayley’s thoughtful and mindful approach to body image. She sums it up beautifully by saying: “Happiness is a choice, and I made that choice for myself and my wellbeing.”

Elpgal reports that Charlotte Tilbury is being criticized for her new ‘Walk of Shame’ make-up line.

Vildy found this article about how Pantone comes up with new colours for its authoritative guide very interesting.