Posts Tagged ‘personal shopping’

Fourth of July Fashion Statement

Monday, July 1st, 2013

With July 4 only days away, Independence Day celebration plans are in high gear. Whether the agenda includes family cookouts or fireworks, the colors red, white, and blue will most certainly decorate every gathering. On this holiday, people also dress in the colors of Old Glory. Gentlemen break out their Stars and Stripes theme ties, and ladies find ways to pair their favorite white jeans with patriotic red and blue tops and accessories. Here’s an outfit that uses basic wardrobe pieces and the colors of the flag to create an all American yet sophisticated look. Red, white, and blue style possibilities abound for merrymakers this Independence Day.

Fourth of July Fashion Fireworks

Ralph Lauren Black Label stripe t shirt / AG Adriano Goldschmied cigarette jeans / AG Adriano Goldschmied cigarette jeans, $290 / Camper summer shoes / Mar y Sol flower handbag / Coach anchor jewelry / David Yurman earrings / Peace sign jewelry

Vests make magic

Thursday, April 11th, 2013
City Chic

Marni printed blouse, $365 / Topshop / White House Black Market slim pants / White House Black Market t-bar shoes / Oasis handbag, $43 / Sandy Hyun / Carolee LUX

I’ve always loved vests. I purchased my all time favorite one back in 1992 at Nordstrom. I still wear this black suede number with black leather trim, and patch pockets. I always feel sharp and put together in it. Besides that, the vest provides extra warmth in the winter when worn over a sweater.

Last week I checked out the Derek Lam’s DesigNation Collection at Kohl’s in advance of my writing about it for the Included in the collection is a streamlined black crepe vest that drapes beautifully and looks expensive. I especially like the way it skims the torso. I’ve been on the lookout for a vest that exactly matches the design and weight of this one. Since it fit perfectly and cost $38 with a Kohl’s coupon, I bought it.

Lam’s designs speak to contemporary women who want stylish clothes that are also functional. Many of the pieces in his collection, like the black vest, could be dressed up or down. Inspired by my vest purchase and this season’s black and white trend, I created an outfit that showcases this versatile wardrobe piece.

An online reviewer gave this item 4 stars and has these words to say about it: “…..this vest is the kind of piece that I can see wearing for years to come”. Nicely said.

And the winner is….emerald

Sunday, February 17th, 2013

The Pantone Color Institute selected emerald as the color of the year. Associated with harmony, nature, and rebirth, emerald suits warm as well as cool complexions, and illuminates eyes and hair. Both versatile and becoming, this award winning hue complements blue, yellow, black, purple and red. An emerald blouse livens up a neutral suit, and an emerald print silk scarf instantly adds sophistication to jeans and a t-shirt. I posted 32 enticing emerald items on Pinterest. Perhaps some of these pieces will inspire even the color shy to go green.

The charm of a basic tailored jacket

Sunday, January 27th, 2013

Since January is the month for fresh starts, many individuals purge their closets of unwanted clothing and try on a new look for a new year. This month also offers the opportunity to stock up on great wardrobe basics at deep discounts.  Jackets rank high on the list of clothing must haves because of their versatility and undeniable sophistication.  A multitude of jacket styles abound for winter and spring, including boyfriend, shrunken and double breasted blazers, as well as Channel inspired toppers. The ideal jacket fits like a glove, and suits one’s body type, proportions and coloring. To qualify as a wardrobe essential, it should also work well with many other pieces.

The BB Dakota Stewart leather lapel blazer qualifies as an all-around stellar jacket. Classic dressers like this item for its clean lines, and chic style personalities gravitate to its leather detailing and menswear inspired design. Here are three ways to wear this multipurpose item, which is available online and at Fa’brik in Greenville, SC:

  1.  Working hard for the money: blazer paired with Macy’s INC International Concepts teal and black paisley blouse, Ann Taylor deco print ankle pants, and Softt grey and beige python platform heels.
  2. Thinking outside the box: Blazer and pants worn with Macy’s INC International Concepts long sleeve boat neck  tee and Banana Republic Floral statement necklace (not available online).
  3.  Fancy That: Blazer over sequined embellished velour top by Jennifer Lopez for Kohl’s, gunmetal grey brocade pencil skirt by Banana Republic (no longer available), and Nine West taupe and black lace heels.

She works hard for the money.













BB Dakota jacket with work casual separates

Thinking outside the box










BB dakota jacket paired with dressy separates

Fancy that!














2013 fashion trend “out” list

Monday, January 7th, 2013

Closets everywhere chronicle fashion trends.  Each year some styles briefly appear and then disappear, while others stay around long enough to deserve the label classic. Which trends have staying power and which don’t? Here is a list of fashions that probably won’t occupy a prominent place on the style horizon in 2013:

  1. 1980’s style dolman sleeve tops – Better left in the fashion archives;
  2. Ultra wide cropped sweaters – Knitting lesson gone horribly wrong;
  3. Capes – Pretty but impractical;
  4. Slouchy trousers with low crotch  – Cross between harem and MC Hammer pants;
  5. Peter Pan collars – Overworked and unexciting;
  6. Smoking slipper flats – Ballet flats still rule;
  7. Bold floral jeans – Visual overload;
  8. Oversized purses –  Give your hobo bag a rest;
  9. Mega platform shoes and boots – Feet and backs around the world started a revolution;
  10. Shoulder length chandelier earrings – 2013 is the year for minimalism.

Move over style outs, and make room for this year’s trends.

Capes: A Pretty but Impractical Trend














Holiday style guide

Sunday, December 23rd, 2012

Each year Santa travels from the North Pole to make children all over the globe happy. Although Santa likes to hang out in relaxed jeans and his favorite hoodie, he wouldn’t dream of carrying out his critical mission in anything but his special red suit. Believe it or not, Santa’s talents extend beyond toy making and naughty and nice investigations. With the help of Mrs. Claus and his stylish elves, he just published his first “What Not to Wear” holiday guide. Those who show up at holiday functions in the following attire just might find a lump of coal in their stocking on Christmas morning:

  • Distressed jeans – Santa says no holes, tears or bleached denim;
  • Holiday theme sweaters – Mrs. Claus suggests wearing sequined, beaded or lace sweaters;
  • Holiday theme ties – Solid crimson, silver or purple ties look festive and current;
  • Holiday theme jewelry – Other elegant costume jewelry options abound;
  • Activewear – For yoga but not Yuletide celebrations;
  • Athletic shoes – This fashion faux pas merits two lumps of clay;
  • LBD from Christmas past – Who says little black dresses never go out of style?
  • Wrinkled clothing – Commemorate the holidays by using an iron;
  • Baggy pants – The over-sized look is on the way out;
  • Overly tight and revealing tops – Always tacky.
Has Santa covered all the bases?


Stay Away from these sweaters










tacky holiday theme tie

Silver and Crimson ties make a modern style statement













Distressed jeans get the holiday ugly attire award

Santa wouldn’t approve of these jeans














Fashionable holiday gifts for under $50

Friday, December 14th, 2012

Some folks buy all their holiday gifts and wrap them by Thanksgiving weekend. Others wait until the spirit moves them to tackle Santa’s wish lists. Since I fall into the latter category, I appreciate reading other blogs that feature holiday gift ideas. I count on bloggers to give me great ideas and inspire me to shop. So, maybe something on my list of five fabulous items under $50 will end up under your tree this year:

Studded long leather glovesBrian Atwood, famous for his shoe designs, created these studded gloves for the limited edition Target-Neiman Marcus collection for $49.99. Styling women attracted to glamour with a modern edge will love these gloves;

Women’s leather strap bracelet: The Talley bracelet, decorated with crystal accents, gold studs, and gold links comes in four fun colors, and sells for $38. The Kate Carlyle Gift Boutique in Greenville, South Carolina also carries this item at a slightly higher price;

Men’s knit horizontal striped tie: Cool and casual, this retro thin tie from the Gap sells for $29.95. Choose from either grey and white or burgundy and blue horizontal stripes;

Sugar Bath lychee scented body lotion: Available at Sephora for $22.50, this ultra-moisturizing lotion is the antidote for dry skin;

Back up battery for iPhone.  Every iPhone addict will love this stocking stuffer. J Crew dressed the tiny device in polka dots for women and stripes for men.  $39.50 buys such peace of mind.

Brian Atwood

Shoe designer Brian Atwood, a designer for the limited edition Target-Neiman Marcus collection














Couple taking a little break from holiday shopping











“Go to” fashion basics that retain their style appeal

Tuesday, December 11th, 2012

A corner in every woman’s closet holds the “go to” pieces she loves to wear. Clothes deserve this elevated status because they pass the test for comfort, versatility and enduring style. These feel-good items are not only easy to wear, but they also provide figure flattery and a seamless fit. Oh how happy we would be to have an entire closet full of our treasured pieces. Maybe the fashion forecasters are gently moving us in this direction with their predictions of a  return to effortless style and simple elegance in 2013.Vogue describes this trend as “practically styling-free” and “no-fuss beauty”. Unlike the unkempt, grunge look, this trend celebrates  natural beauty and a pared down approach to style.

What better way to embrace this back to basics fashion philosophy than to purchase a few standout wardrobe essentials? These always trending fashion must haves definitely deserve the “go to” worthy label:

jeans: The relentless quest for the ideal jean may well be over. Greenville, South Carolina based Beija-Flor sells figure flattering denim in a variety of styles and colors for modern women who want style, fit and comfort. Ringing endorsements keep appearing for these stretch denim “curve friendly” wonders from publications such as Oprah, People Style Watch and Health Magazines. I’ve seen these jeans and they are ultra soft and beautifully made.

Cardigan Sweater:  Comfort and style harmoniously coexist in the Ann Taylor cashmere hoodie. Pair this sweater with skinny jeans or a pencil skirt, and wear it running errands or to work. This high fashion hoodie, now selling at 50% off the regular price, comes in luscious colors like pomegranate, and nouveau blue. Sounds like an ideal holiday gift to me.

Striped t-shirt: Stripes endure season after season and never disappoint. I love my assortment of striped tees, and I especially like wearing them with print or plaid scarves. Navy blue micro-striped tees attract classic dressers, while dramatic types gravitate toward bolder, bigger multi-striped ones. J Crew even sells a sequined striped tee at $128 for the gals who want their stripes and glamour too.

What does your “go to” list consist of?


Beija-Flor, Greenville, South Carolina jean company

Beija-Flor, the miracle jean










Fancy striped tee















Fashion’s fixation with the color red

Monday, November 12th, 2012

Forget “Fifty Shades of Grey”. Fashion’s latest obsession revolves around the color red. This season marks red’s dramatic return as the “it” color after a hiatus of over two decades. In the mid-eighties, red took center stage in movies and music. Who could forget Gene Wilder’s hysterical quest to meet the red dress wearing beauty in the 1984 film “The Woman in Red”, or the love song “Lady in Red” that rose to the top of the music charts a few years later?

Red commands attention and expresses authority. This head turning shade also epitomizes passion and panache.  Red, classified as a neutral, adds vibrancy to the family of other neutrals, like brown and grey. A red blouse spices up a simple suit, or a pair of jeans. Although fifty shades of red may not exist, the color wheel holds plenty of red possibilities for a range of personal styles and complexions. The long list of reds includes cherry, tomato, wine, crimson and oxblood.

If you aren’t bold enough to wear that red dress, how about adding just a pop of red to your outfit?  The following accessories made Style Matter’s red objects of desire list:

  1. Coach Legacy canteen cross body bag in deep cherry at $158 – small and sensational;
  2. Fossil double wrap red leather buckle bracelet for $38 – definitely arm candy;
  3. Ann Taylor color block infinity scarf in berry and black for $44.99 – the ultimate power piece.











Rediscover navy this fall

Sunday, August 26th, 2012

Navy and Black is all the rage this fall

The blazer clad U.S. Olympic team’s entrance at the London game’s opening ceremony presaged the popularity of navy as the color for fall. Tagged by Neiman Marcus as the “new neutral”, navy commands an elegant and approachable image for men and women.  Fall fashion week featured the unlikely pairing of black and navy, as well as navy dominated prints with smatterings of other blues, like cobalt.

The psychological effect created by navy and it’s compatibility with other colors could explain its strong return on the fashion scene. Although navy epitomizes sartorial seriousness, it is less overpowering than black.  Because navy looks less severe than its color cousin, it softens the lines and features of those who wear it.  This fact partly explains why political candidates and business professionals gravitate toward navy. It also blends beautifully with a rainbow of accent colors such as red, grey, yellow and pink.

Navy minded fashionistas in Greenville, SC can find just what they want in this shade at Fab’rik in the shops at Greenridge. The boutique offers clothing, shoes and accessories that express “high style without attitude or sticker shock”.  Every distinctive item in this store, except for the denim, sells for below $100. Their navy feather print sheer chiffon long sleeve top for $52 breathes life into even the most sedate suit. When worn with skinny jeans, the top’s back exposed zipper adds sophistication to a casual look. Fab’rik’s navy and white contrast dress, styled in the color blocked tradition, fits the bill for an ideal summer to fall transitional dress. Wear it with flat sandals on the weekends or heels during the work week.  Known for their head turning jewelry, Fab’rik’s necklace collection includes an Egyptian inspired blue collar necklace, suitable for the likes of Cleopatra herself. This outstanding piece at an affordable price of $36, exemplifies the chic monochromatic trend of wearing blue on blue.

Shop online and at Fab’rik during the month of August and help combat sexual exploitation in young women. Contribute from $10 to $30 and get a percent discount off merchandise that matches your donation amount.  Funds support the Wellspring Living, an organization dedicated to getting young women off the street and into homes and providing them with neededsocial services.