Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Styling for Men: Fit First

Alright guys, on to the next tip! A huge part of your look is the way your clothes fit. I've had a few people debate on skinny jeans or ask me if it's appropriate for men to wear linen pants, and I think the rule to follow is focus on fit first

One of  Ian's friends, Benjamin van Loon, did a quick photo shoot with us the other day, and his outfit is a great example of wearing clothes that fit.

I know guys in particular don't like to try clothes on at the store, but, if you can, try on a few different sizes that are close to the size you currently wear. You may find that, even though you normally wear a larger size, a smaller size actually looks better on you. Women have the same issue with buying clothes that are both too big as well as too small. So, just experiment a bit and maybe get a female's perspective on what she thinks looks good on you.

Here are a couple of things to look for if you can't get a second opinion when trying on clothes:

1. Dress shirts: the seam of the sleeve should be at the edge of your shoulder. If the seam falls too far off the shoulder, the shirt will droop and look sloppy. Also look for tailored shirts that do not have pleats/folds in the back or in the sleeves. This will help you avoid extra material that billows out and makes you look heavier.

2. Slacks: put on a pair of shoes and make sure the front of the pant only "breaks" once. Break refers to the number of folds in your pants just above the shoe. If your pants bunch up at the shoe and break more than once, they are too long. Also avoid front pleats in pants because they tend to puff out and, again, don't flatter your body.

Ben's outfit from head to toe: dress shirt and linen trousers from H&M, tie by Charles Tyrwhitt, and Cole Haan belt and shoes.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Surprise Details

Some days, I just want to wear black. Black is easy because I don't have to think about it, and I own a LOT of it. So, how do you balance black without looking like you're going to a funeral?

Keep it interesting by adding some color as a detail. When you buy accessories, don't limit yourself to gold or silver. Pink, blue, yellow...anything that will pop and be a pleasant surprise.


These earrings have a bit of sparkle, and they are finished off with a little strawberry on the bottom for the perfect amount of surprise against the black.

Nail polish is one of my favorite, and often forgotten accessories. Have fun with bold colors and add a pop of color to your outfit, like OPI's "No Room for the Blues" as seen in the above pic.

For this outfit, I tucked a tank dress into a high-waisted skirt and paired the look with stacked black heels.

My outfit from head to toe: strawberry earrings by Betsy Johnson, black and white dress from Forever 21, pleated skirt from the Gap, and the heels are Seychelles.

Photo cred: Ian Merritt

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Styling for Men: Choose Your Shoes Wisely

As promised, this blog is not only for women, but men too! Recently, I had a friend reach out asking for help with his wardrobe. He's an average guy that's not looking to be on the cover of GQ, but he wants to be stylish, and maybe even impress his wifey.  I thought of a few basics to help serve as a styling guide for men and here's the first tip:

Your shoes say it all - I can't think of how many times I've seen a guy put together a great outfit, but then totally blow it with the shoes. Gents, your shoes are the window to your fashion soul! Shoes are the cherry on top (well, bottom), and whether they're casual, hip, trendy, formal, funky or simple, use your kicks to show your personality. Try to keep them relatively clean, and wear them for the appropriate occasion.  An easy way to pick your shoes for the day is to wear shoes that are more dressy than you'd normally wear.

During lunch today, I spotted Kevin at Jimmy John's and  it turns out we both work for in Chicago. What are the odds?! Why did I notice him? His shoes! They are a rich brown color that compliment his dark pants and light shirt and he's kept them in great condition. I could even see these shoes going well with a navy suit for a casual wedding.

In a future post I'll talk about "fit", but for now, take a few notes from Kevin whose outfit is casual, clean, and still sophisticated.

Kevin's outfit from head to toe: button down from J.Crew, navy casual pant from Gap, and Sperry Topsider shoes.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Black and Brown plus Sparkle!

Wandering around the farmer's market at Daley Plaza yesterday, I spotted Callie admiring a flower stand with a friend. Her combination of tan, black, and a few punches of color caught my eye, and definitely proves that you can wear black and brown together.

The key is to make sure the colors contrast. Her black textured pencil skirt (love the tiers of material) contrasts with her brown shoes that are a light tan, keeping the outfit springy and charming. A simple white shirt under her cardigan was a great choice to keep it simple and let the necklace do more of the work!

Did I mention the necklace? Turquoise, tortoise shell, and diamonds...who doesn't love that combination! It adds another hint of color while staying within the same tones and the rest of her outfit.

Callie's outfit head to toe: necklace from Anthropologie, cardigan  and skirt from Banana Republic, tote from Longchamp, gold and tortoise shell watch by Michael Kors, and flats by Tory Burch.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Bridal Showers Bring Bright Flowers...errr Floral Prints!

My lovely friend Laura was my first official client, and I'm so excited to share the outfits I styled for her! This summer, she has several bridal showers to attend, all at different venues, so I spent about an hour pulling different pieces and composing the looks you see below.

For the country club shower:

This look, while conservative, has bright colors that keep it interesting. The tangerine top Laura is wearing is actually a dress that no longer fits her, so I had her tuck it under the fuchsia pencil skirt to make it look like a cute tank. This is a great way to keep clothes when you no longer like the silhouette. Just disguise it! We paired the top and skirt with simple accessories, heels and a cardigan that add sparkle without taking away from the bright pink and orange combo.

Laura's outfit from head to toe: vintage inspired floral earrings and crystal bead and thread necklace from Ann Taylor Loft, tangerine dress and fuchsia skirt from J.Crew, beige cardigan from H&M, Michael Kors gold watch, and nude sandals from Banana Republic

For the restaurant shower:

Laura is dressed a bit edgier for this occasion in a bright floral pattern dress that you can't miss! This silhouette is perfect for summer with it's flowy three-quarter length sleeves. The cinched waist shows off Laura's figure without being skin tight and too revealing.

A tip on how to choose accessories for this type of pattern is to forget about matching your accessories to one or two colors from the dress. Have fun with it and pick a color that compliments the colors instead! I chose the turquoise earrings to contrast against her blonde hair, a gold snake skin belt to brighten up the dress and add texture to the outfit, and a peach floral ring to keep in theme with the floral pattern without matching one color. I couldn't resist adding the bright pink pumps to top off the outfit, but since the other colors of accessories are relatively tame, the pink adds a flirty feel to the look.

Laura's outfit from head to toe: turquoise drop earrings from Imelda's Closet (comparable to Francesca'sRebecca Taylor floral tunic dress, gold snake skin belt from J.Crew, peach floral cocktail ring from Forever 21, and pink pumps from H&M.

Notes of the appointment:
  • Everything Laura is wearing is from her own closet. I want my clients to use what they have rather than feel the need to go out and buy a new wardrobe.
  • I took about an hour and twenty minutes styling the looks and taking the photos. Styling appointments don't have to take all day and shopping appointments can be scheduled separately.
  • We had a blast! Thanks for letting me peruse your closet Laura!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Sophisticated Simple

On my lunch break at the Sears Tower, I spotted Amanda in an adorable black and white print dress! What I love about Amanda's look is that it's clean, simple and sophisticated. The dress is tailored nicely to her figure, and the black and white pattern catches your attention without being too abrasive or busy. Her turquoise sun glasses add that pop of color against the dress and her nude pumps polish off the look perfectly. I also love that her sleek up-do compliments her chic outfit.

Amanda's outfit head to toe: sunglasses Walgreen's (not kidding, and what a find!), dress is Calvin Klein from Macy's, and the nude pumps are from

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Summer Lovin'

Looks like summer is officially here! With temperatures reaching into the upper 90's today, what can you wear to work that's appropriate and still keeps you cool outside and bundled from the freezing A/C in the office? I've seen tons of girls wearing cute summer dresses with bright floral patterns and a few more basic ones as well. It's simple and easy to throw on and then have fun accessorizing. Keep a light jacket or cardigan at work, and you're set!

My favorite trend that I've seen start to crop up is the subtle tie-dye. No need to break out the rainbow colored t-shirts with the dancing bears of the Grateful Dead, but rather one solid color, tie-dyed to create a simple pattern.

Today's outfit from head to toe: vintage gold flower earrings, cropped jacket from Urban Outfitters, yellow tie-dye dress from Ann Taylor Loft, pink silk flower ring from Forever 21, and red flats from France.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Pop of Pink

One of the tried and true concepts of styling an outfit is adding a pop of color. This punk pink fringe and chain necklace was a gift from my sister who found it at an art show in St. Pete, Florida. I just about peed my pants when she gave this to me, and quickly threw together an outfit with the necklace before going out for a day of shopping (and for those of you who know me well, I freaked because I love pink and I love necklaces).

My outfit from head to toe: black baby tee from Pitaya, beige polka dot shorts from Free People, and my oxfords are my splurge item that I picked up in Paris at Jonak while visiting my close friend Rima.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Style That's Simple

To the ladies and gents that need a little advice when it comes to everyday styling, I'm here to help you keep it simple.

I've been interested in fashion for most of my life, but have a particular memory that sparked my passion for styling. When I was about 6 years old I remember staying with my aunt Carroll in Florida for a few days. One morning she told me to quickly get dressed before we went out for the day. So, I put on my hot pink t-shirt with my neon orange bike shorts. Her reaction was one of disapproval since she thought the colors clashed. I may have only been six, but even then I knew something about color blocking.

A lot of my sense of style comes from my momma. Her career as an interior designer has stemmed from her ability to make a room seem effortless and chic, which translates directly to her fashion sense; simple and elegant.

I hope that from this blog you learn how to keep it simple and be yourself! I'll show you ways that I've styled different looks and take a few snapshots of people on the street that are rockin' a style that works for them.