full screen background image

CategoryAll posts under‘My Style‘

Your IT Bag

Your bag is like the cherry on top of the sundae of your outfit. Basically, it can make or break it.

I believe in owning a fabulous bag. It is, in my professional opinion, the most important element of any look (except possibly your winter coat). If you are one of the millions of people who DO NOT switch their bag everyday, then it is DEFINITELY the most important element. This means that you should not only absolutely love it, but it should be completely functional. Before choosing your IT bag, ask yourself what you use it for. Do you carry a laptop? Do you lug around file folders? Are you constantly carrying all of your children’s random things? Also, what type of strap works for you? Typically there are three options: Hands-free cross body style, over-the-shoulder and shorter straps that ONLY go over your forearm. Owning a bag that is specifically functional for your life will make you love your it even more.

Processed with VSCOcam with s3 preset

Another very important thing about choosing your IT bag is understanding cost per wear. Basically, how often are you going to wear it? If you never switch your bag out, spend more. If you use different bags everyday, spend less. No matter what the answer, it should still be quality. The bag in the picture above is the biggest splurge I have every made. It is a Christian Louboutin, but of course I got it on sale at Saks. Still, it is WAY more then I have ever spent on one item. And guess what, it is my best purchase ever. Why you ask? Because it is not only completely functional for my life, but it goes with everything I own and is totally my style.

Processed with VSCOcam with s3 preset

This bag was also a splurge, but I still got it on sale at Nordstrom Rack. It is Jimmy Choo and it is awesome. The camel color is one of my favorite neutrals because it goes with everything. It is a pretty simple style so it will be timeless. The truth is that expensive bags are truly just better. The wear and tear is WAY less then even middle priced bags going for anywhere from $250-$500. Choosing a price-point is very personal and I certainly understand that. Some of you reading this right now are saying, “That’s middle priced!!???!!!”, and the answer is yes. “Normal” bag prices can range from $30 all the way up to $5K. Prices go way beyond that, but that is the typical range.

Processed with VSCO with s2 preset

The bag above is from one of my favorite mid-range designers, Rebecca Minkoff. The best part is that you can find her at almost any discount designer store so I never pay full price. Are you recognizing a pattern yet? I strongly encourage you to ONLY buy a bag at a discount store like TJ Maxx, Nordstrom Rack and Off 5th. There is typically a fabulous selection and you can almost always get a good quality leather bag for half the price. I implore you not to buy fake leather, it looks fake! There is no need to spend full price on bags unless you are buying something like Chanel. You want the quality without the crazy price tag.

Processed with VSCO with s3 preset

As for nighttime, there are two types of bags that work for everything. The first is a larger leather clutch (or even smaller cross body style) for dinner or date night. You want something that is a little dressed up, but not some sparkly, crystal clutch. Using your daytime bag will lessen the look. It will instantly take something fabulous and drag it down to boring.

Processed with VSCO with s1 preset

 

The second style is for evening. Think small, sophisticated, sassy, classic and fabulous. I would stay away from leather. Satin is the usual option, but can end up looking a little tacky. Don’t buy the typical clutches in the “evening bag” section, it lessens your entire look into some cheap frock. There are so many fantastic options now for nighttime just like this sparkly, hard case option from Aldo. Plastic clutches are really in right now (I swear they are cooler then that sounds), but I think they are more of a fad so don’t invest too much. All I ask it that you keep it fun and modern. Be sure to make sure it actually fits your stuff and doesn’t just look cool. And, make sure it adds to your outfit, it should not be an after thought, it is part of your entire look!!

 

Your IT Bag

All of the styles above are great options based on what most ladies need in their wardrobe. Owning a basic black bucket bag is good for your every day bag, but beware, there are no pocket dividers in them. If you typically lose things in your bag, this might not be the best option for you. The bottom right luggage color bag is awesome because it has two handle options, over the shoulder AND cross body. There are a lot of designers doing this right now, yea! We should also not forget that having a stylish weekend getaway bag should be part of your repertoire. A great bag completes your outfit. Why would you put on something fabulous and then grab for the closest bag and ruin all that effort? You won’t (now:).

leather tote, evening clutchweekend bag, snakeskin clutchhobo bag

I LOVE Hoop Earrings

I think I own at least 10 pairs of hoop earrings.

Why you may ask? The answer is simple, depending on the style and size, you are dealing with an entirely different beast. Hoop earrings come in so many fabulous versions that choosing the perfect pair for your look can literally change everything. This may sound a bit dramatic, but have you met me? This is par for the course.

Processed with VSCO with s3 preset

I am TOTALLY obsessed with this new pair of hoops that I just got at H & M. Let’s be real, the quality is not so great (I need a rubber back just to hold them on), but I feel so “ghetto fabulous” (totally un-PC) when I put them on that I don’t care. I pretty much instantly become “Jenny from the block.” Don’t you see it? The large hammered gold material puts me into another world of style. A hoop earring can not only change your look, but the right one can change your mood. “Don’t be fooled by the rocks that I got, I’m still Jenny from the block……”

Processed with VSCO with s3 preset

 

Strangely, this pair is from H & M too. I only say “strangely” because I don’t even shop there that much. But, if you are looking for a quick “pick-me-up” emergency shop fix, then jewelry at H & M will do the trick. You know the feeling, “I need to buy something now or I will die!!!!” You won’t die, but $10 spent on a small and fun trinket will give you your mojo back. This pair of hoops are my ode to tribal fun. The fringe is adding a fashionable and fun change from a basic hoop. Paired with a simple white T and leather bomber, they change a simple look into something fantastic.

 

 

amy hoops 3

Above is just a small sampling of my hoop collection. Yes, size matters. The smaller the hoop, the daintier the style. The bigger the hoop, the louder and more crazy things become. Choosing a hoop size is very personal. My more refined clients go for a thin, small to medium size. I usually choose a BIG size because I am sassy and outgoing. As you can see from this collection, depending on my mood and my audience, I do own a bevy of sizes. I can play any part I need to based on my hoop size, hell, that is what fashion is all about!

hoop earrings

 

I always get questions about WHAT to pair your hoops with. Well again ladies, this choice is personal. Above are a few options…. For the funkier, younger gal, a fabulous head scarf will do the trick. You can easily refine this look by tying the knot at the bottom of your head instead of the top. It is a perfect look for the beach or the pool. A fabulous floppy hat will also work. You can access your 70′s flower child instantly. A big question I get is about pairing your hoops with necklaces. A longer style is always going to be the easiest option. It separates the jewelry out so you don’t have too much in one place. Choose a smaller size hoop to not over-complicate things. If you are insane like I am, go for a statement necklace WITH your hoops. Why not? Choose a basic style hoop in this case so you don’t completely overwhelm your beautiful face. So start building that collection now ladies…….

statement necklace, gold hoops, headscarf, floppy brim hat, silver hoops

These Aren’t Your Mom’s Dungarees

Something no one ever says: “Jean shopping is my favorite!”

When I work with clients one of the first things they complain about is their jean collection. “These are too big.” “These are too small.” Etcetera, etcetera, etcetera. Basically, most people have at least one thing they hate about each pair of jeans they have AND they usually own way too many pairs. Typically I find the reason is they seriously hate jean shopping and want to get out of the store as fast as possible leaving them with a purchase that is less then OK. I get it, no one likes looking at themselves in fluorescent lighting squeezing into skin tight jeans. I agree, that sounds like it sucks.

 

Processed with VSCO with s3 preset

 

So let me make this journey a little easier. First things first, spend more money on each individual pair of jeans. I know, the idea of spending $150 to $200 on jeans is a bit disconcerting, but I swear it is worth it. For anyone that knows me, I am all about a deal. But, when it comes to jeans, I pay full price. Why you ask? Because at the end of the day I truly believe that all the CEO’s of the jean companies got together, decided they should ALL charge ridiculous amounts and then consumers would be forced to deal with it. And you know what, they were right. Basically, expensive jeans truly are better. They last longer, you wash them because they are dirty, not because they are falling off your bum and the fit is impeccable.

 

Processed with VSCOcam with s2 preset

You should only own about 5 pairs of jeans at most. The color and style options are based on your particular lifestyle. For almost all of my clients the base of their jean collection is the same, dark blue with dark blue stitching (it is dressier then yellow stitching), gray, black and white. All of these MUST be skinny or straight leg. You need to have at least one pair to wear in boots (that would be skinny) and a pair to wear with flats or heels (that would be straight or skinny). I promote the ankle length, as seen above, because it is flattering on any body shape and you can wear them with any height shoe. Genius. What I do not promote is bootcut. I actually hate them. They are deeply unflattering to a ladies thighs. That’s right, they make them look BIGGER. A straight leg cut where the calf width mimics your thigh width is going to be the most flattering. And don’t shy away from skinny jeans because you think they will make you look fat. The key is to only wear them in boots with longer  tops if your thighs are a concern.

Processed with VSCOcam with g3 preset

 

Let’s not just think of denim as a pair of jeans. Denim has come a long way baby and you can pretty much wear it a ton of different ways. Lately I am very into the “jean tuxedo.” NEVER wear the same color jean on the top and bottom, but feel free to mix it up with different shades. I love a chambray shirt (it’s a fancy way of saying denim shirt) mixed with jeans. People down south probably think it is hilarious that us Yankees believe we have invented this new trend. I am giving you my best “city rodeo” look in this shot above. I think it’s working:)

old denim collage

Definitely reach back to the 70′s hippie loving era for some inspiration. I love a good bell bottom, but you really do need to wear heels with it if you are under 5’5″. It becomes pretty unflattering and can shorten your legs. I am also all about the denim vest. I love wearing mine over a sundress to give it a little edge. Not your thing, try a denim skirt. Basically, denim is universally flattering and never goes out of style. It also is a neutral material so it will go with everything you own.

denim skirt Current/Elliott bell bottomsdenim vest

new denim collage

If you follow my Instagram you know I am having a love affair with my boyfriend style ripped jeans. I seriously think they make everything I own look cooler. They are also ventilated:) It took some effort to find the perfect pair that didn’t just fall off, but with the right amount of effort I conquered the shopping challenge. Think outside the box with your denim choices. I am obsessed with the denim culotte craze and want to jump on board. I know this will be a passing phase, but I think I can get a good 2-3 seasons out of them. Totally worth the price. Denim shopping is always going to be a challenge, but remember, finding the perfect pair is worth fighting the good fight!

ripped boyfriend jeans, denim culottes, chambray shirt

Become a Master of Flea Market Finds

I was not always a master of the flea market.

Like many things in my life, learning how to conquer a flea market took time. I learned from the best (my friend Danielle) who truly had a knack for it. We would go every Saturday to a crazy flea market in Chicago (think jewelry to car parts) in search of nothing more then something awesome. I would watch her sift and easily find gems hidden among the crazy piles of what looked like crap to me. But she saw something different. She saw the diamond in the ruff, she saw the sparkle, she saw the prize. This is where I began to hone my flea market shopping skills. First lesson learned, don’t go looking for anything in particular, go looking for everything. Your treasure will find you.

 

Kirppistelyä

 

Flea markets often look just like the picture above. They are overwhelming, un-merchandised mazes of everything from old shoes to cool records (you remember those, don’t you?). Sometimes it seems endless, there are tables upon tables with piles of “junk” scaring the average shopper into giving up. Don’t give up, follow these simple rules for becoming your own mater of flea market finds:

1: Accessories, mostly baubles, are the easiest thing to sift through. Your treasure hunter skills should be honed at any jewelry vendor that catches your fancy. Additionally, this is typically where you will find the coolest stuff that is in the best condition. There are so many amazing vintage pieces waiting to be loved by you, both real and costume. Price points can range, but this is a pretty inexpensive way to build your collection. And it is easy to sift through without having a coronary.

2. Fur is plentiful and the lovely ladies of the 50′s have lots to give. Some of my best vintage pieces involve some sort of fur. If a full fur coat isn’t your thing, check out the amazing hats and scarves. Yes they may smell a little funny, but at a quarter of the price they would be sold for in a store, you can get it dry cleaned!

3. Patience is a virtue. One of the reasons I LOVE flea markets is because you are not looking for anything in particular and there is a great joy in moseying along. My whole life is built around shopping off a list for clients so during my own shopping time being free of that makes me really happy. Remember, going to a flea market is about the experience and rushing through defeats that. Rest assured your treasure will find you if you let it….

4. Bargaining is fun. Nothing is ever what they say it is, so negotiate. It is almost offensive if you don’t! Half the fun of finding your new treasure is telling everyone what a steal you got it for. Like any good negotiation, you should not throw out the first number. But once they do, play ball.

 

flea market amy

 

This is one of my favorite pieces I own from a flea market. It is totally vintage and it is totally awesome. I practice yelling, “It’s fake!” to people who are about to throw paint on me, but it is actually very real. I figure some grandma really wanted me to have it and since I am buying it second hand, I am saving it from filling up unnecessary space in a landfill. Plus, I look really fabulous in it.

 

flea market amy 2

 

This dress was brand new and still had the tags on it when I found it. She is by DVF and only cost me 50 bucks. Occasionally  you  do come across these rare gems, but it is once in a blue moon. I am pretty sure this was a sample that never found a home…. Until I met her. It took an entire roll of double stick tape to hold it on (which is most likely why it was a sample), but I know for a fact that all of the older gentleman at the wedding  loved me. Apparently they still call me, “The girl in the dress”. Boo yea.

 

Processed with VSCOcam with s3 preset

This is just a small compilation of some of my favorite pieces I have acquired over the years from flea markets all over the world. I have not only traveled this great country in search of my latest and greatest treasure, but I have crossed oceans. The BEST flea market I have ever been to is in London and it is called Portobello market. Seriously, it is dope and I could have sifted my way through that thing for 2 days straight. Once you fully become a master of the flea market, you will actually get a high from your finds.

flea market collage

So now is the time for all of you who want to cheat the system. Those who want to look like they are genius flea market shoppers, but truly are not prepared for the tizzy it may cause. The collage above is filled with great look-a-like options to purchase directly from the internet. You can look like a master  of the flea market without ever leaving your couch. I won’t tell:)

coral Italian horn , cheetah fur coatstone cuff , western leather belt

 

Best Coats for YOUR Shape

I always say your coat IS your outfit so choose wisely.

For most people, the winter is long. And because of this, your outer layer becomes your most worn piece. It literally is your look for much of the day and because of this, you should truly love it. I know spring is coming, but let’s be real, you still need a coat. Beyond a great color or design, choosing a coat that best fits your shape is vital. We are all built differently (thank God) so be aware of your body and what  works. Buying a coat 2 sizes too big to fit your thickest sweater is NOT an option. You have been warned.

 

Processed with VSCOcam with s3 preset

I am a big fan of a cinched coat. Basically, anything that is fitted through the middle is my friend. As you can see, all three of these coats are completely different, but have similar silhouettes. Knowing what works on you means staying true to it while altering the variables. In most cases that means color, material and style. I own a LOT of coats so going beyond basic black is kind of my thing. The neutral coat above is my most conservative look and often gets mistaken for Burberry. It isn’t, it’s Laundry by Shelli Segal and I bought it at Nordstrom Rack. How you like me now?!?

IMG_0494

Processed with VSCOcam with m5 preset

I am obsessed with both the coats above. I usually use the gold one to dress things up, it is amazing because it works for both day and nighttimes. I actually bought it for full price at a boutique in SoHo. I must really love it because I do not pay full price, ever. The mod style gray coat is from a sample store. It is by Walter and has been loved by me for well over 5 years. I honestly don’t get that much use out of it because the boat neck style with 3/4 length sleeves is difficult weather wise in New York City. But, when I do take her for a swing around town people swoon.

coat collage 1

Both of the coats above are great for almost any body type. Curvy or straight, your body will be snug as a bug in a rug when you put this style on. For curvier people, it accentuates your shape and highlights (or creates) a small waist. For straight women it creates the illusion of an hour glass shape. This style is also amazing because you can fit pieces that are a little bit heavier underneath and still create a streamlined silhouette once you cinch the belt.

wrap coat,  double-faced wool coat

            coat collage 2

The ruler style coats above are for the straighter, taller women of this world. If you have strong hips or a very round bum, this coat is going to catch on them. It will lose the classic line and become bunched in all the ways you don’t want it to. I am a huge fan of the camel color duster coat. It is classic and elegant and literally goes with everything and every skin color. The royal blue double breasted coat is a fantastic option for someone wanting to try something different. Why is everyone’s coat always black? Be the pop of color in the sea of blackness and stand out.

duster coatdouble breasted coat

coat collage 3

A shorter coat is extremely flattering for more petite women. Additionally, with the temperature finally rising, this is a great option to stay comfortably warm without wearing a parka. I have always been obsessed with a big collar because it does double duty. It not only looks totally cool, it also allows you to leave your scarf at home. The less we have to carry (or lose) the better.

Love your shape, love your coat, love your style.

wool coat with fur collarbelted coat