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CategoryAll posts under‘My Style‘

Date Night Looks

Planning an outfit for a big date can be torture.

So let me make this whole date night thing easy for you. The first important question is what number date is it? Are you meeting for the first time? Are you 5 dates in? Is your husband finally taking you on that date he promised you?? You want to look hot no matter what, but appropriate. The other big question is, where are you going? Are we talking dinner here or an evening of libations galore. Note to my readers: Too many libations make for bad date decisions. Just a personal note from my personal history:)

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The ensemble above is a great example of a perfect first date outfit. It is simple, stylish and sexy. You are showing off your figure without giving it all away. You want them to want more ladies! A skinny pair of jeans is always a perfect fit for meeting someone for the first time. Boys usually aren’t going to be dressed to the 9′s (until you fix them) so you don’t want to make them uncomfortable with your over the top fabulousness. Choose a heel height based on your date’s height. Usually you know this going in because the whole world now meets people on the internet and you learn how tall they are first. If you don’t know going in, pick a smaller heel or even a sexy flat if you are comfortable with it. Men rarely like having a first impression being you towering over them…..

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This can also pass for a first date look. It is slightly more casual because the top is so flowy, but I assure you that it is actually also low-cut. Again, you are showing off without SHOWING OFF. This outfit is great for something a little more low key or earlier in the day. If it is a daytime date you can always switch to a flat shoe and a bigger bag.

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This look is taking us into the evening most likely on a date past number one or two. You definitely now know the person you are meeting in this outfit. You are aware of their style and what looks appropriate next to them. Yes, you want to dress appropriately for the person that you are with. I know this might sound crazy, but you can’t show up all super edgy or crazy funky and they are looking like they are going to the yacht club. I am not suggesting that you shouldn’t be yourself, I am just saying that your style should encourage them to be their best without overshadowing them or looking mis-matched.

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This next date outfit says, “Take me out now husband, I am still your sexy-ass wife who needs to be courted no matter how long we have been together.” I always joke with my female client’s husbands that I am creating outfits for date night so they better start planning. This look is fun, playful and sophisticated. And did I mention sexy? Yup, bring the sexy back, your husband will appreciate it.

date night look

Here are some great items that can either be used all together to create a great first date look or individually. Your go-to pieces to own that are no fail in any situation with any date are always going to be skinny jeans, a cute neutral blouse, a sassy jacket, a clutch and a mid-height heeled shoe. You can mix and match these pieces with everything in your wardrobe to get that, “I just threw this together, but I am a sexy bitch” look. Obviously that is professional terminology for trapping a man with your fabulous style:)

clutchblouseskinny jeans, leather bomber, open toe booties

The BEST Spring Shoes

Different shoes can change your look instantly.

I strongly promote owning a LOT of shoes. I am the first one to tell people they need to clean out their closet and only keep what they truly love, so LOVE all your shoes. It is an amazing game to put on a full outfit and continue to change out the shoes over and over creating completely different looks. Seriously, you can be going to brunch, out to dinner with friends or have a coffee meeting ALL wearing the same look, but changing out the shoes. It’s awesome.

 

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The shoes above are definitely one of my favorite pairs. I got them at least 5 years ago before it became super trendy to own studded loafers and the entire world started buying cheap versions of my amazing pair by Mauro Leone from Italy. I went all the way to Milan to grab these babies. Owning color shoes is a fun and necessary evil. People often shy away from super fun shoes because they “have nothing to wear them with”. Not true. The best way to style them is to keep the rest of your look fairly neutral. Make your shoes the pop piece and have them stand out (as they should).

amy shoes 2

 

High heels are the devil. There, I said it. I actually found out at a museum exhibit called “Killer Heels” that men invented this stupid concept. Now, let me also say that high heels are freakin’ hot and sometimes you have to succumb to the devil himself. Take this caged pair from Michael Kors as an example. I not only love how they look, but they are medium comfortable. Whoever says their heels are really cozy is lying.  You have to be true to yourself, if the shoe is not comfortable when you are trying it on, it is not magically going to “break in”. I don’t care how cute it is, you will never wear them. 

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Now this is a style I can really learn to love, slip on sneakers! I am all about the athleisure trend going on right now. My line of work requires me to not only be on my feet for hours at a time, but often times I am literally running. Wearing even a ballet flat can make me want to cry by the end of the day. Obviously you have to have a flexible career style to pull these off Monday through Friday, but everyone can love these bad boys on the weekend. Forget a basic sneaker, up the ante of your casual chic style by buying an amazing pair of dressy sneakers.

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Black and white everything is in and it isn’t a fad. I am obsessed with fun and interesting neutrals. Both of these shoe options can add a touch of fun to your look without competing with it. I am kind of aggravated that the Birkenstock style fad is still going on, but at least these Kate Spade’s are doing it a little justice. They are almost making it look cool:) Espadrilles are the biggest trend right now in spring and summer footwear. I am obsessed with this pattern because they are a stand-alone interesting shoe, but they can actually be styled with just about anything. Both of these options are not only stylish, but they are comfortable!!!!

Perfect Spring Shoe

So let’s build this shoe collection together. Because ladies, it IS a collection. You are not meant to buy everything all at one time, but you should definitely have the basics within each category. What are the basics and what are the categories you ask? Well let me tell you (I am so good at it). The basics include having a neutral (think metallic or nude), black and a color option within each category. For those that are not mathmaticians, this means 3 pairs per category. It gives you the maximum styling capability. Choosing to buy all 3 basics has to be realistic for your personal lifestyle. For example, I do not need LOTS of high heels because my life is more comfortable. Now for the categories to create the perfect spring shoe collection:

  • Flats, Loafers or Espadrilles
  • Cool Sneakers (No need to buy 3 of these unless your lifestyle calls for it)
  • High heels (Again, does your realistic life need 3 pairs?)
  • Sandals with Closure (This means that they buckle or zip in some fashion, they are NOT flip flops)
  • Flip Flop (You most likely do not need 3 pairs)

 

That should get you not only through spring, but well into summer. A collection is meant to take time, have patience and know that you will eventually find your perfect pair of shoes.

 

slip on sneaker, espadrilles, color block loafers, crisscross strap sandal, cut out heeled sandal

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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……”

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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.

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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