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CategoryAll posts under‘Seasonal Style: Summer‘

Good Jewelry = Awesome Outfits

Good jewelry is like the best friend who is always there for you, always pumps you up, always has you on your A game… Oh yea, it’s that fabulous. 

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I have been building my collection since I was pretty much 10 years old. I would go to the mall and stalk the sterling silver kiosk. I would search through my mother’s drawers in hopes of finding some bauble that she wasn’t interested in and steal it for my own collection. Unfortunately my mother wasn’t really into fashion so this adventure proved to be less then fruitful. Ironically, I think that experience has led me to become the treasure hunter I am today. I literally think about what pieces I can pass down to my future off-spring. Will they think grandma is cool based on her jewelry collection??? These types of questions haunt me and drive me to search for awesomeness. I wish I was kidding.

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It isn’t just “real” pieces that are included in my hunt. This huge crystal piece by Barbara Pellegrino actually hurts slightly because of the sheer weight of the stone. Who cares, it is amazing. It was a gift from a lovely gentleman I dated who truly took notice of my fun jewelry collection and gave me something that I couldn’t have even dreamed up on my own. Kudos to a dude who is that aware! It is doubly as cool because both sides of the chain are different. My grandkids are either going to think I’m nuts or amazing, but I don’t think that is specifically related to this piece of jewelry.

 

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I am also drawn to sentimental pieces. This broach is my own creation and I LOVE it. If you look closely you can see that it is family pictures of my brother and I. They were charms that my Nana had made for a necklace of hers. I took a hat pin and strategically placed them on to show off my own baby pictures. Weird, but awesome. I added another broach right above it to create a real “moment”.

 

 

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I am also obsessed with great costume jewelry. This ring is three stones, but really one piece. I can’t move my fingers all that well when I have it on, but who cares because people think it is so cool (which it is). It is by Kendra Scott and it is one of the only things I have ever paid full price for. It was too amazing to pass up.  Adding a layered up bracelet look (otherwise known as “arm candy”) only added to my funk factor. It is a great way to re-use pieces you may have had for forever in new and interesting ways.

 

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Buying jewelry when I travel has become part of my reason for traveling. These earrings are from a tiny shop in no-where Colorado on a mountain top. They are made by a Native American women and are created from porcupine quills. How freakin’ cool.  The top silver bracelet is from a small surfing town in Costa Rica and the larger cuff with a medallion is from Big Sur. The watch in the middle is from Guess and I pulled it out of retirement from 10 years ago! Not exactly sentimental, but mixing pieces together is the key to showcasing your jewelry talent.

 

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My final and most important way of creating the grand collection of jewelry I have today is from flea markets, thrift stores and consignment shops. You literally have no idea what you are going to find, it is the best treasure hunt. You may not be fruitful every time, but continuing the search for  your next great piece is half the fun. I am obsessed with my silver Wonder Woman cuff. It certainly makes a statement. The middle silver ring is also from a flea market, but was from a sterling silver vendor showcasing brand new goods. The thin sapphire ring is real (I had it checked out) and it is from a consignment shop in upstate New York that I bought for 10 bucks. See, you never know what you are going to find…..

 

 

 

Good Jewelry Collage

With any client, I always begin with foundation pieces, even in their jewelry collection. It doesn’t matter if it is silver or gold, just pick the metal you love. For most people, I suggest getting these staple items in BOTH metals. They include a medium pair of thin hoops, a short delicate necklace, a long medallion type necklace, a thin layering bracelet and an elegant yet bold neutral ring. You can layer all of these pieces in your ever growing jewelry collection or you can wear them on their own. It is the perfect place for someone new to the jewelry game to begin. This is one of the only areas of your wardrobe where I say more is better. Jewelry can completely change your look and that is something worth collecting over….

 

 

 

silver hoops, gold pendant, simple chain, rose gold bangle, cocktail ring

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

10 Items to Restyle a White T and Jeans

Who doesn’t want to look ultra cool in their white T and jeans?

It is the ultimate easy going, “I don’t care, I just threw this on”, cool girl look. So why do so many people just look like schlubs running to Walmart, sloppy, sad and unkept? Let me assist you ladies with this and have you looking like the super model I know you can be…. Even when you are stocking up on Charmin at Target.

 

 

The key to being absolutely fabulous in the most basic white T and jeans is to own the right items to restyle it over and over and over again. In this episode of Sass N Style I pulled 10 amazing foundation items from my fav, Lord & Taylor, to show you quick and easy ways to restyle your look. Let me be clear, these foundation items are all versions of things every woman should have in her closet. You might not own everything and it might not look exactly like the 10 items I chose, but you should find enough similarities that you can re-create a LOT of these looks. And if not, feel inspired to go to Lord & Taylor and pick yourself up a few fun and fabulous items that will go the styling distance.

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You can find almost all of these items at Lord & Taylor. They offer cute and moderately priced pieces that can spice up any wardrobe. The 10 items I chose represent basic categories that every woman should own. This video shows that you can pretty much restyle anything if you own the correct foundation pieces. Choosing a white T and jeans as the base for this tutorial was a request from a reader (thanks Amber!) who pondered how so many people look so cool so easily? It’s true, there are those that just can and those that struggle with what seems so simple once you see the final product. This episode of Sass N Style should allow you to find quick take-away tips that will have your look feeling refreshed, confident and fun. Remember, not every look is for every body or lifestyle, choose the ones that speak to you.

scarf, necklaceleather jacket, booties, bateau neck sweater

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I want your life to be easy, at least when you are getting dressed. I always say to my clients, “This is fashion, not brain surgery, it is meant to be fun!” Remember this when you want to punch a hole through the wall because you can’t seem to find the right outfit. If you build your fashion house properly, you can restyle your white T and jeans over and over and over and over and over….. You get the picture. Be the cool, easy going girl in the white T and jeans you always knew you could be.

ballet flatsbeaded bracelet, blazerpointed toe pumps, cardigan

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).

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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