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CategoryAll posts under‘Save vs. Splurge‘

Top Ten Fall Shoe Styles

Fall is by far my favorite season. 100 degree weather has finally subsided, the air feels crisp and something about life just seems calmer. Although all of these things really do put a smile on my face, let’s just be honest, fall fashion is one of my reason’s for living. It may sound a bit extreme, but the excitement of being able to layer on fabulous new trends is sometimes almost too much for me to take! And then there are the shoes……

So, as discussed this morning on Martha Stewart’s Sirius radio channel, here are my top ten picks for the best shoe trends for fall:

Back again, for an encore presentation, the over-the-knee boot. Love them. They are incredibly sexy without the “I am trying really hard” connotation. Surprisingly, they are pretty acceptable for most age groups. Of course, you have to be in fairly good shape to pull these off if you are over 45. In addition, as you become “more mature”, you should delete the heel. It just becomes a bit too over the top.

This particular pair by Dolce Vita is a great option. The cut out behind the knee is a superb design allowing for the boot not to get crunched and caught. Also, remember that neutrals can be more then just black or brown. Taupe is a fabulously fantastic choice!


Apparently over-the-knee just wasn’t enough for designers, so along came the thigh high. This really takes a special kind of lady to pull this shoe off. People always want to know if it is “age appropriate”, well this boot really should be put back on the shelf after 35….. Sorry! It is the ultimate in sexy, men are going to love you, footwear. Realistic no, fabulous yes. Christian Louboutin knew what he was doing when he pushed the envelope with this $2,375 pair. Meow!

Up next, brogues. I nearly fell over myself at fashion week chasing down a girl wearing these YSL shoes. For $1000, you better love them, but does it get any better then studded, patent leather lace-up brogues? I don’t think so:) This menswear inspired look began last spring, but has really blown up for fall. Look modern, fun and trendy buy adding these to any outfit.


Just this past Friday I was working with a client and got stopped in my tracks by these Libby Edelman shoes. Granny chic is so in right now! It is rare that I purchase something when working with a client, but she knows me well enough and my fashion conscious would not have allowed me to leave the store without them. They were priced at $49 (holy cow!) and I got an additional 30% off leaving them at $34. I am really good. Without the leopard print and studded toe, these shoes could be just as doubty as you remember on granny. Libby Edelman (of Sam and Libby ballet flat designers of the 80′s) added this punchy material making them uber modern and super fun.

I LOVE LOVE these Kelsi Dagger boots for $200. Ankle booties will not be going anywhere for a while, so invest now. They can be a tricky shoe if you have bigger calves, so choose a lighter color if this is an issue for you. You are always looking to elongate your legs and wearing a darker color will do the opposite by cutting you off at the ankle. This pair is fabulous because it is classic and simple, but adds in a fantastic architectural toe. This is a big look for fall and instantly ups the glamor quotient of any ensemble.

Military is back! I have fond memories of my Doc Marten’s from high school and apparently I am so old that they are back again. Sad for my psyche, happy for my feet! This studded pair by Free People is pricey at $388, but really fun and interesting. The studding is not too over-powering to the boot meaning that they can be worn with multiple looks. Sometimes, when a shoe is too overwhelming, it loses it’s ability to be worn regularly. Be ready to rock these boots with everything from dresses to skinny jeans. This is a fairly young shoe and should be limited to a “Forever 21″ type of crowd. The great thing about them though is that even if you are not an alternative rocker, you too can pull this boot off. Have fun and go out of your comfort zone!

Don’t worry if you can’t wear the studded military boot anymore, you have another high heeled option! By toning down the sharp utilitarian feel and adding a heel, these boots become instantly more sophisticated. They are so much more accessible to every age and style. Try pairing them with a simple ensemble such as jeans and a blazer to add some trend and edge to your look. If you are really feeling fun, a simple, straight style dress is a great combination as well. Push yourself to try something new! You won’t break the bank in these Guess boots for $150.

Ahhhh, riding boots. I loved them 3 years ago, I love them today and I will love them 3 years from now. These babies aren’t going anywhere and I am thankful for that! They are so chic, so fantastic, so rugged. I instantly feel like I should head out to the Hampton’s for a polo match when I put them on. I don’t know a thing about polo (other then hot men seem to play it), but I sure do know how to dress for a match. The great thing about riding boots though, is that you don’t have to be going to a polo game to wear them! Rock them in the city, rock them in the suburbs, rock them in the country! Throw on leggings and a longer sweater and you are ready for a casual stroll in the park. You really just can’t go wrong with these boots no matter your age, social status or style.

One of my personal favorites for fall shoe trends is the funky sneaker. Realistic for function, realistic for style. These PF Flyers are just above what I would pay at $130, but will really kick your outfit up a notch! I walk around NYC for a living, so comfort and style must go hand in hand. These two concepts do not have to live separately. I refuse to wear sneakers unless one of two things is going on: 1. My back is killing me. 2. I am going to the gym. This allows me to be happy and comfortable at the same time. Yea for dressy sneakers.


Rounding out my top ten for fall is the platform pump. Just when you thought they couldn’t get heels any higher, they did. The great thing about this trend though, is that the higher you make the platform, the flatter your foot actually is. Your foot is not technically painfully arched because you have balanced out the heel with a toe platform. Finally, designers have caught onto the fact that pain should not equal fashion!!!! These Brian Atwood Maniac pumps for $575 have been all the rage for a while now and have spread what some would consider an epidemic of platform heels across the nation. I am just happy it is an epidemic I can handle:)

So ladies, even if you purchase just one new pair of shoes this fall season make sure you will love them, cherish them and most of all, wear them. Enjoy!

College to the Boardroom

So, the party is over. College is ending and it is time for the “real world”. Stop crying! It can be fun, I swear.

First challenge, transitioning seamlessly into the work world by looking the part. This is often times not an easy task for those who have never set foot in an office. You own the staple uniform of jeans, t-shirts and sweatshirts for daytime and black pants with sexy, little tops for nighttime… Now what?? Basically you have a closet full of “weekend wear”. Get out your parents credit card (you don’t have any money yet, you haven’t started working) and get ready to shop.



I LOVE this look from J Crew and I think it is a great middle ground for someone just entering the work force. Let’s be honest, you can’t really afford to buy an entirely new wardrobe at this moment, so it is time to be creative. Owning pieces that are great for multiple occasions is the key to this great leap you are about to take.

Let’s focus in on the details of why I think this is a great look for almost any working situation: First, you are put together, but you are not stuffy. Remember that you are 22 years old, look it. Be sophisticated, but don’t try to age yourself by 20 years. The gig is up, everyone knows you just got out of college!

The top half of this outfit is so accessible that it could even be worn with jeans! Look, it really is just a fancy t-shirt and a colored cardigan. The print ups the ante of the tee (don’t think Ed Hardy here!) and the color of the cardigan makes it a bit more youthful. The piece making the entire look so “office appropriate” is the pencil skirt. A necessity in any woman’s closet of any age and almost any shape, this garment will kick it up a notch at the workplace. Plus, it is a great foundation piece and can be worn multiple times without your co-workers calling you out. Topped off with a complimentary red colored flat to offset the yellow cardigan and paired with funky bracelets, this outfit has full on green light approval! Mix and match any of the items shown here for looks ranging from casual to work. You can do it!

Another great item is the wrap dress. It is basic, simple, straight forward and can be accessorized how ever you like! This means that you have the power to exercise your styling muscle…. Within means! This is another garment that will stand the test of time, just like the pencil skirt. It has the flexibility to be worn in a sophisticated way or a playful way. You are in control. Adding a fun shoe, as this Banana Republic ensemble is showing, gives it that younger edge that you are going for. No need to be stuffy just because you are out of college. Fun and appropriate are the key words class.

Check out a Sass N Style video I did about being “Office Chic”. My friend and I are just a few years out of college (OK, maybe 8), but you should get some fun and easy tips for looking great as you enter the workforce. Remember ladies, your look is going to get you immediate approval from your boss, but your confidence and attitude is going to get you a promotion!



College Photo courtesy of Getty Images
J Crew Outfit
Banana Republic Wrap Dress: $120

Flea Market Finds: How to be a Master!

I take great pride in the fact that I am a self-taught genius of flea markets. This essentially means that I am capable of finding fabulous treasures among what looks like piles of trash. People are easily overwhelmed by situations like this, but I thrive on it. It is a talent that has been honed over many years, but I want to give you, my fashion audience, some quick tips about how to “find the fab”.

Take this dress to the left. It was on a sad little hanger in the back of a parking lot flea market looking tired and bored. That is until I found her and breathed new life back into her body! I was just strolling past this particular flea market, as it usually goes in NYC, and I decided to do a walk through. Nothing too crazy, I just wanted to take a glimpse. I usually only go toward jewelry and bags in these situations because they are the easiest to search through, but for some reason, I decided to look at a rack of vintage dresses. The word vintage can be deceiving. People think of celebrities wearing vintage gowns on the red carpet, but mostly it just means that things are old! And so was the story with this long, wine colored polyester gown from the 70′s. Right there in the parking lot I tried this baby on over my clothing to see if it even remotely fit. And lo and behold, my eye was right on. It was a little long and a little loose, but for $25, it was sold. Of course the fun part of this story is that I then had to have it tailored for $96. The key to this type of shopping is knowing that often times, tailoring is a part of the price. I still got a floor length gown that I have worn numerous time for $130. Not too bad.

Another one of my great finds is this snake skin bag. Sure she’s a little beat up, but she just keeps on ticking! Whenever I pair this bag with an outfit, I receive a compliment. It is over-sized and relaxed, creating a laid back vintage look every time I rock it. For $12 in Chicago, this snakeskin bag has been put to good use. At any retail store a new bag just like this one would be upwards of $200 to $250.

Just this weekend I found this amazing art deco bracelet at my favorite flea market in Hell’s Kitchen. I am in way too many weddings this summer and I am trying to save money by styling two dresses different ways. This way I feel like I am wearing different outfits, but not buying completely new ensembles. This is totally for my own benefit since I will literally not be seeing the same people at any of the seven weddings I am attending. Yes, I said seven.

This little bauble only cost me $28 and was worth every penny. The detail and quality of it are amazing. To me, it also adds a bit of character to my look knowing that every piece of jewelry I am wearing I searched for and found a fabulous deal on! I will, of course, let everyone at every wedding know this and how much I paid for each piece. I can’t help myself.

So here are a few quick tips to navigating a crazy flea market:

PATIENCE IS KEY: You are never going to find anything if you are rushing through the market. You have to accept the fact that this is an activity and enjoy the search. Sifting might take time, but it will totally be worth it if you find your next favorite piece.

DON’T GO WITH ONE THING IN MIND: You are never going to find exactly what you are looking for. Certain pieces are more plentiful then others, i.e. vintage jewelry, but this place is NOT merchandised for your pleasure. Go with the idea that you might find something fabulous…. Whatever it may be!

GO FOR QUALITY: There is a lot of junk at flea markets. Piles and piles of it. At some flea markets, that is all there is. Be discerning. If it is clothing, look at the stitching and stain possibility. Check for missing buttons. If it is jewelry, look for tarnishing and broken clasps. It may look cute, but if it is inexpensive crap, then you will look like inexpensive crap when you wear it:)

ACCESSORIES ARE A GIRL’S BEST FRIEND: This is going to be the easiest thing to pick up. There is always a ton of bags and jewelry at any flea market. If you are looking for a trinket to get you through your shopping lull, then this is the place for you. Again, patience is key and only buy it if you love it.

CIRCLE AROUND ONCE BEFORE PURCHASING: Look at everything and make a short list of what you love. Go with a certain amount of cash and when you run out, it is time to leave. Most vendors only take cash so this is an easy way to stay on budget! Make wise choices and you will always love what you buy.

Kendra Scott Jewelry: Make Your Own!


I love big, shiny things. They call to me in my sleep, “Come here and buy us Amy… You want to wear us Amy….” Just a normal night’s sleep for a fashion stylist.

Kendra Scott jewelry is an awesome line that actually lets you create your own big, shiny things. She basically gives you the map and tools to choose your own fabulous color palette. It is simple and easy, not to mention fun.


When romping around Henri Bendel’s a few weeks back, I came across this designer. I was a bit confused at first because there was a long table with tons of different stones in amazing colors. There were also a bunch of empty skeletons for earrings, necklaces and rings. It was quickly explained to me that this was a “do-it-yourself” type of jewelry project. Ooohhh goody!

There are a few, easy steps to this creative, jewelry making process:

Step One: Select your jewelry silhouette
Step Two: Choose your custom stone combination
Step Three: Watch the Kendra Scott representative create your custom style in just minutes!
Step Four: Awesome (I created that one:)

So there you have it, custom creations created by you. Not only is this project great fun for your own personal collection, but what a great gift idea? You can give the same pair of earrings out to all of your friends in different colors! Did I mention how easy this was?????

Danielle Earrings in Plum on Gold-Tone: $60
Danielle Earrings in Cobalt on Gold-Tone: $60
Ignacia Necklace in Smoky on Gold-Tone: $200
Otylia Ring in Python on Gold-Tone: $75

Parisian Chic for a Daytime Stroll?

When I have meetings all day all over the city, I have to make sure I look cute and professional…. Not to mention comfortable! This outfit literally started with a hat and a hair-do. I had a bra and underwear on and was having a brain fart when it came to my actual outfit. But have no fear, I barreled through it and managed to create one of my more favorite ensembles.

When my head hurts from trying to put together something amazing, I usually grab for my go-to foundation piece, a white button down. It is a no-brainer for almost any gal because it looks clean, crisp and sophisticated. If you have trouble closing it because of a “bust” issue, layer a white tank underneath. I paired it with my flare leg Seven jeans and called it a day. It really was my AWESOME gold 50′s style jacket that made the outfit anyway:) Remember ladies, your outfit does not have to be the most complicated part of your look, your outermost layer can say it all! Especially if you are outside all day as I was…..

As for styling, the part that made this look the most interesting was the fact that the sleeves of my jacket were 3/4 length. This allowed the wide cuff of my tuxedo style white button down to peek out. The collar of the shirt also showed just enough to make the look a bit different. A jacket is not always just for warmth, it can be your look!

To finish out my fab Parisian chic ensemble, I put a day’s worth of stuff into my Prada saddle bag. Let’s not get crazy, I did not pay full price for this. I got it almost 6 years ago at Filene’s Basement in Chicago. At the time dropping $400 on a purse was a lot, but I mulled it over and decided it would be well worth the large price tag. I have never regretted the purchase and have used it over and over and over and over…. You get the idea:)

Buy things you love and styling yourself will not be the most difficult task of your day….