Must Haves for Fall

Soon the weather will be cooling down (hopefully), and we will start to feel a bit of a chill in the air. I know some of you up north are already experiencing cooler temps.  As summer draws to a close, you may be wondering what items to pull from storage and what you should buy new to transition into a fabulous fall wardrobe. Just follow my basic guidelines and start with these fall wardrobe essentials. You will be on your way to a stylish autumn season. Deep, rich colors and pieces for layering on cooler days are essential to the fall wardrobe. Earthy fabrics and knits bring warmth to a cold season, and subtle metallics and leather also make a comeback this time of year.

1. Long sleeved tees  Perfect for layering, long sleeved tees will keep you warm and add depth to a fall outfit. Blacks, grays, and creams are good colors to start with and can be layered under some of your more versatile warm weather clothes if needed.

2. A pullover sweater  A pullover can be a lifesaver when weather suddenly changes. Choose close knit styles for a tailored look or bulkier knits when you just want to cozy up with a good book and your favorite cool weather beverage.

3.  Boots This one is almost self-explanatory, but there are many styles, heights, and colors when it comes to boots. Choose a pair or two of favorites like ankle, knee-high, or mid-calf boots and switch things up depending on the weather.

4. Leggings and tights – Leggings and tights come in a huge variety of patterns and colors. There really is something for everyone. The bare legged styles of summer may not be warm enough for the fall months, but a good set of leggings can extend the life of some of your favorites, and tights make any skirt more practical.

5. Scarves – Another accessory worth stocking in many colors and styles is definitely the scarf. You can still wear scarves made of sheer fabrics during autumn, but can also start to introduce bulkier, warmer varieties.

6. Cardigans – Cardigans are another versatile essential for the fall. They can be found with or without buttons, long-sleeved, ¾ sleeved, colored, patterned, with hoods, and in all kinds of fabrics. For a staple, go with a neutral color that you can get a lot of wear out of, but if you have the budget for a second cardigan choose something fun.

7. Leather  I could be more specific, but if you choose even a single leather item for your closet this year, you will be on the right path. A leather pencil skirt, pants, or a jacket are great additions to any outfit.

8. A loose blouse  You just cannot go wrong where a blouse is concerned, no matter the season. Plus, they are perfect for pairing under a cardigan or pullover if it turns extra chilly.  For fall, choose darker, rich colors (try jewel tones) or creamy neutrals.

9. A sweatshirt / hoodie  There are going to be gray, drizzly mornings this autumn when you wake up and think one thing….I wanna be comfy. Those are the mornings to don your favorite hoodie and jeans. But a comfy outfit does not have to be a frumpy one. Go for a more fitted sweatshirt that flatters rather than covers your curves.

10. Metallic accessories If you have got your other essentials hanging in the closet it is time to add some bling. A little bit of metallic jewelry will go a long way in jazzing up your basics and you can start to look for clothing with built-in sparkle as well. Keep it subtle at first – bronze, gold, brushed metallics – then slowly kick things up by adding in more silver and sparkle as the weather cools.

Do Not Wear the Same Pair of Shoes Two Days in a Row

Trust me, I know the feeling….you find the perfect pair of shoes, and you want to show them off every chance you get.  However, there is a real reason you should not re-wear your shoes day after day.  During the day, your feet sweat…a lot. Your feet have more sweat glands than any other part of your body!!  And, they do not just sweat when you are hot or exercising.  They sweat all the time, which is also why you get smelly feet by the end of the day.   Naturally, that sweat gets onto your shoe and can stay there if you are not careful.  If you wear the same pair every day, then your shoes do not have ample time to dry and they will not maintain their shape.  So, it makes sense that the more you wear shoes, the quicker they will wear out. Without time to air dry, the moisture just sits in your shoes, so they are more likely to wear down the next time you slip them on. Waiting a day to let them dry off will keep your shoes looking like new!

How to Dress APPROPRIATELY on Casual Friday

Casual Friday, two words that are often a source of frustration for employers and confusion to employees. What once began as a means of feeling more relaxed at the office prior to the weekend has ended in horror for some businesses and refused completely by others. I have been asked my opinion on what is appropriate on a casual Friday. The question is often followed by stories of past coworkers showing up in mesh tops, mini skirts and logo tee shirts. While many businesses have become okay in allowing a casual Friday, many have yet to enforce a dress code for it. The end result is far from desired or what the original message was intended to be.

Furthermore, the business game has changed, especially in terms of fashion. Twenty years ago, most dressed in a suit and went to work. Business was more formal. It required people to be more polished during the day. Today’s market has vastly changed. The number of people working in creative job fields is constantly growing as are the number of individuals working from home. While this should not effect how professionals get dressed in the morning, it unfortunately does. Magazines and other media outlets are constantly creating work inspired outfits that allow us to reflect our personal style. While articles like these can be a great piece, the readers will not look at an article like that and know if the outfit in question is one that is appropriate for their job in particular. Recently, I had seen a blog post about the best interview outfits. I have to admit to being horrified with the results. While the pictures were attention grabbing, the outfits themselves were far from appropriate for the office.

So what is appropriate for casual Friday? The answer varies depending on your employment. The first thing many businesses need to establish is a dress code. While many say they have one, they are often very vague and almost never enforced. Secondly, you need to establish what level of dress your day to day business requires and what type of field you are in before a more casual mode of dress can be established. Generally speaking, if you are in a traditional business role such as an accountant, lawyer, or banker, you should wear more traditional business outfits such as suits, or business casual modes of dress from Monday to Friday. The higher your position, the more formal you need to dress. Those in creative industries such as fashion, graphic designer, PR should opt for a business casual mode of dress, but would be able to style themselves with more creative leniency because of their field.

In terms of casual Friday, the rule of thumb is to style yourself a business level lower than how you would normally dress from Monday to Thursday. For example, someone that wears a full suit during the week would dress business casual come Friday. It does not mean that you automatically jump into denim. Those that dress business casual during the week could choose to dress smart casual at week’s end. The more casual you become, the more you can incorporate your personal style, whatever that may be. Make a note, if you are going to be in meetings or seeing clients on Casual Friday, then that attire is out for you.

Here are a few general rules and things to keep in mind for casual Friday:

1. If you are going to wear denim, remember no rips and no wild washes.
2. Putting a blazer over casual items such as a tee shirt or jeans instantly makes you look more professional.
3. No sandals. If you are looking for comfort on Friday, opt for flats or loafers.
4. No mini skirts or short shorts. They just are not appropriate.
5. If you are going to wear a sheer shirt, make sure a camisole or tee is underneath.
6. No gym clothes (including yoga pants, ladies) at work. Ever!!!
7. Your neckline should never be lower than the top of your cleavage.

The key is to remember that when you enter the office, no matter what field you are in, you represent yourself and the company you work for. How you dress says something about who you are. Reflecting your personal style while still being appropriate at work will not only make you feel good, but your employers will too.

HOT Outside ~ You can still look cute!

If you legitimately consider jumping in every fountain you walk by, it is officially gotten too freakin’ hot. Before you succumb to hibernation and let a little heat squander your should-be-endless summer nights, I have a few tricks that will allow you to leave your house without morphing into an uncomfortable, sweaty mess.

Invest in inexpensive sleeveless cotton dresses. The only good news about August is that it is a GREAT time to invest in a summer wardrobe for this season and next. Every store is offering deep discounts right now on its summer stuff, and that is why I generally hit up LOFT  or Loft Outlet each August for a bunch of cotton dresses for the days when I am running around showing property.

Splurge on a pair of cute and super-comfortable sandals. Each summer, I have learned to spend up if I have to in order to find sandals that are both pretty AND very, very comfortable. Honestly, if you feel like you are walking on air…. the price was worth it!!

Beat the heat in a stylish maxi dress. I love, love, love maxi dresses when it is hot outside. They work during the day and at night.

Try out the summer trends with a pair of shorts. Floral’s hot this season. Why not rock the look in a cute pair of floral shorts ? They are much cooler than a dress or skirt.

The Rule of Three

I know you have heard the expression “things happen in threes”. The Rule of Three is the principle that things that come in threes are inherently funnier, more aesthetically pleasing, or more effective, than other grouped number of things.  Even slogans and catchphrases are regularly three words…”Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness”…”Stop, Drop and Roll.”

So, how does this apply to fashion?  It is simple…the third piece in an outfit adds pizzazz to an otherwise basic outfit, making you look more stylish and put together. Essentially, it is a simple trick that creates more chic outfits.  Start with your basic shirt and jeans, then add a scarf as your third piece.  This adds visual interest and pulls the entire look together.  You could take a simple A-line skirt and blouse and add a statement necklace jazzing up your office look.  The third piece could also be a jacket, cardigan or vest as well.  The third piece just completes any look.  Try it!!

Feeling Lazy ~ 4 Easy Office Outfit Combinations

Sometimes putting together an outfit for work can be a little tricky. Of course, you will want to look gorgeous and fab, but there are certain things you cannot wear to work because of certain dress codes. If you are putting together an outfit that you will be wearing to the office it has to be chic yet professional looking at the same time. If you are someone who’s used to wearing street style chic clothes, you might have to exert a bit more effort discerning whether or not certain items should and can be worn to work and there will be days when you just do not feel like doing that. Here are some easy office outfit combination for lazy days that you can use as your go-to combos.

Button up shirt and pencil skirt – this one’s a no-brainer, really. Just throw on a crisp white button up if you really cannot get yourself to think about mixing and matching anything then slip into a figure flattering pencil skirt and your slinkiest pair of heels and you should be good to go! If you want to give it a more personal and girly twist, choose a button up in your favorite color or one that has a cute design / fab details on it. You can also glam it up a bit more by wearing stockings underneath for the look of flawless legs.

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A suit – another really easy outfit to put together on lazy days is a suit. Make sure you have at least one or two matching jacket and pants suit in your work wardrobe that you can wear on days when you really do not feel like thinking about what to mix and match. On days when you are feeling a little lazy but can still think of mixing and matching, you can try doing a mismatched suit instead. Slip into a sexy cami before you put your blazer / jacket on to give your outfit a sexier twist.

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Shift dress – want something that is fuss-free and effortlessly chic? Wear that shift dress you have had for so long, throw on your chunky bib necklace and get your stilettos on for an office outfit that’s sure to wow everyone, from your workmates to your clients and bosses. You can also opt to add a blazer on top if you want. For a more fun and posh look, try wearing a printed shift dress.

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Shirt and midi skirt – here is another safe yet chic outfit that you can wear to work: a cute shirt and a midi skirt. Midi skirts are perfect for work because they’re not as short and sexy as miniskirts but also not as long as maxi skirts which have a more street style vibe. If you want to keep your look conventional, opt for a pencil cut midi. On the other hand, if you want to go a bit more glam and give your look a more girly feel, I would suggest wearing a full midi skirt instead.

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Inspiration from Pinterest.