AHOY ~ How to Wear the Nautical Look

You do not have to set sail on a cruise ship to rock one of the hottest styles of this upcoming summer. Yes, I am talking about the nautical look. The look seems to make a comeback every summer with no plans of going out of style. Nautical themed prints are always popular in the summertime because they incorporate breathable fabrics, like cotton and seersucker, which help to beat the heat. If you follow these simple tips, you can pull off a nautical inspired outfit without looking like you are dressed as sailor for Halloween. First, keep it simple. If you are going to wear a nautical striped coat, then simply pair this with a white denim skirt or white shirt. When it comes to the nautical trend, focus on stripes. This season, big and bold stripes are the way to go. Dare to make a statement and wear jumbo stripes. Stylists say the key to wearing stripes is based on the cut and shape of the garment. When in doubt, stick to more figure flattering diagonal or vertical stripes and stay away from horizontal ones that lay flat on the areas you would prefer to conceal. If stripes just are not your thing, go for polka dots. You can also change things up by incorporating other non-nautical hues like mustard or turquoise, to mix up the palate. If you are not ready to dive into the entire nautical look, you can add simple nautical touches to your other cotton ensembles with rope accessories, ocean inspired jewelry or striped wedges.

Inspiration from Pinterest.


Black & White ~

If you are looking for one of the hottest trend this season, look no further….it is black and white. This classic duo teams up two of the fashion world’s favorite shades. While this may not be the newest combination on the block, time has not affected its stylish results. If you work this classic duo right, you can achieve this season’s newest red hot look.  The key to pulling off any trend like a true fashionista is to know your body. Learn to play up your assets and downplay your problem areas. Remember to wear black in your problem areas and wear white in the areas you want to highlight. White reflects light so wherever you wear it you will bring attention. For instance if you are top heavy, do not wear a white collared shirt with black pants because this will draw attention upward. Instead opt to go with a black v-neck top with white pants. This will distract people from looking at your problem area. Instead they will be paying attention to your long legs.

Inspiration from Pinterest.

Tips for Shopping Clearance Sales

I absolutely love it when I go shopping and find my favorite store is having a huge sale. Gearing myself up to spend a certain amount and then learning that I am getting way more bang for my buck is one of the best feelings ever. However, it took me some time before I realized that the feeling of snagging a huge score while shopping did not have to be completely random. In fact, you can track a store’s sale cycle so you always get the best price for whatever clothing and accessories you want.  Stores want to keep their shelves and racks filled with clothes and accessories, but they get new merchandise so frequently that eventually, items that are not selling must be put on clearance. This is when it is time to score!  If you know exactly when an item will be on sale, you can decide whether you want to wait to buy it on the cheap, or you think it is worth the extra money to buy it beforehand. Having the option gives you the chance to be the savviest shopper possible.  Here are some tips to get the best deal:

1. Wait Six to Eight Weeks – The typical retail store lets a new item hang out on the shelves for six to eight weeks before it is marked down. Merchandise in retail stores is ever-changing, so shop owners can’t afford to have old items languishing on the racks and taking up space. After six to eight weeks of buying, there might only be a few of a specific item remaining – hardly enough to take up room on a display. Therefore, it is moved to the sale or clearance section, usually at the very back of the store.

2. Thursdays Are Best – If you want first dibs on a pair of shoes you have been eyeing, your best bet is to try shopping on a Thursday. Stores know that most people come to the mall or the shop on the weekend, so they begin preparations on Thursday to mark down old merchandise and rotate new merchandise into the store.  By shopping on Friday and Saturday, you might score a great deal, but you might also have a limited selection.  By shopping on a Thursday, you can have the best selection paired with the best prices to snag the item that you desire.

3. Ask Around – I once found a dress on sale that I loved, but they did not have my size. Instead of leaving empty-handed, I asked one of the retail associates if she could check around to see if any of their other store locations had the same dress in stock. As luck would have it, there was another, and the store held it for me.

4. Know the Return Policy – Clearance buys are often a great deal, but it is important to read the fine print. Finding a shirt for $5 is great, but not if you cannot return it if it does not work.

5. Shop End of Season – One of the best times to get the most bang for your buck is to shop around the end of a season. Keep in mind that retail stores are a couple of months “ahead of the weather,” so you could still pick up a cheap sweater and get a month’s worth of wear before it is time to bring out your spring wardrobe.

6. Know When Not to Buy – You are going to pay a premium price if you shop too early or during the wrong month. For instance, it is unwise to buy jewelry around Christmas, when you will probably pay top dollar for your baubles. And some items never go on sale – high-end designer shoes and accessories are usually pretty constant in price, especially if the item does not technically have a “season.”

Summer Fashion Tips ~ Keep You Cool

The grass is always greener on the other side, and that is especially true when it comes to seasons. During the winter, all you want is a warm summer day. But when the July and August heat hits, you remember how hard it is to look your best as your makeup slides south, your hair goes north, and your skin becomes a sticky oil slick.   Here are some tricks to help keep you a little cooler.

1. Keep your clothes loose. The looser, the better. The less fabric you have actually touching your body, the more comfortable you will feel. Believe it or not, a flowy maxi dress will keep you cooler than a pair of shorts and a tank.

2. Avoid flimsy fabrics if you do not want your clothes to stick to your body. Lightweight materials are great for hot weather, but they need to have some structure (like embroidery or seams), so they do not cling to you the second you start to sweat.

3. Choose clothes in natural fabrics. Cotton, for example, is more breathable than polyester or rayon. It is also better at absorbing sweat and dries faster, which means you will not feel sweaty for as long as you would if your clothes were made from synthetic fabric.

4. Avoid embellishments.  They tend to weigh down your clothes so they are closer to your skin, trapping body heat. Try wearing a patterned garment, which will add the same kind of interest to your outfit.

5. Wear a wide-brimmed hat or keep a lightweight, woven scarf in your bag. Drape the scarf over your shoulders or head whenever you feel like you are getting too much sun.

6. Wear unlined jackets, skirts, and dresses. Not only is a lining one more layer between your skin and the air, it is often synthetic, meaning it will not breathe well and will leave you feeling like you are walking around inside your own private sauna.

7. Leave your backpack or large tote at home in favor of a handbag. The last thing you want on a hot day is a huge backpack stuck to your back, or a gigantic tote stuck to your side, making you sweat. Take this opportunity to clean out your bag and get back to basics, since the less stuff you carry around, the less you will exert yourself, and the less sweaty you will feel as a result.

8. Use a scarf to keep your hair off your neck. A small cotton scarf is great for absorbing sweat, whether you use it to tie up your hair or wear it around your neck with your hair down.

9. Stick to light colors. Dark colors absorb light and can make you feel hot, while light colors reflect light and will keep you cool.

10. Wear minimal jewelry. Earrings are fine because they do not really touch much of your skin, but necklaces, bracelets, and rings are often more trouble than they are worth once the temperature rises. Lightweight chains stick to your skin, heavy necklaces trap your shirt against your chest, metals get hot, and bracelets cover your wrists, which are a major cooling point on your body.