The Many Looks of YOU.

It has been quite awhile since my last post and I would like to apologize for that! Over this time I have been working with many clients and learning a lot about the struggles that comes to getting ready in the morning, the entrapment of routine outfits and looks, and the lasting boredom of your current wardrobe.

Lets be honest, the last thing most people want to think about during the early morning hours is what they are going to wear or what will make a statement. For those of you whose interests lie elsewhere besides fashion, wardrobing is the last concern on your list. You find yourself reaching in your closet for those few go-to items that you know are safe and easy. My mission is to break those habits. Teach you ways that can make the process in the morning a lot easier and that will result in you becoming a much better dresser and on your way to being a known trendsetter.

During my in home styling sessions I have a routine that I go through to assist all my clients. Our first step is to go through everything that they own and weed out all the items that are too big/small, outdated,  unneeded replicas, and too worn or tattered. You would be amazed at how much you have that you don't really need. Now, I will say, you can never have enough clothing and/or shoes, but you want to consider what exactly you do have. You want to focus on buying good merchandise, quality items and statement pieces. The habit of going to routine items begins with not knowing what you have. Its like the saying goes, "A diamond in the rough." After weeding through tons of old tops and bottoms, clients and I find that they actually own some really rad outfitting pieces that have been pushed aside and lost in all the rubble. After a well needed closet edit, you'll find such relief and joy and new found excitement for the items that you have discovered. Then comes the fun part!

Where the fun begins is when you begin planning new looks from old items that you already own. Its like finding that old band t-shirt from college that you just can't wait to wear the next day with a pair of distressed jeans and get back to feeling like the old you. Instead of reverting back to the old you, lets get creative and blend those items with new. Tips on getting ready in the morning all starts with inspiration. Before the morning hits, think the night before or as your laying in bed waiting for that 3rd or 4th alarm to go off, think about a look, style or even a famous name that you are inspired by. Once you've set your mind on that certain style or look, flip thru your new organized closet and think about what you currently own that will assist in the recreation of that look. It can be a pair of jeans, a blouse, shoes or accessories. Start building that inspiration from that one piece that you own and let it blossom from there. Challenge yourself to blend new looks, colors and textures. Research fashion magazines, instagram posts and blogs for new and fun ideas.

My favorite thing to do when I wake up in the morning, is to think to myself, "Who do I want to be today?' Dressing each day is like putting on a new persona or costume. I try to change my styles and looks frequently so that I never loose the joy and passion I have for fashion. In my opinion I think that's the issue that many have. They find themselves going back to the same look each day to the point where it becomes an uniform for them and it wears them down to complete boredom. Fashion is all about fun, color, and expressing yourself. Throughout all the good and the bad, if you're having a good outfit day, your self esteem is lifted and from all the compliments you'll receive that day, you're negative energy is bound to change. From working with my clients, I have witnessed that all it takes is that one change of outfit and/or that one day of notice of taking time to work on their personal style and they are instantly addicted. The high that you get from rocking an amazing outfit and having others notice and compliment you is truly rewarding. BUT, I also want to stress that we should not work so hard to care about what others think. We all should be dressing for ourselves and to make oneself feel good! When you can master that skill, no one can take that away from you!

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So tomorrow, when you're going through your usual drowsy morning routine, think to yourself all the other possibilities that you have awaiting you within your own closet. Take this day to be daring and try something that you haven't. Be willing and proud to be a fashionista for the day and hold your head high in confidence that you actually took the time out in the morning to plan what you were going to wear, instead of throwing on that usual top and worn in jeans. Change is good and it can start for you tomorrow. Get in there, get dirty and get creative.

 

Buy Now. Wear Now 4 FALL

So is it just me or has the hype for Fall 2015 fashions fallen upon us? Spring/Summer styles were extremely rapid and changed ever so quickly! With the rise of fast fashion, trends and style are evolving, being manufactured and distributed ever so quickly. We started the year falling head over hills for the soft pastels and calling them the new neutrals. Mixed prints and looks with printed tops and matching printed bottoms were the must haves transferring to sporty chic looks that we all couldn't resist. Now, that excitement has settled and the up-rise of the latest fall looks are here! So what do we have to look forward to and how exactly can we shop now and actually be able to translate these cooler weather looks into our wardrobe today? Have no fear, I have a few tips for you!

From my understanding, Fall 2015's fashion will encompass 3 distinct looks;

1.

Styles and trends making their way back from the 60's and 70's. You're going to be seeing a lot of ditsy, paisley prints, sueded textures, fringe, and psychedelic patterns. To give skinny jeans a run for their money, the flare leg and boot-cut jean will be making a major come back along with the iconic box mini skirts. Peasants tops will also be something to think about acquiring this fall.

A way to purchase this look now and be able to wear now would be to purchase light weight peasant blouses. These tops are great to wear with shorts for those casual daytime activities and events. The box mini is something that we can definitely buy now and wear now with fitted tees and tanks. These skirts will eventually be worn with tights and tall boots for the Fall but for now, lets rock these babies with gladiator sandals, flats and pointed toe pumps. The flare leg jeans can be purchased as your going out pant. This pants works amazing on tall figures. This style of pant does wonders to lengthen the leg when worn with chunky heels and wedges. This pant can be styled quite simply with a V-neck tee layered with a fitted leather jacket or you can do a nice silk blouse, leave a few top buttons undone and tuck slightly in the front of your jean.

2.

The strong and clean partnership between black and white will be a huge hit this coming season as well. We will be seeing white tops trimmed in black piping, outlines and geometric shapes. Two piece sets that are matched together with clean black and white outlines and sport-like striping. This will be a great way to get our chic sporty feel that was so big in the Spring/Summer now for Fall wear.

This play on Black and White is something super simple to be able to buy now and wear now. Seek out sets with shorts and matching sport tops in black and white. Wear these looks with slip-on sneakers or platform sandals. Pair black and white blouses and tops with all black skinny jeans. Color block your looks with solid black tops, paired with all white bottoms and use a fun colored shoe or heel as your pop of color. What we are going for here is just a sport inspired look with clean lines and minimum effort.

3.

To replace the soft pastels and neutral colors that were blossoming in the Spring, we will now have more of a seductive, sensual, color palette. Colors such as Merlot, Bordeaux, Hunter Green, Slate Grey, Taupe and Navy will be the colors to paint our looks with.

Color palettes can sometimes be hard to translate into our looks before the season has actually begun. Lucky us, these seductive colors are perfect for evening events and activities. Ladies can try out fun lipstick colors in the deeper, richer reds, smoky eyes laced in greys and navy blues are a fun way to just start transitioning these colors into your lives. Men can begin by purchasing chino pants in these colors and pairing them with nice oxfords and loafers for dinners and weekend dates. A big thing that we all should consider is getting our hands on amazing colored leather jackets in those beautiful reds, navy's and browns. These jackets will be items that you can use to layer with once the nice hot summer days cool down.

So there you have it. I understand that the fashion industry moves so quickly that we are all left standing wondering what on earth is going on?! Why did we just change our wardrobe so drastically for one season, only to have the market saturated a few weeks later with new styles and looks for the upcoming season. The trick to this is to be smart when shopping. Try not to get so caught up in one look where we end up finding that we aren't quite ready to change, or that we find ourselves not having the needed items to be considered "in style" for the next. Buy pieces that can transition from season to season and learn the tactics of being able to buy now and wear now.

The NEW GOTH

Believe it or not, all black is the new color palette for many! The new age goth crave can be seen all over social media and on the streets nationwide. Many may think that it still stands for ones with wicked mindsets, Satanic worship and devilish behaviors but it's so much more than that. ย 

With each season change there's a new trend that pops up. Wouldn't it be nice to have a look that can be worn year round with small tweaks? Now there is. All black everything. Channeling the NY state of mind, an all black wardrobe can sharpen your look, set you apart from the crowd and provide you with a BADA$$ attitude. There are many ways to interpret this style and execute the look that's right for you! Here are a few examples. ย 

City boy/Uptown girl: ย 

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For guys, the look is quite easy. For a city look, a nice tailored Chino or black denim is a must have. The ankle roll shows a sense of style and dedication to the look. Layering a long tee or button up shirt with a denim or leather jacket provides you with a dapper city look that's extremely good looking and when properly sized, helps show off a chiseled physique. To top off the look, lace up a pair of all black oxfords, ankle or chukka boot. Sliding into a pair of penny loafers is a good idea for a vintage Victorian style. ย 

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For you ladies out there looking for a dark yet sexy Up-town girl vide, an all black super skinny, leather or faux leather legging is a great option to slim the leg. A pair of all black pointed toe pumps is a must have for this style! The pointed toe will help lengthen the leg and provide you with a business girl sex appeal. Over sized sweaters, tunics and tanks are great counterparts to your fitted bottom and can be extremely comfortable if your day is filled with activities. For layering options, depending on weather, try an oversized blazer, leather jacket or as seen here, a well structured peacoat! ย 

An all black leather tote bag and over sized sunglasses are great accessories for this look! ย 

Punk/skater:

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This look for men is probably the most replicated and commonly seen. It has been around for years since the age of rock and roll and metal music. It's super easy and carefree. The look is compiled of your favorite distressed black skinnies, favorite band or skate brand tee and to top it off, layer a hoodie with a denim or leather jacket. For a play on denim, try using a vintage worn in blue denim jacket. Patches aren't necessary but they do help to enhance your cool. ;) For shoe options, your favorite skate shoe or any common street, skate or causal brand such as Vans, Converse, New Balance, Etnie or Nike will do the trick! 

Accessories are extremely minimal for this look but a fitted beanie or a flat bill ball cap will do the trick! ย 

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For the ladies this look is the easiest to execute as well! It resembles the look you have when you are leaving your friends place the morning after a basement show or concert! Worn in distressed jeans can be paired with an old band tee shirt or even a tee that you have stolen from your bf. A distressed tee with a few small holes can be fun and sexy all together. Layer your tee with an oversized cardigan or duster. Super comfy and slouchy. Messy hair to complete the look and throw on a pair of Converses or Vans and you're ready to hit the streets!  ย 

Urban Boys & Girls:

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The all black color palette has also taken form within an inner street style. Similar looks can be seen on well known celebs and musicians but here we see it taken shape on my bud Jimmy Q. 

The look first and foremost is all about attitude! You have to believe in it to be able to rock it well. For the guys, you have the drop crotch harem pant. This can be seen in faux leather, pointe and loose knits. They are extremely comfortable and fun to wear. A motto style, like the ones pictured are a good option for a more stylized look with zipper details, pin tucks, buckles and even front flaps to resemble a kilt. Pair this pant with a long slender crew neck tee or thermal shirt. Thin, light weight knits are good option for flow of fabric and layering. A leather bomber jacket is a great option for your top layer. It'll help with the sportish look of the harem pant. To continue with that urban, sport look, lace up a pair of high top sneakers. A fashion sneaker is more preferred over a true athletic sneaker. Keep in mind, we are going for a sporty look, not actually playing sports. A few chain necklaces and chunky rings and tattoos and you my sir are set! 

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For the ladies, this girl is all about attitude, good looks and make-up! It's a mixture between that dark edgy goth and the Urban street style. To complete this look, snag a pair of black shiny leggings or a cool patterned legging from such brand as BlackMilk. Pair those with a black long tank, crop top or bralette. The sexier the better. Layering options can consist of a leather motto vest or cropped leather jacket. Attention to the waist line is crucial in this look. 

For accessories, layering long necklaces with chokers, stacked bangles and leather strapped bracelets are all great options. Other accessories to consider are harnesses, oversize sunglasses, wide brim hats, waist belts and arm bands. As for shoes, this look requires a gaudy stacked platform or chucky heel. Check our brands such as Jeffrey Campbell, Y.R.U and UNIF. 

Euro Streets:

Last but not least, one of my favorite looks! This interpretation of the gothic style is all about the fashion, the silhouette and transition from one piece to the next. It's similar to the NY style but different in its own way. It's all about androgyny.

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For the guys your bottoms can consist of a short black short, ankle pant, leather skinny or just a plain black denim skinny. The tighter the better for this style. This helps keep with the tailored European look. For tops you can do a slender tee with asymmetrical cuts and decals. Long sleeve tees of a longer length are a good option to make the body appear longer and thinner. For a layering option, try drappy jackets, scawl hoodies, capes and blazers. For guys, this look is a chance to play with androgynous styles that you would not have tried before. 

For shoes, try a stacked creeper, or platformed Oxford. Other options are black strappy scandals or metallic leather loafers. 

Accessories for this look is another chance to have some fun and try new things. A man clutch or small structured bag to hold your belongings are good options. Cuff bracelets and necklaces ranging from chokers to long pendents are all good options depending on the top. Hats such as wide brims or bowlers are good options to think about as well! ย 

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Again for the women, an open mind and androgeny is key! For bottoms you can do a black skinny, ankle pant, shorts or mini. Keep your tops simple with a soft knit tee or silk blouse. Nothing too baggy but more delicate and relaxed. Your outer layer is where you want to add on the drama. As pictured here with a motto style long wool jacket with zipper details. Other options are fur vests or jackets, long, floor length dusters or parkas. Also consider dress options such as long tubular maxis or empire waist dresses. ย 

For shoes, ladies can try black pointed toe ballet flats, black leather ankle boots or oxfords. For a rugged look, try multi-buckled motto boots like the ones pictured here! Jewelry can consist of small finger rings, thin bracelets and bangles. Necklaces options are single strand pearls, layered thin chains or single pendent necklaces. Hand bags should either be structured totes or slouchy hobo bags depending on the finished look. 

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So there you have it folks! The break down on the new age goth. What's fun about all these styles is that they all can be mixed and matched. You can take ideas and pieces from each look and come up with a look that works for you! I personally play and dable within all and I must say that it's extremely fun to take on the personality and attitude that each style provides you with! Keep in mind, fashion is supposed to be fun and unique, wearing all black can appear to be creepy and off putting but when done right, I'm sure you'll have the coolest outfit out of everyone no matter how creepy or scary you may look! Rock on and stay spooky! ;) 

FASHION VS. STYLE

Everyone's a stylist, everyone's a model and everyone's a designer. Today, with the blow up of social media, apps and fashion literature the explosion of new found careers and passions are everywhere. I'd like to take the time out and express the difference between reading and understanding fashion verses actually having style. As we all know, anyone with $7 in their pocket can go to your local news stand and pick up your latest InStyle, Haper's Bazaar ย or Vogue ย edition. I thoroughly encourage this action! Reading up on the current trends, seeing what the celebs are wearing and what the top designers are debuting for the season is a great way to stay in the know and stay current! What you do with that information is what shows passion, dedication and true artistry. Just knowing that Dolce and Gabanna's Spring 2015 collection is a Spanish floral theme with hints of red, black and cream isn't enough. For a job in the fashion industry, one must study up, but they also must take the knowledge that they have gained and use that information. By doing so, this shows STYLE. But, what is style exactly? 

Style is defined as a mannerย ย ย  of doing something or a distinctive appearance, typically determined by the principles according to which something is designed. In other words... putting what you have at your figure tips to use in a presentable way! I feel that in today's world we think that style is strictly attached to the name of the brand or the label within the garments that we are wearing. A true fashion driven individual will let you know that is not the case at all! One could be wearing a $3000 outfit and still look like rubbish due to the absence of presentation and style. Being stylish means that you can take a trash bag or recycled goods and make a masterpiece of a look! It's the creativity that goes behind it! It's the action of using all the knowledge gained from other sources such as said fashion editions, blogs, and other avenues and putting them into play. A good "stylist" or stylish person can take tid bits from all over and put them together to make a unified look!

Style can also range. There are a plethora of genres out there. You have styles such as preppy, chic, grunge, goth, business, cocktail..the list goes on. The one misconception I find that we have today is that we get lazy and use the excuse that styles are so different and there are so many out there that one believes they have style it's just a different one. Not the case in most situations. Style is all about presentation and showmanship. Sloppiness and laziness isn't a style, it's just lazy and carefree. In order to have style, there should be at least one person out there in the world that wishes to have the look that you presenting or have. Style should be inspiring, encouraging and a breath of fresh air. Style comes easy to some and may take some work for others. Those of you with style will know, one day putting together a look can be cake and on other days you find yourself sitting in your closet just staring and looking for inspiration. A style may take some time to develop but once you master the art, it stays with you forever! ย 

So for all my fashion lovers out there, know that understanding and studying fashion is not the same as having style. Style is born from the knowledge that we gain and how the present this knowledge to the world. ย 

Just think.. What a stylish and beautiful world we could live in if we all took heed! :) ย 

Anti-Coachella

As we ALLLL know, the infamous Coachella Music Festival is rapidly approaching. The first weekend of the event starts April 10th through the 12th and the second weekend following being the 17th through the 19th. Lets all gear our social media accounts for the flooded photos of teens and mid twenties posting photos of sunny fields, large groups, celebrities and the oh so clichรฉ bohemian fashions that has been drilled in our brains as the festival's must have styles!

Unlike most fashion blogs, this one will not be telling you what to wear to Coachella and how to look "cool" amongst all the others, instead I wanted to write a little something for all those who agree that its ridiculous to spend an insane amount of money to nearly be seen and pretend that we know that's going on in the elite social society. This blog includes two awesome things that you can do with friends and family in the sunshine that's approaching us while all the Coachella goers are away! Not only that, but I will also be suggesting rad outfitting looks that will not only make you look cool while doing said events. Who said that we all have to spend so much to have fun and stay chic?!

Sunday Brunch

The very top on my list is literally one of my favorite events for the summertime. Sunday Brunch is such a fun and ongoing tradition within our society but most of us have never even taken part! Its a great time to go out on a nice, sunny Sunday, kick back at a classy restaurant and take part in the debauchery brought to you by bottomless mimosas. A few tips to planning your brunch trip...

- Make sure that the restaurant is either buffet style or that the brunch menu has items that you love. Sunday brunch is something you want to plan to spend a few hours at. Usually from about 10am-2pm. Nothing is worst than being stuck at a place filling yourself with champagne while sitting in the sun and not having good food to keep you going!

- Call ahead and make reservations! To create a successful brunch is to have a good table! Make sure to choose a day to go where the sun is out and the sky is free of clouds. Try to get your group a table outside. The sun feels amazing while congregating with loved ones and this would also be a chance for everyone to sport their coolest sunglasses and/or brunch hats.

- And most importantly, check the style of the restaurant. To fully enjoy a true "Sunday Brunch" is to dress accordingly. Look for a restaurant where the style is more upscale so you and your friends can take the chance to dress in your Sunday's best. Girls, this is the prime opportunity to pull out your favorite floor length maxi dress made of light weight fabrics. The wind will create such a beautiful movement. Fit and flare dresses are also a great option for Sunday Brunches. You want to pick something that not only will work well the heat but also something that will make you feel classy and beautiful. A nice height wedge or even dressy scandals are great shoe choices for this event. This way, after several glasses of mimosas, you don't have to worry about stumbling out in your heels. As for the guys, this is the perfect time for us to show our dapper side. Flat front shorts or chinos are great options for bottoms. A colored chino pant will look amazing with a rolled hem and a pair of loafer, oxford, or deck shoes. As for tops, a nice button down shirt, short sleeve or long, looks great with a crisp crew neck or V-neck under. The goal is to mix dressy and casual but still put together and chic. If your like me and refuse to wear anything but black and creepy.... try a nice pair of black skinnies, creepers and cool tank or Henley. You'll stand out from the crowd but everyone will be curious of your dark and mysterious style. ;]

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Road Tripย 

If you're looking for something a little more adventurous and out there, why not pack up the car and take a road trip with a few of your closest friends?! Now a road trip doesn't necessarily mean driving cross country or even to another state. Start small and work your way up if you find that you like spending time on the road with friends. Try taking a trip to the nearest beach, amusement park, closest attraction or natural beauty. Not only will this get you away from your everyday surroundings, but the trip will be great bonding time! Depending on the location that you are going, this would be a trip in which would require layering. I always recommend layering especially when you're away from home for most of the day and you aren't quite certain of the temperature changes as the time passes. Shorts or jeans will work just fine for bottoms. Just make sure you are wearing a pair that doesn't stretch out too much, for you will be sitting in the car for a little while. As for tops, choose from your favorite fun graphic tanks, looser blouses or simple crew necks. A top layer would be something to consider as well. I would recommend your favorite denim jacket, a lightweight leather jacket or for those of you into the grunge scene, bring a flannel and when you aren't wearing it, keep it tied around your waist. Shoe selections will definitely range depending on your ending location. Stick with something comfortable but remain stylish. This trip is not your last chance to bring out your Crocs or filthy foam sandals from Old Navy. Try an espadrille, thin soled slip on sneaker, leather sandal or even a low wedge for the ladies that refuse to wear anything without a little leverage.

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Don't get me wrong, Coachella is going to be amazing for everyone that will be attending, but I look at it this way, the money spent on that Coachella ticket, are a few less potential pieces in my closet. This music festival is something that I think everyone should experience but I find that a lot of people are driving themselves to bankruptcy just to attend and look cool. As you can see, there are other things you can do with your friends and have fun that is a faction of the price of a Coachella Ticket and you don't have to worry about trying to look cute without having a clean shower within a few days. Enjoy summer, get out and do things but always remember, there's style in everything that you do!

 

Re-Invent Your Look

 So I have this issue that happens to me every so often. I have these moments where I wake up and I feel that I have absolutely nothing to wear! I have no idea where my creativity has gone and I feel helpless! These are the times when I feel that distinct urge to go out and buy things! But lately, with the seasons changing and the stores filled with pastels, sandals and espadrilles. These are all perfect for the season but just not my select look. It's extremely frustrating! So what is there to do?! I have come up with a few solutions! 

When these times come along when you feel that your needs just aren't met with the items within your closet and the garments offered at your favorite stores just aren't meeting your needs, here are a few solutions that have helped me and will hopefully come to your rescue!  

solution one.

  One of my favorite things to do is to completely change your outlook! Stick within the ranges of your current closet but look at your pieces with a completely different eye! What has helped me is to find that one piece of clothing or one pair of shoes that are hanging out in the back of the closet covered in dust and feeling neglected! Grab that piece and get inspired! Built a look completely from that one piece. Either make it the focal point of your look, the color scheme or even the over all theme! This way you are giving that once neglected garment or pair of shoes the love that they deserve. Not only that but the bonus is that all your friends will probably have forgetten about it and this is the time where you can throw out the lovely saying, 'Oh, this old thing...'!  :) 

solution two. 

Another solution that I have for this god forsaken syndrome is to gain back your creativity! Look to current fashion magazines, fashion blogs (such as this one!), stylist accounts on Instagram (@braxtonjholme) , use these venues to see what models and stylist are wearing. Look to these avenues not just to copy but to get your creative juices flowing. This is the entire reason why stylist post photos and fashion magazines are printed. Although you may not be able to afford the lasted Chloรจ, Alexander McQueen or Chanel ready-to-wear you can get inspired to create your own. Tap into your inner designer and alter some of the pieces you already own! Take scissors to a flannel to make it into a sleeveless vest to wear with skinnies or shorts with a tank underneath, or take a cool graphic tee that you own and chop off the bottom half to make it into a trendy crop top. Below are a few photos of some of my creative works of art. 

Take a pair of pants that you never wear, find a length that you're comfortable with if they were shorts. Add about two inches to that length. Cut there and then roll twice at about an inch width. This will not only encase the raw edge but give you a cool finished looking short! 

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The other day I got extremely creative and used my long flannel as a skirt. Simply unbutton the shirt just enough so that it fits around your waist. Then all you have to do is tie the sleeves around your waist as you would regularly. Then boom, you have yourself a cool new plaid skirt! ย 

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Take scissors to a pair of old jeans. Cut horizontally as much and wherever you'd like to create distress holes. Send these through the washer and dryer and you'll have yourself a pair of self destroyed jeans! ย 

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solution three.  

 My third and final solution to feeling completely out of ideas for outfitting is to try things you would have never tried before. These are times to experiment with either the garments that you currently have or new pieces out on the market. If you were ever curious about a select boutique or online store, take time to check it out! You never know what you may stumble upon or what inspiration you may come up with! I prefer a darker style and look but with the spring being here, I'll try a preppy look or something nautical. 

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I've always mentioned that fashion is supposed to be fun and expressive. Try expressing your mood on select days, emotions can spark creativity more than you can imagine! Try monochromatic looks, mixing prints, new silhouettes. Have fun! 

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At low times like these when we may feel like today is the day to pull out the sweats or athletic wear, stop yourself! Take two more seconds to get inspired and re-invent your look!

Althetes of Shopping. Budgeting for a Win.

I can't count the number of times I get asked how often I shop or how many pieces of clothing I own. Yes, I do seem to shop often and yes, I do own a ridiculous amount of clothing and shoes. BUT it was all purchased on a budget and with a trained mind. I work hard for every dollar that I spend and I make sure not to let a penny go to waste! This is how I manage to collect and hoard a crap ton of shirts, jeans, jackets, shoes, and accessories and still have money to go out and enjoy myself with friends and family.

Now a days, when you think of fashion and being stylish, you instantly think that you must have a lot of money to purchase all the big names that we hear and read about daily. Whether its designer garments being worn by celebrities or high in boutiques lining the streets of NYC and LA. Don't let this major hype stop you from thinking that you can still look cool and dress in a stylish way without having to make over a $100k a year. The trick is all about how you shop, the things you buy and prioritizing high priced purchases.

When I go shopping, I like to walk in with a clear mind. You can't go into a store with strict guidelines of what you want because in most cases, you won't seem to find them. Its OK to have an idea of what you are looking for, but remember, there isn't a custom designer sitting in the back room, waiting to whip out your much needed garment.

A great practice to adopt when it comes to shopping is not to make an attempt to look at every piece the store has to offer. Not only will that make the shopping trip take hours out of your day, but you'll leave exhausted and probably with tons of items that you thought you would wear and love, but probably will hate and they will forever live in the back of your closet. I like to skim the racks. When doing so, I am looking for colors that I know will look well on me and that I like to wear. Another thing to look for are silhouettes that are flattering to your body type. I personally like to look for bold prints, and patterns. By doing so, it will help eliminate all the junk that you know you'll hate but will assist in training the eye to hone into pieces that you know you'll love.

Another tactic to use, is to learn the feel for fabric. I'm sure we have all had those items that we loved when we first bought them. After a few wears, or a few times going through the washer they are completely destroyed. I like to go through and feel all the garments that Iโ€™m interested in and understand what will shrink in the dryer or will easily get holes in them. Usually these are the garments that are make out of really thin knits or pieces with a lot of spandex in them. To preserve these purchases, hand wash them or after washing, leave them out to hang dry.

The most important tactic that I use is prioritizing high priced purchases. My most expensive pieces that I own are either jackets or shoes. The reason for doing so is due to the fact that jackets and shoes can completely make an outfit. When getting ready in the morning, you can rotate your tops and bottoms but when you purchase a specialty shoe or a rad jacket and place that with your outfit, those are the pieces that are going to shine. You can wear the same outfit over and over again but as long as you wear a statement shoe or jacket, it will look completely different. Accessories can do this trick as well. Think about investing in different style of necklaces, bracelets and hats. Use these pieces to take your looks to a totally new level, changing the styles from edgy to boho chic. All can be done with just the change of shoe, necklace, hat or fit of the jacket.

Last but not least, never leave the store with a garment that you are just feeling โ€œokโ€ about. One trick that I have learned the hard way is to not just buy things that I think are cool or that I feel that I could EVENTUALLY get use out of. If I see something in the store, I need to know exactly what I would be able to use it for. I need to know the exact look I would be going for when I decided to pull that out of my closet and wear it. By doing this, you will eliminate a lot of those purchases that you eventually have buyer's remorse over once you leave the store. This will also help you buy things that you only need or want. No more going home with tons of bags only to return them the next day or later that week after looking at your bank account and shedding a tiny tear. Buy smart and you'll never have to worry about returning a thing.

Its great to shop at nice stores within the mall, boutiques and shops online, but lets also not forget about vintage shops when doing so! Vintage shops are like gold mines just waiting to be discovered. The pieces that you find within vintage shops are not only one of a kind but you can feel safe to know that your items won't shrink or be ruined in the wash since they have already been washed and worn in. When it comes to awesome flannels, distressed jeans and rad vintage boots and shoes, its nice to have someone else do the work for you and have the thought of wearing pieces that have been around for years with so much history and character.

In closing, keep in mind that shopping should be fun. It's almost like a sport to me. Going home with items that I love and know that I will be able to rock with pride is like going home with a win! Next time you're out on the shopping field, try out some of these tricks and see if it helps eliminate the stress and frustration. Hopefully it helps you buy things that you'll keep and not return later with great remorse. And hopefully it'll save you a dime or two!

From Lounge Queen, to Fashionista

The time has come for us to finally discuss the overwhelming epidemic that is sweeping the world. The era of lounge queens and work-out gear fashionistas. Throughout my years of styling, I have come across many women that claim to have such a love for fashion, style and latest trends but you consistently see them wearing leggings with baggy sweaters or workout gear around town. Its time to rise up and take 5 more minutes, if that, in the morning to become the fashionista that we know you can be. Below are the excuses that I come across often whether its through styling gigs or from my friends in general, as to why the choice was made to wear lounge and athletic clothing over more flattering chic apparel.

- I donโ€™t have much time in the morning to put together an outfit.

This excuse is one that doesnโ€™t make much sense to me. If we were to turn the clock back to earlier in the day when you were getting ready and took time to look through your closet or dirty clothes hamper to find your favorite pair of leggings and top or your infamous Lululemon work out pants and jacket, we could take a second to change our selections. I personally believe that within that same amount of time, one can open a drawer, grab out a pair of jeans or shorts of your choosing and then grab a simple blouse or tee shirt. If your closet is as organized and tidy as it should be, going for your favorite lounge or work out piece can be replaced with going for a more presentable and fashionable look.

- I'm just not that good at dressing myself.

Fashion and style can be very intimidating, and I completely understand that but you had to have some sort of knowledge of your own style to actually go out and purchase the pieces that you have already within your closet. If you are one of those individuals that has no interest in fashion or staying up with the current trends there are a few things you can do to still keep yourself looking presentable. To start, go and buy a nice basic pair of jeans. I personally recommend a nice fitting dark denim. Dark denim jeans can be paired with an endless array of tops and shoes that you wouldnโ€™t have to think too hard to put them together. Second, we should try getting a few basic tops. I suggest getting solid colored tees, blouses and sweaters, that way you donโ€™t have to worry about mixing prints and textures. Solid colored chiffon blouses are perfect with dark denim jeans for going out on the weekends and during the week and try out sweaters on chilly days and tees during the warmer days.

- I just donโ€™t care about what I look like, I'm just running out for a second.

This excuse is one that bothers me the most! No matter where you are going and for how long, presentation can say a lot about you as a person, your self esteem, and could ruin a lot of opportunities for you. When you are going out in public, you are never certain as to who you may encounter or see on your way to your destination. There have been many of times where I have ran into old friends, clients, or co-workers out in public. You have to always be on your A-game and never let them see you sweat. Constantly wearing lounge wear gives off the vibe of laziness and that you donโ€™t really care about what you look like. This can easily be translated into you not caring about others, your work and things around you. Constantly wearing work out clothing and yet not working out draws more attention to weight not lost and you appear to others as wanting to be someone you are not.

I understand that becoming a fashionista isnโ€™t the life goal of everyone and I can accept that. The one thing that I fail to accept is that everyone doesn't have the opportunity to look presentable and the least bit stylish without spending a fortune and all morning to do so. There a saying that goes, 'Dress for the job you want, not the one you have.' I know for a fact that not over 30% of the woman population are looking to be personal trainers or established couch potatoes. Take a day to actually get fully dressed in the morning and notice the change in your self esteem. Not only will the compliments that you will receive make your day better but the way you'll feel about yourself should make you think twice before putting on those leggings again to run to the grocery store or out with friends.

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Fashion @ Your Fingertips

Now that we have all made our way into the wonderful year of 2015, it's fair to say that there are more than a few things that have evolved around us. One major evolutionary rise that many of us are large participators in, the use of cell phones and the many features that come along with them. With cellular devices supplying its users with also any application you can think of with just a quick search and press of a button to download, our cell phones are becoming a major asset within our lives. With that being said, its easy to see how this can change the world of fashion and its crazed subjects.

Instagram is emerging as the front runner out of all the apps out there with a whopping 300 monthly active users. With users posting photos depicting sports, auto, art, and fashion, its safe to say that anyone interested in gaining inspiration for the next day's outfit, can easily grab their phone and check out fellow insta users. I believe that instagram is an amazing avenue for inspiration, ideas, and to check out the latest trends and styles and how to adapt them to your very own life style. Since instagram is supposed to be photos taken from your cell phone, its easy for a user to search through and find other accounts to follow that are average people with good style, that you could easily replicate or make your own. Unlike fashion magazines and celebrity focused articles that feature fashion pieces that are a tad over budget for your average American, Instagram can serve as that fashion feeding ground.

For me, I personally enjoy following individuals that post daily looks, or styling suggestions that fit my personal style. Following your favorite designers and artists can be helpful to see what work they are creating behind the scenes or pieces that aren't as publicized. With hashtags being an easy way to search styles and common words, it can also serve as an easy way to gain attention to your personal account. Another cool feature with using Instagram, after pressing the 'follow' button on an account, a drop down list of related account will appear for you to check out. This is a great way for someone to explore and find out other accounts that reflect your desired style. You'll be surprised at how many cool accounts you will stumble upon and how many people out there who can help motivate you to spunk up your style and influence you on the latest trends.

With apps such as Instagram, and other social media avenues, thereโ€™s no excuse for use as a modern society to remain dressing in outdated styles. Fashion and style is literally at our finger tips and not just on the shelves of your local grocery stores or on the streets of New York City. We can now all take part of the fashion movement and stay up on all the current styles. With so many accounts and users out there that are confident enough to share with the world their styling suggestions and photographs, I challenge you all to take a moment and utilize what the evolution of technology and social interations has presented us. Look at what others are wearing and how they are piecing their looks together and try to do something new and fun with your personal look. Choose a day to wear something that you wouldn't have thought of yourself, or try out a new style that you have seen through your searches on Instagram. If your brave enough, post a 'selfie' and show the world your newly fashion driven self!

Basics & How to Wear Them

We have all had those morning moments where as we stand and look at the items within our closets. As we gaze, we have that strong feeling that there's just something missing or the contents within are just not cutting close to the latest trends that are swirling around us. Within this passage, we will take a second to go through all the wardrobe basics that pretty much every female should have or something close to it just to fulfill the bare minimum of a trendy closet.

Lets start off discussing bottoms, what's out there, and what you should actually own. A good array of denim jeans is an absolute mandatory section to have housed within ones closet. I understand that denim fits and selections can be very intimate for most females, but there are ways around picking the wrong fit for your body type. I personally feel that almost every girl can rock a pair of skinny jeans when styled correctly. Choosing a darker wash of denim is a great choice for women that want a nice clean finish and slimmer look. While a lighter wash denim can make a curvy figure appear even more curvier than it actually is. A darker wash denim is like the classic for all denim jeans. When I say darker denim, I mean a darker indigo wash with minimum fading and stone washing. When going with this wash, its easy to pair your bottom with most tops. Darker denim looks amazing with crisp white, cream, coral and grey casual tops. When choosing what denim brand is good for you, stay away from back pocket detailing, large stitching, and the rise of the jean is crucial. Added detailing on jeans can make it hard to match with tops that you own, which will in turn make you feel like you don't have many options in your closet. The perfect rise of jean is major when wanting to avoid the dreadful muffin top! If a mid rise is what your body requires, DO NOT be ashamed to purchase that fit. Most girls need a mid rise and don't even know it!

Adding on to your denim collection, I am a firm believer that everyone should own at least one good pair of grey jeans and at least one fun color denim! Grey jeans are great to have when you want to go for a more edgy, rocker look! They look amazing with a fresh white tee shirt and a fitted leather jacket and flats. The fall/winter season is a great time to try out grey bottoms, for they look great with nice cozy sweaters and boots! Grey is a nice, neutral color that can take your most basic look to another level. Colored denim is another item that can be very intimate to the wearer. Brightly colored denim are fun for the spring and summer for a fun, fresh, bubbly look to wear along with tanks and loosely fitting blouses. I believe that a nice start to the colored denim realm would be to start with a clean Maroon. Maroon colored denim can create an extremely chic look when paired with a fitted blue denim button up and a white tee shirt underneath or even when paired with a casual grey top and black shoes. This color blocking will have all your friends and family thinking that you are soo chic and trendy!

Now lets make our way to basic tops. When choosing tops, these are the most trendiest of pieces over all. The style of tops change almost every week. Basics that everyone should own would be basic tee shirts consisting of grey, black and white. These are great layering pieces and can be styled with scarves and different necklaces to create an endless number of different looks. Currently, loose and flowy tops are all the rage ranging from solid colors to prints. Lighter weight blouses with fabric selections of silk or chiffon are great to choose from. Although the blouse may be loose and flowy, a semi transparent silk or chiffon blouse can easy be layered with a fitted tank to show an actual figure underneath. For all the daring to be sexy women, a simple black or nude bra can be your under layer depending on the top and the event. Structure button up tops are great to have to be worn with jeans as well. They give off a more tailored put together look and when accessorized with a fun statement necklace, it takes the reputation of a button up shirt from corporate business lady to chic New Yorker. Not just jeans but these structured tops are great with tailored ankle pants and shorts in the summer and spring time.

Next, lets discuss our outer layers. I'm sure there are many of you out there that think jackets and coats only serve the purpose of keeping us warm. This statement is far from the truth. Jackets and outerwear can serve as the cherry on top of an amazing outfit! Basics of outwear that we all should own would have to be a nicely fitting denim jacket with a good medium fade and distressing, and a good fitting leather jacket that fits well in the shoulders and around the bodice and hits at the high waist. These two pieces can be thrown on top of any simple top and jeans to give the illusion that you spent far more time to get ready than you actually did! Denim jackets look great with grey bottoms, black jeans, along with any other colored denim. The idea of denim on denim may scare more than a few of you but as long as the two denims are different colors and are blended well with a white, black or grey top, you're ok! Leather jackets are great to have in order to pair with trendy ankle booties, to layer with a fitted dress for those chilly nights, and for that edgy rocker look with destroyed jeans and/or shorts.

Lastly, lets discuss shoes that every girl should own for a nice starter, casual wardrobe. Flats are staples that I'm sure every women understands, although the selection of which flat to get can get dicey. I believe that a subtle pointed toe flat looks great with jeans for a semi-dressy look. Not only that but a pointed toe flat can help you appear taller providing that it give a visual extension to shorter legs. When purchasing flats, stay clear of gaudy details and attachments, for they can quickly limit your outfitting options. Along with a good flat, every girl should own a thin soled sneaker. In example, Converse are great to own. They look amazing with cute flirty skirts in the summer for a sporty look. They also work well with denim jeans and shorts in the summer. Its an easy shoe to pair with outfits due to the fact that they're classics and easy maintenance. Not to mention, they look even better once worn in!

The latest trend for shoes seems to be the ankle boot. Ranging from flats to a medium chunky heel. These are great to own for cute, shabby chic, day wear and can even be paired with a nice blouse and jeans for going out at night. Dark brown leather ankle boots are great with the dark denim jeans that we have discussed throughout this article along with those grey and colored denim bottoms. Black ankle boots with a good height can be paired with skirts and dresses in replacement to heels for certain looks also.

Now you have it! The basics of every woman's closet and a snippet of how to style them. Of course, as mentioned, these are just the bare minimums. I suggest that everyone tries out these basics and get comfortable with styling them. Then venture out to more detailed selections within such genres. There are millions of colored and patterned bottoms to play with. Thousands of colors, prints, and patterns of tops and blouses to mix and match. Tons of outerwear to be used for layering options. And as we all know, thousands of shoes that we feel like we need! Every girl and everyone has the opportunity to be a fashionista. It all just starts with a good foundation.