Archive | February, 2012

Wear a Chain Belt 14 Easy Ways

29 Feb

Chain belts are almost as easy to wear as a smile. Don’t believe me? Check this out……

Easy belt

Embellish with a strand of classy pearls

Try sliding on a necklace charm

Flowers make everything prettier

Add a bit of bling with a rhinestone brooch

Soften the chain and add a splash of color with a tie belt

A scarf slide acts as a necklace charm

Add a charm, then layer the look

Belt a scarf

How about a belted side scarf?

Intertwine a scarf with the belt and tie

Tired of carrying your clutch?

Hat jewelry? Why not!

Pretty Pleats

27 Feb

I love a pretty pleated skirt! So schoolgirl, classic and flattering on most body types-forgiving and elongating. Gucci, Christian Dior, Luca Luca and Jason Wu, who recently launched a fashionable yet affordable collection for Target, all featured pleated skirts in their Spring/Summer 2012 collection.

Today’s look juxtaposes the strict vertical lines of a classic white pleated skirt with the softness of a lilac blouse. Mixing rigid pieces with soft pieces is always a great style choice.

Soft and simple with a bit of an edge, this clutch is the perfect accompaniment to this ensemble. It’s also available in a multitude of on trend and neutral colors.

Thin strands of gold, silver and gun-metal chain are soft like the blouse yet bold when combined into a large statement piece like this one. Bonus….the piece pulls together the silver studs on the fab clutch and gold in the ring.

I am amazed by the workmanship of this beautiful beaded ring. So much so that I have it in several different colors. Whenever you can support local artists, do so.

These gorgeous snake-skin shoes not only add pattern and texture but take the outfit from sweet to va-va-voom. I seriously want to wear these every day of my life.

Blouse ::  Naked Zebra at True Addiction, Solvang CA

Skirt ::  Estate Sale (a $3.00 find!)

Clutch :: Leather Creations by Kristy White, Los Olivos CA

Necklace :: BCBG (Similar here)

Ring :: Artistic Pony, Solvang CA

Shoes :: BCBG (Similar here)

Easy & Affordable Style for ::  $215

What Women Want…..to Tell Their Men about Style

24 Feb

I’ve been pleasantly surprised to hear that I have a fair share of blog following men. Hollar, fellas! Or as my husband so sweetly texts me, “Haula!”…….my first name, minus the P, add an H. Love it! Anywhooo, the men have asked for some style tips of their own. So, here you have it men: What Woman Want……..to Tell Their Men About Style

1 ::  Levi’s are so 80’s. A modern straight leg denim is your best bet. And as much as you may not want to, try before you buy.

2 ::  A plain white T never goes out of style. But please, no stains, no holes and no bellies hanging out.

3 ::  Dress shirt…untucked, top 2-3 buttons left undone, cuffs rolled up once or twice paired with faded or dark denim. So haute!

4 ::  Leave the past behind. Replace your Members Only jacket with a casual corduroy or cotton canvas coat in a neutral shade.

5 :: Wearing white sneakers with white tube socks is the equivalent to socks with sandals-blek! Choose a neutral lace-up or slip-on.

6 :: Seeing is believing and believe me, you look debonair in your glasses.

7 :: If your forehead is becoming a fivehead, who cares. Bald is beautiful!

8 ::  If you have a full head of hair, cut it, comb it and add just a smidge of product.

9 ::  Smooth and clean-shaven or just a bit of sexy stubble. Too much facial hair makes you look older.

10 :: The smell of cologne can have an intoxicating effect on women. Wear a little, we like it.

P.S. Ladies, if your man is not a follower but needs a little nudge in the style department, scroll to the bottom of this post, click the print icon and conveniently “drop” this on your bathroom floor. A bit sneaky yes but he may just pick up a few pointers. Oh, be sure to cut this part off the bottom of the page.

Viking’s Purple and Gold

22 Feb

I would need all 10 toes, all 10 fingers, both ears and my left knee cap to count the number of times I’ve claimed to loath the color purple. Not the movie, but the color. The color of Barney the singing dinosaur, 1980’s bride’s maid dresses, your tongue after sucking on a grape Tootsie-Pop, cabbage and Grape Ape-blek! And I’ve claimed to loath a purple gold combination more than any other color combination in existence. (This is what happens when you dated, and broke up with, a Minnesota boy who owns and insisted on displaying every ghastly Vikings gizmo and gadget ever made including a living room lamp which completely clashed with my brocade sofa and silk curtains.) However, today, something came over me because I wore purple…..with gold…….and liked it. Color-blocking with complementary turquoise made the look less viking and entirely haute.

Skirt :: BCBG

Cami :: Idea

Sweater :: New York & Company

Shoe :: Steve Madden

Purse ::  Nicole Lee

Coat :: Burberry

Silver necklace and cuff :: gifts from my Mama

Easy & Affordable Style for   ::  $250

Glossy Orange High Heel Cycling Shoes

20 Feb

My shoes

My bicycle

My need

So, here is my well thought out, quite reasonable analysis for needing glossy orange high heel cycling shoes? Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs! Let me explain…..
Safety Needs: Medical insurance, Job security, Financial reserves, Living in a safe area……Safe? Yea! Lance Armstrong trains here. Carmichael just opened a training camp here. I live, work and carry medical insurance in the safest place to ride my bike……..in glossy orange high heel cycling shoes. Move ahead one level.
Social Needs: Friendship, Belonging to a group, Giving and Receiving Love…….Come on, this is a no-brainer! I ride my bike with a group of friends and promise to give love to my glossy orange high heel cycling shoes while also receiving love (and strange looks but I am completely used to that) when wearing them. Proceed to the next level.
Esteem Needs: Recognition, Attention, Social Status, Accomplishment, Self-respect………..When cycling in my glossy orange high heel cycling shoes I will receive recognition, command attention, up my social status, accomplish my cycling goals and have self-respect out the wazoo. Next level please.
Self-Actualization: Truth, Justice, Wisdom, Meaning……….Truth is, I would not be doing Justice to my blog readers if I didn’t use my fashion Wisdom and buy these shoes. There would just be no Meaning to this style blog, right?
So there! Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs perfectly demonstrates my quality reasoning for the purchase of glossy orange high heel cycling shoes. Now where did I put my check book and car keys?
P.S. Thanks for the inspiration Diane!

Black, White & Red all Over

15 Feb

Ah, Valentine’s Day! Believing that every day should be special, my husband and I don’t really play into the commercialism of the holiday. Oh, I give him a card and he gives me flowers and if he opted to prove his undying love for me by tying a large crimson bow around a cute new retro style Vespa in sage green with a medium brown leather seat, wicker basket and matching helmet I would hop on and ride with gratitude and glee, still, we don’t truly celebrate the holiday. Having said that, I do sometimes feel like dressing the part. I don’t like to be drapped in red but I do love a cheery red accessory.

Red really stands out against classic cream and black.

A clean lined dress calls for a clean lined bag and this one fits the bill. Shiny red patent leather adds serious style and drama. Style Tip::  Buy a bag that isn’t too large for your frame but large enough hold all your necessities. Look for compartments inside and out for easy access and organization. Finally, larger bags should have a nice wide shoulder strap. Thin straps can uncomfortably dig into your shoulder.

Bag and shoe color no longer need to match. I opted to play down the feet and style this look with soft black wedge boots maintaining the emphasis on the bright and shiny bag.

A tiny touch of bling in gold and “diamond” balances the brightness of the bag and offers the viewers eye something to look at when the bag is not in hand.

Easy, classic style.

Dress::   Estate sale find ($3.00)

Purse  ::  Enzo Angiolini

Boots ::   BCBG

Ring::   BCBG

Faux Fur :: Better than the Real Thing

13 Feb

It’s been worn for thousands of years. Chosen primarily for its warmth and durability, it also makes for fun and fancy ornamentation around the neck, on cuffs, boots, hats and handbags. Fur always seems to be in style and is both affordable and kinder when its faux. A wonderful synthetic alternative to authentic fur, faux furs became commercially available in the 1950’s. Today’s technology makes them hard to distinguish from the real deal and available in a variety of colors and textures from classic to funky.

This snuggly fur vest adds texture to an otherwise simple rusty A-line dress. Style with layers of beads in silver, gold, bronze, brown and cream and this look is ready for lunch with your besties, dinner with your beau or shopping solo.

Style Tip:: A thick fur vest can add weight. If this is an issue, choose a thinner weight faux fur or detail piece instead. This one came with a side loops and a thin brown belt. When used, it added inches to my waist so I cut off the loops and hung onto the belt for use in styling another look.

Fur Vest::   Hazel

Dress::   New York & Company

Jewelry  ::   Gift from my friend Patty, Adesso

 

Patriotic Plaid

8 Feb

Remember the 17 dresses I bought at an estate sale last week? Well, that evening I subjected my ever so patient husband to a fashion show. There he sat, in the comfort of his leather chair, smiling and nodding at each of the 17 dresses. Seventeen times, I ran in, blocking his view of the TV and excitedly exclaimed, “Look at this one! Look at how well it fits! And it’s one of a kind! And guess how much I paid……guess…..seriously…..you’ll never believe it!” He’s a keeper!

Oh, did I happen to mention that I reconnected with the estate sellers and two days later bought another 13 dresses and suits. It’s true-30 under $250. You can probably guess what I’m wearing this week……..very affordable one of a kind vintage. Today it’s in patriotic red, white and blue.

Super cute without the jacket too. Look at the detail at the waist!

The eyes need a rest from all the plaid and a mass of round bobbles does just that.

Paired with a chunky silver bracelet and bobble ring echoing the necklace, this outfit has fun and funky style.

My husband doesn’t at all get these shoes. Me? I’m in love with them. They’re edgy yet not too over the top.  Fashion Tip:: Thick ankles a.k.a Cankles and short legs look best in a shoe that doesn’t wrap around the ankle. Choose a shoe, heel or flat, that leaves the top of your foot open and uncluttered. It will elongate your legs and minimize thick ankles.

Dress & Jacket::   Handmade estate sale find

Necklace::   Macy’s

Bracelet::   Gift from my Mom

Ring::   BCBG

Shoes::   MRKT

Emphasize Your Best Assets with Color Blocking

6 Feb

Color blocking, the strategic placement of contrasting colors together in one look, has been a haute trend for a number of seasons. It’s colorful, fun and, quite honestly, a bit tricky. (Note the word strategic above)  So, how can you make color blocking a treat without being tricky?  Easily, using just two colors and focusing on one line, the horizontal line.

Horizontal line stops the eyes vertical movement carrying the eye across the body and not up and down. Whether the line is structural (created during construction) or applied (an added design element), it emphasizes the area in which it is placed.  This is especially true when contrasting color, like color blocking, create the horizontal line. The line of color transition becomes the outfits emphasis, visually cutting the body in half. Depending on your body shape and height in relation to the placement of the color transition, this style trick can work for or against you. Emphasis shouldn’t be placed anywhere you wish to minimize. For example……….(and note how the horizontal line of my iPhone makes me look like Graucho Marx in some of these photos. That wasn’t intentional but I appreciate the comedic affect.)

When horizontal line is not applied, the body appears taller and slimmer. This is true of most colors but especially dark colors. Almost any body type can pull off this look.

 

A sweater hem ending just under the breast emphasizes the face and creates a longer torso and leg. This is a great option for those of shorter stature and/or thicker middle sections.

 

A sweater hem ending at a small waist emphasizes the smallness of the waist. When the waist is wide, this looks further widens it.

 

A sweater hem ending at the middle of the hip makes the hip appear wider. This isn't a good choice if your hips are already a bit wide but is a great choice if you have small hips and want to balance wide shoulders.

A sweater hem ending mid-thigh creates a longer torso yet shortens the leg. This is a good choice for those of you who are tall.

Be Beautifully Confident!

2 Feb

Have you ever noticed the way a beautifully dressed woman commands attention as she sweeps through a room? I know you have. We all have and we’ve all enviously wondered, what has she got that I don’t? Let me be very clear here, she doesn’t have anything you don’t. Size 0 or a size 18, blond or brunette, short or tall, dress beautifully and you too will command attention. I once woke up to a pimple right at the tip of my nose. Not a little one but a third eye.  I think it even winked at me. Instead of hiding in my closet all day I threw on a simple solid color dress and paired it with bright, super cool shoes. Voila, people looked at my shoes and not my growth.

One day this week, don’t just grab what’s typical, comfortable and clean. Glam it up a bit. BE that beautifully dressed woman who commands attention. If you typically wear dark colors, add something colorful-a scarf, shoe, purse, belt, bracelet……anything. Don’t wear dresses or skirts? Wear one and see how pretty is makes you feel. Layer on some fun jewelry. Wear high heels-even if it’s just to pick up some groceries. Get out of your sweat pants-and then toss them in the trash. Walk out of your house standing tall and carrying a confident smile on your face. Try it! Promise you will-not for me but for you because you deserve to look and feel beautiful.

Hugs,

Paula

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