Monthly Archives: May 2012

Spring (Wardrobe) Awakening: Four Fresh Accessories That Will Wake Up Last Year’s Wardrobe

As you flip through fashion magazines and keep your eye on the displays in your favorite stores, you’re probably getting excited about all of the new spring and summer styles that are making their debuts. You’d love to go out and completely overhaul your wardrobe so that you’re on the cutting edge of all the latest trends. There’s only one problem: You aren’t made of money, and new clothes aren’t free. (Plus, if you’re honest, most of the pieces in your closet are still really nice.)

Here’s the good news: You can make last year’s wardrobe look fresh for spring by targeting a few key accessories.

I’ve always been amazed by how much of an impact accessories can have. They can really define your whole outfit. So if you want to update your look for spring but don’t want to break the bank, focus on acquiring some versatile accessories that will breathe new life into a variety of outfits. In this post, I’m going to share four of my top accessory recommendations for spring and summer:

Pick up a new purse. A new handbag is a wonderful way to make last year’s wardrobe look fresh—and they can be found at all price points, too, so you can spend as much or as little as you want. Here are some options to consider:

• Neon colors are fresh, in-your-face, and will certainly make you stand out in a crowd. In fact, Chanel is doing green and orange nylon bags this season, which is something completely new for them!

• A white bag will immediately freshen up your whole look. Just make sure to purchase one that’s made of an easy-to-clean material, like leather, since white does tend to show dirt.

• Leopard-print bags might not seem versatile at first glance, but I promise that they are. Leopard works with black, white, and earth tones, and it will also tone down a bright or neon outfit.

• Floral patterns are big this season. Look for a purse in a print you love!

• Mixed media bags (for instance, a leather bag trimmed in raffia) can bridge the gap between classic and cutting-edge. They’re also visually interesting without necessarily being in-your-face.

Freshen up your footwear. There’s nothing like a pair of new shoes to wake up what you’re wearing. Flats are always a good idea since they’re stylish and comfortable. You can take black and white clothes from last year and mix them with floral-print flats to instantly update your look. Metallic flats are also a good idea, since they’re the ultimate neutral: eye-catching and universally flattering. And if you’re feeling daring, look for a colored shoe that can add a bright pop of blue, red, or orange to an otherwise head-to-toe black outfit (you don’t want to wear head-to-toe anything or the fashion police may arrest you!). You can also reverse the look and wear a colored dress with a black and white shoe.

Let yourself sparkle and shine. Jewelry can be a fun and inexpensive way to update just about any outfit. A piece with colored stones or enamel will add a fun pop of color to a black and white or neutral outfit. And with this season’s styles, you don’t have to play it safe—so look for neons and other bright colors. On the other hand, crystals are the perfect neutral when it comes to jewelry, whether it’s an earring, a necklace, or a cuff. There isn’t anything crystals don’t go with, and they can be dressed up or dressed down. Plus, unlike neons, they won’t go out of style as the seasons pass.

Wrap yourself up (in a scarf, that is!). These days, scarves aren’t limited to your grandmother’s bulky, scratchy, cable-knitted wool. They’re full-blown fashion accessories, and they can add a touch of fun, whimsy, or even elegance to an outfit. I think that a metallic gold scarf or animal print in a silk chiffon are great purchases that will give you a lot of mileage since they will go with everything. If you’re looking for more color, then go with a solid. And remember, a larger scarf in linen, silk, or pashmina can double as a shawl if you get chilly in an air-conditioned space.

The best thing about accessories is that—unlike a shirt or dress—you can wear them every day if you want to. Most accessories will work with a variety of different styles and looks, so experiment with your purchases. You’ll probably be surprised—and extremely pleased—by how far they’ll go and how fabulous they’ll make you feel!

Get Your Wardrobe in Bloom: Seven Ways to Be Fashion Forward as You Put a Spring in Your Step

Whether you’re going by the calendar or by the flowers and sunny skies outside your window, the verdict is clear: Winter has officially left the building. For women, the recent season change means that it’s finally time to pack away gloves, bulky sweaters, and puffy coats…and start sporting a shapelier silhouette! Without a doubt, this spring’s emerging fashion trends will fill your wardrobe with a welcome burst of color and excitement.

One of the best aspects of warmer weather is the fact that you can finally shed some layers. Spring is definitely a great time to breathe some new life into your wardrobe. However, I also know that from Fashion Week to special magazine spreads, all of the new trends can be somewhat overwhelming. Be careful not to go overboard when you hit the stores, because you don’t want to end up with a closet full of clothes that looked great in theory, but that you really don’t feel comfortable wearing. My advice is to start spicing up your spring wardrobe with a few key pieces that represent some of the season’s most exciting trends and work from there.

Read on for seven tips to help you look fashion forward while feeling great this spring:

Slip into some colored jeans. This season, colored jeans, ranging from mid-tones to neons to pastels, are everywhere. And with so many colors and cuts to choose from, they can be flattering to any body type at any age. I recommend pairing your colored jeans with black or white accessories such as a jacket, tee-shirt, and/or shoe for an impressive level of sophistication.

Specifically, look for some “Tangerine Tango.” According to Pantone, 2012’s color of the year is “Tangerine Tango,” an eye-catching reddish orange. It’s showing up in home décor, fashion, and accessories, and the trendy hue can range from peach to red to everything in between. You’ll definitely want to jump on this citrusy bandwagon, so don’t be afraid to put a splash of orange into your wardrobe…or even into your living room!

You don’t have to sacrifice comfort for beauty. When it comes to footwear, flats continue to be very popular for spring and summer. And since there are plenty of styles, prints, and colors to choose from, there’s a flat to fit every personality. Flats are a smart and versatile choice because they’re comfortable and are appropriate for day and evening. This spring, I recommend choosing from popular florals, neons, metallics, animal prints, and even geometric patterns—like squares or dots—as you add to your collection. What you put on your feet really can take your outfit from “average” to “interesting”!

Consider wearing white head to toe. Yes, we all look forward to wearing bright spring colors. But sometimes there’s nothing more fabulous than wearing white! Depending on your coloration, look for optic (bright) white or creamy white, and don’t be afraid to wear it head to toe. You’ll stand out, and you’ll exude vibes as light and airy as spring breezes. As an added bonus, creamy white in particular can look great year round. (Forget that old Labor Day rule!)

Incorporate some earth tones. Whites and eye-catching hues look fabulous, but you don’t want to go into “bright overload.” In other words, don’t rid your wardrobe of neutrals. Earth tones in particular are making a very sophisticated statement for the spring and summer seasons. I suggest mixing them with white or black for a classic look. You can also pair them with one of the new brighter tones like orange, pink, or yellow. For instance, choosing to put a bright shirt with an earth-toned suit might be the difference between basic and brilliant!

Don’t forget your hands and feet. It’s natural to be focused on clothes and accessories as you shake off the winter wardrobe blues. But as you’re shopping, build in time to get a fresh manicure and pedicure. Polishing up your nails and coating them in a color you love is essential this time of year as you get ready to break out the summer sandals.

Say hello to summer scarves. Scarves aren’t just for winter anymore. They’ve graduated from a way to keep warm to a full-blown fashion accessory! Scarves in lighter fabrics are a wonderful way to add that extra “pop” to your look or to try a fun color without committing to the entire outfit. Plus, a shawl made of linen, silk, or pashmina can even pull double-duty as a scarf or as a wrap if it gets cool in an air-conditioned space.

As you bring spring into your closet, feel free to try all of the trends that pique your curiosity. Just remember that the most important aspect of any piece, in any season, is how it makes you feel. As long as you’re comfortable and confident in what you’re wearing, you’ll have a renewed spring in your step…and you’ll draw eyes in all of the best possible ways.