Archive | June, 2014

What I’m Lovin’: Best of Summer Sales

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I hit the stores this weekend and unexpectedly stumbled across some terrific sales!  Since summer is just beginning here in Seattle, I often forget that this season is in full swing in other parts of the world. The time is now to snap up some great deals on summer fashion at your favorite retailers.  Here were a few that I’m lovin’:

Zara: Most everything in the store is on sale. This only happens twice a year, so strike while the proverbial iron is hot!

Lace Dress | Printed Jumpsuit | Ripped Jeans | Fringed Clutch

Anthropologie: Sales are always good here.  Aside from clothes, I’m always looking to score some unique accessories (like the fabulous infinity scarf below).  Be sure to check out their home accents as well.  There was a mob of women scouring the racks when I was there, so act fast!

Embroidered Dress | Linen Trousers | Belted Anorak | Aztec Print Scarf

Aritzia: I love this store – it’s a “go-to” for unique, yet on-trend pieces.  A great place to shop to add a little edge to your wardrobe and, they rarely offer sale prices!

Printed Track Pant | Striped Tank | | Denim Jacket | Jersey Romper

Don’t forget the cardinal rule of sale shopping: NEVER purchase final sale.  Especially online.  The only exception is if you have tried it on (the exact one) and know that you love it.  Remember, a deal isn’t a deal if you never wear the piece.

Also, be sure to check out my “Shop” page updated with my monthly purchases.  Take a peek inside my wardrobe and get a sense of my shopping strategy each month!

Thanks for reading and happy shopping!

4-Way Friday: Accessory InVESTment

Have you ever heard of “4-Way Friday”? In addition to designing beautiful jewelry (which you often see me wearing), my good friend and fellow fashionista, Kirsty, writes a style blog. When we can coordinate, I have contributed to several posts in which we style the same piece, 4 ways. Both born shoppers, Kirsty and I have many of the same items (we often shop together and also trade pictures and links for inspiration). However, I would describe our personal styles as being very different. I love her “boho-chic” looks but can rarely pull them off with the finesse she does. Therefore, it’s always fun to see how the two of us will wear the same piece in different ways. For more of Kirsty’s style, check out her blog.

On her most recent visit to Seattle, Kirsty and I snagged a faux leather moto vest at a Dolce Vita sample sale. Imagine a large room in a 100-year-old building downtown filled with clothes, shoes and frantic bargain shoppers. The communal dressing room was so packed with women, we were scoring (and vying for) others rejects. A nightmare to some…a dream come true to shoppers like Kirsty and myself.

Below you will find us sporting our moto vest in 4 different looks. This vest is an excellent example of an accessory that can elevate the most basic of outfits. If you read my blog with regularity, you may notice my love for layering and accessorizing. Adding special pieces is an inexpensive and unique way to restyle to your wardrobe. Although wardrobe staples may take the lion’s share of your shopping budget, don’t overlook the importance of sparing some extra dollars for those unexpected items that will make your look your own.

Outfit #1: Classically Chic Moto
Kirsty contrasts the moto’s edginess with classic extras like the nude pumps, simple aviators and strands of silver and pearl beads. Then she adds a punch of color with the green earrings and clutch. An otherwise basic jeans and tee ensemble is taken to an entirely new level with the addition of accessories – worthy of a night out!
4wf vest 4Vest (worn throughout): DV by Dolce Vita (similar)
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Earrings: Lucia K. | Necklace: Lucia K. | Clutch: Hobo, Queen Anne Dispatch (different but amazing.)
4wf vest 3T-shirt: Mango | Jeans: Bluelab (similar) | Shoes: Charles by Charles David, Nordstrom
Outfit #2: Sporty Moto
By adding style with the leather moto vest and pops of color with my sneakers and necklace, I create an outfit from an otherwise monochromatic (and boring) ensemble. Strip away all of the accessories, and I am simply wearing a pair of white jeans and a tee. I particularly like how the red sneakers add an unexpected sportiness to the outfit.
P1070966Jeans: J Brand | Tee: J.Crew
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Necklace: Anthropologie | Sunglasses: H&M (similar)
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Sneakers: Nike, Nordstrom
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Bag: Forever 21 (similar)
Outfit #3: Boho Moto
Again, basic shorts and a tank paired with the leather vest and a scarf tied as a head band creates a totally unique look. I really love how the stripe in the scarf is echoed in the fun chevron print sandal; unifying the accessories and pulling the outfit together.
4wf vest 1Shorts: Levis Vintage (similar) | Tank: Splendid (similar)
4wf vest 10Shoes: Ella Moss (on sale!)
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Scarf: Threads 4 Thought | Earrings: Lucia K. 
Outfit #4: Dressy Moto
Wearing heels with this dress definitely makes the dress date-night material. However; by adding the vest and a strappy flat sandal, the dress becomes less va-va-voom and more cool. Top off the look with a scarf and a leopard clutch to add some color and pattern to an otherwise grey ensemble.
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Dress: Monrow | Bracelets (worn throughout): Queen Anne Dispatch, Giles & Brother and Madewell
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Clutch: Clare V | Shoes: Dolce Vita (sample sale find)
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Earrings: Lucia K
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Scarf: H&M (on sale!)
Leave a comment with your must-have accessory and let us know what you think about “4-Way Friday.” We’re always looking for interesting ideas for our next posts.
Thanks for reading! ~ Jenn & Kirsty

Outfits {Guest Contributor}: Jacqueline Styles Boyfriend Jeans

 

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I am continuously spending money on clothes yet, I always wear the same thing. When taking a hard look into my wardrobe, I am repeatedly buying skinny jeans because the silhouette is what I feel most put-together in. Particularly when I go out on a fun date with my husband or out for dinner with friends, I tend to reach for my go-to favorite pairs (including both light and dark washes, no side and bold side seams, floral, ikat, and polka dot prints, colored, waxed, and both lightly and heavily distressed…there is not a deficit!)

I am absolutely confident that I know how to wear a skinny jean a million different ways; with all variations of tops and shoes.  This confidence makes getting dressed a breeze and, skinny jeans work for all aspects of my life – playing with kids, working in a business-casual office and going-out for a night on the town. However, I would really like to have different looks that are more trendy yet still within “my style.”

Enter the boyfriend jean – so cute and stylish on others, but can I really do it? If I have plans for an evening out, will I reach for these jeans when I want to feel my best? And, how do I wear a looser jean yet still feel put-together and like myself?  I posed these questions to Jenn and she challenged me with styling my boyfriend jeans several different ways: casual, business and dressy.  Check out my looks below and tell me what you think about this new-to-me silhouette:

Weekend Wear: This is the easiest way for me to wear a boyfriend jean.  The casual nature of the fit lends itself to a relaxed look.  However, be mindful of proportions.  Either wear a more slim top or tuck (as I have below) – you need to define your waist in order to avoid looking generally bigger in this looser fit.

Jeans: Madewell (worn throughout) | Shirt: J.Crew (similar) | Shoes: Sperry Top-Sider | Purse: Marc by Marc Jacobs | Necklaces: Stella & Dot (2013)

Professional Style: The important thing to keep in mind when dressing these jeans up for the office is to pair them with something more conservative and/or dressy.  For example, the dichotomy between the repaired jeans and a classic navy blazer paired with patent flats makes the jeans more business appropriate.  Keep in mind, however, heavily distressed jeans may never see the florescent lights of the office.

Blazer: Madewell | Tee: Madewell | Shoes: Sam Edelman | Purse: Tory Burch | Necklace: J.Crew (similar)

Evening Out: This was, by far, the most difficult look for me to style.  This top would usually beg to be paired with my waxed skinnies but, in an effort to stretch myself, I reached for my boyfriend jeans instead.  Notice how the cinched waist of the tunic gives the outfit a more polished look rather than slouchy.  And, by adding a colorful heel and structured clutch, the outfit is clearly date-night appropriate (in fact, I wore this look out to the theater the very evening these photos were taken!).

Tunic: Anthropologie | Shoes: J.Crew | Clutch: Hobo (2013) | Earrings: Lucia K

Thanks for following along as I try out boyfriend jeans! Please let me (and Jenn) know what you think of my looks.  Or, share your challenges with styling these relaxed jeans.

Jacqueline {and Jenn too}

How To: Purge Your Closet {Wearing What I’ve Got}

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I can be guilty of allowing my closet to lapse into utter chaos.  I keep things for sentimental reasons and, I admit, I am often too lazy to weed through the clothes I am not wearing.  However, allowing clothes you are not wearing (for whatever the reason) to take up space means more time searching for pieces you truly want to be wearing. Actually seeing what you have allows you to choose from the clothes you like and helps you to understand what you don’t have; as a result you become a more targeted and savvy shopper.

In the continued spirit of “Wearing What I’ve Got”, below are 5 tips to help you purge your closet of the clothes you are not wearing and, ultimately, appreciate the clothes you do like to wear.

1) Try everything on.  You wore (fill in the blank) endlessly…5 summers ago.  This doesn’t mean it’s worthy of remaining in your closet – styles change and so do you.  Try clothes on and be critical.  Ask yourself several questions: Would you wear this now – no really, right NOW?  Would I buy this item today? Where and how am I going to wear this?

Only keep things you LOVE.  Listen to your inner voice and trust yourself.  If you need a second opinion, send a picture to a friend or invite one over to help you assess.  And, don’t keep things due to “sunk costs.”  Whether you wore it years ago and loved it then, or you never wore it – whatever the reason – if you’re not reaching for it now, then it’s taking up space and mind share in your wardrobe.

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 Overalls: Aritzia | Sandals: Birkenstock

2) Create 3 piles for the clothes you do not return to your closet:

  •  Alterations: these are clothes in good condition yet they require a small repair or minor fit adjustments.  It’s amazing what a good tailor can do; taking a mediocre piece and making it a truly timeless treasure with the perfect fit.  However, be selective – it may not be worth the expense to alter an inexpensive piece that won’t withstand the test of time.
  • Donations: these clothes should still be in relatively good condition.  Find a charity you would like to support and take your clothes there (Dress for Success or women’s shelters are always great places to contribute).
  • Consignment: selling your clothes is a great way to earn money to purchase new ones! Clothes should be in good condition and current (within the past couple of seasons).  Feeling guilty about purging a sweater you have never worn? Perhaps consider selling on eBay. For designer pieces, seek out a designer-specific consignment boutique, as they will appreciate the value of the item (and you will be compensated more appropriately).

3) Continue to assess. Return things you plan to keep to their hangers, but turn each hanger the opposite direction (as seen below). When you wear an item, then turn the hanger to the correct position.  Give yourself a time frame (for seasonal clothes you need to allow enough time for them to get worn) – I suggest a minimum of 6 months to a maximum of 1 year.  At the end of the given time period, be ruthless.  Simply pull the items you have not worn from your closet…do NOT try on.  These items have not been worn in a year and should no longer be in your closet.

Exceptions to this rule include: formal attire and special occasion clothes (including that interview suit), and sentimental items.  However, these pieces should be stored in the back of your closet or, better yet, placed in a storage box out-of-sight.  You want to keep grandma’s hand knit Christmas sweater but it shouldn’t be taking up valuable real estate.

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4) Display your shoes.  For years I had my shoes in boxes and, while they were safely stored within their cardboard confines, it was impossible for me to see, let alone quickly grab a pair to try (especially those that ultimately ended up at the bottom of the pile). Shelves are great but if that is unavailable, try shoe trees or shelves placed on the floor.  Only shoes such as winter boots and special occasion heels should be stored in inaccessible areas.

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5) Neatly fold and stack clothes that you wear often.  However, be careful of how many things you include in the stack.  If the stack becomes too large, you will never see or reach for the items at the bottom.  Like the hanger trick, try attaching a small sticker to each item in the stack.  Remember to remove the sticker once you put the item on and, after a specific time period, purge those items with the stickers remaining.

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Finally, for those of you (like myself) who have A LOT of stuff – be sure that you also rotate your wardrobe seasonally (in addition to weeding). Each spring, I store my winter sweaters and coats – sending them to the dry cleaners then storing them in cedar-lined storage bags.  I do this same exercise in the fall; reviewing summer garments for wear and then repairing and laundering as needed prior to storing for the winter.  Make sure you always store clean clothes (this will help keep moths at bay in addition to maintaining your clothes).  When you retrieve your stored pieces, it’s like you have a new wardrobe when you pull out your carefully folded items and can easily transition them directly to your closet.

I’m eager to hear if you have any tricks for purging or are faced with challenges I did not address.  Also, tell me if you are “Wearing What You’ve Got” – what are your best practices for keeping your favorite items front and center in your wardrobe?  Please leave a comment to let me know.

Thanks for reading!

 

 

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