Straight Jacket: Why your winter attire doesn’t have to be drab

When thoughts turn toward colder temperatures and you begin leafing through your outerwear and realize what you have is better kept behind closed doors, you might be inclined to find the perfect winter jacket that is a combination of warmth and wonder, fashionable and sleek, yet practical at the same time.

That might be quite a tall order when you consider trying to meld a coat that keeps you warm and doesn’t look as though you’ve put on 20 pounds or too puffy for its own good. leaving you warm, albeit challenged quite a bit from a style perspective.

Braving the elements shouldn’t mean you have to give in as far as fashion goes, and maybe, just maybe, if you can find the right jacket at the right price and with keeping toasty and looking terrific in mind and all in the same breathe, you’d consider that a huge win for your winter wardrobe.

The Puffer Jacket, as its known, is one of those coats that has managed to give women all they could possibly want out of a jacket from every perspective you’d imagine: style, warmth, fashion, etc.

The Puffer Jacket was made with universal appeal in mind, starting with not only the lining but also the fact that it’s made to be worn a bit more fitted and in a bevy of styles and colors that make it look more like a fun, fashionable top rather than a cumbersome coat.

In addition to the Puffer Jacket, you also might want to consider the military style jacket that is also sweeping through the stores and hitting the racks for this season. The coat might be a bit off putting at first, but it’s unique look and feel makes it much more lauded and beloved than you’d think.

And as long as you’re trying to make winter more fashionable, why not also look at other accessories and clothing pieces that can do just that?

Take for instance the ankle boots, a trend pulling away from what normally would be knee high boots for this time of year. The ankle boots are becoming increasingly popular and visible in the winter months, and even the white ones (who still believes that white after Labor Day comment, anyway?) are totally on the table for any winter ensemble.

Just because the weather takes a cold, harsh turn for the worse doesn’t mean your wardrobe has to. You can stay warm and dry, while not losing the smallest of style steps in the process.

Plaid Out: Plaid shirts for Fall are in but do you really care?

When you think plaid shirts, what comes to mind?

Perhaps you harken back to the mid to late 1990s and guys who couldn’t help but wear them all day, every day as a salute to grunge music and its heyday. Maybe plaid is often synonymous with flannel shirts, again for guys, and wanting to layer for the Fall and winter months and that article of clothing to wear over a thermal and under a huge, thick winter jacket.

But the question remains, what about plaid shirt for women?

Surely, you jest, right? Well, not so much and certainly not when you think about fashion for the Fall and would be winter months on the horizon.

Plaid is playing on the first team this Fall with an array of colors and styles that are finding their way into the closets of women around the world. What once was perceived as a patter that was fit for a king, has now started to take shape as the queen of style and fashionable wear this season.

Will anyone seem to care, given that they don’t exactly give off the vibe of being overly welcoming at any point other than inside the house to keep warm?

You’d have to assume that plaid and the flannel movement that is happening will resonate with women on some level, if for no other reason than practicality. You need, however, to be reminded to ditch the stereotype when it comes to plaid and flannel shirts.

What you can’t fall victim to is believing in your heart of hearts that plaid and flannel are big, bulky and disgusting tops that you only wear if the heat is broken at home. Retailers that are renowned such as H&M and Land’s End have carefully crafted plaid designs and flannel shirts with women certainly at the forefront.

These designs are not only flattering patterns but also have a specific, sleeker fit to them if you want something that is warm, cozy but doesn’t look like you’re donning a glorified robe in the process.

Sure, plaid might not be the style for everyone, but that doesn’t mean you can’t welcome it with open arms when the weather is cold and for the upcoming winter months. That isn’t to suggest that you’ll be rocking plaid and flannel for the foreseeable future or every day for that matter, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t deserve a second look and tossing aside those predispositions to put plaid out of sight and mind.

Fashion Weak: How to strengthen wardrobe with minimal effort

When you think about cities that show the world just how amazing fashion can be, what comes to mind?

New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and Paris are all bona fide winners in the field of trendsetting and being host to one runway trot after another as part of anything from Fashion Week to a simple jaunt to showcase what works from one season to another.

But when you watch those fashion shows or take a gander at a runway model on the cover of a magazine or for you internet gurus on any number of fashion web sites or blogs, you can help but feel as though those certain looks or specific wardrobes might just be as unattainable as a modeling contract itself.

The truth is that anyone who understands fashion knows that a few key pieces can turn the mundane wardrobe into one that is coveted and lauded as being lavishly stunning and yet simple in the very same breath.

From the plain white T shirt to the pea coat, you don’t have to be rich or a runway model to have the type of wardrobe that is equal parts versatile and creative, minus the hefty price tag.

And that’s no joke about the plain white T shirt, which is so amazing and yet so plain: you can dress it up or down and never miss a beat. The dressing down part is simple as it can be paired with fashionable sweats or even some jeans, but if you add a navy blue or black blazer (another must have that is affordable), you’ve suddenly created a look that isn’t too casual for a night out.

From tops to bottoms, when was the last time you check your leggings inventory, more specifically if you have two very important types: black and black leather. The former is comfortable and can be disguised as dressy in a pinch, while the latter won’t be confused with workout clothes but yet can be as dressy or downplayed as you want.

As for your footwear, the common denominator is boots, namely two different types. The ankle boots are incredibly stylish at the moment and paired with leggings or jeans is a remarkable, renowned look on the go. The knee high boots also haven’t lost much steam in the women’s fashion marketplace, so don’t be afraid to go leather with the brown pair and suede with the black ones, two staples that piece together any aspiring closet.

Fashion doesn’t have to be about thousands of dollars or a tremendously deep wardrobe. Fashion can start with a few pieces that turn a handful of outfits into dozens as you build on and up from that solid foundation.

Nail Art Form: Why celebrity trends buck traditional fashion thinking

If you’re too young to remember nail piercings, or better known as “nail dangles,” don’t worry, because your favorite celebrities in 2017 have decided that this 1990s fashion trend is worthy of a second look nearly 30 years later.

Women’s fashion has a funny way of changing based on one or a multitude of celebrities making the effort to start bringing back anything from track suits to nail dangles if they so choose to do so.

The nail dangles are starting to gain some serious publicity from none other than The Kardashian’s, namely Kim, who has resumed her role as celebrity debutant and fashion mover and shaker.

Most of what Kim and her sisters wear, from clothing to accessories, seems to make headlines, so ushering in a rebirth for nail piercing hardly seems out of the realm of possibilities for her and the family as a whole.

So Kim has essentially brought back nail piercings into the limelight for an entire new generation of women to see. Well, Kim’s nail piercings, the gold hoops that made the world stop and look, are a little extreme, but you’d like to think that this fashion trend is going to be more popular than ever now that a celebrity has endorsed this look.

And that’s pretty much what happens when a famous woman opts to stop on the proverbial dime and bring back anything from the dead. That product or style is resurrected and reveled in at least for a little while until the next big thing is makes its way back.

As for the nail piercings in general, they’re super chic when they’re toned down from what Kim (who clearly was trying to make a statement).

Piercing the nail itself isn’t all that difficult, but you’d be wise to purchase a nail piercing kit that gives you the proper tools of the trade, rather than try to use the fearless search engine on your phone or laptop in order to figure out exactly what needs to be done and cut costs int he process. The safer bet is to let a kit and subsequent instructions lead the way for you.

The only element of the nail piercing that might go array is its inconvenience and not being super practical but that didn’t stop typist in the 1990s the same way it most likely won’t stop texting in 2017.

Kudos to Kim for flexing her cover girl mojo and making another relic relevant again.

Graphically Aligned: When in doubt, go bold with graphic T’s

Few fashion items stand the test of time, to the point that they seem as though they’ll never even have a down period, much less vanish for years.

Fashion can also be quite cyclical, such as a particular style disappearing for decades before reemerging and christened as relevant again.

The items that have staying power, that have been part of your ensemble and wardrobe forever are quite rare, and when you see them in your closet while you’re whipping from one hanger to the next, you know that you’re always save when you pick this over everything else that may or may not be outdated.

One particular top that women gravitate toward and has been around for quite some time and shows no signs of slowing is the always lauded graphic T shirt. Even as the warmer temperatures begin to be replaced with colder ones, the graphic T is so universal and beloved that you can’t imagine life without it style wise.

Not only is the graphic T shirt part of just about every women’s closet around the world, but it’s picking up some serious steam as part of Fashion Week and is making serious headway on the runway.

Why is the graphic T so important to your closet, however?
Think of it like this. You can wear a graphic T shirt with jeans, but also pair it quite sincerely with capri pants and a black suit jacket for a look that is casual, fun and yet could easily be worn in an office setting on a dress down Friday.

The graphic T works with heels and sneakers, paired with suit or even part of a dress ensemble. The style options are endless, which makes the graphic T so incredibly versatile that you can’t afford not to have a few dozen in your closet.
What appeals to the masses, as well, is that they’re not always priced to the point that you can’t afford them, either. Some can be as much as $100 per shirt, but you’re more likely to settle somewhere in the $40 or $50 range on average. Truthfully, you could probably, if your budget was prohibitive, find a graphic T shirt that is $20 or less.

The graphic T in some ways is forgotten about when you get into talk about fashion and style, because quite frankly it’s a T shirt. That said, the popularity of them can’t be denied on so many different levels of acceptance, whether your Metallica T shirt is under a contemporary jean jacket or paired with jogging pants that simply work.

Hit or Miss: Some trends make sense, while others are head scratchers

The world of women’s fashion clearly resides on opposite ends of the style spectrum when, for example, you look at particular trends and just how embraced and questioned they can be all in the same breath.

When you take a look at certain tops, bottoms and accessories, their appeal is easy to spot. Whether it’s practicality or just a flawless look that is universally lauded and loved, you gravitate toward them without much concern or thought to the contrary.

Then, you have what would at first sight appear to be a highly visible yet odd fashion trend that you can’t help but wonder why it’s popular in the first place.

Take for instance the obsession this Fall with handbags that look like you could fit an entire family in them or a small compact car. While you can’t argue that the handbag as an accessory works wonders for most wardrobes and a complimentary piece, these bags are bountiful and not quite as beautiful as some may assume.

And if that handbag craze isn’t enough to make you scratch your head, what about this love affair with velour, more specifically the track suit. This look might work for a stylish Olympian, but you’d be hard pressed to see this fully loved and wanted by the average woman. It’s a throwback, comfortable of course, but a little too retro for the masses.

Other styles, conversely, are easy to see why women want them to be part of their wardrobe, no questions asked. Think about designer, graphic T shirts, the ones that you’d assume are more tailor made for me. These actually are being scooped up by women more than they have ever been, mostly because what was once old (retro) is new again. Women love the idea of pairing these T shirts with an equally warming blazer and a pair of skinny jeans to take a casual look and turn it into something you’d wear out on a Friday night.

The handbag craze does in fact exist and once you are able to get past (literally in some cases due to size) the larger ones, you have an array of choices that are bona fide winners, small enough to not stand out but large enough to still be useful.

Fashion is wonderfully unique in that it’s all about what’s hot versus what’s not, but the former category sometimes leaves us feeling a little lukewarm about something we’re told to be fashionable, even though we respectfully disagree.

Flash Forward: Why old styles are making serious play for runway

To say that fashion is cyclical would be a spot on comment, in that styles tend to come and then go, and then repeat that cycle every so often.

But rarely in fashion is a style so maligned and so laughable years after it was popular but yet still manages to make a fiery comeback.

That is in the midst of happening with one particular style that somehow has been revived for whatever reason and finds itself making a serious play for the runway.

Remember, the aptly titled and hilarious “mom jeans,” as they were known? You know, these high waisted train wreck pants that didn’t flatter any part of the woman who was wearing them.

From front to back, “mom jeans” were lame denim that, in retrospect, have zero redeemable qualities to them.

Yet somehow, here we are talking about them as being all the rage.

They’re back but this time have a little bit of help along the way, and it’s really up to the fashionable women of the world if they’re truly accept them again with open arms.

That “help” as it is defined is how you pair these high waisted jeans, whether that be with a sleek pair of low cut boots (preferably leather) or an unconventional graphic T shirt or plain T shirt.

Fashion experts agree that these “mom jeans” are best used with a lighter wash.

And as for that graphic T shirt, that top also is not only a perfect match for your newfound love of high waisted jeans but continue to be popular no matter the reason or year, quite frankly.

The graphic T shirt is nothing new, although for men that style has come and gone quickly thanks to overexposing brands like “Affliction,” which became so overly popular with their busy T shirt that those fizzled out to the point that the style is completely gone, almost without a trace.
For women, it’s a little different. The graphic T shirt look is another older style that remains steadfast in its appeal and approach: the slogan’s are more political, social and mean more than they did 20 years ago.

As whimsical as a shirt might have been, slogan wise or with its saying, in the 1990s, that has changed to a more powerful voice on the front of your shirt.

Whether it’s the jeans or the graphic T shirt, what is once outdated, passive and downright silly has transformed into chic, poignant and poised to be in your closet in the near future.

Shoulder Breaker: How to relax and still stay fashionably comfortable

Ask any woman what combination they would choose ten times out of ten when it comes to fashion, and you’ll hear the same response.

They would want to be fashionable and comfortable all in the same breath. That isn’t always quite as easy as it sounds, since being comfortable often is associated with a sloppy look, one that isn’t going to pass out to dinner or in the office even though you might want to try to sneak past your boss wearing black yoga pants straight from the gym to work.

The fact is summertime is even harder of a feat to pull off when you talk about fashionable and comfortability, but the popularity of some of your favorite items has changed in the eyes of both the industry and even those who once scoffed at a track suit or an off the shoulder casual look as being acceptable for just about any moment or any time during the day.

Now, those looks are no longer lamented as being lame or inappropriate but rather lauded for their convenience and casual nature, a combination that has you contemplating rethinking your entire summertime or warm weather clothing.

The off the shoulder look specifically once ruled the fashion roost but has since vanished into obscurity. The late 1980s and 1990s gave us the off the shoulder vibe but both shoulders in this time period were exposed. Today’s off the shoulder look is all about one shoulder being exposed, rather than two.

As for the aforementioned track suit, you have to remember that track suit and exercise are no longer exclusive to one another, as the suit is now starting to creep its way into the mainstream, again giving women the option of having the peace of mind to know they won’t be asked to go home and change clothes because they look too relaxed.

Women’s fashion has embraced both looks, the one off shoulder look and the track suit (velour specifically), and even Juicy Couture has rallied behind the track suit to the point that they’ve announced they’re back, and when that brand talks, most everyone listens.

The idea of being able to rock a track suit or an off the shoulder top and not have to worry about feeling out of place if you’re either casually wearing this attire or need to keep things a little more professional without having to do an impromptu change makes any woman smile knowing that fashion sense and style won’t slip a few rungs even if you choose to feel that much more relaxed with your wardrobe.

Tone Setters: Why some pieces always tie together perfect outfit

For every woman who believes that they need an endless budget, personal trainer, personal assistant or personal shopper to look the part of elegant, effortless and chic when it comes to their style and subsequent wardrobe, you’re missing out on a huge message regarding fashion.

You don’t need any of them to succeed in having the style you want.

What you need is to keep an eye open for a variety of fashion pieces that aren’t going to break the bank or be difficult to find even but rather are anything from accessories to shoes and everything in between that, when worn, make you look fabulous to the point where you don’t really even look like you’re trying all that hard, if at all.

And if there’s one element of fashion we all strive for is to make the average woman look like a million bucks without spending nearly that much.

The great equalizer is that one top, bottom, shoe or product that takes the mundane, the average and makes it look that much better, minus the huge overhead the runway models don’t need to worry about (they just stand, change, walk and repeat, right?).

Let’s start with the bottoms, specifically pants and skirts.

As for the latter, patterns are in and back for good it seems. The bolder the more beautiful and better, and as much as we want to shy away from horizontal stripes, you should incorporate those in every skirt, particularly the fashionable maintain that is the longer version that hugs the hips and ends at the ankles, just before the heel of the shoe.

Pants are aren’t nearly as tricky as you think since jeans are always a must, but please make sure you’re wearing the kind that actually fit. No matter what size or shape you are, the jeans should fit snug (not too tight, though). Nothing is going to bust up a beautiful wardrobe more than jeans that hang off you or look as though they’ve be worn far too often, separate from the rips and tears that typically you’ll see on jeans that are intended to be there.

And as long as you’re talking about jeans and skirts, high heels are always a must since they’re being paired with anything these days. High heels have that ability to transcend all other shoes as being good for the dressed down look but also debut nicely with a dress for a more formal approach to your look.

Striving for a wardrobe that is something you’d see at fashion week is fine, but unrealistic. What needs to happen is finding a few pieces that are perfect tent poles for the closet of your dreams.

Work Worn: How to dress down for office yet still look stunning

Most women assume that dressing casual at the office really doesn’t pertain much to them.

Sure, you have your days when “Casual Friday” means you can wear jeans, but not much else comes of a day like that for women who want to somehow slip Yoga pants or a sweat suit into their office wardrobe without anyone noticing just how comfortable their clothing appears.

In a sense, you’re simply trying to get away with dressing down, yet still looking the part on the days when you’d much rather be in your comfy clothes rather than donning a business suit, dress slacks or anything else from your closet that would be deemed cumbersome to wear.

This dream sequence of sort is just that, as women aren’t really believing the idea that you can somehow wear all the clothes you enjoy on your down time or when you’re off from work to work in place of other garments and clothing that only reminds you just how uncomfortable you are.

Now, if you’re the CEO of a company or have a job that requires that sort of wardrobe, chances are you’re stuck with all the pant suits you can handle.

But some jobs have a little bit of leeway when a power suit can give way to a little less of a dressy look but still with the expectation that you’d look as though you’re coming to work at a respectable office and not simply rolling out of bed.

So how exactly do you pull that one off?

One of the bigger women’s fashion movements is the jump suit, which is a one piece that is the epitome of relaxation but tends to come across as more laid back when it comes to wearing it at the office. Fashion experts will tell you that the jump suit is comfortable, for sure, but it needs a little help in being totally and fully accepted as an alternative to dressier clothes. You can pair the jump suit with a nicer jacket or blazer to throw over it (one that you’ll wear all day or you can take the jump suit and put on a shirt over top of it, such as a button up dress shirt.
Accessories also help when you’re trying to dress down and keep things classy at the workplace, so don’t be afraid to pair that comfortable outfit, jump suit or not, with a pair of high heels and jewelry, for example.

Dressing down doesn’t have to carry with it a negative connotation but rather should be more about centering on your creativity from a fashion sense so that you can have the best of both worlds: an outfit that looks like it belongs at work and peace of mind knowing you can be fashionable without all the fanfare.