Five Tips to Layer Like a Pro

layering-items

What the temperature drops, or the weather is unpredictable, layering is essential to ensure you are warm or cool enough. Layering is also a great way to get the most use out of your wardrobe and create new and versatile styles. The five pieces above are foolproof for layering as you can wearing them over and under eachother however way you’d like to create new and different styles.  See my five handy tips below to help you layer like a pro:

  1. Always layer thin to thick to cut down on excess bulk. Sometimes a bulky turtleneck sweater is too much to wear under a thinner blazer. Always start with your thinnest layer, like a tissue tee, and build on from there. I would also caution against too many thick layers at once, as a heavy sweater + bulky vest may look unflattering.
  2. Mix up patterns and textures with skill. Pattern mixing can be simple as long as the patterns are two different sizes. For example – a smaller pattern mixed with another intricate pattern will look busy. Try a subtle stripe with a larger buffalo check for example. Texture is also a great way to add dimension to any outfit. A quilted vest, cable knit sweater, tweed jacket, etc. are just a few examples of pieces that will give depth to your look.screen-shot-2017-01-11-at-11-49-36-am
  3. When layering a sweater over a button down shirt, I like to unbutton the bottom button to help the shirt relax more and open up at the bottom. It’s just a simple trick I’ve always done to make the layers show a bit better. (Left photo is with the bottom button still buttoned, right photo is it unbuttoned). zqwholpp
  4. Cheat the layers – there are many items available to help show more layers with less bulk. For example – I own several button down shirts that are sleeves and use them to layer nicely under sweaters and jackets. These shirts can also be worn alone in the summer tucked into some shorts. A way to cheat layering with boots is to buy boot cuffs whether they are knit or these cozy fur ones.nmtubak_mu
  5. Choose to layer on the top or bottom. We’ve all seen the girl who goes layer crazy – tights with socks with boots and then a ton of layers on top too. This look is challenging to pull off and can look a little overboard. Choose to put all your layers on the top or the bottom, or if you choose to layer with both then keep it simple. You want your look to be aesthetically pleasing, not have people confused or having to take a moment to “figure out” what’s going on.

So there are my five tips for layering. Don’t let the last tip scare you from trying new layering combinations, just use your judgement not to wear all the layers at once. 🙂

 

 

FacebookPinterestTumblrTwitterGoogle+Share

Winter Style Inspiration

Post holiday style can be tough to find inspiration when my wardrobe isn’t 90% all things red/plaid/gold. As we truly have a few months left of winter, especially for those of us in the north, I like to nail down different types of preppy style that I like to draw from to mix things up. Check out my summer and fall versions as well.

cabin-fever

Cabin Fever

Think log cabin up north for a weekend escape kind of style, but you can work it into your daily wardrobe as well. This is the type of clothing that gets me excited for cooler weather – heavy sweaters, warm socks, bean boots, etc. It makes you appreciate the snow because it fits into your outfit’s asthetic. 😉

Origins: “Upstate” Midwest, Upper New England

Key Pieces: Flannels, Camp Socks, Duck Boots, Wool Sweaters, Knit Beanies, Buffalo Plaid Anything, Sherling-Lined Items

Brands: KJP / LL Bean / Woolrich / Great Lakes Clothing Co.

 

collegiate

Collegiate

Most preppy styles started with the Ivy League looks of the 1950’s and haven’t strayed too far since. These looks are textbook classic and make you look both polished and playful. It can be both put-together and laid back, but for winter I appreciate the more dressy aspect of the collegiate look. Think pairing collared shirts under dresses with tights and keep the rest of the details simple.

Origins: Ivy League Schools

Key Pieces: Blazers, Watches, College Sweaters, Elbow Patches, Loafers, Oxford Cloth Button Down, Tailored Dresses

Brands: Ralph Lauren / Brooks Brothers / Tommy Hilfiger / Weyhill & Wharf

 

apres-ski

Apres Ski

An “off duty” more causal look made for outdoor activities but can also be worn outside of the slopes when running errands. I love to adopt this look in the dead of winter when I’m dressing for mainly warmth with a little style on the side. Thinks “boots with the fur” and the warmest layers possible.

Origins: Ski Culture / Mountain Towns

Key Pieces: Down Jacket, Ski Sweater, Sorel Boots, Vests, Fleeces

Brands: Patagonia / Eddie Bauer / Sorel / North Face

 

winter-coastal

Winter Coastal

This look is fresh, as it incorporates summer neutrals into winter textures. Heavier knits take over, but the colors stay the same – shades of ivory, blues, and other deeper toned neutrals. Simple details pull it together, like brass buttons on a navy peacoat or a plaid scarf over stripes.

Origins: East Coast

Key Pieces: Fisherman Sweater, Double Breasted Peacoats, Stripes, Bean Boots, Nautical inspired details – like an anchor sweater

Brands: J Crew Vineyard Vines /  KJP / Sperry

 

Which style do you draw from the most for your winter wardrobe?

Fair Isle Game

img_4585

Fair isle is knitting technique named after a tiny island north of Scotland. Its traditional look is perfect for long winters to give your sweater a little extra style. Fair Isle has been around since the mid 1800’s and isn’t going anywhere any time soon. They’re a great look to invest in now and wear for years to come.

penultimatefullsizerender

fullsizerender

I own multiple fair isle sweaters because they make for great layering. I like to wear a button down shirt underneath and sometimes layer a vest over. The pattern adds interest to any outfit but also looks great on its own.

fair-isle

Top Row: first / second / third

Bottom Row: fourth / fifth / sixth

 

I’ve rounded up my favorite fair isle sweaters from this season. The first two are my favorites and I’m shocked to say they’re from… Abercrombie & Fitch (at $34 currently). I was never into Abercrombie, even in high school, but I know they’ve done some rebranding recently and I think their fair isle sweaters are both classic and traditional. I don’t see myself shopping there regularly anytime soon, but I’ll give credit where credit is due and keep an open mind!

 

 

What to Wear to a Christmas Party

If you have several holiday parties to attend this season it can be tough coming up with the perfect outfit. Below are four different party scenarios and how to dress for them.

casual

Casual: This may be a more informal gathering –  perhaps time with family decorating gingerbread houses or a last minute movie night thrown by a friend. A fool proof outfit is always a sweater dressed up slightly with great accessories. The center outfit may be a little more dressy, so i’d dress it down with a cardigan in this instance.

 

skirt

In-Between part one: Most parties fall into this category where it’s not quite formal or casual. I think skirts are a great way to go because you can put many elements into the outfit – for example pairing a plaid skirt with a textured sweater and a gorgeous necklace is a lovely holiday look. The three looks above are both appropriate for the season and visually interesting.

 

pants

In-Between part two: Another holiday look is a pair of tailored pants with heels. I love how all three looks had one element that made it stand out, like a faux fur collar, tartan pants, and a stripe shirt. These looks are a little more on the professional side and would be perfect for a work party.

 

dress

Fancy: In my opinion, this is the easiest look to put together since you’re simply pairing a dress with shoes and a few accessories (vs top, bottom, layers, etc.). I love three looks above because they are all holiday colors and also have fun details to them – bows on the sleeves, ruffle skirt, etc. A more formal dress is perfect for the fancier occasions on your holiday party schedule.

My final thoughts – when in doubt, I think the pants/heels/blouse combo is the most foolproof. You can get away with wearing that style from casual to fancy, especially if you plan ahead and bring accessories to dress up or down your outfit. For example, I’d come to a party wearing the combo above and if I was in a more casual situation I’d add a sweater, if I were in a fancier situation, I’d add lipstick and bigger earrings. Just a thought if you have a tricky situation where you don’t know how to dress!

As always, I think it’s better to be dressed up than down. You’ll just bring the standard up for next year’s party. 😉

 

Laurel Wreath Decor

img_3947

large laurel wreath c/o

As we start to decorate for Christmas, I wanted to share a favorite item that’s perfect for both the holiday season and year round. I’ve always been drawn to laurel wreaths – they’re elegant, timeless, and have a very classic feel to them. While searching for one for my home, I came across the Style Box Shop and fell in love! Not only do they have laurel wreath decor, but they come in gold! I’m definitely eyeing the green version for the spring/summer.

This wreath is exactly how I imagined it would be. It is very well made and looked just as lovely in real life as it photographs! I’m so impressed with the wreath that the only trouble I’ve run into is where I’ll put it. There are so many places in my home it looks good at!

img_3985For now it’s hung above the mantle to compliment the other gold decor and take my Christmas decorations up a notch on the classy scale.

Check out the Etsy page to see the other colors and sizes, and also the instagram to see how others styled the wreath!

 

 

L.L. Bean Holiday Gift Guide

Part of the product featured in the post was provided by L.L.Bean.

ll-beanAs the Christmas season quickly approaches, you may have loved ones ask you what you’d like for Christmas. I think it’s smart to have some ideas in mind because it helps the giver in the ability to give you something you will love. Although it’s not outwardly rude to say “I don’t know”, it makes it so much easier for the generous person who’s asking for ideas.

There are four main staples from L.L. Bean that I own and love that I recommend you put on your Christmas list (or give to others) because they are both stylish and functional. All four of these have quality guarantees that will ensure they will last for years to come.

img_83521. Bean Boots (thinsulate 8″ tall women’s pair shown above)

I can’t say enough great things about these boots! They are the original “duck boot” and are made for all weather. You’ll find yourself reaching for these over and over again, and they are made to last. My husband also has a pair and a few years ago the stitching started coming out.  L.L. Bean replaced them in full without any questions! The quality guarantee and customer service alone gives me confidence as a buyer that this is a product I’ll have in my life for a long time.

If you have these on your Christmas list, get them NOW. They get back-ordered quickly and it would be unlikely to get them by Christmas at that point. I wear the thinsulate version (a tad warmer), but the originals are great too and you can add warm insoles to them later. Remember to size down a whole size!

coat2. Ultralight 850 Down Jacket (c/o – long version, short version)

This coat is unbelievable. I live in the north, and our winters can be pretty harsh. I’ve always operated under the assumption that all warm coats have to be giant puffer versions in order to keep me comfortable, but this is simply untrue. This coat is both thin and incredibly warm – something I did not know was possible! I cannot stress enough how surprised and impressed I am with the quality and construction of this item. I 100% recommend putting it on your Christmas list if you’re looking for something you’ll want to throw on daily to keep you warm without being overly puffy.

The best part of this jacket is that it can be stuffed into a “stowaway pocket” in the inside of the coat to become smaller for storage. If you vacation to warmer places in the winter, this would be ideal to wear this coat and then stuff it into it’s own pocket to take up barely any space in your luggage.

sweater3. Fisherman’s Sweater (classic version shown above in beige)

This classic design is Made in Ireland with a nod to the heritage of fisherman. It has a heavier weight to it, which is exactly why it will quickly become a favorite in your closet for years to come. I have owned this sweater for a few years and it still looks brand new. The collar of this design is my favorite detail since it sits a little taller than most sweaters giving a little extra warmth. For fitting purposes – size one size up if you like to layer.

flannel4. Scotch Plaid Flannel (slightly fitted with Prince Charles Edward pattern above)

You can find flannels at many places, but none come close to L.L. Bean’s version. With a wide variety of options, this flannel is the softest version you’ll buy and will still look new after you’ve washed it a hundred times. Like many L.L. Bean products, this flannel comes with a lifetime guarantee. In my opinion, their flannels are not much more money than ones you’d find elsewhere, so I’d rather spend a little bit extra because I’ll save money over time with not having to replace it. Again, get one soon because many patterns sell out fast!

michigan-storeThis past summer Michigan finally got it’s first L.L. Bean store! Located at Partridge Creek Mall in Clinton Township, it’s worth going in to check it out. If you are unfamiliar with L.L. Bean sizing, this is a great way to see the product in real life and try it on. I can guarantee that you will be impressed with their quality and selection.

in-store-gifts

As a fan of L.L. Bean, my personal favorite part of the store is the many things you can’t buy online because they’re in-store items only. They have many smaller items that would be great for stocking stuffers!

What items do you have on your Christmas wish list?

Camilyn Beth Navy Dress

img_8170

When it comes to investing in formal wear, I like to buy a dress that I can wear for many years that meets a simple criteria. Can this dress be worn more than one season throughout the year? Can it be worn to more than one type of occasion? Can I dress it up and down?

This navy Go Go dress by Camilyn Beth checks all these boxes that I require for the perfect outfit!

img_8159img_8158img_8176img_8162Dress c/o Camilyn Beth  /  Clutch – Talbots (last year) / Shoes – Talbots (last year) / Earrings – c/o Demosille Pearls

I like to dress fun yet classic, without being too trendy. The navy keeps the dress in the classic territory, where the ruffle collar and gold button details keep it from being boring. This dress has a lot of staying power to serve you well for years to come.

I’ve worn Camilyn Beth dresses before so I’m familiar with the quality, but it truly stands out from the pack when it comes to the construction and design. Even opening the package you can immediately tell how nice of a product it is ( & made in the USA). The dress is a heavier material, the gold buttons on the back are heavy duty snaps, and the collar stands up nicely. It may seem unimportant, but the attention to detail is what makes you fall in love with the dress and keep wearing it year after year.

I’ll be wearing this dress to the next wedding I attend! I also think they would make great bridesmaid dresses, especially since this design comes in tons of colors. Check out Camilyn Beth to see what other great styles they offer.

1 2 3 4 5 28