The top must have pieces you should have in your wardrobe

It’s now a new year, and what a better time than to re-evaluate your wardrobe! I’ve come up with a list of key style pieces every man and woman should have in their closet. If you don’t have these things in your closet now, consider buying them in 2015. And of course, you can always ask me for help finding anything on my list!

Lets start off with the top must haves for men, because we can all admit men don’t typically  like to shop and when they do they usually want practical clothes and accessories!

  • A good suit and a nice white dress shirt-this is top of the list! Every man needs a nice suit, invest in one… it’s worth it! Buy a classic 2 button style. A suit in charcoal will match anything and is a great neutral color and you will need a crisp white shirt to go with it.
  • A black and brown dress belt-you can’t wear a suit or slacks with a dress shirt without a good belt… enough said.
  • A pair of black dress shoes-try finding a pair that you can wear with a suit and jeans so they will be more versatile.
  • A good dress coat-this may not be a must for the south but it is for any man above the Mason-Dixon Line!
  • A nice pair of jeans-every man should have casual weekend jeans as well as a pair you can wear for date night. A dark wash always looks more dressy.
  • A handsome watch-this doesn’t have to be a Rolex or TAG. Choose any watch that is sleek and stylish.
  • Khaki pants-you probably already know, but khaki matches everything and can dress up any outfit.
  • A cashmere sweater-you will get miles and miles of use from a nice neutral color cashmere sweater. If cashmere is out of your budget a cotton/cashmere blend is just as good!

Here are the must have essentials for women.

  • A black dress- the LBD has been a staple item for years but if you want the most miles from your dress buy one that is about and inch to inch 1/2 above the knee and in a classic not too trendy style.
  • A black blazer-A tailored blazer is classic, feminine and looks great on all body types. Pair it with anything: jeans, little dresses, trousers, skirts. Make sure to find one that fits you well and accentuates your waist—you don’t want it to look like it’s swallowing you!
  • A statement necklace-having one (or two) of these can really change your outfit from just ok to WOW! Look for one in a neutral or with many colors to match anything.
  • A pair of red heels or flats-red will give your outfit a pop of color and can be worn with browns, black, blues, white or cream and greens…. almost anything!
  • Black knee-high boots and tights-Either flat or with a heel you will wear these for years! Tights paired with a light weight dress will allow you to wear it in the colder seasons.
  • Classic trench coat-invest in a nice one because you will wear it forever. Either black or tan… your preference. Look for an A-line style that will cinch your waist in.
  • Dark wash  jeans-I would suggest a boot or baby boot leg because it is the most flattering style on everyone. A dark wash can be worn casually as well as dressy.
  • A black pair of heels-they don’t have to be sky high but a heel is needed with a nice dress, a suit or even for a date. This is an investment piece since you want it to be comfortable and last many years.
  • Accessory in leopard print-whether it’s a scarf, clutch, belt or shoes a bit of leopard brings interest to your outfit.
  • A wrap dress- why? Because Diane Von Furstenberg says so! But seriously, a wrap dress is flattering on any body type and they are comfortable and easy to wear!

I hope my list has helped to give you direction on what items are essential for a well rounded wardrobe!

  

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How to easily tie a scarf

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What Season Are You?

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Not sure which colors are the best for your hair and skin tone?

Here are some tips on how to know which season you are-Winter, Spring, Summer or Fall-as well as which colors you should be wearing.

  • Winter: If you are a winter, your skin color might be pale, olive, or dark; skin undertones are typically blue or rosy pink. Hair and eye color often contrast the skin. Black, dark, or white blonde hair are typical winter hair colors.

Winters look great in deep, rich colors such as black, deep blue, crimson, and dark pink. Icy pastels like silver, sky blue, light sunny yellow, and pink can also look wonderful. Bright white is another good color for many winters since this stark neutral works well with hair and eye color contrast.

  • Spring: If you are a spring, skin undertones are often gold-yellow. Skin coloring is typically in cream or peach shades, with hair color ranging from auburn shades to golden and strawberry blondes. Springs often have freckles and lighter eye color.

Springs look best in soft, rich colors. Warm colors such as peach, golden yellow, copper, coral, and brown shades with warm tones are good choices. Bright aqua, green, and royal blue can also look stunning. Rather than bright white, springs can opt for a rich, creamy ivory as a wardrobe staple.

  • Autumn: If you are an autumn, your undertones are typically golden, with skin coloring in shades like peach, beige, and golden brown. Red, red-brown, dark blonde, and rich brown or brown-black hair shades are common for this season. Autumns also tend to have darker eye colors.

Autumns look wonderful in rich neutrals, earth-toned, and spicy colors. Consider olive, forest or mossy greens, orange shades, grays, dark browns, burgundy, purples, and camel and rich beige colors.

  • Summer: If you are a summer, skin undertones might be pale blue or pale pink. Skin might be pale or pink-toned. Light eyes and blonde or light to medium brunette hair are common for summers.

Summers look excellent in soft shades and muted colors with cool undertones (or light colored neutrals). Some of the best colors for summers include dusty or rose pink, pale yellow, lavender or pale mauve, and powder blue. A soft white can work for summers.

If you have trouble determining your season, follow this simple guide: look at your veins, and if they appear more green, you should opt for colors in warmer shades; if they appear more blue, go for cooler clothing colors.

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The top trends for this fall!

Michael Kors Fall 2014

Michael Kors Fall 2014

 

Fall is my favorite season! I love changing leaves, pumpkins and of course boots. This season there is a lot to love about fashion and here are my top picks for Men and Women’s trends for Fall 2014.

Lets look at Women’s top Fall Trends:

Swinging 60’s

Fashion designers must have fallen in love with Mad Men this season because there are a lot of mini skirts, over-the-knee boots and shift dresses. This is a fun and flirty look!

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Chunky Knits

This seasons sweaters are more chunky and intricate and they aren’t just for the upper half! Knit pants and skirts are a great substitute for leggings. But, I always caution my clients that chunky knits can add weight so be careful. I suggest choosing a sweater with more interest and not as much fabric and pair it with a short skirt or leggings. A chunky cardigan is also a better choice and put a lightweight silk top underneath.

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Astrakhan Fur and fun fur:

Fur is back…. but please don’t literally go hunting for it! This year its about Astrakhan which is made from sheep and is characterized by its tiny swirling pattern. Colorful fur is also a trend and can be worn as an accessory such as a purse accent.

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Robe Coats:

This trend is comfy and effortlessly elegant! Plus the tie waist is super flattering!

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Western Inspiration:

This trend is easy for my Texas girls… but this season it’s all about the western style hat! Add sneaker for an updated modern look!

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 All over sparkle:

The sparkle this season is subtle but from head to toe. Take advantage of this look for the holidays!

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TOP FABRIC AND PRINT:

This season you will see a lot of plaid and leopard…. everywhere! The other hot trend is accents of leather.

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 SHOE TRENDS:

Funky sneaker and over the knee boots are the big shoe trend.

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Men’s Top Fall Trends

Double-breasted blazers:

These can be hard to pull off and if the cut is too baggy, they can look like the fade-worthy fad from the ’80s. Make sure you get them fitted well around the waist.

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Patterned jackets:

From plaid to monochrome, expect to see a lot of different printed jackets this year. Pair a patterned jacket with solid-colored shorts or pants. If you’re style-savvy, throw a contrasting print in the mix with a button-down shirt.

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Bomber jacket:

Perhaps the biggest trend for men at New York Fashion Week this year was bomber jackets. Whether they’re in leather, wool or are colour-blocked, these jackets go with everything. Make sure the sleeves don’t hang past your upper wrist and the coat has a slim silhouette to keep it from looking too bulky.

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Color-blocked shirts:

Whether horizontal, vertical or diagonal, colour-blocked patterns are a casual and preppy look this year. Treat these like your classic black t-shirt and wear them with your favourite pants, shorts or jeans.

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A guide for the best fitting jeans for men!

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It’s that time of year again… jean season! Shopping for jeans use to be easy but these days there are so many choices for men (thank god!). Before you go shopping to upgrade your jean game here are some tips on what is available, what to look for in a great pair of jeans and how they should fit.

First, let look at the choices in fit:

Slim Fit: Slim. Not skinny. Anything skinny and you’re in jeggings territory. Instead, slim-fit jeans should slightly hug the thighs, knees, and calves while loosening up around your ankles. If you like the slim fit but you want a bit more room try Banana Republics Vintage Straight Leg. It is a compromise between the straight and the classic fit.

H&M Slim jeans $29.99

H&M Slim jeans $29.99

Banana Republic Vintage Straight $89

Banana Republic Vintage Straight $89

Straight Fit: A little more forgiving than the slim fit, the straight-leg fit is cut more or less the same all the way down, meaning the jeans feel close in the thighs but looser in the knees and calves. To help ease that closeness in the thighs, look for denim with a touch of stretch. I especially like Joe’s Jeans because they are a softer, lighter weight denim.

Joe's Jeans-Nordstrom $172

Joe’s Jeans-Nordstrom $172

Classic Fit: This fit is what I call the every man’s jean. Cut loose throughout, these jeans are for guys who want their thighs to breathe. Only hitch: A loose fit below the knee can result in some flare (or, worst case, a bell-bottom effect). Opt for a length with about an inch-and-a-half break (which will minimize the bunching of any extra cloth), and if that doesn’t do the trick, feel free to roll up the cuffs a bit. There is always the classic straight fit which will give you more room in the legs but it wont have the extra fabric.

Levi's 501 Classic Straight $98

Levi’s 501 Classic Straight $98

Relax Fit: The roomiest of all the options, blessed with a fuller leg and seat. This does not mean they should be hanging off your hips as if you were in the mid-1990s rap game. For them to look their best, the jeans should sit snugly at or just below your natural waist, found right above your hips. This fit might also work best if you have muscular thighs and need the extra leg room.

Banana Republic Relaxed $89

Banana Republic Relaxed $89

Lucky 481 Relaxed Straight-$99

Lucky 481 Relaxed Straight-$99

Your second option is wash (it’s how your jeans are rinsed, bleached, or treated during production).

To give you a good comparison I’ve chosen Lucky Brand jeans for my images

Classic Wash: If you’re a fan of medium-blue jeans, you’re a fan of classic wash. Most denim begins life as an inky blue, and it’s then rinsed with cold water, bleach, or some other lightening agent. A classic wash is best reserved for more casual jeans worn with more casual sportswear.

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 Vintage Wash: t can take years to really, truly break in a new pair of jeans, at which point you’re probably one long stride away from a tear in the crotch. Hence the vintage wash: This predistressed look usually entails some minimal rinsing (so the cloth fades a little but not too much) as well as light sanding at the seams, knees, and thighs.

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Dark Rinse: One step shy of raw, or dry, denim, a dark rinse ensures the same look as untreated but with a much softer hand and some variegated shading (usually in the thighs and the knees). This dark, inky blue works just as well with a blazer as it does with a windbreaker. 

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The Details of denim can be just as important!

The Pocket:  A back pocket adorned with just a hint of branding looks cleaner and less fussy.

The Closure: A button fly is just too many buttons! I suggestion the simple but efficient clean zipper.

The Stitching: You’ve got two options: blue-thread stitching indistinguishable from the color of the jeans, rendering the seams nearly invisible, or the classic contrasting golden yellow seen here.

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Finally, where do you buy great jeans?

Here are my suggestions for a good selection of denim: Nordstrom or Nordstrom Rack (you can almost always find Joes Jeans, Lucky and 7 for all Mankind at The Rack!). Lucky Brand, Banana Republic and Levi’s.

If you live in Austin check out Stag on South Congress. Or if you are looking for a custom made, perfect fit jean try Traveller Denim Co.!

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What you can and can’t wear after Labor Day

One of the most common fashion rules is no white after Labor Day, but this doesn’t necessarily apply to our modern world. White has become just as trendy in the fall and winter as leather has for summer! Its mostly a style preference. Still, there are a few things to consider when choosing your attire after Labor Day. Here is a quick list of things you should retire to the back of your closet until next spring.

1. Eyelets (especially in white!)

Eyelet is very light weight and it screams summer! If you like that look try mesh instead for fall and winter

Mesh Top by Michael Kors

2. White patent shoes

Personally I am not a fan of ANY white shoes after Labor Day but the new trend this season is white booties! So, it is your preference if you want to wear white shoes but you should put away your white patent. I like to choose a nude shoe instead.

Steve Madden at Zappos.com

Steve Madden at Zappos.com

3. Light Linen

This rule applies to both men and women. Linen is similar to eyelet because it is a light and breezy fabric. Try chambray during early fall for the same look.

Theory

Theory

JCrew

JCrew

4. Seersucker

Another quintessentially summer fabric, seersucker should be reserved for beach weekends, barbecues, and boat trips. Try a thin stripe shirt instead for fall.

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5. Floral or pastel shorts

Floral and most pastel will look odd with fall colors or booties. Try a denim or dark color shorts that will look great with ankle boots, tights and a light sweater.

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*Right now is the best time to get transitional clothing. You’ll find early fall in the stores with lighter weight materials but in dark fall colors. Sweaters and heavier pieces will be arriving the first part of October so get to the stores soon!*

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Tips and tricks on how to care for your wardrobe

 

While working with my clients there are always questions that come up about how to fix and care for their wardrobe, so I thought it would be helpful to put together some tip and tricks on wardrobe quick fixes and maintenance.

Knits:

Always follow the label instructions on care and dry them very carefully. I suggest always laying them flat to dry and never wring it! Avoiding hangers is best as well since they will only misshapen your piece.

Over time many sweaters start to pill even if you dry clean or hand wash them. This happened because of contact with jewelry or even just your body constantly brushing against it. There are two good ways to get rid of pills

1. Everhart Fabric Shaver for $7.99 at The Container Store: Click Here

FabricShaver300

2. If you don’t have the shaver a plain Bic razor will work. Use very gentle strokes!

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Bright Colors:

Treat your bright colors like you would your dark. They will fade just as easily and should be washed in cold water with a detergent that prevents fading and bleeding. I especially like Woolite and it now comes in different formulas: Everyday, Darks, Delicates and new Zero (good for the environment and you!). Click here to see all their products!

Have a stain on a bright color? Do NOT rub out the stain, chances are the color will fade. Either take it to a dry cleaners or use a blotting motion.

Denim:

I always have clients ask me what to do if they loose a button. The best fix I’ve found in made by Singer. There is no sewing required and its inexpensive.

Singer Jean Buttons Kit $5.37 plus shipping: Amazon.com

Denim should also be washed in cold water because it doesn’t hold dye very well. Wash only when they really need it and tumble dry them low. Sometimes washing them inside out can also help. When you store them, fold them seam to seam and place in a drawer or shelf. Hanging them over a hanger can leave a permanent crease.

Suede:

I like to think of suede as the impractical fabric! Its beautiful but you are limited on when you can wear it! Don’t wear suede in the rain or snow! Clean with a suede brush (sold at most drugstores) after each wear so that dirt doesn’t settle into the fabric. If you don’t have a brush I’ve used a soft toothbrush. Brush against the grain to “fluff” the fabric and dislodge dirt.

For most leather and suede shoes I always spray them with a protector. DSW has a few great sealants that will prevent damage and keep your shoes looking new for longer!

Silk:

Silk is very delicate so always store it away from other garments with details like Velcro, metal or sequins. I never try to remove a stain from silk… it’s just a gamble! Take it to a dry cleaners because they will know what’s best. Never wash silk. This may seem obvious but sometimes its easy to forget all the garment made from silk, like ties! If you have a water stain, use water to remove it… yes, water! Turn the garment inside out and blot the back of the water stain. Use a iron on its lowest setting and gently press it dry. However, this trick won’t work on a silk tie. All men’s ties should be dry cleaned if there is a stain.

Some other quick tips:

  • Invest in a jewelry box or watch box. It will keep your jewelry clean and less damaged. If you need to clean them, be sure you know what metal it is made from! Also, buy cleaners that are made specifically for that metal (ie. Silver cleaner for just silver) I like the cleaners from Bed, Bath & Beyond
  • Keep your bags and purses looking new by storing them in the dust bags they came with or stuff it while storing it. I like to hang my slouchy bags and cross-body purses so that they keep their shape better and it helps save space.
  • Do you always get deodorant on your black shirts or dresses? There are two quick solutions:
    • Baby wipes will take it off
    • Try Miss Oops, sold at Target for $9.99. Works wonders!
  • Use cedar in your closet to avoid moths, especially in closets you don’t use often such as a basement or attic closet. You can find cedar hang up at Bed, Bath and Beyond for $7.99 a 4-pack

If you have a questions on how to care for something you own please let me know!

 

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