A “Short” Story: Top Spring Picks

Okay ladies, shorts season has arrived.  While some women are celebrating its arrival, others downright dread it.  Speaking from first-hand experience, shorts can be very difficult to fit for us vertically-challenged, not-so-long-and-lean-legged ladies.  But don’t get discouraged!  This season is full of shorts in various lengths, cuts and rise options… making it much easier than in years past to find the right fit for you.

Looking for a basic chino short?  I usually point women immediately to J.Crew since their chino shorts not only come in four different length and lots of great colors, but also have a bit of stretch.  Order a few different lengths and keep the one that works best.

One trend I am loving this season is the “easy fit”, pull-on short.  Offered in a variety of fun prints and flowing fabrics, these shorts are usually a bit roomier in the leg, flattering both skinnys and curvys alike.  I’m also loving the belted-waist short trend.  You’ll find these in varying lengths and fabrics.  If they’re pleated, be sure the pleats lie fairly flat at the belly and pair them with a fitted tee or top to avoid too much overall volume.

Here are some of my favorites this spring!  Details with links are below the photo.

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  1. J.Crew Stretch Chino Shorts in Four Lengths
  2. MANGO Floral Print Shorts
  3. J.Crew Point Sur Seaside Short
  4. ZARA Palm Printed Shorts
  5. Madewell High-Rise Denim Shorts
  6. H&M Soft Drawstring Patterned Shorts
  7. H&M Long Floral Patterned Shorts
  8. Alice & Olivia (Bergdorf Goodman) High Waist Sailor Short 
  9. ZARA Retro Print Bermuda Shorts
  10. 1901 (Nordstrom) Pleated Twill Bow Shorts
  11. ZARA Contrasting Velvet Bermuda Shorts

 

Want a few more inches of leg in those shorts?  Pair them with a beige slip-in sandal like this.  Tried all these styles, lengths and tricks and still not thrilled with how you look in shorts?  You’re not alone.  I’ll share a secret, but keep it between you and me. It’s been well over two decades since I’ve worn a pair of shorts.  Perhaps this summer will be different?  Probably not.

Sneakers: The “Go Anywhere” Shoe

Anyone who knows me knows how much I LOVE a great pair of white sneakers.  Historically, I’ve had to spend HOURS trying to find a well-made yet simple pair for both myself and my four little monsters. (My husband was smart enough to save his Stan Smiths from decades ago.)  Last year, however, this all changed.  White sneakers were everywhere I looked.  My happiness could be measured directly in dollars spent on white shoe polish.

Google any street style star and chances are you’ll find several looks that include a great pair of sneakers.  Models everywhere are pairing cool kicks with everything from jeans to dresses.  Sneakers are showing up on red carpets.  Why?  Because the desire for comfort is a REAL thing.

Although white continues to dominate, there are so many awesome “fashion” (non-athletic) sneakers available this spring, and below are just a few of my favorites. Under the sneaker collage are details with links.  I’ve also shown three very different ways to wear sneakers.

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  1. Vans Authentic Palm Print
  2. Nike Blazer Low Sneaker
  3. Frye Ivy Sneaker (at Zappos)
  4. Keds Rifle Paper Anchor Lively Floral
  5. Vince Blair 5 Slip-On Sneaker
  6. Tretorn NYLITEXAB4
  7. Chuck Taylor Shorline
  8. Tory Burch Sport Ruffle Sneaker

 

Below are three different looks that feature the ultra-versatile and reasonably priced Keds ACE Leather, with details below each look.

 

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“TO THE OFFICE” :

Madewell Cali Raw Edge Jeans (at Nordstrom)

 JCREW Parke Blazer in Stretch Linen

JCREW Mercantile Striped Studio T-Shirt

 

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“DRINKS ON THE DECK” :

Madewell Frisco Denim Skirt

H&M Off-the-Shoulder Top

Revolve Circle Bag

 

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“WEEKEND COFFEE” :

GAP Tencel Sleeveless Shift Dress

Warby Parker Ormsby Aqua Sunglasses

Anthropologie Santa Monica Woven Tote

 

No matter what your “look” may be, I will guarantee you that a basic pair of sneaks will have purpose in your wardrobe.  Besides… comfort has never been so stylish.

 

 

 

 

 

 

12 “Must Have” Spring Dresses!

Ahhh, the warm weather is finally here and OH did it come suddenly!  I have a variety of plastic bins open, not knowing if it’s smart to do the FULL wardrobe transition quite yet.  However… the dress bin is now officially open for business!

I LOVE DRESSES.   For three main reasons:

1. Simplicity.  In case it’s not self-explanatory, you’ve got one choice to make.  No top/bottom nonsense.  (The same reason I love jumpsuits, covered in detail in a later post.)

2.  Versatility.  I love how I can take the same midi tank dress, wear it to the playground with my white Vans and oversized denim jacket, change out my jacket for a long linen blazer and caged heels, stack some bracelets and VOILA!  I have transitioned from day to night.  Of course, not ALL dresses are equally versatile.

3.  Breeziness.  We’re not there YET but I’m sure that you, too, dread anything clingy during the hottest of months and just want to wear a lightweight, cotton mumu.  Those months will be here before we know it.

Here are 12 great dress finds, ranging in silhouette, fabric, formality and price point.  Click on small photo below to scroll through the slide show, with details below thumbnails.

 

So… go ahead and DRESS UP!  Or DRESS DOWN!  I surely will be for the next many months.

 

 

 

 

How To Wear a Wide Leg Pant

“I love the wide leg pant look, but can I pull it off?”

In a nutshell, the answer is YES, you CAN.  However, what you choose and how you wear it will make or break the look.  Here are some tips on how to pull off this sometimes tricky spring look.

Drape is key.  You really want to find a cut and fabric combination that falls nicely and just skims the hip and thigh.  Anything too wide, especially in a stiff fabric or with lots of pleating, can easily make YOU wide.  Drape is especially important when wearing cropped pants like culottes, which have flooded the stores this season.  Wear with a nude sandal, mule or wedge to elongate your leg (since crops tend to shorten you).

I do love the “paper bag waist” belted trend but by design, there are usually lots of pleats and extra fabric at the waist.  If you’re not careful, you could look, well… like a brown paper bag.  Choose lightweight, flowing fabrics with minimal pleating for the most slimming look.

And then there’s MY favorite way to wear wide legs, and what I feel is the most slimming.  Think Rachel Zoe and Victoria Beckham (and it even works for us ladies who actually have some meat on our bones). Choose a long, flowing leg and pleat-free, high waist.  Throw on a super high wedge and hem the pant so that it just skims the floor to create additional height.  And don’t forget to pair a wide leg pant with a more fitted tee or tank to offset the volume on the bottom.

Here are some of my favorites this season.  Click on an image for slideshow and details, with labeled links below.

 

And the best part?  They are the closest thing to staying in your pj’s all day.

10 Fresh Flats for Spring

Can you believe, it’s snowing AGAIN here in Upstate NY?  I haven’t put away my winter boots, so I SURELY can’t even approach the subject of sandals, or anything that will expose my toes anytime soon. Fortunately, this season is full of fun, functional flats that will help us transition smoothly to the sandal weather.

First, there are the OH-SO-CUTE mules that have made a killer comeback.  I am especially drawn to the sleek, clean lines of the pointy loafer-like designs.  The pale pink ones below are my personal favorites of this collage.  Next… espadrilles.  YES, those same ones that you wore in high school are back!  High ones, low ones, with and without backs…  they’re cool, comfortable, and feature a variety of charming summertime motifs that will look ADORBS with everything denim.  Last and definitely not least… the pointy-toe flat.  I’ve always been a fan (mostly for the SOLE reason that they elongate your leg more than a rounded-toe ballet flat).  As you can see, I love me a bold, preppy stripe (on anything, really) and this loafer’s versatility can bring you from day to night seamlessly (with some bejeweled or sparkly versions actually making their way to more formal affairs).

Here are some of my favorite flats this spring!  Links below the collage.

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  1.  Boden “Lottie” Flats
  2. SARTO by Franco Sarto “Palmer” Mule
  3. Fischer by Marc Fischer “Apala” Pointy Flat 
  4. Soludos Lemon Platform Smoking Slippers Espadrille –  SHOP LOCAL! at Caroline and Main
  5. Boden “Abbie” Loafer 
  6. Sam Edelman “Jill” Loafer
  7. Kate Spade “Maddie-Bee” Canvas Flats
  8. Tory Burch “Rosalind” Ballet Flat
  9. Patricia Green (Nordstrom) Lobster and Crab Espadrille
  10. Steve Madden “Feather” Flat

Whether they’re super-cool mules, whimsical espadrilles or sweetly-detailed loafers, you’ll surely find something for your lifestyle.  So even if it’s not yet practical, throw on a pair of these cuties but be sure to hop over those still-slushy puddles.  That is, if you want them to last until the REAL spring arrives.

Nine Pretty Spring Tops Under $50

I find myself making more purchases during the spring months than any other time of year.  My wallet hibernates for winter since I’m rarely removing my go-to sweaters and heavy wool coat.  But as soon as those spring looks hit the magazines, blogs and stores, I have  the MAJOR itch to shop.  I’m aching to replace all those heavy layers (even if it’s not practical yet in upstate NY) with some pretty, feminine details and signature spring prints and colors .  Think ruffles, pintucking, flowers, lace, nautical stripes, and other delicate “extras” that foreshadow the May flowers.

I often purchase my tops in the trendy, less expensive stores, but I always look for details that give the top a higher-quality look.  Something as simple as a covered button can transform your piece from shabby to chic.  Here are nine pretty tops, under $50, that can help you bring a little spring into your closet without breaking the bank.  Click on the thumbnail to enlarge the top and scroll through the slideshow, with link and details below.

Socialite (Nordstrom) Ruffle Seersucker Crop Top

Forever 21 Off-the-Shoulder Striped Top

H&M Off White High Neck Ruffled Blouse

GAP Sleeveless Victorian Blouse in Rosehip Swiss Dot

Zara Die-Cut Embroidered Blouse

Vero Modo (Bloomingdales) Floral Kimono Top

JCrew Striped Boatneck Long-Sleeved Tee

Express Notch Neck Button Blouse in Sage Mist

Target Blue Flutter Sleeve Top

Okay, now that we’ve done our part beginning the transition to spring, maybe Mother Nature can do her part?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Trench Coat: 7 Picks, 3 Ways to Wear

The trench coat.  Versions of this wardrobe staple have likely been around since the late 1800’s, but the coat got its name when WWI British officers in the trenches replaced their existing bulky raincoats with these lighter weight, more breathable designs.  Burberry designed its first soon-to-be “trench coat” in the early 1900’s, but didn’t begin to line them with the iconic Burberry check until the 1920’s.

As with Burberry’s designs, the classic trench hasn’t changed all that much in the last century.  It continues to be a closet essential of women, men, actors, street style stars… why?  Because of its combination of light weight, classic look and versatility. The first collage below shows my favorite picks this season, with the classic Burberry Sandringham front and center.  I’ve included both traditional and contemporary designs at a variety of price points and functionalities.  I’ve also included three very different ways to wear a trench, giving you a visual of just how versatile this wardrobe staple really is.

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  1. Badgley Mischka (at Nordstrom) Faux Leather Trim Long Trench
  2. Mackage Estela Asymmetric Belted Trench Coat
  3. London Fog (Macy’s) Hooded Double Breasted Belted Trench
  4. Burberry London “Sandringham” Long Trench
  5. MANGO Linen Trench
  6. Missguided (ASOS) Camo Belted Coat
  7. Banana Republic Water Resistant Modern Trench

 

You can throw a classic trench over just about anything and look instantly cool (and you don’t have to wait for the rain).  Below, I’ve created three very different looks, built from basic pieces you may already have in your closet.

 

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  1.  Burberry London “Sandringham” Long Trench Coat in Stone
  2. JCrew High-Rise Cameron Pant in Four-Season Stretch
  3. AJMorgan (ASOS) Round Oversized Sunglasses
  4. GAP Long Sleeve Striped Boatneck Tee
  5. Mark & Graham Monogrammed Daily East/West Tote
  6. French Sole “Certain” Ballet Flat

 

E0FA0D72-C3BA-4B83-99EB-A41D5ADF03CCLAZY SUNDAY BRUNCH

  1.  Same Burberry Trench as above : Sandringham in Stone
  2. Coach Saddle 23 Crossbody Bag
  3. GAP Super High Rise True Skinny Jeans in Dark Indigo
  4. Women’s Core Classic Yankee Cap by LadyFanatics
  5. H&M Denim Shirt
  6. Keds (shoes.com) Triple Kick Sneakers 

 

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  1.  Same Burberry Trench as above : Sandringham in Stone
  2. Banana Republic Skinny Stay Black Ankle Jean
  3. Rebecca Minkoff Chevron Quilted Small Love Crossbody Bag
  4. Square Frame Sunglasses by Quay X Design (Topshop)
  5. BP (Nordstrom) Slub Knit Black Tee
  6. Jimmy Choo Romy 100 Black Classic Pump

 

The result?  A super easy, instant transition to street style star.