I've never been shy about my expressing my love for The Blazer as a closet staple ;). To me, blazers are the perfect make-it-come-together piece, forever adding intensity and confidence to any look. Consequently, it should come as know surprise that I firmly feel every girl needs a election of them in her wardrobe...and chic, classic black is the obvious place to start. Like a certain potato chip, you really can't have just one. It simply won't do, darlings :). Where to start? Why, with #1A: The Iconic Suiting Blazer, of course! This is a piece in finely woven wool or cotton, or a blend with a high percentage of one of those fabrics. Choose a stance that suits your figure - higher if an empire-style waist looks best on you, lower if a classic waistline is your preference. This is also a place to think about buttons. A three-button blazer will pull you together and be more structured. It's a wonderful, classy look for a curvier figure, a demure look for a straighter one. A single button is a bit softer and creates an elongated line. A two-button piece is a balance between flow and structure and often, but not always, denotes a closely-fitted silhouette as the buttons pull the fabric close to the body over the entire torso. Consider interesting details, such as satin lapels or leather trim, but -since this is a list of basics- don't go for anything too daring or trendy. This is an investment piece, something you'll have for many seasons (even decades!), so you'll want something that is perpetually stylish. Look for lined blazers, as this indicates a higher quality piece. If you have difficulty finding blazers that fit properly, buy one that fits your shoulders; the rest of the piece can be altered by a good tailor (definitely someone who should be on every girl's list of bff's!). For those of us who live in climes that experience chilly seasons, there's a #1B: The Iconic Suiting Blazer, One Size Up. Really. Ever tried to fit your bulkier, but toasty warm, winter sweaters under your fabulous fits-perfectly-in-summer blazer and felt that frightening tightening at the shoulders? The sudden realization that if you go out like and this and drop anything, you're going to be ordering lilies for said blazer? Yep. Been there. Go one size up and try it all again. Muuuuuch comfier, right? Oui. So, now you have an excuse to buy another pretty blazer. Oh darn. Bet it makes all you tropical birds wish you lived in the icy hills, eh? :) Next on your hit list is #2: The Semi-Casual (Maybe Suiting) Blazer. This can be a suiting piece, or not. Think about a zip-front piece, a banded collar or collarless style, a smoking jacket/drapier/less structured piece or an open design. Consider the material in reference to the design - smoothness or sheen will elevate, nubbly texture or knit will be more relaxed. What you're searching for is that sweet spot of semi-casual: polished enough to be professional or somewhat formal with the right accessories, but not quite as refined as the iconic suit jacket. This is the option you'll choose to tone down a sequin-frosted sweater or elevate a denim workshirt. It's enough, but not too much. Lastly, your most casual of blazer choices: #3: The Informal/Tough. This is the piece that stands in for a leather jacket. It can be black denim, a military piece, a band jacket. It has a bit of edge and attitude - biker styling, lots of hardware. A currently trendy option is the bomber. Caution: this is not an athletic jacket. Resist the stretchy warm-up wear ;). This piece still has shape (possibly cropped) and structure - those are what let it carry the outfit. This piece is for un-girly-ing your tulle skirts, topping your broken-in band tees, giving the rocker vibe to your metallic tanks and giving a careless twist to your LBDs. And that's it - that's all a girl really needs to cover pretty much every occasion in life. ..Unless she wants to add more *devilish grin*...like colors and statement pieces. But that's another post. 'Til then, happy shopping, loves!
It periodically comes home to me just how much power accessories have in fashion. Even though they are the supporting colors on the canvas of an outfit, they can not only make or break a look, but shift its very nature. The classic example, of course, is the little black dress. The statement made by the piece is generally defined almost solely by its augmentation. However, the theory holds true for other looks, as well. Both denim and lace have been having significant moments in fashion right now and pairing them at some point is almost inescapable. The vibe of their concatenation can be influenced completely by the accessories chosen. Flared jeans, a denim blazer and a lace tee provide a polished, yet casual backdrop on which to experiment and they can appear either fashion-blogger-esque femme or free-spirited, depending on how they are accented. Flower-accented pumps, touches of rose-gold, delicate earrings and an understated bag in a soft pastel shade all bring a quiet grace to the look. In this case, the accessories draw on and intensify the ladylike artistry of the lace. The more workmanlike feel of the denim creates the contrast that tempers the sweetness of all the femininity. On the flip side, the same denim-on-denim with lace combination shifts its focus to the American West with a simple swap of accessories. Tasseled suede ankle boots in warm tan, along with a leather wrap bracelet, fringed necklace and bead-accented backpack bring out the rootsy, desert vibe by playing up the dusty, bootstrap quality of the denim. The lace acts as an additional texture, a frilly softness against nubby woven cotton and velvety suede.
This wonderful ability to adapt a look makes accessories both fascinating and incredibly practical. They're fun to collect and easy to experiment with: seriously, wouldn't you rather buy an envelope-pushing, daring, risky statement ring or bangle than a jacket with the same attributes? When purchased with care and attention, accessories tend to much gentler on the wallet than buying say, a whole collection of boho clothing and then a whole set of feminine pieces. Allowing basics and main pieces to shift between genres and metamorphosize, while also being style-budget-friendly is a definite win-win ...and powerful magic, indeed! ;)
After a bit of a lengthy hiatus, one of my favorite bloggers is BACK! And I'm so excited to be able to yabber to you about her site. As you probably know, I have a passionate relationship with shoes. Many shoes. All kinds and varieties of fabulous shoes. Ashley, who created ShoeRazzi, is either my kin or my spirit animal in that respect. Her blog is entirely devoted to SHOES. :) So, basically: happiness in a website. She ID's shoes celebs are wearing (and you can search by celeb to focus on your faves), reviews collections (literally scroll through dreamy descriptions and picks of hundreds of crave-worthy shoes) and - my very favorite feature!- creates "Shoes She Should Have Worn" posts, where she picks new finishers for celebs whose choices leave us hungering for just a bit more. It's a fantastic place to see where shoe style is headed (and therefore fashion in general, as well), to get a sense of what the stars are loving lately or to just indulge yourself in salivating over quantities of glorious pieces of footwear. If you have even the slightest spark of interest in shoe game, ShoeRazzi needs to be on your periodic hit list! Cheers :)
Brie (Hi!) More re: me under About. I'm the moving spirit behind this little life-meets-fashion fairy tale world, the home of my non-wrestling-related style musings and loves.