Quick-hit ways to update your fall/winter wardrobe for 2014 on the cheap

Quick-hit ways to update your fall/winter wardrobe for 2014 on the cheap

It’s that time of year again. You know, time to start getting your fall and winter wardrobe together. If you’re looking to update your wardrobe and save a few bucks, here’s the skinny on fall and winter fashion 2014 and how to update your wardrobe on the cheap. Y’all know I love a good bargain. And you know there are some rules I just can’t follow. 

So let’s get to this. Here are some quick-hit ways you can update your wardrobe this season without killing your budget (or looking outrageously ridiculous). 

Hot item of the season: Plaid scarf! According to my research, plaid scarves are it this season. I picked two up in different colors at a local shop for $6 each. You can spend more, of course, but why? 

Sad news Pack away the flares. Outside of a few adventurous designers, the runways weren’t giving many nods to jeans that are typically flattering to most female bodies. That means no flares or bootcut jeans. Look for something in a skinny jean, boyfriend jeans, straight leg or tapered. In other words, varying styles of the cigarette pants

Good news: Leggings are in, and they are more comfortable than ever. Wear them with Spanx or pick up some that have shapewear built in. I won’t tell. 

Warm and cozy: Sweaters are back–think full-on argyle and its cousins. For me, there will be no bulky sweaters because they make me look like a small house. Therefore I’ll be donning something a little more figure appropriate (with a nod to the style, of course). 

Menswear is here, get used to it: Blazers, collared button-down shirts, menswear-style shoes. Long and loose is where it’s at, according to most designers, but as a short and curvaceous woman, I’ll be breaking that rule too. Instead of big and boxy, I’ll be wearing tailored-style menswear. It makes me look better–and you gotta do what works best for you, regardless of what “they” say!

Other interesting trends of note:

  • Pointy-toed flats with details–I picked up a $10 pair of flats that have a design made of rhinestones on them and they are fabulous. Spent only $10 because they’ll be out within a month or two, I’m sure. 
  • Long gloves or super short gloves
  • Decorated/bedazzled gloves
  • Fur-trimmed coats are back

What other fashion trends are you into this season? 

Blissful Style Tip: How to Tie a Loop Knot in a Magic Scarf

Blissful Style Tip: How to Tie a Loop Knot in a Magic Scarf

scarfGot a cute new scarf as a Valentine’s day gift from my sister and just had to share something new I learned on the fly. I wanted to wear the scarf tonight but wasn’t sure how to tie it. It’s one of those “magic” scarves or tube scarves. Here’s a pic of me wearing it (right).

I don’t know if you can see how I tied it in the photo (it’s kind of washed out), but it’s done in this loop-knot type style, which looks very simple but also chic in my opinion–and it reduces the bulk of the scarf nicely.

Being petite (I’m 5 feet even, but a lot of people think I’m about 5’4″ or 5’5″, thanks to my habit of wearing “big shoes”–AKA heels!), my frame is easily overwhelmed by “over-sized” accessories and clothing. I have learned that finding the right length and fit can make me look 20 pounds slimmer. No joke!

Anyway, I had always seen people wearing this look and liked it, but never bothered to figure out how to do it. I’m guessing I’m not alone here, so thought I’d share a quick tutorial.

It’s really simple–you fold the scarf in half and put it around your neck. Leave the unlooped side a little longer, then bring that side through the looped side. Then, you just adjust to your preference.

Here’s a diagram I found (for my more visual friends!).

loopknotscarf

What’s your favorite way to tie a scarf? Share your thoughts, ideas and experiences in the comments section, below.

 

Luxury Scarf: An Accessory I Didn’t Know I Couldn’t Live Without

Luxury Scarf: An Accessory I Didn’t Know I Couldn’t Live Without

Scialle Scarf

I am in love with Scialle!

“Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only. Fashion is in the sky, in the street, fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening.” ~Coco Chanel

When I first met Jane Cuddehe, I liked her right away. She was a really cool, sophisticated and stylish lady who also happened to be pretty down-to-earth. What more could you ask for?

And when she told me she was the owner and creative force behind Scialle Fine Shawls, I was impressed–especially by the tales of visiting Italy and having her designs produced in the same factories that high-end designers such as Armani are produced in.

The photos she shared were amazing! (Stay tuned–I have permission to share them with you in an upcoming post!)

But even though I liked her so much and was so impressed by her business accomplishments and sense of style, I wasn’t sure about her line of scarves. While I thought they were absolutely gorgeous, the price point was a little beyond my accessories budget. (I’m a high-low fashionista–I only buy certain “high-end” and designer items. For trendier pieces, I tend to stick to the lower price-point).

Still, given how much I admire Jane’s style, I thought I’d give them a try. After all, a scarf can really be timeless.

So I got two–a red one and a black and white scarf made of a fine wool (this one’s currently on sale!). The red one is no longer available on the site, but it looks just like this large pink Unito scarf, except red. I’m not sure what it’s made of but I’m guessing a fine linen. It’s really light and super soft–and drapes like a dream.

Check out my initial review of the Scialle scarves, right here.

From Jane's most recent trip to Italy

From Jane’s most recent trip to Italy

Now, once I got the scarves, I loved them. They are beautiful and so large that you can wear them in tons of ways (as I outlined in my original review).

But after owning them awhile, I have found that not only are they stylish and easy to wear, but they are functional as well. Since the weather in St. Louis has been particularly arctic this year, I’ve been layering more.

And as someone who is all about looking stylish, no matter the weather, I’m not a big fan of puffy and unflattering winter wear. But with my more stylish coats and jackets, I don’t always feel warm enough.

So lately I’ve been grabbing one of the Scialle shawls, and here’s the thing: even though they are so light and soft and easy to wear, they actually somehow offer a huge amount of warmth–but they don’t make me sweat.

I know it sounds silly to be surprised that a scarf can make me feel so warm, but I was truly shocked. So there you go–one more reason I am in love with Scialle. <3

Good news! You can currently get a variety of Scialle scarves on the cheap! Check out the sale, right here.

 

Blissful Style Tip: How to Tie a Loop Knot in a Magic Scarf

Fashion Blogger Crush: Wendy Nguyen, Wendy’s Lookbook

Voucher codes UK blogger swap shop party“My professional inspiration has no separation from my personal inspiration: it is people who will stop at nothing to make a positive difference to other people’s lives. I am fortunate to come across quite a few of these game-changing people, and the desire to help (and keep up with them!) is what drives me.'” ~Richard Branson

Ok, people. Here it is. As a blogger, I’m a freaking pro. I’ve been professionally blogging (and personally blogging) since 2005–heck, I own a company that can thank blogging for a good majority of business–whether directly or indirectly.

So what I’m saying is, I know blogging (I’ve even been known to blog about blogging, no kidding). But when it comes to fashion blogging, specifically, I’m kind of a newbie. Not going to lie. While I’ve always loved fashion and style, I only recently began to dabble in the fashion blogging world–so be gentle with me, huh?

Anyhoo, in case you wondered, I am the kind of person who, when she’s interested in something, does her research, and who sort of teaches herself the ropes from the inside out. Part of my little self-led fashion-bl0gging study includes following amazing style bloggers with huge followings. Why? Because they’re doing something right–but not because I want to imitate them–I know who I am and I’m totally ok with it. It’s because I am inspired by them.

That’s why I’m starting this new feature–and, bonus for you, it’ll introduce you to some of the most amazing fashion bloggers on the ‘net. I’m calling the series “Fashion Blogger Crush,” but for the record, there are no sexual undertones intended–I just get bloggy crushes on really great bloggers sometimes. Kind of like how a musician might get a musical crush on another artist if they dig their style, for example.

But I digress. Please allow me to introduce my very first FBC.

Fashion Blogger Crush: Wendy Nguyen, Wendy’s Lookbook

“I find inspiration in art, nature, culture, architecture, food, people, and music. And for me, fashion is a compilation of all that. Fashion is a vehicle for me to play with shapes and colors in order to uncover my personal style.” ~Wendy Nguyen

screenshot of wendyI’m starting this series with a blogger who was introduced to me by Jane Cuddehe, the owner and creative mind behind Scialle Fine Shawls. This blogger happens to be Jane’s very favorite–her own fashion crush, as it were.

Naturally, I was curious, and once I caught a glimpse of Wendy’s gorgeous looks (both personal and styled) and her simple but fabulous blog (not to mention her crazy-huge following), I was in love. And her friendly, down-to-earth writing style is just the bow on the already perfect package Wendy’s Lookbook offers.

I wrote about her today over at Examiner.com because I discovered a really useful YouTube video she created called 25 Ways to Wear a Scarf. Here’s an excerpt.

If you love fashion, you’ve probably heard of Wendy Nguyen, the well-known blogger behind Wendy’s Lookbook.

After a lot of brainstorming and story-boarding, Wendy and her beau “Mystery Man” released a new video that could change your whole fashion life–it’s called 25 Ways to Wear a Scarf.

It’s such a classic look that it is nearly timeless.

“The Infinity vs. DIY Infinity
The difference is very subtle – the first fold. The Infinity is folded along the diagonal while the DIY Infinity is folded in half, horizontally. The Infinity starts off as a triangle, whereas the DIY Infinity begins as a rectangle. It seems like a trivial difference, but due to the shape, the Infinity fold works best with square scarves whereas the DIY version can be pulled off on thicker longer scarves. Also, because of the different starting shapes, the way the scarves drape are also slightly different. I wanted to include both in case people had trouble with the Infinity fold on their scarves, but due to the speed of the video, the first step was a bit harder to convey

There are actually a lot of ways in which you can wear scarves and shawls. You need not stick to the usual neckpiece or bandana anymore as with these tricks, your scarf can become your favorite accessory in no time at all.” ~Wendy Nguyen

And check this out–here are a few more fun ways to wear a scarf, courtesy of fashionista and Scialle Fine Shawls owner Jane Cuddehe.

So am I alone in my love for Wendy? Absolutely not. In addition to Jane, Wendy’s got LITERALLY hundreds of thousands of fans.

Hats off to you, Wendy! Keep up the amazing work. We love your style!

Who else loves Wendy? Let me hear it!  And what other fashion bloggers do you love? Maybe I’ll feature one in an upcoming post! Share your thoughts, feelings and experiences in the comments section, below! And don’t forget those blog links.

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Blissful Style Guide: The Right LBD for Your Budget

Blissful Style Guide: The Right LBD for Your Budget

lbdfromkmart“One is never over-dressed or underdressed with a Little Black Dress.” ~Karl Lagerfeld

Listen up, ladies. You need a little black dress in your wardrobe. I don’t care if you’re a factory worker who rarely has occasion to dress up–you never know when you’ll need to attend a special event, go on a date or even just dress up for the holidays or a fancy family get-together.

Did you know?

We are actively building our Blissful Style Guides resource section, so stay tuned for updates.

Click here to view more Blissful Style Guides

Blissful Style Guide: How to Find the Perfect Little Black Dress Within Your Budget

Here are a few tips I’ve learned along the way for finding the right little black dress to fit your budget.

Shop the sales: Since a little black dress is a timeless piece that can be easily dressed up or down for nearly any occasion, there’s nothing wrong with hitting clearance sales, especially through the online venues.

For example, I purchased the dress I’m wearing in the photo to the right at KMART.com from the Sofia Vergara collection and absolutely love it!

And it was on clearance. (Worth mentioning: since I got such a deal, i also picked up the same dress in an alternate, trendier orange color.) For the record, I also love NoMoreRack.com for stuff like this.

Need labels carefully: Listen, as the proud  owner of several “real” designer handbags, most of which were second-hand (and a few hand-me-downs), I totally feel you on the need to have “real” labels.

Sometimes, you need a label–but MOST times, a label is a luxury that may not be necessary.

For example, if you wanted to dress down your look with a shawl or scarf, you could consider one of these options based on your budget.

High-End* Option: Hermes Paris Broderie Hermes Stole

Hermès

Retail Price: $1,025.00

*Awesomely luxurious, but I can’t say I’d ever spend this much on a scarf, even if I was loaded–but I include it for people who can and will choose the higher-end options when they’re available.

 

 

Upper Echelon Option: Jill SanderStole in Cobalt

 

Retail Price: $448

(Current Sale Price: $315)

 

Mid-Range* Option: Faliero Sarti Oblong Scarf

Faliero Sarti Oblong Scarf - Scarves - Barneys.com

Retail Price: $235
*Slightly lower quality but worth the price for a one-season wear.

 

Best Bang for Your Buck*: Scialle Large Unito Royal Blue Scarf

Large UNITO Royal Blue ScarfRetail Price: $185
*NOTE: I consider this one the “best bang for your buck” because the quality matches even the Hermes scarf listed above, but the fact that the company’s not well-known yet means the label can’t drive up the price.
Woman Fashion Lady Cobalt Blue Long Crinkle Soft Chiffon Wrap Scarf Stole Shawl
Retail Price: $4.99
*I found this pretty chiffon wrap on eBay for less than $5 with free shipping. Only concern: quality is lacking.

 

How do you choose the right little black dress for your budget? Share your thoughts and experiences (and your relevant links!) in the comments section, below. 

 

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