Archive of ‘Advice’ category

Keeping Your Hands Stylishly Warm in Cold Weather

gloves collage

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You might wonder what there could possibly be anything to say about this subject. But we would disagree. There are many mysteries involved in finding the right gloves and/or mittens. For example, what size gloves do I wear? How do I know ahead of time if a pair of gloves will keep my hands warm? And what about those of us who live in warm weather? Will we look silly wearing gloves on cool evenings? Yeah, this is a SERIOUS subject.

Let’s start with sizing. Here is a great guide to how to measure your glove or mitten size.

Now let’s discuss the whole concept of mittens. Yes, they are cute and they remind us all of when we were young and our mittens were attached by a long string that went from one sleeve of our winter coat to the other sleeve….but we digress. Basic mittens really have never kept our hands warm unless we carried a handwarmer in each one.

A better option is a fleece-lined mitten. There are also gloves with mitten covers. They are apparently called glomitts/glittens and are great for commuters — Kate loves them because she can easily regulate her temperature from the bus stop to the overheated bus!

Next, how do you know what kind of glove to purchase to keep you warm in your climate? Here’s a great guide to the best hand cover to wear in almost any situation.

Finally, the issue of style. Style is highly subjective, of course, but there are lots of cute gloves available and now, after the holiday rush, is the time to find great bargains. Take a look at the ones we have found.

What is your preferred way to keep your hands warm in winter? Are you on team gloves or mittens?

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New Year’s Style Resolutions – Part 2

On Monday, Jeanne shared her New Year’s fashion and style resolutions; now it’s Kate’s turn.

Kate says: My resolutions this year mostly revolve around streamlining and broadening (at the same time!) my shopping habits.

1. Only buy items I REALLY love. I’m guilty, as many of us are, of buying things because I think I need them in my closet, they are trendy, or I’m too lazy to return them. But this is just a waste of my money (and closet space)! This year I want to focus on listening to my gut on purchases, and not keeping them unless I’m super excited about wearing them.

2. Explore some new stores and websites. While I love my standbys, sometimes I feel like my style is dictated by what J.Crew thinks is in style, instead of what I want to wear. By pushing myself to broaden my shopping horizons, hopefully I will expose myself to new trends and more clothes to get excited about (see #1).

taking risks

3. Take more risks in my outfits. In my post about my favorite outfits of our first year of blogging, my major takeaway was that the outfits I loved the most were the ones that made me a little nervous when I walked out the door that day. I want to push myself to feel that way more, because those are the outfits that make me feel chic and awesome about myself.

4. Shop more consignment and thrift stores. Shopping at consignment and thrift stores gets you out of the same fashion cycle as everyone else — you know that feeling, when you see the same sweater on everyone? And in line with #2 above, I’d love to mix some vintage and unusual pieces into my wardrobe, as well as some more designer items at a lower price. There are some great local stores in my area, but my friend Madeline also shared a review of fun online consignment shop, ThredUp.

Here are some items I have my eye on to add some excitement to my closet:

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How to Travel in Style

Thailand travel style

Kate has been covering for me since the middle of December because I was traveling with my husband in Thailand. I learned and re-learned a lot about fashionable travel on my trip and I want to share what I’ve learned (and give Kate a mini-break from the blog).

I was on a (mostly) warm weather trip so I took summer clothes — cotton ankle pants, t-shirts, camis, long shorts, maxi skirts — my normal summer wear. I took sandals and flats and accessories in the form of scarves and a few necklaces. I applied the same rule I apply to short trips — pick a color or two and center all clothes on these colors. So how did I do?

Meh.  Lessons learned:

1) Pack light, technical fabrics. I had a lot of cotton. Lots of the time I didn’t look chic — I looked wrinkled.

2) REALLY limit your color palette. For me, this means in the future I will basically take black — tech fabrics in hopefully chic shapes — and then sprinkle in white and a few colorful accessories. I saw my future role model in the Bangkok airport — short, short hair, great contemporary eyeglasses and in black. She looked fresh, stylish, and like an experienced traveler.

Thailand travel style

3) Prepare for the unexpected. We hit unseasonably cold weather in the north of Thailand.  I practiced the art of layering but I really wasn’t prepared and I was COLD. Pack that down sweater from Patagonia. You will never regret it.

Thailand travel style

I actually grew to hate my clothes so much that I actually left some items in my Thailand hotel. If I had thought through the perfect travel wardrobe, I don’t think this would have happened.

Here are some great travel staples I wish I’d had with me:

How do you pack for a stylish trip? What are your go-to travel staples?

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Never-Fail Holiday Gifts for Your Fashionista Friends

Well, if you are like us, you are grinding through your holiday shopping. Once you get through the essential family gift-buying, you can finally turn your attention to buying gifts for your friends. This part of the shopping should be easy, right, especially if your friends are fashionistas (hint, hint)? But at this point in the process we’re all pretty brain dead and if we have to find another XL or XS, we will scream!

We have some size-neutral ideas you can use for all the fashionistas and fashionistas-in-training on your holiday list. Check it out these examples — all under $30:

Scarves

gift guide scarves

 

Collection XIIX Knit Scarf $28 / Cheap Monday Plaid Scarf $28Tasha Infinity Scarf $24

Clutches

gift guide clutches

 

Expressions NYC Clutch $26.40 / Big Buddha Carmen $26.99 / Style&Co Lilly Clutch $26.98

Stationery

gift guide cards

“Many Thanks” Cards $10.99 / Girls in Gowns Cards $25 / Kate Spade Dot Cards $24

Earrings

gift guide earrings

Adia Kibur Studs $25 / Ice Cluster Drops $22 / Tiered Drop Earrings $16

Necklaces

gift guide necklaces

 

Stone Bib Necklace $8.80 / Pearl and Metal Bauble $20.94 / Long Tassel Necklace $29.99

Bracelets

gift guide bracelets

 

Adia Kibur Link Bracelet $30 / Fornash Enamel Bangle $25 / Spike & Pearls set $10.80

and of course… gift cards! Our top picks are Anthropologie, Zara and Sephora.

We’d also like to recommend trying out AmazonSmile when you are shopping at Amazon. When you log into your normal account through smile.amazon.com, Amazon will donate 0.5% of your purchase to a charity of your choice. You get to give two gifts at once!

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Thanksgiving Dressing

Hah! You thought we were going to provide you with a tasty turkey stuffing recipe? No, no, no! We are talking about how we are each going to be adorned for Turkey Day. This is not an insignificant matter, since we’ll be eating continuously for a number of hours and our ensembles have to accommodate our enlarged stomachs! So we decided to share with you our criteria for the perfect Thanksgiving outfit.

Kate says: My requirements for a great Thanksgiving outfit are that it be comfortable but also a little bit festive. In our family, Thanksgiving is usually the more casual of the holidays, so I plan to wear my most comfortable stretchy jeans with a cozy flannel shirt and fair isle sweater. My festive elements will come from gold loafers, a glittery belt, and a silly alligator pendant necklace.

Thanksgiving outfit

Loft jeans / Madewell shirt / GAP loafers

GAP belt / Forever 21 sweater / Kohls necklace

Jeanne says: The criteria for my outfit? Comfort, chicness, coziness and cheap. So I chose flowy pants with an elastic waistband, a cute and comfy sweatshirt, and a checked flannel shirt. Add a little bling I already own and there you have it!

Thanksgiving outfit

Forever 21 necklace / Jeffrey Campbell loafers / Old Navy shirt

New York & Company sweatshirt / Mango pants / J.Crew Factory necklace

What are the elements of your perfect Thanksgiving outfit?

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Debate The Trend: Oversized Winter Coats

oversize coats

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You know the kind we mean — cut very full through the body and often with rounded shoulders. They are hot this year after they were first spotted late last winter.They are making their appearance as short jackets and as coats of every length.

Jeanne says: I love this look, although I think it requires other factors to look good. It is better on tall, thin people — let’s face it — and generally looks best when the coat is buttoned. In addition, unless the person wearing the coat is dressed stylishly head to toe, the coat can just looks like it is an ill-fitted hand me down. Pulled off properly, it is an awesome look.

For us ordinary fashionistas, the oversized coat look probably looks better as a three quarter coat or a knee length coat. And wearing oversized coats in unusual colors — a pastel or a saturated bright color — or in large plaids makes this look especially chic. Below you will find a few of my favorites from this season (and, trust me, it is hard to find inexpensive versions of this look!)

oversize coats 2

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Kate says: I actually really love this look too — just on other people. In the same way that I love oversized sweaters, oversized blazers, and oversized tunics on other people. They look so nonchalant and cool. But in reality, oversized styles often make me look (and/or feel) like I am oversized myself.

I agree with Mom — if you want to try this look, I think you need to keep everything else you’re wearing stylish and slim-cut, and maybe try a shorter style or maybe add a belt. This will help make it clear that your coat is the only thing oversized! Here are a few options I like:

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What do you think? Do you like the oversized coat look?

Shop oversized coats:

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The Ongoing Fascination with Overalls

They’re baaack! Overalls are popping up in magazine spreads and street style photos again. They’re in velvet, denim, and other interesting fabrics.

sequin overalls

What is our obsession with these rarely-flattering pants? Certainly, women have been wearing overalls for generations, initially for farm work and then increasingly in factories and other physical labor during World War II. Then came the 70s and overalls became part of the fashionable hippie scene. Since then, they’ve come and gone and now they’re back again — short, full length, even boyfriend-jean length.

We think the reason for their popularity extends from early childhood when all fashionable tots wear overalls — mostly because they stay in place and make diaper changing easier.

baby overalls

We all get used to them during childhood and then we want to re-create their “cuteness” and ease when we are adults. Unfortunately, it rarely works. Why? Because nobody’s figure looks good in overalls; they make the butt look big, they make the curviest of us shapeless, and, let’s face it, they are pretty uncomfortable (try sitting down in a pair)

So, we say, think very hard before you are seduced by the overall trend. Make sure the overalls you are buying are flattering — from the front and the back, when sitting or standing. Do try fabrics that are unusual and stay away from any fabric that reminds you of farming.

Much as we hate to do it, below you’ll find some samples of relatively cute overalls you might want to check out.

overalls

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What do you think about overalls – yay or nay?

Shop more overalls:

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Are Tights a Necessary Evil?

tights collage

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Most of us don’t wear tights or pantyhose during warmer weather these days, but during winter it’s a different story. In most parts of the county, tights are necessary during colder months to keep warm. And opaque and patterned tights have grown in popularity over the years.

But tights can often be uncomfortable — binding waistbands, secret muffin tops, bagging at the ankles and knees, etc. How can we make the long winter months more comfortable and not hate our tights by the time February comes around? It comes down to choosing the right tights. We have some tips for picking tights in the months to come:

1) Pay attention to size: every package shows different sizes.  Make sure you know your measurements and buy the right size. It is wise to err on the larger size if you’re between sizes, so you don’t feel constricted.

2) Control top or no control top: Certainly it is nice to have a smooth line in the hip and thigh areas. But if you are already wearing other shapewear, you don’t need control top tights. Even if you don’t wear shapewear, control top tights may or may not be the way to go — they can often be too tight and not worth the effort. Take a good look at yourself in the mirror with the tights on and off. Is there enough difference to make control tops worth it?

3) If you find a brand or pair of tights that works for you, buy multiples. The history of hosiery has been that we find a brand and style we like and when we return for another pair, we can never find the style we want. So buy up when you find a style and brand you like.

4) Once you find tights you like, shop at discount retailers to save money. Marshalls, TJ Maxx, Nordstrom Rack, and Amazon are great places to get deals on multi-packs.

5) Don’t be afraid to return tights that are uncomfortable or don’t fit. Stand up for your rights: tights are just another item of clothing and a good store will take them back if they don’t fit properly.

6) Every year, replace your opaque black tights, or whatever style you wear the most. Your pairs from the previous years will likely be close to shreds, and you’ll feel more comfortable not worrying about run or holes throughout the day.

7) Work your tights. There are so many fun ways to wear tights: with your leather shorts in winter, in cute patterns like swiss dots or herringbone, or in bright, bright colors for a 60’s look. Look for cute pics of tights on Pinterest and other places and try a new look with cute tights.

Shop tights:

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Tattoos as Fashion Statement

As we’ve been reading through fashion and style blogs, we’ve been pondering the role of tattoos as a component of personal style. We know that body ink is everywhere; in fact, we both have tattoos that that we got together — they are small, mostly covered up, and, of course, chic. But our tattoos aren’t really part of our personal style since they aren’t visible.

We’re really thinking more about those women whose tattoos are visible. We’re thinking about fashionistas like these:

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Jeanne says: I think tattoos are a fashion statement in that they are body adornment just like jewelry and clothes. Those who have tattoos make a deliberate choice to get “inked” in a way that the world can see and usually see their tattoos as an extension of their beliefs, personal experiences, etc. Isn’t this the same role that clothes and accessories play for each of us? We make a decision to get our ears or noses pierced, we choose to be goth or preppy or sporty. To me, it’s all the same. I personally think that small visible tattoos are attractive and can enhance the look of an ankle, finger or inner wrist. Here are a few of my favorites from Pinterest:

Jeanne tattoo

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Kate says: I agree that tattoos are definitely a fashion statement, albeit a permanent one. Tattoos are essentially an accessory that you choose wear forever — hence why deciding to get one is a big decision. You have to live with it for the rest of your life! Visible tattoos especially come to define your appearance to everyone you meet.

I probably like tattoos more that Mom realizes. Especially when a tattoo both represents something meaningful and also is visually appealing. In fact… I am planning to get another tattoo at some point in the near future, and one that is more visible than my first one. Here are some examples that really hit that “beautiful tattoo” mark for me:

kate tattoo

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How do you feel about tattoos as a fashion statement?

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Fall Sale Picks: Bloomingdale’s

There are SO many sales right now, we thought we’d take one “high end” vendor (Bloomingdale’s) in today’s post and one “low end” vendor (Old Navy) later this week and show you our favorite on-sale selections. Girls can dream, right?

It’s actually interesting to see what we’ve each selected since Kate doesn’t shop at Bloomingdale’s and Jeanne doesn’t find much she likes at Old Navy. But for both of us, a Bloomingdale’s sale means buying something we couldn’t or wouldn’t pay for when it was full price.

Kate’s picks:

kate bloomingdales sale picks

Aqua Tribal Zig Zag Dress / Cashmere Ribbed Sleeve Cardigan /

REISS Belle Cutout Skirt / MICHAEL Michael Kors Faux Leather Yoke Dress

Jeanne’s picks:

jeanne bloomingdales sale

Diane Von Furstenberg Nala Coat / Milly Nora Leather Sleeve Pullover /

Cole Haan Reilly Booties / Tory Burch Jess Riding Boots

Any great Bloomie’s sale items we missed?

Two Take on Style

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