5 Things You Need to Have in Your Closet

As we draw close to the end of the year, I’m thinking about how this is the perfect time to take a look in your closet and see what pieces are in there that need to stay and what pieces need to go after another year of sitting around on the hanger.

To help, I’ve put together a list of five things that you definitely need in your closet (though, of course, there are many other items that may make your own list of staples!).

5 Things You Need to Have in Your Closet

 

1) Black pants: A well-tailored pair of black pants can’t be beat for their versatility. They pair nicely with everything from dress shirts to sweaters in a countless array of hues. This is a splurge item. Find a nice pair that are well-made and put in the effort to have them tailored if you need it for the best fit.

2) White shirt: As classic as those black pants and as versatile, you should have at least one white dress shirt that will pair easily with slacks, a skirt or a nice pair of jeans. A white shirt doesn’t have to be plain, though. Look for cute details, such as embroidering or cutouts, to make this a statement shirt.

3) Dress jacket: Go for a structured jacket with some unique style to take your look beyond the basic suit jacket. Look for a variety of materials, from velvet to leather, with details that let it become the stand-out accessory with whatever you’re wearing. Neutral colors are still a good choice for this jacket so that it can pair with multiple items in your closet.

4) Day dress: For something quick and simple that looks great each time, look no further than a simple shift dress that may be the easiest thing to throw on — no matching required.

5) Cocktail dress: For those dressier occasions, something in simple black (or navy, even!) gives you a dress that you can use as a base, adding accessories and jewelry to determine how dressed up or down you want to be.

I’m not going into accessories and shoes because that’s where you’ll bring in a lot of your personal style. Instead, these are a few fundamental staples that make a definite difference in your closet and that you’ll reach for time and again.

I’d love to hear about the must-haves in your own closet! Happy holidays to all of you!

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In the Navy: Stand out in navy blue this winter

In the Navy: Add Some Color This Winter

 

One color that is in this winter is navy blue. Whether you call it “reflecting pond” or seek out some other shade, this deep, dark blue is a great color for the cold weeks of December. It has the elegance of a basic black, but with a hint of color to make it more memorable. And there are so many ways to add a bit of navy blue to your look, whether accessorizing with shoes, jewelry or even nail polish (check out OPI’s Russian Navy in a deep indigo that shimmers!) or going all out with a Navy blue trench coat and hat.

I love the look of this Emilio de la Morena velvet and jacquard mini skater dress. Couldn’t you see this standing out at a New Year’s Eve party?

The one trick with navy blue is that different shades can be tricky to match. That’s why it may be easiest to go with a single accessory in the color or a main piece, such as a dress or a coat, and then complement it with neutral colors or another color that pops, such as orange.

Then again, if you find a matching glove and hat set or a purse in the shade that matches your shoes just right, go for it! After all, as I’ve mentioned before, making matches with your attire can having a stunning effect if done with just the right style.

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Jamberry Nails: Style Without the Salon

By now, many of you have probably heard of Jamberry Nails, but I recently got a chance to try the heat-applied nail wraps for the first time.

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Here’s a picture of the finished look!

The idea behind these, if you haven’t used them before, is you peel off one of the vinyl adhesives, heat it (you can buy a little heater from them or just use a hairdryer), apply, heat again, and then trim and file off the excess. They are a bit tricky to size correctly if you have longer nail beds, but I loved the look once they were on.

I think these would be great in a pinch or if you wanted to add a fun accent nail without a trip to the salon. This time of year, Jamberry not only has dressier designs like this one, but also has holiday-themed designs for a bit of fun. They last about two weeks (longer on toenails).

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I would certainly recommend them!

I got to try Jamberry for the first time thanks to Leslie Yager, a Dallas gal who sells them and sent me a half-sheet to try. (Leslie’s also on Instagram @instajamnails).

Leslie’s providing a matching half-sheet for one of you to try out as well. Just put a comment on the blog post, and I’ll draw a name at random at the end of this week and get the winner’s address. Leslie will send you your half-sheet!

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Standout Holiday Fashion

This holiday season always comes with plenty of opportunities to pull out all the stops and dress up for occasions that range from office parties to family get-togethers to social events and outings. You may even be able to sneak in a date night or two at your favorite restaurant.

While you can always play it safe with a little black dress, some pumps and a simple clutch, there’s no reason you have to this year. Instead, hop on some of the trends and go with either a dress or accessories that stand out in a crowd. Here are a few.

 

Standout Holiday Fashion

 

The graphic prints that are in this year keep dresses interesting — even when done in neutral grays and blacks, such as this dress from Halston.

Want to add a touch of color to your look while staying conservative with your dress? Add a jewel-tone accent with a wrap shawl, such as this red cashmere one, or a velvet belt, such as this blue corset belt from Anthropologie.

Speaking of jewels, abstract and geometric designs are big in jewelry, from the distinctive Vita Fede cones on this ring to the swirls on the Lia Sophia earrings.

Clutches offer another way to have a bit of fun with your attire, and Kate Spade is always fun. Check out these two happy holiday clutches.

As for shoes, you can’t go wrong with a bit of heel this season, whether in silver stilettos from Marskinryyppy or a simple black suede pump.

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Making Thanksgiving Beautiful (A Few Beauty Tips!)

As I mentioned last week, Thanksgiving is an in-between holiday when you’re looking at what to wear (not too casual nor too fancy). The same rule applies to your makeup. You may be having dinner with family members who have known you your entire life or just sitting down for the first time at your in-laws’ dinner table.

Here are a few things to make your makeup simple yet sophisticated.

Moisturize

That dewy look of bare faces was all over the runway again this year, and it’s something that translates easily to a day of relaxation with those you love. Boost your look by hydrating and maybe putting on some eye cream the night before to reduce any puffiness that may come from travel or just running around to get everything done for the holiday.

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Try Beauty Bioscience’s Ultimate Moisturizing Cream for a skin boost.

Go light on lips

Thanksgiving is a holiday built around eating, so this is a good time to go for lipgloss or nude shades that don’t make it obvious when they leave your lips. Lipgloss also makes it extremely easy to reapply as you go through the day.

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Try MAC’s PlushGlass (shown above in Fulfilled).

If you want to add a bit more color, make the most of it by gently exfoliating and moisturizing your lips the night before, then layer powder, lipliner, lipstick, more powder and a final coat of lipstick.

Go easy on eyes

Sure, grab the mascara and liner and add a touch of color to your eyes, but keep it more natural. This isn’t New Year’s Eve, after all. An earthy shade can give you enough definition on your eyes without overpowering. A cream eyeshadow should last you all day.

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Try INGLOT’s Freedom System Eye Shadow for something that goes on smooth and lasts forever (shown above in AMC Shine).

With these three things in mind, you’re set for the day. I wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving!

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5 Easy Dresses for Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is an in-between holiday for clothing. You’re sitting down to a meal with family, but that doesn’t mean you want to wear your coziest sweater and baggiest jeans. You’d like to dress up a bit, but still keep it comfortable and casual. That’s where a simple yet stylish dress can be your best bet. Here are some great dresses that bring in some of this year’s best trends at the same time.

 

5 Easy Dresses for Thanksgiving

 

Whether it’s a new spin on the sweater dress, black-and-white with a distinctive ruffle, a colorful brocade or print or something more structured and belted, there are a variety of stand-out styles at various price points. Whatever you’re wearing, I hope you have a happy Thanksgiving!

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Rainy Day Essentials

The old nursery rhyme might have spoken of spring showers, but this time of year can be just as troublesome. Some of us have seen more rain than we’d like to this year, while others in drought-stricken parts of the country are hoping for more. Either way, when it rains on your parade, here are a few necessities I like to keep in mind.

 

Rainy Day Essentials

 

Jacket: The versatile rain jacket, preferably with a hood

Boots: Who said the red rubber boots of childhood rainstorms need to stay part of your past? Add a splash of color as you plow through the puddles on those particularly wet days.

Umbrella: Matching umbrella to boots is optional, but very cute!

Scarf: I love the way a scarf can act as both fashion accessory and style necessity when drizzle can destroy a hairstyle. But avoid silk or wool. Instead go for cotton or polyester — something that will dry easily.

Waterproof mascara: If you go for the barely-there look of makeup this season, mascara can help to bring out eyes with minimal effort. Just make sure you grab the waterproof stuff when it’s wet out (this goes for eyeliner, too)!

Hair serum: If the frizz needs to be tamed, reach for a serum that will help to smooth the strands together.

Zippered tote: Keep all your rainy day necessities together in one place so you can quickly grab-and-go when the weather takes an unexpected turn.

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Get the trend: Makeup for fall and winter

We’ve talked about fall hair and fashion trends, but what about fall makeup?

After noting some of the looks and trends from NYFW, I wanted to give you an idea of what was hot for fall moving into winter this year — and how to get it fast and fabulous.

Red

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Red lipstick, that beauty staple, is back in a big way. No matter your preference, there is a red for you, from dark brick to almost purple to nearly coral. How to choose what works best?

A quick cheat-sheet from Glamour magazine suggests:

  • Coral-reds for fair skin;
  • Red to a pink cranberry for medium skin;
  • Deep burgundies to brick for dark skin.

Black

Beautiful model applying eyeliner closeup on eye

Black liner, plain and simple, makes eyes stand out. Liner can simply do just that, line the lids of your eyes, but feel free to go with a cat eye or something edgier.

Some tips on making the most of your eyeliner?

Keep it light on the bottom lid (too heavy and you make your eye look smaller); and either use a waterproof liner or set it in place with a dusting of eye shadow.

Smokey

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The smokey eye is another look that seems to stick around for the colder seasons, and can be done in whatever shade you’re loving at the moment.

This easy tutorial from Makeup Geek shows how quickly you can create a smokey eye that will draw attention.

Flushed

That look you get when you’ve just stepped inside from the brisk outdoors? That’s what you’re going for.

This is not the time for bronzer, but rather peach and rose tones. Apply to the apples of your cheeks, where you would naturally see the skin flush.

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Fall trend: Patterned, textured tights

Last week, I covered skirts of varying lengths for fall, so this week I’m sharing with you the must-have accessory for skirts of any length — tights!

Tights are a staple every fall, but this year the look goes beyond basic opaque tights. This year’s top tights trend is patterns and texture to add a bit of oomph to your look.

 

Fall trend: Patterned, textured tights

 

As you can see here, patterns and texture don’t have to mean bulky or gaudy.

You could go with something somewhat sheer with a delicate pattern, such as in Rebecca Minkoff‘s fall show (1). Charlotte Ronson brought in cable knit tights that add to the look without adding bulk (2).

And patterns don’t have to stick to black and gray. Take inspiration from Tommy Hilfiger and add a bit of ribbed color (3).

Check out some other ways to add some detail to your fall attire with some of these other tights I found for inspiration!

(4) Wolford pantyhose tight
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(5) Hue
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(8) Hue textured stocking
barenecessities.com
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Go long or short for fall skirts, but get the right fit!

This fall, the fashion for skirts is pulled in two directions. I’m seeing short skirts right alongside long straight skirts and those with flounce hems (though a cute flounce hem adds a soft, fun detail to skirts of any length).

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All runway photos courtesy of New York Fashion Week

While the trend may be headed both ways when it comes to hem length, the most important thing is that you find a length that works best on you.

So today I thought I would share a few tips on finding the skirt length you like the most — and leave the choice of plaid or plain, flounce or straight up to you!

  •  Get a good fit through your stomach and hips: My first tip has nothing to do with the length, but it can make a real difference in how a skirt looks on you. A skirt that is too small can pull in all the wrong places, and a skirt that is too large will swallow you up and make you look frumpy. Make sure you have the fit right first!
  • When in doubt, aim for the knees: A knee-length is going to be your best bet, no matter how long or short your legs. It’s also a good length to keep your look conservative without looking severe, so it’s the most common length to wear for work. Of course, knee-length can hit right at the knee, above the knee or below, and the decision of which of those works best for you may depend on how much you like the look of your knees.

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Vivienne Tam‘s fall/winter 2015 features a variety of skirts that hit right at, above or below the knee, often paired with kneesocks.

  • The miniskirt: Believe it or not, this length works for both shorter and longer legs, since so much of the miniskirt is legs. The question for you, then, is whether the super-short length is appropriate for the occasion. Then you can suit style to body shape. Need to add curves? Go for pleats and flared skirts that nip in at the waist. Or, to minimize hips and thighs, go for an A-line.

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While Rebecca Minkoff featured a variety of skirt lengths in her 2015 fall/winter collection, the bohemian feel met with miniskirts, tights and boots on several models.

  • The midiskirt: This can be a great look, but the length can be tricky. Don’t go for the one that hits right in the middle of your calf, which tends to be the widest spot. Go for something a bit higher or lower for a more flattering look. Go for heels to make the most of the length.
  • Go long: If the midiskirt is too tricky (and it can be pretty tricky), go for something that sweeps all the way to your ankles for a dramatic, flattering effect. As with the midi, heels are the footwear of choice to lengthen the look.

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BCBGMaxAzria also featured quite a few knee-length skirts in the 2015 fall/winter collection, but these stunning looks went for longer skirts with boots.

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