the unmentionables – DEFinitely worth a mention!

Source

When’s the last time you tried a different kind of underwear? Say what? Give me my cotton briefs and call it good, right? Nope.

the right underwear for your outfit is your best friend

Choosing the right underwear can transform what a garment looks like on your body. It can be the difference between something fitting – fabulously – and not.

And I’m not talking about shapewear, ladies. I’ll address that later.

As I tell my clients about clothing, “It’s not about the size number on the tag, it’s about proper fit.” The number doesn’t matter – they are arbitrary and not standardized in the industry. This goes for panties too!

the bottom line, or rather, NOT

Sorry, couldn’t resist the pun! Panty lines wreck what could be a gorgeous fit. Here’s some really good news – much of the time, it’s the cut of the panties that cause the lines! Wearing the right cut panty for the garment they are paired with makes all the difference in the world.

For any kind of panty, fit is important too. If the waistband or leg seams cut into your body, this can cause panty lines or bulges. If the elastic is particularly elastic it can contribute to the dreaded panty line as well. And if they are too small OR too large, panties can ride up, which is not only uncomfortable, but also can cause lines or bunches.

Panties should lie smoothly across your body. You don’t want them to cut into your body or to be gaping too much. Like jeans, finding the correct rise for your body can transform the fit of panties.

boy shorts

No-Show Boyshort Panty

Source

I love boy shorts with pants, jeans, and even some leggings. The lower-cut leg opening typically has no elastic and lies across the upper thigh rather than diagonally across the cheek like briefs, eliminating panty lines. They fit differently than briefs and can take a little getting used to, but it’s worth it!

hi-rise

hi-cut brief.jpeg

Source

Hi-rise panties are just that – the top of the panty is very high on the hips just below the waist and the leg holes are high-cut as well. I often wear them with dresses and skirts, especially very fitted or thin-fabric ones, to give smooth coverage across the hips, stomach, and backside. Which leads me to seamless underwear.

seamless

Source

For dresses in particular or for more fitted pants, I wear seamless underwear, which is typically made of a micro-fiber fabric (I choose ones with a cotton crotch panel). Hi-rise, or very low rise both work well for me – if they are more mid-rise, they hit my hips in the wrong place and make bulges – not what I’m going for!

Take the time, and possibly some trial and error, to find the proper fit and rise for you to ensure they lie smoothly across your body. If they cut into your body, even seamless will show. A good fitting seamless panty with the correct rise for you won’t show under even a body-con (figure hugging) dress or clingy fabric.

Take the time, and possibly some trial and error, to find the proper fit and rise for you to ensure they lie smoothly across your body.

go commando with hosiery

If I wear hosiery with a dress or skirt, I go commando. Hosiery has a cotton panel built in – they are made to be worn alone, and frankly, they are much more comfortable without panties underneath! This also provides a really smooth foundation for under dresses. I pull the waistband of the hosiery up high to just beneath the bust for a smooth waistline.

color

The Short CAFE AU LAIT

Source

If wearing white or a light color, choose nude-to-you undies instead of white. White shows through white pants and jeans just as badly as a bright color does. Light gray and lavender also work with my skin tone under light and white fabrics, but this will vary according to your skin tone.

thongs

Some people swear by thongs. I hate them. They are so uncomfortable to me that I can’t focus on anything else when I try to wear one. And if you are really trying to eliminate panty lines, thongs are not always the way to do it. They will show through some fabrics just a much as a brief would. Seamless is your best bet. If you like thongs, more power – albeit less fabric – to you!

shapewear

I am also not a fan of shapewear. It has its place for a formal gown, special event, or a particularly fitted garment, but it should not be used for daily wear. Firstly, it’s not good for your circulation to wear shapewear regularly – for real. And secondly, it’s not good to be uncomfortable in your clothing on a regular basis. That does not contribute to your overall wellbeing. Take it from Tina Fey.

Proper fit for clothing is finding the right cuts and fit (remember, the size numbers mean nothing!) for your body without having to wear shapewear to make it happen. The right underwear can do wonders in assisting that proper fit.

 

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

Advertisements

ayos: a year of style, a year of success, a year of spectacular

 

ndwc_Roberta's A Year of Style video

meet roberta

I’m so excited to share this with you! Roberta just wrapped up her A Year of Style, my signature service package. She’s a rock star. She decided it was time to show her true, authentic self to the world. Hear her story in Roberta’s A Year of Style.

She had fun. (Me too.) She had success. She had transformation.

Through A Year of Style, Roberta and I formed a year-long partnership where she developed her personal style and rebuilt her wardrobe to reflect it. It was an amazing year.

it can be yours

Head over here to learn all the details about A Year of Style and to sign up today for YOUR year of spectacular!

let’s get started!

 

 

SaveSave

add polish to your summer outfit and stay cool too

I find that wearing a lot of accessories in the summer makes me too hot. A big scarf or heavy necklace around the neck, bulky bracelets, or statement belts become increasingly more uncomfortable as the day goes by. In summer, I’m drawn to fine-weight jewelry, skinny belts, and if it’s really hot, no accessories at all.

What to do, when you know accessories add that extra polish that pulls an outfit together and helps you feel your best?

wear a silk scarf in your hair

A small silk square tied as a headband or added to a bun or ponytail has oodles of style!

or elsewhere!

Wearing a scarf in an unexpected way adds intentionality and style to your outfit. Tie a small silk square around your wrist to make a fabulous – and lightweight – bracelet. Use a long skinny scarf as a belt with cropped jeans or to add polish to a maxi-dress or skirt.

Or go classic and wear a small bandana tied as a neckerchief with a casual tee. Be sure to avoid too big a scarf or the volume of fabric will make you hot – a smaller one adds a pop of color, but beats the heat.

make the print the accessory

A bold print summer dress is the perfect antidote to the heat. The pattern is the highlight, so no need for accessories (unless you really want them), and dresses are breezy cool!

wear fun shoes

I firmly believe that shoes make or break an outfit. Adding a fun shoe to a very basic outfit can transform it from “meh” to “fab!” Choose an interesting sandal, espadrille, flat, or sneaker to pull together your outfit. A bright color, bold print, wedge or block heel, delicate straps or laces, or metallic finish can make all the difference.

Step out in cool style and enjoy the dog days of August!

Images (except for my own) via Pinterest

 

1 white linen top 3 ways for summer fun

A basic white linen top can be the foundation for great summer outfits, bumping up the polish from a knit tee and keeping you cool at the same time.

Everything I’m wearing – with the exception of the tassel necklace (a travel purchase), the belt (made in the USA), and the polka dot scarf (a gift) – was purchased new-to-me, including the shoes. Right now is a great time to shop consignment – the summer sales are on! #secondhandfirst

with cropped jeans

ndwc_linen-top_cropped-jeans.jpg

Cropped jeans (with a contemporary raw hem – mine are DIY!) and comfy neutral wedge sandals make a simple, polished outfit for knocking around or casual going out. A long skinny silk scarf as a belt adds a pop of fun.

ndwc_linen-top_cropped-jeans_accessories.jpg

 

ndwc_linen-top_cropped-jeans_shoes.jpg

white on white

ndwc_linen-top_white-on-white.jpg

White on white is bright and fresh for summer, and the gold metallic strappy flat sandals (Stuart Weitzman, unworn, and a steal at consignment prices) complement the monochromatic look. Tie a small silk square scarf into a bracelet for a fashion-forward splash of color and head to your favorite patio for cocktails and dining al fresco.

ndwc_linen top_white on white detail

 

ndwc_linen top_white on white_closeup.jpg

with bright shorts

ndwc_linen-top_shorts.jpg

Feel put together for daytime fun with bright shorts and sandals good for walking. I love the embroidered anchor print on these shorts – I’m a sucker for preppy, throwback styles!  Partial-tuck the top (notice I did this in all three looks for body definition) and add a belt for further polish. Casual, but intentional.

ndwc_linen-top_shorts_closeup.jpg

 

ndwc_linen top_shorts_1.jpg

Stay cool!

 

#secondhandfirst

The new normal for weather patterns everywhere is volatility. Here we swing from 90s to 50s and back and have dramatic thunderstorms and droughts thrown in. My previous career included work dedicated to improving water quality: 1-inch rainfall events used to be the standard used for managing stormwater – now the standard is 4-inch rainfall events.

This is climate change in action.

climatechange-infographic1.jpg

What does this have to do with the clothing we wear? A lot. The growth and manufacture of the textile fibers used, how garments are created, the transport of them around the globe, and their disposal all have environmental impact and contribute to climate change in varying degrees. And the fashion industry only continues to expand, with American spending on clothing and footwear up 14% in 2016, according to a recent article in the New York Times that grapples with this issue.

It’s grim to think about the long-term impact our consumer actions have. But there is a way to lessen our impact, and boy is it sweet.

#secondhandfirst

This hashtag has been cropping up here and there with more frequency on social media, and I. LOVE. IT. It’s been around for bit – check out #secondhandfirst on Instagram and on Twitter – and lately thredUP has been using it specifically in their marketing.

I love it, because it is the perfect way to remember how to practice sustainable consumerism – my ndwc mission. Buy second-hand (what I like to call new-to-you) clothing first. You can also call it resale. Whatever phrase works for you, just do it!

There are so many fabulous clothing resale options in the Twin Cities as well as online. It makes so much sense to shop new-to-you – both environmentally and economically. And now is the perfect time to check it out; summer sales at consignment shops begin in July – items that are typically priced 1/3 of retail cost are 50-75% off those prices.

“The environmental problems from textiles will continue to compound if we can’t get rid of that mind-set that clothing is disposable.”  ~ Frances Kozen

Clothing is not disposable. #Secondhandfirst means keeping high quality clothing that will last in the use stream – reducing demand for the manufacture of new clothing and lessening solid-waste issues around the world. It means each of us taking a simple action to reduce our impact on the environment. (Added bonus: it reduces impact on our pocketbooks too!)

If enough of us practice sustainable consumerism, together we can make positive change. Let’s do it!

too small to make a difference.jpg

 

 

what to pack: a week of upper-90s in Washington, DC

Last week my family traveled to Washington, DC, because my daughter Grace was competing in National History Day (NHD). She won First Place in the Junior Research Paper category at the Minnesota State Competition in April, which earned her a spot in the national competition – super exciting, and we were over the moon!

The weather forecast was for upper-90s all week, and – for once – it was completely accurate. What to pack when it’s going to be blistering hot for a week, and you know you will be touring outside for much of the time?

beat the heat

I almost always travel with only a carry-on roller bag, and this time was no exception. Since I knew that I needed to focus on staying cool, I packed several summer dresses, a pair of shorts, one skirt, one sleeveless blouse, one t-shirt, 3 pairs of sandals, and two pairs of sneakers. (I know – a lot of shoes, but these are what give you choices for dressing up or down and comfort for a lot of walking.) I also added a lightweight scarf to throw on in case I got cold in air-conditioned museums, which came in very handy.

On the travel days, I wore cropped jeans, because I always freeze on the plane. I used my scarf on the way there – I would have been shivering in the sleeveless blouse without it.

To see photo captions, hover over the bottom of the photo or click on it to enlarge.

 

keepin’ it real

I often hear from my clients that they chose me and enjoy working with me because I am a “real” person, not super trendy or focused on being a fashionista. And that makes me really happy, because what I do is to help people feel authentic in expressing their personal style and feel great while they’re at it.

As you can see from the photos, I’m definitely keeping it real. When it’s over 90 degrees by 10 AM, the level of dishevelment progresses quickly! I have an appreciation for all those fashion/travel bloggers who curate their photos to perfection – we would have had to spend the entire week working on just that, but that’s not why we were there. So, here’s to living real life!

So, it was hot. SO. HOT. You can see the flush on our faces and, yes, the heat was radiating off the pavement in full force! Dresses were the way to go – cool and breezy.

awkward turtle

I’m a reluctant photographic subject. I LOVE being the photographer, but put me in front of the camera, and I go stiff as a board. Grace was my trusty “outfit of the day” photographer on this trip, and for some reason all the photos for this day’s shoot were looking really, really awkward (it was me, not the photographer). Grace’s teacher had just taught us the awkward turtle the day before, so I did it to try to relax – it was the only photo that worked! Again, keepin’ it real, people.

ndwc_ootd awkward turtle

Awkward Turtle and the US Capitol

ndwc_g and mr history

Grace, much less awkward, conferring with Minnesota’s Mr. History before her interview with the NHD judges. Her paper is “Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring: Standing Up for Women, Science, and the Environment.”

 

nevertheless, she persisted

Grace and I got these shirts before our trip, and we thought the Martin Luther King, Jr. memorial was an appropriate place for the message. This memorial was really powerful – the artist captured the significance of Dr. King’s place in history in a moving way.

A really big bonus – we saw Senator Elizabeth Warren in one of the Senate Buildings the following day! Both Grace’s teacher and I were starstruck and speechless!

ndwc_ootd mlk memorial

ndwc_nsp selfie

Love my girl.

 

 

 

ndwc_capitol dome

US Capitol from a tunnel used by our representatives.

national history day

Grace won second place in her category for the national competition!! It was so exciting to see our daughter recognized in such a way for her hard work, determination, and you better believe it, persistence!

ndwc_nhd parade of sates.JPG

National History Day Parade of States – the large gaggle of students wearing maroon is Minnesota!

 

ndwc_airport

And she was tired.

 

 

2 steps forward, 1 step back – the positive body image dance

the relative joy of entrepreneurship.png

Friend and fellow entrepreneur Christina Boyd-Smith passed on this graphic illustrating the progress of entrepreneurship. It has a few swear words in it. Words I have NEVER uttered. I swear.

Positive body image is just like entrepreneurship – two steps forward, and one step back. Sometimes it’s three steps back. Sometimes you trip. Sometimes you fall spectacularly. But you pick yourself up and keep going.

I have been struggling with maintaining positive body image lately, and I figured it’s time I write about it. News flash – I don’t have it all figured out! Not by a long shot. But I’m still trying. 

When I started thinking about this post, this graphic popped right into my mind. The “WTF happened?” part in particular. Things with body image can be all “champagne!” and then BOOM, they’re not. It might even be the champagne that contributes to that. (Or maybe it’s the chocolate. Or both.) It can start by catching a glimpse of yourself in the mirror, or seeing a photo of yourself.

I could write a long list of things I don’t like about my body. At the top of that list right now would be that I’ve gained enough weight that a lot of my pants are feeling really snug. I’m also in the midst of finally letting my hair go grey. Sigh.

But why does there need to be a list? Or if there is a list, why isn’t it all the amazing things about my body? And why aren’t gaining some weight and grey hair amazing? Thinking about all of this makes me want to eat more chocolate. Which then makes me feel like a failure. And so it continues…

Does this spiral of negative thinking sound familiar to you? Yours might have a different spin to it, but the black hole of negative body image is powerful for so many of us. Throw in a peri-menopausal mood swing or twelve and it’s a supernova.

breaking the spiral

I can get to a pretty dark, negative place in my feelings about myself – I spent a lot of years hating and hiding my body, and I got really good at it. Learning to like my body has been a slow process, and it is a path I have to take consciously. It isn’t second nature or effortless, and it very likely never will be.

How do I break the spiral?

When the negative body image thoughts get going, the first step is to say, “Stop.” Say it in your head or out loud if you need to, but definitely say it. Disrupting the pattern of thinking is key.

It’s really important not to be hard on yourself for the negative thoughts – acknowledge that you are feeling them. What helps to change them is to move through them to a different place. Saying “Stop” is a way to acknowledge them and begin a new trajectory.

Then ask yourself, “What would I say to a friend if she were saying these things about herself and her body?” Then SAY THOSE THINGS. To yourself. Out loud if you need to! Say them again. And if you find yourself arguing with the kind – and true – things, say “Stop,” and try again.

As for the too-tight pants. This could be a trigger of negative body image every. single. morning. Here’s the thing – they are just pants. And the number on the scale is just a number. To be honest, I haven’t weighed myself – I don’t need to – I know the number is higher because of the too-tight pants! No need to feed the shame cycle with seeing the higher number on the scale. Here’s what I do instead:

I put on bigger pants.

Ones that fit my body right now, today, this week, or however long I’m at this current weight. Another news flash – weight can fluctuate or change as much as your mood during peri-menopause. Wearing too-tight pants just makes you feel bad. So don’t do it! Heck, maybe I’ll wear a skirt or dress today!

And then I tell myself: Which pants I’m wearing, the number on the scale, the number of grey hairs on my head – these things do not determine my self-worth. How I treat myself, how I let others treat me, how I treat others; these are the stuff of self-worth. How I show up in my life is what makes me ME. Not the too-tight pants.

How I treat myself, how I let others treat me, how I treat others; these are the stuff of self-worth. How I show up in my life is what makes me ME. Not the too-tight pants.

two steps forward

My two steps forward for positive body image are taking care of myself and dressing in an intentional way. Making an effort to keep my body healthy and strong with good food, exercise, mindfulness, sleep (another peri-menopause rollercoaster), and permission to indulge sometimes keeps me in touch with my physical well-being.

Embracing my body as it is right now and dressing intentionally to feel my best keeps me in touch with my psychological well-being. Feeling good about what you are wearing helps you to feel good about your whole self. Dressing intentionally is a way to say “Stop” to the cycle of negativity in a tangible, visible way that also helps you bring your best self to the world. It’s called “enclothed cognition” – your clothing affects your confidence levels and overall psychological state.

I will always have the one step back in the positive body image dance, but I’m still moving forward. With each setback, I use the practices I’ve learned to treat myself with the compassion and kindness that I deserve. I want that for you too. Every person – particularly us women – deserves that.

5 trends for spring 2017 (and a couple of ‘no way!’s)

Minnesota is finally (FINALLY!) starting to feel like spring. Here are some trends for the season to help you dress intentionally to feel contemporary and confident. Choose trends that resonate with you to express your personal style and authentic, awesome self!

spring 2017

1. black and white polka dots

Black and white polka dots are classic and so fresh for spring! Gorgeous for both work and play. Add a pop of spring color like the fabulous Pink Yarrow belt and purse above for polish and style.

2. bold stripes

As y’all know, I love my stripes! Bold, geometric, and multi-colored stripes are hot for this spring and summer. Have fun with statement pieces and color to brighten your day and boost your confidence.

3. garden party floral prints

Feminine florals – a spring mainstay – in all styles of dresses are an easy way to look put together for work or going out. Choose the sheath or shift cut for work and the maxi-dress or full-skirt for play. Add an ankle-strap sandal (low block or high heel) and you are all set!

4. striped oxford cloth shirt dresses

A more subtle look is the menswear-riffing shirt dress in classic oxford stripes. Pair it with cropped skinny- or straight-leg jeans for spring and wear it on its own in the hotter summer months. Belt it with a matching belt like above, or use a leather belt in a bright color to add structure and definition. If it’s really hot out, skip the belt for a breezy-cool stylish look. Mules, low-heeled slingbacks, flat sandals, and classic white sneakers all work well with the shirt dress.

5. classic trench coats

The trench coat is the quintessential spring jacket – it goes with everything and is timelessly stylish. Go classic with khaki, or have fun with a bright color or print. When cinching the belt, skip the buckle and tie a knot – easier and fabulous! Add a silk scarf for polished style.

just can’t do it

80s revival

Sigh. Oversized power shoulders – think massive shoulder pads and “puffball” shoulders from the 80s – are back. I was all over them then; not so much now. If it speaks to you, go for it!

underwear as outerwear

Bras, bustiers, and corsets worn on their own, on the outside of your shirt, or showing through a transparent blouse. Again – you do you – but it’s not for me!

what do you think?

Which trends resonate with you? Or don’t? Most importantly, wear clothes that make you feel great! Dressing intentionally will help that happen.

Happy Spring!

 

i ♥ resale: Elite Repeat

In honor of Earth Day last year, I posted a roundup of consignment and resale clothing shops in the Twin Cities. We are fortunate to have a broad selection of choices – each having its own niche in the market.

As we mark Earth Day tomorrow, I’m celebrating practicing sustainable consumerism with the first in a periodic series, I ♥ Resale, featuring local consignment shops.

ndwc_ER_storefront

elite repeat

Elite Repeat is a gem. Located on Randolph Avenue at Hamline in St. Paul, the shop celebrated its 40th Anniversary last fall. After 18 years as an employee, Melissa “Missy” Auran took ownership of Elite Repeat in 2014, and she has brought a fresh eye, tone, and energy in her new role.

Elite Repeat features “designer and on-trend clothing and accessories.” The consignment portion of the shop has recently been augmented with an increased selection of new jewelry, scarves, and “giftables,” many of which are Minnesota-made.

Elite Repeat’s selection is appealing to women of all ages and styles – classic, contemporary, trendy, and couture. You will find higher-end mall brands like JCrew, Talbots, and Banana Republic, all the way up to Burberry, Prada, Chanel, and St. John. They also have a nice selection of outerwear, athletic wear (think Athleta, Lululemon, and more), accessories and handbags, and shoes.

ndwc_ER_missy

Melissa Auran

“Customer service is really important to us – it’s how we distinguish ourselves. We want Elite Repeat to feel like a boutique – and we want people to feel good when they are here, whether they buy something or not.”  ~Missy Auran

Elite Repeat is very selective in what it accepts for consignment: “Items need to be in excellent condition and current [3 or less years old, unless a timeless designer piece],” according to Missy. “We have a very large and loyal consigner base, and we are always looking for new consigners – from teens to grandparents.”

This makes shopping easier – I know when I do a personal shopping session with a client at Elite Repeat that the clothing will be like brand new. And the staff is careful about not overcrowding the racks, which can get overwhelming and frustrating. If you are looking for a particular item, they will bring out any extra stock for you.

The staff regularly refreshes displays and creates an appealing, relaxing environment to shop in while featuring their offerings.

Once a customer told Missy, “This is the one store where I can shop together with my mom. At the mall we have to shop in separate stores to find what each of us likes.”

Elite Repeat has a fabulous selection of dresses, workwear, and casual pieces.

Elite Repeat reliably has gorgeous shoes – from casual, like these on trend for summer espadrilles, to drool-worthy high end designer brands.

Handbags range from good quality mall brands to designer, like the Kate Spade one on the left. They are always in excellent condition and reflect contemporary styles.

A portion of the shop features “giftables,” many Minnesota-made. You will find lotions, house decor, accessories, and more.

Missy’s first job in retail was at Dayton’s! Elite Repeat just started carrying Bygone Brand Apparel’s homage to the historic department store’s iconic logo. You can find memories of Elite Repeat’s original concept of couture consignment in decor like these vintage department store hatboxes.

giving back

For a second year, Elite Repeat is celebrating Earth Day (tomorrow, Saturday, April 22!) by giving a portion of the day’s sales to plant trees in the community through Friends Of The Parks And Trails Of St Paul And Ramsey County.

The shop also holds a food drive two times a year in conjunction with their seasonal clearance sales in July and February. Shoppers receive 75% (instead of 50%) off all items with a food or cash donation to The Food Group.

And Elite Repeat supports organizations like Dress for Success, the Epilepsy Foundation of Minnesota, and Operation Glass Slipper by donating all unsold merchandise at the end of the season, and consigners receive the tax donation slips for their items. Consigners can also donate their earnings to an organization of their choice.

when you go

You will receive a warm welcome and a great selection of new-to-you clothing at Elite Repeat. As Missy says – and I couldn’t agree more, “We want people to wear what makes them feel good!”

 

 

from ‘meh’ to ‘fab!’ in a single step

Here is a trick I share with all my clients because it is so stinkin’ easy to remember and to do. It’s all over the fashion blogs, and it is the primary reason stylish people look so, well, stylish.

Are you ready?

the third piece rule

Add a third piece to what you are wearing. That’s it.

You have to put on a top (1) and a bottom (2) for coverage. Add a distinctive belt, scarf, jacket, colorful or interesting sweater, or statement necklace (3) – instant ensemble! You can even feel daring and add a 4th and 5th element, like a hat, bracelet, or fun shoes to further express your personal style.

meh

IMG_8096.jpg

My stripey Breton shirt is kind of fun and is a favorite. I LOVE stripes. See my logo up there? I really love stripes. But even with the fun stripes, this outfit is kind of blah. With the high boatneck cut and long length, the shirt looks like a sea of stripes, which throws off the balance of visual lines for the outfit. (Another thing I talk about with my clients all. the. time.)

baby bear steps

IMG_8158.jpg

Lookey there. I added my third piece, a chunky jeans belt, and partial-tucked my shirt to highlight it. The sea of stripes is now balanced by the belt, and the partial tuck adds definition to the overall lines of the outfit, while maintaining an easy style with softer lines than a shirt tucked in completely.

mama bear

IMG_8185.jpg

Even though the belt acts as a third piece, let’s take it a step further. For me, I consider the partial-tuck and belt part of the basic ensemble, since I almost always use them when I wear jeans (and often other pants) to create balanced lines for my body.

Look at what the polka-dot scarf paired with the stripes does for the outfit! This is still a really simple, casual ensemble – great for knocking around on a gorgeous spring day. Adding the scarf shows I thought about my outfit. It also creates more balance by adding vertical flow to the visual lines. And pattern mixing shows even more intentionality and polish.

papa bear

IMG_8225.jpg

The structure of a jacket instantly adds polish to any outfit. A jacket particularly ramps up style when paired with jeans. It can be a blazer, military-style, denim, knit, leather, you name it. Jackets should fit well in the shoulders, provide definition, and full-length sleeves should hit at the base of thumb.

I’m going for a French-inspired look with my Breton stripes peeking out from a belted navy blazer. I did tuck the shirt in fully to maintain the clean lines of the jacket.

I love this blazer. It fits perfectly and will be so much fun to wear this spring.

goldilocks!

IMG_8330.jpg

To fully embrace the French look, you need a silk scarf. This one is Emilio Pucci, and I really love the vibrancy of the blue geometrical design. See how it pulls the whole outfit together with a pop of color and polish? Casual, but intentional. And this outfit makes me feel great. That’s what it’s all about.

Outfit details:

Breton-stripe shirt – JJill – old (I will be so sad when it dies – it’s been a great staple); jeans – JCrew – old; belt – SO old, but another great staple

Blazer – Sharagano Suits; polka-dot scarf – JCrew; silk scarf – Emilio Pucci; loafers – Cole Haan. All are from Nu Look Consignment in Minneapolis! I had great success during their winter clearance sale a couple of months back.