Posts Categorized: Style

Capsule wardrobe: Casual Fridays

By IN Advice, Personal Style

capsule wardrobe: Casual Fridays

In its original form, Casual Friday was the chance for workers in offices with formal dress codes to wear slightly more relaxed outfits. Be-suited professionals were allowed the freedom of separates and a thousand polo shirts and khakis were sold.

In some offices, meanwhile, Casual Friday is the standard dress code. And Actual Fridays are a sartorial free-for-all.

So maybe it helps to think of Casual Friday the concept as a level of dressing that’s the least dressy and most casual you can be at work while still looking like you’re dressed for an office.

Casual Friday pieces tend to split the difference between casual and formal in color, fabric or shape; if it’s a dressier shape, like a pencil skirt, the fabric is more casual, like denim. Create the same pencil skirt in crepe wool with a silk lining and now it’s ready for a client meeting.

10 pieces to wear on Casual Fridays

This Casual Friday capsule wardrobe, then, contains a few basic pieces that are dressier than weekend wear (whether casual or chic), but less dressy than you’d wear to meet with a big client or customer.

And if the dressier pieces are still more “formal” than you typically see in your workplace, well, who says you can’t be the best dressed one in the office?

You can combine them to make outfits that are the farthest toward the casual end (denim + T-shirt) or closest to being Proper Office Attire (blouse + skirt + blazer).

In warmer months, trade the corduroys for a lightweight cotton trouser, either ankle length or capri cut, and swap the longer-sleeved bright blouse for one with short sleeves or even sleeveless.

I’ll keep the blazer and cardigan, though; my commute is toasty, but my office can be Arctic. Layers to the rescue!

Learn how to build capsule wardrobes in the Frantic But Fabulous style workshop—including a checklist of closet essentials. Love everything you wear, starting now!

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Personal style definitions: Modern

By IN Advice, Personal Style

The Modern style aesthetic loves unusual shapes, silhouettes and details, almost always in black. Is this your style?

Can’t tell classic style from chic? Not sure what “boho” means, anyway? The Personal Style Definitions series cracks the code on some of the major style categories.

Edgy, avant garde, a little bit rock and roll: the Modern style aesthetic is for women who love bold choices. You won’t be surprised to find it worn in art galleries, night clubs or in the front row of Fashion Week runway shows. And like its Chic sister, the Modern style is (seemingly) 99% black.

How to tell if Modern is your style

Warning: generalizations ahead! There are always exceptions to these “rules,” of course, but it’s quite likely that if Boho is your style …

  • items like black straight leg pants, asymmetrical blouses and a tuxedo jacket can be found in your closet, along with black ankle boots and a chunky silver necklace.
  • you wear (or aspire to wear) labels like Comme des Garcons, Martin Margiela, Alexander McQueen, Acne and Prada.
  • you shop online at shopbop.com, theoutnet.com and forwardforward.com.
  • your style idols include Cate Blanchett, Blondie and Kate Lanphear.
  • your color palette is mostly black, sometimes grey, occasionally combined with white and sharp accent colors, as well as denim.
  • you prefer to stand out in a crowd and be thought of as original; to you, clothing isn’t just style, it’s art.
  • you love outfits that incorporate unexpected and unusual elements, shapes or fabrics.

A perfect Modern outfit: anything Kate Lanphear would wear.

Modern Mamas, does this sound like you? What would you add to the description of this style category?

Still not sure which style is right for you? “What’s My Style?” is the fast, fun workshop that will teach you how to identify your personal style—and build your own signature look. For less than the price of a lipstick, learn how today!

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Capsule wardrobe: 2-week summer European vacation

By IN Advice, Style, Try This Thursdays

capsule wardrobe: 2 week European vacation

Two weeks, two countries, four cities, one carry-on bag. Or: how to take a European vacation* in style and without baggage fees.

This summer, we’ll be taking our 10-year-old abroad for the first time, and revisiting cities we have lived in or love: Birmingham, York and London in the U.K., and Paris.

And since lugging luggage around is a sure way to weigh down a vacation, we’ll be doing it all with just one bag apiece.

The strategy: the fewest number of items possible. The tactics: casual clothes made of non-wrinkling fabrics, to allow them to be rolled up and stacked tightly together; and lots of neutral colors, for maximum mixing and matching.

What to pack for a 2-week summer European vacation

The packing list, otherwise known as a capsule wardrobe:

You may have noticed there aren’t any pajamas in this list. No need to pack such specialized wear when any one of the T-shirts can be worn at night with the mesh shorts, which can also double as exercise clothes for those of you much more disciplined than I am.

As for the carry-on bag, since we’ll be moving from point to point, much of it by train, rolling cases didn’t seem as practical, so my husband and I will both be carrying Osprey backpacks.

Mamas: What would you bring on a two-week trip?

* Or two weeks anywhere in summer weather, really. This would work equally well for Europeans hitting the States in July, or anyone traveling to Australia in December, though in both those cases, I’d toss in a swimsuit, too. (Australians, tell me if this would be the right packing list for your summer season.)

Learn how to build capsule wardrobes in the Frantic But Fabulous style workshop—including a checklist of closet essentials. Love everything you wear, starting now!

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Personal style definitions: Boho

By IN Advice, Personal Style

What is Boho style and is it *your* personal style? Learn more about what Boho is--and where to find it.

Can’t tell classic style from chic? Not sure what “boho” means, anyway? The Personal Style Definitions series cracks the code on some of the major style categories.

While the term “Boho” as a style designation is relatively new (and single-handedly created by Sienna Miller, if the fashion press is to be believed), its characteristics aren’t. Many of the aesthetics ascribed to Boho would have been called hippie, and maybe even grunge, in decades past. (The Lucky Guide to Mastering Any Style gives it another name: California Casual.)

This is the style of freedom, eclecticism, earthiness.

How to tell if Boho is your style

Warning: generalizations ahead! There are always exceptions to these “rules,” of course, but it’s quite likely that if Boho is your style …

  • your wardrobe contains pieces like a peasant skirt, faded denim and a printed wrap blouse. Materials are organic, not synthetic. Your shoes are gladiator sandals. Your necklace is made of wooden beads.
  • you wear labels like Free People and Charlotte Ronson, and shop in stores like Urban Outfitters or Topshop.
  • your style idols include Stevie Nicks, Sienna Miller, Kate Moss and Jade Jagger.
  • your color palette is earth tones and washed out colors.
  • you prefer being thought of as natural and relaxed.
  • you enjoy creating outfits by pulling pieces you love and combining them in new ways; you love style that’s serendipitous, rather than deliberate.

A perfect Level 2/weekend Chic outfit: scarf blouse, faded bell bottom denim and slouchy boots, worn with stacks of beaded bracelets scored on Etsy. (Here’s a great example of this outfit type from Holly of My Years of Fabulous.)

If she wears other styles, you’re most likely to find a Boho woman in pieces that are Romantic.

Boho Mamas, does this sound like you? What would you add to the description of this style category?

Still not sure which style is right for you? “What’s My Style?” is the fast, fun workshop that will teach you how to identify your personal style—and build your own signature look. For less than the price of a lipstick, learn how today!

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Day to night outfit idea: Summer tunic top

By IN Personal Style, Try This Thursdays

day to night outfit idea: summer tunic top

Tunic tops are so easy to wear, and flattering to most body types, they make a versatile piece of a summer wardrobe.

This outfit idea takes a brightly colored J. Crew Factory tunic from day to night in summer style.

The shoulder strap straw bag will carry you through the day.

If you really want to keep things easy, split the difference and create a dressier casual look that can be worn to brunch in the morning or cocktails in the evening with equal ease: keep the daytime cropped pants and wear them with the evening outfit’s sandals and chunky necklace.

Fab mamas, how do you like to wear tunic tops?

Get a checklist of the key wardrobe pieces you’ll wear every day plus a guide to which clothes flatter your body most in “No More Yoga Pants: How To Dress Better, Shop Smarter and Reclaim Your Style,” the fun, easy-to-follow style workshop. For less than the price of a new pair of jeans, learn how to dress better and feel better: Get instant access today!

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Personal style definitions: Chic

By IN Personal Style

Personal style definitions: What Chic style is

Can’t tell classic style from chic? Not sure what “boho” means, anyway? The Personal Style Definitions series cracks the code on some of the major style categories.

When I think of the Chic style, I think “European”—or French, to be more precise. Chic women are elegant. Chic women are put-together. Chic women have that impeccable air of je ne sais quois. They may not all shop in Paris, but it sometimes seems that way!

How to tell if Chic is your style

Warning: generalizations ahead! There are always exceptions to these “rules,” of course, but it’s quite likely that if Chic is your style …

  • your wardrobe contains pieces like a black cashmere turtleneck, fitted blazer and wide leg jeans. Your shoes are peep toe slingbacks. Your necklace is a silver pendant.
  • you wear labels like Calvin Klein, Chanel, DVF, Banana Republic, A.P.C. and Isabel Marant.
  • your style idols include Catherine Deneuve, Ines de la Fressange and Halle Berry.
  • your color palette is black, black and black, with accents of white and bright primary colors, like red and cobalt blue.
  • you prefer being thought of as elegant and impeccable.
  • you would rather buy a very few well made, more expensive items than many mass market ones.

A perfect Level 2/weekend Chic outfit: white T-shirt, black leather jacket, wide leg jeans and Bensimon sneakers, worn with two silver necklaces of different lengths.

While Chic women often dress in nothing but this style, you may also find them mixing in items that are Classic or Modern.

Chic Mamas, does this sound like you? What would you add to the description of this style category?

Still not sure which style is right for you? “What’s My Style?” is the fast, fun workshop that will teach you how to identify your personal style—and build your own signature look. For less than the price of a lipstick, learn how today!

Drab to fab: Brunch outfit

By IN Advice, Personal Style

Drab to fab: Brunch outfit

When you’re a mom, perhaps especially if you’re a working mom, brunch is a luxury. It means you have an entire morning to do nothing more than enjoy a delicious meal, a cup of coffee, maybe even a mimosa.

To me, that’s a special occasion worth dressing up a bit for!

This brunch outfit takes a typical weekend outfit of polo shirt and khakis and takes it up a level. Slimmer silhouettes read dressier than loose, so the white polo shirt gets an upgrade from the standard boxier shape to a more feminine fit.

And it’s brunch, dahling, so replace your plain baggy khakis with something more fun, like a print. Pick the pattern that suits you best, whether it’s pale and floral or darker and geometric.

Leave your everyday day bag at home and grab a fun tote, or even that clutch you’ve forgotten in the back of your closet (if it’s not covered in sequins; that’s a bit too nighttime for dining in the day).

And lest you think I’m picking on Crocs by including their iconic clogs in the “drab” column, surprise! Those fab sandals are Crocs, too.

Now go out and treat yourself to brunch with a lady friend or two this month. I guarantee you’ve earned it!

Learn more about how to dress for your figure, clean out your closet and create outfits that are fab, not drab, in the Frantic But Fabulous style workshop—including a checklist of closet essentials.

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