Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Monday, September 28, 2009
Wipe those eyes!
There is still mileage and fashion fun to be had throughout the Fall (and maybe even Winter, too) with some of your favorite Summer staples. Here are four Summer pieces to keep in your closet even as the weather turns cooler.
1. A sundress (or two)
Sundresses are perfect to layer over jeans, or heavy leggings, or layer under a scarf and cool leather jacket. It will be a breath of summer air, even when the warmer months are all but forgotten.
2. Your favorite pair of shorts
Believe it or not (and you just might not), shorts are seasonless! All you need is a pair of tights (anything from black to patterned to neon will do), and a feminine Fall blouse and you are ready to go! Consider a pair of booties to really round out the look for colder weather.
3. Strappy sandals
A chunkier, platform sandal can easily make the transition with some knee- or thigh-high, thick socks. Feel free to go with warmer colors, like purple or cranberry, but stick to a neutral-colored shoe to anchor the look.
4. Light shifts
Just like the sundress, you might think your other lightweight summer dresses are doomed to be seasoned out, but such is not the case! Invest in some leggings and long-sleeved T-shirts and casual jackets and suddenly, you are not dealing with a summer dress anymore! Fall-themed statement jewerly can help finish off the look.
And here is a bonus for the men in your lives. (Or the men reading this blog. Hey, guys!)
5. Boat shoes
Get a boat shoe in a darker color, or more Fall-esque fabric, like suede and your favorite Summer casual will live through the Fall and Winter as well.
Looking forward to the Fall a little more now?
What Summer piece can't you wait to take into the new season?
Monday, September 21, 2009
Thursday, September 17, 2009
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
And here is one of my favorite things about Fall: Sweaters!
Boy oh boy, do I love sweaters. There is something cozy and nostalgic and all-around comforting about a good sweater. I can't get enough.
This Fall, I am particularly loving long, chunkier sweaters that almost border on a coat. Do you know the sweater of which I speak?
Some of them have collars, some of them button, some of them tie around the waist. I've seen them with short sleeves, long sleeves, and no sleeves, like a vest. I've seen them over a ruffled dress shirt and dress pants, and layered over a well-worn flannel and broken in jeans. The versatility astounds!
I popped into Ann Taylor Loft yesterday and they were everywhere.
This button-down, collared number is great over a nice shirt and a skirt, as you see it here. In this outfit, I see the sweater as sort of a twist on the traditional business suit jacket. But, I can also see this sweater over a patterned, long-sleeved shirt for a weekend, or even a graphic tee for some extra coverage during the in-between weather.
I also really loved this tie-waisted cardigan. The simple neckline could easily be paired with a collar or some ruffles, and this sweater has the same day to evening to weekend potential. I imagine you could take the tie off if you wanted something more open and draped, or you could add a pop of color or pattern by cinching the sweater with one of your favorite belts instead.
And this little number takes sweater vests right out of dorky and right into adorable. I think this is another one you could close with a belt or even some thick, boldly colored ribbon, and the layering options are just as varied. I am envisioning a band T-shirt and a studded belt with your favorite jeans for a little rocker chic, over a long tunic and leggings for an easy weekend ensemble (as you see here), or with a slim top and trousers for the office.
As it happens, Ann Taylor Loft is having a "buy one sweater, get the second sweater half off" sale on the Web site, so now might not be a bad time to stalk up. Or, if you're looking for some slightly cheaper alternatives, and are blessed to live near an H&M, I have seen some similarly darling options there. (If you are not blessed to live near an H&M, first, my condolences. Second, I can sometimes be convinced to do favors by baked goods and/or DVDs of "The West Wing.")
How about you? Are you sweat(er)ing it?
Tell is about your favorite sweater trend for Fall!
Thursday, September 10, 2009
It's just a little contest whereby you could have a dress of your very own genius design featured as part of the Shabby Apple Spring line. And then earn a 3 percent royalty on all of your dress that sell. (Which, because you are all so genius, would be many.)
Do you dare learn more!
Then I give you...
To accept this fabulous dare, follow these simple steps.
1. Design a dress. And there is no need to worry if you are not a "designer." Whatever idea pops into your head is an idea we want to see.
2. Post a sketch, picture or computer drawing of your creation on your personal blog and tell us a little about it. Your post should include the tag "dress design for Shabby Apple dresses" and the words "Shabby Apple dresses" should link your readers right back here, to www.shabbyapple.com.
3. Also in your post, tell us about what inspired your design, and what colors and fabrics you think would be best for your dress.
4. Once your post is up and running, e-mail us as firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know where to find you. (Be sure to include the direct link to your post, not just a link to your whole blog. Not that I don't love scrolling through pictures of family vacations, but...)
5. Be sure your dress adheres to Shabby Apple design standards. That's sleeves, at least a knee-length hemline and no cleavage, please! Also make sure your design is appropriate for the Spring season.
6. If your dress is chosen, you'll be responsible for getting a sample and pattern made. But, no need to panic. We'll help you out with that part.
Here is the schedule.
The Dare to Design contest starts today! Right now!
Entries must be submitted by November 3, 2009 at 11:59p.m., Eastern Standard Time. And I just might stay up late to watch the entries come in, so no funny business. Deal?
Our 15 favorite designs will be posted on this here blog by November 10, 2009.
Then it will your turn, dear readers, to vote for your favorite design. (And in the interest of my continuing good will, let's keep it to one vote each. Deal?)
Voting will close November 24, 2009 and the winning design will be announced back here on December 10, 2009.
And now for the answer to your most burning question: What's in it for me?
Well, in two words, A LOT.
For one, your design will become part of the Shabby Apple Spring line of fabulous dresses. Hello, instant fame!
And on the fortune side of things, the winner will receive a 3 percent royalty on every dress sold of his or her design.
I quadruple-dog-dare you to do it. I know you want to. And I know you can.
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
I happen to love Fall (it is the season of my birth, among many other admirable attributes), so I am always happy to see it come to town. But even those of you who mourn the departure of Summer will rejoice in these new Fall trends, courtesy of People Magazine. (From whence all good things come.)
Try it in pants, minis, jackets or leggings. Or, for all-out sex appeal, try a second skin leather dress like Angelina Jolie.
Check out Forever 21 for cutting edge leather styles on a budget.
Make a statement in the bold hue from head to toe, or add a pop to more neutral Fall colors with a red bag or shoes.
Defined by a slim, figure-hugging silhoutte and a well-defined waistline, sheath dresses are flattering on more body types than just Renee Zelwegger's. (Thank goodness.) Subtle prints and tailored details can help flatter most any figure.
Jewel-toned totes are another perfect way to liven up any Fall outfit. (Not sure what to say about SJP's glasses, though...)
This has been one of my personal favorites for a while, and leopard print is getting a new twist this season with classy, more subdued options like this snowy gray tone.
Don't worry. It's not hard to get into the leopard print trend yourself.
Neon Pink and Black
A flouncy blouse paired with a pencil skirt is a great way to get in on this trend. Color block dresses will do the trick, too.
This is another Fall trend I am loving, loving, loving. Ruffles can add a feminine touch to everything from a leather jacket to a slim cardigan, to a collared blouse to a hoodie to sandals and booties.
Statement necklaces have been hot for a while now, and the trend has been getting even bigger (literally) with massive bib necklaces hitting the scene in the last few months. Add a little gold to either of those trends and you'll be right on message.
And you don't have to spend a fortune, either.
Another pick me up on somber Autumn days? Shoes with some sparkle! Try pumps with a shimmer or flats with some sequins and tell me you don't feel better already.
Skip the jewelry shopping all together and go for a shirt with some built-in bling. A shirt and necklace in one? Yes, please!
What was once only an accessory has become a full-blown wardrobe item of its own. Play dress up in leggings embellished rhinestones, lace or sequins.
The real thing can sometimes be hard to find, but jewelry with ribbon or crystal details gives the vintage vibe just as well, and it won't break the bank.
With all that good fashion ahead, I bet we're all fans of Fall now.
Which Fall trend can't you wait to try out?
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
Now that I work at a real-life grown-up job, I can tell you one thing: blazers are boring.
Lucky for us, though, the traditional blazer is getting all kinds of funky spins these days. It's not just broad shoulders and boxy cuts anymore. And blazers aren't just prep school or day-time office wear anymore either. Less formal cuts, like the currently ubiquitous boyfriend blazer, are perfect for days at the office, nights out on the town and lazy Saturdays, especially as the weather starts to turn a little crisp.
Looking to get into the boyfriend blazer trend yourself? (Because you should be, you know. All the cool kids are doing it.) Here are some tips to help you do it right.
The boyfriend blazer has a slouchy, voluminous cut, so balance it out with slimmer elements. For a day at the office, consider pairing your boyfriend blazer with a pencil skirt, tight shift dress or skinny trousers. To round out the top, experiment with layers, like a well-tailored feminine shirt or a peek-a-boo lace camisole.
Another great alternative for the office is a boyfriend cardigan. This will fit more slimly because of the fabric (try a luxe cashmere or thin cotton). The boyfriend cardigan is another good complement to a shift dress. You can also try pairing it with wide-leg trousers, if the fit is slim enough. Instead of always using the buttons, experiment with belts of all different widths to hold the cardigan closed, or use a colorful brooch.
Tu-nic, Too Nice
If your blazer is long enough (I would say skimming your bum and beyond qualifies), and if you are feeling particularly bold, you might consider wearing your blazer like a tunic over leggings. And if you are really having one of those extra-special, daredevil days, you might even consider wearing your boyfriend blazer over leather leggings. (One thing's for sure, your boyfriend would love it!) If leggings are a step too far, stick with a skinny trouser or jean.
Catch Me Casual
To take this style from work-day to weekend, and to really ramp up the 1980s vibe, layer your boyfriend blazer over your favorite faded band T-shirt and distressed jeans.
Or, throw on a boyfriend blazer instead of your favorite cardigan.
Or, mix styles and eras in perfect combination by layering a boyfriend blazer over a short, flirty dress. Just make sure the dress is longer than the blazer. For a more sultry, night-on-the-town look, pair your boyfriend blazer with a slinky cocktail dress and gladiator heels. Ooo-la-la!
Roll up the sleeves on your blazer to achieve the ultimate laid-back look.
If I do say so myself (and I do, of course), with looks like these you'll have all the help you need putting "boyfriend" in the boyfriend blazer.
Catch my drift?