August 2012 archive

Lesson #4- Peplum

This isn’t earth shattering news to any of you.  I’m sure most of you know or have seen that the peplum tops are everywhere.  I tell you I was a bit weary of this style.  Mainly because it reminds me so much of 1986 prom.  But I do think it would be fun to sport.  Say, I was Marilyn Monroe and diamonds really were a girl’s best friend.  Okay, I know that dress isn’t a peplum, but that dress for some reason really reminds me of one. (I adore this dress, BTW.)


Image courtesy of

Today’s version-

Lipsy Classic Peplum Dress from $60

I am just a lowly mom in my lowly life and I’m not sure the pick up line at school is prepared for peplum.  If a special occasion should arise, however, you just never know.  I might be brave enough…  But what am I going to think of the pictures in five years?

Here’s a few pieces I thought were pick up line ready-

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Free People Peplum Jacket from 6pm $40

Bellatrix Print Peplum Tank

Bellatrix Print Peplum Tank at Nordstrom’s $68

INC International Concepts Short-Sleeve Belted Peplum Sweater from Macy’s $70


Lesson #3- Return of the Vest

We are talking the resurrecting of the vest.  I’m not ever sure that a simple menswear vest ever goes out of style.  It’s a classic.  And while you may not find this trend in the fashion magazines as a hot item for fall, I am seeing it over and over again on stylish people.  Therefore I’m declaring it a hot item on the must have list.
The vest is an easy way to transition from summer to winter.  It acts much like a scarf.  It adds another layer, visual interest and dimension to an outfit.  It can be worn when the weather is still hot in the fall to create more of that fall like look and feel without adding bulk.  No extra sweating required!  It also helps give your summer tanks new life and stretch them even further into the season.
Look for a basic cut.  I’m not a big fan of the loosey goosey and drapey vests that have been produced of late,but I’ll admit, I have worn them myself.  I love a good structured vest and it helps create a nice silhouette on the body. 
Just because the cut is basic doesn’t mean it can’t have some embellishment.  Just steer clear of anything you may have worn in 1982 with a full denim skirt.  We’re talking tapestry here people.  The more modern the embellishments, the less frumpy it will look!
Sleek and stylish menswear!

Colorblocked Twill Vest from Forever 21 $25

Current/Elliott Sleeveless Snap Jacket from Piperlime $146
(I love seeing this one over maxi dresses.  Cut the sleeves off your own old denim jacket, or a Goodwill find.)
XOXO Striped Vest from JCPenney $30

Lesson #2- Matchstick Pants

I could almost use a cigarette after this day.  Almost.  Wowza.  But I refuse to hash it all out, I won’t complain.  But, does anyone have a match?  Matchstick that is.
So…I know you are asking yourself this question, how are these pants different than my skinny jeans?  First of all, these aren’t just jeans.  They can be trousers too.    Secondly, the ones I’ve seen have a very straight fit, not too tapered.  And they are cut just slightly above your shoe, not cropped but definitely hitting at the ankle.
And they are going to be POPULAR.  These are the pants you’ll be seeing crazy prints on.  These are the pants that show off your most fabulous shoes (and are not meant to be worn only with flats). These are the pants for the not faint of heart.
Are you brave enough?  Or did all your dreams of being on trend this fall just go up in smoke?

Matchstick Cords from JCrew $90

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Leopard- Print City Pant from Black House White Market $84

Chiffon Tapered Trousers from Topshop $70

Fall 2012 Style- Lesson #1

Have you been wondering what to buy for the fall?  I’m here to help. 
I can’t say I’m that “wowed” by the new trends this season.  But I am glad that many of last season’s items are still “on-trend.”  That makes life so much easier.
The next few posts will be what I see as the must haves for this season.  I’m not going to bore you with styles I just don’t think I’ll see on the street…  Let’s begin!
This isn’t really an item, but a color.  Burgundy.  After so many seasons of soft pastels, fall is hitting hard with a bold, rich color.  It feels a little goth after wearing apricot!
You can find it and you’ll see it everywhere- on shoes, jackets, pants, even lips!  Here’s a few images to spice up your fall wardrobe!

Zoe Straight Leg Pants from LOFT $70

Styling Nine to Five Blazer from ModCloth $70

The City Sandal from Colin Stewart at Victoria’s Secret $68


Shopping Mecca

I have found the one whom my soul adores. 
If you live in the Midwest, you cannot afford to ignore a place like this… the Dillards Clearance Center in Council Bluffs, Iowa.  Picture, if you will, a plethora of new clothing marked down to sale prices.  Next, picture that the sale price is weekly adjusted to an additional mark down.  We’re talking clearance prices on namebrand, new merchandise.  We’re talking prices that easily compete with Goodwill. 
We’re talking my language.
For example, this weekend my husband and I concentrated on buying some new work clothes for him.  He doesn’t like to shop and has very specific taste.  So we went together and found some items for him.  It just also so happened that this weekend all the men’s clothing (and outerwear) was the biggest markdown in the store.  We bought Polo’s for $6.  We bought Hurley coats for $20.  We bought an originally priced $600 dress coat for $125.  Insanity.
I can honestly say that I didn’t stumble upon this shopping mecca myself.  My sister found the diamond in the rough and taught me its magic charms.
A few words of caution.
1)  It is large.  It is overwhelmingly large.  We’re talking racks and racks of clothing.  We’re talking it’ll take you two hours to go through the shirts.
2)  It is highly unorganized.  It feels like a thrift store.  You must go when you a) don’t have children with you, b) have a large amount of time, c) feel like treasure hunting, and d) all the above.
3)  There are no shopping carts.  You can grab a measly tote but I’m almost promising you that it won’t hold what you need to try on.  And they don’t hold anything.  And there are no returns.  All sales are final. 
4)  There isn’t much for kids.  This is heavily women’s and men’s clothing.  And the selection is completely hit or miss.  They do have what I’d like to someday call my very own shoe department.  (It is large and fabulous.)  But they pretty much don’t have kids shoes and only one small row of men’s shoes.
5)  I may never shop anywhere else again…  It is that wonderful. 

SWL- Bathing Beauties

This week Lloyd’s talked about lots of interesting topics, but one item he encouraged women of style to do was something I’ve been enjoying for years- taking a bath.
According to Lloyd, “Once you know the bath’s calming effect, taking a shower will never be the same.”

Image courtesy of

It had me wonder why a guy would write about this topic in a fashion book.  I think there is a connection.
Since the move I haven’t taken as many baths as showers.  I loved taking baths in our old cast iron tub.  Once the water heated the tub up, it stayed hot.  Our dog loved to come and sit by the tub when I filled it in the winter time.  And I also enjoyed having a bath when my kids were babies because I could sit them by the tub and still see them and they could still see me.  Okay, so maybe that wasn’t the most relaxing bathing example.  But there is something to be said about submerging your body in warm water.  Look at all those hot tub fanatics!  All they really need is a good long soak in the tub.
I haven’t broke into the tub in our new home all that often.  But the kids love it.  For them the bath is a place to imagine and play. And so I think it is for fashionable women. 
There are many days when I’m taking those same 20 minutes that it would take for me to shower that I use in the tub to think about what I have to accomplish that day, what outfit I’d be most comfortable doing those tasks in and yes, even soak away a few of life’s troubles and dreaming.
I don’t know if you’re a shower person or a bath person.  But stop looking at your tub as a vacation that never happens.  Pull the plug, turn on the water, add the bubbles.
And start your day stylishly!

Pickin Pumpkins

I can’t wait to choose some pumpkins with the kiddos this fall.  We also enjoy picking apples and consider both a fun outdoor tradition, when available.  Sure a flannel shirt and a printed cardigan are a little cliche for fall but why fight it?  Embrace the things that make each season so enjoyable!

Pickin Pumpkins
p.s.  That is a FOLD in the pants….!!

Pickin Pumpkins by stylefromthesticks featuring a zippered tote bag

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