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How to look stylish- even when it’s cold outside

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It feels like only a few months ago that I was writing a blog post on how to dress in hot weather.

 

I live in Northeast Georgia where the humidity combines with high temperatures in the summer to create a sort of permanent outdoor steam room. In the winter, though, we may dip down to freezing a few times and scatter some snowflakes every three years for the fun of it.

 

I feel incredibly lucky that I don’t live somewhere cold currently, but seen that side of the weather spectrum too.

 

Surviving in negative 40-degree weather in Upstate New York is one thing. Looking fashionable in said icebox is a whole other thing.

 

I’ve had the privilege of living everywhere from New York to Arizona and quite a few places in between (helloooo Iowa!) Most of these places were cold as an iceberg during the winter and, much against my will, this Georgia girl learned how to dress for the winter- and dress well.

 

Here are the top tips I learned from working in the fashion industry in unbearably cold places:

 

1. Just one coat won’t cut it

 

Living in the South, you can get away with having one or two coats: one navy peacoat for casual settings and/or a fitted black coat for more formal affairs. Try having two coats somewhere cold and it’s like bringing one bathing suit on a three-month cruise. Outerwear is basically innerwear. I know innerwear isn’t a word, but you get the idea. You basically need almost as many coats and bulky sweaters. Your new innerwear outerwear isn’t just keeping you warm, it’s a vital part of your outfit.

 

 

Coats are a lot like shoes- you need a basic black pair, a practical pair, a fun pair, a serious pair…you get the idea. If you find coats to be rather boring, you’re in luck. This year is all about the statement coat…and they are everywhere at all price points. I recommend splurging on your daily classic pieces (psst. here are 20 classic pieces every woman needs in her wardrobe) and then spending less on a few fun statement coats like these:

 

2. Hosiery isn’t dead

Sometimes I feel like the only millennial that wears hosiery, but I’m totally okay with that. Why? Because my legs are way warmer than your legs. Seriously though. Don’t underestimate the magic of tights. Most tights these days are quite comfortable and they can add a little extra to any outfit. You’d be surprised how much warmer a pair of strategically layered tights (think: under your jeans!) is than your normal work ensemble. Here are some of my favorite outfits styled with tights.

3. Choose your fabrics wisely

Here’s something fun to think about: One wool sweater can be warmer than 2 cotton ones. Why? The nature of the fabric. Different fabrics are better (or worse) at helping your body regulate it’s temperature and stay warm. In the hot weather blog post, I wrote about which fabrics work best for hot weather…this time the tables are turned. Here are the best fabrics for staying warm:

4. Layer away!

I’m not going to lie, layering is tricky. Sloppy layering can make you look like a homeless vagabond while strategic layering can make you look like an Olsen twin. What’s worse is that layering is essential especially in today’s workplace. In the overly temperature controlled boxes we work in, the office may feel like Bermuda while it’s blizzarding just outside the window. How does one even begin to dress for that sort of situation…let alone dress well? The answer is layering. Being able to peel off layers and still look work appropriate (and fashionable!) is a skill that anyone can master. Here’s a whole blog post on my magic formula for creating the perfect layers.

Enjoy,

xoxo Leslie

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How to wear plaid- at every age

FacebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinPlaid is a huge trend this Fall and here are just a few reasons why I love it (and think you should too):

1. It’s classic. If you don’t believe me, just look at Burberry. They are proof that a plaid can stay fashionable for decades (when done right, of course).

2. Any age can wear plaid! Continue reading to see how.

 

how to wear plaid at any age

 

When I was prepping for this post, I considered all the different ways I could show outfits for every age. I thought about just collaging pictures of outfits together online, but that seemed so…unrelatable (and a little boring).

 

So instead, I decided to go to everyone’s favorite store, Target and put together plaid outfits. That means that all the pictures below are made from clothing exclusively from my local store (Athens, Georgia, if you’re wondering).

 

It was a bit difficult to bring in a million outfits and accessories into the dressing rooms, so I left the purses and jewelry in the cart. As someone who has worked in retail, I know that bringing bags and jewelry into a dressing room is the #1 way to steal them, and I didn’t want the attendant worrying about what I was doing. With that said, I’ll put links to my favorite bags at the end, because they had some really good ones!

 

Without further ado…

 

Plaid in your 20’s:

There were tons of 20’s and younger plaid options at Target. The brand Wild Fable had no shortage of plaid tops, bottoms, jackets, jumpsuits- you name it, they had it. I chose some blue plaid cropped pants and paired it with a sleeveless hoodie and motorcycle jacket. Sneakers would have been perfect to complete this look, but I didn’t have any, so I just wore the shoes I wore to the store.

 

how to wear plaid in your 20's

I was a little leery of the pants (I don’t exactly make the 20’s age bracket) but they were actually surprisingly comfortable because of their elastic waistband and stretchy material.

 

Main point: there are lots of fun plaids out there; have fun!

Ps. Want to know more about dressing in your 20’s? I wrote this blog post just for YOU!

 

Plaid in your 30’s:

This cropped, plaid jumpsuit number was pretty amazing. It could easily look too young (it has spaghetti straps and is made from a cheaper fabric), so I kept the look minimal and sophisticated with a long black cardigan and white booties. I would add some long necklaces to finish off the look.

 

how to wear plaid in your 30's

Main point: Match ‘younger’ looking plaid garments with more sophisticated basics (psst: here are the best basics for your body shape).

 

Plaid in your 40’s:

Take plaid to work with you this season. There were at least two different plaid blazers (which seems like a lot for one store) at Target. I chose the brighter option (the other jacket was grey plaid) and paired it with black dress pants and black loafers. I love the menswear look, and I think this combination looks particularly good on women in their 40’s. It has sort of a demure power thing going on…like you spent the night at your boyfriend CEO’s and wore (and rocked) his clothes. Except there is no boyfriend and you’re the CEO.

 

how to wear plaid in your 40's

Main point: purchase something plaid that will make you feel (and look) like a boss. You won’t regret it.

 

Plaid in your 50’s:

This is a bit more dressed up of a look, but I think it still holds true to a sort of refined aesthetic. The lightweight blouse and pleated skirt are forgiving but still ladylike and very flattering. A pearl studded belt gives it a little more edge and makes the booties really pop. It’s an outfit that simultaneously commands respect and attention.

how to wear plaid in your 50's

Side note: this skirt was too big for me, so I’m holding it up and holding the belt on at the same time. Fun times! Haha.

 

Main point: Add plaid into your wardrobe in a refined way and it will look classy rather than trendy.

 

Plaid in your 60’s:

If you’re in your 60’s (or beyond) and living the retired life, this outfit is for you. Casual and comfortable but not too trendy. A classic plaid button down is worn open over a fitted (but not tight!) pair of wide leg jeans. The outfit is finished off with tan flats and (although not shown) would look great with a long necklace.

 

how to wear plaid in your 60's

Main point: Comfy doesn’t have to be frumpy. Choose clothes that fit your body and flatter your shape.

 

Keep reading to see my favorite handbags from Target this season (and picking favorites was HARD because I loved them all!!)

plaid outfit ideas

 

Lastly, I wanted to share my favorite bags at Target. I have always been a big fan of Target purses because you can buy a really expensive looking purse for next to nothing. They obviously aren’t as durable and well made as a true designer handbag, but they are about $2000 cheaper, so that has to count for something!

Merlot Mia Ring Handle Crossbody Bag - Universal Thread™ BlackTrapunto Flap Crossbody Bag - A New Day™Circle Handle Satchel Handbag - A New Day™

Ring Handle Bag (left), Trapunto Crossbody Bag (middle), Circle Handle Bag (right)

 

Round Clutch With Buckle - A New Day™New Band Satchel Handbag - A New Day™Knotted Top Handle Satchel Handbag - A New Day™

Round Clutch (left), New Band Satchel (middle), Top Handle Satchel (right)

 

Want to see more plaid outfits for Fall? Click here to check out the top 8 trends of Fall 2018 and over 150 outfit ideas and ways to wear them!

 

xoxo,

Leslie

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How to wear Summer clothes in Fall

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summer to autumn outfits

It happened this week. Did you see it?

 

In an eager move to make as much money as possible from white girls, Starbucks started offering pumpkin spice lattes- before Summer can even think about being over. Do I sound bitter? I’m not bitter. [insert eye roll here]

 

As someone who appreciates marketing, I can respect Starbucks’ decision. As someone who loves Summer and hates every other season, I am less than thrilled.

 

That’s why today I’m talking all about styling your Summer clothes to work for Fall.

 

When you wear Summer clothes into Fall you…

1. Save money and get the most out of your clothing

2. Look seasonably appropriate

3. Get to hold on to every last bit of summer possible

 

Sounds like pretty much a win-win situation. Are you ready? Here are my top 3 tips (with pics, of course!) on how to transition your Summer clothes into the Autumn season.

summer to fall outfits

Tip #1: Layers

Our first layering instinct is usually to put a jacket or cardigan on OVER our shirt. That’s works great, but I want to remind you of other places you can layer…specifically, UNDER your shirts and dresses.

summer to fall outfit ideas

Here, I’ve kept everything the same, except for adding a fitted sweater under the dress. I could easily switch the tennis shoes out for boots and tights if I wanted to go for a more dressed up (and cold weather) look. Tennis shoes are going to be big again this Fall. To see the other top trends of Fall 2018, click here

 

 

A long sleeve blouse under a dress is an unexpected, yet very chic, way to dress for fall. Bonus: If it gets too hot during the day, you can always remove said shirt.

summer to fall outfit ideasThis is a simple dress that I added a button-down shirt to. I also changed out the shoes to warmer, calf-hair pumps. Adding tights or other hosiery is a good option if your legs get cold easily (or the temps drop low). 

 

The examples above show dresses, but you can easily layer sweaters and blouses under regular shirts. One of my favorite things to do is add a fitted sweater under a loose t-shirt. It has a sort of urban casual look and it keeps me warm!

 

Another great way to layer is to put a sweater on OVER a dress. You’ll see an example of this in the next tip.

 

Hint: When you have great basics in your closet- layering is super easy. Click here to find out what 20 basics every woman needs in her closet.

 

 

Tip #2: Shoes

One of the easiest ways to make an outfit look appropriate for fall is to switch up the shoes. Trade in sandals for closed toe shoes or boots and you’ll already look more Fall-ish.

summer to fall outfitsHere, I’ve switched out the summery wedges for boots and added a sweater and scarf over the dress. Fun fact: this is actually my wedding dress. I got married 7 years ago, and I’ve had so much fun experimenting with different ways to style it. 

summer to fall outfitsIn this outfit change, I traded my sandals in for boots and added a blazer. I love white jeans and I literally wear them for as long as possible into the Fall (and *ahem* Winter). 

 

The two examples above showcase riding boots. I absolutely love riding boots. They are not only comfortable, but they are so versatile- pairing with jeans or dresses equally as well. If you have one pair of boots, I recommend a neutral color (black or brown) riding boot. They are pretty much a fashion staple every Fall, so any shoe store should carry them. (My black pair are from DSW and the brown pair were from a thrift store!)

 

Tip #3: Scarves

Scarves were made for Fall and Winter. Adding a scarf to an outfit is an inexpensive and easy way to celebrate Autumn while still holding onto your summer clothes. They are also a great way to incorporate new trends without spending a lot of money! To see the new trends for Fall 2018 (plus, many more scarf outfits!) click here.

This thick, wool scarf is enough to make the outfit Fall appropriate, but I added a few more items to make the outfit more interesting. A felt hat (also very Fall), light jacket, and cowboy boots round out the ensemble and I look like I’m ready to go pumpkin picking. Another fun fact: Each Scottish clan has a unique plaid and this scarf is ‘Buchanan’ plaid, which is my maiden name and ancestry. 

summer to fall outfitsThis is a very classic *me* outfit. There’s nothing I love more than some black and grey. I’ve kept everything the same and literally just added a blanket scarf, showing you how easy it is to look great in cold weather quickly! I actually keep a scarf like this in my car at all times in case I get cold in a restaurant or the weather changes suddenly.

 

Lastly, I want to leave you with my biggest tip for layering EVER. It sounds really simple, but it’s very important.

 

Here it is: Anytime you are layering (or even putting an outfit together) add only one piece at a time. After each piece is added, asses whether you like it with the rest of the outfit. 

 

For example: Put on pants. Do you like the pants? If yes, then add a shirt. Decide if you like those two items together. If you do, add another item (jewelry, scarf, shoe, etc.) and if you don’t, replace the item you don’t like until you find one you do.

 

So many people get overwhelmed when dressing because they feel like they need the whole outfit mapped out in their head before they even get dressed. Well, that IS overwhelming! If you go garment by garment, it’s much less stressful and you’ll actually enjoy getting dressed. Like I said, it sounds simple, but I encourage you to give it a go- you won’t be let down.

 

Cheers!

Leslie 

 

Ps. I am so super excited because I’ve just completed the Fall 2018 Outfits + Trends Style E-book (picture below!!!) Click here to see the e-book and get your copy today. 

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