Runway Translation: Ralph Lauren Spring 2014

The spring retail season is nearly here.  Wanna know which trend you will NOT be able to escape?  I’ll give you a hint, well two actually: black and white.  Since the beginning of fashion time (post loin cloth era) the black and white print has made it’s mark on every season, particularly during springtime.  Behold the latest offerings soon to hit the retail sector courtesy of Ralph Lauren…

Ralph Lauren Spring 2014 Cluster

I like how Ralph Lauren put a menswear inspired twist on the looks, incorporating neckties and suits with the school girl socks and Mary Jane pumps… it gave the collection a nice balance.  If you’re ready to embrace the graphic black and white mixed print trend, but can’t necessarily afford the designer pieces shown above, check out the budget-friendly ensemble I’ve created for your consumption…

Ralph Lauren Inspired Ensemble Spring 2014

Shop The Look:
1.  Graphic Floral Necktie, $36, zazzle.com
2.  Black and White Collar Dress, $75, dorothyperkins.com
3.  Black and White Striped Crop Top, $6, thehut.com
4.  Black Mini-Bag, $40, solesociety.com
5.  Knee High Socks, $12, topshop.com
6.  Black Patent Leather Mary Janes, $40, ninewest.com

XOXO,

RT Signature

Learning Style at the Library…

Did you know that your local library may be offering free courses about how to do stuff?  I’ve seen classes advertised on how to do everything from building a resume to building a tree house.  When I learned about stylist Kara Beck‘s three-part series at the Safety Harbor Public Library on how to build a wardrobe, I jumped at the chance to check it out.

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Class#1: Dressing For Your Body Type
Kara explained the four main classifications and included a breakdown by percentage of American female consumers:

Hourglass (8.4%) – Bust and hips are same width, defined waist… Kim Kardashian
Pear (20.92%) – Hips are wider than bust, defined waist… Beyonce
Straight (46.12%) – Bust and hips are same width, undefined waist… Cameron Diaz
Apple (13.83%) – Bust is wider than hips, undefined waist… Jessica Simpson

As a stylist, I found this presentation to be helpful for determining which cuts work best on certain body types.  She gave specific examples in her presentation and I noticed several members of the audience taking notes.  After discussing body shapes she went on to explain how to dress appropriately for one’s age… 20’s, 30’s, and 40’s.  Never mind that most of the audience were probably Safety Harbor residents and had to be in their 50’s and up.  I think they still found her class to be very educational.  As did I.  I look forward to attending her next installment about shopping on a budget.

I took the liberty of putting some of Kara’s tips to use and have created a shoppable ensemble for all of you ‘Pear’ body types out there.  Since you represent nearly a quarter of female consumers, and since ‘Straight’ body types can wear almost anything, I figured I’d give it a go…

Pear Shape Ensemble

Tips for dressing the Pear shape:
On top – Bring attention up and away from the waist and hips by adding ruffles or other details near the neckline.  Add an eye-catching earring or statement necklace.  Wear prints.
On bottom – Wear darker colors.  Stay away from leggings and skinny jeans.  Wear wide-leg trousers, boot-cut jeans, or A-line skirts.  This will balance your frame so as not to draw attention to your hips.

1.  Floral Bow Neck Top, $45, dorothyperkins.com
2.  Brown Wide Leg Linen Pant, $30, riverisland.com
3.  Kenneth Jay Lane Drop Earrings, $30.55, asos.com
4.  Fossil Leather Tote, $125.99, macys.com
5.  BC Shoes Leather Sandal, $49.99, modcloth.com

Spring Trend: The Camouflage Jacket

Spring 2013 Trend- Camo Street Style
street style photo: luckymag.com

Inspired by military fatigues, the camouflage print has been a huge trend this season.  It’s not uncommon to see a camo print jacket worn over black or white tees with jeans and flats.  I’ve also seen a lot of camo print pants paired with tees and blazers.  The 2013 spring season has offered more feminine injections to this classic trend with the addition of high heels and bold colors. I love the idea of mixing dressy and casual, so I found this combination of camo and coral to be quite refreshing!

Spring Translation: Camouflage
1.  Camouflage Jacket, $44, dorothyperkins.com
2.  Athe by Vanessa Bruno Crepe Silk Dress, $176, brownsfashion.com
3.  Aviator Sunglasses, $25, solesociety.com
4.  Jeffrey Campbell Nude Sandals, $130, nastygal.com 

Friends With Benefits…

Denise3

The benefits of having stylish friends are endless!  First of all, they are my fashion plates, constantly serving as inspiration for my own personal style.  It’s fun to hang out with like-minded gals who truly appreciate the art of dressing.  My dear friend Denise Schultz recently posted this pic on her Facebook page and I was instantly drawn to the look… casual, yet elegant… comfortable, yet super chic!  Though she appears to be wearing separates, it’s actually a gorgeous striped and cobalt blue maxi-dress she discovered at Nordstrom Rack in Tampa (one of my favorite spots to score designer duds at discounted prices).  I found some great pieces online and put together my amped up evening version of this fabulous Spring/Summer look below…

Denise Inspired Ensemble

1. Stripes and Lace Top, $28, dorothyperkins.com
2. Mango Satin Maxi Skirt, $46, houseoffraser.co.uk
3. Fornash Rosey Earring, $19, simplysoles.com
4. French Connection Cropped Cardigan, $99, usa.frenchconnection.com
5. French Connection Wide Belt, $49.90, asos.com
6. Melissa Optical Sandal, $70, jildorshoes.com

Denim Shorts With Oxfords

I was trying to think of fun ways to jazz up my vintage (okay, circa 2003) cut-off denim shorts, which I tend to throw on as soon as I roll out of bed.  Enter the metallic oxfords.  I can totally dig this look because it’s comfy without sacrificing style.  Amp up the fem-factor and balance the edgy shoes with a pretty floral top.  Grab your fedora and trendy shades and you’re out the door…

Denim Shorts and Oxfords Ensemble

1. Floral Top, $29, dorothyperkins.com
2. Moto Denim Shorts, $64, topshop.com
3. BCBG Banded Fedora, $48, bcbg.com
4. Round Preppy Sunglasses, $32, topshop.com
5. Bass Silver Oxfords, $99, amazon.com

Designer Inspiration: Alice + Olivia

Alice and Olivia Pic
photo: style.com

Okay, so I adore this leopard print ensemble by Alice + Olivia.  The dress, the bag, the shoes… perfection!  The price… a bit out of my league.  These three designer pieces total nearly $1,200 and I just can’t go there.  So, like any determined fashion stalker, I found a few amazing alternatives that convey this same look for a fraction of the price (13/100 actually)! I’ve posted both looks below… the real thing for those with deeper wallets, and the ‘close-enough’ version for gals like me…

Alice and Olivia Ensemble

1. Alice & Olivia Dress, $396, aliceandolivia.com
2. Alice & Olivia Snake Embossed Leather Bag, $545, aliceandolivia.com
3. Alice & Olivia Leopard Print Wedge Sandal, $240, bergdorfgoodman.com

Alice and Olivia Inspired Ensemble
1. Dorothy Perkins Leopard Print Dress, $35, dorothyperkins.com
2. Jessica Simpson Satchel, $69.95, dsw.com
3. JustFab Leopard Wedge Sandal, $49.99, heels.com