Girls and Guise.

It’s been a while since I have written. It has been a long time since I have made the time to write. In fact, I didn’t write throughout the entire season that you COULD wear white. Don’t know what I’m referencing? Find out what you missed! (And, no. It’s not a coincidence that my boyfriend and I started dating just a little bit before my last post. What on earth would make you think that?) Anyway, among my many thoughts of “oh, I should write about that…” someone did step up to the plate! I received an email with a request to do a guest post and it came at just the write* time. Get it? 😉 Yes, I know I the difference between “write” and “right”. I just like puns, okay? Point being, I have a wedding to attend next weekend and haven’t even begun to figure out what I should wear. Keep reading for what Sarah Juzar thinks is the perfect solution to any occasion.

All about Cocktail Dresses

Nearly every girl has experienced the headache of deciding what to wear to a formal occasion. Even with a closet full of clothes or a store full of racks, in the moment, it seems like these the worst of times. This is where your cocktail dress comes in to save the day.

Cocktail dresses are not just for parties; they can be your best dress friend to any formal or semi-formal occasion. From office parties to wedding receptions, from date night to engagements, or to just about any social event; you can wear a cocktail dress and look fashionably on point.

When selecting cocktail dresses don’t just go on, mindlessly choosing the first catches your eye.

C H O O S E  W I S E L Y

So, you just picked a cocktail dress that looked good on the mannequin, but you are a real woman, so make sure it flatters you and your style. The dress you wear is what will helps you stand out, so look for something that highlights your best features. If you are wishing to get the attention on your upper body (neck and bust) look for necklines. Low neck, neck less, halter neck, boat neck, and off the shoulders are great ways to keep your neck in spotlight. If you have the legs of Carrie Underwood, go for dresses that are not long, but short… just a few inches above the knee works wonders. When you are planning to highlight your lower body area (waist, hips and back) your best choice would be backless dresses, wrap dresses, or dresses with ruched details around the waist. When taking your best feature to the limelight, just keep it to one part at a time. Drawing attention to all parts makes you look like too desperate for attention.

Colors are important too, but most of the cocktail dresses are worn during evening or night, so just go with what complements your skin color and accentuates everything about you.

Now let’s talk about the types of cocktail dresses that will work for as your formal dressing staples. In short, enter the cocktail dress paradise.

Keeping it simple:

1

There are occasions where you have to dress up but you don’t want to make it too dressy. Cocktail dresses that are simple yet elegant can be worn to these types of occasions. A dress with a decent length and silhouette is what you really what you are looking for…not too much detail or embellishments, but a solid, simple color. A minimalistic dress like this can be easily dressed up or down as per your choice. You can easily take dress like this from day to night. Wear it to work with flats and   a chic sweater, then shuck those shoes and cardigan and replace them with a statement necklace and pumps for a night you won’t forget.

Lace it up:

2

Lace has been a favorite among women for ages, perhaps because it has gives off a sublte charm and can always be modernized. A lace dress will be a very useful and stunning addition to your cocktail dress collection. You can look classy and sassy in a lace dress, without over doing anything. Just a lace dress with the right fit and you can forget all your formal dress woes. To accent the dress choice, don a statement necklace, watch, pair of strap heels and a glamorous clutch and that should do the trick. Just don’t forget to put on a smile after you are done pouting with your red lipstick.

Turn Up the shine:

3

When you feel like transforming yourself into a glamour queen, you need sequins and a lot of shine in your party dress. Sequins are a way to shine and get all eyes on you without even trying. A striking dress with sequins and sparkle will save this day for you. A dress that is itself too attention grabbing should be accessorized and dressed carefully. You go a little overboard with the accessories and you’ll end up looking like a Christmas tree. Just keep the accessories simple and delicate, wear your right heels, keep your hair simple and you’re ready to twinkle the night away.

Cut out to the cocktail:

4

If you feel like showing a sliver of skin while managing to stay sophisticated and charming, then a cut out dress is a match made in heaven for you. You can effortlessly draw attention to where you want and look glam. For a dress like this, you can wear your accessories simple and your hair pretty with a loose braided bun and you’re ready to go.

There are still a myriad of options available for cocktail dresses, just keep your eyes (and mind) open for them. You can always dress them up or down based on your own style intuitions! just don’t get too crazy.

Sarah Juzar is a content writer for Sophie & Trey, an online clothing store for women. Offering a large variety of dresses, shoes, jewelry and other women’s accessories. Like them on Facebook to stay updated with their latest deals and sales.

What the heck is Winter White?

“You can wear white in the winter now. Michelle sent me a Glamour magazine article that said it was totally okay.”

That was a conversation I heard at church a couple of weeks ago. I immediately rolled my eyes and briskly walked to my car. I had had enough of that conversation. Lucky for you, it pulled me out of my blogging hiatus.

I am a bit of a traditionalist (that might be an understatement) and my Southern roots go down deep. One thing that has been instilled in me, is that you put your white away after Labor Day, and you don’t take it out until Easter rolls around. As a child, every Spring I’d not only get a  new dress for Easter Sunday, but a new pair of white shoes to pair with it.

*side note: I wore pantyhose to church even in the summer, well into my middle school years. Thanks, mom.*

First of all, let me be clear. Winter white is an actual color. It is a creamy white and by no means stark. If you were to walk into my office wearing creamy, dreamy pair of cords, that would be a perfect example of winter white. Have you ever seen bright white corduroy pants? I didn’t think so. There’s a reason for that. You’re not meant to wear white in the winter. To tell poor girls that white is suddenly acceptable in the winter because there’s a new hue called winter white is just plain sad. But it’s equally as sad that they actually eat that information up.

Second of all, you will never see me wear white in winter, no matter what magazine “grants” me the ability. (Not to mention, my grandmothers would roll over in their grave if I did). One thing that I love about the South is its tradition. The unwritten “white” rule is just one of those.

So to answer my question “what the heck is winter white”, it’s a color that has been around for a while and accepted in the southern society. It’s nothing new and it certainly isn’t as stark as what some fashion publications are portraying.

But don’t take my word for it, just take a look at history. Some of my biggest fashion inspirations are Audrey and Jackie O. (surprise, surprise). Take a look at them. Did they wear white in winter? The answer is simple: N-O. The reason they are still relevant today is because they weren’t trendy, they were classic. Something that is currently trendy is wearing white in the winter. I rest my case.

Now go shine up your white shoes and make sure your white sundress hasn’t yellowed. Easter is 71 days away.

It’s Fall, y’all. Part One: Sweaters and Scarves.

“Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall.”

F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

I’m all for summer fun. I love the freckles, and crop tops, and the seemingly never ending nights.

But, I also love sweaters, and football, and warming up by a crackling fire.  God really knew what he was doing when he created the seasons…they creep up just in time…rewarding you with a change in weather, wardrobe, and flavors.

Texas fall can sometimes be hard, wardrobe wise. Our weather is somewhat bi polar. It can be 80 degrees one day and fall to below 50 degrees the next. (I remember wearing shorts in December last year).

Here’s what I’ve been doing to transition my wardrobe into fall and keep me from suffocating myself due to poor choice in clothing:

Pair a sweater with a skirt you’d usually wear leggings with. 

FAll 1 outfit

This gives you room to “breath” and not overheat! This chunky cable knit sweater with elbow patches I bought from here. The mini is a tweed fabric with buttons that’s from here circa 2007. Does that make it vintage? I skipped the usual tights and paired it with my favorite pair of oxfords. With a high of 80 and a low of 50, this outfit was the perfect combination for Fall in Texas.

Think Thin.

fall 12 outfitWhen shopping for fall clothing, buy thin. This lets allows you to get more versatility, because you can always layer it with boots or a scarf to provide more warmth. This is another great sweater from here, paired with my all time favorite pair of pants from my all time favorite store. (I have them in multiple colors and am not ashamed!)  My shoes are my favorite buy this fall- suede wedge booties. I found them accidentally here.

Mo Shoes, Mo Problems Less Problems.

fall shoes

*Not pictured, my fabulous Uggs, that are definitely my favorite Winter shoe! But really, shoes can make or break your outfit and boots can help you create an effortless fall look. Pair them with jeans, skirts, or dresses. They are no rules- you can even throw in a contrasting tall sock! (Pictured from left to right, Marshall’s, Indigo by Clarks, Frye, Olsenboye, Nine West, Gianni Bini, Nine West).

Now you have no excuse but to look the season. Excuse me, but I think my pumpkin hot chocolate is ready…See you next time for part two: Cookies and Crafts!

Why J. Crew is better than Banana Republic.

It’s no secret that I am a J. Crew hoarder collector. I could live on a diet of no.2 pencil skirts and Texas Ruby Red Organic grapefruits and be quite happy.

So what keeps me coming back and paying that pretty price tag? It’s quite simple, really.

1)quality. I know that it is a good product and I know that it is durable. None of that wear-it-once-and-toss it crud. *coughforever21cough* It’s definitely worth the money.

2)fit. Let’s be real. I have a waist that is a lot smaller than my hips. Some call them childbearing hips. I choose to ignore that statement. That being said, it’s sometimes hard to find clothes, especially skirts, that don’t make me look like I’m headed to da club. J. Crew fits and I can trust that it will 110%.

3)the people. Five words for you: Mickey Drexler and Jenna Lyons. The CEO and Creative Director are geniuses. Not to mention J. Crew staff are 97% of the time the best. (only 97% of the time because of an incident that occured in their Little Rock store).

This brings me to the meat of this post. I was shopping a couple weeks ago and went into the Banana Republic store in NorthPark mall. I found these great pants- navy with kelly green print. I have a thing for fun pants. In fact, one of my superiors at work told me I should shop at Loudmouth.com because one time I wore a pair of paisley crops to work (J. Crew of course). I loved the BR pants, but didn’t have a blouse at home that would pair well with it. I asked a lady in the fitting room if she knew of a top that would go well with them.

I often ask, because a)I don’t want to leave the fitting room and b)I like to see other people’s style, so it will broaden my own.

She told me no…you’re telling me that there wasn’t a top in the entire store that would go well with these pants, lady? I didn’t say that of course, just went on my way and purchased them. Lo and behold a passed a shirt on the way out that would have accompanied the pants quite well; however, I was ready to get to the next store and just passed it by. That sales rep cost her store a sale that day, as well as some respect. All because she didn’t try to help me. Isn’t that, i don’tknow…like her job?

J. Crew on the other hand, is always there to help. They start me a fitting room without me having to ask…They help accessorize and complete my outfits…They bring me additional items that might pair well with something I have chosen…need I say more?

Didn’t think so.

Be better than Banana Republic, and gosh darnit, be better than the Gap. They are one in the same, you know. If Ryan Gosling says it, you know it’s true.

So what do you think?

Dear Ex-Boyfriends,

If you clicked on this post thinking I was taking a note from T-Swift’s book, you thought wrong.

…Though, now that I think about it, maybe I should write a book about “Red” flags in the dating world. (excuse the second Taylor Swift Reference)

Chapter One: if a guy tells you that you’re “proud” and the first example that comes out of his mouth is “because you have a blog”, his aspirations obviously don’t match up with yours. He needs a sugar momma and that’s not you.

Not that this has happened of course…or has it? you’ll never know. Why? Because that book would definitely be under a pen name. (so their mothers wouldn’t want to spank disown them).

Anyway, that wasn’t the point of this post. the point of this, was to address menswear! As I have mentioned before, I am a merchandise coordinator for custom shirts, at J. Hilburn.

J. Hilburn is revolutionizing the way we look at menswear, especially custom and made to measure. Less than 2 weeks ago, we had our annual conference in Las Vegas.  A large number of our style partners (we have over 3,000), EOs of Esquire and Mens Health, as well as Scott Bedbury ( THE guy responsible for helping Nike and Starbucks become household names) attended.

We are fixing to (I’m Texan and can’t help it) release our fall shirting fabrics and I am so excited about them. Our fall suiting will be awesome as well, but I work with shirting so that is what my mind turns to. Paisleys, and polka dots, and perfect autumn solids, all available under one roof! My favorite fall item isn’t shirting though- it’s our new grey flannel tuxedo. They make me want it to be winter already!

 

We cut out the middle man and make more affordable custom shirts, made to measure trousers, personalized sport coats, and quality ready to wear merchandise. We are looking to release other collaborations in the future, which the customer is really going to like. Our newest partnership is with J Brand denim. We will offer them in addition to our AG denim options.

Recently I was in some dear friends’ wedding and was able to dress the groomsmen, groom, and father of the bride in our tuxedos. They looked stunning to say the least.

      *Copyright Erika Pinkley

So, there you have it boys. (and girls, gotta be PC you know…)

I work for a menswear company that produces garments with some of the top fabric mills and most advanced factories in the world. Pima cotton, Egyptian Cotton, Super 120s wool…the list goes on and on.

Oh. AND I get a discount on everything. Did I mention that?

To the well-dressers, sorry your closet missed out on such a deal and a half.

To the slobs, sorry you missed an opportunity to look this good.

And to the somewhere inbetweens…eh. We’re all past this now, aren’t we?

Hope you enjoyed this tongue-in-cheek (no pun intended…oh wait, that wouldn’t be a pun anymore I guess) post.

Hey girl, tell me what yo name, er I mean Monogram is…

If you haven’t noticed, monograms are one of the key trends right now. They can be seen on backpacks, hats, even gold necklaces.
Remember in the early 2000’s when  your initial was the “in” thing? Well, this has slowly come to replace it.

Honestly, I believe monogramming is classy and has always been popular among southern belles and sorority girls; it is just experiencing an explosion of popularity.

You can even monogram your Longchamp!

When I worked the Dallas Fashion Market in August, you could find monogrammed jewelry all over cash and carry floor. I might of indulged…

While mine isn’t real gold like this one, the fact that I only paid $4.75 makes up for it.

If you don’t have your own monogramming or embroiderering (I wish I did) Marly Lilly is one of the best sites to get your initials on your clothing.

They offer coozies, iPhone cases, sunhats, and even Nike shorts.

You can even stitch them yourself if you are feeling crafty! These are one of the products I offer for Southern Elle.

Monograms have also been commonly used at Weddings, but now it’s over the top. And guess what? I. Like. It.

One of my favorite finds are monogrammed mason jar glasses. My mom said I should wait until I get married until I buy them. I said, well…it doesn’t look like that’s happening anytime soon.

Whether you’re a new-comer to the trend, or rocking your mother’s vintage monogrammed Izod sweater, wear your name with pride. Confidence never goes out of style.

90’s are back, alright!

You probably think I have been slacking, but that my dear is not the case.  My priorities have been shifting as I research job possibilities, remain studious, keep active in my organizations, live life, and well, sleep.

I now write the style section for an online magazine called Fleur Ibis. That usually gets first priority when I free write, as that actually has deadlines I must meet. Another way my writing has been spread thin is because most every week I have a paper due in my fashion forecasting class. We write on everything from style icons to demographics and how media affects fashion.

Recently I’ve noticed more than just a tribute to the 90’s through clothing, but through products and advertising. Old Navy got The Backstreet Boys to do an ad for their jeans. (Though I prefer the Avett Brothers for Gap ad) Furby has resurfaced with a 2012 version. I personally think Hasbro is insane for bringing back this creepy creature. Who really wants to pay $60 for an awkward toy that can be quite scary.

One week my class’ topics for our paper were decades; I got the 90’s.  Here’s what I wrote on the 90’s and their influence today:

Zeitgiest: The  [Teen] Spirit of the 90’s

What’s that smell you ask?  The stench of an overstayed welcome of Teen Spirit? Think again. Style inspiration from the 90s is hardly unwelcomed- it’s rather beloved by today’s hipster, as well as the clean-lined prep. To better embrace the multitude of styles inspired by the 90s, let’s glance back at the decade where it all began.

Globalization and the acceptance of many differences kick started this minimalistic era. The Cold War ended, trade agreements such as NAFTA were drafted, and equal opportunities were fought for.  Technology and innovations surged as the internet revolutionized the world as we knew it. The tiresome lavishness of the 80s left the people of the 90s only one place to go: the casual corner in their closet. And that’s exactly what occurred.

The main instigator of fashion during this decade was music. You can neatly map out four genres and their coordinating fashion groups : grunge, goth, urban, and prep.

Probably the most notable style of the 90s was grunge. This went along with the alternative rock movement that celebrated rebelliousness and antifashion. Ironically, the “style” caught on. The poster child for this look was Kurt Cobain of Nirvana- a band founded in the late 80s, but reached its peak in the 90s. They were known for their flannels, destroyed denim, and Converse.  Though bands were known for emulating this look, the first designer to put it on the runway was Marc Jacobs.

A similar yet more embellished look was goth. It is basically its mother style (punk) on steroids. Goth popularized self expression through piercings and visible body art. Besides modernizing tattoos, goth is known for trending Dr. Martens. A face to put to this genre is Marilyn Manson, known for his application of makeup and donning black.

New on the scene was the Urban look. It was made popular by rappers such as Marky Mark. This fashion consisted of oversized pants that showed undergarments, as well as lots of jewelry deemed as “bling.” P. Diddy was one of the first to make this style available to the masses with his “Sean John” label.

Near the end of the decade, it seemed that everyone was tired of the ever so popular untamed fashion ideals, so they made a swift change. Influenced by pop culture such as N’SNYC, Backstreet Boys, and Britney Spears, a more traditional look arose. This stark contrast to the grunge, goth, and garage band look included staples such as button downs, cardigans, and various prints like argyle.

So, do you still think the 90s are smelling up the scene? Look around- you’ll see the grunge look of flannels and converse, the goth look of combat boots, urban hip-hop’s saggy pant look, and preppy’s varsity look of layering sweaters and button-ups. Love it or hate, it’s still here. If nothing else, you can at least appreciate the 90s for giving you casual Fridays and serving as a precursor to the internet app on your iPhone that you’re rarely seen without.