Back to basics with black and white

Black and White Casual Style (3)The basics of every wardrobe should be strong structured clothing that you can embellish to fit your mood and style. But being basic doesn’t mean it has to be boring. You can still pack a ton of style and energy into a black and white outfit! With autumn upon us a well-planned black and white outfit can provide structure and a pop of variation to make your look memorable. For my play on black and white I choose a white turtleneck and a pair of black stretch pants. Yes that sounds basic and downright boring but with the play on color gone the focus can be on fit and silhouette. In order to get a focus point I added a long flowing vest to the mix which really highlights the brightness of the white turtleneck. Paired with my favorite casual knee boots the look was classic yet still very modern.   What I like best about this black and white look is that it can work pretty easily in a range of settings. I took the look from my grandmothers birthday party to dinner in a look perfect for both because it was less about the clothes and more about what was in them…Me!Black and White Casual Style (1)

Day to Night Fashion: using the same focus for two different looks

one skirt two looksWith fashion finding the perfect outfit for an event is hard enough, but trying to do it twice in one day can feel like looking for a four leaf clover.  For me if there is a piece I really love about one part of my outfit, chances are that I am going to try to carry it to the next event too.  With a couple of easy changes in accessories or components you can redefine a look quickly and still get the perfect fit for two very different occasions.

Last weekend I was faced with two events in one day and the challenge was on to make the focus of my outfit, a colorful print skirt, work for two completely different events.  I started in the morning with my Art of Conversation brunch.  For the Art of Conversation events I always like to look responsible enough to be a host but fun enough that people actually want to listen to my input on the conversation.  To do so I decided to balance the colorful, playfulness of the skirt with a solid colored top.  I chose a lace blouse to get the job done, with the solid black color but still a fun lace pattern to balance and still add some edginess to the playful skirt.  To keep the look PG I added a camisole and to add a little spice and to lengthen my legs, I rounded off the look with some peep toe pony hairs Christian Louboutins. With a beautiful day and some great food at Davis St. Restaurant the event was a success and it was on to the next one.

For my night event I faced the challenge of repurposing the skirt I loved for an awards banquet for the Houston Black Real Estate Association.  My goal for the look of the evening was definitely not as lively.  In my opinion if you are not sure what the general attire is toning your look down is never a bad idea. So to balance the skirt I went with a solid print red shirt with an asymmetrical finish.  To deal with the night air I added some black net stockings and because I am still young and fun (at least in my mind) I finished the look with my black leather jacket.  Pulling up a full 13 hours after my day started I was happy to have transformed a look from day to night while keeping it sleek and comfortable all at the same time.

 

Fashion Challenge: Packing for a day trip

IMG_0245A day trip is a great way to hone your fashion balance between comfort, ease, style, and flexibility.  When your entire apparel should fit in a small bag some of the “what ifs” that come with packing disappear.   My mission impossible for packing for my trip was to include something to wear to a musical as well as something comfortable and cute for my day two.  Here were my answers to the fashion challenge of a one day trip to San Antonio.

Puttin’ On the Ritz

IMG_0244Every year I try to make it up to New York so my daughter can see a Broadway show.  Well in 2014 we couldn’t make it to New York for Broadway so we had to catch it her in Texas.  The Lion King musical is a great introduction to musicals for kids and as an 80’s baby it ties something I loved in my childhood to something she could still connect.  Not to mention you cannot beat a show with both beautiful musical and an inspiring message.  When I am packing light there are few better choices for me than a dress because it is an all in one outfit.  I went with silk Haute Hippie shirt dress.  The flow of the dress made it a bit flirty while I could add other elements like a belt and some boots to give it more of a grown up feel.  Knee boots, like my sued Gucci boots, are a great way to add some class but are flexible enough to fold and fit in a smaller bag when needed.  The cranberry color of the dress helped to add some elegance to the look and was a great balance for a Broadway show with a huge kid appeal like the Lion King.

Conquering the Riverwalk

IMG_0216The flip side of a one way trip is always difficult because you really want to be comfortable for your return but also you want to get in a little bit of fun or sightseeing while you are still at your destination.  It was my goal not just to explore the Riverwalk but also check one some of the awesome restaurants that are sprinkled throughout area.  To get my fix of both comfort and style I chose to keep it simple with jeans and a sweater.  Yep it’s a classic combination and by throwing in a fun hat and belt I added a little shape and sass to freshen up the look.  I was able to both conquer a small exploration of the Riverwalk, some delicious empanadas (with a little room to spare in the waist of my pants) and the flight back to Houston with a smile.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Entering the world of luxury timepieces with Eleven James

IMG_8303When it comes to having a smooth and polished look there is no better way to round out your look than with accessories. In men’s fashion there are few better ways to accomplish this goal than through a timepiece.  A great time piece highlights not only a man’s style, but also speaks volume to the occasion, polish and position that comes with the wearer.  Whether it be fun or bold or classic or even extravagant a man’s time piece gives a visible node other’s take note of when they size up a man.  Stepping into the world of luxury timepieces, however, is no small feat.  With watches often coming with a heafty price tag it can become a challenge to choose the right one to carry through all the important occasions and styles a man wants to access.  With so many choices and so little time what’s a man to do when making his choice for arm candy?  Eleven James is a company that has burst on the scene ready to answer this question and give men access to a range of options, brands and styles without having to commit to just one choice.

Eleven James stylized photoExclusive access to some of the premier watch designers is enough to make almost any fine watch collector or enthusiast drool. With access to brands like Cartier, Audemars Piguet, Hublot, and even Patek Philippe the selection is unrivaled to watches that redefine the style element of almost any occasion.  Just as car clubs work to provide access to luxury vehicles without having to make the commitment that comes with purchasing, Eleven James subscriptions provides two month rotations where you can get hands on access to the watches that dreams are made of.  As you begin the process the personalized services of Eleven James takes the time to find out about the personal style and options you are interested in.  Either through the guidance of their concierge or at one of their exclusive networking events you get to discover the style, fit, shapes and features that connect with your style.  In line with keeping you on your toes and giving you an expanded personal experience with the watch just as one rotation ends, the fun and excitement of a new watch makes it not just Christmas in July but year round when you see the Eleven James box pop up.

As the world of accessories have already blazed ahead in the world of women’s luxury purse exchange programs, the concept of bringing luxury and options together for timepieces is a concept that is right on time. The decision to begin any luxury collection is not a light one and the ability to still have options is irreplaceable.  What is the fun in having something very nice and very expensive that you either no longer like, are tired of, or just does not connect any longer to your personal style.  The truth is we change with time and position and making an investment that allows you to explore these changes can never be a bad thing.  For those new or old to watches, what better way is there to really decide if you want to keep something or find the perfect match to an important occasion than getting some real hands on time with the timepiece?  Hands on experience with luxury timepieces give all of the insight without the loss that comes with making the wrong decision for you.  With great benefits and outstanding luxury watches, Eleven James is making a bold statement in not just men’s style but their lifestyle as well.  If you want more information on the great watches included in the membership Click Here or check out their 11J Look Book.

 

Fall Style Spotlight with Vogue and the Galleria

Simon Fashion EventIf you are looking to be on the cusp of new fashion trends there is no better place to look than the Galleria. Regardless of if you are in the know on each season’s fashions or if you need some guidance on how to be on trend, Simon and the Galleria finds chic ways to showcases fall fashions.  Events that mix fashion and fun really inspire you to get more creative in your own style to develop a look that is sure to help you shine through the upcoming seasonal transition.  Simon Signature Fashion Event and Lookbook Live gave a great peak into phenomenal fashions of premiere designers all found at the Galleria.  Take a look at some of my favorite trends and fashions of the night. Vogue Market Stylist Cara Crowley       Shimmer and Shine. When you are going to a formal event it is a great opportunity to really get dolled up and show off a different side of your fashion palette.   In dressing up, however, you want to still work the dress and not let the dress work you.  This season showcased some beautiful metallic that gives the wow factor but still allow you to use the shine and shimmer to really sparkle instead of falling flat.  By balancing the shimmer and shine of metalics with clean and symmetrical lines you get some of the flash with all of shape that really makes you feel great when you are stepping in a special event.Vogue Galleria Fashion Event 9 Vogue Galleria Fashion Event 7 Vogue Galleria Fashion Event 3 Vogue Galleria Fashion Event 1 Vogue Galleria Fashion Event Shimmer with Missoni Dress Vogue Galleria Fashion Event Shimmer Dress Vogue Galleria Fashion Event Shimmer Dress 3 Vogue Galleria Fashion Event Shimmer Dress 2                                                                                     Pant Prints. When you are always on the move between work and fun learning how to balance party and business wear is a must.  This season ‘s fall collections features some really fun prints on pants that emphasis plays on color and comfort while still pulling off a sophisticated style.  When paired with a jacket and heels you have something that works well for a sleek look but also can be dressed down for something that stays in heavy rotation in your wardrobe. Vogue Galleria Fashion Event 8 Vogue Galleria Fashion Event Fun pants prints                   Outstanding Outwear. With outwear this fun I am really wishing for a white Christmas.   Jackets can add instant pizazz to almost anything and give you room for real flexibility in your style.  Long jackets are a particular winner for me as they really allow you to dress however you like and still look classic.  The runway featured a long jacket, which many would typically think of as formal, with a casual skirt and boots.  The long jacket along supplied the splash of polish the entire outfit needed to work well.  Without question the show stopper for me was the St. John cape.  It pinpoints that fashion staples can still be trendy and that traditional does not have to be boring.  When paired with a sheath you evoke classic Hollywood sophistication that still carries over to jeans and boots.Vogue Galleria Fashion Event Long Suit Jacket Vogue Galleria Fashion Event 6 Vogue Galleria Fashion Event long jackets Vogue Galleria Fashion Event Cape 2

Ageless and Timeless Fashion with Black Halo

With Black Halo Designer Lauren BermanWhen you follow too closely to what is trendy your closet is always in a constant rotation of what’s hot, closely followed by what is not.   True style is not just the inspirations designers share in their collections as the seasons change.  Instead true style cultivates one’s personality and combines it with the shapes and designs that stand the test of time by accenting the shape and beauty of the wearer first and foremost.  Black Halo is one of the brands that is on a true pursuit to cover the natural style and grace that showcases women best assets and giving them the poise to put their best foot out that is the root of ageless and timeless fashion. Black Halo sleek La Reina jumpsuit

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Black Halo is the brainchild of Laurel Berman and is the elegant combination of strength paired with softness and reserved paired with free-spirited that speaks to women of almost any age.  The journey to deliver the ageless and timeless fashions Black Halo is known for begins with a focus on fit.  By starting off with the challenge of making every woman look 2 inches taller and 15 pounds thinner in each garment the secret ingredient of their success is quickly revealed.  Nothing carries through the years or the trends more than making clothes that make a woman confident and more often than not fit is the key.  As making this focus on fit is the cornerstone for the brand, women can carry these garments with them throughout various occasions because quite simply they feel good and look good in the garment. Black Halo proivdes timeless and ageless style regardless of your style preferences

Black Halo models showcasing how to rock the little black dressWith the foundation in place with a focus on good fit, quality and exquisite fabrics add to the equation to answer the call of ageless and timeless fashions. The fact is that being ageless and timeless does not mean that every dress is the perfect fit for everywoman.  By adding variation in color and committing to fabrics that wear well and drape even better each woman can explore the differences that make us all unique and beautiful.  Black Halo takes their clean, fit focused style and embellishes in color and textures that may appear on trend but stand the test of time as the wearer knows they will look phenomenal.

Black Halo finding the perfect balance between allure and tradition in the little black dress

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When I looked to some of the reasons I love this brand I did not have to look any further than its creator Laurel Berman. She is masterfully able to roll in all her experiences, from living on a farm to living it up in San Francisco, and her choice to follow her heart instead of her wallet in going to design school to pour into the constant inspirations she applies to her designs.  Although know for the ageless and timeliness deigns such as her Jackie O Dress it is clear that her vision of style simply refuses to accept the limits of age and time to define beauty and confidence in a woman. Black Halo lets effortless style combine with todays trends

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chic Sighting – Emporium DNA in Washington DC

IMG_7317My life is usually a constant balance between the creative sides of my Pisces nature and the business side required to command a more professional look.  Finding clothes that can balance both of these personas can be a challenge to say the least but upon stepping in Emporium DNA on a visit to Washington DC I instantly felt like I met my fashion mecca.

Emporium DNA racks 2 Emporium DNA racks 1 Emporium DNA racks 4 Emporium DNA Racks 3 Emporium DNA Handbag GalleryAs I am firm believer that fashion is really an extension of our own personal style and shape I rate a boutique highly if their own fashion sense comes across fluidly as it speaks to you in every corner in the store.  Emporium DNA started off chic as I stepped in the door.  As I explored the boutique I found items on point with fashion trends but with unique twist and fabrics and designs that linked it to a woman who wears the clothes, not lets the clothes wear her.  Fun finds surrounded me and promised I had definitely reached a day were I was going to bust the budget.  The looks from pieces around the store took me away to the fashionable streets of Paris, to the urban funk of New York and right back to the professional swag that pounds the pavement in DC.  I found jackets I could rock with jeans or slacks and skirts I could take from day to night with ease.  Each way giving me another nugget in my mix and match madness at home that drives my closet selections.  From leather crop tops to flowing maxi skirts there is a little something for everyone at the store that not only speaks to their style, whether bohemian, business, conservative, or funky.  The store gives a twist on what it really means to be fashionable that makes it just a little fresher than something you can find at a more cookie cutter store.

Emporium DNA Handbag spotlight Emporium DNA shoesOn top of the great styles and dashing atmosphere the staff was simply amazing.  All warm and friendly and ready to help you find things you did not even know you were looking for.  I initially was smitten with the style knowledge of Assistant Manager Jared at their brother store G-Star Raw.  The same great product knowledge and great advice for personal shape and style was found at Emporium DNA!  When great clothes comes with service with a smile then who can beat that????  If you are on the search for designer clothes with a fresh new spin to tackle your own personal style then Emporium DNA is the store for you.

Closet confessions: Revisiting old fashion and making it something new

Making new finds in your old clothesThere is no bigger terror in the world of planning your daily fashion than being separated from some of your go-to attire.  I am living that nightmare right now as I have much of my closets packed up as I transition from one home to another.  The benefit of the move, however, is that you get to rediscover some pieces that may have store away and forgotten for a long time.  Revisiting favorites of the past remind you of the reasons the piece caught your eyes and can even bring back the old feelings that inspired the purchase in the first way.

This is especially the case when you buy items based on your own personal style instead of trends that come and go.  Clothes can be a great way to show the world who you are, your own personal style and give you the confidence to take on some of the world’s challenges.  When your purchases are made in this light this internal connection still comes through, with or without whatever trend is not at the top of the fashion season.  I recent dug deep into my closet and found a fun and flirty  Catherine Malandrino skirt and my mind was instantly filled with fashion memories of the past.  While finishing my MBA and living in Miami, I chose the skirt because of the ease of the flow and bright color palette.  As adult the colorfulness served as a great remind of my cousins bright spirit at the celebration of his life.  Even in its rediscovery I still love these same elements.  In catching the wave of the Houston summer heat I decided to wear the skirt as a dress to make the legs the spotlight and produce a simple yet attention grabbing outfit for a night out for fun.  As everything old becomes new again the skirt actually matches todays dress trends but more importantly it is still a great expression of my personal taste and personality.

Tailoring your style with David Peck

David Peck Dress 2I have often found myself jealous of the options men have when tailoring a suit.  Through the process men have the option to customize a suit not only in the selections of fabric and color but also in making sure the measurements fit exactly to their proportions and preferences.  There is no question that some amount of tailoring can do wonders in ensuring your fit is both comfortable and flattering to your shape, and there is no size fits all in that area with the wide variation of women body shapes and curves.  My longing for custom clothing has come to an end, however, after I stepped in the showroom at David PeckDavid Peck is an exquisite American Fashion House based right here out of Houston and the brand is blazing their way into women fashion by providing the style and making the fit for a custom feel in every season.

David Peck kicks it up a notch by giving you the hands on experience of shopping off of the rack blended with the option for you to both customize fit as well as materials and colors for pieces you love.  As important as a custom fit is, tailing clothing from scratch is not for the faint of heart.  Choosing colors and materials from scratch can wind up in things that look a lot different once made than they did in your mind.  This is where David Peck truly shines.  There showroom is already a haven for style for the woman on the move.  From power suits to evening dresses, David Peck proves that you do not have to take a cookie cutter approach to professional styling.  DSCN1298 DSCN1295The key to these looks are great separates you can mix and match to find the combination perfect for your occasion and style.  In the showroom my mind raced paring blouses with suits and then with shorts and skirts with vibrant color with mellow shirts.  With the each season’s collection on the showroom floor as well as popular mainstays, you have a strong foundation on where to start your style evolution.  The process becomes a lot more complicated when designing pieces from scratch.  By being able to see the style, like the fit, and handpick the material you really begin to fall in love with the pieces from David Peck that are tailored to your likes and needs.    This philosophy is a great way to make a statement that is strong, conservative or bold, colorful or muted and still be the perfect example of you and your style.  With the manufacturing done on sight you have a real hand in the design and make in your pieces few designers can come close to Here are some great picks I loved at David Peck, stop by and choose your own as the sky is the limit.

 

DSCN1265 DSCN1267Vereberg Skirt in Seafoam Handwoven

Glasgow Jacket in Seafoam Handwoven

 

 

DSCN1273 DSCN1270Orlando Blouse in sky and silk chiffon

Venice Skirt in Galveston Print and Organic Cotton

Paris Blouse in midnight and silk chiffon

 

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Barbados Top and Shirt in Navy Ikat Handwoven

Paris Blouse in midnight and silk chiffon

 

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Hayne Dress – Geography Print in silk

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DSCN1286Vereburg Skirt in Autumn leaves and organic cotton

Sydney Top in sky/yellow and silk

 

 

 

DSCN1289Anya Dress in plumb with velvet dots

Maxi Love

Maxi Dress 2Even in today’s age of skin, skin and more skin there is something alluring about packing some of the skin away and letting the imagination do the heavy lifting.  I am admittantly a maxi fan both for the shape the dresses provide but also for the ease.  The ease of wearing maxi dresses are the basis of the reason of why they are a mainstay in my wardrobe.  There is something appealing about an all in one outfit and when in a rush or on the move.  Not having to coordinate pieces always helps to streamline my day.  Not to mention the wide array of possibilities when it comes to slipping on a maxi.  With styles that range from tight to structured to flowly you can feel comfortable on the move with the stress-free ability to choose from a range that simple options like a maxi provides.  Keeping it simple is a great fashion guideline that allows you a canvas to accentuate with accessories and shoes.

When you combine the ability to stress the curves paired with the ease in wearing them Maxi’s have become indispensable for me.  Maxi’s are a great way to provide some of the illusion that comes in a silhouette as opposed to seeing something more of what is underneath. For the body, maxi dresses are a great foundation because the emphasis is on the shape.  Flaunting the curves instead of the skin gives an alternative to ramp up the appeal.  With the great maxi choices now available they even have options with built in bras and shapers to help in ensuring the canvas is flawless.  Even without the extra assistance just by focusing on the gathering point you have a great opportunity to highlight or even create curves.  By playing with where the dresses chinches, below the breast or at the waist or even at the dropped waist, you can put your best assets to the forefront and balance some trouble spots with the illusion of height.  Play with materials and colors and maxis can take you from playdates to power plays in zero to sixty.

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