November Necessities

It’s officially November (all month long) and it’s time to break out the big three: sweaters, scarves, and coats. I’ve rounded up a few of my favorites–perfect for chilly adventures and cozy fun! November Necessities
  • Sweaters: Unsurprisingly, this fall staple is  a personal favorite. I love j.crew’s offerings for consistently well-made products that come in a pleasing array of cuts and colors. Their merino wool options are excellent, as are the cashmere ones.
  • Scarves: Capes are (supposedly) back in style and while I understand the appeal of essentially wearing a blanket, I’m not about to hop on that trend. However, there’s an easy way to get the look without committing to a purchase: get yourself a blanket scarf. You can wrap it around your neck, drape it, and belt it for a chic, slimming, and on-trend look. Fun fact: it’s still a scarf.
  • Coats: Long gone are the days of puffy, marshmallow, coats. Instead, look for fashionable options in classic cuts: pea coats (double breasted and single), robe coats that are sumptuous and stunning, and dress coats that are cut and belted for that classic Kate Middleton style.

 

Happy shopping and be sure to stay warm and stay stylish!

Fall back in love

Fall back in love…with Pride and Polka dots and fall fashion. Timing is everything, and naturally new jobs and various obligations make it difficult to spend time on blogging. However, I was able to carve out some time to plan posts, which means that the blog-posting future looks bright! So, without further delay….
The weather in Germany has finally approached fall-like temperatures, which means it is seasonally appropriate to talk about fall favorites: style edition. Think rich colors and texture, fun prints, and new lengths.
Fall back in love

 

-Over-the-knee boots are quickly becoming a new fashion industry staple, and my selections from Tory Burch and Stuart Weitzman are favorites for good reason. The black Weitzman’s are statement-making albeit simple, which makes them ideal for any special outing. Conversely,  the Tory Burch option goes from day to night seamlessly, looking equally at home with skinny jeans or paired with a shorter hem-line.

 

-Flats are a year-round must have, but fall is the best time to experiment with fun colors, prints, and with richer materials. This scalloped offering (see Chloé for perfection) would go with just about anything, while the Stubbs & Wootton smoking slipper variation is a fun take on a classic.

 

-Plaid screams fall (and all things Christmas) but looks fresh when conceptualized as a muted-print coat from Intermix this season. However, there’s still no such thing as too many flannels or button-downs.

 

-Midi-skirts are also increasingly popular. They add a lady-like elegance to any outfit that is both incredibly striking while still modest.

 

-Blazers are a necessity for any person, but these options from J.Crew and T by Alexander Wang are game changers.

 

-Richer colors, from manicures to mini-bags, are also a good investment to match the new fall hues!

 

This fall is set to be a season ripe with fun and opportunity, and has always been my favorite time of the fashion year. There’s nothing better than pulling together an outfit that is simultaneously stylish, cozy, and flattering. Have at it, and stay tuned for more fall-related posts in the very (I promise) near future!

Shop for a Cause

Multitasking is a habit of mine, and at various times, it applies to cooking, cleaning, working, and shopping. For example, I listened to potential songs for our wedding playlist while cooking, working out, and cleaning. Ta-da! An effective use of my time to accomplish multiple, albeit simple, tasks simultaneously. Magic–I know. I’ve increasingly realized that there’s another way to multi-task to benefit more than your to-do list though, while having a little bit of fun yourself: shopping.
How can this be? To show you, I’ve rounded up pretty awesome products from around the web that are not only enjoyable for you, but also beneficial for various charities. Consider it a win-win for your closet and your conscience.
Shop for a Cause
  • Tory Burch Wrap Bracelets: Casual cool, these bracelets offer a pop of color to any outfit and 100% of the proceeds go to the Tory Burch Foundation, which helps women find economic opportunities in the United States via loans for female small business owners and entrepreneurs, mentoring programs, and education. Kudos to Tory!
  • FEED Bags: While not new, these bags remain a staple in the charitable wardrobe for good reason. In pretty prints, these totes are meant for summer and provide over 50 school meals to children in India and Africa.
  • Warby Parker: In the spirit of another do-good company, TOMS footwear, Warby Parker donates one pair of frames for every purchase, to people in need all over the globe.
  • Wounded Warrior Project: Perhaps this organization is a little nearer and dearer to my heart thanks to the time I spend with military service men and women, but don’t let my bias impede your purchase. Under Armour partnered with WWP to create an activewear clothing line whose proceeds go right to WWP, and to helping wounded US Veterans on the road to recovery.
  • J.Crew: J.Crew currently has two t-shirts that benefit charities, a 100% of proceeds for the Teach for America Tee go to the organization, while 50% of proceeds for the Philippines tee help with disaster relief.
  • Same Sky: Same Sky is an interesting and noteworthy charity that teaches African women artisan skills to become self-sufficient. By teaching these women in sub-saharan Africa various craft skills, Same Sky ensures they earn 15-20x more than their female counterparts in the area. 100% of the proceeds from these bracelets (and there are a lot of options on their website) go back to the women for more jobs and more supplies.
In truth, it’s a very simple way to make sure your choices are good ones in a bigger sense than your wardrobe. So get multi-tasking via shopping and do-gooding!

Can’t stop blushing

In keeping with the sunshine fandom and all things spring, there’s one trend that seems hard to ignore for this upcoming season: blush. Light pink? For spring? Groundbreaking, I know. However, the ultra-light, barely-pink, nearly-taupe/white shade that seems to be everywhere now is too pretty to pass up. It pairs with every color too: black, white, blue, tomato red (trust me, it works), brown, and especially gray. It’s a beautiful color that will carry you effortlessly through early spring into late summer.  You can easily break it out in the winter too, paired with darker colors. Can't stop blushing
So get blushing in a big way, with dresses dedicated to the shade, or let it sweeten up an outfit via your bag or shoes. It’s universally flattering so you’re guaranteed to look pretty in pink.

Frame your Face

I’m way too excited to announce that the sun is finally out in Germany–sometimes more than once a week! This fact, combined with it being March, means spring is finally ( supposedly, tantalizingly ) on its way. However, to start preparing for spring, you’ll need to start thinking about switching out your wardrobe: bye-bye chunky sweaters, helloooo sundresses. In terms of accessories, sunglasses are pretty crucial given that whole ‘sunny’ situation. To help you find the right pair for your face, so you can see through all the sunshine, and be seen looking your best, I broke down face shapes into four main categories, with suggested frames next to each one. There are way more than just these face shapes, but this guide demonstrates some key points to keep in mind when picking the frames for you. To help you find your face shape, follow this guide from  The Beauty Department.
TBDfaceshapes1
As I cautioned, my breakdown is not as thorough as TBD’s, but overall the same rules can be applied.
Frame your Face
  • Rounder faces should opt for more angular frames, like a classic wayfarer, to help break up the curve of their face.
  • Square/angular (diamond, etc) faces should instead search for rounder frames, that soften their features.
  • Heart (diamond, etc.) shaped faces look best with a cat eye (as slight or exaggerated as your taste dictates) because it helps balance your forehead-to-chin proportions.
  • Oval (oblong, etc.)  shaped faces have it easiest here, and can pretty much get away with any frame shape.
Of course, if there’s simply a style you like best then by all means, screw the rules and enjoy your frames and the good weather! At the very least, we can all try to emulate Emma Stone’s badass attitude in Easy A with her classic ray bans. The sunglasses don’t make the girl or guy, but they sure seem to make them feel and look awesome.
emma-stone-easy-a-2

Pleats A’Plenty

Lately I’ve been in a clothing cycle revolving around gym clothes and lazy clothes, as we loving refer to pajamas and yoga pants. While it has been comfortable, it does leave one feeling a little underwhelmed. To break up my boring tomboy rut, I’ve been eyeing up all things pleated. Examples? These looks from the Celine, Proenza Schouler, Rochas, and Gucci runways.
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Plus, no post on pleats could be complete without a look at this stunner: my new dream dress, Lupita Nyong’o’s custom Prada number. Lupita-Nyongo-Light-Blue-Prada-Dress-Oscars-2014
If you’re not interested in hopping into the pleat parade, then suit yourself! For everyone who is interested in joining though, pleats work beautifully in both skirts and dresses, of all lengths, colors, and patterns. I’m especially taken with the slightly longer, almost midi-length versions. All of these skirts and dresses just make me want to twirl and embrace the pleats, à la Lupita. Pleats A'Plenty

Get Fit

“The trouble with running is that by the time you realize you’re not in shape for it, it’s too far to walk back.” -Franklin Jones
Running is probably one of (if not the) cheapest sports to take up. You don’t need a fancy bicycle, or a gym membership, or nineteen DVDs with rubber-bands and weights and balls and god knows what else, to get started. All you really need are sneakers, and clothes that you probably already own. If running isn’t for you though–there are still plenty of options to look into!
Get Fit
The most basic, and important, piece of ‘equipment’ for running, jogging, walking, even bicycling and weight training, are your shoes. While the ones shown above are directed at running, they do offer suggestions for what you should look for in a shoe if running isn’t your tempo. From top to bottom:
  • Adidas Supernova Glide 6: This shoe seems to offer the best cushioning, with the most support, in a lightweight shoe. Running shoes are all about finding that sweet spot of support + cushioning without being too heavy and cumbersome. Running is hard enough to begin with, so there’s no need to add big clunky shoes that weigh you down. These babies keep your run smooth and easy while preventing injury to joints.
  • Nike LunarEclipse 4: Reviews call this shoe a ‘tweener’ as in, between high stability and softness, which can be a good thing if you’re not looking to sacrifice either of those traits. Notably, these shoes prevent pronation, or the rolling of your food to the inside which can do a number on your ankles.
  •  Brooks Ravenna 5: These babies are all about stability, and most reviewers describe them as having a ‘peppy’ ride. By limiting the ‘softness’ in a shoe, you bounce off the ground faster in your cycle. These would be ideal if you don’t have any joint problems or a history of injuries.
  • Asics Gel-Kayano 20: Asics are notoriously popular with runners because they offer a lot of cushioning and support without weighing you down. These are no different and continue to improve upon that model with extra cushioning on the top layer, and  bottom layers of foam that respond to the road to keep your run from feeling ‘spongy. The best of both worlds!
  • Hoka One Conquest: This shoe is 100% devoted to cushioning, as you can tell from all those layers underfoot. The curve towards the toe prevents your run from feeling too cumbersome thanks to all that aforementioned foam. These would be ideal if you tend to overpronate in your stride and need a lot of cushioning.
  • Under Armour Speedform Apollo: These shoes demonstrate Under Armour’s attention to fabrics with a super sleek, seamless look. They’re good if you’re aiming to cut down on time for a race, or stick to treadmills indoors, but might not be ideal if running in the great outdoors is your preferred terrain.

While sneakers are without a doubt the most important part of the sport, other apparel choices can be a fun, personal addition to your workout. I stick with my under armour cold gear running tights in the winter, but bright shorts can liven up the routine when temperatures rise. I also adore my super soft hoodies, and t-shirts that I either steal from Jordan or buy in colors I love. Finally, some shirts benefit charities near and dear to my heart–like the Wounded Warrior Project, or the one I own devoted to the Boston Marathon Charity. So shop around and find something that makes you happy, or inspires you, when you wear it! Colors, prints, and sayings can make a run, jog, walk, or bike ride all the more fun. Lastly, you might want to invest in an arm band to hold your iPhone, headphones that will stay put, and a water bottle to hold plenty of water! Happy running!