Tag Archives: Budget Fashion

How to Shop Spring’s Key Trends: Culottes

3.1 Phillip Lim Culotte Board

The final lesson in this week’s series of, “How to Shop Spring’s Key Trends” focuses on the bottom silhouette of the season: culottes.  Now, culottes can easily be mistaken for shorts but the key difference between the two is that culottes are cut with a very full leg and often times are knee length resembling a skirt.

Ditch the full skirts that got you through fall for culottes.  Incorporate this easy breezy silhouette immediately, by pairing them with everything from a comfy tee and bomber jacket for a casual Saturday to a clean button up blouse for work.

Check out my Top 3 picks for incorporating culottes this spring:





How to Shop Spring’s Key Trends: Camo

Carven Camo

Taking a nod from Carven’s Spring/Summer 2014 RTW collection, one of the most significant prints for spring will be camo.  This print can be fairly tricky to incorporate due to it’s widely known historical association of being linked to the armed forces.  The secret to incorporate this print in a seamless and high fashion approach is to stay far, far, far away from the traditional camo palette.

Camo palettes that are more colorful and bright will instantly soften this masculine print.  Next, choose pieces that are in a feminine silhouette such as a svelte and sleek dress, a midi skirt, etc.  Structured and boxy silhouettes will only enhance this masculine print so stay clear of these shapes.  Lastly, prints that layer in camo and aren’t straight forward camo prints give this print a new spring face lift and makes for a fun fresher.

Check out my Top 3 picks for incorporating camo this spring:





How to Shop Spring’s Key Trends: Stripes

Emilia Wickstead Stripes

I know what you are thinking, “Shocker.  Stripes are a big trend for spring”.  While this print is definitely seasonal and is a staple for this time of year there are new ways to approach and incorporate this nostalgic print.

A new take on this print is to wear it as a power clash.  Don’t be afraid to mix prints so pair a striped top with a mixed print skirt as a refreshing introduction to spring.  Another great approach is to wear prints that give the illusion of stripes.  To increase the wattage with this impactful statement I would pair this with a solid opposite (i.e. a solid top paired with a stripe printed bottom and vice versa).

Check out my 3 styling suggestions on how to incorporate this new take on stripes with ease:

L to R: Look 1/ Look 2/ Look 3

L to R: Look 1/ Look 2/ Look 3





How to Shop Spring’s Key Trends: Bomber Jackets

Bomer Jacket BoardFollowing the lead from the runways, today’s lesson is all about the bomber jacket.  Starting this past Fall/Holiday 2013 season the catwalks were littered with new ways to wear the bomber jacket.  This silhouette can do absolutely no wrong this season so swap this out for your moto leather jacket and wear it with everything from culottes to your favorite pair of denim jeans.

I picked out my top 3 choices that are perfect budget friendly options that will not only get you through this spring/summer season but is versatile enough in shape that you will can wear many more spring seasons to come.



How to Shop Spring’s Key Trends: Artsy Prints


While it may not seem like we’ll be experiencing Spring like temps any time soon, what with the arctic temps that are awaiting us this week in Chicago I’m thinking warm weather thoughts by planning ahead for what I’ll be wearing this Spring.  Keeping true to my resolution of strategic closet building I’m only focusing on versatile trends that will complement my closet rather than become instantly outdated the minute I take the plunge.  So to help all of us navigate through all of the many spring trends that are coming at us left and right I’ve narrowed it down to 5 key trends that should definitely be added to the closet and instantly put into rotation.

Today’s lesson is all about the artsy prints.  Thanks to Miuccia Prada’s awe inspiring collection featuring strong mixed prints highlighting a very strong artistic element of juxtaposing her pieces against the mural art that decorated her venue.

I picked out my top 3 choices that are perfect budget friendly options that will not only get you through this spring/summer season but is versatile enough in shape that you will can wear many more spring seasons to come.

I’ll be focusing one trend each day so be sure to check back all week for the rest of my Top 5 spring trends to shop.




January: Garnet!

Happy Birthday to all of you Aquarius & Capricorns!  Your stunning birthstone is the Garnet.  The Garnet is a special because it signifies eternal friendship and trust.  Now it all makes sense why all of the close family and friends that I have that are born in the month of January are some of my closest confidants.  Because of this special place that you hold in so many people’s hearts you deserve an extra special bauble and how great is it that your birthstone bauble resembles a pomegranate seed in shape and color.  Even more interesting is that the fruit that the Garnet resembles is highly regarded by many religions and folklore tales as being the fruit of the gods.

So start the year long celebration of your birth now and check out the following envy inducing pieces that I’ve picked out to help you do it in style!




#CSMStyleTips: Mastering the Art of Lounging

One of 2013’s major trends has undoubtedly been the year of the onesie/footie pajama in large part due to the like of Cara Delevingne and her fashion motley crew of sorts.  While the appeal of looking like an overgrown baby hasn’t quite passed due to the odd appeal that grown adults have in wearing footie pajamas and parading the streets in a drunken stupor (don’t believe me? Visit Chicago during the winter holidays and walk around Wrigleyville on a Saturday afternoon).  To help bring some fashion & style sanity back to the masses I’ve put together an age appropriate and stylish approach to loungewear.

To build a comfortable, yet approachable loungewear ensemble there are 4 key components: Joggers, Classic pajamas, Cashmere and Slippers.  Check out my top picks that will have you lounging into the new year in style, after all isn’t that what the holidays were meant for?



December: Turquoise, Tanzanite & Zircon!

Happy Birthday to all of you Sagittarius & Capricorns!  Out of all of the 12 months in the year you are the only ones who get not, 1, not 2, but 3 birthstones to celebrate the anniversary of your birth all year long.  So luck you, you have get to choose between the stunning Turquoise, Tanzanite & Zircon.  The name turquoise stems from the French expression Pierre tourques or Turkish stone, originated in the thirteenth century and describes one of the oldest known gemstones.  It’s a definite perennial favorite of the American Southwest.

Tanzanite was discovered in the late 1960s in Tanzania, and found exclusively in this tiny area of the world.  This stone exhibits a rich violet-blue color for which the gemstone is treasured and is an easy budget friendly alternative to the sapphire.

The third birthstone for the month of December is the Zircon.  This gemstone has a folk meaning of granting the power to relieve pain, whet the appetite, protect travelers from disease and injury, ensure a warm welcome, and to prevent nightmares guaranteeing a deep, tranquil sleep.  Talk about an all inclusive right?

So start the year long celebration of your birth now and check out the following envy inducing pieces I’ve picked out to help you do it in style!



#CSMStyleTips: Velvet

‘Tis the season for holiday dressing and what better way to ring in the holidays than in a nineties throwback fabric, velvet.  What’s great about velvet’s re-emergence this go around is that it’s had a new makeover and is now packaged in familiar streamlined silhouettes & shapes.

Its matte texture works as a strong styling element in a look, nicely balancing out both high-shine patents and less-luxe textures such as cotton denim or wool.  With the update in shape the key to incorporating velvet is to focus on sharp and tailored pieces and not the skater dresses you wore back in the day. Great updates such as wearing this fabrication in pointed or structured footwear, denim shapes or even a structured bag are the perfect ways to rock this great holiday fabric.

Check out my Top 10 way to wear velvet this holiday:




Splurge vs. Save: Chaos to Couture!

The Metropolitan Museum’s Spring 2013 exhibition of, “Punk: Chaos to Couture” has had such a resounding effect being very present on the runways this season as well as heavily influencing street style.  With my own personal style mantra of, “Edgy, Comfy, Chic” this celebration of how influential the punk subculture and movement to the fashion industry was very long over due.

Needless to say I’ve hugged and re-embraced my inner Emo that has an immensely strong affinity to spikes, studs and duh the beautiful palette of leather.  So when I came across Saint Laurent’s Studded Rangers Boot my heart skipped a beat (naturally to Emery).  These beauties immediately jumped to the top of my holiday wish list.  With these on my wish list, I’ve discovered an immediately available (and definitely more budget friendly) version from Zara.

So what do you think, Splurge vs Save?