Saturday, October 30, 2010

Fashion Faux Pas

Inspired by my girlfriends, I'm doing a series on fashion faux pas. Some are obvious; others not so much. But the No. 1 is:

I'm not shopping until I lose [insert number here] pounds.

Seriously? So, you hate your wardrobe, but you're going to feel frumpy until sometime next year when you lose weight?
[Disclaimer: Adrea you do not look frumpy!] I hear it all the time. In fact, I used to live it. Then, I figured why not buy for the body I have and feel confident about how I look? Here are my top reasons why you should NEVER wait to dress well.

1. It may never happen OR it may not NEED to happen. I went for years saying I was going to lose 10 pounds, but guess what? I never did. I exercise, I eat right, and I've decided I'm at my happy weight right now. Even if you're not at your happy weight, until you decide to fully commit to eating healthfully and exercising faithfully, the weight will not magically disappear. So, at least you can look good while trying. [Disclaimer: To my friends, this does not mean I don't think you look good, it just means if you're unhappy with your wardrobe, why stay unhappy?]

2. Hello, alterations anyone? I am really shocked when people say they didn't think of having something altered. If you do lose the weight, take your favorite items to a tailor and have them smallered--which isn't a word but it should be ;). 
When I started running, I lost 30 lbs (and have since gained back 15 of it!) I took every classic item of clothing in my closet a few pieces at a time and had them altered to fit. At the time, I couldn't afford a new wardrobe. 
Regardless, how much are you really going to buy in that transition period anyway? Jackets, slouchy/loose tops and other items may not even need alterations if you're only losing 5 lbs.

3. Accessorize, girl! If you're stubborn and still not convinced, then at least invest in some Super Wow accessories. Throw on a necklace with a tee shirt, a cool belt and rock some shoes that make you feel fab. Or, consider stepping out of your box and wearing a hat (Target has some AWESOME ones right now). I love the Mossimo Cloche with Feathers.  Even a sequined headband would add some panache to your look. Wear some colorful shoes and chunky bracelets. 

Designer Paris Gordon (who will be featured on this blog in the coming months) says this, "Style is timeless; fashion is fleeting." So, rather than plan for the life you want to have (like when you're 5, 10, 20 pounds smaller) live in the moment, look fabulous and take this time to find your personal style.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Scarf Crazy

Scarves--They bring me back to my childhood when I would visit my grandmother and play dress up with her extensive scarf and bead selection! This outfit is super simple. How much easier can it be? You throw on a white tank, some skinny jeans and flats. But, the outfit really comes together when you add the scarf.

This outfit:
Scarf: Ann Taylor Loft (no longer available) Similar here
Tank: Target
Belt: Banana Republic Metallic Leather Belt, This goes with EVERYTHING, love it!
Jeans: AG Adriano Goldschmied The Premier Skinny Straight (bought on ebay)
Flats: Tory Burch Reva Flats Lissie in Anthracite
Silver bracelets: Vintage; Heirlooms

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Fantasy vs. Reality

Here's what I would love to be wearing today:

Black Tights
Black Suede DVF Claude Bootie Bought on Gilt Groupe

But, my reality is school pick up, doctor's appt and working from home! So, here's what I'm actually wearing.

Jeans: Citizens of Humanity Kelly Bootcut (bought on Gilt Groupe)
Military Top: H&M (in store)
White Tee Shirt: Merona Target

Sunday, October 24, 2010


Love these! Tory Burch Corbet Glitter Ankle Boots
What would you wear them with? Ideas, anyone? I can picture them with a fun silver swing skirt, like this, and tights.

Style Spy: On the Farm

Our style spy spotted two particularly chic moms at a recent field trip to a local farm.

Julianna looks awesome in a white slouchy blouse, black leggings and leather camel riding boots. Her chignon and stylish sunglasses are picture perfect! 

To get this look:
Top: Similar at the Gap Here
Pants: Similar at the Gap here
Boots: Similar Weatherby Riding Boot at JCrew here and Frye Shirley Boot here

Lauren looks casual cool in cropped cargo pants (Yes, I know I said I hate capris, but these are capris done right!), a white blouse with super ruffled shoulders, a Roxy backpack, Ray Ban sunglasses and slip-on sneaks.

To get this look:
Top: Similar at Ann Taylor Loft here and Anthropologie here
Pants: Similar Joie Marilyn Cropped Cargo here and JBrand Houlihan Cargo here
Sneakers: Similar by Merrell Here

Friday, October 22, 2010

eBay: Little of This; Little of That

What would I do without eBay? 
Here are some things I'm watching now. 
Aren't these JCrew Zebra Pumps awesome? They are currently at $45, which is about my max, so not sure I'll be getting them.

 Ahhh...leopard. While this cape/dress, whatever it is, is totally impractical, I LOVE it! So, if I show up at a girls night out with this funky contraption, don't be surprised! Then, again, I'm not sure I have the chutzpah to wear it.

In addition to leopard, I also am obsessed with owls. Bet you didn't know that about me, did you? My grandmother left me this awesome vintage 70s owl necklace and I've been looking for a companion to it. This one is cute!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Part 1: Build Your Wardrobe

Do you ever look at your jam-packed closet and think, "I have nothing to wear!" Or, like me, you have about 5 minutes to grab something, hope it doesn't need to be ironed and run out the door to take the kids to school or go to work. I can tell you to plan ahead of time, but c'mon, who really does that? What you need are some go-tos that form the basis of your wardrobe. For me, the key is comfortable, well-fitting clothing that needs minimal ironing and can be thrown on in a pinch.

Because building your wardrobe requires some thought, I'm going to write this in four parts--bottoms, tops, shoes and accessories. And, this is for everyday wear, when you want to looked pulled together to run to the grocery store or have lunch with friends.

Here are the basics you need:

1. Black pants. In my earlier post, I talked about my crush on the Gap series of black pants. Many of the styles are casual enough to throw on with flats but look super polished. I love the Slim Crop and the True Straight. They are both slim enough to tuck into tall boots but easy to wear with flats. 

Style Tip: It's totally worth it to have these pants altered. Do they fit in the hips but are big in the waist? Take them to a tailor for a perfect fit--because perfect fit means fabulous! At the same time, have them hemmed to wear with your favorite flats. For you locals, my favorite tailors are Gino's in Lake Mary and Hung Tailors, Downtown.

2. Jeans. Honestly, one pair of jeans is never enough! Right now, I love the look of the straight/skinny jeans with flats or tucked into boots. Some to try: AG Jeans (Adriano Goldschmied click here for eBay search) Angel fit. They run a little looser in the thigh. I also love the Tory Burch Metallic Brush Legging (although they don't fit like leggings.) Citizens of Humanity also runs a little looser in the thigh. Make sure they are hemmed to work with flats, you don't want them pooling at your ankle, nor do you want to have to roll them up all the time, although that look can be cute!
If skinny jeans just aren't your style, consider a straight cut or bootcut jean that you can wear a little longer with a heeled boot, ankle bootie or wedge. My all-time favorite "going-out" jeans are the JCrew High Heel Flare jeans. They are a higher waist but fit perfectly. I only wear them with heels. You can find them on eBay, but JCrew hasn't made them for a few years. 
Also, notice I didn't recommend any capri jeans? I don't mind the look of a skinny ankle jean or a rolled up boyfriend, but I think a regular capri jean just screams MOM, so I don't recommend them.

Style Tip: Don't forget eBay! Try on different pairs of jeans to see what fits best on your body type. A rise of about 7.5 to 8 inches is nearly perfect (at least for me) as they are low but not too low. Once you discover your size, write down the style, brand and size so you can scour eBay. If you're not into the designer jeans, in my opinion, Gap really makes the best-fitting jeans, followed by Banana Republic and JCrew.

Style Tip 2: Make sure they're comfortable. If the jeans aren't comfortable, you won't wear them, period! You want jeans that you're able to move in and that you can tuck something into without worrying about muffin top and fat rolls. Don't buy them if you're constantly fidgeting or they feel too snug anywhere.

3. Skirts. Full disclaimer: I don't wear a lot of casual skirts. I mostly have pencil skirts or fancy lace, sequins or silk skirts to wear for business, church or evenings out. But, on a warm summer day, or with tights in cooler weather, a skirt can't be beat. A casual A-line or pencil denim skirt can take you from breakfast to dinner with ease. Wear it with a tank top, a slouchy tee shirt or an embellished tee and cardigan. For fall, I love the corduroy skirts with tights and chunky booties. This one from Ann Taylor Loft is cute. Pair it with a turtleneck or crew neck sweater for a 70s/prep look.

That's it! Really, that's all you need to form the base of your "bottoms" wardrobe. Once you have these basics, you can add on from there. But, for everyday running around, a few comfy, solid pieces can take you through entire seasons. You can make them look different by adding accessories, jackets, shoes and tops that give your outfit punch.

Monday, October 18, 2010

The Bride!

Of course, no wedding would be complete without a beautiful bride! Here is my cousin Tiffany and her HUSBAND Steve! Congrats!

Sass and Style

My sister looked smashing at the wedding, courtesy of my closet!
She is wearing:
Dress: Banana Republic layered ruffle silk dress in black and brown. Bought on eBay
Shoes: Banana Republic sling back peep toes, bought a few seasons ago
Necklaces: short one: Ann Taylor; long one Banana Republic Garland, both bought last year
Earrings: Ann Taylor studs

Wedding Style

Don't you just love when kids dress up for weddings? This picture is of my handsome nephew (an usher) and my daughter (the flower girl).

Vacation Outfits!

I don't know about you but I always feel like I dress better on vacation! Every outfit comes together just right, and I always feel confident and stylish. What's up with that? After carefully analyzing this Earth-shattering revelation, I realized that it's all about the planning. Getting dressed everyday is a slapdash, throw-it-on-in-a-hurry deal, while vacation dressing is completely organized and pre-thought out.

I recently went to my cousin's wedding in New York and put together the following outfits for the trip!

For the rehearsal dinner: Casual, boho chic
Jeans: Banana Republic Classic Skinny
Boots (bought with 30% off coupon): Ann Taylor Loft Shiri brown suede over the knee boots
Jacket: Tory Burch Brown Leather Sgt. Pepper Jacket (bought on eBay)

For the wedding: Streamlined Sass
DVF Fuschia Marchona Dress. I love the draping.
Ann Taylor Patent Covered Buckle Belt: Similar Here
Ann Taylor Shannon Platform Sandal, last season: Similar Here
Necklace: White House/Black Market bought last year

Hanging out with the cousins: Comfy!
DVF Abbe Sweater in Olive: Partially bought with Bloomies rewards card Here and here.
Citizens of Humanity Kelly Jeans: Bought on eBay, Here
Banana Republic Black Suede Calico Bootie: No longer available, bought with 40% off coupon!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Weekly Loves!

I adore Target's designer collaborations and the recent one with Mulberry is no exception. This is the satchel in denim. They also make one in black velvet/patent leather and black patent leather. And, if you like smaller, crossbody bags, they have those too! $49.99

Tory Burch has a totally impractical sequin skirt on sale right now! It is to die for and can be paired with a black turtleneck, chiffon blouse or a slouchy sweater like this one from JCrew. This one is TOTALLY me! Now I just have to figure out where to wear it--football game? Playdate? Girls Night Out!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010


Hey! I started a Facebook page for Magpie Style, please hit "Like!"


Outfit Ideas: Work

Hi! I've had a couple people ask me to take pictures of my favorite outfits to see how I style them. My pictures aren't the best as the light is horrible. But, here's my first outfit. I wore this to a business meeting in Dallas.

Since I'm a ruler as per the quiz I suggested in THIS POST, I like to belt things to give the appearance that I have a waist! And, the heels in a nude color make your legs look longer, especially when you're wearing a pencil skirt. It's hard to see the color, but the sweater is a hot pink and the top is a pattern of pinks and browns.
I wore this back in May and took a picture thinking I'd start my blog back then! Here are the details:

J.Crew Watercolor floral pastiche blouse--Available on eBay
Ann Taylor Loft Pink Cardigan

Ann Taylor Khaki Cotton Sateen Pencil Skirt (Similar in Black on site now)

J.Crew Alecia platform peep toes in Nude

Ann Taylor Lizard Stud Belt in Nude (now only available in Black)

Monday, October 4, 2010

Show Me The Love

Hi everyone! As I try to get this blog off the ground, I would love it if you could post comments to the blog, share Magpie Style with your friends and share posts through Facebook. If you have a gmail account, you just need to enter that password to post a comment. If you don't, you can post name/URL and just use your Facebook URL or no URL at all. Or, you can post anonymous, although I do want to know who's reading!

I'm working on some articles right now on the following topics:
1. Building a Wardrobe Series. Next up: what are the basic bottoms you need when building your wardrobe. I bet you already have some of them in your closet!
2. How to Wear Tall Boots
3. Top 5 Fashion Mistakes Young Mom's Make

Got an idea? I'd love to hear it. Please email me your ideas today!

How to Wear Ankle Boots

Ankle boots, motorcycle boots, flat boots, high-heel boots, over-the-knee many choices! Boots can be tricky to wear, especially ankle boots, so I put together this list of boot styles and what types of outfits look best with each. Enjoy!
Gwyneth Paltrow in sleek booties.

The Ankle Boot. This is the most confusing boot of all. The latest trend is to wear this style bootie with dresses and skirts. If that's your plan, you want a sleek, low bootie or a peep-toe bootie. Anything too high on the ankle cuts off your leg and makes you look stumpy. Also, I think they look great with tights for a leg-lengthening look. If you can wear a pump, then you can wear a low bootie! If you want ankle boots to wear with pants or jeans, you can go with the sleek bootie or a higher ankle style.

Some examples that are best for dresses/skirts:

Aquatalia by Marvin K. - Izzy - Wine Suede Ankle Boot

Banana Republic Samira Sleek Bootie
Best for Pants/Jeans: For pants or jeans, you can go with a higher, true ankle boot. There is no rule against wearing this higher boot with skirts or dresses and if you have great legs, go for it! However, for many people, a higher bootie makes you look stubby. The Banana Republic boot at left is a good hybrid. It can be worn either way.

Here are some choices for casual boots to be worn with pants:
Franco Sarto Lustre in Multiple Colors
Bandolino Quinlee Ankle Boot
Some tips:
1. Go for a classic style. While the studs, ruffles and zippers are fun, if you want a pair that will last you several seasons, you should go with a classic look, nothing too trendy.
2. Check the length. If you're wearing ankle boots with a skirt or dress, make sure the skirt/dress isn't too long, it will just look frumpy. You don't have to go with a mini skirt, but an above-the-knee style is best. Or, if you want to go longer choose a slim, pencil skirt rather than a long, flowy skirt.
3. Try them with ankle-length pants. Step out the box and wear a pair with ankle-length pants or jeans. The key is that the pants have to be tapered and narrow at the bottom--no crazy wide legs. Or, try a pair of skinny jeans rolled up above the ankle to show off the boot. Go wild!