Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

Wishing you a safe, scrumptious and family filled Thanksgiving.

Magpie Style has moved to

Please bookmark my new site, thanks!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Holiday Outfit Ideas: Rose Red

Personally, I never find it difficult to dress for the holidays--one advantage of my attraction to all things shiny, velvet and jeweled! I put together several outfits for the holidays and will post each one separately.

This outfit is perfect for a work event. Simple and elegant.
Take off the necklaces and switch out the jeweled sandals for black pumps 
and you can wear it during the day.
Magpie Styling Tip: Layer several bling-y necklaces together to give an otherwise plain outfit some pop.

Top: Ann Taylor Classic Wrap Top, no longer available in red
Pants: Paris Gordon Crepe-back Silk Katherine Pants. I've had these for six years and have worn them with a million different outfits. They have a slight sheen but not so shiny that you 
can't wear them to work.
Necklaces: Shorter one: Banana Republic Garland Necklace from last season. Similar here.
Shoes: Ann Taylor Jeweled Heels from last season

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Holiday Casual

Holiday Casual
Holiday Casual by FLWritergirl featuring a wrap sandal
I'm on a tear this weekend! This is my first polyvore set. Several of you have asked for holiday outfits so I took some photos and am going to put together some sets. This outfit is so simple and it shows how you can layer a sequin tank top over a plain white button down. It add polish and is perfect for a casual holiday get together. I like to add a little bit of color to outfits. So, I added the red sandal. I might add a red bracelet as well.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Outfit Copy Cat

I love Jessica Quirk's blog What I Wore. I saw the outfit she posted on her site and realized I had all the elements to copy it! I added a little twist of my own with a caramel-colored belt and booties.

Top: JCrew Navy and White Gingham Blouse (bought last year)
Cardigan: Gap Olive Cardigan, bought in-store with 30% off!
Belt: Ann Taylor Loft
Jeans: Seven for All Mankind Zoe Flare Jeans, Similar Here
Booties: J Crew Cadogan Bootie in Toffee, bought on eBay

Weekly Loves! Anthropologie

When it was time to decorate my office, I went straight to Anthropologie (and Renningers!) for unique, vintage items. I know I'll find a treasure, whether clothing, jewelry or decorative items.
Here are my current favorites!
I love the color and the unique suede pom poms. 
I'd wear these with tights, a cute denim skirt and a slouchy sweater.
The next is the Haute Skirt.
Simple, classic and hip. This skirt would look awesome with a black turtleneck and a camel belt.

Love that you can wear this with velvet pants for the holidays or jeans for a night out.

Again, love this color. It's a great way to wear color but it's very neutral.

I love that this Mantle Dynamics dress is very Angelina Jolie.
 And, of course, Anthro always have some kitchy, odd items.
A doily on  necklace?
And, this necklace is just plain spooky!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Pop of Color

All photos by Michelle Stromberg
Do you feel pressured to wear more color but don't feel comfortable dressing in it head to toe? To me, color is great but not necessary. There are plenty of celebs (and us regular folks) who manage to look pulled together and stylish in a wardrobe of neutrals. Jennifer Aniston comes to mind. In fact, nine times out of 10 I reach for black. There's a reason women the world over stick to black as a wardrobe staple: it looks chic, it's slimming and it goes with everything!

My advice: Rather than wear colors that don't feel comfortable to you, add little pops of color to your outfits with accessories. Ann Taylor Loft has a super cute fuchsia flower belt right now. Wear it with a black skirt and chambray button down.
And, I love these Amrita bangles (only $68 for 30 bangles). Add a colorful vintage brooch to the neck of a halter as I did in this post; or to the pocket or breast of a blazer. Another way to add color: Wear a patterned scarf or carry a colored purse.
If you're intent on incorporating color, experiment with a darker palette of navy, plum and deep red. I love the look of navy with black, now a fashion do! Also, consider grey instead of black and camel instead of brown. Both look fresh but are still neutral.

Here's how I worked color into a plain black dress (albeit a leather dress, see below for the story of the dress--there's always a story.) By the way, neons and bright color accessories like these were shown on the Spring runways.

My Diva Pose:)
The Outfit Deets
Dress: OK, the dress is the DVF Della dress in leather. I first wrote about it here. But, it was just a tad (actually more like 5 tads) out of my price range. So, I stalked it and when I finally got a coupon for the DVF Friends and Family sale, I combined the discount with a store credit that I've been holding onto for a year, and pounced. I'm glad I did. It's a classic wrap style, not too short and even though it's leather it's not crazy leather--meaning it's subtle, not slutty. I know I will wear this dress for years.

My Fashion Rule.
Not only that, but one of my fashion rules is that if I can't stop thinking about an item after a couple weeks, then it was truly meant to be mine! Trust me, this really works. I've saved must-have items in my virtual shopping cart and forgotten about them the next day only to go back and think, "Why did I even like that?"
On the flip side, there are items that I just can't get off my mind, and I'll plan endless variations of how I'll wear those items. And, that happens less frequently than you'd think.
Shoes: DVF Eva Suede with Silk Ankle Wraps in Citron. I know this seems like an impractical color but it really isn't. I will wear these shoes like I would a neutral shoe, with both blacks and browns.
Bangles: Luc Kieffer Paris Bangles bought on eBay. I love that they are chunky and bright.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Necklaces: 5 Favorites

I've been getting a lot of requests to see some accessories. I have literally tons of jewelry because, like the Magpie bird, I'm attracted to shiny objects! Here, I picked the five most versatile pieces I own. I'm am partial to silver although I've been wearing more and more gold lately.
In the picture above, the silver chain (left) is from Banana Republic (years ago). I wear this with anything that I want to add a little "toughness" to, such as a button down shirt or even a black tee shirt. When I'm at a loss for a necklace, this is my go-to. It's amazingly versatile for casual wear.

Middle: My little middle necklace is an Etsy purchase. It is a charm necklace with a silver peace sign, silver pine cone and gold owl (because I LOVE owls.) I like this one because it's perfect layered with my shorter cross necklace that I always wear (a gift from my hubby!) It's perfect with tee shirts when I need something super casual and not bulky.

The clear stone necklaces (right) are a birthday gift from my mother-in-law. We picked them out at Target (here) and (here). I like to layer these necklaces together. However the long one can be doubled or even worn wrapped as a bracelet. Because of the clear stone, they go with tons of outfits.

Above Left: This Target necklace (again from Target, $14.99, don't see it online) is both silver and gold so you can easily mix it with either metal. I wore it the other day with a white tee shirt and brown wool cardigan. It looks equally nice with a dress.

Right: The PERFECT statement necklace. This is from 2009 Banana Republic holiday collection but there are similar ones everywhere. In fact, when I first saw this, I thought it was so unique and I had to have it. But, it was very expensive. So, I bought an old silver chain that I found in a bin of jewelry at Renninger's Antique Flea Market and pinned my grandmother's old brooches to it. The problem I found was that the brooches were so heavy they wanted to turn all the time. But, it looked darn good! Then, I found one of these beauties on eBay. I still do the DIY necklace if I need a pop of color as a red brooch looks super for the holidays.
I've worn this necklace to dress up a black sheath and to add interest to my red silk shantung dress. I've also worn it with a white tee shirt, navy velvet blazer and jeans.

Do you have a necklace you just can't figure out how to wear? Email me and I'll try to help.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Scarf Tying Guide

Illustrations from Texere Silk

Scarves can add va-va-voom to any outfit. Use them in place of a necklace or to give a drab outfit some punch. Many of you have asked me how to tie a scarf. Well, I found the ultimate scarf-tying guide online at Texere Silk. I never realized there were so many ways to tie a scarf!
Some of these styles are meant for smaller square scarves while others, like the CASUAL and the SHOULDER WRAP will work for larger scarves.
To get step-by-step instructions, Click on SCARF TYING GUIDE

Friday, November 12, 2010

How to Wear Over-the-knee Boots

Image from
Tall boots have been around for ages. In fact, I bought my first pair at least 10 years ago. And, every year the evil retailers come out with a new, updated style, and, well,  I NEED another pair of boots. There's tall pointed, flat pointed, flat round toe, wooden heel, brown, black, camel...ahhh the list goes on. So, I wasn't surprised when I spotted over-the-knee boots last Fall season. Believe it or not, I resisted but finally gave in to temptation this year.
The good thing: you don't have to be in your 20s to wear this style, really! And, even petite women can pull it off. Hilary Duff is only 5'2" and she's been spotted rocking this style.
Here's what I learned:

1. Don't buy over-the-knee boots that go up to the middle of your thigh. If you wanted to wear hip waders, you'd just buy hip waders, right? The most flattering tall boot hits either right below your knee or right above (like RIGHT above, not two inches above.) And, if you love the style but feel a little timid wearing them out, consider some that can be worn folded down below the knee.

Shiny, spiked and high--ICK!

2. Watch the heel. As I mentioned in THIS POST, the quickest way to stripper territory is to buy spiked heel, thigh-high boots. No matter how sexy you think this style is, run away! If you're going to try an over-the-knee boot, go with a flat or wedge heel. It's much classier and easier to wear.

3. Fitted or loose? For me, the more fitted the better. Many of the over-the-knee have an over-sized shaft. Personally, I think that just makes your legs look bigger than they are. A more fitted look slims the leg and elongates it. If you're petite and want to wear this style, go fitted. Otherwise, the boot will wear you.

4. It's all about proportion. Like all trends, you have to kiss a lot of frogs before you find your prince. I tried the Ann Taylor Loft Peter OTK boot and thought they swallowed up my leg. I could fit another person in there with me! I ended up with the Ann Taylor Loft Shiri Brown Suede boot. Here are a few styles I like.

ASOS Dune Bingo Suede Over Knee Wedge Boots




Ann Taylor Loft Shiri Suede Over the Knee Boots
The Ann Taylor Loft Shiri can be worn up over folded down.
Tory Burch Jack Boot 20% off at Bloomies right now!
Still confused about what to wear with them? I think they look best with skinny jeans and a slouchy sweater, tunic top or fitted blazer over a longer tank/tee shirt.
Skirts and dresses are trickier to wear with these boots. First of all, if you wear a mini-skirt with them, don't go too mini. No matter how many celebrities wear super minis and tall boots (and look awesome!) there aren't many people who can really pull off that style. Not to mention, said celebs are in their teens and early 20s. For anyone older than 25, a super mini and OTK boots gets you horrifyingly close to tramp territory. If your skirt is short (you can wear a mini, just not a SUPER mini), wear tights and tall boots.
Also, there should always be some skin showing between your skirt/dress and the boots. This is the most flattering look. Typically, a fuller, shorter skirt looks best, although you can get away with a sweater dress and tights pretty easily.
Got a question about whether or not an outfit works with OTK boots? Email me!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Today's Outfit: Casual Comfort

I think the hardest outfits to put together are the comfy, casual ones! This one just came together and I really felt great in it. It was perfect for a day working from home and running errands.
Sweatshirt: Bought at Lake Mary boutique 4th and Ocean
Jeans: AG Adriano Goldschmied The Premier Skinny Straight (bought on ebay)
Necklace: Brighton (gift)
Boots: Target Katherine Engineer

Why it works: The over-sized sweatshirt balances out the chunky boots and the long necklace breaks up an otherwise blah neutral oatmeal color.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Monday, November 8, 2010

Sisterhood of the Ill-Fitting Pants

Why is it that finding a fine-fitting pair of pants is nearly impossible these days? They're either too tight in the thighs, too big in the waist, too low or too tight in the derriere. Magpie Style spoke with Designer Paris Gordon, who specializes in fitting the female form.

The first step is figuring out your body type. Paris designed her pant collection with the four most common body types in mind (although there are others as shown in the picture). Remember that you do not have to be thin to be any of these body types. And, you may not fit in any one category. Sometimes it's a matter of trial and error to find the right fit. If you have a question for Paris, e-mail me and I'll get it answered!

1. Triangle/Pear shaped: If you've got a small upper body but wide hips, this is you!

2. Inverted Triangle/Top heavy: Have a big bust but narrow hips? This is you!

3. Rectangle/Straight: This body type typically has longer limbs and thicker middles with no real defined waist. This is me!

4. Hourglass: Supposedly the pinnacle of body perfection, this body type has a bust and hips that are proportionate (meaning about the same size) and a defined waist.

Here's a great post on determining body type.

Next, know the common mistakes, which Gordon says are the following:

1. Don't cover up your waist. "When people think they don’t have a waist, they think they have to cover it. But that’s not correct, you need to define it," she says. And, she says, wearing pants that fit correctly at your natural rise will accentuate the waist rather than make you look like you're wearing low riders or the dreaded Mom jeans. Remember that Saturday Night Live Skit?

2. Stick with what works. So, skinny jeans are in but that doesn't mean you have to wear them. "Once you find a style that suits your body type and fits right, stick with it and then each season update it," she says. For instance, slim is in so go narrow and go long, or keep your jeans at a mini flair instead of a wide leg. Paris has five styles of pants that she makes in a variety of fabrics to take you from summer to the holidays.

3. Watch the fit. "Often women buy pants too tight instead of tailoring them to fit their waist and wearing them a little looser at the hip so it doesn't squeeze their leg," she says. A good rule of thumb: buy for your hips/thighs rather than your waist. You can always get the waist taken in.

4. Careful of ill-fitting capris. Gordon doesn't dislike capris, she just doesn't like to see women wearing them incorrectly. And how is that you ask? "I see these women with cropped wide leg pants, and it’s the most inappropriate thing for any body. More often the pants end at the widest part of the calf and the opening of the leg is wider than the knee opening." So, what's a capri-lovin' gal to do? Gordon says to find capris that go straight down from the knee in a narrow leg (narrow doesn't have to mean tight!) And, don't end the capri in the middle of the calf, it should end at the ankle or just under the calf muscle; or 3 to 4 inches above the ankle for a crop.

5. Smooth the creases. "If you try something on and there are creases under your butt, forget it," says Gordon, who recommends you size up and have the item altered to fit in the areas where it runs larger. In addition, check the front. Is the rise too short (the distance between your crotch and waistband)? You'll be able to tell if you have the dreaded camel toe. Look at your hip area, does it seem wider in this style or proportioned?

In my next post, I'll talk about Gordon's five famous pant styles and which body type looks good in which.

Paris Gordon is a former celebrity stylist and current fashion designer who graduated from the prestigious Fashion Institute of Technology. 

Specializing in high-end designer fashion, Paris is expanding from Couture to Day Wear Basics with a twist, which consist of the hugging tee and convertible styles made of stretch jersey and knits--perfect for moms who want to be stylish, comfortable and want to get more wear out of classic, well-made items. 

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Trend Watch: How to Wear Today's Styles

BB Dakota Faux Fur Vest, J Brand Jeans, Tory Burch Jack Boots

Trend is a funny word. For example, leopard print is being named a trend this year, but really it's a classic that's been around for years. And, I'm seeing a few trends that I think will stick around and become classic.

Magpie Style spoke with Downtown Orlando Boutique Owner Wendy Ricchi of Zou Zou Boutique to find out what items have been flying out of her stores recently. l'll also give you tips on how to make a trend wearable. All the items featured in the photos are (or have been) available at Zou Zou, except for the Tory Burch boots.

Faux Fur Vests and Cropped Fur Jackets: "The biggest thing I'm noticing is the fur vest and jacket.  We've had in three different versions and they've sold out so quickly," says Wendy. "The vest really does work over pretty much anything, from a tee shirt with jeans to a solid dress with tights and boots. In fact, since it's still warm here I've seen people wearing the fur vest over a tank with cuffed shorts and ankle boots." She says the fur jacket looks super over cocktail dresses.
Photo Courtesy of Zou Zou Boutique

Magpie Styling Tips: Think you'll feel like a Sasquatch in this look? Think again. This type of vest comes in a variety of styles from super fuzzy to cropped and understated. And, if you're feeling overwhelmed with the vest, belt it like I did.
Will this trend turn into a classic? I'm not sure about the vest, but the jacket is sure to be a keeper. After all, cropped fur jackets were huge in the 50s and the styles we're seeing today are vintage copies.

Anything Beaded and Sequined: "Beads and sequins are no longer considered holiday attire," says Wendy. "I've seen sequined skirts with a tank, plain turtleneck or cowl neck worn during the day. And I had in this gorgeous beaded jacket that customers are wearing with a tee shirt or silk cami and denim." Just be careful, says Wendy, "They are very fragile, one snag and you lose a row of beads or sequined, so don't think you can party like a rock star in a sequined dress and come out with it intact."
Photo Courtesy of Zou Zou Boutique

Magpie Styling Tips: I have to admit, I haven't been bold enough to wear my sequined skirts out during the day, and I'm not sure they're a work "do." So, if you're feeling this trend, take baby steps. Consider a sequined tee shirt or tank. Or how about beaded instead of sequins? A tone-on-tone beaded jacket isn't too flashy and can look polished with a casual, day look.
Also, if you spent a pretty penny on a beaded or sequined frock, consider taking it to the tailor to have the stitching reinforced--before you wear it. The tailor can go over the garment to search for loose threads and reinforce them. My feeling is this is a trend that will stick.

Metallics. "Anything in a metallic bronze, silver, vintagey gold and black is huge right now," says Wendy.

Magpie Styling Tips: Metallic can be a great neutral. Consider buying a pair of pumps or sandals in a matte metallic to wear with anything from sheath dresses to jeans. Metallic colors aren't just for holidays.

Vintage-inspired cocktail rings and clutches. "This look comes from Celebrity Stylist Rachel Zoe," says Wendy. "So grab your clutches and cocktail rings." Wendy says that beaded clutches and wristlets are huge for fall and spring. She also says huge cocktail rings are a quick way to amp up an outfit. "I wouldn't be surprised if brooches made a big come back as well," she says. 

Magpie Styling Tip: Can't spend a lot of money? Check the thrift stores for super finds. Most of my beaded clutches are vintage, and I have a huge collection of brooches that I add in clusters to jackets or at the neck of a halter to add some panache. I've also threaded the brooches on a simple link chain to wear as a necklace. Or, invest in one big cocktail ring that will add class to any outfit.

Nudes. not nude people, but nude colors! "Nude, blush and taupe colors are beautiful and very in right now," says Wendy, who says that the new colors complement even pale complexions. "It's all about finding your perfect shade." She recommends finding a taupe with an olive undertone if you're pale. "This is a trend that will carry on through Spring. I just went to market and everything is that color palette."

Magpie Styling Tip: This is a super wearable trend and one that will stay for awhile. If you just can't find a color that complements your skin tone, buy a skirt or pants in this color. I also love the look of a nude shoe. If you find a tone that matches your skin tone, the nude heel makes your legs look longer.

Over-the-knee Boots. According to Wendy, tall boots have been around in different iterations for the last decade. But, over-the-knee boots are no longer seen just in the strip clubs. I think they look fab with skinny jeans and an off the shoulder beaded or sequined sweatshirt.

Magpie Styling Tip: If you want to avoid looking er... cheap, choose a flat-heeled boot. Leave the super high heel, mid-thigh boots to the supermodels who have legs a mile long and can pull off that look. I also like boots that are more snug fitting and that can be folded down so you have the option to wear it over the knee or at the knee.

Jeweled heels. "I have a shoe coming in the store that is a jeweled heel that I featured on my Facebook page, and I have two pages of people who called to order it," says Wendy.

Magpie Styling Tip: Love these! You can easily pull these off with jeans and a cute top for night. They're not just for parties and playing dress up.

Wendy Ricchi is the owner of Zou Zou Boutiques. Zou Zou has two locations: Thorton Park in Downtown Orlando and in Dr. Phillips's area at Dellagio. Don't live in town? Check out their Facebook page where she features new arrivals, then pick up the phone and call. She's happy to take your order via telephone. Please let her know that you heard of Zou Zou through Magpie Style! All photos courtesy of Zou Zou Boutique.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Perfect for the Holidays!

The true fashionista is always on the lookout for different styles to take her from day to night. So, when I saw these boots, I just knew they'd be sold out in a New York minute [said with tongue in cheek.] However, if you're dressing like an elf at anytime this holiday season, BINGO!
Appropriately named: Funtasma Frolic