About Administrator

Our founder, Karen Lucas, has a degree in Textiles & Apparel and worked in the Fashion industry for many years. She has experience as an Accessories Buyer, Assistant Store Manager and Department Manager for several Specialty stores and a major Department store in the Washington, DC area. Karen has been trained in the art and science of style by the guru of style, Stacy London of “What Not to Wear”. As a trained stylist, Karen continues Stacy’s Style for Hire belief that “everyone – not just the rich and famous – should be able to get personal help with style.”

Trends for Spring/Summer 2018, Color and Style

Color Trends

The color trends for spring are moving away from the traditional shades that one associates with spring and are moving to a more expressive trend.  The Pantone Institute has expanded the color selection to be used as another form of self-expression.  In addition to the 12 colors for spring, for the first time this year, the report also includes four classic colors, which transcend seasons and provide structure to any wardrobe. The classic colors are a wonderful way to keep continuity in a wardrobe and push the boundaries to color outside the lines.


This bright yellow shade speaks spring.  It’s a color that says I am confident and outgoing.

Cherry Tomato

This color is a mix of orange and red that will make any outfits come alive and exude energy. If you are bold, I could see this mixed with Meadowlark.

Little Boy Blue

Similar to a clear blue sky, it’s calming.  This color mixes well not only with Meadowlark, but some of the pastels and neutrals in this season’s palette.

Chili Oil

This color is an earthy brown based red that adds flavorful definition to the spring 2018 palette.

Pink Lavender

Pink Lavender is a soft and romantic violet rose that will have you thinking of soft spring breezes and blossoming trees.

Blooming Dahlia

A wonderful mix between peach and pink, it mixes well with some of the bold colors of the season like Arcadia and Chili Oil.


This color is cooler than green yet with some blue undertones which makes it a color that works for more women.

Ultra Violet

This Pantone Color of the Year, is a bold statement and not for the faint of heart.  Not a bold person? Add a splash of this color in a scarf or belt will look great or pale it down to a shade of lavender, another important color this season.


This rich chocolate is a great neutral to mix but can also stand alone.  Mix it with Blooming Dahlia or Pink Lavender if you don’t like to wear brown tones alone.

Almost Mauve

This color adds a sense of nostalgia to the spring 2018 palette. It works great as a neutral in lieu of white.

Spring Crocus

A more toned down shade of fuchsia, it works well with Emperador and Arcadia.

Lime Punch

This sharp color is another one that makes a bold statement. 

Spring 2018 Classic Color Palette:

Sailor Blue

This and any shade of navy is always in style

Harbor Mist

Shades of gray have been important for many years.  This hint of gray will be seasonless.

Warm Sand

Warm Sand is a comforting neutral shade that effortlessly connects the seasons.

Coconut Milk

A great alternative to white or off-white that can carry through the seasons.



Many of the spring trends this year are a throw-backs to trends of the 90’s.  Here are the ones that I think will be around for a few seasons and seen in many ready-to-wear fashions.


We are not just talking accessories here, but entire outfits.  These items are made out of 100% Nitrile / Synthetic Rubber.  I don’t know that I am ready to try one of these as I can just feel the sweat rolling off me during the steamy Maryland summers.





This is not just in small sections of the bodice but will be found over the entire dress as well as down the sleeve.  Done right, it can enhance the balance of an outfit based on your body type.




Asymmetrical Necklines

Fashionable for several seasons, the trend continues strong.  It’s not just about exposing a shoulder, but having various cut-out areas of the garment.



Square Necklines

If the asymmetrical neckline is not for you, how about the square neckline?  It is very flattering and will be found in everything from cocktail dresses to everyday tees.



The Fanny Pack

I remember the last version of this well; it was a staple for the skier in years gone by.  Now it is showing up as a mainstream accessory. It does give you the convenience of freeing up your hands.





I have already seen this wonderful color in garments in my NYC preview a few weeks ago.  It is definitely color for day or evening.


Dark Denim Sets

This wash is not just for casual wear and is by no means replacing your light-wash jeans.


Black and White Polka Dots

If floral prints are the number one pattern for spring, these dots are number two.  Don’t be afraid to mix them with your favorite floral that has a predominant black or white in the pattern.



White Tank Top

The basic white tee will always be a staple, but for this season, add to that the white tank.  Wear it either alone for under a top for layering and you can’t go wrong.  Although they will be seen with screen printing, I prefer the basic with no pattern.




So check out your closet before you run out the door to shop for spring.


What outfits are hiding in your closet?

Vacation Closet Postscript


If you have been following my posts in the month of January, you know that I was away in a much warmer climate; Apache Junction, Arizona which is east of Phoenix.  During that time I shared what I packed in my suitcase and the outfits I created from those items for the month.  Now that I’m back I decided to do a review of what worked well, what didn’t and things to consider for the next time.

The temperatures were predicted to be in the 40s at night and upper 60s to low 70s during the day which was pretty close to true with a few mornings being a little colder and a few days being upper 70s to low 80s. This is a place where you can be busy all day, or just sit by the pool and read.  My husband and I chose the former.

As a reminder, these were the items in “my vacation closet.”

Here is the suitcase (25” hard side) I used. I also carried a backpack on the plane and a cross-body purse.


In addition to all the clothing pictured above, I packed in there 5 days worth of undergarments, 2 bathing suits, a hooded sweatshirt, lounge PJs and the items pictured below.


For just about all my travel (plane, train or car) I always layer an outfit and wear leggings, for this trip it meant black leggings, bronze colored tank top, denim shirt and a cashmere wrap.  I also always wear my sneakers on the plane as they are bulky to pack and no matter what, they always come with me; experience has taught me that.

When I packed, I chose colors that were versatile enough to mix and match just about everything in “my vacation closet.”  As you could tell from photos, there was a lot of mixing and matching and although I brought several scarves to add patterns and upper interest to my outfits, it just wasn’t that dressy of a place to use them.  I had anticipated eating out maybe once a week, but instead we rotated fixing dinner among 3 couples and only had dinner out once.  But we did have a dance once a week and a concert once a week, so that was considered the evening casual looks.

I got it right items:

Daytime Tops – All of the casual cotton short sleeve tops, top and center left in the “My Suitcase” collage, along with the black/white top center bottom worked well either alone or, if it was a little cooler, layered with my hooded sweatshirt or the denim shirt.

Daytime and Evening Bottoms – All of the bottoms worked well, from the casual gray shorts, beige capris to the 2 different weight leggings, skinny Chico’s pant and jeans.  The jeans, Chico’s pant and heavier weight leggings were good for the cooler days and evenings as this is a place that has very little humidity so as soon as the sun goes down, so does the temperature.  A tip for your leggings, they can do duel duty as capris if you pull them up to create a “seam” just below the knee as I did in bottom left picture of the “Mix and Match” collage in the Facebook post.

Evening Tops – Here is where the mix and match came into play a lot.  The tops in the center and bottom right of the “My Suitcase” collage were my staples along with the cashmere wrap.  I used these a lot, both alone and layered with a camisole underneath.

What I didn’t use:

I got very little use out of the 3 tank tops.  It was a little too cool to wear alone during the day and only used a cotton one once as a layer under the denim shirt for a very casual evening.

I also didn’t need the pair of bronze colored flats.  If I needed shoes, the short boots worked fine.

As I mentioned before, I didn’t get much use out of the scarves, but I would continue to pack scarves in the future as they take up very little space and add interest to your outfit.  This was true for the belt as well.

In lieu of the purple long sleeve top pictured in the “My Suitcase” collage, I would have packed a different top as it would have been more versatile.

What did I need but not pack:

I originally had a denim skirt out to pack but changed my mind.  Go with your first instinct, I should have brought it.

I also would have gotten use out of additional leggings to go with the burnt orange tops and denim shirt.  I did purchase 2  pair from LuLaRoe  when we went shopping at Mesa Market Place Swap Meet (great place to go if you ever get out that way),  They are a nice pattern, go with both tops and are oh so comfortable.

As I mentioned earlier, I should have packed another long sleeve tunic length top (to take the place of the purple top) that would have given me more options with leggings (butts covered please).

All in all, the amount and type of clothing worked well, but there is always room to refine the selection.  I will admit I like a lot of variety in what I wear so towards the end of the trip I got a little board with my options.  The addition of the LuLaRoe leggings was a nice boost.

Remember, pick either a pattern for your tops or bottoms to give you the most possibilities to mix and match, always bring your sneakers, pack some accessories (belt and scarves in addition to jewelry) and go with your first instincts when pulling clothes for a trip.

What outfits are hiding in your closet?

Do’s and Don’t’s of Denim

Here are a few tips for keeping your jeans (and any denim) looking like new.

  • Yes you can launder your jeans, but you don’t need to wash every time you wear them.  Every three to five wears should do, unless you’ve been playing in the mud!
  • The best way to keep those dark washed jeans dark is to skip the heat. Always wash in cold water and in a laundry bag as the less heat and agitation the better.
  • When picking out a skinny pair of jeans, look for ones that have Lycra in the fabric content.  It helps jeans keep their shape longer and form fits to you.
  • Are you looking at a new pair with some bling?  I really don’t like to hand wash as I just don’t think they get as clean.  So when it’s time to wash I turn them inside out and again, so to my mesh laundry bag.  I wash on delicate cycle and they never go in the dryer.
  • And remember, heat is the worst thing you can do to your denim, no matter if it’s a shirt, skirt, jacket or jeans.  Always hang to dry.  This is a must to prevent shrinkage.


What outfits are hiding in your closet?

You look thin. Did you lose weight?

Aren’t those the words every women loves to hear?  If you did drop a few pounds;
congratulations on the hard work!  But if, like me, you are still a work in progress, there
are a few things you can do to look thinner without hitting the gym more often or passing on some of your favorite foods.   No matter whether it’s the time of year for your spring/summer or fall/winter outfits, as you have heard me say many times, the goal of the perfect outfit is to give you the hourglass figure.  This could be in reality, if you are one of the lucky 7% of the population, or by illusion by balancing your natural figure.  But you can also look thinner by illusion.  Below are tips and tricks on putting together outfits that will make you look taller thus thinner.

Vertical Pattern – using a fabric with stripes, lines or a vertical pattern makes the eye
travel up and down, thus making you look thinner.








Monochromatic Outfit – using one color family for your entire outfit does the same
thing as a vertical pattern.  It creates a unified look making the eye travel vertically
creating a visually unbroken line.  And it’s not just about wearing black.  Any
monochromatic outfit will make you look thinner.  Pick a color that makes your skin
glow and you can count on getting compliments.









Hemlines – you may not think the position of your hem has an impact on how you look,
but it does.  It could be the difference between  looking slender or adding attention where you don’t really want it.  The rule of thumb should be: the skirt hem should hit at the slimmest part of the leg.  For most women, that is either just above or just below the knee. If you are wearing a midi length skirt or capris, it should be just under the heaviest part of the calf.

Accessorize– heels or flats with a pointy toe and a sharp crease in your pants are other tricks to have in your style toolbox, but accessories also play a role.  Chandelier earrings and/or long chain necklaces (particularly the current trend of multiple strands) make you look taller.  Adding a color to your neckline (necklace or scarf) that coordinates with your skirt or pants will help the eye move around your outfit.   Are you on the petite side?  Smaller bags can help you avoid visually overwhelming your frame.









What outfits are hiding in your closet?