I only have a few outfits in my closet

No matter if you have suits, dresses or basic separates, layering your outfit is a great way to extend your closet without having to buy a thing.

I can still remember years ago when I worked for Casual Corner (I may be dating myself). I put together an outfit on a display of corduroy pants, a diagonal striped blouse with bow and a crocheted cowl neck short sleeve sweater. I probably sold 5 of those outfits without even trying.  It was simple but a great layered look.  So can you layer anything?  Not necessarily.  Let’s go through it.

First layering should not add volume to your body and remember to keep your proportions in mind so you don’t look like you are drowning in layers. Start with a pair of slim or mid-width pants based on your body type.  Next put on a crisp shirt or tunic style knit top. Maybe even a fly-away turtleneck. Simple and basic outfit, but is that really you?  Then add a sweater or even vest to the outfit, it can be short or long. Showing shirt tails or tunic hem are ok. Next add a splash of color. An oblong scarf underneath the sweater with just the hint of color around the neck and the tails peeking out at the hem is a different approach. Or what about a statement necklace instead of a scarf?  If you go with the same color family in your top pieces, it will add length to your body.   You could take this same idea and in lieu of the pants go with a solid skirt with matching tights and pumps. Have you tried putting a belt over a shirt, long vest or even your scarf?

Added bonus: You’re going to Aunt ____’s house for Thanksgiving.  She probably has been cooking and baking all day which means it may be 80 degrees inside.  If you put together a layered outfit, you can shed a layer inside, but still be stylish.

There are endless possibilities when you have basic pieces and accessories in your closet. And the more solids you have the easier it will be to layer and create something new. Use your accessories to give that splash of color to bring out your personal style. Here are some suggestions to get you started

Polyvore - layering

 What outfits are hiding in your closet?

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Are any of these trends calling your name?

With shorter days come cooler temps and another season of new trends. As usual there are some varying opinions; I am highlighting the ones that everyone seems to agree on.

Bling is back! From drop earrings to embellishments, there is much more shine this season. So bring back out your feminine, sparkly jewelry. Drop earring can be a way to add height and they do work for the office, though I would go light on the shine.   Reacting to last winter’s weather, the short black flat boot will be “in” and practical. Wow what a concept! And shoes will be trending towards lady loafers; footwear with a stacked kitten heel for comfort. Pair these with tights in both solids and patterns. Other accessory looks that will be around are long skinny scarves with a boho influence and long gloves, an influence from the new Mrs. Clooney.

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As for the styles that will be hot this season, it all seems to center around keeping warm. That means layers. Skirts will have something for everyone. There is the carwash pleat, think box pleats cut open, the flounce skirt that has been dubbed “happy hemlines” and the always popular mini skirt. I see pairing the pleats and mini with the chucky oversized sweaters or turtlenecks, which are making a return this year. How about a sleek turtleneck with a flounce skirt for the office? And the pant silhouette makes a change with the return of the flare and higher waisted, wide leg styles which can give you the long leg and tiny waist look. If you aren’t a fan of this pant try a wide belt at the waist to give that cinched in look; instant hourglass shape.

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Texture treatments are very prevalent. In addition to the chunky sweaters, there is lots of fur, both faux and real. Coat cuffs with fur, fur on boots and shoes, fur stoles worn diagonally over coats and shearling coats. Do the designers sense something about our upcoming winter weather? Another texture is fringe, which began last fall. You will see fringe at the hem of vests, and on dresses. If that is a bit much for you, try it as an accessory such as on a scarf or purse.


Fall 2015 faux-fur-w724 Fall 2015 chunky-knits-w724










And it’s time to breakout your poncho. It can be a great layering piece to go over a blazer in lieu of a coat.

These are a few snippets of what you’ll be seeing in stores. Does this work for you? Remember, just because it’s a trend, doesn’t mean the style is right for your body type.


What outfits are hiding in your closet?

It’s too soon……

Is this what you are thinking as the pools begin to close and the temps get cooler at night? Well, even if the calendar dates are quickly moving closer to fall, you may feel you aren’t ready to give up on some of your favorite outfits. Cardigans to the rescue!

In today’s post you may notice some familiar pieces from previous posts. I am using those items to emphasize how easily you can change a summer item into something you can continue to wear into September.

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Take the chambray dress, which is great for the woman who is bigger on the bottom. Put on a colorful cardigan that ends at the waist to draw interest above the waist. Are you someone who is bigger on the top? That favorite maxi can continue well into September with the addition of an open cardigan that ends below the waist. The wonderful sun dress that the woman with a little extra in the middle has worn all summer can still look great with a dark shrug. Wide pants are continuing to be popular as the temps begin to fall. Add a decorative cardigan that ends at the waist for the curvy woman. This will continue the balance of volume with interest in the top and bottom. Last but not least, if you don’t have a lot of natural curves, we can create that illusion for the non-curvy woman. Using the horizontal striped skirt, we add a bright shrug with short sleeves. This will add volume across your top to balance the stripes that will add width to the bottom. Voilà, who says you don’t have curves.

While the weather is still warm, continue to use your sandals as your footwear, but as the climate changes these outfits will look just as good with a close-toed shoe or boot. And of course, don’t forget to add belts, scarves or jewelry to complete your outfit.

So savor your favorite items as long as you can with these ideas. Our next post will be talking about the trends for the upcoming fall season.

What outfits are hiding in your closet?

Casual and Breezy

I just got back from a visit to the Jersey shore, we don’t go to the “beach” in Jersey,  so I thought it was a good time to remind you that shorts are not your only option for hot days and evenings in tropical climates.

I really like to be casual when I am by the ocean and in looking around town so does everyone else.  Cool and comfortable is the main thought when I’m not in a bathing suit.  For those times, my ‘go to’ item is an easy dress, whether at the knee or a maxi.  For this trip my bag included a trapeze style dress for just hanging out, a bright colored maxi dress and a soft knee length tank-top dress pulled in at the waist.

A few posts ago I gave you some examples of the best style dress for your body type, but they didn’t have the beach look. Beach dresses don’t have to be expensive but they do have to fit your body type. Here are the reminders of what you should select.

Bigger on Top – Show skin at neckline; Emphasis on the bottom whether with color or pattern

Bigger on Bottom – Blousy top; Accentuate the waist; Emphasis on the top whether with color or pattern

Little Extra in the Middle – Princess seams; V-neck tops to elongate body; Crisp fabrics; empire waist

Curvy – Wrap or faux wrap dress; Accentuate narrowest part of waist; Keep balance between top and bottom

Not Curvy – Add volume at shoulders or hips; either by style or pattern; Waist emphasis

Here are a few examples:

Polyvore - summer dresses 15











And if you step out of the house, don’t forget your accessories!  A big breezy scarf can double as a wrap for your shoulders in a restaurant or for a late walk on the beach.

What outfits are hiding in your closet?