Styling, Wardrobing

Is It Spring Yet?!

Sometimes I wish I lived in California, or Florida, where it’s 70 and sunny like 24/7. Growing up in Raleigh I’ve become use to, and sometimes fond of, our unpredictable weather patterns. We have a saying; “If you don’t like the weather, wait five minutes.” and it’s pretty true: two weeks ago I got sunburned and the next it snowed. But as charming as it can be, our bipolar weather really confuses my wardrobe! As soon as I change over to Spring we have a week of cool 40’s. Over the years I’ve come to transition slowly, mixing bits of winter with the inevitable spring season. Oh, and always bring a jacket wherever you go.

Last September I shot with one of my favorite photographers, Terrence Jones. It was a similar situation – technically Fall but with temperatures hovering around 75 degrees. For my styling inspiration, I decided to mix “winter” fabrics and colors with “spring” prints and silhouettes.

One of my favorite combinations is contrasting a cheery floral print with dark colors. This sheer vintage dress (not for the shy) has a petite scattered floral print to keep the look from becoming too bright. Black & white accessories give the feminine frock some edge.

“Florals? For Spring? Groundbreaking.” Sure, florals for spring isn’t new, but the color palette can be unexpected. Also, leather! I love this look – a little bit schoolgirl, a little bit wallpaper in an opulent home. Together these textures and colors can transition from hot to cold, work to drinks, and everything in-between.

For those less print friendly, try rocking a pastel knit. Personally, I’m obsessed with this vintage 1930’s dickie from Raleigh Vintage. It’s a great layering piece that can be styled jazzy or classy. Throw a leather jacket over your shoulders and hit the bar (like C. Grace) without feeling out of place.

Pastels not your thing? Just show some skin. Not in a slutty way, but in a “I’ve already got my beach bod so bring it!” confidence way. Plus, a fabulous scarf can help cover up should you feel the need (or just get a chill). Also, I’m a firm believer that a fabulous hat can elevate any look, no mater how technically simple it may be. This is one of those situations where less is more. Choose your pieces wisely.

How are you dealing with the sporadic weather? Need help dressing for the seasons? Let me know! I’m here to answer any and all of your fashion questions.

 

Look 1: Vintage everything – except shoes from Art of Style
Look 2: Vintage hat, Ray Ban shades, Topshop top, J. Crew skirt, Marc Jacobs heels
Look 3: Vintage hat, thrifted bralette, Raleigh Vintage knit, Art of Style trousers, Nasty Gal platform heels
Look 4: Vintage hat, Alexander McQueen scarf, thrifted bralette, Art of Style skirt

Big thanks to Melissa G. S. for creating my face and assisting me with my curls 🙂

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Styling

Leather Whether the Weather’s Better

It’s finally Spring!!
(well, almost)

By the time March rolls around I am so tired of my Winter wardrobe that I am extra excited for the climate change.
But there are always a few pieces that I want to wear a little bit longer.
Sometimes it’s a favorite top or a new piece that didn’t get enough play.
Spring is the best time for mixing things up.

My favorite Winter pieces tend to incorporate a bit of leather (or pleather).
Even though this is a cold-weather textile, it works wonders with the colors & prints of Spring fashion.

Here’s an example:

I received this Zara skirt for Christmas & absolutely love it.
I wore it to work the first day of 2015, styled with dark florals & vintage fur.

New Year

The combination of rich fabrics (leather, suede & fur), deep jewel tones,
and the juxtaposition of vintage fur with a gold Cassio watch made for a luxe look ready to brave the bitter cold.

So how do you lighten up a plum-colored leather skirt?
Pair it with soft pastels!

I love the combination of plum, grey & blush.
It’s feminine, sophisticated
& color blocking adds a modern touch.

Blush&Plum

There are still subtle Spring details in this ensemble,
like the floral laser-cut detail on the booties & the abstract floral print on the belt.
The key is to balance elements from each season for a smooth transition.

My next #OOTD is all about my latest leather obsession.

While shopping at Revolver, I scored this awesome powder blue (p)leather A-line skirt.
The color instantly makes it appropriate for the warmer weather,
but the material can totally be styled for winter.
It is the perfect year-round piece.

I styled it for this 80 degree day with a June Cleaver attitude.

BlueLeather

Big, bubbly flower earrings look right at home with a 1960’s handbag and gingham blouse.
This Mid-century inspired ensemble is fun & flirty,
yet cool enough to not feel like a costume.

With any outfit, it is important to use a mix of inspirations to create a look that is uniquely you.
When you’re dressing for a transitional season, be sure to take cues from each season to make it work.
Pair leather with pastels, black with florals, suede with chiffon.
Textures, colors & prints are your best friends.

You can see how I styled these leather leggings,
first by incorporating delicate lace and then by contrasting with a vibrant floral print.

photo 1photo 2

Hope this inspires you!
What is your favorite transitional piece?

Have questions about styling?
Need wardrobe guidance?
Comment below & I’ll answer!

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Styling

Urban Wonder

On a warm Sunday, after some unusual snow fall,
I headed downtown to Raleigh’s warehouse district
for the first menswear shoot to be featured on Style Asset.

Ever since I started helping my coworker&friend, Jonathan,
curate his wardrobe, I have wanted to discuss men’s fashion.

Although it does not change often,
there are many stylistic techniques that can make fashion fun for guys.

Jon12

Update your basics.
Look for textural textiles,
like suede, leather, and denim.
These materials are both visually rich and rugged,
making for a cool, sophisticated outfit that is sure to attract attention.
If you’re going to go for simple, you have to make every piece count.

Jon4Jon6

A good leather jacket is always in style and is easy to wear.
Visit your local vintage or consignment shop in search of one that is already worn in.

Jon3

You can do double denim.
It’s called chambray: a lightweight clothing fabric with colored warp and white filling yarns.
It is basically denim lite.
A chambray shirt is a great way to mix fabrics & stay comfortable.
A sturdy denim fabric can be too bulky as a shirt, but makes for the perfect jeans.
Choose well-made jeans in a classic wash that will last you a lifetime.
Raleigh Denim is a favorite for quality pieces & you be supporting a local business.

The second trick is to choose different shades of blue.
This outfit went a step further by incorporating a subtle, woven print that adds a playful quality to a tailored look.

Jon11Jon2***

When in doubt, invest in neutrals.

A great pair of shoes can go a long way
& by purchasing them in variations of brown, black, & blue
you can literally wear them with anything.
(but never brown shoes with a black belt)
Jonathan purchased the same shoe in both navy & gray
because they were so damn snazzy & comfortable.

Jon9

Do not fear outerwear.
Jackets & blazers can really complete a look
and there are ways to not look silly in a vest.
This particular one came with the most amazing jacket from a certain safari-inspired GAP Inc. brand.
(Banana Republic)
Jonathan was hesitant to trust my advice on this piece,
but since he made the investment he has worn the jacket every day & loves it.
A quilted vest in an earthy hue feels more outdoorsy than nerdy
and a color-neutral, like olive, is a refreshing alternative to black.

Jon17

Turn to nature & the urban landscape for interesting color schemes.
I love the warmth of red bricks from old Raleigh architecture,
especially when contrasted with the green of foliage.
Thus the combination of a evergreen vest & wine button-down.
The same concept is applied to this gray & sage ensemble.
A slightly preppy look contrasts nicely with the decaying industrial environment.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed by color (or print),
tone it down by layering a neutral piece that allows the contrasting fabric to accent the outfit.

Jon16

Embrace style.
Contrary to what you may have heard, it is ok to put some effort into what you wear.
Style is the first impression
& how you speak to the world without using your voice.
Go ahead, wear your favorite color! Even if it is vibrant or quirky.
Do structure and feel relaxed.
I promise, there is a balance between looking profession & feeling at ease.
Be inspired by your interests & the world around you for unique interpretations of classic menswear style.

Jon14

Follow @Style_Asset on Instagram to see more from this shoot
& check out past editorials (+ photos of my cat).

Need fashion advice?
Comment below!
I’d love to start an Ask the Asset series.

Big thank you to Keisha Louise for capturing this on film
& to Jonathan for his Blue Steel impressions.

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Styling

Black & Blue

Season after season, I find myself turning to a tried & true color combo: black & blue. No matter the variation (light blue, cobalt blue, navy blue) this match made in heaven always works for me. Whoever said you can’t wear these two hues together needs to go see an eye doctor.

Keep scrolling to see some of my favorite black & blue ensembles…

Light Blue/Black as an Accent

DaisyPrintonPrintTropicalMixed

You may think light blue & black is too much contrast, but it is actually a softer take on black & white. This works best if there is already some black worked into a print, but if you feel like wearing black shoes with your blue outfit then do it! The first look puts the print trick into action; there is a subtle outline of black around each flower, thus tying in the skirt which is totally appropriate for a spring day. The second ensemble is a visual trick; the print on print (yes, that is a cardigan & skirt) consists of a white background with dark blue design, but your eyes blur the colors to read “light blue.” The bit of black up top & in the shoes gives your eyes a break, keeping the ensemble from looking like tacky wallpaper. In the third outfit black plays a bigger role and all shades of blue are present. I chose white as the accent color to lighten everything up for summer. Lastly, we have an all blue look with only a hint of black in the loafers. Black CAN be a neutral to blue!

Cobalt & Black

Printed SkirtPop of BlueDressSweater
Cobalt & black has to be my #1 Fave version of this theme. The first two images depict ensembles consisting of mostly black & white with a POP of vibrant blue. This technique can be very effective and give off an artsy vibe. The third & fourth looks allow cobalt blue to be the star of the outfit. With these looks, black is simply used to cover the skin (because I freeze in winter) and accentuate this bold hue. You may notice that I went a little edgy with the last looks, but really this can be done with any style.

Midnight

BlazerShirtDress1Dress2
This is possibly the most controversial color combo in the fashion world: navy & black. I know people who loath the pairing and others that work it on a regular basis; I fall into the latter group. This first ensemble exhibits the color scheme by way of color blocking; no prints, just solid-color pieces. The second ensemble uses a subtle print as the centerpiece of the outfit. If you look closely, the shirt is a navy floral brocade against a black jersey background. I completed the outfit with a black skirt, tights, and heels so that the navy stands out. The last two looks are variations on the same dress, styled for winter & summer. The winter ensemble toughens up the geometric print shift dress, while the sheer tights add a little sass. Ditch the tights & jacket, trade the booties for strappy wedges, add some fabulous sunglasses and you have a simple summer ensemble that will not disappoint. It just goes to show that even a dark color scheme can be appropriate in warmer weather. Blue & black is so versatile, why don’t you try?!

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Styling

Dressing for the Holidays

We’ve approached that time of year where just about every weekend holds a holiday party. It all starts with Thanksgiving, or “friends-giving,” and ends with the night of all nights, New Years Eve. If you’re the type of person to start gift shopping in November, then you may also want to start outfit planning. In this digital age, the last thing you want is the same outfit appearing in every party picture.

Here are a few ideas to get you started…

LGD1LGD2

This little gold dress used to be floor-length. A vintage piece I purchased for a New Years celebration several years ago, I later decided it would be more useful as two pieces; a party dress and a knee-length skirt. I like to toughen up something this glamorous with a leather jacket. Not only does it keep you warm on cold winter nights, but it prevents the look from turning into a pageant ensemble. I chose minimal accessories and hair&makeup styling for the same reason: you have to balance the sparkly with the simple.

Lame1lame2

I inherited this gold lamé skirt from my mother and I absolutely love wearing it. I followed the same guidelines as my previous picture, off-setting the gold with some leather, but did so in a more elegant way. You don’t have to show a lot of leg and cleavage to be sexy. This ensemble is sleek and refined without being boring. Oh, and a red lip never hurt!

green1green2Snowflake

Attending a more casual affair? You can’t go wrong with a sweater. I love this moss green color, as it makes my eyes pop, but it is also a less obnoxious holiday hue. Pair it with black jeans and some gold accessories and you have a perfectly understated holiday ensemble. I did add a little bit of fun with snowflake earrings: subtle, yet festive!

*On a side note, turtlenecks can be tricky depending on your body type. I learned early on that they can make my bust-line appear larger than it is, throwing off my proportions. This sweater works because a) it is a darker color (read: minimizing) and b) I have my hair pulled back (so the combination of the neckline and full hair doesn’t overpower my face). If you can’t do a turtleneck, look for an open neckline like a v-neck or scoop neck. Those who are petite on top can benefit from a brightly colored turtleneck, or a top with added detail (like ruffles or pleating).

 

Still need outfit inspiration for your upcoming holiday event? Take a look at some of the party-worthy ensembles I’ve created in the past. Remember: when in doubt, throw on a LBD and some sparkly jewelry!

LBDGreenFloralRedVelvet

 

 

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