Month: September 2016

Do Accessories Make the Outfit?

Hi friend!

Have you heard the phrase, “the accessories make the outfit?” Do you find that to be true? I believe it can be true, especially when it comes to a neutral outfit. Let me show you how I amp up my accessories to add more interest to an outfit.

The outfit in question is this one I wore recently for dinner and drinks in New York City.

accessories make the outfit with polka dot midi skirt with black heels and black bag

To make the simplest of pairings, one would add black shoes and bag. It is a no-brainer: there is black in the skirt and the top is black! And truly, there is nothing wrong with the look. It is classic, elegant and timeless.

accessories make the outfit with topshop neoprene polka dot midi skirt with club monaco open back tank

But you know me and my love for colors and patterns. While I like to pack neutral clothing and accessories for travel (see travel series), black shoes and bag was just too matchy-matchy for me. I had to mix it up, but I still wanted to keep it neutral. Well, I remembered what my friend @queserasarah says: leopard is a neutral. I grabbed my Kate Spade leopard heels and off I went.

accessories make the outfit with top shop neoprene polka dot midi skirt with leopard print heels

The outfit was perfect for travel, neutral but still fun. Can’t you tell from the smile on my face?

open back club monaco tank with topshop neoprene midi skirt and leopard kate spade heels

And while the outfit was perfect for travel, I wanted a way to spice it up more while at home. So I had to add a pop of color. I chose to move the leopard print to the bag and swap out the shoes for red ones! Now that’s what I call a wow look. While being neutral and sophisticated, it is also unique and playful. I plan to wear this to Los Angeles Fashion Week.

accessories make the outfit with polka dot topshop midi skirt with club monaco open back tank, leopard clutch and kate spade red heels

Which one of the three looks is your favorite? Would you agree that accessories make the outfit or do you not see much of a difference in between the looks?

Inspiration to Execution: Plaid on Plaid

Hello friend!

As you may know, I am a big fan of J. Crew. I adore their gorgeous prints and saturated colors. Most of all, I am constantly inspired by their penchant to mix prints. I take a lot of my outfit inspirations from them. This plaid on plaid outfit in one of their catalogs caught my eye and stole my heart.

J Crew mad hatter ad plaid shirt with gingham skirt and cherry print clutch

It features the cotton midi skirt in oversized gingham paired with a plaid shirt. Now I would have loved to go out and buy this entire outfit. However, budgetary confinements prevented me. More importantly, I felt I could make a similar look with items I already owned. So I turned to my closet. I quickly found a large gingham skirt from Boden in navy check. Then it was on to my plaid shirts. I didn’t have a summery one that matched the skirt. But I did find a more substantial flannel shirt from Old Navy. Since Autumn is technically here (although it is still quite warm), I made my version more of a fall appropriate look than the ad.

plaid old navy shirt with gingham skirt and red heels

The ad snuck in a third print in the form of a clutch. I did similarly with my leopard belt. Given that my outfit was a fall look, I did not think fruit prints would work. But leopard print never fails!

plaid on plaid with leopard

I chose red pumps to echo the mix of red in the plaid shirt.

plaid on plaid with leopard and red pumpsFor accessories I chose a classic twist of pearls. I love the look of feminine pearls against a masculine plaid print. I added some fun rings and rounded off the look with a couple of leopard cuffs from Charming Charlie.

plaid on plaid j crew inspiration

And that is how I came up with my plaid on plaid outfit. It may not be an exact replica of the J. Crew ad, but it has the same feel of it. I hope that you can take inspirations such as this and make it work with the items you already own. Let me know what has inspired you and how you translated that inspiration into your own outfit.

Styling Blanket Scarves: My four favorite ways

Hello friend,

Ilymix blanket scarf with striped anthropologie dress and banana republic booties

As we get a taste of fall: the crisp morning air, falling leaves and the ever-telling return of the PSL, I start transitioning my closet. I remove the thin gauzy tanks and skirts of summer and bring in more substantial pieces. One of those is the ubiquitous blanket scarf. Blanket scarves have been popular for a few years. However, they can be difficult to wear. Let me show you four of my favorite ways to style a blanket scarf.

To focus on the method, I will be using the same scarf and dress for all four looks. But you can substitute other items of clothing. I have worn a blanket scarf with jeans and skirts (all on my Instagram). The scarf is a new one I just received from Ilymix. I couldn’t decide between the yellow plaid or the violet/mint plaid scarves. In the end I chose the yellow plaid. It is a colorway I have been wanting since last year, so I went with my gut (Not gonna lie though, I still have my eye on the violet and mint as well!). I paired it with an striped Anthropologie dress (old) for added interest.

To start, I always fold my scarf into a triangle shape. For me, that is the easiest way to deal with the blanket scarves (and other scarves too for that matter). From there, I often go to one of these four looks below.

  1. The bib  Ilymix yellow plaid scarf with anthropologie grey striped dress and banana republic bootiesThe simplest of my methods, the bib is a quick way of styling a blanket scarf. Start with the the bottom of the triangle centered on your chest. Then wrap the other two ends around your neck. Bring the tails down on the opposite sides and tuck behind the scarf.
  2. The knotted bib Ilymix yellow plaid knotted scarf with anthropologie grey striped dress and banana republic bootiesThe knotted bib starts out as the bib, but when you bring the ends around your neck, pull it out in front of the scarf. Then simply tie a knot. You can adjust the scarf and the place of the knot to your liking. I like the knotted bib when it is colder and especially when it is windy. It stays in place better than its original counterpart.
  3. The ponchoIlymix yellow plaid cape scarf with anthropologie grey striped dress and banana republic booties Ilymix yellow plaid blanket scarf poncho with anthropologie grey striped dress and banana republic bootiesThe poncho look is another easy way to wear a blanket scarf. To get this look: take the triangle and this time center it on your back. Drape the ends over your shoulder and down your front. You can leave it as is, or do as I do and belt it. Belting the scarf keeps everything in place. Plus it adds another layer of interest and texture.
  4. The shrugIlymix yellow plaid blanket scarf shrug with anthropologie grey striped dress and banana republic booties Ilymix yellow plaid blanket scarf shrug with anthropologie grey striped dress and banana republic bootiesThe shrug is my little secret that I am sharing with you! I have never seen anyone else wear a blanket scarf this way. I especially love the look with a dress. You should consider it next time you are wearing a sleeveless dress and you are looking for a warm layer. Forego the predictable cardigan and throw on a blanket scarf “shrug.” To get the look, start off with the same steps as the poncho. This time, once the ends are in front of you, take them under your arms and behind your back. Now tie the ends in a knot and you are left with a shrug!

How are the ways you wear your blanket scarves? Did you discover anything new? Please share in the comments!

Inspiration to Execution: Leopard Print with Red Stripes

Hello friend!

As you know from reading my style evolution and other fashion philosophy posts, I rarely wear an outfit the same exact way. I like to tweak it a bit each time to keep things interesting for me (and you!).

One great example is this post from Brooklyn Blonde featuring this gorgeous outfit of leopard print with red stripes.

Brooklyn Blonde pattern mixing red stripes leopard print clutch red pumps outfit

I love this outfit. It has many of the attributes I enjoy: color and print. The pattern mixing is an added bonus of course. So I set out to try to emulate the look. Knowing I cannot wear ripped denim to work, I attempted some more work appropriate looks.

For the first look, I swapped out the camel coat for a camel skirt. I loved the results. It’s not the same exact look, but it works for me and my lifestyle.

pattern mixing red stripes leopard print cardigan red pumps outfit

Next I tried it with a soft trench and pumps in a cooler nude than the camel she wore. I also changed the leopard piece to the skirt. This also works well for the office and has the same overall feel of her outfit.

pattern mixing red stripes leopard print skirt and soft trench coat outfit

For another mix, I went back to the camel skirt, but this time brought in the denim element in the form of a jacket. I moved the leopard to the shoes. This is still work appropriate for me, hurray!

pattern mixing red stripes leopard pumps with denim jacket outfit

I also wanted some casual options. The first way I wore it is an almost exact replica of Helena’s look.

pattern mixing red stripes leopard print clutch red pumps and distressed denim outfit
To play it up a bit, I also tried it with a fur leopard print vest. I opted for a trendy pair of sunglasses here to further “funk” up the look.

pattern mixing red stripes leopard print fur vest with distressed denim and red pumps outfitSeeing how many looks I could come up with from one inspiration was astounding. Truthfully I can probably mix these items up some more and get a few more outfits. So when you see a look on someone that has key elements that you love and already own, take note! You can use that inspiration to make multiple similar looks as I have done.

Now don’t feel like you have to go out and buy multiple items in leopard or red stripes. This post is simply to encourage you to be creative. You can create similar looks with what you already own. The key is to know what you like and to be brave enough to mix it up.

Would you wear leopard print with red stripes? How would you wear it? Please share below!

Try This: Lace Skirt and Sweatshirt

Hello friend!

Today I am showcasing this lace skirt outfit. It is a look that came to me while cleaning out my closet. While folding up my sweatshirts, one fell next to my new lace skirt. It reminded me of a look I had been meaning to attempt; something different than my usual style. I had to go for it.

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Do you like to push yourself out of your comfort zone when it comes to your attire? Many years ago I use to dress the same way every day. I had cute items, but didn’t know how to pair them to get unique looks. Day in and day out, I would wear the same combinations. That kind of look gets old quickly. After I started to read blogs, I got the itch to become more adventurous.

One of the looks I have always admired is when a blogger or stylist pairs together a casual piece with a more formal item. We have all seen the like: leather with tulle (I want to try that too!) or camo and lace (like I did here). This time I paired a casual sweatshirt with a delicate and feminine lace skirt.

img_9977-2

I combined the J. Crew Collection Austrian Lace skirt with a Target sweatshirt. Bonus: Beyonce wore a similar “Kale” shirt in her 711 video! My sweatshirt is old but you can get a similar (if not exact!) effect with this tee or this sweatshirt.

img_0027-2

For jewelry, I turned to my favorite place: Baublebar. For the earrings, I wanted to continue the feminine vibe so I chose the uber girly Primrose Drops in light pink. The tulle is reminiscent of a tutu, so girly!

img_0031-2

How have you pushed your fashion style? Do you have any challenges for me? Let me know in the comments!

Try This: Fall Kimono

Hello friend,

As we head into fall, I thought I had to put away my kimonos. This thought saddened me. I was enjoying wearing kimonos because they are a fun light layer. Then I discovered something at Target (of course!) Introducing the fall kimono!

A fall kimono is usually of darker color and may also be made of a more substantial fabric than its summer counterparts. I purchased the Floral Kimono Jacket Purple/Green.

Target Women's Floral Kimono Jacket Purple/Green - Merona™

From my summer kimono outfits (as seen in this post), I knew I could make this work appropriate. So I wore it right away to work paired with the J. Crew mixed stripe pencil skirt and a blush pink t-shirt. Can we have a moment of appreciation for this skirt?  The vertical striped panel on the sides is so flattering. All in all, the elements of this outfit make it a perfect fall transition look. It has some fall colors in it but is still light and airy enough to last through the late summer warmth.

Fall kimono with Target Women's Floral Kimono Jacket Purple/Green - Merona™ and J Crew mixed strip pencil skirt

As for jewelry, I chose the Baublebar Lariat choker for my standout piece. Since the neckline of the shirt was so plain, I wanted a necklace with layered interest. I could have also gone with a large ornate statement necklace, but I think the simplicity of the choker did not detract from the overall look. Furthermore, the lariat style helped to break up an otherwise large expanse of simple pink t-shirt.

Fall kimono with Target Women's Floral Kimono Jacket Purple/Green - Merona™ and J Crew mixed strip pencil skirt and ilymix sunglasses

Another fun element I added was the Double Crossbar Metal Pantos Aviator SunglassesIlymix kindly gifted me these glasses and I couldn’t be happier. I have been searching for trendy shades and this pair is perfect. I love the fun shape of the lenses as well as the bar across the top. They fit my face perfectly.

Fall kimono with Target Women's Floral Kimono Jacket Purple/Green - Merona™ and J Crew mixed strip pencil skirt and Baublebar Lariat choker

I chose the gold frame with silver mirror lenses. See how fun they are when they catch the light? I adore them! Note also another way to wear the choker: loosely draped instead of tied in a bow.

Fall kimono with Target Women's Floral Kimono Jacket Purple/Green - Merona™ and J Crew mixed strip pencil skirt with baublebar lariat choker and ilymix double crossbar metal pantos aviator sunglasses

Will you be wearing kimonos this fall? How do you plan on styling them? Let me know in the comments!

Inspiration to Execution: Leather Jacket and Pleated Midi Skirt

Hello friend!

Welcome to my first outfit Inspiration to Execution post. In this series I’d like to share how I take the inspiration for an outfit and turn it into one that works for me. I spend a lot of time on Instagram and fashion blogs. Those both provide a lot of inspiration for my outfits. But outfit inspiration does not stop there. I am often inspired by color combinations I see on billboards, other people, and also toys. Believe it or not, this specific outfit was inspired by a doll!

Anthropologie leather jacket with pleated pink skirt as seen on Polished Whimsy blog

If you follow me on snapchat, you have seen my love for the fashionista barbies. Their outfits are incredible. So when my two Instagram friends @michellerosborough and @teachthriftwear decided to start a Barbie outfit challenge, I was all in.

barbie-fashion-outfits

The first challenge (September 2) featured a pretty pink pleated skirt and a black leather jacket. Now I didn’t have the exact elements, but I made do with what I had. I chose a blush pleated skirt I had purchased years back in London. To pair with it, I picked the only leather jacket I have. It is olive green, but the overall effect is similar.

Baublebar Linette Drops earring as seen on Polished Whimsy Blog

For jewelry, I went with a statement earring. The gorgeous Linette Drops from Baublebar fit the bill perfectly. They are eye-catching yet still delicate and feminine. It is just right for the look. Since the earrings were a focus piece, I skipped a necklace and went for a few large rings.
Leather jacket and pleated skirt on polished whimsy blog

This was definitely a twirl worthy outfit. The delicate pleated skirt had the perfect “swish” factor as I walked.

outfit inspiration from polished whimsy blog

I hope you see how easy it can be to get outfit inspiration from our surroundings. First, take a moment to look around. Second, identify what speaks to you. Then take that inspiration and turn it into a fabulous outfit. This method will keep you looking fresh and unique. Most of all, it will keep you excited about wearing items already in your closet.

What has been a unique outfit inspiration for you?

Summer to Fall Transition

Hello friend!

As you know from reading my End of Season Blues post, I don’t like to see seasons change, particularly summer to fall. Fall transition in my wardrobe is difficult and often delayed. This is partially due to the fact that it will still be hot in Southern California well into October. So while the rest of the fashion community is donning their boots and sweaters, I am stuck with a dilemma.

I want to transition to wearing fall items. However, I truly cannot due to the warm weather. So how do I remedy that? Simply put, I start mixing “fall” colors with my summer pieces. I keep wearing my lightweight summer pieces while incorporating deeper and warmer colors in items of clothing and/or accessories.

This H&M shirt is perfect for fall transition. It already incorporates the beautiful colors of wine and gold. Both of these colors scream fall. Therefore it was very easy for me to make the outfit a “fall transition” outfit, even if I paired it with a sky blue skirt. Note the accessories: they are not incidental. I chose a gold bag to echo the gold in the shirt. Also the color and texture of the shoes give a nod to fall. There’s just something about suede that feels like autumn!

Fall transition outfit with H&M blue leaf print shirt and j crew pencil skirt with mustard louis vuitton bag and camel Sam Edelman flatsIn this next outfit, I paired my very summer coral skirt with this mixed blue plaid shirt. While the plaid shirt has a lot of blues, it also has some reds and oranges. These tones help to warm up the overall look. Adding the camel bag clues us in to the time of year. All together, the outfit perfectly walks the line between summer and fall.

Fall transition outfit with J crew plaid shirt, pearls and J crew coral pencil skirt and leopard studded heels Fall transition outfit with J crew plaid shirt, pearls and J crew coral pencil skirt

This Antropologie skirt is one that can be worn year around in Los Angeles. The colors truly lend it to be quite flexible. In spring and summer I wear it with blues and aquas. In autumn and winter with oranges, tans and burgundies. On a warm fall day, I can pair it with a gladiator sandal and a rich mustard cardigan providing me with a fall color palate as well as hot weather comfort.

Fall transition outfit with J Crew jackie mustard cardigan and anthropologie skirt

And finally I have this option. This skirt from The Limited is a quintessential summer to fall item. It has both warm and cool colors mixed in. So during the last days of summer, I will pair it with mint. Once fall is in full swing, I can pair it with warmer tones such as nudes and camels. Either way, the skirt is the perfect fall transition piece.

Fall transition outfit with The Limited maroon and mint print skirt with J Crew Factory crochet top

As you can see, it can be quite easy to transition to fall while still wearing your summer pieces. Remember to mix in fall colors, play with textures and don’t forget the accessories! How are you transitioning your outfits for fall? Please let me know.

Pattern Primer: Fall Florals

Hello friend!

With fall right around the corner, I’d like to turn my focus to fall prints. Now floral is not usually a print one turns to in the fall. But let me assure you, you can do a floral print. Let me introduce you to fall florals.

With the 90s fashion revival still going strong, floral prints are everywhere. So how do you pick one without feeling like you are wearing your Easter dress in the middle of fall? Make sure to pick a print with warmer tones to match the current season. Avoid something if it is predominately pastel.

Here are some of my picks:

This pretty lilac dress from Target works well in that it has some warm tones mixed in. I would wear this now with gladiator sandals and a crochet vest. I can see this paired beautifully with booties, a floppy hat and a cardigan when the weather cools.

Target Women's Floral Tiered Dress Lilac - Xhilaration™ (Juniors')

Another option I am adoring is the Wildflower babydoll dress from Loft. This one is also very 90’s reminiscent. To make it more modern, I would consider pairing it with a hip length cargo or suede vest. A pair of over-the-knee boots would also make it more current. Or you can play with hemlines by adding a longer duster over it. The choice is yours!

Loft Wildflower babydoll dress

As for items already in my closet, I am looking forward to wearing some of my much loved fall florals. one of my long-standing autumn favorites is the decade by decade skirt from Anthropologie. I love the below-the-knee length and the high-defined waistline. Most importantly, it pairs flawlessly with other patterns. Here I have it with leopard.

Anthropologie decade by decade green floral skirt ready for fall with leopard scarf and fringe flats

I’ve also worn it with stripes and black gingham button-up shirt. If you read my Pattern primer: floral skirt post, you know how much I like to pair florals with stripes and gingham. It works for summer florals and fall florals alike.

Now for my newest acquisition, this amazing High Low Romper from SheIn.

SheIn Burgundy Flower Print Off The Shoulder High Low Romper

When SheIn reached out to me to collaborate, I immediately chose this romper. The colors are perfect for fall. The high low hem was unique. I had not seen something like this around.

fall florals; SheIn burgundy off the shoulder flower print high low romper

Even though summer is  coming to an end, the colors here will carry this item into fall.

fall florals; SheIn burgundy off the shoulder flower print high low romper

fall florals; SheIn burgundy off the shoulder flower print high low romper

As the weather cools, I plan to wear this romper with a low-heeled bootie and belt. Another option would be with a slouchy cardigan and mid calf boots. Wouldn’t that be a fun, boho look?

Will you be wearing fall florals? If yes, share your looks!

Travel Style: Packing for Warm Weather Vacation

Hello friend,

Like most people, I enjoy traveling. While I like to decompress, I also still like to look presentable. In this series I will be sharing with you what I take on various trips as well as any tips I have for smooth and stylish travel packing.

From past experience, I have put together a list of must-haves for me to take on trips. I adjust each must-have for the type of travel. Whether it’s a warm weather vacation, a city weekend getaway or an international trip, my list will get you there in style.

Must Have Items for Travel

  1. Scarf or cover-up (for plane and trip)
  2. Lounging outfit (something to grab a quick bite or to relax in comfortably)
  3. Location appropriate neutral shoes
  4. Evening bag

My most recent trip was to Hawaii. Since this trip was mostly about R&R, outfit planning was fairly low-key. I chose swimsuits, shorts, tanks as well as a romper. Looking at my list of must-haves, these are what I included:

  1. Scarf or cover-up for plane and trip:target beach bag with Lilly for Target scarf at American Airlines counter at LAXSince I was in a tropical setting and unlikely to get too cold, I chose a fun and tropical scarf. I always take this item on the plane or other mode of transportation. This provides a light extra cover in the event that the AC is too strong, as well as options to add to an outfit for added color and fun.
  2. Lounging outfit: travel outfit for warm weather vacation anthropologie skirt, lace up sandals, leigh luca scarfFor Hawaii I chose a black pull-on skirt and a shirt. This skirt is very comfortable with a stretchy waist-band. In fact it is so comfortable that I have affectionately dubbed it my “travel skirt.” It accompanies me on most of my trips! The boho style allows it to hide any wrinkling from travel and wear. It’s a simple piece to throw on for a quick errand out of the hotel room.
  3. Location appropriate neutral shoesVince Camuto laceup sandals  The pair I chose were these fun lace-up sandals. The stacked heel is comfortable while still stylish. The color is a perfect neutral taupe to go with most anything.
  4. Evening bagpurses for warm weather vacation: Target perforated beach bag, Kate Spade crossbody bag I often forget to take an evening bag on my trips, so I included it in my must-haves. For Hawaii, I was lucky to be able to use one bag for day and night. This white cross-body was the perfect size to hold all I needed. For daytime activities, I used the big beach bag for any large items. I left just my phone, wallet and lipstick in my purse (which I could also conveniently place in my beach bag).

Post-trip Analysis

After I return from a trip, I like to journal in my travel journal. I document what items I wish I had taken (to add to my “must have” list) as well what I took that I did not need (to help me better pare down my items next time).

For this trip the one item I wish I had taken was my Clarisonic facial cleansing tool. Because I was traveling light, I thought the item would be too bulky. I also reasoned that since it was a beach vacation I would not be wearing too much makeup and therefore would not need deep cleansing. What I didn’t realize was that it was difficult to remove the layers of sunscreen off my face at the end of the day. The clarisonic would have been perfect for that task. So now it goes on my must have list.

The item I wish I had NOT taken was my laptop. It was bulky and heavy. I only used it once. I will no longer take it on a beach getaway.

What are your tips for stylish travel?

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