fashion, styling guides

Holiday Trends to Adore & Avoid

The Holiday season is blooming and Christmas and the New Year are right around the corner. Can you believe it? It’s crazy how fast this year has gone by. I’m sure we’re all planning what to wear in the coming week and more importantly, what not to wear. This season can make it quite difficult to keep everything on point, with the gift-giving and getting, the great amount of holiday parties we have lined up, and all of the fun festivities to enjoy.

The one mistake to avoid is a grand entrance to a festive frenzy in an outfit that might be more suitable for a night out with your girls. Have no fear if you’re in a rut as I’ve rounded up a cheat-sheet of the trends you should avoid as well as the most suitable alternatives sure to make you dazzle throughout the end of this year.

Step back from the Holiday prep madness and take a look below; don’t wait too long – as in, you should probably start right after reading this! Have fun!

I’ll be the first to say how much I love cutouts, but there’s definitely an appropriate time to where a dress with the sexy detail. A holiday shindig is not the place to expose patches of skin in the wintertime. You don’t want anyone – especially colleagues or your SO’s family – to peek at your peekaboos!

To still don a frisky look, swap your cutout dresses for lacy alternatives. The fabric allows you to show minimal skin without risking a cold, flaunting too much, or looking too risque.

I can also testify to loving mini skirts, even in the winter when layering with sweater tights and leggings. For the holiday parties though, you’re going to need some mobility when dancing! Let your legs stride long with some flare in your mini instead. Trust me, your bootie and legs will thank you all night (and the next morning).

To finish off a look, you need the perfect pair of shoes. While we all love our trusty stilettos for a frisky night out, the pin-thin shoe is no place for a holiday banquet. Instead, opt for a classic pump with a chunky heel to keep you on your dancing and mingling feet all evening!

If you’re not a skirt or dress type of girl – or simply, if you’re looking for a more modest, casual look – you can always find a pair of festive pants. Trade your work trousers for a daring, more festive option with sequins! A great way to amp up your look while looking professional and sophisticated.

I’m also a sucker for a bandage dress; they flatter practically everyone and just hug you in all the right ways. For holiday parties though, you’re going to want to enjoy all the yummy food and a bandage dress will not help with that! The fix? Throw on a slip dress over tights to hide any food bumps and still show off your legs!

fashion, inspiration, styling guides

Chic Fall Fashion

It’s officially Fall when the air is crisp and cool, I’m craving apples & pumpkin on the daily, and I want nothing more than to layer and snuggle up. I’m sure by now we’ve all taken out our favorite tights and sweater dresses and stocked up on cool-weather accessories and cozy knits. The transitional season can be quite tricky though, which is why I’ve rounded up a few stylish looks as well as some helpful do’s and don’ts to help you ease into the cool season nicely.

DOs & DONT’s 

DO: Stock up on scarves in varying prints, colors and fabrics. A perfect scarf can take that woven sweater you wore all summer long right over to fall and instantly makes a summer dress paired with tights the greatest fall staple.

chicisimo / fashiondivadesign

DON’T: Go bare if you plan on being out all night. I see this way too often in cooler seasons and I don’t understand it. Fall is unpredictable: it may be 70 degrees and sunny at noon, but it can easily drop to 50 by the time you’re deciding where to go out for dinner. Keep a light coat or scarf on hand to cover up those bare arms.

DO: Balance your bareness. If the weather is above 70, toes are welcome to come out and play, but be sure to keep a balance. Showing legs and toes means you must offset their bareness with a pair of tights, pants, and/or long-sleeves tops.

DON’T: Wear sandals. Choosing the right shoe is essential to a well-balanced, stylish fall ensemble. Flip-flops and sandals are for the sun and boardwalk, and unless you plan on running around in the sand, trade in your summer sandals for a pair of chic ankle boots (invest in two – one black, one in any other color) that will carry you through the winter, too!

DO: Pick a jacket that will transition your summer dresses into early fall. Stick with earth-tones and solid hues if you want to play it safe, or play down summer neons and brighter pigments with darker options. Your trusty moto/leather jacket is always a good choice, but this fall, opt for a military-inspired jacket or blazer to get more action out of your summer frocks. Plus, you’ll be showing off your outer layer more than what you’re wearing underneath it, anyway!

This is an excellent outfit to transition into fall from summer. The leather skirt bares your legs while it’s still nice and breezy out, while you can remain cozy with a knit top, classic cloche and peep-toe booties. For added warmth, slip on a pair of tights and you’re good to go!

Another method of wearing your summer pieces in the fall season is by layering. In this outfit, I’ve paired a red skater dress with a toned-down tweed jacket in grey. Finish the look off with grey lace-up oxfords, a statement necklace and handbag, and you’ll be happy you didn’t put away your summer frocks!

For those casual days where you aren’t feeling your plain ol’ denim, opt for a coated pair instead. The piece is versatile; I’ve paired it here with a thick, cozy jumper, a lightweight printed scarf, and chunky booties to give it more of an edge.
Fall is definitely my favorite season for putting looks together. What do you look forward to wearing most during the cool season? Share your thoughts and comments below!

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fashion, styling guides, trends

Shoes: Must-Have Styles for Fall 2013

I’m sure most women can’t imagine ever having too many pairs of shoes, but in being keen about investing in a good pair for the perfect wardrobe, it’s worth sticking to key styles during each season to get you through the year with panache and versatility.

With trends for Fall 2013, the main accessories of the season range from glamorous and sexy to tough and edgy, reviving classic staples as well as welcoming new silhouettes altogether.

This time around, we’ll be seeing sharp-looking flats, charming heels, and fierce boots, all borrowing inspiration from the runways. Let’s dig deeper into each style and find out how you can incorporate them into your looks this season!

Edgy Ankle Boots

Rag & Bone, Acne, Elie Saab, and Isabel Marant all sported their own version of ankle boots on the Fall ’13 runways. This season’s rendition is all about both style and comfort. Wear your favorite pair with a sexy mini dress or your best-fitting skinny jeans, playing with light layering and textured pieces.

Chloe / Isabel Marant Fall ’13
H&M: $40 (I have these!) / ModCloth: $50 / FashionUnion: $48
ZARA: $100 / RED Valentino: $595 / DSQUARED2: $995

Lace-Up Flats
This Fall’s sleek component influenced more than just the garments and accessories we saw on the runway. Lace-up flats took a bold turn, looking tough yet feminine when paired with beautifully tailored pieces in delicate, pastel hues. Wear yours with girly mini silhouettes and airy knits.
Rachel Antonoff / Simone Rocha
ModCloth: $33 / Charlotte Russe: $36 / ModCloth: $35
Giuseppe Zanotti: $750 / SImone Rocha: $945 / Freda Salvador: $375
T-Bar Pumps
There’s something quite graceful and charming about these shoes – they remind me of a style a modern-day Cinderella would don. For Fall ’13, T-Bar pumps made a comeback in a wide variety of styles, shown by luxury powerhouses including Valentino, Lanvin and Fendi. Pair yours with midi-length dresses and skirts for a classic look.
Valentino / Lanvin

Newlook: $45 / ASOS: $80 / ASOS: $33
Valentino: $975 / Alexander McQueen: $415 / Antonio Barbato: $363

Thigh-High Boots

The most recent showcase of the trend goes back to 2009/2010, when over-the-knee boots started to really make an impact. Taking it even higher and sexier, thigh-high boots hit the Fall 2013 runways hard, making them a major spotlight. They range in styles from cut out and open-toe to sporty and evening wear. We saw them on Chanel, Prabal Gurung, Celine, and Balmain, to name a few. Wear them with practically anything in your wardrobe this Fall – play with layers, conceal a fitted pair underneath knee-length and midi-length pieces, and feel in control with the edgiest shoe of the season. 

Chanel / Prabal Gurung
I’ve gradually been adding new shoes to my wardrobe and I’ve been most on the hunt for a perfect pair of thigh-high boots (it’s difficult to choose just one!). What are you looking forward to wearing most?
Panache Offblast will be going through some changes as well. Keep your eyes peeled as the site will be tweaked a bit here and there! Don’t forget to “LIKE” on Facebook for updates as well.

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fashion, styling guides

Style Dead Ends I: Plain Jane in Jeans

I’ll be the first to say it’s *very* easy to fall into the same old styling routine, but just when you thought “Oh, I won’t see the same people tomorrow, I can wear the same thing” actually turns out to be “Crap… I’m wearing the same outfit as yesterday and I just saw this person”… it may just be time to switch things up in your wardrobe.

It can be something as simple as letting go of your trusty sweater that’s become your ultimate security blanket or as detailed as changing up your entire weekly dressing routine. Either way, moving yourself past a style dead end is easier than you think.
With some tips & tricks on why you’re stuck in an outfit crater in the first place, I’m about to show you how to pivot into a fresh, new vibe that won’t have you feeling life you’ve completely transformed, but tweaked and turned into a newly stylish direction.
The Dead End: Jeans galore.
I’ve never been a jeans and tank top kind of girl; jeans are just not my go-to comfort piece. I totally understand why you may find yourself living in your favorite pair though – they’re comfortable, durable, and they go with practically everything in your closet. However, if you’re reaching for them constantly, it’s definitely time for a change… a slight one, that is!
The Turnaround: Diversify your jeans with color, patterns, and interesting styles.

I only have 2 pairs of “normal” jeans – one dark and one light. The rest are in different colors – royal blue, coral, yellow, and pink – patterns – polka-dot and stripe – and style – jegging, military/high-waist, and boyfriend. These variations offer the same sort of versatility and can be dressed up or dressed down, adding an oomph to your outfit that can be difficult to showcase with a simple pair of jeans.

Stay tuned for the continuation of this series where I’ll be discussing other style dead ends including living in sneakers & sweats, constantly wearing black, carrying the same handbag everyday, and more!

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fashion, styling guides

"Rebel Girl, You Are The Queen of My World"

Rebel Doll Banner

I can happily say I’m a 90s baby and although I was too young to actually include myself into the the scene, I still remember it all (especially thanks to being the youngest of 5!) and love incorporating the fashion into my styling today. Grunge and punk have been seen on the runways and in stores more than ever before lately. Clueless – classic 90s movie that you *should* know/love – just celebrated their 18th birthday on July 19th and Miss Selfridge‘s new line, Rebel Doll, reminds me a lot of the fashions we adored from the movie and at the time.

Step aside from the pastels and flirty petals for the remainder of the summer and into the fall to experiment with a more daring approach. Channel the queens of cool – from Gwen Stefani to Kelly Osbourne and of course the ladies of Clueless – and give your wardrobe a shift in direction with a touch of punky attitude. When it comes to fabrics, think tartan, lace and leather while flashes of red pop up against a monochrome palette. Detailing squeezes in with roughly-cut lace and leather-look panels alongside sheer silhouettes.

Here are my favorite pieces from the collection:
What do you think of this collection?
Miss Selfridge ships to the U.S. – happy shopping!