fashion, styling guides

How to Wear a Bustier / Cropped Corset

One of my favorite trends that has sprung up in the past year or so is the crop top / bustier. I’m all for anything from the 90s coming back, and this piece is no exception. Some might say “So cute and right on trend!” while others might think “Where is the rest of it?!” I get it though, wearing one is no walk in the park; there are definitely do’s and don’ts that you absolutely must keep in mind to avoid looking, well, unkept (to put it nicely).

The general rule when it comes to donning a bustier is to cover up or simply have a balance when it comes to how much you’re going to bare. Here are five tips to apply before rocking the piece this summer…

Opt for a more “modest” bottom. 

Either choose a high-waisted, mid-length, or maxi skirt, high-waisted shorts or a basic pair of jeans. It’s about balance – you don’t want to show too much up-top and on the bottom. You don’t even have to show midriff; in-fact, you can pair the top with a high-waisted skirt or a pair of shorts to create a bodysuit look – very retro!

In the first look, I chose a pair of high-waisted retro shorts to balance the crop top and create the bodysuit look I mentioned. The middle look includes a long chiffon maxi skirt with a cropped bustier, showing a bit of midriff. In the final look, I’ve paired a high-waisted A-line skirt with a cropped bustier – this works because the skirt has a lot more fabric than the top, allowing you to bare more skin than you normally would.

A major DON’T: a bikini, bandeau or tankini is not equivalent to wearing a shirt.

If I can see your entire torso (or honestly, even half of it), you are wearing a bralet / bikini / bandeau / etc., and this does not qualify as a shirt! Unless you’re walking along the beach, don’t even go there, please.

Here we see Rihanna pairing a little bandeau with a pleated ballerina skirt. I love Rihanna’s fearless style, but this just does not work – a bandeau should be worn either on the beach or underneath sheer and low-cut tops.

Look for straps, but the right ones. 

Take a look at the difference between the tops Katy Perry and Selena Gomez are wearing. Selena chose the perfect bustier: thick straps, good length and cut, and paired it with a skirt that doesn’t bare a great amount of skin. Katy on the other hand (ok this whole look is just awful…) opted for a sporty crop top which looks like a sports bra instead of a nicely cut bustier. Poor choice.

If you aren’t comfortable bearing too much skin, pair it with a cardigan, vest or jacket. 

This makes the ensemble look instantly chic and you will only be showing skin from the front, rather than from every angle.

We have two looks here: one with a flowy, sheer cardigan and the other with a draped vest. Both work to conceal your bare skin while still showing off the crop top.

Going to a more conservative place? Hanging around the family?

Another method to make the piece look more modest is to look for a longer cropped corset and wear long, high-waisted pants or skirts to avoid showing too much skin. This is an even more conservative method than the first one mentioned and still just as stylish.

These looks I’ve styled above probably don’t *appear* modest but trust me, once you pair them together, you’ll be surprised! In the first look, I paired a longer bustier with a hi-lo maxi skirt that has an elastic waistband, making it look like one long piece. The second look, while still baring your legs, features a bustier with high-waisted, dressy shorts. For a more pin-up look, try the third look and opt for any style bustier with high-waisted jeans.

Hopefully this helped! Let me know how you pair your favorite corsets and bustiers. I love seeing a nicely styled different ways people wear them.

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fashion, styling guides

10 Fashion Secrets Unveiled!

To celebrate my recent boost of inspiration and motivation, I’ve decided to go on a hunt to answer my own fashion questions that I’ve been eager to know. Luckily, these questions have been asked by thousands of other fellow fashion enthusiasts since I didn’t have trouble finding the answer to them. I dived into my Teen Vogue Handbook, drawer of recent magazines, and some trusty internet browsing to discover and unveil these fashion mysteries that have been floating around in my head. I even had some answered that I never thought of (for one, I’ve been pronouncing ASOS incorrectly this whole time… read on!)

For all those times I’ve stumbled upon fashion news or simply upon getting dressed in a certain print or combination and never found an answer as to why that is – why did YSL change to SLP, what is a houndstooth print, and is a black/brown combination fashionably acceptable? – I’ve finally found the answers to these lingering questions and more.

 
Why is houndstooth called houndstooth?
 
I love houndstooth, especially with all the pieces I snagged when working at Betsey Johnson. The print is a two-toned textile design that has small, broken or uneven check marks. Its origin is Scottish and yup, you guessed it, it does have something to do with pups! Inspired by the uneven shape of hound dog’s teeth, the pattern appears commonly on jackets, dresses, tops, and even winter accessories. 
What does the ‘Prorsum’ in Burberry Prorsum stand for?
Thomas Burberry’s clothing label is easily identifited with the English style and culture. Prorsum is the fashion house’s Latin motto which is translated to “forward” – Burberry Forward. 
 What does Martin Margiela even look like?
His models have been seen wearing face masks on the runway as if he is further masking his own identity to the public. An anomaly in an industry that places high value on image, Margiela has remained astonishingly hidden for as long as his designs have come into existence. His preference has led him to become fashion’s invisible man… until now! Can you believe it? He should allow himself to be photographed more often!
 How do you pronounce ASOS?
 
I felt incredibly silly after finding out I’ve been incorrectly pronouncing one of my favorite online fashion sites, ASOS. This entire time, I’ve been saying “A-sohs” when in actuality it is pronounced “A-sauce”. Mind. Blown.
Why are there only two main seasons in fashion/fashion week?
 
I never knew the answer to this until a professor of mine taught us and it just made sense. The process to design, produce, and present a collection typically takes six months on average. Therefore, the Fall/Spring breakdown is not only justified according to the weather, but it allows enough time for designers to create and distribute their collections. As the fashion industry continued to grow throughout the decades, it has been able to gain speed in the process, allowing designers to create pre-fall, resort, and couture collections. 

Why the red sole, Louboutin? (We love it, just wondering)
 
The red sole was seen as early as the days of Louis XIV, but Christian Louboutin made it his signature in 1992 upon being inspired by an assistant at the time who was painting her nails in a red Chanel polish. Louboutin decided to test the same color on the bottom of one of his early designs and voila! The red sole was brought to life and into our closets (well I’m still waiting for mine).
 What were the measurements of the first model?
 
The first editorial model in the fashion industry was Lisa Fonssagrives, who stood at 5-foot-7 with a 23-inch waist and a 34-inch bust. That’s not a big difference from the 5-foot-7, 24-inch waist, 32-inch bust average of models today.
Do you have to go to design/fashion school to be successful in the fashion industry?
 
This is a huge question that I can (and possibly will at some point) write an entire post about. I believe it’s entirely opinion-based, while some have stronger views than others. I for one feel that it’s not necessary at all to attend a fashion school in order to be successful in the fashion industry. Of course it’s going to look nice on your resume and some schools are better at providing you with a greater array of fashion knowledge than others, which in turn can help you immensely with a fashion career. However, I believe that fashion is something that you absolutely must be passionate about, and with that, you can learn the ins, outs, and craftsmanship on your own – whether it’s to become a designer, stylist or buyer. Take this book above for example… haha ^_^ 
Why are the buttons on mens’ and womens’ shirts on different sides?
 
I can easily say that I know much more about women’s fashion than men’s, and it wasn’t until a couple of years ago that I discovered the answer to this question that I had to share it now. It’s an old tradition that began when high-class women used to get dressed with the help of a chambermaid, when men didn’t. Seamstresses put the buttons on the side of the item of clothing that eases being right-handed. Thus, men had the buttons along the left side of the shirt while women, who needed assistance in getting dressed, had the buttons sewn onto the right side. So silly since nobody helps me get dressed today…
Is it fashionably acceptable to wear brown and black together? What about navy and black?

 
Just like the question of “is it ok to wear white after labor day” this burning thought is often on people’s minds upon getting dressed. I for one simply don’t see it as a question to even ask. I featured it because I wanted to let you all know that yes, IT’S OK! As a matter of fact, I find the combination to be very chic and easily put together. Since all three colors are neutral, there’s not much work involved when thinking about if your outfits matches or not.
Always nice knowing what you’re wearing and who you’re obsessing over and why! If you have any other questions floating around, please let me know and I’ll feature it in a post (especially if it has to do with styling or fashion history).
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fashion, styling guides

The 6 Bags Every Woman Should Own

I can’t believe I haven’t posted in a little over a month now – I honestly feel so terrible for leaving all of you hanging and am so ashamed of myself! Truly though, December was very rough for me trying to squeeze in time with family and friends along with getting surgery (no worries!), working, and staying sane and healthy! Despite all of that, I’m lucky to have amazing support and love from my family and friends who made my rough patches much easier to go through. I’m back now and ready to conquer my blog and give you what you’ve been missing!

Let’s start with closet essentials – I’m talking the top 6 bags every woman should own – yes, every! Regardless of your personal style and budget, you absolutely need these bags in your wardrobe immediately (if you don’t already). With t-shirts, dresses, and shoes, it just makes sense to have multiples, especially since we never know what kinds of style occurrences we can run into on any given day. Bags on the other hand, you don’t need 25 (I know, we’re all guilty of having more than we should); however, they still remain a very important staple for a number of reasons. First and foremost, well, they hold our stuff – and everyone knows we have a lot of stuff! Whether you carry your entire room with you at all times or you’re more of a grab-and-go kind of lady, I bet you have a bag that goes with your daily schedule.

Shopping for bags is exciting too and definitely less of a hassle than shopping for clothes – they’re easier to try on, generally more affordable, and they always fit. Take a look at my top 6 bags that every woman should own, complete with examples of each one and reasons as to why you should have it!
  
3.1 Philip Lim Pashli Satchel: $1,330 // Michael Kors Hamilton: $350
Dorothy Perkins Tote: $50 // ASOS Mini Tote: $45
 
 The everyday bag should be just that – the single carry-all that you hold day and night, for any occasion. The silhouette should be sleek, classic, and structured (great for work), but roomy enough to fit all of your essentials and more. I would stick to neutral tones or at least ones that will match the majority of your wardrobe. Look for options with multiple compartments for even more room.
 
Tory Burch Robinson: $850 // Kate Spade Leslie: $320
OASIS Weekender: $90 // Cath Kidston $115
You know those spontaneous trips your girlfriends want to take on a weekend off? You need a weekender in case that happens! For quick trips or shopping outings where you’ll be buying a lot, a grab-and-go carry-all is the perfect bag.
 
 
 Marc by Marc Jacobs Classic Q Natasha: $370 // Udobuy Quilted: $50
Alexander Wang Emile: $895 // Dorothy Perkins Saddle: $60
Oh the years I’ve spent looking for that classic black bag that I have yet to find. You should be picky, though, since this bag should be a classic silhouette and one to be passed down to your future daughter (my sisters & I totally wanted my mom‘s black Jimmy Choo. I think I lost the fight to have it).  
Boohoo Lola Skull Clutch: $40 // Tallulah Tu Baroque $120
River Island Box Clutch: $53 // Kotur Margo Brocade Clutch: $450
This one is a definite no-brainer. A sophisticated evening clutch should be your go-to bag for your upscale galas and fancy dates. Go bold and elegant with a classic envelope style in an eye-catching hue like gold or silver; or choose an edgier options with studs in a boxed silhouette. Instantly dressing up your LBD, it can even add extra glam to a pair of dark jeans. 
 Diane Von Furstenberg Mimosa: $600 // GoJane Oversized Envelope: $30
ASOS Bow Bag: $55 // Kate Spade Cobble Hill Clarke $260
 This is what I like to a call a two-in-one bag – a crossbody in the form of a clutch (oversized or not) that can be used for daily errands or as an IT party bag. Every girls needs a crossbody or clutch for going out – it’s not too fancy, but not too casual and it’s your go-to for everything from date night and girls night to concerts and strolls in the park.
 
Michael Kors Gia $995 // Mulberry Alexa $1,765 // Marc by Marc Jacobs Classic Q $430
Celine $2,400 // Proenza Schouler PS1 $1,695 // Hermes Birkin $14,000 // Chanel 2.55 $2,500
 
I know, so many options at prices we (well, I at least) will never be able to afford! Just kidding… they’re not all bad. Start saving though, because a designer handbag is a must-have of every woman’s closet. The lasting quality and classic silhouettes make it well worth it. It will never go out of style and will be in your wardrobe rotation forever. 
Let me know – do you already have any or all of these must- have bags? I definitely don’t (yet!).
I hope you’ve all stuck around with me despite being MIA for a month. I’m back and more excited
to blog than ever before, though!
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fashion, styling guides

The Perfect Cool-Weather Coat for YOUR Body!

Being from the Midwest, my cold-weather styling strategy has always been the same: Layer up, stay warm, look chic. With that said, I never want to sacrifice my silhouette for the sake of dressing in 2+ layers to feel nice and toasty. However, I can say that coat shopping – like jean shopping – has always been tricky for many, as finding that flattering shape can be quite difficult when you’re trying to keep the majority of your body warm.

In an endless sea of outerwear to choose from, I’ve compiled a few options to find the one that truly complements each and every frame. The best part is that they still fall under this season’s hottest trends, including military, cocoon shapes, skirted bottoms, and bright colors. We toppled Sandy with our trusty rain boots and trench coats, bring it on cool weather!

 With your small frame, your best bet is to pick a coat that won’t completely hide your body. The length should hit no further than your hips and try to avoid super-dramatic embellishments – instead, look for rich, bold colors like the ones above! I love wearing yellows, reds, and greens in Fall – matches the trees!
 For pear shaped bodies, you want to look for straight shapes and big, dramatic collars to draw attention towards your shoulders and bangin’ upper body. The straight shape will also help in balancing your ah-mazing below-the-waistline curves.
 Your long and lean body is absolutely perfect for pulling off an equally long-lined coat. Look for ones with funnel necks to further accentuate your streamlined, ballerina-like shape! 
Your figure calls for coats that will help to create instant curves. Look for military-inspired styles with feminine details like peplums and flowy bottoms. While strong shoulders and double-breasted details will flatter your top, the belted-peplum middle and skirted bottom will work the same panache on your lower half. Win-win!
 The trick to finding your IT coat is choosing a cut that flatters, not flattens, your best assets. Look for coats that are single-breasted with skirted bottoms, and preferably ones with a thick belt to tie it all together while showing off your bangin’ tapered waistline. 
 
 For you ladies with shorter torsos, you get to don two trends in one with a blazer coat. Not only are they in style right now, but the piece also happens to flatter a range of body types. The long lapels will help elongate a shorter torso – just remember to pick a hem that doesn’t extend too far past your hips, so you can show off your legs as well! 
In general, it’s best to avoid shapes that cling to your largest area when choosing a coat. For apple shapes, look for a wrapped coat with an all over pattern which will create an A-line shape, flattering without drawing any unwanted attention. Plus, you’ll feel so cozy all wrapped up like in a blanket!
I’m pretty much in love with this Vivienne Westwood coat and would probably wear it even though I don’t exactly have a curvy body. The asymmetric cut is instantly flattering since it’s designed to wrap the body. The fit will be hugging your curves in all the right ways – voila!
 Now that you have all the information you need to snag a coat based on your body type, shop away! Let me know what your favorite types of coats to wear are, even if they aren’t deemed to be for your shape… it happens to all of us from time to tome if something is just that darn cute. 

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fashion, styling guides

Staying Stylish During Frankenstorm!

Even if you don’t reside on the east coast, I’m sure you’ve heard the dubbed “Frankenstorm” that’s due to hit grounds as early as tonight. Are you ready? I’m pretty sure nobody is, especially since this time around, people don’t seem to take it too seriously – but you should! This is the real deal. Step up your preparedness with protective pieces that will have you safe from drowning your way to pick up more flashlights and water bottles.

Even if the storm bypasses where you live, this is definitely the season and time of year when we all sit back and think… okay, when is it going to come?! Hurricane season is here – gather your friends, family, and pets and stick together.

While I’m sure you would love to stay inside forever, it IS Halloween soon and most of us still have work and school, so beat the monster storm with some rainy day, waterproof essentials that will protect you as you trick-or-treat and frolic the streets! Even if they don’t live up to protecting you 100%, at least they will brighten up your day and you’re sure to look super cute!

 
  1. Birdcage Umbrella: Lulu Guinness $50
  2. Star Rain Cape: Vero Moda @ ASOS $38
  3. Contrast Trimming Trench: Mango $115
  4. Irregular Lapel Trench: ROMWE $170
  5. Buckle Rain Boot: Dirty Laundry @ DSW $50
  6. Lace-up Pink Rain Boots: RED Valentino $195
  7. Beige Bow Rain Booties: ModCloth $55
Stay safe, dry, and warm! In-case I am out of power (which is
very likely at the moment), have a Happy Halloween – I’ll be back
Wednesday or Thursday hopefully!