Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Closet Essentials: Camel Coat

From time to time people ask what kinds of items they should have in their wardrobe. Since most of us don't have unlimited budgets or closet space, I do believe there are pieces that are must-haves for every fashionista; items that will have maximum impact and offer the most versatility.  Among such essentials are a good pair of well-fitting jeans, a crisp white button-down blouse,  a fitted blazer, pencil skirt, the classic LBD and (drumroll please)...the camel coat. It's got to be one of my favorite staple pieces because it adds such a classic, chic look to just about any ensemble. Wear it with jeans, slacks, a skirt, it doesn't matter. Whether dressed up or down, it just works.

Today's post features a double-breasted cape coat that I found and immediately fell in love with a few years ago while creating looks on Polyvore. This particular chilly day I chose to wear it with a thick wool cable knit sweater in chocolate brown and my favorite skinny distressed jeans. A pair of sexy, textured platform booties and long leather gloves finished the ensemble.

There are many variations on the camel coat. From long to short, single to double-breasted, belted,  even collarless. The options are as varied as the available price points (mine was only $40!), so there's really no excuse not to have one. Just shop smart and listen to your style instincts.

Here are a few examples I love of ways to dress the classic camel coat up or down. Gotta love anything that offers you so much versatility! That's what you call getting the most bang for your buck and if you're a frugal fashionista like me, that's the name of the game.

MoxyStyle on Polyvore
Here are a few looks I've created using the Polyvore app. Check out my Moxystyle page for outfit details, http://moxystyle.polyvore.com.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Night & Day

We've all said it: there just don't seem to be enough hours in a day! As a busy woman on the go if I can find ways to maximize my wardrobe and budget, I'm all for it. While shopping is definitely a favorite pastime, being able to stretch the pieces already in my closet helps to save both money and time; things I'm sure we all wish we had more of. The looks featured on this post are an example of how to take basic separates and make them work for you both day and night.

This $20 mocha colored off-the-shoulder sweatshirt from Fashion Nova (www.fashionnova.com) has quickly become one of my favorites. The neutral color goes with just about everything and the wide neckline and cropped hem make it a stylish, yet non-fussy choice to complement a number of bottoms. Your most comfortable jeans, shorts, joggers or even a maxi skirt are all viable options for creating a simple, casual and stylish look for running errands. Dress it up with heels or down with flats/sandals and you're good to go. The right accessories (cute bag, fabulous sunnies, etc.) also go a long way toward adding pizazz to a basic ensemble.

There's no need to trade comfort for style when evening comes around. The right pieces make it more than possible to achieve both objectives. The versatility of this sweatshirt is simply amazing (now do you see why it's become my favorite?!). This time I went for a monochromatic look, a tried and true style trick that instantly adds a bit of class to any ensemble. All black, all white, all gray...you get the idea. Style icons like Kim Kardashian and J. Lo have shown us how it's done countless times. When worn with a sleek pencil skirt, like this $40 metallic knit number from JLux Label (www.jluxlabel.com),  the same basic cotton sweatshirt maintains its style factor and easily transitions to an evening look. Slightly shift the wide neckline for an off-the-shoulder touch, add a pair of strappy sandals (www.charlotterusse.com, $20) and you achieve subtle sexiness, perfect for date night or an evening out with the girls and all for less than $100. Winning!!

So there you have it. The key to being able to make the most of what you have lies in selecting pieces that are versatile and simple, yet combining them with items that have a bit of flair. Add embellishments here and there with snazzy accessories or choosing wardrobe basics with distinct details.  Remember, you don't have to spend a lot to be stylish! Shop smart! Look for clean silhouettes, basic colors and palettes, separates that flatter your figure, camouflage any problem areas and just make you feel like million bucks, even if you only spent just a few ;)

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Capes, Ponchos & Wraps...Oh My!

I'm a fan of simple, easy, no-fuss fashion; pieces that make being stylish a no-brainer. Let's face it, life is complicated enough without the added stress of trying to put together the perfect look. This is why I'm a huge fan of ponchos and capes. On the functional side, the extra layer can really make a difference when trying to keep cozy in cooler temps.  But what I also love is that, whether dressed up or down, even the most basic cape, wrap or poncho can significantly up your style game.  

Today's look featured a beautiful crocheted asymmetrical poncho by Rosa Revella, a designer collection I had the pleasure of featuring in a few recent fashion shows. It is quickly becoming one of my favorite cold weather go-to pieces. I love the added warmth it provides when I'm not quite in the mood for a bulky coat. The fun and flirty eye-catching movement of the fringe also makes this a fabulous statement piece. 

Check out a few other Rosa Revella looks from our runway.
Looks from "20 Pearls In A Glamorous World", a show for the Pearl Foundation/ Iota Lambda Omega chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.

A dressier poncho look was created for, "En Vogue" our runway presentation for the Washington DC Alumnae Foundation of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.

To get a Rosa Revella piece of your own, contact her at (302)757-6686.

Pictured here, one of my favorite pieces, an amazing leopard print poncho made for me by a friend, styled for one of our Project:Epiphany makeover photo shoots. The look was complemented by thigh high leather boots and a studded Michael Kors bag.

We've taken a look at some beautiful ponchos, but capes and wraps can also be another sophisticated and stylish option. I styled this black and white hooded wrap from It Factor Boutique (www.loveitfactorboutique.com) with a cowl-neck sweater, skinny jeans and thigh-high boots. A wool fedora and leather gloves completed the look, great for a slightly chilly day of errands. 

(Sidebar: Whenever you wear a voluminous cape, poncho or wrap, it's good to streamline the outfit underneath by creating a slimmer, contrasting silhouette. Skinny jeans, tapered pants, body cons, sheath dresses or pencil skirts will do the trick.) 
That same piece was also used dressed up a bit when worn with a classic white shirt and black tapered pant. 

Can't Get Enough:More Looks
I absolutely love these looks featured on the runway:

Bright colors, catchy patterns, luxurious textures, dressy, casual, long, short...it's all there. Such inspiration to be fabulous!

Style Is For Everyone:
I love the fact that capes, ponchos, cloaks and wraps work for virtually all body types. They're the great equalizer. Here are some looks by fellow bloggers that demonstrate that curvier bodies and fuller figures can also get in on the style action.

Moxy Style:
Need more ideas for ways to style your poncho or cape? Here are some looks I created using the Polyvore app. For outfit details and info on where to get each piece, visit www.polyvore.com or download the app and follow me under "MoxyStyle".

So now that you've seen plenty of examples on ways to rock a poncho or cape this season, have fun playing with the tons of options out there, creating style vibes all your own.

Monday, January 2, 2017

Lady Boss: The Essential Power Suit

Sunday, January 1. Day 1 of a brand new year, which this time around, also happened to be the first day of the week. Sweet!

Something so magical about New Year's Day. It brings with it hope and expectation; the promise of a fresh start, clean slate, new beginning. Cliche, yes, but still so true. I, like many of you, have aspirations and plans for 2017 to be an epic year. One of power, accomplishment, success...of WINNING.  When I awoke yesterday morning, trying to decide what to wear to church, I wanted to somehow capture that spirit of anticipated victory. I wholeheartedly believe in dressing according to ones mood; in the power of our attire to reflect what we're feeling and want to say to the world. The morning's vibe required a power suit. My go-to was this beautiful, classic pantsuit by my friend, Derrick Coleman.

I first bought this suit from Derrick almost 14 years ago when my youngest child was still an infant. It was featured in one of my earliest fashion shows. I fell in love with the clean lines, which though simple, somehow make a powerful statement. More than a decade later, my son is now a sophomore in high school and this suit still speaks boldly.  Not only does it still fit, but the quality is so top notch, I've never had to repair it. Not a button, zipper or loose thread.  I have 2 other suits by Derrick and they also share the same testimony. In a time when most clothing is inexpensively mass produced with low-quality materials and at sub-par standards, that's saying a lot. I'm all for getting the look for less and not spending a lot on items, but in some things you want/need to go with quality. Those suits were an investment I've never regretted. They've served me well over the years and have been worn to numerous business meetings, special events and were even featured in one of my recent fashion shows. 

Winter white pantsuit on the runway then (circa 2002) 
(P.S. That's my then 6- 7 year old daughter on the front row :)

....and now, worn with Zara velvet bodysuit, accessories pictured below.

Accessories: Ivory Tommy Hilfiger sunnies (Marshalls, $12), faux fur and metal trimmed purse (Aldo, $40), gold tassel body chain (Curbside Fashion Truck, $12) and Bakers platform chocolate brown studded pump with metal heel (Goodwill, $6)

Turquoise and black boucle pantsuit then (circa 2002)...

...and now.

The moral to this story is that every woman should have a power suit, one that makes her feel beautiful, strong and powerful; of such good quality that it can last years and be classic enough to remain stylish just as long. 

Here are a few other Derrick Coleman pieces. Not only does he do great suits, but beautiful separates as well. If you want stylish, classic custom pieces, Derrick is your guy. Contact him today. It's an investment worth making. 

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Statement Coats: A Fashionista's Fall/Winter Must-Have

So it looks like the cold weather is finally here. Can't complain; we've had it good for long while here in DC. Just last week it was 70 degrees...in the middle of November! Boy, did I enjoy it, but deep down I was ready for some typical fall weather.  Autumn has quickly moved up to almost being my favorite season, though summer still holds the title. It's a strong contender not only because of the beautiful colors and the crisp, refreshing chill in the air, but also largely because of the amazing fall fashion. Each year I get giddy with excitement when I know it's almost time to break out the gear. Sweaters, boots, coats, oh my!! (insert 'hands raised' and 'clapping hands' Emoji)

For fashionistas everywhere fall is like a feast. There are sooooo many wonderful style options out there!!! As the temps drop, however, the challenge becomes finding the right mix between fashion and functionality. While I'm all about looking great, I'm also very much a fan of warmth. For a person who is always cold, it's a pretty big deal. When it's all said and done the goal is to be both cute and cozy. I think the mission was accomplished with this look.
I started out with the basics of a classic turtleneck and jeans, a combination that will always be in style. Period. Point blank. Regardless of your body type or size, you just can't go wrong starting there. As in all looks, it all boils down to fit and cut, but it's a great jumping off point. From there, you want to up the ante by choosing accent pieces to add some personality. For me, it was the skinny leopard belt that did the trick. I'm a firm believer that a little bit of leopard goes a long way. A belt, shoe, scarf, bag...a little dab will do ya. Next, I went with the suede thigh high boot and wide brim fedora, both hot trends we've seen for the past few seasons that I think will stay around for a while.  Something about a baaad hat sitting low just makes you start feeling yourself.

No doubt I could have gotten away with just those pieces and been just fine had it not been for the frigid wind that was a-whipping. It was cold, y'all! Style game was strong, but the warmth factor was lacking. What to do, what to do. Enter, the statement coat; the final layer to seal the deal, if you will.

Nothing sets off basic black like a bold color. I chose a burnt orange wool blend coat with clean lines and oversized pockets by Bernardo. I got it on sale at Nordstrom, but statement coats can be found anywhere, at any price point. I've mentioned in previous posts (http://moxystyle.blogspot.com/2016/11/thrifting-works-hunting-for-treasure.html)
that I'm a HUGE fan of thrifting and consignment shopping. It's a great place to start if you want something unique, that not everyone has and that fits your budget. Regardless of where you shop, the key is to look for details: cut, color, funky buttons, trim, faux fur, even patterns. It's about choosing a piece that catches your eye, fits your personality, makes you feel fabulous and keeps you warm.

Style Is For Everyone
The statement coat is a style must for every woman, not just a few. Check out a few fellow bloggers showing how they rock statement coats on their full and curvy body types.

Moxy Style
Here are a few looks I created featuring statement coats. Follow me on Polyvore using the app or the site for details on the items. Just search for me as "MoxyStyle".