Why this year tassel earrings will save your wallet and outfit

In the times when the transition between a workday and a dinner is narrowed to the  distance between the workplace and the restaurant, an ability to modify the outfit in no time is precious. Statement accessories are the key to such transformation. Below is  the solution to this “no time –  pretty me” dilemma. 

Whether you wear yellow scale high heels or a pair of sneakers to your work, going out requires a little of an upgrade. Jewelry is one of the best ways. However, nobody will carry extra golden pieces in their bags the whole day. A super-hot trend that costs very little and provides plenty of room to experiment is tassel earrings. Tassels earring represent a simple and beautiful way to upgrade most of outfits. For the cost of a fraction of a jewelry, they make a statement and boost the mood.

I also found out that wearing tassel earrings with very causal clothes (grey pullover for my yellow tassels) helps to create the everyday cozy chic. Bold colors and textures are the key. At the same time, the simple shape and less kitch always is an advantage. Have fun!

 

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When you don’t know what to wear, wear Boho. Here is why.

It happens very often: you are invited to meet for a dinner ( housewarming party, birthday or a baby shower) and you have no idea what the crowd will be like! How to dress up ? I found that Boho chic style is a solution for almost any scenario. 

Except for corporate event where the dress code is defined, multiple occasions involve people from different occupations, backgrounds and professions. As interesting and intriguing it can be, choosing the dress for such an event is always a challenging task. You know that someone who comes in a cocktail dress and another someone who wears pajama pants (not as a fashion statement). So what to wear to feel chic and comfy and to fit everywhere?   By experimenting, I found that Boho style works the best. There are few features that make this style universal:

  1. Layers: practically and stylistically this is an easy way to adjust to any environment.
  2. Bohemian roots ( more history of this style is discussed below): a symbol of freedom and free spirit – sure it is going to fit everywhere!
  3. Any, even very bold accessory does not look as “too much” but at the same time allows you to look chic.
  4. Boho can be easily adjusted to any economic situation and be chic despite historically being a budget-friendly style (in contrast to evening gowns). It has a lot of flexibility and individualism in it.

A little bit of a history. While we agree that the first association with boho chic comes from “make love and not war” statement,  roots of this style are much older than popular and never-out-of-fashion 70s. Boho chic style goes back to Bohemians and here the things are getting complicated. Bohemians are believed to be Bohemian Romanies that originated in Eastern Europe from Northern India about 1000 years ago (Kendrick, Donald (2007). Historical Dictionary of the Gypsies (Romanies) (2nd ed.). Scarecrow Press.).  Bohemian Romanies (“Gypsy”) gave an idea of free spirit and expression to poor artists much later (18th century) in France, especially after french revolution lead to lack of art support and patronage by wealthy people. Bohemian style at that time represents a different approach to artistic expression.

 Here I am citing the article about history of Bohemian style written by D.Monet https://bellatory.com/fashionindustry/BohoTheFashionHistoryofBohemianClothes:

“With their long flowing hair and rich, though threadbare fabrics, bohemians stand out in a crowd representing a colorful counterculture based on creativity, poverty, and an indifference to social structures and traditions…. A new cult of personality emerged with the artist as hero and individual style expressed in the way one dressed. An artist became a special type of person, not merely a crafts person, but a kind of eccentric genius whose creativity was displayed in the way they lived and looked. The artist himself (or herself) was a piece of art.”

 

 

Fast forwarded history, the ideological basis of bohemian style got transformed from the initial idea of expression of art and individualism in it`s non-materialistic version with presumably poor hygiene into a pricey fashion statement that dominates runways (Desigual is one of the companies that promotes the beauty of this style, see also Chloe SS18 collection). At the same time, during it`s 200 years history, boho style did not change the general principles of clothes style like it`s characteristic flowing dresses and layers with ethnic motifs from natural fabrics.

So what happens now? In my opinion, today boho chic is a way to express comfort and individualism more than the intellectual and artistic class. The visual attractiveness perhaps, is one of the major reasons that detached boho style from it`s initial poor economic but artistic origin. Such detachment  ironically, once more allowed this style to  gain its freedom from social cliche.

 

A philosophy behind styling red leather with leopard to look edgy and not vulgar

This is one of the all-times interesting combination but at the same time one of the trickiest to pull. It highlights the sexiness and dynamic lifestyle but at the same time, a little mistake leads to a super vulgar look that I believe, many ladies would like to avoid. Here I provide a quick tip how to overcome this caveat. 

 

After a certain age and curve volume, ladies typically opt between two choices: to coverup and mask their shape with neutral colors or to continue wearing mini and body hugging dress from jersey to highlight their sexuality. This in part is dictated by their profession and their lifestyle, and not always by the wish to look great. Being at certain age and weight category, I face the very same dilemma. Therefore, the example of red leather and leopard combo is a great place to discuss a stylistic philosophy that I advocate. More specifically, I state that every woman can wear anything she likes and style it in a graceful and interesting manner. It is all about quality, texture and shape.

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So here are two major points that allow to wear even leather- leopard outfit at any age and weight group and to feel dynamic and comfortable:

  1. No mini. The presence of mini downgrades this look to vulgar.
  2. The quality of material and items should be good. Doesn’t mean expensive. However, transparent leopard might cost a lot but very often looks cheap. Materials like jersey do not hold the shape. In this case, it is critical to have a defined shape to provide a solid polished look. I opted for a blazer. It goes well with jeans too and can be worn to office with white shirt.

Have fun!

P.S. A little remark: beige color often upgrades the outfit, so add it to have a more polished look.

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Why velvet track pants are the edgy and multifunctional pieces of the wardrobe worth investing into

Although velvet track pants are rarely the first choice, it is worth having a closer look at this item.  The reasons: it serves multiple purposes and can be adapted to a variety of outfits. Moreover, it is a stylish and comfortable alternative to jeans. The only caveat is that velvet might add volume to the widest curve of the body.

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With a budget styling in mind, I typically look for items that have the potential to be incorporated into several looks and cover multiple life scenarios.  Perhaps, jeans are the best examples of such bottoms that can be worn with stilettos and sneakers, with shirts and sweaters. Here I would like to argue that velvet track pants have the same potential and a fresher look. Pick the berry-colored velvet (navy, bordeaux, or deep green). I also think that light colors like golden and sage will work as well. Velvet gives a “green light” to chic combo with high heel without making “track pants- heels” combo looking funny. Here is a little remark: yes, I am well aware of the trend to wear track pants with heels, but agree, that it requires a very careful paring and most of combos do not fit to everyday life. However in case of velvet track pants, the quality material waves the awkwardness of this tricky combination. On the flip side, the pants are sporty, and this fact upgrades sneaker-track pants look and makes it suitable to combine with fur or a woolen coat. From accsesories perspective, a wide range of bags, from clutch to sport bags can effortlessly complete the look. Thus, depending on the context, track pants make your evening outfit or workday look comfy. Good luck!

Vintage: use it to tell your story

In continuation of my “Boho chic” post, Vintage comes as a natural topic.  Just note, that similar to Boho, it is often associated with 70s. Initially “vintage” was related to certain year good quality wine that becomes better after few years. Now lots of people refer almost to every second hand clothes as vintage… I recently noticed that there is some confusion between “vintage”,” retro” and “secondhand”, so here is a little glossary:

Antique: the item is at least 100 years old

Vintage: the garment is 20-75 years old

Retro: the definition is broad and includes not only the age of garment or accessory but also refers to the style the new garment was made

Secondhand: worn before by someone else (includes vintage, antique, but also contemporary pieces)

Vintage as a market trend being around for decades, so clearly, this is a well established direction to develop personal style. It is also rare to see a person who would demonstrate pure vintage style. So most of the times people mix vintage items with new. Vintage clothes supposed to have certain age and of a good quality and as a fair consequence, a certain price tag.

So why would I write about vintage in my blog, where I tend to discuss budget outfits? Well, “budget” does not mean “not unique”, but more importantly, most people can find interesting and unique vintage garments in their family houses. Why we should care about vintage? To me personally, this means to tell a story. More specifically, this is  my family story, the way I incorporate my family past and remember it. The bag that I show here my grandma gave me two years ago- and it was out last meeting. She got it in 50s to go out with my grandpa is St. Petersburg. This is Chinese bag with pagodas. I feel happy wearing it and thinking about my grandma. Here I combined the bag with a very interesting dress form ASOS that is warm for winter events and beautifully decorated with plastic flowers. The bag and the dress have similar colors and share floral theme. These two circumstances help me to connect different centuries.

P.S.  This post is inspired by my grandma. One of the helpful resources about vintage I found here: https://vintagefashionguild.org

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Perfume: to use or not to use – finding a balance between a chemical and a personality

When harmful chemicals surround us, reducing their impact on our health becomes a critical task. Recently, many holistic centers, fitness studios and workplaces force people to avoid using fragrances. Such strict rules have an impact on people who love wearing perfumes. Here I discuss, shall we fall into “no perfume no chemical ”  policy and how to draw a healthy line in order to achieve a harmony. 

 

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Few weeks ago I walked into a recently cleaned public bathroom, and a lady who was cleaning was still there. The bathroom smelled so good so I made a comment and expressed my sincere thanks to her. She smiled and told me that another lady who just left the bathroom just complained about suffocating smell. Since that day, this bathroom never smelled perfume. Right, we need to reduce chemicals. I happened to know the lady who left the bathroom just before me. I see her having soda and spraying a sunscreen ( healthy advise) with oxibenzone! Seriously?! A chemical that goes into the bloodstream and acts on estrogen receptor can be used while the bath perfume not?! I understand that a small fraction of people can develop allergies against certain perfumes. I also understand that a strong smell can be annoying but at the same time, leaving the house without a perfumes sets a different mood.

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In fact, some people feel naked without their little cloud of comforting aroma. This is a part of their individuality. Certain perfumes might have strong psychological associations. I have one perfume that I always use during my presentations as it comforts me and helps me to set up the right tone of my talk. The secretary who uses aroma feels pretty and therefore is in a good mood ( comfort zone). So why to prevent her from having this?  Let her have this expression of her personality and be happy at work! Sure, I advocate for a delicate smell and not for “everyone dies – I am on my way” usage of perfume. At the end, this is a delicate procedure or a ritual,  to spray eau de toilette and walk into this cloud or to use tiny drops of concentrated perfume on the pulse zones.  The use of perfume should be a respectful act but also lets be more tolerating towards individuals. Let them have their personal aromatherapy! This will definitely make our life healthier!

 

How to style a budget-friendly winter wardrobe

Start now and built a nice wardrobe that will keep you warm, stylish and cozy during all your winter activities. Here I summarize items that are essential to make you look stylish during cold months. Unlike summer dresses, people with limited budget feel that buying winter clothes is an expensive task and therefore exclude any options for stylish garments. Budget varies from person to person, someone can afford anything and another person can afford $10 a month – so focusing on right items will help to fit any budget and yet to look good.

Fashion never stops, it runs at an enormous speed in terms of changes of technologies and in terms of money. A form of art that is multiplied to exponentially growing production.  Hard to follow and almost impossible to chase. Therefore, for anyone who works in a different profession and is not willing to spend all earnings for an Instagram moment, this post might be useful.

Winter is cold in a large part of the globe and requires warm clothes – right. What to buy? Great outfits that are advertised by brands often look amazing, but then we end up buying a dark-colored puffy coat ( still in trend, but don’t you think, that the whole NYC looks like one puffy coat clone?:)) Below I listed the alternatives.

Ski jacket. Purpose: winter sports, playing with kids, ski vacations, winter walks. What to buy: I would choose a white or another simple color that will fit to ski pants, jeans, and sweatpants that you already have. I would not care about the brand but to make sure that the thermo-insulation is good.

IMG_0468IMG_2950Wool coats. These are my favorites. The must-have colors are: beige, camel, grey or black. These neutrals always look stylish and chic. These are worth investing into – a classic wool coat of a good quality is a timeless item that serves 10-30 years. So here budget does not mean cheap. Find one on the sale at the end of season.  Straight knee-long or belted maxi coats are the best options. This type of coats go well with dresses, skirts, jeans, or dress-trousers. High-heel boots or sneakers.  Work or weekends – where them anywhere.

Bright-colored coats. Here most of people will disagree – how a bright-colored item can be a good investment? In case if you are very limited with budget, the first two options are enough. However, if you get one – remember – a color should fit you and the quality should be good. It is better to invest in one neutral color coat than in few bad quality items – it is obvious for others but most importantly, it is obvious for you. You are going to wear it everyday and feel in it good or not. In my life, I had an experience of having a bright-colored coat that was super warm, classic fit and that served my mom and me for 30 years. Great investment. Therefore, do not exclude bright-colored items from your options.

Fur coats. Eastern Europe is all about fur coats. Looks chic, high price-tag and serve for a long time. I do not wear fur, but the faux fur is fine. It is still warm if you wear a shear coat. The price varies, but companies like ASOS have some good options. I would choose light color, this year pink.

Puffy coats indeed are in trend, they are practical , warm and durable. So if you have only one option – opt for this one of a good quality. Wear to work, date or ski vacation.

Good luck and have great and active winter!