To-MAY-to! To-MAH-to!

By Erika, Resident Fashionista

You say “to-MAY-to;” I say “to-MAH-to” . . . Oh who cares?!?! This blazing hot shade is all over stores just in time for Valentine’s Day! Though, I certainly don’t need V-Day as an excuse to grab as many clothing items as possible in this lovely hue. I love this tint because it is the perfect love child of fire engine red and poppy. It’s bold but not overpowering which makes it pretty much perfect to wear in any form.

Not too sure about it? Then try a simple sweater in the shade. Feel really strongly about the color? Then why not opt for a fabulous pair of wide leg trousers? And if you really want to let winter have it (like I do while blogging from a snowy PA) then cop a beautiful winter coat in this shade.

No matter how you wear it you should be sure to incorporate Tomato into your wardrobe PRONTO!!! You can check out the YCS Polyvore for details about this look. But you can also hit up stores like Ann Taylor Loft and J. Crew who have lots of lovely frocks in this amazing color!

Stay warm and stay fabulous!!

Your chic is showing,
erikas-signature
To-MAY-to! To-MAH-to!

Alexander McQueen white satin shirt
$660 – net-a-porter.com

Weekend Max Mara brown top
$76 – johnlewis.com

L K Bennett red swing coat
$525 – lkbennett.com

Milly red pants
$500 – net-a-porter.com

H&M low jeans
$45 – hm.com

Adidas sneaker
$135 – jades24.com

Chloé pink tote
$1,890 – ssense.com

Gucci vintage black sunglasses
$345 – profilefashion.com

Henri Bendel glove
henribendel.com

Kate Spade tech accessory
couture.zappos.com

River Island hat
$37 – riverisland.com

FRENDS headphones | SUPERTRASH | FRENDS
$245 – wearefrends.com

Kid's Style: Back to Cool

 

By Meghan, Bad Mama Jama

Back to School Cool

 

We’ve all been getting magazines advertising back to school looks and most of us are thinking, “where has the summer gone?” or “why are we already seeing Halloween costumes?”  The truth is, most kids have 2-3 weeks of Summer left at this point and that leaves little time to shop for a new wardrobe and replace what needs to be thrown away from having too much Summer fun.

 

For the past couple of years, I’ve been trying to recycle a couple of book bags, but this year my oldest needs a new one after years of using the ones we have for toy storage, camp, and school supplies.  LL Bean always has classic choices.  I can remember 25 years ago everyone at my school had an LL Bean book bag (feeling pretty old right now).  It was the cool school accessory to have and it lasted for years.  Not only has LL Bean stayed true to their quality, but they also designate age groups for the variety of book bags they offer.  This way there is no confusion or sizing errors made when purchasing.

 

Pottery Barn Kids also offers great choices for book bags.  They have numerous patterns and offer matching pen/pencil cases to go with them.  Both companies are offering some deals right now.   LL Bean offers $10 off their deluxe plus bag and Pottery Barn Kids has free shipping and 20% off.

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When it comes to back to school fashion, you will need something dressy for school pictures and you will probably need to replace some t-shirts, shorts and shoes from the wear and tear of Summer.  I think Crewcuts is a great option for Picture Day and for some unique pieces to wear at school.  Gap and The Children’s Place are great for basics.

 

Crewcuts has awesome button down’s for boys in a variety of patterns.  These are great choices because for pictures you can still wear the button downs with a pair of shorts if the weather is still warm and your boys won’t feel like they are dressing up as much, especially if they hate doing it. There are also some cool graphic tees and shorts if you need to freshen up his wardrobe.  For girls, I love the pixie pants and sweatshirts.

Crewcuts

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Every year I buy all of my sons’ basics from The Children’s Place.  They have great cargo shorts and pants as well as cotton shirts at fair prices and in a variety of colors.  There’s no reason anyone should be sending their kids to school with sweatpants when TCP offers a variety of bottoms in great colors and prices.  Send your kids back to school looking cool!

The Children’s Place

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Gap

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Hope this helped you guys out because I know some of you started your back to school shopping already, it’s never to late to add some new items to the list. Until next time!

Your Chic is Showing

 

 

 

Throwback Thursday: Packing Tips from a Last-Minute Fashionista

By Erika, Resident Fashionista

Today, I’m headed out of town for a long weekend away so I thought this #tbt post would be perfect!  Yes, I was up at 3am doing my last minute packing per usual.  Now you know why I have to be uber organized!!  Enjoy!

Your Chic is Showing,

Erika's Signature

104_0047

We have a long-weekend coming up and lots of us will be going away for some fun (crappy weather along the east coast be darned!). And, lots of us are probably last-minute packers. I am a notorious last-minute packer. I regularly wait until the morning of my flight, train, or bus to put everything into my suitcase and go. It’s so bad that for my Twelve in ’12 one of my goals was to pack at least 2 days ahead of my trips. In 2012 that happened about 50% of the time. In 2013 it’s happened exactly never.

But here’s the thing, just because I do not actually pack until the night before or morning of departure doesn’t mean that I’m throwing any old thing into my suitcase. It’s actually the opposite. I’ve already carefully planned for my trip, so it doesn’t really take much to get everything into the actual suitcase. Once I started to use a few methodical tricks it made packing a breeze – which has only fueled my ability to wait until the very last second (the very last one) to pack.

If you’re a last-minute fashionista like me try using some of the tips below to make packing (whether last-minute or well-planned) a breeze!

1. Plan your outfits ahead of time. Packing at the last-minute isn’t what gets most people into trouble. It’s a lack of a game plan that gets you into trouble. If you know what you’re going to pack it takes very little time to actually fit it into your suitcase.

Sticky Notes

2. To help you plan ahead, use sticky notes. As you can see, I use one sticky note for every day I’ll be away. On the note I’ll write the temperature (only in the spring and fall when it could go from way hot to way chilly in a matter of hours). Then, I’ll write down each component of my outfit for that day. When it comes time for you to pack you can cross it off as you pull it from your closet. You don’t actually have to wear the clothes on the day – the point is to have an outfit (or 2 if need be) for each day.

Sticky Note Close-Up

Yes, I write that neatly. Everyone makes fun of me for it.

Along those lines, make sticky notes for any special items you’ll need as well, like beach wear and accessories and workout gear. And dear lord don’t forget your PJs! I’ve done that a time or two!

3. Pick complementary colors and pieces. I love shoes. And, at one point in my life, I used to have a pair of shoes to match every single outfit I brought on a trip.

Don’t worry – the madness stopped when I went to Europe with an ex-boyfriend and we literally had one suitcase full of nothing but shoes which got delayed for a full day and almost caused me to go into cardiac arrest in Barcelona.

Shoes: Sperry Top Siders

Shoes: Sperry Top Sider

Now, like the smart cookie I am, I pack outfits that work together so that I can reuse the same pieces (i.e. shoes, jackets, hats, scarves, jeans, etc.). For my jaunt to NYC this weekend, I’ve packed my grey Sperry Top Siders and Gold Sandals and picked outfits that can be worn with those shoes. I also stashed a navy military jacket that can be worn with 2-3 outfits. My fave jean jacket matches two outfits. And I’ll recycle my jeans. Every outfit is unique but they’re in the same color family and use common pieces.

The outfits above use the same base color (navy blue) so that the same pieces (a navy military jacket and orange cross body bag) can be utilized with both outfits.  Jeans: Avenue I Shirt: Old Navy I Dress: Joe Fresh I Scarf: J Crew

The outfits above use the same base color (navy blue) so that the same pieces (a navy military jacket and orange cross body bag) can be utilized with both outfits.
Jeans: Avenue I Shirt: Old Navy I Dress: Joe Fresh I Scarf: J Crew

Jacket: Dress Barn

Jacket: Dress Barn

Bag: H&M

Bag: H&M

4. Roll your clothes. This is strictly about getting as much use out of your space as possible. I roll pretty much everything except for jeans. It saves room and keeps things wrinkle free when rolled tightly. That means you’ll have to pack roll friendly clothing. Which should be a part of your strategizing.

Rolled Clothes

Items rolled in my suitcase for maximum storage.

5. Wear your bulkiest items. You’ll notice that I’m bringing a jean jacket with me. But it won’t go in my suitcase. It gets worn on the trip to NY and the trip home. This way, that leaves me extra room in my suitcase for other items. In the winter, wear your heaviest sweater on travel days and layer up.

Jacket: Gap

Jacket: Gap

Jacket: Gap I Dress: Caslon

Jacket: Gap I Dress: Caslon

6. Stuff socks in your shoes and accessories in your hats. Every little bit of space helps. So I try to stuff socks in my shoes and, I almost always travel with a hat. If I’m not wearing said hat, I lay it in the suitcase with the opening facing out. I pack items around it (like t-shirts, PJs, etc.) and then I fill it with things like belts, scarves, etc. This will a) keep your hat from getting crushed and b) keep your hat’s shape. You’ll thank me when you arrive in Panama with your Panama perfectly in tact.

Sneakers: Puma

Sneakers: Puma

2013_05_24_07_33_08_603

Hat: My own

7. Travel cases are your friend. I keep a travel case stocked with all of my travel sized essentials (lotion, shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, contact solution, etc.). This way, I never have to unpack and repack it. I just store it away until it’s time for my next trip. I also have separate travel cases for hair items, make-up and jewelry. I especially love my Thirty-One jewelry case because I can roll it or lay it flat to fit.

Thirty One Jewelry Case

Jewelry Case: Thirty One

8. Leave room for your dirty stuff. I used to pack an empty bag for my dirty close and then stuff my suitcase to the brim. Dumb idea. That bad is going to be full when you leave. Most of us aren’t folding and rolling our dirty stuff, so at the end of the trip we’re trying to figure out how to stuff a bag of stinky everything into our suitcase. It almost never fits on the way home. Now, I try to pack little to nothing (usually it’s little) in the front zipper pocket of my suitcase and I save this for dirty clothes. I also roll them tightly when I put them in there.

9. If you pack something bulky (think sneakers, boots or jeans) wear them on the way home.  It’s rare that we come home from a trip empty handed. Ok, well, it’s rare that I do. So, I tend to pack bulkier items (like jeans or sneakers) with the plan to wear them on my trip home. You’ll be amazed at the extra space you’ll get my removing one pair of jeans and a bulky item like sneakers or hard-bottomed shoes. Enough room for a couple cute tops and some new sandals!

10. Pack you expandable bag “unexpanded” (is that word?). This is another trick to help you if you come home with more than you left with. Your bag will be fully packed, but you’ll gain some wiggle room when you expand it for the trip home. Win!

2013_05_24_07_25_31_400

Bonus tip: if you’re flying, keep a stash of travel sized toiletries, an extra pair of “unmentionables,” and a fresh top to change into just in case your suitcases don’t arrive when you do.

It took me exactly ONE (very stinky) time to learn this lesson the hard way. The very, very hard way. In a foreign country. Now you know why I almost went into cardiac arrest.

So, my last minute fashionistas – any more tips to make last minute packing a breeze? And, for my well-planned packing divas, do you have any tips to share?

You know what to do! Weigh in below!

Your Chic is Showing,

Packing Tips (from a Last Minute Fashionista)

By Erika, Resident Fashionista

104_0047

We have a long-weekend coming up and lots of us will be going away for some fun (crappy weather along the east coast be darned!).  And, lots of us are probably last-minute packers.  I am a notorious last-minute packer.  I regularly wait until the morning of my flight, train, or bus to put everything into my suitcase and go.  It’s so bad that for my Twelve in ’12 one of my goals was to pack at least 2 days ahead of my trips.  In 2012 that happened about 50% of the time.  In 2013 it’s happened exactly never.

But here’s the thing, just because I do not actually pack until the night before or morning of departure doesn’t mean that I’m throwing any old thing into my suitcase.  It’s actually the opposite.  I’ve already carefully planned for my trip, so it doesn’t really take much to get everything into the actual suitcase.  Once I started to use a few methodical tricks it made packing a breeze – which has only fueled my ability to wait until the very last second (the very last one) to pack.

If you’re a last-minute fashionista like me try using some of the tips below to make packing (whether last-minute or well-planned) a breeze!

1. Plan your outfits ahead of time.  Packing at the last-minute isn’t what gets most people into trouble.  It’s a lack of a game plan that gets you into trouble.  If you know what you’re going to pack it takes very little time to actually fit it into your suitcase.

Sticky Notes

2.  To help you plan ahead, use sticky notes.  As you can see, I use one sticky note for every day I’ll be away.  On the note I’ll write the temperature (only in the spring and fall when it could go from way hot to way chilly in a matter of hours).  Then, I’ll write down each component of my outfit for that day.  When it comes time for you to pack you can cross it off as you pull it from your closet.  You don’t actually have to wear the clothes on the day – the point is to have an outfit (or 2 if need be) for each day.

Sticky Note Close-Up

Yes, I write that neatly. Everyone makes fun of me for it.

Along those lines, make sticky notes for any special items you’ll need as well, like beach wear and accessories and workout gear.  And dear lord don’t forget your PJs!  I’ve done that a time or two!

3.  Pick complementary colors and pieces.  I love shoes.  And, at one point in my life, I used to have a pair of shoes to match every single outfit I brought on a trip.

Don’t worry – the madness stopped when I went to Europe with an ex-boyfriend and we literally had one suitcase full of nothing but shoes which got delayed for a full day and almost caused me to go into cardiac arrest in Barcelona. 

Shoes: Sperry Top Siders

Shoes: Sperry Top Sider

Now, like the smart cookie I am, I pack outfits that work together so that I can reuse the same pieces (i.e. shoes, jackets, hats, scarves, jeans, etc.).   For my jaunt to NYC this weekend, I’ve packed my grey Sperry Top Siders and Gold Sandals and picked outfits that can be worn with those shoes.  I also stashed a navy military jacket that can be worn with 2-3 outfits.  My fave jean jacket matches two outfits.  And I’ll recycle my jeans.  Every outfit is unique but they’re in the same color family and use common pieces.

The outfits above use the same base color (navy blue) so that the same pieces (a navy military jacket and orange cross body bag) can be utilized with both outfits.  Jeans: Avenue I Shirt: Old Navy I Dress: Joe Fresh I Scarf: J Crew

The outfits above use the same base color (navy blue) so that the same pieces (a navy military jacket and orange cross body bag) can be utilized with both outfits.
Jeans: Avenue I Shirt: Old Navy I Dress: Joe Fresh I Scarf: J Crew

Jacket: Dress Barn

Jacket: Dress Barn

Bag: H&M

Bag: H&M

4.  Roll your clothes.  This is strictly about getting as much use out of your space as possible.  I roll pretty much everything except for jeans.  It saves room and keeps things wrinkle free when rolled tightly. That means you’ll have to pack roll friendly clothing.  Which should be a part of your strategizing.

Rolled Clothes

Items rolled in my suitcase for maximum storage.

5.  Wear your bulkiest items.  You’ll notice that I’m bringing a jean jacket with me.  But it won’t go in my suitcase.  It gets worn on the trip to NY and the trip home.  This way, that leaves me extra room in my suitcase for other items.  In the winter, wear your heaviest sweater on travel days and layer up.

Jacket: Gap

Jacket: Gap

Jacket: Gap I Dress: Caslon

Jacket: Gap I Dress: Caslon

6.  Stuff socks in your shoes and accessories in your hats.  Every little bit of space helps.  So I try to stuff socks in my shoes and, I almost always travel with a hat.  If I’m not wearing said hat, I lay it in the suitcase with the opening facing out.  I pack items around it (like t-shirts, PJs, etc.) and then I fill it with things like belts, scarves, etc.  This will a) keep your hat from getting crushed and b) keep your hat’s shape.  You’ll thank me when you arrive in Panama with your Panama perfectly in tact.

Sneakers: Puma

Sneakers: Puma

2013_05_24_07_33_08_603

Hat: My own

7.  Travel cases are your friend.  I keep a travel case stocked with all of my travel sized essentials (lotion, shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, contact solution, etc.).  This way, I never have to unpack and repack it.  I just store it away until it’s time for my next trip.  I also have separate travel cases for hair items, make-up and jewelry.  I especially love my Thirty-One jewelry case because I can roll it or lay it flat to fit.

Thirty One Jewelry Case

Jewelry Case: Thirty One

8.  Leave room for your dirty stuff.  I used to pack an empty bag for my dirty close and then stuff my suitcase to the brim.  Dumb idea.  That bad is going to be full when you leave.  Most of us aren’t folding and rolling our dirty stuff, so at the end of the trip we’re trying to figure out how to stuff a bag of stinky everything into our suitcase.  It almost never fits on the way home.  Now, I try to pack little to nothing (usually it’s little) in the front zipper pocket of my suitcase and I save this for dirty clothes.  I also roll them tightly when I put them in there.

9.  If you pack something bulky (think sneakers, boots or jeans) wear them on the way home.  It’s rare that we come home from a trip empty handed.  Ok, well, it’s rare that I do.  So, I tend to pack bulkier items (like jeans or sneakers) with the plan to wear them on my trip home.  You’ll be amazed at the extra space you’ll get my removing one pair of jeans and a bulky item like sneakers or hard-bottomed shoes.  Enough room for a couple cute tops and some new sandals!

10.  Pack you expandable bag “unexpanded” (is that word?).  This is another trick to help you if you come home with more than you left with.  Your bag will be fully packed, but you’ll gain some wiggle room when you expand it for the trip home.  Win!

2013_05_24_07_25_31_400

Bonus tip: if you’re flying, keep a stash of travel sized toiletries, an extra pair of “unmentionables,” and a fresh top to change into just in case your suitcases don’t arrive when you do. 

It took me exactly ONE (very stinky) time to learn this lesson the hard way.  The very, very hard way.  In a foreign country. Now you know why I almost went into cardiac arrest. 

So, my last minute fashionistas – any more tips to make last minute packing a breeze?  And, for my well-planned packing divas, do you have any tips to share?

You know what to do!  Weigh in below!

Your Chic is Showing,

What to Wear: for Valentine’s Day

February 14th is fast approaching and whether you’re single or taken people are always checking for what you’re wearing (even as an adult, I find myself taking inventory of who is rocking red).  It doesn’t matter if you’re having date night with your sweetie, drinks with your girls, treats with your kids, or movie night with yourself – you still need to look fabulous.  Below are some looks cultivated from my favorite websites that will meet all of your Valentine’s Day needs.

Date Night

For date night with your boo, I would suggest going super romantic or super sexy.  Either way, you couldn’t go wrong with one of these dresses below.

Michael by Michael Kors Faux Wrap Dress (Red)

Mesmerize Me Lace Dress from Fashion to Figure  (comes in plus sizes!)

Alfani Color Blocked Sheath Dress from Macys

Alfani Color Blocked Sheath Dress at Macys (Photo Credit: http://www.macys.com)

BCBGeneration 3-quarter Sleeve Dress from Macys (super sexy mini with a back cut-out!)

Drinks with the Girls

Celebrating V-Day with the girls?  Keep things light and airy and super flirty.  It’s likely you’ll find a cutie to pay for your drinks with these pieces.

Pleated Faux Leather Skirt by Guess (a must-have in my opinion!)

Faux leather pleated skirt by Guess. (Photo Credit: Polyvore)

ASOS Curve Peg Pants (from the ASOS plus line)

Contrast Trim Hi-Low Blouse from Dress Barn (currently in my closet)

Dress Barn contrast trip hi-low top.

Dress Barn contrast trim hi-low top.

Ethnic Print Shirt from Zara

Lace Blouse with Faux Leather Piping from Zara

Baking Cookies with the Kiddies.  Or the nieces and nephews.  Or your favorite little people.

These pieces are super comfortable and in all your favorite Valentine’s Day colors.

Ultra Skinny Printed Pants by Gap

Ultra Skinny Printed Pants by Gap (Photo Credit: http://www.gap.com)

Rockstar Demi-Boot Jeans by Old Navy

Cashmere Crew Neck Sweater from Joe Fresh

Vintage Cotton Stripe Tee from J. Crew (yes please! In every color!)

Movie Night at Home

Sometimes, the best way to spend V-Day is at home, bundled on the couch with popcorn, ice cream (but not too much!), and vino.  These clothes will be a comfy addition to the perfect night in!

Kiss Love Dream Sleep Shirt from Avenue (plus size alert!)

The Afterhours Pajamas by Victoria’s Secret

Grace Robe by La Perla

Polka Dot Knit Chemise from Cacique

Black and pink polka dot chemise by Cacique (Photo Credit: Lane Bryant)

What will you be wearing this Valentine’s Day?  My outfit remains to be seen, but I’ll be sure to share a pic.

Your Chic is Showing,

With Love, Erika