Emerald, the Color of the Year: Three Ways to Wear It

According to Pantone, the all-powerful authority on color trends, the color of 2013 will be Emerald.  This stunning green jewel tone is a fantastic choice, and we’re glad that this color will be all over the place this year!  Here are three ways to incorporate emerald into your wardrobe in 2012:

1. As the “main course” of your outfit

Emerald as the outfit feature: Formal or Casual. Emerald Dress - Coast Lavinia Dress; Emerald Romper - Vero Moda TANNA Playsuit

Emerald as the outfit feature: Formal or Casual. Emerald Dress – Coast Lavinia Dress; Emerald Romper – Vero Moda TANNA Playsuit

Make emerald the focus on your outfit by pairing a bold emerald garment, such as a dress, romper. or maxi skirt, with neutral accessories (this works especially well for cool-toned people, since emerald is a flattering color for you). You can go either dressy or casual with this look.

2. As a key piece within your outfit

Emerald key piece

Use emerald to complement a stylish outfit. Here are two street style favorites (oversize sweater + leather jeggings and sequined skirt + graphic tee) with some emerald thrown for good measure.

3. As a “pop of color”

Add a "pop" to your outfit. Emerald belt - Witchery Skinny Patent Belt; Emerald shoes - TOMS Canvas Classics

Add a “pop” to your outfit. Emerald belt – Witchery Skinny Patent Belt; Emerald shoes – TOMS Canvas Classics

Make your emerald accessories really stand out by pairing them with a neutral outfit. You can make ANY accessory the focus, from belts and shoes to scarves and jewelry.

Do you plan to wear the “color of the year” in 2013? How will you integrate emerald into your wardrobe?

Kristen P.

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Six Style Resolutions We Can All Get Behind

new-years-resolution

The New Year is finally here, and with it comes resolutions (and the mis-writing of dates). Ugh, even the word “resolution” conjures up feelings of shame and disappointment for me, as I’ve never kept a single New Year’s Resolution. Sad, right?  However, I think this year might be different. I’m focusing my resolutions on the thing I love most: FASHION.  Yeah, I said it. Fashion is the thing I love most.

My love of fashion is so strong that I even think I could keep some New Year’s style resolutions.  And you know what? You should too! Without further adieu, here are six style resolutions that everyone can get behind for the coming year:

1. Invest in the Classics

Black blazers, white button-up blouses, professional pencil skirts, camel trenchcoats, and so on. These are wardrobe staples, and they’ll never go out of style. Sure, you might spend a little more on quality classics; however, you’ll be wearing them for years to come. Plus, you can mix and match classic pieces with a wide variety of looks and styles. What can we say? Ya gotta spend money to save money sometimes.

2. Clean Out that Closet

Get rid of the crap and the fluff and free up some space for quality garments and for fun New Year purchases. I read a great tip on StyleCaster’s fantastic list of 101 Fashion Tips and Tricks Every Girl Should Know that definitely applies here: Edit your closet by asking yourself, “If I were shopping now, would I buy this?” If the answer is no, out it goes. Be brutal if need be! You can even enlist the help of a friend to provide a pair of fresh eyes regarding Cute v. Crap.

3. Love the One(s) You’re With

This resolution goes along with cleaning out your closet. Once you’ve edited down your wardrobe to a manageable and very stylish level, be sure to show some love to all of clothing items!  As we’ve discussed on this blog before, most women only wear a small fraction of what they have in their closets.  Our advice for the new year? Shop your closet! Find new ways to combine and wear what you already own. You’ll get to exercise your creativity AND save money.

4. Buy Quality Over Quantity

Less H&M, more Lord & Taylor. Of course, this can be tricky if you’re on a limited budget (like me). However, keep your eye out for sales and discounts. Sometimes stores will have online-only sales as well, and you can sometimes sign up for email alerts for those. Keep your budget in mind, but remember that quality will last. For trendy items you’re not sure you’ll wear again or even like, go with the cheaper option.

5. Follow Flattering Trends

Aiight, so I’ve been guilty in the past of not doing this. I’ve tried trendy midi skirts even though I’m only five feet tall – MISTAKE. Attempted the preppy riding boots/equestrian look – not my style! As you read blog posts and articles about the “biggest fashion trends this year”, remember: You don’t have to wear all of the trends! Pick and choose the ones that flatter your body and your style.

6. Take More Style Risks!

Ok, so we’ve just listed five resolutions for the New Year. And while it’s great if you follow them, here’s another one: Have fun with your wardrobe. Take some risks! Try a new trend even if it might not look good on you. If you make a “style mistake”, no biggie! Everyone does 😉 Have some fashion fun in the New Year, and sometimes, toss the rules out the window!

What’s your style resolution for 2013?

Kristen P.

Meet Rebecca Turley, Winner of Dress A Celeb!

Last month, we announced the start of the first SeamBLiSS Dress A Celeb contest. Any and all emerging fashion designers could submit their ideas for the perfect outfit for our celeb, the lovely and talented Ana Berry. Public voting decided the Top 5 designs (thanks again to everyone who voted!), and the Grand Prize winner was chosen by Ana.  And the winning design is… the Bree Peplum Dress created by Rebecca Turley!

Grand Prize Winner: Bree Peplum Dress by Rebecca Turley

Grand Prize Winner: Bree Peplum Dress by Rebecca Turley

This is a beautiful dress that truly reflects Ana Berry’s personal style. Designer Rebecca Turley has been passionate about design since she was a child, and her talent definitely shines through in this design. Rebecca was kind enough to answer a few questions for us. Read on to hear her thoughts on design, fashion, and advice for aspiring designers.

Rebecca Turley, Fashion Designer & Dress A Celeb Contest Winner

Rebecca Turley, Fashion Designer & Dress A Celeb Contest Winner

1. Congrats on winning the SeamBLiSS Dress A Celeb contest! Tell us a little bit about yourself and your background.

For as long as I can remember I’ve wanted to design clothing.  I started sketching dresses when I was 3, and learned how to sew in grade school.  My mom came from a family of 6 girls (all very close in age), so she was taught to sew at a very young age due to financial circumstances.  Because of my desire to see my ideas come to life, I implored my mother and grandmother to teach me how to sew.  By the time I was in Junior High I knew I wanted to study Fashion Design and have my own label someday.

Upon gradating from High School I was discouraged from pursuing my passion.  I was told it was an impractical field to go into, due to the competitive nature of the industry. So I started off studying more traditional majors such as Elementary Education, Business Management, etc…  By the time I was 24 and had spent several years working at various types of jobs I decided enough is enough.  There was still that burning desire to pursue Fashion Design!  So off I went to FIDM in San Francisco without a penny to my name.  I worked full time in Silicon Valley to put myself through night school.  Upon graduating, I worked in the industry for a several years to get my feet wet (so to speak) and learn about different aspects of production, design, product development, sales and many other areas.

Being very close to my family and a bit home sick, I decided it was time to move back to Arizona and finally pursue my life long dream of having my own label.  It’s been many years in the making, but I’ve finally gotten there and I’m eternally grateful for the support of those you have kept me going and believed in my dream even when I had lost hope.  There is no greater joy in life than doing what you love and sharing it with others!

2. How would you summarize your design philosophy?

Fit is everything! If you’re not comfortable in what you’re wearing, it shows.  Clothing should accentuate the curves of a women’s body.  I’m all about balance too!  You should have just the right amount of sophistication countered by a little vavavoom! Garments should flatter the women’s figure, show off her assets with out being too revealing.  It’s always good to leave some things to the imagination.  Also, the fabric’s color, texture and quality can make or break a design.

3. What inspired you to create the Bree Peplum Dress?

I wanted to create a knit dress that could go from Fall to Spring.  I wanted it to be body conscious, sophisticated, sexy and a little conservative at the same time.  I’ve always loved peplums, so it was easy to incorporate that detail as well.

4. What makes the Bree Peplum Dress so suited to Ana Berry’s personal style?

She has a busy life and needs pieces that translate well from the office, to a night out and even to the red carpet.  This dress definitely has that versatility.  It’s feminine and sexy without being too over done.  It will also show off her great curves without being risqué.

5. How would you describe your design aesthetic?

Vintage inspired with a modern twist.  I love taking classic looks and translating    them in my own way.  I design pieces that are wardrobe staples and accentuate the curves of a women’s body.  Ultra feminine but not too girly…does that make sense?  I like my pieces to look polished, sophisticated, a little edgy sometimes…but never contrived. Because of the importance I place on the material, I spend months choosing my color palette and fabrics before I start each new collection.

6. When did you know that you wanted to design clothing? 

In the womb…just kidding.  But seriously, for as long as I can remember I’ve been obsessed with seeing my vision materialize.  Grade school was probably the first time I thought about doing it as a career.

7. Your designs have a wonderful vintage feel! What’s your favorite fashion era?

The 40’s for sure! However, I love that the 70’s recently came back around because I love wide leg pants and boho style diaphanous blouses.  I’m also very excited that the 20’s and 30’s style is trending right now.  But the 40’s just is so polished, feminine, buttoned up and yet sexy at the same time.

8. What designers do you admire in particular?

I recently saw a Dior exhibit at the PhoenixArt Museum.  I’ve always admired his work…of course (who doesn’t) but to see some of his original designs up close and in person was so inspiring and mind-blowing!  I also have always loved Carolina Herrera, Zac Posen, Alexander McQueen, Charles James, and Jean Patou.

9. What advice would you give to an aspiring fashion designer?

Learn as much as you can about the industry before you decide whether or not this is the field for you.  Many people think that it’s all about glamour and fame, but it’s a lot of hard work, long hours and paying your dues.  It’s critical to understand the business side of it as well as the creative side.

10. Do you have a New Year’s resolution for 2013?

Yes, several personal and business-related.  As far as my line goes though, I want to start putting more knit pieces in my collection.  I think women these days prefer knits over wovens because they tend to travel better, can be more comfortable and depending on the cut and design, more versatile. I will always do my structured woven pieces, but I want to mix it up a bit more.  I also want to do more prints and mixing of patterns.

Congrats again to Rebecca on her win! Be sure to visit her SeamBLiSS profile to see more of her designs. You can also visit her website at NostalgicBoutique.com.

Thanks again to everyone who participated in the first SeamBLiSS Dress A Celeb contest. It was a great success and a lot of fun! Stay tuned for more great contests in 2013.

Kristen P.

Five Fashion Industry Trends to Watch In 2013

new year

Man, can you believe that Christmas has already come and gone? I’m surprised, tired, and like ten pounds heavier, but I spent a wonderful holiday with family and friends. I hope all of you also had a wonderful holiday and are excited for the coming year.

Speaking of the coming year, what does it hold in store for the fashion world? Here are five industry trends that will affect fashion in 2013, and possibly even beyond:

5. Decline of Fast-Fashion Collaborations

The Maison Martin Margiela collection for H&M recently fizzled, and while some people blamed the unconventional aesthetic of the pieces, the high price-points, etc., part of the reason likely lies in consumers’ being sort of “over” these collaborations. For many customers, the appeal of these collabs has begun to wear off, and for others, the appeal is lost in the in the potential of these collections to “diminish” the designer brand and even harm the environment.

4. Handmade Apparel

The popularity of sites like Etsy has made it clear that consumers are not only willing to BUY handmade apparel; they are willing to buy it online from strangers. Etsy did over $700 million in sales last year, and is likely to earn even more next year. There has also been a major push toward handmade apparel and accessories made in developing countries by craftsmen and artisans (Sseko is an example), as well as for locally-made clothing and accessories.

3. Eco-friendly fashion

“Green” fashion and sustainable fibers have been growing in popularity for some time now, and the trend shows no sign of stopping.  Eco-friendly fashion lines have been popping up all over the place, and green collections are even being shown at major fashion shows like Mercedes Benz Fashion Week. There are even full fashion events being dedicated to eco-friendly fashion, such as Eco Fashion Week in Vancouver and The GreenShows.

2. Customization

The majority of consumers are having difficulty finding clothes that fit, and retailers are starting to notice this. Several customization companies have sprung up in the past few years. Some offer custom sizing for a few key items, such as Indochino for men’s suits. eShakti and Bow & Drape also allow women to choose their own sizes, as well as their own dress silhouettes and styles. And of course, there is the wonderful SeamBLiSS, which offers customers the chance to have their dream custom item made especially for them.

1. Buy One, Give One

TOMS  Shoes was one of the first fashion companies to make use of the buy an item, give an item business model, giving a free pair of shoes to a child in need in a developing country.  Another example is Warby Parker, a rapidly growing eyewear company that gives a pair of glasses to someone in need for each pair sold. Expect to see more companies offer a donation, either of money or of products, with each sale.

What trends do you expect to see emerge or grow in the fashion industry next year?

Kristen P.

Have a PRETTY Christmas Sweater Party This Holiday Season

Screw those silly Christmas sweaters with flashing lights and sequined ornaments! Here are six stylin’ and holiday-appropriate sweaters to make your holidays merry, bright, and fashionable:

1. Snowflake sweater, joefresh.com – cute holiday motif, but not too overdone

Sweater: Snowflake sweater, joefresh.com

Sweater: Snowflake sweater, joefresh.com

2. Black and Gold Baroque Jumper, dorothyperkins.com – festive yet sophisticated

Sweater: Black and Gold Baroque Jumper, dorothyperkins.com

Sweater: Black and Gold Baroque Jumper, dorothyperkins.com

3. Fair Isle Cardi-Coat, Matthew Williamson – this is the perfect, cozy wrap sweater

Sweater: Matthew Williamson Fair Isle merino wool cardi-coat

Sweater: Matthew Williamson Fair Isle merino wool cardi-coat

4. Oasis Sequin Shoulder Jumper, houseoffraser.co.uk – the sequins provide just the right amount of embellishment

Sweater: Oasis Sequin shoulder jumper, houseoffraser.co.uk

Sweater: Oasis Sequin shoulder jumper, houseoffraser.co.uk

5. Uma Cable-Knit Merino Wool Sweater, Marc by March Jacobs – you can’t go wrong with a cable-knit sweater

Sweater: Marc by Marc Jacobs Uma cable-knit merino wool sweater

Sweater: Marc by Marc Jacobs Uma cable-knit merino wool sweater

6. Silvian Heach Cardigan Daany, welikefashion.com – add some sparkle with this sweater

Sweater: Silvian Heach Cardigan Daany, welikefashion.com

Sweater: Silvian Heach Cardigan Daany, welikefashion.com

Happy Holidays! And happy sweaters 😉

Do you have a favorite holiday sweater? If you ever attended an “ugly Christmas sweater party”, what was the worst (best?) one you saw there? Let us know in the comments.

Kristen P.

P.S. Thank you to the lovely Fran Neubert for the idea for this post!

Five Wardrobe Items EVERY Women Should Own

Ok folks, time for a Top 5 list. The following are the five “absolute must-haves” for any women’s closet. They never go out of style, they’re versatile, and if you buy quality, they’ll last a long time.

On to the list!

1. A Leather Jacket

Embrace the toughness of this piece with a rocker look, or use it to make sweet, feminine look a bit more edgy.

Go Edgy

Go Edgy

Go Girly

Go Girly

2. A White Button-Up Skirt

This is pretty much the ultimate staple, as it can be dressed up for the office or dressed down for a cute, casual weekend look. If you’re warm-toned, go for a slightly off-white option.

Work It!

Work It!

Weekend It!

Weekend It!

3. Black Skinny Jeans

Contrary to popular belief, EVERY women can and should wear skinny jeans.  Black skinnies are especially versatile, and can go from “casual” to “club” in no time flat. Speaking of flat, you can wear ’em with flats or sky-high stilettos.

Casual Skinnies

Casual Skinnies

Club Skinnies

Club Skinnies

 4. A Little Bright Dress

We’ve all heard of the little black dress, or LBD, but what about the little bright dress? Make the color of the dress the focus by choosing a basic silhouette, and up the style factor by accessorizing well. Be sure to pick a color that looks great on you! (For help on that, click here)

A Little Blue Dress

A Little Blue Dress

A Little Red Dress

A Little Red Dress

5. A Classic Black Blazer

A well-fitting black blazer can go with pretty much anything. Dress it up for work, or down for weekend shopping.

Cute and Corporate

Cute and Corporate

Relaxed and casual

Relaxed and casual

What are your Top 5 wardrobe staples? How do you wear them? Let us know in the comments!

Kristen P.

What the Heck are my Best Colors??

Last week, I posted a how-to on figuring out your body type, which is important to know if you’re looking for those perfectly flattering garments. Now let’s check out some tips for finding your best colors.

Why should I know my best colors, you ask? So you can LOOK your best, my friend! If you’re wearing flattering clothes for your body type and the perfect colors for your skin tone, then BAM! You look awesome and are on your way to hitting the style jackpot.

What are my “Color Options”?

There are two distinct color categories: warm and cool. Cool colors have a blue or pink undertone, while warm ones have a golden or yellow undertone.  Your skin tone, whether your skin is dark or light, can be either warm or cool as well, depending on these undertones.

Well, how do I know which I am, you ask? Try these quick tests:

1. Look at your hair

Does it have red or goldish highlights? If so, you’re probably Warm. If your hair has an ash tone, you’re probably Cool.

2. Look at your wrist

Sounds weird, I know. Under natural sunlight, check out the veins on the underside of your wrist. Are they greenish? You’re probably Warm. Are they blueish-purpleish? You’re probably Cool.

3. Put on some jewelry

Compare how you look in silver jewelry as compared to gold jewelry. You can even take pics to help you compare. If silver looks best on you, you’re probably Cool. If gold looks best, you’re probably Warm.

Keep in mind that some people have “neutral” skin tones, and can look good in both Warm and Cool colors. If that’s you, hooray!

What Should I Wear?

If you have determined that you’re Warm, try items like these:

If you're Warm, good colors include: golden yellow, olive green, rust, tomato red, red-purple, golden brown and peach

If you’re Warm, good colors include: golden yellow, olive green, rust, tomato red, red-purple, golden brown and peach

If you have determined that you’re Cool, check these out:

If you're Cool, good colors for you include: mint green, stark white, deep purple, turquoise, yellow-green, pink, periwinkle, and lavender

If you’re Cool, good colors for you include: mint green, stark white, deep purple, turquoise, yellow-green, pink, periwinkle, and lavender

Just FYI, you can click on the pics above, which will take you to Polyvore where you can see where to buy the items you see.

Hope this helps! Got any another methods for determining your skin tone? Let us know in the comments.

Kristen P.

For more info on color and color categories, check these out:

Introduction to Color Theory from Tiger Color

Color Me Beautiful – offers seasonal color analysis.