A taste of Italian style

Style never grows old! Check out that individual signature with personal touches like his beret, scarf and the amazing mix and match of color!

So my sister decided to leave me (ok that's a bit dramatic) and travel to Milan for one whole year to finish her business Design degree in in the school of Domus Academy, Italy. Although I miss her like hell, am very proud of her brave endeavor of making a success story of herself (that's her in the picture with our stylish gentleman). I love travel, being thrown into a totally foreign city where you don't know the language and being forced to step out of your comfort zone. Am sure it brings out all those amazing traits in you that you would have never thought existed before.

And what I really love is the melange of culture and style found on the streets. Looking at style from a different point of view is such an inspiration and I have demanded that she becomes my Italian street fashion correspondent so I can share the muse!

Looking through this shop window is like peeking into another style era - it almost looks staged!

If you have an eye for photography and spotting special moments, please feel free to share with me your street style pics and I will feature them in my next posts :)

5 Tips on refreshing your style

Try a new hair color, cut and style! Changing your hairstyle is the fastest way for updating your look, but know what style you are after before going to the hairstylist. Don’t expect them to know what you want if you don’t explain it and make sure that any reference pictures you show them match your own face shape, colors, hair density and is easy to style on your own. Many great hairstyles look not so great once you wash and dry your hair back home. So, if you don’t have time to visit the salon for regular blow-dry, let your stylist know. Step out of your monochrome comfort zone and explore the amazing effects of color! Wearing the right colors next to your face will instantly give you a face-lift and raise your energy levels. Choose a color not only because it is on trend but also because it looks great on you. Try it in a top, jacket or even a scarf.

Wear your clothes in a different way! Have you ever tried mixing and matching items in your wardrobe that were not bought together as an outfit? You will be amazed at the endless possibilities you can create once you experiment with mixing styles, textures and colors through layering and pairing classical or occasional with casual wear. Be inspired by the latest looks on the runway and those on the street. Make sure that whatever outfit you put together reflects you!

Change your accessories! A simple accessory addition can turn an outfit from regular to original, be it a statement belt, necklace, shoes or bag. Wearing your accessories in a new way feels great too. If you are used to the same classical styles, explore a new one and watch the transformation.

Try new makeup! Learn how you can wear your makeup in a different way and explore new colors and products. Learning how to achieve a polished complexion or finding the perfect lip color will instantly give you that glow and confidence boost.

A sea of blues! Which tone is right for you?

Summer colors are bright, light, fun and relaxing. Blue is one color with many variants depending on its shade, intensity and undertone. Lighter blues are soft and easily worn as corporate shirts while the turquoise and aqua blue are more fun and playful, perfect for a statement top, dress or bright pant. Sea Blue is one color that puts most people in a relaxing mood as it reminds us of the beach, serenity and fun.

The darker the blue, the more authoritative and serious, with navy being a corporate wardrobe staple. It is safe, might be seen as conservative and authoritative. Widely used in police uniforms, it implies order and structure and is the most popular color for men in corporate wear.

Wear blues in a brighter intensity to add a fun element to your outfit through the clothes or accessories as in shoes and bags.

Blue is easily mixed with most colors; you cannot go wrong with a classic combination of blue and white, beige or grey. Mixing it with off beat colors such as yellow or orange or fuchsia will add an edgy touch. For an elegant look, mix with neutrals, nudes and peach. Try multiple shades of blue in a print for a relaxed look.

If you have warm undertones, go for aquamarine and green-blue based colors. Periwinkle blue works for both cool and warm undertones. Match your natural intensity with that of the color too, if you have deep and or clear colorings, go for the deeper and brighter blues. If your colorings are soft and blended, a bright blue will overwhelm you, so opt for the medium blues and grey blues.

Whatever mood you’re in this summer, you won’t feel blue by landing the right combination for you!

5 MUST HAVE shoes for this summer!

Shoes are a great way to add character, color and flair to your outfit. Thinking comfort and style, this summer you have a wide choice to carry you from day to night!

  1. Wedges: Wedges are the best solution for adding that extra height and giving an allure to your look while staying comfortable on your feet. You can stand in them all day as they support your feet and legs, providing balance and comfort at the same time. Another plus is the heel won’t sink in the sand or get stuck in the pavements while you’re trying to enjoy your beach and garden parties!A chic alternative to the stiletto heel, you can find them in different trendy heels from wood, cork and straw and the great news is the SS11 style come in a bold, dynamic and colorful palette that is so on trend this summer.
  2. Jelly shoes:  Practical and cute, jelly sandals in flat to high heels are a sure way of adding some fun and style to your casual outfits! The jelly colors range from the chic, monochrome and subtle, which is great for you to try if you prefer a more classic look, to the bold and fruity, which will surely reflect your creative and dramatic personality!
  3. Shoe Sandals: A chic retake on the shoe booty trend, these make a great summer statement as they are cut out in all the right places to allow your toes and feet to breathe while holding on to the alluring style of the bootie. Choose the lighter and nude color palettes, as the black may look too severe for your summer outfits.
  4. Trendy flip-flops: Flip flops were traditionally bound for home wear as they were considered the most basic style of summer slippers. This season, you can wear them with style to the beach or a relaxed afternoon. Make sure to choose a more sophisticated style if you are out and about.
  5. Clogs: A controversial shoe style as most people feel uncomfortable with the idea of a wooden sole, the clog is back, with an updated twist. The combination of materials is what makes the clog more interesting this summer, so look for a mix of wood with leather, calfskin or linen and studs. And for a flattering look, opt for a heel with good proportion.

10 ( or 5 ) Ways to Update Your Spring Wardrobe

  1. Think layering! Experiment with adding new fabrics and textures to update your wardrobe from fall to spring. Lace, crochet and sheer material are big this season, so get creative by using them as an inner top and layer your blouse or cropped shirts on top or an outer layer as a vest over your favorite dress or tops.
  2. Color is a sure way to revive your wardrobe this spring. Add a pop of color from the fruity palette of electric blue, pop purples and fuchsias and zesty citruses to your basic neutrals and nudes and see how your outfit will be transformed into fresh spring.
  3. Look for prints to update your wardrobe. Sailor stripes on tops are the easiest to wear as the horizontal lines balance wider hips. Avoid if you are bigger on top. Layer them over shorts, jeans or leggings and you’re good to go.
  4. Accessories are another easy way to update your look for spring. Adding a colorful statement necklace over your white tee and jeans is enough to get you in the lively mood. If you’re not a fan of colored jewelry, you can always get the look with a pop colored compact handbag, clutch or shoes.
  5. Bring back the white! A basic color found in all wardrobes, it’s a big hit this spring so get creative by pairing white with pastels or pop colors. If stark white does not suit your complexion, you can choose from off white to creamy or ivory white, just make sure it does not wash you out.

10 top styling tips

  1. Plan each outfit with a “style theme” in mind, which reflects the occasion, time of day and your own style personality and image.
  2. Make sure you have a focal point in your outfit, which should land on your best asset. That can be your statement necklace, belt, shoes or a clothing item that stands out (color, pattern and style)
  3. When going for a monochrome colored outfit, add interest with texture in the fabric or a pop of color in your accessories (shoes, bag, belt, scarf, necklace or bangles).
  4. Add interest to your outfit by layering with a shawl, necklaces, vest, jacket or any outer garment. Pattern and texture add another dimension and can transform your outfit.
  5. When buying new items, visualize how they can work together to form a certain look. Mix and match different items and see how you can create multiple styles.
  6. Don’t call attention to a problem area with light or bright colors, embellishments, shiny material (satin and silk), patterns, pockets, zips and buttons, bulky textures or placing an accessory on it. Leave it simple and clean and direct the attention with above style elements to your best features.
  7. Look for balance and harmony in your outfit. You don’t want the eye to be overwhelmed with all the style factors going on and you don’t want to bore it either. Pull things together by repeating color in an accessory or clashing it with a complimentary.
  8. Don’t settle for a buy unless you are 110% sure that you love it, it works with at least 2 other items in your wardrobe and you have places to wear it to. Nothing worse than beautiful items hanging with price tags in your closet.
  9. Pay attention to your grooming. Flawless skin, groomed eyebrows, manicured nails and bouncy hair need maintenance. They tell people around you that you pay attention to details, have high self worth and expect nothing less in return.
  10. Follow the 12-point signature style rule. Count color, pattern, accessories, and unusual details in your outfit and accessories. Add to them color on your nails, makeup and in your hair. A statement piece or a loud color gets 2 points. Below 12 means you are underdressed and above 12 means you are cluttered.

5 steps for speedy vacation chic!

Going on a short summer vacation break means you have no room for packing clutter. Think in number of days you’re spending and create total outfits for each with mix and match items. So, if you’re going for 5 days, you need to have a choice of 10 outfits (day and night), but don’t pack 10 full outfits yet! All you need is 4 full outfits plus some additional accessories to mix and match.

Day 1: maxi dress for day with a cute cardigan or denim vest and flip-flops can be transformed to night by adding nude wedges, loosing the jacket and piling on statement accessories.

Day 2: White shorts and a nautical stripe tee with flat gladiator sandals. Night: Change the nautical top into something more feminine and elegant, flat sandals into high heels (can wear same wedge from day 1), add a clutch and your favorite accessories.

Day 3: Floral Summer dress and flip-flops. Add a pop color belt, high heels and you’re ready for the night.

Day 4: Block color pants and a white tee with your nude wedges. Same look can be worn for casual night, just style your hair and makeup differently.

Day 5: white on white, shorts from day 2 and tee from day 5 with gladiator sandals. Add the denim vest from day 1 for day and lose it for night, accessorize with gold and you’re ready to glow!

Remember the lighter you travel, the more room you have for shopping and landing some exotic deals that you can rock back home! Just think in terms of full outfits and make sure not to leave any orphan items that make their way to your bag last minute as a “just in case” moment.

A girl can never have enough shoes!

Looking good is a well-studied art that reflects style, individuality and confidence from head to toe. Often you might find a perfect outfit and then realize it’s not that perfect when you take a look down. Don’t allow your shoes to be the image breaker. Consider your shoes as an extension of your outfit and style, not only a walking necessity.

Apart from comfort level, think of shape, color and weight. To start with, a great looking shoe won’t take you far if it’s not comfortable. Many of us make that mistake and trade comfort for design, thinking it’s ok if we label them as “sit down dinner shoes”. Well, the fact is that you still have to walk to get to the dinner table and extreme high uncomfortable styles or ill-fitting ones won’t allow you to carry yourself in style.

Next is the aesthetic or design part. The shape, color and weight of the shoe will determine how versatile it is. And by weight I don’t mean its actual weight, rather its visual weight. You know how you sometimes look at a shoe that looks heavy because of its thick heel or bulky design? Well, that same design element will break any attempt at a feminine or elegant look. On the other hand, don’t forget your scale. Imagine that same bulky shoe on a petite person. That goes for very light stilettos on heavy calves or a grand scale proportion build as well. Never works.

Now moving on to the style, try to build a shoe wardrobe of styles that work with your different looks. Invest in some classic styles that work with your different business looks. Make a statement, add some color and design elements to your shoes and watch how they become the main element to build your outfit around. Keep an eye on trends but don’t fall for the trap of owning every single one of them. Work on creating your own signature style and you will soon find out that you can’t get enough!