Sunday, September 25, 2011

One Basic Dress Can Get Your Style Going!

Sometimes all it takes is one basic get your style going. Really, just a basic piece.

As a stylist I am constantly telling my clients that they don't need as many clothes as they think. Most women are under the assumption that if they were to "makeover" their style (with or without my help)...they must be ready to invest in an extensive wardrobe re-vamp (think: massive purchase) and they just don't have the funds to do so. This is simply NOT true.

A good basic and simple wardrobe will save you money in the long run! When you have quality basics to rely on, you will spend less money when you renew your wardrobe at the beginning of the season. Often all you'll need are some updates with your accessories.

Do you have enough basic wardrobe pieces?
Basics should make up about 70-80% of the total items in your closet...
What often happens is: you get giddy about new styles and having new clothes at the beginning of the season and over-due it and buy whatever tickles your fancy! With NO plan or idea of HOW you are going to wear those mis-matched items just purchased. You are excited that they are cute, new and somehow you'll figure it out. Not a good plan.

Last year I did a style posting about "One items worn three different ways". It's about taking ONE basic piece from your wardrobe and stretching it to see how many outfits you can make with it. This is the beauty of having a list of wardrobe basics. They are the foundational items that makeup every well-dressed woman's wardrobe. Do you have enough wardrobe basics?

This LBD is perfect for transitioning into fall because it's sleeveless...

Below, you can see I've worn this LBD for fancy occasions...

However, bright pink necklace and shoes + a cream-colored jacket make it more business-friendly...

More often than not, my lifestyle is more flats and a gray sweater are perfect with my LBD...

Just to jazz things up, black heeled boots are always fun and sassy w/ my LBD...

Awhile ago I took photos of a gray dress I stretched into many different looks...

This gray sheath is a wardrobe basic that gave so much...I "retired" it from my wardrobe last season.
But here are a couple of ways I wore it. One of my favorite ways to wear this dress was with my off-white sweater from Gap...

My faux-leather motorcycle jacket (last season at Target) gives my basic sheath some style edge...

By adding layers over the top of this sleeveless dress, it appears to be more of a this basic dress even more wear-ability...

Yes! Fewer pieces can make you more stylish....but you got to have 'em in your wardrobe in the first place!

(As I look at these photos it's interesting to me how my style and changed/updated/evolved since taking them.)

Start now and build a good core wardrobe. You will find this is the missing "link" to why your style has not totally come together. If you need a list, I have a fabulous one posted in all the Body Type sections on my site. Fall is HERE! There really is no better time to get stylish!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011



It's a '2 for 1 special' this week at MSP! 

There has never been a better time to join! This week you'll get not only the regular style article (How to Look Younger and Thinner)...but you'll a BONUS article just in time for fall: SWEATER LAYERING!! The secrets to great sweater layering and how to get the look!

I'm excited about the new fall season--and I'll bet you are too!! Love, Leslie MSP

Monday, September 19, 2011

Transition Dressing--from summer into fall

Here it is again! That time of year when we go from summer into fall. Undoubtedly we will  experience a crazy mix of weather before the weather actually changes for good! Trying to dress during this unpredictable time creates many dressing dilemmas for us because it's hot one day and cool and breezy the next. Or we start off the day with a cool morning and have to survive a super-hot afternoon! Crazy. So what's a SYSter to wear with such crazy fluctuating weather?

 Finally cooler temps in my neck of the woods have allowed me to change up my wardrobe...
from tank tops and shorts to something more fall-like! Yipee!

Below, I'm wearing richer fall colors now (instead of summery-brights). 
I'm also wearing skinny jeans instead of shorts... I love it!!!

To highlight the warm golden brown in my animal-print shoes,  I'm wearing an amber necklace and bracelet...repeating a color in your outfit makes it "work".

With September here, HOW do we get our summer wardrobes to transition into fall? Certainly you are not yet ready to wear a thick fall jacket or fuzzy sweater! You'll find many of your summer items can still be worn into fall; however you'll want to start changing towards a warmer palette.

You'll also transition your wardrobe from summer into fall by wearing light layers. You want to be able to put on or take off an item as the weather fluctuates. Of course you'll want your layers to look stylish-not something messy or unkempt looking!

There are some summer pieces you should STOP wearing...
Get ready to pack away gauzy summer dresses, white shorts, white sandals and straw bags. There is no hard "rule" with this however; I do recommend you do this within the next couple of weeks.

Even your accessories need to change this time of year. Put away the straw handbag or beach tote and start using a richer fall colored bag instead (anything in a fall fabric or rich warm leather).

Incorporate the new fall colors to replace your summery bright prints. Purchase layering tees and short-sleeved cardigans in rich fall hues, like purple, heather gray, mustard yellow and peacock blue. This will help you look stylish in the in-between months before the weather changes.

Start wearing the rich fall colors NOW!
Even my dog was excited about the cooler fall weather and wanted to get in on the action, LOL!

Pack away summer stuff now! Store in the back of your closet any summery items you won't be wearing until next spring-so they will be out of your way. If you have an extra closet (not many of us do) in another room you can move your summery clothes there. I like to use inexpensive under-the-bed plastic boxes to store my out-of-season clothes and accessories (reminder: make sure everything is washed prior to packing away so stains won't set in). Removing the out-of-season clothes gives you more room to plan and arrange your transitional summer to fall wardrobe in your closet.

No need to start completely over with a new fall wardrobe!  Instead, start to bridge your style between summer and fall with clothes already in your closet. Many of your summer clothes will work at the start of fall and this makes it easier on your wallet. It also gives you time to plan and save for the new styles you do want to add to your fall wardrobe when the weather does finally cool down.

I've got you covered! With these style postings at The Big Fall Preview, From Summer into Fall and this week's upcoming style can't help but have a fabulously stylish fall season!

Love, Leslie aka MissusSmartyPants

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Back away from the animal print...and no one will get hurt!

Animal prints are a fun way to show your style...BUT they can get out of control quickly! Tread lightly when taking a walk on the wild side!

Whoa there! Easy does it! This photo below looks like a Halloween costume! 

When wearing animal prints consider these tips:

1. Wear a touch of animal print. Don't become the animal! Don't wear an animal print coat, belt, shoes, handbag, etc..NO "matchy-matchy" outfits or you'll look like a zoo animal. Wearing ONLY 1 animal print per outfit is the best way to go! Perhaps a touch of animal print with one of your accessories?

2. Animal print does NOT match everything! Make tasteful color selections when choosing animal prints. Don't wear bold bright pink at the same time. For example, in summer black/white zebra prints are more popular and can be worn w/ black/white/ and a another color--that's it. In fall cheetah prints of tan and black are popular. Keeping the color theme of tan, brown and black is best. A splash of red works too. Avoid excessive bright colors.

3. Keep everything simple. Dressing classic and then adding a touch of animal print will give you the chic-look you are after. Think animal print in shoes, handbags, scarves etc. and only wear ONE to make your look an elegant one!

4. Save the wild big hair and skin-tight leather pants for another day. Too many over the top looks worn with animal prints will make you look like you need to be caged! Don't BE the animal.

Animal prints are fun and a great way to bridge brown and black in one enjoy, but be careful not to over-indulge!

Why not wear an animal print pair of shoes with your basic sheath dress?

Halogen® 'Allie' Calf Hair Wedge

 Check out these fabulous shoes (above) available at Nordstrom's or if you have a pair already start wearing's fall AGAIN!

Love, Leslie

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Always be on the lookout!

I'm always on the lookout for a good deal and ways to keep my wardrobe continually evolving. This week my looking in all sorts of places paid off! Trust me if you have an open mind, you never know where you'll run across something fantastic!

The beginning of fall is the best time to edit and plan your wardrobe + make some purchases of items you'll soon be wearing! I found a fabulous new pair of jeans!!!

Here I'm posing with a statue of Jack Daniels...

I just got back from a trip to Tennessee and Kentucky visiting family. Though I don't have a tractor or a horse, while buying dog food (for my son's dog) at Tractor Supply I did find the best JEANS there! Yes, you read that right, I found fabulous jeans at Tractor Supply, LOL!

I purchased a pair of Wrangler riding jeans (for those that ride horses) in a 34" inseam (they had 36" length, but they were too long)! How wonderful to find fabulous jeans in longer lengths available--right there on the shelf. These jeans have a "no-gap" waist band and nice stretch (for when you are riding a horse) or just walking around town.

Here is a link to check them out for yourself Wrangler Ultimate Riding Jeans. With tax they cost me only $38.00 (they were on sale at the time)

Here is the exact name of the jean so you can search online for your pair: Wrangler Women's Q-Baby Mid Rise Cowgirl Cut Ultimate Riding Jeans

QUESTION: Are you preparing your wardrobe now for fall? Even if the weather is still warm for the next month, are you putting away the summery straw tote and starting to wear richer fall colors? How do you start dressing when the weather is in-between seasons?

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

A Black Eye is NOT Fashionable!

This last week a MissusSmartyPants SYSter hoped I'd make a comment about this "fashion is art" photo shoot she recently saw. She sent me the link and I was shocked! Are you kidding?!

She was appalled that this fashion spread is making light of domestic abuse. Well, so am I!!!
I say it's shocking and NOT funny! I understand the point is to GRAB our attention, but at what cost? Abuse is not stylish or fashionable--ever! My opinion is this "Glee" star needs to rethink her values!

Here's the link so you can read about this so called fashion shoot:

What say YOU? Do you think I'm over-reacting?

4 Steps to Chic

1. Start with a feminine top 2. Pair with classy slacks 3. Ground with bold shoes 4. Finish with statement earrings ...