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4 Handsome Valentine's Day Looks

I'm not starting this off like my typical menswear blog. Oh no. Not today. This post is specifically geared towards the gentlemen trying to prepare for the annual “step your game up day,” also called Valentine's Day. It’s a day where the world’s people enjoy the close company of another. A lot of planning and execution occurs on this day. 

So I ask you, what are you wearing? I'm sure you've already given this some thought. In fact, I'm sure you've already put your look together, purchased the items you needed and are just salivating at the chance to put on those new kicks you picked up. Right? Right.

If you're anything like me, you haven't given it a moment of thought. I don't blame you. In this fast-paced world of technology, social media and day-to-day life consuming your every hour, it's tough. But luckily, I enjoy this fashion challenge that seemingly every year asks you to improve. So here's what I'm offering: three solid Valentine's Day fits that are comfortable, fashionable and badass, if you've got the confidence to rock ’em.

 

Scenario #1: Brunch

Let's not act like we can't all see the elephant in the room. This V-Day happens to fall on a Sunday. So, many people might be opting out for the brunch option. Cool. So what to wear? I took the liberty to take a look at what temps look like in general sense for the US for Sunday, and it's pretty simple — east coast cold, west coast warm. 

What does this mean? You decide, based on the options I provide, how you'd like to proceed. Here's what to keep in mind when dressing for this. Bottom line it's a date. Dress like it. However, it's also Sunday brunch, and you need to be comfortable. What spells comfort like … joggers. Yes. That's correct. Joggers. Here's the look:

 

 

 

 

Should it be warmer out, I say ENJOY IT! Why not? It's not a bad time to appreciate the little things. Add accessories as you see fit. A beanie, hat, sunglasses, watch, pocket square, you name it. If it's a bit colder out, you'll swap out the joggers for black denim and the trainers for boots. You may also consider a parka. Like so …

 

 

 

 

Whatever you decide, own it with confidence. Trust in the decision you make and it'll go well (fashion-wise, that is). On to the next..

 

Scenario #2: Night In (Home Cooked Dinner)

Party's at your house! Well, kind of. More like just you and your date. But hey, that could still be a party! Let's consider what's important here. Not really the temperature. Why? Because you're at home. You can keep it as comfy as you want. What else? What do you have planned for the night? Just dinner? A game? A movie? Figure out those details. You want to be comfortable. Don't wear anything that doesn't correspond to what you'll be doing for the night. Oh, and by the way, it's still a date. Set the tone so your date knows you care. Most people will be getting dressed up. So that's the look I've created. Check it out:

 

 

 

 

Simple look for this one. It creates clean lines and subtle colors that grab attention. You can decide based on the conditions if the sweater and shirt together are too much. Also, the jacket is optional. But keep it out where you can see it. You never know when you'll need a stroll to the patio or an impulse move out!

 

Scenario #3: Casual Date Night (Dinner & Movie)

Hmm. How many times do you think that this type of date is overlooked? It's a basic, introductory, simple, feasibly enjoyable option for two people out to enjoy each other’s company. But, as I've stated earlier, it's still a date. First things first — where are you having dinner at? Does it call for a little shoeshine or are sneakers cool? From there, it's all about temperature. In this case, the dinner will be casual and the temps are cooler. What do I suggest? I'm recommending a masculine take with a fashionable twist. Here it is:

 

 

 

It's casual but fashionable. It's all about the specific pieces you add to the look. The suspenders, style of jacket and boot all make a difference. Feel free to add accessories as you see fit. You've got this!

Give these looks a shot and figure out what works or what doesn't. You can customize these any way you want. Be confident and comfortable. Side note: get excited! You have a cool date to go on. Go have a great time! As always, it's all about taste.

 

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New Year, Take 2: Monkey Business

In the spirit of building open and honest relationships through communication (Zappos Core Value no. 6), I’m going to let you in on a secret … January has been absolutely horrible for me on a personal level. A health crisis with my mom, a good friend in a horrible accident and a number of other small things have all added up to the point that I already want to tell 2016 it is fired. 

Fortunately, this week marked the start of the Chinese New Year and the year of the Monkey, and I am determined to salvage the rest of the year’s remaining 10 months. I am celebrating with my friends and family, much like the Chinese diaspora around the world. While in the United States New Year’s Eve is a night of revelry, Chinese New Year’s Eve is marked by reunion dinners with family members who have travelled home to honor the family’s ancestors, as well as to prepare for good fortune to come.

 

 

 

 

During these celebrations you will see red everywhere, from clothing to the lai see, which are envelopes that married people give to children and unmarried relatives and friends, as well as their employees. The money must be in an even denomination and cannot contain the digit four for good luck. As come upon the year of the Monkey, we are celebrating those who are intelligent, witty, curious and playful. Those who are born in 1920, 1932, 1944, 1956, 1968, 1980, 1992 and 2004 will probably agree with that, as they are all monkeys as well! 

So while we push the reset on 2016, take a moment to enjoy a tangerine, pomelo (e.g. an orange) to bring luck, dumplings or egg rolls for prosperity, and some jai to celebrate the new beginnings. Let’s also create an outfit that that will bring together all of these elements to make you feel fabulous, and draw in a little luck!

 

 

 

 

GOLD and yellow are good for bringing in money, and to symbolize the power and royalty of the throne. The first emperor of China was known as the Yellow Emperor. The primary river in China is the Yellow River. And you can always count on yellow and gold to brighten up your outlook!

 

 

 

 

GREEN is the symbol for money in all of its shades. Jade green is especially powerful as it is believed to bless everything it touches, thus why you’ll see many in China and Vietnam wearing jade and gold charms.

 

 

 

 

RED is the Chinese national color, and represents happiness, beauty, success and good fortune. As mentioned above, red is found everywhere, even to double rows of red “xi” symbols on gates and doors to invite happiness. It is considered the happiest color in China, and is the color of wedding gowns! As a double bonus, 2016 is a Fire year, making this year’s monkeys even more ambitious and adventurous.

 

 

 

MONKEYING AROUND One of the most beloved stories in China is the story of the Monkey King. There are still articles written in many publications about “Calming the Monkey Mind.” The monkey is known to love being the center of attention, as well as being witty, intelligent and a little rebellious. What better way to celebrate the year of the Monkey than with a fabulous bag featuring a playful monkey, a playful earring or a sophisticated monkey’s fist — a symbol of friendship — which reminds us that each friendship is different, but built around a solid base.

 

If you’re celebrating in any of the pieces shown here, tag us in your selfies or pics with #zapposWRW — we’d love to see your style!

 

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Red Hot: 8 Looks to Love for Valentine’s Day

There are generally two schools of thought when it comes to celebrating the feast of St. Valentine: those who celebrate a holiday established alongside a feast day for a patron saint of love, engaged couples and marriage, and those who remind those people that St. Valentine is also the patron saint of beekeepers and the plague. 

Regardless of which camp you fall into, one of the things that we often forget when the world and DeBeers are focusing on “love” in its commercial forms, complete with chocolate, roses and diamonds, is remembering to take a few moments to practice some self-love.

 

 

 

 

There have been multiple studies recently published that prove that low self-esteem (aka low levels of self-love) can contribute to a reduction of brain size by up to 20 percent, as well as memory skills. The silver lining, however, is that these studies also found that if we take the time to re-train our brains in how we think, we can reverse this atrophy and expand our brain size back to normal.  

Why is this important for a curvy girl? How often have we slipped and told ourselves that our worthiness is tied to our dress size? How many times have we come home from a frustrating day of shopping, where it feels like even socks don’t fit right, and berated ourselves for being useless, ugly and fat? How many of us trick ourselves with the armor of “It’s a holiday created by greeting card companies and florists” to cover up the frustration, pain and depression of feeling unworthy because we are single for yet another holiday?

 

 

 

 

Self-love and affirmation take many different forms, and just like the millions of beautiful women around this world, of all shapes and sizes, each one is unique. While many share the same starting point, there is something magical about the way that we can all take the same words, or the same dress, and create a powerful and unique story, both verbally and non-verbally. The simple phrase, “I approve of myself and feel great about myself” can end in so many powerful and world-changing ways. A little red number meant to remind us that we can be OK if we stand out, and to celebrate our self-love can be worn and styled and used to illustrate our individual stories in so many different ways; the most important ingredient is the love we have for ourselves.

So this year for Valentine’s Day, let’s not worry about whom we have. Rather, let’s celebrate the most important love we have in life — ourselves. 

 

 

#curvygirls, #WellRoundedWednesday, #Zapposplus, #zapposWRW, Allen Allen, Cosa Bella, hanky panky, Kiyonna, michael michael kors, nine west, plus fashion, Red Hot, self-love, valentine’s day fashion, Well Rounded Wednesday

 

DRESS UP Why not dress up just for you and take yourself to a fabulous lunch or dinner — or order the best takeout you’ve ever had and spend a night in? Red is a color for destiny and power; find yours in these great ones by Kiyonne.  

 

 

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TOP IT OFF Red can be the color of blood, the color of a fire engine, or of a gorgeous Syrah wine that hits sweet and finishes with a strong and dark flavor.  Forget those shades of gray, shades of red are much more fun to experiment with. 

 

 

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FINISHING TOUCH If red and power hues aren’t your thing when it comes to your wardrobe, why not try little pops of color added to your staples, or a little valentine to yourself? Red shoes like these scream for a night of adventure, and these sweet little finishing touch earrings keep it simple, but remind you that love is what matters. 

 

 

#curvygirls, #WellRoundedWednesday, #Zapposplus, #zapposWRW, Allen Allen, Cosa Bella, hanky panky, Kiyonna, michael michael kors, nine west, plus fashion, Red Hot, self-love, valentine’s day fashion, Well Rounded Wednesday

 

AT DAY’S END At some point, men began to think that women wear sexy lingerie and lace for them; we don’t mean to break their hearts by telling them that we wear it to feel amazing, feminine and girly, even when our daily lives may call for a really boring or seemingly masculine uniform. Underneath it all, and at the end of the day, the most important thing about self-love is about doing it for you, not for anyone else, even if that means lounging in comfortable and soft pajamas. 

 

So there you have it … eight great pieces when you’re feeling red hot and ready for love and adventure with that most important person of all — you! If you’re rocking out in any of the pieces shown here, tag us in your selfies or pics with #zapposWRW. We’d love to see your style! 

 

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10 Gifts for Every Valentine Romance

Valentine’s Day is a holiday that many of us love, but plenty of us dread. It’s a mixed bag of emotions, expectations and fear that we’re gifting too much or too little. Like all things in life, don’t make this more complicated than it needs to be! Here are a few gift ideas to make your gesture of love proper, even if you’re just a girl getting a little something for herself.

 

 

 

jewelry, lingerie, bracelets, earrings, watches, valentines day gifts, gifts for her 

 

Earrings are a sweet idea for new relationships and even platonic ones. They’re a little something that shows you care without seeming overly sentimental. They’re also classic, universally flattering and something almost every girl wears. Kendra Scott makes simple yet beautiful pieces that won’t have you breaking the bank if you decide to get an extra pair for your mom or sister.

 

 

jewelry, lingerie, bracelets, earrings, watches, valentines day gifts, gifts for her 

 

Bracelets are a great choice if you’re ready to get all Carly Rae Jepsen on someone and say, “I really, really, really, really, really, really like you.” They’re a much more visible piece of jewelry that a lot of people will comment on. That means she’ll be telling her friends who it’s from, and you’ll get their much-coveted approval.

Alex and Ani have a tremendous variety of gorgeous styles, each with a sentimental charm attached. From sports teams to inspirational symbols and initials, you can profess your level of “like” through a pretty little charm.

 

 

jewelry, lingerie, bracelets, earrings, watches, valentines day gifts, gifts for her 

 

Lingerie is a fantastic gift choice for an established relationship that’s still in its early years. Yes, it can work for the book ends of newly committed and happily married, but it’s more useful in that middle relationship stage. That’s when it’s not seen as too soon and a little creepy or misinterpreted as, “are you saying there’s something wrong with the boyshorts I wear all the time?!”

The lingerie options by b.tempt’d are not only sexy, they’ve got a delicate femininity to them that women love. This means she’ll want to wear them more than once, and it’ll be a gift that keeps on giving.

 

 

jewelry, lingerie, bracelets, earrings, watches, valentines day gifts, gifts for her 

 

Watches are wonderful for those steady, comfortable relationships because most people wear their watches every day. They’re a constant reminder of the one you love and they won’t ever go out of style.

Ann Klein’s watch and bracelet sets mix classic watch designs with on-trend layering bracelets. Although meant to be worn together, each piece can be worn on it’s own so you’ll be expanding her accessory options without even trying. 

Whether you’ve just met someone, have been dating for a little while, or have reached long-term relationship status, there’s a gift for every level of commitment. Don’t overthink your gift choice; just let it be sweet and thoughtful. Trust me, she’ll appreciate what you’ve picked out. Though it wouldn’t hurt to have some chocolate or dessert on hand … just in case.

 

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Zappos Behind the Scenes: The Life of a Shoe

Undergraduates enrolled at Marquette University’s Advertising, Public Relations and the Internet course (ADPR 4300) are at it again!

As part of the curriculum’s midterm project, students were tasked with creating an infographic depicting the lifecycle of every shoe sold on Zappos. For months, these young scholars learned the ins and outs of our business, including the processes in place for delivering lightning fast shipping straight to your front door. 

WARNING: Below you will see a slew of facts and figures that are so astonishing that even a company as quirky as ours couldn’t possibly make up! 

 

 

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8 White Haute Looks in the Winter Cold

Once upon a time there used to be a rule about wearing white after Labor Day, and if you wore white after it ... the hounds of heck would be unleashed upon the wearer with the wrath of the old biddies who enforced the rules of fashion, and wielded them against the “nouveau riche” during Reconstruction to keep them in their place. Thankfully, we now live in a time when we don’t have to worry about coal soot in the air staining our clothes as the temperatures drop, and we are no longer held to a limit of “winter white."

White can be fresh and clean or crisp and ready to go. Indoors or outdoors, there are a million different ways to wear white, and a myriad of ways to feel fabulous while doing it. Now, I know many people on the East Coast have had it with too much white stuff, but why not dismiss Old Man Winter with a nod to summer and the heat to come?

 

 

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SWEET DREAMS Nothing brings on sweet dreams like a little fresh and clean cotton to wrap ourselves in at bed time as we head to the land of Nod.

 

 

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TOP IT OFF Comfortable clothes, great tops and little pops of color to break up the monochrome look?  Yes, please — and thank you!

 

 

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BOTTOMS UP There is nothing like a well-cut white pant to take a look to the next level. These great pieces highlight your assets while hiding your flaws, making them a perfect accompaniment.

 

 

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SNOWBUNNY DOES IT BETTER When it’s cold outside, and you want to stay warm while enjoying the great outdoors, nothing does it better than these great pieces by Columbia.

 

For sweet dreams or days on the slopes, you’re covered and feeling white haute. If you’re rocking out in any of the pieces shown here, tag us in your selfies or pics with #zapposWRW- we’d love to see your style!

 

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Curvy Style Staples: 8 Pieces Every Girl Needs

We always hear about fashion staples, but what exactly does that mean? The basic answer is something that is versatile and can be worn in many different ways, with the classic example being the LBD (little black dress). Staples are items that never really go out of style, and ensure that no matter what the situation that comes up, you are always able to reach into your closet and pull out the perfect outfit for the occasion.

Having the perfect eight staples on hand is a necessity, especially for curvy girls. Why? Simple — how many times have we skipped out on something because we felt like we didn’t have the perfect thing to wear, or how many times have some of us worn something to an event that didn’t quite fit, or was uncomfortable? How many times do we hide in the back of group shots because we’re not feeling amazing and fabulous in our clothes? Staple pieces are an investment not only in our wardrobes, but ourselves.

There are so many times that we tell ourselves, “I’ll do this when I lose the weight, when I can get into this size, when I can…” Recent events have reminded me of one of the greatest maxims in life — we are never promised tomorrow. So we can either choose to enjoy and live today, investing in ourselves by getting the clothes, the shoes, the external trappings that make us feel like the amazing, beautiful and confident goddesses we are, or we can stay home and miss out on life. 

The number on the scale can only give you a numerical reflection of your relationship with gravity. That’s it. It cannot measure character, beauty, talent, purpose, possibility, strength or love. The same thing goes for the number on the tag inside your clothing. If you need a number to focus on, how about the number of times you laugh with your friends at events, the number of times you hug your kids on a daily basis, or the number of times you try new things? Those are the numbers that matter, and those are the numbers that give meaning to our lives.  

I’m happy to share with you a few of the staples; don’t forget to add in a great black pump, a fabulous black suit (tailored to fit you perfectly, of course!) and a fabulous strappy sandal, and you’re ready to conquer anything! 

 

 

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BOTTOMS UP Start with a great bottom, and the rest can be mixed and matched for success! Some days I’m a skirt girl, but most often you’ll find me in pants; having great pieces to choose from means I can build my ensemble for the day based on my morning mood. 

 

 

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TOP IT OFF A classic button-down and a great jacket can dress up a business casual event. Top it off with jeans for a little bit of flair, or go over a cami as versatile jacketing when the days are warm. 

 

 

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DRESS YOU UP A little black dress is, of course, the number one staple for every wardrobe. Add in a great day dress and you’re ready for the office or an afternoon wedding. 

 

 

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FINISHING TOUCH A signature wrap and evening clutch ensure you always have the right pieces on hand to complete your look with a heavy dash of your own personal style. These ones by Chan Luu are possibly the softest things I have ever touched that were not a baby, and Vivienne is, well … a goddess of style, just like you. 

 

So here are the basics, and the basic splurges, that every woman should have. If you’re rocking out in any of the pieces shown here, tag us in your selfies or pics with #zapposWRW — we’d love to see your style! 

 

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Great Looks: It’s in Your Jeans

There is nothing like how the right pair of jeans can make you feel. No matter what else is going on in life, slipping on the right pair of jeans can change your entire outlook. Jeans can be dressed up for a night on the town, dressed down for a day spent helping another, or right in the middle, where their only purpose is comfort. The best jeans give us a boost in the most important place — our confidence.

 

 

#curvygirls, #WellRoundedWednesday, #zapposWRW, denim, jag jeans, kut from the kloth, Levi’s, NYDJ, plus jeans

 

 

Now don’t get me wrong, there are challenges with finding the right jeans. We all know the situation: we find a style of jeans that we love and adore, and that fits us just perfectly … and then, the brand stops making them, or they change the style in a weird and awkward way. But there is something about finding a staple that goes the distance with you while making you look and feel amazing. Using the right lines to balance your look make all the difference. While there are some recommendations for which type of jean looks best on which body, remember the first rule of fashion: There are no rules. 

 

 

#curvygirls, #WellRoundedWednesday, #zapposWRW, denim, jag jeans, kut from the kloth, Levi’s, NYDJ, plus jeans

 

 

While there are no rules, per se, there are some guidelines that leave the good looks up to more than just your genes, and I’ve gathered the guidelines and a few suggestions for you, so that you’re not leaving anything up to chance. The easiest way to determine the best fit depends on what shape your body falls into — Apple, Pear, Strawberry, Hourglass or Straight. Looking at your silhouette in a mirror, decide which one fits you best, then go from there with some great pieces.

 

 

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CURVES TO BOOT All body types work well with a denim meant for curves, and a boot cut will take your look to the head of the class. The flare at the base complements all bodies, no matter your body type, and, of course, is best worn with a great boot peeking our from the edge of your hem.

 

 

#WellRoundedWednesday, #ZapposWRW, #curvygirls, denim, plus jeans, Levi’s, Jag Jeans, Kut from the Kloth, NYDJ

 

 

GIVE IT TO ME STRAIGHT Simple, clean lines and nothing to worry about stepping on? That’s my kind of denim. Straight jeans are the other universally complementary style that fits every body type.

 

 

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WHAT’S THE SKINNY Best suited to an hourglass or straight figure, these styles look best tucked into a great tall boot, or balanced with a loose-fitting swing or peasant top. The number one accessory to pull off a skinny jean is confidence — and trust me, you look amazing!

 

I hope you enjoy great denim pieces. If you’re rocking out in any of the looks shown here, tag us in your selfies or pics with #zapposWRW — we’d love to see your style! 

 

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