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Style It: A Classic Trench Coat

If you’re updating your wardrobe, a must-have for every fashionista is a new trench coat . This classic from MICHAEL at Michael Kors fits that bill. This piece features a point collar, button front, button-off waist sash, and a detachable body liner for all-season wear. It will take you through sun or rain, and it’s machine washable for easy care.

This coat truly will go with everything. Put it over these Revival pants from A K A Woman, in joseph grey(or choose one of the other colors, like Devil’s Food or Desert). They have a hidden front hook and zipper closure, and a touch of stretch in the cotton fabric to keep them comfortable all day. They taper to the knees, then flare just the right amount. These trousers are business casual, so top with a bright colored sweater or a bright print blouse. Add a cute pair of skimmers, go for a pop of color with one of this season’s favorites, like purple or teal, and add some jewelry and a good leather shoulder bag, and you’re ready for the office and dinner afterward.

Not feeling like trousers for work? This great empire dress from Volcom comes in True Red, and will look magical with the trench coat. Made of a fine-gauge cotton knit, this dress features smocking at that empire waist for a perfect fit, and the Volcrom embroidery at front left hip and right rear shoulder. It goes to work, then out to play the evening away when five o’clock comes. Dress it up with a high-heeled sandal or open-toed shoe in croc-look leather, and don’t forget the bling at neck, ears, and wrists. For the dress, a clutch purse in another bright color will keep you looking in style. On chilly days, add one of the long scarves you’ll see in every collection.

Think trench coats are just for rainy days? Not so, stylistas! They go through autumn with every look, from casual to evening wear, and they’ll never leave you all wet.

Easy Fashion Tips: What's a Girl to Shoes?

Somewhere to go and nothing new to wear… what’s a girl to “shoes”? Jazz up a simple little black dress with a pair of colorful shoes in one of this season’s brightest hues.

In seasons past, spring always represented corals, yellows, pinks and any other bright color in the color palette, while the darker shades were always left to fall. This year, we’ve seen every color down the runways, Cobalt Blue, Bright Orange, Fuchsia, whichever color you prefer, this fall season is anything but discriminating. The best way to make a fashion statement is to dress in a head to toe neutral hue and strap on a pair of bold bright stilettos.

We all remember Carrie’s wedding in the Sex & The City movie (no not the big lavish one where she was stood up) but the simple wedding in city hall, with the “labeless” vintage white suit set and those stunning blue Blaniks. Re-create that same memorable look with a winter white romper and a pair of Cobalt blue sandals like Steve Madden’s Taaboo or Trufle . These shoes make the ultimate stand out statement and feature a luxurious suede that’s appropriate for the season.

If yellow is more your taste, opt for a pair like Report’s Fillmore that look great against an all black ensemble. Michael Kors’s Dauphin features a a platform and 4.5 heel for a daring look for the fashionably brave.

Shoes no longer compliment an outfit but rather complete them. Shoe designers are offering us everything from pumps to flats in a series of fun bright colors. So, the next time you feel like spicing up an outfit, take advantage of the latest trend and ditch the printed outfits and those overly eccentric embellished tops. The best styling tip of the season is to keep the basic outfit simple while drawing all the attention down to your beautiful feet.

Easy Fashion Tips: Jewels & Embroidery Add Pizazz!

Jewel-encrusted and intricately embroidered pieces are hot this spring. Although these pieces may seem “gaudy” or impractical, they’re actually anything but. Pieces with perfectly placed faux jewels or beautiful embroidery work make dressing up (or down) a snap.

Everyone knows that too many busy pieces normally make for a train wreck of an outfit. It’s best to go with one, maybe two, really great pieces that really catch the eye and make a statement. Allow the rest of the outfit to complement those pieces and presto! You’re looking good. The great thing about faux jewel-encrusted or embroidered tops, bottoms, skirts, purses and shoes is that they are nearly always eye-catching, so you don’t have to worry so much about the rest of the outfit. For instance, great tops like the Michael Kors Turquoise Embroidered Tunic features intricate embroidery and decorative mirror appliqués. This piece is practically an outfit in itself. Pair it with black leggings or a white skirt with light turquoise sandals, and you’re summer chic. A more inexpensive way to wear embroidery this season would be with a tee-style embroidered top, like the Esprit Embroidered Long Tee .

Jeweled or embroidered summer dresses are also perfect examples of this trend, like the Prana White Jewel Halter dress . If you want to combine two hot Spring 2009 trends – bright neons and embroidery – and you have a little cash to spend, check out the Robert Rodriguez Twist Neck Embroidered Dress. This sexy hot pink number is decorated down the front with beautifully embroidered black flowers.

Adding jeweled or embroidered accents to your spring wardrobe can be as simple or complicated as your budget and imagination will allow. Embroidered purses or jeweled sandals also make a great addition to any outfit you already own which could use a little extra spring kick. So have fun with it, and put some passion in your fashion!

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Style It: Change the Look of Your Old Suit with a New Top

If your navy suit with the pencil skirt is feeling oh-so-blah, and you also want something cute to wear with friends for lunch or shopping, it’s time to look for that special top that puts everything together. And stylistas, we have the top for you!

This navy and white bias cut flutter-sleeve top from MICHAEL by Michael Kors is just the thing to perk that old suit right up. Add some dangling white earrings like these from Tarina Tarantina, and a chunky white bracelet, and you’re ready to go. Oops, wait a minute, what about your shoes? Dress that new look up all the way down to your toes with these T-strap pumps by Donald J. Pliner. Between the 3 ½ inch heel and the hint of a platform, your legs will look terrific and your suit will look retro and brand new. Don’t forget to carry a bag with a pop of bright color, although with too much navy you’re right back to blah.

Keep the new look going on a Saturday, or any fun day, by pairing the top with jeans, or with navy capris or cropped pants. Lose the dangly earrings and go for pearl or faux diamond studs. Swap the bracelet for a fun white watch (think Dooney and Bourke or Betsey Johnson), and add a few cute rings to your fingers. Add a pop of color on your feet with shoes like these totally adorable red ballerina flats from Timberland, with their soft suede uppers and completely comfortable design. You can shop all day in these babies. Add a red clutch or a patterned tote, and you can go anywhere.

And you were ready to throw that suit out! Sometimes it takes a little out-of-the-box thinking to keep your clothes from getting in a rut. And that’s why you’re reading this!

Weekly Comfort Item: Driving in Comfort with Driving Moccasins

For daily commuters being comfortable is a big deal. Enter the music, the name brand coffee and the ultimate, comfortable driving moccasins. Driving moccasins have been a classic style for years. Still worn by many Europeans and the elite and stylish, driving moccasins have a place in one’s wardrobe. Believe it or not, Frasier Crane is not the only person who buys driving moccasins. In fact, today’s driving moccasins are not only stylish but also comfortable and in some cases quite luxurious.

There are a couple of perks to driving moccasins commuters should truly consider. In addition to having a safe, nubbed sole that allows one to have secure footing, the shoes are flat, sturdy and ideally the perfect shoe in which one should drive. The other perk for women is that wearing driving moccasins while driving eliminates the ugly scuff that always shows up on the back of the right shoe as a result of driving in heels or other shoes when comfortable driving moccasins should and could be worn.

Elegantly designed, comfortable and well made driving moccasins are available for men and women. A great choice of driving moccasins for men is the H.S. Trask Driving Moccasin . Very European in style, the beautifully designed driving moccasin is masculine, sleek and comfortable. Features include smooth Antelope leather uppers, soft sheepskin lining, multi-density removable foot bed made with memory foam and double-needle hand stitching construction created for a well made, flexible and durable moccasin. Available in dark brown, light brown and black, the average retail price is $101.

Both men and women have several great options in terms of brands of driving moccasins. Major designers create the comfortable driving shoe including Kenneth Cole, Cole Hahn, Coach, Celine, Michael Kors, Polo, Timberland, Ralph Lauren, Minnetonka and many others.

The method to the madness is – just like one wears court shoes for tennis, track shoes for track, and running shoes for running – driving moccasins have a place in every wardrobe. In fact, worn without socks they are downright cool. Who knows, maybe one day insurance companies will give a discount for wearing proper driving shoes. A girl can only hope.

Fashion Show Update: New York Fashion Week Spring 2009

New York Fashion Week is always my favorite fashion show of the year. It features the top designers debuting the hottest trends and coolest colors for the upcoming season. The Project Runway finalists also present their collections for the television show’s finale. New York Fashion Week Spring 2009 did not disappoint, but some of the styles were a bit surprising.

Jumpsuits, No Really
I admit it, some of these trends are probably not ideal for the average person, but it is always exciting to get a glimpse of the next hot trend. Ralph Lauren, Max Azria and Proenza Schouler are just some of the designers who featured jumpsuits. I normally associate jumpsuits with Joe the plumber, but these were very elegant and fashionable. Tyra Banks wore a jumpsuit on a recent episode of her hit talk show Tyra and, thanks to her height, looked very stylish.

Ruffles
Look for more ultra feminine ruffled fashions in stores next spring. Oscar de la Renta, Betsey Johnson and Carolina Herrera unveiled beautiful ruffled gowns. Some styles were sophisticated and accented with ruffles for added femininity. True to her eccentric reputation, Betsey Johnson’s creations were bright, youthful and over the top.

Floral Prints a la Wisteria Lane
Dresses from Oscar de la Renta and Badgley Mischka featured daring floral prints. The color palette and flattering, body conscious cut of the dresses made them fun and modern, unlike floral prints of the past. This hot trend is perfect for the real world, and I expect to see women of different body types wearing it well.

All American Attire
Michael Kors and Marc Jacobs paid homage to the American flag with red, white and blue fashions. That sounds like a perfect clothing choice for an inaugural year.

Metallic Fabric
Shimmering metallic fashions were also popular with designers including Calvin Klein, Vera Wang, Donna Karan and Ralph Lauren.

Project Runway Showdown
Bravo’s Project Runway season five finalists Leanne Marshall, Korto Momolu and Kenley Collins faced off at New York Fashion Week. Their diverse collections also featured ruffles, floral prints and metallic garments. Leanne Marshall ultimately walked away with top honors, but it was very exciting to watch the finalists create a clothing line and participate in a major fashion show.

COUTURE RECOMMENDS

Remember when ‘duck’ boots were a Darien, Connecticut style staple? Remember when they were worn with curduroy pants, puffer vests and Fair Aisle sweaters? Well, neither do I, but that is what I am told. Fast forward to today and the steadfast staple of yesteryear is making a very chic come back. Designers from DSquared to Michael Kors , to a few mass retailers, injected the shoe/bootie with a much needed style cache with improved upper materials, playful color combinations (think tartan and tweed), and a fashionista’s best friend, a high heel. However, some design detail echos of the past are still visible within the new incarnations, the rubber sole, the lace-up and hook-and-eye closures, along with the constrast stitching. Oooooh la la!

HOW TO WEAR IT - WINTER FLORALS

Florals, of all variations, were big for Fall 2008 and are still in bloom for Spring/Summer 2009. What better way to perk up an overcast fall or dreary winter day than with a lovely, flower embellished dress? We think no better way. Mix the soft with a little funky edge by pairing your floral dress with a short sleeve knitted jacket or shrug, reach for a patterned scarf knotted just so, mix in funky silver jewelry, slip on a pair of black or bordeaux colored tights, pull on a pair of edgy buckle and lace up patent leather mid-calf boots, add a decidely feminine shoulder bag and voila, pure floral fabulousness.

Couture’s picks: Generra Chunky Knit Bolero Three Quarter Sleeve Jacket, French Connection Cara Empire Waist Sleeveless Floral Dress, Alexander McQueen Silk/Wool Floral and Paisley Detailed Scarf, Carlos Falchi Slim Poof Python Embossed Microfiber Shoulder Bag, Jean Paul Gaultier Pryamid Shaped Ornate Ring, Jean Paul Gaulier Opulent Pryamid Shaped Earrings, Kors Michael Kors Dual Buckle Lace Up Crinkle Patent Leather Boot