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Fall On A Budget

At the beginning of October I shared my Fall 2012 Must Haves, which included eye-catching patterns & prints, faux leather, fun pants, tweed pieces, asymmetrical details, and the color de jour for Fall – Oxblood.

It’s easy to see pictures from the Fall 2012 collections and put together a mental list of all the things you want, and then give up in frustration because you can’t afford straight-from-the-runway pieces. But I’m here to tell you that we can very easily update your wardrobe for Fall without having to dip into your 401k. I promise!

I like to get one or two great new investment pieces each season – something like an updated but classic Little Black Dress, a chic new handbag, or a timeless trench – but I’ll also collect a handful of fun, on-trend pieces from less expensive stores that quickly update my looks for the season. There are great stores like Zara, ASOS, H&M, and TopShop were you can find trendy, well-made pieces each season for a steal. Read on for some of my personal suggestions & recommendations as well as a collection of great articles that’ll steer you in the right direction for all of your Fall 2012 needs.

I have to confess that some of my favorite places to shop are the Spanish retailers that I was first introduced to when I lived in Italy at the age of 21 – H&M, Mango, and Zara. The clothing is stylish and well-made, but doesn’t cost a fortune and the collections are updated frequently so there’s always something new in stores and online.
{Lace Trousers – $90 @ Zara, Blouse – $60 @ H&M & Contrast Panelled Dress – $30 @ Mango}
  • Where Do Editors Really Shop from Refinery 29 is just the sort of article that I love to read – Knowing where the most fashionable and stylish women in the fashion world shop is like being handed the keys to the kingdom! And wouldn’t you know it, along with the high-end designers that you’d expect them to mention, they also list great inexpensive shopping destinations like E-bay, Target, Zara, Amazon, Madewell, J.Crew, TopShop, JewelMint, ShoeMint, and even The Salvation Army. Great news, isn’t it?

Another lucky break for us fashion obsessed is that more and more high-end designers have been coming out with reasonably priced collections for retailer giants like Payless, Target, and Macys.

{Long-sleeve Shirt Dress in Red Geometric Print – $40 @ Kirna Zabete for Target, Long-Sleeve Satin Blazer – $60 (on sale) @ Nicole Richie for Impulse & Racquel Side Zip Bootine – $50 @ Christian Siriano for Payless}

  • Lucky Magazine’s 100 Cheap Fall Finds is a trove of fun Fall pieces from printed pants and embellished collars to chic dresses and leather trimmed jackets. In addition to featuring clothing from Luckymag.com, they included other retail websites like Romwe.com, Pixiemarket.com, Urban1972.com, Levis.com, and Ulta.com.
  • Two of the trends that I’m most excited for this Fall are printed pants and leather-trimmed pieces and luckily for all of us the fun website The Cheap Chica’s Guide to Style featured fabulous recommendations for both trends –  Geometry Class & Just The Sleeves Please. So no matter what type of fashion you’re in the mood for this site has what you’re looking for!

The less expensive secondary lines created by designers and sold at department stores like Bloomingdale’s, Macys, Nordstrom, and Kolh’s are great pieces to keep an eye out for.

{Left to Right: Marc by Marc Jacobs ‘Jac’ Denim Leggings – $140 @ Nordstrom, MICHAEL Michael Kors Sleeveless Cowl Neck Banded Bottom Dress – $45 (on sale) @ Bloomingdale’s, and LC Lauren Conrad Embellished Ruffle Tee – $40 @ Kohl’s}

  • Not quite sure how to approach stores like Nordstrom Rack, TJ Maxx, Marshall’s, or Ross? Refinery 29 took it upon themselves to teach us how in their piece Discount Shopping – How To Shop At Marshalls where they had three different editors put together 6 cute looks under $50. Wow!
  • Waiting for stores to have announce a big sale is a great way to find the pieces you’re craving without paying full-price. Not sure just how to make this tactic work for you? Check out Sales Rack Skinny: The Subtle Statement’s Sale Shop Tactics for tips that’ll help you find just what you’re looking for in stores or even online.

Are you still in the mood for more tips, recommendations, and suggestions for updating your wardrobe, Fall dressing, and online shopping? Stay tuned for an upcoming interview with Style For Hire and a series of informative posts all about online shopping.

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Paris Fashion Week Spring 2013

J’adore Paris!

There is no city quite like Paris and no fashion is quite like Parisian fashion. I adore many cultures and cities and designers, but there’s just something about Paris that you can’t forget.

Valentino:

Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pier Paolo Piccioli have consistently created lovely collections since taking over from Mr. Valentino himself – Lots of dresses, fabulous splashes of classic Valentino red, and red carpet ready gowns.

Leather, velvet, silk, chiffon, lace, satin, and eyelet all made their way down the runway – Along with the occasion statement coat and jumpsuit. My favorite look was the gold brocade coat-dress that Hanne Gaby Odiele wore down the catwalk – Tres chic!

Chanel:

The Chanel show is always a dramatic, eclectic spectacle and this season was no different with solar panels, turbines, and wind farm-like backdrops.

This collection included everything from hula hoop handbags, stark black & white, youthful polka dots, bright jewel tones, traditional florals, 80’s style fingerless gloves, denim, rompers, suits, wide-brimmed hats, and strappy wedges. I especially liked the chunky pearl bracelets & necklaces, the polka-dotted strapless dress, and the cute Dorothy-inspired blue & white gingham.

Alexander McQueen:

The McQueen show is always something to look forward to with eye-catching, one-of-a-kind makeup, backgrounds, clothing, and accessories. No other designer can come close to the types of shows that Lee McQueen – And now Sarah Burton – Put on.

This season’s collection had an S&M beekeeper type of vibe with safari-style netting covered hats, bustiers, thigh-high stockings, harnesses & corsets, bustles, wide belts, and bee, wasp, and honeycomb prints. Excessive, rich, over-the-top, and utterly stunning.

Miu Miu:

Denim, interesting fabrics & textures, moody prints, and a mixture of silhouettes and lengths all gave the Miu Miu collection a fun but grown-up feel.

I love classic workwear style pieces so this collection was right up my alley. I adored the pencil skirts and sleek sheath dresses, and the retro vibe was to die for with killer furs, boat neck tops, visible pin-up inspired bustiers, leather gloves, slim pocketbooks, and long, demure jackets. J’adore!

Lanvin:

“Deconstructed classicism” was the theme and it came to life in sleek separates and dresses done up in black & white, bold, vibrant jewel tones, and silky neutrals.

The collection was sleek and sexy, the pieces modern and wearable. The embellished prints were quite eye-catching but the sleek pieces in navy, black & white stole the show in my opinion. All of the looks above are amazing – I would wear them anytime, anywhere!

Yves Saint Laurent:

New name – Saint Laurent – retro vibe. The 70’s were back at YSL with leather, suede, fringe, wide-brimmed hats, and maxi lengths all evoking classic Yves.

The details of this collection were what caught my attention – The slim, cropped pants, the white piping on blazers, the patent t-trap heels, oversized bows at the neck, and opera-length gloves. I especially liked the pants looks and shimmering, two-toned caplet was the piece at the top of my Must Have list!

Givenchy:

While the theme may have been the same, Riccardo Tisci’s sedated and minimal interpretation of Catholicism was a far cry from the extravagant opulence of the Fall 2012 Dolce & Gabbana show at Milan Fashion Week.

The pieces may have been stark – Done up in mostly black & white with severe cuts – But they were still dramatic and eye-catching. I adored the black & white frocks, the flattering tunic-vests, the subtle ruffles, and the thick metallic chokers.

Stella McCartney:

The Stella show was bold in both color and silhouette – Her usual oversized, boy-meets-girl style got spiced up with wrap dresses, jumpsuits, and racerback tops.

The suits and the minimalistic pieces are always my favorite – Though the patchwork prints and cheerleader skirts last season proved that she’s got more up her sleeve. The safari-style tops were cute and versatile and the green she showed was right up my alley!

Louis Vuitton:

The LV collection was awash in checkered patterns, bright hues, and in a fun change of pace Mr. Jacobs had all of his models strut their stuff down the runway in pairs.

The mod feeling to the show was modernized by the eye-catching prints. The accessories were cute but minimally applied – Bow adorned headbands, checkered flats, and small patterned daybags. Fun, flirty, and oh-so-wearable. Just what Marc Jacobs does best!

Chloe:

The Chloe collection was primarily black and white with some splashes of burnt orange and fleshy pink throw in for good measure. Very French. Very feminine. Very Sweet.

The silhouettes ranged from oversized and exaggerated to romantic and womanly. While the colors, fabrics, and prints ran the gamut from black & white velvet to salmon stripes to sheer purple ruffles.

Balmain:

The Balmain collection brought to mind the 90’s with power suits, big shoulders, loud prints, thick belts, and plunging necklines. All with a Parisian, Balmain spin on them.

Stripes & checkers, bold yellow, oversized hoop earrings, metallic accessories, midriff baring tops, denim, and oversized blazers all had me checking the models faces to see if Cindy, Linda, Naomi, or Christy were there.

Christian Dior:

Raf’s debut collection for Dior was full of dichotomies – Stark but romantic, minimal but dramatic. He played with colors, prints, lengths, and silhouettes while still presenting a very Dior collection.

The suits and coat-dresses were my favorite, they came in different cuts and lengths, but were utterly chic and utterly timeless. The kinds of pieces that you invest in and wear for the rest of your life.

Sources: Style.com, Fashionologie, The Stylist, & Tom & Lorenzo

Previous Paris Fashion Week Collections: Paris Fashion Week Fall 2012, Paris Fashion Week Fall 2012 – Street Style & Front Row Fashion, Paris Fashion Week Spring 2012 Part I, Paris Fashion Week Spring 2012 – Part II, and Paris Fashion Week Spring 2012 – Street Style & Front Row Fashion.

Additional reviews, photographs, shows, and videos: Raf Simons, Hedi Slimane and the Tectonic Shifts of the Paris Fashion Establishment from Business Of Fashion, FabSugar’s Paris Fashion Week Diary, Precious Details from The Man Repeller, and Derek Blasberg’s A Photo Diary From Paris Fashion Week.

Which Paris Fashion Week show was your favorite? Do you like the classic, Paris Fashion Week institutions like Chanel and Valentino best or newer, more modern houses like Chloe and Alexander McQueen?

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Links You’ll Love

Health/Fitness:

The title of this article got my attention for a number of reasons, but primarily because I’m deeply in agreement. I’m 29, I’ve been working 12+ hours a day for 7 years, and I’m ready to retire! LifeVest – Why Women Are Burning Out at Work Before 30.

Roasted Garlic-Beet Socca Pizza

Pizza is hardly considered a diet food and any healthy eating regime is likely to outlaw it, but I’m a rebel and I think these versions sound ah-mazing! From the Fit Community: 6 Diet-Friendly Pizzas. From fresh veggies and goat cheese to whole wheat dough to mini versions, there’s something to make everyone’s mouth water! I’m partial to the socca myself, I’ve been making socca-crust pizzas since I was first diagnosed with gluten intolerance and I can’t recommend trying them enough!

To me Summer is all about fresh produce and as much I as love the colorful array of options at the farmer’s market, not all produce is created equal – Game, Set and Match to Strawberries: The Superfruit.

One of the first things that my doctor did last fall after my spinal injury was write me a prescription for a stand up desk. My office amazingly had one in storage so three days later it was up and running. The results have been amazing and I’m planning to keep it even once I’m fully healed. Interested in learning more? Fit Bottomed Girls – Stand Up for Your Fitness: Review of the Standing Fit Standing Desk. And if that’s not enough to convince you, this piece for the SF Gate may change your mind – Sitting Less Adds Two Years to U.S. Life Expectancy.

You don’t need hours and hours at the gym, even squeezing in 10 minutes a few times a week can make a difference if you’re also walking and eating a healthy, balanced diet – Get R.I.P.P.E.D. in Just 10 Minutes With This Total Body Workout!

Fashion:

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Whenever I get the urge to freshen things up in my apartment I turn to wall decor for that extra zing of  unique creativity. If you’re the same check out Apartment Therapy’s – 10 DIY Wall Art Ideas That Anyone Can Do.

If you’re still dying for more fashion week madness after the Spring 2013 Resort and Fall 2012 Couture collections, check out Harper’s Bazaar’s Moda Operandi and Taylor Tomasi-Hill Go To Sao Paulo Fashion Week.

There are many celebrity “designers” out there but few who really have the fashion chops, a la Victoria Beckham, to make a real impact on the fashion world. Which side of the line do you think Miss Gwyneth Paltrow’s first collection will fall on? FabSugar has the details – See What Gwyneth Paltrow Designed For Her Special Goop Collection So Far.

Get in the mood for next season’s crop of fabulous frocks by checking out Banana Republic’s Anna Karenina inspired holiday collection, Karl by Karl Lagerfeld for Fall 2012, and the H&M Summer 2012 Magazine.

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