Welcome to Miss Marie Styles - a blog dedicated to getting fabulously dressed everyday.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Necessary Jewels - Tips on Building a Jewelry Collection

Great Jewelry is important to developing your style and kicking ass. By having even a small collection of varied pieces to go to, you can polish your outfits to a high shine.

Your aunt's costume jewelry, thrift store finds, high end real-deal, and f21 trendy pieces are all the same in my book. Its about pretty baubles to make yourself shiny; fake it till you make it. I like pieces with real weight that add to the composition of an ensemble. None of this delicate stuff for me, I want to be physically burdened by my jewels ;)

If you are just starting to get interested in building a jewelry collection here is a list of essential pieces which will cover your bases and get you feeling comfortable adding the proverbial cherry on top.

  • A Big Statement Necklace (or 5 or 6)  - This can be metal, glass, gemstone, resin, cloth or plastic, paper-mache etc. Find something you are naturally attracted to be it geometric, floral, ethnic, or classic. Just go for it. This is where to get some color into your jewelry repertoire, you'll most likely be naturally drawn to colors that dominate your closet, but you can also choose something opposing to really pop. Learn about color theory hereBig is best (at least in my book). You're going to find these pieces mostly in princess length (17-19 inch) which is a great size for most necklines.  J.Crew and Anthropologie really know what they're doing here, but Etsy is also a great place to find reasonably priced pieces.

  • Pearls - I like long lariat strands which can be doubled up. This doesn't have to be expensive. You can get real pearls without spending a fortune ( my favorite strands were bought for 10 euros outside of Paris ). The price goes up by how round and perfect each pearl is, but honestly I like the rough organic feel of wonky pearls. Its probably some grand philosophical comparison to our own flawed human condition... or maybe I'm just cheap. White pearls are classic and classy, lavender and pink toned pearls are lovely and ultra feminine, go for black pearls for a sophisticated edge.
  • A Great Watch - This is something I recommend putting some money into. A big gold watch never goes out of style, it elevates every outfit - even just jeans and a T. Plus, its so useful! Look at that! The time! right on your fucking wrist! Though it seem cliche - really Michael Kors is a great place to start. Next stop for me - Movado! 
  • Pendant Necklace (commensurate with the size of your personality ;). Pendants are so elegant and one of my favorite styles of necklace because of how they elongate the body. The longer the strand the further the pendant draws the eye. I recommend one that hits below the bust (opera length or longer). 
  • Heirlooms (!) - Everyone should own something that comes from a previous generation. It's a wonderful way to feel connected to your family- not to mention super cool. Even costume jewelry was built with more intention and detail in the olden days so if you haven't any generous elders go ahead and buy something for yourself (and your heirs!).
  • Gifted - So when strangers compliment you can say "Oh this? My boyfriend/girlfiend/whoever loves me!"  - Ladies - a great way to get your man to buy you jewelry is: 1. pick it out 2.buy him something of equal value 3. give it to him - inducing feelings of guilt and anxiety 4. offer your assistance by letting him buy you chosen item from #1.
  • Everyday Rings - Rings are a great place to add sentimental pieces that you can wear everyday. I always wear a pinkie diamond band and an emerald cut smokey quartz, given to me by my lover, thank you very much. Still however impatiently waiting for that OTHER ring. Since rings are on your hands they don't affect the composition of an outfit (unlike necklaces and earrings). This means you can wear the same ones everyday. They say you can mix metals nowadays, but I really don't think so*. It's sloppy. Unless you're twelve you probably already know if you're a silver or gold kind of girl. Rose gold can mix well with either depending on the tone. *this is just for items in proximity. Go ahead and wear silver necklace/earrings with gold rings. No one is going to notice that.
Now go ahead and bejewel yourself already!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Party Shorts

Shorts are not just for the beach ladies - they are a fabulous option for bar-hopping and even cocktail parties. 

When every other girl shows up in a tight bandage dress, shorts come off as really fun and unexpected. 

These silver sequined shorts are surprisingly more versatile than one might think. Here are some tips to help you pull off your own party-shorts look.

  • Choose a top which has some weight or coverage to balance out the itty-bittyness of the shorts. (That is if its not hot-as-hell outside, if so, then of course, wear as little as possible)
  • Like with any sequined item - let them take center stage and don't overwhelm the outfit with too much jewelry (if any at all)

  • Dress them up with a silk blouse with a punch of color  and stiletto booties for a night on the town. You can also dress them down for daytime-play with a plain gray heather t-shirt (a slouchy low v-neck is lackadaisically sexy) and add low motorcycle boots to round out the look.  

Monday, April 1, 2013

The Right Undergarments

No one's wardrobe is complete without the right undergarments. They really are essential to a polished outfit.

Our style of dress has become increasingly more casual over the decades and we have all but lost the art of the undergarment. We used to wear petticoats, bustles, girdles and thigh-highs, and ridiculously tiny corsets , and yeah it probably caused tuberculosis, miscarriages and  liver problems but damn they looked good.

Ok so maybe we don't need to go killing ourselves but a little goes a long way when we want to take it up a notch from t-shirt and jeans.

Here is a neat little list of what a well rounded collection looks like. It can help you fill in any gaps in yours.

T-shirt bra in black and nude for everyday outfits

Obviously, control top panty hose in a million colors. (I own hose in at least 25 different colors).

A simple, no-underwire black (or brightly colored) bra made of cotton or a sports material for wearing in the summer when you're barely wearing anything. This is easy, comfy and can totally be seen which allows you to be practically naked and modest at the same time.

A convertable corset or bustier in nude (with removable straps) for fancy dresses. I prefer a bustier to a strapless bra since they have more surface space to hold your rib cage. Seriously, even commando is better than a strapless bra; I'd take a little nippage over hoisting my bra up every ten minutes for four hours.

As for chonis, everybody needs seamless briefs (in your choice of cut) and a high waisted thong for slim skirts.

AND of course - the holy grail of modern shapewear SPANX. Spanx come in all varieties and are a bit pricey but totally worth the investment. I like the high waisted shorts, but also have my eye on the full piece swimsuit-like style (the "neckline" sits under your bust so the girls aren't smushed). Spanx are awesome pretty much all the time but best under tight body conscious dresses. They aren't the most seductive of pieces but thankfully my man is a sure-thing.

Which brings me to my last point: everyone needs something ridiculously fancy that couldn't even fit under clothes, for doing it.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Sweater Season

I know I just posted about the upcoming spring, but New York not-so-politely reminded me that its still very much winter time.

On these cold wet days, we all just want to snuggle up in some cozy knits.

Though sweaters feel fantastically lazy, they don't have to feel boring.

Winter sales are going strong and now is the time to spruce up your sweater collection. Look for unique pieces which will elevate those grey winter days. Outrageous elements such as this oversized cowl make an ordinary sweater something marvelous.

I fell in love with this bright teal Joe Fresh knit in the early fall but $100 felt a little steep for a sweater. So I let it go - only to find it in the January sales for $28!! I guess we were just meant to be together. :)

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Colored Pants on Men

Spring is coming!  Now is the time gentlemen to try a pair of brightly hued slacks.

I happen to love colored pants on guys. It shows a confidence and a sense of fun. You know the guy wearing salmon pink trousers (like these from J.Crew) is going to be absolutely charming.

So men, take a break from your  neutral work pants and blue jeans and try for a emerald green, mustard yellow, or cobalt blue pair.

Preppy retailers are your best bet such as J. Crew, Gap, Joe Fresh or Club Monaco.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Day to Night Outfit

Finding an outfit to wear straight from the office to a date night can be difficult. Blazers can look stuffy and dresses can be too sexy for the office or too corporate for a date. 

This outfit is soft, pretty and romantic but still has a level of sophistication because of the structure of the components. The high waisted pencil skirt is an office staple but unusually executed in soft suede. The pale peach silk top is also work-appropriate but the petal sleeves and subtle pleats add a feminine touch. 

Before you step out, add a statement piece of jewelry (think cocktail ring or heavy brooch style necklace like the one shown) and a bright rosy lipstick.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

How to Mix Prints (Man Edition)

Hey boys - this one's for you.

Mixing prints is not just for the ladies. Have more fun dressing up for a night on the town or a friend's cocktail party.  Men don't have as many clothing options as us ladies do, so when party-time rolls around they only really get to choose from a shirt and tie. But you can show your style know-how by wearing fun colors and mixing prints.

Layering prints is a subtle art, and I am aware that some of our straighter male friends have a difficult time with this.

Some tips to help you get started

1. Firstly, don't just wear your work shirts and ties. Buy a couple button-ups and ties that are explicitly not appropriate for the office.

2. Stripes or dots are a simple base that look great with almost everything.

3. Black and/or white graphic prints open up the second element to any color of your choice.

4. Choose one bold print/color and one subtle (such as the white polka dots and subtle purple paisley our model Chris is wearing)

5. Color matters most. So check that the color combination works, and then check the pattern combo second.

6. As you experiment, you can venture further into wilder combinations. Have fun!

Meet Chris, all around handsome man, avid ailurophile and our first guest model on Miss Marie Styles!