Ethnic Influence

The latest and greatest looks from across the globe

Complex prints, nomadic nods and jewel-toned suede fringe all make their way onto fashion’s main stage this year, taking inspiration from all over the world and giving everyone from the fashion forward to the classically conservative plenty to play with, sartorially speaking. What’s in store for 2016? Here are just a few of the latest ethnically-influenced trends and how to make them work for you!
 
An ancestral edge
High fashion always filters down to the High Street and from the bright colors and asymmetrical drawings of Just Cavalli to the full-blown Mongolian patterns on Anna Sui’s line, this year’s runway shows were steeped in tribal tradition. Even classic designers like Burberry dared to get a little busier than usual, filling out their standard simple swaths with high contrast shades and patterns a plenty. With that in mind, expect to see prints galore in department stores this year – from leggings to dresses to – 90’s flashback – matching (or non-matching!) separate sets. But if a palette of prints seems like overkill to you, don’t worry. A simple scarf with the design of your choice can add flair to the most monochromatic ensemble and keep you on trend.
 
Bling it on
The same adaptability principle can be applied to the ongoing obsession with mixed metallics. Silver, gold, bronze (and any combination of these Egyptian and Indian inspired hues), made their way from runway to real world in 2015 and will continue to dominate this year, offering opportunities to sparkle from head to toe… or anywhere in between. Whether you opt for understated gold stitching in an elaborate pattern, shoulder grazing chandelier earrings, or a full-blown silver jumpsuit is up to your style… and the occasion. The point is, feel free to shine!
 
East meets west 
And finally, in what may just be the most exciting – or certainly original – trend this year, designers are finding ways to juxtapose traditional garb with modern fashion, giving way to all kinds of combos. Suit jackets with saris, structured midriff tops with palazzo pants and capes over everything are just a few of the ways cultures and eras are intersecting, granting us license to be creative. So go for it – and bask in the unexpected results!
 

How to Boot Up Your Wardrobe

The Cool, the Cozy, the Classics

Boots are the footwear of the moment. Whether you like them high, low or in-between, the look right now is to boot up your style from jeans to dressy things.
 
“The knee high boot is still the most classic silhouette and goes with most everything,” says Meghan Cleary, shoe expert and founder of MeghanSAYS.com shoes. “For dressier occasions, the black leather knee-high boot with a slim high heel looks fantastic with pencil skirts, a full midi dress or a skirt with lots of volume,” she adds.
 
Booties are the new ankle cut classic. Move them around your wardrobe as an instant updater. Streamlined stiletto booties are a key winter look as the trendy alternative to wearing heels. They can bring the sexy out of an otherwise plain pair of skinny jeans with ease, be worn to work with a suit or spice up an evening look.  If your bootie preference includes a different heel and some defining details, there are an array of styles – furry, fringy, edgy and more -- to choose from.
 
Over-the-knee boots get extra fashion credits, especially when worn for warmth instead of tights in cold weather. They’re a real show-off for a great pair of legs. When thigh-highs are styled with skirts, they look best when they fit calves snugly with no more than a tiny gap at the top.
 
In all practicality, boots do need to be comfortable. For some it may be a challenge to get a good fit, especially around the ankles, calves and instep.  Zippers, lace-up styles and stretchy insets can help ease fit.  Look for the new square block heel if you prefer a boot with height, but want some stability when walking here and there in winter, Cleary advises.
 
For some fashionable fun even in the snow, rain and muck, there are ankle boots that mimic moto boots with thick soles, belts, buckles and zippers and Beatle boots in weather resistant materials. If you prefer the old standard bad weather styles, look for classic wellies and snow boots in a fashionable variety of new cuts, colors and finishes.

Your Winter Wardrobe Must-Haves

5 Winter Wardrobe Essentials Every Woman Needs

Temperatures are dropping, snow is falling and there is a crisp chill in the air. Winter is upon us and it’s time to add in fashion pieces that keep us both stylish and snug!
 
Sweater dress
Keep yourself cute and cozy this season with a versatile sweater dress. Sweater dresses can be worn to the office, to holiday parties or even to your children’s holiday shows. Form fitting styles can be dressed up with heels, either pumps or high-heel ankle boots and looser styles can be paired with riding boots or flats; the possibilities are endless.  Since sweater dresses can accentuate figure imperfections, be sure to create a smooth foundation with shapewear from head-to-toe.
 
Statement coat
During the cold winter months, our outerwear defines our fashion identity. Make an impression with a statement coat in an unexpected color like royal blue, blush pink or emerald green. You can even try embellished styles (think bling) or textures and patterns.
 
Versatile black turtleneck
A form-fitting black turtleneck can be your winter go-to piece and layering essential. Pair it with skinny jeans, ankle boots and a leather jacket for the perfect Saturday night outfit, or with an adorned maxi skirt for a haute holiday party look. The possibilities are endless with this ultimate, multi-tasking top.
 
Chunky heel ankle boots
Ankle booties can elevate even the most average outfit from ho-hum to wow!  These boots can be worn with work dresses to skinny jeans and even shorts in the spring. Look for styles with a mid-high chunky heel for the most versatility and comfort.
 
Fisherman sweater
A cream colored fisherman sweater is a must-have this season that can be worn in so many ways. Paired with boyfriend jeans, it becomes the ultimate weekend outfit. Paired with tailored pants and a button-down shirt, it becomes a cozy office outfit. 

 

Holiday Attire That Will Get You Noticed

Three Looks to Make your Season Sparkle!

It’s that time of year again. Parties, parties every week and not a thing to wear… or at least it can feel that way when you’re in search of something special in a closet full of functional. But don’t worry. If you’re among the harried hordes hoping for a fashion miracle, we’ve got just the help you need! Three simple solutions for all your seasonal soirees, guaranteed to make heads turn. And best of all, at least one of them is probably already in your closet!
 
Suit up!
Ever since Angelina Jolie flipped the sartorial switch a few years back and showed up at the Oscars in a tux, the sexy suit has replaced the little black dress as Hollywood’s go to for low maintenance glamour. A feminized version of this masculine staple is guaranteed to get you noticed at any affair. Opt for a deep cut black jacket with slightly flared pants to make the most of this sophisticated style. Plus, unless the event is black tie, the two don’t even have to match. Suiting up is really all about the jacket; making maximum impact has but one requirement. It needs to fit like a glove.
 
Lady in Red
It sounds so simple, but the effect cannot be understated. A little red dress makes a big impact. Long sleeves, a belted waist and above the knee hem (how short you dare TBD by your comfort level!), will keep the look current. Opt for a single piece of statement jewelry – say a sparkly, cocktail ring – and you’re good to go. Instant va-va-voom!
 
Shine on!
Shimmering fabrics and semi-precious stones are never better put to use than at your festive fete. From a simple silver tunic to a sparkling gold pendant and matching clutch, you can up your party power by harnessing this season’s metallic trend. It can be dressed up or down to equal, jaw-dropping effect.  
 
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