Fashion Success on Black Friday

If it’s not already obvious, I love to shop. No matter who it’s for, what it is, or where it’s at, I love to shop. And Black Friday is no exception, in fact, it is one of my favorite parts of Thanksgiving break!

I don’t go out into the crazy madness that is Wal-Mart or Best Buy. While thousands upon thousands of people are camping

Black Friday shoppers outside of Best Buy

Black Friday shoppers outside of Best Buy

out, waiting to get the hottest new computer, tablet, video games or big screen TV, I’m checking the ads and scouring the Web looking to see what stores have the best deals on the greatest and latest designer fashions.

For the past eight years, I have headed out to the Aurora Farms Premium Outlets. This outdoor mall is home to a ton of great outlet stores including: the Gap, Banana Republic, Nike, Adidas, Coach, Michael Kors, Saks Fifth Avenue, Calvin Klein and many more. The stores open at midnight with all new merchandise and all of the

latest trends for this winter season.

In my years of experience, here is what I have learned about shopping for fashion deals on Black Friday.

1. It’s not important to be there right at midnight.
So many people think it’s so important to get there right at midnight or the stores may run out what they are looking for. This is simply not true.  All of the stores have a HUGE amount of inventory for the Black Friday crowds. The first big rush comes through at midnight and is gone by 3 a.m., making 4 a.m. – 5 a.m. the best time to head out. All of the stores are restocking the shelves and the crowd is limited.

2. Have a plan of attack
With large crowds and great deals, the whole day can get pretty hectic. To relieve the stress, have a game plan. I map out the main stores that I want to go to and the order that I want to go to them. This way you don’t forget about any stores and you have a set plan of attack so you can get to your favorite stores and head home.

3.Go with a group.
I usually like to go with no less than four people. Since there are more people, sometimes you have to go in stores you don’t necessarily want to go in to, but it cuts the “standing in line time” in half. While two in your group are shopping, the others can hold your place in line. Then you switch. This way, everyone has a shopping buddy and no one is left alone.

4. Bring a cup or two of coffee
You’re going to be tired, especially if you are heading out at 4 a.m. and we live in Ohio, it’s cold! Coffee will help keep you warm and awake. I usually put a little splash of Baileys in mine too!

These are my best Black Friday fashion shopping tips. Where do you like to shop on Black Friday? Do you have anymore tips

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Success is in the Accessories

Accessories can make or break an outfit. If done right, they add a personal, unique touch to your outfit,  showing off your own  personal style. Do them wrong and  your whole outfit can quickly go from cute and trendy to just plain awful!

Keeping up with accessory fashion trends can be difficult and get expensive. They are always changing and each season brings with it a whole bunch of new must-have accessories. To keep you looking trendy and fashion forward, I made a list of my top 4 accessory must-haves for the fall and winter months. I tried to keep them all affordable, so most are under $30.00.

'Seacat' over-sized ring

'Seacat' over-sized ring $12 at ALDO

1.over-sized rings

29secrets.com said that rings add texture to an outfit, and this season it is definitely okay to pair gold rings with silver ones and large rings with smaller ones. I agree. To me there is nothing better then finding that “it” ring that you know you just can’t live with out. I have the best luck finding great rings at flea markets and antique stores. Most are priced between $7 and $30 so they won’t break the bank. They are usually sterling silver which is good because they won’t turn your finger that dreaded color green we all know and hate.

2. two-toned wrist watches

Philip Persio Wrist Watch $48.00 at Americanapparel.com

We all remember back in elementary school when the big and bulky “Baby G” watches were the coolest thing ever, well, watches are in again, but not that kind. Classic, two-toned watches with big faces and even a bit of sparkle are great for this fall and winter. thefashionablehousewife.com said that a  two-toned color watch is a great match for any outfit. It will make a statement on your wrist, and you won’t have to dig your cell out of your purse every time you want to know what time it is. You can find great and affordable watches online at gilt.com or at stores like Macy’s, Claire’s and Forever 21.

Textured Pointelle Infinity Scarf $12.50 at charlotterusse.com

3. infinity scarfs

These serve a double purpose. First, you look fashionable and second, you’re warm. Infinity scarfs come in all different colors, patterns and materials. Here is where you can show off who you really are. Pick a pattern or material that matches you and your outfit. You can use a bold pattern to spice-up a bland blouse or pick a thick-knit to add texture. Most department stores have a lot of infinity scarfs to choose from. Target.com has a bunch with different textures and patterns. Most are priced between $12.99 and $20.00

4. bold metal earrings

Big earrings in a bold shape or pattern can really spice-up a fall outfit. They can add a little shine around your face and really brighten up your look. Earrings are a neutral piece that will look great with your favorite jeans and tee or even a little black dress and heels. Don’t be afraid to go bold here and really show off your sense of style. You can find great earrings of under $8 at charlotte russe.

Forever 21 Rhinestone Filigree Earrings

Forever 21 Rhinestone Filigree Earrings$4.50 at Forever21.com

These are my must-haves! what are some of your fall favorites?

Find Success in Your “Going Out” Outfit

Every girl has been there, Saturday night standing in your closet wondering what your going to wear out to the bar, the club, dinner with the girls, or the party down the street.  With so many different parties and opportunities to go out and be with friends, a variety of outfits are a must. A great way to achieve this is by having a few key pieces in your closet that can easily work for a night out at the club or a casual dinner with your best girl friends.

CollegeFashion.com says by  just adding a few fun and flashy pieces, a wardrobe can go from classic and casual to fun and flirty. Adding a sparkly top to a great pair of skinny jeans instantly creates a fun and flirty party look.

Here are the four items perfect for any night out on the town.

1. A sexy pair of heels or platform shoes.
A black pump is a classic, yet sexy look while an ankle boot is a little edgier. Don’t be afraid to choose a great color or bold pattern. Let your shoes reflect your own personal style. A great place to look for a pair of party shoes is Charlotte Russe. They have a ton of shoes to choose from and most are priced under $40. For those with a slightly bigger budget, DSW has hundreds of different styles and colors of shoes to choose from, and the back of every store has a huge clearance section where you can find great designer shoe deals.

2. Blogher.com says a great black mini skirt is a must have for a great “going out” look.
A black mini paired with a simple top and a stylish belt, or a great floral print blouse looks cute and sexy without being too flashy or over the top.

Mesh Corset Dress $88 at Victoria's Secret.com

3. A sexy cocktail dress is a closet must.
Here is another place that you can show off your own personal style. Choose your best asset to show off, their is no need to be overly sexy or show too much skin. A bold print or a solid block dress will show off your style and look sexy without being over the top. Pair it with a pair of your favorite heels and you will be ready to go. A great place to find a cute cocktail dress is Victoria’s Secret.com. Their dresses are a little pricey but since this is a closet staple item, it may be okay to splurge.

4. A cute clutch is a must.
I recommend a black one because it is very versatile and goes with most outfits. When you are out, a purse or stylish bag can get it the way, and you don’t need to carry all that stuff around with you. A clutch is the perfect size. Your phone, ID, some cash, lip gloss and maybe a pack of gum all fit perfectly. You also don’t have to worry about losing everything.

These are my “going out” essentials. What are yours?

Success in Your Wardrobe All Year Long

Fall really is upon us and it’s definitely time to put away the shorts, sandals and tanks you loved all summer long and pull out the sweaters, boots and jeans that have been in hiding for the past five months.

While it is true that Fall 2011 fashion trends are totally different from the old trends of summer and fall 2010, there are some simple, and rather inexpensive ways to use your old wardrobe and make it successfully fashionable for this Fall season.

So don’t put those tanks, skirts and dresses away just yet. Here are some tips that will make your wardrobe successful through all of the seasons.

Red Woven Scarf $12.99 at Target.com

1. Who What Wear suggests pairing a trendy new  bright, solid-colored, bulky scarf with one of your favorite striped shirts from last season. Target has great knit scarves for only $12.99. The little burst of color looks great and adds a new element to the stripes from last season.

2. A new trend for fall is floral printed blouses. The Look segment of The Today Show says using a bright-colored cardigan from your summer wardrobe adds an extra element to the blouse that is great for this season. Add a cute skinny belt around your waist, and you’ve got a great look that can easily work at work, on a date or during a night out with the girls.

3. Instead of pairing your favorite skinny ankle pants with a great sandal, choose a great fall booty.

4. Those great boots you splurged on last fall are still great for this fall. Pair them with this seasons trend, a great midi-skirt or dress. This will look  great and add your  favorite shoes from last year to a new trend for this year. H&M has a ton of great skirts and dresses to choose from and most are under $50.

Charcoal Waist-Trim Military Inspired Jacket $39.99 at Shopstyle.com

5. Wear your favorite tank year-round. A great way to transition into the fall season is to pair a great military- inspired jacket with your favorite tank from the summer season. Shopstyle.com is a great place to find that “it” jacket in any price range.

6. Tights are a great way to wear your favorite mini-skirt year round. Wearing tights under your skirt and knee-high boots on your feet will make a bold fashion statement. Glamour.com says that polka-dot tights are a great way to add the runway, polka-dot fashion trend to your wardrobe in a way that is easily wearable and not overwhelming.

Twilight Star Nikki Reed paired a leather jacket with a summer floral sundress

7. Wear your favorite sun dresses into the fall by pairing them with a great blazer or leather jacket. Cosmopolitan.com says pairing feminine floral print dresses with the edgier rocker jackets creates the perfect soft-hard balance. It looks great with a matching pair of leather boots.

Of course there are probably a million more ways to successfully wear your whole wardrobe year round. How do you use the great pieces already in your wardrobe to transition into the colder seasons?

Success in Your Casual Friday Dress

Casual Friday at the office is great.  It’s  the day before the weekend, and what better way to get in that laid-back weekend mood than to sport your best casual look at the office? If it’s done right, a casual Friday outfit can show your personal style and self-confidence.

Casual Friday is a day to express yourself and show off your style. It’s a day when casual, comfy clothes are acceptable. While casual and comfy, it’s probably not appropriate to sport your favorite velour-tracksuit or your best pair of distressed jeans and vintage T. The key to looking great on casual Friday is going for a look that is casual and conservative, but, at the same time trendy.

Here are some simple tips for next Thursday night when you’re trying to find that perfect, casual, yet trendy, outfit.

1. Don’t let your outfit get you in to trouble. In an article on OfficeArrow.com called
“The Do’s and Don’ts of ‘Casual Friday’ Attire,” author  Keri Forsythe says it is important to dress down without dressing out of style. She suggests following the dress code outlined in your company’s employee handbook. This will keep you looking great and appropriate by your company’s standards.

2. Workout clothes aren’t appropriate. Sweats, sneakers and hoodies may be comfortable, but they belong at the gym, not the office.

&denim classic 5-pocket boot cut jeans $39.95 at H&M.com

3. Distressed, bleached or bedazzled jeans need to stay at home. While casual Friday is a day that allows for a more casual business look, your outfit still needs to look professional. Instead or the trendy jean, throw on a darker wash, traditional 5-pocket pair of jeans then pair them with a trendy pair of shoes or great accessories.

4. Save the flip-flops for your next beach vacation. A trendy little ballet flat or  peep-toe kitten heel look professional but are still comfortable and pretty casual. If you go for the peep toe, make sure your toe-nails are painted, and don’t go too crazy with your color choice.

Beige Blazer $29.95 at H&M.com

5. Invest in a great jacket or two. Adding a fitted jacket or blazer to a casual shirt instantly makes the look more professional and still lets your personal style shine through. Pairing the jacket with a trendy print or scarf creates a look that is both casual and professional.

A great “one-stop-shop” for a casual, yet professional look is H&M.  H&M offers great, trendy new styles at prices that won’t break the bank. At the store, and online it is easy to find a ton of versatile wardrobe staples that are  great for multiple, casual occasions including casual Friday.

Any other “one-stop-shop” stores you love?  Leave a comment and let me know!

Dress for Success as the Guest of a Wedding

Deciding what to wear to any big occasion can be confusing and weddings are no exception.

I attended a wedding last weekend and let me tell you, it was evident that every guest had a different opinion of what attire was appropriate to wear to the formal event. I saw everything from  floor-length ball gowns to cotton sundresses and even an occasional pant-suits. Throughout the event, I found myself thinking “what were these women thinking when they got dressed?!”

When I got home, I did some research and came up with these simple tips that will lead to dressing for success the next time that wedding invite comes in the mail.

1. I feel like this should be obvious but, avoid white at all costs!

  White is reserved for the bride. I know it always looks nice and clean, but its not appropriate for this particular event.  If you absolutely must dress in a neutral shade wear a distinct beige.

Also, make an attempt to stay away from the wedding party colors. Don’t try to outdo the bride or the wedding party. You are there as a guest and it’s not your day to be the center of attention.  It’s the brides day and you won’t be well received by her or anyone else if you try to take it away from her by over, or under dressing.

2.   A wedding is a classy event and needs to be treated as such.

Choose a dress that is knee-length, or close to it. There is no harm in something a little above the knee of slightly below, but definitely stay away from shorter dresses. Knee-length is appropriate for pretty much any type of wedding and is a classy, timeless look that is sure to be comfortable and fashionable.

The beautiful fall wedding I attended last weekend

3. Stay away from anything that is too low cut or that shows too much skin.  

A wedding is not a night club, and such attire is not appropriate. In most cases, you are going to be dancing. Avoid a wardrobe malfunction by choosing something that shows an appropriate amount of skin and won’t fall off while your cutting a rug.

A good rule of thumb here is, if you have to ask if its appropriate, it probably isn’t.

4. Consider the wedding venue and dress appropriately for it.  

In the case of an outdoor wedding, be prepared for all weather conditions.  You never know what mother nature might throw your way.

Always have a sweater handy, especially if you have not been to that particular venue before. You don’t know if its going to be boiling hot, or freezing cold. If it’s hot, you can take your sweater off, but nothing is more uncomfortable than being cold through the ceremony and dinner.

5. When in doubt, go simple.

A block color looks elegant on all women. It is important to be sure the your dress of choice is the appropriate length and  showing skin  is age and occasion appropriate. If in doubt, it’s best to change. You will be more comfortable and have a better time celebrating the day with the  bride and groom.

Any crazy wedding outfits? What is your go to wedding outfit?

Dress for Success on Your First Date

Let’s face it, going on a first date is nerve racking.  We’ve all been there, the day before the big date, nervous and worried. What is going to think of me, what am I going to think of him, what am I going to wear, what if it’s awkward, what if we have nothing in common, and the list goes on and on.

While I can’t offer any advice on what to talk about or what to do if it awkward, what I have learned in the few years that I have been watching my friends date and dating myself is that dressing for a successful date can be summed up in just six simple rules.

1. DRESS FOR THE OCCASION

I will be the first to admit it, I love getting dressed up. I love the dresses and the heels  and the glitz and glam but, nothing is more uncomfortable then being over or under dressed. You wouldn’t want to get all dressed up in a cocktail dress and heels only to find out you’re going bowling or to a baseball game.  On the other end, you wouldn’t want to wear jeans and a t-shirt to the new five-star restaurant in town.

It’s important to know where you are going on your date so you can dress appropriately. Once you know where you are headed, dressing for the occasion is simple.

2. DON’T SHOW TOO MUCH SKIN

This one is simple. If you want your date to be interested in what you are saying and your personality, don’t wear anything that will distract him. Guys are simple, they have a hard enough time concentrating without you’re bare skin distracting them. On a date, you want to be able to focus on what your date is saying, and vice versa. Bare skin doesn’t help this situation.

3. DON”T OVER ACCESSORIZE

Less is definitely more with this rule. Too many accessories can be distracting. Big bulky earrings and a bright, chunky beaded necklace take away from your natural beauty. Use accessories conservatively. Let them accent your natural beauty, not take away from it. Remember, confidence is the number 1, most important accessory.

4. DON”T BE TOO TRENDY

While you and your closest girlfriends keep up with fashion magazines and appreciate the latest trends, chances are, your date doesn’t. He probably won’t see the hip and trendy look you’re trying to portray.  Instead, go for a timeless, classy look that lets your personality shine.

5. WEAR WHAT”S COMFORTABLE

You don’t want to wear something that you’re not comfortable in.  Constantly pulling your top up or your skirt down is annoying and makes you and your date feel uncomfortable. Also, choose shoes that aren’t going to kill your feet. A great heel looks nice and adds flare to any outfit, but remember you don’t want to be uncomfortable.

6. DON’T GO OVER BORED ON THE MAKEUP

Looking to “made-up” is unattractive. There is no need to wear more makeup than normal. If you don’t wear makeup ever, maybe just a little color to make your eyes sparkle or a little lip gloss to make your lips pop. It’s important to be yourself and let your natural features speak for themselves.

These are just the rules that seem to work for my friends and I. Of course, more important than all of these rules is to be yourself and to let your clothes reflect just that.

What do you guys think? What has worked for you? Any outfits that totally rock? Any terrible first date stories or clothing disasters?

don’t let what you wear keep you from getting the job

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As a young professional certain items are essential to a successful wardrobe. At a time in your life when you are looking for internships and applying for dream jobs it is extremely important to have a closet full of clothes that send the right message to what could be your future employer. I’m not saying … Continue reading