5 Must Have Winter Accessories

(This Winter Be BOLD, Not Cold!)

Winter doesn’t officially start for another 10 days, though the cold weather has many of us thinking it’s already here! 

Whether you plan to spend time outdoors or just want to stay warm and toasty while walking to work, in your office or relaxing at home, these winter accessories will get you through the season with style. 

I’ve highlighted this year’s top accessories to help you be fashionable bold and not cold, this winter. 

Ponchos

Ponchos are one of my favorite items to wear when the weather gets colder.  I love, Love, LOVE, ponchos!!  Why?  Because they hide all the “icky bits” (i.e. the weight around my waist), while providing warmth and style.  Most of all, ponchos are an easy layer piece to wear that can also be the focal point of your outfit. 

A true classic never goes out of style (see below)

If you make a poncho the focal point of your outfit,  make sure to find the right poncho for you body type, so it will balance your shape accordingly. 

Ponchos are available in all shapes and sizes ranging from big and bulky, long and draping, to lightweight and body skimming.  Fortunately, you can wear any type.  The key is know how to wear each particular poncho to compliment your silhouette. 

Poncho & Necklace from Marla Wynne @ HSN.com 

For instance, if you wear a draped style (as pictured to the left) then you must balance the silhouette by creating a slimming effect on the bottom.  Do this by wearing skinny, straight-legged jeans or leggings and your favorite leather bootie or suede, over-the-knee boots.  A good rule to remember is that when you wear bulky or flowy items on your upper body, wear straight and narrow on your lower body.  This creates balance. 

Additionally, you can belt a long poncho if you want to create the illusion of a waistline or accentuate one.  Though be certain this works for your shape, as it will also bring attention to your tummy area. 

Try bright colored hues according to your color palette that consists of prints, paisleys, stripes or checks.  

Ponchos for Plus Sizes

Chiffon Poncho by Marla Wynne

Ponchos work for curvy ladies too. 

It is cozier than the summer kimono and can be used as a layer piece or light jacket, especially if found in a fabric like the chiffon shown in the photo. 

A poncho is actually ideal for a plus size lady who feels a little insecure, as it help cover areas she may consider a “flaw”. 

No matter the reason, you should definitely get a stylish poncho to complete your winter wardrobe and feel good when you wear it. 

Winter Hats

Hats are great for fall and winter and this year they are everywhere and available in a variety of styles including knits caps, felt berets (pictured below right) or a wool fedora. 

Color continues to be all the rage this winter, so look for fun, colorful hats to spice up your wardrobe.  As you can see, I have a teal, wool fedora (pictured below left) and I absolutely love it.  I feel great when I wear it, which is often as it can be dressed up or down. 

Winter Fedora in Teal
Wool Fedora in Teal

When selecting a hat to add to your accessories, you want to take into account the shape of your face as well as the color of your hair, eyes and skin.  For example, most oval faces shapes (like mine) is better served by a hat with a brim versus a small beret.  Why?  Because of balance.  Oval faces are longer so having a brim helps to bring attention to the eyes by adding width and creating balance. 

Try on several different styles to learn what looks best on you. 

Boots or Booties

Comfortable & Stylish

There is such a variety of boots and booties this year.  Why not try something you’ve never considered;  you may be surprised of the outcome! Also keep it simple and base your decision on your style and color since there are so many choices this winter.  

The variety of boots includes cowboy or western style, precious metal mules, pointed toes, snake skin, leather or python, (which is considered the new natural).

I’ve never considered myself a cowboy boot person, but I recently tried on a pair of western inspired booties and they were so comfortable!  Not like the stiff leather of yesterday.  Things have changed (thankfully) and you can now find low heels with so much style.

Suede Knee High Boots in Taupe

Another option to consider is the over the knee boots (pictured right).  They have 2” inch heels, pointy toes, a zipper on the side for easy access into the boot along with a stretch grommet in the back, allowing for larger calf sizes, leggings and jeans.  

I love these boots as they too are super comfortable, even with the heel.  I can walk long distances and be in them all day.

Over-sized Scarves

Bold over-sized scarf for Winter
Bold, Warm & Versatile 

Another popular accessory this winter is a big scarf.  Again, the key is finding the one that you really love and looks good on you.  By having your palette colors on the scarf, you will feel even better wearing it.  

The scarf I’m wearing captures both prints and colors found in my palette:  teal, red (a blue red), cream and a leopard print, all of which I absolutely love.   

With the weather already cold throughout the country, find a scarf that will keep you warm and that also coordinates with your coats and jackets.  

Another benefit of a bold, over-sized scarf is that it can also be worn as a shawl or wrap. 

                                                           Tassel Earrings

This year will be remembered as the winter of BOLD jewelry! 

tassel earrings make a bold statement
The “it” earring 

Tassel earrings are one example of this fresh, new creativity in fashion.  The earrings are designed with simple, colorful threads or beads and come in numerous shapes, lengths and sizes, though the overall design is still the same.  Tassel earrings make a strong style statement, so step up your game this year and buy a pair.  

The trick is to make certain the length and width are appropriate for your face shape.  Sometimes this style can make an extremely bold, larger than life statement, so take some time to find the right fit for you.  

About Me…

Where to Buy….

You Can Have Comfort & Style: 3 Must Haves for Fall!

fun sneakers


This has been a dilemma for quite a while. Do you dress for the latest fashion trends or do you want to be comfortable?
At last, designers are getting it, especially for women over 50; you can now find clothing and accessories that are stylish and comfortable. Here are a 3 must have pieces to have comfort and style.
Dusters

Dusters are a must have accessory for your wardrobe. They are a light, loose-fitting jacket. This is so versatile and can be worn from day to night and it never

goes out of style. Wear it with jeans, slacks, skirts and dresses. They come in different lengths, from shorter below the waist to calf lengths. If you are petite make sure to wear a shorter duster with shoe height so you will look long and lean. You can throw this over anything and always look stylish.
Sneakers
Sneakers are all the rage for fall and it is stylish to wear them with pants, skirts and dresses. You will also find them with a bit of a wedge as well as decorated with metellic colors. Comfort and style is definitely in this fall.
Long Tunics
Invest in long tunics that fall below the waist and cover the buttocks as well longer that may hit the thigh areas. You can wear them with leggings, skinny jeans and slacks. This will create a long and lean look. Make sure the tunic is slightly fitted and not too over sized. Otherwise you will look wider instead of leaner.
Try one of these must haves to transition into fall and find out out how comfortable and stylish you can be at the same time.
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Is Boxed Dressing for You?

Is Boxed Dressing for You?

Workwear Kits for Women: A Breakthrough or a Bore?

Some women feel boxed in by the prescriptive work wardrobes that services like MM.LaFleur deliver based on your career needs. Others can’t imagine life without them

The Elements in a Typical Career-Dressing Kit: Companies like MM.LaFleur, a version of whose ‘Bento Box’ package is pictured below, make work wardrobes a no-brainer. All items available at mmlafleur.com. From left: The Gloria Top, $145, and the Phoebe Earrings, $155; ‘Wear to Work,’ a guide to office style by MM.LaFleur, $26; The Woolf Jardigan, $195; The Foster Pants, $195; The Lagarde 2.0 Shirt, $190; The Catherine 2.0 Dress, $295
The Elements in a Typical Career-Dressing Kit: Companies like MM.LaFleur, a version of whose ‘Bento Box’ package is pictured below, make work wardrobes a no-brainer. All items available at mmlafleur.com. From left: The Gloria Top, $145, and the Phoebe Earrings, $155; ‘Wear to Work,’ a guide to office style by MM.LaFleur, $26; The Woolf Jardigan, $195; The Foster Pants, $195; The Lagarde 2.0 Shirt, $190; The Catherine 2.0 Dress, $295 PHOTO: F. MARTIN RAMIN/ THE WALL STREET JOURNAL, STYLING BY ANNE CARDENAS
Why We Hate Them

MANY PROFESSIONAL women find that getting dressed for work is, well, work. That would explain the rise of personalized-box shopping services like MM.LaFleur, Stitch Fix and Trunk Club, which take the legwork out of the equation. Though all the services ask shoppers to fill out a survey about their style and needs, each takes a slightly different approach. MM.LaFleur sends a “Bento Box” of coordinating, office-appropriate pieces, designed in-house, based on that information. Stitch Fix and Trunk Club, meanwhile, have a stylist pull appropriate pieces from an array of brands to fit the bill. All allow no-sweat returns of items the customer finds wanting for any reason. In most cases, it’s a one-time deal; no subscription required.

Such services may be a boon to many professional women seeking an efficient wardrobe solution, but you could argue that they’re making career dressing a soulless, personality-free proposition.

After all, this is 2017, not 1987. “The rules of workwear are much more fluid now,” said designer Adam Lippes, whose colorful and feminine—but still office-going—clothes have earned him a devoted following. His customer, said Mr. Lippes, has strong opinions about her personal style and wants to wear his clothes—say, a pinstriped shirt dress with floral embroidery or a pair of tailored, high-waisted dark denim jeans—her way, not as prescribed by a pen-pal stylist.

Plus, we live in a world where we’re surrounded by information. With a flick through Instagram or a skim of the editorial section of sites like Net-a-Porter, a woman can find ample inspiration for both her work look and off-duty wardrobe. Because even if buying clothes is admittedly a chore, you risk squandering all the fun of fashion when it’s mostly prefab.

In some ways, these companies are playing to many women’s fear of fashion. “Fashion can feel like such a exclusionary sport that women reject it before they feel like it can reject them,” said Leandra Medine, founder and chief creative officer of the Man Repeller website. Ms. Medine suggests examining what you like about the way other women are dressed. “Those are usually signs of your personal style,” she said. Ms. Medine believes in the power of expressive fashion: “Getting dressed lets me feel like a better version of who I am, or escape the reality of what I don’t like to be.”

Why We Love Them

FOR THOSE who think that box-service uniform dressing takes the fun out of fashion, consider this: MM.LaFleur and its peers aren’t necessarily targeting magazine editors and aspiring style stars. (Though Stitch Fix does encourage women to explore unknown brands.)

Rather, their value is expediency. Busy women, with obligations tugging from every side, don’t have the luxury of time to shop. And in real life, women also have jobs where wearing the latest Prada platforms might be frowned upon or in violation of the dress code. From that vantage point, dressing for the office starts to seem a lot less exhilarating.

“There’s a big disconnect between the fashion world and professional women,” said MM.LaFleur founder and CEO Sarah LaFleur. She realized this when she met creative director and co-founder Miyako Nakamura, a fashion designer who was then head designer at Zac Posen, and began to talk about her idea. “I said, ‘I’m thinking of the lawyer or the banker who walks to work in flats and then switches out to heels in the elevator.’” At the time, Ms. Nakamura had little awareness of these professional women and their particular needs.

Ms. LaFleur was talking about women like Megan L. Brackney, a Manhattan attorney, and Kim Lear, a Minneapolis-based consultant, who are both MM.LaFleur devotees. “I don’t like to shop. I don’t have time for it,” said Ms. Brackney. MM.LaFleur “doesn’t have a ton of stuff, so you’re not sifting through 150 pages of crap.” Ms. Lear began wearing MM.LaFleur about a year ago. Among other things, she appreciates that the fabrics don’t wrinkle and that the company often sends things she might not have chosen. “The real value is that they kind of force you to try stuff that you wouldn’t normally pick out for yourself,” she said.

MM.LaFleur is so popular among women lawyers, said Ms. Brackney, that she often runs into other women at conferences wearing the same dress. She is unfazed by it, amused even. In one instance, the twinning pair took a photo together. And anyway, there’s a double standard when it comes to uniform dressing. “I’m at a conference now,” said Ms Brackney. “Seventy-five percent of the men are wearing khakis, blue shirts and a navy blue blazer, and they’re not walking around upset.”