Four Way Friday Part III

Hello Friday.  We need you.  I received a note this week about chambray.

Dear Lessons In Style:

What’s the big deal with chambray?  Everywhere I go, I see a chambray shirt on sale.  Isn’t it a little blue collar (no pun intended) for my taste?  I mean, I’ve seen my dad wear a shirt like this.  Fill me in.


Chagrined by Chambray

Dear Chagrined No More:

Don’t be angry at this fantastic style piece.  Chambray, it’s having a moment.  Think of it as your favorite pair of jeans on the upper part of your body.  You can wear it casually and dress it up, just like your favorite pair of jeans!  This material is meant to look worn in like you guessed it — your favorite pair of jeans!  What’s not to love, really?  This shirt can get you through every single season.  In warmer months, you can roll up the sleeves and wear it over a maxi dress.  In cooler months (yay!) you can wear it as a key layering piece.

Still not convinced?

First, let’s look at some outfit options this Four Way Friday.  You don’t know about Four Way Friday?  It’s a new tradition here on Lessons In Style, where I take one piece and show you how to style it at least four ways, in four categories:  Work, Evening After Work, Casual Weekend, Dress Weekend.  You ready for this?

1)  Chambray Casual Work

Like I said above, chambray is a key layering piece.  Add a jacket or sweater and there you go!

Chambray Casual Work

2)  Chambray Dressy After Work

If you are going out after work but you don’t want to change your entire outfit, just bring one piece with you to switch up.  Here you will see that I kept up most of the casual work outfit but only changed one or two elements.

Chambray After Work

3)  Chambray Casual Weekend

Like I said in my last Four Way Friday Post, dressing casual on the weekends does not have to be sloppy.  Slipping into your chambray shirt will be one of the most comfortable things you can wear.

Chambray Casual Weekend

4)  Chambray Dressy Weekend

So it may not be the dressiest thing you ever wear, but you sure can play off the different texture of the chambray and other soft things like leather or glittery materials such as sequins.  The contrast can be quite fun.

Chambray Dressy Weekend

Now, where to buy some chambray?  It’s kinda everywhere right now.  Your options are limitless – here are two.  Click on photos below to go to web site.

1)  J. Crew.  I have this one from the Crew (you are surprised, no?).  I loves it.

J. Crew Chambray Shirt – $78

2)  Old Navy Polka Dot Chambray.  This one has a little twist to it – white polka dots!  It will go with everything, so don’t worry.

Old Navy Chambray Polka Dot shirt – $26.94

Enjoy your weekend and keep those questions coming!

style inspiration for men – Ryan Reynolds

We should take all the help we can get.  Yes men, even you!  Ryan Reynolds is a great style icon for men.  And he just married Blake Lively, so, I’m gonna say his style is NOT going to fade as long as she’s around, little fashionista that she is.

1)  I mean, really?  He couldn’t be more on top of it here.  I’m digging the monochrome feel of his outfit, with a little pop of color in the tie.  You could add virtually any color tie with this jacket, or even switch it up with a gray, navy blue, or black sweater.  Great to wear to work.  This photo proves the point that a tailor is essential, not an option.  Look how perfectly this jacket fits him.  Rarely does this kind of fit happen right off the rack.  Get your jacket to a tailor if it’s not right for you.  An ill-fitting suit does no one any favors.

Ryan Reynolds beige

2)  Although a little scruffy, Ryan is embracing the stripes trend here.  Like it.  It’s not a full length photo, but I imagine he is wearing a pair of dark wash jeans and black, brown, or grey shoes!  Good casual date look.

Ryan Reynolds stripes

3)  He does this well.  Perfect for running errands on a cool weekend.

Ryan Reynolds Pea Coat

4)  I talked about Ryan Gosling’s style here, and mentioned the three piece suit.  I had to add another example.  Ryan adds a casual shirt here, which keeps it on a low-key level.  What a fun dressy date night look!

Ryan Reynolds 3 piece

From my studying up on this man’s style, it’s obvious he sticks with neutral tones in gray, beige, brown, and black.  It’s anything but boring, wouldn’t you agree?

That’s it!  Keep your eye out for Four Way Friday tomorrow!

in the trenches

What’s one thing you can own that will elevate any outfit you have on?  A trench coat.  Not only will you look smart wearing one, it will protect you from the in-between elements of summer fading into fall and fall fading into winter.  You know, those days in the early fall when it’s cool in the morning but warm in the afternoon.  Or those rainy days when there’s a damp chill in the air.  One of the things that I really like about trench coats is that they seem to be a little more forgiving if I want to cover up over a blazer or jacket.  Another thing I love is they come in a variety of interesting styles and colors.  I own some trench coats, more than I care to share here.  But I like having the ability to switch it up depending on my mood or what I’m doing that day.  And another thing, they are great to wear casually or dressy.

The trench coat recently made InStyle’s list of 50 style tips of all time.  No doubt.  But don’t just take their word for it.  Looky.

The Classic Trench

What’s good about the classic trench?  It’s timeless.  You don’t have to worry if it goes with everything you own, it does.  If you err on the side of caution in style, you won’t be making any mistakes here.  Double-breasted, single-breasted, whatever.  Either one works.

The coat in the photo below is a Burberry.  If you’ve got the greens to delve into this world of trenches, by all means, go right ahead.  However, I’ve provided some other options below this photo.

The Classic Trench.

More affordable classic versions (click on photo to go to web site):

Express:  Comes in three colors; camel, navy, and tan.  I dare you to buy one in navy!

Express Classic Trench Coat. $98

Target:  Now on sale!  Was $49.99.  Comes in four colors:  Black, Lily White, Oyster, and Yellow Rose.

Target Classic Trench Coat. $24.98

The Classic Trench With A Twist

Ready to punch things up a little?  Consider a trench with a skirt hem, contrasting piping, fun leopard print or any pattern for that matter, or a bright color!

ROMWE!  Fun, fun coat.  I have a navy trench coat with a pleated skirt hem very similar to this.  I love it!

ROMWE Skirt Hem Trench Coat – $65.99

MANGO classic coat with black piping.  This coat is so chic!  It also comes in black with tan piping.

MANGO Contrast Piping Trench – $79.99

Target Leopard Print Trench.  This one does double duty – it’s cute and water repellent!

Target Leopard Print Trench – $49.99

Isaac Mizrahi via QVC.  This comes in three fun colors: Kelly Green, Bright Azalea, Bright Carrot and it’s on clearance.  Which one will you get?

Isaac Mizrahi Trench – $59.92

Here are some outfit ideas for you and your trench.

Will you be purchasing a trench coat this year?

If you are brave and super crafty, consider this DIY trench project from Jessica of What I Wore.  I have the supplies, I’m going to try this!  DIY Contrast Trip Trench Coat

Four Way Friday Part II

Here we are again!  We made it!  Another work week gone for those of us that follow the conventional 9-5.  If you missed Part I of Four Way Friday, check it out here.  It’s a new tradition here on Lessons In Style, where I take one piece and show you how to style it at least four ways, in four categories:  Work, Evening After Work, Casual Weekend, Dress Weekend.  You ready for this?

I received another note last week with the following question:

Dear Lessons In Style:

I thought skinny jeans were all the rage.  I went out and bought five pairs, all in different colors.  Now I see that celebrities are trending wider leg jeans this fall.  I tried a lot of the suggestions you gave us for skinny jeans on my straight leg jeans, but I’m not sure I’ve got it down right.  What do I do now?


Pouty and Broke In My Skinny Jeans

“Dear Pouty and Broke No More (well, the broke part I can’t help you with):

I’m glad you asked this question.  Actually, the transition from what you can wear with skinny jeans to straight leg jeans shouldn’t be too different.  The true definition of straight leg jeans is that the leg width should be the same from top to bottom; no flaring, no thinning, nothing.  I have a pair on today and they are one of my favorites!  You can still do a lot with them.  The only thing you might find difficult is that depending upon the thickness of the jean leg, you probably won’t be able to tuck them into knee high boots.  But hey, that’s what all your skinny jeans are for!

P.S.  Skinny jeans are still the rage.  There are just a lot of different styles in jeans right now.  Don’t despair.

Here are four ideas for you!”

1)  Casual Jean Work.

If you can pull off jeans at work, go for it.  You CAN dress jeans up for work, but you can also really mess it up by going too casual.  If your goals is to look casual/dressy and professional, here are four outfit ideas.

Casual Jean Work.

2)  Dressy Jeans After Work.

If you are going out after work but you don’t want to change your entire outfit, just bring one piece with you to switch up.  Here you will see that I kept up most of the casual work outfit but only changed one element.

Dressy Jeans After Work.

3)  Weekend Jean Casual.

Dressing casual in jeans on the weekend does not have to be sloppy.  It takes just as much effort to put on these outfits as it does anything else and they are just as comfortable and cozy.

Weekend Jean Casual.

4)  Weekend Jean Dressy.

This is where you can have a lot of fun.  I like dressing up a pair of jeans for the weekend.  Do you?

Weekend Jean Dressy.

I hope you enjoyed this installment of Four Way Friday!  Will you try any of these ideas entering into this fall weekend?  What is your favorite combo?


Saturday is the first day of fall!  My favorite season.  I was born in a fall month, I got married in the fall, my mums are blooming, and it’s my favorite time of year for style!  I think it’s the easiest time of year to dress, too.  So many ways to add a layer for the chillier mornings, take away a layer for the warmer afternoons.

A lot of changes are in the air and in the way we dress for the cooler weather.  Tomorrow is Four Way Friday but today I’m going to talk a little about how to transition your spring and summer dresses into these cooler months.  It’s really very simple to extend the use of your clothes by re-purposing them through the seasons.  Just be sure you are conscious of fabric.  You really should steer clear of linen, seersucker, or other lighter fabrics in colder months.

1)  Polka dots are still going strong into the fall and winter.  Don’t put away that summer dress just yet!  You can add a corduroy blazer, scarf, tights, and boots to keep you warm.

2)  Toughen up a sugar sweet pink dress by adding a black leather jacket, tights, and booties.  Let the leather jacket be your main accessory, add simple jewelry to complete the look.

3)  Monochrome, not monotone.  Dressing in one color does NOT boring make.  All gray can be very chic.  Just add a colorful blazer and a pink accessory and you are good to go!

4)  A chambray or jean dress can really be useful any of the four seasons.  Add some interest with an animal print purse and fun gold jewelry.

Be sure to check in tomorrow for Four Way Friday, where I’ll talk about how to style jeans!

don’t hound me

Houndstooth is a huge pattern for fall and winter.  As I looked up the history of houndstooth, I read that it is also referred to as dogstooth, or puppytooth when it comes in a really small version.  Typically a warm weather pattern, houndstooth is very versatile.  Just about any color can be worn with this pattern.

The other day I saw Leighton Meester wearing this Alexander McQueen silk houndstooth blouse.  I really, really, really wanted it.  It’s only $800.  Sure.  Let me get out my wallet.  I wish.  But alas, it’s no longer available for purchase.   Anyway, it’s super cute.  I haven’t found a (way cheaper) alternate yet.

Leighton Meester in Alexander McQueen blouse. No longer available.

The Limited has a houndstooth panel shiftdress right now for $89.90.  See below.

I also put some outfit and accessory ideas together on Polyvore.

Houndstooth outfits

Do you own any houndstooth items?  Will you be buying any this fall or winter?

booty call Part I

I know.  My post title is a bit misleading.  But what else could I say about a post all about boots???  Are you looking for some new boots this season?  Here is your boot guide, part I.

Have you ever been on  Apparently, they have just been bought by Amazon, but I hope that won’t change their service.  This web site is virtual eye candy for shoes.  A friend told me about it a few years ago and I’ve been a fan ever since.  The best part about it?  You can narrow down by brand, type of shoe, color, size, price.  It’s the best overall shoe site I’ve ever seen.  I’ve bought countless pairs of shoes through Endless and a lot of the time, you can get next day shipping and free returns.  Perfect for those shoe emergencies.  So here we go; some of the best boots on Endless right now.

Basic flat heel boots.  They go with anything.  Really.  You can wear these with opaque tights and spring/summer dresses along with jackets and sweaters to get you more wear out of those off season clothes.  Or you can wear with jeans and other pants.  Such a versatile thing to own!

1)  Bandolino Women’s Coplie Riding Boot.  These come in four colors:  Black, Cognac, Dark Brown, and Black/Cognac (the black/cognac are to die for and on sale for $100!!!…).  I’ve been a fan of Bandolino shoes for a while.  I would buy these boots if I didn’t already have so many…

Bandolino Women’s Coplie Riding Boot in Black/Cognac. Click on image to go to web page.

2)  STEVEN by Steve Madden Women’s Intyce Riding Boot.  These are cute as well if you are looking for a smaller heel.  They come in four colors:  Black, Cognac, Stone, and Wine (remember my post a while back about burgundy being a popular color this season?)

STEVEN by Steve Madden Women’s Intyce Riding Boot.  Click on photo to go to web page.

3)  Annie Shoes Women’s Denver Boot.  I’ve never worn this brand.  But they are on sale, cute, and they have good reviews.  They come in five colors:  Black croc, coach antique, brown antique, brown croc, and black antique.

Annie’s black croc. Click on photo to go to web page.

4)  Lucky Women’s Aida Boot.  These have good reviews, too.  They come in some creative colors:  Tobacco, Black Sienna/Napa Calf, and Sequoia.

Lucky Women’s Aida Boot.  Click on photo to go to web page.

5)  FRYE Women’s Jillian Pull-On boots.  I’ve heard FRYE boots are the way to go.  I’ve never owned them or even tried them on.  But, if they are in your budget, here you go.   The Pioneer Woman swears by these boots.  They come in five colors:  Black, grey, spice, dark brown, and camel.

FRYE Women’s Jillian Pull-On. Click on photo to go to web page.

That’s it for Booty Call Part I.  Next time we will talk about booties!  Hee hee.

Four Way Friday Part I

Welcome to a new post just for you dear readers!  A couple of you have asked if you could get some examples of how to style one piece multiple ways.  Now I’m bringing you a specific request from a reader!  This will begin a series I will call “Four Way Friday.”  Each Friday you will get to read a new installment about how to style one piece at least four ways, in four categories:  Work, Evening After Work, Casual Weekend, Dress Weekend.

Dear Lessons In Style:

I have a tweed jacket hanging in my closet that has been there for years.  I know how to wear it with brown pants and a cream top but I really want a way to jazz it up this fall and winter.  Any ideas?  I’ve sent you a picture of the jacket so you can get a better idea.  I’d love to know multiple ways such as for work, how to transform it from work to dinner, and for the weekend.  


Don’t Want to Look Like a Mud Puddle In My Tweed Jacket Any Longer

“Dear Mud Puddle No Longer:

I’m happy your tweed jacket is a classic cut.  You’ve scored some points there.  Take a look at what I have to show you below!

Here are four ideas for you!”

1)   Tweed blazer for work.

Outfit combo 1:  Tweed blazer, white button up, blue sweater, burgundy pants, burgundy or camel shoes.  Outfit combo 2:  Tweed blazer, white button up, gray sweater, burgundy pants, gray or navy blue shoes.  Outfit combo 3:  Tweed blazer, white shirt, burgundy sweater, gray pants, burgundy or gray shoes.  Outfit combo 4:  Tweed blazer, white shirt, gray or burgundy sweater, blue pants, any shoe.

There are many other possibilities.  You could choose to leave the white shirt out.  Or, you could leave the sweater out and use only the white shirt.  As you can see, the color palette is extremely similar for all three mix up pieces.  But, you can change them up into several outfit combos.  Adding jewelry such as simple gold earrings or a nice gold watch will also  make a nice touch.

Tweed work.

2)  Tweed After Work.

You have three different pant options shown here below; black, blue jean, and burgundy.  The key to dressing it up for after work is adding a silkier top or sequins and a party shoe.  You can also add other jewelry as you feel necessary.

Tweed after work.

3)  Tweed Dressy Weekend.

You have four different dress options seen below here.  In reality, you have some other possibilities that aren’t shown here.  You can add a black, camel, or a teal dress to the mix if you want as well.  Here is what I have to show you, though.

Tweed dressy weekend.

4)  Tweed casual weekend.  In all reality, you have a virtual endless amount of possibilities for a casual weekend look with the tweed blazer.  You’ll see some below here.

Tweed casual weekend.

Do you own a tweed blazer?  Is there any certain way you would style a tweed blazer?

spot on

Leopard and cheetah print comes and goes through the seasons.  It’s one of those trends that never really goes away.  My advice for this “trend?”  Keep it to one item per outfit.  I’ve seen it where people try to mix a leopard or cheetah belt with shoes and/or a purse with another leopard or cheetah accessory.  In my opinion, a little goes a loooong way.  First, I’ll share some items I own, and then we’ll move on to outfit ideas that you can do with similar accessories.

1)  Coach Taffy Haircalf Heel.  I bought these on sale last fall.  I love these because with the stacked heel, they can be worn for work or play.  Dressed up or dressed down, with jeans, dressy pants, dress or a skirt, they have a ton of possibilities.

Coach Taffy Haircalf Heel

2)  White House Black Market leopard print flats.  These are from a couple of years ago.  I love these for a lot of different reasons, mainly because they are super comfortable and go with a ton of stuff when I don’t really feel like trying.  These also can be worn with jeans, dress pants, a dress, or skirt.

White House Black Market leopard print flat

3)  Ann Taylor skinny belt.  Also from a couple of years ago.  This belt has a ton of possibilities.  I love to wear this with a pastel shirt such as mint green, black pants, and a camel jacket or blazer.  It is also really cute with a plain black dress.  Here is a Tory Burch version, if you are so inclined.

Ann Taylor cheetah skinny belt.

4)  Tory Burch bracelet.  I don’t own this, but I really want to.  I really do.  Currently available here

Tory Burch cheetah bracelet.

Outfit inspirations.  How do you wear your animal print?

polyvore galore

Hello!  Sorry I’ve been away for a while.  I had a birthday last week and it was a little hectic around here!  Plus, I’ve been working on a new blog design.  What do you think?

Anyway, I made my way over to Polyvore tonight to make some outfit creations.  I’m sure they aren’t life changing, but it’s fun playing paper dolls on the internet.  Have you ever used Polyvore?  It really is a fun way to come up with some outfits without actually going shopping.  I think it helps you make sense of what is in your closet at well.  Shopping your closet is a big deal when you are in a rush to put an outfit together.  Maybe we should discuss that on a later post?

So, here you go.  My Polyvore outfits.  I promise I’ll be a better blogger later this week.  I thought this might be a fun way to inspire you, though!