Party Picks: Holiday Outfit Favorites

Party Picks
Continuing on the subject of my last post, here are a few of my favorite items for any holiday get-together.


If you’re going to classic:
drapey long-sleeve dress in black watch plaid : women dresses

Not only does this dress feature the classic Black Watch plaid, but also is a super flattering cut for a multitude of body types. J. Crew Drapey Long-Sleeve Dress in Black Watch Plaid, $168. 

BR Pearl Clutch

Who can go wrong with classic pearls? This can also be worn with a casual outfit to elevate your look. Banana Republic Large Zip Pouch with Pearls, $68. 


If you prefer more whimsical: 
Main Image - Sam Edelman Haide Feather Pompom Pump (Women)

I have now featured this heel in almost all of the colors and styles it is available in between this post and my last, so needless to say, I’m obsessed! (Be sure to check out the leopard too!) Sam Edelman Haide Feather Pompom Pump, $129.95.


Or you would like to be more elegant:
product photo

I love a pajama top, pair it with a pair of skinny jeans or trousers and a heel, and you will have the sleekest outfit at the shindig. Banana Republic Dillon-Fit Pajama-Style Shirt with Piping, $88.

Crystal Choker

And to top off your pajama clad outfit, or to give any outfit an elegant edge, try this super chic necklace. Loft Crystal Choker, $24.50.


And for those who are bohemians: 
Fringe Gem Drop Earrings

Statement earrings are still hot through the holidays, try these colorful oversize ones. Loft Fringe Gem Drop Earrings, $34.50. 

Frock And Frill Tall Cold Shoulder Velvet Smock Dress With Floral Embroidery

You’ll be sure to stand out in this yellow, velvet, frilly, embroidered, floral, ruffle dress…for all the right reasons. Frock And Frill Tall Cold Shoulder Velvet Smock Dress With Floral Embroidery, $245, asos. 


Happy Holidays from The Tastemaker Strategy!



The One Question to Ask Yourself Before Dressing for Any Occasion

sketch1512438373969 (2)


It’s that time of year again, party after party after party. And not just with your nearest and dearest friends and family, but with your coworkers, bosses, and more distant (and sometimes more judgmental) relatives. I don’t know about you, but these kinds of events give me serious anxiety, usually because I have little to no context as to what to expect, especially about what to wear. Even if I am told what to expect, “Just dress casually!” I still have a million more questions; what if their idea of casual is my idea of dressed up? Like, “casual” as in yoga pants and a hoodie or “casual” as in jeans and a real top with buttons and stuff?

Main Image - Sam Edelman Haide Feather Genuine Calf Hair Pompom Pump (Women)

Haide Feather Genuine Calf Hair Pompom Pump, $139.95. 

After some time of stressing and worrying about what to wear, I developed a question to help guide my clothing choices to find an outfit I can feel comfortable and confident in. The question could be asked before picking something out or applied to an outfit idea you already have in mind. The question is this: What would I be comfortable in this if other guests were really dressed up and if others guests were dressed down?

circlet earrings : women earrings

J. Crew Circle Earrings, $48. 

The sweet spot is choosing an outfit right in the middle. I know this sounds impossible, but once you think of the event in this perspective, you start to realize that there can be a happy medium. So, if you have no context to the event, think of an outfit fancy enough to fit in with a dressed up crowd but casual enough if guests showed up in jeans and a tee shirt. The same method can be applied to a designated “dressy” event, because there are hundreds of options in this scenario too. You can show up in a elegant top and dark wash jeans or a full-length gown. If you ask yourself the aforementioned question and still feel comfortable in one of those options, great! If not, perhaps a cocktail dress is the perfect compromise.


ASOS Velvet Plunge Kimono Midi Dress with Tie Waist


In all honesty, most of the time there is a mixture of people in their Sunday’s Best and others who wore the same sneakers that they walked the dog in earlier that day. But if you take this situation into account, you dress to feel confident no matter what the anyone else is wearing. And there’s no better feeling than being comfortable in your own skin. So, party on, people!


Trending Now: Beyond the Moon & Stars

Beyond the Moon & Stars
Perhaps the celestial trend was inspired by current magical-related events, such as the 20th anniversary of the first Harry Potter book published, or the increasing buzz of a Sabrina The Teenage Witch reboot, or we could simply accredit Dior with its latest collection, Either way, this trend is continuing strong into the holidays. Here are a few of my favorite picks:

Top Trends for Fall 2017

9e1fc25a-a846-4800-9ac7-20bc3fd995ed (2)
With last Friday officially starting the autumn season, it’s time to take a look at the best trends for Fall. This year is the year of classics, from menswear-inspired suiting, to timeless plaids, to always-popular denim. Sure, there are some other obvious trends. like Americana/Western and 1960’s Go-Go Girl metallic, but the top trends are wardrobe staples and will stand the test of time (okay, I may have thrown in a few wild cards in here, too).

Suiting & Plaid

Whether you decide to go full-throttle in a coordinating suit, blazer with jeans, or take a more feminine approach with a skirt, the suiting trend is one that I can get behind. What makes it even better? How about a county-club inspired herringbone or Glen Plaid? LOVE. Plaids are reminiscent of boarding school uniforms and horse-back riding, what more appropriate way to signal the Fall season? Not to mention they only get better when wintertime rolls around.


A wonderful combination with plaid this season has been velvet, whether in a simple ribbon wrapped around the waist of your blazer or a floor-length gown, it’s not only a gorgeous sheen but a great weight (does that rhyme?) material for the season. It’s instant luxury, but don’t hesitate to wear a little velvet tank with a distressed pair of jeans either.


Denim is always big, c’mon it’s denim. So break out your Canadian Tuxedo!


If you have read my previous posts, you know that I am a huge fan of this color! All year round, all the time, you can’t go wrong with red.


Who doesn’t want to wrap themselves with the innards of a teddy bear? Not only does shearling serve on a practical level with its warmth and intoxicating coziness, it’s a great texture to add interest to any outfit.


On days off, there is nothing better than a great athleisure outfit; comfortable, practical, and unexpectedly chic. Runway’s this season were particularly taken to a retro vibe, monochromatic leggings and jacket combos in primary colors with striping or graphic detailing. Whether you choose classic black or grey, or your favorite crayon color, you can be sure you’re as comfortable as stylish.

Yellow Ocre

Another one of my favorite colors, yellow, is a perfect shade for Fall in a golden-hue. It likens back to autumn foliage without getting into dull shades of brown and burgundy. It’s serves as a wonderful pop to an outfit, whether in a pair of shoes or blazer. And don’t even get my started on the magical combination of….be still my heart…yellow velvet…OMG!!!

Winter Florals

I love bringing in candy-colored, Spring-colored hues for Winter, as a way to brighten up the sometimes dreary atmosphere. Another unexpected style-choice are florals, from jewel-tones to pastels. Fashion is about breaking rules, and there’s no better way to do it than a floral sun dress and a shearling coat during chilly-weathered months.


As I like to call, “Undone” styling is the easiest way to get that “cool-girl” vibe. It’s a half tuck of a shirt, scrunched up sleeves, a button or two more than needs to be undone. But this season the actual garments are taking the same approach, creating a messy, but effortlessly chic look. One of my favorite pieces is this top, with a few buttons left unbuttoned to expose some shoulder (scandalous!).

BONUS: My favorite way to sneak in the glitter trend….

Metallics and glitter are continuing to be big this fall, from silver lame dresses, to well, every other article of clothing. My favorite way to wear this look is with glitter booties, like these. Imagine, a cute top, little jacket, jeans, and then BAM, glitter boots. It’s like literally adding an “!” to your outfit.


What Makes the Ultimate Wardrobe

sketch1504574060590In case you need some clarity on what we’re trying to accomplish with this blog, I thought I would elaborate just so you know what you are getting yourself into. This is best illustrated by an example, of which I experienced the other day.

While I was getting dressed for work (my work is very lenient on the dress code, encouraging fashion-forward dressing), I chose a leopard print skirt with a tie-waist in a taffeta-like fabric, and a graphic tee with cute illustrations of iconic symbols of London. I paired this outfit with a pair of strappy nude heels and some arm candy, but felt I was missing something to really pull everything together. I wanted a statement earring, so I started to pick up every pair of earrings I owned and held them up to my ears as I looked at myself in the full-length mirror. As I picked up a pair of statement gold ball drop earrings, I thought these will never “go.” Nonetheless, I held them up to my ears with my outfit and immediately knew my outfit was complete. There was something about the combination of a bold but classic skirt, the child-like tee shirt (in fact, it was child’s tee shirt, size 14) simple shoes, and elegant earrings that made for a interesting, compelling, and comfortable ensemble. Each of these pieces were an extension of a different part of myself, and the mixture of high and low demonstrated, “I like fancy stuff but I don’t take myself too seriously.”

Discovering the magical completion of the outfit with the unlikely earrings, I remembered that this is the joy of dressing. Just taking different items of clothing that you love for different reasons, haphazardly pairing them together, and somehow creating a look that’s uniquely you. 

When I purchased those gold drop earrings, I had no intention of wearing them with this kind of outfit. But at the same time, I do not buy items because they will go with one outfit, I try to think of multiple options. If I can think of three or more instances I might wear it, I buy it. And typically I find even more options to wear with this item once I have it in my closet. I cannot stand owning something that I can only wear in one outfit, unless it’s truly fabulous, like a cropped feathery jacket (I’ve worn in three times in four years and I still do not regret purchasing it). Other than that utterly spectacular piece, which you should probably only wear once a year as to not diminish its amazing effect anyway, that’s it. I recently worked with a client who believed if you liked something and did not have a thing to go with it, get it anyway and the right piece to complete will come along. Though this advice has a optimistic appeal, I do not recommend it. How many times can we all re-account of purchasing something because we loved it, only to never wear it because we never had or found something to go with it?

To me, getting dressed should be treated similar to the way you played dress-up as a child. You didn’t pick thing because they coordinated, you picked things because you simply liked them. Like wearing my ruby red slippers with EVERYTHING; dresses, tee-shirts and sweatpants, swim suits, everything. I wore what I loved and I loved what I wore. So what if you built a wardrobe of fantastic pieces and great basics that you love, and could virtually get dressed in the dark and end up with an outfit that surprisingly made sense. That’s what I’m trying to accomplish, and that’s what I hope to help you accomplish. Stick around, and you might learn a trick or two. And if you find place that sells adult ruby red slippers, let me know.


The First Step to Finding & Defining Your Style

IMG_20170421_205503_219 (1)

With summer fashion now in stores full swing, I have finally decided to start narrowing down what exactly I want my summer wardrobe to look like. I’m glad that I waited to see what stores were offering and what trends are…trending. It’s all apart of gathering inspiration, the first step to creating a style that’s irrepressibly you. i.e. the foundation to every great wardrobe.

Which brings me to addressing the importance of cultivating inspiration. When you do not have a clear vision of what you want your wardrobe to look like or how you want to present yourself to the world, it’s almost unavoidable to buy things on impulse, have a closet of miss-matched clothes, or be left with outfits that you feel don’t represent you. No wonder Pinterest was an explosion of popularity on the internet, it’s just about the easiest way to find and store inspiration. This would be my preferred method, but just because it works for me, doesn’t mean it’s the best for everyone. There are other great ways to cultivate inspiration, whether it’s Polyvore, books, movies, magazines, or the good, old-fashioned inspiration board, still the preferred choice by most designers and creatives. Whatever your jam, it’s important that you keep this source of inspiration easily accessible and reference often. Having this visual reference of what you’re interested in makes choosing clothes so much simpler, it’s easy to see if an item goes with the vibe or function your going for, or if it just doesn’t work with your wardrobe.

Last season I started testing choosing inspiration for my wardrobe instead of just buying on impulse; and by choosing inspiration beforehand, I was able to strategize how everything would work together and what wouldn’t work at all. For winter I chose festive tartans such as Stewart plaid and bright colors like candy apple red and sunny yellow (you can take a look at my inspiration board here). Though the Christmas-y plaids are purely seasonal, yellow and red remain as some of my favorite colors to wear, so you will definitely see them in my wardrobe throughout the year.

Yellow is also a popular color this summer, as well as pastel pinks. Along with an emphasis on yellow and pink, other elements I want to include in my summer wardrobe include gingham plaid, off-the-shoulder styles, distressed/paint splattered jeans, and to top it all off, a straw boater hat (the perfect walk-in-the-park-in-a-summer-dress hat–SO Édouard Manet!). Next, I will pick the perfect pieces to reflect my inspiration, strategize how they will all go together, and voila! A wardrobe that is fun, functional, and inspired. And of course, I will keep you updated on here along the way.

To take a further look into my inspiration, simply click on this link. You can even stay updated with everything that inspires me by following me on Pinterest (I assure you, there will be more to come).