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:
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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

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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!


All I Want for Christmas

#PolyPresents: Wish List
Let’s get this out of the way up front: I love shopping. I am referring to gift-giving over the holiday season, of course. Finding that perfect gift for someone takes a lot of time and effort, from scouting online, to scouring in stores. But with all that comes dangerous risks; finding more and more items that I want.
Here is a list of a few of my top picks for, well, me. I’m sharing because maybe you will find some things you want too.  You’re welcome in advance.
Main Image - Olivia Burton 'Big Dial' Mesh Strap Watch, 38mm
Food Network™ 4-pc. Marble Coaster Set

Food Network™ 4-pc. Marble Coaster Set, $24.99. (These are gorgeous in person.)

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Top Trends for Fall 2017

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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.


Staples and Seasonal Clothing: The Magic is in the Mix

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If you have read my “Finding & Defining Your Style” post, you’ve already had a glimpse of some of my style staples, and the new summer clothes I hope to add to my closet. I adore a neon red, as well as a bright, sunny yellow, and this season’s popular candy pinks are also on my shopping list. I know what you’re thinking: I’m probably a clown as my day job. Rest assured, this is not the case, and it is possible to embrace juvenile colors without looking like you’re color blind.

Along with these cheery colors I also love adding black, white, navy, nude, denim, leopard, and chambray to my wardrobe. So it’s important to get yourself some great staples, to wear with each other as well as with seasonal/bold/trendy pieces. Like a great pair of jeans, or a crisp white button down shirt, or timeless black heels. But another thing, just because an item of clothing is a staple to one person, does not mean it is a staple for another. So your staples might be completely different from mine, depending on your taste, lifestyle, age, build, and so on. And that’s perfectly okay, stick to your staples, or go out and figure what your staples are.

Staples are also season-less, so just because you love your heavy wool plaid pants, does not mean you should be wearing them to the office in the dead of summer. Conclusion: they are not a staple. Honestly, whenever I’m deciding whether a piece of clothing is appropriate to wear during a season, I always fall back on the weight of the material. Like, yes, a white button down is season-less, but not if it’s made out of linen (one of the most breathable fabrics–a stiff breeze will make you feel like you have nothing on).

But what’s really important, is to take risks and try things you wouldn’t normally try. I have been so pleasantly surprised by going outside my comfort zone, like learning that red pants paired with a blue pajama top with red piping and matching red shoes is not too much, and is in fact incredibly sharp. Or trying pattern on pattern, or color on color. Some of the chicest looking outfits are completely monochromatic or color blocked with bold colors. So I am going to pair my red mini skirt with a pale pink tee shirt, and create something that’s simple, comfortable, but exciting. I’ll also pair my black bell-sleeve top (I love it for the fall because it’s kind of “witchy”) with black flat espadrilles to make it relevant to the summer season. And with that being said, I’ll also wear a baby pink sweater in the winter, because there is nothing I love more than to wear spring-y colors during the dreary, chilly months.  So challenge your principles and preconceived notions of this color or style being “too summery” or “a clashing of colors.”

However, I do have some limits, like those furry pom pom key chains should be solely designated for fall/winter, sorry not sorry.