10.30.2016

Classically Trained

I guess one could say, in the field of fashion, I'm classically trained. My passion for clothing and how it relates to our personalities and lifestyle began as a young girl. While sitting attentively, I watched my traditional mother dress for certain events. For a night at the theater, she would often select one of her perfectly tailored little black dresses (LBD). Her perfume of choice was usually Lauren by Ralph Lauren. She often wore classic cut pumps, and her jewelry selection was always pearls, either alone or with a combination of gold, and a sophisticated gold watch with diamonds.  She always looked expensive and well thought out. Her wardrobe was one of timeless classics, and treasures gifted to her by others. Like most young girls with a fashionable curiosity, my first education began within my mother's closet - trying on her adult-sized garments and shoes while pretending they fit; wearing her hats, gloves, and jewelry and imagining myself as a grown woman. My pretend fashion show would go on for hours. This was my fun, and delving into my mother's classic wardrobe became the gateway to my decades long passion for fashion and style. 

And so, it goes without saying, some things never go out of style: A perfectly tailored jacket, the crisp white shirt, blue jeans, the LBD, etc. The list of classics is one that rarely needs to be defined. The items that enter into this pinnacle of fashion classification are timeless pieces that are often recreated, and updated over and over again, without loosing their genuine character.  It's astounding how one can reach back several decades for a classic piece and find that it is still relevant for today. Recently I shared with the So What to Twenty Facebook group some of the pieces from my vintage glove collection (I'm wearing a pair in today's style story). I've been collecting gloves since my teenage years, and many of them are dated in the 50s. I love wearing my vintage pieces with modern because they have a way of bringing a bit of polished refinement to my ensembles. 

Lately I have been feeling a bit of nostalgia for my mother - the woman, whom without knowing, gave me my first training in fashion. So for today's style story, I decided to deck myself out in head-to-toe classics. I hope you enjoy today's look, and I'll meet you below in the comment section.


My look for today is a mix of vintage and modern classics that seamlessly come together to form a happy, classic union. The look has a hint of equestrian, with a touch of Victorian era (demonstrated by a nipped at the waist jacket and a button down the back-high neck top), and city chic combined into one classically trained look.

Outfit Details - Velvet Jacket is by Milly Bergdorf Goodman via eBay; Petite Curvy Skinny Jeans in Dark: LoftCotton Stand-Up Collar Top: H&M Conscious Collection; Hawley Engraved Buckle Belt: Anthropologie (on sale); Leather Driving Gloves are vintage (options on Amazon.com); Classic Leather Boot by Nine West via eBay; Sunglasses courtesy of Chico's (sold out); Lipstick is Cherry Pop Lip Colour by Clinique: Sephora.



  







So, what makes a Classic a Classic? Classics are mainstays in fashion that have earned a definitive role in our history and lifestyle, and have the ability to transcend decades. Though the defining articles remain the same, classic items do have the ability to evolve and transform, with the roots of the item remaining grounded within the elite grouping. As an example, like all jeans, the pair worn in today's post evolved from the classic Levis, but with current fashion and cultural trends, and practicality, blue jeans began to transform into various styles, shapes and forms. Their history is grounded within the original Levis, but they have evolved into various types. Now I would love to read your thoughts on the subject {wink}


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Photos are under the creative direction of FD Harrison

10.23.2016

Destination Chico's: Glamorous

"Glamour exceeds beyond what we can feel and touch. Glamorous is an allure that stems from having an infallible confidence." 
Glenda K. Harrison 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The invitation read...

A celebratory unveiling followed by dinner and dancing aboard a private yacht.

The perfect opportunity to remove herself from the rigors of life. A spritz of an intoxicating fragrance, a red lip, an outfit that mimics her mood, and a bewitching confidence that equates to having an evening of glamorous fun.

Welcome to Destination Chico's - a six month style journey designed to introduce you to my favorite Chico's looks, and to inspire you to indulge further into exploration of the boutique.

A little black dress that extends beyond basic, intentionally moves into the arena of alluring - Flirtatious, exposed shoulders and a silhouette that embraces the body without vulgarity; an elegant, faux fir ruana that serves a dual purpose of added warmth and refinement is coupled with the adornment of a jeweled brooch. The look is playfully modern with a hint of glamorous old Hollywood combined into one. An outfit that suggest a good time, but certainly isn't void of proper manners.

Disclaimer: This post is in partnership with Chico's. I received compensation in exchange for sharing with my blog public. Although this post is a partnership, all opinions are my own.


 



 




Her perfume of choice for the evening is inspired by the effortless confidence of a chic European woman, and is reminiscent of a stroll through a castle garden. Pivoine Rose by Pharmacia Tous Les Jours - a charming floral blend mixed with ripe pear, peonies and golden musk. Not a typical choice for an evening soiree, yet we know she is anything but typical.


 
   

She retired from the evening with her epicurean senses stimulated, and, with several invitations to continue private parties elsewhere. She declined their offers. After all, she is a lady, and let us not forget - a glamorous one {wink} 

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10.20.2016

Electrifying

Long time readers of So What to Twenty know I enjoy adding a bit of disturbance to an otherwise basic look. In other words, I find it adventurous to trick-out my wardrobe with elements of surprise. To don the basics is fine for some, but for myself, I enjoy playing around with unexpected fabrics, textures, accessories, vintage finds, and other unanticipated elements. I do this in order to create a look that's unique and downright electrifying.

Because of it's luxurious quality, metals are often seen as the go-to choice in fashion for special events or an evening soirĂ©e. However in recent years, wearing metals has since moved into the realm of daytime apparel. I view the metals as high intensity neutrals that can be paired with many types of garments to create a variety of different looks...and for any occasion. One can wear metals subtlety by carrying a metallic handbag, or tying a simple scarf around the neck. Or, you can create an electrifying ensemble with key pieces like a dress, coat or skirt. Whichever way you choose to wear the metals, it's sure to leave a shock-and-awe effect on the viewer. 

For today's look, I chose to partner my casual basics with a WOW metallic piece - a skirt with a high voltage shine, it puts the EXTRA in Extraordinary. I hope you enjoy today's look and I'll meet you below in the comment section.
 
 

I often take an irreverent stance when it comes to dressing. Tell me it can't be done and I'll find a way to make it work. Tell me metallic garments are for evening and I'll rock it for day wear. Call me a bad ass if you like, but I have a propensity for laughing at the norm. Today's look is a taste of what I mean. An almost foil-like fabrication gives today's skirt its stunning quality. With each movement, it can't resist enticing us with its sparkle and shine. To give the skirt a more straightforward presence, I paired it with a basic tee, denim jacket, rustic belt and mirrored aviators that mimic the star of the show - an outfit that's both luxurious and basic simultaneously.  

Outfit Details - Eclat Midi Skirt: Anthropologie; Denim Jacket from Loft many years ago. Current Denim Jacket from Loft; Linen Tee via Kohls (Option at Linen Tee at Loft); Aviator Sunglasses: Loft (in Hushed Aqua)



 
  



 
 
The man behind the camera

Also on the agenda...
Today at Midlife Blvd, I'm taking us further on our journey of adding luxury into every day: 
Our lives have become so inundated with work and caring for others, we often forget how important it is to relish in touches of everyday luxurious indulgences – you know, little things that make us smile, or remind us of how special we are. When I was about the age of twenty-two, I carpooled into work with a fellow employee named Nancy. After work, she suggested we make a little stop into our neighborhood high-end...
Meet me on the corner of True Style Ave and Midlife Blvd to discover 6 Ways to Add Luxury into Your Every Day {wink}

And, if you missed THE BIG REVEAL...

Available January 2017


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 Photos are under the creative direction of FD Harrison

10.17.2016

The Big Reveal

Hi Friends!

You probably think I'm MIA. Well, I have been finishing up a big styling project I had this past weekend, If you've seen my page - A Heart That Gives, you would have seen the announcement for the Survivor Strut, a fashion show benefiting the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. The benefit was this past Sunday, and I must say, I'm very thankful to have been a part of this event. All of the models were survivors of some form of cancer. Their positive spirits were contagious. I left the event with a crying headache from the joy and love I experienced. 

Many of you witnessed THE BIG REVEAL this morning on Facebook Live in the So What to Twenty Facebook Group. The subject I've carried in my womb for over 30 years is now coming to life in my new book - TRUE STYLE: A LOOK BEYOND THE SURFACE. I've been blessed to have talented fashion illustrator, Allison Taylor, create the incredible art for this labor of love. Together, we are bringing the subject of True Style to life.

True Style: A Look Beyond the Surface - Coming January 2017


Also, many of you have inquired about my recent health scare. Update: I will see the doctors on October 25th. In the meantime, I will return later this week with another style story {wink}

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10.09.2016

Mod Squad

For today's style story, as my source of inspiration, I've decided to take you back in time to the Michael Kors spring 2013 collection, which was the epitome of 60s Mod cool. In my opinion, this collection was a clever rendition of an era in fashion when history was filled with political uprisings, and sub-cultures were built around emerging art scenes. The garments were sleek, colorful, and cohesive, with each look forming a compiled oeuvre of ensemble-styled pieces. He paid full homage to an era in fashion history when the matchy-matchy style of dressing was met with high approval.

As another source of inspiration, I recently acquired an almost exact pair of the Carrie Spazzolato Leather Block-Heel Pumps featured in the Michael Kors fall 2016 collection (available at Saks Fifth Avenue). If you're now a part of the growing So What to Twenty community on Facebook, you would have seen me show the shoes during my Getting Ready for Fall Fashion on Facebook Live, in which I referred to them as my granny loafers. The shoe has a real Mod Squad vibe. Together, with inspiration drawn from the spring 2013 collection, and my interpretation of the Kors loafer/pump, my look comes together to give a nod to the mid 60s when a culture of modern jazz lovers created their own style now known as Mod. I hope you enjoy today's look and I'll meet you below in the comment section.


A sleek pair of tapered trousers, and a mock, striped sweater, are quintessential "Mod Styled" elements. Paired with popular accessories for this time, this look comes together to form a contemporary take on a style that was once worn by the 60s cool scene. If this look meets your approval, let me hear you snap your fingers. 

Outfit Details - Striped Sweater is Sag Harbor via eBay; Texture Tapered Ankle Pants: Courtesy of Chico's (last seen in a post called Sexy Cool); Bag, scarf and bracelet are vintage; Bandolino Block-Heel Loafers via eBay (Options: Michael Kors Carrie Spazzolato Leather Block-Heel Pump via Saks Fifth Avenue, or the Bandolino Odonna Block-Heel Pump at Macy's)




 




And now, the Michael Kors spring 2013 collection. Enjoy!


You may be wondering about the choice for this photo shoot. The area in which I'm photographed was once a thriving community during the 60s. However, like many cities, over the decades, it became plagued by crime, real estate values plummeted, and merchants abandoned the area for a more lucrative place to commerce. In recent years, the area has been going through a slow, but carefully calculated transformation, and now boast a resurgence in popularity as the Art District. Streets are now lined with galleries owned by Indy artists, lofts, cool eateries, vintage shops, and tucked away music venues. It is, once again, turning into a thriving community where the hip and cool conjugate - a definite spot for the Mod Squad {wink}

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