Rompers and Jumpsuits… Fashion Forward or Fashion Faux Pas?

Women’s rompers and jumpsuits have made a real comeback in the recent years. They’re common enough that there are now some amazing, stylish options available at reasonable prices and yet uncommon enough that they still stand out. For many women, however, rocking a jumpsuit can be intimidating. So when is it a good time to show off a brand new jumpsuit or romper?

For starters, it’s important to be clear on what we’re talking about. While women’s rompers and jumpsuits are two very different items, many women use the terms interchangeably. Both rompers and jumpsuits are, essentially, a dress/pants combo. Each is a one-piece outfit that has a top like a dress but then seamlessly becomes a pair of pants or shorts below the waist. The difference is jumpsuits are full length pants and rompers are shorts.

Okay, with that out of the way, either version can be truly eye catching. Here’s how and when we recommend using each item:

Jumpsuits

The key to pulling off a jumpsuit is to remember one key fact: you’re going to get a lot of attention. Jumpsuits stand out visually because they break up the normal silhouette of a dress, startling the eye. You may find people doing double takes when you walk past them. Women who aren’t ready for this can often feel shy or embarrassed, but all those looks are not a bad thing. If you keep your head held high and own your look, you’ll quickly find that those extra glances are often followed by compliments.

Jumpsuits can be a good choice year round, with turtleneck jumpsuits working great in winter. They make strong statement but it is also a somewhat leisurely one, which ranges from a “day at the beach” looks with soft colors and floral prints to a “night at the club” look for bolder fabrics. Jumpsuits are much harder to use in a formal environment, though pieces in classic colors like black and white can work, especially if the legs are a little less flouncy. In general, save the jumpsuits for Fridays or non-work events.

Rompers

Rompers are far more versatile than jumpsuits, roughly as versatile as shorts themselves are. Anywhere you can wear shorts you can wear a romper without looking out of place. Rompers project a very different image, however. Whereas jumpsuits are often “power” clothing, with the masculine outline of pants rather than a dress, rompers tend to have a playful and girlish look to them. Wear rompers for a bike ride at the park, at a friend’s cookout, at the beach or whenever you want to strand out in a fun, casual environment.

Do you wear rompers and jumpsuits? What is your favorite piece?

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How To Turn Two Basic Women’s Tops Into Cute Fashion Statements

We’re always looking for new cute tops for women. But it can be easy to forget that sometimes standby pieces already in your closet can be made over as statement tops simply by pairing them the right way. Let’s look at two basic tops every woman has, the graphic tee and the button up.

Graphic Tees
Graphic tees have become a much more widespread part of women’s fashion and are used in many more ways than they once were. These most basic cute tops for women can not only work with a variety of casual looks, they can also be incorporated into more upscale outfits that are suitable for parties, dates and even business events.

Here are some ways to turn an ordinary graphic tee into something extraordinary:

• Throw a blazer over it. Blazers and tees are on opposite sides of the formality spectrum, so to make this work we recommend using a blazer that matches one of the dominant colors of the tee (or more likely, choosing a tee to match the blazer). Works with vests too.
• Pencil skirt. This combination sounds odd on paper but it’s killer sexy and never fails to impress. To pull off a pencil skirt with a tee, tuck the tee into the skirt in a way that doesn’t cover up any of the graphic—remember, pencils are high-waisted. Go as blousy or non-blousy as you want, and choose a bag and necklace that match the skirt.
• Easy breezy. Remember, graphic tees pretty much always pair well with skinny jeans!

Button Ups

Button ups are you more business-appropriate mainstay, but that doesn’t have to mean they’re boring. Just as tees can be dressed up, button ups can be dressed down or given a high fashion flare. Here’s how:

• And under-jacket. To spruce up a fall look, wear your button up unbuttoned underneath your jacket. Push the cuffs, of course. Now you’ve got a great layered look with a touch of class.
• The artist. Remember that graphic tee? Grab it (or a solid color Henley) and throw your button up over it. Only do a few buttons, and roll up the sleeves. You’re ready for the easel.
• Rock star. Pop the collar and push up the sleeves. For a daring ensemble, pair it with a flared skirt and tie the bottom of the button up.
• Cozy. If you’ve got a great sweater, wearing your button up with the collar poking out is only going to make it better.

What other tips do you have for women looking for cute tops?

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3 Tips for Wearing Tights and Leggings

The era of tights and leggings arrived years ago and it’s safe to say it’s here to stay for a while. More and more women are experimenting with these skin-hugging bottoms and they can be combined into some amazing outfits. But it’s also easy to go wrong with tights and leggings. Here are our tips to make sure you look great every time you put them on:

1. Understand fit.
Not everyone feels comfortable walking around in leggings as opposed to denim. There’s a reason for that fear: tights and leggings tend to show off everything… but that doesn’t mean they have to be unflattering! Many women aren’t sure what a proper fit in leggings feels like, and they end up wearing a pair that is too tight and makes their great, natural curves look unflattering. Don’t fall into this trap! Leggings should be a close fit, but should be comfortable to move around in—it should feel almost like a pair of snug pajama pants. If you feel like you can’t bend over without popping a seam, or like you’re constricted, the leggings are too tight and aren’t going to look flattering.

2. Don’t be afraid to layer.
While wearing leggings as pants has become the new thing, that doesn’t mean layering is out. One hip look right now is to pair colored tights with a pair of short shorts, creating a sexy off-Broadway look that is both cosmopolitan and hip. Tights with skirts or dresses are a classic (especially colored tights with a black dress), but even leggings can be paired with an over layer especially in cooler weather.

3. All color rules still apply.
The advent of tights as a replacement for pants has made for some interesting new fashion styles. The best of these are coy and seductive, using colored tights to draw attention to the legs or patterned leggings to show off curves. But many women also fall into the trap of treating tights and leggings as a minor accessory in the color department. When leggings are your main below-the-waist garment, your color choice is going to dominate the outfit. Orange socks, for example, add a minor flare to an outfit and can be paired with other brightly colored items. But orange leggings are an extremely strong statement, and your top should try to tone it down a little with a neutral color. Try to pair loud leggings and tights with subtler tops and skirts, for a combination that is daring but not overwhelming.

What other tips do you have for wearing tights and leggings?

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Top 4 Tips to Choose Trendy Tops Online This Season

How do you decide which tops to buy each season? For many of us, the hunt to find trendy tops for women is an eternal quest. But unless you also have an eternal budget, you’ll have to make some hard choices. So how do you find the most chic tops time and time again? Here are four tips that will help:

Choose indie designers.
True indie clothing stores were once hard to find, unless you just happened to live in one of the fashion capitals of the world. Nowadays, online outlets have made indie fashion easy to find, meaning you have easy access to a wide selection of high quality trendy tops for women that you won’t find in the local mall. One of the biggest benefits of going with indie labels (other than supporting the work of talented emerging designers) is that you get tops that are sensitive to the latest trends while staying somewhat outside the mainstream. That means you are more likely to be the one setting trends for your friends rather than the last person to jump on the bandawagon. While indie fashion stores aren’t the only places to find great trendy tops, shopping indie will give you a true edge in the search.

It’s all about the fit.
Lots of different lines offer amazing looking women’s tops, but no matter how good it looks on the rack, if it doesn’t fit it won’t look right. Having a “good fit” doesn’t just mean avoiding tops that hang off you like a tent or are so tight they strangle you. It means paying attention to all the little ways that a top can be off—something that fits in the shoulders but not in the waist, or something that is just a touch too baggy. Remember, a trip to the tailor for a small alteration can cost as little as $20, yet turn an otherwise so-so garment into a winner that gets you compliments over and over. Never be afraid to hold out for the right fit or, if the garment is otherwise stunning, get it adjusted—the right fit makes all the difference.

Reuse!
Don’t think that just because you wore something last year it’s no good to use again this year. True fashionistas don’t buy all a brand new wardrobe every time the seasons change. Instead, they look at what they already own and think about new combinations, using different jewelry and accessories.

Own the neutrals.
No matter what your taste in tops—or what this season’s trends are—it always pays to have some classic standbys. A good rule of thumb is that for every three tops you buy, one should be in a neutral color like black, beige, gray, cream or white. These colors go with a wide variety of outfits and can be formal or casual depending on what they’re matched with. And while dazzling bright tops can be a lot of fun, they work with far less accessories and bottoms than a neutral tone does.

What’s the best top you added to your closet this year?

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Finding Indie Fashion Options Online

When you think of indie clothing stores, you probably picture browsing the racks at a neighborhood vintage shop, hoping to snag a hidden gem, or perusing tiny boutiques in a high end shopping district. While both of these shopping days sound like a blast, many fashion lovers don’t realize just how much indie fashion is now available on the net or how easy these indie clothing stores online are to use.

What is “Indie”?

image of girls out on the town

Image courtesy of stockimages at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

For true fashion lovers, “indie” is more than just a marketing word. Indie fashion implies the hand of small-scale designers who are making completely new styles outside the auspices of the established giants of the fashion industry. Buying from these designers not only gives you a wider choice in what kinds of styles are available to you, it also means you are often supporting younger, undiscovered artists or seasoned experts who insist on putting their art ahead of the corporate trends. That means you look better and you support great work.
But the downside to shopping indie fashion has always been how hard it is to find. Most of us don’t have the budget to hop on an airplane and hit the fashion district of New York, London, Paris and Milan. Luckily, with online indie clothing stores, the designers have a chance to put their wares in front of you no matter where you are.

There are several hallmarks of a good online indie clothing store:

1. A global selection. The whole point of an indie clothing site is to give you more choices that you wouldn’t find on the rack at the mall. That means that a good indie clothing site will feature garments and accessories by designers around the world, in many different styles and types. Selection should include hundreds of thousands of items.

2. A focus on the designers. A designer-friendly clothing site will be inclusive of all designers and make it easy for an individual designer without a large company to offer items for sale. This open door on the designer end results in more options for you.

3. Easy search options. With so many items to choose from, you need to be able to search effectively. That means not just filtering results by size or price but also by predominant color or style (pencil skirts versus wrap skirts versus long skirts, for example). That means you can narrow selection to just a few dozen items that match what you’re looking for.

Have you purchased indie clothing online? What is your favorite piece?

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