The Styles You Need for 2014

March 4, 2014 • by jhoice • in Fashion Tip Style Fashion

It may seem like the New Year’s Ball just dropped, but we’re already well into 2014. Hopefully your New Year’s resolutions are still holding strong. If one of those resolutions was to upgrade your wardrobe or keep up with the latest trends, there’s no time to waste. You’ll want to be in the know about the hot styles that are sure to catch on this year. Add these pieces to your style repertoire before they spread like wildfire, and your friends will be in awe of your trendsetting ways. Whether you like to dress up or dress down, here are some of the styles to keep an eye on as you breathe new life into your wardrobe.

Plaid, Stripes, and Seersucker, Oh My!

If you’re going to go bold, you might as well go all out. Don’t be afraid to introduce some striking patterns into your wardrobe, from your suit down to your socks. If you want to add a little excitement to your suit, try rocking a patterned dress shirt. Instead of wearing a humdrum solid blue, experiment with checkered patterns or even polka dots. Your co-workers will appreciate your style, and you will become known as the guy who’s chic enough to rock polka dots to a lunch meeting.

If you want to take your suit game to the next level, rock some patterns in your suit. You can go plaid or houndstooth for a classic, confident look. Or rock a seersucker suit for those hot summer commutes or August weddings. This fabric is light and breathable, and now comes in more subtle colors than the traditional pastel stripes. If you do wear a bold patterned suit, make sure you balance it with a solid colored shirt and tie. You don’t want to go too pattern-crazy.

Invest in some fancy socks. Socks are too often forgotten as the perfect way to add a little color and life to your outfit. Move beyond drab solids and Argyle by investing in some bold stripes or polka dots. Colorful socks are a subtle touch but can add a lot of personality, especially if you match the pattern to a shirt or tie. People will appreciate your mad coordination skills.

Boots & Suits

Looking to stand out from the rest of the conservative business crowd? Rock a pair of boots with your work suit. We’re not talking Frye boots or Cowboy boots, unless you’re going for the Lyle Lovett look. Go for something dressy with a rebellious edge. Enough to make people stop and appreciate without being so bold that you get called into the boss’ office. Think Oxford boots, suede or leather Chukkas, or Chelsea boots. Something that looks sleek with your suit while adding a little edge. Clarks carries a wide variety of all these styles. Saint Laurent is one of the hottest names in the game, and they carry an array of fancy footwear. After a brutal winter of subzero temperatures, your toes will appreciate the coziness a boot provides.  

Casual, Versatile Jackets

Your mom probably warned you to never leave the house without a jacket, and now you won’t have to. Lightweight, slim-fitting jackets are all the rage and will be versatile enough to fit with any outfit. Baseball jackets have made a strong comeback and it’s time to call them up from the minor leagues to take a hallowed spot in your wardrobe. Topman, Banana Republic, and Armani Exchange all carry this style. It’s really a matter of finding the material and color that you like the most. Whether that’s leather or nylon, there’s a baseball jacket out there with your name on it. Just make sure it has a slim fit so that you don’t look too much like a bulky bullpen pitcher.

If you’re looking for a sweet jacket to pair with your new boots, consider a denim jacket. Denim jackets are probably not a new concept for you, but look for one that is a different color than your standard blue washes. A white or faded gray denim jacket will add a fresh edge and provide a change-of-pace to prevent the monotone Canadian tuxedo look. Best of all, you can dress up your denim with a button-down shirt and knit tie. Or dress it down by pairing it with a striped shirt or favorite sweater.

Please feel free to email Ella Gray at ella.l.gray@gmail.com with any questions that you may have. 

What’s Inside the Average Woman’s Handbag Might Surprise You

January 20, 2014 • by jhoice • in Fashion Tip

According to an article in the Daily Mail, the average woman’s handbag weighs 5.2 lb – as much as five bags of sugar. It’s hard to believe that most women are carrying around a bag all day long that weighs that much. But what exactly are in these enormous bags that women are carrying around every day?

Cadbury recently conducted a study of the contents of the average woman’s handbag, because they were releasing their new compact “handbag sized” chocolate bar. The study revealed that the average handbag cost £96 and usually holds 40 items. At first, that seems like a very surprising number. However, perhaps if you were to empty out your handbag you would be able to easily count 40 items? Why not give it a try – you might be shocked by the amount of items that you have accumulated inside!

The combined value of the items was £110. In the top ten list, money and bank cards were the most common item – with 72% of women carrying it in their handbags. The other items on the top ten list were make-up, painkillers, sunglasses, feminine products, an address book or diary, an iPod or mp3 player, chocolate, toilet roll and even a spare change of underwear. It’s easy to fit these items into the larger size of modern and stylish handbags, which can be found online.

Many women have the attitude that keeping these items in their bag is worth it, just in case they are needed in an emergency. Also, these items might make their way into their handbag once and then never come back out again.

women's handbag essentials

Image source: JohnLewis.com

Is Your Handbag Practical or Full of Junk?

So does your handbag have plenty of useful items in it, or is it just a repository of junk? When is the last time you cleaned out your handbag and determined whether or not the items in there were useful to you on a daily basis? Many women find that their handbags have become a collection of old receipts, bits of paper, snack wrappers, outdated coupons and other rubbish that they don’t really need to be carrying around.

Is it about time to clean out your handbag? Here are some tips to keep in mind for sorting out all of the stuff in your purse:

·         The first step is to empty out everything in your handbag so that you can see what you have been carrying around. You might be surprised by all of the handbag clutter that you have accumulated.

·         The next step is to go through the items and throw out anything that is not useful to you – such as paper waste, expired cosmetics or other rubbish.

·         Also, you should get rid of any duplicate items. It is a good idea to have a lip gloss in your purse, but you don’t need to have five different colours of lip gloss.

·         Your handbag itself might be filled with dust, dirt and little bits of makeup. If this is the case, you can turn it upside down and tap it over the sink.

·         You can also wipe out the inside of your purse with a damp cloth, or with soap and water if it will not damage the fabric. Make sure to allow the purse to dry completely before you put anything back in.

·         It might also help to use a mini-vacuum to clean out all of the crumbs and dirt inside your purse.

·         If your money and your bank cards are just loose inside the handbag, you might want to get a wallet that will help you to organise everything and keep it together.

These are just a few tips to keep in mind when cleaning out and organising your handbag. Whether your purse weighs two pounds or five pounds and whether or not you are prepared for all emergencies whenever you leave the house – at least your handbag will be clean and fresh and free of any unnecessary junk.

Tia Jordan is a freelance writer and fashion blogger. She lives with her husband and her two daughters and she has many more handbags than she would like to admit.