Style 101: Holiday style

So you’re heading out to a holiday party tonight with friends and family, and you’ve been rummaging through your closet all day trying to figure out what to wear. Look no further, because THL has you covered with holiday style suggestions that will make you shine brighter than an holiday lights display.

Velvet: If you’re looking for a luxurious, soft fabric to keep you feeling cozy and confident, velvet is the way to go. Velvet’s rich texture can immediately elevate even the most basic of outfits, adding just the right amount of flair to your holiday style. Try out this revived trend by opting for velvet heels, blazers or even dresses; better yet, give velvet a go in a deep burgundy, and your look will surely be in the spirit of the season.

Metallics: Gold and silver aren’t just big for the holiday season this year, metallics are a major trend in everything from clothing to accessories to makeup. All eyes will be on you as you make your entrance in a sparkly top, dress, skirt or jacket. If these pieces prove too bold for your style, start out including the trend in subtle ways, wearing metallic makeup (like eyeshadow), nail polish or jewelry to sneak in a little shine to your holiday style.

Be casual: While some holiday parties may require more dressy attire, nothing will ever top being comfortable and casual for the holidays (when appropriate, of course). Show off your affinity for the season by opting for an ugly Christmas sweater — or, keep it cozy chic  by wearing your favorite sweater and jeans. These looks can be enhanced with accessories — such as oversized scarves, jewelry and cool jackets — that will make your casual outfit look a little more put together.

No matter what you decide to wear this holiday season, just be sure to wear it with confidence.

Happy holidays!

Style 101: Eyelet

Looking for that perfect piece that will take you from a day at the beach to a dinner by the water? Look no further than eyelet, summer’s utility fabric that’s both lightweight and pretty — and essentially goes with everything!

Eyelet is a light fabric that has small holes scattered throughout — often in different shapes and in varying sizes — that sometimes come together to make a floral pattern. It can even be found in more geometric patterns, depending on the layout, size and shape of the holes in the fabric.

eyelet def

Eyelet can be found in a range of pieces, including tops, shorts, skirts, pants, dresses and even shoes (like espadrilles). You can also find eyelet accessories (like handbags or eyelet-patterned jewelry) or even eyelet swimsuits. Besides the variety of forms it can inhabit, perhaps the best part about eyelet is its versatility: you can pop an eyelet top over your swimsuit with a pair of shorts to head to the beach or a Fourth of July picnic, and then later on, you can take that same top and wear it with a cute pencil skirt or dressy jeans and wedges for a night out.

So if you’re looking to start incorporating eyelet into your summer wardrobe, here are a couple of pieces to get you started:

A casual piece that will bring your from a casual Sunday morning to an exciting Friday night is the Lined Lace Cami from Hollister. Done in a semi-cropped, swing style with a mix of floral and geometric prints, this cami will perfectly pair with your cutoff shorts or your bright white jeans. Now on sale for only $9.99, this sweet little top is available in both navy and white.

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Dainty eyelet makes this Hollister cami a summer wardrobe staple.

If you’re looking for something even more versatile, try the Katrina Eyelet Tank from Charming Charlie. Featuring a demure peplum hem and a tiny box eyelet pattern, this top can take you from the dressiest of occasions when paired with a slick pencil skirt or leather ankle pants to a relaxing weekend when paired with your favorite pair of jeans. For only $29, this top is a steal — and you’ll be wearing it all season long!

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Pair your Katrina Eyelet Tank with a statement necklace to add some sparkle to your summer!

Once you introduce these two great eyelet pieces to your wardrobe, you’ll surely be searching for more!

Happy Shopping!

Style 101: Espadrilles

Summer is officially upon us, and with the temperatures rising, you’ll want a shoe that will keep your feet cool while still looking cool.

Cue the espadrille, a typically canvas shoe with a sole made of braided fiber. But while many styles are made with a canvas vamp, some can even be done in a pretty crochet or lace, adding a chic bohemian touch to any outfit. They can even be found in everything from a flat, closed-toe shoe to a tall, open-toe wedge. And if a full braided sole isn’t for you, there are some styles available with a braided trim around the outsole and a full sole made of cork.

espadrille def

Espadrilles can be paired with a variety of outfits and for many occasions: from a dress for an outdoor wedding to denim shorts and a tank, there is certainly an espadrille for every occasion.

If attending a wedding is on your agenda this summer, check out an espadrille wedge like the Katie Wedge Sandal by GC Shoes. Available in two neutral colors (gold metallic and nude) perfect for dresses of any color, these sandals feature dual laser cutout bands that will look like a dainty eyelet across the top of your foot. The best part — they are available at DSW for only $39.95.

Having a casual flat shoe for the summer is a must, and the Crochet Espadrille Flats from Forever 21 will certainly be your utility piece for the season. Done in cream, blush and black, these dainty crocheted slip-ons can be paired with everything from casual sundresses and skirts to jeans or shorts and a T-shirt. With a price of $14.90 per pair, you can get a couple of colors to rotate through your wardrobe all summer long.

If sneakers are more your speed, there are even espadrille sneakers available from Soludos, a favorite brand among celebrities. The Canvas Platform Tennis Sneakers will give you the best of both worlds: a lace-up sneaker style with the easy, summer look of the plaited outsole. While this style costs $89, you will surely get your money’s worth as you wear these stylish sneakers all summer long.

With these great espadrille styles to choose from — and many more in stores and on the web — you’re feet will be comfortable and fashionable all summer long.

Style 101: Dusters

It’s hard to keep track of the latest style trends in the fashion industry. It seems that once we decide to opt into one trend, a new style becomes the next big thing. But one style first surfaced in the 1920s and 95 years later, it’s still quite a popular item. But what kind of garment has such staying power? That would be the duster.

A duster is long, light coat often made without buttons. This type of coat can be done in a variety of different materials and weaves, ranging from cotton/polyester blends to sweater-like knits. duster def

Dusters are a pretty versatile coat, mostly due to their light weight. Because they are so light, they can be worn in the spring or fall when it’s too warm to wear a full coat but too cold to go without one, or they can be worn in the winter under a heavier coat to provide some extra warmth. Believe it or not, dusters can even be beneficial in the summer months, acting as mosquito barrier for those outdoor evening parties or a light layer for your day out on the water. Dusters are done in a variety of styles as well, from casual sweater-like silhouettes to dressier coat styles with a collar and lapel.

If this utility piece sounds like something your wardrobe might be missing, there are several great styles available to satisfy all of your duster needs.

Forever 21 is the perfect place to start looking for fashionable, yet affordable dusters to dip your toe into the waters of this trend. Their Longline Open-Front Jacket offers a polished, clean silhouette in a dressier style, with a collar and lapel reminiscent of a blazer. Done in a light grey, this duster will easily pair with everything from your favorite pair of jeans to your work trousers. And for only $32.90, this duster is the definition of accessible fashion.

The Longline Open-Front Jacket, found on Forever21.com.

The Longline Open-Front Jacket, found on Forever21.com.

If you prefer a more fluid, less-structured silhouette, try the Gibson Cascade Front Duster from Nordstrom. This duster offers a much more relaxed, casual style perfect for running errands on the weekend or enjoying Sunday brunch. Available in Raisin (shown), Grey, and Midnight, this $59 duster will become your wardrobe’s go-to piece, so we recommend getting it in at least two colors!

The Gibson Cascade Front Duster, found on Nordstrom.com.

The Gibson Cascade Front Duster, found on Nordstrom.com.

Hollister’s Open Stitch Duster Cardigan is a great way to merge your love of cardigans with the trendy duster. This duster delivers a fresh take on the classic cardigan, featuring an open-stitch pattern done on a marled grey knit, which creates a rich texture throughout the body of the garment. Sure to replace your favorite cardigan, this duster will steal your heart for only $49.95.

The Open Stitch Duster Cardigan, found on Hollisterco.com.

The Open Stitch Duster Cardigan, found on Hollisterco.com.

So now that you’re a duster expert, it’s time to cover your wardrobe in this trend, because clearly, it won’t be going anywhere any time soon.

Style 101: Pencil Skirts

Skirts and dresses typically share names for their different shapes and silhouettes. But one of the terms most often reserved to describe the cut of a particular style of skirt is ‘pencil.’

As its name implies, a pencil skirt is a skirt with a straight, narrow cut that imitates the column-like shape of an actual pencil. Pencil skirts are usually worn at the natural waistline, and they hug the hips as they slightly narrow toward the hemline.

pencil skirt

Pencil skirts are tremendously versatile pieces that can be worn to work, to a date or even to a party. A number of things can define the setting in which it should be worn; for instance, the material of the skirt, any embellishments on the skirt and the length of the skirt can determine if it’s more suitable for the office or if its more appropriate for a night out with your friends. What you pair your pencil skirt with can also help make it fit specific settings; if you decide to pair your pencil skirt with a blazer and modest heels, you’ll have created an office-ready outfit. But if you pair the skirt with a crop top and sky-high stilettos, you’ll be ready for your girls night out.

Pencil skirts are a wardrobe staple, which means that it’s always good to have at least one at the ready in your closet. However, adding a few more certainly wouldn’t hurt, so any of the gorgeous skirts we’ve pulled would still be an asset to your wardrobe.

But if you don’t already own a pencil skirt, a good starter skirt is the High Waist Pintucked Pencil Skirt from Express. This classic skirt is the quintessential “work skirt” which can easily be paired with a blazer or just a pretty printed blouse. This neutral skirt will be one of the most versatile pieces in your wardrobe, so its $59.90 price tag will be worth every penny.

The High Waist Pintucked Pencil Skirt, found on Express.com.

The High Waist Pintucked Pencil Skirt, found on Express.com.

For a pencil skirt that will take you from the office to a dinner date, try the Colorblock Faux Wrap Skirt by Halogen. This skirt gives you the best of both worlds, combining the classic pencil silhouette with the chic wrap style. Done in a trendy black and white colorblock, this skirt can easily pair with everything from your work blazers to your favorite chiffon blouse. Available at Nordstrom for $69, even the most well-rounded of wardrobes would benefit from this colorblocked number.

The Halogen Colorblock Faux Wrap Skirt, found on Nordstrom.com.

The Halogen Colorblock Faux Wrap Skirt, found on Nordstrom.com.

If a more flirty pencil skirt is what you’re after, the Suit Your Fancy Blush Pink Lace Skirt from Lulu’s may be just the style you’ve been searching for. Featuring a dainty lace detail at its hemline, this style is a great alternative to the traditional pencil skirt. While its done in a pink, the blush tone reads as a pseudo-neutral, allowing it to pair with practically anything. This sweet style will round out your newly refreshed wardrobe of pencil skirts for only $34.

Suit Your Fancy Blush Pink Lace Skirt, found on Lulus.com.

Suit Your Fancy Blush Pink Lace Skirt, found on Lulus.com.

Pencil skirts are like the blue jeans of the skirt world — they are a wardrobe essential that can pair with nearly everything, so investing in any one of these great skirts would expand your wardrobe for the better.

Style 101: Sheath Dress

A-line, skater, bodycon and maxi — these are only a few of the many dress silhouettes available from retailers both big and small. And while these styles are quite common in our vernacular, there are others that don’t get as much attention, like the classic sheath dress.

Although the term ‘sheath’ can refer to a close-fitting cover for the blade of a sword, a sheath dress is nothing more than a close-fitting dress — it’s basically a snug, stylish cover for your body!

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The body-hugging, yet modest construction of sheath dresses give them a more formal connotation, making them perfect dresses for work or for a fancy dinner date. So if you’re in the market for a classy, figure-enhancing frock, we’ve found three great sheath dresses to fit any occasion.

If you’ve been on the hunt for the perfect dress to wear to your friend’s wedding, look no further than the Adrianna Papell Boatneck Lace Sheath Dress from Nordstrom. Available in 14 colors in both regular and petite sizes, this feminine dress features delicate lace and a v-back with an exposed zipper. This gorgeous dress is ready for all of your special events, and it’s well worth its $145 price tag.

The Adrianna Papell Boatneck Lace Sheath Dress in Chianti/Red, found on Nordstrom.com.

The Adrianna Papell Boatneck Lace Sheath Dress in Chianti/Red, found on Nordstrom.com.

For a simple wear-to-work style, try the Halogen Seamed V-Neck Ponte Sheath Dress. Available in four solid colors, the real star of this dress is not its colors but its construction. Featuring angled seaming at the waist, this dress will go to work creating shape on your body the instant you slip it on. Done in a ponte knit that moves with your body, you’re sure to be comfortable all day long at work while wearing this dress. Available at Nordstrom in both regular and petite sizes, this $99 dress is a wardrobe staple that can be injected with personality by adding a colorful statement necklace and your favorite heels.

The Halogen Seamed V-Neck Ponte Sheath Dress in grey, found on Nordstrom.com.

The Halogen Seamed V-Neck Ponte Sheath Dress in grey, found on Nordstrom.com.

The Manhattan Colorblock Jersey Sheath Dress by French Connection will bring a little bit of trendiness to the classic silhouette. Featuring strategically placed colorblocked panels in violet and coral, this dress will instantly slim you while enhancing your curves. Its stretchy jersey construction will feel like you’re wearing the most stylish, comfortable t-shirt in the world! The only thing that’s better than that is the great deal you’ll be getting when you purchase this versatile dress — originally $148 at Nordstrom, this dress is currently on sale for only $88.80.

The French Connection Manhattan Colorblock Jersey Sheath Dress in black and Keywest coral, found on Nordstrom.com.

The French Connection Manhattan Colorblock Jersey Sheath Dress in black and Keywest coral, found on Nordstrom.com.

If you’ve been on the hunt a for few new dresses in a classic silhouette, the sheath dress may be just what you’ve been searching for. Don’t forget — this timeless style can easily be made into a trendy look when paired with accessories like statement jewelry, fringe heels or oversized clutches!

Style 101: Tweed

As the days get shorter and summer dwindles to but a memory, we find ourselves standing on the precipice of autumn. And with fall approaching nearer everyday, the vibrant colors of the freshly changing leaves aren’t the only things we’ll see emerging with the coming season.

Of course, certain fashion items also emerge with the changing seasons, and one of the biggest fall styles to grace the racks each year is tweed. Tweed is a type of cloth made from a mixture of different colored wool, and while it can be rough to the touch, it produces a beautiful, rich integration of colors.

Traditionally done in jackets, tweed makes a great medium-weight jacket option to wear as outerwear or as the completer piece of an outfit. And because it’s done with a blend of colors, it can pair easily with items already existing in your wardrobe. The cut of the jacket is what determines its ability to be dressed up or dressed down, with some more suitable for workwear and others ready for a dressy-casual brunch. Colored, rough wool combines to form tweed’s rich texture, which when worn in a jacket, creates depth and visual interest in your outfit.

If it sounds like this chic, versatile piece is just the thing you need to be ready for fall, we’ve found three great styles that would be an asset to even the most well-rounded of wardrobes.

Done in a fashionable motorcycle style, the Asymmetrical Zip Jacket from J. Crew provides a fresh take on the classic look. This jacket is perfectly tailored, allowing it to read as a polished, professional blazer when paired with its matching skirt and as a crisp, clean motorcycle jacket when paired with your favorite pair of jeans. Its pink pepper tweed acts almost as a neutral, lending you the ability to pair it with just about anything in your wardrobe. On sale for $134.99, this jacket is sure to be your wardrobe’s utility player for the fall, making it money well spent.

The Asymmetrical Zip Jacket in Pink Pepper Tweed, found on JCrew.com.

The Asymmetrical Zip Jacket in Pink Pepper Tweed, found on JCrew.com.

If a more casual style is what you’re after, try the Zip Pocket Textured Blazer by Gibson. This collarless blazer delivers a chic, angular silhouette which is given a bit of an edge with its slanted faux-zipper pockets. Available at Nordstrom in a blue and khaki combination and a black and white combination, these neutral blazers will perfectly complete a casual weekend look for only $89.

The Gibson Zip Pocket Textured Blazer, found on Nordstrom.com.

The Gibson Zip Pocket Textured Blazer, found on Nordstrom.com.

For a sweeter style that can be worn all year round, try the Candy Tweed Cropped Blazer by 1.State. Done in a pretty pink called ‘new fuchsia,’ this blazer adds a feminine touch with its waist-defining peplum hem. And while this blazer has many great features, arguably its best feature is its $59.97 price tag, courtesy of Nordstrom Rack.

The 1. State Candy Tweed Cropped Blazer, found on NordstromRack.com.

The 1. State Candy Tweed Cropped Blazer, found on NordstromRack.com.

So before you hit the stores in search of pieces to update your fall wardrobe, be sure to add a tweed jacket to your shopping list — you’ll love how versatile these jackets can be, not just from occasion to occasion, but from season to season!

Style 101: Cigarette Pants

If you’ve ever wondered what the heck cigarette pants are, wonder no more.

Cigarette pants are a slim-cut trouser or pant. These pants come in a range of materials and prints, ranging from styles done in twill and denim to others done in solids and florals.

cigarette pants def

Although cigarette pants are related to skinny pants or skinny jeans, there is a very subtle difference between the two cuts. Cigarette pants have a very slim, but straight cut throughout the leg of the pant, while skinny pants or skinny jeans narrow as they reach the ankle. Adding this bit of width at the ankle can actually be quite beneficial, as it can help to balance out a wider hip while creating a long, lean legline.

If cigarette pants sound like something you need to add to your wardrobe, there are several great styles of the chic pants that will instantaneously punch up your personal style.

Every girl needs a pair of simple black pants in their wardrobe, and the Lysse Twill Cigarette Pants from Zappos is just the pair you’ve been needing. These pants are done in a comfortable, stretchy twill that will hold its shape while flattering your curves. You’ll get a lot of wear out of this wardrobe must-have, so their $98 price tag is money well spent.

The Lysse Twill Cigarette Pants, found on Zappos.com.

The Lysse Twill Cigarette Pants, found on Zappos.com.

If you’re looking for a dressier trouser style, try the Sammie Pleated Waist Cigarette Pants in nude from Missguided. Done in a nude stretch crepe material, these pants make a great alternative to the basic work trouser. For only $40, these pants are a great way to test out the cigarette pant style without investing too much money into the look.

The Sammie Pleated Waist Cigarette Pant in Nude, found on Missguidedus.com.

The Sammie Pleated Waist Cigarette Pant in Nude, found on Missguidedus.com.

You’ll want to trade in your skinny jeans when you see this cigarette style by AG jeans. The AG Stilt Cigarette Leg Jeans in the Free wash offer a slim cut on the leg without narrowing at the ankle like your skinny jeans. These jeans come in a fairly uniform wash with a slight gradient on the hips and thighs, allowing for these jeans to be dressed up for a night out or dressed down for running errands on Sunday morning. The AG cigarette style jeans are available at Nordstrom.com for $164.

The AG Stilt Cigarette Leg Jeans in Free, found on Nordstrom.com.

The AG Stilt Cigarette Leg Jeans in Free, found on Nordstrom.com.

If it’s a printed pant you’re after, Asos offers the perfect cigarette style to satisfy your needs. Their Printed Cigarette Pants features a pink, white and teal floral done over the softest powder blue background. Pair these $38 trousers with a cute blouse and a pair of heels and you’ll be as pretty as a rose.

The Asos Printed Cigarette Pant, found on Asos.com.

The Asos Printed Cigarette Pant, found on Asos.com.

Now that you know all about cigarette pants and how they differ from skinny jeans, you have no excuse not to add at least one pair of these chic pants to your wardrobe.