Spring Fashions

Finally, spring is here and so are the latest fashions! I know that I have taken a brief hiatus from blogging, but I am back and ready to go! Taking inspiration from the fashion pages of my favorite magazine, Harper’s Bazaar, I went on a major shopping spree to update my wardrobe. Over the next several weeks, I will be debuting some of my favorite trends from this season. Can’t wait to see what you think!
In the photos below, I am wearing one of my favorite recent fashion finds, this artsy top with colors of burnt orange, black, red, yellow, and white. I paired this with one of my favorite purchases from this past fall, a black pencil skirt from Express. One of my favorite details of this skirt? One long zipper that provides a little bit of sexiness to the basic black skirt. And this skirt is anything but simple.image
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Fashion in Art

In regards to fashion, sometimes we take for granted the beauty in the things that are unique and follow the advice of the new glossy magazines on the stands. Not too long ago, I was reminded that fashion is not only what the likes of New York, Paris, and Milan want us to see; but it is in everyday inspiration right in our own backyards.
About a month ago, a former student of mine came to see me in my classroom with her mother. This wonderful, talented, young woman left middle school and went on to a high school that focused on the specific talents of their students as well as incorporating the curriculum required. These students are able to nurture their talents and grow in their craft with the aid of their teachers. This particular student loves to make jewelery, and stopped by to show me a few of her pieces. At the very end of our meeting, she handed me a pair of earrings she made specifically for me. Before she left, she and her mother both had something personal to share with me.
My student first thanked me for always inspiring her and supporting her. She told me that she had a rough time in middle school, but loved coming to my class. She remembered a day when I addressed my 8th grade students about going on to high school, and then whatever they decided to do with their lives from there, needing to leave the city in which they resided to find themselves and their passion in life. She said it was something that stuck with her and now she hopes to cultivate her passion going to a school in a different state (California and New York are just two of the options she has before her). Her mother then thanked me because she said in their culture, it is very easy for young girls to leave high school and focus on the next stage of their lives, marriage. She said she wanted something different for her daughter and I was a part (albeit small) in this plan for her to follow her dreams and passion.
That in and of itself was reward enough for me! As a teacher, we hope to inspire and sometimes in the mess of all things political in education, we forget that we truly do touch lives on a daily basis.
The earrings below are what she gifted me with, and I cherish them. Not only are they beautiful and meaningful, but in this fashion accessory there is an art that is meant just for me.

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The Perfect Dress

Searching for the perfect dress for an occassion can be fun, especially when you are shopping for your birthday and want to stand out in the crowd. Recently, I celebrated my birthday in the most fabulous dress! Below is a picture (dress is from Bebe) and in case you were wondering, I defintely made a statement that night!

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Peter Pilotto

I normally don’t write a blog twice in one week, but I was so excited about Peter Pilotto’s line at Target I just had to share my findings!
First off, I find it amazing that there is a store where women can purchase nice, name brand clothing at an affordable price. Target has done an amazing job when it comes to having various articles of clothing and accessories by different designers. In the past year, I have aquired a scarf by Marc Jacobs, purses by Oscar de la Renta and Phillip Lim, and now a skirt and top by Peter Pilotto. For someone on a teacher’s salary, this is a dream come true! When I do invest in designer pieces, and I am talking about walking into the designer stores themselves- never knock offs, I usually purchase purses. My favorites are Louis Vuitton, Gucci, and the occasional Coach. To me, purchasing these items are an investment, not that clothes aren’t. But I need something with staying power for my day to day job. And being in front of the board with markers and designer clothes makes me nervous! So when Target started promoting all of these wonderful designers, and the above mentioned are just a few, I was overcome with pure joy!
The skirt below is my absolute favorite piece from the collection. I can dress it up with a black blouse and blazer during the last few months of our winter, or I can pair it with a white blouse, cobalt blue jacket (for contrast) and a necklace within the same color family to pull it all together. Affordable prices and designer pieces makes me one happy girl!
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Strategic Dressing: How to Dress for Bi-Polar Weather

What’s not to love about winter? Snow falling, hot cocoa, warm chunky knit sweaters, and the beach. Wait…what?! Oh yes! The great thing about living in the wonderful state of Florida is the few days of warm weather that graces our presence in the dead of our “winter,” and this year was no exception. I went from wearing a cute pencil skirt with a warm cardigan to a warm, chunky sweater a couple of days later; only to end up in a bikini on a sandy beach when we were blessed with 81 degree weather. My only complaint is that in years past, days such as these have been sporadic and have left me yearning for the random days of sunshine. Days when I get to escape the cold nonsense in the Sunshine state, and get to walk the sandy beaches while drinking a cocktail. Days when my wonderful friends up north comment on my FB in disgust and envy because I am able to achieve a tan in the months of January and February. Say what you will about living in states where the beauty of snow covers the earth and envelopes its surroundings in pure, powdery snow perfection. Actually, this winter, more like Mother Nature unleashing her wrath and dumping snow and dangerous, icy weather that has caused disastrous situations. Yeah…I think I’ll take my chances down here, though it has caused me to take a look at my work outfits for the week and laugh. I mean, seriously, 50 degrees one day and five days later a beautiful 82 degrees? So below are some pics of my outfits throughout the past two weeks to show how this crazy, bi-polar weather of Florida has caused its residents to rummage through their closets looking for sweaters and boots one day, and tanks and flip-flops another day. Enjoy!

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What is Considered Age Appropriate?

I was reading my US Weekly magazine a few weeks ago and came across a quote by Julianne Moore in regards to being stylish at 53. She was quoted saying, “After a certain age, you can’t wear anything with words on it.” This made me think, “Where do we draw the line? And at what age is this considered completely tacky and inappropriate?”
I have a beautiful blouse from Bebe. It’s red and bears the Bebe name all over it. However, to me it is completely age appropriate and one of my favorite work shirts. But I do agree that certain articles of clothing that have the company’s name on it really do need to be removed from one’s closet.
The biggest offender? Brand names and logos printed across the butt. Why. On. Earth. And again, this is just my opinion. To me, if you are young you can get away with more, and these young women should enjoy their fashion choices and flaunt it! But really, ladies, at some point I think that as we get older, we need to evolve with our choices in fashion. We can still rock alternative, classy, preppy, etc. looks and all the while not look as though we are headed back to our glory days of high school or college. Women can most certainly wear articles of clothing with logos on it. However, I think one thing needs to be kept in mind. Make sure that YOU wear the clothes, the clothes should not be wearing you. And they should never, ever make you look ridiculous given your age.

Thoughts? I’d love to hear your point of view.

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Photograph by Vittorio Sciosia/Corbis.

Diane Von Furstenberg Wrap Dress Turns 40 this Year

This year marks the 40th birthday of the wrap dress created by Diane Von Furstenberg. At 27, the Belgian born Von Furstenberg designed a dress that has since shown staying power in its practicality and beauty. In an interview from Take Two, 89.3 KPCC California Public Radio, she states, “It embraces the body in a very nice way. You can be proper and sexy at the same time…….” I could not agree more! Cheers to Diane Von Furstenberg and this beautiful, iconic dress!

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Photo credit as shown from interview: John Sciulli

Alexander McQueen Inspired Scarf

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I recently had my first experience with a biker bar. Not only had I never been to a legit biker bar before, but I had never even been on the back of a Harley before! Clearly this would be an interesting experience for me. Two questions popped into my mind. One, what in the world am I getting myself into? And two, what in the world am I going to wear? My motorcycle jacket, black top, and black skinny jeans were easy, logical choices. However, I wanted to represent myself in the outfit. You know, give it a classy look while maintaining the “tough” look required. I immediately remembered my pink, skull scarf and was able to incorporate a bit of myself into the outfit I was to wear for the night.

When I first saw this scarf, it was right around the time when Alexander McQueen launched his skull scarf. Not being able to afford the designer version, I was quick to grab this up. I love this scarf and have worn it on several occasions, always receiving compliments with recognition to McQueen’s piece. This was clearly the perfect choice for the evening. Not only did I fit right in, at least in my mind, but I had the best time enjoying my biker night out!

Mixing Patterns

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One of the things I love to do is mixing patterns to create the perfect ensemble. Over the weekend, I was getting ready to meet two friends for lunch. The plan was to meet at a restaurant/marina and indulge in oysters and cocktails. What can I say? The winters in Florida makes us realize just how good we have it down here! Anyways, wanting to create a fresh look, I paired my leopard heels with cropped jeans, a pinstripe blouse, a grey sweater, and a plaid and leopard scarf to top it all off. How was I able to mix pinstripes, animal print, and a chunky grey sweater and make it work? Easy! If you have a piece that can pull everything together, you can make almost any outfit work. Almost….let me explain.
The pinstripe shirt is a classic article of clothing. Deciding to pair it with cropped jeans for a day on the marina was a no brainer. Of course the two complement one another. But I like to stand out, make a statement, and have people take notice of my presence from time-to-time. What caught my eye was the leopard and plaid scarf in my closet. Eyeing my heels I knew that not only would this coordinate fantastically, but I could make it work! The key was incorporating a neutral piece, the grey sweater, hence pulling everything together. What many people fail to realize is that the color grey is a neutral, the same as brown and black. So if you ever find yourself wanting to pull pieces together without looking like a fashion “don’t” grab a neutral piece and watch how your outfit comes together!
Oh, and one more thing, the two handsome gentlemen I am with (Jerry and Howard) have an amazing website dedicated to travel. The website is http://www.backroadplanet.com. You can even follow them on Facebook and Twitter. Always up for adventure, they travel by car to different places; whether it be historical sites or out of the way/unique destinations. I highly recommend you check them out!

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My RZ Obsession

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Not only am I a fan of Rachel Zoe as a stylist, but I am also a huge fan of her beautiful, glamorous accessories. I mean, let’s be honest, you can’t get more fun and fabulous than Rachel Zoe! I particularly love to wear this bracelet with a chunky, knit sweater. It’s also a piece that I can wear with something more chic for a night out. And without fail, every time I wear it I find myself continually receiving compliments. The best thing about this bracelet is that it makes a statement all on its own. So having to worry about any other accessory isn’t even an issue. Paired with my small diamond earrings, I simply throw it on and go!