Fashion File… Tips for no chips



Over the past year I have really gotten in to painting my nails.  There is something about having painted nails that makes me feel girly even in a sweatshirt and yoga pants.

I have come up with a formula that lasts for about 5-6 days before chipping.  Orly bonder for the base coat (found at Ulta), two coats of color from either Essie or OPI (both sold at Target and Ulta) and the Seche Vite  top coat (Ulta).  Each of these cost about 10$.  That means you could have endless manicures for $30 at home that would cost $50 one time at a spa.

Tip: If you are a beginner at painting your nails, start with a lighter color that is more forgiving.


Fashion File… raid his closet (not really)

Well the fashion file is back.  Sorry it has been a while.  As we head into fall fashion, and we head out and search for footwear that will keep our feet warm, I thought I would give you a few thoughts on what to search for.

Adapting menswear in women’s fashion is no new trend.  But it seems like every year, we get a twist on how and what to steal from mens fashion.  Whether it is a slouchy blazer or a pair of ripped jeans, it is always fun to take something masculine and give it a feminine touch.

Remember these shoes last fall?


Don’t worry, they are still a great choice.

But here are a few more options…

Try a velvet loafer like this









Or you could try an oxford style shoe like these…









My personal favorite is the ankle boot.









And you could also go with a lace up boot.








The key to masculine shoes is making sure the rest of your outfit is feminine.  And for those of you who struggle with imagining “what would I wear that with?”  Here are a few ideas…
















Not sure who this last girl is, I grabbed her off Pinterest, but she looks so happy and confident to me, and I do like her outfit.  Confidence is the last piece of a look that most of us forget.  If you wear something with confidence, something that makes you happy, then you don’t have to worry if you are wearing “the look” just right because it is right for you.

Fashion file… It’s a cinch?

This past weekend at church I wore a maxi dress with a wide belt.  Abbey looked at me and said, “You dot your seatbelt on Mommy?”

Wearing a belt is really hard to do.  BUT, contrary to popular belief, they are not just for skinny people.  Here are a few ways you can wear a belt…

First off, you do not have to wear a belt on your true waste.  You want to put the belt around the smallest part of your body, which for most of us is right under our bust (warning: if you are well endowed, you should know you will look even more, well, endowed).





Here’s a belt over a cardigan.  I think the key here is to wear a thinner belt.  This also works with a classic cut cardigan.





This is a belt over a loose fitting shirt.  This gives your outfit more definition and can be used as a pop of color. This look helps you not look so slouchy and more shapely.





The belt over the blazer look is cute but honestly, quite uncomfortable.  A buttoned up jacket can be uncomfortable enough as it is.  Seems like you wouldn’t be able to move if you added a belt.  I would not recommend this look.  However, the belt under the jacket, I think, would look just as good.





This belt is actually in the belt loops.  Imagine that.  If you attempt this look, make sure your shirt is not so fitted that you get a muffin top.  The jacket over makes this not so harsh.




Here are a few belts with dresses.  If you want to know how to knot a long belt (like in the 2nd picture), go to pinterest.  There are many examples.






It is always fun to accessorize your maxi dress with a belt.  Sorry the picture got cut off.  Can you notice how high her belt is?





Last we have the belt over the short skirt.  A very cute look.





It is a good idea to wear a short necklace, or no necklace at all when wearing a dress. The bigger the belt, the smaller your necklace should be.

Don’t over think this whole belt thing.  If it looks good and it feels good, wear it with confidence, even if one of your kids calls it a seatbelt.



Fashion File… I don’t know what to wear with these

It seems like everyone owns a pair of colored pants these days.  I wonder if you have bought a pair, brought them home and thought, “I have nothing to wear with these.” Then they sit in your closet while you think about wearing them but don’t know what to wear with them.  It can be frustrating!  Here are a few different ways you can wear your colored pants…



With a black and white top.  Black and white go with everything, almost every color.  I am addicted to wearing black and white.  It always catches my eye in a store.  You can pair a black and white top with any bright colored pants.






With another solid color.  Just make sure your colors are in the same family.  Like muted tones together and bright tones together.  Go really neutral on your shoe.






With the same color but in a different shade.  I love this look.  It has a cheeriness to it.






With old faithful, the white top.  Everyone should have a great white top.  I have one that I love so much it is starting to get the little balls on the fabric.  Sad.  Remember, really any neutral will go with colored pants.  (white, black, navy, brown, metallic etc…)






With a print with the same color.  This is fun but can feel really match-matchy if you aren’t careful.






With a denim top.  Ok, if you don’t own a denim top, time to get one.  They are everywhere.  Marshalls, Target, Nordstrom.  Everywhere.  This creates like an opposite effect.  Instead of denim on the bottom and print or color on the top, you reverse.  It’s so fun.  Just don’t wear a denim top with a denim bottom.  Just sayin.




And as far as shoes go, keep them simple and short.  I like a slipper or an oxford or a short boot.  I think it doesn’t break up you leg as much(as it would if you had on tall boots).

Ok, that’s the fashion file.  I would love to hear if you try any of these combos and like them!!

Fashion File… The Second Chance Pants

Have you ever worn something and then seen a picture of yourself later and hated your outfit?  I sure have.  I felt that way about this outfit pictured here.  This was one of our Code Orange Revival nights.  When I saw this picture I hated the way I looked.  I hated my hair, my shoes, my top, and especially these pants.   The way the pants are pulling, yuck.  Every time I have even thought about wearing these pants again, I remembered this outfit.  And so the pants have hung in my closet, unworn, for the past year.




Fast forward one whole year. This year, at Elevation, we are doing Code Orange Underground (Code Orange Revival, relived 1 time a month over the whole year).  Naturally, I wanted to wear something orange.  When I saw these pants in my closet, I thought, “It is time to redeem them.”  So I restyled the pants.  First, I wore heals to make my legs look longer.  Then I put on a long, flowy sweater to cover where the pants were pulling. And I cannot tell you how much better I felt in these pants.


My whole point in this is sometimes, it is not the pants (or the top or the shoes), it’s the pieces you put with it.  So today I leave you with this charge… Give your pants a second chance :).

Fashion File… beautiful simplicity

So I am back with a fashion file.  And since we are nearing Valentine’s say, I thought I might do a jewelry post (for all the lurking male fashion file readers :))

Jewelry is all over the place right now.  Long or short necklaces, bold or simple pieces, it seems like anything is game.  So where do you start?  Start with building your simple, every day, i-never-take-off pieces and add from there.

I really do have a few pieces of simple jewlery that I wear for months on end and do not remove until I get tired of them (I sleep exercise and shower in them).  Currently, these pieces would include a simple necklace, a toggle bracelet on my watch hand, my wedding ring (goes unsaid and I never tire of that) and stud earrings.

Here are a few simple suggestions…

A simple cross necklace.  I have seen these with and without sparkle.






A small initial necklace.  Love this look.  Tiffany’s makes the sweetest little initial necklace in sterling silver.  Of course, you are paying for the Tiffany’s name, but that is a wonderful Valentine’s day gift.





The initial bangle.  I love this bracelet.  I have literally worn mine out and it is no longer suitable for public.  I love this on my watch arm.  The charm adds a nice touch.





The toggle bracelet.  These are everywhere in every style.  They add a nice touch for an every day look.






You can never go wrong with 3 small bangles.  I love how these come in mixed metals for those of you who feel like your jewelry needs to be all silver or all gold.  This gives you the excuse to mix and match.




The “diamond” stud.  Available in the middle of any mall near you in sterling silver for less than $20.






Watches can get pretty crazy in price and in style.  I have a silver watch and a gold watch that I rotate.  Both are simple but go with everything.  This Michael Kors watch is nice and simple yet had a nice look to it.





Nice, clean, and simple.  Stuff you can wear every day and that goes with everything.  I grabbed all of these pictures from Nordstrom online (because I know someone will ask).  Next week I am going to share a fashion file called the second chance pants.  Happy (early) Valentine’s day!

Fashion File… What if I never wear heels?

Ok, so I know there are a lot of you out there who just never wear heels.  If this is you, I hope it is because of some type of injury.  Heels make you look and feel more dressed up and thinner.  Nevertheless, this is not a post about heels, this is a post about flats for those of you out there who never or rarely wear heels and you are lost when it comes to winter time.

I want you to know there is more out there for you to wear than Crocs, Toms, Uggs, Dansko and Nikes.  Please hear me, the aforementioned brands are great shoes, IN MODERATION!  Today I want to open up your mind to the beautiful world of flats…

We are all familiar with the ballet slipper.  A great choice.  It is feminine, flattering and comfy.  If you don’t own a pair, you should.  Try a metallic or neutral to liven things up, or the black shoe pictured is made by Puma, for those of you who are addicted to sneakers, you could try these.









Have you seen the smoking slipper (yes that is what they are called)?  They are a great alternative to the ballet slipper.  They are everywhere.  All the images I used today came from but I got mine at Marshalls for $16.99.  Mine are plaid.  I am in love with this leopard print with the pink trim and the red and snakeskin are great too.  Of course, you can go black or brown, but why not try going neutral on top and colorful with your shoes?









There is also the loafer.  I had a pair of penny loafers when I was in the 8th grade.  I wore the soles off them.  Penny loafers give me happy memories.  Here are a few modern takes…








Another great option is the oxford.  These come in so many great colors and styles.  When selecting these, try to stay on the slimmer side so you don’t feel too boxy.  And, are you seeing a theme with the leopard print?  It is a great print that you can pair with a solid color on top.  I just love it.








And as if I haven’t run this point into the ground, you could always wear a flat boot.  I won’t stop talking about the riding boot (see other fashion posts this fall).  Also pictured is a slouchy boot and for fun, a rain boot.

There you have it.  No more excuses for why you always wear your athletic shoes anymore.  It may take some trial and error to find a fit and brand that feel comfortable all day long, but don’t give up trying!

Fashion file… the basic ingredients

I cleaned out my closet today.  I hate that chore.  Clothes are sentimental to me and it is hard for me to let go sometimes.  I had planned on writing a post about what to keep and what to purge from your closet.  But when I really think about it, I just cannot subscribe to the fact that any one piece is “timeless.”  Sure, the little black dress, the black blazer, the khaki trench are all items of clothing that can be found throughout the past several decades.  But each of those pieces is stamped by it’s time period.  For instance, in 1980 your black pumps would have been super pointy.  In 1970 your little black dress would be super short with bell sleeves.  Nothing in clothing is truly timeless (in my opinion).

Even though nothing is timeless, there are a few pieces that should be in every women’s closet this season.  Some you should splurge on, some you should buy cheap, but each of these pieces should be a part of your wardrobe this year.  However I must warn you, this is not an exciting post.  It is not meant to be exciting.  Basics are not exciting, they are dependable.



First up, the black riding boot.  Look for a nice, smooth leather with very little detail on the boot.  This shoe will go with every thing.  Personally, I think this is an item where you should splurge so that the boot will last and be comfortable.  I bought my black riding boots three years ago.  Last fall I had to have them re-soled because I literally wore a hole in the sole.  But the shoe was in such great shape, and so comfortable, I couldn’t bear the thought of looking for a replacement.  You can literally wear this boot every day if you want.





Next, the black pump.  Everyone should have a black pump in their closet.  Again, shoot for something not shiny or suede, just down the middle black.  This shoe is not, however something I would recommend spending tons on because you are not going to wear it every day, or every week for that matter.  You should spend enough money that you can walk in them without being in so much pain all you can think about is taking them off.






You should also have a black blazer in your closet.  I wrote a post a few weeks ago about blazers.  You can go there to see about different fits and styles.  I personally love the blazers made out of jersey knit. They are comfortable and look great at the same time.  And lets just face it, a blazer makes you feel put together.  Even with jeans and a t-shirt, you can look serious if you have a blazer on.





This season, every closet needs a pair of dark wash skinny jeans.  I know what many of you are thinking, “I am not skinny enough to wear skinny jeans,” or, “I am too old to wear skinny jeans.”  No you aren’t.  How are you going to wear your riding boots if you don’t have a pair of skinny jeans?  Make sure you get a dark, dark wash.  They can be dressed up or down.  You can wear them every day and no one will ever know.  Now I will say this is a piece that I would save up for and splurge on.  Nice jeans hold their shape and color better.  And if you have a body that has born children, look for a mid-rise jean, they do wonders for your shape.




And finally, the black and white staple tshirt (long sleeve and short sleeve, black and white).  These tees came from, (Pure line).  They are reasonably priced (both under $20) and super soft.  A black or white tshirt is like a pallet for a statement necklace or a scarf.  It can also be an easy thing to pair with your printed jeans (that you can’t figure out what wear with them).  Don’t spend a ton of money on these.  I am always on the look out for a black or white tshirt on the sale rack at Target and Old Navy.  I feel like I never have one clean.



Ok, there you have it.  The basics are not boring.  Having the right basics is like having the right ingredients to put together the perfect outfit every day (or almost every day).

Fashion file… Boot up

It is boot season.  I love Fall!  But it can be overwhelming to pick out a pair of boots.  You have to consider how often you want to wear them, where you want to wear them and what you want to wear them with.  Here are a few ideas of what is popular this season.  All of these images came from Zappos.  Departments stores and Marshalls are my favorite places to boot shop where you can find good prices and  great selection.


The Riding Boot is a great every day boot.  It has a flat heel so it is comfortable enough to wear all day.








The Ankle Boot is a great shoe that goes with any type of jean (skinny to wide).










The Oxblood (red leather) Boot is a fun way to add color to an outfit without being so obvious.  I love this idea.  I am totally on the hunt for a red boot this fall.










The Dressy Boot is a sleek way to dress up and outfit.  I like my dressy shoes to have a nice heel and to be sleek and more understated.











There you have it.  I got a lot of these ideas out of People Style Watch magazine.  They recommended for those of you have have calf issues :).  Happy boot hunting, may the sales be ever in your favor!

Fashion File… prints have it

If you don’t already have a pair of colored jeans, you are about to miss the boat.  They are everywhere.  I have seen them in department stores, Target and Old Navy.  If you don’t consider yourself adventurous enough, buy a darker color.

However, if you want the hottest look for the fall, you need to get a pair of printed jeans.  Now don’t panic.  While there are a ton of crazy prints out there, there are some more subtle, tasteful ones as well.  There are even prints that would be age appropriate for an older woman (if there are any older readers out there).

Here are a few examples (all images were pulled from Zappos so if you want to take a closer look, head over there and search “printed denim”)…



These are great.  You can hardly tell from the picture but they are a black leopard print.  The print is very subtle but edgy when you look up close.  I think these are age appropriate for an older woman or a less adventurous woman.






This pair is again, a subtle blue print.  The print is not too much, but just enough to be fun.  Cobalt blue is a really hot color this fall too.







I had to include this pair because I swear I owned them in 1989.  And boy did I wear the life out of them. I would wear these with a simple long sweater and plain brown boots.  But to be honest, if I owned these jeans, I would not wear them very often at all.





If you are going to wear a printed jean, everything else you wear needs to be neutral and toned down.  Including your shoes and jewelry.  And keep in mind if you want to tone down the print even more, you can wear tall boots over your jeans and a long top or sweater, which would cut off the print in both directions.

For kicks, here are a few don’ts.  Please don’t…