Search Results for: label/Foxcroft

The Return of Foxcroft Style Stars (and a Giveaway!)

Last year I had the opportunity to head to NYC and style a photoshoot for Foxcroft Collection. I’ve been a fan of their no-iron shirts for a while (and love that they come in Plus and Petite), and it was fun to support them with this project. And it wasn’t any old project either. To celebrate their 25th anniversary, Foxcroft invited teachers from NYC’s P.S. 159 Bayside to model their silver anniversary collection and be Foxcroft Style Stars.

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For the second year, Foxcroft is celebrating the hard work and dedication of New York’s public school teachers with Foxcroft Style Stars 2014. Twenty women from P.S. 31 in Brooklyn, a National Blue Ribbon School of Excellence, received the star treatment.  L’Appartement Prive Salon hosted the teachers for the day of pampering: hair consultations and styling by celebrity hairstylist Laurent Dufourg, and a custom wardrobe from Foxcroft.

foxcroft style stars

Janet Zukowski, who has taught at P.S. 31 for over 30 years, said the day was “magical.” Zukowski continued, “We felt appreciated and were treated royally. I think it was a once in a lifetime kind of event.”  Laurent Dufourg, who has worked with celebrities like Gwyneth Paltrow, Sophia Loren, and Tina Fey enjoyed styling the teachers, stating, “Working with these ladies is extremely rewarding because they leave the salon feeling like a million dollars. I love it. It is very satisfying.”

Foxcroft Collection will reveal the 2014 Style Stars as the center of their back-to-school digital campaign, launching this month. The campaign will showcase the ladies dressed in the brand’s latest looks for fall, which will be highlighted on the Foxcroft Collection homepage. You can shop their looks at this link and get 20% off the pieces (valid until 8/20/14)!

Giveaway

You can have a bit of the Foxcroft Style Star experience for yourself! Please visit Foxcroft Collection and in the comments below let me know your favorite blouse. One Wardrobe Oxygen reader will win the blouse in the style and size of her choice!

Giveaway ends August 31, 2014. Giveaway is open to residents of the USA only, and winner will be chosen at random. You must have a valid email address in your Disqus profile/signed in with a valid email address or else include it in your comment to be eligible. No need to provide size, if you are the winner we will contact you for details.  If winner doesn’t reply to winning email within 48 hours, a new winner will be chosen.  Good luck!

Foxcroft Style Stars: The Reveal

I’m still smiling over my experience this summer with Foxcroft. It was so fun to have them bring me up to New York City and help style their 25th Silver Anniversary photo shoot! As I mentioned in my last post about Foxcroft Style Stars, the models for this shoot were actually teachers from PS 159; Sally (from the blog Already Pretty) and I had such a blast working with them!

A makeover shoot is nothing without the before and after photos! Granted, these women were utterly gorgeous from the get-go, but it’s always fun to have someone do your hair and makeup in a different way and get dressed in new clothing. It was an honor to be part of the “glam squad” for these hardworking and talented teachers!

Marlene was the first teacher we worked with, and she really set the tone for the whole day. I think she was a bit nervous, afraid she’d end up looking like a 1980’s Glamour Shot, but Sal and I put her at ease, and the makeup and hair artists, Chrissy and Constantine, were geniuses. Marlene’s complexion looked amazing with the bolder black-based prints from the Foxcroft Silver Anniversary Collection; we balanced the crisp button-front with a ladylike ponte pencil skirt and kitten heels. Marlene loved the finished result; she said she couldn’t wait to get home and show her husband, he’d think he was dating a different woman!

Maggie was the second teacher we worked with, and she was equally as wary. Maggie had her own personal style, and feared being dressed in a manner that would make her look older or more severe. Constantine and Chrissy did their magic, giving Maggie a cool half-updo, teaching her new ways to style her thick curly hair. A bright lip kept her look youthful and fresh, and we styled her more casually with one of Foxcroft’s fabulous cardigans and dark wash denim.

Janice brought sunshine to the photo shoot the instant she entered its doors. Cracking jokes and laughing, she added such positive energy to the day and put everyone at ease. Speaking of ease, Janice was unfazed by the makeover process and just saw it as a fun outing. We kept Janice’s look simple to let her personality shine through – pretty polished skin, soft hair, and the gorgeous Foxcroft Silver Swirl Wrinkle Free Shirt over her own camisole and narrow jeans.


“What a WOW experience. You created memories I will cherish for a lifetime.”
       
Janice

Susan was a blast to work with, she was so curious about the process and asking us how and why we were doing different things. As someone who doesn’t do styling gigs on a regular basis and is often a bit too shy to ask the questions I wish to, I admired Susan’s attitude and found it even more fun to style her. Chrissy and Constantine showcased her gorgeous thick hair and beautiful skin with a simple polished look; Sally and I flattered her adorable figure with a sophisticated pairing of a pencil skirt with a crisp button-front shirt with the sleeves cuffed.

“The clothes were so comfortable and pretty–you definitely have a new customer here! My kids thought I looked so pretty when I came home! Thank you again!” 
       – Susan

I think Tanya was the most nervous of the group. I felt her nervousness, and completely related to it. I’d be the same way, having strangers dress my body! I immediately gravitated to Tanya, and wanted to flatter her amazing figure and gorgeous face. I felt a soft floral scarf tucked into the neckline of the crisp shirt would soften the look and highlight her beautiful porcelain skin. With her second outfit, we styled her in the Foxcroft Animal Print Grandfather Sweater with black pants and a cami; I loved it on her so much I want that sweater in my closet this fall!

“We were all talking about how much fun we had at the photo shoot. It will be a day to remember!”
        – Tanya

Eileen was the last teacher we styled, but the perfect ending to such a fun day. As everyone was getting a bit tired and stressed, Eileen arrived adding a calmness to the studio. So patient, so cheery, Eileen was a pleasure to work with. To not overwhelm her lovely complexion, we styled her in a soft floral blouse, and in her second shoot tempered a bolder animal print sweater with a soft lavender camisole. Chrissy and Constantine enhanced her natural beauty with soft shiny waves and rosy shades on her lips and cheeks.

I was so honored to be part of this project. It was a pleasure getting to know the lovely people of Foxcroft better, and a pleasure getting to know these amazing public school teachers. I was thrilled to be part of their fun day of beauty and fashion!

If you’d like to be your own Foxcroft Style Star, Foxcroft is offering Wardrobe Oxygen readers 15% off their first order with the code FXBLOG2. This discount works on the entire site, including the Foxcroft Silver Anniversary Collection. Happy shopping!

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Review and Giveaway – Foxcroft Apparel

When Foxcroft found out how much I liked this shirt, they sent me this Mixed Media Cotton Shirt to check out. Utterly brilliant – it’s crisp cotton in front and on the back, but the sleeves and side panels are stretchy jersey. No gaping at the bust, no pulling at the shoulders, no binding on the upper arms, yet a crisp button-front look!

 
This giveaway is now closed.

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Foxcroft Style Stars – Behind the Scenes

I love how blogging brings so many great brands to my attention. A couple years ago, I scored a white Foxcroft shirt on sale at Nordstrom. I didn’t know about the brand, but was impressed that the shirt fit comfortably over my large chest without looking boxy, and was truly opaque. Foxcroft saw my post, and so began a lovely relationship. With getting to know Foxcroft, I now own a couple different Foxcroft shirts and one of their sweaters and am impressed by the high quality, the great fit for curves, the classic style, the extended sizes (petite, standard, and plus), and the opacity. Not only that, their Non-Iron Collection shirts are truly wrinkle-free and wearable right from the dryer and don’t look shiny or cheesy like many other wrinkle-free brands.

Recently, Foxcroft had me and Sally McGraw of the blog Already Pretty come to New York City to assist on their latest project. To celebrate their 25th anniversary, Foxcroft had a photo shoot with 1st and 2nd grade teachers from NYC’s P.S. 159 Bayside – Foxcroft Style Stars. P.S. 159 was chosen for its academic achievement, it is a 2011 National Blue Ribbon School. The teachers varied in age and size, though all described their own style as simple, casual, and low-key. Sally and I were there to style these fabulous women – dress them in Foxcroft shirts and knits and accessorize and complete ensembles that fit their figures and personalities.

Behind the scenes: The beautiful Foxcroft prints for fall, teachers getting their hair and makeup done, Sal styling one of the teachers, steaming shirts for a crisp presentation, an example of the hubub – hair, video, photo, posing all happening at once!

The shoot took place in a studio in Chelsea, it was something out of a movie with the photographer and videographer racing around, hair and makeup people dressed in black with their big cases of pots and jars, staff steaming garments and viewing the shots. The teachers arrived and had their hair and makeup done, then Sal and I dressed and styled them for the shoot. It was so much fun – the teachers were friends so the conversation and laughter never ended. They also had a blast and loved being pampered and in the spotlight for the day.

An example day with one teacher: Face prepped with Roc Skincare before makeup, binder clips galore for a perfect fit, posing for an individual shoot, seeing the photos after the shoot

It was really fun being behind the scenes, helping these wonderful teachers look and feel gorgeous. I loved seeing all that went into such a shoot, and it was a true pleasure to work with such talented and fun professionals! It was also great working with Sal – while we have read one another’s blog for years and have been virtual friends for a long time, it was our first time meeting in person. I loved bouncing ideas off her, and working together to make the teachers look great. It was hectic, it was a bit sweaty, and it was a complete and utter blast.

Me and Sal in our Foxcroft shirts, rocking neon red lips and individual lashes, An example from the shoot, a sneak peek of one of the pictures with me and Sal!

At the end of the shoot, Foxcroft asked me and Sal to be in the pictures! The fabulous makeup artists did us up (hello individual lashes, I am now a mega fan!) and we donned white Foxcroft shirts for the group photo. What an honor!

Stay tuned, once the official photos from the shoot are available I will be sure to share them with you! a big thanks to Foxcroft for the amazing opportunity, and to the wonderful women of P.S. 159 for making this event so much fun and so very memorable!

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Friday: Classic Ending

Shirt: c/o Foxcroft
Skirt: The Limited (similar)
Shoes: Ivanka Trump
Necklace: c/o Lydell NYC
Bracelet: Nordstrom
Bag: Hobo (similar)

This ensemble is a classic ending to this week. I didn’t post a ton of outfits since I worked early shifts and was sick, but I pretty much wore a black skirt every day. I didn’t realize this until I was taking my OOTD picture for Instagram; each day was a bit funky of an ensemble and today’s was pretty classic hence the title of the post!

This morning was a bit crazy; I won’t go into details out of respect for my kid, but I ended up late for work, you can see my hair curled up in places from running and perspiration, Emerson felt frustration and then extreme pride, and she will be rewarded for her milestone with a much-desired princess dress. I think fellow parents may realize what momentous occasion took place and us parents are hella relieved!

Foxcroft found out about my need for a classic white shirt and sent me this one.  It’s pretty darn awesome – wrinkle-free, quite opaque, classic styling.  I forgot that Foxcroft is sized nicely for busty gals and ordered a 14 instead of 12 so it’s a bit roomy, but all the better to knot it at the waist!  If you do order from Foxcroft, do know that they size for women’s curves – no need to go up a size or two to prevent gaping at the bustline.

And how pretty is this necklace from Lydell NYC?  It was hard to pry it away from Emerson, she loved all the “precious jewels” in it.  I love that the necklace has a lot of length – many statement necklaces are only 16-18″ in length; this necklace is 18″ or 19″ in length but then has a few inches of extra chain if you want to wear it longer.  Great for versatility and for women like me with thick necks; expect to see this necklace on me a lot in the next couple of months!

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Thursday: Animal House

Cardigan: c/o Foxcroft
Tee: J. Crew via eBay (similar)
Skirt: Halogen (similar)
Bracelets: Ann Taylor (similar)
Shoes: MICHAEL Michael Kors
Trench: DKNY (similar)

Snakeskin AND leopard? At least I didn’t wear a zebra-print blouse or my spotted Vince Camuto pumps, THEN this truly would be an Animal House!

So I have been wearing Foxcroft shirts for a long time and have always loved the high quality, opacity, and great fit for my curves, but I didn’t realize they also carried sweaters! Foxcroft recently sent me this cardigan and I am in love. Like their shirts, they are cut generously for curves, and like their shirts, this sweater is very well made. With such a print, it jazzes up a simple cardigan, tank, and jeans look for the weekend and also dresses up nicely for the office!

With cold weather here in DC and many other places (and coming this way to other parts of the US), I want to try to share my outerwear as much as possible… even if I have my hands shoved so deep in the pockets it makes the jacket look weird.

While it’s super easy to throw on your dirty black parka every day, having a coat wardrobe can really complete your look. I often buy coats off-season for great prices, and try to choose classic silhouettes so they will still be stylish the coming year. This trench from DKNY I purchased last fall and it is one of the best outerwear buys ever. Even though I can get away with regular sizes for most clothing, I prefer coats in petite so they curve at the right part of the lower back and sit well on the shoulders. Coats are worth being altered for a great fit, but resetting shoulders and the waist is costly and sometimes impossible. Better to go for tall or short or whatever you are, go up a size, and then alter than try to recreate the wrong size (or just wear it too small or too large!).

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Wednesday – Teal Suede Pumps and a Paisley Scarf

Shirt - c/o Foxcroft
Cardigan – LOFT (has a detachable fur collar – similar)
Jeans – JAG (similar)
Pumps – Jessica Simpson (similar)
Scarf - Vintage via eBay (similar)
Silver cuff (similar)
LipstickRevlon Lip Butter in Lollipop

I am so glad Wednesday is over, what a day! I had insomnia the night prior, which gave me time to finish the hat post I promised reader Stephanie, but left me feeling even more miserable than I already felt with this allergy/cold issue.  So when it was time to get ready for work, I had enough energy and brain cells for a shower.  The day at work didn’t improve much, but I came home to an awesome family and a husband who made a healthy version of Chipotle for dinner! 

Again, glad to have wardrobe staples which are easy to throw together without much thought.  When I went to pull out these pumps (had to have some sort of color in the ensemble), this scarf fell out of the box (yeah, not super organized in my closet right now) and I thought… how could I incorporate it into my ensemble? I think I’ll be doing ankle scarves pretty regularly come the warmer months!

And thank goodness for Foxcroft, who sent me this awesome shirt.  While it looks like a crisp button-front, it actually has knit panels in the side and has knit arms which makes it as comfy and curve-friendly as a tee shirt.  If you like this shirt stay tuned… I will be having a giveaway where you could win one of your very own!

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Monday – Pop of Pink

Shirt -Foxcroft
Jeans – JAG (similar)
Heels – Nine West (similar)
Coat - LOFT (similar)
Sunglasses - Marc by Marc Jacobs
Bag – Banana Republic (similar)
Necklace – Ann Taylor (similar)

I am always on the search for a white button-front shirt that isn’t transparent, fits at the bust and the shoulders, and doesn’t cost 50 kazillion dollars. When I saw this shirt from Foxcroft on sale for less than $30 at Nordstrom I grabbed it, and glad I did. The front is a tad unexpected – little tucks along the placket which keeps it from looking like a uniform shirt. Wrinkle-resistant too!  Was a perfect choice this morning when I was short on time and wanted a very simple low-fuss look.  Looking forward to pairing it with pencil skirts in the coming weeks!

How was your weekend? Mine was pretty fantastic. Friday night was pretty low-key – my husband had plans with friends so I hung out at home watching AbFab; Saturday got some errands and home chores done, indulged in a pedi (Essie Ole Caliente will be my signature color this spring – gorgeous!), and had friends over for dinner.

Sunday went on a long walk around town with the family, checking out all that has sprung with this mega-early spring; last night met with two fellow bloggers for some bubbly and girl time.

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What I Wore: Back to Basics

Shirt: c/o Foxcroft | Jeans: Gap | Shoes: Nine West

With the changing of the seasons, I looked back at blog archives of what I wore previous autumns and I must say a lot of it hurts my head. And a lot of it I no longer own because after a season of its extreme look, I tired of it and couldn’t imagine wearing it another day. I’m trying to shop less, and shop smarter. And I’m remembering that style doesn’t come from how much you have or what labels you wear, but your choices and how you put them together. And that often less is more. After taking these pictures I realize I forgot my cuff – I planned to wear my silver cuff bracelet to bring out the silver of the shoes. But then maybe life was telling me less is more, so I went off to work without the bracelet.

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Advertise With Wardrobe Oxygen

Thank you for considering Wardrobe Oxygen as a place to promote your brand, business or blog! Wardrobe Oxygen was created in 2005 and is a blog that not only showcases Alison Gary’s personal style but also offers fashion advice for all women, regardless of age, figure, lifestyle, or budget. Wardrobe Oxygen also regularly provides reviews of apparel, accessories, books, concerts, and beauty products.

Wardrobe Oxygen has been featured on sites such as Refinery 29, StyleCaster, Racked, The Washington Post, Washingtonian, B Woman, Redbook, and Parents Magazine.  Alison Gary regularly writes for sites such as Savings.com, The Savvy Life, The Washington Post, AOL Patch, and Redbook Magazine.  Alison Gary and Wardrobe Oxygen have been referenced in style books such as Living the Savvy Life and The Power of DRES and quoted on sites like U.S. News and World Report, Redbook, MSNBC, Forbes, The Huffington Post, Lifehacker, and Get Rich Slowly.

Along with writing for Wardrobe Oxygen and other publications, Alison has also performed speaking engagements for companies such as PR News and IKEA, and styling and video promotion for brands such as The Shoe Hive, Foxcroft and CAbi.

With over 6,000 RSS, Bloglovin, and Google followers and an average of 60,000 unique monthly site visits and 375,000 monthly pageviews, Wardrobe Oxygen is one of the Top 50 followed blogs in the United States.  The average Wardrobe Oxygen reader is female, between the ages of 30-55 who is interested in current fashion and beauty trends.  View up-to-date statistics for Wardrobe Oxygen on Fohr Card.

Wardrobe Oxygen has partnered with many quality brands, here are just a few:

If you would like to advertise with Wardrobe Oxygen or have Alison Gary feature or review your product, do not hesitate to contact Alison via email.

 Disclaimer: FTC Regulations Effective December 2009 require disclosure that compensation is received for the placement of advertising on Wardrobe Oxygen, compensation may be received for giveaways, and compensation is never received for reviews. Regardless of whether compensation is received from a seller or advertiser, my opinions are always my own.

What I Wore: Polished Shine

Shirt: Foxcroft | Skirt: Kate Bosworth for Topshop (similar) | Shoes: Nine West “Flax” | Bracelets: Ann Taylor (similar) | Lipstick: Revlon Matte in Real Red

You may recall I was on a hunt for a metallic leather pencil skirt. I ordered one from ASOS that was returned same day – too cheap looking and the fit was dreadful. Found another at ASOS, it was too stiff and too big. Ordered one off eBay that is a hair too small and I can’t decide if I want to stretch it to fit or hold it to see if some of this winter weight comes off. I saw this one at Nordstrom but it sold out before I could score it in my size. I wrote some self-congratulating tweet on Black Friday about not shopping because there’s nothing I needed and I won’t buy it on sale if I didn’t need it full price. Then Nordstrom sent me an email letting me know this skirt was back in stock and in my size. So haughty Alison did actually shop on Black Friday!

This outfit isn’t quite right.  I still am on the hunt for a great white shirt - my InStyle Essentials one is a bit sheer and wrinkles quickly and looked too fitted into this hip-slung skirt, this one is too big and boxy.  I wanted to just wear this tucked in but this fits me more like a man’s shirt so it’s too much bulk. Guess I’ll just have to wear the skirt again and try a different combination!

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What I Wore and a Giveaway – Ruth Barzel Jewelry Design

Shirt: c/o Foxcroft | Jeans: Gap | Shoes: Halogen (similar) | Necklace: c/o Ruth Barzel Jewelry Design | Watch: Citizen c/o WatchCo | Bag: Brahmin (similar)

Accessories can transform the most basic wardrobe staples and make pieces a cohesive outfit. I just received this necklace from Ruth Barzel Jewelry Design and while it is BEGGING to be styled with an LBD for the holidays or worn with a beautiful silk blouse, I thought it could really make a statement with a simple white shirt and dark jeans. I haven’t carried my Brahmin bag in a while, and I thought the bright blue really made the emerald necklace pop!

Giveaway:

If you like this necklace and the other beautiful pieces I have featured from Ruth Barzel Jewelry Design, well today’s your lucky day! One Wardrobe Oxygen reader will win a $100 store credit to Ruth Barzel Jewelry Design!

Ruth Barzel makes all her unique pieces in the United States and is a local-yokel to me.  Not only that, she’s an awesome human being!  While I love the Emerald Quartz Nugget Statement Necklace I’m wearing here, I also love wearing her Blue Quartz Pendant Necklace and wear her Mixed Metal Chain Bracelet on a weekly basis. Ruth has offered all Wardrobe Oxygen readers 20% off her entire store, just use code OXYGEN20.  This discount will be in effect until the end of November, 2013.

How to Enter:
Please use the Rafflecopter form below to enter. This contest is open to both US and international readers. Contest ends November 30, 2013 at midnight ET.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
As a reminder, if you can’t wait for the giveaway to end and want to get yourself some jewelry from Ruth Barzel, use the code OXYGEN20 at checkout for 20% off your order!

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What I Wore: Reality

Dress: Lands’ End c/o Gwynnie Bee | Shoes: Ivanka Trump | Bracelets: c/o Lulu Avenue (Rhodes, Majorca, Granada) | Rings: Etsy | Earrings: c/o RocksBox | Lipstick: Maybelline Color Sensational Vivids in Neon Red

Reality is having your breasts seem to grow a whole cup size the week before your period and having none of your closet fit.
Reality is dressing for the weather.
Reality is being thankful for Gwynnie Bee who brings your wardrobe to your front door, cleaned and ready to go without having to put forth any thought or effort.
Reality is wearing your outfit – sitting to put on makeup, scrunching into the back of the car to belt in your child, hugging your dog, and having it all show on your garments.
Reality is trying to distract with a mega pop of color on the lips.

The family and I have had a busy few weeks.  Going to Kentucky for a music festival (details soon), doing some home redecorating (details soon), attending another music festival in Maryland, a few photo shoots for Karl and me heading to NYC for two days for a fun project with Foxcroft (details soon), lots of projects and busy days at work.  We see the light at the end of the tunnel, we’re glad to have had all the experiences but are ready for some chill time.  In the mean time, I dress for reality!

By the way, Lulu Avenue sent me a few great bracelets, I’ve been wearing the leather one from this post quite often but this is the first time I wore these bangles.  They’re a great choice for those who have large hands or wrists, they’re a bit bigger than the other gold bangles I wear, but as you see they aren’t so big that they look wonky on smaller wrists.

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Pink and Gold

Top: eloquii c/o Gwynnie Bee | Jeans: NYDJ | Shoes: Born “Myndy” | Bracelet: c/o IN PINK | Necklace: Belonged to my mom | Earrings: Argento Vivo

The problem with taking quick pictures before work is there’s no time to check proofs, no full length mirror for adjustments, just shoot, take the memory card, and go. The belt was supposed to be hidden. While this blouse is gorgeous, it’s a bit too long for me. I decided to use a belt to blouse it, and I knew the belt was hidden from view. However after hugging a child and a dog, putting things in my car, dashing back to the house to get my forgotten iPhone, the shirt shifted and the belt was in view and Karl didn’t know it was to be styled in any other manner. Oh well, you can get the idea!

I ordered this top from Gwynnie Bee thinking I could wear it to Forecastle with distressed denim shorts per this post.  It really is a perfect summer blouse – it looks dressy but it’s that crepey fabric that doesn’t cling, and it has an exposed zipper in back that really dresses it up.  While I paired it with white jeans, this would also look lovely with ivory or brown trousers or traditional indigo denim.  I know I wear a lot of dresses from Gwynnie Bee, but as you see they have all sorts of clothing to rent.  Click this link and get a free 30-day trial to check out the program for yourself!

I’ll be heading to NYC this week with Sally from Already Pretty to work on a really cool project for Foxcroft (I’ll be sure to share it here on the blog when it’s ready!) but I’d love to meet some of you if you’re in town. We’ll be at the Pig N’ Whistle on 36th at 8:00pm on Wednesday, July 24th and we’d love to hang with you!

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Lost in Translation

Shirt: c/o Foxcroft | Pants: Tahari | Ascot: Belonged to my Dad | Watch: c/o WatchCo | Bracelets: Nordstrom, had forever, JewelMint | Shoes: MICHAEL Michael Kors “Flex”

Some outfits are lost in translation, especially when it’s a rainy day and you have to take your pictures inside and a wet dog decides to shake out her fur on you as soon as she comes in and you chase her down with a towel and she heads into the dining room but as soon as the camera starts going she decides to run into the picture and a four year old runs after her and a light bulb blows as a flash goes off and… well there’s always a story behind a photo shoot and this morning’s shoot was harried, ridiculous, and honestly these were the very best photos where I didn’t have a completely exasperated face, a bit of a blonde tail or a blondish-brownish head or a mud puddle.  But in real life, the outfit’s far cuter.

And the outfit started with NYDJ Haydens and new heels and it just felt wrong. Switched to boyfriend jeans and these phenomenal shoes from Naturalizer and it seemed too exposed for a rainy gross day. So I just went with an old standby, my Tahari Hazels and favorite comfy black pumps. This shirt is still too boxy and strange (and the collar seemed to pop during all the commotion), still on the lookout for a replacement…

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Friday: Three is a Magic Number

Sweater: Belonged to my Mom
Tank: Ann Taylor
Jeans: Gap
Scarf: Collection XIIX (on sale!)
Shoes: Ivanka Trump
Bracelet: Emerson” c/o Kristin Biggs, Stella and Dot
Bag: Vintage Revival c/o Fossil
Lipstick: Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain in Crush Begun

I love pattern mixing, but it’s usually just two prints. Wednesday, my mom gave me this sweater – it’s cashmere and a fabulous pumpkin color, but she found it too lightweight for her needs. My mom is shorter than I, and I found the sweater a bit too short for my needs. I wanted to wear a button-front white shirt underneath untucked but my Foxcroft one is in the wash. By chance I tried this striped tank from Ann Taylor and really ended up liking the end result.

And how gorgeous is this bag from Fossil? I love the vintage-inspired style and the Heirloom-variety leather (it’s the type that you can scratch your name in – did anyone else do that to shoes or bags back in school?). I look forward to beating this bag up, because I just know it will get better with time. And if you also like this bag, hang tight for I’m having a giveaway in the next couple of days where one of you will win a Fossil Vintage Revival Handbag!

Hope you all have a fantastic weekend!

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Blogging Love – Interview!

I was honored to be interviewed by Elle of the new blog Label Ho. Elle’s discusses fashion and her personal style on this site. I love supporting fellow fashion and style bloggers so I jumped at this chance to have us get to know one another better!

You can check out the interview here.

I loved the questions she asked (and if you go back in her archives, you can see her answers to the very same questions!). The name of her blog cracks me up. It reminds me of when I was Editor of my high school yearbook. I had such the fight with the sponsor over the proper spelling of this word. “If you add an ‘e’ it’s suddenly a garden tool!” (Let’s not even get into why this word was in my yearbook – let me just state that my high school was a fabulous one where I learned Japanese and was in International Baccalaureate courses, but it wasn’t in the most chi chi of neighborhoods.)

Since she interviewed me, I decided to ask her a few questions as well. Get to know Elle!

Name: “Elle,” author of Label Ho, a fashion and personal style blog

Why did you start blogging? What could be better than writing and posting about something you love? I thought it would be a fun hobby and a great way to connect with other fashion-minded people.

Favorite item in your closet: An authentic vintage Gucci handbag circa the 70s. I love that its suede and doesn’t have the GG logo plastered all over it. I found the bag at a thrift shop and its in immaculate condition. Best of all, I got it for an excellent price!

Favorite Web site to visit: FabSugar.com. They have pretty comprehensive coverage of what’s going on in the fashion world, delivered in quick, short posts. I also like that they post great outfits that members of their community put together. I’m fascinated with seeing what people put together.

Top five items on your style wish list for this season: I can only think of three since I think I pretty much have most of my key pieces already:

1. Another pair of dark bootleg jeans. I’ve pretty much worn my favorite pair so much (Joe’s Jeans in the Honey fit) that the color’s faded significantly.

2. More dresses. I’ve purchased a few already, but I just can’t get enough. They’re so easy to pull on in summer.

3. A pair of wide-leg jeans. I’ve tried on a ton of different ones, but still haven’t found a flattering fit.

Styling a Metallic Pencil Skirt I Don’t Even Own Yet…

The danger of reading blogs is you end up buying things you never thought you needed or wanted.

Thanks to this piece on The Cut, I went on a search for a metallic pencil skirt, and found one. I got the silver ASOS one featured below but unfortunately my size is now out of stock.  Here’s a few reasonably-priced metallic pencil skirts I found online:

Top row, left to right: Etsy, Tinley Road, Zara, Pink Tartan. Second row: Milly, ASOS, ASOS, Etsy

Now I can’t imagine my closet this fall and winter without a metallic pencil skirt!  I’ve already started thinking of ways to style it for work and play and even through the holidays…

I just hope I like the skirt when it arrives, since I have built an entire wardrobe around this one piece I never thought I would want or need.  Okay Alison, back AWAY from the RSS reader!

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Outlet Mall Shopping

Yesterday I visited a major outlet mall in my area. Over a mile of stores – some with great bargains, some with great piles of crap. There have been many stories about discount stores – how some of the product is not on sale, the clothes are made specifically for the outlet and are not the same quality that the brand name usually delivers, etc. After all that, you find designer duds for less, when is it worthwhile to spend, when should a bargain be passed by?


Fit
If it doesn’t fit well for $300, still doesn’t fit well for $150 and even for $65, don’t buy it. Just because it’s a great bargain does not make the fit any better. Shoes that are too tight or too big, jackets that pull at the back, pants that would be lovely if you just lost 15 lbs., no matter the bargain these items should just stay on the rack.

If the jacket’s sleeves are too long, the skirt’s hem at an awkward length, the shoulders a bit too big, these things can be altered easily by a tailor. You must be in love with the piece and find multiple places and ways to wear it to justify the tailor expense. I found a cream silk linen suit at a discount store – the suit fit perfectly except for a broken zipper and too long of sleeves and legs. I bought the suit for $65, regularly $350, and for $40 had the zipper and hems all modified. I have worn the suit to work, to religious events and as separates for three years. That purchase was worth the added tailoring expense.


Style
Often times the items at the discount store are there because they are leftover from last season. When it comes to classic pieces like suits, dresses and knits, this is not a problem. A blue merino v-neck is lovely almost every year, and more lovely when 50% off. The problem comes with the trendy p[pieces.


If Lindsay, Mischa, Nicole or Chloe was wearing it last spring, it’s a good chance that piece is passé now. Pass on the embellished jeans, the metallic leather bags, the rainbow-hued sunglasses and most other accessories. Just because it’s on sale does not mean it is a good buy. When it comes to scouring outlets, your best deals are the ones that will last through more than one season. Sweaters, suits, outerwear, cocktail dresses, leather goods and most shoes are great bargains if you find quality and value in the same item.


Name Brands
Just because you found a pair of Manolo Blahniks for $100 at the Saks Fifth Avenue outlet does not mean they need to be purchased. Do they fit your current style? Are they comfortable? Are they current or classic?

We have all seen the label whores – those women with a Coach purse, Jimmy Choo shoes that JLo wore last year, Baby Phat jeans, a Bebe tee with the rhinestone logo, Chanel sunglasses and a Pucci scarf in her hair. These items weren’t bought for the quality or the style. They were bought because a stranger could spot the brand a mile away. She looks trashy, obvious and victimized by fashion. None of these are appealing. Labels do not suddenly make you well dressed or well liked.


If you can find a Furla bag for 40% off and it suits your style as well as lifestyle – then go for it. If you are buying a bag purely because it’s Prada and you don’t like the style, size or fabric… well you have become a label whore.

Don’t buy that jacket just because it’s designer. Pretend that it is an unknown label – do you still like it? Do you still find it attractive and necessary? If not, put it back on the rack. That goes for ill-fitting designer duds, last season’s “It Bag,” obvious logo advertising (if it’s that obvious, it will be that obvious from last season – not worth your time or money) and damaged designer goods.


Damaged Goods
Many discount retailers sell the irregulars from a label. Some irregulars can barely be seen by the naked eye – may be an incorrect dye lot or the wrong buttons sewn on a jacket. Some may work in your favor – pants cut too short or sleeves that are too long or too narrow. Often times these stores received the garments that were damaged in production, transit or through many jaunts to the fitting room. Broken zippers, missing buttons, fabric snags are all defects that can easily be repaired or covered up if the price and style is right. However there are other defects that are not worth the purchase, no matter how low the price. Runs in nylon, stains, button holes at the wrong height, linings that do not align with the trouser, two pieces stitched together from two different dye lots. Even if it is Versace, it will look like Gallo Clothing on you if it is this defective.


Buying in Bulk
I used to be a huge fan of buying in bulk – find a tee shirt you love, buy it in eight colors and three of white and black. Flattering trousers? Buy one in every color. I then found that my wardrobe was like one big uniform… one big boring uniform. Mixing basics with fun pieces offers versatility, ease but individual style.


At outlet malls, buying in bulk is a good idea. Yesterday I was at the Banana Republic outlet and found high quality stretchy tees in tons of colors – $9.99 each. I bought one in black, one in white, one in gray and one in red. These shirts can be worn with jeans on weekends, with a little skirt for happy hour with the girls or under a suit for work. I found a great pair of wool trousers at Off Fifth, bought them in brown, gray and black. They were so standard and fit so amazingly well (and were only $39.99 each) that it was worthwhile to buy every color I liked. I knew with my work and lifestyle I would find regular use for such trousers. Another time I found a pair of really cute studded pointy heels from NYLA. They were 75% off and tres cute. I decided to buy them in hot pink, ivory and black, thinking that if they fit well, they would get much use. I was imagining sparkly tops and designer jeans with the ivory, a sexy power suit with the black, and envisioned an outfit a la Carrie Bradshaw for the pink. I took them all home, have worn the pink ones multiple times, and have barely touched the other two. I don’t wear designer jeans with sparkly tops on a regular basis, and don’t own a single chic black power suit. Those two shoes have barely seen the light of day. Consider your current lifestyle when considering to buy in bulk – items that look too familiar may not be worn and too many of the same thing may make them all too boring to regularly wear. Also, if you don’t wear red patent stilettos now, you probably won’t after purchasing a pair.


In conclusion, don’t buy just because of a label, or just because of an amazing price. Less money for an item is still money, and money should be spent carefully. Be willing to take the time to find quality purchases, not pick up every shiny bauble that sort of resembles what Gwen or Jessica wore last Spring. Fashion is not about the specific item, but the allover look. A Louis Vuitton bag or a pair of Chanel sunglasses will not make you a fashionista, the pairing with appropriate and complimentary pieces is what takes you from being a label whore or a fashion victim to fashionista status.

Little Bits of Luxury: The Series

With age comes wisdom. It’s taken a while, but I have learned to truly buy quality instead of quantity. I unsubscribed from most retail emails so I am not wooed by 50% off (if I didn’t need it at full price, I don’t need it now), I rarely enter a mall because I know myself and I will leave at least $100 poorer with bags full of things I don’t need and will likely collect dust. When I visit a store like Target or TJ Maxx I have a written shopping list that will be a visible reminder to stay on track. And in the past year, when I have added to my closet I have looked for what I can remove – to store for the future, to donate, to sell, to admit defeat and cut up into rags.

And the things I purchase are better quality too. Now I am no Martha Stewart, so for me quality is likely Nine West, Etsy, L’Oreal. But I have learned it’s not about the name on the label, but how the piece works with my life and performs in the long run. Be it bras, BB cream, baking dishes, or boots I research, save, and buy the best within my budget. This also goes for luxury items (and items that are luxurious just to me). I have never admitted being a minimalist, and with age I have learned that some luxury items just make life better (and are far kinder to the body than cupcakes and nachos). I’ve also learned that luxury can come at all pricepoints, and some of the best indulgences are quite kind to my wallet.

I’ve found that series on this blog are some of my most popular posts on Wardrobe Oxygen. And so my newest series will feature little luxuries I indulge in, and how I budget for them, and why they are worth it. I hope you enjoy!





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