21empiredesigns

Fashion and Interior Design… and a little more :)

Oh, Hello! – FALL STYLE August 24, 2013

INSPIRATION: The dress – the silhouette, colors, and style = awesome. And stripes are really in vogue right now! Win-win 🙂

THE LOOKS: Casual – Pair the dress with some cute flats, or some trendy studded boots and a comfy cardigan for the fall. Accessorize with bright jewelry and a  cute leather cross-body bag
Business – To give the outfit a more professional feel, pair instead with a tailored blazer in a neutral color like taupe, black, or navy, and some smart shoes in matching or bright colors, like the Michael Antonio patent leather pumps. Accessorize with a structured clutch or shoulder bag and a fun pair of “nerd glasses”.

THE ACCESSORIES: Color is the exclamation point in this outfit. For the accessories here, I picked up accent colors in the dress and made them mini focal points that provide multiple interest points. For example, the bright yellow color only shows up in a couple stripes in the dress, but gets special treatment in the accessories with beautiful yellow Kendra Scott earrings and Michael Antonio pumps. Fun cocktail rings or statement necklaces can be used to tie in all the colors (like the Kate Spade ring here), or just to add a little bling to your outfit. For the bags, you can either go matchy-matchy with a super cute clutch like the one by Modcloth or draw out another accent color (I picked red) with an interesting bag like the red one by Ora Kiely.

THE EXTRAS: I love incorporating home decor into fashion styling, not only because it just looks awesome, but the home fashion industry and trends are closely related to the clothing industry and vice versa, so it’s always nice to get them to co-exist 😛   I used a pair of candlestick pillars in Lemon at ZGallerie.coo, a paper lantern (LOVE THEM!!) in royal blue/purple for $2.49 each at Shindigz.com, and a really cute (and super cheap!) decorative tray in black from online Interior Decor store Occa-Home.

 

Thanks for reading guys! Give this post a like and be sure to spread the style with a friend or friends 🙂
~Christiana S.~

Oh! Hello!

Yumi green cocktail dress
$70 – zalando.co.uk

Long sleeve cardigan
$16 – newlook.com

Camel blazer
$36 – newlook.com

Orla Kiely flower purse
$525 – orlakiely.com

Kate Spade colorful jewelry
bloomingdales.com

Pillar holder
zgallerie.com

Occa Maison rectangular tray
$15 – occa-home.co.uk
 

Making the Most: Three in One August 16, 2013

A couple months ago, I did a post on making the most of your wardrobe – reusing and reinventing what you already have to come up with fresh outfits… Well, I’ve been putting it into practice, and here’s a fun example for you guys 🙂

One of my favorite tops is a black and white striped boatneck top that I got at Old Navy last year for around $10…. an awesome deal that has served me well as a go-to winter/fall shirt and beyond! It’s super cute, works for my figure, and will always be on trend 🙂  My challenge to myself was to find 5 ways to wear it that were different than normal, and I was able to get even more than that from my $10 top… I’ve shared my most workable three here. All photo credit goes to the awesome Laura R., author of the photography blog “Laura’s Photography“. Aside from being a wonderful friend, she’s an amazing photographer with a great eye, and I had so much fun shooting with her this week 🙂 (P.S. – I also found out that it’s a lot more fun to edit someone else’s photos than your own!!)

So without further ado…. the outfits!

1. Date Night

This outfit is best for any date or event where you’re feeling a little girly and want to step up the casual a little bit. The key to this outfit is in the details. The pearl jewelry adds a touch of feminine class, as does the lace fabric of the skirt (a splurge for me at $20 at Target!). I completed the look with kitten heels with bow details, tying in the colors and sealing the girly tone 🙂
If you’re not into the whole girly-girl look, modernize the outfit by switching out the pearl necklace for a bright necklace with a good focal point and bright nails (like my rapidly chipping mani 😛 – “Spring Street” by NYC + “Gold” sparkle polish by Milani)
If you’re feeling more casual, switch out the shoes for a pair of casual flats or Sperrys and less dressy jewelry.

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These cuties by "Mootsie Tootsie" were my first pair of high school party shoes three years ago :P <3

These cuties by “Mootsie Tootsie” were my first pair of high school party shoes three years ago 😛 ❤

A birthday gift from my parents, this Stauer necklace is one of my favorites, and has appeared in several of my photography attempts and countless outfits :)

A birthday gift from my parents, this Stauer necklace is one of my favorites, and has appeared in several of my photography attempts and countless outfits 🙂

2. Working Chic

If you work in a semi-casual environment and love a little color, or if you’re just going somewhere and want to look a more little put together, this outfit (my favorite by far xD) is for you!
This outfit was inspired in so many ways… it started out with a book (I can’t even remember which one) that said a scarf tied around the neck is super-Parisian (yes, that’s paraphrased :P)… So in the interest of experimentation, I grabbed the nearest scarf (which happened to be a beautiful, really bright party favor from an Indian-themed birthday party :D) and just tried it… I’d also picked up a tip from the latest InStyle magazine for printed shoes that entails rolling up the hems of jeans to ankle length to show off the shoe. So why not try it with my new super-cute patent leather Mary Janes? (Long story, but I’d been looking for a nude heel for a while, and I grabbed the pair by Soda in the pictures for $15 at Burlington Coat Factory a few weeks ago <3)  The blazer (H&M) came last, as a way to tie in the whole outfit, and it became my favorite, just like that! When accessorizing the outfit, I wanted to give it a little bit of a “single girl” edge, so I added what my friend calls my “breakup ring” (which I got at a sidewalk sale for $5 – SCORE) and a pair of oversized hoops (3 pairs for $5 at Walmart) for a little dose of Attitude (and if you’re a single working woman like me, you’ve earned that for sure :P)
P.S. – the bag is just your average mid-size white bag… I think I got it from Walmart, but it was a few years ago, and I honestly don’t remember how much it was… but I love it 😀

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I'm in love with the colors in the scarfffffff <3 <3

Favorite pair of jeans right now… they have little rips up near the top of the leg, and I LOVE the wash! Playing with the contrast while editing was SO much fun when it came to the jeans…

$5 at a sidewalk sale in Haddonfield... and I don't even remember what the store was... lol

$5 at a sidewalk sale in Haddonfield… and I don’t even remember what the store was… lol

3. Girly Urban

What a contradiction, right? Well, that’s the thing I like about fashion – contradictions work! (most of the time, anyway…)  This outfit breaks a few rules – but that’s what rules are for, right? First, black and blue. Who says, I say! Next is two seemingly contradictory genres of style. But I and others have found that they actually coexist quite well! So much for rules.

This outfit works really well for a dressy casual occasion, or just for a feel-good, look-good day. The jeggings are SO comfortableeee, and the jewelry is just fun to wear. I found the jeggings by “YMI” at Bare Foot Shoes when I was in Philly with my mom, and the necklace was a steal for $5 at Charming Charlie’s (my favorite jewelry store in the world!). The earrings I made myself (courtesy of Christiana’s Jewelry Shoppe), and the beaded headband was apparently from Children’s Place (one of my mom’s give-away-or-throw-away items that I’ve kept for several years…). The shoes I found for $10 on clearance at Old Navy, and while I have to admit, they’re not fun to wear for more than a few hours, they’re one of my favorite “attitude” shoes 😛

For this outfit, if you’re feeling more urban than girly, pair it with some rocker jewelry in a dark metal (like gunmetal) and handful of rings, dark makeup (I just stuck to lip gloss and winged liquid liner) and no-mess updo… I liked the girly touch in gold and pink hues, but that’s a personal style preference based on the day I chose it!

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Here’s a better view of the headband and jewelry! (I’m actually obsessed with the necklace <3)

This bag has been through the mill with me for over five years now... I still like to think it's real, even though I got it for free at a giveaway... but it's such a great go-to bag :) :)

This bag has been through the mill with me for over five years now (as you can see, it’s a littler worn 😦 )… I still like to think it’s real (HA), even though I got it for free at a giveaway… but it’s such a great go-to bag 🙂 🙂

So anyway, those are three of my favorite outfits with this top – Date Night, Working Chic, and Girly Urban! I really want to hear from you guys, so I have two questions for you!! Which outfit is your favorite… and what are your tips or tricks for making the most of YOUR wardrobe?

Thanks so much and hope you enjoyed! Like, comment, and follow! 😛

~Christiana S.~ (OMG… WordPress won’t let me do tildas anymore??? My mind just exploded….)

P.S. – Don’t forget to visit Laura’s blog, “Laura’s Photography“!

 

Neutrals and Br!ghts July 20, 2013

Feeling glowy and summery? Match your mood with bold jewel tones and happy neutrals! For instance, brighten up a room in a glowing yellow dress like the one by Ora Kiely (my go-to bright dress is a super cute bright yellow pleated dress by B. Smart – I’ve gotten so many compliments on that dress :P) , or add a exclamatory punch to your royal blue ensemble with a bright yellow bag like the Michael Kors clutch or a jewel tone shoe similar to the pictured Valentino pump 🙂

As always, you can pair your brights with neutrals (beige is a choice color this season!) to calm the outfit down without losing your sunny vibe… or start with a neutral palette as offered with the Van Mildert sheath and build on it with some bright accessories in your color of choice!

Hope you enjoyed! Leave a comment and share how you’re wearing your brights this summer!

~Christiana S.~

Neutrals and Br!ghts

Orla Kiely short dress
$310 – orlakiely.com

Darling lace body con dress
$62 – vanmildert.com

Prom dress
$76 – quizclothing.co.uk

Valentino cushioned shoes
bergdorfgoodman.com

Michael kors purse
bloomingdales.com

 

All American Bold July 15, 2013

Love all bold – color and print? Here are some simple ideas of how to style it 🙂
I’ve included some of the bolder Pantone 2013 colors in the “All American Bold” Polyvore set; Poppy Red and Tender Shoots, as well as the softer Dusk Blue as an example of how to temper the fun (but noisy) colors in an ensemble. I’ve also used some popular bold prints as backgrounds – Chevron, broad stripes, and of course, the timeless polka-dot xD

Enjoy and let me know how you’re using these colors this summer!

~Christiana S.~

 

 

All American Bold

Vero Moda body con dress
$29 – nelly.com

Vero Moda shirt top
$26 – veromoda.com

Farhi By Nicole Farhi a line skirt
$79 – nicolefarhi.com

Alexander mcqueen purse
alexandermcqueen.com

Forever new
$14 – forevernew.com.au

Tube scarf
target.com

HOTmakeup party makeup
$7.48 – nelly.com
 

Pastel Purity July 13, 2013

“Pastel Purity” features light, desaturated colors that are hot this summer – light blues, greens and purples and cool neutrals. Add pops of color with deep reds, warm oranges and yellows, bright greens or dark fuchsias…. or keep it earthy and subdued with creams, warm browns, washed out grays and soft pinks. Whatever you do, have fun with it and let your personality show through your choice of color 🙂
~Christiana S.~

Pastel Purity

 

 

Lovely July 11, 2013

Fun, airy summer set that I made on Polyvore! Inspired by the bohemian air – flower crowns, lace, and dancing in the sunset 🙂
~Christiana S.~

Lovely

Mini dress
modcloth.com

Steve madden shoes
stevemadden.com

Steve madden shoes
stevemadden.com

Tory Burch iphone case
toryburch.com

Topshop
topshop.com

Forever 21 lip gloss
forever21.com

Sia Rose Bouquet
$125 – amara.com

 

Summer 2013 Trend: BIG and BOLD June 28, 2013

Hello again! So with the help of Polyvore and Washington D.C. for inspiration, I have a new post for you all 🙂

One of the big trends I’ve seen around a lot this season is “Big and Bold” – which breaks into awesome subcategories like colorful, geometric, and flashy – all very fun! With this post though, I want to combine all of these trends and highlight a few of the best; Chevron, colorful/geometric jewelry, and a few hit hues for the summer season. So let’s get started!

 

I) BOLD GEOMETRICS: CHEVRON

Chevron… That funky zig-zag print that you keep seeing in the streets and on the stores… It’s a fun, bold geometric print that’s being seen everywhere from home decor, to clothing, to accessories… The best part about it is that it’s easy to wear – on a larger person, it distracts the eye from any imperfections, and on a smaller person, when used in a smaller print, or in little doses like an accessory or two, it gives that pop of color and pattern without overwhelming the figure. In general, chevron is a spunky, youthful print that gives off a fun modern vibe. Pair it with neutral or unpatterned clothing for the best effect. If you’re wearing it with another print, try something small and unassuming, such as small polka-dots or a tiny bird print so that the patterns don’t compete 🙂

The picture below is a Polyvore set I made to showcase different ways to wear chevron, all under $25, except for the dress ($40) and the skirt ($75), both of which you can likely find similar versions elsewhere for less 🙂

 

P.S. – Another “Bold Geometrics” trend to keep on the lookout for is Art Deco prints! With the recent release of The Great Gatsby, there’s been a lot of focus on the Art Deco throwback, a trend that includes classy geometrics, fantabulous silhouettes, and a general air of restricted freedom 🙂

 

 

II) BOLD ACCESSORIES: COLORFUL & GEOMETRIC JEWELRY

This trend is WAYYYY too much fun! I was able to spend a few days in Washington D.C. on a educational/political venture with an awesome group, and on the last day we had some free touring time, so I went with a few girls to Union Station in D.C., which is basically like a mall with a train station somewhere in it 😛  While there, I popped into a few stores that really caught my eye and gave me a lot of material for this section – Ann Taylor (who knew :P) and a SUPER adorable boutique called Francesca’s, which, if I could have bought the whole store, I would’ve! (yes, it was that cute <3<3<3)

Anyways, a huge trend in both those stores was again, the geometric prints, and just super fun, bright, colorful jewelry. Francesca’s, which was a little more trendy and geared to a younger age group, used a lot of lucite stones and beads in their jewelry (another big trend), while Ann Taylor stayed more on the conservative side of the jewelry material trends while still sporting bright and fun hues. The slideshow below is of a few pictures I took in the stores 🙂   I was able to find some of the items online, and included the links for you guys 🙂

P.S. – Keep an eye out for the lucite and acrylic-look jewelry trends as part of the “Colorful & Geometric Jewelry” trend! You can easily shop for this trend in stores like Francesca’s and Forever 21 🙂

 

 

III) BOLD HUES: COLORFUL COLORS

Remember all those fun Pantone Spring 2013 colors from their color report? (or my post :P)   Well guess which ones are huge this season?

Well, the bright ones, of course! (And some of the background colors :P) Among the popular colors this season are Nectarine, Greyed Jade, Dusk Blue, Linen and Poppy Red, seen in accessories, clothing, and jewelry all around stores and streets. This pattern of popularity is the balance between the ever-present opposites – the bright and bold, and the neutral and pastel. Colors like Nectarine and Poppy Red, along with smaller colors like Lemon Zest and bright greens like Tender Shoots and Emerald make up the showy stage colors, while color such as Greyed Jade, Dusk Blue, and Linen give the big spotlight colors a stage to shine on. Below is a gallery of a several items under $50 that can be found in these colors.

P.S. – Don’t ignore colors like African Violet and Lemon Zest in the “Colorful Colors” trend – while they aren’t the colors of the year, they make awesome complements for the really popular colors, and are making statements of their own 🙂

 

That’s all I have for now, but hopefully you enjoyed this post! As always, like, comment, follow, share, or all of the above 😉  Thanks!

~Christiana S.~

 

 
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