French Stripes

Striped shirt is one of the true wardrobe staples. I believe most girls I know have some kind of variation of a striped shirt.

History fact: Stripy pattern was originally part of sailor’s uniform in France and was called Breton shirt. “Breton” stands for Brittany. A shirt displayed 21 stripes for each one of Napoleon’s victories against British.

Breton striped shirts became popular after Coco Chanel used it in her nautical line in 1917. The original collection consisted  of the stripy shirt worn with flared trousers in navy and white. That combination is still very popular today.

I took a bit more romantic approach to the Breton shirt by combining it with pleated A-line full skirt in teal, statement pearl necklace, and nude pumps. Red lipstick and orange nail polish completed the look. The look is very Parisian, effortless, and very easy to wear. Do you have your favorite Breton shirt combinations?

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Is Blue On Your Grid?

Bright blue hues are my weakness. Royal blue, cerulean blue, cornflower and steel blue – I think I have them all in my wardrobe. My very first painting purchase has been of something blue and surreal (I was 16 or 17 at a time so don’t hold it against me). And even though I filled my closet with a variety of other colors over the years, I am still partial to blue – the fact that an entire shelf of blue shoes will confirm.

This blue butterfly silk top is a recent purchase from one of the flash sale sites. When it comes to embracing bright colors, there’s hardly a better way to let them stand out than pairing them with a monochrome piece. My white checkered skirt is a true veteran of my closet but I found some alternate options (suggestions below).

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Five ways to wear a military vest

I am a huge fan of layering pieces. Any outfit, in my opinion, looks more sophisticated and put together when multiple layers come into play. Think of a white t-shirt, for example… it’s nice and crisp but it looks plain on its own. Try layering it with a blazer or a vest and you have yourself a fashion outfit (plus or minus various accessories and awesome shoes). Speaking of vests – they are some of the most versatile pieces of any wardrobe. They provide layering flexibility on warmer days when a jacket or a blazer may be too warm to wear.

Recently I found a great military vest that I’ve already worn on multiple occasions. It has all the attributes of a perfect layering gem – it’s neutral in color, made of natural quality fibers (cotton with a tiny addition of spandex), features a cinched waste that gives it a flattering shape, and it fits just below the hip for the effortless but elegant look. With this vest, the outfit combinations are infinite and here are 5 to get your started:

1. In the Office 

The trick is not to go completely “blah” with any neutral clothing and especially when it serves as a top layer. A longer vest, like this one, with nothing to pop underneath will completely consume your outfit, so go with brighter colors. Plus, colors are always fun! 🙂 I paired the vest with a pinky-purplish skirt and a mint silky blouse for a more feminine look.

 Outfit details: Banana Republic vest, J. Crew Factory skirt, Elie Tahari blouse, M. Gemi Cammeo pumps, Target Cut-out handbag

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