How do you know which trends are going to last?

Along the lines of Suz's question, I was wondering how do you all know which trends are going to have staying power? Most of my prior clothes were bought in the early/mid '90's and now whenever I post my old clothes, everyone is like "Oh, that's so '90's!" like I should get with the times ;-)

Now that I am finally rebuilding my wardrobe, I love my new clothes and I want them to be wearable for a long time. But how long can I expect these clothes to last before they become unfashionable? One to two years? Five years? Ten? Another fifteen like my old clothes? How long is realistic to expect your clothes to be fashionable/wearable for?

And I've been having fun with some of the latest trends, but I've been scared to try some of the more daring trends for fear they'll become outdated quickly. Like I've been hesitant to buy a faux fur vest because I feel like next year people are going to say, "OMG that's so last year." I don't want to spend my money on clothes that won't last more than a year, but I also hate buying "boring" plain classic clothes like basic neutrals. I really like my clothes to have a bit of flair or some sort of twist, like colorful patterns on a pencil skirt etc. How do you balance having things that are "on trend" but not so trendy that they are going to become passe quickly? And how do you tell which hot trends are going to flame out by next season? Thanks!


Which discount fashion store do you shop at? Is it high or low yield?

I've done a lot of shopping at Nordstrom, Anthropologie and gotten some Kate Spade sale items too but all of those tend to be on the expensive side. So I'm wondering which is the best discount fashion store to go to and whether it's high yield enough in terms of finding up to date good quality fashionable clothing to justify the time to go there. I've bought quite a bit from Gap and H&M and have been pretty happy with those items (although others have said that the quality can be hit or miss). I went to Zara and to a local consignment store as well, but ended up empty-handed at those places. MaryK and I went to Loehmann's which is a place I'd love to try again when I have more time to browse. And I really want to try Nordstrom Rack next time I have time to go into the city to shop.

Part of the problem is I have little time to shop, so I tend to want to go to stores that I know are likely to have the specific item I need (as opposed to just going to the store to browse for unexpected finds). I like shopping online, then going in with a list of things to try, which is why Nordstrom & Anthro work well for me. And I like their generous return policies (esp Nordstrom). The discount stores seem like they might be more of a treasure hunt or crapshoot, which is fun if you're in the mood but not if you need something in particular (like say, the red jeans I'm currently searching for). I don't want to spend more than I need to though either. Thoughts? Just wondering if any of you go to these discount stores and if any of these should also be on my list to try?

JC Penney
Old Navy


Una's challenge: RATE Kate Spade

I almost hate to jump in now cause this RATE thing is getting kinda heated. And I admit, I am guilty of confusing RATE with edgy but that's because the RATE queens ARE so edgy and fab! Here's my attempt to RATE up Kate Spade, because Una said it couldn't be done. ;) I'm wearing my Kate Spade ruffle trench with the belt hanging loose. I left my top half untucked, and wore a scarf that has a fringy unfinished edge. And my red zipper boots, just because I still can't get rid of the RATE=moto chic association in my mind. And I messed up my hair a little and did some slouchy poses. What do you think? Any RATE-ness at all? Throw me a bone here...this is tough--I'm so polished I don't even own any visibly ripped/distressed clothes! :)


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WIW: Anthro Winter Tree shirtdress

Here is the Anthro Winter Tree shirtdress that I posted pics of before...I wore it for real for the first time (wore it to work today). I kept the size 6 because even though the 4 fit better up top, it was too short. I swapped out the self-tie that came with it for my Linea Pelle belt, because I didn't want it to look like I was wearing a silk nightrobe, if you know what I mean! I think it cinches the waist in better too. Do you still think the dress looks like needs to be taken in? Is it too short in the back? The dress is unlined and I just realized it's clinging to my butt a little so I think I may need to buy a slip. I wore it with nude heels, and my favorite V necklace & bronze cuff. I really like this dress because most of my maternity clothes were from Japanese Weekend, and I buy nearly all my kids' clothes at Tea Collection, and this dress reminds me of those brands (modern Asian-inspired prints). Tea Collection now has a women's line, but I tried a lot of their stuff and had to return the whole order...for some reason it didn't look good on me. So I was happy to find this Anthro dress!


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What new looks are you experimenting with? Having a blast over here!

I am having so much fun branching out into brand new territory for me. I figure the more I push my fashion boundaries and force myself to try new looks, the more they'll start feeling like "me" or else I can figure out what works and doesn't so I can evolve my style. I already feel so much more fab than I did even a few weeks ago!

Here are some of the new looks I've experimented with since I joined YLF two months ago:
pattern mixing
monochromatic head to toe look
polka dots
scarves (I didn't own a single belt or scarf!)
pencil skirts
skirts with boots
skinny jeans
shirt dress
shearling vest
pussy bow blouses
wearing jewelry more often
wearing lipstick more often
shorts and tights
animal print
dramatic trench coats (ruffled black and red corset)
dressing down evening dresses to wear during the day
denim jacket
long graphic T and cardigans
colorful blazers
high heels (sandals and leopard heels)
layering and the ALGO look

Whew! Can you believe I never did any of those before? I can't believe what a style rut I was in before YLF!

And here's a few more new looks I want to try, but they would require purchasing some items first--I can only change so fast, you know! ;)
accessorizing my old plain black sheath dress (that I haven't worn in ages)
red jeans
white jeans
white and black button down dress shirts (hope to see you soon, Anne Fontaine! ;))
capri/clamdigger length jeans
more pattern mixing
cape or poncho (maybe, not sure about this look yet)
moto jacket/RATE look
parka and slip dress
faux fur vest
snow boots
fitted velvet/cord jacket
fitted neutral blazer
ankle booties
learning more about scarf tying--maybe even a headscarf!

Una recently posted this comment on one of my threads:
"GP, I think you deserve an award for "Most Rapidly Fab" or something. It is amazing how quickly your style has evolved, like watching time-lapse photography or something. Incredible." I had to laugh at that and nod my head...when I get into something new that excites my passion, I like to totally jump in with both feet! Team Dive all the way! I am so glad I found YLF--Angie and all of you ladies are the best!!! I'm having a blast!

What are you all experimenting with or what do you want to try next? I need some new ideas to try because I haven't been busy enough, LOL!


WIW: Mustard blazer and triple pattern mixing (feedback please!)

I bought this mustard colored blazer from Anthropologie:
So Saturated Blazer in Gold;color=030
and wore it two days in a row (so I could post pics for Rae & MaryK!)

Yesterday was MOTG day with the family...we were really busy with a birthday party, swim lessons (had to change into my swimsuit and get in the pool with my son) and then a school picnic. I like the MOTG combo because it was really comfortable but a little dressed up even though it's basically a Gap T shirt and skinny jeans, with the cotton blazer on top. I wasn't worried about going swimming and getting it wet, because the T shirt and jeans are machine washable. I also wore a V-shaped Christian Dior necklace and my bronze Forever 21 bracelet cuff. And I learned my lesson trying to wear the 3.5 inch leopard heels on my MOTG Saturday (hee hee), so I chose bronze Born ballet flats instead. Much better! DH liked my outfit and I even convinced him to take some pictures of me and the kids with the SLR!

Then today I wore the blazer to work with a green blouse and blue & green skirt, also from Anthropologie. I really like this work combo because it's like wearing a suit without actually wearing a suit (I don't like matching suits because it feels like I'm going on an interview, because that's the only time I've worn matching suits). And it's the first time I've done triple print mixing (I feel like I'm channelling MaryK!) so I had fun putting this outfit together! The green blouse has navy and cream dots, the navy skirt has olive & teal and the Fossil satchel has mustard, olive, cream and teal accents, so I felt like all the patterns "matched"/tied together somewhat. But I'm worried if it's a little too out there or TMGO (too much going on)? I even considered wearing my Chie rust sandals or the Heist leopard print pumps (since Kyle posted a pic of herself in a green blouse and the leopard heels), but I thought that would be too over the top, so I toned it down a little with the nude Easy Spirit pumps. I also kept jewelry simple--left off my bronze & orange cuff bracelet and just wore some simple turquoise teardrop earrings.

I didn't get any comments whatsoever on my outfit though from anyone today which is unusual, so now I'm having second thoughts and wondering if they're keeping silent because they think my outfit is either 1) fugly and clownlike 2) too crazy with the triple patterns (blouse, skirt and purse) 3) if the color doesn't look good on me or 4) if everyone is just used to me dressing up now and have stopped commenting on my new look (I hope that's it because now I'm wondering if they're just laughing at my outfit but are too nice to say anything!). Rae posted a link to color palettes and thought that I might be a Deep Winter, but it says "orange-yellows look horrible on Deep Winter". So is this outfit a Do or a Don't? I know what Hans, 27 would say, but what do you all think? Can I wear this blazer or does it look bad on me?

I tried to post a lot of pictures in different lighting conditions so you can get a sense of what the color looks like.
1-3. Outdoors with SLR in daylight, no flash.
4. Outdoors, no flash (DD took this one of me with my point & shoot!)
5. Inside, no flash.
6-7. Inside with flash
8-9. Inside, no flash
10-11. Outside, no flash
12. The catalog picture

Also (thanks if you've gotten this far), if you haven't had a chance to do so, please have a look at my "What's my style?" thread and weigh in...I'd love to get your input on my looks and my favorite outfit (in my profile pic) as well! Trying to sort out my fashion persona and need all the help I can get!



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Help me describe my style/fashion persona?

I know my fashion sense is really in flux right now, and it feels like I've learned/changed so fast in the last couple months since I joined that everyone riding along with me is getting whiplash! I was just wondering if you could help me figure out what my "style" is on this leg of my style journey, and how to describe it, because I think that would help me focus in on what direction I should be going in in my future purchases, outfit styling, etc.

I've read these posts:
and I can't seem to figure out what my type is. I think I'm moving from sporty natural and modern classic pre-YLF, more toward artistic eclectic and trendy fashionista now, but I have outfits that would fit into nearly all of those categories.
Also, I read Aida's list and tried to come up with my own:
PRIMARY NEUTRALS: black & white, gray
SECONDARY NEUTRALS: brown, camel/tan, cream
MAIN COLORS: red, rust/pumpkin, turquoise/teal, olive, eggplant, navy
ACCENT COLORS: mustard, raspberry, jade green, cobalt blue
DON'T WEAR COLORS: pastels (rarely) and fluorescent brights
red red red (main color, shoes, accessories, whatever), esp. black/white/red combo
bold jewel tone/autumn colors
color and pattern mixing (still learning the ropes)
bias cut skirts
ladylike/feminine clothing--ruffles, flared skirts
retro shoes (chunky stacked heels, ankle or T straps)
animal print
a little bit of 70's/boho (but not too much)
Asian-inspired modern pieces
statement accessories--shoes, handbags, belts that stand out
unique twists on classic pieces--like printed pencil skirts instead of plain ones
jewelry--still trying to figure this out but I prefer unique pieces over classic ones
wearing specs almost all the time
minimal makeup, straight hair

Style goals:
1. Polished professional
2. Trendy fashionista
3. Stylish but comfortable MOTG

So, how would you describe my style? I've included my favorite looks so far to help you out. (ETA: see my profile pic for one more favorite outfit!) Also, if you are into color theory, what "season" does this make me? Because I'm confused whether I'm a winter or seems like a winter, but all my other main colors are more autumn-y.


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WIW: Off the deep end--red corset trench and leopard heels

No dipping my toes in the pool. I am definitely Team Dive, as in Scuba Dive! I am jumping in with both leopard-clad feet! Whoo!

Anthropologie Elevenses Pansy Corset Trench in Red (my favorite color!)
Brown graphic tee from H&M (I love this because it's long, so it covers my mommy tummy even if I'm holding the baby and my jeans are slipping).
Gap Always Skinny Jeans
The Angie-recommended B Makowsky Heist leopard and red heels (since Lynne requested to see them in action!)
Ann Taylor necklace--this is an old necklace and I would never have worn necklaces with T-shirts & jeans before, but I think this dresses it up a little.
Kate Spade Date Night red flower ring (just for fun)

I know I'm posting way too many pictures of just one outfit, but since DH let me have a few photos with DS while DD was in her ballet lesson, I just had to post those too. Hope you don't mind!

1, 6 & 7. The whole outfit.
2-5. Special mommy time with my little boy!
8-9. At a birthday party with the kids. I don't really like my poochy tummy in #9, but my daughter's fashionista pose was so funny I had to share. I think she's picking it up from her mommy, LOL!
10-11. The leopard heels (everyone was commenting on how great the shoes were). Unfortunately, they weren't exactly the right shoes for my MOTG day today...they rubbed against my pinky toes when I walked, and we went to the park and all this sand got in my shoes. Even though they're not so great for MOTG or long distance walking, they're still awesome statement shoes! I used to laugh at my mom for always wearing heels all the time, even to inappropriate casual places. I swore I'd never do that. And now I'm becoming her, haha!
12. Picture from the catalog of the corset detail in the back. This is so unlike the old me. I swear I've gone completely nuts! But having lots of fun!

ETA: Just had to add these--more pics of the kids!
13-17. One of DD's favorite things to do is try on Mommy's shoes. She's a budding fashionista! Look at how she's modeling the shoe in #14, LOL! And this time, baby brother wanted to join in the fun with Daddy's shoes!


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Wardrobe holes--what are you missing/looking for?

I have made giant strides toward having a complete wardrobe, so there's not a whole lot left at this point. But I'm still looking for the following:
1. Black skinnies (I bought one but I realized it's too loose so it's going back)
2. Red jeans
3. Red belt (I've looked everywhere but no one seems to have anything, oddly enough). I'm waiting to find one so I can wear my polka dot shirt.
4. Fitted short sleeve mock turtlenecks in black and in cream--I used to have ribbed mock necks in these colors and wore them ALL the time, but they wore out/got stained. I really like this shape with bias skirts (of which I have tons) and feel like it's less bulky looking on me than having a full turtleneck.
5. Camel coat (I have one but it's old and worn and has holes in the lining, so I'd love to replace it if I can find the right one).
6. Red cardigan
7. Ankle booties and/or oxfords (not needs, but would be nice to have one or both)
ETA: 8. The perfect white shirt

Can you believe that's pretty much all I'm really missing now? I've come such a long way! Any links/suggestions for finding the above items would be super appreciated.

What are you missing/looking for? Maybe we can all help each other look!


WIW: Date night--dotty dress goes to the symphony!

Yay, my first occasion for wearing the Kate Spade polka dot dress for a night out, the perfect venue for her (I've only worn it one other time to work, and she was covered up with a cardigan). We wanted to go out tonight for a date because our nanny was available to stay late. DH saw that Yo-Yo Ma was playing with the SF symphony, but all the tickets were sold out for days. Last night I checked the website again, just in case, and I happened to find two tickets available, and they were really nice seats towards the front. We snapped them up, and later that night I checked again and everything was sold out again. So we really lucked out. We have never been to the symphony together, and the last time we were in that symphony building was on our wedding night 12 years ago, when they had a Black and White Ball there that we attended. So it was a big night for us! The music was awesome...Yo-yo Ma is an amazing cellist and you can tell that he really enjoys what he's doing and is passionate about it. The orchestra and conductor were great to watch and lovely music.

It was really nice to get dressed up to go out together...we haven't done that in a long time (usually we go out for a quick dinner & sometimes a movie--usually pretty casual). DH wore a suit & tie--I think he looked quite dapper. I wore the dotty dress with the Kate Spade ruffled trench on top (first time to wear the trench!). The trench lining is very cool--it has a map of New York. The kids had fun seeing us all dressed up too. So much fun!


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