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Hallie Abrams

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The Leather Puffer: Fashion & Function

That red puffer coat Maggie is wearing in the photo above is mine from a few years ago. As I reminded her a zillion times, she’s only borrowing it – because she needed a warm coat that covered her tush. It got a lot of love on IG from all of you (thank you). And frankly a ton of love from every store and restaurant we walked in to as well. Maybe because it’s red and happily stood out amongst a sea of black jackets… And maybe it’s because leather puffer jackets are a cool way to stay warm and stylish.

It’s no good to look fab but freeze your a** off, right?? So your winter coat needs to keep you warm, first and foremost. And then it’s second most important job is to look good. Leather puffers happily do both!

How to make sure all the stuff in your closet is properly insured…

I realize a post about insurance may not be the somewhat light-hearted fun and fashion that’s regularly here. However, I truly believe this is an important topic to cover – ESPECIALLY for this audience!

I’m one of those people who actually LOVES all of the items in my closet. Yes, I know they’re inanimate objects, but they truly bring me joy. Thanks to Marie Kondo for coining that phrase. And I, btw, encourage my clients and readers to also love what they wear. It really does help bring out confidence and calm and lets you focus your energy on the bigger stuff. But I digress…

How to Protect Your Stuff = Insurance

So, I was kind of disappointed in myself when I realized how little I knew about keeping these joyful possessions protected. Not how to hang, fold or clean them but HOW TO INSURE THEM IN CASE OF DISASTER.

Yes, I totally have insurance – home, auto, life – we are covered. We have a fabulous agent, that I adore. Who, in fact, has become a wardrobe client and a friend too. And this past season, as we were purging her closet and coordinating outfits for fall/winter we got to chatting. 

How Much Would You Get to Replace it?

What Does the Pantone Color Even Mean??

Every year for the past 20 years, the Pantone Institute picks a COLOR OF THE YEAR. According to Wikipedia “Twice a year the company hosts, in a European capital, a secret meeting of representatives from various nations’ color standards groups. After two days of presentations and debate, they choose a color for the following year; for example, the color for summer 2013 was chosen in London in the spring of 2012”.   This color then influences fashion, home decor, floral design, graphic design, makeup, nail, and many other consumer-oriented products.

You might not have even consciously known about this whole Pantone Color of the Year thing. But, you may remember in certain years, particular colors become “popular.” And often that’s because it’s the Pantone Color that year. Like tangerine tango in 2012 or radiant orchid in 2014. In fact, one of my most favorite pair of shoes (for both comfort and fashion) is a pair of radiant orchid Jimmy Choo sandals from 2014. I still wear them and whenever I post a photo in them, you guys message me about a link for them… If only they still made them I’d be such a happy gal.

Hallie Abrams and Sara Shookman style animal prints

Animal Prints are HUGE right now. Maybe too Huge.

Animal prints are forever chic. They’ve truly never gone out of style. But right now, the animal print trend is huge. Like maybe too huge. All you have to do is spit and you’ll hit an animal print something in every store you enter. There is not a retailer, from Target to Saks (and everywhere in-between) that hasn’t jumped, heavily, on to this trend. In some ways, it’s great, because you can find animal print pieces at all price points. But in some ways, it’s feeling kind of overdone and saturated.

And as one client recently said to me “5 years ago you had me wear my animal print pieces and I felt a little edgy and different. Now when I go out it seems like everyone is wearing it, it’s a sea of women in leopard and it all just blends together.”

So the question might not be How to Wear Animal Print BUT How to Wear Animal Prints and Make Them Uniquely Your Own for 2020… Because getting dressed is about communicating who you are. Not just looking like everyone else.

chelsea black tank and Ellie Vail necklaces

The How To Layer Necklaces Formula

Last week I had an Instagram post about THE BEST top to wear under a jacket or sweater, but the layered necklaces I had in the photo seemed to get all the attention and love. And that got me to thinking about how when I meet with my private styling clients, a question that comes up often is HOW TO LAYER NECKLACES.  So, let’s address this wardrobe HOW TO this week.

While there is a formula, so to speak, know that rules are made to be broken. And if you have a way you like to layer your necklaces, that works for you, then go for it! You, do you.

Fill Up The Space

A lot of times there is the need to layer necklaces because there is visual space in the outfit that needs to be filled. Do you know that saying “what’s the most beautiful accessory a woman can wear.? Her smile…” that’s what it’s all about – bringing attention to a person’s face. And wearing necklaces, or scarves helps frame a face and therefore bring attention there.

Layered necklaces give the same umph as a statement necklace, but with a lighter, more casual vibe. But, unlike a statement necklace, it’s not a one and done. Meaning you can’t just throw the necklace on and go. The layered look seems more effortless, but in fact, takes more effort to make it look right. Ironic, huh??

Zara bootie with crystals and Aldo shoe clip

Holiday Party Outfit Overwhelm

In theory, getting dressed for a holiday party can seem kind of simple and straight forward. But let me give you an idea of what goes through most people’s minds…

“I know the invitation says FILL IN THE BLANK (cocktail, festive, casual, business) but what does that REALLY mean??? Do I have to wear a dress? Long? Short? And pantyhose? Do I have to shave??

I don’t want to be too overdressed. But I also don’t want to be underdressed. And, I don’t have anything in my closet that fits the bill! Ugh, I have to go shopping for something new. But I don’t want to buy something I’m only going to wear once. I have things but they don’t feel special or festive. And, my “going out” clothes aren’t totally appropriate to wear around my FILL IN THE BLANK (boss, co-workers, clients, grandpa, children). UGHHHH forget it. I just won’t go!”

And that there is precisely why getting dressed for holiday parties can be so dang stressful.

But it doesn’t have to be. Let’s get down to it… what do you wear to a holiday party so you’re not overdressed and also not underdressed. AND, I’d even add, if you need to buy something new, that it’s something you might actually be able to wear at another time of the year.

What Kind of Shoe Should You Wear With Leather Pants?

Do you remember last week’s post? All about leather pants? Well, I received a bunch of questions about what SHOES to wear with leather pants. Boots or pumps? Leather or suede? Same color or different? They’re totally valid questions. In fact, as I was chatting with some of my favorite store owners and managers recently, they said it’s a question they receive from customers often too…

So let’s have at it. A quick guide to what shoes pair well with leather pants.

Zara Leather Pant and Blank NYC faux fur coat

A Leather Pant, Really Hallie??

Ok, ok… I know, you might be bristling at the idea of leather pants. There’s something that feels very Sons of Anarchy, biker chick about them. But hear me out. As I was doing my own outfit planning this season I kept feeling like I was missing a key piece.  That my wardrobe needed that fun outfit for going out that was NOT jeans. But I also didn’t want anything as serious as slacks. What was I yearning for? That in-between pant that’s not too dressed up but not too casual either. My answer was a leather pant.

Now, when I say a leather pant, I do not mean those Spanx leather leggings that all of the 20-year-old bloggers are raving about. I am fine with those if they’re paired with a tunic and boots or even sneakers. But they are definitely a legging, NOT a pant. I don’t personally wear them either. Because I think they’re a pain in the a** to take on and off. I almost passed out just trying them on in the dressing room, it’s such a production. They’re kind of thick and tight, so you’ve got to shimmy them up and jump and wiggle.  And I drink way too much water to be futzing around every time I goto the loo.

What I was looking for was a real pant – a trouser style, but made of leather, or faux leather or even waxed denim that gives it a leather-like look, but at a friendlier price.

After A Lot of Searching…

Hallie Abrams searching for cyber week sales in an Inhabit cashmere sweater

The Cyber Week Sales Round-Up

To be totally honest I have never been a big Black Friday shopper. Possibly because I am still in a major food coma on the Friday after Thanksgiving. And because I don’t love the crowds. Shopping is a peaceful experience for me. And the pushing, elbow in the ribs, the survival of the fittest kind of thing is not peaceful IMHO. But Cyber Week Sales, now that I can get into…

The whole switch from standing on-line at 5 am on Black Friday in order to save big and receive a door prize giveaway, to Cyber Week sales shopping from the comfort of my own couch has turned me (sort of) into a Black Friday(ish) shopper.

A Cheat Sheet for Cyber Week

There’s a part of me that feels like this post is a cop-out. I am EXHAUSTED and the holiday crazies haven’t even started. But I figured I’d love a comprehensive list of what sales are happening when. And maybe you would too. So that’s what I’m doing… let me know if you like it (or not). The format is a little different but I hope it can serve as a cheat sheet for you to alleviate at least some of the stress of the holiday crazies for you this season.

Iro slouchy mid calf boot at Haven Chagrin Falls

Mid-Calf Boots, REALLY??

When I say mid-calf boots are in, let me preface this by saying they are JUST hitting the scene. Meaning If you go to NY or LA you’ll see people wearing them. Brands like, Aquazzura, Isabel Marant and  The Row are making them. And stylists and Instagram girls are styling them. BUT mid-calf boots have not quite hit the mainstream yet. The operative word is YET…

This happens in all fashion but especially with footwear. Like, remember 4 years ago when I wrote about sock booties? Or 2 years ago when I wrote about white booties? When you first read those posts you might have been hesitant, thinking, does she REALLY know what she’s talking about?? But now I’m guessing both of these trends feel like do-able fashion options, RiGHT??? 

It’s challenging to adopt trends early, but the earlier they’re integrated into your wardrobe the more bang for the buck you get out if the pieces.  That being said, if a trend is adopted too early it can feel strange and like you’re being a poser – and that’s a crappy feeling. SO there is a sweet spot (which honestly is different for everyone) where it feels new and slightly edgy but not like you’re a total outlier.

How to wear Mid-Calf Boots…