The Biz

I’ve had quite a few people message me about the following topic & I really wanted to take some time & thought on this one. Let’s talk business attire; the one area of the fashion world that somewhat limits our options & freedom for authenticity. However, I strongly believe the following advice will bend this sad principle & help every heel-wearing, blazer-sporting, mega business babe show her voice & personality in & outside of the office.  [Keep in mind, this all varies depending upon where you work & their dress code requirements.]

The big hitting question: what do I purchase? There are so many ways to wear business attire & blend in pieces from your personal, daily wardrobe, but the key to looking professional is finding timeless pieces that make you feel confident. Here are some tried & true rules:

slacked

  • Find The New Classics: purchase pieces that hold longevity. Sweaters, button-ups, flowing blouses & slacks are ideal. These pieces mix & match flawlessly & will never go out of style, but don’t be afraid to play it up. The shapes of these classic pieces are ever changing to keep up with the fashion world, so I say go for a wide-legged slack & a statement belt, as these slight adjustments can change the entire era of an outfit.

office attire

  • Be Reasonable: sky-high pumps are not office friendly. Instead, opt for a pair that won’t make your feet feel like balloons. Generally, a one to two inch heel is the “safe zone” for office wear & try to select a pair in the nude, cream, black or tan family, as these will move fluidly throughout your entire wardrobe. I usually go for a pump that I can wear outside of the office to validate my investment & assure me that I’m still respecting my fashion voice.

pencil skirt

  • Draw The Line: pencil skirts are the perfect way to spice up a blank or boring office wardrobe, but be picky, as length is everything with this look. Walking the line of office appropriate & chic can be tricky with any leg-showing item, so keep it safe at knee-length & you won’t ever fail.

blazed

  • Blazer City: if my previous posts on blazers weren’t inspiring & intense enough, I will once again remind you of my blazer obsession. They are the perfect office attire addition & move incredibly well between business meetings & your after work glass of wine with a friend. Find yourself three favorites: one black or grey, one white or tan & one bright or bold. Having these three staples in your closet will dress up ANY look & make you feel chic & put together. Rememer: the true fit of a blazer is in the shoulders; if the stitching doesn’t line up with your shoulders, it doesn’t fit.

be bold

  • Add Some Pop: nothing says “put together” with more intention than a hint of creativity & personality in your outfit. Even in the most traditional work environments, a light pop of color is acceptable [& just plain fun]. Try to stick to pale pinks, blues & even light lavenders & plums. Remember: bright tops = muted bottoms. Never do both with work wear.

pleated

  • Slacked: the most important investment for your business wardrobe are pants. However, the 80’s are over & there are hundreds of options for business women today. The choice is yours, but I always believe that a fun pair of cropped pants or drawstring pants [particularly ones with strong pleats] can add interest & focus to an outfit, making it stand out among the sea of monotonous office wear. Not to mention, printed & non-printed pants are everywhere right now, so the options are basically endless.

city streets

  • Know Your Environment: if you spend your entire day out on the streets of San Francisco or New York running from appointment to appointment, then be realistic about your footwear & outfit. Always opt for slacks versus skirts or dresses & a fun pointed-toe flat; the wind-chill could seriously freeze your bones, your heels may slow down your pace & your focus will be on how quickly you can finish your meetings & ice your swollen sausage toes when you get home or where your next cab is because you can’t walk anymore. No one wants to lose agility & work ethic because of their attire, particularly your boss.

& last, but not least, keep learning what pieces & shapes work for your body & your body alone. Even if Amy in the corner cubical is rocking some amazing jump-suit & five inch stilettos, it may not be right for you. The entire purpose of fashion is about finding your own style & feeling beautiful doing it, so try not to be susceptible to trends…but you already knew that, because you’re a mega powerhouse business woman who blazes her own trail. Duh.

TGIT. Xx.

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Buckle Up

I had a curious reader ask if I wouldn’t mind discussing belts & which ones work for which body types. Seeing as Summer is [nearly] here & dresses & skirts are about to dominate our wardrobes, belts can be the perfect addition to almost any outfit. They help break up single-print fabrics, they add shape & contour to a waistline & well, help keep our pants up [I know, people still actually use them for this, ha]. Let’s get to it…

The way you decide to buckle or tie your belt[s] is entirely up to you; I always say the more creative the better. For some fun examples & fresh new ways to acheive this look, head over here to get the scoop. What matters even more than this fun styling trick, however, is fit.

hip line

Pear-Shaped Babes: opt for thin belts, particularly if you plan on wearing them at your hips. Also note that the more belting the better, as belts for your body type highlight your tiny waist. Blending single-tone & printed belts is perfect for your wardrobe, as each piece will elongate you & help bring the outfit together.

belly button

Hour-Glass Babes: thin to medium belts are staples for your body type, as your waist is also one of your smallest points. When rocking a skirt or dress, belting higher up on the waistline [right over the belly-button] will reset the focal point to your ribcage.

low belt

Petite Babes: don’t over-do it; thin, simple, monochromatic belts are in your wheelhouse, as over-embellishing could make you appear larger than you truly are. When pairing belts with dresses or skirts be sure to wear them right at your hip line, to give you definition & shape.

high rise belt

Apple-Shaped Babes: the higher the belt the better; wearing belts under the bust-line will help draw attention to your thinnest point [as well as give the girls an added boost]. Opt for large, wide belts to tighten & accent your waistline & throw in pops of color for added focus.

Last but absolutely not least, trust your instincts. If you don’t feel like the best version of yourself then try working in other accessories or colors. One of the hardest things to teach my clients is that styling takes time & work; the first outfit isn’t always the right outfit. Be patient, don’t get frustrated & remember to love your bones, they’re the only ones you get.

Happy Buckling, babes. Xx.

Mix It Up

I’ve had a few readers asking my thoughts on mixing prints & I’ve decided to put together my fool-proof guide to perfecting this look. Mixing prints can be incredibly uncomfortable, difficult & just plain…weird, if not executed properly. Below are my guidelines to understanding what prints can be deemed “neutrals” & how to make even the most outrageous print work alongside another print.

Rule #1: leopard is a neutral [yes, I really did just say that]. It goes with literally every color & hue & adds an elevated element to every outfit, particularly those among other prints. One of my favorite examples of this is the picture below; the checkered button-up with the pop of candy-apple red & leopard to top it off, is print-mixing perfection:

leopard mix

 

Rule #2: pair opposing sizes; if you choose to rock bold, wide stripes, be sure to contrast them with a tighter, more subtle print. Remaining organized & put-together is still important for this look, regardless of how far you wish to push the limits. Such as the following; the polka-dot print is small & tight, while the stripes are bold & overstated. This helps visually balance out the look, helping the prints work together rather than apart.

small vs large

 

Rule #3: keep it in the family; regardless of which shapes & patterns you choose to pair together, be sure that they are in the same color family. [Click here for a quick lesson on all things color wheel] The biggest trick to perfecting this trend is to follow the true colors in each fabric. Find a common color that brings the look into one fluid outfit & highlight it. Sometimes it’s even more interesting to choose the less obvious of all of the colors. See below:

color scheme

Rule #4: be subdued, but loud; throwing in camo prints to different looks is the perfect introduction to this type of styling, as camo is very understated & can be deemed a neutral. Add in a bold-colored accessory or two & you’ve got yourself your first mixed print fit. Helpful hint: camo’s best opposites are coral, leopard print & stripes:

camo

 

Rule #5: it’s all in how you wear it; be bold with this look & trust your instincts. Personal style is about letting your clothes do the talking, so if you love your look, allow that confidence to shine through the way you walk, talk & carry the outfit:

confidence

Now that you have some basic tools for this type of styling, be sure to attack your closets & create a look that speaks for who you are & what you love. That is the entire purpose of fashion, ya know. Happy mixing, readers! Xx.

 

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CONFESSIONS OF A MAKEUP BAG

Lyric was originated to focus on wardrobes & styling, but I’ve noticed an incredibly important & under-appreciated part of a woman’s wardrobe; her makeup.  While I won’t sit here & proclaim to know all-things-makeup, I do in fact know the importance of cleanliness & maintenance of your beauty products. As displayed above, today was cleaning day & I’ve decided to share the knowledge I have, my tips & tricks to keeping clean brushes & makeup bags, & some shocking statistics that may have you buying double the soap in your household. Here goes [squeamish ones beware]…

The Chicago Examiner conducted a survey & found the following results:

  • 56% of women go months without replacing their mascara [hello styes, nice to meet you]
  • 55% of women admit to sleeping with their makeup on daily [poor pillowcases]
  • 53% of women simply “forget” to wash their makeup brushes [bacteria heaven]

I noticed long ago that my skin would break out along by cheek bones, nose & forehead when I didn’t wash my bronzer brush & even my eyebrows would get a blemish or two when I didn’t clean my brow brush. Then, during my [broke] college years, I would randomly wake up with a stye on my eyelid, never noticing the relationship between sharing makeup, old makeup & my new red, eye bump. I decided it was time to change these frustrating circumstances & become aware of my makeup cleanliness & have since never looked back. To this day I clean my brushes, bags, scissors, applicators & tweezers weekly. Here’s my never-fail process:

brushes

BRUSHES:

  1. Hand wash every item in your bag with warm water & soap
  2. Grab your daily face-wash & saturate every bristled item in your bag with a drop of this product
  3. Wash thoroughly until bristles are back to their original color
  4. Repeat this process with your liquid &/or powder applicators

bag

MAKEUP BAG:

  1. Flip bag(s) inside out
  2. Wash & scrub heavily with hot water & soap
  3. Repeat this process, but with your daily face-wash [be sure not to miss the corners]
  4. Let air-dry inside out

trashed

MAKEUP SHELF LIFE:

While there are no legal requirements for makeup expiration, there are certainly suggested dates that have been compiled over the years. I recommend keeping a log of dates for each new piece of makeup as it’s purchased. Regardless, here are some tried & true timelines for your makeup:

  • Mascara: throw out your mascara [regardless of how expensive it was] after 3 months
  • Eye-Pencils: let these babies go after 2 years [keeping a clean sharpen each use]
  • Eye-shadow: dry shadows can last up to 2 years, while liquid shadows should be tossed after 12 months
  • Lipsticks: these stainers should be ditched after 2 years of use [or non-use]
  • Powders/Blushes: cream blushes & foundations can be held onto for up to a year, while powders can last up to 2 years
  • Foundation & Concealer: liquid concealer should be let go of at 12 months, while stick & moisturizing foundations can last up to 18 months

If you commit to this process weekly, you will find that your skin & pores will love you more than ever. “EVERY WEEK!?” you ask…as this experiment shows, bacteria can start growing on your brushes as quickly as 24 hours after use. Um, gross!

Your wardrobe & overall appearance is not isolated to just clothing, but rather the entire end result. These steps will elevate your look & maintain your overall well-being. Who doesn’t want that?

Happy cleaning, beauties. Xx.

 

nails

Nailed It

While spending the majority of our time & energy on redefining our wardrobe & what works within it, we may forget to dress our most visible feature: our hands. Your hands are two of the first things people see [& often touch] upon an introduction & keeping them clean & polished matters just as much as the rest of you. I’ve decided to share a few of my favorite nail secrets & colors for Spring 2014, to keep you looking fresh, put together & ahead of the game. Here goes…

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“Butler Please” by Essie is one of my absolute musts this season. It’s a stunning, deep cobalt blue that brings life to any outfit. Never do I get more compliments on my nails than when I rock this color.

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Pastels are everything this Spring & Orly’s “Harmonious Mess” is the front runner for my tan-hand babes. This color will, unfortunately, wash out any pale-hued hands, so perhaps put this one off until the true Summer months.

pinking of you

I love the versatility of this soft pink by OPI titled “Pink-ing Of You”. It’s chic, not overdone & makes any size, shape & colored hand look gorgeous.

merino cool

If the pastel look is something you appreciate, but you can’t quite get on board with, then try “Merino Cool” by Essie. This unique purpled-taupe hue will make for an effortless Winter to Spring transition & dresses up incredibly well, without the harshness of black.

mr and mrs

I have a lot of clients & friends that have careers that prevent them from sporting bright-themed nails, so this perfect nude by OPI titled “Mimosa’s for Mr. & Mrs.” is my recommendation. This isn’t your grandmothers nude polish, it adds just a hint of color without aging your hands. Not to mention, it is the perfect wedding polish.

topcoat

And now for my secret weapon: Barielle Gel Top Coat. This extra layer will gloss & prolong your mani for up to two weeks. I use it on my [at home] pedicures & my feet look amazing for weeks! The price point is a little steep, but it’s way worth the investment, as this product will last you. I promise.

So the next time you’re on a Target run to get that loofah & those whitening strips you’ll end up forgetting throughout your trip, be sure to pay your hands & feet some mind. They deserve some dressing up just as much as you do. Xx.

The Big Reveal

20140414-170847.jpg20140414-170854.jpgI figured it was probably time for me to debut the face behind the words & show that I really am a fashion-friendly, credible source for all things style & wardrobe.

I made myself one major promise upon starting Lyric & this blog in it’s entirety & it was that I refuse to relentlessly post pictures of myself on here. I want this part of the blogesphere to be about my readers & [potential] clients & about helping them identify their own personal style, not to mimic mine. However, if you find yourself inspired by any of my pictures, outfits, jewelry, etc., when they seldom do appear on the blog please don’t hesitate to reach out & inquire!

So here it is. Me. A shameless car selfie [taken on my iPhone]. Today’s fit & gems. & some major post-manicure debris.

Happy Monday, babes! Xx.

do you have the time?

do you have the time?

Watches are the perfect accessory for any outfit, but selecting the right one can be tricky & slightly exhausting. With the ever-trending boyfriend watch vs. the sleek & elegant feminine competitors, one can get lost in the shuffle. Let’s stop time for a minute & make some sense of it all…

Boyfriend watches: these gold, silver, mixed metal, large, strapped or linked watches can be worn with nearly anything & pull a not-so-polished look together in 1-2-3. This look can be incredibly versatile, but needs little embellishment. More often than not I see women [& men] wearing watch accents, also known as “arm candy”. Large watches are like the loudest person in the room; they need no introduction & less should be is more. Pair a thin cuff [of similar metal] or chain bracelet alongside your timepiece & call it good. I also prefer wearing my bulkier rings on the opposing hand as the watch to even out the weight differential.

Feminine Watches: these watches need friends; the more the merrier with this look. Throw on that giant gold cuff [still matching metal, please] & add varying sized bangles & chains. Texture & volume are what take this look from 0 to 60 with just an ounce of added effort. Mind you, the more wrist jewelry, the less neck & finger gems. Always remind yourself of balance & placement when adding accessories to your fit.

To get inspired or to shop for your perfect new wardrobe addition, browse through some of my favorite watch companies & designers at the moment:

Lastly, have fun with colors; don’t fear the colored dial or faced watches, as these little additions can play up a seemingly simple outfit. Your accent pieces are almost as important as the clothes surrounding them, so choose wisely & be sure they make YOU feel like the Goddess/Gods that you are. Xx.

All Things Jeweled

layered

 

Need a place to shop for the best Spring & Summer jewelry? Gorjana has amazing pieces & just teamed up with one of my favorite fashionistas, Courtney Kerr. Their jewelry doesn’t turn into terrible brassy one-time-wearers & are well worth the investment. Their designs are so unique & fashion forward; scoop up the right pieces for you, today! Xx.

Foot Fetish

blocked

The shoe game is strong this Spring & I want to help break down what styles work for what body types & why. You may love caged gladiator sandals or block heeled wedges, but these styles flatter particular parts of the body & may not be fit for you. I’m going to showcase some of Fashion Week’s biggest sandal trends of 2014 & help you decide which footwear you want to rock the next two seasons.

Gladiators

  • Avoid knee length gladiators unless you are 5’10 with thin, model legs. If this look does in fact work for your figure, then opt for lightly detailed ones, in the neutral colored family.
  • For those unable to enjoy this style, shop for a great, short gladiator sandal with thin straps along the ankle. These straps will help elongate the body & prevent thickening of the legs.
  • The best gladiator style for thick legs is that with a heel, as this makes the legs appear longer.
  • Avoid wide straps around the ankle, regardless of the shape of your legs, as this will cut you off at your thinnest point, making any leg look stumpy.

Block Heels

  • I am absolutely obsessed with this look; a block heel is great for women with large calves, as it helps balance out the size of the legs.
  • Height is everything with this style; be sure to choose a heel that is feasible for your lifestyle.
  • A block heel can come in dozens of shapes & prints, but don’t fear a bold color. Drawing attention to the lowest part of the body means less attention on other parts you’d prefer unseen.

Single Strap Stiletto

  • The simplicity of this look can make any women incredibly sexy & feminine, but color is everything. Opting for a nude is ideal, as any shoe in a nude hue elongates the legs [& who doesn’t want longer looking stems?]
  • The day-to-night versatility of this look is so freeing & fresh, who doesn’t love accessible fashion?
  • This style is meant for women with thin, narrow feet, as this shoe is incredibly minimal & leaves little to the imagination.

If possible, try to select shoes with comparable metals as the jewelry you are wearing. Sounds a little over the top, but I, personally, find mixing gold jewelry with silver hardware a bit distracting [to each their own]. Lastly, I always remind my clients that flip flops are meant for the beach & if you are willing to take the time on the top half of your outfit, then do the same for your footwear. Your feet will thank you, as will your wardrobe & all of those eyeing your gorgeous Spring & Summer fits this year. I promise. Xx.

Rear View

butt

I’ve debated taking on this next topic for fear that it may offend, however, after having witnessed far too many saggy booties the past few days, I’ve decided it’s time…

Let’s talk butts.

Denim is one of the most wearable fabrics & can make any body type incredibly sexy, if worn properly. More often than not I see pockets that are ill-fit for the bodies wearing them & would like to break down the best shaped jeans for the best buns. Here goes:

  • Flat booty babes: be bold; denim with flap pockets & detailing [no rhinestones, ever] will add volume & shape to your rear. Seek jeans with pockets that are placed high on the butt, as this gives a rounder look.
  • Wide booty babes: less is more; medium sized, central-placed pockets make the butt appear smaller & creates an optical illusion by breaking up the expanse of the butt. Be sure to stay away from embellishments & details & always remember: flap pockets are your nemesis.
  • Saggy booty babes: lift & fit; loose fitting denim is not your friend. Tight, fitted denim is ideal for your body type. Avoid long pockets & opt for high-seated ones to help give the illusion of a lift; the bottom of the pockets should never sit lower than the very top of the leg.

Lastly, be sure to respect your waistline & it’s true fit. There are few things more tragic than a perfect pocket & an ill-fitting waist. Muffin top has never & will never be a look; if need-be, always hop a size up & invest in a great belt. Think longevity & future wear, not what will fit for the next day or so if you skip out on your morning coffee & croissant.

Much love & happy hunting. Xx.