Category Archives: Closets

Leopard + Lace

As a stylist, I’m always making clothing combinations for my clients that they tell me they NEVER would have thought of themselves (hence, leopard print plus lace).   I tell them – well it’s a good because otherwise I wouldn’t be doing my job!  This outfit started with this great Karen Zambos top that I loved so much, I got it in black, too.  I usually don’t do that (buy something in a couple of colors) but this top will never go out of style and I consistently get compliments on both colors.

The next piece was the denim – I am really into Mother Denim lately.  They have such a great fit and perfect washes.  These specifically are their boot cut denim, in a wash called ‘secrets in a small town.’  Don’t know about that name, but the wash is killer for spring and the fit is divine.

Next of course came the vest.  I love a vest – I have a few more in my closet (that incidentally I’m standing in) that I can’t wait to share with you.  But this one I randomly came across while shopping for a client in Banana Republic this Fall.  It was such a good buy – I had a 40% off coupon – and the muted leopard print is done just right.  The other thing about a faux fur vest that you have to be careful of is that it isn’t too plush or full.  Especially if you’re well-endowed (which I am), a big puffy vest can add weight.  So this one had just the right combination of furry and cozy, yet sleek.

For the rest of the outfit details, see the end of this post.

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Vest, Banana Republic (no longer available, but ShopStyle has a lot of faux fur vest options)

Top, Karen Zambos Vintage Couture (top is no longer available)

Jeans, Mother Denim, Bootcut

Heels, BCBG Generation Parade Pumps in Cashew

Bag, Marc Jacobs Stam Quilted Bag in Navy

Bracelets, Gorjana Teagan CuffGorjana Parker Leather Wrap, J Crew sale bracelet

Watch, Michele

Thanks for stopping by Style Spies today – and if you loved this post, will you share it?  Or comment?  We love and appreciate all feedback!
“Style is a way to say who you are without having to speak” – Rachel Zoe
Signing off in Style,
Mollie (& Erin)

Meeting the Damsel.

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Last week Jen (our newest Style Spy) and I had the absolute pleasure of meeting a blogging icon, Jacey Duprie of Damsel in Dior.  She hopped on a plane from warm LA to literally 5 degree Chicago for an event at our Ted Baker store on Rush Street.  Lucky for us, since it was so unbelieveably cold, we think it kept some people away.  More time for us to chat with Jacey and see who the girl behind the {fabulous} blog really is.

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Let me tell you, she’s every bit as fabulous as she is in her blog, but also just a girl, like you and me.  Completely down to earth, funny, and obviously a super smart businesswoman.  Completely self branded and self made – pretty awesome.

If you don’t follow the Damsel, you should.

And if you haven’t checked out her collaboration with my good friend Gorjana, you should do that as well.

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Here are a few of our favorites from the Damsel X Gorjana collection.

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Damsel Necklace, $60did-003-g_2

Damsel Studs, $35

did-303-01-gHigh Line Triple Ring, $60
did-202-01-g_2High Line Triple Cuff, $110

Thanks Jacey for being a style, blog, and business inspiration.  We were so glad we got to meet you!

Signing off in Style from Chicago,

Mollie & Jen

A Fashionable Entrance

Cheers to the holiday season, it’s officially here!  Thanksgiving is over, Hanukkah is in full swing, and Christmas is on the horizon.  We love the holidays at Style Spies – from the parties we get to dress up for, the decorating, and of course…..the shopping.

 Today’s post is a little gift to you (and us).

We’re THRILLED to introduce to you our newest Style Spy, Jen Wold.  She’s a Chicago gal and has her finger on the pulse, trend-wise.  She’s the perfect addition to our team of stylists, and if you read on, you’ll understand.  We’ve asked Jen to introduce herself to you all…….so Jen, take it away!

Photo Credit: Robin Ryan runnercollective.com

Photo Credit: Robin Ryan  runnercollective.com

I was groomed for a career in fashion at an early age… By my Dad. I remember so many evenings, before my parents would go out, my Dad would come find me and say, “Go help your Mom. She needs it.”  I’d head to my parents room, and ever so gently I’d “encourage” my Mom to change. It’s something we all laugh about now, even though it was not so amusing when my Mom first got wise to us.

Over the years, I extended my services to friends and family. It’s something I truly love. When I lay in bed at night (instead of counting sheep) I plan outfits. I mentally pack bags for trips I haven’t even booked yet! Fashion is my happy place. And I am beyond thrilled to be able to share that with the Style Spies community.

 I’ve always felt like personal style was a quick and effective way of telling people something about yourself. So what better way to introduce myself than to give you a sneak peek into my closet! As my husband can attest, I am a borderline clothing hoarder… But I did manage to narrow it down to a few of my favorite pieces.

This necklace from J Crew is perfect for adding a little sparkle to my everyday look.

This necklace from J Crew is perfect for adding a little sparkle to my everyday look.

I've had these Sam Edelman booties for over 2 years and I wear them CONSTANTLY. They look amazing with skinny jeans everyday, and really add a fun edge to dresses and skirts.
I’ve had these Sam Edelman booties for over 2 years and I wear them CONSTANTLY. They look amazing with skinny jeans everyday, and really add a fun edge to dresses and skirts.

Ok, bear with me on this one! I tried this Urban Outfitters jacket on, on a whim and was SHOCKED at how cute it was. It looks great with a black cami, skinny jeans and black booties.

Ok, bear with me on this one! I tried this Urban Outfitters jacket on, on a whim and was SHOCKED at how cute it was. It looks great with a black cami, skinny jeans and black booties.

I could only deny my need for prescription sunnies for so long. Luckily, Warby Parker offers these beauties. The best part is, for every pair sold, they donate a pair to someone in need. Another bonus- they offer at home try-on!

I could only deny my need for prescription sunnies for so long. Luckily, Warby Parker offers these beauties. The best part is, for every pair sold, they donate a pair to someone in need. Another bonus- they offer at home try-on!

This trio get thrown into the rotation at least once a week. They pretty much "go" with everything.

This trio get thrown into the rotation at least once a week. They pretty much “go” with everything.

 

I could go on, but instead I thought I’d help you with your Black Friday shopping! I managed to round up some similar pieces, only these have much friendlier price tags.

{vela drape necklace $98} madewell.com Free shipping AND 25% off until Monday!

{vela drape necklace $98}
madewell.com
Free shipping AND 25% off until Monday!

 

{Mossimo Kinley Boot $24.48 - $34.99} target.com

{Mossimo Kinley Boot $24.48 – $34.99}
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{outbound jacket $148.00} madewell.com 25% off until Monday!

{outbound jacket $148.00}
madewell.com
25% off until Monday!

 

{Target Limited Edition Clutch in Silver $16.99} target.com Buy one get one 50% off women's boots and bags!

{Target Limited Edition Clutch in Silver $16.99}
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Buy one get one 50% off women’s boots and bags!

I’m so happy to be a part of the Style Spies family and I can’t wait to bring you guys some more fashionspiration!

Happy shopping!

Signing off in Style from Chicago,

Jen

 

I’ve got a date with Cusp. Meet me there.

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I’m super excited about Thursday.  I have the pleasure of being a guest stylist at the Neiman Marcus Cusp event in Northbrook!  I’ll be helping anyone who wants it – putting together Fall outfits that are on trend, picking out just the right shoes or accessories so you can be ‘that girl’ at your next party………basically, you need help with your Fall wardrobe?  Come see me!

The theme is Rocker Chic, and as I’ve been doing a lot of personal shopping at Neiman’s lately – let me tell you – there is so much amazing stuff to choose from.  Cusp houses amazing designers from Alice + Olivia to DVF to Robert Rodriquez to AG denim; you can’t NOT pick something out that will complement your current closet.

Some things I’m loving right now in the Cusp department?  Don’t mind if I do.

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Robert Rodriguez Colorblock Faux Leather Dress, $425

Chic, elegant, two trends in one.  This season RR knocked it out of the park.

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DVF Karina Leather Panel Skirt, $375

For those who know me, they will agree I love a good mini skirt. Wear it with an oversize sweater, tights, and flat rocker-chic boots for day, and pumps with a lacy top for night!

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Generation Love Metallic Slit Sweater, $138

This is seriously one of my favorite new(er) designers. Anything she does I’m in love with, instantly.

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7 For All Mankind High-Shine Skinny jeans in Cabernet, $198

These ROCK. Must.get.in.my.closet. #thankyouverymuch

Finally – something that has already made it into my closet from Cusp Neiman Marcus?  This amazing tweed vest by Rebecca Taylor.  A little edgy but the tweed sweetens it up  - I can’t wait to wear this with just a tee shirt and leather paneled skinnies.  It’s an investment piece for sure…..I know navy tweed will last forever!

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Rebecca Taylor Tweed Motorcycle Vest, $425

 

I hope I’ve piqued your interest – please come see me Thursday at CUSP in Neiman Marcus Northbrook.  Aside from seeing me – there will be a fashion illustrator there (I’m not-so-secretly really excited about this), some treats, a braid bar (I’ll definitely be leaving with a sick braid people), and a rock violinist.  SO COOL!!  You can’t miss it.

So let’s review:

What?  Cusp Event

Where?  Neiman Marcus Northbrook

When?  12-4pm

Who?  ME, styling YOU for Fall 2013

 

Signing off in Style,

Mollie

 

Recycle your Summer Black Maxi Dress for Fall

It is the week after Labour Day and I am sure a lot of you might be putting away your whites… but you don’t have to put away your black maxi summer dress quite yet! You know that one long dress you have in your closet that’s an easy summer wear? I have been playing around with other items in my closet to see how I can wear it for fall and this is what I have come up with.

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Here is my black simple jersey maxi dress.

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Here it is layered with a denim vest (that used to be a jacket) and my new neutral animal print scarf. All ready for fall!

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Here is the dress layered with my favorite grey cardigan and my tribal print scarf for a pop of color and style.

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Here it is with a pinkish crocheted sweater over it. The sweater is quite slouchy and I like to wear it off one shoulder so you can still see the black dress underneath. Looks very stylish and is just so simple!

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Here is the dress layered with another sweater that is not slouchy so the dress doesn’t do any peekaboos on top, but keeps the lines long and lean. Long necklace adds to the long line.

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Another sweater look. Grab your striped sweater from your closet, add a belt around your waist and voila! Instant outfit.

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Here is one last look. Throw over the dress your favorite graphic tee, pair with a pair of boots and your ready to go! A jean jacket would complete this look I think!

You can create these looks with items you have in your closet and any color maxi dress you have really. Just play around and see what you come up with. We would love to see your looks you have created! Please post on our Facebook page.

 

Signing off in Style from Miami

Anna

How to wear 1 {fabulous} skirt – 3 ways.

Often when I am working with a client I find this problem:  ’I love love love this piece, but I only wear it with this or that.  How else can I wear it?’

Normally the items my clients are pairing with their one fabulous piece are the items that the salesperson at the store suggested or even better, the outfit was the what the mannequin was wearing.  Pretty foolproof, I must admit.  But the idea is to get more wear out of your clothes, no?

So – I recently bought a gorgeous maxi skirt at Anthropologie that ironically I had recommended on Pinterest for another client (#shoppingaddiction #yesIhaveone).  Here it is:

Ping Embroidered Maxi Skirt, $168

Ping Embroidered Maxi Skirt, $168

This skirt is just so versatile, yet with the embroidery and bright blue color, it can be a bit tricky to pair other things with it (other than an obvious orange tank like the model is wearing, or a white tank).  So…..I decided to do a little show and tell with items found in my own closet.

Of course I do not have a professional photographer on hand, nor do I trust my 5 year old to hold my fancy camera and take pictures.  So – please mind the selfies taken into my mirror!  ;-)

Look #1

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Look 1: Denim shirt from J Crew + Men’s hat from Saks off Fifth + Target Mossimo wedges

  I threw on my chambray shirt from J Crew (similar HERE), added one of my favorite spring/summer fedora hats that I found at Saks off Fifth last summer in the Men’s department (similar HERE), and some oldie but goodie wedges from Target (similar HERE).

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Just another shot so you can see the view from the front and the hat a little better.

Look #2

Skirt paired with silky Vince tank top, J Crew cargo vest, and Stella and Dot necklace.  Same shoes as prior.

Skirt paired with silky Vince tank top, J Crew cargo vest, and Stella and Dot necklace. Same shoes as prior.

This is a go-to look for me.  I have worn both this tank and vest A TON; the money spent on each has been well worth it!  Find the Vince tank HERE, and a similar vest HERE.

I also love this Stella and Dot Rebel Pendant necklace – it goes with everything and anchors a flowy top well.

Stella and Dot Rebel Pendant, $79

Stella and Dot Rebel Pendant, $79

 

Look # 3

Last look - J Crew linen cable knit sweater and knock-off J Crew necklace.  Worn with flat sparkly sandals.

Last look – J Crew linen cable knit sweater and knock-off J Crew necklace. Worn with flat sparkly sandals.

 

For the last look I went a little more casual.  The J Crew boatneck sweater is a linen blend, which makes it perfect for spring time weather, and I threw on my turquoise bubble necklace that is a total knock off of the original J Crew necklace that was EVERYWHERE last spring.  Brighthouse Baubles is THE place to get affordable jewelry that looks like the real thing.  Check them out!

J Crew no longer has that sweater, but for a similar look – check out these lightweight cardigans at the Gap.  I like the kelly green with the blue skirt.

The shoes are just a sparkly flat that I have had FOREVER.  Any kind of metallic sandal dresses up this outfit just enough.

That wraps up today’s lesson in fashion – hope you’ve enjoyed the peek into my closet  and now you know what I’ll be wearing my new skirt with this season!

Signing off in Style,

Mollie & Erin

Cleaning out a Man’s closet

Men’s closets.  Typically a mess, not organized in the least, and in need of cleaning out and reorganization on a semi-regular basis.  Now I know some of you know men out there who are super neat and particular about where things go.  They are a-typical, let me tell you!

At Style Spies, we also clean out and organize men’s closets.  It’s actually a lot of fun because most men are of the ‘whatever you say’ attitude!  So if you’re like me (a teensy bit bossy) you will be in your own personal kind of heaven.  Today, I wanted to share with you my husbands closet.  I bust in there about every six months with or without his permission and clean/purge/organize for him.  I know you’re probably saying – he can do that himself!  Trust me, he cannot.  When left to his own devices, he is never sure what is spring and what is fall, nor is he sure what is navy or black!

Oh but I love him so!  Isn’t he handsome?

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Alright so here are some ‘before’ shots.

 I realize that there are many closets that are much worse off than his, but……..he does live with me.  A messy closet is not in my vocabulary.

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A little disheveled, dry cleaning bags that are never taken off, mixed up seasons, and some choice folding techniques.

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The shoes aren’t that bad – but the after pictures show how you can make more room for your shoes.

Now, for the ‘After.

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Pants hung together, and all short sleeve and summer shirts together.  Don’t want to accidentally break out the linen pink and white shirts too early!  ;-)

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Heavy winter sweaters on the top shelf, spring sweaters and cardigans below, denim and denim-related pants folded up together.  I also like to teach my clients the art of folding denim.  Many years in retail taught me that the easiest way to decipher which jeans are which is to fold them with the rear pocket facing up.

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My husband doesn’t wear a full-on suit to work everyday, so he only has a couple.  We keep them in a hanging bag to help with the dust settling on the shoulders.  His ties and belts hang on organizers next to the hanging bag (you can’t quite see them), and behind that are all of his blazers, sport coats and casual jackets.  And yep – a few of my dresses made their way into his closet.  ;-)))

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Organized shoes.  Nothing better.  More space was made by purging a few, and then flipping each shoe so you can see the back and front of each pair.

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After cleaning out his shoes, there were some extra shelves at the top that were empty.  Seeing as how the pajama pants were living with all of his jeans before, I thought this would be a good place for pj pants and work out/chill out related attire.

And that’s it!  Voila!  A concise, easy to work with closet.  Being able to see things clearly makes it SO much easier to get dressed in the morning.

Please let any of us at Style Spies know if you know a man who needs some help with his closet – or some shopping help!!  In many cases, our clients have asked us to help their husbands or significant others, because the guys just might be a little more receptive to someone other than their wife or girlfriend telling them to get rid of those A&F multi pocketed pants circa 1999.

Signing off in Style,

Mollie & Erin

On Target

I cannot stop shopping for spring at Target right now!  They have really nailed the trends and the basics this season, at a price point everyone can afford.  We have a trip scheduled to Scottsdale at the end of April and I have been looking in my closet lately to see what pieces I’m missing for the upcoming warmer season.  One would think that maybe I could wear a few of these pieces now since it’s March 18 – but one look outside at our ‘wintry mix’ and that’s a solid NO.  Argh Chicago weather!!

Some things I may or may not have already taken home?

This pleather jacket is SO CUTE on.  It comes in 4 different colors, but this blue is gorgeous.  And it doesn’t look like pleather.  Trust me!  The ruching on the side is such a great detail.

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Target Xhilaration Faux Leather Jacket, $39.99

 

The contrast pocket on this hi-low tank got me.  Super cute under a jean jacket, comes in three other colors, $12.99.  Donesies!

Mossimo Supply Co Hi-Lo Tank, $12.99

Mossimo Supply Co Hi-Lo Tank, $12.99

 

I’m always looking for cute but not juvenile (this is a key point here people) graphic tees.  These Mossimo ones are perfect.  They’re not too tight, not too long – great with shorts, jeans, flip flops or flats.

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Mossimo Supply Co Graphic Tee, $14.99

I knew i needed this shirt the minute I touched it.  It’s a nice rayon/spandex mix, and is very similar to a style by James Perse that usually goes for $125!!!  I tried it on – drapes beautifully.  Are you saying – that’s so BASIC!  Exactly.  Every woman needs a great white casual blouse – think of the jewelry options you can put with this ‘basic’ blouse.  Statement necklaces galore!

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Converse One Star Long Sleeve button down top, $22.99

 

Finally, a Stuart Weitzman knockoff done right.  Obsessing over these at SW for a couple of seasons, now I can get them for $24.99!  Wear with everything.  Literally.

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Mossimo Pam Wedge, $24.99

 

One of my favorite ways to punch up a handbag that’s been around the block a few times is to tie a cute scarf onto one of the handles.  This fits the bill.  Colorful but not too much; the fringe adds to the hip factor.

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Global Girlfriend Black Wildflower Scarf, $24.99

Love Target style?  Me too – here’s another way to obsess:  the Target Style blog:  On the Dot.

On the Dot. A daily dose of Target Style.

Signing off in Style,

Mollie & Erin

Giftbar + Style Spies

About a month ago, Style Spies (Chicago) partnered up with Giftbar.  What is Giftbar, you ask?  I will tell you!  Giftbar is the brainchild of a couple of Chicago gals who realized how difficult it can be to buy a gift certificate from local boutiques and small businesses.

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Giftbar aggregates all of the best of the best stores, restaurants, and services in your city (right now Chicago and New York are on Giftbar, LA coming soon) and allows you to buy a gift certificate online.  A lot of these smaller businesses may not have that online ability – you’d have to buy it over the phone or physically walk into the store.

Here’s what they have to say about themselves:

Giftbar is a digital gift card marketplace that offers insanely curated gift cards for the best, local merchants in your neighborhood. Our selection of shops are carefully chosen – so you don’t waste your time trying to find the perfect gift! We find simply the best shops and restaurants for convenient and thoughtful gifting.

Not sure what to buy for that special someone? No problem. The shops here will make anyone swoon. Sort them by neighborhood, price or your rich aunt’s personality type. Still not sure? Check out our GiftbarTender and let us help you out. Or just send our popular, Giftbar of Choice, and let them do the choosing. To make things even better, we let you customize your gift card with beautiful, digital wrappings and photos, so your gift card isn’t just a piece of boring plastic. Did we also mention that Giftbar gift cards are crazy smart. We can send them 24/7 via email, mobile or mail and we provide reminders making it easy for anyone to use, even if, ahem, your man is always forgetting gift cards at home. Now grab yourself a cocktail and get to gifting. That filthy dirty martini won’t drink itself.

Giftbar is such a great service, you must check them out (and Style Spies’ page) for yourself.  How else can you learn about Giftbar?

Like them on Facebook.

Follow them on Twitter.

Tell your friends you want a Style Spies gift certificate, and send them to https://chicago.giftbar.com/.

Signing off in Style,

Mollie  & Erin