Mix & Match Success Story

By Elle

It’s not often I get THIS lucky. About a year ago, I spotted these tiny earrings at Elite Repeats consignment shop in Willoughby. Their subtlety and color (mix of white, tan and grey) caught my eye, and seeing as how half my wardrobe is grey, I knew they wouldn’t end up at the bottom of my jewelry box. And they do match nicely (enough) with several of my outfits.

White, tan and grey earrings

White, tan and grey earrings found at Elite Repeats consignment shop in Willoughby

Recently, I found this cute stretch top from Banana Republic at a Salvation Army for a few bucks. Here’s why I love it: 1) the way it hugs the body, 2) its block pattern in white, tan and grey, 3) the interesting style combo: sleeveless with a cowl neck.

Stretch top from Banana Republic

Stretch top from Banana Republic in tan, white and grey

It wasn’t until a few weeks later that I noticed the pattern and colors were a perfect match with the earrings. A pair of crisp white jeans with grey stitching on the pockets (also from Salvation Army) completes the look!

White jeans, Banana Republic stretch top and matching earrings

White jeans, Banana Republic stretch top and matching earrings

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Fashion 9-1-1 — Ain’t Got a Thing to Wear

Dear Abby and Elle: This is embarrassing. I own mounds of clothing, but, come spring, I can’t find a thing to wear.  Nothing seems just right. The weather is either too warm or too cold for what I own. Help! — Fashion Goldilocks

Kicking back at the Wine Spot in Cleveland Hts.

Kicking back at the Wine Spot in Cleveland Hts.

Jenn looking lovely in spring layers

Jennifer looking lovely in spring layers

Dear Fashion: Here we are in April, and I think it is the cruelest month, isn’t it? Wooly tights are just right for snowstorms, and linen capris are perfect ‘neath a hot summer sun, but what to wear now when the sun beats hot but the wind can still blow cold?

Layers, that’s what.

I put together this layered spring ensemble (left) the other night. Picked up the Ann Taylor Loft skirt for about $14 (love the colors!) and the lightweight corduroy coat (Banana Republic) for about the same price from From Me To You, a relatively new boutique/consignment shop in Mentor on Mentor Ave. near Rt. 306. (The boutique has a terrific selection of designer labels, and everything from suits and coats to hats and handbags. Solid selection of unique jewelry, too, and Rubin, the owner, is delightful. Be sure to pay her a visit!)

I wore a lightweight dark brown sweater over a pink lace tank to bring out the pink in the skirt and to add a touch of spring to the outfit. I wore my new brown belt from The Limited over the sweater and finished the look with dark brown boots. When I got too warm, I simply took off my coat.

Jennifer, the finest hair stylist this side of the Mississippi (right), looks and feels fabulous in light layers: taupe tank, white oxford and beige pullover sweater vest. The combo of lightweight materials ensures that she doesn’t get too hot or too cold, and the light colors are perfect for the season. She ties it all together with a beaded necklace in contrasting colors, a white chunky bracelet and beige shoes. She is fabulous!

And she’s on the right track with oxfords for spring because you can wear a tank or cami beneath them or a lightweight sweater over them — or both. Add a light-colored cotton skirt or leggings and you have the perfect outfit for fickle — and sometimes cruel — weather.

P.S.: Be sure to enter our blogger giveaway for tickets to Fashion Week Cleveland!

Splash of spring oxfords from J. Crew
Splash of spring oxfords from J. Crew
Layers, layers, layers! from J. Crew

Layers, layers, layers! from J. Crew

Do You Have This Bad Habit?

Match game

Match game

By Elle

Do you wear the same pair of slacks every time you slip into your favorite silk top? Or the same silver belt with your blue tank dress? Makes getting dressed easy, but also makes you look, dare I say, predictable.

Don’t feel bad. Humans are creatures of habit, and we sometimes have to go out of our way to shake things up, especially when it comes to our wardrobe. What’s the worst that can happen if you don’t, you ask? Your stale fashion habits will lead to boredom, a desire to buy an entirely new wardrobe and, very likely, eternal self-loathing.  Don’t kid yourself. You don’t need that.

The good news is, there’s hope. And in this case hope comes in two options:

Path of Least Resistance  While you’re standing in your closet, grab a piece of clothing that could use a new mate and hold it up against potential suitors — and I don’t mean only items you think might work. Be open to new combos! Be bold! Even if sparks don’t fly, you may well discover that what your silk sari skirt really needs is a drape neck tank in polished linen rib (eileenfisher.com, $158), or a lace-inset cowl neck top (Banana Republic, on sale right now for $32.99). Then you get to go shopping. And that’s so bad?

Road Less Traveled  When I’m really in the mood to create some new combos, I throw several items on my bed and just start mixing and matching. (I imagine it’s a lot like cross-breeding dogs, but certainly more civilized and probably less messy.)

I often take the road less traveled ironically right before I actually travel, looking for coordinating items so that I can pack lightly. And although I’ve been doing this for years, even I can’t anticipate the surprising new combos that result!

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