Thursday, October 16, 2014

Fall 2014 Fashion

Although it still feels like summer in southern California, I'm daydreaming of cozy coats, printed scarves, and dark accessories for the colder months ahead. Lately, I've found myself shunning bright colors for a moody palette of gray and black. It makes getting dressed so much easier when you're faced with minimal color options and a sleek, urban vibe. Below, some of my top picks for fall 2014 (or for early holiday gift shopping), with each one under $160. 

shop the best fall 2014 fashion trends including Rag & Bone Harrow look alike boots

See more fall favorites:

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Elie Tahari for DesigNation at Kohl's Review

Kohl's is back at it with another DesigNation collection, this time around with New York-based designer Elie Tahari, who is known for his modern, tailored designs. The inspiration behind the Elie Tahari for Kohl's line is the Big Apple, and the collection's modern digital prints (featuring the city skyline, the Chrysler Building, and the Brooklyn Bridge) are a clear indication of New York's vibrant energy. Colors in the collection are predominantly black, gray, beige, and blue, so if you have an aversion to color, this collaboration might appeal to you. 

The collection is already available online, and the official launch date is September 26. I spent some time browsing the merchandise this week on an unusually quiet night at Kohl's, and I styled a few looks in the fitting room. 

Below, a look at the store's main display, which features modern graphics and dark colors.

Elie Tahari for Kohl's clothing

Elie Tahari for Kohl's clothing

Below, a sea of black and blue dominates the racks, with casual moto jackets, breezy tunics, and sporty scuba leggings rounding out the mix.

Elie Tahari for Kohl's fitting room review

Elie Tahari for Kohl's clothing

After seeing the previews and the lookbook, I had my eye on this NYC taxi print sweatshirt

Elie Tahari for Kohl's clothing

Below, a lighter palette of beige pieces, with one of my favorites, the faux suede motorcycle jacket.

Elie Tahari for Kohl's beige clothing

Now for the fitting room photos! For reference, I'm wearing size 2 and XS in everything except the leggings and jogger pants, which are all size small.

I tried on the blue ombre georgette tunic with and without my own belt. It's quite lightweight, so it's best paired over leggings or thick tights. Due to its length, petite ladies can wear it as a dress, while taller ladies may prefer it as a top. I spied a few loose threads on the wrists, which was disappointing. The fit is easy and comfortable with a covered button placket. It also comes in white. I'd style it for a casual day with a belt and my Rag & Bone boots, or for night with suede wedge pumps and a parka.

Elie Tahari for Kohls Blue Ombre Tunic

The mixed media fit and flare dress has a faux fur panel, center back zip, tailored waist, belt detail, and very tight sleeves. I like the overall shape and structure, although the length and fit of the sleeves didn't appeal to me. I'd size up on this if you're pear or hourglass in shape. I'd style this with strappy heels and a statement necklace for a dressy occasion.

Elie Tahari for Kohls Mixed Media Flare Dress

The mock layer sweater in the pale oak combo colorway has a less than soft nubby texture and the blouse part is slightly sheer with a print of the Chrysler Building. I didn't love the fit or length of the blouse panel, as I felt it wasn't flattering. I paired it with the mixed media leggings in fawn beige. They have a seam detail at the knee, an elastic waistband, and mid rise. I loved the comfort factor. On the right, the faux suede moto jacket is layered over the slightly sheer Chrysler Building chiffon blouse. I thought the print on the blouse looked like a snake print from a distance. The hem is longer in the back, and the length is long, so I tucked it in. The jacket is well-tailored and can also be worn with the flaps down. It's super soft, lined, and has two pockets. It's one of my top picks from this collection due to its classic shape and quality construction.

Elie Tahari for Kohls Beige Sweater Moto Jacket

I paired the mixed media faux fur sweatshirt with the ribbed pencil midi skirt for a casual look. As a fan of embellished sweatshirts, this was another top pick. It wasn't as soft as I'd hoped, but the fit worked for me. I'd wear it with a variety of wardrobe staples, including: pencil skirts and heels, dark denim, silk blouses, and printed trousers. I appreciated the skirt's stretchy comfort, although the lack of structure, elastic waistband, and slightly sheer rayon/nylon fabric didn't appeal to me. 

Elie Tahari for Kohls Faux Fur mixed media Sweatshirt

The georgette zipper-front blouse is very lightweight, and I'm wearing it both zipped and unzipped over the taxi sweatshirt. It felt like more of a cardigan than a blouse due to its length and front-zip detail. The wrists were tight, and once again, I saw loose threads on the cuffs. It also comes in a pretty shade of cobalt.

Elie Tahari for Kohls Zipper Front Blouse

For variety, I styled the mock layer sweater (seen above in the pale oak combo colorway) in gray and cobalt blue with the scuba leggings, and in cobalt blue with the pencil skirt.

Elie Tahari for Kohls Mock Layer Sweater

I found the Brooklyn Bridge mixed media tee to be very comfortable and another favorite. The front is crepe, while the back is a soft jersey. I'd tuck this into a pencil skirt and add ballet flats for an office look, or dress it down for the weekend with black skinny jeans, a denim jacket, and sneakers. The taxi print sweatshirt has sheer sleeves and is a very lightweight georgette. I adore the energy of the print, and to counteract its overly lightweight construction, I'd layer it over a denim shirt or black turtleneck for colder weather. The slouchy French terry jogger pants were comfortable, with black crepe side pockets and reverse seams on the cuffs. The New York City graphic tee, on the right, is super soft and stretchy, and comes in two other prints. It has a drop-tail hem, which I like for pairing with fitted bottoms. I'm wearing the mesh scuba leggings on the left and right. They run true to size and have a sporty mesh side panel, mid rise, and even better - they come in three different lengths.

Elie Tahari for Kohls Graphic Taxi Tops

While I wasn't impressed or enthusiastic about many of the polyester tops and tunics and their prices, I did appreciate the attentive tailoring of the dresses and faux suede moto jackets. They are my best bets in this collection because they make for great long-wearing basics that transcend seasonal trends. As a wearer of prints, I gravitated most towards the fun city prints of the three tops pictured above. I'll also be checking out the Kohl's website to see the NYC sweater as worn by Kate Bosworth, the mixed media jackets, and the soft pants that my store didn't carry.

Sizing notes: my store carried sizes XS to XL, although there are some items online available in XXS. Short and long lengths in the leggings are available online that my store didn't carry. 

Catch up with me on Twitter and Instagram @thekeytochic, and share your thoughts and favorites with #ElieTahariforKohls.

See more of the collection:

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Sam & Libby for Target Review - Fall 2014

A new crop of Sam & Libby footwear has emerged at Target, and the array of fashion-forward styles has certainly caught my attention. (You may recall my previous Sam & Libby review last fall or in the spring of 2013.) 

This season, pointy pumps, sturdy ankle boots, and chic flats round out the mix. In true Fashion Trend Guide form, I'm reviewing some of my top picks for fall 2014. 

First up, collection pros:
What I didn't love:
  • My store didn't have a great selection of shoes in my size
  • I found the pointy pumps to be narrow and not as comfortable as I'd hoped

Sam & Libby for Target-Fall2014

The Dory two-piece pumps run true to size, and they have a back zip. I still had to unbuckle them to put them on, and they felt more comfortable than they looked to me. I'd still reserve these heels for occasions when I know I won't be walking or standing for more than a couple of hours. I adore the sheen and textural detail on the toe. They come in other colorways including a beige snake version that's on-trend.

Sam & Libby Dory Pumps

I own these Chelsea bow flats in white, beige, and black, so when I saw the leopard, I had to have them. Not only are they leather, but they are the few ballet flats that actually work for me in terms of fit and comfort. The bow detail is feminine, and these run true to size. Run, don't walk to Target for these! They also come in gold for fall, as well as navy, purple, tan, etc. 

Sam & Libby Chelsea Bow Flats

Caged heels hold a special place in my heart, mainly due to their bootie-pump hybrid quality. This Norah style runs true to size, and is selling out quickly in my store. I found them easy to walk in with ample ankle support. The teardrop cutouts are sexy, and I can imagine these heels styled with everything from tailored trousers to A-line mini skirts and body con midi dresses.

Sam & Libby Norah Caged Pumps

This rugged Deanna boot seemed plain and unassuming on the shelf, but once I tried them on, I fell in love. I'll be buying them in black for a '90s-inspired grunge vibe with floral dresses and flannels this fall. Not only are them comfortable and easy to walk in due to the chunky 4" heel, they're also easy to slip on due to the elastic gore. I'm wearing my usual size, but I tried them on barefoot, so I'd size up (half a size) if I want to wear thick socks with them for fall/winter.

Sam & Libby Deanna Heeled Bootie

The Kirstie Chelsea boots run slightly narrow for me, but were otherwise comfortable. They're a pull-on style with chic gold colored trim on the side and front. I envision these dressed up with a '60s shift dress or full mini skirt, or dressed down with leggings and waxed skinny jeans.

Sam & Libby Kirstie Chelsea Boots

The Anya boots pleasantly surprised me with their comfort. I expected them to be hard to walk in but once I put them on and walked up and down the aisle, they felt good. They run true to size and I'd style them with pencil skirts, midi dresses, and dark denim. 

Sam & Libby Anya Shootie

When it comes to shoes, I'm not a loafer person, but these Nyla loafers were comfortable, true to size, and have a chic chain design stitched on the vamp. I actually liked them much more once I tried them on! They're slightly preppy for me, but I can imagine them with tuxedo trousers, striped skirts, and cropped denim. 

Sam & Libby Nyla Loafer

Get more TargetStyle inspiration by following along on Pinterest!

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Thursday, September 4, 2014

Fall Winter 2015-2016 Fashion Trend Forecast

One of the reasons that I love fashion is that it's always changing. A trend may be relevant one week and on the way out soon after. So how do we keep up with the constantly evolving trend cycle?  Fashion trend forecasting companies such as New York-based Fashion Snoops provide in-depth trend reports and forecasts, complete with Pantone color swatches, mood movies, street style galleries, and an abundance of style inspiration for any fashion designer, manufacturer, buyer, or merchandiser who wants to know what will be on-trend in 12-18 months. 

For fall 2015 and winter 2016, there are four key fashion trends that Fashion Snoop is highlighting. I had a chance to visit the Fashion Snoops trend galleries and attend their popular trend seminar at MAGIC Market Week, and I'll be sharing key points on each of their four trends.

*Please note that this blog post is protected by copyright laws and may not be republished without permission. Students - please feel free to use this information for school projects as long as it's not reproduced or republished online and you properly cite Fashion Snoops and Fashion Trend Guide as sources. 

The first trend story, Inner Calm, is a cozy translation of a Sunday afternoon in bed with a cappuccino and a duvet. Tucked away miles away from civilization, the Inner Calm man and woman live in a minimalist wood cabin, where they've created a cocoon atmosphere with their home and way of dress. Fabrics are knit heavy with chunky yarns and multiple textures. Shapes are voluminous, with layered looks. Ribbed knit, mohair, high pile furs, brushed wools, and tissue knits are key. Nature factors in not only with natural fibers, but with fur pelts and abstract motifs. Neutral and light colors keep it clean yet warm. Minimalist lines add subtle modern edge. Design details include draped pockets, sweater tie knots, and elongated sleeves. Marbelized techniques and cracked surfaces complement the coldness. The sweater set is an important item, as are: the elongated sweater dress, wide-leg pants, cocoon coat, knit pants, turtlenecks, and the blanket coat. A Nordic heritage with colors inspired by ice and glaciers is key to this story. 

Inner Calm trend forecast for fall 2015 winter 2016

See Inner Calm examples:

The second trend story, City Slicker, is about the ultimate urban dweller who is at home in an active setting. Their metropolis surroundings are reflected in their lustrous surfaces, sharp silhouettes, and plenty of contrasting details. There's an underlying reference to sport. The head-to-toe look embraces the mineral sleekness of the city and is a celebration of the sportif lifestyle with a decidedly urbane approach. Materials are tweed, double-faced, and technical. Mesh, quilting, and PVC are important for this story. Sheer sleeves, side-panel pants, and mixed media techniques figure prominently. Marbled surfaces reflect the metropolis influence. The elongated shirt, cocoon coat, shirtdress, cropped wide-leg pants, Bermuda shorts, and parka are key items. Colors are bright and energetic (like on this sporty top) with positive energy. Digital blue, bright orange, and yellow contrast with industrial steel, concrete, and glass colors.

City Slicker trend forecast for fall 2015 winter 2016

See City Slicker examples: 

Northern Narrative (a.k.a. Artisan Journey) is about old textile traditions. Decorative elements create a one-of-a-kind feel expressed by the Bloomsbury set of intellectuals of London. Recalling the first half of the 20th century, the story calls to mind the quarters of writer Virginia Woolf and painter Duncan Grant. There's a dreamy and adventurous spirit. It's rooted in bohemian territory with an arts and crafts element. Materials are silk chiffon, needlepoint, lace, and jacquard. Outerwear is shearling, wool, and astrakhan. Design details include embroidery and quilting. The mid-calf silhouette is important. William Morris florals influence the trend. The blanket coat, peasant blouse, classic cardigan, shearling jacket, quilted jacket, turtleneck sweater, and mid-calf dress are key items. The color palette is bright and lively. Burgundy red and golden are important, as well as blues and moss green or pine greens.

Northern Narrative trend forecast for fall 2015 winter 2016

See Northern Narrative examples:

Kingdom is a beautiful story that addresses the unchartered territories, cozy corners, rustic surfaces, time-honored tribal traditions of the North, tales untold of strong men and women and their rugged adventures. Telling the story of a medieval romance, Kingdom is rooted in fairytales coupled with a tough warrior reality and a will to conquer. With a harmonious contrast between pure air, aggressive barren surfaces, and enveloped green earth, this story is raw romance at its best. The color palette is rich and includes forest green, maroon, jewel tones, lavender, and earthy brown. Materials are leather, draped jersey, Army fatigues, velvet, lace and jacquard. Patterns are folkloric and nature-inspired, with storybook inspiration. Key items are the cape, lace-up leather pants, pleated skirts, embellished folk hardware details, mohair sweaters, parkas, and full-skirted dresses. Closures are lace-up and belted, with 3-D appliqués. Statement chokers, chain belts, and palm bracelets round out the jewelry options.

Kingdom trend forecast for fall 2015 winter 2016

See Kingdom examples:

To see more photos of future trends, follow along with me on Pinterest, where I'll be posting color palettes, fabric examples, and more trend forecasting inspiration.

Catch up with me on Facebook and Instagram @thekeytochic for additional fashion photos, shopping, and personal style. 

Want more forecasts? See my fall 2014/winter 2015 trend forecast and my spring summer 2015 trend forecast on my other blog, The Key To Chic.

Browse more 2015-16 trends:

* Check out Fashion Snoops for additional trend reports and subscription services.

All photos are protected by copyright and text published on Fashion Trend Guide is adapted from Fashion Snoops and may not be republished in any medium without written permission from Fashion Trend Guide. 

© 2014

Monday, August 25, 2014

Five Footwear Trends for 2015

Earlier this month I spent some time browsing the seemingly endless selection of footwear vendors at FNPlatform in Las Vegas. As a self-professed shoe addict, it's one of the elements of the trade show season that I most enjoy. What better way to spend a day scouting emerging trends, photographing my favorite shoes, and meeting with brand reps. After visiting a few booths and reviewing hundreds of photos, five strong trends for 2015 have emerged. Let's take a closer look at my favorites. 

1. Petal to the metal. 
High shine metallics made a showing on sandals, boots, and delicate heels. I spotted crackled textures, sleek shine, and even hologram effects. Clockwise, from top left: Michael Antonio, Diba True, Schutz, and Elly Clay.

metallic shoe trend for 2015

Browse more metallics here:

2. Python prints. 
Snake-inspired textures slithered onto a wide variety of women's footwear from high heels to espadrilles, and for 2015, they come in an array of unexpected colors. Clockwise from top left: Diba True, Michael Antonio, Michael Antonio, and Miucha.

snake print shoe trend for 2015

See more snake prints:

3. Modern mules. 

That '90s staple, the mule, continues into 2015 with new colors and textures. Block heels update the silhouette, while cutout effects and buckles add further interest. Clockwise from top left: Carrano, Cristófoli, Michael Antonio, and Cristófoli. 

mules footwear trend for 2015

See more mules:

4. Cut it out. 
Almost every booth I visited seemed to feature laser cuts and cutout effects on open-toed styles. Combined with buckles, lace-up styling, or zips, they make for shoes that are bound to be the focus of an outfit. Clockwise from top left: Stéphanie Classic, Diba True, Miucha, and Carrano. 

laser cut shoe trend for 2015

See more cutout styles:

5. Electric slides. 
Who says comfort sandals can't be cute? The footbed sandal trend ignited by Phoebe Philo and many others gets an update for 2015 with new prints and embellishments. Clockwise from top left: Schutz, Cristófoli, Carrano, and Cristófoli.  

Footbed Sandals trend 2015

Browse more footbed sandals:

See more footwear trends below and keep up with all my MAGIC Market Week coverage and trend forecasting photos on Pinterest.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

See the Altuzarra for Target Lookbook

If you've been waiting with bated breath to see first glimpses of the Altuzarra for Target lookbook, then today's your day. About a month in advance of the September 14, 2014 debut, images of the 50-piece collection have just been released by Harper's Bazaar in conjunction with a preview party hosted by a radiant Garance Doré in New York. 

How to describe the collection? It's a twist of boho with a healthy dose of sex appeal. True to Altuzarra's sleek signature style, the textures appear rich, with embroidered details and digital printing. Much more sophisticated than previous Target collaborations, this one's sure to appeal to chic ladies and boardroom babes looking to amp up their wardrobes with thigh-slit pencil skirts, low-cut gowns, pretty python prints, tailored blazers, and killer high-heeled footwear. Good news for your wallet and for international buyers: prices range from $18 to $90, and items will also be available on net-a-porter

Altuzarra for Target lookbook

Have a look at my other blog The Key To Chic to see how ten looks from the Altuzarra for Target lookbook compare to recent Altuzarra runway looks. The similarities will amaze you!

Follow me on Twitter for up-to-the-minute #AltuzarraforTarget updates and expert shopping tips on how to score all the pieces you want with no hassle.  

P.S. I've been shopping Target's collaborations for many years, and I'll be sharing all my tips and tricks to help you score your favorites! Happy shopping!

See more Altuzarra style: