From Hearts-2-Flowers

Oh, Valentine’s Day…the most complicated holiday of them all.

Some might say that it is the day for telling your significant other how much they mean to you. Or, if you’re a firm believer that every day should be a day to appreciate your partner, then February 14 might just be another holiday to shell out money on chocolates, candies, and flowers galore!

Whichever meaning you choose to embrace, a good outfit will always put you in the mood! And on what other holiday can you wear red and pink hearts from head to toe and not be judged why?

Blame it on Pinterest.com, I’m in an early Valentine’s Day mood. Ready to bake cookies, get dressed up, and simply celebrate Cupid, my 2012 Valentine’s wardrobe palette would have to be categorized as Neapolitan! I’m loving the blushing hues of reds, the rich chocolate browns, and the warm and welcoming vanilla whites.

What I love about these colors is that while you will look romantically perfect on February 14th, you will not be subjected to having to store those items away until next year once the date is over. These colors easily move forward into gorgeous spring and summer wardrobes and I’m going to show you how!

So let’s talk about where you’re going…

1. Date night – Your sweetie chooses to treat you to a romantic dinner out at an upscale restaurant (the kind with real tablecloths instead of paper and no peanut shells on the floor) and you don’t want to add another dress to your closet. This year, opt for a lace skirt in a blushing pink or even a deep chocolate! Paired with a nice set of heels and a silk blouse, you will instantly look and feel as special as if you were in a dress (and possibly more comfortable too)! Take this look into spring with a pair of cute sandals, a cotton tee, and a blazer. Work chic? I think so!

Stella McCartney

2. Dateless office party – You might not have a special evening planned or someone to share it with but still dressing the part at the office puts everyone in a better mood (as long as you don’t walk in wearing a sweatshirt that says, “struck by Cupid,” or carrying your dozen roses you received that morning from your boyfriend/husband). If understated is the way you want to go, then you can’t go wrong with a front bow blouse in red. This festive piece will not only put you and co-workers in a cheerful mood but it will also be very office friendly for V-day and beyond! Wear this into spring by untying the bow and switching out the dress pants for a pair of colored denim with some fantastic flats!

3. Casual day – whether you’re spending your Valentine’s Day with friends or a loved one, if you’re taking the more casual route, you can still be a tiny bit festive. If denim never leaves your body then this look just might be for you! Try pairing your denim with a ruffled blouse. While this top needs no frills of hearts and arrows, the ruffles elude a romantic feeling automatically. You can easily pair this with a simple cardigan and if you feel like stepping it up a notch, throw on a pair of spicy heels. This look can easily transfer to spring on its own but in case you want to change it up a tad, switch out your denim pants for a denim skirt! Easy enough, right?

Needless to say, accessories are key to making any look come together! Please don’t forget to throw on some drop earrings, a chunky necklace, or a show stopping bracelet. It always amazes me what the right piece of jewelry can do for any look!

As much as I love the Neapolitan hues we’re seeing this February, I could never write a Valentine’s Day fashion post without getting some bold red in there! So if you’re anything like me, throw on your red lipstick regardless of what you’re wearing! I know that will be the only festive piece I’ll be able to manage this next week in Las Vegas as fashion market and Valentine’s Day collide once again!

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Yarning for more…

Let’s face it. If the winter season continues to remain mild instead of what we all imagine and know our Midwest winters to actually be, there is almost little or no need for the gorgeous winter coats hanging on the retail racks this season. Instead, we must search for options that will keep us warm while outside but also ones that won’t take our internal thermometer past its boiling point.

In preparation for many upcoming days and nights of traveling and sitting in hotels and airports, I decided to pick up a new hobby…knitting! While I haven’t gotten very far in terms of finished projects, I am beginning to notice house easily some sweaters on the sales floor (and at full price in retails shops) can be made at home, not to mention all of the different kinds of patterns in sweaters this season.

Zara

It’s all about the chunk! Chunky knits are everywhere and in more ways than one. If you think there is only the classic cable knit sweater out there think again! Good knits are practically priceless in terms of cost per wear! If kept properly clean, sweaters have the ability to last you years with dozens of use per season. So, you might be asking, “but how do I continue to wear my same knit sweaters over and over again without looking as though I am on constant repeat?”

There are tons of ways to wear knit sweaters! As with almost anything fashion related, you must be willing to think “outside the box” in terms of putting a look together. I guarantee there are most likely 5-10 wardrobe combinations in your closet you haven’t thought about putting together. Not because you have a lack of imagination or are a fashion failure by any means; but, simply because we all get stuck in our ways of dressing and don’t often enough pull our creative juices from the storage bins in our brain.

Some of my favorite looks include pairing a chunky knit vest over a snug fitting turtleneck. The vest covers enough to keep you at just the right temperature without overheating and I always find turtlenecks extremely comfortable to wear. Another one of my suggested looks is pairing a cropped cardigan over an extra long button down oxford. Pair these ultra comfy pieces with some cigarette or Ponte pants, brogues, and chic bag and you will soon be the stylish one on any street.

Kate Moss

Knits can be difficult to wear. Many chunky knits often add excessive bulk in areas you particularly don’t want excessive bulk to be. While it is important to find a sizeable knit suited for you as an individual, it is also important to remember how to balance out your look. If you’re chunky on top, wear a tighter fitting jean, legging, or trouser to show off your great legs. I also suggest adding somewhat of a heel to give you a few more inches. A taller self always looks thinner and exudes more confidence. And if you’re feeling bold, brave, and wish to take knits this season one step beyond others, try sporting a full length knit dress.

Since a cardigan is a must for any and all closets, it only seems appropriate to make sure I mention how great this cut works on almost anybody in any size knit. Cardigans can easily be taken on or off allowing you to help control your own temperature. If you know you want to leave your cardigan on all day even when outside or in, try punching up your look by adding some fur, glittered buttons, or hardware detail. These things can instantly step up your look and make you stand apart from the crowd (in a very big way and fashionable way)! Take a note from Olivia Palermo…

Olivia Palermo

Olivia Palermo

So, until our winter season decides to actually turn into a real Midwest winter that we all know (and hate) and until my knitting skills improve along with my patience, let us keep warm and stylish with knits of all colors, shapes, and sizes!