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!

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A Little Print Here & A Lot of Print There!

This spring, prepare to feast your eyes on a whole lot of P-R-I-N-T-S! And you guessed it…everywhere from a little, to a lot of it! Floral, jacquard, Victorian, and even questionable prints that have no theme are expected to be seen.

This is the season to be bold, be fearless, and embrace a daring trend such as head-to-toe prints. My suggestion? If you’re going to go bold, go all the way and sport a one-piece jumpsuit. 70’s jumpsuits and playsuits are back for yet another season and this girl has no complaints!

Louis Vuitton Resort 2012

I love jumpsuits for their comfort, ease of wear, and endless ways to accessorize. Need to give your boyish figure some curve? Add a belt to help create the illusion of a defined waistline. If you’re happy, sad, excited, or just mellow, there is a shoe out there that will fit your mood…and your jumpsuit! I’m in love with wide-legged jumpsuits paired with a cute fashion sandal or wedge. Also, if you feel that you’re too old or don’t have the proper body for a jumpsuit, phooey! First of all, there are numerous different cuts out there so you can find the perfect one for your body. Second, I like to throw on a blazer, jean jacket or simple cardigan over my shoulders if I feel uncomfortable showing off too much skin.

Gaia Repossi

Top-to-bottom printed jumpsuits can easily be pulled off if you opt for a modern cut and remember to keep everything else that is part of your look simple. A printed jumpsuit is a large enough statement already so choose a mono-colored clutch or handbag and simple belt to pair with it. I also love classic and somewhat understated jewelry such as silver or gold hoop earrings and a drop necklace. I keep each of my looks my own by always wearing my daily and unique rings.

Prabal Gurung Resprt 2012

Jason Wu Resort 2012

If all over pattern isn’t for you just yet, minimalists need not fret! Prints aren’t only going to be seen in a big way this spring, but in the little things as well. Case in point (or should I say case in print): printed trim! By sporting printed trim, you still have the option of wearing your favorite piece of statement jewelry or crazy studded heels. I love seeing a brightly colored print trim on dark fabric. The mixture of contrasting colors is eye-popping and in a very good way!

Zara Combined Blouse

Since I’m a huge fan of DIY projects at home, printed trim is easily something anyone could apply, even without a sewing machine (although a sewing machine would make things a bit easier). Go to your favorite fabric store, pick out your most loved eye-catching fabric, and trim away! Trim everything from collars, plackets, wrists, dresses, and even shorts! You can vary the length of printed trim to your pleasing and add any other whistles and bells you’d like!

Equipment "Daddy" Blouse via Shopbob.com

With any print you choose, it will be easy to feel as sophisticated as Jackie O and as fun as Mary Quant! Happy trimmings!