Fall Essentials: Blazers

By: Staci Rutherford

Blazers are a key element in my fall wardrobe since they are extremely versatile and make it easy to put together a polished look.  It has become a staple in my wardrobe that can be worn to the office with a pencil skirt, pants or a shift dress, and on the weekends with a fitted tee and jeans.  Since I work at a law firm, I rely on blazers for a professional image that still allows me to show off my personal style. With hundreds of styles on the market, I did a little research so I could share shopping tips to help guide you in determining which blazer is the perfect one for you.

Tip #1:  Select a style based on where you are going

Before selecting the right style, keep in mind where you are going to wear it – is it strictly for the office, going to a party, date night or running errands on the weekend?  Go with a classic single-breasted blazer in a neutral color when you want your blazer to serve many purposes.  Consider a more fun color or print when you want to take your look from day to evening.  Remember, blazers can be paired with trousers, skirts, and dresses, so make a mental note of what you already have in your closet to determine which style goes with what.

Tip #2:  Choose good quality and easy-to-maintain fabric

Blazers are available in a variety of fabrics such as cotton, silk, polyester, wool, knits, and blended materials.  Keep in mind which fabrics are easiest to maintain. For example, a cotton blazer can be machine washed while wool or silk blazers will need to be dry-cleaned.  Also, blazers in high quality fabric can keep the ‘same-as-new look’ for years.  Check the stitching and other details to determine whether it is good quality and worth the price.

Tip #3:  Make sure it fits your body type

Blazers should have a snug fit without being too tight or loose at the shoulders.  A curved seam at the torso often provides a better fit.  Some blazers have a slit at the back for more comfort.  Remember to try it on with a shirt underneath to determine if you are able to button it.  Don’t be afraid to go up a size or to have it professionally altered to get the perfect fit that flatters your shape.

Now that we have covered how to shop for your next blazer, check out my favorite far-from-ordinary blazers that will instantly update your wardrobe.

Toby Textured Blazer in African Amethyst, Price: $139.00 at Chico’s

Gap Pointe Academy Blazer in Fuchsia Shock, Price: $88.00 at Gap

INC International Concepts Boyfriend Blazer in Turq Dove, Price: $89.50 at Macy’s

Artdot Blazer, Price: $138.00 at Madewell

Anne Klein Houndstooth Jacket, Price: $149.00 at Nordstrom

Fantasy Fabric Blazer in Red, Price: $129.00 at ZARA

C.Luce Stripe Blazer, Price: $89.00 at Piperlime

Fall Essentials: Top Five Must-Have Shoes

By: Staci Rutherford

Although we still have another month and a half left of summer, I am already anticipating the transition into fall.  I love shopping for deals to update my wardrobe at the beginning of a new season.  My take on fashion is always changing; therefore, I try to incorporate some of the latest trends with a few classic staples and statement pieces.  I’ll focus on footwear first because I consider myself “shoe challenged”.

Since I don’t look forward to shoe shopping (I’d much rather shop for a new bag!), I have come up with three questions to ask myself to help determine if a shoe is worth buying: Does it fit well, and is it comfortable?  How many times will I wear it?  Will the style work with the rest of my wardrobe?  Comfort, quality and style are key points to consider as I try on shoes, which makes it easier to find and buy the right shoes.

Here are a my top five favorite shoes for fall:

Steve Madden ‘Teana’ Moccasin Flat in bright multi, Price: $49.95 at Nordstrom.com

Söfft Broadway in leopard, Price: $115.00 at Piperlime.com

Superga Classic Sneakers, Price: $65.00 – $75.00 at Bloomingdales.com

Zodiac USA Paris Knee-High Boot, Price: $159.99 at Endless.com

Naturalizer Ilona Shooties in black, Price: $99.99 at Macys.com