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The Death of the Suit and Tie

As a wardrobe stylist on the speaking circuit, educating companies on the Do's and Don'ts of proper workplace attire, I admit I am not a fan of the move toward Business Casual, or, as this article more accurately phrases it, "Business Whatever." That said, the dressing-down trend has been great for business (MY business, that is) because...for many people, when you give ‘em an inch they'll take a mile. Whereas professional dress code rules are relatively clear cut, there’s a lot of grey area under the umbrella term, "Business Casual," and that's how you end up with employees wearing sweatshirts and flip-flops to the office...and thus the need to bring in someone like me to get them back on track.

This article from The Hustle offers explanation on how the pendulum swung so far. Do you know which tech company coined the first "Casual Friday?" Or which jeans manufacturer created the first "Guide to Business Causal" for the sole purpose of pushing a low-sales product? Read via link to left on to find out.

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In addition to helping guests shop, I did a little for myself - picking up these Diane gold statement earrings in abalone shell.

I was thrilled by the invitation from Kendra Scott at The Summit to be a Guest Stylist at their recent VIP event. Who doesn't love playing in someone else's jewelry box?! In addition to helping guests find just the right pieces to add to their wardrobes, I gave a brief talk, sharing a few accessorizing tips.

 

"Accessories are what make an outfit a little bit more YOU."     - Kate Spade

   Tip #1: On Trend

Two of my absolute favorite Kendra Scott earrings currently in store! On left, KRISTEN GOLD STATEMENT EARRINGS IN AQUA HOWLITE, and on right, JUSTYNE GOLD STATEMENT EARRINGS IN BLUSH MIX MOTHER OF PEARL

Clients often ask me, “What can I add to my wardrobe this season to keep it fresh and on-trend?” This Spring/Summer, that something happens to be an accessory! The Statement Earring is hotter than ever, especially those including tassels, raffia and/or acrylic. Whether in vibrant color (my personal fave) or pretty pastel, when it comes to statement jewelry, keep in mind that bigger is better. The beauty of a bold piece is that it can be a standalone accessory, making for easy dressing!

Tip #2: The Statement Earring, part deux

DIDI STATEMENT EARRINGS IN GOLD and NATASHA HOOP EARRINGS IN SILVER

Not feeling something colorful? Then consider a larger earring in classic metallic - perfect with a pretty neckline that shouldn’t be disturbed with a necklace, but that still needs accessorizing. Actually, the proportions of statement earrings can be quite face flattering.

Tip #3: Mixing Metals

Clockwise from left: 

ELLIE GOLD STUD EARRINGS IN PLATINUM DRUSYTESSA GOLD STUD EARRINGS IN PLATINUM DRUSY, and CANDICE SILVER CUFF BRACELET IN SILVER FILIGREE MIX

Want to wear gold and silver jewelry pieces together? Then have at least one item that includes both metals, like my favorite druzy studs (below right) or Kendra Scott’s signature cuff.

Tip #4: Proper Proportions

ELLEN LONG PENDANT NECKLACE IN IVORY PEARL AND TILDA STUD EARRINGS IN GOLD

Don’t overload yourself with large pieces, this will only diminish their impact, not to mention overwhelm you. I like to have “breathing space” between my statement pieces. For example, if I am going to wear a statement necklace, then all that is needed is a simple stud. If I want to wear an additional piece with statement earrings, I might skip a necklace (hello, breathing space) but wear a cuff bracelet. 

Tip #5: Wardrobe Staples

On left, silver set: OLIVE LONG NECKLACE IN BRIGHT SILVERRO LONG PENDANT NECKLACE IN SILVER, and VAL SILVER HOOP EARRINGS IN IRIDESCENT CRYSTAL. On right, gold set: GOLDIE GOLD CHOKER NECKLACE IN GOLD FILIGREEBELLA LONG NECKLACE IN GOLD, and VAL GOLD HOOP EARRINGS IN IRIDESCENT CRYSTAL.

In this stylist’s opinion, everyone should have in their wardrobe both silver and gold necklaces and earrings. The pieces in each set do not need to match, in fact my personal preference is that they coordinate, but do not match. I recommend both a short and long necklace in each metal - or else one that is long enough to double. My guideline for how to choose a necklace: short over skin, long over cloth. But in many cases, like with a scoop neck, you can wear both at the same time, creating a contemporary layered look. As for the earrings, a delicate hoop is ideal - this ever-versatile shape is large enough to offer visual balance, but thin enough to avoid too much visual weight.

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Here is a sampling of styles spotted at Sloss Fest 2017:











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Upon hearing “Woodstock,” often the images in one’s mind’s eye are of sweaty young folk clad in bell bottoms and flower crowns. Today, the word “Coachella” is as much about Spring's Californian music festival as it is the fashion trends it has inspired. 

Blank NYC Tomboy denim short $78; fab’rik Fallen top $20; Bamboo Juliana sandal $38; Gold choker $26; Beaded fringe necklace $68; Leather tassel necklace $42; Gold earrings $18

BB Dakota Sheena romper $72; Lace plunge bralette $28; Gold hoop earrings $18; Tassel choker necklace $24; Bamboo Charade wedge sandal $20; Bracelets $18+

A brief look at the history of musical festivals reveals that, while many of us would like to trace their origins to Woodstock, which was held from August 15 -18, 1969, on a dairy farm in New York, these gatherings actually date back to the Pythian Games in ancient Greece, where musical competitions and acts were the highlight of entertainment for the wealthy upper class. Through the years festivals continued throughout Europe, finally catching on in America in the 1950’s via the Newport Jazz Festival - think Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong, Frank Sinatra, Duke Ellington, Miles Davis, John Coltrane, and Nina Simone. Interestingly, what started out as an older, wealthy crowd was overtaken by youth who camped out in tents to enjoy the music. Sound familiar? 1967’s Monterey Pop Festival, headlining the likes of Janis Joplin, The Who, Simon & Garfunkel and the Mamas & the Papas, was a prelude to Woodstock. Fun fact: it was there that Jimi Hendrix famously lit his guitar on fire.

Flying Monkey platinum edition distressed flare $98; Melodie lace cami $30; Bamboo Choice sandal $38; Crossbody bag $26; Fabulona Designs feather necklace $72; Arrowhead necklace $28; Lilly Bella wooden bead choker $16; Snakeskin cuff $24

While it may not have been the first, Woodstock remains the festival that kindled all others - setting the bar for not only great music but, perhaps more important, a spirit of camaraderie, acceptance, and free expression of self. The bohemian vibes conjured on Yasgur’s farm thread their way through the fashion choices of today’s festival goers: joining the still-present bell bottoms and flower crowns are feathers, vintage tees, earthy tones, lace, and lots of artisan jewelry. The look has become so popular it now serves up style inspo outside of the concert crowds. Check out our inspired examples on these pages, and visit www.b-metro.com for photos of style icons frolicking at this summer’s Sloss Fest.

fab’rik Mercer midi dress $30; Bracelets $18+; Bamboo Choice sandal $38; Leather fringe earrings $28; Sunny Lane shades $18; Crossbody bag $38

More than 32 million people* attend at least one music festival each year. 
Here are some of the most popular offerings around the US: 
SXSW: Austin, TX (March)
Ultra: Miami, FL (March)
Coachella: Indio, CA (April)
Hangout: Gulf Shores, AL (May)
Governor’s Ball: New York, NY (June)
Bonnaroo: Manchester, TN (June)
Sloss Fest:  Birmingham, AL (July)
Lollapalooza: Chicago, IL (August)
Outside Lands: San Francisco, CA (August)
Burning Man: Black Rock, NV (August/Sept)

 *Nielsen, 2015

Written & Styled by Tracy James
Clothing & Accessories from fab’rik Homewood
Photography by Chuck St. John
Hair: Billy Halliday of Forecast Salon
Makeup: Ashley Bush of Forecast Salon
Model: Sydney Fiddler of Red Models
Shot on Location at Sloss Fest 2017

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