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Back in January, and just for fun, I chose a word and colour for 2019 and asked you to join the party. Six months down the line, and we’re checking in on how things have progressed. 

Word: Relaxed

I chose “relaxed” because I need to be less tense, uptight and anxious about certain aspects of my life. I am often the cause of my own stress, which is something that I control and can therefore change. I want to stop worrying about things that are not important, because they take up precious time and energy that I could be investing elsewhere.

I took this to heart and I’m trying very hard to focus my energy where it can make the most difference. This requires little conversations with myself during the day. It has been an effort, but I have been disciplined about it and I’m beginning to reap the reward. I do feel more calm, despite 2019 being a stressful year for a variety of reasons. 

Every time I feel stressed, I stop and ask myself the question: how important is this relative to the other things happening in my life? Many times, the answer is that it really isn’t that important. It’s extraordinary how well this simple little strategy has worked. If it is something important, I tackle things one step at a time. Taking the step back allows me to subdue the emotions and focus on the positive, not allowing myself to spiral into negativity. If there is someone else involved, I discuss it with them when I have something constructive to add.

I’ve also done some soul searching to pinpoint exactly what it is that causes stress and creates happiness. Of course, I can’t eliminate all the things that cause stress and simply do happy things because unfortunately life doesn’t work that way. But I am better at eliminating unnecessary stresses, getting my head right about them, and making a point of doing stress-relieving activities and happy things EACH DAY. For me that’s physical activity. I try to walk as many places as possible, and I practice yoga three times a week.

I am extremely relaxed about fashion, my own style, and my work with clients. Those areas of my life cause me no stress and give me lots of pleasure. I relax into every style analysis, closet edit, closet review, purchase, sale, hunt, shop, outfit creation session, and don’t let any of it boss me around. I spend time on fashion and style every day, and that is stress-relieving.

It’s also important that I create things from scratch each day, which might mean cooking a fabulous meal, writing a blog post, making something for our new home, or figuring out how to help a client with a wardrobe dilemma. The thing that makes me most happy is spending quality time with my boys Greg and Sam, and I am constantly trying to make more of that happen.

Colour: Red

I chose red for 2019 because I love the colour and all that it symbolizes. I want to be relaxed, but I also want to maintain my high levels of energy, energize those around me, show unconditional affection to my favourite people, be creative, go on exciting adventures, continue wearing my heart on my sleeve, and make a positive difference.

My progress is good. I added more red items to my wardrobe that spark great joy. The exact items are shown in the collection. Some of them became instant workhorses, like the red jeans, patterned blouse, linen shirt and Japanese micro-check wide cropped pants. Now that the weather has warmed, I’m sure I’ll wear the heck out of the dress too.

I continue to have high levels of energy for which I am very grateful because it allows me to do the things that make me feel I’ve accomplished something to my satisfaction in a day. That in itself is stress-relieving and creates happiness. We moved to an exciting new home, which means small but meaningful new adventures daily. As far as showing unconditional support to my favourite people and animals, you’ll have to ask Greg, Sam, and my family and friends about that.

Over to you. If you chose a word and colour for 2019, I’d like to hear your thoughts and progress.

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At first, I thought that the accessory selection was poor because the scarf selection was disappointing. But upon closer inspection, there were lots of fab items that made my list, including earrings and a few exceptional bags. 

Here’s the collection page if you would like to see the items alongside my descriptions.

NAS TOP PICKS BY CATEGORY:

This post is number 5 in a 5 part series:

Also check out my introduction to the series, and the items I brought home from the sale. Good hunting!

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There were some good bottoms at the NAS. The assortment of jeans was great, and there were some fun trouser styles too. Generally, quality levels were higher than last year, so much so that designer pants were lined. Unfortunately, there were very few fab skirts. Too many micro minis, basic pencils, and flimsy fabrics.

IMPORTANT: Check whether the items are available in petite and plus because I’ve only provided the description in regular sizes. In some cases regular sizes can work on petites, and regular size ranges extend into larger sizes.

Pants
  • Gemini Check Crop Pants: Extremely gorgeous tailored trousers that are warm, woolly, refined, dressy and LINED. They can work on a curvier body type if you size up. The waist is high and very fitted, so not good an apple shapes. The micro check is fun and versatile - more like a false plain. Dress them up or down. These earned a well deserved place in my closet.
  • Houndstooth Check Ankle Skinny Ponte Pants: These knit pants are stretchy and work on most body types because they mould to the contour of the body. Good on apple shapes and straighter figures, and not body-con.
  • Emmett Windowpane Plaid Crop Wide Leg Pants: These are soooo fun. They are bold and make a statement, so you have to be okay with that. They worked well on curvier and straighter body types because of good fit and fabric heft. High rise, but not too high rise. They are not slimming, and that's not a bad thing! You don't need to wear things that make you look long and lean all the time. Where is the fun in that? These are fashionably fabulous, fun, and a quality piece. Go for it if you like the vibe.
  • Tiluna Pinstripe Tapered Leg Ponte Trousers: The fabric and finish on these is WOW impeccable, and the fit is amazing too. A gorgeous subtle black pinstripe that is versatile and dressy. They have worked on every body type except a very pear-shaped one. FULL-LENGTH and streamlined. Milk it.
  • Straight Leg Cord Trousers: Do NOT try these unless you love the '80s and have a defined waist. They are baggy, soft, ultra trendy, and very comfy. They pouf out when you sit and are far from streamlined. Yet super cute and fun. Size up a size. They would have been mine in another colour.
  • Slouchy Boyfriend Chino Pants: The camouflage print is a little more earthy in person, and works well on a straighter body type. Nice fabric. Quite good on a slightly curvier body type too.
  • HIGH Waist Plaid Leggings: AMAZING super, super thick leggings that can be worn as pants if you don't mind how tight they are. They are thicker than most Ponte pants.
  • Tie Waist Twill Pants: Lots of rave reviews because these fit most body types despite the waist definition. Great fabric, good fit and fab drape. A different look for the office. Comes in caramel, burgundy and black.

Here’s the collection page if you would like to see the items alongside my descriptions.

Jeans
  • Transcend - Skyline Skinny Jeans: Best skinnies at the sale because they mould to the body but don't look overly tight. They worked on most body types, and create a slim and comfy silhouette. Rise is not too high. The even wash is slimming and the whiskering is cleverly placed above the thighs.
  • Transcend - Manhattan Bootcut Jeans: Best blue jeans at the sale. Every client who tried them on raved about them because they are FULL-length, and extremely streamlining and comfortable. Not too high rise and with an even dark wash. They are long and will probably need to be hemmed unless you are very tall. They also worked well for PETITES, and the width or the flare is NOT affected when hemmed. Most clients hemmed these to wear with very low-heeled boots or sneakers. Comes in a skinny equivalent if that's more to your taste.
  • Hoxton High Waist Ankle Skinny Jeans: If you like burgundy and tight skinnies - try these. They fit a curvier and straighter body type equally well, but they're not good on wider calves. Fab with a black top and shoes. Easy.
  • Boyfriend Jeans: Best black jeans at the sale. They are boyfriend style but NOT slouchy. VERY comfy and fresh. Genius fit because they worked well on straighter and curvier body types. SUPER cute white stitching, and excellent on petites. They come in blue too.
  • Good Curve High Waist Ankle Straight Leg Jeans: AMAZING fit on curvy body types, yet worked well on apple shapes too. Hems can easily be hacked for petites. Pretty blue wash.
  • Le Crop High Waist Mini Boot Raw Edge Jeans: These looked fab on apple and inverted triangle body types with wider calves.
  • The Perfect Vintage High Waist Side Slit Crop Jeans: The best cropped skinnies at the sale. They worked on every client who was prepared to wear a higher rise, and have fab little hem slits too.
  • Natalie High Waist Bootcut Jeans: Fabulous bootcuts for curvy body types. Good on straighter body types if you size down. Good on petites too.
  • HIGH Waist Button Fly Slim Wide Leg Jeans: Trendy Jeans Fabness. These work extremely well on a longer rise and curvier bottom because of the structured coverage. Good on a curvier thigh too. Slim wides are easier to wear than regular wides and these fit the bill. Substantial fabric. These are full price and not on sale - but I'm throwing them in any way.

Here’s the collection page if you would like to see the items alongside my descriptions.

Skirts
  • Midi Pencil Skirt: Soft and comfy fabric that moulds to the curve of the body without looking too tight. Petites looked GREAT in the midi length in a petite size. Fab matched with pink up top.
  • Twill Cargo Skirt: A casual skirt for straight and apple-shaped body types. Comes in camouflage. Lovely length.
  • Rib Pencil Skirt: If you like straight knit skirts, try this. Luscious fabric and not overly tight. Interesting rib interest, and size down at least one size. YES, it worked well on petites.

Here’s the collection page if you would like to see the items alongside my descriptions.

NAS TOP PICKS BY CATEGORY

This post is number 4 in a 5 part series:

Also check out my introduction to the series, and the items I brought home from the sale. Good hunting!

NOTE: Some rich content in this post was omitted because it isn't supported by the feed. Please visit the post on youlookfab.com to see the additional content.

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The knitwear and dress assortments were disappointing, which is why there are fewer top picks in this section. Too much of the mundane same in pricey knitwear, and too many oversized, poor quality pieces at the more affordable price points. Many of the dresses had bad fits, inferior fabrics, and unattractive patterns, not to mention too short lengths. The tops were better.

IMPORTANT: Check whether the items are available in petite and plus because I’ve only provided the description in regular sizes. In some cases regular sizes can work on petites, and regular size ranges extend into larger sizes.

Tops
  • Flowers in Her Hair Smock Detail Tunic Top: A fun boho blouse for Team Tall that also comes in blue and red versions of the pattern. Super cute '70s smock detailing. Best on Team Tall and runs two sizes big.
  • Rebecca Ruffle Puff Sleeve Blouse: This blouse comes in three patterns and is charming on a narrow shoulder and smaller bust. Might need to size down. You have to like frills to like this blouse.
  • Perfect Blouse: A repeat style blouse that is crease-resistant, comfortable, and drapes well. It also layers well under a jacket, and is fab for travel. Comes in a few patterns. Size down.
  • Watercolor Petal Silk Blouse: A beautifully drapey and billowing blouse that looks gorgeous on a curvy figure. Quality piece. The volume collapses onto the body, and wearing the silhouette feels quite luxurious.
  • Slim Fitted Stretch Silk Blouse: A classic quality piece that looks as good with a skirt and pair of trousers as it does with jeans. Tuck, semi-tuck or leave it out. Add a little bling, pull up the sleeves, and Bob's your uncle.
  • Stud Trim Hammered Satin Blouse: This looked good on a range of body types. Flirty, fun, easy and interesting. Great left UNTUCKED. Comes in four colours.
  • Dobby Stripe Boyfriend Shirt: This shirt looks better in person, and is super cute because of the horizontal stripes on the pocket and placket. Slubby, casual, and great for Summer with white jeans or shorts. Available in a darker colourway too.
  • Courier Double Windowpane Shirt: This shirt looks best semi-tucked because it's gigantic. Size down and it's still big, and meant to be. The sleeves look fab cuffed for a little more structure. The fabric is crisp and lovely. Looks extra trendy partially tucked into wide crops.
  • Three Quarter Sleeve Side Slit Tunic: An easy throw-on-and-go that's comfy and available in solids and patterns. Size down.
  • Daisy Stripe Tee: A better-than-basic tee that looks fab with wide crops or straight legs. Cute over a skirt too. It's supposed to be very fluid, and does not run big as the review suggests. It looks best very fluid.
  • Striped Tee with Grosgrain Trim: I adored this boxy tee because it's different to a regular striped tee. The sleeves are boxy too, which looks architectural. Size down two sizes and it's just fine worn UNTUCKED. Available in three colours.
  • Stripe V-Neck Tee: A fab classic form-ffitting tee in a tonal stripe, although it comes in black and white. Luxurious fabric, and as lovely for layering. The neckline is quite shallow, and looked good on every client.
  • Scoop Back Knit Top: Party at the back! Check out the scooped back neck. These are form-fitting, and great worn ruched over skirts. They look fab worn UNTUCKED although they haven't been styled that way. Fab tucked into voluminous bottoms too. Comes in eight colours.
  • It's in the Stars Tee: Fun tee to wear with a blazer, tuck into a dressy skirt, or combine with jeans, shorts and utility pants. Easy breezy.
  • Pattern Sleeveless Top: A handy shell top to wear under cardigans and jackets UNTUCKED, and looks better in person. The floral has the best fit of the three. Might need to size down.
  • Hunter Plaid Shirt: A much more refined plaid shirt that's awfully soft and drapey. Feels very yummy against the skin. Comes in five plaids, and can be worn UNTUCKED. It works well for curvy body types with a larger bust, as well as straighter figures with smaller busts because of how well it drapes on the body. It will need to be pressed after laundry to look fab.

Here’s the collection page if you would like to see the items alongside my descriptions.

Knitwear
  • Beffi Ribbed Peplum Sweater: A beautifully crisp peplum sweater that swooshes as you stride. Substantial fabric, and I HOPE it's a quality knit. It's form-fitting and best on a longer neck and regular or smaller bust. Too short for long waists and rises. The navy earned a place in my wardrobe. I'm wearing it over high-rise jeans and pants.
  • Longline Cardigan: The cardigan lives up to its name by creating a long lean line - and works on petites. It's lightweight and comfortable. The muted colours are soft, which adds to the ethereal vibe of the item.
  • Mixed Cable Wool & Cashmere Blend Sweater: The best cabled pullover at the sale if it doesn't pill. The slouchy fit is tempered by the shorter length. Best on a longer neck. Runs TTS - not big.
  • Merino Wool Sweater: A refined and pretty V-neck on a larger bust. The fluid fit is elegant. Works well worn over black pants with leopard or snakeskin footwear.
  • Crewneck Sweater: This pullover comes in nine solids and stripes and created a good fit on almost all my clients. It's short, and works well as a top worn over higher rises UNTUCKED. TTS it fits tighter than the fit on the model. If you want a looser fit - size up. Cosy.
  • Ribbed Sweater: Fabulous form-fitting rib pullover made of substantial yarn so that it doesn't cling. Nice long length that looks great UNTUCKED. Comes in eight solids and patterns. Comfy and streamlined.
  • V-Neck Sweater: Best on Team Broad Shoulders, and runs a size big. Fun boxy silhouette with a great shallow V-neckline.
  • Bishop Sleeve Sweater: Best on Team Tall with Long Arms. Great length and comfy fit. Pretty blouson sleeves make a nice change. There were more colours in-store.
  • Into the Wild Sweater: The placement of the colour blocking on the sides visually narrows the torso very effectively. The stud detailing is fun too. More fluid in person, and not as form-fitting. Great with salt and pepper or grey hair. Nice quality.
  • Check Wool Cardigan: Clients who wear black loved this cardi, and took it home. It hangs well because of the heft of the yarn. It's fitted yet relaxed. It looked as good on petites in petite sizes. The sleeves turn back to create a positive and negative patterned effect. Graphic and relaxed.
  • Tipped Cardigan: A fun boxy long cardigan with textural interest in a yummy shade of watermelon. Size down.
  • '70s Ruffle Cuff Wool Blend Sweater: Earthy Form-Fitting Fabness that is a good fit on a curvy figure with a larger bust and defined waist. Good on a straighter figure too. Remember that fitted jacket or coat sleeves will look odd and feel odd layered over the top because of the frilly sleeves. You need topper sleeves with room for it to work.
  • Zip-Up Cardigan: This little darling was super cute with skirts or worn over dresses. The furry collar is removable. Cotton-rich and very comfy.
  • Elevate Oversize Wool & Cashmere Mock Neck Pullover: Cosy, fun and swingy. Great for lounge or ultra casual wear. Comes in grey. Size down.

Here’s the collection page if you would like to see the items alongside my descriptions.

Dresses
  • LIVELY Twist Sheath Dress: My clients wore this as a tunic over skinnies, cropped straights, and leggings instead of a dress. It fit a range of body types, and the ruching is forgiving. Fun with a maxi cardigan over the top.
  • Floreat Colorblock Midi Dress: Best flared dress at the sale if you like the pattern. It's bold, I'm warning you. Works well on a curvy body type, and worked well on petites. Might run a size small.
  • Dikena Ponte Sheath Dress: Best sheath at the sale. Impeccable quality, fabric, finish, and a delicious shade of teal. It's a stiff and very structured dress - but does not cling or look too tight. Remember that you do not need to do yoga in it. Magical on an hourglass figure.
  • Pleated Sleeveless Shift Dress: This is a cute shape that comes in three patterns and a solid. Clients liked it worn as a tunic and as a dress. Good with a denim jacket or cardigan if you need arm coverage. Crease-resistant and might run a size big.

Here’s the collection page if you would like to see the items alongside my descriptions.

NAS TOP PICKS BY CATEGORY

This post is number 3 in a 5 part series:

Also check out my introduction to the series, and the items I brought home from the sale. Good hunting!

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Casual footwear was good at this year’s NAS. Lots of emphasis on sneakers — the shoe of our fashion era — and flats. Dressy footwear looked a little repetitive, uninspiring, and was in some cases extremely high-heeled. Surprisingly, there were no salon shoes at the sale this year. No white boots for me either. But busloads of animal print, and a strong nod to footwear comfort. Round toes aplenty too.

  • Joanna Bootie: A sharp yet casual bootie with clean lines. Nicely made. Very comfortable on a lower and regular volume foot. The shade of saddle brown is yummy and best.
  • Shari Bootie: If you need a W or WW extremely comfortable bootie - try these. Your feet will thank you. Add heel inserts if you need a narrower fit on the heel but a wide width in the toe box. Comes in black.
  • Zanya Sandal: The knot detailing looks like it would dig into your skin, but it doesn't. Surprisingly, it's super soft, and looks interesting on the foot. Works on a range of foot shapes, and feels like a sandal sneaker. Comes in three colours.
  • Moving Sneaker: Seinfeld Fabness, and a fun nod to the late '80s. The idea is that you pair these ultra trendy sneakers with ANY outfit, like they do on the catwalks. They run short so go up half a size, and pad the inside with insoles if they're too wide. I have these in white and with insoles they fit perfectly. They aren't as comfy as my Eccos, but they ARE comfy, and I'm enjoying them. They come in beige.
  • Cathryn Water Resistant Bootie: A sharp looking bootie for a regular or lower volume foot. The pointy square toe looks fresh. Nice industrial zipper. Quite comfy if you can manage the heel height.
  • Salem Waterproof Bootie: Best comfy and versatile boot at the sale. Weatherproof. Beautifully made, classic, refined, and VERY cushioning. You have to like round toes to like this boot.
  • Edge Lux 3 Running Shoe: Fab on those with grey hair, and by all means wear them with all sorts of outfits because that's today's fashion. No need to reserve them for running. They've worked on every foot shape because the fabric moulds to the contour of the foot.
  • Elvina Waterproof Bootie: Waterproof, classic, comfortable, and versatile. The bootie had quality issues in the past with what was probably a defective batch of the repeat style. But there are too many rave reviews to ignore how well the bootie can work. I vote pattern all the way.
  • Sloan Bootie: A sleek and comfy style on a lower volume foot. Well made, especially for the price. They look polished and tidy on the foot. Four colours, and the browns look fresh.
  • Irena Loafer: An extremely well-made loafer that looks Italian designer. Extremely sharp on the foot too. But they are not soft and cushioning so consider yourself warned. Run a little wide and maybe half a size big.
  • Milandi Sandal: Extremely comfy on a regular volume foot if you can manage the heel height. Great with dresses and skirts. Comes in four colours.
  • Bobbi Moto Boot: Best buckled boots at the sale. A quality hard-edged piece with loads of refinement. Nice tailored ankle fit, and cushioning insole. Works on a range of foot types. Side zipper for easy access.
  • Pyrgos Laceless Oxford: The back of these oxfords have a super cute vertical stripe so check it out. Very comfy on feet that do not have high insteps or bunions. The grey is lovely too.
  • Vicar Water Repellent Studded Bootie: Best casual burgundy boots at the sale. Very comfy, well made, and work well on regular volume feet. Low-volume feet need insoles. Can work for higher volume feet, but not very wide feet. A little less red in person.
  • Caley Wedge Sandal: Best comfy sandal at the sale. Comes in FOUR widths and FOUR neutrals, and looks a whole lot better on the foot. The front crisscross detailing is cute and flattering.
  • Randie Slip-On Sneaker: A slip-on sneaker that comes in FOUR widths and three neutrals. The navy with grey sole is quite unique, and so is the sueded metallic. Very comfy and streamlined on the foot.
  • Harlie Open Heel Bootie: A fab and comfy sandal bootie for higher volume feet. Comes in solids.
  • Soft 7 High Top Sneaker: Best hi-top at the sale. These have worked on every foot shape apart from a very wide foot. Lower volume feet can add insoles, and higher volume feet have room. The tops create a neat and tidy finish on the foot that looks crisp and graphic. Comes in black and burgundy metallic.
  • Soft 7 III Slip-On Sneaker: Best slip-on sneaker at the sale. These were by far the winning sneaker on clients, and some bought both colours. They were astounded at their comfort, and how well the slip-on stayed on their feet. Also, it worked with every outfit clients were wearing. Wear these sneaks with ANYTHING as long as the colours coordinate. I wish they came in white.
  • Dalaran Bootie: Best snakeskin bootie at the sale. Looks chic under flares and straights. Comfortable on a regular and lower volume foot.
  • Soft 7 Sneaker: Best bright sneaker at the sale. This sneaker has worked on every foot shape apart from a very wide one. Low-volume feet can add insoles, which I did. I wear them with two strategically placed insoles, have three colours, and they are the BEST low-top fashion sneakers of all time. They are supportive and extremely comfy. They look more like an oxford than a sneaker - very clean and crisp - which is probably why I like them.
  • Tombeau Lace-Up Boot: Best comfy stomping boot at the sale. Works well on wider feet with high insteps and arches, and is super cushioning. Easy side zipper access. Wear it with skirts and dresses, or cropped pants and jeans.
  • Lidia Waterproof Bootie: These are adorable in the olive, and fit an orthotic quite comfortably if your feet aren't wide. Comfortable. Run a little short so size up. Casual round toes are looking fresh.
  • Neda Tall Weatherproof Boot: Best tall boots at the sale, and quite good on narrow calves if you wear a smaller size. Best on regular and taller ladies for a clean shaft fit. Get the BROWN.
  • Faria Weatherproof Genuine Calf Hair Bootie: Sharp, well made, and fun in the leopard. Comfy on low and regular volume feet. Runs narrow.
  • Pointy Toe Mule: Best mule at the sale. This worked on a range of foot shapes and is as comfy as it is sleek and chic. Well made.
  • Edge Lux 3 Running Shoe: The best athletic sneakers at the sale. They fit most foot types because they stretch and mould to the foot. It's VERY trendy to wear these with just about any outfit, so do just that. The white and grey are just as nice.
  • Lilah Ruffle Flat: These worked well on many foot shapes, and are comfy if you don't need a lot of arch support or a wide toe box. Cushioning and classic on the foot. Four neutrals, and the black is the least effective in the style because the ruffle disappears.
  • Becca Loafer: A classic loafer with a '90s lug sole. Beautifully made, and comfy on an assortment of foot shapes. Higher volume feet have room. Lower volume feet sized down half a size. Try the rich and yummy BROWN.
  • Old Skool Suede Low Top Sneaker: Retro Sneaker Fabness that works on an assortment of foot shapes if you manipulate the width with laces or with insoles. The red is cool and yummy. Wear them with ANYTHING because that is what modern fashion is all about.
  • Saltwater Waterproof Rain Boot: A fabulous repeat style that is super cute with jeans, and very comfy. All the colours are nice, but the pink and blue look the most exciting. They run wide but are very good with insoles and thick socks for lower volume feet. Good with orthotics too. I have these in cream from two years ago.
  • Barnstable Loafer: Extremely comfy loafers that work for a wider foot. Comes in six colours and the suede is more comfy than the regular leather.

Here’s the collection page if you would like to see the items alongside my descriptions.

NAS TOP PICKS BY CATEGORY

This post is number 2 in a 5 part series:

Also check out my introduction to the series, and the items I brought home from the sale. Good hunting!

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The jacket and coat assortment was the highlight of this year’s NAS. Lots of beautiful colours, a diversity of silhouettes and fabrics to cater to an assortment of lifestyles, impeccable quality, and a range of sizes. There was something for everyone. 

IMPORTANT: Check whether the items are available in petite and plus because I’ve only provided the description in regular sizes. In some cases regular sizes can work on petites, and regular size ranges extend into larger sizes.

Jackets
  • Packable Water Resistant Puffer Jacket: For Team Earth Tones. A packable lightweight SHAPED puffer in a shade of metallic cinnamon is unique. The stitching on the jacket creates a slim silhouette and is awfully clever. Comes in champagne.
  • Faux Suede Eveline Jacket: STUNNING fabric, and machine washable. The drape, finish and quality wowed me - and for $79. Extremely comfy. Fits petites. All four colours are fab
  • Metallic Stitch Utility Jacket: A cool-toned utility jacket that's great on broader shoulders and Team Tall. It works on shorter apple-shaped body types too. Breast pockets are not bothersome. Comes in a stonewashed peach.
  • Courtney Glazed Lambskin Leather Jacket: Impeccable lightweight olive leather jacket that can work on petites if you have longer arms. Not as yellow in person, and more green. Fab blazer alternative for the office.
  • Movement Peplum Jacket: Best black jacket at the sale. Dramatic, chic and a quality piece. The peplum is subtle, yet architectural. Interestingly, it works as well on apple shapes as it does on body types with a defined waists. Size up unless you need a narrow fit.
  • Packable Water Resistant Puffer Jacket: A lightweight and warm puffer with interesting black trim that would work well with black footwear. It fits a range of body types, and all the colours are nice.
  • Galicia Glazed Lambskin Leather Jacket: GORGEOUS mustard leather jacket that works well on a curvy body type and fuller bust. It's fluid yet shaped, and beautifully made. Very lightweight.
  • Check Double Breasted Blazer: A happy checked blazer that looks best worn unbuttoned. It has trendy '80s shoulder pads, and runs a size small. Works as well with dress pants as it does with jeans.
  • Kota Crop Faux Leather Moto Jacket: Fab faux leather moto that's a great length and shape to wear with skirts and dresses. A pretty shade of pearl grey. Might run a size small.
  • Dover Blazer: A tuxedo style blazer in lovely fabric for Team Broad Shoulders. Fluid fit. NOT that shaped, and super cute in yellow and cobalt.
  • Jadela Pinstripe Ponte Suit Jacket: Although quite severe, this jacket is extremely sharp, and the quality is impeccable. The finish on the inside will blow your mind. It works best on a curvy body type, and well on a larger bust and shorter neck. Beautifully tailored. The diagonal lines down the front do magical things on any body type.
  • Onto the Next Faux Leather Drape Front Jacket: Best faux leather jacket at the sale. $59 of bliss, and it might run small unless you prefer narrow fits. Fun over dresses. Comes in black and burgundy.
  • Mixed Media Leather Moto Jacket: Best leather jacket at the sale. The mixed-media colour blocking is unique, and it's well made. Lightweight and office-appropriate. Fab tailored fit, but not too tight. Sharp.
  • Brush It Off Jacket: A comfy draped knitted moto that's very shaped when zipped up. Handy pockets and quite polished despite the slouch of the knit.
  • Ruched Sleeve Plaid Blazer: An amazing trendy long blazer that's cool-toned and very elongating. Fully lined, well made, lots of cute design detailing, has a little stretch and a fun '80s shoulder pad. Fits a range of body types. It looked as good on a straight figure as it did on a curvy one.
  • Windowpane Check Ruched Sleeve Blazer: Best graphic window pane at the sale. Fully lined, well made, lots of cute design detailing, has STRETCH, a fun little '80s shoulder pad, and is under $100. Comfy and fun. Fits a range of body types.
  • Ruched Sleeve Plaid Blazer: Best long blazer at the sale. Trendy, dramatic, earth-toned, and very elongating. Fully lined, well made, lots of cute design detailing, has a little stretch and a fun '80s shoulder pad. Fits a range of body types. It looked as good on a straight figure as it did on a curvy one. Comes in a cool-toned check too.
  • Raw Edge Cotton Blend Tweed Jacket: A maximal Chanel-esque bouclé jacket that fits a narrower frame best. It comes in two colours and looks great combined with jeans, pants and dresses. Remix the look with utility pants, sneakers and bling.
  • Shawl Collar Blazer: Best bouclé at the sale. Bolder in person and super soft. The length is sublimely flattering and the shawl collar unique. The weave of the bouclé is tight and feels substantial. Roomy sleeves and great over all sorts of layers. Chanel-esque.
  • Chevron Puffer Jacket: A trendy futuristic puffer that's shaped and bold. Fun chevron stitching. I vote mustard or white.
  • Summit Jacket: Best zebra item at the sale. Its graphic and architectural integrity makes quite a statement. The straightness of the silhouette is beyond body type, although I preferred it on broader shoulders. The diagonal seaming in front creates a flattering line for the eye to follow, and therein are fab hidden pockets.
  • Harriet Cutaway Blazer: The best designer blazer at the sale. A quality Modern Classic with a high longevity factor that oozes fabness and personality. Dress it up or down and wear it season after season. It works extremely well on a curvier body type - better than on a straighter body type.
  • Faux Fur Trim Faux Leather Jacket: Best boxy jacket at the sale. Faux leather with teddy bear lining is cosy, fun to wear, and warm. Good length and fab side entry pockets. The fit is STRAIGHT and very fluid, so you have to be okay with that. It does not overwhelm a small frame, and you have to love red to commit to it.
  • Plaid Double-Breasted Blazer: If you like pastel pink and soft stretchy fabric, try this blazer. It's NOT a knit, but feels as soft and yummy as one. Fab trendy length and a bit of an '80s fit too. Extremely comfy.
  • Single Breasted Blazer: This blazer works well on a larger bust, broader shoulder, and curvy top half. Very streamlining, and a trendy longer length. Comes in four great colours.
  • Oversize Denim Jacket: BEST oversized and boxy denim jacket I've seen all year. Gorgeous fabric, good fit, and fun pockets. It's super trendy, yet very wearable, and will magically update a busload of outfits. It would have been mine if I didn't already have one.

Here’s the collection page if you would like to see the items alongside my descriptions.

Coats
  • Port Madison Hooded Raincoat: INCREDIBLE casual walking coat that is scrumptious quality. The stock photo does not do it justice. Very roomy comfort yet streamlined and flattering. Side entry pockets for stashing. Can work well on petites. Make sure you can layer adequately underneath because that is the point. Do NOT buy the coat too small. Comes in navy and black. The green is less teal and more forest green in person. Lovely tonal plaid lining.
  • Miss Metro II Water Repellent Hooded Parka: Best gear puffer at the sale. The silhouette looked great on a range of body types, and there are FIVE amazing colours. Well-made, great fit, fab length, and super warm. I wished it came in petite for my petite clients.
  • Glacier Sunset Water Resistant Fleece Coat: Trendy Barn Jacket Fabness. Bold and roomy, so you have to be okay with that. Might run a size big. Impeccable quality.
  • Packable Hooded Walker Coat: Best fashion puffer at the sale. Extremely comfy, lightweight yet warm, and very flattering. The stitching and quilting are positioned so that they visually narrow the silhouette. Clever! Comes in black and forest green.
  • Hooded Water Resistant Trench Coat: A fun trench in an excellent length for Team Purple. The side zipper is unique, and the sheen adds glam to the casual vibe. Fits an assortment of body types.
  • Water Resistant Moto Detail Trench Coat: Best casual trench at the sale. Statement hardware, a lined and removable hood, and fabric that repels pet hair. Great length and very comfy. Comes in olive.
  • Hooded Raincoat: AMAZING raincoat in incredible fabric. Extremely crisp and fun, if you fancy the floral. Great shape that works on a slew of body types. Might run a size small, and comes in solid black.
  • Rib Tweed Car Coat: A classic cinnamon coat in a false plain with polka dot lining. Roomy on the body if you prefer narrower fits. The sleeves run short.
  • Star Double Face Trench Coat: The best fun coat at the sale. Nicely made, and fab red piping on the inside. The cocoon shape and midi length are versatile, and layer well over most items. The architectural drape is trendy, and the silhouette works on most body types if you're prepared to surrender the waist and wear the look fluid and boxy.
  • Patch Pocket Coat: A very pretty blue coat with a straight fit that works well on a larger bust. Size down a size. I found it a little scratchy, but my clients did not. The teal is lovely too.
  • Double Breasted Trench Coat with Removable Hood: A great classic trench coat that works well on a curvy body type. The top back flap lies flat against the body because it's stitched down, and the fabric is crisp. Quite crease-resistant.
  • Double Breasted Wool Blend Coat: Best dressy coat at the sale. A STUNNING Modern Classic that will work over midis, and just about anything else. High longevity factor. It's heavy, warm, luxurious, and beautifully made. Very tailored so no bulky underlayers. Quite slim through the arms, and quite straight on the hips - but not that straight. It has worked on straighter and curvier body types. Remember that button positions can be adjusted to create a better fit.
  • Double Face Wool Blend Coat: The best checked coat at the sale. A perfect Trendy Classic. An amazing on-trend midi cocoon silhouette in the most classic of tartans. It's straight and quite unstructured, yet the heft of the fabric makes it drape like a dream giving it some structure. High longevity factor.
  • Leopard Print Coat: Best animal print coat at the sale. Elegant, fun, soft, TAILORED, and a fab mdi length. It worked on a range of body types, and has handy side entry pockets. Soft, yet crisp and sharp.
  • Summit Jacket: Best zebra item at the sale. Its graphic and architectural integrity makes quite a statement. The straightness of the silhouette is beyond body type, although I preferred it on broader shoulders. The diagonal seaming in front creates a flattering line for the eye to follow, and therein are fab hidden pockets.
  • Ancha Hooded Waterproof Parka: This was a WOW fit on petite apple-shaped body types, although it worked well on other body types too. A substantial quality piece if you like to wear gear as casual wear. All the colours are nice.
  • Water Resistant Raincoat with Removable Hood: A raincoat that worked well on a range of body types, and especially good on long bodies and arms. The fabric repels pet hair, and drapes well. Lovely stitch and pocket detailing. Well made, and comes in four colours.
  • Finlay Waterproof Hooded Wool Blend Coat: A weather-resistant classic with a hood and fun lining. Roomy fit, and size down. Great over chunky knits. Impeccable quality. Comes in black. Especially fabulous on Team Tall.

Here’s the collection page if you would like to see the items alongside my descriptions.

NAS TOP PICKS BY CATEGORY

This post is number 1 in a 5 part series:

Also check out my introduction to the series, and the items I brought home from the sale. Good hunting!

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The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale has officially begun. After a week of early access to cardholders, it’s now open to all. Brand new merchandise for Fall and Winter 2019 will be discounted for two weeks only. Prices go back up on August 5. 

I spent a couple of weeks preparing and preselecting the sale with clients and it was AMAZING. We refreshed our wardrobes, had fun trying both predictable and wild card wardrobe items, took ourselves outside of our comfort zones, made discerning purchase decisions, and got a great start on the new colder weather dressing season. Summer in Seattle has been dismal, which meant that clients have been wearing some of their NAS items right away. That’s the silver lining for our currently grim weather.

Items ran out of stock faster than usual. Reduced inventory levels, an increase in the number of cardholders, and a more desirable assortment of merchandise are my guesses as to why that’s the case. The reduced inventory made navigating the sale and cherry picking even easier.

Don’t give up if an item is gone in your size or sold out because styles are restocked throughout the sale, and items are constantly returned. Keep checking back online or when you’re in stores because you’ll probably get what you want eventually.

I’ve noted the very best items that were slam dunk winners on clients. I’ve put together five top picks lists that might be helpful if you’re navigating the sale. The items will be available for purchase at 9:30 Pacific Time, according to Nordstrom.

I’ve seen all of these items in person and on a range of body types and sizes, across petite, regular, plus and tall women. It’s a wide assortment of items, reflecting the range of lifestyles, style preferences and budgets of my clientele.

Nordstrom did a GREAT job of extending size ranges in both directions. US0 and XXS were included across a larger merchandise assortment, and regular collections sometimes went through to XXXL and US24. THANK YOU Nordstrom, for being more inclusive in your size specifications.

Be sure to also browse wardrobe basics like underwear, socks, loungewear, sleepwear, or workout wear if you like to use the sale to replenish those types of items in July. Also there is lots of fun stuff in homeware.

A few things to consider as you browse the lists:

  • I’ve collected each item in a single colour, but be sure to browse through ALL the colour options.
  • Check whether the items are available in petite and plus because I’ve only collected regular sizes. In some cases regular sizes can work on petites, and regular size ranges extend into larger sizes.
  • My descriptions are detailed and specific for a reason. They suggest a match for a particular body type, comfort level, lifestyle, or style preference.
  • At the end of each list there’s a link to the relevant collection page where you can see the items together with their descriptions.
  • I haven’t included top picks for wardrobe basics like undies, socks, sleepwear and workout wear, which are well worth a look.

Feel free to ask questions in the comments sections about my picks or any other NAS items, and I’ll do my best to help you out. We’ve been discussing NAS items in the forum, which is particularly helpful because you can see the items across a range of body types. And please share your own winning purchases in the comments section below.

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StyleCaster rounds up 23 nostalgic graphic tees to add some retro flavour to your Summer wardrobe.

More graphic tee inspiration from Kim France who lists 13 fun options.

I also enjoyed this Guardian article about why TV T-shirts have become the new band tees.

Fab Links from Our Members

Rachylou was reading this because she’s looking for a trend to follow but doesn’t really think there are any.

Notsaf thought that The $50 Dress That Conquered Britain was a fascinating and fun read.

It reminded her of last Winter’s Amazon coat that took over the Upper East Side.

Vildy got a kick out of this send-up of fashion photos: “Not only is he ‘re-creating’ them but what makes it work is he’s mimicking their mood-setting expressions.”

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Pencil skirts are an acquired taste in Summer because they’re constricting and not very breezy. That said, some pencil skirts aren’t as tight and tapered as others, Summer days and nights can be cool by the water, and there is Summer air conditioning to consider. 

Then there’s the knee-length or midi stretchy and body-con knitted tube skirt that’s very tight but extremely comfortable because it’s soft and stretchy. It’s popular with my clients because it creates a slim silhouette, is forgiving on the midsection, and is machine washable. Knitted tube skirts are versatile and can be styled with an untucked top. For those who enjoy wearing easy pull-on-and-go Summer tube skirts, feast your eyes on these.

The following four Summer skirt outfit ideas are more about woven pencil skirts than knitted tube skirts, although there’s one of the latter in the mix. Two casual and two dressy, just to mix it up. Choose any colour palette.

1. Tubed Two-Piece Dress

Combine a knitted tube skirt with a knitted top in the same or similar fabric or pattern. Wear the top over the skirt, or semi-tuck if it has a drawstring. Add sneakers, slides or mules, and a backpack as the finishing touch. A denim jacket is a fab idea for arctic air conditioning.

2. Tank & Sneakers

Combine a patterned woven pencil skirt with a tank top and fashion sneakers, and you’re done. Choose wedge sandals, mules, slides, ballet flats or platform sandals if sneakers aren’t your thing. A sleeved tee is another way to go, which you can tuck or semi-tuck, unless you can find a tee that is sufficiently structured to wear untucked.

3. Classic Cardi as a Top

A classic short cardigan can be worn as a top when it’s buttoned through. Wear a camisole underneath, and it’s a great top to wear over a range of skirt silhouettes. Here it is paired with a pencil skirt and heeled sandals. Add a tote or satchel and you’re ready for the office.

4. Fluid Classic

This is a classic dressy combination that always looks sharp when the pieces fit and are made of gorgeous fabrics. Combine a pencil skirt in a fun pattern with a fluid woven top that blousons when it’s tucked into the skirt. The juxtaposition of soft and fluid + super structured is a lovely one. Finish off the look with dressy heels that work with the outfit. Add jewellery, watch and eyewear as desired.

I have ONE pencil skirt, and it’s a Summer one. It’s a cotton lace, very lightweight, and not very tight, all of which makes it delightful to wear in high heat. I combine it with a fitted striped or white knit top, a linen flutter sleeve shirt, or an oversized striped shirt. All tops are semi-tucked. I usually wear white sandals or flats for footwear. Here are the exact items from my wardrobe.

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The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale is perfectly timed because I like to shop early in the retail season. I can secure the best items in my size, my style feels refreshed when the weather changes, and I can forget about shopping for a while. I’m usually done with Spring and Summer shopping by about May, and ready to think about my Autumn and Winter style at the end of June. 

My approach to shopping the NAS is relaxed. I throughly enjoy the hype, hunt, and cherry picking. It’s a fun game to me. I’ve also accumulated NAS wardrobe treasures for fifteen years now, which keeps me going back for more. But I don’t let the sale boss me around, and I don’t suffer from FOMO or “fear of missing out” because there will always be other fab items around the corner.

I practice organized emotional shopping. I listen to my heart and feelings, but temper my emotions so that my choices are practical, cost-effective, and sensible.

The Emotion

I like to evolve my style every season to keep things fresh and prevent outfit boredom. That’s why I look for something DIFFERENT when I shop the NAS, and seldom purchase wardrobe essentials or tried and tested items. It’s a delicate balance to choose items that are signature to my style, yet take me a little out of my box.

I don’t go into the NAS knowing exactly how I want to evolve my style. I enjoy this uncertainty, and I trust that my emotions will help me solve the puzzle as I select and assess items in the NAS dressing room. Apart from shopping with hubby Greg for my birthday, the NAS is my most enjoyable shopping experience of the year because the element of surprise is an adrenaline rush and it’s so very satisfying to step outside my comfort zone and find a winning item.

I went into the NAS knowing that I wanted: non-neutrals, texture, tailoring, quality, versatile formality, some trends, some classics, some sporty, glam and glitz, and lots of pretty. There are no logical reasons for these style aspirations and wants. They are simply what I’m feeling for my style this year, so I’m running with it until I feel the next change.

The Organization

I edit and review my closet monthly, so I know what I own, how it fits, and how I currently feel about it. This was especially easy since we moved recently. This prevents me from duplicating items when I shop, and gives me an accurate mental picture of the types of outfits I was wearing last Autumn and Winter. It provides the frame of reference for the items that I bring into the NAS dressing room, and is a starting point for how I evolve my style.

I also keep a running list in my head of wardrobe holes, items that need replenishing, the factors that affect my style, my budget, and my 2019 style goals. This is the “organization” that tempers my emotions when I shop.

I found it very useful to create two lists going into the NAS. A wish list, and a list of forbidden items that I will avoid. Here they are for 2019.

Wish List

  • A substitute for blue jeans in Winter that are not leggings and jeggings, like fun woolly pants that keep me warm and aren’t skinnies.
  • Full length pants & jeans
  • Red or turquoise coat. Won’t say no to a patterned coat, or another fun colour
  • Always in the mood for fabulous midi skirts and dresses!
  • Always in the mood for pretty shoes that work for my feet and lifestyle
  • White or cream flat boots (I keep on wearing mine into the ground)
  • Jacket in a HEAVY weight that’s like a short coat, or a refined streamlined jacket that fits under my coats
  • Cashmere wrap in a yummy colour I don’t already have

Forbidden List

  • Pricey knitwear, and cheap cashmere knitwear
  • Wardrobe basics (underwear, sleepwear, socks, loungewear)
  • Makeup
  • Gear & workout wear
  • Jewellery
  • Blouses and knit tops
  • Anything grey or black
  • Basic boots
  • Cognac footwear
  • Oxfords

I’m pretty strict about following these lists, but also keep an open mind because you can’t shop for items that aren’t there, and wildcard wardrobe purchases can be a beautiful thing.

The Process

With all this in mind I began laser focussed NAS browsing at the Flagship Nordstrom in downtown Seattle. I posted the items I brought into the dressing room in the forum: Jackets, a coat, pants and jeans. That’s it. Dresses and skirts were a disappointment. My lists were indispensable. They kept me focussed and my shop was done in ninety minutes. I bought the seven items shown in the collection below.

The most important things on the wishlist were the jeans-substitute, bright coat, and heavy jacket/short coat, because they’re wardrobe holes. I found them right away and in my size, which was very lucky.

I tried on the Halogen Shawl Collar Blazer and Sam Edelman Faux Leather Aviator Jacket first, and it was instant love and happiness. Amazing fits, nice quality, my colours, ample warmth, easy to mix and match with my wardrobe, practical, and DIFFERENT to what I had at home. The former quite classic, and the latter quite trendy, so a good mix. They were definitely coming home with me because they were perfect. I bat for Team Gold, but don’t mind the gentle silver hardware on the red aviator jacket. I could tick item #7 off my wishlist, and then some.

Next I tried the red Avec Les Filles Double Breasted Wool Blend Coat, and felt like a million bucks as soon as I popped it on. Very high happiness-factor. Impeccable, beautifully tailored, gorgeous fit, heavy, warm, luxurious, the right non-neutral, a practical length to wear over midi dresses, classic, and fably dressy. My only reservation was that it didn’t have side entry pockets, which is usually my preference on a coat. But the ten year old dressy red coat that it’s replacing doesn’t have side entry pockets either. Also, it’s a dressier coat that won’t come out to play as much as my other coats so I can easily wear gloves. So it followed me home too. Item #3 ticked off the list.

Veronica Beard’s Gemini Check Crop Pants were exactly what I had in mind for item #1 on my wishlist. They fit perfectly, are LINED, warm and woolly, beautifully made, and extra fab in the micro-check which is dead right for my style and in my colour palette. A versatile no-brainer addition.

I tried on a few more pairs of pants and jackets but they didn’t make me as happy as the other items. I tried on the Paige Transcend jeans, which I loved because they were full length, a great fit and dressy. But I’d just got jeans for my birthday, so I passed on item #2 on the wishlist. I loved Madewell’s Emmett Windowpane Plaid Crop Wide Leg Pants but will struggle to stay warm in Winter, so I passed on them too.

I enjoy a peplum and on a whim tried Ted Baker’s Beffi Ribbed Peplum Sweater in ink blue because it’s different to my knitwear at home. It created a high happiness factor because it moves as I stride — fun swoosh — and worked well with the checked pants and outerwear. Bonus buy.

Next up was footwear and accessories. I didn’t see a scarf or wrap that I liked enough to earn a place in my wardrobe, so item #8 on my wishlist was a bust. But I did go to footwear and make a beeline for a pair of very trendy white Seinfeld sneakers that made me laugh out loud as soon as I saw them. I loved their ‘80s vibe and wore the hi-top version 32 years ago. I tried them on right away, and with insoles they fit really well despite their enormous chunkiness. Comfy, fun, and my wildcard for the season. The wild part about this purchase is the athletic-chunky integrity, although the fact that they are white, flat and a sneaker is not a stretch. You can see me sport them in the forum.

Finally, at home that night I browsed the NAS footwear section for white boots that may not have made it to the Flagship, and purchased a pair of orange Ecco Soft 7 Sneakers instead. They will be my third pair of the same sneaker that are absolute workhorses for my urban walking lifestyle. I have a bright orange Furla to match, so they’ll look complemented and pretty. Ticked off item #5.

When I had a little time to spare at home this week, I re-tried all my NAS items to make sure that I was happy with how they fit and looked. To ensure that the quality was up to scratch, and that they worked on this leg of my style journey. I also made sure I stayed within my budget. Happy as a clam, I had a brilliant NAS, and am committed to these seven items. I’m thrilled with my start to Fall & Winter 2019.

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