Wear what makes you happy

Iris Apfel on Harper Bazaar
Photo by Harper’s Bazaar

Wear what makes you happy, says Iris Apfel:

I always feel that if you’re gonna be uncomfortable and unhappy in something, just because you think it’s in or it’s chic, I would advise you to be happy rather than well-dressed. It’s better to be happy.

This beautiful philosophy for dressing for happiness resonates with what Marie Kondo says about deciding whether or not to keep the things in your home. She encourages us to pull everything out of the drawers and closets and sort each item individually, asking:


And if it doesn’t, the item is discarded.

It’s all about what feels good for you. And you get to decide what that looks like for you.

So ask yourself:

what makes you feel happy every time you put it on?

Let’s create space for more of that in your life.

How do Dress from Work to Party

Recently I had a chance to style a segment for the zulily blog on how to take your daytime look to evening in a pinch by Claire Magruder, zulily’s in-house style expert. Here it is!

Ok ladies, November has arrived, and we all know what that means: Holiday parties, gift giving extravaganzas, piles and piles of cookies to bake, and all of this on top of your everyday workload!  All of the social events that come along with the holidays are such fun, but can seem a bit daunting when you think about your daily routine, and how to possibly fit it all in.  To make life a breeze from the office to a night out on the town, here are a few ways I stay organized day to night.

But first, the bag…

work to party bag

Make sure you have a designated tote bag with a simple makeup/hair kit, room for a great pair of heels, jewelry, dry shampoo, and a sparkly layer.  Carry this to work with you, or leave some of these little extras stashed in your desk.  You never know what events might pop up on the agenda at the last minute, and being able to do a simple prep to get party ready at the end of the work day makes life so much easier.

Rouge the night away

cherry red lip for going out

Cherry Red is the color of the season.  I’ve seen it all over the runways and in the pages of every magazine, and what I love about the color is that it’s easy to incorporate into your everyday routine. It can be as simple an addition to your work attire as a glossy red lip and red suede pumps.  Or,  try wearing a pretty red dress and blazer to work, then remove the jacket for night, add metallic heels and a clutch, throw your hair up in a casual French twist and you’re ready to hit the town!

It’s all in the details

work to party black pencil skirt

Most of us need to look polished, serious, and professional on the job, which often means basic black pencil skirts or A-line dresses and blazers.  If you don’t have much time to get ready for an after-work function, try something as simple as packing a pair of stockings that have some flair and detail to them.  My favorites right now are sheer black with a lace pattern, or anything with embellishments like little pearls or rhinestones.  I love how easy this makes dressing up… sometimes it’s just a little touch that really makes the outfit!

Smaller is better!

maroon skirt party outfit

Always pack a smaller purse to bring out at night.  I suggest a cross body bag that you can fit the essentials in… house keys, credit cards, phone, lipstick of course, and leave your work items at the office.  That way you’re not lugging a big bag around all night, and you can bring everything else home the next day.

Don’t forget to add eyeliner!

eyeliner for after work event

Nothing says party like a smoky eye, and what an easy update this is.  I don’t go overboard here, just a little extra liner to define the eyes do the trick.  Smudge it in a bit, add a shimmery highlight right below the brows, and you’re all set.

Add a little sparkle

sequined skirt party outfit

Sequins are my major holiday go-to because they’re such a seasonal fashion item.  I love sequined pencil skirts paired with a flowy blouse, or cozy lightweight crew neck sweater.  Again, stay simple with this trend and wear just one piece that incorporates sparkle.  I always try to balance the whole look, so that I’m on trend and look festive, but still approachable.

Channel your inner rocker with a moto jacket

moto jacket party look

Office holiday parties are always the hardest to dress for.  You want to look festive and pretty, but it’s important that you maintain a sense of professionalism… maybe save the mini skirt for girl’s night out?  My go-to are always black pants, with a bunch of sparkly bling.  Statement necklaces or chandelier earrings brighten up that basic, and a leather moto jacket is the perfect topper to stay warm while out and about.

Remember to have fun with it all and that the holidays only come once a year.  I try to revel in the business, and enjoy the hustle and bustle while it lasts… soon the festivities will die down, and we’ll all be back to our regular routine in the New Year.  Celebrate now with a little extra festive fashion thrown in for good measure and check out our work to party event from 11/10/2015 to 11/12/2015.

zulily Trend Expert- Claire Magruder

claire magruder

As zulily’s trend and fashion expert, Claire constantly has her eye on what’s next. Whether it’s the best new look for an upcoming event, that necklace you just have to have, or a bigger picture look at this season’s trends, Claire is our go-to for fashion and style advice.

Claire has a background in styling and design, with published work in the likes of Martha Stewart Living, Good Housekeeping, OK Magazine, Seattle Magazine, and more.  She has worked on such television series and feature films as Boardwalk Empire, The Big C, The Today Show, The Martha Stewart Show, Winter’s Tale, and more. Claire is the founder and author of the blog, That Pleasant Surprise, which focuses on finding the beauty in our everyday lives.

Claire lives in Seattle with her husband and Black Lab, “Scout”, and loves exploring the beautiful Northwest with weekend hikes, ski trips in the mountains, and boat rides on the Puget Sound.  Traveling to new places is a passion, and her favorite way to discover the newest and greatest next thing.  Sharing all of this, and life’s great experiences with friends and family is the icing on the cake!


When Trends Go Too Far: Oversize Wool Jacket


Sometimes fashion trends can go too far. We all know that wearing oversize clothes are all the rage right now — oversize plain white tees, boyfriend jeans, boyfriend blazers — but here’s an example of how a trend can swing too far in the wrong direction. It’s practically comical!

This Oversize Wool Jacket was selling for $2000+ at a popular local retailer.

When considering fashion trends, you don’t have to adopt all of them. Adopt the trends that work for you and leave the rest. And if you really like this look, I promise you it would be much cheaper to raid your dad’s closet!



What Are You Wearing New Years Eve?

what are you wearing new years eve
Photo: Marshall Miller | Styling: Sarah Ward

The ball drops tomorrow at midnight — do you know what you’re wearing New Year’s Eve? It’s hard to go wrong with sequins so her are some of our favorite sequin looks!

new years eve sequins square

Whether you’re going to be in Time Square or in you’re living room ringing in the new year, there are plenty of ways to incorporate sequins into your New Years Eve!

Photo Credit (clockwise from top left): 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6

What will you be wearing New Years Eve?

Daily Outfit: Mixed Prints — Tips on Pairing Prints

One of the hottest recent fashion trends is mixing prints, but unless done with proper care, it can look like you got dressed in the dark. For best results pairing patterns, follow this framework:

  1. Combine two prints that share a color scheme.
  2. Make sure that one print is dominant and the other subordinate. If you have two equally loud patterns, the eye has nowhere to rest.

Denim shirt: Gap thifted | Coral striped tee: Boehme | Gold necklace: handmade | Gold watch: Fossil (similar) | Belt: Target | Tribal Skirt: Forever21 (also worn here) | Wedges: Aerosole from Famous Footwear

Have you tried mixing prints before? What were your results?

Linking up to Marionberry Style and Watch Out for the Woestmans!

Trend Alert: Orange Lipstick

With Tangerine Tango as the color of the year, orange lipstick is all the rage right now.

Orange lipstick has been on my beauty bucket list for weeks. After browsing the counters of Sephora and Clinique but with no luck in finding the right vibrant shade of orange, I definitely wasn’t expecting it to come from Cover Girl. But that’s exactly what happened. The perfect lipstick of the season… at the drug store!

Cover Girl Temptation Lipstick

Will you be wearing orange lipstick this season?

Shabby Apple Color Blocks – The Block Collection

Shabby Apple recently debuted a new line of color blocking basic items called The Block. What a great collection of pieces you could dress up or down and wear everyday this spring.

Shabby Apple Headliner Dress

Can’t get enough of this dress! It would be so much fun to dress up and down.

Shabby Apple Taxicab skirt
Shabby Apple Metropolitan Blouse

This skirt looks so much like my Forever 21 pleated orange skirt.

Shabby Apple Promenade Blouse

Have you been color blocking this season? Are you inspired to start? For more ideas, check our post on Red and Pink Colorblocking.

Do the Tangerine Tango

This is our 300th blog post! Yay!

Looking for ways to do the tangerine tango this year? If you haven’t watched it yet, check out our video on 7 ways to integrate orange into your life in 2012 and check out the inspiration photos below!

One of the Olsen twins embraces tangerine tango to the max with this orange dress and shoulder detailing. <3

From Anthopologie

Embrace color blocking that incorporates tangerine tango.

If the bright tangerine tango is too vivid for you, this patterned skirt is a more muted shade.

Make orange your accent color with this pair of shocking skinny jeans.

While you probably wouldn’t wear tangerine tango on your lips for everyday use, but why not look for a lip color with some orange in it, like this one?

What are you wearing when you dance the tangerine tango this year?

Trend Alert: Red and Pink Colorblocking

One of the fun fashion trends that has been everywhere recently is colorblocking red and pink together. An unlikely combination, they actually come together beautifully. Exhibit A, B, C, D, E:

Photo: 9to5chic.com
Photo: ThisTimeTomorrow-Krystal.blogspot.com
Photo: 9to5chic.com
Photo: Honor Pre-Fall 2012
Photo: PopSugar.com

Want to give red and pink colorblocking a try? Here’s some tips:

  • Pair it with muted accessories in neutral colors.
  • Bring up red or pink to your face in your lipstick or blush. This will help make you part of the color scheme with your clothes.

Would you try red and pink together?

Pinterest: Navajo Fashion Trend

The Navajo fashion trend is one of my recent favorites, one that is coming out in my closet as well as my home decor. Something about the bright vivid colors and the geometric shapes has totally won me over… not to mention my latest Native American obsession.Here are some phenomenal Navajo themed pins I happened upon this week on Pinterest. (Psst! Are we connected on Pinterest yet?)

This is my fave Navajo tee. <3

Have you gotten into the Navajo fashion trend?