4 Winter Staples

This winter feels so long, doesn’t it?! That’s why I find myself constantly reinventing looks to keep my style fresh. Here are four items this season that I recommend keeping in your winter rotation.

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Double-Breasted Jacket 

Old Hollywood glamour. That’s the feeling I get when wearing a double-breasted jacket. If you’re looking to shake up the traditional sports coat, I highly recommend exploring this dapper style. You’ll instantly be transported into a world of sophistication. These types of jackets traditionally run a bit looser, so for a more modern look, find one with a tapered waist. Also, play with patterns to give the jacket a more current feel. The jacket I’m wearing has a checkered pattern in different shade of navy, which gives it a more playful vibe. If an entire double-breasted suit seems a bit dated for you, create a more modern version of this popular 1930s style by pairing the jacket with dark denim, a bright turtleneck and lace-up boots.

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Cable-Knit Cardigan

Textured cardigans are one of my favorite layering pieces in the fall, winter and even early spring. The versatility of the cardigan makes it so valuable! You can wear it with many different types of dress shirts, flannels, v-neck tees and Henleys. Sometimes thin, cotton cardigans can fall a little flat and make you look frumpy instead of accentuating the lines of your body. That’s why a fitted, textured, cable-knit cardigan is always a great choice to layer with. It adds dimension to your outfit while dressing up any shirt you wear underneath. Here’s a tip for you: look for cardigans that have modern shawl collars. They frame the lines of your body nicely and add an extra level of elevation to your entire outfit.

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Quilted Bomber Jacket

The bomber jacket seems to be a piece that never goes out of style. Year after year, the bomber is reimagined with different patterns, fabrics, prints and colors. I love quilted bomber jackets because they give you a rugged look to switch up your style. After all, who says we have to only dress one way? As much as I love a well-tailored suit, blazer or crisp button down shirt, I also love fitted denim, a cool bomber jacket and suede boots. I usually pair a henley with this jacket and top it off with some mirror-lens shades. Another perk of wearing bomber jackets? They accentuate your shoulders and give you a trim waistline.

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Plaid Overcoat 

Most people buy overcoats in black and navy because they go with everything. Trust me, I love a multi-purposed piece and think that the more use you can get out of it, the better. But, I also think it’s important to switch it up and make a statement with your outerwear. This plaid charcoal overcoat is one of my newest favorite pieces, and the beauty of it is that it does go with most colors too. Pair it with brown, navy, black or beige pants, and you can rock this coat on multiple occasions. Just make sure you wear this pattern with solid pants. Mixing patterns can make the outfit look too busy and will take away from the beauty of a plaid overcoat. This style will give you a more high-fashion look and is a great way to have some fun during the long (and sometimes seemingly never-ending) season of outerwear.

Chatting with Rachael Ray:  The Fit Of Clothing

Last week, I spoke with Rachael Ray and Bob Harper about something that should never be neglected when it comes to fashion: the fit of your clothing. This can make or break your outfit. Proper fitting clothing should always accentuate your silhouette, not hide it. I always say that clothes shouldn’t be leading you, you should be leading the clothes. Here is a recap of my rules for knowing if your shirts and pants are fitting correctly:

Casual Shirts    

Sweaters, Henleys, polos, tee-shirts, and flannels (any shirt that you would leave untucked) shouldn’t pass the zipper of your pants. If this is happening, you are wearing shirts that are too big for your body. Casual shirts should hit right around the top of your zipper. If they aren’t, try going down a size. Just remember: you want to see clean lines in clothing, otherwise shirts that are too long can distort the proportions of your body and cause folding of fabric in places where it shouldn’t.

Dress Shirts

Whether it’s for work, special events, or formal occasions, you want to make sure the fit is spot on. When you tuck in a dress shirt, there shouldn’t be tons of excess fabric. There should be no more than two inches of fabric on each side of your shirt. If you have anything more than that, it’s just too big for your body.

Also, play with sizing. Many brands have different fits such as athletic, standard, tailored and/or fitted, so see what works best for your body type. One size does not necessarily fit all. Every company has different fits which makes it normal to sometimes be a size up or down from the usual size you wear. That is why I recommend trying on dress shirts in each different store so that you know what fits you best, and then you can just re-order them online to save yourself the trip.

Pants

The easiest way to know if your pants are fitting properly is by looking at your ankles. If you have tons of extra fabric bunching up, then your pants are too big. If you have a lot of creases and loose fabric when looking down at your pants, then you also know you’re wearing a size too large. Here is a great tip: the area around your zipper should have 2-3 inches of fabric. This will prevent you from appearing like you are drowning in fabric. When you’re wearing your pants, you should be able to fit two fingers in your waistline with little room to move them around. If you can fit anything more than that, the waist size is not right. Lastly, belts are meant to provide extra support, not hold your pants up. If you can tug on your pants without a belt and they fall down, then you know it’s too large. Use a belt to accentuate an already well-fitted pair of pants.