Monthly Archives: Sep 2013

Bellevue Fashion Week – Vogue Runway Show

Last night was the annual Front Row Fashion Show put on by Vogue and The Bellevue Collection.  Fabulous show to benefit the Moyer Foundation and a must attend for me and a few friends.

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For anyone in the Seattle area, you know the weather was insane yesterday.  Rain like we haven’t seen in a long time.  So of course at 4pm, I felt more like wearing fleece jammies and some slippers to the show vs. dressing up  (truth be told) so comfort was priority.  A jumpsuit with a little jacket and my comfortable heels seemed like the perfect solution.  Nothing new but perfectly on trend.

Jacket: Forever21 (similar), Jumpsuit: BCBG (similar)(similar), Shoes: Him and Her Lane (similar)(similar)

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This is my friend Nicole and she approves of her photo being shared.  The reason for doing this is because something occurred last night, over and over again and drove home a point I make regularly.  Nicole was wearing  a dress that is name brand and that she paid good money for.  The dress looks fabulous on her and it was a great, long term purchase.  She paired the dress with these fun shoes, wonders from the Target collab with Prabal Gurung.  Guess which item had people complimenting her on all evening?

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Yep.  The Target Shoe.  Same thing happened to me here with the same shoes.

Moral of the story:  buying a fabulous staple piece that will last long term and update the look regularly with an inexpensive new piece.  Makes me smile every time!

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As for the fashion show, I really enjoyed this years stylings.  In past, it has been Nordstrom heavy but this year they varied the mix.  Vince to Tommy Bahama, Express, Forever 21 and Aldo, to Hugo Boss and Intermix.  Did you know we were getting an Intermix store?   It’s a good thing.

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To see the entire Vogue show and descriptions of each look, come on over to Kim Brooks Style FB page here: http://on.fb.me/1fAUD4s

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Friday Fashion – 9.26.13

Well hello there!  Hope you all had a great week.

Two weeks ago the weather was still wanting to hold onto a little summer, this week it feels like fall. WAHOO!  Between now and January is my favorite time of year.

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Mix of the old and new, casual and a little less casual.  Perfect in my world.

I’ve got a fabulous weekend full of fashion ahead, 2 photo shoots and the Vogue Fashion Show at the Bellevue Collection.

What are you up to?  Make it a good one!

This week’s outfit:

Jacket – Halogen (similar) (similar)

Sweater: Vince (similar)

Belt: Fremont Flea Market (only belt I can find with an “M”)

Jeans: Blank NYC

Booties: Forever21 (similar) (similar)

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Tuesday Tip – Adding some plaid…

Plaid is showing up in all the stores, an autumn wonder for your wardrobe.  While plaid is more of a standard in men’s wear, Burberry and private school uniforms, the women’s version (minus Burberry)  is more of a trend.  If you read last week’s Tuesday tip (here), plaid, for women, would be one item that would fall into the ‘spend less on’ category.

Pick up a plaid shirt and wear it as a layering piece, like you would a light jacket.  I’ve seen some fabulous plaid pants that would be great with a super clean lined sweater and boots or slipper shoes.  A skirt would be perfect for the office in the same scheme, just be sure to leave the kilt version for uniforms or Scottish family reunions in the home land.

Adding some casual plaid...women.

For the men, this should be more of a standard fare.  A plaid shirt with dark jeans and leather desert boots is the perfect casual outfit.  Add a sweater or suede jacket to finish the look on a cool day.  Or to work, with a nice pair of wool or wool blend pants.  Like the ladies, keep the plaid as your statement, keep everything else very clean (lined).  Of course you can add in the look with a tie, socks, or scarf.  And don’t be wary of spending more money for quality (men’s) pieces, these won’t go off trend for you.

Adding some casual plaid.....men
Will there be plaid in your fall fashion?
Women’s Looks: Black Blazer – RiverIsland (similar), Catwoman Tee – Old Navy  (here), Plaid Pants -Mango (here), Black Shoes – Zara (here), Cat Ring – Newlook (here), Black Scarf – J.Crew (similar), Red Shoe – ModCloth (here), Beige Scarf – Nordstrom (here), Ring – Maison Martin Margiela (here), Beige Cardigan – Lulux (here), Stud Earrings – Juicy Couture (here),
Plaid Shirt – deLiA’s (here), Black Coated Jeans – TopShop (here),Crossbody Bag – Kate Spade (here), Black Boots – River Island (similar).
Men’s Looks: Blue Plaid Shirt – J.Crew (similar), Gray pants – Vince (here), Black Cardigan – Zadig & Voltaire (here), Black Shoes – Oliver Sweeney (here),
Tie – Gitman (here), Scarf – Banana Republic (here), Socks – Brooks Brothers (here), Suede Jacket – Jean Shop (here), Green Plaid Shirt – Old Navy (here)
Jeans – Seven for All Mankind (here), Desert Boots – Paul Smith (here), Watch – Fossil (here).
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Fashion Friday – 9.20.13

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This week’s Friday Fashion is a little bit different.  I’m not in town today, I am in Eastern Canada, set to participate in a Celebration of Life Ceremony for my dear Grandma Shirley.    She is pictured above in the late 1930’s with my Grandpa Howard.  She was a strong woman who faced many a challenge head on and always came out stronger on the other end.  She was also a very stylish lady, who regardless of what the bank account looked like, was always put together with the best she could afford.   Quality over quantity, very  important to her.  Although I have my Forever 21 moments, I would like to think that the style trait of hers has been passed down.

So, know that today I will have something special on but no photos.  Just a moment to reflect on a lady who was truly special to me.

Have a fabulous weekend.

K.

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Thursday Tip – Spending money on the classics, what does that mean?


I know the standard is Tuesday, but this week had a full moon and things are just going that way…..  you know.

When working with clients, one of the basics to building a wardrobe is knowing what pieces to spend more on for quality and which can just be lesser expensive, fun items.

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Regardless of your personal style, the list is pretty standard.   For our 9 months of fall PNW weather, some good basics which can include sweaters, pants, a dress, denim, jacket/blazer, boots, work shoes and a blouse or two.  Shirts for the gentlemen. These pieces should be the mainstay’s in your wardrobe and where buying the best that you can afford, they will be in your closet for many years.

We leave the fun, trendy pieces to the less expensive items you pick up along the way.

So the question I get a lot, is how do I know which specific items are worth the money and which aren’t.

My reply is this: whether your style is classic, preppy, edgey, or feminine …, go as simple as possible within your style.

For example:

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Both these dresses are from the company Carlisle/Per Se, both are the exact same price and I am certain they both fit fabulously.  Which one do we spend the  money on?  Dress on the right.

While I absolutely LOVE the dress on the left and it really is my kind of style, if I am having to budget for one fabulous dress, the right will win.  Zipper detail and metallic will fade in and out of the annual trends, therefore the left dress will look dated in a couple of years.  The right one won’t.  And the things you could do to adjust and update this dress are limitless from choice in shoes, jewels and jackets.

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Now with denim, which do we spend the money on?  Again the simpler the better.  The dark center jeans with little embellishment will go long term vs. the other two.  The torn boyfriend is hot right now but will fade.  The done up pockets on the third pair are harder to dress up and easier to date when you have had them around for some time.  You can buy trendy jeans but they aren’t the ones you spend over $100 on.

Jeans (l-r) (boyfriend, straight leg, embellished)

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Sweaters are another good one.  Love both brands above, but if I am going to spend $300+ on a sweater, it shouldn’t be the one about a bad day I may be having.  Regardless of the style or material (turtleneck, crew, vneck or bateau), choose a style that is timeless.
Sweaters:  (Black, Brown)
Hope this was helpful.  If you have any questions, just shoot them my way.
As I always note with any post of this nature, this method of shopping may not pertain to everyone but for those of you who are building a lasting wardrobe on a budget (of any level), this is for you.
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Not pretty per se, but oh, so helpful!

In this last month, I was contacted from a gal in LA who is assisting some folks in Japan to introduce a product to the US.  Is the product pretty?  No.  Noticeable?  Not really.  Necessary?  I think so.

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Introducing the Chrysmela Catch (Pierce Lock).

I have had my ears pierced since I was 10 years old and I cannot tell you how many half pairs I have lost over the years, because a backing fell off.  In younger years, I wore some weighty costume numbers and ended up with a lot of crafting material from the remaining earring partners.  Now I tend to be more simple with my earrings, loops and simple studs, so I decided to bring four fashion friends in on this with me.

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My girlfriend Kathrine,  who wears earrings all of the time, gave the Chrysmela’s a try and had this to say:

1) They DO securely hold earrings in place

2) Without longer fingernails they are a little tricky to put on and take off

3) I did drop them 3x trying to take them off, they could easily be lost.

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My next tester for feedback was Morgann Crook, CAbi stylist and creator of Glitter in the Gray blog.  When I contacted her, Morgann was really excited to try the Chrysmela out for the same reason as me.  Lot’s of lost earrings over the years.  After trying them out, Morgann had this to say:

“I can’t even tell you how many single earrings I have.  I keep them thinking… maybe the mate will show up?….however, many of these earrings have moved with me 3 or 4 times so the likelihood isn’t good….I don’t know how many earrings fall out…..but undoubtedly I don’t notice until hours later.  I’ve hesitated on buying expensive earrings because of this.  If my $30 earring falls out, no big.  $3000 earring?  Count on me freaking out.  Kim sent me these little Pierce Lock mini earring backs to review and I loved them from the instant I put them on.  They look like regular backs, but the self locking mechanism secures them in place.  Three reasons I love them:

1) They super easy to adjust and come off with no effort.  Well…maybe a little effort since you have to pull on them.  But they literally can’t fall off which is amazing.

2) You can adjust how tightly you want the back to sit on your lobe.  With a heavier earring you want a tighter, more secure fit.  Lighter earrings can be looser.  In both instances, your earring is stable and locked into place.

3) They’re tiny.  I’ve been using larger, adjustable sterling back for years because they provide added support int he back (but clearly don’t stay on) and they are pretty uncomfortable to sleep in.  These are so small you don’t even feel them when your head is on the pillow.  Thumbs up!

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Our next feedback reviewer is Christy Sandvik, owner of  online boutique Kris & Kate.

This is what she had to say: “The Pierce Lock mini worked great with my earrings.  They held them securely.  Because they are so tiny, it was easy to drop them and they were difficult to find.  It might be nice if they were a little bit bigger, if it didn’t make them too heavy.  Overall though, they worked great and the packing is cute!”.

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Next up is K.D. Schill.  She is a Freelance Designer/Wardrobe and Founder of Central Costume Collective and Performance.  Being that a lot of her work is centered around theatre, she needs things that work and can stand up to lots as well as the test of time.

She had this to say: “I tried the new earring backs with a pair of earrings that were always a problem to wear because of their weight.  They are sterling silver and blown glass (above).  The original backs always worked their way off because the glass balls would swing with movements.  The Chrysmela stayed put.  I wore them with these earrings all day and never had to re adjust the backs.  They were great.

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If I am to sum up the overall feelings about the Chrysmela earring backings is that they do what they say they will.  Securely hold post back earrings without any issue or possibility of losing the earrings they are worn with.

They are small (depends on who you ask, if that is good or bad) and maybe a little tricky to get on and off.  With my job, I keep my fingernails extremely short to prevent snagging clothing and while I had no issue getting them on, I did have one fly across the room with pulling it off.  It wasn’t hard, it was just the spring load paired with my overzealousness.  :)  At a price tag of $89 a pair, I may not wear them with all of my earrings but I definitely think they are worthwhile for pairs that you would not want to lose.  Whether those be  ones with weight, heirloom pieces, or anything special really.  From diamonds to important gifts you have received.  The Chrysmela Catch backings come in silver,  yellow gold and rose gold and can be purchased directly from their website.

Is this a product you would find useful?  Let us know.

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Around town…..

In the last week, while I have been out and about, I have been making some notes on what I see. First stop Target.

For a simple, seamed skinny jean, in either worn blue or black, this is it.  They may not look like anything special in the pic but they are good.  And soft.  And the hip zippers are very on trend.   $22.99.  Perfect for a fun pair of jeans.

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Can we ever have enough belts?  This one caught my eye because it has the exact look of the Deborah boot by Frye.  I used to own them.  I love them.  BTW, that just came back after 4 years and you can get them here.

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The belts, that go with the jeans, also are priced at $22.99.

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Patterned leggings are also a big thing this fall and at some retailers, they are priced starting at $60.  If this is something that you are just trying out and most likely not wearing long term, why pay the big price.  All of these leggings, and there is a large assortment, are priced at $12.  That makes sense.

Another trend that continues, is studs.  They have spread from the shoes and jewels, to clothing.  Is it a good thing?  You be the judge.

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While quietly eating a lovely bowl of Pho, I looked up to see not one but two gals at two separate tables sporting the look.  The gold studs with a skirt, the silver toned with jeans.  If I had to chose a winner it would go to the silver/jean combo.  The more “dressed up” version seemed a tad too much and was seriously conjuring a little Jackson Family action.  Style carefully, don’t try to hard.

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Moving along.  Have you ever purchased Rachel Roy?

I’ve been buying from her line for Macy’s for a couple of years now.  She is a California gal that moved to NYC after college to style fashion shoots (woot woot!) and debuted her initial line in 2004.  She has her Rachel Roy line that is priced starting around $250 and then her everyday line Rachel Rachel Roy (that you will find at Macy’s) ranging from $29 – $350.

 Great pieces for both work and play.

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This Zip Front Dress would be great with a black blazer for work, on it’s own for a night out.

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This Tulle Tree Top is another versatile piece.

Perfect with a cami and pencil skirt for work, with some skinny jeans and boots for play.

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The Crochet Pullover is a little more play, perfect for adding a little edge.

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And no line would be complete without some weekend wear.  Perfect cozy piece to still looked pulled together.

I could live in this Paisley Print Tunic with leggings and booties.

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While moving out of the Rachel Roy dept. at Macy’s, I happened upon this beauty.   Had to do a little try on just to make sure I loved it.  I did.  Silly me, I didn’t capture the brand but it is $118.

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And finally, don’t forget that the 3.1 Phillip Lim x Target Collaboration goes on sale bright and early tomorrow/Sunday/Sept. 15th.  There is clothing for men and women, undergarments, shoes, and accessories.  Goodness for all!  Will you be partaking in this collection?  Store or online.  Good luck either way!

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To see the entire 3.1 Phillip Lim x Target line before heading to the store, check it out here.

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Friday Fashion – 9.13.13

Friday the 13th.

Nothing scary going on around here today.  You?

Besides the clothes, got a little fall hair update.  What do you think?

New do taken from the Strong Women, Strong World Fundraising Event last night:

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And what’s going on today:

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Looks like the weather is cooling down this weekend.  Time to pull out the sweaters and coats?

Have a good one!

What I am wearing: 

Jacket: Target.  (similar)

Top: TJ Maxx.  (similar)

Leggings: Zara (similar), (similar), (pricey similar – wow!)

Necklace: Jill Dillion (similar)

Stacked Rings: Ariella Studio at Nordstrom Rack (similar)

Shoes: Steven by Steve Madden (similar)

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Tuesday Tip. Well, actually more of a strong suggestion…

This post is for the men and those who love them.

I may have mentioned this in previous posts over the years but I had strong visual reminders this past week that has triggered a new mention of this topic.

Shoes.  

Or footwear to be more specific.

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I truly don’t walk around passing judgement on every outfit I see but I really do notice when I see something good.

I wish I had photos of two men in particular that I saw “doing it right” this past week.  I complimented the first and did a silent observation on the second but sadly no photos.

Both men had on GREAT shoes.  The first one was wearing dark jeans, much like above and a white button down shirt but his shoes were so fabulous, his entire look was perfect.

The second gentleman I came across that same day was sitting outside a coffee shop and wearing, I have no idea what pants and top but his shoes, again were so nice, that he looked so put together.  Sitting their sipping his Starbucks.

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 Had the men instead been wearing their worn down numbers (ie: not polished, scuffed, old, etc.), I would have never noticed.  Actually I would have.  But with different thoughts.

So many men (no offense but mainly you straight guys!!!) don’t give too much thought to your shoes.  You need to.

Even with wearing simple jeans and a top, the footwear you choose transforms your look.  Both mentally and visually.

When you know you look good, you carry yourselves differently (this applies to both genders) and when others see you put together, they respond differently to you as well.

A small look at some options in the shoe department today:

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Chukka Boot.  Great with jeans or cords, more casual look.

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Dressy Boot   Can be worn with everything from jeans to suits.

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For the less conservative lot.  Another great boot that can be worn with jeans to suits.

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Wingtip.  Perfect for the office.

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Casual, weekend kick around.

Do you need to spend a fortune?  No.  But you only have one pair of feet and you should buy at least the best two or three pairs you can afford.  When you start measuring the cost per wear, the price suddenly drops drastically.

So put some money towards a few great pairs of shoes or boots, it is worth every cent!

PS:  The shoes shown are all rounded toes.  Pointed toes come and go, you will be timeless if you stick to the round.

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Fashion Friday – 9.6.13

Isn’t this weather confusing!?!?!  It’s warm but it’s raining, it’s muggy but gray, throw in some thunder and lightening……

I have seen people in just about everything the last couple of days from shorts with tank and flipflops to jeans paired with sweaters and a coat.

It’s all about the layers this time of year.

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You’ve seen this tee before, the last time I showed you, I wore it to the pool.  I love this kind of layer piece because I can wear it all year round.  It will get a lot of use with leggings and boots with a cardi and coat as the weather cools.

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If you have been following my Wishlist board on Pinterest, you know that I have been wanting to add some leather track pants to the wardrobe.  Since most of them are well over $1k, this vegan option from Nordstrom is just fine.  Not that I will cross the other off my list but in the meantime, these will get tons of use.

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And this jacket, I am digging.  I found it for a super steal but it is worth the full price that it is still be offered at.  It’s a mixed fabric jacket that is lined and is another perfect layering piece.  For sure a staple piece for my fall wardrobe with skinny jeans, leggings, and even skirts with tights.

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What I am wearing:

Jacket: Joseph Ribcoff (here)

Hi-low Tank: En Route , a TJ Maxx find  (similar spendy) (similar steal)

Pants: Nordstrom (here)

Necklace: Vintage (similar) + (similar)

Shoes: Steven by Steve Madden (similar)

Midi Ring: Forever21 (here)

How are you dressing for this weather???

Here’s to the sunshine, hoping we will get some!  Happy weekend.

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