Tips

*GIVEAWAY* Alert…

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In case you don’t follow us on Facebook, we are currently doing a giveaway for not one, but two pairs of Chrysmela Catch.  See the last post below for details on them, but basically they are a must have for anyone who wears pierced earrings with a post.   There will be a random drawing for one gold pair and one platinum pair and they will be sent out to the two winners this Friday evening.  Drawing is Friday at 12pm PST.  So head on over to https://www.facebook.com/KimBrooksStyle and look for the post with this picture.  You can enter there.

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If you are not a Facebook user, send us a quick email with your favorite holiday style (decor or fashion) and your choice of gold or platinum to kim@kimbrooksstyle.com and you will be entered.

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Are jewels on your list this holiday?

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Over a year ago, I introduced you all to a product that was a little wonder behind your big jewels.

Here is the original post: http://kimbrooksstyle.com/not-pretty-but-oh-so-helpful/

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If this is the year where you’ve got some post back sparklers on your list, make sure you add an order of Chrysmela Catch to go along with them.  Kind of like a super affordable insurance policy to protect those babies.

Since the last time we chatted about these wonder backings, a lot has updated in their world.

In November of this year, they were featured in People Magazine.

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They are now available in Platinum, 23K Yellow Gold, and Rose Gold for $50/pair.  You can find them at Amazon.com or Joyus.com.

In fact, Joyus put together this great little video to show you the CC’s in action.  Check it out here.

And finally, the exact patented mechanism made with surgical steel (no gold) can be purchased for $44 here.

Whether you are breaking out the fancies for the holiday parties or you receive a pair in a pretty little box this season, be sure to add a pair of Chrysmela Catch to the mix.

Image Credits: 1|2

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Faking it…..

Sometimes you just have to.

Monday mornings are never my friend to begin with but the day after a full day photo shoot, I am, officially, a slug.

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Unless there is a door to door service taking me to a warm beach in the tropics, I usually feel that the perfect day would involve a heated blanket, some fleece jammies, and someone cooking my favorite comfort foods.  Throw in a book, some magazines and perhaps some mindless tv and I am set.

Hello!!!  Reality called.  Not happening.

We all have those days.  But instead of trudging out in the world with your Lulu’s and Uggs (yes, that topic again!), we can fake it.

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This is today’s outfit that I’m taking from my Fashion Daily on Instagram, to show you how it’s done.

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If you were to bump into me, I think you’d probably think that I am put together and I wouldn’t be worrying about looking like a slob.

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But I’d have you fooled.  Underneath my coat, is a tee, a hoodie and some leggings.  I have my comfort, you have the visual, I need you to see.  All it takes is one great piece.

Very similar to my Vince coat.  And some others worth looking into:
With that statement jacket, add some cute  (comfortable) boots, a scarf and some lip color and you are good to go.
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A question from you…..

Since this is the first week back at answering some style questions from you, I’m going to start us off with a repeat.  Below, is a question from N.  He is hilarious and I really had fun in answering this.  Make sure to get me your style questions, no matter how basic or dramatic, through email or FB.  Hope to hear from you all!

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Kim, over the years I’ve corrupted my poor child into a full blown label whore; reminding her there is no shame in wanting to be stylish at a price point her future older, likely retired husband should keep her accustomed to. We even have our own special look we give each other when we witness someone mispronounce a designer’s name or glare at her red-bottom shoes that scream “you can’t afford me!”

Admittedly I find myself in predicaments where I wonder when is enough…well too much? I’m styling her for a wedding this summer and found the perfect D&G dress for her to wear. Immediately I start pulling accessories to pair with the dress. Hermes clutch, Givenchy pumps and a Chanel bracelet. The problem with being a label hoarder is that you find yourself questioning style on different level than others; like is label layering okay? Yes your overall look is amazing but now you have this mismatch of designers smattered across your body like a Jackson Pollock painting. What is your thoughts on label layering and when is it overwhelming to a look?

-N.

Perfectly timed video from I-D Magazine.

I love this question. I had to post the entire thing for sheer entertainment purpose.

Thanks N. for the great question AND fun blog content!

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First off, let’s just say that your designer thing is going to narrow your daughters prospective partner pool by, oh, let’s say 97%!!! We all love the designers and the goodness that they produce but one does not need to revel in that at 100%. Back to that in a bit.

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The thought of doubling up on designers bothers me less than, head to toe in just one. As always there are exceptions to every rule (ie: a Chanel look) but if one wears a complete outfit, accessories included, of one designer, one is now dawning the designers personal style. Not their own. There is no creativity in that.

My exception.  Head to toe Chanel.

My exception. Head to toe Chanel.

And head to toe anyone, seems like a lot of money spent on what could be sourced for so much less. (Again, minus the outfit above).

Head to Toe Gucci.  Pieces could be from Ann Taylor, Zara, Macy's...

Head to Toe Gucci. Pieces could be from Ann Taylor, Zara, Macy’s…

An ex Michael Kors employee in a copycat outfit 100% sourced from Zara.

An ex Michael Kors employee in a copycat outfit 100% sourced from Zara.

At least mixing up the designers, there has been thought put into the look. With this collabrative look , you will want no more than one “label” to show. As in monogram or red based shoes. Anything above that, looks like one is trying to hard. Let the cut of the jacket or the fabric of the dress speak for itself.

Mixed Designer Look.

Mixed Designer Look.

The above look is from three designers (not including shoes) and the retail is $2155.

Why not buy the designer shoes that you can wear with lots and then go less on the pants (TopShop), sweater (J.Crew), and shirt (Brooks Brothers)?

Gisele in H+M clothes.

Gisele in H+M clothes.

Now, to go back to my first statement about your daughters eligible dating pool, why only designer? Learning to pick out some fabulous investment pieces and pairing them with lesser known names (or God forbid, private label!!!!) is a skill in itself. Finding the goodness at all price points is a worthy talent that could come in handy, if let’s say that her dear husband, J. Howard Marshall, passes away of old age and his family sues your dear daughter for the entire estate. Being able the pair that Target tee with the Chanel jacket, with the Gap jeans and Aldo shoes will keep her styling even without the big budget. Spend the big bucks on the more traditional pieces, ones that are timeless and she can get ton’s of use out of them. Whether coats, purses, shoes, some amazing cashmere or leather. Then learn to shop at lower price points for the trendy and for the items that take the wear.

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With all that saved doe ray mee, your girl can spend her dollars elsewhere.

You can thank me now.

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Amal Alamuddin Clooney Style – Let’s Discuss…..

The new Mrs. Clooney is all the current rage.

 Besides snagging the previously unattainable George, Amal is not only gorgeous, self confident, and a brilliant international attorney, she also has a fabulous sense of style.

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Even before her nuptials, my guess is that Amal has had a larger than average wardrobe budget which makes me all the more happier to hear, she is one who loves to mix high and low.  I shop Zara, Amal shops Zara.  We like her.  And not only that, but she can go from elegant dresses and suits, to distressed jeans and tee.  And sunglasses, lots of pairs of sunglasses.

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In looking at Amal’s casual looks, she is pairing her trendy denim with basic (albeit good quality) tee’s and then a classic sweater or jacket.  Mixing the investment pieces with the one season wonders allows for long term items to be updated with some inexpensive additions.

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In work/travel wear, Amal has paired timeless pieces that can all be mixed and matched.  The sweater, for instance would look just as good with a pair of distressed denim and some booties as it does with a smart pair of trousers.

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In a fun, well fitted Ted Baker dress, Amal looks fabulous.  Similar dresses for less can be found, the fit is the key.

**Although the above dress is currently on sale for $81!**

Getting Amal’s style really is about spending more on classics and updating seasonally with less expensive pieces.  Kind of what we are all about at KBS!  And although Amal goes from super feminine to rough and tumble denim, she truly maintains her personal sense of style across the board.  Great shoes (just as many brogues as heels), oversized sunnies and perhaps walking on Cloud 9.

In viewing a bevy of pics of Amal and her sense of style, pieces that are a must have for her wardrobe include:

1) Simple, well cut dresses that are perfect for London Tea or Legal Battles.

2) Clean lined trousers that can be dressed up or down.

3) Well made basic tee’s for layering under jackets and sweaters.

4) Fun, print pants.

5) Distressed denim.

6) Oversized sunnies

7) Great flat footwear.

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Image Credits: 1|2|3|4|5|

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Monday Morning Wonder…..

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So, Sunday, after my photo shoot in Seattle, I met up with my gal Saige.  She has the official role of meeting me and politely kicking my backside into organizational land.  Boo…. I mean YAAAAAA!  Yes, yaaa.  It is something that has to happen for us creative types.

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This blog and the corresponding FB page have taken on all kinds of roles and functions in the last two years and I am sure that there will be an adjustment or ten in the coming years but for now, I am setting some expectations to this style world of mine.

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Instead of attempting to do many weekly blog posts, I am being realistic.  For sure you will get one a week, perhaps a bonus second.  But expect to hear from me every Monday morning about one of the following:

•Celebrity Style and finding the pieces to duplicate .

•Style tips galore.  Quick tips from me, questions answered from you, tips you may have to share….

•Behind the scenes  – what is going on in my world.

•Keep your eye out for (lifestyle/trend/local fashion news updates)

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I hope that you will check in weekly for these and send your questions and comments.

Along with the AWESOME new schedule will be a monthly newsletter arriving straight to your in box.  This will include some great styling suggestions as well as insider info on events, etc.  The first one goes out 11.16 so be sure you are on the mailing list by signing up on the left hand side of this page.

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Have a fabulously stylish week!

xo K

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Sliding in under the wire…….

Thirty-six minutes till kick off, I thought I’d slide a new blog post in before the Seahawks game, we are all 12thman around this place.

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Today I was with a client doing a closet consultation and something that came up many times was having a piece of ones wardrobe only falling into one category.  What I mean by that, is the assumption that a given piece (blouse, blazer, dress, etc) can only be worn in one way (dressy or casual).  Once you realize that this isn’t generally the case, you double your wardrobe.

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Using men’s fashion in this example, take the boucle  jacket as the example piece.  It is not just for casual or for office, it can run the gamete.

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Don’t hate me for this one but it is necessary.  I was in Canada over the weekend and witnessed this “don’t” from a place that I could capture it to share with all of you.  Cute, young gal with her friends.
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Blurry, I know but I am hoping you can see what I am sharing.  Reverse camel toe.  UGH!!!!  Caused by:
1) Wearing the wrong undergarment for her fitted denim
2)  NOT looking at the back of her outfit before leaving her home.
All camel toe (front or back) is bad.  Don’t allow this to happen to you.
Vickie Miao Photography
On a much prettier note, these are recent shots from a retro themed shoot, that I kind of love.  I styled this shoot along with the fabulous team of Vickie Miao (Photographer), Lis Krebs (MUA), J’Monique Hair (Hair), and  Kaylah G (Model).
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Off to watch the game, have a fabulous evening!
 I’d love to hear what you have to say about this post, please comment away.
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Seasonal Switch….

For those of you who follow along on Facebook, you know that I was having some assistance with my wardrobe yesterday.  Yes, my job is to assist clients with their closets but it is always helpful to have an outside eye to kick my fashion backside as well.   I like to play with my looks and introduce something new now and again, and then its perfect for my friend to say “What the heck??  How is this you??”  And we have a laugh, I give her some story, and then out it goes.

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Closet clean out may have started with a local Happy Hour…..

The plan was to tape the process but  we ended up doing a very high speed clean out and in that time, we took out my strictly summer goods and managed to choose 18 pieces that no longer will be with me.  4 went to her, the rest will be finding other new homes.  I still need to reorganize and color coordinate but just the act of going through each item was so needed to start the fall fashion.

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Besides digging through the closet, one project at the top of the weekend list is the sock drawer.  Sandals being put away and colder weather (minus today) requires socks, tights, and leggings layers.  Go through your drawers and ditch the holey items, unmatched pairs, and take an inventory of your winter needs.

For the ladies, style can be added with patterned or textured tights/nylons but for many its equally about the warmth factor.  For the men, some fun socks can punch up your look.  Just a sneak peek of  pattern or color popping out from your pant cuff adds a little personality to your outfit.

One final tip, I want to share today is a way to get out of the house faster and still fashionable every morning.  This is perfect for the teens in your world as well.  If picking an outfit every morning is a burden or stressor, make yourself a Sunday Style rack.

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Just like menu planning, take 30 mins every Sunday and put together 5 outfits for the week.  Look over your calendar to know what looks are needed (client meetings, school field trip chaperone, etc) and make 5 or 6 (an extra option is always good) complete looks, shoes and accessories included for a quick, early morning grab once the week starts.

If a closet consult is on your fall to do list, drop me a line.  Let’s get your autumn off to a stylish start.

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On a Sunny Sunday

What a week I tell ya.  Sitting back today and catching up on computer land.

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I’m so super excited about some recent Editorial shoots, they have all been so amazing.   Hopefully I can share soon.

Friday, we were busy working under a viaduct.  You know, glamour and all.


On my summer wardrobe list, I’ve had a neutral colored, summer dress that I can throw on for casual or dress it up when need be.  Although we are almost at August, I have yet to find “the one” but this Kate Moss for Topshop number is rather cute.  Is there a summer piece you have been on the lookout for?

Do you remember Anatomie?  Hip Travel Mama and I did a piece on them awhile back, a fashionable, travel wear company with excellent quality pieces.  Well, they have a deal for you right now.

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They have a fabulous leather and lycra (on the side panels) jacket that they are practically gifting away.  You know I love my leather and this is a smoking deal!

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Several of their leather jackets are specially priced at $250, check them out here.

Hoping to get out and get a little vitamin D as well today, perhaps check out the last day of the Bellevue Arts Fair.  What are you up to?  Hope it’s a good one!

K.

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Tuesday Tip – 5.27.14 Packing those bags

Hope everyone had a fabulous long weekend.  Time for reflection, thankfulness, family and friends.

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Three weeks ago, I was discovering the streets of London and had promised a little packing knowledge for your upcoming trips.

Between my packing and recently assisting a client with her luggage contents for an upcoming trip, here they are!

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1) Plot your plan.

Where are you going?  What are you doing?  Weather?  Beach or misty London?

I knew I would be 7 days in London.  3 days of tourist sight seeing. 3 play days.  2 formal dinners.  And of course 2 days of travel.

So, 2 dresses, 2 cotton pants, 1 leather pant, 6 layering tops, and 3 jacket/coats.   Other than the formal dresses, everything could be mixed and matched, even the dressier coat meant to be a topper on my formal nights, was the perfect coat/blanket for the cool air airplane ride.

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2) Shoes.

Once I had the clothing for my trip picked and hanging on my rolling rack, I went through each and determined which shoes I needed.

2 dressy for my formal looks, 3 walking shoes (1 slip on runner, the other two, day to day comfortable ones).  The last pair of pony hair pumps got added in at the last minute.  A no no.  I didn’t need them and they went unworn.

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3) Little Extra’s.

This does include pj’s and undergarments but has a few more components.

I like to try each outfit on ahead of time (especially new or rarely worn pieces) to make sure everything is ready to go.  Clean, not missing a button, fitting as expected and to chose what I need to go with it.  With this dress, I had to pack a slip (it’s sheer), some invisible tape (it has a plunging neckline not suitable for the given dinner) and the jewelry I wanted to pair with it.   I don’t overdo the jewels, but just the pieces I know I will want/need to finish my look.

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4) Dress like yourself.

Unless you are going on a high mountain hike with polar fleece everything or an amazon jungle trek where everything needs to be vented and waterproof, dress like you normally would.  If you are going to be in the city, dress like you are going to the city in your town.  Would you wear hiking boots and a crinkly track suit to the SAM and out for lunch in downtown Seattle?  So, why would you do the same in a different city?

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5) Save some room.

One trick I do to prevent overpacking, is to actually pack my suitcase in a room other than where I keep my clothes.  This way I thoughtfully go into my wardrobe with specifics in mind.  If my suitcase was on my closet floor, I might just throw some extra’s in “just in case”.  Having to walk my items to another room, for some reason, does the trick for me.  If you cram your suitcase full, there might not be room for any goodies you may find on your trip.  That wouldn’t be good.

Do these tips resonate with you?  Do you have any other tried and true tips for packing?  Share away!

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