“How Can I Wear It?”: Polka Dots

Polka dots have been fascinating fashionistas for decades. The print is whimsical, charming and more versatile than you may think. Polka dots also have a throw back vintage feel, which gives us a sense of nostalgia whenever we wear them. Designers like Kate Spade and J.Crew have used the signature print for years and continue to make it current each season.

One of my favorite ways to sport polka dots is with a tough texture like leather. Throw on a buttery leather jacket with a vintage polka dot blouse and you’re ready to go. Polka dot accessories also add a sense of style to any look, weather you are sporting a colorful scarf or a printed a bold clutch.

Try vintage or thrift stores for some unique polka dot prints that you can mix and match. Don’t be afraid to have fun when putting together your polka dot look! Let your inner Mini Mouse play for the day and make this print a part of your wardrobe today.

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5 Ways to Feel Confident in the Fitting Room

Why is it, that just when we think we are feeling pretty confident about ourselves and our bodies, it all goes out the window when we step into a store’s dressing room? Those florescent lights highlighting every blemish and flaw. That annoying 20 something sales girl asking if you need another size. That woman next to you chatting on her cell phone about her latest gel manicure. And why does everything seem to be two sizes too small all of a sudden? What was supposed to be a relaxing shopping trip ends up being a living hell and you’re a prisoner in a 4×10 cell.

What is it about fitting rooms that scares us so much? Perhaps it has something to do with that fact that we are alone in a room – naked – with only those glaring lights and a mirror to keep us company. It’s the ideal place for all of our insecurities to breed. Or maybe it’s simply that we don’t know how to shop for our body types. We spend time selecting articles of clothing only to find them rejected on the fitting room floor.

With my many years as a Personal Shopper, I have seen my fair share of dressing room meltdowns and successes. I have included a list of my five tried and true ways to banish those self destructive thoughts and go into (and come out of) any dressing room with confidence.

1. Think positive. Ok, ok. I know what you’re thinking. I really hope she’s not going to tell me to chant or say hundreds of affirmations to myself. Believe me, you’ve got the wrong girl. However, there is something to be said about this positive thinking thing, especially when it comes to your body image. Your brain works much like a computer and can actually be trained to hold new information. It has been said that “whatever the mind expects, it finds”. When you catch yourself thinking negative or unfair thoughts about your body or size, correct yourself with a positive truth. This truth can be something simple such as “my body is healthy and strong” to something a little more clever like, “I have a fabulous rear-end”.

2. Make like a Girl Scout and utilize The Buddy System. You don’t have time to feel bad about yourself when you are on a girls shopping trip. You’re too busy swapping dresses and laughing about the latest issue of People magazine to worry about your cellulite. You also get the benefit of a truly honest opinion of how you look. A (true) friend will always tell you the truth, but will never put you down. They also may coax you into trying things that you never may have by yourself.

3. Remember that it’s just a number. You may be convinced that you’re a size 6 and refuse to try on anything else. While this may seem like a good way to keep you in the gym, it’s no way to shop. Different clothing brands have different cuts and fit everyone in a different way. One companies’ size 6 is another companies’ size 2. That’s why you simply cannot get hung up on a number. Try on multiple sizes of the same garment until you find the one that fits you. Sometimes that will mean going up a size, while other times you may go down a size.

4. Cheat the system. This next tip is going to annoy all of my dear friends in the retail world, but I think it must be said. Always look at the return policy of your favorite stores so that you can try the clothing in the comfort of your own home. Most stores offer a 30 day return/exchange policy as long as the pieces have not been worn. This means you skip the hassle of the obnoxious sales girl and harsh lighting altogether. You can also easily see what will work with what you already own. Please use this tip wisely and never wear the clothes before returning them. That’s just tacky.

5. Hire a pro. This is what I do for a living. I shop. I help women just like you navigate the fitting room madness and guide them to the right options. I have been on many a shopping trip with clients who are convinced they are doomed to never finding a pair of jeans that fit or to wearing black for the rest of their lives. I not only serve as a new set of eyes, but also offer new ideas that will bring their wardrobes to life. I can also bring options to your home and save youthe time of even going to the mall. Now that’s what I call shopping.

 Interested in a Personal Shopping experience with Sophie Mae?

Email sophiemae@sophiemaestyle.com for more information.

4 Ways to Update Your Look on the 4th

It’s the time of year where we BBQ by the pool and drink ice cold lemonade while we celebrate our independence. It’s also a great time to update your look and learn some new ways to feel great while you beat the heat.

Happy 4th Style Setters!

1. Great Framed. You would be surprised at how a new pair of sunglasses can instantly make you feel and look more chic. Shop for shades that fit your face and your style. I love the classic aviator shape to channel your inner Cate Blanchett in The Aviator. Or opt for the trendy cat eye style to satisfy your inner fashion rebel.

2. Wedge it. Wedges have been making a statement in the shoe world for years, but have never had the presence they have today. These stacked heels combine height and comfort. A good pair of wedges can usually be worn for 8 hours or more! There are many versions of the wedge to choose from, but some of my favorites this season are by Joie and Dolce Vita.

3. To the Maxi. Most people associate maxi dresses with the beach, but this summer, designers have taken the maxi style to the streets. From stripes to solids, the maxi has most defiantly had a makeover. If your on the petite side, it’s best to look for styles that are tea length or right above the ankle. This is an incredibly popular cut and works with most heights.

4. To Dye For. During the hot summer months, most of us let our hair “do it’s thing”, but the sun can do a number on our color. Instead of booking a pricey salon appointment, run over to your neighborhood CVS and pick up some foam hair color. This is the newest advancement in at-home hair color and gives you salon quality results without the mess.

Photo Credit: Fashion Gone Rogue

“How Can I Wear It?” Tribal Style

Tribal style was are a huge inspiration for designers this season. We’ve seen it on every runway from Etro to Balenciaga.  The trend looks great in editorials when the models have a spray tan and palm leaves as skirts, but how can we embrace the tribal trend in real life? Look for pieces that convey an exotic feel without being too literal. You don’t want to look like you’ve just stepped off the show Survivor.

Going TribalStart by adding more earth tones into your wardrobe.  Deep hues like dark olive, rust and khaki make for a great base when adding more ethnic jewelry or bold prints. Look for modern pieces that have a tribal twist like maxi dresses, safari shorts, animal print scarves and shirt-dresses. Next, choose a key item to serve as your statement piece. Printed pants are making a major comeback and look especially fresh with a silk top and wedges. Or you can play with a colorful embroidered blouse and pair it with some cotton shorts and over-sized shades.

If you don’t feel like going too crazy with this trend, but love the look, try hunting for chunky wooden or brass jewelery at your local vintage store. They often have some great finds that give simple jeans and a t-shirt combo some interest. Flea markets are another great place to find fridge handbags and printed caftans that embody the tribal trend perfectly.

Photo Credit: VOGUE China

What’s In: Color Blocking

Color blocking is no new trend. It was huge in the 1960’s mod scene and came back to make a brief appearance in the 1980’s. Today, it makes another comeback. We saw it in Gucci’s wildly successful spring 2011 collection. Silk and satin separates in electric blue, deep purple and jade green danced down the runway. The statement was color blocking in the most modern of ways.

Color Block

Embracing color in your own wardrobe is not as difficult as you may think. Color is unexpected and pushes you out of your comfort zone. You can go as subtle or as crazy as you want. Introduce more color into your life by replacing your classics, like your favorite black handbag for a lime green version. Or perhaps you may want to try colored denim instead of your default blue jeans. This summer is the perfect time to experiment with your favorite neon brights in everything from nail polish to maxi dresses.

Photo Credits: Fashion Gone Rogue

Red Carpet Watch: The Met Ball

Every year, stars and style mavens alike gather to celebrate fashion and the arts at the Metropolitan Ball in New York City. This year, they paid special homage to the late Alexander McQueen and the exhibit featuring his greatest designs. Sarah Jessica Parker and  Salma Hayek were both dressed in McQueen designs, while others supported their other favorite designers.

In contrast to the bright hues we saw at the Oscars just a few months ago, the Met’s red carpet was filled with nude, yellow and beige tones. These natural colors have been huge trend in the last few seasons and will continue to be a fashion statement this year. I have included some of my favorite “nude” looks below.

One of my favorite looks of the evening, Salma Hayek in Alexander McQueen

Love this gorgeous silhouette! Rene Zellweger in Carolina Herrera

Taking a cue from Swan Lake perhaps? Liv Tyler in Stella McCartney

Showing off her baby pump in style, Kate Hudson in Stella McCartney

Loving the long sleeves! Gwyneth Paltrow in Stella McCartney

Photo-Op: Boutiquing and Dior Beauty

One of my favorite parts of my job is getting the opportunity to work with strong women entrepreneurs. Erin Hall and April Madigan are the dynamic duo behind the successful website Boutiquing.com. Their site highlights boutiques from around the country while showcasing trends and latest arrivals you must just can’t miss. They are also good friends of mine, so I was thrilled when they asked me to be apart of this unique photo-shoot.

The challenge was to use a new Dior makeup eyeshadow palette on six very different complexions.  Lucky for us, we had a super talented makeup artist and my favorite photog, Tricia Meteer of Equinox Photo to make all of the ladies uniquely fabulous. The result was a classic photos with a modern twist!

For more photos visit the Sophie Mae Style Facebook Page

Photos by Tricia Meteer of Equinox Photo, Makeup by Steve Kassajikian, Styling by Sophie Mae Style with clothing provided by Intermix, Photos taken at the Hidden Jewel Boutique.

Chic Gift Ideas: Mother’s Day

My dad and I were just chatting about how Mother’s Day really seemed to creep us on us this year. We both looked at each other in disbelief thinking it must be later in the month. I mean wasn’t it on the 20th . . . or something last year? After we got over the fact that our calenders was probably right and we had simply lost track of time, the next thought that popped into our heads was what we should get her. This is where I stop going into detail on what we ended up getting her (sorry mom) and start giving you ideas on what to get your mom/wife/sister/friend/and or anyone you know who happens to be a mother.

Mom's Day Gift Ideas

Idea #1: Statement Jewelry – A necklace or a pair of earrings may seem like a given for Mother’s Day, but this year, take it to the next level with a statement piece that will last for years to come. This can include anything from a bold beaded necklace to staked bangles. This way she can dress up any top or simple sheath dress.

Idea #2: Electronics She’ll Actually Use – No, it’s not just your dad who wants the cool gadgets. Grant the wishes of any tech-obsessed mom in your life by giving her an easy to use device that will make her look smart and chic. Both the Kindle and the iPad are great options and will make her feel very tech-savvy and ahead of the game.

Idea #3: Exotic Flowers – My mom has never been a flower person, but I know plenty of mother’s would love to revive a beautiful bouquet of exotic flowers this year. One of my all time favorite gift ideas is a vase of colorful or white Orchids. Not only are they stunning to look at, but they are super low maintenance. Make sure that the vase is as equally as pretty as the flowers that fill it. This way it can be used over and over again.

Idea #4 At Home Spa Kits – Who doesn’t love a trip a fancy spa? But for those of us that can’t afford to send our mom’s off to a day of hot-stone massages mud baths, at-home spa kits are just the thing. You can even customize your own personal gift sets by choosing some of your favorite bath and beauty products and displaying them in a fancy basket.

Idea # 5: A  Fun Fragrance  Date-  It can be a bit tricky to buy any woman a perfume if you don’t know what scents she prefers. That’s why I recommend a “Fragrance Date”. Take your mom (or whom ever else you are shopping for) to her favorite department store and shop for a new perfume or body lotion that she’s never tried before. This is a fun and creative way for the two of you to bond and for her to try something new.

Need help finding that perfect gift for a Mother in your life? I would love to help you shop for anyone on your list! Click here for more info!

“How Can I Wear It?”: Wide-Leg Jeans

The days of the skinny jean may be numbered. It’s arch enemy, the wide-legger, is taking center stage in a major way this spring/summer. The wide-leg jean is not only a fashion statement, but is also much more forgiving than it’s skin-tight counterpart. They have an effortless 1970’s feel, which look so fresh and new in the 21st century. Wide-leggers are also available in many different washes and cuts to satisfy any fashion plate’s appetite.

Luckily, you don’t have to be a size 0 and 6’1 to enjoy the look of a wide-leg jean. Like most denim, wide-leg jeans often come pretty long to maintain a certain look. It is essential to find a jean that fits great in the waist and the leg, as you can always hem the length. Wide-leggers go beyond the flair for a more dramatic statement, so if you’re on the petite side you’ll want to find a fits that sit low on the waist as to not overwhelm your frame. If you’re a bit more tall, you can venture to pull off the high-waisted wide-leg jean. This is a dramatic statement and looks perfect with a white tee tucked in.

Proportion is also an important element here. You always want to balance a voluminous bottom with a fitted top. January Jones loves to pair her wide-leg denim with a fitted leather jacket and 0ver-sized shades. Katie Holms prefers a more casual vibe with a simple simple tee shirt and belt. Complete your wide-legger look with chunky wedges and a floppy hat for an ideal “haute hippie”style.

Some of my favorite fits:

1. The Madewell Widelegger in the “Explorer” Wash

2. J Brand “Bette in Wonderama” Wide Leg Jean

3. GAP High Rise Flare Jeans

4. 7 For All Mankind Bell Bottom “Super Flare” in Clean White

5. Goldsign “Sisi” Platform Flare Jeans

Need a new look? Contact Sophie Mae for your complimentary Styling Session today!

Eco Chic

In honor of Earth Day, I thought I might post these stunning pics from H&M’s Conscious Collection. The entire line is comprised of recycled and environmentally friendly fabrics. This collection is ideal for those of us that can’t afford Stella McCartney, but still love the idea of going green with our wardrobes. I mean seriously, how chic is this white-on-white color palette?

Photo Credits: H&M