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8 Professional Fashion Staples Every 20 Something Should Own

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The journey from trendy high-waisted-shorts-cropped-top college student to professional, fashion forward go-getter can be difficult. Many twenty-somethings (including myself) have yet to fully stock their closet with a sufficient supply of office attire. It’s no surprise that we’re overwhelmed by how far we have to go and, not to mention, how deep into our pockets we’ll have to dig.

Throwing out the old and welcoming the new is a fun and exciting part of being able to say we’re officially adults. But as much as we’re ready to channel our inner Olivia Pope, the slow and steady transition shouldn’t manage to break our bank. Start off with these essentials and build your professional wardrobe as you go.

1. Basic Black Heels

Whether they’re pumps, sandals, or Mary Janes, every girl needs a pair of everyday, neutral high heels. You want a pair of heels that will look great with whatever you have on and will stand the test of time—so make sure you’re buying for quality and comfort, not just style. Steve Madden is the perfect brand for all of these features and is still incredibly affordable. (Check a Dillard’s sales rack!) If you can spare the change, buy a pair of nude ones as well.

2. High Waisted Slacks

Maybe this is just the trend-lover in me, but high waisted slacks are the perfect blend of sophistication, class, and style. A pair of off-white, black or gray slacks look great with just about any blouse or button-up. If you can’t afford a nice suit just yet, these are the next best thing.

3. Midi Pencil Skirt

Midi pencil skirt

The midi skirt is amazing because it can be utilized for both work and play. While the cropped top and midi skirt combination has become a fashion trend as of late, we mustn’t forget how great the midi pencil skirt has always looked with a fitted blazer or sheer blouse. Buy a solid neutral shade for the minimalist look, or even opt for a bold, yet subtle pattern. If you’re short like I am, it may be harder to pull off, but it’s a definite essential for taller professional women.

4. Basic Blazer

Basic blazer

If only we could have a blazer in every color. But to save money, let’s stick to a neutral shade. The reason why is because bold-colored blazers are overpowering and (unless you work in fashion) can be seen as a distraction in the workplace—if you’re wearing them all the time, anyway. Opt for white or black because they will go great with any bright-colored top to help neutralize all that color.

5. Crisp, White Button-up Shirt

Crisp, white button-up shirt

A white button-up or button-down is an essential that every woman should own in her wardrobe. It’s professional, simple, and clean. It’s the shirt you’ll always find useful and will never go out of style.

6. Designer Handbag

Designer handbag

This is the one item you get to splurge on. As superficial as it sounds, studies show that designer brands heighten people’s perception of you. And not to mention, designer handbags are something every woman wants to own. Even if it’s just one, put some cash aside for a nice designer handbag. Maybe not as far out of our price range as a Céline or Louis Vuitton, but we can save up for a Michael Kors or Kate Spade. A neutral shade is ideal, but in this case, it’s perfectly fine to go bold. (Never fear a bold purse!) Opt for leather if you can—it’ll last you longer.

7. Gold or Silver Watch

Gold or silver watch

It’s something about the old-fashioned way of telling time that shouts “I have class!” If you have any money left over after purchasing that rather pricey handbag, buy a watch that won’t turn crazy colors on you. My first quality watch was a DKNY and has lasted me more seasons than I ever imagined it would. The clearance section is your best friend, but if you simply can’t afford it, select a less expensive option instead.

8. Work Dress

Nothing merges sexy and successful better than the work dress. It’s flattering yet conservative, and absolute fun to accessorize. Ann Taylor, Banana Republic, and LOFT are your destinations for this style of dress. Well, they’ll presumably be your destinations for everything. Don’t forget those pumps, that handbag, and a blazer to make this dress come alive!

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Fashion

6 Accessories to Spice Up Any Outfit

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How to use accessories in an outfit, Tips for accessorizing an outfit, How to accessorize casual wear

Accessorizing your outfit can be a tricky business indeed. Without accessories, your overall look may end up looking too plain; with the wrong accessories, however, even haute couture could look cheap.

Good thing there are some pieces of fashion that can spice up almost any kind of ensemble. These items should be mainstays in your closet; if you already have some of them, then maybe consider buying duplicates or different colors!

The Right Necklace

Different necklace lengths suit different neckline or collar styles. For example, if you’re wearing a turtleneck shirt, you might want to pair it with long chain necklaces with singular pendants. Meanwhile, a crew neck blouse will benefit more from a bib-style or collar necklace. Strapless tops or dresses, on the other hand, are the perfect canvases for collar or choker necklaces.

If you’re fond of layering necklaces or if you aren’t sure what kind to wear, opt for an opera necklace. Don’t base it on the actual length, though; try it on first. The “proper” length of an opera necklace is about two inches below your bust line, which definitely varies from woman to woman. The length of the opera necklace also has an added benefit of making you look taller.

Lapel Pins

Personalized lapel pins have experienced a resurgence in popularity over the past few years, thanks in part to the similar resurgence of bespoke suits. However, these colorful and easily customizable pins aren’t just meant for accessorizing men’s formal wear. You can use lapel pins to update the look of your other accessories, like bags or hats. You can also fasten a scarf using a lapel pin. Another benefit of lapel pins? You can weartwo or three of them without it looking tacky. You also don’t need to go overly formal with them. It’s perfectly fine to wear a pin that’s inspired by your favorite video game or TV show together with a three-piece suit.

Classic Sunglasses

Online fashion shopping tips

Formal wear, casual wear, beach wear — a classic pair of sunglasses go with practically anything. What’s more, aviators, clubmasters, and wayfarers look good on any face shape. One or two high-quality pairs of sunglasses can last you a lifetime, so it would be better to splurge on the really good brands. For a more universal appeal, go for simpler designs and colors, like tortoiseshell frames and black or dark gray lenses.

A Stainless Steel Watch

Just like classic sunglasses, a stainless steel watch can be worn with almost any kind of outfit (as opposed to the much more formal gold timepiece). Stainless steel watches are also flattering on any skin tone and are quite durable, too. You can wear just a chunky, stainless steel watch with your OOTD and you can be all set — that’s how much of a statement this accessory can make!

A Scarf

What’s good about a scarf is that it can go from season to season. In cold or windy weather, it can give you additional warmth and protection from harsh winds. In the summer, a light scarf can add a pop of color to your outfit.

If you want to try out some patterns, plaid, gingham, or houndstooth are some of the no-fail basics. These patterns are very fashion friendly; you can adjust your look by simply changing the color combinations. For the more adventurous types, go for bold paisley designs. You can also never go wrong with a plain lambswool or knitted scarf for some comfy, cozy warmth.

A Pair of Comfortable Pumps

Heels aren’t as popular nowadays for everyday fashion when stylish comfort is the name of the game. However, if you need a bit of a height, ditch the platforms and go for the classic pump. They’re very versatile; they can be matched with jeans, skirts, dresses, and anything in between, taking you from a day in the office to a dinner party with no problem.

Don’t go the way of sky-high heels, especially if you’re going to wear them for long periods; two or three inches are more than enough. You should also make sure that the toes don’t pinch! Color-wise, black and cream are elegant choices, but for beautiful burst of color, try going for a red or electric blue pair.

Fashion trends change every year. Some even come and go in a matter of months. With these timeless accessories, however, you can be sure that your fashion game will always be on point.

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6 Common Undergarment Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

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Common underwear mistakes

There’s no better feeling than the confidence that comes with knowing you’re wearing an incredibly sexy number under your clothes. It can be your fun little secret, but sometimes women are led astray. Committing an undergarment crime can sadly be as easy as purchasing the wrong underwear. Here are 6 undergarment faux pas and how to avoid them:

1. The Flimsy Frock

Just because your dress looks perfectly opaque in your bedroom mirror doesn’t mean it’ll stay that way in the glaring sun. It’s a terrifying thought, the idea of leaving your house and having everyone on the street seeing what’s underneath that shift. Invest in a versatile slip that you can pair with a wide range of dresses. Slips aren’t just for your grandmother anymore.

2. The Saggy Strapless

Did you know most of your breasts are supported by the bra band, not the straps? If you’re constantly re-adjusting your strapless bra in public, you’re doing it wrong. A good strapless bra should stay in place for the most part and should provide almost as much support as a regular bra. Find a bra where the center lies flat along your breastbone and your ta-tas aren’t spilling over the top. You can easily find the most comfortable bras at knix.com.

3. The Classless Clear Straps

You know those little bags that come with a bra and contain removable clear bra straps? Yeah, throw that bag out. Think about it: A fun bandeau looks ten times better than a tacky and cheap looking strap poking out of your tank top. Go strapless or rock a fun colored bra and let the straps run wild.

4. The Undisguised Underwear

Underwear lines are something to be avoided at all costs. I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve seen a girl in a cotton maxi dress and been able to tell exactly what type of underwear she was wearing. Choose no-show panties in a large enough size or go the thong route. Also be sure to check yourself out in the mirror to make sure your dress doesn’t cling to your underwear… Not a good look.

5. The Witless White on White

Many women believe that because they’re wearing an adorable classic white tee, they should pair it with a matching classic white bra. Wrong. The stark color of your bra contrasting with your skin tone will be disastrous underneath your tee. Choose a nude bra that matches your skin tone or is a little darker.

6. The Spelled Out Spanx

Every woman should own a good pair of Spanx to streamline and tighten for a big event. However, choosing the wrong size or style of Spanx can lead to obvious lines where the material ends and your bare skin begins. Head to a department store with whatever outfit you’re planning on wearing and ask for help picking out the right size and length.

What do you think about these undergarment mistakes?

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What The Trendy Scottish Gentleman Is Wearing This Year

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Trendy Scottish Fashion

Traditional Scottish clothing is characterised by the use of tartan patterns, consisting of horizontal and vertical bands of multiple colours. Originally each highland tartan was associated with specific regions and was more influenced by the dyes available locally, than from any clan influence, although certain clans did come to be associated with certain patterns. Today Scottish pride runs as deep as ever, and many variations on the basic theme remain available and worn by Scottish men and women for many different occasions.

From Casual to Full Formal Dress

One aspect of highland dress is to be found in every level of dress code, from casual to the fully formal and that is of course the kilt. Originally recorded in the 1600’s the kilt was what is now termed the great kilt, which is a knee length skirt like garment, with pleats at the back, whose upper half could be used as a cloak. The kilt we see more often today is the small kilt, which became common in the 1800’s and was effectively the bottom half only, of the great kilt. Although the kilt is most often seen at formal occasions, its use as an informal item of clothing has been growing in recent years.

The casual use of Scottish dress will include a kilt with belt and buckle, a Jacobite shirt, kilt pin, sporran and socks, known as kilt hose. White or off white socks should be avoided. These are the basics, though many more accessories can be added. Taking a step up the shirt would become a kilt shirt accompanied by an Argyle Jacket along with traditional footwear known as ghillie brogues. These are thick soled shoes with no tongue and long laces. The ghillie used to be an estates gamekeeper and with the often damp nature of the local weather, he needed a pair of shoes that allowed his feet to dry quickly.

The full formal attire is visually very impressive and would make one of the best possible Scottish gifts for men. With the kilt and kilt shirt, we have a Prince Charlie Jacket, a flash looking sporran, flashes and possibly a Sgian Dubh, a small sheathed knife in the top of the hose.

Availability Today

Scottish clothing has become quite popular for casual wear as well as for formal occasions and traditional wear is widely available in the marketplace and while historically it associated its wearer with a particular area or region, today, while it may be worn as a declaration of belonging to a particular clan or family, it is just as often used simply as a declaration of National pride. Today it is not difficult to find a full range of traditional clothing for children and ladies, as well as for men. The range of different tartans available is staggering, with many places able to find you a particular variety (if you are tracing your roots back to an historical clan), and in some cases even have it custom made for you, if it isn’t immediately available.

Regardless of if you are looking for something for just wearing casually around the house or garden, or for something more formal, every Scotsman should have at least one set of proper Scottish attire.

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