A Hawaii Style Blog

Tag: outfits

My 10 Essential Pieces Part 2: The Icing

Hello Everyone,

In my last post, I covered the basics pieces of my wardrobe. The pieces I mentioned build the foundation from which I to create outfits. I hope you found the list helpful.

This post looks at essential items that  add or finish an outfit.

6. Trusty Outerwear

Depending on the look you want to achieve, there are many options to layer over your basic pieces. Each type of outer wear has a distinct effect. A blazer, naturally dresses up anything from a tee to a shift dress. A jacket, preferably a leather jacket changes the look entirely, giving an outfit a bit of an edge while a cardigan tames an outfit and gives it a relax comfy look. My go to outerwear are cardigans and pullover sweaters. It keeps me lightly covered when needed and keeps me warm when it’s a little chilly here in Hawaii.

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Bamboo woven cardigan

Photo credit: Adam Levine Photo

7. Pumps

The pump is definitely a great shoe for every outfit and occasion. Every girl needs a pair of black and nude non platform pumps with an almond or rounded toe in the closet. They go with just about anything and they never go out of style.  These styles of pumps are more classic in their silhouette and tend to be closet mainstays. Shoes not only compliment the outfit but they should also be comfortable to wear. Some things to consider when shopping for pumps, consider the fit and the material of the shoes. Evaluate the pair’s length, pitch, heel height, width, padding, toe box area, arch support, and type of leather. If you want to get adventurous with pumps, try a red or an animal print pump to add some color and interest to outfits.

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Christian Louboutin  “Yoyo” open toe pumps. One of my favorite shoes. 

Photo credit: Adam Levine Photo

8. Sandals

Sandals are a must have for the closet. They are great throughout the year in tropical areas and for Spring and Summer months in northern areas. They are great for many outfits and ocassions.  When shopping for sandals, I gravitate towards sandals are black, brown, or nude. Some considerations that I have when shopping for a pair are leather quality, stitching, height, and style. I gravitate towards a styles that I am the most comfortable wearing.

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Golden Gladiator Sandal by Grey Saks Fifth Avenue. 

Photo credit: Adam Levine Photo

9. Statement Accessories

A great belt, a printed scarf, a statement necklace or a ring are great pieces that add to an outfit. Accessories can be obtained at any price point.  I gravitate towards accessories that help to finish and refine the look of an outfit. I also look at its pairing power, quality, and maintenance as well as price per wear. While accessories are often trendy and seasonal, I gravitate towards accessories that have long shelf life and will be great additions to my existing wardrobe.

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Express Brass Bib necklace. 

Photo credit: Adam Levine Photo

10. Black Handbag

A black handbag is a must have for any wardrobe. It can be obtained at any price point but somethings to consider when  when shopping for a black handbag is high quality, logo free, subtle hardware and a clean structure. It should be an item that will stand the test of time and a bag that can go with many outfits and shoe pairings. In addition, your bag should fit the needs of your lifestyle and activity. I gravitate towards bags that hold items are roomy and hold everything I need.

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Michael Kors 

Photo credit: Glenn Andaya Photo

Accessories are like the icing on a cake. They add to the wardrobe by adding flavor and finish. I hope this post and the last was helpful. Please like this post and let me know with a comment. Thanks again for reading.

XOXO,

Elle

My 10 Essential Pieces Part 1: The Cake

This year, I’ve been more deliberate in my choosing of pieces to add to my wardrobe. It was a calculated decision on my part to be more conscious of what I add and take away from my existing wardrobe.

In honesty, I’ve been in a bit of a lull, a fashion writer’s block, if you want to call it that. Don’t get me wrong. I know what works for me and what cuts fit me better than most, what colors are complimentary, what pairings to put together but I’ve been stuck, like we all are sometimes. I’ve stared at my closet full of clothes and thought to myself, I have nothing to wear. I’ve looked at my pairs of shoes but feel like I don’t have the right type of shoes to go with this outfit or that.

For the past month or so, I’ve been soul searching in the fashion sense. Trying to figure out how to work with my wardrobe, trying to find the science and math behind outfit pairings so that I could maximize my wardrobe without forfeiting my translation of current trends, styles, my fashion perspective and more importantly, me. The most important part of the equation in fashion is the individual. It is ultimately the person and not the clothes that make the outfit not the other way around. Fashion is surprisingly very autobiographical, like our lives, it is distinct to us and our needs.

With that in mind, I can not help but revisit the Ten Most Essential Pieces. Everyone has their own version of the list, why not, we all have our absolute go to pieces. Nevertheless, what you chose is definitely a reflection of your personal style, profession, lifestyle, and geographic location.

This post and the next will talk about the ten items that are the most essential in building my outfits. Much like a cake, outfits work with a great base. Once the base is set then its time accessorize.

THE BASE-IC PIECES

1. T-Shirts

They come in all shapes, sizes, prices, cuts and prints and out of the many pieces in my closet it is the most versatile. It is great for layering and great by itself. It can be dressed up or down and definitely goes with everything and it is the most reasonable to obtain. They come as inexpensive at $4 or as expensive at $100. I personally like the inexpensive ones, they work just the same and sometimes their quality is much better. I select my tees by their texture and feel. I personally like softer knit fabrics. On top of finding t-shirts that are softer, I also like t-shirts that have details that add personality to an outfit like pleats, drape, or combined with other fabrics. Another thing you need to about t-shirts, they are very easy to modify according to your needs.

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Allison Izu grecian draped tee. One of my personal favorites to pair and accessorize.

Photo credit: Adam Levine Photo

2. A Great Pair of Jeans

A great pair of jeans is a definite closet staple.  Through the years, I have tried on different styles, cuts, fabrics, and brands.  Finding a great pair is sometimes a challenge but when you do find the one and it fits just right, it’s like love, it’s meant to be. While denim cuts are trendy, I’ve come to rely on the one cut that flatters my body the most. When I find a pair of jeans that fits really well, I do what most people do in that situation, I buy several pairs of the same cut and brand of jeans, sometimes in different washes. I also make sure to have one pair in a darker wash for dressier outfits.

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Printed Trousers from Zara

Photo credit: Km2Creative 

3. The Pencil Skirt

So classic and goes with anything, it is my absolute favorite type of skirt. It’s slimming and sometimes curve hugging. It can be dressed down for an easy breezy day of errands, dressed up for a fancy dinner or a night out with the girls and still work for high powered business meetings. They come in different fabrics, prints, textures, lengths and sometimes heights.  The basic black pencil skirt is a must for your wardrobe. When looking for a basic black pencil skirt, look for quality fabrics and stitching as well as light lining. Because the shape is so classic, I find pencil skirts in season appropriate prints and fabrics to add to my existing wardrobe.

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Zara Floral Pencil Skirt paired with an Old Navy Sleeveless Button Down Shirt

Photo credit: Adam Levine Photo

4. The Button down

My ultimate blouse of choice, is the button down shirt. It is a closet staple that has never gone out of style and it is definitely a wardrobe workhorse. While a white button done  is a wardrobe must, through the years, I’ve added different colors, prints, and sleeve lengths to the collection that I rotate throughout the year.  The button down is an easy pairing piece. It can be layered under or over another piece. It can top a pair of shorts, a skirt, a pair of jeans, slacks, and even a pair of overalls or a jumpsuit. Longer ones can be worn as a short dress or a cover up for a day at the beach.

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J Crew Polka Dot Button Down paired with a Floral Pencil Skirt from Ann Taylor. One of my favorite mixed print pairings. 

Photo credit: Adam Levine Photo

5. Shift Dress

Another great basic is the shift dress. The slimming cut is flattering for many body types. I love that can be dressed up in so many different ways. A simple floppy hat can make it lunch date appropriate, a blazer can make it seriously business, a little bit of sparkle and pearls can make a great outfit for dinner dates. A shift dress in basic black is perfect for that go to Little Black Dress.
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J Crew Shift Dress in Polka Dot Print accessorized with a bow belt from Ann Taylor. 

Photo credit: Taryn Reid Photography

These basics have been  my absolute go to items for years. They are reliable, timeless, and lasting. I hope you enjoyed this post. I know I have enjoyed writing it. Let me know what you think. Take care and thanks again for reading.

XOXO,

Elle

Layers of Lace

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Hello Everyone,

I hope you are having an amazing Wednesday. I’m playing with lace today. The key to layering lace prints is similar to that of layering patterns. I gravitate towards lace pieces that have similar patterns and I keep both lace pieces neutral. Because lace is delicate, I accessorize with multiple strands of pearls and a bit of sparkle. This outfit is perfect for brunch or a dinner with the family.

Thank you again for reading.

XOXO,

Elle

.:Outfit:.

TOP forever 21
SKIRT forever 21
SHOES christian louboutin
NECKLACES unknown
BRACELETS j crew, unknown

PHOTO CREDIT: Adam Levine

Summer Time: Banyans and Bananas

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Hey Everyone,

Hope you are having a great week and looking forward to an amazing weekend. Lately, I’ve gone back to drawing again, mostly drawing up designs for stuff I want to make with my sewing machine. I’ve been thinking of maybe doing some DIY posts but I’m not really sure yet. I need your help with making that decision so let me know in the comments if you would like to see that go up on this blog.

It’s been very humid lately with temperatures in the 90’s. Summer is definitely approaching. It’s summer days like this when I feel like throwing on a graphic tee (just like this banana design from J. Crew), a pair of shorts, and some gladiator sandals. This is my summer time uniform just because it’s so easy and effortless.

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I hope you have a great weekend. Have some fun in the sun.

XOXO,
Elle

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.:Outfit:.

TOP jcrew
SHORTS forever21
BAG diy clutch
SANDALS gray by saks fifth avenue

Photo Credit: Adam Levine

Spring Confidence: Silver Spoon Jewelry and Mockingbirds and Hummingbirds

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Hey Everyone,

Happy Thursday Everyone! I hope you are having a great week. Spring is around the corner and I cannot wait  for Spring blooms and the beautiful sounds of birds in the morning.

I have always been fascinated with bird patterns and motifs. I love how birds can go where ever they please with a flap of their wings or have beautiful feather coats with colorings that can inspire outfits. Birds are delicate, strong, beautiful, and bold.  A bird that strikes my interest is the mockingbird, the master of imitation and languages, it often represents learning through experience, curiousity, intelligence, and confidence. They remind me of the women in my family who have traveled the world to learn and teach and the conversations I had with my great grand aunts who lived in foreign lands at the dinner table when I was little. The beautiful silverware they gathered from different parts of the globe telling me of their great travels.

When Silver Spoon Jewelry approached me about doing a blog post and I had the opportunity to choose a piece that I connected  with the first thing that caught my eye was this beautiful hummingbird piece that’s new to their line, it reminded me of mockingbirds. It’s vintage appeal, it reminds me of my great aunts stories that inspired me as a child visiting at the family house in Caaoacan in the Philippines. Like mockingbirds, hummingbirds have many talents that allow them to be resilient as well as achieve great feats despite their small size.

To celebrate the women in your family, whether they are your aunt, mother, sister, cousin, or any special woman in your life, Silver Spoon Jewelry is offering free shipping on all orders using the promo code  ShoesForEveryday2014 until the end of April just in time for Mother’s day.

Thank you again for reading. Take care and Enjoy the rest of your week.

XOXO,
Elle

.:Outfit:.
DRESS forever21
SCARF forever21 (old)
SHOES kate spade
BROOCH silver spoon jewelry use promo code: ShoesForEveryday2014 until the end of April
RINGS cinnamon girl, tiffany and company
BAG london fog

Photo Credit: Adam Levine

Blurred Lines: Modern Wiggle Dress and Sparkle

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Happy Sunday Everyone!

I have always been a fan of stripes. I am going to admit that I have a lot of striped pieces in my closet from button downs, shirts, skirts, and most especially dresses.  I gravitate towards thinner horizontal and vertical stripes that are printed closer together just because they elongate and accentuate my petite frame. I look for silhouettes that are more fitted because the stripes create the illusion of contouring the body.

How do you wear your stripes?  Like this post and leave a comment below and let me know what you think.  Thanks again for reading.

XOXO,

Elle

.:Outfit:.

DRESS fighting eel
SHOES christian louboutin “very prive”
NECKLACE oiajules

Photo Credit: Adam Levine

Adding Color To Your World

 

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Photo Credit: Adam Levine

While perusing articles to get ideas for creating outfits, I realized that color plays a very important role. It not only gives interest to an outfit but life as well. How does one work with color? Is there a right or wrong way? There are definitely many ways to add color to an outfit. I’m going to be honest with you, When I first started out, I kept it simple. A pop of color here and there mixed in with my basic black and neutral pieces. But after a while, that gets a little boring. One of my rules is if it happens in nature, it will look great in an outfit. I love to take snapshots of flowers and animals and the environment around me for inspirations. Often I find  great color combinations that are outfit worthy.

A step up from snapshots is using the color wheel. As an artist, the color wheel is an essential tool. So simple but full of information about colors. Some ways to create color stories in outfits is to work with these color combinations.

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colour-wheel (Photo credit: Jasmic)

Monochromatic: tint, tone and shade of just one color. Sticking to one color and its many variations creates an amazing outfit.  Ex.  Shades of Purples in one outfit.

Analogous: Using colors that are next to each other on the color wheel. Ex. Red-Violent and Red

Complimentary Colors: Colors that belong on opposite end of the color wheel.  Ex: Blue and Orange

Split Complimentary: Using a color with the two colors on each side of its complimentary color. For example: Red with Yellow-Green and Blue-Green. They work well because Red and Green are complimentary.

Triad: Three colors equally spaced from each other on the color wheel.  For Example: Orange, Green, and Violet

Tetrad: A combination of four colors which are two sets of complimentary colors. For example: Orange and Blue with Red and Green

Hope this was helpful and try it out. What will be the colors of your next outfit?

XOXO,

Elle

Romantically Organic: Silk, Lace, and Beautiful Spaces

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OUTFIT

DRESS bcbg runway collection
SHOES christian louboutin
ACCESSORIES jcrew

Photo Credit: The Photographer

Hello all,

Happy Thursday everyone, this past month and a half, I have been busy planning my brother’s wedding. I’m relieved that it is finally over. It was a lot of work but well worth it. I learned a lot in the process of planning and putting it all together.

It was held at the Utopian Estate in Pupukea, Hawaii. I loved the estate’s organic architecture and beautifully designed rooms. Every room and piece of furniture was purposely chosen. It was in a word, GORGEOUS. I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to stay at the estate.

For my brother’s wedding, I wore a BCBG Runway dress. I loved the silky texture of the dress juxtaposed with the lace overlay. The dress exuded a vintage feel a la “The Grate Gatsby.” I loved the lace mixed with the silky fabric taupe, nude, and the pop of orange as well the the soft pleating on the bust and skirt of the dress. I also love the unexpected asymmetric hemline.

XOXO,

Elle

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