A Top and a Pair of Pants...

If you have followed me for any length of time, or you are a client of mine, you know I really love versatility in a wardrobe.  I love knowing you can start with 2 pieces, say a top and a pant, and create many different looks with those pieces as the "base".  At this time of year when temperatures are still all over the place, layering remains the key to dressing.  Last week I started with this adorable sleeveless top from Loft and then paired it with khakis or distressed denim and discovered all sorts of outfits.  Read on to find out about some of what I did.  

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I started with a sleeveless top and simple pair of khakis...

I started with the top.  It's a great print and it's sleeveless.  What I love:  all the colors in the print give me a ton of options for the layering pieces, bottoms and accessories.  Because it's sleeveless I have many more options for layering, but also for wearing alone if temperatures are warmer because it's not just a camisole.  

Layering options shown here are a great jean jacket on the left for when it may be a bit cooler or the short sleeve cardigan on the right for a bit warmer.  In addition, the jean jacket gives a more casual vibe while the cardi makes it a bit more dressy without trying too hard.  The shoes could easily be swapped - maybe sneakers on the left and a flat sandal on the right?  Options....

 

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Switching out the khakis for denim...either blue or white.

This top is a great way to dress the denim up a bit.  In the outfit on the left I've added my favorite Jeffrey Campbell slides.  I might also pair this look with my bright green heels or espadrilles as well.  The colors in the top give me so many options!

The outfit on the left I've added a khaki jacket (no longer available but here's a similar one (http://shopstyle.it/l/KcLr) along with black strappy sandals to dress up my jeans a bit.  In the center I am trying the top with the white denim again, keeping it casual with flip flops.  On the far right I've layered a 3/4 sleeve cardi for the extra layer.  Because this cardi is a true black I could easily change my shoes the black mules I've shown in the look above for another option.  Another easy look would be to layer with a white blouse left unbuttoned and tied at the waist with any of the pants shown for even more options.  

Once again, the key is versatility and making your wardrobe work for you.  Here, I started with a top and a pair of pants and created many options and looks from just a few pieces.  What do you have in your wardrobe you can do the same thing with?  I'd love to see what you come up with...post in the comments below!  Let me see how you #ownyourstyle !  

 

The exact pieces I have are sold out but I've listed some similar pieces below. Check it out! 

Wait, there's another sale ??

It may seem as if I do a lot of shopping...well, I do.  Notice I didn't say buying.  I don't purchase every time I shop, promise.  I feel like it's my job  to let you know when there is a great sale so that's why my last 2 posts are about 2 of my go to places.  The sale that just posted today is from JCrew Factory and it's 30%off your purchase of $100 or more.  The code is GETSET.  According to the website (www.factory.jcrew.com) it runs thru May 13, 2018.  This promo comes right before Mother's Day which is awesome if you need a gift or 2 for that, right?  I've listed my picks below with why I love it in the caption below each item.  As I've said before, anytime there is a %off a total sale such as this one, it's a great time to stock up on the basics you need for the current season.

 I've shown you some great choices in basics first including one of my favorite t-shirts - the studio t-shirt.  Another item I consider a basic is the cardigan and I have shown you 2 different styles here.  One is a long-sleeve version while the other is 3/4 sleeve, which I love for Spring and Summer.  The color choices are fantastic.  I love pajamas but I try to only buy them when they are on sale.  I especially love the knit pair shown below, comfy but not frumpy.  

The other tops.  The top shown with the embroidered sleeves is the perfect summer top.  You can dress it up with a cute pair of wide-legged pants, white jeans, skinny jeans, the choices are endless.  The long sleeve with the pom pom tassles is a perfect example of how to elevate your basics - it's in the details!  The little black skirt is the perfect addition to any wardrobe.  I have the Lucky 7 - which are 7 items I believe, every woman should have in her wardrobe (http://www.yourclosetyourstyle.com/musings/2014/9/9/the-lucky-7) the black skirt is one of those items.  I like this one because it has just a little sass with the scalloped hem.  The linen/cotton pant just may become your favorite summer pant.  Dressed up a bit with a crisp blouse and wedges or worn more casual with a t-shirt and sneakers or flip flops, these pants are perfect for every occasion.  Last, the accessories.  For both JCrew and JCrew Factory a promotion like this is a great time to buy jewelry and other accessories.  The bonus here??  They are the perfect gift for the special "mom" in your life as well!

Okay, start shopping you don't have much time - again the sale ends May 13th.  I've mentioned before but I will again - if you are shopping online and aren't yet an ebates customer  -- sign up before your shop !!!

Questions where to spend your money?  What did you buy??  What's your fav??  Leave in the comments below!  

 

 

Top 5 Picks for the Loft 40%off Sale

I think you love a sale as much as me, don't you???  Loft is having one of their awesome 40% sales and I thought I would make a quick post of my 5 favs for this sale.  

My picks from the Loft Plus line : 

I won't keep you .... Happy Shopping!  I'd love to hear what you bought!  Let me know in the comments below!  

What I wore in April

I can't believe it's May 1st !!  Furthermore, I can't believe the temps here in West Michigan are finally above 70!  Since April is behind us I wanted to post a few of my outfits I wore with hopes of inspiring you to shop your own closet and get inspired.

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Stripes 

Stripes are one of those patterns I don't go to very often.  In this case, I raided my college-age son's give away pile and decided to keep the shirt for myself.  I paired it with a great pair of khakis I purchased last fall from the "A New Day" line at Target.  Perfect!  

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The White Jean tryout....

I have avoided white jeans, well, forever.  I am happy to assist a client find the perfect pair but I've never wanted to wear them myself.  Well, I'm giving it a go this year.  We will see if they make it.  

I have linked similar pieces below.  The link to the jeans are the exact jeans I'm wearing.  The others are similar as they are all past season goodies. 
        

 

          

Obviously with the weather in April,  one of my go-to uniforms was jeans/khakis, some type of cardi and a tshirt layered underneath:

Then, there are the outfits with the jacket as the extra layer....

I have wanted a suit forever so when I found this one, I fell in love.  As you know, I always look for versatility so here is how I wore the pieces together and separate.

Here is the link to the suit and some similar pieces to what I'm wearing.  The shoes are a great pair of Jeffrey Campbell's I purchased from a consignment store some time ago.

 

 

Do you ever find something in the back of your closet you haven't worn forever but you never purged?  Here's my find, this great linen jacket - 

 Closet Treasure - this linen jacket I haven't worn in two Spring seasons - I love rediscovering pieces !   

Closet Treasure - this linen jacket I haven't worn in two Spring seasons - I love rediscovering pieces !

 

The best outfits, I believe, are those created through inspiration from others.  I would love to see what you're wearing these days that was inspired by something you saw.  I would also love to see an outfit you created using a piece you haven't worn in a long time!  Post the pics in the comments and help to inspire someone else.  

Need some inspiration yourself?  Let's chat!  Contact me soon so your closet gets all the love it deserves!  

Loving Your Closet Part 2

Last week I posted about some easy steps to purge your closet.  I thought this week I would offer some organization solutions for the jewelry and scarves you decided to keep from the purge.  I didn't mention jewelry specifically last week, but I know you are on top of things so you took care of it along with your clothes.  If not, no time like the present!  When going through your jewelry (and scarves) you really need to see all of it together to get the full picture of what you own.  Here is one example of how to do this easily.  I did a huge jewelry purge when we moved 3 years ago.  Here are a couple of pics for what it looked like in the ugly middle of it :):

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From here I was able to use the same criteria, as mentioned last week with the clothing purge, to determine what I was keeping and what I was getting rid of.  You know the drill:  is it good condition, have I worn it in a year, etc.  Once I went through the full sorting process it was on to organization.  For me, I needed to be able to see a lot more of what I owned than previously set up.  This is the mess that was on the left, empty in the middle, the goods on the right. I couldn't really tell what I had and therefore, I didn't wear over half of it.  I went in search of new containers and keepers.  I didn't go for just the things labeled as jewelry organizers.  In many cases, not all, the cost is too much for me.  I went for solutions.  Some of them you will see in the "after" picture I post below this picture.

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 This is the result of purging and organizing.  I can see what I own.  

This is the result of purging and organizing.  I can see what I own.  

As seen in the picture above, there is a mix of the "real" jewlery organizers like bracelet holders and the frame made for necklaces, as well as trays and other pieces that aren't necessarily made for jewelry.   I have compiled some of my favorite jewelry and scarf organization pieces below to share with you.  There is a short caption below those that may need an explanation and the others you can clearly see what their best use is.  (There are links to purchase but you could certainly go to your favorite retailer and find something similar as well.)

My favorite is probably either the egg holder or the bamboo utensil holder.  As I mention in the caption below the egg holder, I love this piece for storing small earrings, rings, and even pins.  The container is not only clear so you can see all your stuff, but you can also buy multiples of this and stack them.  The bamboo utensil holder is awesome!  It's completely adjustable for all different size treasures.  Statement earrings, bracelets, long necklaces, watches, the possibilities are endless.  You could go so far as to label these for each type and then stack multiples.  For example, one could be all statement earrings, one for bracelets, etc. The rest of the jewelry keepers are self-explanatory.  

Next up - scarves.  Again, for me, I need to see the inventory!  The first  idea is to roll them and keep them organized in the cubes pictured.  The next idea is on hung through the loops on the long keeper. ( I believe this is also for handbags but I personally don't like to hang my handbags.)  By hanging them in the loops this way they are still all visible.  The last idea is a typical scarf hanger which is great.  My only suggestion here would be to use this for thinner lighter weight scarves so none get "hidden" when the fixture is hanging in your closet.

If your jewelry is all organized and ready for each wear I'd love to see a picture!  What's your favorite jewelry keeper?  If your stuff isn't all organized I hope this inspires you to get it done and start wearing more of what you own!  

 

Just a Friendly Reminder from Your Closet

One of my favorite things to do for a client is the full Closet Restyle packages.  I've written about it here before and I've even create a video about it as well.  The package begins at 3 hours and can increase based on the client.  The first part of the restyle is the purge of the closet.  That's what I wanted to remind you of today for your own closet.  In a Closet Restyle, after we remove all the clothes from the closet, the client and I together decide what will return to the closet and what won't.  That part is the purge.  The purge, as I'm sure already know, is where you take clothes away that won't be returning.  This is a common step in wardrobe organization that all stylists, organizers, organized folks - all talk about.  It typically involves following steps to get rid of clothing using some sort of checklist based on criteria such as how often you wear the item, the last time you wore the item, etc.  I think this is the part of the purge that stops some of you from doing the the purge to begin with.  For some, it may sound too complicated or time consuming.  For others it may sound too scary to have to part with clothes.  For others it could be they just are too busy.  I wanted to give you some simple tips to jump start your purge.  With the crazy weather everyone is experiencing (regardless where you live) there is no time like NOW to get this done.  You will feel so much better afterwards, and you will feel like you have more clothing options, I promise!

  1.  Block off the time - You've got to plan the time or you won't do this well, I promise.  I would go a step further to say - planning ahead for this will give you the right attitude to get this done as well.  Remove any distractions including your cell phone so you can truly focus on this task.
  2. Dress for this - Now is the time to wear leggings and t-shirt.  You will probably need to try a couple things on and this is the most efficient, time saving way to do that.

The last couple of tips are specifically for the purge step, which is all I am talking about today.  There are a couple of really simple things to ask yourself that will help you quickly decide whether something should stay or go.  (don't you wish everything were this simple?) 

        3.  First - go through and remove any item that has been overloved.  By overloved I mean:   pilling, holes,  or stains (including yellowing underarms on lighter colors.  These pieces don't need a long debate - they just need to go away.  These are not, by the way, clothes that should be donated to a non-profit organization.  They aren't okay for you to wear, then they shouldn't be okay otherwise.  (Exception to this would be a non-profit that has a program in which they can get money for recycling of the clothing.  Check with your favorite local non-profit

Just by completing the previous step it helps you with the next set of questions because you have already removed some pieces you don't have to figure out and the criteria was easy.  On to tip 4!

         4.  If it doesn't fit you today - standing in your closet - get. rid. of. it.  Whether too big or too small, it isn't doing you any good (and probably a bit of harm) to keep it.  If the item is still in good condition it can be worn now by someone else.  Donate it to your favorite non-profit or if in great condition, sell it.  

          5.  By the time we get to this one, you should be in a much better position to answer the next question or 2.  Handle this step by asking 1 of 2 questions about each of the remaining pieces:  "If you were in the store today would you buy this again?"  or "Have you worn this in the last year?"

The clothing you are left with for keeping is what will now go back to your closet.  The other clothing needs to leave your house NOW to avoid it creeping back in.  If you are doing this at the end of the season - so right now, if you're doing this with Winter - then obviously what you're keeping will get packed away and stored for next year.  It will be so refreshing for you when you go to switch seasons in the Fall and the wardrobe is already in place for you.  

With the season so mixed up right now for many of us, there is no time like NOW to do this for your closet.  If you do your Winter wardrobe as you're packing it away it will make it so much easier when you're ready to switch at the end of August.  If you take a look at your Spring clothes as you're moving them to wear soon (we hope) you can jump on filling in where you need a few things.  You can also take your Spring goodies to consign right on in to your favorite consignment store now instead of waiting.  If you haven't taken the purge step yet, I hope I've inspired you to get going now.  I think you'll find things you haven't worn and either create new outfits with them or say some much needed good-byes!  

 

 

 

This is the year ....

It's supposed to be Spring and therefore, we should be thinking all things Spring clothes, right?  One of the signs of Spring dressing for me is after Easter I pull out more white from my wardrobe.  White pants and white handbags to be more specific.  For my clients this is also the time I start creating outfits using their white jeans.  For me personally, I don't like wearing white jeans - I can't explain it - I have just never seen them as my style until now, I think.  I have spotted so many cute styles available now from plain to distressed to cropped I decided now is the perfect time to take the plunge.  

Here are just a few of the styles I am liking right now:

As is the case when buying denim (or swimsuits for that matter), you must go try them on.  Try on many, I might add, in many cases to find the best pair for you.  I love to shop local so I went to a great boutique here in West Michigan that not only has awesome clothes but has a mission behind the clothing they sell.  It's called Adored.  You can read all about their mission here:

I have looked and tried many a pair of white denim prior to this journey so I immediately found a pair here I would try.  This pair was cut a bit fuller thru the leg and was also distressed in the right places, which I love.  I tried 2 different sizes on and found a winner.  Let's be honest, it's been a long winter - there may be a few extra lbs that have been added to my body so the first pair didn't work.  Want to see?  The first clip is the pair that "fit" but didn't,  I wouldn't wear them if I bought this pair.  Too tight in the waist - slight muffin top - not ever a good look - ever. 

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The second pair, much better fit.  More pics to come as I begin to pair them and wear them.  What a fun adventure though, trying something I wouldn't normally wear.  Trying something I have had on the "not wear" list for so long.  What's something on your " no wear" list?  Maybe this is the season to give it a try!  Let me know what you're up to in the comments !  

Surviving Pre-Spring

So, let's face it, this Spring is taking awhile to get here - I think almost everywhere.  Here in West Michigan it's still snowing....<sigh>

Anyway, the best way to get thru this awkward weather season is with layers.  I have a couple of favorites that are perfect for this in-between season we find ourselves in.  Denim jackets and long cardigans paired with a casual pant are the basic "uniform"/first layer and then you simply add accessories and footwear to #ownyourstyle.  With these pieces as the base, the possibilities are endless. First up, the long cardigan.  Really, any cardigan, but I think the long cardigan for the "right now" as a bit more style. Personally, I pack all wool away once April 1st is here but it doesn't mean I don't continue to wear sweaters.  I have a couple of simple long cardigans I wear.  One is a sleeveless "vest" or gili style (if you're in my age range or older think Maude).  Both options are cotton and in neutral shades so I can wear with most anything.  I don't know what to say about a denim jacket I haven't said forever ...it's versatile, timeless and can look great on anyone.  I do have a couple of denim jackets in my wardrobe but you really only need one.  Though it can obviously be worn as a piece of outerwear I think it is much more stylish as a layering piece and great for all 4 seasons in one way or another.    

Below are some of my favorite picks for the key pieces I've mentioned.  Someone mentioned to me last week that I don't post enough options in more size choices so I have done that here as well.

I wanted to include some looks I've worn using the same key pieces - here are a few:

As I mentioned earlier, adding your style to any of these looks comes from the accessories and shoes in many ways.  Sometimes just a "pop" of color added in a scarf is enough.  You can transform the same pieces by merely changing the scarf for a stacked necklaces and large earrings.  You can give a completely different feel to the outfit depending on your footwear as well.  I know that Spring is on the horizon but in the meantime I am going to dress like I'm enjoying the weather anyway!  

I'd love to hear how what's in your wardrobe survival kit for right now - leave me your comments below!  

Khakis, a tshirt and a jacket

I posted an outfit I wore to work with handbags and shoes earlier this week.  The key components, or uniform, to this outfit were a great pair of khakis and a simple tshirt.   Specifically, the khakis are made with some stretch which is not only great for comfort but adds to the wrinkle-resistance war as well as lends to a nicer "finish" on the material.  The tshirt was just a great basic tee in a neutral gray.  The real story here is what happens next...

This simple outfit is one of the uniforms I keep in my closet.  I have mentioned uniforms of sorts, many times before not just here in my musings but in some of my videos as well. (https://bit.ly/2pR8VaH)  A uniform style wardrobe is one system that can make getting dressed a lot easier.  The uniform refers to the basic pieces and then your own style comes in with how you finish the look.  For example, the outfit I posted this week - to this outfit I added a scarf for a belt and a great structured cardigan not only as a layer but a great pop of color as well.  There are soooo many more outfits to be made from this uniform.  Here are some pics to show you!

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This was the first version of the khakis, tshirt and jacket story.  

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Version 2

this time the uniform is completed with a Spring Jacket (http://shopstyle.it/l/DID4), platform sandals and multi-strand pearl necklace.  This is a great Easter outfit, work outfit for some, or date night.  

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Version 3

this time layered with a navy striped jacket and navy shoes.  The neck "scarf" can be attached to the outside of the jacket, worn as I have pictured here, or worn as belt for a different look.  You can't see it here but there is a great thin stripe of a tomato red/orangy color in the jacket that I might match with a different colored tshirt as well. 

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Version 4

I have completed this version with a black menswear inspired jacket, the scarf worn previously as a belt this time as a scarf (go figure!), and black pumps.  I would easily switch and wear my platform MaryJanes and some chunky jewelry and completely change the "vibe"of this outfit.

Just as I'm looking through the photos I am imagining other versions of this uniform to come for Spring.  As I mentioned in the last version, just by changing the accessories you can transform even one version to another.  This type of dressing leads the way for endless wardrobe possibilities and less stress when getting ready.  What are some of your favorite uniforms??  I would love to hear what you're favs are - comment below!  It would be crazy of me to not mention that if you live in the West Michigan area and would love assistance in creating your wardrobe uniforms, contact me, I would love to help!  

Dressing for Easter

It's Easter week.  I mentioned last week how I loved this time of year when I was little because it always meant a new outfit.   If you celebrate Easter, and you're going to church (andmaybe brunch) what are you wearing?  Or, another question - what's your favorite new Spring outfit?  I will be at church Friday and Sunday.  After church on Sunday we will be going to brunch with some of our family.  I am planning ahead for what to wear.  I am hoping to put together an outfit very similar to the one I've posted a picture of below.  I am hoping this will be Sunday's outfit:

I love the idea of a suit.  I love the look of it but I also love the versatility of it.  The options for wearing the pieces both together and matched with other pieces are endless.  The jacket will dress up a pair of jeans and just as easily paired over a sleeveless dress for a completely different ensemble.  The pants worn with a crisp white blouse and flat sandals will be the perfect date night outfit for Spring or a cool summer evening.  I would also love the pants with a long dressy vest and silk blouse worn with nude heels.  

You can shop directly thru my links below, if you're interested.  If you'd rather not use the links it's easy to search the items yourself using the description below each item.

Now, to think up Friday's outfit....

The Straw Bag

Spring is coming...I think.  Easter is right around the corner.  In addition to the meaning of Easter important in my faith, Easter always signaled an important and meaningful time in life growing up.  Every year before Easter we went shopping for a new outfit FOR Easter (Sunday that is).  When I say new outfit I mean:  dress, tights, shoes, coat, hat, gloves, and my favorite - a purse.  I could spend hours talking about the shopping trip and what it meant to me but I'll save that for another time.  Let's talk about the purse.  I love handbags/purses.  That is not a secret to anyone who knows me.  The Easter purse was typically 1 of 2 things- either a patent leather or a straw bag.  I think a straw bag is a great addition to any handbag wardrobe.  The straw bag can be oversized and casual or more structured and feminine.  When shopping for a straw bag don't compromise on the materials.  If you buy a bag made of quality materials it will truly last you a very long time.  I have a beautiful straw bag given to me on Mother's Day a few years ago which I adore.  It is classic in style and timeless in fashion.

 

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Storage

When any of my handbags aren't being carried I keep them in their dustbag and stored all in one place.  For a delicate straw bag it's nice to have the original box as well. 

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Straw Bag

Classic styling, neutral leather trim, and silver hardware make this a great versatile straw handbag. 

 

 

Here are some of my favorites I've seen this year.

Which of these bags would be the best fit in your wardrobe?  I'd love to hear how your Spring wardrobe is shaping up.  Let me know in the comments below.  Have questions on how to get going?  Contact me or mention them in the comments!

 

 

Spring Dressing part 2

I refuse to believe Spring is not  around the corner.  I know it's not even 40 degrees here in West Michigan but the sun is shining and I know Spring is coming.  We are essentially half-way through March so, again, I know Spring is coming.  As I begin to pack away my winter wardrobe I can sense Spring coming even more.  As I've mentioned before, there are a few fashion rules I follow for my style including - I don't wear wool once March 1st arrives.  I don't wear white before Easter, I don't carry a straw bag until Easter.  Just a few.  Just me. Just my style.  

As I start to transition to a Spring wardrobe I add cardigans and jackets into heavy rotation in my wardrobe.  Living in West Michigan in March the day can often start with 30 degree temps but end up closer to 50 - a girl needs to be prepared.  I think a short-sleeve top or sleeveless top is the perfect "starting layer" when dressing this time of year.  I recently picked up the cutest sleeveless top from Loft during their last 40% off storewide promo and I love it.  The 3 things I love the most:  the pattern, the cut, and the mix of fabrics.  I wore it first for a casual day doing some work volunteering and then some appointments.  The next time I'll wear it for a date night or a girls night out.  I've already tried the two options, here are some quick looks:

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Casual

paired with a simple cardigan and distressed skinny ankle jeans.  On my feet?  The cute velvet shoes the Mr. bought me for Christmas.  (shop the look below - similar items linked if originals are no longer available)

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Casual

2nd look

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Date Night or Girls Night

Wearing the same sleeveless shirt and jeans.  This time I added a faux leather bomber and a great pair of Jeffrey Campbell block heel shoes that I adore.  (similar items linked below)

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Date Night

2nd Look

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If  you read my musings and Instagram posts regularly (if you don't ....why?? sign up now- box to the left of this) you already know - I love versatility in my wardrobe.  I want to know pieces can be worn in different ways to get the most from my closet.  This sleeveless top is no exception.  Spring dressing is tricky, here it must be done in layers.  I love the addition of this floral print to my wardrobe and the ability to wear it so many ways, especially with my Spring staple layering pieces of cardis and jackets.  I have to say, it was a stretch for me to add the velvet shoes today and I loved the look!  What are you adding for Spring?  How are you dressing for the beginning of the new season?  I'd love to hear.