| H&M Ankle boots
Love these burgundy ankle boots (also comes in black) – great price point at $50.
| H&M Wedge Sneakers
These sneakers will give you height but without the bling of most wedge sneaker styles out there – simple and sleek. Currently $35
| H&M Colored Sneakers
Fun colored sneaker option for $15! These will show their wear quickly but great for 1 summer – You may tire of the color anyways.
| H&M Socks for Flats
Those of you who wear flats frequently may want to check out the slip on socks that protect your shoes from sweat and your feet from blisters – very cheap at H&M!
I’m a fan of H&M. They’re based out of Sweden and their aesthetic reflects that – european, chic, simple and modern. They have a great selection of affordable, on-trend pieces, but with the affordable prices comes spotty quality and fit. Today I’ll share secrets to help you navigate H&M quality to make the most of your shopping experience, including shopping their new online store!
Take advantage of:
- Accessories – This is one of my favorite stores for scarves, fun bags, shoes, and accessories. They offer a great selection and it changes often.
- Trendy pieces – If there’s a trendy item you’re on the lookout for, check out H&M. Trendy pieces can sometimes only be worn 1-2 seasons so it’s best not to spend a lot of money on them. Save your dough for quality pieces you’ll wear often.
- Coats – H&M consistently has an excellent coat and jacket selection. They may not last forever, but they’ll be stylish and keep you warm at a great price. Perfect for those of you looking for a good buy.
- Affordable office-wear – H&M has a professional clothing section. The quality can be hit or miss but you can sometimes find a unique dress or blazer at a great price. Be careful to consider whether items will wrinkle easily or show their wear quickly.
- Short season pieces – By short season, I’m referring to weather that only lasts a few months out of the year. This depends on where you live. For example, in Seattle, hot weather only last 2 months, 3 if we’re lucky! It makes sense to spend less on those items because you won’t wear them often but you may still want variety. H&M is a great store for this because of the price points.
- Basics – At the checkout counter there’s often a bin of socks, tights, and patterned/colored umbrellas for less than $10. Stock up!
Be cautious of:
- Quality – The most frustrating part of shopping at H&M is that quality varies significantly. Be wary of items that wrinkle easily, catch fuzz, or show their wear quickly. You may find items are thin and require an extra layer so underwear lines aren’t visible.
- Fit – Fit goes hand in hand with quality. Sometimes corners are cut and fit suffers. Armholes and sleeves may be large, shirts may be boxy, coats lining may be skimpy. Be critical.
- Sweaters – While you may get away with a cheap blouse or woven shirt, I find that poor quality sweaters do you no favors. They can make you look wider/fatter, stretch easily, and generally make you look the opposite of polished. Be very, very picky when it comes to knits and know that you’ll need to care for them (wash in cold water, don’t put in dryer).
Online store – Check out my previous post about the new US H&M online store
- Stick to accessories – The online store return policy will cost you a pretty penny if you don’t like the items, so be careful. I suggest sticking to accessories for now. I suspect they’ll soon provide the ability to return items to their stores so you can save on return shipping, but as it stands now you’ll pay $5.95 both ways. ($5.95 x 2 )= $11.90 just to try on items! It’s hard to justify that cost when you’re buying lower-priced pieces.
With this shopping information, you’re ready to shop H&M! I’ll be sharing my favorite pieces from the online store (though I still recommend trying them on in person to save on shipping). Stay tuned!
This post is for those of you who love flats but need some variety. Maybe you find yourself reaching for the same ballet flats over and over? Even worse, the same black flats? Maybe it’s time to spice things up and look at alternative closed-toe flat shoes. Here are some ideas and in-store options to get you out of your style rut!
1. Athletic flats – These are a combination of ballet flat and sneakers. Puma, Nike, and other athletic shoe companies will have options. They create a more sleek look than running/athletic shoes and can be incredibly comfortable.
2. Oxfords – Oxfords have been in for a couple of years now and they’ll be around for years to come. Very practical, comfortable. Can be worn casually or formally depending on the style. Wear oxfords with a feminine pieces, such as a blouse or skirt, and you have a nice juxtaposition of masculine and feminine – very modern. You’ll find oxfords everywhere and in an assortment of colors.
3. Loafers – Loafers can be tricky to style because they are associated with a mature, older look. Consider a bright color loafer and wear with trendy pieces so as not to date yourself or look older than you are!
4. Fashion sneakers – Think Toms/Keds/Converse. Iconic casual sneakers, not clunky, heavy sneakers. Pair them with unexpected pieces: blazers, skirts, feminine blouses and you’ll create a sophisticated look.
Utility vests can be a surprisingly versatile item. Wear in the Summer over dresses, tees, and tanks and also in the Fall and Winter by layering. You can belt them, wear them open, cropped, oversized. Here are 4 utility vest looks to give you outfit inspiration, vote for your favorite!
#2 – angelamatina.com
For the last installment of NAS 2013 favorites, I’ve saved what I consider the best for last: jackets! I absolutely love jackets and coats. NAS is a special treat for me because I get a sneak peek into the upcoming Fall offerings – very fun!
It may seem too soon to think about jackets and coats but there are great deals to be had. Below you’ll find lightweight jackets, blazers, trendy options, and winter coats. Enjoy!
|(L) Halogen Boucle Bomber
The bomber is the “it” jacket of 2013. Here is a professional option and a casual option. I love the boucle bomber purple color and the leather accents add a nice edge.
|(L) Halogen Hooded Leather Jacket
Casual jackets that fit well and flatter. The hooded leather jacket is a client favorite – Beautiful construction. The anorak is comfy and practical but still form-fitting with the elastic waist. Note that it is online only so won’t be found in stores.
|(L) Elie Tahari Minka Metallic Jacket
High quality, structured jackets for the professional woman. These 2 are beautiful in person, very well-made.
|(L) Olivia Moon Knit Blazer
(R) Nic + Zoe Knit Motorcycle Jacket
Knit blazer options that act as a nice alternative to cardigans. The Olivia Moon blazer is very comfortable and cozy but still structured.
|(L) Burberry Brit Quilted Jacket
For those of you who like the quilted, puffy jacket, here are 2 sporty jackets to keep you warm. Beautiful colors and defined at the waist.
|(L) Calvin Klein Leather Moto Jacket
Leather jackets for a great price. The moto is a classic cut and the cutaway jacket acts as a blazer – Perfect for the office!
|(L) Trina Turk Double Breasted Officer’s Coat
Very classic coats. The Trina Turk may be overwhelming on small frames but great for tall, statuesque women. Love the white Micheal Kors coat. It has a subtle ribbed texture.
|(L) Guess Double Breasted Coat
Structured double breasted wool coats- not in black! It can be difficult to find non-black winter coats – These 2 are my favorites of this year.
Let’s get right to it. Here are my favorite NAS 2013 accessories, underwear and activewear!
| (L) Tory Burch 53mm Glam Sunglasses
Tory Burch sunglasses on sale. These 2 are my favorites: a subtle cat-eye and classic aviator.
| (L) Nordstrom Graphic Print Wool Scarf
The scarf selection was slim this year but these 2 stood out. Check out the other colors as well. The cashmere wrap as over 10 colors to choose from!
I like to stock up on essential items like socks and underwear. This year I ended up saving about $150 by doing this! Here are my recommendations:
- Shimera Seamless Boyshorts – Perfect for wearing under thin skirts or pants to hide underwear lines. Some people find they roll-up up at the bottom and some swear by them. I recommend buying one pair and seeing if they work for you before stocking up.
- Warcoal La Femme Underwire Bra – Runs slightly small, you may need to try on your usual size and a band size larger to see which fits better. Provides great support.
- Zella Quarter Athletic Socks – Comfy, basic socks. Stock up.
- SmartWool Trellis Socks – Seattlelites love their SmartWool socks – perfect for the rain! If you’re a fan, take advantage of this sale, they’re usually pricey!
- Nordstrom Everyday Opaque Tights – I buy a bunch of these in black every year. Good quality and great sale price at $10.
| (L) Nike Legend Poly 2.0 Jacket
Nike Jacket is very flattering and the pants come in short and tall lengths!
| (L) Zella Trinity Jacket
Zella has a number of form-fitting jackets that create a sleek silhouette. These 2 are my favorites and they come in different colors – Worth checking out!
Many dresses to choose from this year, especially for those of you looking for dresses or skirts to wear to the office – Here are my dress picks for NAS 2013. Happy Shopping!
| (L) Taylor Jacquard Fit and Flare Dress
Fresh printed dresses by Taylor. The fit and flare is flattering on most body shapes. The black and red printed dress may be a tad short for those of you tall women who want to wear this to work, but otherwise these are 2 options perfect for the office!
| (L) Calvin Klein White Faux Leather Trim Sheath
Sleek, sophisicated dresses in black and white. These may be trendy with the faux leather details and contrast paneling but their simple, classic cuts won’t date easily. Wear them now in the Summer or with tights in the Fall.
| (L) Halogen Print Pencil Skirt
Pencil skirts can seem boring but these 2 have just the right details to add visual interest. The Halogen skirt also comes in a variety of solid colors!
Nordstrom anniversary sale provides an excellent opportunity to stock up on premium denim and quality pants that may usually be out of your price range. I find some clients have a hard time paying more than $100 for pants or jeans and with this sale many pants dip below that threshold – Take advantage of this, especially if you live in jeans!
| (L) Wit and Wisdom Black Jeans (R) Kut from the Kloth Jennifer Knit Jeans
If you are a jeans gal, you need a pair of black denim. Here are 2 great, affordable options.
| (L) rag & bone twill legging(R) J Brand ‘8112 Mid Rise Skinny Jean
The rag & bone twill leggings are soft and the color is perfect for Fall. Runs small so size up 1 or 2 sizes. J Brand offers very flattering jeans but often pricey. Here’s your chance to try them out at a lower cost.
| (L) NJDJ Boyfriend Jeans(R) Kut from the Kloth Mia Jeans
NJDJ brand isn’t known for being young and contemporary but these boyfriend jeans are surprisingly modern and flattering. They have a tighter fit than the usual slightly oversized boyfriend jeans, great for those of you who don’t like the saggy butt look. Kut from the Kloth makes many of my clients super happy. I recommend trying them out – Note, you may need to size down.