Could you resist shopping for an entire year? Holding off on buying a second pair of boots could help you save money for retirement, a house or vacation. In order to make it to your goal, you may find that you need to do more with the clothes you already own. Maria Von Losch, San Diego stylist and TV host, refrained from making any purchases for 365 days – and she wore a cute outfit every day. We talked to her about how she did it and asked her for tips so we could try 30 days of no shopping for ourselves.

SB: Why did you start your “365 no shopping” challenge? 

MVL: I really had no choice. I spent all my savings on shopping because I was in shock from my husband deciding that he no longer wanted to be married, out of the blue. I also thought it would be a great way to revisit all the pieces in my closet that I’ve ignored for years. I decided to blog about it daily to keep accountable, share my story and inspire other women.

SB: What were some challenges and how did you overcome them? 

MVL: Some of the challenges I faced were keeping on trend for each season, taking my outfit photo & blogging everyday and trying to date/have a relationship while having to explain why I had to blog every night and said guy might have to take my outfit pics. That didn’t go over with some guys. Read More

petite styling tips

photos courtesy of View From 5ft 2

If you’re under 5’4″, you’ve probably felt frustration while sifting through frumpy pleated pants and sweater sets in the Petite section of your local department store. Finding petite clothes that are youthful and stylish are Christine Petric‘s specialty. As a 5’2″ fashion blogger, she has gathered a list of petite resources that include both specialty and petite-friendly standard sizes. We asked her where she shops and her top petite styling tips.

SB: What are your favorite stores for stylish petite clothes?

CP: ​I love Anthropologie‘s broad selection as well as ASOS for my fast fashion pieces. J.Crew and LOFT do a great job of curating their best pieces in petite sizing and I can always find goodies at Nordstrom that fit! I put all of my petite shopping favorites in one place on my blog for quick reference as well!​

best stores for petite sizes

J.Crew – dress, ASOS – coat, Anthropologie – sweater, Nordstrom – leather jacket, LOFT – skirt

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Blogger Lindsay Mayer of Shipshow

Blogger Lindsay Mayer of Shipshow: illustration of Moschino sweatshirt – Lindsay Mayer

As a blogger and fashion forecaster, Lindsay Mayer writes about fashion designers’ influence on mass-market retailers. She tracks down low-cost options for looks she spots on the runway and breaks down how retail evolves to fit new trends. We asked her about her favorite fall trends and how we can also find high fashion at low prices.

SB: You have an uncanny ability to find items that look like they’re right off the runway but are available at less expensive stores. If I see something I like, what are your tips for finding a low-cost option?  Read More

You don’t have to be a fashion editor to know that wearing clothes that fit you well can be the difference between looking chic or dumpy. Author and image consultant Nancy Nix-Rice discusses how to identify a good fit, no matter where you shop.

Perfect Fit T-Shirt

crew neck tee – GAP, baseball tee – Forever21

“Even the priciest clothes look awkward and unattractive if they don’t fit perfectly.  And fit means a lot more than just ‘I can zip it.’  A garment should flow gracefully over your body, neither hugging too much or adding bulk in any area.  Given the diversity of female body shapes, an off-the-rack garment is likely to require some alteration to achieving great fit, but the comfort and style are well worth the investment.” – Nancy Nix-Rice 

Q. What are some guidelines to follow to select clothing that’s well-proportioned to my body?

Proportion is primarily about how the lengths of various garment components align with your body. The key is having hemlines – major design horizontals – hit at body areas that can benefit from the attention they draw and not break the outfit into a 50:50 ratio. Read More

How To Choose The Best Swim Suit

high-waisted bikini - Orchid Boutique

It’s officially swimsuit season and, as usual, I feel excitement and a little dread when thinking about what bathing suit I’m going to buy. Thankfully, Marisa of Orchid Boutique laid my fears to rest by answering my most pressing questions about how to choose the right swimsuit. She even shared a few tips on how to take care of my swim suits too!

SB: I’ve been working on flatter abs for a while but haven’t gotten there yet. Are there any tricks to distract from a midsection that isn’t perfectly toned?

MR: Definitely. We get this question a lot and we always suggest a high-waisted bikini! Why not add that extra fashion flair with a retro-style swimsuit? You’ll have more coverage around the belly area, and in turn it elongates the torso. High waisted bottoms are super stylish right now anyway, so it’s a win-win.

Create The Illusion Of Flat Abs

green bikini – Topshop, ruffle bikini – Orchid Boutique, red color block bikini – Marc by Marc Jacobs, blue bandeau bikini - Orchid Boutique

SB: Underwire or no underwire – how do I know which one is best for me?

MR: Underwire tops are so popular because you have that added benefit of lifting up or pushing up the cleavage area. You also have that extra support on top. I would say the ultimate factor of whether or not you want an underwire is if they are comfortable to you. A lot of women find underwires either extremely comfortable, or not at all. So make sure you know your comfort level before choosing that extra push up. Read More

Corporate Branding Expert Marisa Gouda

Marisa Gouda, Founder and Style Director of creative styling consulting firm, Dressed Up + Down, LLC

When I went on my first job interview straight out of college, I was at a loss for what to wear. I was going to a large fashion publishing company whose employees dressed fashionably but there didn’t appear to be a formal dress code. I wanted to look like I’d fit in, but I was afraid of appearing either too casual or too stuffy. Marisa Gouda outlines what to wear in this situation as well as what to wear to a more conservative corporate office. She also shares her advice on how to inject a little of your personality into your work wardrobe. Marisa is the Founder and Style Director of Dressed Up + Dressed Down (creative styling consulting firm). She is also a Certified Wardrobe Stylist, and has worked in the field of branding/brand management for half a decade.

SB:  What should I wear to an interview for each of the following jobs: (a) corporate conservative (b) corporate business casual (c) creative? 

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If you don’t take care of your bags and shoes, they’ll end up looking more cheap than chic, no matter how much they cost. Now that you’ve invested your hard earned cash in well-made classic accessories you can wear forever, make sure they last that long by cleaning and storing them properly.

Leslie Fuller, the founder of Bagadocious, walked us through how to make sure your accessories stand the test of time. (Bagadocious’s dust covers not only protect your bags and shoes but can be printed with images of their contents – ensuring you’ll be able to find your items quickly in your closet.)

SB: How should I clean my handbags before storage?  Read More

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