Archive of ‘Style Guides’ category

Summer Vacation Outfit Ideas: 12 Pieces, 8 Looks

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‘Tis the season for summer vacations. Since we do a lot of traveling, we’ve learned how to minimize packing woes while maximizing the wow factor of our outfits. We found the must-have summer bag that does it all – you can wear it whether traipsing through the city or lounging on the beach. Pair it with any of the 11 other essential summer packing pieces, and you will have countless options to mix and match no matter the destination.

Women's Summer Travel Packing Style Guide | The Emerald Palate

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1 Madras Shirt, 3 Looks for Covet Fridays

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Last weekend we were helping a client overhaul his wardrobe. All was going well until we came upon the infamous gingham shirt.

As soon as he saw it, his eyes got wide and he insisted it was too fancy for his casual style. The next twenty minutes consisted of us convincing him it was versatile and showing him the outfits to prove it.

Lucky us, he became a believer and now is a happy owner of a beautiful gingham dress shirt.

It got us thinking, if he is having trouble with the seemingly tame gingham print, there must be other dress shirt patterns that raise even more cause for concern.

Enter, the madras shirt.

Madras is a lightweight cotton that typically takes the form of colorful plaid fabrics. Since these shirts can oftentimes be loud and reserved for summertime, we wanted to find a madras shirt that was versatile and could be worn into the fall.

Below, we present you with the perfect madras shirt to transition into the cooler weather. We also created three looks around the shirt, ranging from fancy to casual. Hopefully this helps you put your mind at ease and inspires you to purchase a madras shirt of your own.

madras shirt

one shirt, three looks style guide

The madras shirt – J.Crew Madras Plaid Shirt – $73

From Left to Right:

Look 1: Trousers – $445, Blazer – $450, Skinny Tie – $16, Wingtip Shoes – $198, Satchel – $52

Look 2: Blue Shorts – $200, Striped Sweater – $220, Socks – $16.50, Boots – $180

Look 3: Denim – $150, Fatigue Jacket – $180, Jack Purcell’s – $50

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Tough, Modern, Casual Mood Board

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We met with a client this weekend who is looking for a personal shopper to help him use style to get rid of his good boy appearance. He mentioned Johnny Depp being a style icon of his because he looks up to his nonchalant bad boy vibe.

Using Mr. Depp as a starting point, we realized no one better embodies this transition from good boy to bad than Zac Efron. After obtaining a squeaky clean reputation from the High School Musical franchise, Efron transformed his personal style to slowly phase out his good boy image. Now, he’s one of the most sartorial young male actors.

As the first step to consulting our client, we created the below mood board to give focus to our mission: embody a tough, modern, and casual aesthetic during our journey of transforming him from good-boy college student to an edgy and urban professional man.

Zac Efron style mood board

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Oxblood Fall Look

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We’re totally obsessed with the oxblood color invading the fashion scene this season. We’re especially obsessed with these ankle booties from MANGO, so when we saw the brand was hosting a contest on Polyvore we figured we’d try out hand at our ideal fall look.

We envision this worn with minimal face makeup minus a bold oxblood lip and a messy chignon. Style details would include the white shirt under the dress, with the collar and cuffs popping out. What do you think? We say bring on the sartorial season of the year.

Winter Aesthetic with Mango and That's Chic

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The New Business Casual: Summer Conference Style

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This week is full of conferences in Seattle, from Microsoft’s TechReady event to SEOmoz’s MozCon. Living in Seattle we’re fortunate to have big brands with a laid back attitude, so what is acceptable attire at these conferences are different than the old school way of thought. It seems more and more conferences are letting loose and offering a common ground for attendees to be comfortable and stand out. Thus, we’ve created a summer conference style guide to help you rethink business casual. Get ready to make an impression (don’t forget those business cards!).

Old School DOs and DON’Ts

  • DO stay neutral for professional conferences stuck in the old school of thought.
  • DO wear sturdy shoes. Get modestly playful with the shape, but keep it essentially close toed.
  • DO choose a cap-sleeved dress in order to stay cool, but still be professional in the summer months.
  • DON’T over accessorize. A few key subdued statement pieces are enough.


  • New School DOs and DON’Ts

  • DO add some color!
  • DO slightly dress up casual pieces, like a light-weight chambray shirt.
  • DO take advantage of more casual affairs and wear smart flats.
  • DON’T forget tailoring. Fit is always important. The low key vibe is not an excuse to look sloppy.
  • The New Business Conference Wardrobe
    * Click on the image to see product details

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    Men’s Summer Shoe Guide for Covet Fridays

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    Travis here. I’ll be honest, I’m more of a winter shoe guy. I have a thing against sandals, so I find it particularly difficult to change up my kicks during the warmer season. So I’m constantly on a mission to find shoes that fit into my rules but also offer a break from the shoes I wear year round.

    Here’s my list of men’s must-have summer shoes:
    (click on the image to visit the site they are from)

    1. Espadrilles
    These are blowing up in men’s fashion this year, and I can’t be more excited about all the sweet interpretations of the classic espadrilles shoe. Plus, these are typically an affordable shoe so you can have fun with colors and patterns, whereas I’d probably recommend staying classic with the more expensive summer shoes. Here are some of my favorites from around the web.

    mens carpenter striped espradilles mens espradilles

    2. Boat Shoes
    Quintessentially summer, boat shoes should be in every man’s wardrobe. They come in a variety of colors that can really add pop to your look. And designers are really playing with the shape of the boat shoe this year. For a guy like me who is big on shoe shape, this really widens the options.

    mens dock shoes pointy toe mens boat shoe orange boat shoes for men

    3. Slip-On Shoes
    This is a pretty versatile category, and there are a ton of options from leather to canvas. I am obsessing over these leather sandals that are CLOSE TOED. I can see them going perfectly with a pair of muslin or linen pants for a Colombian-inspired look. I’m also loving the play on men’s smoking loafers, but with a summer twist.

    mens smoking loafer with tassle canvas mens brown closed toe leather sandal preforated slip ons for men

    4. Men’s Summer Brogues
    I can’t give up my brogues during the summer months, but I like to change it up by investing in some summer-appropriate versions of this classic. Think color, perforated, cutouts, and materials. Also, consider forgoing the socks, unlacing the shoe, and rolling up your pants for a thrown-together vibe.

    navy preforated summer brogues for men gray suede summer brogues mens summer brogues
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    Women’s Makeup Essentials

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    I’ll be the first to admit I’m not much of a makeup girl. I am way too anal about having perfect skin that a ton of makeup freaks me out. So I’ve always been about the natural look and focused on finding the best beauty products for women.

    As a result, I’ve been able to decrease my makeup arsenal to only a handful of products that I swear by. From drug store to designer brands, here are my go-to makeup essentials that I use everyday and advise every woman to own.

    makeup every woman should own

    1. NARS blush in Orgasm – $24
    2. Maybelline Mineral Power liquid concealer – $14
    3. NARS bronzing powder in Laguna – $34
    4. Sephora Glossy Gloss in Bronzed Beauty – $10
    5. Eyebrow brush – $10 (Tip: I use this to perfect eyelashes after mascara application)
    6. Urban Decay Urban Ammo Eye Palette – $38 (best colors are Sin, Maui Wowie, and Smog!)
    7. Lancome Juicy Tubes lip gloss in Raspberry Ice – $18
    8. Loreal Studio perfecting base primer – $11
    9. Shiseido eyelash curler – $19
    10. MAC lipstick in Viva Glam – $14.50
    11. MAC Cremestick Liner in Red Enriched – $14.50
    12. Revlon Color Stay eyeliner in black – $5
    13. Maybelline Full ‘N Soft waterproof mascara in black – $7.75
    14. LORAC Oil-Free Wet/Dry Foundation Powder – $36

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    Valentine’s Day Indulgences for Covet Fridays

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    Love is in the air, so we thought we’d repeat another Valentine’s Day gift guide this year and bring you our picks for an indulgent day for the lady in your life. Whether you are single and looking to pamper yourself or need some inspiration for that special woman, here are some ideas to make your Valentine’s Day one to remember.

    vday gift guide

    1. Book – $30. Curl up with the book 100 Ideas that Changed Fashion.

    2. Body lotion – $23. Sweet smelling and skin smoothing.

    3. Playsuit – £50. Girly and sexy all in one.

    4. Black diamond bracelet – $170. Artisan Parisian jewelry from our friends over at Shop Paris with Love.

    5. Pumps – £62. Sky-high heels that will make her feel sexy.

    6. Hanky Panky Retro Thong – $23. The most comfortable and effective shapewear available.

    7. Rosebud salve – $6. Hands down the best lip softening salve.

    8. Rings – $68. Let her know she’s worth more than just one.

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    Women’s Birthday Wish List for Covet Fridays

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    Since today is my birthday, I thought it fitting to create a style guide of all the items I desperately want to own. Thus, I’m taking a cue from last year and creating a birthday wish list.

    I took New Year’s Day as an opportunity to clear out my entire wardrobe. I have three huge bags of clothes for my friends to go through, and it makes me feel like a huge weight has been taken off my shoulders. I found items I had forgotten about, and pieces I once thought were hideous spoke to me in a new way. I’m feeling really good about where my wardrobe is right now, but there are still a few pieces I think would round out my collection and add something special. I’ve outlined those here in my birthday wish list guide.

    Hopefully I’ll be opening some of these over the weekend, but if not you better believe I’ll be doing some shopping and self gifting soon :)

    What is the best birthday present you’ve ever received?

    birthday gift ideas for women

    1. Crocheted Headband – $20
    2. Nude Slingbacks – $49.50
    3. Gloves – $18
    4. Nude Lip Liner – $10
    5. Striped Tee – $42
    6. Lipstick – $24
    7. Gray Bootie – $264
    8. Penfield Parka – $185
    9. iPad – $499
    10. Hexagon Ring – $295

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