Fib Busting: Skinny Jeans

There is a common myth among women that you have to be extra slender to wear skinny jeans.  This is a big fat lie!! In fact, the right pair of skinny jeans can actually make you look taller and leaner.

One misconception is that skinny jeans are “skinny” all over.  True, they are fitted, but really the only difference between skinny jeans and a pair of boot or flare leg jeans is the leg shape below the knee.  The fit in the waist, butt, and thighs will be the same.  Obviously some are cut differently than others, so you’ll need to try on different pairs to get the right fit. Ideally, they’ll have stretch in them, skim your body but not be super tight, and will hit you right at the ankle without bunching.

If you’re going to buy a pair of jeans, get a dark rinse.  This will be versatile in that you can dress them up or down, and wear the jeans year round.

Here are a few pairs of skinnies no matter what your body shape! I encourage you to step out of your comfort zone and try on a pair or two the next time you go shopping.

Clockwise from top left:

Best All Around: Gap, $69.95

Great for Average or Petites: $69.50, Ann Taylor Loft

Plus-Size Pick: $69.95, Lane Bryant

Modest Classic: $40, JCPenney.


Now, you have your jeans.  How do you wear them?  The key is to balance the slim fitting bottoms with a little volume or layers on top.  I love a blazer or cardigan over a blouse for a simple look.  Finish the outfit with flats or pumps!

The below look would be perfect for fall or a casual Friday at the office!

Do you own skinny jeans? How do you wear them? Leave a note in the comments or tweet me at @smartstyletips and let me know!

1. Blazer, $39.95, H&M. 2. Blouse, $19.94, Old Navy. 3. Jeans, $69.50, Ann Taylor Loft. 4. Flats, $14.99, Target


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Cash Back for Shopping Online

 If you’re anything like me (and if you’re reading this blog, you probably are), then you know that online shopping can be a lot easier then running from store to store looking for something specific.  Today I want to share with you my favorite website that I utilize for every online purchase, Ebates!

Ebates gives you cash back (averages around 2-4%) for shopping online.  What’s more, there are coupon codes posted special deals like free shipping.  I’ve been using this site for a few months and have already earned close to $35 cash back.

After you sign up, the only thing you need to do to start earning rewards is to access the various websites through Ebates.  Then Ebates tracks your purchase and will automatically add money to your Ebates account.  After you’ve hit $15, Ebates will cut you a check or deposit the money into your PayPal account.  It really is that easy, so check it out today and start saving money!

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From the Archives: Shopping 101-Taking Inventory

Note: Below is a repeat of a post I did in 2009….I thought that many of my new readers could benefit from this crash-course in building a wardrobe.  Enjoy!!

Over the past few years of working in the retail industry and speaking with countless women,  I’ve come to the conclusion that many women out there are shopping aimlessly, and therefore spending unnecessary money.  The best analogy I can give here is the grocery store.  What happens when you go to the grocery store with no list, hungry?  You buy a lot really strange food and spend way more money then you should have.  The same goes for clothes shopping! If you shop with a purpose, you tend to stay focused, buy things  you actually need, don’t duplicate things you already have, and in the long run save money.

Taking inventory is pretty simple.  The first thing you need to do is pull everything out of your closet and under the bed.  By everything, I mean everything. Start by sorting by category of clothing (short sleeve tops, tanks, sweaters, casual pants, dress pants, skirts, dresses, etc).  As you are sorting, go through and decide what you are keeping and what you would like to get rid of.  Be honest with yourself–if you haven’t worn it in 2 years, get rid of it.  Let’s make room for more clothes! (Tip: Try selling your clothes to consignment/secondhand shops like Plato’s Closet.  You’ll get rid of your stuff and make some money for your new wardrobe in the process).

After you have everything sorted through, put it back in your closet, by category and color.  This will help you see any personal taste trends.  As you are hanging each category up, write down what you have.  You can keep this really general (ex: Polos in pink, blue, and white).  Or you can get detailed down to the brand and size level.  This kind of detail will help you hone in on the right size when shopping in familiar stores.

After you have taken inventory, step back and look at your wardrobe.  Is your wardrobe very heavy in one category and lacking in another?  Think about where you wear your clothes the most often.  If you spend 5 days of the week in a business casual office environment, but you only have 2 pairs of dress pants/skirts, you may need to focus on building your work wardrobe.

Next, make a wish list of things that you think would help fill in the holes of your wardrobe.  Before you start buying trendy pieces, make sure you have a good foundation of basic pieces of which to build upon.  The more basic pieces you have, the further you can make your “fashion” purchases go.  I’m going to relate this to grocery shopping again.  There are certain things you probably try to have on hand at all times–eggs, milk, sugar, bread, spices, flour, etc.  These “main ingredients” can be combined in different ways, with other ingredients, to make completely different meals.  The same is true for your wardrobe.

I’ve listed some good examples of basics below–but remember this is just some examples to get you started, not a comprehensive list.

- Cardigans in neutral colors

- Black trousers

- Camis and thin layering tees in a variety of colors

- Casual, non denim pants

- Black pumps, black boots, black flats (also applicable in brown)

-A great pair of well fitting jeans

-A few button down, solid shirts

- A black pencil skirt

- Solid V-Neck, thin sweaters that are also good for layering

-A good structured jacket/blazer

Look at your closet and decide if you have the basics covered.  If not, then make a list of things you need and keep it in your handbag, along with your inventory list.  The next time you are out shopping and are tempted to buy another pair of khakis, look at your list and see that you actually need some tops because you have 25 pairs of casual pants (that you can only wear on the weekend).  Just an example, but you get the idea.  Also, when you are looking to buy a “fashion” piece (like a zebra print blazer), you will have a list of things you own in your closet, which will help you decide if you have items already that will work with that purchase. A focused shopper is a savvy shopper, and I can guarantee that you will save yourself some money, and some scary impulse purchases, if you have a game-plan going in to the stores.

I hope this helps!  Let me know your thoughts and shopping tips in the comments.

Happy Shopping!

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Style Review: Nine West “Gwendle” Pump

A few months ago I was on the hunt for the perfect pair of black pumps for work.  They needed to be stylish, around a 4″ heel, a classic shape, all leather and under $70.  Lastly, they needed to be comfortable!  I searched high and low and finally found these at DSW:

(Nine West “Gwendle”, $59.95, DSW)

I’ve been wearing these shoes for about 3 months now and I just bought two more pairs.  If you’re looking for the perfect pump for the office, this is it! I will admit that these were a little snug when I first bought them, but after a week of wear the leather stretched to the perfect width.  Also, this shoe comes in Narrow, Medium, and Wide widths!  The shoe has held up great with continuous wear.

In addition, DSW carries this shoe in a camel color in leather, and also in some prints and a faux-patent leather, too!

If you’re looking for a classic black pump to add to your wardrobe, I highly recommend this shoe! 5 out of 5 stars!

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How To Wear: Sheath Dresses

When building a wardrobe, some may think that dresses are less versatile than separates.  However, if you buy the right dress, you can get a lot of wear out of it! Dresses are great because they can easily go from day to night, and are appropriate no matter what office environment you’re in (casual, business casual, or business).

My favorite type of dresses are sheath dresses.  A sheath dress fits close to the body, is usually cap sleeved or sleeveless, and hits at the lower thigh or just at the knee.  This is a classic, timeless piece that will make a great addition to your closet!

I personally love printed sheath dresses.  The key here is to find a print that has black in it, as this makes the dress appropriate year round.  Here’s a few ways to wear a sheath dress, and my picks of some great dresses out there!


Spring/Summer: a fun sandal and a statement necklace is all you need to pull this off in warmer weather.

Fall/Winter: Try a leather jacket over the dress, with boots and tights! (Tip: wear a slip under the dress to keep the dress from clinging to the tights)

Business Casual

Spring/Summer: Try a peep-toed pump in a fun contrasting color and a skinny belt at the waist.

Fall/Winter: A colored v-neck cardigan belted at the waist, paired with black tights and pumps or boots make this an easy outfit for the fall and winter.


Spring/Summer: A classic pump and a blazer with the sleeves rolled up make this an effortless look for the office.

Fall/Winter: In the cooler months, add black pantyhose to the blazer and pumps.

My Sheath Dress Picks

(Clockwise from Top Left)

1. Ann Taylor, $69  2. JCPenney, $36 3. Ann Taylor Loft, $69.50 4. Dress Barn, $49.50

Do you wear sheath dresses? Will you make the investment in a sheath dress this fall? Leave a note in the comments and let me know!

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Fancy Shoe Friday


I’m starting something new on the blog this week, fancy shoe Friday! We actually do this in my office–my team and I wear fabulous shoes on Fridays.  Why not?

Here’s my pick for today, the Cordy by Nine West ($49.00-$99.00).  I have it in this snakeskin, but the shoe comes in all sorts of fun colors and prints.  Don’t be fooled by the high heel, the platform makes this pair actually pretty comfortable.  Also, I swear by these Dr. Scholl’s for Her High Heel Insoles.  I have them in every pair of shoes I own!

What fancy shoes are you wearing today?

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