Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Current Designer Obsession: AntoniMichelle

Recently, I had the opportunity to be a part of the Dallas Fashion Week Twitter Party premiere fashion show. The designer showcased on this night was AntoniMichelle, and I have to say that from the first time I saw her designs, I was in love! One of her statements about her designs is that she wants to "bring out the goddess in every woman". Truth be told, her designs do just that! From tall, short, thin and curvy, her designs bring out the beauty in any lady wearing them. I have a little secret to tell about her also... Men's designs are among her bag of tricks!

It's not everyday that one can say that she was a part of the making of fashion future, but I believe that I can say just that. It can honestly be said that every piece that AntoniMichelle showcased was divine. She will be showcased in the upcoming Dallas Fashion Week October 20-22, 2011, and I can't wait! When you visit her site, you will also find that she designs awesome belts and handbags. Can you say one-stop diva shop? Check out this designer's chic-ness at http://www.antonimichelle.com/.

Until next time, I am your passionately driven.... ChristalNicole

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

No Cost Wardrobe Expansion...

The economy has been hard on lots of people, and I hear people talk about how they do not have the money for shopping... Do you hear the horns? What about the fireworks announcing that SUPERWONDERAWESOME WOMAN (ChristalNicole) has come to the rescue?! With a few simple tricks and a little imagination, you can double or even triple your wardrobe, without spending a penny (unless you just can't help yourself).
Above, you will see that I have shown one dress in three different ways. I apologize that you can't see the shoes in two of the pictures, but I paired mid-calf black stiletto boots with the scarf and purple/black stilettos with the big hair... For a totally different feel and fun day out, I wore a colorful belt, earrings and ballet flats.
Now, let's look inside your closet and see what we find. Pull out one pair of jeans (or slacks), one solid color skirt, a button-down, a tank top, and any other top that you particularly like. Guess what you've just done. You have just pulled your ensembles for the week! I know that seemed too simple to make sense, but look at all of the items that you have pulled out. Any of the tops should be able to pair with the slacks or the skirt. The tank top could easily be placed under the button-down as a layering piece, and with sleeves rolled up on the button-down, cute flats and minimal jewelry, you have a casual outfit for shopping, hanging out or a casual playdate. Change the garments and the mood of the ensemble with jewelry, belts, shoes, hats, scarves, etc. Accessorize to mesmerize! Show your personality, and don't be afraid to use color in all of it's glory!
Tracee Ellis Ross is a total style diva, right? Featured in many blogs and fashion articles, I totally couldn't help but to make my love for her style known also. Check out the way that she has accessorized and played with color in the above outfits. You may not have these exact pieces in your closet, but if you have a pair of slacks, a blazer, and a dress, then you are good to go...
Hopefully, this has been another successful day for SUPERWONDERAWESOME WOMAN and your closet has been expanded! If you are still having trouble with outfit ideas, you know how to reach me http://www.christalnicole.com/
To add a few signature pieces to your wardrobe, check out some of my faves:
http://rstyle.me/mfvh32fd Canvas vest
http://rstyle.me/a2fd Slim waistband crop pants
http://rstyle.me/6nmh2fd Tank dress
http://rstyle.me/mui2fd Steve Madden black pump
http://rstyle.me/kifjj2fd Pussybow shirt dress
http://rstyle.me/a2fd White skinny jeans
As always, I am your passionately driven... ChristalNicole

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Housewife Sizzlin', Not Fizzlin'...

Uh-oh, did your man just come home to you still in your robe, hair uncombed and possibly unbathed? Do you feel like it was ok, because you were taking care of the children all day and didn't leave the house? Are you a woman who feels like "he should love me as I am, no matter what"? If so, then let's just put all of the nonsense aside, and change the mentality right now!
I am not writing this blog as a marriage and family counselor, but for some, it will be an eye-opener into yet another area that fashion touches. Can you not see why I'm so passionate about fashion?! Housewives too can be fashionable!
Yes, I understand that you may have been with your partner for years, and he's seen you at your best and worst. However, if he's been seeing you at your worst most often, don't be surprised if the romance is fizzling and the sparks are hard to catch. If he loves seeing you in a t-shirt and panties for bed, then by all means, keep making it happen. However, if you've been donning the granny gown and flannels for the major part of your nights, then something similar to the above would be a nice change for the man of your life.
Being a housewife and mother myself, I totally understand the urge to "bum" around the house and the days when motivation to "spruce up" is lacking. However, the reward that I receive, when my husband comes home from work, looks at me with a sparkle in his eye and says "you're just so cute, you can't help it"... Well, it's more than worth the effort to tidy my hair and throw on a simple cute dress or ensemble. Did you catch that? Simple...
Sundresses, shirt dresses, rompers and jumpers are the simplest outfits ever, simply because they are one piece! These pieces are easy to throw on, right after a shower and before the man of your life comes in or even to make a trip to the grocery store and running errands. After all, it's not just about the way your husband sees you, when he comes home, but also the way that you represent yourself and your family in the public eye...
Other simple ensembles are the classic t-shirt and jean, shorts or casual trouser. I've put a picture of one of my favorite looks that includes palazzo pants. I LOVE these pants, because they not only speak to my eccentricity and goal of uniqueness, but they are mega-comfortable! You will also see pictured examples of simple tops. "T-shirt" does not mean pulling out the old moth-eaten, paint-stained and dingy underarm gym shirt from "back in the day". Just keep it simple with a cute feminine top or tank.
Remember, just because you're a wife and mommy full-time does NOT mean that you can't also be fashionable. You will find that when you spend a little time on your simple out of the day, you will not only look better but feel better! You know what else? You've just spend a little time on you, without having to "make" time for yourself...
We spend so much time in these full-time household positions taking care of just that- the household. I cook. I clean. I take care of others fashion inquiries and needs, etc., etc... I realized the other day how perky it makes me feel to still make my husband smile and to continue to feel sparks in our relationship both, because I still represent the woman he married, and because I still feel like his #1 girl. I wanted to share how fashion helps make that happen...
As always, I am your passionately driven ChristalNicole...

Shop this story:

http://rstyle.me/2q82fd Gap roll-up shorts
http://rstyle.me/e43mt2fd ASOS off the shoulder dress
http://rstyle.me/bah272fd Old Navy skinny jeans
http://rstyle.me/e5jwr2fd ASOS palazzo pants
http://rstyle.me/kaf4k2fd ASOS cut away tank

Some other sites you can find similar looks and great deals:
http://www.target.com/
http://www.walmart.com/
http://www.forever21.com/ (you all know how I love forever21 shoes)
http://www.kohls.com/

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Color blocking for Him...

Color blocking is an awesome hot trend that, yes, ChristalNicole has written about already. However, I feel compelled to elaborate on how great this trend can look on our guys also.For you guys who love color, this is a great excuse for you to rock it!
As seen in the photo above, pairing solids can create a unique and creative look. I've expressed to my females the fact that you can take any two or three solid primary colors and create a "put together" look. It can be as simple as green tee and red pants.
For my guys who are a little more "color shy", color blocking can also be achieved with earth tones and neutrals, as seen in Perry Ellis' collection below. For Perry Ellis shopping, check out www.perryellis.com.

There's so many tips and so much advice for the ladies. Today, I had guys on the mind.
Color blocking - Add it to your style meter guys!
As always, I remain your passionately driven ChristalNicole...

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

How I Made Vintage Work for Me in New York...

Those who know me, know that I love vintage. I love everything about the "hunt" for that fashionable vintage piece, the re-make of a piece to update a look and the "one-of-a-kind" vintage jewelry piece!
Recently, I visited the New York City for Full Figure Fashion Week (FFFWeek). It was my first time in New York, so I was both excited about the events of FFFWeek and the initial experience of being in the big city! My first night there, I pulled out vintage by throwing on a green, knitted, patterned summer sweater with leggings and flats. Uber-comfortable and apparently, leggings are a big trend in New York.
I've picked out two of my favorite outfits of the trip to show how one can look like a "million", while only spending "pennies"...
To attend the Networking Event, I pulled on a white boyfriend blazer with a super cute strapless dress and BCBG wedges. The white boyfriend blazer was a thrift find for $2, the necklace a thrift find for $0.50. The dress was also a great deal from Rue21 (find cute, trendy and inexpensive outfit ideas at www.rue21.com) and can also be worn as a skirt! Pulling on the white blazer worked to give the frilly dress a more laid back feeling, while still looking "put together".
My finale garment was total success, and it was totally vintage (except the shoes, because they were Forever21 www.forever21.com)! This black and gold beaded dress worked perfectly for the semi-formal event and only cost me $12 in a thrift store! I was completely excited to wear it and overjoyed with the positive response that it got. This dress was perfect for my "minimalist" style and personality. No jewelry needed. The dress speaks for itself...
New York was a blast and a true revelation of big city life (a little of a shock to this small town girl). In addition, this trip gave me more assurance in who I am as a stylist, fashionista and entrepreneur, and more confidence was gained in myself as a whole...
Until next time, I continue to be passionately driven...
ChristalNicole

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Bubble Dreams...

I sat outside and watched as my boys blew their bubbles and allowed the wind to create huge spheres of bubble rainbows. Mesmerized and entranced by the beauty and mystery of the bubble, I found myself asking "Why?". Why are we so fascinated by bubbles and no matter what our age, why do they make us smile? Could it be how lightly they float- drifting slowly farther and farther away but never saddening us with their departure? Maybe it's the beautiful mixture of color we see swirling incessantly, even dreamily, along their surfaces...
Whatever the fascination, on this day I equated the beauty and fragility of the bubble to dreams. Yes, I'm a total dreamer. I believe in chasing after one's dreams and never losing hope. As I watched the bubbles flying out of the bubble wand, I noticed how sometimes huge bubbles were formed and how, from the same wand, lots of small ones. Metaphorically speaking, I am the bubble wand, producing the greatest of dreams both big and small. I have several choices. I can obsess over the beauty and potential of those dreams and never take action to make them come true, or I can chase those dreams, watch them rise and flourish and have fulfillment when the dream bubble bursts and becomes reality...
No, this blog is not specifically about fashion, but it is about passion...
Don't just be a dreamer. Follow your dreams, and make them come true...
passionately driven... ChristalNicole...

Monday, May 16, 2011

Spotted Vision...

I'm seeing spots everywhere, and I LIKE it! Anything different, spunky, and full of personality is totally in my sights, and right now, I'm loving polka dots. This look hit the runways this year with total fierceness, showing us new and innovative ways to wear this all but new pattern.

Polka dots were seen in collections, including Lanvin, Stella McCartney, Gucci, Marc Jacobs, and Dolce & Gabbana. Though I love these designers and their fashions, I'm here to talk about ways to incorporate this trend within your wardrobe without "breaking the bank". Of course, I will mention a couple of my fave discount stores, such as Dot's Fashions, Ross Stores and Marshalls (I saw the cutest polka-dot bubble shorts and skirt in Dot's today, fyi). Also, shop http://www.kmart.com/, or visit a local store, for affordable fashions, including an awesome polka-dot bikini! If you're still in need of a polka-dot fix, then check out http://www.target.com/ and http://www.599fashion.com/.
So get out there and shop those polka-dots! Add a cute pair of polka-dot shoes to your minimalist ensemble to show your style personality or a colorful polka-dot scarf to give that 1940s/50s vintage vibe. The options and possibilities are endless!
Until next time, I am your passionately driven... ChristalNicole...

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Color My Emotion...



I've always loved the effect that clothing has on my mood and presentation, especially when I wear something bright and colorful on a rainy day! So many of us don't realize how our outfit has and can effect our mood, and in some cases, our performance in daily and work-related activities. Have you ever noticed a plethora of dull-blah garments on a rainy or cloudy day? What about the increase in motivation to do your hair and make-up, when you put on a cute/nice outfit and the decreased motivation, when you're dressed like a "bum"? Yes people, our clothes make a difference in so many ways, and believe it or not, so do the colors!
Wonder why you feel so sexy in that red dress (maybe even a little naughty, at times)? The color red is actually a strong emotional color. Different shades of red, including pink, evoke and emanate emotions ranging from joy, sexuality, passion, love, rage and anger. Red-orange corresponds to desire, sexual passion, pleasure and a thirst for action.
We see alot of orange and yellow in the color blocking trend of the season. These colors are very appealing, due to their connection with sunshine, joy and happiness. Try putting on a yellow top on a rainy day and feel the difference, when you walk outside. No more singing "rain, rain go away". Hello, Gene Kelly "singin' in the rain"!

The color blue is often associated with depth and stability. It is known to be calming to the mind and spirit. Blue is very acceptable to males. I am in a household where I am the only female, and guess what, so far their favorite color is blue (go figure). Blue is also associated with depth, stability and expertise. Now pull that blue "power suit" out of the back of the closet and regain that confidence in the office...
This blog came to me the other day, when I was sitting on the couch, feeling like I had been a "bum" all day. Sometimes, we all need a "pick me up", and I thought about how I could have changed the events of my whole day, simply by using something that I myself am passionate about...FASHION... There are so many ways that fashion effects our daily lives, and it doesn't have to be in a way that involves spending money. Just a simple act of choosing a bold color to brighten a gray day, wearing that "flowy" white top (because white is associated with purity, innocence and new beginnings) to motivate you toward a fresh start or choosing that powerful black dress (because black evokes feelings of power, elegance, depth and mystery) to your first date or to a dinner meeting with a prospective client, can be a life-changing experience.
Until next time, I am your passionately driven ChristalNicole...

For more information about color and emotion connections, research "color psychology" and check out sites, such as http://www.color-wheel-pro.com/color-meaning.html

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Look Expensive without the Expense...

"I'll bet you spend lots of money on your clothes, don't you?"
How many times have you been asked this question, and you were able to just smirk with satisfaction over how untrue a statement like that is? Some of us can truly say that was the case for us, but there of those of you out there who feel that you actually DO have to spend lots of money, in order to look great. Don't look down your nose at me for shopping "low budget smart". Episodes 1204 and 1121 of Style TV's "How Do I Look?" had me jumping up and down at their mentioning and giving examples of low cost shopping! You can check out their before and after makeovers at http://www.mystyle.com/.
The slip dress pictured above is a fun and sassy example of cuteness for very little "mula"! I found this beauty on http://www.target.com/ for only $23 bucks! Have you been caught up in the convertible dress love fest? Check out this beauty also found on Target.com for about $35!

I'm so giddy when I find a deal, and I love LOVE to see items on TV and celebrities that I have also found for myself! Why? Because I know that I didn't spend half as much as they did!
Target is only one of many stores to satisfy your "expensive" taste with your "frugal" budget. Check out other sites and stores such as http://www.rossstores.com/, http://www.walmart.com/, http://www.tjmaxx.com/  and http://www.marshallsonline.com/... If you're a lover of name brand, high-five me now, because name brands you will also find at Ross Stores, TJ Maxx, Marshalls, and, hold your breath, Dot's and DD's Discount stores!
Oh yeah, baby, I know you love me, because I have just assisted you in the saving of some of your money, in an economy that is struggling...
Next time, we shall talk about how to expand your wardrobe, without spending a dime! Say what?!
Passionately Driven... Signing out until next time!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

A little sandal etiquette...

Open-toe sandals, strappy heels, wedges, flip-flops and more...
It is again that season to let those toes free! Show off your pedicures and sexy toe-cleavage! However, there are a few things that must be said and a few rules that MUST be adhered to. One of the number one rules that absolutely must not be broken is as follows: When wearing open-toe shoes, NEVER allow your toes to hang over the front of your shoes or touch the ground as you walk. A tip for avoiding this is to go a half-size up in your shoe, if necessary. The foot tends to slide forward as we walk, and if the shoe is fitting perfectly, with no space in front of the toes before you walk, then your toes are most likely going to slide over the front of the shoe, as the day progresses. As indicated in the picture above, this sight is very unattractive and takes away from both the beauty of the shoe and the neatness of your well-deserved/mandatory pedicure. Remember, these are peep-toe shoes and not "peep-front of the foot", open-toe and not "floor-toe".
A few other tidbits we must remember, in regards to sandals, this season: the aforementioned mandatory pedicure and the importance of moisturizer on the feet and ankles. Why is a pedicure mandatory? Because crusty, dingy, or discolored toenails are unattractive, no matter how "pretty" your toes and feet "could" be. Therefore, even if you can not afford to have a professional pedicure, clean, filed and healthy toenails should be the vision that one sees when you pass. I shouldn't have to say why moisturizer is important, but it is amazing how many women (and men) present their feet with peeling heels and dry feet.
Fashionista/ers! You bought those wonderful, fashionable shoes to be show-stoppers,signature pieces, objects of envy and beauty! Let your shoe shine and complete that great outfit. Don't allow a fashion faux pas be the killer of your potential fashion moment.
Lots of love!
Join me as one of fashion's "passionately driven"....