Prepping for Fall

Even though the high temperatures don’t agree, fall is just around the corner.  As we begin to think about the change of season, we are bustling with activities.  Whether we are tailgating, shopping, exploring nature, or just commuting to work, it’s time to Prep for Fall.  With trends and styles ranging from ridiculous to the expected, it’s difficult to know which direction to head.  A staple classic, but popular trend for fall 2014, is directly in line with my personal style aesthetic…the preppy look.  Regardless of your autumn adventures, The Stylish Steed has some preppy looks to bring your fall fashion forward.

Weekend Prep

This casual, yet put together look is perfect for any weekend outing.  By layering classic pieces, you are able to maximize your look.

Weekend Prep

The foundation of this outfit, a denim button up from Gap, can be used in a multitude of ways.  Top it with a graphic sweater from J. Crew Factory to add personality and fun to your look.  Don a great quilted vest (J. Crew Factory) and a pop of color with these rustic gold straight leg pants from Talbots, and you are ready for any excursion.  Consider a tall riding boot (DSW), a staple from recent seasons, to elevate this look to the ultimate level of prep.

Casual Prep

For those events that require a little more refined look, consider a comfortable ensemble with refined details.

Casual Prep

The navy blazer is a classic item that is really trending this season for women.  A traditional masculine item, this blazer (H&M) is tailored for a woman.  A multicolored button up from J. Crew Factory brings life to this polished look.  Pair with a lighter wash straight leg jean (Gap), a colorful statement necklace (Charming Charlie), and a great flat with gold detail (DSW) to complete the look.

Business Prep

It’s bad enough to have to go to work during these beautiful fall days, let’s not add insult to injury by doing it in a bad outfit.  For those of us in the daily grind, a business prep look is exactly what we need to cure those boardroom blues.

Business Prep

A classic khaki pencil skirt with a pinstripe button up, both from J. Crew Factory, can be quite a bore, but you can excite this look with a few added details and accessories.  A great cranberry cardigan (Gap) adds a polished collegiate feel, while the leopard skinny belt provides just a peek of pattern to your waist.  You can never go wrong with pearls, and if you’re going to wear pearls, more is more.  This layered pearl necklace from Charming Charlie gives a big impact while still maintaining a traditional, preppy feel.  Finish off with pearl detail earrings and you’re destined for the corner office.

Incorporating prep into your wardrobe can bring a breath of fresh air to your tired duds.  Polished, yet casual.  Refined, yet a touch rugged.  The preppy look is fully encompassing fashion at its best and always a classic way to stay stylish!

Pushing His Buttons

Virginia Beach native, Jason Button, is keeping things tied up in Alabama’s capital city. The son of a skilled woodworker and a cross-stitching mother, Button has set out to create a business that provides the gents with quality bow ties and pocket squares.

button's bow ties

Button’s Bow Ties, a new development that began earlier this year, was never an initial plan for Button. With a career in industrial distribution, one doesn’t need a necktie for the office, but Button established his love for ties years ago. As a wardrobe requirement during his collegiate years, Button grew tired of donning an average necktie and found bow ties to be a fun alternative. However, even with his love for bow ties, Button says that fashion is not his forte.

So how does a man with no background in fashion set out to create a men’s line of bow ties and pocket squares?

By accident, of course! It all started with a search for watercolors. What was planned to be a creative weekend of painting ended up as a business venture that is opening doors for this busy, family man from Montgomery. While trying to locate the watercolors from storage, Button came across an old tie of his wife’s grandfather. After a brief tutorial from his sister-in-law, a very able seamstress, and some online research, Button quickly discovered how he could convert this old neck tie into a functioning bow tie. Through trial and error, paired with his parent’s influential work ethic and attention to detail, Button’s Bow Ties was born. It also doesn’t hurt that Button spent some time in his college art department, even considering Graphic Design for a career. You can definitely see his natural artistic ability in his products, down to the vintage button hand sewn on each product. Thoughtful details like that are found throughout a customer’s interaction with the dapper and creative owner.

button detail

Although it’s not a family business, Button says that his wife, a native Alabamian, and his two children are very supportive of his work. Tiffany, his wife, will advise in the fabric selection department, but leaves all the creating to her sewing sweetie. His son, age 12, has reached the age where he wears his father’s custom pieces, and his daughter, age 14, has been inspired and enjoys sewing and creating her own designs as well.

Not to neglect the Junior Dapper Gentlemen, Button also has a line of onesies that include two pre-tied, snap on bow ties.

Not to neglect the Junior Dapper Gentlemen, Button also has a line of onesies that include two pre-tied, snap on bow ties.

Drawing inspiration from the creativity of designers like The Cordial Churchman and Otis James, Button strives to create pieces that are unique and focused on details.

Conveniently packaged and delivered, your high quality bow tie has a built in tab for easy closet hanging.

Conveniently packaged and delivered, your high quality bow tie has a built in tab for easy closet storage.

A customer will find the process of purchasing a custom creation from Button’s Bow Ties to be an absolute pleasure. From the initial contact to the delivered package, Button is completely committed to personalized customer service.

A southern gentleman with an entrepreneur dream, creative mindset, and focus on customer satisfaction…it’s a recipe for success if you ask me.

Button also offers his services in converting neckties into a custom made bow tie.

In addition to his creations, Button offers his services in converting neckties into a custom made bow tie.

What’s the future for Button’s Bow Ties? Currently he is focused on bow ties and pocket squares, but has ideas of expansion which I am confident will continue his reputation of quality products and superb customer service.

Available for viewing on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, interested customers can contact Jason Button through private messaging for inquiries or to make purchases. Like and follow him to stay up-to-date on new developments and support a local creative designer.  It’s the dreams and ambitions of individuals like Jason Button that help us men of the world stay stylish!

Bump Up Your Style…Style Up Your Bump

Knocked Up, Prego, Bun in the Oven, With Child, Preggers….call it what you want, but it’s everywhere!  When you find yourself in a family way, it is such an exciting time in the lives of many.  There is bedding and nursery colors to choose, finding the perfect name for the bundle of joy, getting stocked up with diapers and wipes, and….oh yeah, taking care of yourself!!!  Future mothers oftentimes push their own needs to the back burner during their trimesters, but The Stylish Steed has some great tips for your wardrobe while you wait for your special delivery.

I look around and so many of my friends and family are expecting.  With much prodding from some stylish moms-to-be, we are going to look at some chic ways to bump up the style of my pregnantistas.

There is absolutely no reason for my blossoming beauties to live in the land of leggings.  This a time when you should feel most beautiful and feminine…maximize on that!
1. Keep It Simple
While you are prepping your wardrobe for your growing midsection, remember to keep things simple.  There is no need to inhabit the BLACK forest in jersey knit, but there are a few things I would suggest straying away from:
A.)  Bright Colors – You don’t want to draw unnecessary attention to certain areas.
B.)  Satin Fabrics – The most unforgiving of fabrics, satin is perfect for your pillow case, but not for your wardrobe.
C.)  Loud Prints – Be very cautious of loud prints.  These prints can easily create illusions and cause you to look disproportionate.

2.  Go With The Flow
Flowing Maxi Dresses are a pregnancy must!  Especially during this unbearable summer heat, a lightweight, flowy maxi is the perfect item.  Maxi Dresses are perfect during your pre-delivery days because they help to conceal heaviness on your bottom half.  I suggest something in a solid color that is complementary to your skin tone.  This brilliant blue maxi from Pink Blush is becoming on any skin tones, and flows gently down the body creating a great line.

Maternity Blue Maxi

 

This maxi is a great cut, color, and cost.  At only $36, you quickly become a stylish and thrifty mom-to-be.
Don’t forget your accessories as you don this great dress!
Pregnancy Look Accessories

A long strand necklace with hanging earrings is a great addition to this maxi with the open
shoulders and neckline.
Pregnant in Heels maybe be a great show, but let’s face it…it’s not realistic.  You can, however,
sport a sensible wedge or kitten heel that isn’t too high, but will give you some height throughout the day.
Last but not least, rock a bright colored clutch to add the ultimate personality to your look.
This faux leather clutch in magenta adds just the pop of color that this outfit needs.

3.  Short & Sassy
Take your femininity to the max with a short and sassy look that is sure to make you the envy of
the other expectant mothers.   Whether tall or fun size, showcasing a short flirty dress will make you a little bit taller.  The best silhouette for this look is a swing dress, or baby doll dress.

short and sassy pregnancy dress

This fun and flirty swing dress opens up the neck and shoulders (one of the few areas that
remains slim) and flows nicely down the body concealing the baby bump.

A bonus with this dress is you can pair it with heels after you have the baby and rock this look
even while you work on shedding that baby weight.  Pair this with a nice hanging earring and
your look is pregnancy perfection.

4.   Elongate Your Frame
In our pursuit for style, there are days when we really don’t feel like trying.  You’re bloated, your
feet are swollen, and why is your nose continuing to get wider?!?!?  On those days when you
decide on a simple black tank and jeans, easily add some pizazz and elongate your frame to create a longer, leaner line.  With some confidence, creativity, and a whole lot of accessories, you can
breeze through any fetus fiasco with ease….except maybe morning sickness.

Dress up a simple outfit with a long necklace that draws the eye down.  A single long chain or layers of long necklaces add to your total look and make you appear taller.  Add a great
hanging earring to this and your look is complete.  Don’t be a dud with a pair of studs.  Opt for
a large hoop or chandelier style to bring the focus to your neck and shoulders.

Consider these great accessories with your black tank and jeans!

Elongate LookThis long necklace with gold metal ovals hangs long and dramatic for the perfect look
to your simple outfit.  Pair with a chunky ring, hoop earrings, and a funky bracelet to really round out the accessories.  Add another layer of drama by pairing a scarf to bring a luxe look to your
outfit.  Simply drape it over your shoulders and you’ll be looking lean in no time.

And don’t forget about the bag.  The bigger the better, because a big bag makes your butt look smaller!

So don’t comprise your own personal style, my pregnant pretties.  Choose wisely to make yourself a lean, mean, baby making machine!  Showcase your feminine side and bask in that natural glow.  You already have the attention when you walk in the room…make it so they can’t stop looking!  Even with a baby bump, it’s never difficult to stay stylish!

It’s In The Bag – 5 Must Have Bags

Remember Mary Poppins?
She was unstoppable with her spoon full of sugar!  Her secret?

Mary Poppins bag
The bag!

If those Banks children needed anything, she had it on hand!  Therefore, it is a scientific fact that the right bag can completely change your life.  Women are already fully convinced of this, but the men folk are a little hesitant to sport one in everyday life because, heaven forbid, someone refer to your “Man Purse.”  Get over it, guys!

You can thank me later when you are completely in love with the
5 Must Have Bags!
1. The Tote
TSS Tote
This everyday bag is the perfect addition to your life.  Whether you’re commuting to the office, working from your computer at a bistro, or headed seaside, the tote is a great inclusion into your everyday life.  Normally a canvas construction, there are many varieties that are both stylish and functional.  This canvas tote by ASOS has thoughtful details of leather that add a rustic feel.  Throw your paperwork and laptop inside, or use it for a catch-all when heading out to the farmers market after brunch.  However you choose to utilize it, it will be a great addition to your busy life.

2.  The Duffle
TSS Duffle
Not just for the gym anymore, designers have revamped this classic to be more functional than ever. This is the perfect bag for traveling. With tons of styles and colors available, this bag will replace that old battered Samsonite you’ve been lugging through the terminal. This one from Hershel Supply Co. is complete with a compartment for shoes and enough space inside to pack for your week long trip to mountains or even that dreaded work conference in Kansas City.

3. The Weekender
TSS Weekender
Stylish and compact, yet spacious and feasible, this handheld bag with optional shoulder strap is perfect for that short trip back home to visit the parental units. With enough interior space to house a couple of outfits and a pair of shoes, you can stylishly arrive without that cumbersome pull-along in tow.  This wonderful piece from Jack Threads is under $40, but looks likes a million bucks.

4. The Backpack
TSS Backpack
A familiar item from our days in elementary school, the backpack has become a go-to companion for any man about town. Suitable for the office and even appropriate for a typical tourist event, this bag is functional with space and compartments for all your gadgets.  Jack Wills offers this throw back style with a nautical look.

5. The Briefcase
TSS Briefcase
A more pricey item than the others, this soft shell leather carrier is perfect for the dapper gentleman in the office. Unlike it’s hard case counterparts, this piece becomes even more beautiful with wear and tear. It’s completely justifiable to spend a little more for an item like this because it will never wear out.  With space for your documents and laptop, this sleek design by WILL Leather Goods will definitely serve you well into your retirement years.

So whether you’re a weekend cruiser on a constant road trip or a corner office crusader in the concrete jungle, there is a bag for you to add style and function to your life.  Push aside your misconceptions of the man purse and add one or more of these bags to your life.  Traveling, commuting, touring, or visiting….all your desires are in the bag when you need to stay stylish!

Beach Must Haves: Summer 2014 Essentials

Suffering through this humid Alabama heat, I begin to smile ever so gently at the thought of a summer seaside getaway.  The warmth of the sun, the sand crunching under my feet, the smell of salt in the air, those annoying children throwing Cheez-its at the demonic sea gulls…it makes me as giddy as child on Christmas Eve.

In our pursuit for coastal contentment, let us not neglect our need for style.  To assist you in preparing for your seaside sabbatical I have some top items for any beach beau or babe.

Ladies, you will notice that the topic of swimsuit selection is not covered.  I will not tell what type of suit is best for you and your body, as all women have different insecurities and convictions.  I will only make one comment in regards to swimsuit selection:

More is more!  Please be tastefully covered…you aren’t working for the rent!

Moving on…..

Womens Beach Essentials

  1. Chill in your kaftan!  A great item to have is a long, flowing cover-up.  A perfect item to don when grabbing lunch at a patio restaurant, this cover-up cinches in at the waist and has a great print.
  2. These rope sandals are prefect to pull out when the beach babe decides its time for a move.
  3. Protect that money maker!  Your face is vital to your ultimate style.  Opt for a wide brimmed hat to help keep your skin from looking like a 50 year old leather handbag.
  4. Give Mary Poppins a run for her money with this great canvas tote.  It is perfect for carrying all your essentials.
  5. Whether you are planning to lounge on this festive towel or use it to dry off from a dip in the ocean, you will definitely catch a few eyes with this vibrant printed beach towel.
  6. Those Bette Davis eyes will surely catch the glimpse of a beach beau with these retro inspired sunglasses.
  7. Your skin is like an elephant…it never forgets!  Protect it with this great SPF 50 from Mary Kay.  You’ll still get enough glow that your co-workers will know you have been to the beach.
  8. Everybody wants those beach curls, but they sure don’t happen on the beach.  Get a hold of that unruly mane with this awesome Leave-In Product from “It’s a 10.”
  9. Tame the beast with this awesome brush that is small and powerful.  This handheld brush removes tangles and knots from all hair types without tugging or pulling.
  10. As the waves crash before you, there is nothing better than a great book.  I love something fun and entertaining during this time of year.  “Let’s Pretend This Never Happened” is a fun, mostly true, memoir of a Texas housewife.  It’s a summer read for sure!
  11. Nothing soothes the skin after the heavy heat of the day like this Mary Kay After Sun Replenishment Gel.  This does great to moisturize dry skin, while soothing the slightly crisp areas.
  12. Every bathing beauty needs a resting place.  This roll out beach mat is perfect for fun in the sun!
  13. Stay hydrated with this glass water bottle from LifeFactory.  It’s eco-friendly with a silicone sleeve that keeps your beverage cool.

Gentlemen, we will not be outdone!  I’ve got some equally awesome products for your beach bash as well.

Mens Beach Essentials

  1. Show off all your hard work from the gym with a simple tank that will coordinate with your trunks.
  2. Avoid looking like a slob during lunch by throwing on a lightweight twill shirt to add a little swag to the sea.
  3. These pop of color trunks are the perfect piece to this ensemble.  They are great length to show a little leg.
  4. This is the only time…and I mean ONLY TIME…that these should be on your feet.  I am not a fan of flip flops in the free world, but when on the coast……
  5. Give that face a little break from the rays by topping off your look with this straw fedora.
  6. Mirror, Mirror at the Sea….these mirrored sunglasses will accessorize your beach day perfectly.
  7. Pack it all in with this simple canvas back pack.  This is the perfect size to house all your necessities.
  8. Lay down the law…and this over sized lawn blanket.  This piece, intended for a picnic, is the perfect foundation for any beach day.
  9. No need for the cabana boy when you have this 16-can cooler!  Easily haul your beverages of choice to your own corner of the beach.
  10. Keeping up with the ladies, we have to be well read too.  This best seller, “Woman“, is a great addition to soaking up the sun.
  11. Keep that youthful glow with this spray on sunscreen.  It’s even heavy sweat proof!
  12. Replenish and rehydrate with this awesome After Sun Gel from Mary Kay.  For an extra boost, store this in a cool place before applying.  The soothing gel is just what your skin needs.
  13. Bring the party wherever you go.  This rubber AM/FM radio spits the music, eliminating the need for electronics.  A couple of AA batteries and you are set for good times!

So whether you’re planning a quick weekend getaway or considering a week long hideaway, these top items will make your beach trip even more enjoyable.  The summer is waiting, the beach is calling, and you have all you need to stay stylish!