Mid-calf Length Dresses

When shopping for dresses it frequently seems like finding mid-calf length dresses or dresses that hit below the knee is like finding a needle in a haystack.  With the resurgence of maxi dresses this season finding much longer dresses is much more accessible, but if you are looking for something that is in between the ultra long length and the short dresses about the knee consider a few of these great mid-calf dress possibilities.

The Malina V Neck Tie Dress is a great mid-calf length dress that is so versatile.  It is part of Velvet’s baby jersey collection so made of super soft jersey cotton which allows you the flexibility of wearing it to casual functions as well as dressing it up with accessories for dressier occasions.  Personally, I love the tie at the base of the v neckline for added detail.  The dress also features an empire waist giving it added detail. It is a basic black which never hurts and has long sleeves and of course it is a mid-calf length.  Designer Velvet by Graham and Spencer is known for their great use of cottons, but they also feature a slinky rayon collection which is a rayon blend for a dressier look.

Velvet’s Chapel dress features a Spanish tile pattern currently available in black or red with a v neckline.  This dress is fitted and the fabric is a rayon and lycra blend which gives it just the right amount of cling.  The pattern is really a standout and looks extremely classy on.  Of course most importantly, this dress also features a longer length with the mid-calf length which we greatly appreciate.

The sister version of this dress is the Anais V Neck dress again by designer Velvet by Graham and Spencer.  This dress is a similar style, but it is a solid color and is available in eggplant a deep purple color with a hint of blue.  Again this dress is fitted and features a rayon lycra blend giving it cling.

As you can see, each of these dresses gives you a distinctive look and is a great mid-calf length option for your wardrobe.  Another alternative to a mid-calf length dress is a longer or mid-calf skirt.  The mid-calf length skirts are very popular this season.  We love the Lija skirt as a great flared skirt that hits past the knee.   Another way to add length to a dress look is to wear leggings underneath.

There really are a variety of possibilities and options for mid-calf length dresses and when you mix in the option of longer length skirts or combined with leggings finding possible dress options is much more accessible.  Of course it is also easy to find maxi dresses which are the ultimate in long length if it is simply the long length you are after.  In either case, these dresses are great additions to any wardrobe and are versatile pieces that will last you for many more seasons to come.

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Vintage Peasant Tops

Peasant tops are a big trend this season and we love the fact that they really do represent a great way to include vintage touches into your closet.  Vintage style peasant tops can include the vintage style elements with the patterns or even vintage elements like smocking or ruffles that have been making a comeback in different style tops.  To begin, peasant tops typically are made from cotton shirting fabrics such as cotton voile and often feature a loose fluid fit and are frequently accented with anything including embroidery, ruffles, ties, or even smocking or ruching.

You will want to find whatever style of peasant tops that work best with your style and body type, but at Vintage Fringe our theme for shopping is to find ways to incorporate and blend the vintage with the modern when shopping for anything vintage style.  Of course we typically shop for new clothing which is what we carry at our site and that is often the easiest vintage style clothing to find when shopping online, but if you are looking for true vintage peasant tops you can certainly find lots of vintage elements in such pieces.

One reason why we love the look of peasant tops right now is that they fit in so well with the great look of tunic length tops and leggings.  Finding tunic length peasant tops is really not that difficult and we love the look of the Keelin Squareneck Lace top by designer Velvet by Graham and Spencer.  This longer length top features a loose fit and a retro square neckline accented with lace trim.  We love the puff sleeves and the gathered elastic near the hem for added flare.   This top is long enough that it would pair perfectly with leggings or with a cute pencil skirt for spring and summer.

Another great peasant top style is the Celestine Boatneck top by designer Ella Moss.  This loose fitting top is sheer and looks great over tank tops for added accent.  With a ruffle around the neckline and elastic at the base of the sleeves, this top is super feminine and still has that vintage style to it.  The Celestine Boatneck also features a tie around the neckline that can be tied or worn loose depending on your personal preference.  The fabric also features a contrasting star pattern for added detail.  This top is available in both a Pink and a Green color which also bring some great vivid vintage style into play.

As you can see, peasant tops really do come in a variety of styles and there is not really a concrete one peasant style.  We love the look of the looser fit over a tighter fitting tank or leggings for added contrast to your outfit.  Best of all, the peasant top really is a distinctive way to incorporate your own style into your wardrobe as there really isn’t a cookie cutter peasant top style.  They also typically are so feminine that they are great statement pieces for both casual and special occasions so in the current economy they are a great piece to include knowing that you won’t feel guilty because this top will last you for many seasons to come.

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Shop for Spring Outerwear

Inevitably, it is that time of year to shop for spring outerwear or jackets.  There are naturally a variety of different jacket alternatives for spring ranging from the denim jacket for the masses to the stylish light weight bomber or trench coat.

This spring, one of the biggest fashion trends is the Trench coat.  This classic jacket is available this season in a variety of different trench coat styles and patterns which if you are like us will make it hard to narrow down which one is the best style for you.  We’ve seen trench coats with ruffles, stripes, polka dots and other patterns, or even just simple solid colors like khaki or black as the basic styles.  The other variation is in the lengths.  The most popular look is a length that falls just above the knees and incorporates ruffles or added feminine details like buttons.   These jackets are truly timeless and with certain details can be brand new, but full of vintage style.   A good trench coat is really a must have jacket for spring and summer so every stylish shopper should have at least one in their closet.

If you are looking for something less dressy or more casual consider a couple of our favorite jackets that are perfect lightweight jacket alternatives that are great for spring or really cold evenings in summer.  Designer Zooey by Alice Heller features a couple of great sweatshirt thickness jackets in different styles like the Cropped Double Breasted Jacket featuring lots of buttons for detail and a belt around the waist which really keeps with the latest trend with skinny belts.  This jacket features a wide collar and a faux waistband underneath the belt.

Alternatively, Zooey’s Cropped Bomber Jacket is also a great statement jacket.  This jacket truly blends vintage and modern elements.  With pockets in front, big buttons, and a cowl neckline, the bomber jacket brings a lot of great detail to a seemingly simple jacket style.  Of course, in my opinion, what really makes the Zooey jacket stand out is the arched hemline in back.  This accent really makes the jacket.   Giving the jacket a distinctive look, this detail in back makes the jacket a wonderful piece to accent variations in lengths and layers.  We love wearing this jacket with long tops or even tank tops depending on the season.  As you can see, with all of this detail, it is easy to wear this jacket as part of your entire outfit for the day and as more than just a jacket you wear outside.   Again this jacket features sweatshirt weight cotton and is machine washable which is another favorite for spring jackets.

Each of these is a great option for Spring jackets, but there are lots of other alternatives out there and ultimately you have to choose the style that works best for you.  We definitely love the versatile options of the lighter weight trench coat and the alternatives of the more casual yet equally hip bomber jacket in lieu of the jean jacket that we have worn for years now.

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Lace Tops for Spring

As the weather is warming up, finding great lace tops for spring is a great way to dress up your closet this season.   We love finding ways to incorporate lace from tops that are all lace to tops that use lace detail as trim or accents.  Here are a few of our favorites:

For a completely lace look consider the Lace Tank with a Pocket by designer Collective Concepts.  This designer tank top is reasonably priced at $55 and features a racerback and a pocket in front.  It is a sheer lace and is unlined so you will likely want to layer it over another tank, but we love the options to add a pop of color under the lace. Available in black with black trim, this tank top is super versatile and can easily be dressed up or down depending on the occasion.

If you are looking for great tops that are accented with lace detail consider the Hollie Crew Top.  This top is a perfect spring top with the Bee yellow color and of course we love the lace detail around the neckline. The Hollie Crew Top is a great short sleeve spring top with lace accents which really make this top distinctive.  This top by designer Ella Moss is part of the Hollie Collection which also features similar lace detail around the neckline of the Hollie Racerback Maxi Dress.  These lace accents are elegant ways to really add some added style to both the dress and the top.

We also love the Lace Trim Stripe tank by Collective Concepts as another top with lace detail.  Here the detail is also around the neckline and then wide contrasting stripes in either navy or red.  This tank is also a racerback and with a looser flared fit, this tank is a great spring / summer tank top that we love to wear.   Priced at $58 the Lace Trim Stripe Tank top is a great value for a designer tank top.  It is extremely comfortable and a great summer statement piece.

As you can see from these examples, there are a variety of great tops with lace accents or even solid lace depending on the style or look you are going for.  This season we are big fans of incorporating contrasting textures and accents on tops or dresses as ways to really add a pop of detail or “fringe” to basic or simple styles.  In the current economy, this is a great way to make sure your pieces last you far longer than one season and can help justify a higher price for the higher quality piece that is a great statement piece for your wardrobe.  In addition, there is nothing worse than snagging your lace top so having lace accents can help to increase the longevity of your top.   There are lots of different lace alternatives out there and lace is a great feminine fabric which really does make a statement in whatever style piece you choose.

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Spring Trend: Bright and Bold Color

As you start shopping for spring and summer clothing you will want to be looking for the latest spring trend this season bright and bold colors.  You will see these bold colors in a variety of solids, stripes and patterns in lots of different pieces of clothing.

This spring and summer you will see lots of great patterns ranging from python prints or floral patterns all the way to more subtle infusions of tie dye.  You’ll most definitely want to look for great tops and dresses with the patterns that suit your own individual style.  Patterns utilizing bold colors will range from distinctive animal prints like python to bold floral patterns, lots of elements of tie dye patterns and of course stripes in a host of great fabrics and distinctive style tops.

Bright colors will be popular in both patterns and solids colors. Be on the lookout for a variety of bold shades of coral colors, blues and purples.  This spring you will continue to see lots of clothing utilizing shimmer and shine with the use of fabrics instead of more matte fabrics and colors.  Satins, sequins and sheer are another great way to incorporate bold colors.   Wearing bold colors is all about your own personal style.  A few rules of thumb to help make sure you don’t overdo it with bold, bright colors.

We love incorporating bold colors as accents or contrast especially with shiny or shimmery materials like satins or sequins.  This is a great way to add subtle touches of color that still stand out.  This way if the color doesn’t survive many more seasons, you can still pull off the pop of color because it is an accent rather than the primary color.  Another great way to add hints of a color is with patterns.  You can find lots of great tops by designer Sweet Pea by Stacy Frati, as an example, that include lots of patterns with base colors like black accented by hints of fuscia or other bright colors.  This pattern allows you to wear bolder colors because they are offset with the basic black or basic core color.

Spring is also a perfect time to incorporate bright spring colors like yellows, greens, and pinks.  These spring colors are perfect bright colors for spring and summer and we love mixing these colors with other core colors to mix it up.  One of my favorite spring dresses is the Blaire Widesleeve Crew Dress.   This great dress by designer Ella Moss features a yellow lemonade color contrasted with grey stripes at the hem or at the waistline. This dress is a perfect example of a great bright color that doesn’t go over the top.

The bottom line is that you have to decide how bright and bold you are willing to go with incorporating color trends into your closet.  Adding a few key pieces in the latest trend color such as a coral this season is a great way to spruce up your wardrobe.

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How to: Studded and Zipper Fashion

If you are looking for great ways to include bold details into your wardrobe you will likely see lots of sparkle.  Whether it be sequins which are so popular this season or other trends like metallic stripes or fabrics, you will see a variety of great styles that feature bold accents to help make that statement piece.  One possible accent that we have grown to love which is becoming a bit more prevalent in the latest styles and fashions are bold accents such as zippers or even studded with metal grommets or other elements on the piece.  While it may sound unconventional, you have most likely seen some of it on certain designer fashions and can be  a creative and stylish way to add to the distinctiveness of the piece.

Consider a well known designer, Ella Moss that incorporates studded grommets into the neckline and sleeves of its Sonia Ruffle Sleeve Studded Short Sleeve Top. This modern styled top features a series of accenting metal grommets around the sleeves and prominently in the back of the top.  A great style of top with a fitted waistband the style of the top on its own is worth considering, but with the added studded grommet detail it makes it even more unique and it really does turn an otherwise elegant but simple top into a statement piece.  To utilize the studded trend, you don’t necessarily need to have metal grommets, but instead it could be accented with other pieces that will similarly elevate it into a great statement piece.

Another way to make a statement is accents such as zippers.  We absolutely adore the Burca Scoopneck Dress by Velvet by Graham and Spencer that features a wide zipper that is prominently displayed in the back of this dress.  The zipper is a great way to add some shine and also give the piece an edgier feel.  Consider also the Aspen Motorcycle Sweater also by Velvet as another example of a great use of zippers to really elevate a piece from ordinary to extraordinary with a few simple touches such as zippers and metal grommets.   Zippers are actually becoming more and more popular this season, but yet thankfully are not overdone which makes them still a great statement detail.

Overall, when you are looking for creative ways to incorporate additional style into your wardrobe consider adding subtle statements such as the zippers and studded elements rather than going too far.  It is possible to ruin the statement of such pieces with too much detail or too much distraction.  We suggest that you judiciously find statement pieces for your wardrobe that include subtle touches that are not so subtle to get lost.  No matter what we suggest, you ultimately need to find a piece that fits in with your own individual style and that takes priority over our own suggestions, but we would warn that you be careful not to overdo it with the zippers or metal accents.  It is possible to have the overuse of great trends such as zippers ruin a piece because it becomes too busy or distracting.  Keep that in mind when you are looking for ways to incorporate such trends into you own wardrobe.

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Designer Jersey Dresses

When you are shopping for designer dresses it is so refreshing to find designer jersey dresses because they are so comfortable, easy to care for, and can still look so stylish and can be great versatile pieces in your closet.  We love super soft fabrics like rayons and modals just as much as the next person, but let’s be honest, they are great to wear, but often are dry clean only and sometimes can be so delicate that it makes you nervous to wear them.  As a great alternative that frequently happens to be more economical consider a few of our favorite great designer jersey cotton dresses when you are out on your next shopping trip.

We love dresses by designer Velvet by Graham and Spencer and they are well known for their variety of styles traditionally made using basic baby jersey cotton or their lighter gauzy whisper cotton fabric.  The gauzy whisper line features a hint of spandex to give it a more fitted look and feel.  One of our favorite new dresses that is part of Velvet’s Baby Jersey Collection is the Larina ¾ Sleeve Dress. As the name suggests it featureLarina ¾ Sleeve DressLarina ¾ Sleeve Dressalong with a crochet detail around the wide scoop neckline.  This dress has a looser fit and hits our 5’7” model just about an inch above the knee.  You can wear this dress as shown or belted depending on your individual style.   A great dress for spring and it can even be worn just about year round depending on your preferences with the ¾ length sleeves.  This dress is also available in great colors such as Truffle (Lavender), Pistachio (Green) and Mink (Charcoal Grey).

Another great dress made of jersey cotton is the Olka Dress also by Velvet.  This dress features pleats around the neckline along with an empire waist which is accented by a wide bow that can be tied in front as an added feminine touch.  We love the flirty bow and pleats which make this dress stand out from the typical basic dresses you may find elsewhere.  This dress also features ¾ length sleeves and a deep v neck in front.  The Olka dress is an example of a great versatile dress that can be dressed up or down depending on the occasion.

Finally, consider the Doreen Cutout Dress featuring cutouts around the shoulder area in the sleeves.  This dress is part of the Gauzy Whisper collection and definitely caters to a fitted look.  We love it because it really is unlike most dresses you will see out there and it does have a flirty edge to it.  It features a slim fitted style and it hits above the knee.  We love the look of this dress with a pair of high boots and no question this dress is a total statement when you go out.  Best of all, it is made of jersey cotton and of course is comfortable and easy to wear.

As you can see each of these dresses has a very different look, but they are all great examples of the breadth of options out there for someone shopping for designer jersey dresses.  We hope you can see that it is possible to find reasonably priced designer dresses made of jersey cotton that are stylish and modern without breaking the budget.

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Spring Fashion Trends 2011

Spring is just around the corner and this spring you won’t want to miss out on a variety of great fashion trends that you may want to incorporate into your own wardrobe if they suit your individual style. Even if you ultimately don’t decide that some of these trends are for you, you will definitely want to know what is out there just in case.  In fact, as a shopper who considers myself fashion forward, I must admit sometimes I wait it out until I see some of these trends lasting beyond one season before I incorporate some of them into my wardrobe. So if nothing else, consider these trends for what you will and then utilize them as you see fit.

This spring you will continue to see the groundwork of a resurgence of neutrals and earth tones.   We think you will actually see more of these colors in the Fall of 2011, but we’re already seeing lots of khaki or white colors in jackets and wraps, cardigans, tops and dresses.   You will also see lots of these colors with a variety of patterns of stripes ranging from wide stripes to very narrow.  You’ll see a lot of neutral tones and stripes in accessories like bags, scarves and shoes.

One of the most popular styles this season for tops is the tie neck top.  These stylish tops can be found in a variety of fabrics although we’ve seen them primarily in sheer fabrics.  The tie neck top is a great retro look that is super feminine and yet another great way to incorporate the scarf trend that will continue to be prominent this spring.

As with the other accessories trends, the high-waisted belt will continue as a trend this spring and summer with more skinny / narrow belts instead of only seeing the super wide belts that are still prevalent.   Since I am generally not a proponent of the sewn in belt accessories, I think that having a few go to belts in basic accent colors and in different widths will be a stylish and economical way to spice up your wardrobe this spring.  You will also see lots of tie belts around the hips or even creating an empire waist line.

Bohemian style or peasant blouses will also be a must have for spring fashion this year.  These loose style tops come in a variety of styles featuring elements like ruffles, patterns, drawstrings around the neck or waist, embroidery, buttons, and much more.  The loose flowing look on top will continue to be popular and stylish this spring.

As for pants, the trend with skinny pants and leggings will of course continue this spring although with cropped lengths.  You will want to have a few pairs of basic colors of cropped length leggings and then once you’ve covered your bases spring for a couple of splurge accent colors for kicks.  You will also see a variety of long length skirts and long ruffled skirts that will be popular this season.   We’ve seen many of these long almost ankle length skirts or dresses with ruffled layers in bright spring colors like purples and corals which are going to be must have colors this spring.  In short, there are a variety of trends to observe and choose from when shopping this spring.  Regardless of what you see out there, be sure to make sure that whatever styles you incorporate we suggest finding your own voice in these styles to really help accent and create your own individual style because that is the number one most important piece to making every piece in your wardrobe a statement piece.

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Fashion Online Shop

Shopping for fashion online is becoming more and more common as more and more boutiques and stores build out their online presence.  While some people do still prefer the option of shopping in person in a store for things such as clothing, many people are discovering the advantages of shopping online.

First, it really doesn’t take long to discover that online shopping is more convenient.  You can avoid the lines, skip the hassle of finding parking, avoid fighting traffic, and you don’t have to spend time checking multiple stores to find the lowest price and search different stores to find which has what sizes or colors, you don’t have to worry about finding a babysitter for your kids or chasing them around the store. Shopping for fashion online is truly revolutionizing the shopping process.  When you shop for fashion online, the best advantages are that you can do so in your pajamas while in the convenience of your own home once your kids have gone down for naps or late at night when you can’t sleep.  Online shopping is really becoming more and more convenient to help minimize the shopping hassles that you face. Many online sites even offer free returns which can save you another trip to the store to return your item.

It may also surprise to learn that shopping for fashion online is often cheaper.  When shopping for designer fashion specifically, you can find a variety of comparison shopping sites online that allow you to compare colors, sizes and prices between multiple stores at once.  Such sites allow you to quickly access the internet for fashion deals and with just a little bit of searching you can find a variety of sites with free shipping or coupon codes for free shipping.  A couple of our favorites Like.com Pronto.com or Boutiques.com which allows you to search by designer, a type of clothing, or a color or size that you are looking for and will return a variety of great results based on your search terms.   You can also find a number of sites with coupon codes for many online retailers that allow you to find additional discounts.

Shopping online often provides you with an easier way to find niche fashion items.  Perhaps it is that Chloe purse that is sold out at the mall, but still available at an online boutique store, or that pair of True Religion jeans that you know your size in and don’t want to try and chase down at the mall.  Likewise, finding niche designers online is easier as well.  At Vintage Fringe, we carry pieces from designers such as Laurie B. or Joy Joy that you would struggle to find in most stores.  Searching on a global level when searching online allows you to find much greater selection than shopping in your local department stores particularly if you know what you are looking for.

We think you will quickly discover that shopping online for fashion is much more convenient, often more affordable, and easier to locate pieces once you know what you have in mind.  You can even find great pictures of fashion pieces in sites Lookbooks which brings window shopping to a new level.    Next time you’re looking for some new fashion ideas, be sure to shop online.

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Designer Tank Tops

As we head into warmer weather in spring and summer you will want to make sure that you have a handful of designer tank tops.  We love designer tank tops because they are almost always fashion forward and are at the forefront of trends and made of high quality fabrics which makes them last much longer than many of the less expensive versions.  Of course, you don’t have to buy something super expensive to have it be designer quality.  We love the reasonable prices of designer Collective Concepts and their great designs as an example of something that is high quality and fashion forward while also being reasonably priced.  Consider a few of our favorite examples of great, reasonable designer tank tops that are all $80 or less.

First, starting on the pricier end one of our favorites that is a statement tank top is the Solna Sleeveless by designer Velvet by Graham and Spencer.   Available in Haze, a smokey grey color, this top is a great piece to wear out on the weekend and is dressy enough to wear to special occasions or even to work.  Part of Velvet’s Slinky Rayon collection, the fabric on this top feels so luxurious.  Of course my favorite aspect of this top is the neckline.  With a sweeping asymmetric sash across the neckline that is gathered off center on this top for added detail which looks feminine and stylish.  Priced at $80, this tank is a great reasonably priced designer tank top that will quickly become a favorite in your closet.

As another example consider the Racerback Flared Tunic tank by Collective Concepts.  This designer tank top is reasonably priced at $55 and features a gorgeous grey rayon fabric again giving it that luxurious feel.  With beading around the shoulder straps for added detail and a gathered racerback on the back of the tank we love the dressy look of this tank top.  Again it is versatile enough to work with jeans and yet can also be dressed up to wear out to a special occasion.  We also love the Lace Trim Stripe tank by Collective concepts as a somewhat similar style, but with different details such as lace trim around the neckline and then wide contrasting stripes in either navy or red.  Also a racerback and with a looser flared fit, this tank is a great summer tank top that we love to wear.   Priced at $58 the Lace Trim Stripe Tank top is a great value for a designer tank top.

Finally, consider the Surplice V Neck Tank Top by designer Sweet Pea by Stacy Frati.  Sweet Pea is known for their great patterns and the design of their breathable nylon mesh fabric that is meant to be comfortable in warmer weather.  The Surplice V Neck Tank Top features a deep v neckline with solid purple contrast around the bust.  We love the empire waist line that adds to the femininity of this top.  Not to mention the great pattern on this top featuring a variety of different colors of blues and greens on an ivory colored fabric.

Each of these pieces feature a distinctive style, but are all great, high quality designer pieces that are stylish enough to wear for multiple seasons to ensure that you get your money’s worth.

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