Ruby Army Jacket by Velvet – A Spring Must Have

While designer clothing with feminine details are always in style, the runways have quickly been filling with a different style in 2014.  Designers have been experimenting with cuts that are more boxy and are generally considered more masculine than the types of jackets we’ve seen lately, which have featured contoured waists and peplum silhouettes. However, these pieces remain trendy when paired with bold colors, bright accessories and soft materials.

Ruby Army Jacket by Velvet in Stone

Ruby Army Jacket by Velvet in Stone

Military styles are of a perfect example of the latest trends, and this spring the Velvet military jacket known as Ruby will be flying off the shelves. Part of Velvet’s collection featuring designer Lily Aldridge, the button-down coat also features a zipper closure in front and cargo-style pockets isn’t overly feminine at first, but it looks chic when paired with skinny jeans and a cute pair of flats. Available in an olive green known as “forest,” navy blue, vintage black, and stone this cotton twill jacket is lightweight, breathable, easy to care for and just as easy to wear. The jacket also features a drawstring tie inside the jacket which gives you the ability to make the waist as tight and fitted at the waist or as loose as you prefer.

The sleeves can be worn cuffed or rolled up which makes the jacket wearable even during hot summer months.  The rolled up sleeves add contrast to the boxy style with a shorter fitted sleeve. That’s one of the perks of women’s military style jackets — they’re actually as versatile as they are comfortable. These new jackets by Velvet are perfect if you just don’t have time to spare to run to the dry cleaner’s every week.

Worn open, the spring jacket has a casual look that works well over tees, turtlenecks and button-shown shirts. However, the Velvet black jacket looks especially smart when closed. The jacket stands on its own, however. Zipper and and button details add both visual and tactile feedback to this military jacket.

4 Ways to Wear This Velvet by Graham and Spencer Jacket

  1. Choose colorful skinny jeans and matching accessories with the Ruby Jacket in black, navy or stone to really make a fashion statement.
  2. Wear the forest green jacket over a white tee or tank with distresses blue jeans for a casual day.
  3. Slip the stone jacket over your favorite little black dress before going out on the town.
  4. Dress up the navy blue jacket with a sleeveless sweater dress or shift dress in a solid color, patterned tights and your favorite booties to keep warm and chic.

There are so many ways to wear this jacket that you just might want to buy all the colors! Plus, this Velvet jacket can be dressed up with pumps or heeled boots or worn casually with kicks or flats.

Velvet by Graham and Spencer promises show stopping fashion at affordable price. The trendy pieces on the collection are stylish but never dated, and it’s easy to pair them with what’s already in your wardrobe. Velvet jackets like this one are hot commodity this spring, so get yours before they’re all gone.

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Velvet by Graham & Spencer Tops

Ramona Dolman Top by Velvet by Graham and Spencer

Ramona Dolman Top

Velvet by Graham & Spencer tops are a must have for your wardrobe.  The Velvet collection is at its core an upscale tee shirt brand, but their collections always take traditional looks to new heights with distinctive fabrics and styles and it doesn’t take much observation to realize that they are so much more than a contemporary tee shirt line.  Some of our favorite pieces by Velvet are their dresses, leggings and jackets, but of course their tops certainly do not disappoint.  Here are a few of our favorite Velvet by Graham and Spencer Tops which are currently available at Vintage Fringe.

The Ramona Dolman Sleeve Top is a total must have shirt if you love the dolman sleeve style as much as we do.  The dolman sleeve tops are always a favorite because of their spin on the over-sized sweatshirt style combined with a fitted shirt look.  The Ramona features an luxurious waffle weave pattern which gives it a great texture and a dressy, distinctive style.  The top is meant to look over-sized, and it is super comfortable to wear, while still being delicate and lightweight. The top is available in both Heather Grey and White and is perfect to wear in fall/spring weather or depending on your preference even on a cool summer day.

Next the Grace 3/4 Sleeve Top really typifies a classic tee shirt style amped up with a bit of added feminine flair.  The top itself is a straightforward scoop neck with 3/4 length sleeves.  The stylish twist that is typical of great Velvet brand tops comes with the rouching on one side of the top.  The top also has a long length hitting below the hips.  The Grace top is part of Velvet’s Gauzy Whisper collection which features a thinner cotton fabric with a touch of spandex giving this top the perfect amount of cling or fit. I am also a big fan of the Red Vine color.  It is a total stand out and a great top for spring/summer.

Another great top for summer, the Bianca Dolman Top takes the classic striped top to another level.  With dolman sleeves and an over-sized fit  this top is perfectly stylish.  The top also features diagonal stripes on each side that contrast the horizontal stripes in the center which is a great twist on the classic striped top.  The top is narrower at the bottom than at the top which is typical of the traditional dolman style. The Tide green stripes are also the must have color this season.  The Bianca top is sheer and the stripes are contrasted with an ivory/oatmeal color.  This is a great top to wear with jeans or a skirt this summer.

Bianca Striped Dolman Sleeve Top by Velvet

Bianca Striped Top

These are just a few examples of some of our latest favorite tops by Velvet this season.  As you can see these tops really do transcend from being just classic tee shirts to trendsetting statement pieces that you can truly wear everyday.  Of course these tops are just a few of our favorites and there are so many more amazing stylish Velvet tops to choose from. What are some of your favorites?

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Wear To Work Spring Fashion

Even though the economy is hopefully recovering, I still pay much more attention now to finding ways to incorporate versatile pieces that work for more than just casual events.  I love to find pieces that can be worn to the office and casually.

The Mae Ruffle Scoop Neck tank is a great example of a top that can be worn to the office and casually if you prefer.  It is a tank top that is more than just a basic style tank.  This tank features a deep scoop neckline adorned by a ruffle with a drawstring tie around the neck, this tank top is a perfect complement to your closet.  This knit tank top is extremely versatile with the ability to dress it up under a blazer at the office or wearing it as a standalone top with capris, a skirt or whatever.  This is a bold statement piece in bold color. This tank is part of designer Velvet’s Whisper collection which is a thin, lightweight jersey cotton.  It is available in Cayenne a red coral color that is totally the “it” color this summer.

Another top that works for the office is the Keesha ¾ Sleeve V Neck top by designer Velvet by Graham and Spencer.  This top features a cowl neck v neckline accented by beading off the shoulder.  This beaded detail really does take an otherwise simple top and transform it with just a simple cluster of beads.  I also love the use of beads as accents such as the Collective Concepts Racerback Flared Tunic Tank Top.  Here the beads are around the straps on the shoulders which are metal links adorned by black beads on both sides.  A great way to layer in details and really make these tops more feminine and even more of a statement.  I love wearing this top with a pencil skirt like the Sintia Pencil Skirt as a classy way to wear this top at the office.

The Solna tank by designer Velvet by Graham and Spencer is a truly elegant modern piece that is sophisticated enough to wear to work and an evening out.   Available in Haze, a smokey grey color, this top pairs well with greys, blacks and whites all good contrasts to wear to the dressiest office.  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.

These are just a few great examples of versatile pieces that work for spring fashions you can wear o work.  All of them are classy and elegant and not over the top making them a bit too much for most offices.  They are great pieces to incorporate sophisticated style into your office wardrobe whether you need to wear them under a blazer or without.

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White Blouses and Tops

I love white blouses and tops.  So much so that my sister even makes fun of me because of the number of white tops I have in my closet.  In my mind, few things are better than a white top that is so versatile it really can go with just about anything and I love the look with my skintone.  Luckily for me, this season the white top is even more en vogue and is really a must have in your closet.

The white top is an essential staple in your closet because they really can be timeless pieces that work seamlessly in your wardrobe from season to season.  They can be worn underneath cardigans or wraps or as standalone statement pieces in your closet.  Consider a few of my favorite white blouses in different styles that will give you a variety of alternatives for your wardrobe and your individual style.

First, check out the Darvey top by Velvet a great long tunic length top in baby jersey cotton, this top in white features long buttons down the center of the top.  A great top to wear over a Kelisha long tank by Velvet for added contrast and even works great over leggings.  This top is distinctive and a perfect blend of casual and yet classy.  As we mentioned it is available in white, but also brown and green.

Next up consider the Pintuck Empire top by designer Zooey by Alice Heller.  This great top features contrasting textures of shirting cotton or cotton voile and jersey cotton.  With an empire waist for added feminine touches, this top features buttons in front as an added detail element.  The top features the cotton voile for accents around the base of the sleeves and around the neckline.  The sleeves have a slight flare to them and the waist is slightly flared giving this top a fluid bohemian style look.  It is a great casual piece that can also be dressed up when necessary.

Finally, consider the Bermuda V Neck Stripe Top by designer Ella Moss as a great top with a hint of color.  This top features yet another style with a fitted waistband and a v neck with contrasting stripes in smokey purple, orange and yellow colors.  The v neck features a knot at the center giving it a gathered look in front for added distinction.  This top is a rayon blend so it is ultra soft and comfortable to wear.  It is a great way to mix in a touch of color with the basic white top.

All of these tops are great white staple tops, but each of them has their own bit of flare or fringe to make them each distinctive and depending on your individual style these examples are great ways to incorporate that basic white top or blouse into your closet.  In my opinion you really can’t have enough white tops in your closet and I would be the first to admit that there is nothing wrong with having a number of go to white tops in your closet.

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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 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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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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Pretty Silk Tops for Spring

Silk is always a great fabric, but in spring and summer months silk isn’t as breathable and can often be too hot and you certainly don’t want to sweat it up in your favorite silk top.  If you are looking for a pretty silk top for spring and summer months consider finding a great top that includes silk elements as a compromise to that all silk alternative.

A great example of the mixed fabric top which includes silk is the Ocelot Print silk and cotton top by Splendid.  This top features a boatneck line, short sleeves and an empire waist that leads to a contrasting loose Ocelot pattern on silk with elements of olive green and lipstick red.   This top is easy to wear and is also machine washable which is always a plus when you’re dealing with silks.  It is certainly a distinctive and feminine top that is sure to become a statement piece in your spring / summer wardrobe.

Another demonstration of great blends of fabrics including silks is the Modal Jersey Short Sleeve Top featuring silk fabric for contrast around the neckline.  A great example of casual meets upscale, this top is comfortable and the modal jersey fabric is ultra luxurious.  This top also includes a fitted waistband at the base of the top and a great pleating from the center of the neckline.

Splendid has made several tops with silk accents such as the Modal Jersey with Silk Cotton Voile short sleeve scoop neck top with buttons.  This top features an adorable puff sleeve that is gathered down the side of the sleeve.  The top of course has other details like buttons in the center of the top and the silk cotton voile around the neckline.  We also love the bright colors in light pink or blurple which is a combination color of blue and purple.

Finally, a discussion about great combination silk tops would be incomplete without discussing almost all of the AlixK line.  Designer AlixK uses a great blended fabric which is a combination of cotton and silk blended into the entire weave of the fabric.  Their signature hallmark is adding great embellishments such as embroidery to their wonderful pieces.  My favorite piece for spring or summer is the AlixK Cappy short sleeve turtleneck top.  Their turtlenecks are sewn gathered so they don’t flop around or require constant adjustment like so many turtlenecks do.  This top works great year round as it looks great under a blazer or standalone in warmer weather.

As you can see, the silk is a great accent and a great way to add a bit of extra detail to your favorite spring and summer tops.  Best of all, each of these pieces is machine washable so you don’t live in fear the entire time you are wearing your silk top.  These great options are of course the tip of the iceburg when it comes to combination silk tops or finding great silk accents.  Of course,  we hope that you will agree that wearing 100% silk tops is totally overrated and the variety of textures and fabrics add to the depth and distinction of these great tops.

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Spring 2011 Fashion

This spring there are a variety of great fashion trends that you should be aware of and work to incorporate them into your own wardrobe if they suit your individual style. In the end we all have to decide which trends work best for us, but it is always helpful to know what is out there.  In fact, even as a shopper who considers myself fashion forward, I must admit that I do sometimes sit back and wait until I see some of these trends lasting beyond one season before I incorporate some of them into my wardrobe.  So bottom line, take these as a good assortment of ideas and then utilize them as you feel most comfortable.

You will 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 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 neutrals and stripes in accessories like bags, scarves and shoes.

  • One popular style this season 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.  This top is a great way to incorporate the fabulous scarf trend that is also going to be prominent this spring.  Likewise you will also continue to see the high-waisted belt as a trend this spring and summer with more skinny / narrow belts instead of only seeing the super wide belts that are still prevalent.   While I have never been a proponent of the sewn in belt accessories, having a few go to belts in basic accent colors 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.  Ties will also be found on skirts, jackets and dresses for an added touch of feminine details.

Bohemian style blouses will also be a must have for spring fashion this year.  These loose style tops come in a variety of styles with some having ruffles, patterns, drawstrings around the neck or waist, embroidery, buttons, and much more.  You will still find that loose flowing look in a top to be very stylish this season.

As for pants, the trend with skinny pants and leggings will continue in spring with cropped lengths.  You will want to have a few pairs of different colors of cropped length leggings.  You will also see a variety of long length skirts and long ruffled skirts.  We’ve seen many of these long almost ankle length skirts with ruffled layers in bright spring colors like purples and corals.

In short, if you want to be front and center with the latest spring fashion trends in 2011, you will want to layer into your wardrobe good belts and add in at least one skinny /narrow belt.  Be sure to have at least one pair of cropped leggings and if you feel up to it add in a long ruffled skirt.  Have at least one neutral tone wrap or jacket to accent your spring dresses and skirts.  Most of all, 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.

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