Boutique Dresses

We all love shopping at boutiques because they always have such great unique finds that you don’t see everywhere else and it is a great way to stretch out of your fashion comfort zone and move into new and up and coming designers.  At Vintage Fringe, the number one item searched for at our online clothing boutique are dresses.  Boutique dresses are no exception to the boutique shopping preference and finding great boutique dresses can really shape and transform your own personal wardrobe.   Check out a few great dresses currently in our Vintage Fringe lineup that we think really are representative of great boutique dress finds.

The Abigail Ruffle Dress by designer Ella Moss is one of our most upscale designer dresses.  This dress features a beautiful black silk fabric with a ruffle around the neckline and pearl buttons on the bodice in front.  The dress accents your feminine figure with an empire waistline and a silk tie around the waist for added definition.  The dress is also lined making it more comfortable and easy to wear than your traditional silk dress.  Best of all this dress can easily be dressed up for a cocktail function or can be worn to the office or a party as well.

For another style and look consider the Kayin Scoop Neck Dress by designer Velvet by Graham and Spencer.  This dress is a great fall style with a draped cowl neckline and a gathered waist.  The dress features a ultra soft rayon blend and is the ultimate comfort dress without sacrificing style and shape.  The loose fit is actually a style trend this season and this dress looks stunning with high boots and big earrings.  This dress is also not something you will find in every department store this season.  It is a great example of a distinctive boutique dress style that is also comfortable and wearable.

Finally, another great dress that typifies distinctive boutique dress styles.  The Blaire Widesleeve Crew Dress is a great flirty, feminine style dress.  This dress is available at Vintage Fringe in Admiral (Navy) with White contrast details at the hem and around the waist or in Lemonade (Yellow) with Grey for contrast.  These colors are great contrast colors and they really do amp up the style of this dress.  The front of the dress features pleats around the shoulders and a button keyhole in front of the dress. The hem is also tapered at the bottom of the dress with a longer center and shorter hem on the sides.  Again it is extremely comfortable to wear and without sacrificing style.

These are really just a few great illustrations of what type of varied styles you may find with boutique dresses.  You can also find styles that are even more casual than these alternatives.  Examples include the Zahara Knot Dress made with a Baby Jersey Cotton and a looser fit so they are great staple dresses that are sure to be comfortable to wear.  Also, don’t be afraid to capitalize on the options to move outside of your typical dress comfort zone and try new styles and new designers.

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Striped Tees

Stripes are a huge fashion trend this season and you’ll find striped tees are becoming extremely popular.  You can find striped tees in a variety of patterns not just your basic primary color with white stripes for contrast.  The trend doesn’t stop there, as great stripe patterns have also made their way into skirts, dresses, and so much more.  Here are a few of our favorite striped tees as examples of different ways to incorporate stripes into your wardrobe.

First, check out the Stripe V Neck by Alternative Apparel.  It is a basic style top that looks much more than basic with a great stripe pattern.  Here the stripes feature a cream color alternated with a chocolate stripe color.  The top features a v neck and trim around the cuffs and neckline in chocolate for added detail.  This tee is a semi-sheer tee featuring a cotton poly blend fabric.  It really is a great basic staple tee for your wardrobe and at $10 you really can’t go wrong.

Next consider the Splendid 4 Band ¾ Sleeve V Neck.  Of course, Splendid is known for their great fabrics and their signature stripe patterns.  This top is no exception.  This v neck also features a great red/coral color called Sunset that makes this top a great piece for this season with the popularity of great coral tones.  The stripe pattern features a series of “4 band” stripes or 4 thin stripes all paired together and set apart by stripes of coral.  It is a great vibrant top and a classy, distinctive way to showcase stripes.

Another great stripe option from Splendid is the Navy Slub Shadow Stripe Waist Tie Top.  This top features a frilly sleeve and a tie at the waist.  The top features a scoop neckline, and a feminine tie at the waist which makes this top very distinctive and feminine.  The wide stripes are contrasted Navy and Sunset a great mix.  This top features Splendid’s slub jersey and is extremely soft and comfortable to wear which is such a plus for tees.  You can also find this same stripe pattern in the long sleeve Navy Slub Shadow Stripe Puff Sleeve top as well.  That top is a bit more dressy than this one and not quite as much of a tee shirt, but a great fall/winter option.

Finally, for another different style of striped tee consider the Stripe Knit Top by designer Collective Concepts.  This top features wide stripes as well contrasted with white and pink or white and green depending on what you prefer.  The white fabric is a burnout material which gives it an opaque look and the top also features solid white around the neckline. With short sleeves and a loose fit around the body of the top, this style also provides a different tee shirt look.

As you can see, there is no shortage of great striped tees out there and really the tough part is narrowing down which striped tee suits you best.  Each of these tees feature comfortable, wearable fabrics and are distinctive.

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Grey Cardigan

Finding a grey cardigan can sometimes feel like finding a needle in a haystack so to speak.  The are not as common as you might think, but they can be so great with excellent options to pair them with a number of great colors besides your basic white.  Grey is a great complement to pinks, purples, blacks, reds and even certain shades of blue and green.  Having a versatile option like a grey cardigan in your closet is really a must because of the variety of pairing options. Of course, grey isn’t a color that can be worn with every skintone, but it can be a great color and comes in a number of great shades so depending on your individual style and preferences can be a great alternative to basic colors like blacks and whites.  Consider a few great examples of different alternatives for grey cardigans.

First, consider the Ella Moss Victoria Cardigan. This versatile cardigan features a blend of great fabrics for added contrast including cotton voile around the shoulders that wraps from front to back. The balance of this cardigan is modal jersey fabric so super soft.  The bottom half of the cardigan is a looser fit and has a light flare.  It is not a fitted wrap.  The neckline is also gathered as you can see in the photo of the back of this cardigan giving it another layer of individual style. We also love the light Haze grey color.  It pairs so well with black, white, navy, purples and so much more. This cardigan is also dressy enough to wear to the office and casual enough to wear to run errands or out at night.  It is also lightweight enough to work for warm weather and is the perfect piece for layering in spring, summer and even fall.

Alternatively, the Splendid Variegated Stripe Loose Jersey Wrap also features a great lightweight, breathable fabric which is great for warm weather.  It is a little heavier than the Victoria Cardigan, but a great option with differing widths of stripes contrasted against a white background.  Here the grey is a Heather grey option which is darker than the Haze grey in the Victoria Cardigan, but a completely distinctive piece with a draped cardigan style in front.  The length in front cascades down to the waist with a higher more cropped fit in back.

As you can see, both of these cardigans are very distinctive and certainly not you’re basic styles or fabrics.  Each of these cardigans have the versatility to work just about year round and particularly in the summer months are great pieces to throw over a tank or short sleeve top on a cool evening.  Of course, grey cardigans are distinctive just as they are because of the unique colors and the versatility of the grey colors and you have certainly seen lots of grey elements in modern fashion trends in different styles and patterns.  Grey truly is a great color that in a cardigan is a great complement to a number of colors which in the current economy is a great way to stretch your dollars and save your budget.

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Fashion Hoodie

This summer nothing beats a great fashion hoodie to throw in your bag for that weekend campout, trip to the beach or cool summer evening.  Hoodies are always known for being great casual pieces, but there is nothing better than finding a fashionable hoodie that is more than just your basic sweatshirt with a hood.  There are a number of great options for fashion hoodies.  Consider a few of our favorite examples of stylish, fashion hoodies.

First consider the 2×1 White Stripe Hoodie by designer Splendid.  This is a perfect casual hoodie that works for everyday.  This fashion hoodie features a white stripe on either a Mud (light brown) color or Blueberry (light purple) color.  With a wide pocket front and center on this top giving it a casual yet distinctive look.  This top also features 8 snap buttons in front giving you flexibility to wear it by itself or layer it over a tee or tank.  Of course we can’t forget to mention the ¾ length sleeves and the fabric is also light enough to give it added versatility to wear just about year round.

Next in a different category consider the Splendid Textured Rib Long Sleeve Hoodie.  This is one of the dressier hoodies we’ve seen.  This hoodie is made of a cotton cashmere blend giving it a light weight sweater feel.  It is sheer enough that it works perfectly layered over a short sleeve top or tank and we even like to wear it over a long sleeve tee in the winter.  With a drawstring tie at the waist and a wide v neck this hoodie really is a perfect piece for that beach vacation where you want something a little warm and love the sheer, light weight look of this hoodie.

Finally, take a look at the Splendid Baby Fleece Tie Waist Hoodie.  This is a wonderful example of a simple yet very distinctive style from Splendid.  The Baby Fleece Tie Waist Hoodie features an empire waist with a drawstring and short sleeves.  It is not every day that you run across a short sleeved hoodie, but we love the look of this Baby Fleece Tie Waist Hoodie.  The Baby Fleece fabric is really a good quality sweatshirt fabric and we love the vivid green color and the long tunic length of this hoodie.  We wear it over leggings or jeans and love to wear it year round over short or long sleeve tops.

As you can see, each of these fashion hoodies has different style and function and give you lots of different options.  Best of all each of these fashion hoodies is distinctive and truly not something you see everywhere or everyday.  They also each have other disctinctive elements other than just being a hoodie which makes them great pieces to help create your personal individual style.  They are also all great wearable, comfortable fabrics that will work even in warm summer weather and still look stylish despite being casual.

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Minimalist Fashion Dress

When you are shopping for that perfect minimalist fashion dress there are truly a number of options for great dresses that feature minimalist styles, but don’t sacrifice their statement quality.  With simple details such as knots or zippers as accents, minimalist dresses can still have an edge or distinctive quality while being true to their minimalist design or style.

A few great examples of a minimalist fashion dress include the Burca Scoopneck Dress by Velvet by Graham and Spencer. This dress looks basic in black from the front and features just enough added detail to give this minimalist fashion dress a pop.   The back of this dress features a wide zipper that is prominently displayed in the center at the top of the back of this dress.  The zipper is a great way to add some shine and also give the piece an edgier feel, but it still has a subtlety to it that doesn’t interrupt the minimalist feel.  Zippers are actually becoming more and more popular this season, but yet thankfully are not overdone which makes them still a great statement detail.  The back of this dress also tapers toward the bottom of the dress and features a diagonal line to break up the back of the dress.  This dress looks amazing with high boots and can also work with leggings giving you the ability to wear this great dress practically year round.

Another great example of a minimalist fashion dress is the Zahara Knot Dress by Velvet.  This dress features baby jersey cotton with long sleeves and a knot at the base of the v neckline. The dress has a fluid look with a flared skirt that hits just above the knee.  A dress that works perfectly as a minimalist fashion dress because of its great classic fabric and simple dress style that is offset by the knot detail around the neckline to add a touch of sophistication to the dress.  This great minimalist dress is also available in black, grey, rain and lilypad so you have a variety of great options to go with this dress.

Finally, the Anais V Neck Dress by Velvet also features a simple, minimalist style, but you don’t have to sacrifice on the great classic style and look of this dress.   This great dress features elbow length sleeves and a gathered v neckline that is set off as an empire waist which adds to the elegant style of this fitted dress.  The dress is very fitted which gives you a chance to rock your great body if this style of dress works for your body type.  This dress is available in Eggplant, a deep purple with shades of blue in it.

As you can see, just because the dress is a minimalist fashion dress, it doesn’t mean that you have to sacrifice style and trends to maintain the minimalist style.  Each of these dresses are minimalist fashion dresses, but they all have small elements that really do maintain that statement dress quality that we are always going for at Vintage Fringe.

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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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Buy Boutique Fashion Online

Boutiques are quickly moving online and shopping for boutique fashion online is becoming as convenient as shopping at many of your big department stores, but with the ability to find more distinctive designers and styles.  We all love the experience of finding your favorite neighborhood boutique and shopping for one of a kind finds that you won’t see at every department or chain store.   Online shopping for fashion is becoming far more popular and convenient and it actually enables you as the shopper to be savvier and price conscious which as we all know can be essential if you are trying to stay on a budget.  Beyond just price, shopping online enables you to find all sorts of conveniences such as free shipping and returns, comparison shopping for alternate colors and styles in addition to price, and many online sites have wish list options which allow you to store and save your favorite fashion picks.

We love the convenience of shopping for boutique fashion online because you can shop from the convenience of your home, office or mobile phone or iPad all while in your pajamas and at any time of day.  We dreaded boutique shopping because inevitably it was so much work to hunt for parking, shop during their hours and hassle with your kids which often ruined our shopping experience.  The beauty of online shopping is that such hassles are eliminated.  The only drawback to online shopping is not being able to try something on if necessary and see it in person, which is why we always look for boutiques online that include free shipping and returns.   We also love being able to really hone in on what specific designers we like and still window shop other styles and designs conveniently.  That is the best part of boutique shopping is staying away from mass market fashions that you can find seemingly everywhere.  We love finding a designer we love and then searching online for other styles or selections or even reduced pricing.  The online search makes it far easier to find niche items.

Shopping for fashion online also makes you a smarter shopper.  Shopping online allows you to compare multiple sites with far less work than shopping at boutiques in person.  There are many sites online that allow you to search many different sites based on specific things like designers, colors, sizes, or even style descriptions.  This ability to comparison shop in a more convenient way will make shopping far more efficient than bouncing from boutique to boutique.  Boutiques.com is one such site that features the ability for you to bookmark your favorite pieces in your own boutique.  Like.com also has a fashion focus and features smart shopping abilities to help narrow your search very quickly.

Shopping for boutique fashion online is really revolutionized by the convenience of shopping online. Once you discover boutique fashion shopping online you will quickly find that it is much simpler and far more convenient than the dedication and time required to complete your own boutique shopping scavenger hunt and will hopefully become your first stop for fashion shopping in the future.

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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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Fashion of 2010

Just because 2010 is now in the rear view mirror, doesn’t mean that many of the same fashion trends will carry on into 2011.  Today we want to focus on some of those continued trends because we know that sometimes you need to see that a trend has staying power and isn’t a fad in order to start to incorporate it into your wardrobe.

Trend to stay number one is leggings.  As spring rolls around the corner, you will want to have a pair of cropped leggings in your closet.  Much like capris, this trend has staying power and will likely be around for many seasons to come.  We’ve done prior posts discussing just leggings and what basics to have in your closet, but we suggest having a good basic black long legging and a basic black cropped legging as a starting point.  Then we would suggest adding in the right complement colors depending on your wardrobe such as browns, blues and greys.  We can’t say enough about the long legging in the cooler weather as it is such a great piece to wear with boots.  The cropped legging is also the perfect accent for warmer weather and works really well with ballet flats and long tunic length tops.

The tunic length or loose fitting top is trend number two.  You will see this trend in many spring fashions this season.  You have a variety of options for such tops including the wide boatneck sweatshirt top that narrows at the waist, the long and fitted top which can range from a v neck to a cardigan and the belted or drawstring waist top as a few examples.  This spring, for example, you will see lots of patterned peasant blouses with ties at the waist that is a continuation of elements of the ruffled loose boatneck top of seasons past.

Another trend that will be around for seasons to come are the short mid-thigh dresses that have become so popular.  Whether you like to accessorize these dresses with leggings or wear them with high boots, this dress trend has staying power.  These great dresses come in a variety of styles and include a variety of elements including ruffles, zippers, empire waists and much more.  One of our favorites is the Burca dress by Velvet by Graham and Spencer which features a black wide neckline with the body of the top that gradually narrows to the waist with a tighter fit. Complete with a chunky zipper in back for added detail, this dress is a total statement piece.  It has short sleeves so it really does work for several seasons.

In short, the dawning of a new decade doesn’t mean the end of a fashion era.  You will still see many fashion trends from 2010 continued in 2011. For many of you who may like to adopt a bit of a wait and see approach to shopping for trends, we hope that you will be able to get in on the trend before it is too late.

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Winter White Fashion

If you’re looking for ways to have winter white fashion looks this season consider a few great pieces in a variety of shades of white and ivory to help create that beautiful winter white look.  Of course you will want to make sure and have some great accessories to help give the right amount of contrast to your look.

As a great example of ways to add contrasting colors, consider the Moonlight Cap Sweater by designer Laurie b.  This fashion forward sweater is available in white and during winter we love to wear it over long sleeve scoop necks in black or any color to add a little edge to the look.  Our favorite top to wear under this sweater is the Long Sleeve Scoop Neck by Splendid.  It is a great fabric and has a sheer look to it.  Available in a variety of colors including white that long sleeve scoop neck is the perfect complement for the Moonlight Cap Sweater. This sweater is a great way to layer in additional winter white fashion.

The Audrey wrap, also by designer Laurie b. features a luxurious knit in Ivory with a subtle contrasting tie at the waist in tan to give it just a hint of color.  With a beautiful fabric and classic feminine design, this wrap is a great winter sweater.

A lighter weight piece that is a great complement for your winter white fashion wardrobe is the Very Light Jersey Draped Cardigan by Splendid.  Available in a variety of clothing including white, this light weight cardigan has a flowing look and long length which capitalizes on two great fashion trends this season – the long length and the sheer lightweight fabric.  You’ll see a variety of similar light weight fabrics such as burnout again this season.

For a different look, consider the Nona ¾ length sleeve ruffle top by Velvet.  This winter white top features a ruffle accenting the v neckline and is slightly gathered in back.  We love the classic look of this top with the feminine touches and best of all the comfortable, baby jersey cotton fabric which is so wearable and comfortable.  It is long enough to wear with a wide belt if you are looking for longer length tops.

If you’re looking for great winter white accessories, consider one of our favorite necklaces featuring large white turquoise beads with specks of sand color on them.  For contrast, the designer utilized small shimmering gold colored beads in between the large turquoise beads.  All of this is set off by a copper chain for additional color.

There is truly no shortage of options for different ways to wear winter white fashion this season.  You’ll find a variety of ways to create great individual style while focusing your wardrobe on winter white.  As you create your own individual style winter white fashion, don’t forget that you may want just a pop of color and great jewelry is a great way to add a little pop or sparkle to help break up a monotone looking outfit.

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