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    Summer’s Top 5 Color Trends in Fashion & Home

    According to Pantone, the color experts, the hot new colors this summer range from Grape Compote, a muted purple tint – to Flame Scarlet, which is perhaps the brightest, boldest shade of fiery red, just like the name sounds.

    In between these two extremes, is dovetailed, the easier to live with shades of Denim Blue, Coral Pink and White White, all of which have remained ever popular summer go-to shades for Fashion as well as Home Decor through the years.

    As you work these trending colors into your everyday outfits this summer, here’s a cheat sheet on how to mix and match like a Pantone expert creating color-schemes tying together walls floor, furniture and accessories for each room in your home using this year’s trendiest tints.

    PURPLE – This year’s purple is a yummy hue called Grape Compote which when cleverly paired, will look as dreamy on you, as it will in your home.

    The trick is here to pick the exact Pantone prescribed shade on the paint deck or color wheel and then go upwards and outwards when selecting the paint for the walls or upholstery fabric or curtains.

    WHITE – Easy breezy white is a perennial summer favorite of one all. What’s not to love about a summery white dress in soft gauzy cotton?

    To make a white on white room look easy-going and refreshing instead of bland and inconsequential, add a dash of texture and mix in a subtle pattern in a complementary hue or make a bold choice with contrasting black wood and metal finishes.

    CORAL PINK – When wearing pink be specific as to the exact shade – because all pinks are not created equal. Pink must always be worn in tandem with either a stronger color – for dramatic effect – or with a softer color for subtlety. Keep accessories to a minimum because less is more.

    Coral Pink is a beautifully soothing but tricky color to decorate with. It can end up looking too washed out and wimpy or too intense and fake looking. The trick is to let nature be the inspiration when choosing pink. Pick the variations of pink that are found in nature and you won’t go wrong.

    DENIM BLUE – Nothing says summer more than blue denim – be it dark stonewashed indigo- blue or a soft faded chambray blue.

    ….and nothing conveys summer decor better than baby blue walls and washed blue fabric upholstered furniture.

    SCARLET – It is the perfect choice for a statement-making summer dress. Alternately, pair a red-striped white top with a fun pair of red shoes. This is one of those times when you do not want to match the shoes with the bag.

    A bold red-walled room makes a unique statement. One that visitors and guests to your home will be hard put to forget and dying to re-create. The trick is if you’re going to go red, go bold and don’t drop the ball. Adding an equally bold contrasting color in the same tone will make it work. Another refreshing alternative is to bring in white to contrast with and play off the red in a fun, energizing combination which is at the same time very livable.

    Image credits: Purple Top courtesy Zara, White Dress courtesy Venus, White on white Living Room courtesy House Beautiful, Pink Pants courtesy Express, Coral Pink Bedroom courtesy Verandah, Blue Chambray Summer Dress courtesy Farfetch, Blue Bedroom courtesy Verandah, Red Dining Room with high gloss walls Courtesy Elle Decor,

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    14 Fashion Must-Haves for 40 somethings

    Staying home this week – trying to remain busy, positive, calm and optimistic – decided to start working on my new Fashion blog. This is the first of a series titled Wallet-Friendly Fashions.

    There are a lot of places that offer great affordable choices for fashionistas in their 20 and even 30s. But when it comes to timeless affordable fashion trends for the woman in her 40s, the landscape gets a tad bleaker.

    If you’re a style-informed fashionista over 40 or 50, these are some must-haves to add to your closet as go-to items year-round (keeping fingers crossed that we will be stepping outside real soon).

    How many of these must-haves do you already have in your closet? FYI, from time to time, I may receive a small commission for items purchased.

    The Pencil Skirt

    This one is a personal fave in my closet.

    I wear my pencil skirts to work three to four times a week – as some of my Interior Design clients will tell you and my friends will attest to 🙂 It is a timeless and stylish women’s fashion staple. Check out the skirt on SALE at Boden USA (they have a 90-day return policy – but not on sale items).

    A pencil skirt is timeless, elegant and comfortable to work in – except when I’m on a Design project that needs me to climb up a ladder to measure floor-to-ceiling French Doors for custom window treatments.

    The Not-So-Tank Top

    I feel tank tops and 40 somethings don’t mix well. My version is a not-so-tank with a silk lining, which is still fashionable and fun to wear (and yet not quite as unforgiving as a fitted tank top with spaghetti straps) like the one below, in black silk embellished with a hint of lace, for evening wear…

    ….or for daytime, choose a well-cut tank with wide straps like the one from Anthropologie currently on SALE!!

    The A-Line Midi Dress

    A staple for whatever you might find on your to-do list on any given day – whether it be running errands by yourself, brunch with friends or out on a first date. Shop Modcloth for this Midi dress on SALE now….!!

    The Black Work (Or Play) Suit

    This is a wardrobe essential that you can throw in the suitcase to take on out of town trips for business or pleasure – to be mixed and matched with separates. Shop Frank & Oak‘s Transit Packable blazer and Grant Tapered pull-on Pants that wear well with travel over multiple days and nights.

    I bought my black pantsuit a long time ago at Talbots. It has stayed with me through one childbirth, a divorce and multiple moves and I dare say, has aged well!! I still swear by it. From time to time I have paired it with a black and white silk top for a classic look, worn the jacket with blue jeans and pink linen blouse for a casual weekend look and opted for a fun and flirty short skirt over a black top for a grown-up play date. Black pants make getting dressed for work a breeze as you only have to think about the top – be it a white pussy-bow blouse or abstract floral pattern peasant blouse or sleeveless geometric top.

    The Leopard Print – In Small Doses

    Note to self – leopard print is only good in small doses (I learned that from trial and error over the years) like a leopard print bag or stiletto sandals….

    …or a short animal print jacket (this one from Zaful is 56% off), that looks straight out of Mrs Maisel’s closet..!

    The Trench Coat

    A wardrobe staple of Parisian women inside and outside of the glossy pages of fashion magazines everywhere, this a must-have for anyone who speaks these three French words – “tout le monde”…! The Trench Coat is one fierce fashion choice that will instantly upgrade your closet to that of a 40-something global fashion icon before you can say “touché”…! Shop Banana Republic for a classic trench similar to the one below…

    …or go to La Redoute (they now ship to the US and accept returns for $5) for this statement-making vintage-looking brick-red number from that you can sweep up for a 50% OFF SALE !

    Mine is a cotton creation in a black and white houndstooth that is less fierce and more casual but still elegant at the same time. I left it with my niece, the 20 something fashionista. Oh well!

    Booties

    Another basic item that will nicely finish your wardrobe – in winter, fall or spring. Zappos has long been my go-to for affordable women’s shoes for booties that look like one pictured below.

    As well as DSW – because it fulfills my three requirements for women’s shoes – affordable, comfortable and fashionable.

    The Houndstooth

    The houndstooth is my staple for women’s clothing options that are bold yet sophisticated and every-day at the same time – creating an interesting texture, it is a must-have for the fashion-forward 40-50 something woman.

    Cropped Pants

    Stretched Capris or cropped Pants combine the comfort of leggings with the looks of work attire. It transitions from work to lunch to back at home.

    I feel like the moment when the humble stretched pants received the seal of approval to enter into the world of work attire, needs to be celebrated by hard-working women that want all-day comfort in an outfit that at the same time makes them look well put together.

    The Big Little Black Dress.

    Wear a different black dress every day. It was Designer Bobi Leonard who put that fun idea of a-black-for-every-day-of-the-week work dress code in my head. It works!

    I have worn a not so little (calf-length midi) black dress – to work with a mossy green bomber jacket over it, then thrown a washed gold cashmere shawl on top, switching to gold H&M sandals for an evening out.

    Accessorize with a multi-colored glam necklace – like the orange and brown bead necklace that I picked up on a trip to Goa, or the gun-metal choker my friend Meenu bought me in New Delhi. A chunky necklace is my go-to for accessorizing whether I’m getting dressed for work – or for a social event.

    Red Shoes

    A must must-have, whether you plan to “dance away the blues” or plan on heading out to work in, paired with a white button-down shirt and basic black leggings and/or capri pants. If you’re looking for a sexy pair of shoes to wear with your white wide-leg pants at work or for date nights – this is it. I have three pairs of reds. One pair of knee-high boots, a pair of booties and the third, a sexy, strappy number for going out – when I don’t have to be on my feet for long – each one really affordable!!

    I found the red boots at a store on Melrose Avenue that was going out of business – and had a 75% OFF sale. The booties I bought at Sheik Shoes and the strappy sandals that look like the one pictured above, came from a Nordstrom half-yearly sale!! Affordable fashion…yay!

    This one above is good for going casual in, all through the spring and summer months.

    The Not-So-Basic Black Bag

    A decent-sized everyday bag in black goes a long way to round up your wardrobe.

    I swear by my patent leather black bag, It is roomy enough for everything I need with me at work, like cellphone keys, etc., etc., as well as handy for when I’m out and about running errands.

    ….and I have a smaller cross-body style one with a long strap – once again in black patent leather – for partying.

    The Wide-Leg Pants

    Okay, enough with the black! It’s time to add some joy to your closet with a pair of semi-casual wide-leg pants either in blue denim for every day on the go or an eye-catching, brightly colored pair for the office or afternoon shopping or just for hanging out. I found these Mustard Yellow Banana Republic pants on SALE !!

    I love my wide-leg pants – in beige and tan – and plan on getting a pair in white to step out in, come summer – hope and payers and fingers crossed !!

    The White Button-Down Shirt

    This one works really hard to make you look fabulous both at work – tucked into a pair of wide-leg black and white striped pants or worn with an amply cut pencil skirt in a rich port color or over plaid gray skinny pants – and at play – paired with a casual pink and white box-pleated skirt or beige satin pleated spring skirt ….

    It also makes for a great date-night fashion option when worn over a pair of faux leather black leggings a pair of strappy red high heels and a chunky red necklace….!!

    Hope you enjoy experimenting with my sartorial suggestions….!!

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