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Happy holidays! Here are the things bringing us extra holiday cheer this month: 

NATALIE'S PICKS: 

—Frame someone you love this holiday season! I recently had a great experience with Framebridge and plan to use them to frame special memories for my dearest this holiday season.

STORYTIME: My parents were high school sweethearts, and I've been meaning to frame their senior class picture for YEARS but never got around to it or got incredibly high estimates at custom places. Enter Framebridge. All I had to do was send in the picture in the prepaid packaging they sent; their designers picked some frames to complement the piece (or you can choose your own; I chose the design I loved; and a week later, a part of my parents' love story was beautiful matted, framed, and hanging on my gallery wall. 

Russell + Hazel Binder System

Russell + Hazel Binder System

—These boots were made for "Walkering." My search for the perfect day-to-evening Chelsea boot has finally ended with the Rag & Bone Walker boots.  The leather is soft, the heel height is ideal, the almond toe box is sleek, and, most important, I can walk ALL DAY in them. 

—My nerd-meter goes off the charts whenever I discover a new way to make organizing my life easier. My brilliant friend and professional organizer LV introduced me to the magic that is Russel + Hazel's binder system. It holds my planner, client notes, to-do lists, and receipts all in one nicely designed little binder! 

—My grandmother always instilled the importance of sending thank-you notes anytime you receive a gift or kindness. Not to disappoint grandma, I always have a variety on hand in my desk drawer. The punster in me can't get enough of these. (Papersource has a plethora of beautiful designs, as well.) 

—Dancing is my favorite activity in the whole world; working out is not. One of my clients (thanks, Heather!) recently introduced me to AKT in Motion: dance and toning all in one w/ a side of disco ball. I sweat a lot, and I'm sore the next day in muscles I didn't know existed—but somehow AKT has tricked me into loving every minute of it! Bonus: They have an on-demand program for those that don't live near a studio. 

SABRINA'S PICKS:

—Every year I cook up a big batch of my homemade granola to give as gifts. I love making granola because I can adjust the flavors to what we like at home or to the season. Here is the recipe I (more or less) follow. Have fun and play with the proportions.

—It's time for me to think pink! I grew up with the tradition in Argentina that on New Year's Eve you wear new underwear—new PINK underwear.  I have no idea the origin of this, but new undies are always nice, right? I like the shade of pink in these Hanky Pankies

DIY Magazine Wrapping Paper

DIY Magazine Wrapping Paper

—I started listening to the UnStyled Podcast, hosted by Refinery29's global editor-in-chief, Christene Barberich. She explores the perspective of a strong woman on different topics: fashion, career, relationship. Give it a listen and let me know what you think.

—I can now eat, drink, and feel merry the next day with these Coconut Charcoal pills. I take two after an evening of indulgence to help me digest food (and drinks) better. The next morning I feel less bloated— and it helps with hangovers too!

—You know all those holiday catalogs you get starting October? Instead of throwing them in the recycling bin, give the pages another turn and use them as wrapping paper like I do!  

HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE: HOMEMADE GRANOLA

Make a few batches of this granola, portion it into a small mason jars with a bow and gift tag, and you have a cute, inexpensive, and tasty gift to gift your coworkers, neighbors, and friends! 

Sabrina's Homemade Granola

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Ingredients:
2 cups oats (I use gluten free oats)
1 cup raw cashews
1/2 cup raw almonds
3 tablespoons unsalted butter ( or 2–2.5 T. olive oil)
2/3 cup honey (or honey/agave split) add more if you like it super sweet
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup shredded coconut, loosely packed
1/2 cup wheat germ
1/4 cup flax
1/2 cup chopped pitted dates
1/2 cup chopped dried apricots
1/2 cup dried cranberries

NOTE: Recipe is super versatile, so if you don't have some of the ingredients you are probably ok skipping. Or feel free to add other combinations of things: raisins, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds..

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Lightly toast the oatmeal on sheet pan 8-10 min followed by nuts (almonds and cashews) for 10 to 12 min. If you have roasted nuts simply skip this step.

Place the butter (or oil) and honey in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Cook and stir for a minute. Turn off heat, let cool for a few minutes and add vanilla and salt.

While oatmeal is toasting and liquids are heating begin combining all other ingredients in a large mixing bowl (coconut, dried fruit, flax, wheat germ). Add toasted oats and nuts when they are done. Lastly, pour liquids over and stir.

Pour the mixture into a cake pan. Wet your fingers and lightly press the mixture evenly into the pan. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool for at least 2 to 3 hours (if you can!) before cutting into squares or breaking into pieces. Serve at room temperature.

Notes:
The baking time is a little tricky. I have done it different every time and haven't been too thorough in documenting results. It is always good but ranges from chewy to crunchy with chewy being about a 30min bake time. I will usually bake a little longer around 40 min then turn off heat and leave it in the oven for a while longer. 

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With hectic airports, trains, and freeways, packing for this busy holiday season should be light and easy. We've helped you simplify this with our BU capsule packing list for various Turkey Day Weekend occasions. 

Add PJs, undergarments, and toiletries, and you are all set!

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Want to see our BU picks for specific pieces? Shop our detailed Thanksgiving packing list here

 

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Example of corduroy pants

Example of corduroy pants

velvet

noun   vel·vet   \  ˈvel-vət \

a clothing and upholstery fabric (as of silk, rayon, or wool) characterized by a short soft dense warp pile

Simplified: soft, smooth fabric; you know, "smooth like velvet" 

corduroy

noun   cor·du·roy   \  ˈkȯr-də-ˌrȯi \

a durable usually cotton pile fabric with vertical ribs or wales

Simplified: a ridged form of velvet

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We have a lot to be thankful for this year, but here are 10 things we are especially loving during this month of gratitude . . . 

Natalie's Picks: 

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—My MZ Wallace weekend bag has been my travel buddy for the last 4 years without a sign of wear. My favorite parts: it's lightweight (for a weakling like me) and comes with pouches that clip into the bag. 
—Every year I'm in charge of the stuffing, and I stick to my country roots by making this Paula Deen decadence. (Also makes great leftover sammies!)
—I've already found at least a dozen ways to style my new black velvet pants (low cost-per-wear FTW!) Bonus: They feel like pajamas! 
—Experience art in motion and go see Loving Vincent. It's the world's first fully painted motion picture and is truly a work of art! 
—The 5-minute Journal keeps me mindful, present, and positive every day. Plus, its simple format has made journaling (something I've never been good at) easy and palatable. 

Sabrina's Picks: 

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—Hands down, my AWAY Carry-on is my favorite! I traveled through Europe with it and had no problems, even with the small airlines. It has a clean design AND a charger for your phone. I love that!
—Of course you want a little something sweet after Thanksgiving dinner. If you aren't a pumpkin pie fan, here is an easy one to make: Cardamom Cognac Apple Cake. Enjoy! 
—Accessories can change an outfit. You can dress up a black pant pair of pants (like the ones Nat loves!) by pairing them with earling like these. They add something special to the outfit without being over the top. When I am feeling more adventurous I go for this ring. It’s a conversation starter. Always! 
—Sometimes I feel like bringing more than just wine and flowers to a dinner party. For those occasions, I will bring something extra for the hostess: hand cream. My mom (Hi mama!) introduced me to Natura Brasil, which we can now get it in the US! Check them out, their hand creams are silky yet not greasy = perfect combo! 
—I am officially into whiskey and currently obsessed with this drink I had in Denver a few weeks ago:


Piston Honda
2oz Suntory Toki Whiskey
1 oz Bonal Gentiane Aperitif  
0.5 oz Maraschino Liqueur
Dash of orange bitters
Shake all the ingredients with ice and strain into a glass with a cube of ice in it. 

Blazers: To Tailor or Not To Tailor?

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No matter how great the style of a blazer, it must fit impeccably. If you've found a jacket you love and you're now pondering whether "to tailor, or not to tailor?" you're in luck, because that is the question:

The #1 rule of blazers is this: If the SHOULDER FITS—wear it! For [almost] everything else, tailor it. 

Tailoring Tips for Your Blazers: 

  • Leave the shoulders alone. As we said, shoulders should fit “off the rack.” Letting out won’t work and taking in is expensive and means reconstructing the garment.
  • Take in the waist. Taking in the waist of a too-big blazer can dramatically improve fit at a reasonable cost. 
  • For letting out the waist, check seam allowance. Most off-the-rack suits don't leave a lot of extra fabric to let out the seams. 
  • There’s no such thing as a “hem” for blazers. Even if your tailor says they can do it, it will often throw off proportions with buttons and pockets. Men should stick with finding the right off-the-rack length: short, regular, or long. 
  • Shorten sleeves from the shoulder. Sleeves should be taken up from the shoulder, not the bottom edge, which will disrupt buttons or other cuff details.
  • Fix your collar roll. Pulling between the shoulders by the neck can ruin a slick look. An experienced tailor can take care of this.

Leather Weather Guide

Photo: FashionGum.com

Photo: FashionGum.com

Leather jackets are a great transition piece for the springtime and also the perfect complement to jazz up your favorite game-day shirt! Because a leather jacket should be an investment piece, you'll want to make sure it's a perfect fit. As a result, I suggest  you try on a handful of options to get a good feel for what looks and feels best on you! To get you started, here are a few tips and recommendations to help you find the right fit and style for your body type: 

HOURGLASS: Cuts that are seamed in at the smallest part of your waist.
Natalie's Picks: VEDA Nova SuedeAkris Punto Leather Stand-Collar

TRIANGLE: Tailored jackets with shoulder details, like epaulets, and/or strong lapels to balance out your hips.
Natalie's Picks: IRO AshvilleRalph Lauren Alton

INVERTED TRIANGLE: Smaller lapels and minimal shoulder details if you don't want to emphasize strong shoulders.
Natalie's Picks: REISS SergeDoma Bruce

RECTANGLE: Boyfriend, boxy, or straighter styles that are less tailored.
Natalie's Picks: VEDA JayneBB Dakota Leydon

OVAL: Longer straight styles with vertical detailing. Minimal details (horizontal pockets, zippers, etc.) at the tummy.
Natalie's Picks: SET TylerMackage Cleo

To shop more of Natalie's picks for your body, click here. 

How to Remove Salt Stains from Your Shoes

Photo: blog.freepeople.com

Photo: blog.freepeople.com

Winter can wreak havoc on our shoes, and salt stains on leather can be one of the biggest irritants. Fortunately, you don't have to get salty over these stains by following these easy tips:

  • Treat the stain as soon as possible.
  • Dampen a paper towel with white vinegar and rub it on the affected area. 
  • Follow up with a leather cream to moisturize—or take your shoes to the cobbler for treatment.

Don't be afraid to get out there and pound the salty pavements—because this stain-removal solution is simple and right in your cupboards!

STYLIST TIPS + TRICKS: Don't Let Your Boots Get Tipsy

Photo: realsimple.com

Photo: realsimple.com

I love wearing boots, but one of my biggest pet peeves is when the shaft flops over, causing them to lose their shape or, in reality, me to trip over them in the doorway. On top of that, the store-bought boot shapers can be just as awkward and unwieldy to use and store.
Enter this Buttoned Up holiday hack: As you spread holiday cheer with a few "cheers" this season, instead of giving your empty wine bottles the boot, simply rinse them out and place them in your boot shafts. This will reinforce their shape and keep them from getting tipsy! 

Deck Your Staple Pieces

With parties galore this time of year, you shouldn't have to buy all-new head-to-toe outfits. Here are some look ideas to help you build fun and festive outfits around your staple pieces. 

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Like what you see? Shop these looks here. 

GREASE BE GONE

If you're like us, you may get pretty enthusiastic about Thanksgiving dinner. With all of those gravy and butter-filled dishes comes the danger of the dreaded grease stain. Fortunately, these do not have to mean the end of your favorite outfit—and how you remove these stains may surprise you. The tools to removing grease stains are right in your kitchen cupboards.  

Read on for more on how to keep your favorite holiday threads in tip-top shape through the feasting season:

  • Start with baby powder or cornstarch. This is safe for most garments, including silks and other dry-clean only fabrics. Rub the baby powder or cornstarch onto the stained area (be generous so oil absorbs), let it sit to soak up the grease (at least 15–30 minutes), and scrape it off.
  • Apply Dawn or other petroleum-based liquid dish detergent. For appropriate fabrics, rub the detergent into the stain and let it sit for a few minutes. Note that all-natural detergents don’t always work as well.
  • Always test stain removers on an inconspicuous area first. It's always good to make sure the detergent and/or stain removers you're using won't discolor or damage your garment.
  • Use a clean, undyed cloth or paper towel. Watch out for dark dyes on napkins as they can transfer color to your clothes. 
  • Cold water only. When you add water always use cold, hot water can set stains.
  • Don’t wait! Treat and launder the item as soon as possible, and always follow instructions on care label.
  • In a pinch? Try a Shout wipe. Of all the purse-friendly stain removing tools, this is our favorite to have on hand, especially for whites. Watch out though, as it can fade colors (see tip #3).

    With these tips, "grease" doesn't have to be the word that ruins the festivities. So relax and enjoy the party—with extra gravy! 

Trendspotting: Turtlenecks for Turkey Day

Unlike some of the other 90s fads that are in right now (I'm talking to you, mom jeans and chokers), turtlenecks are a trend I can get behind and one that looks to be sticking around. If you are drawn to this style, don't be afraid to splurge a bit for nicer fabrics or construction. 

Because Thanksgiving is a holiday for comfort and coziness, I've put together two turtleneck looks, one dressy and one casual, to give you some Thanksgiving dinner outfit inspiration. 

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personalstylistnatalietincherpersonalshoppernewyorkcitynyc
  • Like what you see? Shop these looks and other turtleneck options here. 
  • In need of a good layering turtleneck? Here's a link to my current favorite one. It's thin, feels nice, and retains its shape. 

Back to Basics: Fall Trailblazers

Blazers are one of our go-to fall favorites. As office dress codes are skewing more toward business casual, our favorite designers and brands have taken note to create blazer options that go beyond 9 to 5. 

These pieces can come at a significant cost, so here are some key tips for men and women to make sure you purchase the right pieces that will give you maximum mileage and style. 


Blazers for Businesswomen
A statement-making blazer is becoming as useful as staple suiting. Here are the key blazers a working woman should should have in her closet: 

  • Cropped. This often-overlooked style in a woman's wardrobe is perfect worn over a sheath dress or to complete a blouse and skinny jeans ladies-night-out look.
  • Boyfriend. Great for a casual Friday with dark jeans or slim trousers. On the weekend, pair it with leather pants for a date-night dinner. 
  • Texture. Think courduroy, flannel, tweed, or herringbone.
  • Pattern. Look for a subtle check or small houndstooth to keep it neutral and still make a statement. Mix with solids or other subtle prints for an easy and stylish look

*Like what you see? Follow this link for additional blazer recommendations.


Sportcoats for Men
Add personality and versatility to sportcoats using the following guidelines:

  • Add texture. Courduroy, tweed, herringbone, and flannel.
  • Look for patterns. Subtle plaid, small houndtooth, and windowpane check are all great ways to mix it up.
  • Keep it together. The French call business suits a "complet" for a reason—the jacket and pants are a package deal. Don't wear your suit jacket as a separate.

 *Like what you see? Shop these and other great pieces here. 

Hand Wash with Care

Happy Fall Everyone! 

It's that time of year when we say "good-bye beach days" and "hello chilly mornings and pumpkin everything." With the welcome of fall, also comes the fun of seasonal wardrobe swapping, which means pulling out your favorite cozy comforts: SWEATERS!

Along with these new additions to your drawers (or old friends returned from seasons past), comes the question, "How do I care for these without damaging?" Well, we're here to help with some worry-free TLC.

Care labels are your friends, and you'll notice that for the most part they will say either dry clean or hand wash. (Buttoned Up label decoder coming soon!)

If you're not sure how to properly hand wash, do not fret. Here are the basics you need to know:

  • Wash only when necessary. As in, only wash if it comes in contact with germs, dirt, or sweat--or approximately every 4 wearings (wearing a thin layer underneath can extend this to more wears)
  • Always use cool water. We recommend submerging in a basin or large, clean sink full of cool water
  • Use gentle detergents. Like this Wool and Cashmere Shampoo from The Laundress New York
  • Never wring out or put in the dryer. To remove water, gently squeeze, then roll in a towel and lay flat on a rack or a clean, dry towel

 

Trendspotting: A Touch of Tassel

Tassels abounded the runways at NY Fashion Week, and I'm always happy to see a trend that can be easily integrated into your work wardrobe and suit (pun intended) various style preferences. If you give a thumbs-up to tassels, here are a few ideas on ways to easily incorporate the trend. 

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WHICH TASSEL'S FOR YOU?
If your style is . . .

  • Preppy/Classic: Try a tassel loafer or a structured bag with a tassel detail.
  • Artistic/Creative: Tasseled ankle boots or earrings in a fun color
  • Feminine: Look for peasant blouses with tassel neckties, like this Joie blouse
  • Sporty/Casual: Try a tassel backpack like this canvas one from Loeffler Randall 

Like what you see? Shop these pieces and other recommendations here. 

Back to Basics: Corporate Kicks

I often find my clients have shoes galore but are missing some key footwear needs to complete their wardrobe and add versatility (for work and weekend). Not everyone's shoe basics are the same, but here's a checklist for those of you in a corporate setting to help you shoe shop with a purpose: 

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Additional Shoe Shopping Tips

  • Shop for your shoes at the end of the day to account for feet swelling/expansion
  • Make sure you walk on hard and carpeted surface when trying on shoes in the stores
  • Don't rely on too much stretch in a shoe (despite what sales associates may tell you)
  • Wear the same type of sock you intend to wear with the shoes you are trying on
  • ALWAYS try on both shoes in a pair

Like what you see? Shop these and other great corporate kicks here. 

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Topstick: Keep It All in Place

Remember J. Lo's plunging Versace Grammy dress from 2000? That dress alone helped popularize the use of "fashion tape" to help keep your wardrobe in place. However, not all tapes are created equal, and I'm here to tell you not to be fooled by fancy fashion tape packaging. If you really want to avoid a wardrobe malfunction, use the adhesive men have trusted for years to keep on their toupées—topstick!

Here are some of my favorite uses for topstick: 

  • Keep your button-up shirts from gaping
  • Fasten the end of your belt down
  • Use it as an emergency temporary hem fix

I always keep a few strips on hand, and more than once it has helped get me out of a "sticky" situation! 

Trendspotting: Make the Cut-off

Summer cut-off season is in full force. Here are two ways to style your former teenage wardrobe staple in a more adult-friendly way: 

ButtonedUpPersonalStylistNYCPersonalShopperCorporateStylist

ButtonedUpNatalieTincherPersonalStylistPersonalShopperNYCNewYorkCIty

Some tips for making the cut-off: 

  • Stay age appropriate by keeping your inseam length equal to or longer than the first number in your age (eg, if you are in your 30s, keep your shorts at 3 inches or longer)
  • Add polish to a typically casual staple by pairing it with a button-down shirt or blazer
  • A cuffed hem allows you to vary the length and adds a nice finish to the look

Whatever your favorite summer weekend activity, a great pair of cut-off shorts can fit the fashion bill. As for me, I'll be rockin' [and rocking out in] mine this weekend at the Garth Brooks concert! Yeehaw! 

Like these looks? You can shop each item here. 

Third Layer's a Charm

It's that time of year in which you just can't predict the weather! As a result, strategic layering is the key to staying stylish AND weather appropriate during this tricky transition weather. A third layer doesn't always have to be a standard blazer either. Here are some fun AND versatile pieces I recently found for a client to give you some inspiration:

Clockwise from Top Left: Tory Burch, Anni Kuan, Vince, Tory Burch

Clockwise from Top Left: Tory Burch, Anni KuanVinceTory Burch

Some things to keep in mind when shopping: 

  • Neckline: Make sure the neckline will mesh with a variety of tops you already own
  • Pattern/Color: If you choose a pattern, make sure it's one that can be mixed with other solids or patterns. For example, I was able to style the navy and white Tory Burch blazer with colored blouses as well as fun colored shoes my client already owned. 
  • Cut: Ensure that the cut of the your third piece can pair with skirts, dresses, and/or pants. The Anna Kuan blazer looks great with pants as pictured, but we also made a great date-night outfit from a leather skirt. 

The point is, have fun with layers but  make sure you choose wisely! They are a great way to add depth and style to your outfit! 

Happy shopping,
Natalie