September 12, 2012

Big Announcement

I am so excited to finally reveal my new website and business name!  Cathy Phillips Fashion is now Style Speaks and I have a fabulous new website to prove it.  I've changed my business name for a couple of reasons: (1) I got married in February and am no longer Cathy Phillips.  I have been using Phillips professionally but will be transitioning to my married name, Cathy Starnes (2)  I have plans to grow my business to include other stylists and consultants and wanted a brand name to represent the company, rather than just myself.   Everything will start transitioning over to Cathy Starnes and Style Speaks including emails, Facebook, Twitter, and mailings so keep your eye out for the new names.  

I'm especially excited to share my new website with you, now with updated information on my services, a portfolio of all my editorial styling work, an easy to use contact form and, most importantly, an embedded blog.  

All old and new blog posts can now be found over on my Style Speaks website.  Check it out and let me know what you think!

September 4, 2012

Instagram Photo Booth

I hope you had a fabulous holiday weekend soaking up the last bits of summer.  We're officially onto a new season.  I spent some time last week putting together some fall transitional outfits and filling out my wardrobe charts for the new season.  I can't wait to help you put together your fall look book of outfits soon!

Here is a sneak peek at some of the outfits you'll be seeing me running around in over the next month or two.  I'm loving my maxi skirts and cropped white pants for early fall!  

My fall newsletter will be going out later this week.  There's still time to sign up (to the right) to get my fall trend report and other tips for your fall wardrobe. 

August 20, 2012

Loving the Local Fashionistas

People are always asking me how they can keep up with the latest styles.  One of my favorite ways to keep up is by following fashion bloggers.  Their style is more realistic, and often more affordable, than what you see in magazines and fashion bloggers have really become the trendsetters: they're coming up with creative new ways to wear things and the fashion world is following them.  Lately, I've discovered  several fabulous fashion bloggers right here in the DC area and I'm loving checking in with their daily outfits!

Here are three of my new favorites that I've been keeping up with:

Who are your favorite fashion bloggers?

August 6, 2012

Shopping the Summer Sales

It’s that time of year.  We’re in the home stretch of summer and it’s time to start thinking about fall fashion but you’re current wardrobe seems to be wilting in the late summer heat wave and we still have at least a month to go before things start to cool off.  It’s a great time to shop the end of summer sales for a few pick me ups to get you through the next month.  Now that it’s August, any summer items left in stores are on deep discounts.  Here are a few things I have my eye on.  Where have you found the best end of season deals?

1. Collective Concepts Maxi Dress $84 $49.99
2. Zara Sandals $99.90 $19.99
3. Floral Pleated Dress by MM Couture $89 $61.99
4. Zara Shorts $39.90 $19.99 
5. Color Block Dress by Tinley Road $59 $34.99
6. House of Harlow Eden Wedges $295 $149.99

July 9, 2012

Bon Voyage

I'm doing tons of traveling this month and I know many of you are too.  So, I thought I would take the time to share some of my packing strategies and tips.

Start with the special events.  Begin by packing outfits for any events on your trip that require particular clothing.  For example, two of my upcoming trips involve weddings so I'll start by making sure I have a full outft for the wedding and rehearsal dinner including shoes, jewelry, handbag, undergarments and any other accessories I need.  These are the most essential items you don't want to forget.

Think about your schedule.  Next, put together a rough schedule of your trip.  What will you do each day and each night?  If you're staying with friends or family, touch base with your host to find out what activities they have in mind for your visit.  Then, go through each day starting with your travel day and decide what you will wear each day and each night.  Stop packing new items about two thirds of the way through your trip and start planning to re-wear outfits or mix and match pieces.

Re-wear and re-wear again.  When you're on vacation, don't be afraid to wear the same outfit more than once.  I usually only pack for about two thirds of my trip or less and then just re-wear outfits the rest of the time.  You'll often end up doing this anyway with unexpected weather or activities so why not just leave the extras at home.

Choose versatile items.  Try to put together looks that are stylish but comfortable so that you'll be appropriate for a multitude of situations.  Bring items that can easily be dressed down for day and up for evening.

Pack neutral accessories.  When I travel, I always bring shoes and handbags in neutral colors: tans, nudes, bronzes, golds.  These shades will go with black, brown, navy or any other colors you're wearing and saves you from bringing too many shoes and handbags that take up a lot of room.

Bring layering pieces.  Always bring layering pieces such as cardigans, wraps and scarves so you're prepared for a chilly plane, a cool night or an unexpected change in temperature.

Take something out.  After I've put together everything I'm planning to pack, I try to take out at least one or two items that don't seem necessary.  I'm always trying to bring as little as possible because I hate lugging around heavy suitcases.

Minimize toiletries.  Remember that most places you go will have shampoo, conditioner, body wash, lotion, a hair dryer, etc.  If you're staying with friends or family, you'll likely have even more toiletries available to you.  Only bring items that you are extremely particular about like your face wash or hair product that you just can't live without for a few days.  Keep extras of products at your parents house or other places you may visit on a regular basis.  And anything you bring should be travel size.  One of my new tricks is to bring make up remover wipes to get around the liquid rules for plane travel.

Get tech savvy.  I now put all my books and magazines on my iPad when I travel so I don't have to carry them around.  I may just bring one magazine for the plane during take off and landing when I can't have my electronics out and then I always leave it behind once I've read it.

And yes, some of these strategies require some time.  It takes a little extra thought to put together versatile outfits that can be dressed up or down, layered and mix and matched.  I usually pull out my rolling rack a few days before a trip and start pulling out what I want to bring.  And I often try outfits on before I pack them to make sure they will work exactly as I planned so I'm not bringing extra pieces, just in case.  But the extra time is worth it to make your trip stylish and stress free.  And remember, I'm always available to help you pack for your next trip if you just don't have the time or inclination to do it right.

My Travel Essentials: (1) Versatile Maxi Dress - can be dressed up or down with accessories or layered up for cooler weather (2) Nude Shoes - these two pairs of shoes, a nude flat and a nude wedge, can get me through an entire trip (3) iPad - before every trip, I load mine up with books, magazines and movies (4) Cleansing Wipes - make up removing clothes get me around the liquid rules for airplane travel (5) Origami Wrap - I never travel without my origami wrap, it's the perfect layering piece and can be wrapped in tons of different ways to create new outfits

June 25, 2012

A Nautical Celebration

What are your plans for the Fourth of July?  More importantly, what will you wear?  I'll be in one of my favorite places to relax: Interlochen, Michigan.  I look forward to escaping the heat (hopefully!), lounging on the deck, boating on the lake, kayaking, listening to summer concerts and slipping into Traverse City for a little shopping.  With the nautical trend being so popular right now, I plan to use Independence Day as an excuse to pull out some sailor stripes, anchors and red, white and blue.  I went on a (faux) shopping spree at J.Crew and put together four different fun Fourth of July outfits.  What will you wear?

Outfit 1: Backyard Family Get Together
This look is perfect for a slightly cooler location where the get together does not involve water sports.

Outfit 2: Unconventional Color Palette for  Beach Party

Going to the beach but don't feel like taking the patriotic thing too literally?  Go for purples and pinks instead of blues and reds and add a pop or orange for contrast.

Outfit 3: Lake Party

This is the perfect outfit for a casual lake party.  Throw the comfy lounge clothes over your swimsuit for fireworks after the sun goes down.

Outfit 4: Catching the Fireworks with Friends

The perfect look for strolling down to the mall to catch the best fireworks show in the country.

June 11, 2012

Trina Turk for Banana Republic

For all you Trina Turk fans out there, don't miss Trina's capsule collection for Banana Republic.  You'll definitely want at least one of these dresses in your summer collection.  There's a really cute printed swimsuit too!  Check out the full collection here.  It just hit stores today so be sure to place your order before everything is gone!