THE DIGITAL STYLE ENCYCLOPEDIA

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Flat Out Fashionable

Every day I see teens hurrying to meetings, booking it to class or legging it down the street to catch their buses. With so much to do and so little time on our hands, we’ve got to get around fast. And on top of it all, some of us still want to wear our trendy new heels.
We all know that getting around in a hurry is not going to happen in wedges or stilettos, but fashionistas would argue that to accessorize the majority of their outfits, tennis shoes just won’t do.
Additionally, some people — even the most devout fashion queens — shy away from high heels. After all, this type of shoe is not healthy for your feet, especially if worn often, and finding a truly comfortable heel is, while doable, a daunting and arduous task.
The shoe that can best keep our feet comfortable and fashionable is the flat.
Wedged sneakers and heeled boots are strutting down the runway as some of the trendiest footwear for this season and next, but flats aren’t far behind. In fact, they may soon outrun stilettos.
One of my favorite flats —and one that is massively trendy right — now is the penny loafer flat. This shoe has a slightly different shape than a ballet flat and comes in every color and pattern imaginable. Designers are selling penny loafer flats in suede, with sequins and with studs, among many variations.
In an article about the inconvenience of high heels, The Wall Street Journal writer Christina Binkley discussed the new “power flat,” a Christian Louboutin shoe designed for “… speed, better balance and comfort.”
These power flats offer a way for women to keep their feet moving in a trendy, comfortable way.
However, Louboutins, no matter how comfortable or gorgeous, are expensive. There are plenty of other options out there, including power flats by other designers. You can even update your shoe by inserting arch supports for comfort.
Take a shoe-shopping trip and try on as many flats as you need to. In the end, you’ll find something that’s comfortable and just flat out fashionable.

 Until next time!

 -enstylopedia

A great example of one of the spring trends!
Peplum Shirt • Forever21

A great example of one of the spring trends!

Peplum Shirt • Forever21

Spring Fling: Trend Report

The weather is still cold enough that someone would have to pay about $1 billion to make you stop wearing cuddly sweaters, warm pea coats and toasty boots, but believe it or not, spring is heading our way and in the fashion world, it has already arrived.
Designers recently wrapped up most of their spring runway shows and I’ve combed through some of their looks to bring you the top trends of the coming season before anyone else does.
What’s my reason for such an early start? During, after and even before the spring runway shows, clothing stores and less prominent designers take the extravagant looks they see marching down the runways and “humanize” them.
These consumer-friendly products, which are based on — but are less flamboyant than — the exotic creations seen during the fashion shows, are then sent to your favorite stores, all before spring even turns the corner.
That means that right now, the newest spring trends are already in stores and if you want to get the cream of the crop, shopping for the next season now is much smarter than waiting until the flowers start sprouting in the spring.
So let’s cut to the chase. Here’s a list of next season’s trends and essential pieces.
  • Color in almost every hue. Any vibrant color or neon is a must, especially for a statement accessory. Jewel tones are also trending, and can be intermixed for a classy contrast. Mustard yellow and mint green are also coloring the store shelves. 
  • Large statement jewelry. It can be vibrantly colored, sparkly or have a dark hue. Large necklaces, distinctive rings in creative shapes and golden bracelets in unique styles top my list of the best statement jewelry. 
  • Anything printed is a must. From stripes to flower- and animal-print jeans, pick a print and incorporate it into an outfit containing colors similar those in the patterned piece. 
  • Denim in pants, shirts, vests and jackets is everywhere. You can select from different washes or even pick out some colorful jeans with a metallic sheen.
  • Leather skirts. These are fabulous, especially when paired with tall boots or leg-warmers. 
  • Lucky for us New Mexicans, Latin chic is in. Crisp white blouses, flower accessories and Southwestern jewelry are among the many aspects of this trend. Think flamenco-dancer chic. 
  • Peplum is next on the list. To spot the peplum trend, keep your eyes peeled for a shirt that is fitted on top, but is cinched at the waist and flares out from there. Peplum shirts can have long sleeves, short sleeves, boatneck cuts or even sweetheart necklines. 
  • Penny loafers in different colors, various prints or accented with studs make a fabulous addition to your wardrobe. Along the same line, studded and flower-printed combat boots are also trending. 
  • Although warm weather may seem like a distant fantasy, look out for ’60s-style bathing suits. Bikinis or one-piece suits are both fashionable alternatives. 
Don’t hesitate to spring into action now and get the best trends of the upcoming season in advance.

Send me an idea for my next article at enstylopedia@hotmail.com, or if you have a Tumblr account, click on the “Ask” tab on my blog.

-enstylopedia

Make a Fashionable New Year’s Resolution

I don’t know about all of you, but every time the New Year comes around, I like to make a few resolutions. Maybe some of you have decided that this year you will forfeit meat altogether, strive to get an “A” in your hardest class or learn to drive a car without ever denting it.
These pledges are all fine and dandy, but how often do you hear someone making a resolution in relation to fashion?
Style may not be as important as your eating habits, your report card or your car, but it still accompanies you through every single day of the year.
I believe making a resolution in relation to fashion is of the utmost importance. What fun would your personal style be if you didn’t take it up a notch with every New Year?
I applaud those of you who have already made a fashion-conscious commitment, such as learning to walk in high heels, vowing never to step into a pair of mom jeans again or deciding that future purchases will be only those that flatter your figure.
While these goals may be fashion-focused, they are very individual. We need a New Year’s resolution that everyone can adopt and undertake.
The best fit is what I have dubbed wearable individualism — which is a fancy way of saying that you must use your style to reflect your personality uniquely.
Let’s make this our resolution for this year. Keep it in mind whenever you put together an outfit or go shopping.
If you reflect your personality in an ensemble, uniqueness automatically follows suit, because everyone is different.
That’s easier said than done. The tricky part is channeling your inner-self to an outward form — an outfit. Let’s take a look at a few guidelines that can help you get started. You may want to jot down some notes that you can refer to when shopping.

Write down all the colors you love and find out how many pieces you have in those shades. If you love jewel tones but have a multitude of black shirts instead, try throwing out the dark shirts you never wear so that you have room to buy some new tops in your favorite hues. 

Think of your preferred patterns. They can be as subtle as a gray pinstripe or as bold as a leopard print. Find out how many items of clothing and accessories you have in these patterns and search your closet for any other patterned pieces you have. Even if you have a patterned shirt that does not have your favorite design, a printed top can make a playful statement with a solid-colored jacket. 

Pull out your favorite accessories and note any commonalities. Are they all colorful? Is every necklace long? Do most of your earrings contain crystals? 

Notice that every guideline refers to a statement-making entity: color, pattern and accessories. These three things are what always add pop to your outfit.
When you find out what specifics you love within each entity — for example the polka dot pattern — and integrate those specifics into your outfits, you are automatically reflecting what you personally love. Since these are statement pieces, you will simultaneously create a unique look.
Keep adding new favorites to your list as you shop throughout the year. Watch for pieces in your favorite colors that you can wear with many items in your wardrobe.
Remember however, that too much of a good thing is a bad thing. Wearing too many patterns or colors at once can cause sensory overload and owning everything leopard-print does not make for a diverse closet, either.
Keep diversity in mind. If you find that, in addition to feather accessories you also love golden jewelry, add that to your list of favorites.
Think of it as a giant Monopoly game. I give you $200 worth of wearable individualism guidelines and you get more money in the form of increased individualism as the year progresses and you find new favorite statement pieces. Before you know it, you’ll be passing Go and strutting uniquely into 2014.

Until next time!

enstylopedia

A Splendid Year in Fashion and an Outfit to Match

I can’t quite believe it’s already 2013. Everyone has already made New Year’s resolutions and is leaving 2012 in the dust. But last year isn’t about to just disappear. It didn’t just leave with some of the most periodically significant events in history — the presidential election and the Olympics, for example — 2012 also left the legacy of one of the craziest years in fashion.
Haute couture exploded as designers sought new ways to make unique clothing and accessories. Silhouettes ballooned when designers like Comme des Garçons decided to make shirts and dresses excessively large and stiff (so that the models looked as if they were in giant flattened plum costumes) but something in all the grandeur still screamed fashion.
The amount of color and print on the runway mushroomed. Color blocking, metallics, jewel tones and newly modern colors like ox blood red and mustard yellow made flashy appearances in multiple fashion shows. We saw pants patterned with palm trees, exotic flowers and different types of animal prints.
Sparkles and giant accessories dominated shows and even massive, feather-like “loofah” dresses nearly engulfed models.
And yet, all of this was translated into a more human, consumer-oriented, wearable form. Patterned pants can now be found in many different stores. Glitzy accessories are in no short supply and the fantastic silhouettes on the runway have been toned down so that anyone can pull them off.
Now, everyone is in a celebratory mood and there are still more parties to attend. I always like to do events justice with a fabulous outfit, but how can any of us muster up an ensemble that can trump the fashion extraordinaire that last year birthed?
After long deliberations, going through my closet and researching magazines, I came to the conclusion that a 2013 party outfit must be a glitzy and grandiose affair.
For those of you who love fashion, this is your chance to go over the top. Deck yourself out in sparkly accessories and glitzy, elegant pieces.
But going overboard is not everyone’s cup of tea. There are other ways to make a statement without being a walking disco ball.
For example, wearing a tailored black dress — that is, at the longest, knee length — with some black tights is always a chic option. To add some sparkle, wear accessories in your favorite color, such as pink bangles and a fuchsia headband.
You can also try tights that are patterned or embellished with little rhinestones.
Wear some sparkly heels or any other type of heel that matches your outfit. If you like comfort, opt for some bejeweled flats instead.
And if you’re still worried about making a statement or dressing out of your comfort zone, think about the situation rationally.
2013 is a clean slate, so take the initiative now and show 2012 that it can be fashionably outdone by your new and improved 2013 style.

An example of a fun, over-the-top party outfit.

An example of a fun, over-the-top party outfit.

Shoes: Antonio Melani

Shoes: Antonio Melani

A Splendid Year in Fashion and an Outfit to Match

Just when we’re starting to enjoy the presents we unwrapped a few days ago, the year is wrapping up again. But 2012 isn’t just leaving with some of the most periodically significant events in history (the presidential election and the Olympics, for example); 2012 is also leaving the legacy of one of the craziest years in fashion.

Haute couture exploded as designers sought new ways to make unique clothing and accessories. Silhouettes ballooned when designers like Comme des Garçons decided to make shirts and dresses excessively large and stiff (so that the models looked as if they were in giant flattened plum costumes) but something in all the grandeur still screamed fashionability.
The amount of color and print on the runway mushroomed. Color blocking, metallics, jewel tones and newly modern colors like ox blood red and mustard yellow made flashy appearances in multiple fashion shows. We saw pants patterned with palm trees, exotic flowers and different types of animal prints.
Sparkles and giant accessories dominated shows and even massive, feather-like loofahs of dresses nearly engulfed models.
And yet, all of this was translated into a more human, consumer-oriented, wearable form. Patterned pants can now be found in many different stores. Glitzy accessories are in no short supply, and the fantastic silhouettes on the runway have been toned down so that anyone can pull them off.
New Year’s Eve is tomorrow and I always like to do the event justice with a fabulous outfit, but how can any of us muster up an ensemble that can trump the fashion extraordinaire that this year birthed?
After long deliberations, going through my closet and researching magazines, I came to the conclusion that a 2012 New Year’s outfit must be a glitzy and grandiose affair.
For those of you who love fashion, this is your chance to go over the top. Deck yourself out in sparkly accessories and glitzy, elegant pieces.
But going overboard is not everyone’s cup of tea. There are other ways to make a statement without being a walking disco ball.
For example, wearing a black dress suited to your figure  — that is, at the longest —knee length, with some black tights is always a chic option. To add some New Year’s sparkle, wear some accessories in your favorite color, such as pink bangles and a fuchsia headband.
You can also try tights that are patterned or embellished with little rhinestones.
As for shoes, try on some sparkly heels or any other type of heel that matches your outfit. If you like comfort, opt for some bejeweled flats instead.
And if you’re still worried about making a statement or dressing out of your comfort zone, think about the situation rationally.
Your New Year’s ensemble will be the last outfit you wear in 2012, so why not embrace the opportunity this fashionably eccentric year has given you and carry a little bit of that eccentricity into 2013?

See some ideas for a fabulous outfit below!

Until next time!

-enstylopedia

Me modeling the dress I made from recyclable materials at the Recycle Santa Fe trashion show.
Image: Courtesy Bettina Hehlen

Me modeling the dress I made from recyclable materials at the Recycle Santa Fe trashion show.

Image: Courtesy Bettina Hehlen

Reusing My Recycled Dress

I thought that the dress I made from recyclable materials had seen its first and final audience after I modeled it on the runway at the Los Alamos Trash Fashion Show in September. I was wrong.
In October, I found myself signing up for the Trash Fashion and Costume Contest, Nov. 2 at the Santa Fe Convention Center, as a part of the Recycle Santa Fe Art Festival. The festival includes a recyclable art fair and hosts the largest trash fashion show in the United States. This year was the 14th contest.
On the day of the show, I left immediately after school with my dress, makeup and spare craft materials piled into the trunk of my car. I guess you could say I literally recycled my dress, because I was going to model it at a second show.
At the convention center, I was given ample time to put on my dress, which is not an easy feat. A panel of several judges interviewed me and I explained to them in detail the materials I used and how I sewed and glued the recyclable components together, to create my dress.
Tickets to the show were sold and models walked across a raised catwalk, in a large room that also housed the recyclable art fair.
All the contestants took their turns to strut down the runway, while the emcee read each participant’s bio and outfit description.
The ensembles were stunning and creative. One teen designed a fitted dress from rubber tubing, while another woman crocheted old cassette tapes into a fitted 1920s-inspired dress. I saw full-length gowns made completely from cut-up magazines; colorful dresses that looked like giant tissue paper loofahs; a whimsical gown made from an old boat sail; a skirt that was created by stapling sanding disks together into a scale-like pattern; and a bustier of a dress made completely from cigar bands.
I made many new friends that have similar interests
, such as fashion. Every contestant at the show was as passionate and excited about their outfits as I was about mine, which made for a creative and exuberant atmosphere that I enjoyed being a part of.
I was placed in the “teen” category with two other girls. After the show, awards were announced and I placed third in my category.
I encourage anyone with a love for recycling, sewing, designing, fashion or art to participate in both the Los Alamos trashion show and the Trash Fashion and Costume Contest at the Santa Fe Convention Center next year. You don’t need to be an experienced in sewing or designing to participate — there were fabulous outfits made of plastics and cardboards that were completely glued together.
After modeling my dress at two fashion shows, I got a feel for how durable my dress had to be, what other fabulous designers I was up against and how to create a stage presence.
Given the fact that I loved doing both shows in Los Alamos and Santa Fe, I will certainly participate in them again next year.
I’ve already got ideas and materials for my next dress, but that’s a secret that won’t be revealed until next year’s fashion shows.

To get more information about the Recycle Santa Fe Art Festival, visit recyclesantafe.org.

-Alexandra Hehlen

Rejuvenating the Jean

Everyone has a pair of jeans. In fact, most of us have multiple pairs, and over time they have become the go-to type of pants that we can wear casually or professionally depending on cut, fit, and wash.

Denim is being upgraded with the latest trend, jean jackets and jean shirts. Surprisingly, this fad hasn’t become that “in” until recently; we wear jeans for bottoms frequently, so it makes sense to extend jeans’ convenient and comfortable qualities to shirts.

Since some denim is stiff or relatively thick, it can seem difficult to wear in jacket or shirt form. After all, we want to utilize the complete mobility of our arms, do we not?

However, the new denim-in-a-shirt trend has created tops that are just as comfortable as your favorite pair of skinnies. Very thin denim is used to make button-up shirts, and thicker—but not more inflexible—denim is designed into comfortable jackets.

Denim button-up shirts go hand-in-hand with studs, which are also currently trending. Button-ups that have collars studded with sequins, pearls, rhinestones, or metal accents make fashionable and unique statements. You can button up your shirt all the way, wear it half-buttoned-up with a colorful or neutral shirt underneath, or use it as a light jacket.

Button-up jean shirts come many washes, from pale blue to deep navy.

Denim jackets come in all types of cuts and washes as well. They can be frayed, studded, tailored, elegant; you name it. Finding the ideal jacket for your figure and your taste may take some considerable shopping, but chancing on the perfect jacket is worth the effort.

While wearing denim on denim is “in,” sporting the fabric in this way can be difficult. If you do decide to wear jeans and a denim shirt, choose the shirt in a light blue wash, and the jeans in a dark blue or black color.

This way, you can create variations on jean fabric by way of color. Additionally, dark jeans are slimming for the figure.

Jean fabric in shirts, jackets, and pants comes in such great variety that you are bound to find some kind of denim that fits your figure, taste, and personal style.

Until next week!

-Alexandra Hehlen

White Hot

For those of you who read my fashion column every week, you know that I’ve always advocated adding pop to an outfit with a colorful accessory such as a bag, bracelet or necklace. This fall, the tide has turned.
I adore bright colors and will continue to embellish my outfits with them as long as I live. Yet this season, trends point toward enhancing an outfit with white accessories.
This can be no easy feat. White is considered a neutral color; it would get lost if used to accessorize an outfit of brown, black or tan shades.
To pull off using the color as an accessory, we must reverse the logic that an outfit should be neutral and the accessories vibrant.
Instead, try wearing bright colored garments and use bright white to add a fashionable, but chic clash. The colors this season that will perfectly counteract white are cobalt blue, ox blood red, pumpkin orange, black and gray.
Maintaining a balance between these colors can be difficult. I suggest using (at most) two of them in an outfit, not including white.
As an example, think about wearing a feminine white shirt with a cobalt blue blazer. Add a splash of orange with a belt, scarf or even orange buttons on your jacket. Keep the pants neutral. A dark gray color acts as a canvas for the statement-making blue and orange colors. As an accessory, add a white bag and watch.
With this particular outfit example, the white in the shirt, purse and watch clashes with the orange and the blue, causing the outfit to look bright, but not overly colorful — and composed. The contrasting colors create clear divisions in an ensemble that make it look clean-cut, which is an essential aspect of fashion this fall.
Remember not to overuse white by wearing it in both a jacket, shirt and accessory, for example. This can end up looking washed out.
No matter how contradictory it seems, reducing the amount of white actually increases its visibility in your chic ensemble.
To remain in style this season, don’t forget a touch of bright white.

See some examples of this fabulous trend below. Message me an idea for my next column, or if you don’t have a Tumblr account, send me an email at enstylopedia@hotmail.com

Until next week!

xoxo

-Alexandra Hehlen