How to Layer for the Holidays

layering guide pics Amy Tara Koch with Darlene Hill

layering pic 2Perfectly layered bangles

 

The Holidays are all about drama, yes. But does that mean women need to run out and invest in a new wardrobe? Good Day Chicago’s style expert Amy Tara Koch says NO WAY! You can create a big style statement by mixing and matching what you already own (or filling in your accessory blanks with some new holiday baubles). Translation? Toss the matchy-matchy mindset and pair your accessories in unconventional ways to create texture, add contrast and introduce color.

 

LAYERING TIPS

    1. Mix vintage + new
    2. Pair opposites for high drama
    3. High/low is a recipe for high style. Think: H&M and Hermes!

 

    Watch video here!

    FOX 32 News Chicago

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    GROOVY GIFTS FOR THE MOM TO BE

    What do pregnant women want for Christmas? GLAMOUR! With the basketball bulge of a belly, a great holiday gift is something that injects maternity moxie to that nine month fashion challenge called “pregnancy.”  My BUMP IT UP gift guide is filled with stylish gear designed to make her look and feel great.     

    1. Bobbi Brown Lip Gloss Trio

    2. Spanx Power Mama Tights

    3. Belli Pregnancy: Complexion Perfection Duo

    4. Destination Maternity: Storksak Jools Diaper Bag

    5. Kara Ross Drusy Resin Cuff

    6. Ingrid & Isabel BellaBand

    7. Hatch by Two Birds Wrap Dress

    8. Mr. & Mrs: Labor & Delivery Survival Kit

    9. Mama Mio Beat the Heat Bump It Up Pregnancy Style Kit

     

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    GET THE LOOK: CELEB PREGNANCY STYLE 101

    Beyonce. Keri Russell. Lily Allen. Jennifer Garner. Whether they are  shopping or walking the red carpet, the parade of chic pregnant celebs dazzles the mind. Here’s what I have discovered.  Bump savvy celebs are not miracles of nature. They have simply mastered the high art of mix and match fertility fashion; a combination of must-have maternity with easy civilian silhouettes that embrace and enhance their bumps. Want their secrets? Here, I have dissected their ensembles so the average preggo can get the look

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    KERI RUSSELL: HOT BUMP IN THE CITY

    1. Piperlime, Michael Stars striped tunic tee $37.99

    2. H&M faux leather bomber jacket $49.95

    3. Gap geometric print scarf $29.95

    4. Piperlime, Kenneth Cole Reaction gold flats $59

    5. Destination Maternity boot cut jeans $40

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    LILY ALLEN: CLASSIQUE

    1. Anthropologie solaris scarf $58

    2. Spanx maternity opaque stripe tights $20

    3. Asos resin bangle $13.97 each

    4. QVC, Kenneth Jay Lane duchess tribal earring $39.50

    5. Asos maternity tulip sleeve dress $61.11

    6. Old Navy sueded oxford booties $34.94

    7. Piperlime, Melie Bianco angela tote $98

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    BEYONCE: GLAMOUR A GO-GO

    1. QVC, Kenneth Jay Lane pompeii hoop earring $13.09

    2. Forever 21 geo stretch bracelet $8.80

    3. Forever 21 v rhinestone bracelet $7.80 each

    4. Gap skinny glitter belt $23.99

    5. Zara dress with elastic waist $89.90

    6. Old Navy sueded desert wedge $30.00

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    JENNIFER GARNER: RED CARPET READY

    1. Nordstrom, Rampage metallic envelope clutch $33.90

    2. Asos, French Connection antique gold ring $31. 43

    3. Kara Ross double dangle tabletop skin inset earrings $175

    4. Isabella Oliver wrap column dress $289

    5. DSW, Via Spiga mesa pump $50

    6. Footpetals killer kushionz $12.95

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    SUPER ACCESSORIZING 101: TRANSFORM BASICS INTO DOZENS OF LOOKS

    Celebs moms–polished and sporty–may look like they stepped from a photo shoot as they breeze from Walgreens to playground in People Magazine. They have a sartorial trick up their kimono sleeve.  THE SECRET?  They approach fashion formulaically by reworking versatile basics and layering them with groovy accessories.

    So how can the average woman channel the effortless je ne sais quoi of Nicole Richie, Gwen, Heidi and Rachel Zoe? By investing in quality basics and strategically layering with compelling accent pieces.

    Here’s how to do it…

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    BASICS

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    THE  DRESSES

    ATK accessorizing 101 basic dress

    GAP denim tie back dress, $69.95 \\ VICTORIA’S SECRET jersey wrap dress, $49.50 \\ BANANA REPUBLIC maxi dress, $89.99 \\ JAMES PERSE crepe maxi dress, $225 \\ ISABELLA OLIVER jersey bandeau maxi dress, $159

    .

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    THE TOPS

    ATK accessorizing 101 the top

    LA MADE knot tank, $33.99 \\ LANSTON loose knot oversized tee, $50.99 \\ SPLENDID vintage whisper boyfriend top, $58 \\ VINCE striped double layer sweater, $99

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    THE COMPRESSION  LEGGINGS

    SPANX cotton compression leggings, $62

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    THE JEANS

    atk accessorizing 101 the jean

    GAP 1969 real straight jeans in dark wash, $69.50 \\ GAP 1969 curvy jeans in white wash, $59.50

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    ACCESSORIZE

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    STATEMENT JEWELRY


    KARA ROSS gold hoops, $150 \\ SEQUIN enamel bangles, $30 each \\ HOUSE OF HARLOW knuckle duster ring, $50

    .

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    KICK UP A NEUTRAL WITH A POP OF COLOR

    JCREW featherweight cardigan in gauguin orange, $62 \\ MADEWELL electric scarf, $58 \\ THEODORA & CALLUM ikat scarf, $175

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    GLAMMIFYING ACCENTS


    TOMS red stripe canvas wedges, $69 \\ COACH jazlyn wedge, $99 \\ HENRY BEGUELIN pietra sandal, $430
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    CARLOS FALCHI ombre python clutch \\ DVF printed tote, $150 \\ CHEAP MONDAY telekenisis glasses, $30

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    FIVE MINUTE FIX: BOARDROOM CHIC(K)

    Is you work look getting stale?

    Glam up your office duds with five easy pieces

    YOUR TOOL BOX:

    1.  Eye catching gold earrings bring light to your face and adds a touch of drama

    KARA by Kara Ross Eclipse Drop Earrings $150, Tasha Triple Hoop Drop Earrings $28, Wendy Mink Gold Teardrop Cutout Earrings, $73

    2. Timelessly chic tote bag

    Classic Tote Options

    Alexander Wang Emile Tote $650, MICHAEL Michael Kors Hamilton Chain Tote $328, Foley + Corrina Mid City Tote $348

    3. A scarf adds a pop of color

    Sir Alistair Rai Love Raja Wrap $98, Theodora & Callum Pink Multi Ikat Scarf $175, Gap Bobble Stripe Scarf $29.95

    4. A fabulous wedge elongates your silhouette

    Coach Jazlyn Wedge $99, Vince Camuto Edon Wedge $47.50, Calvin Klein Blaire Wedge $93.50

    5. A graphic print jacket brings life to your look

    Marni Printed Jacket $740, Zero + Maria Cornejo Blanket Cardigan $598

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    STAY ON-TREND: BE A MOMMY MIX MASTER

    The sun is coming out and magazines are announcing the latest and greatest Spring trends. Forget replacing your wardrobe. The trick to maintaining your sense of style from season to season? By layering basic garments with up-to-the-minute accent pieces-the colorful drippy scarf, the statement necklace, the vintage coin belt, the gumball sized agate earrings you can effectively camouflage the fact that the same few garments are being “rotated” week after week. Here’s what you need:

    VINTAGE ACCESSORIES : Vintage accessories contain inherent wow factor. Sporting a fabulous obsidian brooch from Belarus or an eye catching jangle of old school pendants adds panache and an invaluable OMG quotient (could that be Victorian Mourning jewelry???) to basics. Don’t break the bank on chicifying accents. My advice? Head to your granny’s closet (or the madcap Auntie Mame in your familia) and treat it like your own personal Saks Fifth Avenue.

    LOOK FOR: chunky beaded necklaces, blinged out Studio 54 cuffs, quirky straw totes, reptilian clutches, knuckle duster cocktail rings, shawls in wacky ethnic prints, sequined lame or sequined purses and tops and as many belts (chain, coin, fringe) that can be stuffed into your overnight bag. Juxtaposing vintage accessories with basic silhouettes a If you should face resistance, be prepared to barter Friday night suppers in exchange for luxe loot.

    BUY A DANGLY SCARF:
    The dangly scarf is an excellent style element to build up basics and inject sportiness into a look. MAJOR POINT: There is a huge difference between the square shaped scarves that Auntie Ruth knots waspily under her sweater set and the cool, skinny Stevie Nicks style scarf dripping sensuously from inside a knit or shrunken spring jacket.

    ATK, Bump it Up, Dangly scarf

    LOOK FOR: Pieces that liven of blah basics: Thin, vertical scarves in bold colors or groovy graphics or rocker-chic scarves adorned with skulls and crossbones and/or trendy hippie symbols.

    STACK CUFFS AND BANGLES
    : A dash of Dynasty style flash in the form of layered gold is a dramatic way to amp up simple silhouettes. Whether you are wearing a t-shirt or evening gown, a cuff on each wrist is supremely glamorous and instantly updates a look.

    ATK, Bump it Up, Stacked Bangles and Cuffs

    LOOK FOR: enamel cuffs, candy colored  Hermes bangles, dramatic Bollywood bangles, Faux gem encrusted(think Kenneth Jay Lane’s) cuffs,  Bakelite bangles

    ADD A STATEMENT NECKLACE- Statement jewelry is what brings an outfit to life Whether its rough hewn hunks of rock crystal or an assemblage of clam shells culled from Portugal, oversized jewelry takes cojones to wear and never fails to spark a conversation.

    ATK, Bump it up, Statement necklace

    LOOK FOR: artsy fartsy ethnically beaded necklaces, long layered necklaces of semi-precious stones, vintage pendants and cameos, chain link necklaces in gold or silver, lariats

    SPORT GLADIATOR SANDALS:
    The clunky Jesus sandal has been reworked and appliquéd into the seasons must have footwear. The sleek, wraps –around-the ankle leather shoe has a casually glam St Barths vibe that plugs into jeans, peasant skirt and cocktail frocks.


    LOOK FOR: Simple leather flats with metallic straps or a high chunky heel with simple gold detailing

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    THE FRIDAY FIVE: KARA ROSS ON HOW TO SPICE UP YOUR WINTER WARDROBE

    My friend, the fabulous jeweler and GIA-certified gemologist Kara Ross has built her empire on the premise of creating elegant and decidedly non run of the mill accessories. From baubles to belts and bags, Kara Ross exudes modernity and high glamour. Her thoughtful take on luxury goods like python cuffs and gemstone clutch bags has generated a fan base that includes Michelle Obama, Eva Mendes, and Kate Hudson. For my newly minted THE FRIDAY FIVE blog post, I asked Kara to provide 5 tips to spice up a blah winter wardrobe with accessories.


    1.  Resin Covered 3 Bezel Pillow Necklace in Gold with Glitter Washed Natural Whip Snake, $395 When I chose to grow my brand from fine jewelry into other lines, I sat with my team and we talked about what made the fine jewelry so “us.”  What came from that was how much we loved that the gemstones we used were natural materials (with natural flaws!) that made our one-of-a-kind pieces even more so.  I knew then that I would incorporate gemstones into each line I premiered, and that exotic skins were the obvious partner in the endeavor.  My Kara by Kara Ross line uses both, and I recently decided to try highlighting the skin in a totally original way by layering clear resin over it.  They pick up the light beautifully and create interest even with the higher necklines I know we tend to favor when it’s so cold outside – love.

    Kara Ross
    www.kararossny.com
    Also available at Neiman Marcus

    2.  Detachable Pyramid Drop Earrings in Sterling Silver with 18k Gold Accent, Black Onyx, and Pave Black Sapphire, $1,230 Balancing career and family as I do, I know the value of a piece that’s actually day-to-night – I hate losing time running home to change when I can just go to events  from the office and get home that much earlier – and these earrings detach from this dramatic drop to form a stud and a pendent.  I always feel more glamorous when I have them on, especially when it’s so dreary outside.

    Kara Ross Pyramis Earrings

    www.kararossny.com available at Neiman Marcus
    Also

    3Prunella in Bronze Python with Labradorite, $1,170 My fantastic handbags director refuses to make clutches that can’t at least fit a blackberry, keys, and a few credit cards, but this clutch has deceptively large depths for its size – you can throw in some makeup, gloves…it’s the perfect winter clutch!

    Kara Ross
    www.kararossny.com
    Also available at Neiman Marcus

    4.  20mm Electric Blue Lizard Belt with Gunmetal Hardware and Hematite, $330 A great way to incorporate belts into your winter wardrobe is to switch out the ties on your overcoat for a great statement belt.  It makes your look more individual, but at the same time you’re not losing functionality or dressing any less warmly.

    Kara Ross Belt

    www.kararossny.com

    5. Wide Hexagon Cuff in Gold with Taupe Stingray and Labradorite, $320 This is one of my favorite skin and stone pairings in a cuff I repeat every season in many variations…stingray skin is just so incredibly rich and pebbly and labradorite’s different veins of color flash in the light.  It’s a great way to add a light little “pop” to an outfit without committing to a more summery palate.

    Kara Ross
    www.kararossny.com
    Also available at Nordstrom

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    NEW YEAR, NEW YOU! Twitter Party Giveaway-January 19

    Since the Holiday twitter party was so successful, I am partnering with Moms Fashion File once again tomorrow night at 10 EST for a night of style and over $1000 worth of fab giveaways. Here’s what we will be tweeting about:
     
     “New Year, New You!” Style tips and tricks to have you looking and feeling your best in 2011
    – Getting YOU organized so you can spend more time doing things that YOU enjoy
    – Creating OF THE MOMENT LOOKS with existing staples and au courant accessories
    – LOOKING YOUNG, FRESHER and more radiant with NEW beauty products and OLD home remedies
    – Tips and tricks TO REDUCE STRESS and live in the moment
    – BUTT & THIGH BUSTERS: How to BOOST METABOLISM and look longer and leaner without going to the gym

    RSVP at MOMS FASHION FILE (click here)

    Kara Ross: Pocket Watch Necklace, $260

    Philosophy: The Microdelivery Peel, $65

    Duracell: myGrid USB Charger, $34.99

    Footpetals: Stiletto Stylist Kit for Moms, $44.95

    CARGO: Smokey Eyes Kit, $43

    Laura Mercier: Bonne Mine Healthy Glow Palette, $48

    Tide to Go Mini, $3

    Ann Taylor: Swarvoski Crystal Bracelet, $69

    COACH: Colette Hobo Purse, $298

    High Flavor, Low Labor: Reinventing Weeknight Cooking, $14

    Bubby’s Brunch Cookbook, $20

    Now Eat This! by Rocco Dispirito, $14

     

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    BUMP IT UP ON BETTER TV!

    see how to inject of the moment fashion verve into basics with this most excellent clip from better

    http://www.better.tv/

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    random thoughts and images from my glamorous life on the road

    Sitting with Maggie Rodriguez on the set of the CBS Early Show was amazing—like a triple shot of espresso laced with Red Bull exhilaration!

    Amy and Maggie Rodriguez of the CBS Early Show

    Amy and Maggie Rodriguez of the CBS Early Show

    Amy and Maggie gabbing it up!

    Amy and Maggie gabbing it up!

    Amy on the set of the CBS Early Show

    Amy on the set of the CBS Early Show

    Amy on the set of the CBS Early Show

    Amy on the set of the CBS Early Show

    Every sassy author needs a glam squad: Hair by Roz of Frederic Fekkai, face and tan by Andrew Sotomayor of Lancome, dress by DKNY, and golden baubles from Kara Ross New York.

    BUMP IT UP @ DKNY NYC was a coterie of authors, designers, scribes and haute mamas: Samantha Ettus, Keri Glassman, Marjorie Goldner, Jennifer Gilbert, Lyss Stern, Tara Mandy, and Jill Kargman…VIVA THE COZY!

    Amy and Lyss Stern

    Amy and Lyss Stern

    Amy and Jennifer Gilbert

    Amy and Jennifer Gilbert

    Lindsay Fox

    Lindsay Fox

    Marjorie Goldner and Keri Glassman

    Marjorie Goldner and Keri Glassman

    BUMP IT UP Babes at DKNY

    BUMP IT UP Babes at DKNY

    p.s: DKNY has its own champagne label. Beyond evidence that a $90,000.00 pair of Harry Winston sparklers brightens the complexion and the mood!

    Mayor Richard Daley’s Department of Cultural Affairs held a soiree in the Publisher’s Gallery of the city’s Cultural Center featuring chic local designers Susanne Siegel, Sophia Forero and JKAT jewelry. Yours truly walked off with a bauble that would have matched the bravado of her bump (but I’m not preggers!).

    Amy Tara Koch and BUMP IT UP!

    Amy Tara Koch and BUMP IT UP!

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