Announcement: Celebrating 9 Years

9 Year Anniversary 2022

I cannot say how happy I am to have been fashion blogging with WordPress for 9 long years now.  Now that I am back to doing more blogging, my ultimate goal is to become a fashion consultant to men and women looking to enhance their style.

I want to thank all of my viewers, readers, and followers for hanging tight with Styled by Rene.  It’s been a journey and I am happy to say I want to take this to higher levels.

Fashion: How to Give a Thrifty Ensemble a Fresh New Look

I don’t do a lot of thrifty shopping, so it was no surprise that after I moved to Washington State from California in 2017 I had to think about where I buy my clothes because shopping is very limited in the town I moved to with regards to where to buy clothes.  We have Ross Stores, Lane Bryant closed, and there’s Maurice’s and Fred Meyers where sometimes the clothes are a hit and miss, but they have really good sales. And we also have two Walmarts, a half empty mall where there’s JC Penny, and we have Goodwill.

So, this post is talk about how to give a thrifty ensemble a fresh new look for the spring/summer seasons.  When you’re shopping at a thrift store you really have to look at what you’re buying.  You have to look for rips and tears, stains, holes, the condition of the fabric, and if you try it on, you have to check inside the garments, and be sure to protect yourself because you don’t know who had those garments before they were donated to the thrift store.

Goodwill Max and TopIn 2018 I stopped in Goodwill just at the beginning of spring to see what I could find.  Not what they had, but more along the lines of what I find that was for the spring/summer season and would it fit.  I first found the multi-color sleeveless top which I really like because it’s airy, it’s a soft fabric, doesn’t really wrinkle, and it’s really comfortable.

Once I had the top, my next thing was to decide what to wear with it. You know, like…shoes, accessories, pants, shorts, skirts, etc.  They didn’t have many options in terms of shorts and jeans in styles I liked or in my size, so I looked at the small selection of maxi skirts and found the light beige knit maxi skirt with a long skirt lining.  Luckily I didn’t have to try anything on because I gauged it and concluded everything would fit.

Got it home, washed it, and set on the path of what more could I do to dress it up and make it look like a knew ensemble bought right out the department store.  I wore it with a pair of CK mule high heels that happened to be the same color as the skirt.  I had a gold tone bracelet, a wide Michael Kors watch and a long gold tone stylish necklace.  My daughter took one look at this and swore it was a brand new ensemble that I bought either from Ross or JC Penny.  She was surprised where I told her I got, in fact she didn’t believe me. (;

I wasn’t too cool on the shoes because the heel kept catching the skirt, so I went with a pair of nude color flat sandals.  They looked nice with the ensemble, but the problem was there is a buckle on top (I still have them) and the buckle kept catching the skirt.  So, for the past year the ensemble has been sitting folded up in my a bag and I decided to pull it out and freshen it up.

How am I going to give it a fresh new look?  Believe it or not the key to this scenario happens to be the right shoes and accessories.  The one thing added is a light cardigan sweater for those cool evening the Pacific Northwest gets during the spring/summer seasons.

Goodwill Max and Top2Rather than going with a nude or tan, or a beige color flat sandal, this year I decided to go with a low gold wedge sandal.  The embellishment is not so much that it will catch the bottom of the skirt, but it certainly will jazz up the ensemble itself.

Gold Low Wedge Sandal-3

I looked at different other shoe styles before deciding on the gold low wedge sandals.  I wanted to see what other colors and styles would look good, but I kept going back to a nude or light beige, or the gold.  It was the gold that kept catching my attention, and looking at the colors that are in the top, it would look good added to the ensemble.  I could have easily gone with a pink, too, but it just wasn’t giving me the pizzazz I was looking for.

You have to be careful about the shoes you choose.  Style and color is everything.  I see people make simple mistakes especially with knit maxi skirts.  I have had a ton of them in my life time so I know what styles work and what styles do not, and I know what colors work best and those colors we should stay away from.

OK…now I’ve got my ensemble together, let’s talk about what to dress it up with to give it that fresh look.  

There’s no real reason to go out and spend a ton of money on different types of accessories, unless you absolutely feel you have to.  You can also use pieces you already have, which is what I did.

Necklace and Watch-2I decided to go with this necklace I picked up at Walmart.  It was on sale, marked down to $3.00, this was last summer though.  I haven’t seen any more over there.  And I chose this particular Michael Kors watch that I have which actually matches really well.

You really want to keep your accessory choices simple, like your shoes selection.  You don’t want to go with gawdy pieces that can overpower the ensemble.

I am very picky when it comes to coordinating.  Everything has to be cohesive and have a balance to the overall look. I have gotten some really good compliments the few times I wore this ensemble.

There is nothing wrong with shopping in a thrift store.  For some people there is a therapeutic element to it, where for others, it’s a what can be afforded.  Either way, there can be something found for everyone.

If you’ve recently gone to the thrift store and you found that cute spring/summer ensemble and you’re having trouble trying to figure out how to dress it up, email me a styledbyrene@live.com, send me a picture of what you have and I will respond back with some ideas to help you along the way to creating a fresh and fabulous look that no one would believe you bought it from a thrift store.

Fashion News: Shopping Woes that Plague Boston Proper Risk Losing Customers

Considering shopping with Boston Proper should be approached very cautiously.  As we all know online shopping is one of today’s most popular ways to shop for those favorite fashion pieces we enjoy, but when you have your favorite online fashion merchant that you’ve been shopping from for several years, and you’ve had nothing but good experience, you expect that momentum to maintain its value even through the pandemic.

470834253_685Boston Proper is an online merchant I first started shopping from in 2013 when I purchased the crochet top they had, except I purchased it at an extremely discounted price, and they’ve only brought it back once after I purchased mine.

Although I have not shopped online with them for a while before last Spring, I have managed to keep up with their seasonal items.  Over they years, they have remained very high priced with pieces that are hard to find anywhere else, and believe me I have looked even on sites such as AliExpress and SheIn, and to no avail coming up short in every avenue.

It was not until 2021 that I returned as a customer to purchase pieces for the spring and summer seasons, and was extremely pleased with the delivery and quality of the items at that time.

Fast forward to 2022, the great shopping experience was short lived when my 2022 orders were met with nothing but problems stemming from severely delayed deliveries, orders with more than one order number, and other issues that seems to be putting Boston Proper in a different lime light.

With the high prices they charge, it does not give them the right to take away from valued customer service, poor quality in how their items are delivered, and the many concerns customers have which seems to go back to the same thing, their level of integrity has gone down.  Customer service agents talk over you, they don’t let you finish what you’re saying, they are very scripted, won’t let you speak to a supervisor without trying to remedy the situation with you themselves, and the supervisors are just as bad as the agents.

Since I have been ordering from Boston Proper, I have spent in upwards of $1,225.63.  That’s enough to buy my granddaughter a whole new wardrobe and furnish her bedroom from top to bottom and probably have change left over.  So, when did the problems start?  First of all, the problems did not start with Boston Proper until orders placed in January 2022 were nearly 3 weeks late, which was alarming giving the major problems we have seen with shipping carriers since the start of the pandemic.  keep in mind I did not have these problems last year, though.

I reached out to Boston Proper about the problem and they were able to replace to of the items, which was fine, and I saw that as they were trying to rectify the problem.  But what happened next was more alarming.  There was notification of another shipment relating to one of my orders.  I had Boston Proper check the tracking number and they informed me that they had no record of that tracking number and the shipping phone number did not belong to them.

When I receive the package, it was a huge heavy box.  The contents were athletic wear from Lululemon.com. It took two days to determine where to return the items. The contents were packaged and hard tagged and Lululemon.com were made aware of the items.  At first they informed me that if Boston Proper did not get back to me on where to return the items, to contact them back and they would give me information on where to return the items to them.  But after two days of no real resolution from Boston Proper and a supervisor who to me was not taking the situation serious, I reached back out to Lululemon.com but they turned around and said they did not want to claim any responsibility to the items because they could not determine the authenticity of the contents even though the tags point to them and they were hard tagged and still packaged.  The box was eventually returned to Boston Proper’s Distribution Center with a report generated from Been Verified with information on who the shipping phone number may belong to in case they chose to investigate it.

Other problems experienced included:

  • One item having two different order numbers
  • One order having two different tracking numbers
  • One order having to wait two weeks to ship only to find out the item was discontinued, but later was alerted that their was one left and to order it right away, to discover that even that information may be incorrect.  If it is correct, and there was one left in stock, then other factors fall into place meaning the order that they cancelled before checking their inventory, the discounts that were attached to that canceled order will need to be applied to the new order because an agent indicated those discounts would be restored for use.

Online ordering has become the way of life for many consumers, and for some it’s new territory they’ve been forced into especially during the lockdown.  This put us at the mercy of the shipping carriers that overwhelmed their man power causing huge delays and in some cases lost packages.  And there in lies the fact that we’ve also had to experience theft of packages being stollen.

It’s no wonder that at the prices Boston Proper charges they would have more compassion for how they are operating.  Bottom line the chain of command is broken.  They are asleep at the wheel, their quality has gone down the tubes in terms of their customer service and they need to really take time to fix what’s broken or continue losing customers.

Do I recommend shopping on BostonProper.com?  I would say to shop with extreme caution.  If you do, scrutinize your orders very closely, watch the order numbers and tracking numbers, and report anything suspicious right away.  Bottom line is they need to fix what’s wrong with their system, and until they do that, they can expect to lose even more customers.  Including me.

Style File by Rene: Favorite Spring/Summer Pieces from Boston Proper

style-file1Hey everyone!!! I sure hope 2022 kicked off on a good start for all of you.  It’s been quite a while since my very last post.  A lot has happened since my my last post.  I did not want to stay a way too much longer so I thought I would get the posts going again talking about Spring/Summer styles from Boston Proper.  And despite the situation I just had with them involving a suspicious package I received, I have since returned it and are moving on to enjoy some of my favorite pieces from them.

For the woman over 50 who is struggling to identify with their current style and have come to the realization that now is the time revamp that style with some new enhancements, or change their style to try new fashions, or they want a completely new wardrobe altogether, I am going to share with you some of my favorite styles, how to coordinate, and mix and match pieces to come up with that favorite look.

Now, I have to inform you that Boston Proper is on the high end price spectrum.  The lowest priced item I purchased today was $59.50 and I paid for 2-day shipping so that my item does not go bouncing around before getting to me.

So, let’s get into it.

BostonProper Summer 2021One of my favorite items to have in my wardrobe are palazzo pants.  They are fun, airy, they can be dressed up for an evening look, when you’re out running errands, or if you’re just lounging around the house.  They are the most comfortable pairs of pants you can have in your wardrobe next to jeans and sweat pants.

Last years I got my hands on a pair that had a fun retro look that reminded me of the 1970s era.  The top is a mock-neck sleeveless Blouson top also from Boston Proper.  It is described as a soft, sophisticated, and ultra versatile feminine top that can complete any outfit.  It is finished with a mock-neck scarf ties at the back and adds a fabulous finish.  The top is also lined with an elastic bottom, and id 95% polyester and 5% spandex.  I ordered an extra large.  Fits really great.

The Abstract Print Palazzo pants gave me that 1970s vibe that I just could not resist.  Growing up in the 70s I saw a lot of the bright colors on the short mini dresses and skirts, the headbands to match.  It was definitely one of those eras that I feel had a hand in how fashion started to have this shift.

AbstractI was happy to see that they are still among Boston Proper’s Spring/Summer lineup this year because when I got them and wore them out for my birthday, I got a lot compliments.  These pants are comfortable with a flash back-forward look.  They are wide legged, have a pull on waist, they are flowy, and would be great travel pants if you are taking that well deserved vacation.  Talk about a must have obsession!  These are definitely it.  I am also adding the Ocean (blue) Abstract Border Print palazzo pants.

I wore these with my white mule high heel sandals to really dress up the look along with the blouson top and set the ensemble in the right summer tone.  I got the white high heels mules from Ross and they ran me about $19.99.  If you like the pants, they are $79.50 each.

EnsemblePrintTire of wearing regular jeans?  Need an outfit that really shows your personality, or something to lift your spirts?  This is an ensemble I picked for my weekend getaway.  I love this ensemble because of the pops of colors in the jeans and how the blue off the shoulder top really brings up the colors.  I prefer the Anna Off the Shoulder Charmeuse long sleeve dark blue top with these pants specifically because of how there is more blue and I would go with a gold tone low wedge sandal.  I picked gold because of the gold accents in the pants.  And the top will also add a slimming affect as well.

They are called “Status Chain Printed Ankle Jeans” and come in sizes 0 – 16….well, they are out of the size 16 now.  And the largest the top comes in is a size XL.  Bought together, this ensemble will cost $192.37 including tax and standard shipping.

Got a pair of white pants you need a top to wear with them?  Check out this Ocean Abstract Print Banded Bottom Mock-Neck Halter.  It’s $59.50 and comes in sizes XS – XL and can dress up those white pants, or those jeans you have and need a top to wear with them, or you can spend the extra $69.50 and get the Twill PUll-On Cropped Pants, style #2BJ73.  The only reason why I didn’t purchase them is because I already have a pair in the blue yonder color, but they are more of a dark powder blue.

3-PieceThe Pacific Northwest is notorious for it’s warm and hot days, but at night the temperature is on the color side. If you’re stepping out and need a casual but classy and stylish ensemble to wear, feast your eyes on this ensemble I recently added to my wardrobe.

This is the ensemble that, for me, broke the book in terms of stylish casual wear.  When I received my catalog and opened the book, why was this the page it opened up to?  It did not take me long to order it.  The only thing I did not order were the shoes because I am going in a slight different direction for the shoes, just have not found the right ones yet.

So, let’s talk about the jeans.  The Mixed Pearl Ankle jeans will be the talking piece wherever you wear them because of the mixed pearl detailed cuff hem and detail at the pocket  I ordered a size 16 and the fit perfectly.  I almost wished I got a size 14 for when I lose weight.

I took the description from the site so you can get an idea of the item.

The statement cuff gives these jeans a dose of glam style with a stunning mixed pearl border. The on-trend look keeps your casual style on track and adds the perfect blend of modern polish and sophistication. Front pockets accented with pearls for an added touch of feminine flair. 

  • Boston Proper exclusive
  • Zip cuffs
  • Zip fly with button closure
  • Five-pocket construction
  • Belt loops
  • Fading
  • Whiskering
  • Silver-tone details
  • 98% cotton/2% spandex
  • Imported
  • Hand wash

In some of the reviews I read the length and the weight of the pants were a turn off, and in some cases they length was an issue, too. Not to mention the $119 price tag, currently on sale for $99.99, so I was able to get back $19.51 because they price match their own prices if the item went on sale within 15 days of your original purchase.

The relaxed cardigan is so soft and the power blue hits this ensemble just right.  I call it a bat winged sweater.  If you grew up in the eights like I did, batwing styled tops were popular.  It’s a heavy sweater, acrylic, and the Medium/Large is perfect because it runs big and you won’t find an XL in this sweater.  Price for this beautiful sweater?  It will set you back $89.50.

Let’s not forget the Marilyn Cowl-Neck Charmeuse blouse.  There were a lot of reviews that ragged on how bad the quality of this top was and how it’s not worth the price.  Whether or not they are right, I actually found this to be a beautifully lightweight top, especially because I tend to have hot flashes, so it was very welcoming to feel how lightweight it was.  And cost was a factor, too, at $69.50.

Bought together, you can expect to pay (with tax and standard shipping) about $335.

I spent the month of January showering myself in pieces from Boston Proper, having spent a staggering $678.14.  If you’re going to go big and you have the available finances to do so, treat yourself to a beautiful wardrobe, or pieces to enhance your wardrobe.  I have said that they are expensive for no reason and yet I keep coming back to see what they have new.  I have to admit they have beautiful pieces for every season.

They have pieces you will not find anywhere else, unless you find something similar and at a much lowered price.  They do have sales and clearances, so with luck you may find that one piece you had your eye on.  Popular pieces tend to go really fast as soon as it hits their website and catalogs.

I mostly purchased these items because I will be traveling this summer to see a friend whom I have not seen in several years, so I want to absolutely look my best.  There was a time when I could barely by myself anything and I did not have the luxury of having anyone else (a man) buy things I liked for me, so I need to turn things around dramatically, and fast forward — I did just that!

Be sure to jump on over to Boston Proper’s website to check out their collection and new arrivals.  On a side note, their customer service is lacking, so if you order something and have a question about an order, be prepared to deal with a high level of inexperienced agents.

I hope you liked this post and found the items that I posted are really nice and gives you an idea of how you can amp up your wardrobe.  Being in your 50s is not the end of the world, it just means life is about to get a whole lot better with the right attitude, level of confidence, and the best wardrobe anyone has seen.  Understand that even though I work at home, once I do decide to put on some clothes and walk out of our house, I am the best dressed 50-something woman you ever seen.

If you like this post, hit the like button below.  Leave a comment! And have a great weekend.

Shoes: Clear Shoes and Where to Get Them

I’ve been getting a lot of comments on my clear shoes.  Of all the shoes I have, these are probably the ones that have taken me from a comfort zone and into something that is a trend that is taking center stage in terms of how we view our own styles of shoes.  So, I thought I would share the link on where you can get these sexy shoes.

First the shoes…

61DmgotXLxL._AC_UY580_I first came across these summer 2020 when I was coordinating an ensemble for my birthday.  I first got the black clear ones.  Now, while these are great shoes, you have to keep in mind the size of the shoes and the width of your feet.  For example, if you wear an 8 wide, I would recommend going up a half or whole size specifically for comfort.  I first have these in a size 7 then realized after getting them I needed to go up another half size because they do run a bit small.  Going up a half or whole size will give you comfort in sliding into them comfortably.

Another thing you should keep in mind is the pointed toe.  It’s extremely important that you pick up your feet when walking otherwise you run the risk of damaging the pointed fairly easy and fairly quick.  The heal height is approximately 4.33 or so, but I find comfort in walking in them but not designed for long distance walking.

61GpbyT006L._AC_UY580_Now lets take a look at their features.  I can say time went in to crafting these shoes, using what they call PU leather on the upper insole that is designed to withstand the wear and shock value of walking that will determine and justify what these shoes can take.  I’ve worn them and experienced no irritation to my skin, found them comfortable.  If you’re hard on your shoes, meaning you walk heavy, they do come with extra heel tips, you’ll just have to take care of the toe.

When I first saw these I thought they have started putting plastic on shoes and thought it was very ingenious.  In fact they are a transparent leather that first starting hitting the shoe industry around 2016.  More affordably now, transparent shoes are offered in a variety of styles and colors that you can pick and choose from and in all heel heights.

It all depends on your preference and what you like.  Me?  I love the style of mules because there is such a wide variety to choose from and now transparent mules have been added to the fun.

While these sell for $40.99, I actually have an extra pair in size 7 that are too tight and I am selling for $20.  Email me if interested, and I will tell you how to get payment to me.  I cover the shipping, so no worries there.

They come in different colors and are perfect for the summer seasons.  Not only did I get them in this color, but a couple months ago I found out they have them in nude, which I have been looking for the perfect shoes in that color.  They work very well with tan and beige ensembles I have coordinated, and because of their pointed toe feature, they look jamming with my wide legged Calvin Klein camel colored pants.  I put this ensemble on to test out the look and I was overly amazed at how well the shoes brought out the ensemble.

You should have at least two pairs of nude colored shoes in your arsenal of shoes.  Again, it depends on your personal preference.  Growing up and even now, my mom says you should have different styles in one particular color just so that you have choices to choose from.  Like with black shoes, you can’t just have one style because one style does not go with everything.  That holds true for red, blue, yellow, pink, and multi color shoes.  You have to know how to coordinate to get the best look.

71GuctLJIhL._AC_UL1500_I am always captivated by the styles of shoes.  So, it’s no wonder that when these shoes came into my life I was beyond thrilled by their look and wanted to try something new and different.  These also came with extra heel tips, but you can also buy more if you need to, you’ll just have to be sure to get the correct size of the heel tips to ensure they match and fit the heel when it is time to replace them.

The nude color I did get in a size 8, specifically because I have always had a wide foot, but have always been able to wear a size 7.  As I have gotten older and have worked in the workforce for several years, I have found more comfort in sizes 7.5 and size 8, and that’s purely based on how the shoes are made.  Don’t get me wrong, I have been fortunate to come across shoes that are true to size and have delivered a good and comfortable fit.

61jB+8u2HTL._AC_UL1500_How you pair them will be based on your individual style.  It is all in how you coordinate them that’s makes a huge difference.

You can prolong how they look by using good shoe care that includes keep them clean, using the shoe covers they come in, using gentle wipes or a damp cloth to clean them, and taking care not to drive in them.  These are just simple tips to practicing good care to maintain the look and quality of the shoes.

If you are interested in adding clear heels (or transparent heels) to your shoe collection or you are just wanting to try something new and you’re just now coming into the industry of high heels, you can find these loves by clicking on Vivianly shoes and it will take you to Amazon. 

They are affordably priced and as I mentioned before, they come in different colors.  When I bought the black ones, I was not aware at the time that they had different colors to pick from.

In 2020 they did adjust their sizing, and also recommends ordering up if you have a wide foot.  The extra black ones that I have, if you wear a size 6W, these would be perfect for you.

For more information on clear heels and coordinating tips, comment below or email me at styledbyrene@live.com.

I hope you found this post helpful.  If you like it, click the like button and feel free to leave me a comment below.

Thanks for reading….

Fashion: The 5 Elements to Coordinating

Fashion coordination is a big thing in the fashion industry. If you pay attention everything from patterns, stripes, block colors, solids, polka dots, crazy designs, and everything from dark colors to lights and pastels are coordinated so that everything comes together; and it’s usually one color or one design, or one accessory that is the main source for the coordination forming that perfect style. But how do we apply coordinating our fashion to our daily lives with regards to our current style?

How do I coordinate?  When I know I have an engagement to attend I coordinate everything so that it is pulled together just right.  For instance, if I have a black dress with yellow, white, blue flowers in it, and it’s a short dress, I’m going to go with a black ankle strap sandal.  Why?  The base color of the dress is black.  Of course you could go with yellow or white, but to me those colors would throw off the overall look of the dress.

Coordinating my attire has been something I’ve approached with caution since I was a teenager because growing up in a family that is predominately of women who never left the house without being dressed to the nine, I always had to take care in what I wore and how I wore it.  Jordache Jeans and Gloria Vanderbilt where my go-to fashions when I turned 16 and 17.  Those were the years I really started paying attention to how I looked and when it became apparent that “appearance is everything.”

There are five elements to coordinating.  What are these elements?

  1. Hair
  2. Makeup
  3. Fashion
  4. Accessories
  5. Shoes

Look at how celebrities are dressed on the Red Carpet.  Their hair is done based on what they are wearing, which ties into how their makeup is done, the accessories (if any) that they are wearing, and the shoes that ties it all together.  Everything points to each piece and for each piece that is worn has a purpose.

Cascading necklines sometimes you won’t find accessories worn because they want to show off the neckline rather than the neck piece itself, unless there is a method to the stylist’s madness that there is a particular piece they want attention drawn to.  

High heel pumps versus ankle strap and strappy high heel sandals:  If you’re wearing a blazer dress that is knee length, you can get away with a high heel pump, pointed toe to be preferable. As fashion trends are constantly changing, the pointed toe wrap up high heel pumps are taking center stage, giving us more options to dressing up certain styles.

118865164_2718710191565205_2388103099065238334_nI bought this jacket from a site called Pretty Little Things last year just when the holiday season was getting started.  I like fashion that makes a statement, so when it comes to coordinating, it’s important to keep that statement going with the right pieces brought together.

For instance, you see that this jacket was paired with tight fitting shorts and silver strap up high heel pumps.  The shoes tie the entire ensemble together.  But let’s think about what other types of shoes would work with this jacket and shorts ensemble.

When I bought the jacket I also purchased the shorts to in my fair attempt to recreate the look.  That’s just how much I liked the ensemble.

61DyfAdcKWL._AC_UL1500_I had to keep in the mind the embellishment of the jacket and that a straight patent leather high heel shoe would throw the look off.  Instead I went with this type of shoe only because I could not find the exact shoe the ladies were wearing in the picture.  They were completely sold out everywhere.  This shoe worked just as well and gave me the look I was going for.  When you’re coordinating a particular style you have to be careful with picking the right shoes because not every style high heel works with every style.

121159993_2813602878742602_6188607881298319315_nAnother style shoe I wanted to try coordinating the style with were these sexy clear black strap up high heels.  The intent behind all of this was to recreate the look in as sexy form as possible and not deviate from what I was trying to portray.

You don’t want to do a thick heel because the affect would not look right.  I mean, everyone has their preference in the type of high heels they like, but when you’re considering a jacket of this magnitude, a thick heel high heel shoe would take away from the style. Shoes selection is key.

The shorts were a perfect piece to this ensemble.  I tried it with leggings and flowy palazzo pants, but they just did not do the job, so I went back with the shorts that work so much better.  At this point I don’t see anything else other than the shorts working with the jacket.

Therefore I have two options for shoes to wear with the jacket.  Because of their styles, either pair would go perfectly.

Accessories were not really needed because they would take away from the attractive neckline of the jacket because of the cascading neckline.  I was already wearing necklaces, but they were not too busy and were very subtle. 

20210526_223213When I pulled it together, this was the look I created except I added a bralette.  That is an optional piece if you’re not used to wearing something with a deep neckline.  To be honest this was a new look for me.  I completely came out of my comfort zone with this.

When you throw hair and makeup into the equation, you have to think about what direction you want to go.  I weigh my options to determine which looked better and concluded that there a couple of ways you can go with hair, one being an up-do which would show off the neckline or a sexy down hairstyle. I would not over do it with heavy curls, slight curls would work or even a straight hair style with slightly curled under ends.

Choosing the makeup has to be done with great consideration of the style.  A smokey eye would be a nice choice, but if you do choose to go with color, I would not recommend bright colors.  Because this look is more of a night time look, you should go with somewhat darker shades.

In closing, when you are trying to coordinate an ensemble whether it’s for just running errands, or you are attending an event or other special occasion, you have to keep in mind how everything ties in to each other.  In some cases you can eliminate unnecessary accessories, but if you choose not to, then you have to make sure what you select it is not too busy, too bulky, and flows just right with the ensemble.  

The two things you should not do is try to match your makeup to your ensemble and choose your shoes first.  What if you have to change what you are wearing, are you going to change your makeup and throw away the time spent on getting it done?  And what if the shoes don’t go with the ensemble you choose to wear?  If you don’t have a plan B you are pretty much stuck with the shoes you have.

So, in this post I touched on the five elements of coordinating.  Though in different sections, you get the general idea of how you should approach coordinating.  You have to know how to put ensembles together.  If you have to second guess it, that’s queue to not wearing it.

So, I hope you liked this post.  I will be talking more about coordination as we go along.  If this has been somewhat helpful, or you think someone else can benefit from this post, give me a like and feel free to leave a comment.  If you need some guidance on style and coordination you can email me at styledbyrene@live.com.

Thanks for reading…

What’s New: Planning to Work at Home on a More Permanent Basis – How it Affects Your Wardrobe?

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Young man wearing pajamas with feet up on desk using computer

The pandemic has definitely changed our perspective, our viewpoint on how we live in terms of our social gatherings, where we work, how we’re spending time with our family, right down to how, how we shop, and how we think.

We’ve seen the domino affect of people losing their jobs one right after another and it’s put terrible, terrible strains on families, for some it’s affected mental health, over all health, and it’s put employment status in different perspectives.

In some some cases people have been moved from working in the office to working at home…that started out on a temporary basis until returning to the office was not in the near foreseeable future without heavy guidelines and specific plans being put into place.  But for those businesses and state agencies who are opting to allow working at home on a 25/50/100/ per cent basis (more of a long basis), there is a level of anxiousness stemming from waiting for the final word, and it’s the waiting to see what is going to happen is nerve wracking.

This post is going to talk about individuals who are working at home on a permanent basis and how it has been viewed such as the changes they’ve had to make, what goes into the process of accepting that going into an office to work is no longer a part of a daily routine. for quite some time.  It’s welcoming for some, but for others they cannot wait to break from the confines of working at home.

There are stipulations that goes into working from home.  You must have a quiet and secured place where you can work effectively and efficiently.  You have to be focused.

For me, when I started with the state a year ago, I pretty much welcomed the idea because it meant I was going to be home with my family.  I looked at how much money I was saving on gas, I looked at how much I was saving on buying lunch, I looked at the less wear and tear it was going to have on my work clothes and shoes, and that’s when it really hit me…I was not going to be wearing my work clothes and shoes…I was shifting gears making the transition to regular casual clothes and lounge wear, or just spend days in my night clothes until I actually had to leave the house.

Your routine becomes having a set time you get out of bed, having enough time for breakfast and/or coffee, and whatever else you incorporate into your mornings before work, go to wherever your workstation is located in the house (mine is upstairs in my room), login to a computer system, get setup and get ready for the day.  And you have to reprogram your mind to this new way of life.  In this new daily routine you also have to take care of your wellbeing.

When we moved last May I had been already been a month in on my new job.  The reality set in that I would most likely never going to wear my work clothes and shoes again and had to wrap my mind around what I was going to do with them.  When I packed up all of my belongings I had to make the decision to pack them all away, and as I was doing this I kept thinking about all of the money that had gone into buying them, especially after my late husband had passed — I spent some serious money on work clothes because I was preparing myself for interviews once I got up to Washington state.  So, it was a bit of a transition and a reality check that this is the new normal.

What do I do with all of my work clothes?  You have options.  You can either pack them up and store them away rather in a storage facility, garage storage bins that can be stored in your garage (if you have one) or in your attic (if you have one), or donate them to someone who needs work clothes who are still going into an office environment.  Or you can sell those which you find are sellable and can get some of your money back to put into your savings account or put towards a more casual based wardrobe.

How do you deal with the stresses of working at home?  Every day is not going to be a walk in the park.  There is a level anxiety that can go into working at home, which is why protecting your overall mental health and mental well being.  Incorporating things like going for walks, exercising, taking naps — anything you can do to take you away from the computer during breaks and your lunch break is important.

What should my workstation look like?  You should have a space that is suitably comfortable where you can spread out enough to have space for office supplies, your work system, a comfortable chair, windows for natural light, and clothing that you feel comfortable working in.  Your workstation should never be cluttered.  Think of how your desk is in the office.  Organize your workspace to where you are able to have what you need at your finger tips.  Today the desks that you can raise and lower are very popular in offices and are affordable.  Use ergonomic mouse pads, wrist pads, and remember to stay active, do regular stretches, and stay hydrated. 

What should my work at home fashion be?  You’re not going into an office, therefore you have many options available to you.  Many of my team mates before my promotion have found comfort in sweats, workout clothes, and night clothes that doubles as lounge wear.  You don’t need to go out and spend crazy money on things you really don’t need, or are not going to wear.  That just makes no sense.  You have to think about what your level of comfort is going to be.  These illustrations just gives you an idea of what working at home can look like.

I’m not a huge fan of sweats, but I have one or two pairs I can slip into if I need to, but aside from my night clothes and lounge wear, I have simple casual clothes I found myself needing to invest in.

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work-from-home-fashion-3You can make your own determination of what to wear when you are working at home.  The only exception would be if you had to participate in Zoom or Webex meetings where you had to be on video.

80% of the time I am in my night clothes and on colder days I have on socks and a sweater.  The other 20% is when I have to run errands, get dinner for the weekends, go to the post office, if I’m visiting with friends, or if I am out with my daughter and grandkids. 

And if you’re doing call center work, the caller has no idea of what you look like and your level of comfortability is your main concern while you are working at home.  However, I would recommend maintaining healthy hygiene and a good skin and hair care routines because it can be easy to let those three things go to the wayside when working at home.  I say that because once you get into the groove of not having to go into an office, you get so focused on your work that if you don’t have this as part of your getting up in the morning, it’s likely to be something you forget throughout the day.

How do I make the transition from corporate attire to casual wear?  It’s really not that difficult to do and it can be done without spending tons of money unless you can afford high end casual attire.  I suggest keeping it simple.

  • Sweat pants
  • T-Shirts
  • Tank tops
  • Maxi dresses (long and/or short)
  • Shorts
  • Capri pants
  • Jeans
  • Leggings
  • Palazzo pants
  • Other types of lounge and casual wear

You want to feel good about this process going forward because if this is going to be your permanent way of working, you want to be as comfortable as possible.  

State agencies are going through planning phases where they are surveying staff to get an idea of what the level of teleworking is looking like.  They are trying to ascertain the number of staff who want to continue working from home, who want to work at home part-time, and those who want to return to an office environment on a permanent basis.  It appears that from hearing several viewpoints on how working at home has been perceived, there are many who cannot wait to get back to the office, and there are those who are ok with just working at home part-time, then there is the group, which seems to be a larger percentage who prefer to work at home on a permanent basis.  These are those individuals who have a greater distance between where they live and where the office is located.  I am over 300 miles, four hours away from where my team office is located, therefore going into the office daily is not an option for me.

Take care of your mental health.  Working at home whether temporary or permanently is not for everyone.  It has it perks, but then again it can be anxiety inducing.  The thing that you have to think about and remember in making this transition is you have to take care of yourself.  Your overall mental health is important.  Whether you work out, take walks, get some rest, 

In short, while I will not be selling, donating, giving away or tossing out my work clothes, they are being packed up and stored in storage.  I’ve spent way to much money just on work clothes and shoes since 2017 that I am not about to watch them walk away.  The way I see it, once my business takes off, they may very well be needed.

I hope this has been helpful.  If you like this post, please give it a thumbs up.  If you have any questions or have comments you’d like to share, drop me a comment in the comments section. 

Style File by Rene: Summer Sandals

style-file1Welcome to an edition of Style File by Rene.  Today we are talking about really cute and stylish summer sandals that are sure to earn you some compliments.  I’ll be sharing coordinating tips, and how you can dress up the best ensembles and look your absolute very best.

First off, I hope everyone is staying safe and healthy during these trying times as we are all working to get back to a new level or normal, but what is normal these days, right?

Anyway, first off, every summer I like to add a new pair of summer sandals to my wardrobe.  Whether you are looking to change your wardrobe, enhance it, complete give it a major over haul, or you just to want to jazz it up, I like to think that shoes are the best way to do that because there are a lot of coordinating options.

Lately, I have had an obsession with slide heeled sandals.  They come in so many styles and colors that it’s almost impossible to just pick one pair.  This summer season, though, I think I went over board because I added three new pairs to my summer wardrobe.  And this season I didn’t add a whole lot of ensemble pieces.  Working at home, I really didn’t need to because I’m home more than I am out.

71f9f921fGL._AC_UL1500_Let’s begin with these cute slide sandals by Chinese Laundry.  I first tried on a pair of their shoes at the Chinese Laundry store in Las Vegas in 2015 when I was out there visiting my daughter.  I found these on Amazon and I was overly surprised at how much they were.  I ordered these in a size 7.5, they came back in stock sooner than I expected.

719PsSQGKdL._AC_UL1500_What I like about these is the the buckle and the suede look, and the color that I can wear with a tan top and a pair of stripped pants I have both by the brand Zach & Rachel, very comfortable and both true to size.  Now these shoes would be coordinated well with that ensemble (photos to come soon) because these mix well with the beige and tan tones, and there’s white in the pants as well.  Best way to coordinate these to show off their fun and stylish look is with a pair of capri pants or cuffed jeans, and a nice top.  It’s easy to over and under dress them so coordination is key.

71GuctLJIhL._AC_UL1500_Next, I grabbed these beauties, also off Amazon (I really need to stay off Amazon…LOL), but because I had already gotten these in black last year for my birthday, and was surprised to see that they also had them in this shade.  The brand is Vivianly…they have a nice selection to choose from, enough that I had to get a second pair in a different color.

This style is increasingly becoming popular with the clear look, sleek pointed toe design, and attractive heel height.  It’s a good idea to have a choice of nude and tan color sandals in your arsenal of high heel shoes because it’s really easy to coordinate them if you know what you’re doing.  In another post I’ll be talking about how to best care for pointed toe high heel sandals.

Let’s continue…

61FiwncrZJL._AC_UL1500_Years back I had a pair of high heel slide sandals from AMI Clubwear and they had a jeweled heart on the side.  I loved those shoes, but unfortunately AMI Clubwear did not bring them back and I was never able to find them again.  Recently I came across these and thought they were the closest to those shoes I had.

These will go perfectly with leggings and a semi knee length flowy top or the perfect palazzo pants ensemble and I just happen to have quite the collection of palazzo pants and flowy tops.  But the best ones these shoes will go with are the [I guess would be called] wheeled styled palazzo pants I have.

They are true to size, but if you have a wide feet or have problems with feet swelling, you should order up.  The craftsmanship and quality looks really good, I just wish they had extra heel caps in order to replace the heel caps if needed.

20210513_192035With these pants I can dress them up with a white top or a black top, however my preference.  For some reason black shoes and a black top brings up the overall design of the pants, makes them stand out.  I tried them with a white top and was not much of a fan of the look.  You can see in this photo here how well those sands work with the pants.

It would have been nice if they were lined and not made with a stretchy fabric.  Ordering them a couple sizes up gives them a loose and comfortable fit and gives me the look I want.  I have been looking for a similar pair of pants like this that are lined and in a different fabric, so far I have not found any yet.  You can also create the perfect jean look with these shoes too, again coordinating is key.

20200726_193004The thing, too, about these pants is you can’t wear just any top with them.  It would have to be a top with fabric comparable enough to mix well with these types of pants.  Like a chiffon or rayon blend, something with a nice flow to, not too thick that would not flow well.

The picture shown is the actual ensemble I have, so you can see why these shoes would work perfectly because it’s the right top coordinated with these pants.  And I ordered a size in the top that wouldn’t be too tight and is loose fitting, which is what I like, and being on the curvy side, I know how to hide the necessary areas that need to be hidden.

81tYG1iEVuL._AC_UY1000_Lastly, denim high sandals are not getting their fair share of popularity that they deserve. Their stylish, sexy, and I just think denim on a shoe makes for a great pair of shoes in the right style.

In 2017 Shiekh Shoes in Long Beach, CA had light blue denim wedge shoes as well as dark blue and light blue denim high heel ankle strap sandals, and at affordable prices with great discounts.  They also had denim peep toe boots, but then I wasn’t quite sure how I felt about the boots.  I eventually got a pair but from AMI Clubwear.

81D0xC9WfCL._AC_UL1500_These are a black denim look and carry an attractive look to go with the right ensembles.  So, it’s no wonder why I chose these because of my black jeans and a pair of black denim capri jeans I plan on getting to coordinate the perfect ensemble.  I would pair up the capri jeans with these and a white sweater that can be worn both during the winter and summer because it’s not that thick of a sweater and these shoes would set off that ensemble just right.

I love the detail of these shoes, the buckle, the overall look. I have not yet received them.  They are not expected to arrive until the beginning of June, which is fine because I have enough selections for the summer to go around.  Having options is more fun because there are more to choose from.  But if I’m going to go with a jean ensemble, these are the ones to go with.  Remember coordinating is key.

Well, there you have it.  My sandals picks for summer 2021.  If you like this post, please like and if you have comments, suggestions, feel free to post below.  You also email me at styledbyrene@live.com.

Thanks for reading!!!

Disclaimer:  All photos were taken from Amazon.com.

From The Moderator: Back on the Scene…Relaxed and Refreshed

ReneJ2020Hey my lovelies, I can’t believe it’s been 2 years since I last wrote a post on my blog.  I have been posting most of my stuff on my facebook page the majority of the time, but I thought I need to get back to my blog community because that’s where it all started.

How is everyone holding up through this pandemic?  I know it has changed all of our lives in one way or another, but at the same time it’s keeping families together.  And yet we cannot forget about those who lost their jobs and so few who are fortunate to have jobs to return to.

On a brighter note, a lot has happened in the two years that I’ve been offline with my blogging.  My daughter was married August 2019.  This year I’ve been furloughed from both jobs, went back to one, and terminated from the other one without notice.  I managed to get a much better paying job shortly after I was called back to work and it comes with lots of opportunities, and I am going on three months now.  My daughter and son-in-law bought a house and brought me along and told me to save for my vacation.  And all this good happenings took place April and March…we officially moved mid March.

I am still keeping up with promoting Styled By Rene, working to keep men and women styled in today’s fashion.  I have been working on some ideas on how to work with prospective clients who are looking to transform themselves in stylish fashion, and of course, without breaking the bank.

Stay tuned for announcements on how to reach me for style consultations with new safety guidelines set in place, and I’ll be talking about coordination vs. fashion and makeup.  So, I have a lot of ideas coming down the pipeline.  I’m also glad to be back on a laptop.  My Lenovo (it was my late husband’s laptop) crashed, stuck in a OneKey Recovery loop.  And I have been without a laptop going on two months.  Fortunately the one I gave my daughter is still in running condition so I decided to do some maintenance on it, clean up the system and get back with my communities until she needs to use it again.  But I do have another backup, just waiting on the new charger to arrive, and I do have a new laptop coming.  So I am connected back to my communities until my new laptop comes.

In a final thought, I’d like to hear how everyone is during and what you’re doing to stay busy and focused, and in a sane mind.