Tour De Europe

{our favorite European (and beyond) designers}

I was in Greece recently and stumbled upon a brilliant designer – Ioanna Kourbela – who I am now obsessed with.  And discovering her got me thinking about all of those amazing designers out there who are not necessarily front and center when we’re shopping in the US.  In this post, we’re taking a tour of Europe and cataloging some of our newly discovered favorite designers.

Ioanna Kourbela (Greece)

There is so much to love about this relatively young Greek designer who has made a major splash on the world stage in recent years (when I was in Greece a high-end store owner was telling me that all the big designers come through his store looking to see what “Ioanna” is doing).  And it comes as no surprise to us.  Everything from her dresses to the detail in her unique belts and shoes is to die for.  We would like one of each.

Our favorite work appropriate pieces include the “Snow White” Dress in black (here it is bustled and embellished with a belt that makes it more evening appropriate, but the bustle comes out and you can omit the belt for an easy work look).

snowwhite

and this “Accordion” top to wear with black or khaki trousers and a shell underneath.

blouse

Massimo Dutti (Spain)

Since coming across this line, this Spanish designer has quickly become a staple in our professional wardrobes.  With easy silk blouses, straight-leg trousers, and gorgeous knit blazers, falling in love with Massimo Dutti was inevitable, really.

massimo

blazer

Co|Te (Italy)

Co|Te is an up and coming Italian design house with an amazing aesthetic and style.  The clothes are fashion forward but, with some modifications, would make incredible statement pieces to add color and excitement to any professional wardrobe.  Their gorgeous Fall/Winter 2014/15 collection is all you need to know to start following this amazing brand.

Screen Shot 2014-07-10 at 7.10.39 AM

Ayala Bar (Israel)

Hailing from Israel, Ayala Bar is not technically a European designer.  But, she’s incredible, and we want you to know about her work!  We simply adore the risks she takes with color, shapes, and untraditional designs.  Her jewelry is fun, but artful, too, and we can picture any low key outfit (a grey suit with a white button up, for example) made more interesting with one of her bright and bold designs (many of which are available on Amazon).  Love!

 

ayala

What undiscovered designers do you love?  Let us know in the comments below!

Happy Monday,

HOM

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Accessorizing for Lawyers

{five tips for accessorizing your professional wardrobe}

A few weeks ago we solicited your thoughts as to what you would like to see us write about in upcoming weeks.  We received some great responses and we’re so excited to tackle the various wardrobe and attire topics our HOM readers raised.   In this post, per an HOM reader’s request, we are discussing accessorizing with five tips on defining what accessorizing means to you!

Kate Spade beau bag

[photo credit]

1. Have a statement piece.   Sometimes, statement pieces can be intimidating – how do you even know if something is a “statement piece?”  Or, what if you’re a woman who prefers simple pieces and thinks anything with color or florals is gaudy?  No judgment here!  A statement piece is something that can stand on its own and makes you feel extremely happy and pretty.

For example, this Kate Spade bib necklace is the epitome of a statement accessory – it’s bold and chic.  We’d wear it with a white button-down, a grey tee and jeans, or a simple sheath dress.

Kate Spade Statement Necklace

If you want a more classic statement piece, try these Kate Spade drop earrings – with the pearl inserts and gold foundation, the colors are classic, yet the design makes a bold statement.

Kate spade new york Capri Garden statement earrings

In the end, the key is to make sure that you love the accessory and that you feel comfortable wearing it at work.  Also (especially at work!), keep it to one statement piece at at time.  Let your skill and hard work shine by using accessories to compliment your work, not for distraction!

2. Remember the classics.  There is much to be said for a simple pearl necklace or diamond studs (aka the age old debate of diamonds vs. pearls).

3. Shoes + purses count too!  Too often, we get into a rut of thinking that accessories = jewelry.  But, don’t forget that you can also use shoes and purses to add a personal touch to your outfit.  For example, these Sergio Rossi Suede pumps have the perfect heel height to be work appropriate, yet the material and shape are like a work of art for your feet!  For a more affordable option, try these Laud and Cheer heels from Mod Cloth.  Or, who can resist these floral pumps by Stuart Weitzman?

Sergio Rossi suede pumps

Handbags can also act as an accessory, but the key is to find something that also fits your needs as far as style, comfort, and storage space.  The simplest way is to find a bag in your favorite color – in royal purple perhaps like this Gregory Sylvia bag?

Gregory Sylvia bag

You can also play around with shape, keeping the color neutral, but finding a bag with some structure.  This Michael Kors tote in white is perfection for summertime!

Michael Kors bag

Oh, and scarves count too (especially silk ones!).

4. Get creative.  Just search accessorizing on Pinterest, and you’re bound to stumble across hundreds of images for inspiration.  For example, you can experiment with arm parties (a stack of a variety of bracelets + a watch) or necklace layering.  You can also order customized jewelry pieces, like your daughter’s name in cursive.

Customized necklace

5. Know thyself.  In the end, accessorizing is all about you, because it’s one of the easiest ways to express your personality through your style while remaining work-appropriate.  In a sea of black suits, be the one to wear a statement necklace with your business suit or the woman with the perfect bag.

Trust us, these little details will not go unnoticed (in a good way!) and will surely strike up a few good conversations with your fellow lady attorneys!  So, pick your favorite colors and patterns and work them into your wardrobe (even if it’s a small arrow ring like this).

Want to add to this discussion?  Please do so in the comments below!  And if there are any topics you’d like to see us cover in upcoming weeks, let us know that, too, by leaving a comment or emailing us at info@houseofmarbury.com.  Thank you!

Happy accessorizing,

Team HOM

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Instagrammers

{the instagram accounts we’re inspired by}

We’re fairly new to Instagram, but loving it as a tool for connecting with our readers, sharing some of our favorite outfits (or #ootd – outfits of the day – which apparently is the correct corresponding hashtag on Instagram), and getting inspired by other fashion bloggers.

For this Thursday’s inspiration post, here is a run-down of some of the best Instagrammers we’ve come across so far:

The best Instagram accounts for fashion and style inspiration

  • @leaf_greenerThis lady is funky and fun and all around amazing.  She’s constantly jet-setting, eating, and finding aesthetically inspiring things.  We’re big fans.
  • @chiaraferragni: Perhaps one of the best known names/handles in fashion blogging (she is also known as The Blonde Salad), Chiara Ferragni’s Instagram account does not disappoint.  It’s pure outfit envy, post after post after post.
  • @sincerelyjulesWe love this tiny powerhouse fashion blogger, who has made her way to the top of the Instagram charts and beyond.  Her style is casual chic but there are gems embedded in each of her posts.
  • @_yanyanchanFinally, you’re totally missing out if you’re not following Yan Yan Chan on Instagram.  She’s funky and her style is amazing, as are her food and travel photos. Love!

Who are your favorite Instagrammers?

Let us know in the comments below!  And be sure to connect with @houseofmarbury on Instagram, too!

- HOM

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For The Very Casual Professional

{what to wear on a casual day in or out of the office}

Recently, another one of our lovely readers wrote in asking for a post about very casual attire.  She works as a consultant and regularly meets with clients and colleagues in coffee shops and other casual settings.  While she wants to look competent and put-together, she explained, there’s no reason for her to dress in business formal or business casual, even.

layering casual friday look

She poses a great question because many attorneys – most attorneys, actually – do not get up and dress for court every morning.  And even for those of us that do, there are times when we have a casual meeting or day outside of the office and need to look the part while dressing appropriately for the activity or setting we are in.

For those informal days, consider the following outfit suggestions:

Trouser jeans + fitted sweater + necklace + wedges

If jeans are doable in your office or for your casual meeting, go for it.  We recommend a trouser jean like this Marion cut by Raven.  This trouser design looks almost as professional as slacks, but gives off a comfortable, less intimidating vibe.  Balance out the oversized trouser with a fitted sweater or tailored blouse.

trouser jean

[Photo credit here.]

Maxi skirt + tucked in button-up + flats

When perusing Pinterest for the purposes of this post, we came across this look and we think it’s great.  Maxi skirts are uber comfortable and feminine and when worn in a preppy pattern and paired with a button-up, they look great.  We love this striped maxi skirt from Piperlime, or this affordable striped version from GAP.  No need to pair with a blazer; instead, we suggest tucking in a button-up or tying one in front like so.

b7368bb986be9b0eeaab7da61ca65532

Skinny jeans + untucked button-up + necklace

This outfit combination is super straightforward, but it works well and will always be considered appropriate for a casual day.  We would caution against a lighter, faded wash or any jeans with rips or holes, and instead opt for a dark solid wash.  Pair with a blouse, such as this adorable Bib Popover from J.Crew, or this more affordable collarless button up from LOFT, throw on a short necklace underneath or a long, thin necklace over top and you’re good to go.

tumblr_mywvy4fqVG1shid61o1_1280

[photo credit here.]

White or colored jeans + chambray top

We love chambray, and the denim-looking linen fabric is ideal for casual days.  Pair with white jeans or any other color denim.  This dark rinse keeper chambray top from J.Crew is ideal (and on sale!), or, this fitted boyfriend floral chambray shirt from GAP adds subtle pattern to the classic chambray.

casual 3

[Photo credit here.]

Shirt dress + flats or wedges

A simple collared shirt dress makes for an effortlessly chic casual outfit.  This linen number from Isda & Co. is lovely (and affordable!); as is this chambray version from GAP.  

eqzoom85.ms
Do you work in a casual office?  What are your go-to casual outfit combinations?

Cheers,
Team HOM

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3 Easy Success Tips For New Lawyers

{three simple ways to instantly improve in your career}

3 Easy Success Tips For New Lawyers

{photo credit here}

Today we’re beginning a series of posts that do not address fashion and style, but rather professionalism in a larger context.  One of our readers suggested the topic and we believe it’s a great idea.  After all, when it comes to success in the workplace, demeanor and attire go hand in hand.  

So, we will endeavor from time to time to share our thoughts about how to survive and thrive in an office setting in ways that go beyond fashion and style.  We hope you enjoy the series and, as always, we welcome your feedback and ideas- please do so either by commenting below or by emailing us at houseofmarbury@gmail.com.  

Today, we’re sharing three easy steps to help you succeed as a new lawyer (and for the new seasoned professional, these tips will serve as a worthwhile refresher!):  

There are so many factors that contribute to our success as lawyers.  Some are nuanced and others are more straightforward.  You can be sure, however, that being an impressive lawyer in the first weeks and months of your career has little to do with your substantive abilities.  (For the most part, you will likely not be expected to facilitate a complex merger or file and argue a motion for summary judgment, anyway.)

Instead, the impressions you make on your colleagues will center on the intangibles – your ability to assimilate and integrate into your office, your understanding of your role as a new lawyer, and your ability to learn quickly.

These intangibles can be expressed in a variety of ways. Here are three easy ways to demonstrate that you are positioned to become a constructive, productive, and successful member of your legal practice from day one:

1. Don’t Show Up Empty Handed

As a new lawyer, you never want to go into a meeting or another attorney’s office without a legal pad and a pen in hand.  In fact, you should probably not leave your office (unless you are headed to lunch or to the restroom) without paper and a pen.  You always want to be in a position to take down an assignment when the opportunity arises, and impromptu conferences that result in assignments occur regularly.

2. Offer Support

Above all, your role as a new lawyer is to act in a supportive role for the more senior attorneys you are working with.  From day one, while you may not be adept at all of the technical nuances of your practice, you can demonstrate your willingness to contribute meaningfully by being as supportive and helpful as possible.  Show that you will do whatever it takes – stay late, come in early, run down the street to the courthouse, etc. – in order to help your colleagues get their work done quickly, efficiently, and correctly.

3. Adopt This Mantra

No project is beneath me.  Repeat:  No project is beneath me.

Entrepreneurs are responsible for learning every aspect of their business, from payroll to website development to sales and marketing.  Knowing your business inside and out is the best way to retain control, manage operations, and run things successfully.

For lawyers, the exercise should be no different.  Welcome any assignment that is given to you, no matter how simplistic or seemingly unimportant.  Regard every assignment as an opportunity – an opportunity to learn, to grow, to understand more about your legal practice. If you tackle each and every project you are given with zeal and energy and enthusiasm, in no time you will be assigned to more complicated projects and will be entrusted with more responsibility.

There is a steep learning curve from new lawyer to experienced practitioner.  There will be some inevitable ups and downs along the way.  But, the sooner you can identify the little things that will make you great, the small things that will make you impressive, the sooner you will become an integral member of your legal practice.

Want more practice tips and advice? Check out the guidebook that Desiree published on the topic, Thrive:  A New Lawyer’s Guide to Law Firm Practice.

For our more seasoned professional readers, what tips do you have to help those just starting our in their careers?

Cheers,
Team HOM

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Midi Skirts From The High Street

{on-trend, high fashion midi skirts at affordable prices}

We love the midi skirt trend.  It’s a beautiful, carefree look for summer, and works equally well in and outside of the office.  What we love even more, though, is the plethora of affordable, high street midi skirt options out there.  It’s the perfect opportunity to play around a little with what you choose, without worrying about breaking the bank.

Top Shop is leading the pack for us in terms of gorgeous midi skirts at affordable prices.  Our absolute favorite at the moment is this Antique Jacquard Midi Skirt in pale blue.  It’s feminine and summery, but the pattern adds sophistication, too.  Pair with a white button up and gold flats for office perfection.  (We’re apparently not the only ones who are in love with this skirt, by the way.  It’s flying off the shelves!)

antique

At the moment ASOS has a great collection of affordable midis, including some gorgeous floral prints that are perfectly on-trend.  We adore this full midi skirt in lavender with pockets

lavender

as well as this beautiful floral number.

floral

Pair both with a black silk blouse, a high bun, and some patent leather wedges for a dynamic head to toe look.

You can’t mention high street without a nod to H&M.  And, not surprisingly, H&M does not disappoint when it comes to midis.  This easy pink midi is perfect for work and play, day and night.  It’s low maintenance but makes a statement nonetheless, and can be paired with anything from a navy blouse to a short-sleeved white cashmere sweater on a cooler day.

pink

Finally, Zara is doing the midi justice with items like this neutral poplin skirt.  The material is perfect for summer.  The look is nice for a casual day at the office and would be amazing with some bold accessories.  Love!

poplin

What are your best midi finds from the high street?  Let us know in the comments below!

xo,

HOM

 

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Yelena’s Wish List

{five things I’m dreaming of right now}

Kate’s wish list has inspired our entire team to narrow down our shopping wish lists to five items we are most excited about adding to our wardrobes.  This is actually more difficult than it seems – especially once you’ve seen Desiree’s and Kate’s lists!

So, here are five things that I’m dreaming of adding to my wardrobe . . . someday (perhaps when I’m not a poor law student, but a girl can dream, right!?).  Besides, it’s totally justifiable since my birthday is coming up in a month! ;)

1) A flattering sheath dress.  I love a pretty sheath dress because it looks chic for whatever occasion – from the office to brunch!  Unfortunately, with my hour-glass shape, too often sheath dresses are either too tight on the bottom, or too loose on the waist.  As my hunt for the perfect sheath dress continues, at the top of my list is a Calvin Klein dress, like this contrast trim lux sheath dress. 

Calvin Klein Contrast Trim Lux Sheath Dress

2) Nude ballet flats.  The other day, I stumbled across an Instagram account (@mesballerines) with the most beautiful ballet flats I have ever seen – classic perfection.  Unfortunately, it looks like they’re solely a French-based company right now (anyone with a Paris connection wanting to get me a birthday gift? – Specifically, the Margot flat in nude (although a pair in glitter will also do!).)

MesBallerines Flats

3) Riding boots.  So, I realize that it’s only mid-summer, but I’m already daydreaming of fall and boot season.  My current riding boots have lasted me several years, but I definitely think that it’s time for a new pair.  My problem is one of my calves is slightly wider than the other (totally weird!), making it difficult to find the right pair of boots.  On my wish list though is this pair by Frye!

Frye Jet Boot Riding

4) A white button-down.  I am so picky about my button-down dress shirts!  I like them to be fitted, but not so tight that you get the awkward gaps on your chest when you move your arms.  Plus, I like the shirt to have some shape, but not be too starched.  Phew!  So many requirements, but that’s probably why I’m still searching for the perfect one.  At the top of my dream wish list?  This Theory top that Desiree found!  But, for a more realistic option, this Banana Republic non-iron sateen shirt looks fabulous!

Theory Larissa II Luxe Top

5) An O’Bazzie Classics Satchel.  A student from my undergrad is currently working on launching his line of leather bags and luggage, and guys, it’s amazing!  I got to watch his pitch and see his prototypes at a business competition a few months ago and was astounded by the quality and design!  So now, I’m stalking their social media for updates on their official launch – specifically, eyeing the beige colored satchels!

O'Bazzie Classics

Now that we’ve shared our wish lists, what’s on yours?

-Yelena (the superstar intern!) of Team HOM

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A “Scandal” Clothing Line?

{olivia pope’s wardrobe will be yours this fall}

Scandal inspired wardrobe

If you haven’t heard yet, Kerry Washington (aka Olivia “Liv” Pope and our favorite TV lawyer), ABC, and “Scandal” costume designer Lyn Paolo have partnered with The Limited to launch a collection inspired by Liv’s wardrobe.   Think cream and neutral-colored pieces that are feminine and classic.

More details on Fashionista.com!   Can it be September already please?!   We kinda need that jacket in the first sketch!

-Team HOM

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From Hem to Toe

{what sleeve lengths are appropriate and when}

You often hear fashion advice for women relating to proper skirt length or proper heel height, but you rarely hear anyone address sleeve length.  Well, one of our lovely readers requested a post on this exact topic and we’re here to provide some guidance:

What sleeve lengths are appropriate for the office?

[photo credit here]

Hemline:  In brief, the general rule of thumb is for the hemline on your skirt to be no shorter than 2 inches from the center of your knee cap when you’re standing.  For formal suits, aim for a hemline at the middle or bottom end of your knee cap.

We find that skirts cut to slightly below the knee are undoubtedly professional and quite flattering with heels.  Of course, this rule is easy to observe for those of us who are average to below-average in height.  Taller women may have more difficulty meeting this standard, and they are afforded some flexibility.

When a skirt is teetering on the 2″ mark, consider wearing a pair of tights or nylons, or pairing with a looser blouse or more conservative button-up to balance out your look and ensure a professional appearance.

Pant length:  Pant legs should fall to one inch above the ground, revealing the front and back of your shoes.  Of course, that’s easier said than done since many of us own heels of varying heights.  To deal with this, when purchasing a suit, know which pair of shoes you intend to wear with it and judge the proper height accordingly.  If you bring a pair of pants to the tailor, be sure to bring your pumps with you to help your tailor get the perfect length.

Cropped pants should be tailored to about an inch above your ankle bone.  Anything higher, such as capri pants, are not work appropriate.

D5131007E00BLACK

Ok, onto the sleeves:

Spaghetti straps:  Any top with thin straps that show a significant amount of shoulder are never professional and must be covered by a jacket or sweater at all times.  Of course, whatever you wear under your blazer or jacket is fine, and we have several tank tops that we rely on for just that purpose.  But, when you choose to wear an undershirt with your work ensemble, make sure that it remains just that.  

Sleeveless + thick straps:  Sleeveless blouses or dresses with a thick strap are ideal for wearing underneath a blazer or jacket.  And, if minimal shoulder is exposed, it is acceptable to wear these sleeves in and around your own office, but, you should throw on a sweater or jacket in any meeting, when speaking with a superior, and, of course, to court.

coral 6

Cap sleeves:  Cap sleeves, or any sleeve that slightly extends beyond your shoulder, are appropriate to wear around the office, to a casual meeting, or a casual deposition, especially in the summer.  Cap sleeves are also easy to wear with a jacket, and they should be for important meetings, court appearances or other formal events.   

Half sleeves:  Sleeves that fall to the mid-bicep are appropriate for wear around the office and to inter-office meetings, especially in the summer.  You will need to add a jacket if attending a formal meeting or court appearance.

Three quarter sleeve to full sleeve:  A full-sleeve is the most professional option without a jacket.  Full-sleeved button-ups, blouses, sweaters or dresses are appropriate for wear anywhere within your office, any inter-office meeting, most depositions, and any informal event.  

Finally, to roll or not to roll:  It is perfectly acceptable to roll the sleeves on your blouse or button-up and wear them around your office, to inter-office meetings, and any informal event.  Take a cue from the men in your office and see if and when they wear rolled sleeves.  Unless you are the only one wearing your work shirts that way, there is no need to reconsider the practice.

Cheers,
Team HOM

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Finding Inspiration One Pin At A Time

{how to use pinterest to inspire your closet}

We are thrilled to have Christina, a self-professed Pinterest fanatic, and recent winner of the HOM anniversary giveaway, guest posting for us today.  Take it away, Christina!

If you sit back and think for a minute, can you imagine life without Pinterest?  I can’t picture my life without it anymore.  For those who aren’t familiar with Pinterest, let me just say that you have been missing out!  Wikipedia describes Pinterest as “a visual discovery tool that people use to collect ideas for their different projects and interests.

People create and share collections (called “boards”) of visual bookmarks (called “Pins”) that they use to do things like plan trips and projects, organize events or save articles and recipes.” So, basically, Pinterest is awesome and anyone who has spent as little as 30 seconds “pinning” would agree with me.

I remember when I first discovered the magical world of Pinterest.  Within one week of establishing my account (missmendez125—come obsess with me!) I had managed to not only find an inspiring quote for any situation that compels one emotion or another, but I had also planned my wedding with the boyfriend I didn’t have!  Once you start pinning you just can’t stop.  This makes for some very late nights but who needs sleep when you have hundreds of ideas to pin?  Priorities ladies, priorities. ;)

The thing I enjoy most about Pinterest is that it’s full of tips and tricks and the inspiration it elicits is endless.  Although I have a special place in my heart for my “dessert board,” my favorite boards are my style boards.

Pinterest has truly allowed me to become creative with my style—it’s now my go-to fashion tool! Because my personal style isn’t all that specific, I find that when I look into my closet I see great pieces but I don’t always know how to style them and that’s where Pinterest comes in handy.

I like to pick out my outfit the night before because everyone knows that ten extra minutes of sleep is golden.  So, right before bed, I’ll usually do one of two options:  I’ll either pick a piece in my closet that I’d like to center my outfit around and then head on over to Pinterest for some inspiration, or I’ll just search my Pinterest app first and pin outfits I think I can create with what I have in my closet.

By simply typing into the search bar something like “lace skirt” or “polka dot shirt” I am given hundreds of style options for my viewing pleasure. With all of the options that appear, I always feel real excited… just like when I walk into ULTA after getting my paycheck (I know you know what I’m talking about).

It’s also a lot of fun finding another “pinner” who shares the same passion for fashion as you do.  I enjoy being able to follow their board(s) and gain even more styling ideas!  (See below for links to HOM’s boards!)

The great thing about Pinterest is that the whole idea is for you to save an image you like to a board of your choice so that you can return to it later on.  If I’m ever in a rush or if I have an event or meeting to attend and I don’t have a clue what to wear, it’s so great to just pull up my profile, click on the occasion I need inspiration for (ex: my “Career Chic” board for professional or casual business attire), and see all the potential outfit options I have to play around with.  You’ll have the perfect outfit picked out in no time.

My friend Holly and I literally spent the first year of law school studying, reading, writing papers, and pinning!  I’m telling you, Pinterest is actually quite therapeutic. ;)  I asked her what her favorite thing about Pinterest was and she said, “I can only pick one thing?!  My favorite thing is being able to send cute outfits, fun crafts, and yummy recipes to my friends and family who are on Pinterest—especially when I see something that reminds me of that particular person.  It’s easier than taking a screen shot and sending it via test message.”  She went on to say that she also liked the variety of things Pinterest has to offer… there’s always something you can pin! I’m so glad that I have her to send half my pins to!

The pictures shown here are looks I recreated with Pinterest pins as my inspiration.  Remember, you don’t have to have exactly what the person in the picture is wearing.

The beautiful thing about these pins is that they’re just a great way to get your mind thinking, “Hmm… I bet I can recreate this look using this piece and that piece that I have already!”

Be creative with your style, play with different colors, prints, and patterns, and most importantly have fun!

pin 1 pin 2 pin 3 pin 4 pin 5

Now that you know all about the magical world of Pinterest and how to use it as a fashion tool there’s only one thing left to say… Happy pinning!

For HOM-approved Pinterest style inspiration, check out our boards:
How do you use Pinterest as a fashion resource?
Cheers,
The Ladies of HOM
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