Tag Archives: neutrals

fashionable feature :: style guide #1

So I just signed up for modepass – it’s pretty darn cool. If you don’t already have an account, you should definitely register! And be sure to add me as a friend when you do. You can find me at :: http://modepass.com/fashionnerd (my user name is, of course, fashionnerd). I re-wrote my advice from my previous post on achieving a menswear inspired look and posted it as an article on modepass; check it out and vote for it on my modepass profile. I also decided to re-post it here because, well, I’m kind of proud of it. 🙂

I’ve decided to make a new weekly feature post called “Style Guides”, where we’ll explore different trends and discuss how to construct them. Consider this the first installment! I hope you find it helpful… if you have any input (am I wrong somewhere? something you’d like to add? a question? anything!) please feel free to comment! In fact,  any feedback you have for me would be greatly appreciated. This is my first detailed style guide – I want to make sure it’s complete and make sure that my future guides are up to par! I will also post the week’s Style Guide in a separate page (found in the sidebar under “my closet”), so you can find it easily if you miss it. Style Guides will be posted every week, probably on Sundays.

Here goes. Enjoy, and let me know what you think when you’re done 🙂

fashion_nerdom style guide :: issue 1
inspired by menswear, styled for a woman

Nude wedges and a light colored blazer are a girl’s best friends for summer. Straw hats, loose blouses and tailored shorts are also among my new inner circle of lovelies.


The menswear look is definitely my favorite; it’s loose and flowy and comfy, but still very chic and sexy. Plus, it’s incredibly easy to achieve and looks great on everyone. There are some basic guidelines to follow when attempting this style; but remember – they are guidelines, not rules. They may not work for everyone, and everyone may not agree on how I feel about certain things. The best thing to do is to take this information as advice and work your way up from there. Experiment, play around, and find out what works for you and your body and what you’re comfortable in. Nothing in fashion is ever set in stone!

How To Get There

(in a hurry? check the bottom of this post for the abbreviated version)

the top half
Blazers provide a menswear inspired look in and of themselves, so if you’re just dipping your toes and you’re not sure you want to go all the way, a blazer + men’s watch are your go-to pieces. I would definitely recommend that you pick a blazer that has some structure to it and is a little over-sized (think boyfriend fit). Strong shoulders are also very in right now – I like small shoulder pads in blazers. For summer and spring, choose a blazer in a light color, like white, peach, light pink, beige, etc. For fall and winter, slip into something a little darker, like black, charcoal, navy, etc.Pink-Blazer-Lavender-Tunic-Taupe-Shortsgo all the way
For those of us who prefer to swim in the deep end, trousers or tailored shorts (extra points for pleats) and a fedora will fill in the rest of the blanks. Remember, though, the look should be inspired by menswear, not make you look like a man. In spring and summer, keep it feminine with light colors throughout the ensemble (think light neutrals & pastels), pretty jewelry (I like gold touches and pearls with this color scheme), and sweet accents (like a straw fedora, especially one adorned with flowers, and a cute-but-subtle purse). A delicate, ladylike blouse balances out the other menswear style pieces, and nude wedges are the perfect shoe for this look – sky high wedges scream “I’m a woman” without distracting from the rest of the look, and when worn in the nude make your legs seem impossibly long. Wedges also keep things from looking too businessy (I’d advise avoiding pumps for this reason). In the fall & winter, swap the nude colors for darker ones to keep with the season, but follow the rest of the rules for keeping things ladylike.

Nude-Wedgesadd ons

Regardless of your tactics for achieving this look, a men’s watch is a must. It may truly be the key piece for this particular style. Pile on some pearl necklaces, bangles and loads of cocktail rings to complete your accessorizing. Don’t overdo it – if you jingle when you move, take off a few items of jewelry before you leave the house. In the fall & winter (or if you simply want an edgier look), when you’re wearing darker colors, you may want to trade the pearls and gold for chains and studs in pewter and silver, depending on the rest of your ensemble.


Choose a bag in that meshes well with the rest of your clothes. To many people view the purse as outside the outfit; on the contrary, especially when going for a menswear look, the purse is an integral part of your ensemble. A bag that clashes in any way (wrong colors, style, etc) can seriously break an outfit, while a bag that fits in seamlessly can make for an incredible ensemble. Small purses with long shoulder straps and clutches are very stylish right now, but the larger bags haven’t completely migrated off the fashion scene. Keep in mind though that larger bags tend to be more sensible for day time use, and small purses and clutches are more chic choices for evening outings.


Hats are the perfect way to top off a menswear look; my favorite are fedoras. Hats can completely transform an outfit – into something amazing or something hideous. They can be incredibly tricky to style, as hats don’t flatter everyone universally. Finding the perfect one for you and your outfit may take some work, but it will be well worth the effort when you find it. Some general guidelines for your hat hunting mission:

  • If you’re using a spring/summer palette of light neutrals and pastels, try a straw fedora in a natural or cream shade.
  • Embellishments such as ribbons, flowers or bows can add a uniquely feminine twist to a traditionally male accessory.
  • In the colder months of fall and winter, when wearing darker colors, leave straw hats on the hook. Choose a fedora with a fun print, like pin stripes, leopard print, zebra print, etc.
  • If the rest of your outfit ventures closer to the darker end of the color spectrum, feel free to add a pop of color with your hat – just make sure that it doesn’t clash with your outfit or your hair. It sits right on top of your head, so if it clashes with your hair it will be hideously apparent. Be wary of this if you choose a funky color.
  • Try to choose a hat that is the same/is a similar color as one in the lower portion of your outfit. This will pull the look together; otherwise, it can look a bit random and out of place.


Further Notes

If you don’t have a blazer, you can instead opt for an oversized button down – add a tie for extra credit. Ties a little too much for you? Try a fun and unexpected twist on the idea, like a big bow (kinda like a bow tie, only better). If you don’t have one pre-made, DIY by wrapping a large ribbon under your collar as you would a tie, and tying it in a bow.

If you’re not comfortable in heels, or if they’re simply not practical for your day, switch to ballet flats (ones with bows or jewels will have the same effect as the wedges, but make sure they follow the same color scheme as the rest of your clothing). Even better, slip on some jazz oxford flats, like these from ThreadSence.com.

Jazz Oxford Shoes $33.00

Jazz Oxford Shoes $33.00

things to avoid
Don’t mix all three major players – blazer, oversized button down & tailored pants – as that could end up overpowering your womanly physique. Keep one or two items femme and play around with loose, boyfriend fits for the rest to create the perfect feminine menswear look. Some possible combos :: blazer + button down + skinny jeans; blazer + button down + leggings; blazer + ladylike blouse + tailored shorts; blazer + graphic tee + trousers… The possibilities are endless. Play around. Find what you like and work it.

empirical evidence
I was able to purchase an entire menswear styled look from Forever 21 for about $110… It is absolutely my favorite outfit. You can see it in the photo attached to this article, or in my previous blog entry :: femme it up. I constructed the look using a peachy-pink blazer from their Love21 line ($27.80), a lavender-gray sleeveless tunic ($17.80, sale $8.99), taupe tailored shorts w/pleats ($17.80), nude buckle wedges (sale, $14.99), a straw fedora w/cream silk flowers ($12.80), a cloth floral bangle (sale, $1.00) & a gold & turquoise ring ($3.00). I completed it with a 3-layer necklace (gold chain, cream ribbon & pearls adorned w/a flower of cream ribbon), gold hoop earrings with gold & cream beading, and some other cocktails rings that I acquired on a different shopping trip. Everything except for two of the rings was from Forever 21.

so, to recap

  • A men’s style watch is the key accessory for achieving a menswear style look.
  • Structured, over sized blazers with small shoulder pads are a great way to add a menswear touch, without going all the way.
  • Add trousers or tailored shorts to your blazer for the full effect. Pleating on these items make them even better.
  • Let them know you’re a woman with a lady like blouse, jewelry & super tall wedges.
  • Think light neutrals & pastels in spring and summer; blacks, grays, dark browns & other dark colors for fall & winter.
  • Gold & pearls with ribbons & bows in spring & summer; studs & chains in pewter & silver for fall & winter.
  • Cocktails rings are a must.
  • Repeat after me :: My purse is an extension of my outfit.
  • Perfect fedora = outfit perfection
  • Avoid overkill; too much of any one thing (menswear pieces, bangles, cocktail rings, etc) will overpower the look.
  • Play around. Have fun. Experiment.

True fashion is learning to enjoy yourself and what you’re wearing, finding a look you love and wearing with with confidence.
Style is the art of self-creation.


self imposed exhaustion

White Button Up & Khaki Shorts

White Button Up & Khaki Shorts

White Button Up & Khaki Shorts

White Button Up & Khaki Shorts

Brown Metallic Pumps

white button up [Forever 21]; olive cami [Wet Seal]; khaki shorts [Aeropostale]; brown metallic pumps [Charlotte Russe]; purse [Vanity]; all bracelets [Charlotte Russe]; earrings [F21]

Love this outfit. It felt comfy and clean. The pumps were added only because I needed shoes for the pictures; I went most of the day barefoot… And looking at them I’m thinking my beige oxfords might have been a better pick. Really wishing I had some cute nude pumps. I think they would have been perfect.

I have photos of a remix of this outfit that I am going to post tomorrow. It’s a more warm-weather oriented version of this outfit. I almost think I might like the remix better – the photos at least, anyway. Too exhausted to photograph well tonight. Even too tired to really type much of a commentary on my outfit. It’s essentially what I wore yesterday, except yesterday I was wearing a peach colored cami and today my cami was olive.

I didn’t get outside today. Too damned windy, and even a bit chilly 😦 Hopefully tomorrow will be better. I am so incredibly tired right now. I almost didn’t put up my outfit photos, even though they were all ready to go, just because of how extremely tired I am. I’m getting too damn old to stay up all night and live through it. As soon as I’m done here, I’m watching an episode of Stargate SG1 and then going to bed. I’m even waiting to post my new outfit photos on MR and Chictopia till tomorrow, that’s how tired I am.

Featured Friend of the Blog
But before I go, I want to give a holler to a new friend of mine, Iona over at iona.com. She provides a unique and very useful service – especially for girls who wear larger shoe sizes and have a hard time finding stylish shoes in their size! It’s a pretty awesome deal – basically, you call her up and tell her what kind of shoes you want, and she will go and find them for you. She does all the work for you! She’s suffered from this problem herself, but instead of accepting her fate, she made contacts all across the globe and the shoe industry to help her find the cutest, most stylish shoes in just the right sizes. Everyone deserves to be fashionable and to be able to wear cute shoes, and Iona can help you with that! Be sure to click on over to her blog to see what’s going on and find out how she can help you find the right pair of shoes!

Has anyone else checked out the Fashion 101 series over at academichic??? I’ve been pouring over it for the last couple of hours – even taking notes! I’m such a nerd, LOL. I’m thinking tomorrow I will spend some time looking through my clothes and playing around with colors and various combos. I’ll be sure to take some photos and post them, too. Even if you’re an experienced, well-rounded fashionista, I highly recommend that you check out their blog. It’s full of all kinds of fantastic info! I’ve learned a lot by reading it through their entries and How-to’s over the last few days. And when you try out their tips, be sure to post some photos and send me a link. Remember – there could be a giveaway involved with this not too far down the line!

Good night for now, but be sure to drop me a line if you have any comments, suggestions, thoughts or questions, or if you’d like to become a sponsor of fashion_nerdom! Email is nuttall.jennifer@gmail.com, or leave me a comment! (the link for comments is currently at the top of the post)

fantastic new find

Happy Mother’s Day to all the Moms in the world. May your days be many and bright; may you walk in the light of Mother Earth and Father Sky.


Wish List:

SEPPA, Aldo Shoes

SEPPA, Aldo Shoes



FLOMEGA, Aldo Shoes

FLOMEGA, Aldo Shoes

Jack by BB Dakota Ember Lace Skirt in White from Revolve Clothing

Jack by BB Dakota Ember Lace Skirt in White from Revolve Clothing

Pretty please? I promise I’ll be good!

Yesterday I put together a cute but simple outfit of neutrals and basics: a peach cami, white button down with rolled up sleeves, light khaki shorts and taupe oxfords; possibly my first mix of softer neutrals since starting this blog. I tend to gravitate towards darker colors, so switching it up to the lighter side felt refreshing, almost invigorating. Probably would have felt better if it hadn’t been 7:00 at night when I finally decided to get dressed! Of course, it didn’t help that I slept until 5:00 in the evening. I wanted to take pictures, because it was ever so cute, but Travis fell asleep while I was reading downstairs, so unfortunately I didn’t get any last night… However, I’m thinking I’ll remix the outfit a bit for today, and I am definitely getting pictures today. I’m going outside today!

I finally decided that my body’s schedule is too far out of whack, so last night I stayed up all night so I can go to sleep early tonight. Kinda tired, but I’m sure it will be worth it. I love nighttime, but it’s summer and I’m sick of wasting it asleep. Hopefully this week I’ll get my check from DaVinci so I can do a little vintage shopping and get something to organize my closet with. In the meantime, though, I am going to start getting up earlier – by noon every day, at the latest – going for walks, reading outside on the porch, etc. I could definitely use some sunshine.

Fashionable Find of the Week ::
So, today is Sunday, the start of a new week. I found a new blog last night, academichic, which features three women PhD candidates in the midwest and chronicles their struggles against the stereotypical style of academics. My favorite part about the blog – they’ve written a Fashion 101 course, separated into 15 modules, each focusing on different areas of basic style. The first four modules focus on colors and matching – thank the Goddess! – which I have been searching for forever. They even assign homework!!! From what I’ve read so far, the homework mostly consists of putting together outfits using the techniques described in the module. Yeah, I’m a nerd (hence, my title: fashion nerdom), but I plan to study all of the modules this week and ‘do the homework’. I’ll be sure to post my notes and my ‘homework’ daily. If anyone else decides to take this course with me (and you totally should!), you should definitely take some photos and send them to me! I’ll even feature them here on my blog (unless you don’t want me to!), just email them to me at nuttall.jennifer@gmail.com, along with your name and what you’re wearing (you know the drill: each item & where you got it, if you remember). If I get enough submissions, I might even make a giveaway out of it, so make sure you send your photos in! And don’t forget to leave me some comments so I know you’re participating and going to class, too 😉

I’d like to stop here and thank everyone who hopped on over here from Facebook. It means a lot to me that you would take the time to read my ramblings about my every day life and my fashion obsession. Thanks for putting up with me, guys 🙂

And thanks again to those who have been with me from the start! Your warmth and encouragement mean more to me than you know. I love your comments and your input! Please, always feel free to comment or send me a private email. I love hearing from all of you!!!

I’ll be back later tonight with outfit photos, as well as photos of my new surroundings from my Adventure Walk I’m planning to take this afternoon. Be sure to check out academichic’s Fashion 101 in the meantime, and let me know what you think in the comments!