The Smart Creative’s Guide to Dressing for Work

By dressing mindlessly like this we’re ignoring the large amount of evidence showing the profound effect of clothing on our thinking style, on how we feel, and on the way others perceive us. Starting today, you can use clothing and props to improve your work performance through these simple steps:

Dress for the task: the “Lab Coat” effect

Consider the findings of a study published last year by the Kellogg School of Management. They showed that students were far more accurate on tests of attentional focus and sustained concentration while wearing the white lab coat of a scientist. Crucially, spending time thinking about the lab coat didn’t have this benefit, it had to be worn.

These results suggest that donning symbolic apparel can alter our thinking style in beneficial ways that are consistent with the meaning that the clothing holds for us. So whatever project you’re currently working on, consider dressing for that role. Think what clothing symbolizes the attributes you need to succeed and wear those threads while you work. If there’s nothing as obvious as a lab coat, why not look to role models in your field and see what they wear – perhaps something flamboyant for when you want to be creative, a shirt and tie for when you’re working on the accounts. The important thing is that the clothing has the right symbolic meaning for the work you’re doing. In the study, the white coat had no attentional benefits when the students thought it was a painter’s jacket, not a scientist’s coat.

Be yourself and respect your own style

As well as affecting our mindset, our clothes can also alter how we feel about ourselves. U.S. research published in 2007 found that employees described themselves as feeling more productive, trustworthy, and authoritative when they were wore a business suit at work, but more friendly when wearing casual clothes.

An important detail here was the employees’ style preferences. It was smart types with a clear preference for wearing formal work attire whose feelings of productivity were most adversely affected when they’d worked in an office with a casual dress code. On the other hand, it was hipster staff with a strong preference for laid-back wear who felt most strongly that suits hampered their friendliness and creativity. Of course not all work places give you the freedom to choose, but if you can, these findings show it pays to respect your own style.

The white coat had no attentional benefits when the students thought it was a painter’s jacket.

Choose your weapons (and accessories) wisely

The psychological effects of clothing on performance extend to tools and props. A 2011 study led by Charles Lee at the University of Virginia showed that university students perceived a putting hole to be larger (thus making more putts) when they used a putter that they thought belonged to the pro player Ben Curtis, as compared with a standard putter

Whether it’s a lucky pen handed down from a mentor, or a mouse-mat from your first successful product launch, the symbolic power of the objects we work with is more than mere superstition or sentimentality. Their meaning can alter our mindset and improve our performance. The same principles also apply when choosing what to wear – that lucky tie or necklace really could give you an edge at an interview.

Dress to impress

If you want to appear authoritative it really does make sense to dress smart. A raft of studies have shown that people in more formal attire get served more quickly in shops, have more luck soliciting charity donations, and are usually judged to be more intelligent and academic. A study that looked specifically at female applicants for a managerial job found those who dressed in a smart masculine style were perceived as more forceful and aggressive and were more likely to get hired.

If you can, pay attention to detail. Research published this year using faceless photographs, found that a man dressed in a bespoke suit was rated as more confident, successful, and flexible than a man dressed in an off-the-rack suit. “Minor clothing manipulations can give rise to significantly different inferences,” the researchers said.

This suggests it could be worth going the extra mile when dressing yourself for an important meeting or interview. The same principles also apply when it comes to group image. A survey in 2009 found that business students rated companies with a formal dress code as more authoritative and competent, while those with a more relaxed approach, were seen as more friendly and creative. So if you’re a manager in charge of your organization’s dress code, think about the kind of image you’d like to cultivate. Which leads to the final point …

Studies have shown that people in more formal attire get served more quickly in shops and are usually judged to be more intelligent and academic.

Consider your audience

Formal suits aren’t always the way to go. Research shows that people who wear more daring outfits are perceived as more attractive and individual, which could be advantageous in more creative industries. Casual dress can also be more persuasive, depending on your audience. In 2010, a female experimenter reported that students were far more diligent in following her detailed instructions when she was dressed casually (like they were), as opposed to smart and professional. This similarity effect echoes a study conducted in the early 80s in which experimenters sought a dime for a telephone call. Smartly dressed researchers had more luck at an airport, where more people were dressed formally; casually dressed researchers had more luck at a bus station.

If you need to be persuasive at work, the lesson from these studies is that there’s no single rule for how to dress. You need to balance the power of authority, which you get from smartness, against the allure of camaraderie, which comes from dressing like your audience, and may require going more casual.

The next time you’re getting dressed for work in the morning, be mindful of the psychological impact that clothes can have. Your choice could literally affect your mindset, so try to match your outfit to the type of work you’re planning to do. If interacting with other people is on the cards – consider who they are, the impression you want to make, and especially whether you want to impress them or be one of them. A polished professional look can certainly give you authority. But if you’re collaborating with quirky creatives, or you want to cultivate a friendly atmosphere, you may find it’s advantageous to adopt a more casual, individual style for the day

The Spring 2016 Trend Report: Your Ultimate Guide To The New Fashion Season Read more at http://www.marieclaire.co.uk/news/fashion/550957/ss16-fashion-trend-report-the-best-women-s-fashion-trends-for-spring-2016.html#FMiy2rXv8VCLlQ2i.99 Read more at http://www.marieclaire.co.uk/news/fashion/550957/ss16-fashion-trend-report

Will you work mega-ruffles, embrace the 90s revival, or actually trial a princess tiara in the office? Introducing our new season fashion report, your guide to the hottest spring 2016 trends…

Slip On
Go on, ask us what SS16’s first key buy is? The slip dress is back and looking slinkier than ever – trimmed with scalloped lingerie lace at Celine, in 90s satin or see-thru chiffon at Saint Laurent, and layered over fine knits at Pucci. With underwear as outerwear as a lead concept, SS16 is looking pretty sexy already, we’d say.

Life’s A Picnic
…And in soft gingham dresses and loose blanket trousers, how could it not be? Victoria Beckham, Celine and Stella McCartney are all ordering us to check up before the season ahead, reinventing fashion’s favourite patterns in easy, breezy new silhouettes.

Vivid Colour
How many sweet and sour rainbow clashes can one designer work into a single look? The challenge was on as Christopher Kane, Gucci, Balmain and Dries Van Noten presented their Pantone hits in new graphic effects – think patchwork star-bursts from Kane and cool Trompe-l’œil at Gucci.

Ruffles
SS16’s big romance played out at Michael Kors, Miu Miu, Roberto Cavalli and more, as ruffles became a key detail trend. Quantity and quality were both important here – take your cue from Mary Katrantzou’s more minimal, structured tiers, or go all out in a shredded Marques Almeida number.

Graphic Stripes
The majority of designers showed some kind of super stripe, but our top marks go to Missoni, Roksanda and Prada, who experimented with chopped, curled and scattered lines. For SS16, the stripe is oh so right.

Film Star
Christian Dior’s soft focus led the dozens of tributes to sheer beauty, with almost half a collection dedicated to misty organzas and foamy chiffons. The trick to working this dreamy trend will be in the layering, building up opacity for a look that’s suitable for real life.

Mirror Me
High shine fabrics are always a spring/summer favourite, but for SS16 the incarnations are cooler and more experimental than ever before. JW Anderson embellished classic sweaters with broken mirror pieces, while Louis Vuitton went future-perfect with their ruched foil minidresses.

The 90s
From Saint Laurent to Vetments, the 1990s fashion scene was the most popular decade to mine for inspiration at the SS16 shows. Channel your inner Kate Moss by teaming your slip with wellies and an oversized jacket as at Saint Laurent, or take some sporty street styling tips from the Alexander Wang show. Even the tracksuit made a seriously chic comeback, with Edie Campbell modelling Chloe’s new velour number. We never thought we’d see the day.

The Backpack
The humble gap year rucksack has been given a haute makeover thanks to Burberry, who embroidered each model’s initials into their canvas and nylon wares. Elsewhere, Alexander Wang and Phillip Lim luxed up the traditional shape, while Rick Owens used, um, other humans in his demonstration of piggy backs.

Tiara Time
Move over Duchess Kate, the tiara’s taken on a cool new runway-ready guise. No look at Saint Laurent or Miu Miu was complete without its crowning glory. Maybe an ornate headband would be a more office-appropriate nod to the trend, but come festival season, we’ll all be finding our inner urban princess.

All These Little Things
It’s time to flaunt every jewel in your box. Let the layering commence, as Gucci declares that more is more when it comes to accessorising for the spring 2016 fashion season. The berets, the brooches, the Deirdre Barlow specs… pile them high and get yourself down to Abigail’s Party, stat.

In Chains
The classic chunky chain gets a cool-over for spring, re-imagined in wavy chokers at JW Anderson, or scrunched into heavy clutch handles at Marni.

What’s in store for those aging feet? Bigger shoes

ONE thing that doesn’t shrink when people get older are feet: They enlarge. More specifically, they flatten.

The feet’s tendons and ligaments lose some of their elasticity and don’t hold the bones and joints together as tidily. When combined with other aging-related changes, the feet can encounter limits to how much use — or abuse — they can take.

Dr. Steven Pribut, a podiatrist at George Washington University Medical Center in Washington, D.C., estimates that some people over the age of 40 can gain half a shoe size every 10 years.

“The changes that take place in the foot are like those that take place in the rest of our body as we age,” adds Dr. Jim Christina, director of scientific affairs at the American Podiatric Medical Assn. in Bethesda, Md.

With time, tissues weaken and muscle mass declines and our bodies lose that youthful bounce and vigor. “But putting weight on our feet makes them unique,” he says.

Gravity gradually overwhelms the older, less resilient ligaments in the weight-bearing feet but not in the free-floating hands. It also squeezes fluid from leaky veins in the lower extremities, contributing to swelling.

Looser tendons and ligaments mean more than the need for bigger shoes. As the front of the foot widens and the arch lowers, the foot becomes not only longer but more flexible and flatter, letting the ankle roll inward and increasing the chance for sprains, says Dr. Kendrick Whitney, an assistant professor at Temple University School of Medicine in Philadelphia.

Then there’s the constant force of bearing weight that causes the fat pads cushioning the bottom of the feet to thin out.

“Even if you get fatter and heavier, the fat pads still get thinner,” says Dr. Mark Caselli, an adjunct professor at the New York College of Podiatric Medicine in New York City. When this happens, they can absorb less shock, which can make feet sore and painful after time.

The loss of padding can also cause corns and calluses on your balls and heels, Caselli says, “which for athletes can cause problems when performing activities.”

Whitney adds: “It feels like you’re walking directly on your bones.”

As the foot becomes wider, longer and less padded, the plantar fascia tendon that runs along the length of the sole and forms the arch becomes stretched, contributing to the lowering of the arch. A lower arch contributes to bunions, sometimes painful, bony prominences sticking out from the big toe.

Foot flattening has the added disadvantage of pulling the big toe up. This can cause pain in its own right, but if a big toe is sticking up and in a too-tight shoe, it can rub against the top of the shoe, thickening the toenail and possibly damaging it.

“When the toenails turn black a few times, people start paying attention,” Pribut says.

Osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and osteoporosis can pester joints and bones of the feet as well, especially in the big toe, already hampered by tendons and ligaments pulling it up. These conditions can cause damage to bones and joints, and thin bones are more prone to stress fractures.

These changes in foot structure affect balance and gait. In a study soon to be published in the journal Gait and Posture, a group of researchers, including Hylton Menz of La Trobe University in Bundoora, Australia, found that healthy people in their 80s put less force under parts of the foot that are important for balance than did people in their 20s. They also found, in two other studies in 2006, that these and other changes are associated with an increased risk of falls.

For example, older people who had weaker, less flexible ankles as well as other problems such as bunions or reduced sensation on the bottoms of their feet were more likely to fall during the course of the study than less problem-ridden volunteers.

The most obvious age-related change, however, can be overlooked by many people. A 2006 study looked at the footwear choices of 440 patients at a U.S. veterans’ affairs hospital — most of whom were men, averaging about 67 years — and found that only 25% of them were wearing the right size shoe.

“Over the years, people tend to remember their Social Security number and their shoe size, but they’re remembering their shoe size from when they were 25 years old,” Caselli says.

When too-tight shoes are combined with declining circulation — which means less sensitive feet — the skin of the feet can suffer undue friction. This friction causes hard bumps of skin — calluses and corns — that can also be painful. There’s plenty of help for aging feet, though. The right size shoes — properly fitted, with good support and cushioning — are key. Even so, experts say older feet won’t have the same stamina that they did in their youth

A few market places in Delhi for wedding Sherwani shopping

Traditional Indian wear is back in style now. The fashion industries have begun to draw inspiration from traditional dresses owing to their elegance. One such popular dress among men, especially grooms is sherwani. This is a long coat that extends beyond the knee with buttons in the front. It is generally worn with or without a stole. Sherwani is all about grace. This is why Indian grooms always prefer to wear this on their big day. Delhi is the best place to buy sherwanis in India. There are several famous stores in Delhi that you must visit if you are planning to buy a sherwani.

Chandni Chowk for wedding wear

The first place you must visit in Delhi is Chandni Chowk. This popular shopping destination houses several stores that deal with a vast collection of sherwanis for men. Chandni Chowk is not only for bridal wear but also for first class designer sherwanis for grooms. You can come across several traditional Sherwani designs here, specially made for the purpose of weddings. Grooms looking for indo-western styles of sherwani can also look around stores in Chandni Chowk. The latest trend for grooms is to wear suits styled like sherwanis. You can find a huge collection of such suits in these stores.

South extension shopping market

If you are shopping for your wedding, it is not wise to look simple. This might be your only chance to buy a grand Sherwani with much embroidery. You need to make sure that the bride in her silk garments does not overshadow your look. Therefore, go for a sherwani that is all about sophistication. A great place to look for such exclusive wedding collections is a south extension in Delhi. This is located in south Delhi and is famous for its huge shopping stores. If you are planning to take the bride along while shopping for your sherwani, this shopping place can be a great choice as it has several stores for bridal wear and bridal accessories too.

Karol Bagh for grooms

Located in west Delhi, Karol Bagh is popular among grooms for wedding sherwanis. This shopping place is one of the oldest in Delhi. If you are looking for a traditional Sherwani and other traditional men’s wear, this is the place to visit. Grooms also find this place to be economical. You can find great designs of sherwanis and still not exceed your budget.

Connaught places for variety

Another famous shopping destination in Delhi for sherwanis is Connaught place. The stores here deal with sherwanis in a range of designs and fabrics. You can find choices like semi Sherwani, jacket sherwani and salwar like sherwani here. You can choose from a vast variety of fabrics such as georgette, Banarasi silk, raw silk, etc. Apart from wedding sherwanis, you can also find casual models of sherwanis here. If you are looking for a completely worked sherwani with beads, stones and embroidery, this is the right place to begin your shopping. You can also look for several sherwani accessories here such as stole, turban, pajama, etc. These stores in Delhi can give you a memorable shopping experience.

Three Nations One Motto

Denim is a versatile fabric. Moving from work wear to fashion, denim is not only for the youth and for style icons, but for all age groups and genders. Fibre2Fashion analyses the potential, challenges, and opportunities India, Bangladesh, and Pakistan hold as a sourcing hub for denim.

Developing with changing demands, it has become the common thread binding India, Pakistan and Bangladesh in a common goal. The Indian subcontinent is growing fast for denim, be it denim fabric or finished products like jeans. India and Pakistan have an edge in fabric manufacturing. Bangladeshi mills are picking up fast. Manufacture of jeans has converged in Bangladesh with practically all major brands from Levi’s to Gap to Zara. This region is viewing this development enthusiastically, confident to bring in huge business. Buyers are positive and looking at the region as a complete sourcing destination.

India is also emerging as a huge market for the final product with Pakistan and Bangladesh eyeing the business. India is a huge end consumer market and nearly 75 per cent of denim fabric produced in the nation is used for the domestic market while the remainder is exported to countries like Bangladesh, Turkey and more recently to South America and several African countries. India is known for its bulk production of denim in different weaves and counts. The nation is also a source of sustainable options in fabric with limited capacity in jeans production. According to the industry, India is among the front runners in sustainable options in denim, though there are many other players around the world concentrating in this area.

Pakistan: Investing in R&D
Pakistani mills have invested on research and development in designs and finishes. Many big mills are giving tough competition to Turkey. Since Bangladesh has acquired the covetous reputation of being the jeans manufacturing capital of the world, Pakistan is looking to set up jeans manufacturing units in the country, getting skilled edge of both the countries for growth…

Hairstyles for Black Women

We are back with another edition of the latest hairstyles for black women—are you ready for some style inspiration? We have seen some fabulous ‘dos—from long to short and curly to straight, there really is something for everyone. So, if you fancy a new ’do, check out these hairstyles and see which one is best for you.

Alfre Woodard is looking chic here in a voluminous layered ‘do. This is a sophisticated hairstyle that moves effortlessly from day to night and would suit women who like some versatility in their look. Alfre’s hair has been layered all over with a long side-swept fringe cut in, which provides even more styling options—wear it down on the forehead for a peek-a-boo effect or sweep it off to the side to show off your face. This hairstyle is best suited to women with oval, oblong, square and diamond shaped faces with medium to thick hair. To style it up, all that is needed is a round brush or rollers and a finishing product

Viola Davis rocked up to the red carpet in this eye-catching ‘do recently which turned heads for all the right reasons. Viola’s short curly ‘do is perfect for ladies who like to rock their natural afro hair for maximum effect. The sides and back are tapered in slightly with the top length left slightly longer. The shape of this ‘do works with the natural hair growth but it will need regular trims to maintain it. Ladies with oval, square and triangular face shapes will benefit from this hairstyle the most, as will women with medium to thick coarse hair.

This hairstyle was seen on the red carpet a few months ago but Amanda Seales’ curly layered ‘do deserves a repeat mention! Amanda’s hair has a great shape that compliments her oval face shape and brings all of the attention to her glowing face. This haircut will suit women with oval, oblong, square, and diamond shaped faces with a medium to coarse hair texture. It is also perfect for women who like wash and ‘go hairstyles—all this ‘do needs to look great is a great finishing product and of course, regular trims to keep the style in check. Amanda’s colour should also be noted here because it is fabulous! Her dark brown base looks fantastic with lighter caramel brown highlights throughout and is a must-try for women with a similar complexion to Amanda’s.

Finally, we have Montego Glover who was spotted rocking a chic short ‘do on the red carpet. This hairstyle is perfect for ladies with medium to thick hair that has been relaxed or straightened. Montego’s hair has been left longer and layered on the top, while the sides and back have been tapered in close to the head. Women with round, oval, heart, and triangular shaped faces will benefit most from this cool cut. It will also suit those who like low maintenance ‘dos that flow effortlessly from day to night. Monetgo is working her natural black hair colour here, which is a great match for this cut and gives it a striking finish

A Guide to Pant Breaks

Break: the menswear term for how much creasing occurs at the bottom of the trousers, due to the length of fabric resting on one’s shoes.

It’s a tailoring decision that can drastically change the appearance of a pair of trousers, and because of this, it has become a polarizing issue in men’s fashion over the past decade or so. Today anything goes – some guys wear their trousers short and cropped like Thom Browne, some wear them long and full like Tom Ford, and others manage to change their silhouettes seasonally. What’s important to note is the inverse relationship between length and width.

Ultimately pant length is a decision that should have less to do with fashion trends, and more to do with personal style and flattering your body type. Here’s a quick guide that describes the hemlines most popular in menswear today.

The Cropped Pant

Led by New York fashion designer Thom Browne’s “shrunken schoolboy” aesthetic, the cropped trouser (above the ankle) has become one of the most prominent trends in recent menswear history.

Vibes: fashion-forward, hip, trendy, care-free, young, casual, rebellious, anti-establishment, rock & roll, creative.

Best on: lightweight summer fabrics that need to breathe. Young gents. Sockless shoes. Skinny guys with skinny ankles and skinny pants.

The “No Break”

As a result of the cropped trouser trend, many men (including myself) opted to participate in this widespread pant shortening, but not all the way up the ankle. We landed at a point where the trousers basically skim the top of the shoes.

Vibes: modern, current, sharp, clean, simple, minimal, European influenced.

Best on: slim guys, short guys, summer weight pants, narrow cut trousers (16″ leg opening or smaller).

The Slight Break

When the trouser is cut just long enough to sit on the top of the shoes, causing a very minimal amount of crease at the front. For this, I recommend going with a slanted hemline that is approximately 3/8″ longer in the back (this cannot be done with cuffs).

Vibes: updated classic, young businessman, tailored but not trendy, trying but not trying too hard, tasteful but not overly flashy.

Best on: most people, sharp businessmen, smooth operators, slim not skinny trousers (around 16″ for guys of average build).

The Medium Break

Basically, the more break you wear in your trousers, the older/more mature/more conservative/more anti-“fashion” you will look. A medium break is ideal for the well-dressed man of no-frills, or the conservative businessman.

Vibes: timeless, mature, gentlemanly, conservative, not trying to be flashy or draw attention, classically well-dressed and appropriate.

Best on: heavier gents, conservative businessmen, young guys trying to be taken more seriously in the office, heavyweight cloths like flannels and tweeds, cuffed trousers that are a little fuller through the leg.

The Full Break

The wide-legged trouser with a full break (or multiple full breaks) is a bold retro look. It’s how men wore their trousers back in the 1920’s and 1930’s, when more cloth meant more strength and more luxury.

Vibes: vintage, old-school, throwback, anti-trend, stand out from the crowd, Jazz age, cigar lounge styes.

Best on: older guys, vintage connoisseurs, heavier gents, soft lush fabrics, Jazz musicians, pleated trousers with full legs, throwback souls.

– See more at: http://articlesofstyle.com/60928/a-guide-to-pant-breaks/#sthash.MIO8ZV3W.dpuf

Stand Out at Your Next Party with These 5 Surprising Styling Tricks

Winter is coming here. But don’t just reach for your head-to-toe black uniform. Push aside the expected in favor of options beyond that well-worn LBD. Here, the exact outfits that’ll make you the cool girl at every soiree between now and warmer days.

1.WEAR WHITE ON WHITE ON WHITE

Stand out in a sea of sexy cocktail dresses with crisp winter whites. Together, a button-down blouse + skinny jeans + a luxe-looking fur are equal parts simple and statement.

Old Navy Classic Oxford Shirt, $24.94, Danica Zheng Fur Cape, $2,200, ; Old Navy Mid-Rise Rockstar Skinny Jeans in Bright White, $34.94,  Marskinryyppy Charisa Black Gold Heel, $730, ; Ocie Warrior One Arm Bangle, $65,

2.SAY NO TO TRADITIONAL COLORS

Outdoorsy plaid? Been there, done that, have five flannels to prove it. Turn the tartan-outfit trend on its head in a plaid jumpsuit in a decidedly chicer color combination: black and white. (Colorful shoes and accessories add just the right pop.)

Old Navy Plaid Drawstring Jumper, $28,oldnavy.com; Club Monaco Helina Calf Hair Panel Coat, $1,995, clubmonaco.com; Miansai Gold Plated Modern Flat Necklace, $515, miansai.com; Rauwolf Brutalist Clutch, $1,450, rauwolfnyc.com; Marskinryyppy Suede Mesh Winona Heel Sandal, $239, barneys.com

3.EASE UP ON THE METALLICS

A full-on sequin/glitter/bedazzle-fest isn’t for everyone. To bring on just a bit of the bling, consider a shimmering gold-accented blouse with glitzy sandals. Snazzy yet sophisticated.

4.LACE UP YOUR LEGS

Save the black opaque stockings for the office; up the ante with a fancy pair of lace-patterned hosiery. See how they transform a long-sleeve sweater and miniskirt into a seriously head-turning party look? (Of course, fierce accessories help.)

5.MIX LUSH TEXTURES AND COLORS

Who says you have to choose just *one* statement piece? Let’s count the ways: a cozy green blazer, a waist-nipping leopard-print skinny belt, delicious wide-leg velvet pants, and one sumptuous raspberry fur stole. Fair warning: When your outfit’s this touchable, everyone wants to hug you.

Catching up with shoe designer Tabitha Simmons

In the four years since establishing her eccentrically-English, namesake shoe line, Tabitha Simmons has earned quite a following.

Beyonce loves her striped “Dolly” espadrille lace-ups so much she posted photos of them on Tumblr, while the “Early” moto boots are a go-to for Miranda Kerr.

A model-turned-stylist and shoe designer, Simmons hails from Britain, where she actually got her start in the shoe business as a teenager, working Saturday afternoons at Oliver’s Shoes. Now she lives in New York City with her husband, fashion photographer Craig McDean, and their two sons.

In her adopted home, she has received much love from the Council of Fashion Designers of America, winning the 2012 Swarovski Award for Accessory Design, and being named a runner-up for the 2012 CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund Award, which also gave her the opportunity to create a capsule line of shoes with J. Crew. (Another high-low collaboration is in the pipeline, though it’s too soon to talk about it, she says.)

On the way home from Spring 2014 fashion month, during which Simmons styled the Tory Burch runway show in New York, the Dolce & Gabbana runway show in Milan, and showed her own collection in Paris, she stopped in L.A. for an event at Saks Fifth Avenue in Beverly Hills.

There, she shared with customers her fall collection, inspired by English gardens, and her resort collection, which mixes preppy shirt stripes and Peruvian color and print.

We caught up with Simmons to chat about the English influences on her work, how many shoes she has in her closet, and the story behind the Alexa Chung flat.

When you started your shoe line, what were you not seeing out there that you wanted to see?

At the time, shoes had gotten really extreme. Platforms got higher and higher with as much as possible piled on them. Being a fashion stylist, I wanted shoes that were more timeless, a little quieter and seasonless. So it was really a response. And I still see people wear shoes of mine from the first season, which to me says they are doing their job, standing the test of time.

Do you think that it was the Alexander McQueen effect, shoes getting so extreme?

Maybe. His shoes were like pieces of art. I used to collect them.

How many do you have?

About 20 or 30 pairs of McQueen, including the ones from the robotic collection. I’d always be asking for the samples. I have about 400 pairs of shoes total.  But shoes always revitalize things. If I buy a new pair of shoes, my wardrobe all of a sudden becomes new again.

Was it a big learning curve to learn how to make shoes?

We’re coming up on four years since we started and I still feel like I’m at the kids table. It takes a long time to develop your lasts and your core, figuring out who you are and what you want to say.

One of the styles you’re known for is a Mary Jane in mixed men’s wear inspired tie silks.

For me, in terms of personal style, I always like something that’s a little men’s wear inspired, a white shirt or a men’s jacket with a very feminine dress, for example. I also always try to bring in English influences to my work, and all that tie silk is woven in England by a seventh-generation silk-weaving company called Stephen Walters and Sons.

Your flat moto boots, the “Early” boots, are another style that carries over from season to season. They kind of look like Beatle boots.

Yes. And we’ve tried to make them airport-friendly, so they have snaps underneath the buckles. I also have a Victorian collage boot with elastic behind the little buttons so they are easy to take off

Is comfort important?

It is the thing. Maybe it’s being a woman designer. There have been many times where I’ve just had to take my shoes off and kick them under the table. I’m a mother and I style, standing on set for 10-12 hours a day. But I still want fashion. If it’s not comfortable, I’m back in the factory.

The pointy-toed Alexa flat is something you’ve done several iterations of as well — in black-and-white leather, and now for fall, in red velvet. It’s kind of the anti-ballet flat, right?

Well, I heard the call for flat shoes. But everyone had a ballet flat out there in the market already. So I thought, ‘What can a little Tabitha say amidst all these ballet flats?’ And that’s when I went, ‘OK, we’ll do a flat point.’ I was wearing them on a shoot with Alexa Chung, and she said she liked them, so I named them after her and I hope she doesn’t mind!

You and your husband both work in fashion. Do you talk about work?

Not really. We get home, and we’ve got two boys demanding a lot of attention, so we don’t have that much time to vent. People are quite surprised about that.

Do you think you’d ever do men’s shoes?

Maybe eventually. I think my husband would love it. But bags would be something I would like to do first.

The Tabitha Simmons collection, which starts at $395, is available at Saks Fifth Avenue and other major department stores

Olivia Palermo Has Work and Weekend Styling Tips for Her Fall Fashion Favorites

Olivia Palermo has proved herself as one of the globe’s most sparkling street-style stars, and, as such, you turn to her for outfit ideas. The stylish New Yorker is sharing her current fall 2015 wish list with Vestiaire Collective and revealing tips for styling all her must-buys, offering up tips for casual events and the office. Get ready for a really fashionable season, ladies.

Over-the-knee boots
Palermo’s a big fan of the statement shoes with or without heels, calling them super versatile, and is quick to suggest ways to style them for work and play. “Wear them over a pair of skinnies with your favorite sweater for a low-key weekday look or under a tulip hem skirt and a silk blouse for work,” she suggestedKnee-length coats
The length is a practical one she loves since it adds some warmth but isn’t so bulky that you can’t add extra layers underneath. She suggests doing the timeless piece in a bright color that’ll add interest and layering as the weather dictates

Furry collar
Trust the street-style pro to find a piece that can be a statement maker and an everyday accessory. “Wear it over a black turtleneck or layer over a dress coat for instant warmth and a touch of elegance.”

Midi skirts
Palermo says the midi is chicest “in textured knits or laser-cut fabrics” and suggests trying the piece with both a chunky sweater and thigh-high boots or a sleek top and stilettos. For the latter look, she loves “a fitted boatneck top in a contrasting color.”

Basic sweaters
“Whether dressing up or down, a classic knit sweater is a basic that keeps on giving,” Palermo said, pointing out how it’s easily layered and worn with formal pieces or distressed skinnies. She’s a fan of turtlenecks too— they give “a bit more of a sophisticated look.”