Back-To-School Fashion is for Grown-ups Too

Many FashioNitsas have happy memories of back-to-school clothes shopping: the plaid skirts, the wool sweaters, the durable shoes that would last the year. School’s out permanently for most of us, but that doesn’t mean we have to miss out on the fun of back-to-school shopping! Here are some trends that will have you looking forward to back to school fashion isn't just for the kids!Labor Day:

Idea #1: Plaid

Plaid is a classic fall pattern, appearing on skirts, pants, shirts, coats, and accessories. While the classic plaid schoolgirl skirt features pleats, you can add sophistication by choosing a slimming pencil skirt instead. Or add some whimsy with a plaid rain hat or umbrella for the North Carolina autumn rains that are sure to come.

Idea #2: Backpacks

They are not just for kids anymore; just last month, Victoria Beckham and Katie Holmes were both seen sporting the traditional nylon carryall that so many students carry. Glam up your backpack with updated designs and style, and enjoy the comfort and ergonomic correctness of carrying heavy items on your back, instead of hanging off your shoulder.

Idea #3: Functional flats

Thank heavens that most schoolgirls don’t wear the four-inch stilettos that the fashionistas on ABC Family’s Pretty Little Liars wear, and you don’t have to either. Look for loafer-style shoes, but skip the pennies to avoid the mutton-dressed-as-lamb syndrome.

Idea #4: Ribbed knits

As discussed previously, ribbed knits were all over the runway for this fall’s on-trend look. Find it at Nitsa’s and revel in the warmth and comfort!

Idea #5: Find your clique

High school is notorious for its cliques, and while FashioNitsas know better than to exclude others, they can still dress like their preferred tribe. Were you a punk, jock, or prepster? This season’s trends cover the gamut, so come into Nitsa’s to showcase your own personal style!

How to Pull Off an All-White Outfit and Look Fabulous!

It may be one of the hardest looks to pull off: the all-white outfit. Unless you’re a doctor or how to wear an all white outfit and look awesomeresearcher wearing a long white lab jacket, all-white outfits can very easily become FashioNitsa “don’ts.” However, if you follow these tips, you can make the all-white outfit work for you.

  1. Make sure your whites match. This may sound silly; white is white, right? Wrong. Just check out the white paint section at your local hardware store if you think that all whites are the same. White clothes come in a variety of shades (pure white, ivory, cream, winter white, etc.), and your own white clothes may change over time to be slightly different shades from what they once were. If your white shirt is slightly pink or slightly yellow, it doesn’t matter if you wear it with jeans or another color. But if you wear it with other whites that it doesn’t match, it’s distracting.
  2. But feel free to mix up the textures. Try denim on the bottom and chiffon on the top, or a silk skirt with a chunky knit sweater. Playing with texture helps keep an all-white outfit from being too flat.
  3. Pay attention to shape and balance. If you wear something long and flowing on the bottom, pair it with something slim-fitting on top, or vice versa. Too much loose and floaty clothing can look like a set of sheets hung out to dry, while too much tight clothing is rarely appropriate.
  4. Add layers. Another way to add depth to a monochromatic outfit is to complement the different textures with different lengths and layers. Try a long tank top with a short sweater.
  5. Add some color. Wearing all white doesn’t mean that all other colors are forbidden. Use shoes and accessories to provide a surprising pop of color. Adding a bright color like red or yellow provides drama, while adding a neutral like gray or brown provides sophistication.
  6. Don’t forget the bronzer. Since no one wants the skin damage that comes from being in the sun, invest in a high-quality bronzer or fake tan spray. An all-white outfit can make pale skin look washed out.
  7. Have confidence! Like any bold look, the outfit only looks as good as you feel.

How Do I… Wear a Mini-skirt?

Since it first rose to popularity in the “Swinging London” of the 1960s, the mini-skirt has been a fashion staple. Hemlines may rise and hemlines may fall, but the mini-skirt will always be there. How do FashioNitsas wear a mini-skirt? Read on for our favorite Dos and how to wear a miniskirtDon’ts.

Do keep it balanced. A mini-skirt shows a lot of leg, so balance that sexiness by showing less skin up top. For casual wear, a nice T-shirt and flat shoes or sandals can keep a mini-skirt from looking too much like club-wear. For the office, pair it with a blouse or blazer (or both) and a low-heeled shoe.

Don’t forget to tend to your legs. In a mini-skirt, your legs will be on full display, so if such things matter to you, you might want to make sure that your shave or wax job is up-to-date. As the weather gets cooler, you can add a pair of opaque tights to a mini-skirt for added cover, warmth, and style.

Keep it Classy. No one wants a repeat of Britney Spears’ mishap while getting out of a car several years ago. And while we’re at it, bear in mind that a mini-skirt may impede you from doing everyday activities that you’re used to. If you have children, for instance, and anticipate bending down frequently, you might want to wear tights or boy-shorts under a mini-skirt to keep everything Rated G. The same rule applies if you’ll be sitting on a chair or stool that is not behind a desk or table.

Do choose the right fit. All mini-skirts are not created equal, and different styles will fit different bodies and different events better than others. To emphasize a curvy figure, choose an A-line skirt. To de-emphasize curves, choose a straight, slim skirt. Try pleats or a wrap for additional style.

Do wear appropriate shoes. If you’re hitting the clubs and want to go full-glam, go for a strappy high heel. In more casual circumstances, avoid the sexiness of high heels in favor of flats, sandals, or boots. In the winter, a miniskirt with tights and riding boots remains a classic look. In the summer, simple sandals or espadrilles will keep you looking good.

It’s a Nice Day for a [Winter] White Wedding

We’re still sweating in North Carolina, but planning for this year’s winter weddings is already well under way. What can we expect to see the winter of 2015-2016? Read on to learn about this year’s trends.How to plan for your winter wedding in the summer

  1. Brides can show a little skin. On the runways this season, dresses featured plunging necklines, bare backs, and cutouts. It should go without saying that in a wedding, a little skin can go a long way, so if you dare to go bare, less is more. For instance, choose a deep neckline or a bare back, but never both. After all, you’re pledging you love to your betrothed, not going out to a club!
  2. Or, brides can cover up. Many designers showcased outerwear for winter weddings, with motorcycle jackets, dusters, swing coats, capes and sweaters all making appearances. The fabrics are lush: wool, suede, mohair, and fur (real or faux, white or brown). For a more traditional winter wedding look, try long sleeves; their demureness pairs well with a bare back, as described above.
  3. Try going metallic. Shine up the place with traditional silver and gold, or opt for surprising metallic blues, pinks, and champagnes. Metallics showed up on the runway as blingy accents as well as muted gown colors.
  4. Brighten up with some color. A monochromatic white motif can lack sparkle, so adding a dash of color can brighten up the whole event. Color can appear in a sash, a bouquet, or accessories. Keep things cool in blue, or warm things up with colors like red or yellow.
  5. Go Boho. Bohemian chic is still in style, and it can inform the tenor of the whole wedding. For dresses, look for floral embellishments, vintage styling, and a loosely-put-together feel. Flowers and accessories can follow suit, with a hand-made look that feels warm and welcoming to guests.

Fall Forward: Fashions for Fall 2015

What’s Trending in Fall Fashion?

The mercury may still be in the 90s in North Carolina, but FashioNitsas are always thinking ahead. Fall fashions are already heading to stores, so prepare yourself for the season’s biggest trends.

  1. Capes: Perfect for the mild North Carolina autumn, capes can be an elegant and versatile alternative to coats. Ranging from dressy and dramatic to throwaway chic to downright bohemian, capes offer style and comfort for any outfit from jeans to evening gowns.
  2. Statement Belts: A wide belt can accentuate (or create) an hourglass figure, create a color contrast, or just up the style ante on an outfit. Look for unique details in color, shape, or buckle style. Don’t think belts are only for the model-skinny: a well-designed belt creates a flattering shape for all kinds of body types.
  3. Quirk: Blame filmmaker Wes Anderson for the glut of quirky, Andersonian styles that graced this year’s fashion week. Seventies-style tracksuits and excessively quaint details abounded. Let your funky flag fly with whimsical touches like a striped headband or a pair of granny glasses.
  4. Athleisure: No, this doesn’t mean you can wear your gym clothes out to dinner. Rather, several designers are showcasing styles inspired by athletic wear. Look for sporty details like racing stripes or athletic tailoring. At the same time, more workwear is incorporating athletic fabrics and fits. Work pants that feel like yoga pants? Sign us up!
  5. Fur Accents: As the temperature drops, look for fur—or faux fur—accents everywhere. They’ll be in all the usual places, like collars and cuffs, as well as some unusual places, like pockets and handbags. Just a small touch adds an element of winter luxe to everyday pieces.
  6. Ribbed Knits: A fall classic, ribbed knits were ubiquitous on the runway for the season. Look for traditional sweaters with unique details, like mixed textures or cut-outs. Ribbed knits will also make appearances in dresses, capes, skirts, and accessories.


How Do I… Wear a Maxi Dress?

The Fabulous Maxi Dress

It’s summertime, and the living is easy. Maxi dresses epitomize the ease and relaxation of a summer vacation, yet they can also be dressed up for work or even for a dressy evening occasion. And contrary to popular belief, women of every age and body type can look wonderful in a maxi dress if they follow some simple guidelines:

  • Find the right print for your body. If you’re fuller-figured, opt for a larger print or solid color. If you’re petite with a boyish figure, you can try horizontal stripes or a small-scale print. If you’re short or fuller-figured, choose a vertical stripe to slim and elongate your shape.
  • Find the right strap for your body. If you have a larger chest, choose a wide strap to cover bra straps. If you have a smaller chest, a halter is a good choice. If you have broad shoulders, however, a halter can emphasize that broadness.
  • Find the right shape for your body. The danger with maxi dresses, especially for women under 5’4”, is looking like you’re wearing a tent. Petite women should make sure to choose a dress that fits snugly, especially in the line below the chest. Curvy women can accentuate those curves with an empire waistline or any shape that emphasizes the waist.

Here are three looks for maxi dresses this summer:

Look One: Beach Casual

Vacations at the beach present a perfect time for a casual maxi dress. Pair one with simple flat sandals, a woven bag, and a lightweight hat to keep off the sun. Don’t forget sunblock for your shoulders and chest!

Look Two: Office Chic

Work wear doesn’t need to be stodgy. Try pairing your maxi dress with heels, a belt, and a casual blazer or pretty cardigan; you’ll need the extra layer for the office air conditioning!

Look Three: Evening Out

The right maxi dress can transition to evening wear with the right accessories. Stay away from bright and beachy prints, and choose more sophisticated solids or grown-up prints. Pair the dress with dressy heels (try silver!), an evening bag, and glamorous hair and makeup. You’re ready for a night on the town!



Packing Light: A Summer Capsule Wardrobe

Gone are the days when people packed giant steamer trunks for their vacations. Now, how to pack for travelingwoe betide the traveler whose suitcase weighs more than 50 pounds. Between the overcharges from the airlines and the pain of carrying extra luggage, it makes more sense to travel light.

For years, the British have embraced a concept called the “capsule wardrobe,” and the idea has been growing in popularity in the United States as well. The idea of a capsule wardrobe is to own a minimum number of garments that can be mixed and matched to form dozens of unique outfits.

The capsule wardrobe concept lends itself easily to travel, since traveling naturally limits the number of clothes we can have with us for the duration of the trip. A capsule wardrobe of eight pieces, for instance (three shirts, one skirt, one pair of pants, one pair of shorts, and two sweaters) can yield an impressive 40 outfits!

To build your summer travel capsule wardrobe, follow these easy steps:

Step 1: Plan your activities. Will you be hiking, swimming, or doing other outdoor activities, or will you be doing more city walking and visiting museums? How much time will you spend at the beach? How often will you go out to meals? Try to list a general schedule of what you will be doing on each day of your trip.

Step 2: Identify the clothes you’ll need for each activity. Take into account the climate you’ll be visiting; how hot will it be? How often does it rain? Does the temperature drop significantly at night?

Step 3: Plan general outfits for each day. For instance, on a day when you plan to go to the beach and then out to dinner, you’ll need the following items:

  • Bathing suit
  • Cover-up
  • Dress
  • Sweater

Do this for each day of your trip.

Step 4: Tally the items you have listed for each day. Gauging the length of your trip, how often you can wear each item, and your access to laundry during the trip, build your capsule wardrobe based on your itinerary. Bear in mind that small items like bathing suits and underwear can be easily washed in a hotel sink and hung up to dry. Also, most bottoms (skirts, shorts, and pants) can be worn several times before needing to be washed, whereas shirts are more likely to get sweaty and dirty if you’re out walking a lot.

Bon voyage!

The Fashion Problems of Living in North Carolina in the Summer

Living in North Carolina is a wonderful thing. We have four distinctive seasons and great what to wear in NC during the summerfashions to match each one of them. But anyone who’s lived here for any length of time knows that summer can bring its own set of fashion challenges, and we wanted to help you just in time for this year’s heat arrival!

  1. You’re going to be hot. If you live in North Carolina during the summer, you can pretty much count on temperatures in the 80s and 90s every day. This is the season for light sundresses, linen separates, and breathable fabrics to keep you comfortable. If you’re going to be out in the sun, you might want to avoid dark colors because they absorb the heat of the sun. But if you’re wearing a sundress, don’t forget extra sunscreen on your shoulders, back, and chest!
  2. Corollary to #1: you’re going to be freezing if you go inside. The good news is that you can cool off in almost any North Carolina building during the summer. The bad news is that you might cool off a little too much because restaurants and stores often have their air conditioning turned down to the low 60s to keep the building cool. Always carry a light sweater or jacket to use, if needed, inside during a North Carolina summer.
  3. Chafing: the struggle is real. With humidity averaging 90 percent in the summer, it can be almost impossible to walk in a skirt without your legs chafing. Bike-short-style lingerie eliminates the problem, or you can keep a stash of powder handy to keep things cool and dry. Some people also swear by athletic anti-chafing balms like Bodyglide when they plan to walk a lot.
  4. Days blend into nights at the beach. North Carolina is blessed with miles of beautiful coastline, where locals and tourists can soak up the sun by day and enjoy the boardwalks at night. But what to wear to go from day to night? A simple shift or maxi dress looks great on the beach and in bars, restaurants, or other beach venues.
  5. You have to embrace the heat. North Carolina in the summer is not for perfect makeup, constricting clothes, and impeccably smooth hair. Let loose and enjoy!

Staying Cool at a Hot Summer Wedding

Whew! It’s only May, and the mercury is already creeping awfully close to 90°. But what if you’re one of the millions of people attending—or participating in—a hot summer wedding? We have some tips and tricks to help you keep your cool, whether you’re the bride or a guest.

Tips for the Bride:

As the bride, you have a great deal of control of other people’s comfort. If at all possible, try to have some indoor, air-conditioned space available for you and your guests to cool down; this also gives you an option in case of rain! If there is no indoor option (or even if there is), providing shade for your guests should be a high priority. A tent is always a good option (and again, provides an option in case of rain), or large umbrellas to provide people with a cool area to congregate. Sun shades (also called sun sails) are an attractive option as well. With their variety of shapes and colors, they can add a whimsical or dramatic touch as well as much-needed shade.

To keep yourself cool, see the tips for guests below. A fainting bride can take the fun out the wedding: especially for the bride!

Tips for the Guests

Chances are that if you attend a wedding in the south during the summer, you’re going to be dealing with oppressive heat at some point. Assuming that the wedding couple has been so kind as to provide air-conditioning or shade, your first order of business should be to seek cooler spaces. If you’re able to go back and forth between the cool areas and the hot ones, you’ll keep yourself from getting too overheated.

Otherwise, one of the most important things you can do is remain hydrated. Avoid coffee and (sorry) alcohol, and drink plenty of cold water. Choose pale colors to wear; dark colors absorb the sun and can really raise your temperature.

Many drugstores carry products that can help keep you cool, like purse-sized misters, tiny battery-operated fans, and absorbent powders to combat sweat. A pretty paper fan can be a lovely addition to your outfit, and you can fan yourself like an old-fashioned Southern belle! Expanding on the Southern theme, a parasol can keep you out of the sun and add a delightfully nostalgic air to your outfit.

Introducing Herve Leger!

What do Beyonce, Taylor Swift, and Kate Winslet have in common? They all wear designer Herve Leger by Max Azria. And now, thanks to Nitsa’s, this iconic label is available exclusively to Nitsa’s in Charlotte.

BCBG/Max Azria absorbed Paris couturier Herve Leger in 1998 and then spent almost a decade refining the brand’s signature bandage technique. Using materials and styles traditionally associated with foundation garments, the bandage dress shapes and emphasizes the feminine silhouette. Since the brand’s first runway show at the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in New York in February 2008, celebrities and fashion-forward women have embraced the glamorous and sensual style of Herve Leger by Max Azria.

Herve Leger by Max Azria’s oft-imitated—but never truly replicated—bandage dress has spawned a movement of body-conscious (bodycon) apparel over the past eight years, but for the true style setter, only the original will do. Wearing Herve Leger by Max Azria sends a strong message: “I am a powerful, dynamic woman. I recognize that strength and sensuality can go hand-in-hand.” Are you ready for this exclusive couture?

Herve Leger by Max Azria celebrates the female form with powerful apparel that appeals to the modern woman: the jetsetter, who’s ambitious, sensual, and athletic; the socialite, who’s glamorous and seductive; and the executive, who’s sophisticated and elegant. For summer 2015, look for tonal intensity on Herve Leger’s iconic silhouette. Bright jewel tones are accented with cutaways and metallic finishes for dramatic sensuality.