About Samantha

Samantha has long been a lover of fashion, art and travel. A chameleon of style, she loves experimenting with color and challenges each day to inspire her next great outfit. Currently, if there is one thing Samantha enjoys more than the art of fashion--it is the art of eating well.

How to: style bold patterned bottoms

This week I’ve probably heard “Weird Al” Yankovic’s new track Because I’m Tacky at least 100 times. OK, I’m exaggerating a little, but he brings up some good points about fashion these days. In fact, some of the “tacky” items on his list come straight from this year’s hottest fashion trends.

He rhymes about “…wearing stripes and plaid” and sporting “…sandals with…socks.” But wait–I’ve seen the mixing of stripes and plaid all over the blogger scene this past year. And W Magazine is forecasting that sandals with socks will be Fall 2014′s biggest footwear trend. Which begs the question, what is tacky anyway? And when it comes to busy prints how should we style our bold patterned bottoms?

Bold Bottoms 003Option 1: Pair your bold patterned bottom with a simple black tank. This multi-colored sunray maxi skirt ($35) is the perfect first styling challenge. It has an all-over print and incorporates at least 6 colors in its busy design. I’ve kept the styling simple with a pair of brown leather sandals, white sunnies and a black silk tank top. The simple, barely there, black tank keeps the bold print at the center of attention.

Bold Bottoms 012Option 2: Style your bold bottom piece with a bright colored blouse. If you want to play up that bold print, opt for a brightly colored blouse. I’ve selected this cherry red blouse with draped front by 213 Industries. Pairing a bright top in a contrasting color just livens up the whole outfit. Pick a simple black shoe and keep the accessorizing to a minimum.

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Plus these blue and tan printed trousers are just $15!

Bold Bottoms 022Option 3: Wear a solid tunic or dress on top. Sometimes when styling a busy print, less is more. To play down the print on your bottom half, wear an elongated solid on top. It minimizes the print and slims the body! These blue geometric trousers are also just $15.

Bold Bottoms 034Side note: I’m really digging these wall decals I picked up at Ikea (similar here). They’re a great way to add a little decor to an empty space, plus they’re super affordable!

Bold Bottoms 026Option 4: Get “tacky” with it and add a printed top to your printed bottoms– even add a printed shoe! Taking fashion risks is what fashion is all about after all. And sometimes two prints are better than one. So pile on the prints like I did here, pairing this checkered print bra top with our black and white scarf print trousers, $15. Contrasting prints often compliment each other and one thing’s for sure: you’ll have one eye-catching outfit! #sorrynotsorry

All printed bottoms hitting stores early next week! Can’t get to one of our 32 locations? Shop the Crossroads Online Shop with us! We’ve got plenty of printed bottoms for you to choose from, with some on sale!

styled by our buying crew

As fashion lovers, we are all fans of classic and simple pieces. But as shopaholics, we love finding those key pieces that can be styled in more than one way (Hello, fashion budget!).

I knew we had one of those highly sought after pieces when this black and white maxi skirt (by up-and-coming label Dance and Marvel) came through our doors. Check out how our buying crew styled this skirt with looks that work for day, night, work and weekend!

Day: Styled by Samantha

black and white maxi skirt 042I paired the maxi skirt with bright cherry reds and soft pinks. For a daytime look, I thought it would be great to keep the black and white background neutral and add this red tank by Mink Pink I bought for $16.50. I added a red bucket purse by Coach and these pink sandals by Zara to complete the look.

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Night: Styled by Solana

black and white maxi skirt 002Solana paired her maxi skirt with lots of dark colors to achieve that night out look. A forest green cropped tank by Fluxus, $16.50, and a cropped biker jacket by Widow finishes off the look.  I love the juxtaposition her buckled leather combat boots make against the femininity of the maxi skirt.

Work: Styled by Orion

black and white maxi skirt 009To get that office appropriate look, Orion gathered up pieces that mirrored the black and white found in the skirt. I especially love her vintage Vera Neumann black and white tulip printed tee. Her high-heeled oxfords are by Dries Van Noten and her wool blazer is vintage.

black and white maxi skirt 019Orion has been collecting Vera Neumann clothing, scarves and home goods for almost 15 years now. Many of her best pieces she found while working at the original Castro store in San Francisco, which has since been moved to its current location on Market St.

black and white maxi skirt 018Her butter-soft leather Dries Van Noten heels came from our Crossroads store in Costa Mesa.

Weekend: Styled by Jason

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Jason opted to pair the skirt with a classic denim jacket for the perfect weekend outfit. With a punch of color (thanks to the pumpkin swing tank) and those awesome black sandals, this look is begging for the weekend to arrive!

This black and white striped skirt can be found in select Crossroads stores for just $35.  Or shop the Crossroads Online Skirt Shop here.

Looks that are easy as 1-2-3

Do these really go together? Am I really pulling it off? These are the questions we ask ourselves when we’re not sure if our new plaid shirt really goes with our vintage floral capris. We know we all have to take fashion risks, but how do we know if Clinton and Stacy would approve?  It’s a furry Birkenstocked world out there after all and I, for one, don’t want to end up on What Not to Wear.

When I’m having an outfit-911, I call on my favorite fashion magazine for inspiration. Magazines that highlight looks based on a theme can shed light on new ways to wear existing pieces.  But believe me, they can do even better than that. When I have tons of new arrivals on my hands, these “fashion bibles” help me coordinate outfits inspired straight from the pages of their magazines.

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First Blushes. This look is all about the color white. Well…white with just a touch of soft peach, heather grey and just a sprinkle of sheerness.

1. White structured dress, $28.50 2. Two-tone pumps, $16.50 3. Sheer crop blouse, $22.50 4. Heather gray yoga pant, $13.50 5.Grid shortalls, $26.50

Neutrals 054When it comes to wearing white, a dainty necklace is a must. Try one of these little gems from our newest arrivals in stores now: daisy in glass, $13.50; violet glass cube, $10; gold infinity symbol, $8.

Neutrals 055Or try something unexpected like our layered rectangles necklace in gold, $16, or the pearl gilded penknife, $16.50.

Neutrals 3The Bohemian Dreamer. This look is inspired by Indian cottons, embellishments, rich tans and golds, and crochet.

1. Floral mini skirt, $20 2. Peep-toe pumps, $16.50 3. Crochet vest, $26.50 4. Ikat print kimono, $15 5. Bell-sleeved embroidered blouse, $28.50

Neutrals 053Nothing completes the bohemian dreamer look better than a floral headdress. The lyric “be sure to wear some flowers in your hair” still rings true today. Now that’s a summer anthem we can get behind.

Daisy or English rose headband, just $7.50.  And check out this jewelry video for more new accessories hitting stores now!

 

Magazine photo credits:  Nylon, InStyle

 

Trendspotting: the jumpsuit

If there’s one thing that’s certain about the fashionable employees who work for Crossroads: they’re trendsetters.

When our entire management team came together for our annual retreat last week, there were two undeniable trends: Birkenstocks and jumpsuits. I thought it might be a little gauche to run around taking pictures of feet, so instead I opted to feature their love of jumpsuits. Here are Lia, Aruna and Erin all clad in different variations of this summer’s hottest one-piece wonder.

IMG_6710Lia is wearing a cobalt blue jumpsuit from Crossroads featuring a delicate lace detail in front and a harem leg. She has paired it (quite expertly I’d say) with these tan and neon slingback sandals by Zara. Oh, and what’s that pear belt, you say? Yep that’s Marc Jacobs, circa 2000, and one of Lia’s very first designer Crossroads finds.

IMG_6694Aruna is wearing a blue and white printed jumpsuit by Emmy and brown leather open-toed pumps by (one of my favorites) Chie Mihara. This is definitely a jumpsuit made for lounging by the pool. It features an elastic waist, spaghetti straps, and super-soft jersey fabric.

IMG_6707Erin’s jumpsuit is so unique! This oversized (and hand sewn!) wide-legged jumpsuit is simply striking on her tall frame. She found it shopping the racks of our newly renovated store on Market st. in San Francisco for just $10.50! We love how she played up the blue print of her jumpsuit by pairing it with gold accessories. We especially love her gold choker, which she picked up from our new jewelry assortments. Her edgy studded sandals, by Ash, were a Crossroads find as well.

What’s your latest find from Crossroads? Share your finds with us by tagging us @crossroadstrading on Instagram for a chance to be featured on the Crossroads Instagram feed.

Chicago: my kind of town

If you haven’t been to Chicago yet — go. Go now. Go today. You can thank me later.

I’m a California girl born and raised, so I never knew I could love a city like I love Chicago. Food, fun and fashion: it has it all (and lots, lots more).

Since I’m neither a native Chicagoan nor an expert, I couldn’t possibly tell you all the wonderful and amazing things Chicago has to offer. But I simply had to share my Crossroads’ shoe scores with you from my trip to the Windy City last week.

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These Dolce Vita leopard strapped sandals caught my eye as soon as I stepped into our store on Milwaukee Ave. in Wicker Park. With the red accents and a cut-out block heel, these were a score at just $18.50.

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I also found these yellow suede heels by Biviel for $22.50! (I love you, Crossroads).

And if you’re already in the area shopping, make sure to check out all this hip neighborhood has to offer. With great bars, restaurants and night life, it’s easy to find yourself in Wicker Park all day long. Oh, and don’t forget to try Chicago’s famous Old Style beer if you’re in town–it’s a classic.

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photo 5The bustling 3-way corner just steps from our store where Milwaukee, Damen, and North Avenues meet.

shoes 017I was jumping up and down from joy when I spotted these white cut-out Everly booties by Jeffrey Campbell. A white leather bootie is such a fun boot option for the summer months.

shoes 010Now that’s it’s summer, I’m (of course!) already shopping for fall, and I’ve been searching for green boots for some time now. I am excited to have found them in these Seven by all Mankind green suede pirate booties for just $27.50.

I picked both boots up at our store in beautiful Evanston on Sherman Ave. Whenever I’m in Evanston, I stop into Sashmi Sashimi on Church St. for a sushi lunch; it’s my go-to lunch stop.

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My final fantastic summer boot find were these fringe mukluks by Minnetoka. With silver accents and a soft bottom, I’ll be sporting these well into the fall months. I bought these at our store on Clark St. in Lincoln Park for $22.50.

If you’re in the Lincoln Park area, you have to stop by the Weiners Circle for a hot dog. It’s one of many Chicago establishments offering up a true Chicago dog featuring a Vienna beef link, poppy seed bun, and my favorite sport peppers.

photo 3Chicago is also home to some of the most beautiful homes and residential neighborhoods I have ever seen.  Be sure to walk around to find gems like this little cottage– it’s one of my favorites.

photo 4I was also lucky enough to see some amazing sunsets while dining near Logan Square (just one stop down on the Blue Line from our store near the Damen stop in Wicker Park).

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Are you a Chicago fan? Leave your favorite part about Chicago in the comments below! And a big thank you to our Chicago team for a wonderful visit!

Black is the new black

If it was up to the fashion magazines, they would have us wearing white all summer long. Um, thanks but no thanks. Some of us can’t even keep an entirely black outfit spotless through the course of a day.

Cue our new summer favorite: black-on-black (on-black-on-black-on-black). Whoever said that orange is the new black is wrong. Black is, and will always be, the new black.

Black is, after all, a universal multi-season color. It looks great all by itself or with a pop of color from an added accessory. However you wear it, we’ve got tons of new styles hitting stores this week that will feed your darker side.

dark and stormy 038This tie-dye maxi dress, $36.50, is perfection! In long black jersey dress with a white and pink tie-dye pattern, it hits right at the ankle, making it our new favorite.

dark and stormy 023A studded sandal goes perfectly with this look, adding just a little more edge!

dark and stormy 056The waning moon tank, $15, has us dreaming of witchy black-on-black outfits for summertime. You’ll see us wearing it with black high- waisted bell bottoms, black leather sandals and an embroidered black leather purse.

dark and stormy 041Another GREAT tie-dye number. This assymetrical gray-to-black ombre dyed dress,$35, is sooooo soft; honestly it’s the perfect summer dress. Sleeveless, lightweight, on-trend and a great silhouette? I know it will be on our go-to list all summer.

dark and stormy 050Just add a pair of simple leather thongs and a solid colored purse.

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Black and gray column dress, $32.50. We are seeing more and more bodycon, or body conscious, dresses in a longer silhouette this summer, and we love it! Plus, this dress is made out of some sort of magical tummy-sucking-in fabric (believe me, I tried it on).

We’re digging the sporty cut too. The racerback, the black and gray scallop pattern, and the below-the-knee length are all good things. We added hi-top black sneakers to play up the athletic vibe.

dark and stormy 066Last, but not least, is our fading gray tunic, $28.50 (OK, not black, but our second favorite option). The perfect top for throwing on over jeans or leggings, this tunic has a handkerchief hem and cap sleeves. The fabric is lightweight and the color fades in and out from white to gray.

If you’re looking for something a little more colorful come into one of our Crossroads locations or shop Crossroads online! Happy shopping!

trendspotting: birkenstocks

Birkenstocks: if they’re good for your feet and back, what’s not to love? OK, when it comes to describing the hottest trend in footwear, these are adjectives that don’t usually come to mind. Add in clunky. Laid-backPractical.

This week, style icon and one of my favorite bloggers, Blair Eadie of Atlantic-Pacific, slid on a pair of white leather Birkenstocks for her blog. She paired the comfort-driven sandals with crisp white denim overalls and a striped top. The white-on-white seems like a nod to the 20+ year old photo by Corinne Day of a young Kate Moss clad in white jeans and white Birkenstocks.

We love Blair’s Birkenstock styling, but for some, the jury is still out on whether these practical sandals fall into the category of where comfort meets style or  just plain wrong.  Leave your vote in the comments below.

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Blair Eadie of Atlantic Pacific

Some say Bikenstocks are a part of the 90′s throwback, but most attribute their revival to the Celine Spring/Summer 2013 runway. You remember: models shuffling down the runway in fur-lined sandals with two straps.

Fast forward a year later and Birkenstocks are everywhere. Remember, they have been essentially unchanged since our hippy-dippy parents wore them to Woodstock back in 1969.

We think the triumphant return of these German-enginereed bad boys is no mistake. Plus we love that these uber-comfortable leather sandals are trending now in every possible color and variation.

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But it’s the original Birkenstock, the Arizona (above), complete with cork sole, metal buckles, and double strap that designers from Givenchy to Zara are emulating. Whether they add a platform, T-strap or jewels, they’re kinda all Birkenstocks, aren’t they? Below are some of our favorites.

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sixtyseven2Just last week, Opening Cermoney x Magritte announced their collaboration with Birkenstock for a version of this sandal that is truly out of this world. And it doesn’t end there; even J. Crew has a collaboration with the brand. And look out next year: our forecast is that we’ll be seeing mules and slides take the place of the the classic Birkenstock silhouette.

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Photo Credits: Refinery 29, Atlantic-Pacific, LootandLaw, Fourone-oh, Pinterest

he blinded me with science

It’s not everyday you see science and fashion mix together so effortlessly, but today is one of those days. Allow me to introduce the UV tee. Yep that’s right, it’s a t-shirt that changes color when exposed to ultraviolet light. Just wear it outside and wham,  you’re sporting a completely different colored shirt.

Believe me, once I saw these come through our doors, I started imagining the possibilities. Denim that could be black or blue depending on your needs? Packing for long trips made easy by key pieces made of this magical fabric? But I’m getting ahead of myself…

For now, just head into one of our Crossroads locations to check out these amazing tanks that change color with the introduction of UV rays. But, like a mood ring from the 90′s, these tee’s turn one color: blue. But hey, it’s still pretty neat.

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On with the scientific demonstration! On the left, men’s UV tank with pocket, $18.50. On right, striped UV tank, $17.50.

UV LIGHT 014Inside the tanks are white.

Run outside and the tanks immediately change color. The color changes white to blue with contrasting yellow fabric on the pocket tank. Like I said, it’s MAGIC.

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Within 30 seconds of coming back inside, the blue is now fading back to white. It’s a very quick change.

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TADA! The fabric of many colors is done changing. Ladies, this tank is unisex, so you can join in the fun too. Plus, you can alter the color however you want. Below you can see the tank has an ombre effect. This is because I held the tank in my hands while outside to create this tie-dye look.

UV LIGHT 026Wear it down with denim shorts and heels..

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…or tie it up with bell bottoms.

The Right Romper

Whether you call them rompers, playsuits or jumpsuits, these one-piece wonders are here to stay.

In years past, I put down these onesies thinking, who am I kidding? Sadly, rompers sat on my not-gonna-happen list along with shorts and bikinis for way too long.

But no longer! All you need to wear a romper (or shorts for that matter) is one simple accessory: confidence. Well, confidence, killer accessorizing, and these guidelines on how to choose the right romper for your body type.

1. Pear Shaped

Rompers 005If you are pear shaped, choose a romper with extra room on the bottom. This azure romper, $22.50, is perfect for those of us who are smaller-on-top and bigger-on-bottom. The pleats and extra fabric give a flounce to the bottom half, while the deep plunging “V” brings the center of attention upwards.

Rompers 010This chartreuse number is also great for pear shaped bodies. The ruching on the top makes the bust look fuller while the bottom half has a nice A-line silhouette, resulting in an hourglass shape.

2. Column

Rompers 020For a body shape that needs some accentuating–go for this flirty pink number. It works as equally well for the pear shaped form as it does for the column or athletic build. The cinched waist is the most important part. The ruched top and flared bottom creates the illusion of curves.

Rompers 028Another style for a straighter build is a spaghetti strap romper with lace trim. Again, the cinched waist is very important for creating curves. This wisp of a romper is also perfect for petite or athletic builds. Plus, we love the lace trim.

3. Hour Glass

Rompers 016For curvier builds, choose a romper with some room built in on top and bottom. Also a bold print is a really fun option. I chose this drawstring onesie with pockets because it drapes nicely over a curvy frame.

Rompers 035Or, opt for a romper with longer shorts. Reminiscent of a dress, this romper provides extra coverage while still offering the fun of a playsuit.

4. Petite

Rompers 023For the more petite ladies, try a strapless romper. Too much fabric on top often overwhelms a petite frame, so a strapless romper is the perfect choice. The flouncy short gives some nice balance to the strapless top–just add a dainty necklace and high heels!

Rompers 031Here too, I opted for a more fitted top and extra ruffles on the bottom for the petite frame. The waist is nicely defined, and the two-tiered skirting adds a feminine touch to this navy blue romper.

We have lots of rompers in stores now! Most featured in this post are just $22.50. Or check the Crossroads online shop for even more options.

 

Get the Hamptons Look

With our first heat wave upon us here in California, we’ve been day dreaming of breezy days at the seaside. Those dreams are coming true with this week’s newest arrivals to our stores. Think beach-ready neutrals featuring cotton dresses and classic prints.

With hints of red, white and blue, these easy-to-layer pieces also play to a nautical vibe. The light fabrics and on-trend silhouettes will be sure to have you styling all summer long. So grab your favorite sandals or parasol and head to one of our locations for these Hamptons inspired looks available in Crossroads stores this week.

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seaside 011Red and white striped top, $18.50; tan trousers, $30

seaside 034Belted denim dress, $30

seaside 022Daisy strap slip dress in white, $30

seaside 013Hawaiian print collared tank, $23.50

seaside 027Breezy white maxi dress, $35

Or if you’re beating the heat next to your AC unit, shop the Crossroads Summer Dress Shop online.

Photo Credit: Brown Harris Stevens