Author Archives: kim b.

trend to try: printed pants

{Editor’s Note: Our intrepid Trends expert, Ms. Kim Brandt is back to talk about a trend I’m seriously feeling this season: the printed pant. Having just nabbed this pair (from Talbots, of all places), I can hardly wait to see her suggestions for successfully pulling off the look. Sadly, Kim is going to be taking a little hiatus from her post here while she settles in at a fabulous new job, but I’m crossing my fingers she’ll be back soon!}


We’re getting to the point where y’all are getting to know me a bit. So, I’m sure this post comes as a shock (not)…we’re talking all about prints today.  I am a big fan of the patterned pants trend happening right now. It takes a bit of confidence to pull off, but styled right, it can really work for you. I’m definitely (ahem) bottom heavy, so because of my body type I need to be really careful how I wear this one.

If you’re super tall and lean (read: model), you really don’t need my advice; you can wear anything. But if you’re anything else, this look is all about balance. Particularly if the pant is a skinny style, this look is best worn with a long, loose top, statement jewelry, and heels, though a funky loafer may work if you’re blessed with extra-long gams.

{Images c/o Anthropologie / Madewell / Whitney Eve / Natalia Vodianova, via}

If you’re especially lower-half-conscious, pair the printed pant with a sleek, loose fitting top, a long jacket, a heavy piece of metallic jewelry (think chunky watch or vintage chain necklace), and heeled booties or gladiator sandals.

{Images c/o Tory Burch, via / Vanessa Hudgens (we think), via Style / Olivia Palermo, via Mr.Newton}

For those that are blessed up top, pair the print with a shirt that has a bit of defined shape.  A tailored blazer or belted blouse is a great solution. Depending on the cut of the blazer, pair with some great drop earrings and then, as always, heels on the bottom. Be careful not to pick too narrow a heel; it’s all about balancing the shape from head to toe!

{Images c/o Dries Van Noten, via / Beyoncé, via People / Chanel, via}

So, tell us: Are you going to be rocking the patterned pant this Spring? ~Kim B.

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trend to try: the head scarf

{Editor’s Note: A big welcome back to our intrepid Trends Columnist, Ms. Kimberly Brandt! I have always wanted to be that girl that could effortlessly wear a head scarf, but have known in my heart it just wasn’t my look. Kim, as usual, is making me rethink that. Perhaps I’ll dust off one of my vintage silk scarves this weekend…}


Head scarves are all over the place right now.  There are about a million different ways to rock them, and I’m telling you, just about anyone can pull one off.  Seriously.  It’s really the perfect accessory to throw on while on vacation or after a yoga class.  They are fun, and a tiny bit flirty, but hide messy hair.  What more could a girl ask for?  Keep in mind this trend has been around off and on since the 30’s, so you’re not reinventing the wheel…just upping your style ante a bit.

Personally, my favorite way to wear a head scarf is like a super-wide headband with an off center bow or knot.  The trick to pulling this look off is to have a lot of hair.  Seriously.  The bigger and messier, the better.  I like to leave mine tousled and wavy (sometimes I don’t even brush it!), or piled on top of my head in a messy bun.  No fear if you don’t have a lot of hair!!  We have options for you too!

{Image credits: Valentine / Keiko / / molto}

If you’re more daring, the classic turban is a perfect way to hide away all of your hair.  This is a great option for those of you with a short ‘do.  Since I have just the opposite issue (too much hair!) I like to twist in the turban and then braid my hair loosely and pull it to the side.  100 Layer Cake and Framboise Fashion both have great tutorials on how to tie up one of these on your own!

{Image credits: Urban Outfitters / Hanneli/Karla’s Closet / Karen Walker}

Or maybe, if you’re like me, and a bit clumsy with all the twisting and knotting it takes to create a turban, you can cheat a little, and opt for one of these easy knitted pieces.

Free People/Late Afternoon/ASOS

A few final tips to get you on the road to this trend:

  • Keep the hair messy.  Pretty, but messy – looking too “done” kills the spontaneity of this style.
  • Keep the outfit easy and breezy.  Lots of attention is going straight to your head (err, literally) so keep everything else simple.
  • If you have bangs or shorter hair, pull a few pieces in front of the scarf.  If not, pull the scarf down low, so it hits just a bit above the brow line.
  • And above all, don’t overthink it!  A little imperfection never hurt anyone, and a too-perfect scarf just doesn’t work.

Happy scarf-tying!!  ~ Kim B.

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trend to try: the bold manicure

Editor’s Note: Welcome back, Kim! I have to admit, today’s trend might be a bit beyond my ken, but Kim’s here to help us push our style boundaries a bit. And there’s no question that I’ve been seeing this look absolutely everywhere this season. As always, our trusty Trends columnist has her (very well-polished) finger on the pulse.

Okay, I confess…now I’m contemplating a bit of glitter. Baby steps…


So, I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not too quick on picking up manicure trends. I think I was the last person in the world to discover the power of a great nude polish. And I definitely rocked the acrylic French manicure well beyond the appropriate high school years. All of this to say that, while this may not be news to you, bold manicures are absolutely everywhere lately.

To get me started on the road to a more modern mani, my lovely friend Molly recommended that I pick up a bottle of Butter London’s matte finish top coat.  You add a coat to any color and it instantly becomes matte, and almost chalky in appearance.  I picked up a bottle at the Adorn fire sale this weekend and tried it out last night.  Pictures do not do it justice.  You’re just going to have to take my word and go try it out.  Seriously, I will never look at polish the same way again!  High-gloss solid shades suddenly feel so 2011.

Now that I’m in the mood to update my look, I thought I’d see what I could find to maximize my efforts. To scout out a few fun, bold trends, I started out on my niece’s Pinterest page, where I quickly discovered Prima Creative. Not only does this girl have mad nail painting skills, some of her designs are created based on runway trends and paired accordingly. It’s pretty amazing – check it out.

All images via Prima Creative

Some of these are clearly not for a beginner, but I love the idea of taking this photo to my favorite manicurist and seeing what magic she can work.

On the slightly more attainable side of things…

Images c/o Prima Creative / PinterestNails via Xfinity / Sweet Talk on the Spot

I just might attempt these ones on my own…rumor has it to get the ‘ombre’ french tip effect, you use a sponge eyeshadow application brush.  If you get there first, let me know if you try this and it works!

Cupcakes and Cashmere recently offered up a great tutorial to get your own mod mani, and I loved the look she came up with using glitter and paint pens (below left). You can see part way through the process all the nails are a solid color with a single sparkle finger.  I like that look too. But really, it’s all about the amazing final, graphic result.

Images c/o Cupcakes and Cashmere / Little Chief Honeybee / Hey Nice Nails

I LOVE these stripes and roses. And the stained-glass effect?? Pretty bold, but also pretty fun!

So, let’s be honest. Unless you’re crazy talented in the hand-eye coordination department, chances are you can’t do most of these manicures yourself (I know I couldn’t). Luckily, I’ve come prepared with a few tips to make these looks more attainable:

  • Adding dots is easy – just take the head of a straight pin, dip it lightly in polish, and apply the dot to your nail.
  • Stripes are a bit trickier, but there’s a new wave of nail polish paint pens on the market that would be invaluable here. Just paint on your base color, then draw the lines on with the pen. Done!
  • To get those half moons, use the stickers that come with a DIY French mani kit – they’ll give you the pefect guidelines. Just be sure to start with the lighter color, as it’s easier to cover mistakes.
  • Simplest of all, you can find all sorts of ready-made bold mani options these days. Check out the options from Sally Hansen or Butter London, or go even bolder with a site called Nail Fraud – it’s the ultimate bold mani cheat. Order a set of high impact nail decals and stick away!

Good luck…let us know how you do!

~ Kim B.

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trend to try: sexy loungewear

Editor’s Note: Welcome back, Kim! I just finished reading this post (in my ratty white bathrobe, if I’m being honest)…and am now thoroughly inspired. At the very least, I’m hoping my bra and underwear will match today…and I owe it all to you, Kim.

If you’ve missed Kim’s earlier posts, you can catch up on all of her stylish Trends to Try right here.


Ah, love is in the air – Valentine’s Day is just around the corner! While there are countless options out there when it comes to spicing up the day for a special someone, I wanted to talk a bit about loungewear today. The line between lingerie and loungewear can be fairly fuzzy and thin. I think much of it is all about attitude.  A pair of sweats can be just as sexy as a teddy when worn right.

When I first started freelancing (and thus, spending most of my time working from home) I pictured myself investing all of my former ‘office clothing budget’ into subtly sexy loungewear. That I would just lay around the house in super comfy, beautifully made rompers, camis, and robes. Something I could step out my back door to take the dog out and not be mortified if I ran into the neighbors, but would still feel pretty in.

It was those beautiful Toast images that initially got me thinking this way…

In reality, this doesn’t usually happen.  I typically grab a pair of worn sweats, and head for the couch. But a girl can dream, right? I still hope that maybe someday I’ll become the kind of girl who effortlessly throws on one of these goodies and doesn’t even think twice. Since sometimes a little inspiration is all it takes, I thought I’d show off a few of my favorite finds of late.

I’ve been spotting more and more vintage-inspired loungewear pieces lately, and couldn’t be happier.  The whole Downton Abbey old-fashioned sexy thing can be done well when it comes to loungewear.

Pieces from Anthropologie, Aerie and Lille / top image via Karen Collins, Vogue UK 01.2003

Young, bright, flirty picks like these are always great for a sunny day…or maybe a rainy day that you want to feel sunny!

DKNY / H&M / Betsy Johnson

Of course, no loungewear post could be complete without a little shout out to the Mall Queen herself, Victoria’s Secret. If only we all could be Angels

Our wonderful editor, Becki, introduced me to byLangley when I was starting this round up, and I am in LOVE with so many pieces from their collection…

I don’t know about you, but I’m definitely feeling it’s time to put the sweatpants back in the drawer for a while. If you are a girl who casually lounges around with effortless sex appeal (or who’s at least trying hard), I’m looking forward to your tips and trick in the comments!  ~Kim B.

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trend to try: white ceramics

Editor’s Note: A big welcome back to the always lovely Kim Brandt! I’m so in love with her Trend to Try today that I’m already scouring my house for white objets to group on a shelf. Something tells me you’re about to do the same…


I am a huge believer in buying furniture and home decor items to specifically fit the space in which you live. Since I am still just a renter, and alas, have not lived anywhere longer then 18 months in my adult life, I have yet to invest in any long-term pieces. When I do, I can almost guarantee you that my first purchase will be a classic Chesterfield sofa.

In the meantime, I have to satisfy myself with accessories – especially pieces that build on current trends.  Right now in the world of interiors, bright, glossy, white ceramics are really catching my eye.

The Decorista / Graham & Green (via Pinterest) / Making It Lovely

Jonathan Adler is the originator (at least for my generation) of all things ceramic, and he certainly knows how to do white right.

Jonathan Adler Fox ($138) and Horns ($120)

Of course, JA’s fabulous, but the price point isn’t for everyone. West Elm and Z Gallerie both have great options at moderate price points. A few of my West Elm favorites:

West Elm Stephen Antonson Candlesticks ($19+) and Vases ($22+) / Porcelain Hurricanes ($19+)

The options from Z Gallerie are a little more whimsical, and would add a great point of interest to any room. I’ve had my eye on this guy for quite a while…it’s certainly more my version of taxidermy.

Lacquer Moose Head ($249) / Ceramic Books (set of 8, $159)

Being a Portland local, I’m an ever-adoring fan of a hometown favorite, Pigeon Toe Ceramics. Each piece is handcrafted, and oh-so-beautiful!

Pigeon Toe Ceramics mini creamer ($20) / Mason Jar lantern (shown as planter, $36)

Of course, if you’re like me and don’t like spending a lot on interior trends, I have a great tip to get this look for less: spray paint!  I really like these trophies displayed in a window, but you could try this trend with any thrifted sculpture.  I’m picturing the knickknack aisle at my local Goodwill and envisioning a group of those awful ceramic figurines spray painted in high gloss white. Serenity!!

Image via Design*Sponge

What do you think? Are you ready to embrace a little winter white?

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trend to try: brights + stripes

A big welcome back to my favorite stylist, Kim of Billede Design. I so look forward to her “Trend to Try” columns – she always manages to make me look at my closet in a new way, which is something I think we can all use. I’m thrilled to say Kim will now be here every second and fourth Friday of the month, so mark your calendars!


If you want to give yourself away as a non-native Pacific Northwesterner (or, for that matter, a non-New Yorker), just wear color. Any bright color. Even though I’ve lived in Portland for over a decade now, I just can’t give up color! And this season, brights are here in a really big way. From color blocking to pattern mixing, it’s everywhere. I especially am fond of brights paired with stripes (and not just because it sort of rhymes!). Because stripes are such an easy staple to wear, they’re a great starting point to help you ease into bolder color.

This Christmas, my hubby got me an item that was at the very top of my wish list.  The Kate Spade Prize Ball Thermos. It takes me forever to finish my morning cup (or 3) of coffee and I am so excited to have this bright thermos to keep it toasty warm!

Image via Kate Spade

Pulling off brights from head to toe can be a bit tricky. The key is to always start with a neutral base and build from there. I especially love using stripes as my neutral, and building from there, but it’s not the only way to go. These looks from Christian Siriano’s Spring 2012 line are a great example.  You can see he used blush as a neutral, as well as coordinating stripes to get the look.

Images via New York Magazine

I’m not a huge fan of the cut of this Jil Sander jacket, but the color combo is another stellar example. To neutralize the tomato, fuschia, and green, the black jacket was layered over the top.

Image via Style

In this look from Loewe, the neutral is the model.  This hot pink and red combo works because the model’s hair and make up are sleek and fuss-free. The short skirt with the nude leg and neutral flat ground the look. If this was paired with a sky high bright heel, heavy make up, and over-styled hair, it would totally loose any aspect of savvy and sophistication.

Image via Style

Of course, any post about brights and stripes just wouldn’t be complete without a look from Kate Spade. In this example, you can see the neutral element is the white cardigan, white purse, and simple flats.

Image via Kate Spade

 J.Crew is another great reference source for both bold color and stripes, so they work the combo as brilliantly as you’d expect. The look at left is certainly one of the boldest we are looking at today – think of it as “brights for the advanced student”. The colors are bit off-kilter from your typical primary brights, which totally makes this look work for me. Contrasting that is a great “beginner’s” option for mixing stripes and brights – you can see that a classic navy stripe is just the thing to neutralize a bright hue.

Images via jcrew

These last three images are some of my favorite street style examples (originally found via Pinterest). Notice how each of these looks are bold, but the hair, make up, and shoe is kept simple and neutral. I especially love that bold mustard mini-dress toned down with the navy blue blazer. And I just can’t say enough about the necessity of a good nude heel – it can tie together even the boldest look seamlessly.


Images via Sterling Style & The Glamourai

What do you think? Are you ready to give bold brights and stripes a try?

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trend to try: pattern mixing

Friends, I’m so excited to introduce a new Shopping’s My Cardio columnist to you: the exceedingly fabulous Kimberly Brandt, of Billede Design. Kim is a stylist extraordinaire, responsible for designing everything from magazine shoots to fashion lookbooks from some of my favorite local designers. She just radiates style in her personal life to, and – unlike me – is never afraid to take a fashion risk. So, I’ve asked her to pop in here from time to time, to help us stretch our style boundaries just a smidge. You’ll see her new “Trends to Try” column every two weeks in the new year, but she’s come up with a couple of columns now to pique your interest. I can hardly wait to see what’s next!


I’m so happy to be guest blogging today! So, I’m sure you have all spotted the ‘pattern mixing’ trend that’s absolutely everywhere right now. It’s fun and fashion-forward, but it can be a bit tricky to pull off, so I’m here today to share some of my favorite advice about how to make it work!

Pattern-mixing is a great way to update old pieces that are sitting in the back of your closet right now. Who doesn’t have stripes, plaids, and polka dots in their wardrobe? Give a good mix up, pair them together, and you have a whole new look! But how? How do you pair totally different patterns together, and how do you know what’s hot and what’s heinous? Well, you’re in luck! I have tips and examples to make it easy:

  • Stick with similar, or complementary colors.
  • Pair a soft pattern with a crisp pattern – ie, a floral with a stripe.
  • Match a round pattern with a sharp pattern – ie, dots with plaid.
  • Combine a loose pattern with a tight pattern – ie, a large-scale, graphic print with a micro print.
  • Remember that animal prints are a great first step. They work as a neutral and have endless pairing possibilities.
  • Don’t forget about silhouette and texture, which is often as powerful as pattern (think of chunky knits or bold tweeds)! Pair loose, flowing pieces with more tailored/structured choices for best results.
  • Above all, be bold! Confidence is the key to pulling off this look.

This look from Tucker is a great example of how complementary tones help pull together mixed patterns.

And these combinations from Karen Walker show how easy it is to pair a soft, loose pattern with a smaller, tighter pattern.

Images c/o Karen Walker, from

CARDIGAN New York always has the most beautiful lookbooks. This shot shows a loose, textural sweater paired with the tight, tonal pattern of the sequins to create a look that’s the perfect mix of cozy and sophisticated.

And last but not least, I went to the first of many Holiday Parties this last weekend and spotted both of these great real-life examples of pattern-mixing. The results were festive, fun and unexpected – just perfect!

Good luck applying this in your own wardrobe. Let us know how it goes!! –Kim Brandt

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