Ready to put together that stylish winter wardrobe? Whether you're getting ready for work or a girl's night out, you'll want to take a cue from stylist Melanie Pace. Melanie has styled celebrities including Giuliana Rancic for E! News, Fashion Police, and Style Network's Giuliana and Bill in Los Angeles. She lives, breathes, and tweets fashion, and recently used her style know-how to create dozens of looks for The Mall at Millenia Fashion Week in Orlando, Florida.
I caught up with Melanie to learn about some of the fashion dos and don'ts for winter. She shares some of her must-haves below, and the secret to pulling off floral prints, leggings, and peplum with style this season. And guess what ladies? UGGs are officially (finally?) a fashion don't this year. Here's the scoop:
Q: How would you describe your own personal sense of style?
MP: "A little bit of everything! I love all the trends for each season and try to incorporate them into my staple pieces that I love in my wardrobe! I tend to always lean towards a boho style but also love a masculine vest over everything! I love full, high-waisted skirts, and even though I'm five feet tall, I still wear over-sized shirts and dresses! Some people would call them muumuus. During my casual days, I love cutoff jean shorts paired with booties and a jacket! I live in Florida, so any way I can layer and not die of heat exhaustion I do!"
Q: What are three must-have winter fashion trends? How would you wear them?
MP: "Three must-have winter trends would be faux fur, anything leather, and a mixed print blazer!
I am a sucker for anything fur or anything with a fur detail. I love wearing a fur vest in any color with a feminine dress and high booties. You can also use the fur vest over a t-shirt and jeans. The vest is your statement piece.
Leather is something that comes back every fall and winter season, but this season it's not about your favorite leather jacket. Leather leggings are trendy, edgy, and so much fun to wear! Pair them with an over-sized sweater and high top sneakers, and not only will you be comfy, but so on trend.
OK, so blazers are my weakness in my wardrobe; I seriously have one in every color. We don't normally see the mixed print trend in the winter season, so embrace it with a statement blazer. Pair it with a t-shirt, scarf, and pick a color in the blazer to match your pants or denim."
Q: What's the right way - and wrong way - to wear leather leggings this winter?
MP: "Remember, leggings should always be worn with something longer on top to at least cover your bum and the front area. They become less flattering the more you show.
I love this trend, and I think, from a styling standpoint, you can wear them with high heels to make them sexy and dressed up or with flat boots and a winter coat for a more relaxed, edgy look.
Be careful; Don't style the leather leggings with too many other leather pieces. You don't want to look like a biker chick, unless that's the look you were going for, then ROCK on!"
Q: Floral prints are back this season. What are two ways to incorporate this trend into an everyday look?
MP: "I think a floral silk blouse is perfect to tuck into jeans or tuck into a great skirt. I also think a floral print pant is trendy and fun!"
Q: What's one winter fashion trend we can officially say goodbye to?
Q: Knee-high boots -- what should we be wearing these with this winter?
MP: "Dresses, skirts, jeans, leggings! Anything!"
Q: Peplum is another hot runway look we're seeing this season. Is it a good match even for curvy figures? What are a few ways to sport the peplum trend this winter?
MP: "I'm loving this trend! It's super flattering on any body type! They come in every color, and you can even find them on dresses and skirts. This trend brings a very girly element to your look.
Try wearing this trend in a long-sleeved dress with tights and booties. Or even find a top and add a leather jacket, a pair of printed denim, and your favorite heeled booties."
Q: What are three of your best tips for creating a stylish winter wardrobe?
MP: "Add hats and scarves! They can pull together a winter look without breaking the bank.
Find an amazing leather jacket that will last you for years to come! This piece can be worn from day to night. This is an investment item, so don't go cheap on this one.
It's all about the boots and booties. Wear them! They are in every shape, size, color, and texture. There is no excuse!"
Interview with Stylist Melanie Pace