Happy holidays to you and yours! I hope you’re feeling fantastic, looking fabulous, and staying safe and warm as the holiday festivities commence. 

Meet this week’s Style Inspiration, Cassie Makeeff. Cassie is a Riverside resident and local shopper. I spotted her tailored wool pea coat in plum, tweed pageboy cap, and whiskey colored leather handbag from across a crowded shop. On the menu this chilly day: fashion advice for every fashion palette. Find out how a dash of crimson adds fun and fortitude to your style recipes. Who can resist? And for dessert, a sweet treat: Cassie’s daughter in a scrumptious velvet dress and a lavender down coat. Oh so good!

Cassie also reminds us that whether it’s the holiday season or not, it is important to think of others and consider our favorite charities while we shop or thin out our wardrobes. Read on to find out more.

Where do you currently live? Riverside, IL

Your fashion style: Feminine, independent, natural

Favorite fashion era: Current. I love how our current fashion pulls the best of the best from the past eras and modernized them with a global twist, be it in cut, color, pattern, or fabric. This allows me to pick and choose from all the current trends for those that work best for my body and me. My particular favorites have lean lines with enhancing ruching or embellishments. I love all kinds of natural fabrics that drape well and feel nice against your skin, in jewel and earth tones. I love the color red, the utter beauty, and the commanding sense of feminine prowess and strength. [Note from this Shopping Blogger: Wow! I suddenly feel the need to pick up a little red number!]

Fashion inspiration: My mother. From the moment I can remember, my mom took pride in her appearance throughout the entire day. She always looks put together and sophisticated, and this allows her to accomplish so much and to be ready for whatever she may encounter. She taught me to be ready for anything and to dress for the occasion. She is better at keeping with the current trends than I am!

Favorite local boutiques: Being new to the area, I am still out discovering! However through wonderful friends, I have been steered to a lineup of shops in Forest Park on Madison Avenue – that I have been having far too much fun at. Baubo’s Garden has fantastic lingerie to start every fashion escapade, Afkara for shoes, and M. Santana for filling the empty spaces in your closet. I adore them all.

Greatest fashion indulgence: I’d have to say that no matter what you present to the world, what is underneath really counts. And I am not only referring to a stunning personality! A great bra is a special gift to yourself and gives you a little secret confidence. Go see Eden at Baubo’s Garden [in Forest Park].

Fashion advice: Having gone through 3 major moves across the country in the last 3 years, my closet has been thoroughly weeded. As a result, I only own the items of clothes that I love to wear, and I intend to keep it that way. From now on I will take a friend’s advice of only purchasing items that I absolutely love and will wear on a regular basis, and will replace an older item in my closet that will be donated. Pick your favorite fabrics, cuts, and colors that are interchangeable, and give the rest to charity!

Remember: Oak Park has great of options for donating gently used or new items including PADS, The Economy Shop, and 2nd Chance Shop. There are also wonderful organizations like Christopher House, Family Focus, and Heartland Alliance that are always accepting donations.

As always, visit the fashion blog next week for more fashion inspiration from your friends and neighbors. I’ll see you around town and in the shops!

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