Tag Archives: denim

what are you wearing new year’s eve? here are six ideas for you!

New Year’s Eve is sometimes one of those holidays that can be more trouble than it’s really worth…but only if you do it the hard way.

The easy way is to not stress about what to wear on top of where to go (and how to get there, who to go with…et cetera). You can totally wear something you already have!

Here’s some outfit ideas based on items you might already have in your closet, that just need a little bit of an upgrade to be NYE-worthy!

This time, the upgrades come in the form of my reversible wrap belts. Check it out:

 

your fave LBD

the cassandra belt from Holland Cox with your fave LBD
When planning your New Year’s Eve outfit, your favorite LBD party dress is the obvious place to start. But you don’t want to go to that fabulous party in a plain dress, do you?

The cassandra wrap belt to the rescue! For this outfit, I showed cassandra on her spectacular bright metallic gold side, but the reverse is pretty amazing, too (more on that later). Even though there’s nothing more classic than black and gold for evening, nobody else at your party is going to have a belt like this one!

(Also shown: the phoenix small perfect pouch as a tiny clutch.)

 

your fave fitted sweater

the cassandra belt from Holland Cox with a sweater and mini skirt
I distinctly remember the year I decided it was more important to be warm on NYE than to wear something skimpy and revealing.

(This not-coincidentally coincided with learning that something doesn’t have to be skimpy and revealing to be sexy and interesting.)

This outfit is all about a comfortable, fitted turtleneck and a cute skirt. I styled it with a mini skirt (imagine tights to go with), but of course a maxi works just as well.

This time, the cassandra wrap belt is worn on the stitched side, showing off the unique chevron wave pattern. Pile on your fancy jewelry and wear a killer pair of booties, and you will own any party you go to, without having to cower in the corner for warmth!

(Also shown: the naomi infinity scarf.)

 

that dress you never wear

the Holland Cox wrap belt in sparkly denim
I bet you have a dress in your closet that is some awesome color that you’re afraid to wear…maybe it even has a pattern on it. Guess what? Now you have somewhere to wear it!

Denim goes with everything, and four of my wrap belts reverse to this awesome dark denim with gold metallic accents…just enough sparkle to turn a regular dress into something NYE-worthy!

The nina, selina, sheba, and jezebel belts all have this sparkly denim on one side. Pick the one you like the most, and you’ll have an incredibly versatile accessory that you can wear far beyond New Year’s Eve!

(Also shown: the felicity small perfect pouch, which has the same denim on the reverse.)

 

your denim mini skirt

the selina wrap belt from Holland Cox with the raina crossbody bag
Maybe you’ve got a more casual destination this New Year’s Eve, like a rock concert or a house party. Why not wear your little denim skirt? I know you want to just throw on a black top with it, and I’m not even going to tell you not to!

But how about pairing it with the selina wrap belt? Selina is made from my favorite metallic gold essex linen on one side, and my beloved sparkly dark denim on the other side. Both sides have a very subtle sheen, so you really could wear it on either side, and still look amazing.

A casual NYE destination is the perfect place for the raina crossbody bag…the hands-free style means you can easily carry both your champagne and hors d’oeuvres without losing track of your gear, and the gorgeous purple leather means you’ll look amazing doing it!

 

your skinny jeans and your good pearls

metallic leather wrap belt from Holland Cox with skinny jeans and pearls
You can totally get away with dark wash jeans at all but the most formal of New Year’s Eve parties…just make sure the rest of your outfit is on point!

In addition to your heavy duty evening jewelry, what about a belt that can stand up to all that bling? The sheba wrap belt is a gorgeous pewter leather on one side, and my favorite dark sparkly denim on the reverse.

She is the kind of show-stopping accessory that will make people wearing cocktail dresses jealous of your outfit!

 

your fave silky top

the calliope wrap belt from Holland Cox with a maxi skirt
You probably already have a silky top in your closet…maybe you wear it under a jacket, or you bought it for some other party and haven’t worn it in forever.

Break it out, and pair it with a skirt (or even trousers) that works with it. It doesn’t even matter what the colors are, because the calliope wrap belt goes with everything!

One side is in an all-purpose dark blue denim, and the reverse is in a lovely and soft black suede, with gold sparkly pin dots. Instant outfit upgrade!

(Also shown: the felicity small perfect pouch as a tiny clutch.)

 

Getting dressed should always be fun (and not stressful), but it should be extra fun for a special night out like New Year’s Eve! I hope I’ve inspired you to upgrade what you already have, rather than stressing about a completely new outfit.

 

Check out all the reversible wrap belts and imagine which ones will deliver the best upgrades to your favorites…don’t forget to scroll through the pictures to see both sides!

 

 

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sneak peek of the new crossbody bag

The newest addition to the evolution collection is a completely new handbag for me, but I think you’ll recognize the bones of it as very much Holland Cox style. You’ll also see plenty of evidence of my love of texture and color!

I wanted to design a casual, pretty bag that you could use everyday. Something a bit smaller than the everyday bags, but not so small that your daily essentials wouldn’t fit. I also wanted a long, cross-body strap that was as good looking as the bag itself!

 

a sneak peek of the new crossbody style bag at Holland Cox

 

I began by expanding the perfect pouch, and then I added pockets – a flat patch pocket on the inside (perfect for your ID cards, a pack of gum, a pen, a pack of tissues), and a welt zip pocket on the outside (the exact size of my iPhone 7 Plus).

Gold hardware and brass zippers were a no-brainer, since I’ve been in love with shiny gold for a while now (not sorry!!!). Ultrasuede zip pulls (with a hand painted bead on the main zip) finish off both zippers, because I love the look of them, and they are a great way to add another little bit of color!

 

the back pocket of the crossbody pouch

 

I’ve decided the back pocket is critical on any handbag I carry! I really like having a place that is instantly accessible, that I can just reach into without removing the straps or opening the bag.

I actually didn’t plan on the pocket being iPhone-sized, I picked a 7″ pocket because that’s what made sense to me, based on the size of the bag (11″ wide and 7″ tall, with a 9″ zipper). But I figure it can only be a good thing if your phone is within easy reach!

 

removable crossbody strap

 

The strap is 48″ long, just long enough for the pouch to sit right on your hip, making it easy to slip your hand inside either zipper.

I know most bags like this have adjustable straps, but I didn’t want to do that for my design, for two reasons. First, I hate buckles (random, but here we are…I actually have an aversion to excessive hardware on handbags…an unpopular opinion, I know).

Part of the reason I don’t like buckles on straps, is that I don’t believe that most people want an adjustable strap; what they want is a strap that is the exact right length for them! 

So you’ll be able to order the strap for your crossbody pouch in a custom size if 48″ isn’t right for you!

 

metallic denim, painted canvas, and stitched ultrasuede

 

In a few weeks, I’ll be introducing a mini-collection of the crossbody pouch (only six of them!), featuring some of my favorite fabrics and motifs from the current collection. Felicity (painted polka dots on natural canvas) will definitely be featured, and of course persephone in red and blue (my favorite abstract petal motif).

I’m also going to be using lots of this delightful dark, midnight-blue denim with gold metallic threads that I am absolutely in love with.

(I’ve already bought up every yard I can get my hands on.)

But at least two of the mini-collection will feature some of the metallic leather I got in NYC recently…I can’t wait to show the finished bags to you!

denim with gold accents, purple metallic leather, gold polka dot suede and metallic denim

Get on the list, because subscribers to the Insiders List always see the new collections first, and they get an exclusive introductory price (which means if you’re an Insider, you never have to pay full price)!

 

 

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versatile style: the anjelica 517 tote five different ways

Your most versatile accessories are never the plain ones. Your favorites get worn the most because of how they make you feel. How can you feel happy and confident in something dull? How can you fall in love with something plain?

Do yourself and your wardrobe a favor, and pass by the plain! Here are five different ways you could wear the anjelica 517 tote…proving that practical does not mean plain.

 

with distressed jeans

 

denim 517 tote from Holland Cox with distressed jeans and peasant top

The anjelica tote is all about the classic look of gold stitching on dark blue denim. But it’s also bright red on the back (Click here to see all of anjelica’s details)…don’t think that means you can only wear it with red!

Denim anything can be treated as a neutral (you wear your favorite jeans with practically every color, right?), and the anjelica tote is no different. The windowpane check and gentle curves give it a very classy look, but that doesn’t mean you can’t wear it on the weekends, too, with distressed jeans and a cute tank top!

 

with an embroidered mini skirt

 

denim 517 tote with embroidered mini skirt and tank top

Intricate embroidery is very trendy right now, and depending on what motifs you go for, those items may not last too many seasons into the future.

You don’t have to worry about that with the anjelica tote…there’s no motif more classic than a windowpane check, and classic means it never goes out of style. So break out your trendy miniskirts now, and when you’re tired of them, you’ll still have an awesome bag to wear with whatever comes next!

I’ve also styled this outfit with the small perfect pouch and mini pouch in a vintage black and gold damask, which echoes the embroidery trend (and coordinates with the skirt) without being too matchy.  The perfect pouches are designed to work with the 517 totes to corral your smaller goodies, and look great doing it! Check them all out here.

 

with a ruffly maxi skirt

 

denim 517 tote from Holland Cox with ruffly maxi skirt and blouse

This outfit is all about contrasts. The voluminous skirt and fluffy blouse are very romantic, but the knee-high boots and the anjelica tote are much more modern (I like to think the accessories are a little of both!).

They all work together because each piece is quite dramatic, even if they achieve that drama in very different ways. This is not what a wallflower would wear!

 

with a preppy dress

 

denim 517 tote from Holland Cox with striped sun dress

The anjelica 517 tote is automatically going to look amazing with anything in black and white – denim, red, and gold all set off black and white beautifully, so you can’t lose.

This cute little dress is especially a great fit because of it’s shape. Its A-line skirt and fitted bodice echo the gentle curves on the tote, making them perfect for each other!

Girly accessories like sky-high scarlet heels and a flower for your hair round out this cute and flirty outfit. Check out the matching small perfect pouch as well, to hold all your goodies inside your tote!

 

with tailored trousers

 

the anjelica tote from Holland Cox with tailored red trousers

Finally, the anjelica 517 tote makes an amazing work bag. Miles away from the basic black and boring brown briefcases your colleagues will have, anjelica guarantees all eyes will be on you (which is exactly where they should be).

It’s stylish enough for the C-suite, but practical enough to elegantly haul all your office gear around.

 

Knowing all the other ways you can wear it, what could be more versatile? Can you imagine any of these outfits being as eye-catching and interesting with a plain bag?

 

 

 

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denim high style

You’ve probably noticed I love to design and sew with denim. I have used it in every single collection since I started Holland Cox in 2004! I’ve used it on every accessory and every style of handbag.

I use it so much because I love to wear it, and I truly believe it can work for nearly any occasion.

Here’s some outfit ideas that epitomize high style denim:

 

at the office

how to wear denim to the office: with the anjelica 517 tote
What to wear to work is a constant worry for anyone who doesn’t have a uniform or a home office…it never ends! The anjelica 517 tote is a great example of a denim bag that is sophisticated enough to coordinate flawlessly with a professional outfit.

Here I’ve paired her with a crisp white shirt, an asymmetrical skirt, and polished details like amber jewelry and a silk scarf. The back of the anjelica 517 tote is bright red vinyl, so red accessories are the perfect finishing touch. A plain brown or black bag just wouldn’t look as interesting!

 

on date night

how to wear denim on date night: with a cute denim clutch and mini skirt
Everyone counts on denim to be casual, but it can be cute and sexy, too! This date night outfit is built on a classic denim pencil skirt. Along with a cute top and killer shoes, all you need is a stylish clutch, here in the form of the Holland Cox perfect pouch.

The simone perfect pouch is only 8″ wide and not quite 6″ tall, so it can easily double as a petite clutch that sits in the palm of your hand. Perfect for your wallet, keys, phone, and lipstick!

 

on the weekend

how to wear denim on the weekend: with a stylish handbag
One of the things I love about denim is that it will effortlessly mix with absolutely anything, including any and all shades of blue. This casual weekend look is proof! Black, navy, royal, cornflower blue, and gray all easily coordinate with the denim on the holland everyday bag.

You should never feel the need to match, but it’s especially not necessary with denim. What could be more versatile than that?

Check out my Pinterest board on high style denim for more examples of how versatile and stylish denim can be!

 

 

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elevate the everyday

I believe the otherwise-mundane things you use every day should be pretty and colorful, and make you feel happy and confident.

the small perfect pouch from Holland CoxIf you carry a big bag every day, you probably have several little pouches inside to organize all your daily essentials. I hope you are not settling for something plain or “neutral”!  You deserve something that reflects your personality and style, and I’m willing to bet you are neither plain nor neutral on the inside.

 

The perfect pouch will soon have several companions, starting with the small perfect pouch shown above.  It can fit much more than the few things shown here, but I wanted to give you an idea of scale. Mine swallows up my sunglasses as well as lots of other bits of handbag detritus, in the cutest way possible!the perfect pouch family from Holland CoxIn addition to the small perfect pouch, the mini pouch and the 19th street wallet will soon be available as well, individually and it lovely gift sets. Get on the list to be notified when each new item gets added to the shop!

 

The 19th street wallet is a slim, double sided card case that I have been making for at least a decade…I must have made thousands of them by now (that is a lot of blind stitching)! The 2017 version is a tad bit bigger, so you can fit more cards/cash/what-have-you inside, and is made with heavier fabric on the outside, to guarantee a longer life.

the mini perfect pouch from Holland Cox

The mini perfect pouch is my evolved change purse…a bit bigger (actually big enough to keep your 19th st wallet inside if you like), and with much more style and personality. These are so cute, I’ve been giving them away as little prizes for my best customers, and gifts to anyone I want to impress. Next time you need to stock up on hostess gifts, get a stack of these instead of cheap wine from the grocery store!

The small perfect pouch is coming out first, but soon there will be a whole family of perfect pouches the main collection. Subscribe to the Insider’s List so you don’t miss the big debut (and you don’t have to pay full price on your favorites)!

 

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how to wear gray without fading away

Gray is a neutral that is often hailed as being softer than black but just as versatile…which is true, but I think it can very easily look deadly boring as well.

(sometimes even a little dingy or dirty…nobody wants that.)

Here’s five outfits I’ve styled starring the sibyl everyday bag, with five ways to wear gray that will highlight your style, not make you fade into the background.

 

choose a print

 

The best way to make any outfit interesting is to choose a print, of course! Think how boring this outfit would look with a plain t-shirt and a plain cardigan.  The sibyl everyday bag isn’t printed, but the design stitched in has the same effect…much more eye-catching than solid gray.

This outfit is also a great example of the versatile style of the sibyl everyday bag  – even though it has a very sophisticated air, it works just as easily with super casual weekend wear.

 

choose interesting tailoring

 

By “tailoring” I mean both the style and shape of a garment, as well as how it fits. Wide leg jeans are definitely coming back in style, but you don’t see them everywhere yet – you’ll still stand out in a crowd of skinny jeans and baggy, boyfriend-style jeans. When you don’t blend into the background, it’s so much easier to feel confident and stylish!

You can’t beat Haider Ackermann for interesting tailoring, and this jacket is so eye-catching that it almost has to be in unassuming gray to really show off the design. Way more interesting than a more conventionally styled top!

 

choose interesting texture

 

Texture can elevate any outfit in the same way a print does – by adding visual interest, and providing a little escape from the ordinary.

It’s why I added stitched details to the sibyl everyday bag, rather than just creating a bag in solid gray and solid red.

Texture can be added to plain fabrics with techniques like embroidery or applique, or can be a part of the fabric itself, like the eyelet lace of this top (or the nubby texture of wool tweed, for example).

 

choose outstanding accessories

 

 

It is absolutely okay to have your handbag (or some other awesome accessory) be the star of your outfit!

These pants are pretty amazing on their own (the interesting design details is what does it), but imagine for a moment plain gray trousers, and this feature-less black top. Pretty dull, and not something that’s going to help you feel confident and stylish when you wear it.

But add a great handbag like sibyl and some gorgeous pearl jewelry, and it’s a completely different story!

This is the whole concept behind a capsule wardrobe, of course. The key to making your capsule wardrobe work is having versatile, interesting accessories that work for lots of different looks!

 

choose to not wear gray at all

 

 

 

Remember friends, coordinating and matching are not the same thing! This outfit is a great example of how neutrals can be mixed and matched together indefinitely. It’s also another great example of making your handbag the focal point of your outfit.

The gray and red are actually the accents of this outfit, rather than the starting point. With everything else black and white, the bright red of the sibyl bag really stands out!

 

Have I given you some ideas on how to experiment with your style? For more ideas, subscribe to the Insider’s List and I’ll send you 7 Style Experiments to try right now, and you’ll never feel like a wallflower again!

 

 

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versatile style: the gloria tote six different ways

You might think something has to be plain to be versatile. I rather like to think the opposite: that the more interesting your accessories, the more useful they become. I’m going to prove it to you, with six very different outfits, all starring the gloria tote bag.

 

Imagine wearing the gloria tote…

 

with distressed jeans

upgrade your distressed jeans

Distressed jeans are super-trendy right now, but wearing them doesn’t mean you have to look like a slob. Pair them with bright colors and interesting prints, and it will look like a purposeful fashion statement, and not that you can’t be bothered to take care of your clothes!

The gloria tote is half denim so of course you can wear it with any pair of jeans. With a pretty floral top and an interesting bag, you have an effortless casual outfit that is a hundred times better than a plain tee and a plain tote!

 

on vacation

on vacation

 

A giant tote bag is always going to be useful while on vacation, whether you’re seeing the sights or just hanging out at the beach. This outfit is all about the classic nautical colors (red, blue, white, and gold) combined in new and interesting ways.

You could absolutely replicate this outfit with a plain maxi skirt and a plain bag. But then you’d look like a mannequin in an outlet store window, and nobody wants that. Choose a boldly striped skirt (stripes go with everything!) and a tote bag with an interesting motif, and you end up looking amazing instead!

 

with leggings and flashy accessories

purple, gold, and blue

 

Even though the main colors of the gloria tote are indigo blue and aubergine purple (both dark and cool-toned), she coordinates beautifully with warmer colors, too.

This would be a great outfit to wear out with your girlfriends – simple and comfortable leggings and tunic, but with eye-catching accessories, bold makeup, and amazing shoes. It would be a crime to wear a plain bag with this look!

 

with leather pants

how to wear leather pants in the summer

 

I hope you don’t think a bag that is mostly denim can’t be upscale and high style as well…

Leather pants and spindly, shiny heels are doing all the work for making this outfit glam. The gloria tote coordinates effortlessly with its eye-catching and bold design. A plain denim bag probably wouldn’t be worthy of this outfit!

 

with sequins

black and gold and denim

 

My absolute favorite flats that I wear nearly every day are gold and sparkly, so I love the idea of shiny during the day. When I saw this sequinned top, I knew I wanted to style it with a denim skirt and the gloria tote bag!

The flower-like mandala motif is very pretty and feminine, so a nice counterpoint is a classic leather motorcycle jacket and some black aviators, for just a little edge.

This outfit is so awesome the shoes almost don’t matter, but if you can wear gold heels, why wouldn’t you want to?

 

at the office

neutral but not boring

 

Some of you are thinking yeah but Valerie, I don’t have a sequinned top or leather pants. Fair enough. But I bet you have some traditionally “neutral” office wear like a navy blouse and cream or gray trousers?

What’s great about this outfit, is that it proves neutrals don’t have to be boring (the windowpane check on the pants and cut of the blouse make both pieces really interesting). The classy accessories and bold tote bag will guarantee you’ll stand out in your office full of dull black suits.

Click here for more details on the gloria tote, and imagine how you’d style her with some of your favorite outfits!

 

 

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