The Color Trend You Need To Know in 2016

resort 600x800300dpi-resort-cropCall it Cruise, call it Resort, we call it a vacation from the dark days of winter. And even when you cannot call it quits to the cold outside and land yourself on a beach in some tropical paradise with a beach boy fanning your tanned body… you can liven up your mood, your wardrobe, and your look by adding colors that make you feel like the bombshell that you are.

The color trend to try for 2016 is Batik. Referred to as Blue Hydrangea, Ocean, or simply Blue. Why we love it? Think about denim. Yes, that favorite pair of jeans or denim jacket. Why does denim work with just about everything? Because it’s really a neutral. Batik works exactly the same way – effortlessly working with so many other colors.

Explore why we are bonkers for blue this season!

resort 600x800-11-300dpi
Discover Jacket in Batik
Complete The Look


Resort finds Stella in a relaxed mood influenced by a combination of the timeless and updated cool.

Dive into Inspiration on Pinterest



resort 600x800-300dpi-go to style vest-location-cropped
Go To Style Vest



Dive into Blue





The Power of Personal Assistance in Finding Your Style

You know how it seems that sometimes you’re having one of those days – stuff doesn’t go your way – you’re late, forgot the notes, didn’t sign the permission slip – just little things that are so frustrating.

But then, someone compliments you on your look!  Maybe they ask if you got a haircut or if those are new shoes. You smile, because you know what it is – you’re having a good outfit day!  

At Stella Carakasi, we are about making every day a good outfit day!

Stella’s design philosophy comes from her understanding of what real women desire – from an understanding of the real purpose of fashion – to bring out your natural beauty!  

“I’m inspired by the real everyday woman, with all of her body concerns. If my clothing manages to make her feel transformed by bringing out her natural beauty, so that she feels empowered, I have accomplished what I set out to do.”
Stella Carakasi

A great way to ensure that you can have a great outfit day, no matter what designs you are wearing, is to understand style and what makes an outfit great for you! Here at the Stella Studio, we have incredibly talented stylists on hand to guide you to that understanding and build that perfect outfit.

But we know that not all of you can come to the studio – so we decided to bring our Lead Style Consultant, Yarra, to you virtually.

Yup – you can get great style advice and an enhanced understanding of what makes an outfit work, from the comfort of your own home!

We’ve got 3 fantastic customer models who we will be working with to highlight 3 key aspects of how to look and feel your best – in what is in your wardrobe today.  Really empowering you to build those great outfits that make you feel powerful, no matter what kind of day you are having.

Stella on style, “Style is what looks great on you and what makes you feel fabulous, just the way you are. That energetic shift is so powerful and allows you to show up in a very positive way which is the most important result.”

Join us to learn more about your personal style.

Looks for Every Body # 7

Yarra here reflecting on how quickly time is going by! Finish your year with flair. I hope the following outfits inspire and save you some time as you’re dashing to and from holiday parties and shopping. There’s one outfit for each of the 5 body types. If you’re new to this series, check out the first Looks for Every Body post to learn more.

LFEB_invtr20x40i+20Inverted Triangle
The elegant draping of this outfit creates an unusual silhouette. The Scene Stealer Top (available in Dakota) really is! Worn with the Form and Function Skirt (shown in Tuscan rose) the draping of the pair pull the bulk of the outfit into the bottom 2/3 of the body, great for the inverted triangle body type that wants to downplay broad shoulders.  Top with a modal Digital Print Scarf (by Shawlsmith) to emphasize soft draping even more.

Break up the straight up and down form of the rectangle figure by adding asymmetric hemlines. The Need it Now Sweater (shown in coriander)LFEB_rect20x40+20 over the Look Sharp Leggings (shown in black) creates a fashion forward look that is perfect for a dash to a get-together with friends or a little last minute shopping. Play with color by adding a bright infinity scarf. I love how this turquoise scarf really sets off the coriander of the sweater. Color is really important on cold winter days to brighten your mood!

City girl you are in this ready for anything outfit! A little top everyone should have in their wardrobe is the Life is Good Top (shown in black) it is practically a tunic falling over the hips. It provides coverage without overwhelming the silhouette and is great paired with Stella’s Ready to Wear Leggings or jeans of your choice! Top with sumptuous Play Your Cards Right (shown in jade) and add an accent necklace in a tonal color to match. 

You are one cool cat in this tonal ensemble. The triangle body shape seeks coverage and minimization of the bottom third of the body. The Either Way Top (shown in citadel)LFEB_tri20x40+20 topped with the Point of Interest Cardigan (shown in ash) creates a clean sophisticated line. I love the polish the Slimming Ankle Pants (shown in mink) add to this outfit. If you don’t have any ponte pants this season, run don’t walk to your nearest store that carries Stella Carakasi. You will not regret how versatile these are. They are an item that instantly elevates your look. Accessorize with a folksy necklace like the seed bead one shown.

For the hourglass, this outfit is about draping and luxe soft color. The Enigmatic Tunic (shown in dove) is an adventure waiting to happen in a tunic. Worn with the Incomparable Pants (shown in shadow) the look is subtle and dramatic! Is that possible?! Yes, with these soft colors the draping and strong architecture of these pieces create a mood that is like stepping into a soft filtered photo. Add a wrap belt with a touch of metallic and a chunky crystal or topaz necklace and your look will be off the charts.

Where ever the holidays take you arrive in style! Happy holidays!

Real Woman Confidence

More from Vivian: I love the word confidence. It’s simple and quiet, but lands with an impact. It also takes a lifetime to cultivate and to understand. I would say that the confidence in my mid-40’s has a very different weight and feel than the confidence in my 20’s. And although I have felt confident at many phases of my life, the confidence of today comes from deep in my belly and allows me to manifest many more things than before.

Over the last month, we interviewed a handful of Stella women from across the country, and CONFIDENCE is common to all of them (and perhaps to more of you out there!) These women come from very diverse backgrounds, but are all independent and creative thinkers. They have a strong sense of self and know exactly what they like. They are travelers and appreciate the arts, food and wine. They are deeply connected with their partners, families and communities. And, they experience life in a very sensual way.

All these women are tremendously confident, not only in who they are, but how they express themselves in the world. And whether they are in their 30’s, 40’s, 50’s or 60’s, their personal style is their statement – unique, artistic, eclectic and intentional – the result of a lifetime of discovery.

Sarah Brosius (below left) and Michelle Purcell (below right) are reasons why we are on fire about creating profiles of the real women who wear Stella. We believe that this community of women is comprised of dynamic and fascinating individuals. In particular, what I LOVE about Sarah’s and Michelle’s portraits are not just their individual sense of style (which are both undeniably fabulous), but also the quiet confidence they exude through their eyes, their smiles, and their bodies. Casual elegance. I am here. Here I am.


In short, they just make me smile and feel deeply proud to be part of the Stella community. In character and spirit, these are real women just like me. And even if we come from different backgrounds, or lead different lives, or never meet in person, there is a common thread that ties us together – life as a woman who has built confidence from finding and redefining herself, over and over and over again.

>> Do you relate to this?

Personal Style

Viv's Photo copy

More from Vivian, followed by her 18-year old son, Brandon!  

… So ladies, let’s talk about personal style. When I think about my style, I’m not exactly sure what word I would use to describe it. “Eclectic” would be too easy, so I’ll use the word “moody” instead.

If I look back at my journey of style, it starts back in elementary school in the sale department of Sears with my mother’s great purchase of the week – too-big blue jeans with a Superman logo on the butt. That put me in a crappy mood, especially when all the kids started calling me “super butt.”

We bought all of our clothes on sale, so it was always a mishmash of colors, styles and imitation brands. My sister and I would comb through the sale racks religiously, trying to find the next great deal. When we did, we giggled in delight, and then fought viciously to be the first to wear it. When I won, I felt euphoric! When I lost, I was mad as hell.

I loved clothes, so it hardly mattered that the logo on my shirt was not an alligator, but rather some lame animal substitute. And it hardly made a difference that my pants were 2 sizes too large or not on-trend (imagine straight leg pants when bell bottoms were in). Since we didn’t have a ton of money to waste, I really didn’t have a choice but to hardly care. I held my chin up and half-grinned.

My mother decided to enlighten me early. She grew up in the war times in the diplomatic circles in China, and her mother insisted that she sew all of her own clothes. When I hit middle school and refused to wear the next generation of super-butt jeans, she sat me down at her sewing machine and taught me a lesson.

I learned that I could design and create my own personal style, my own statement. So, I spent my middle school years hunting for fabrics and patterns and buttons, using Vogue, McCall’s and Butterick as starting points (and then veering dangerously off course). I became less attached to being “in” and more attached to bringing my vision to life (which admittedly, was at times, lop-sided).

From there, my style has become more and more my personal statement, one that has been dictated by the phase of my life, my context, and my mood (to the last point, if my style does not match my mood, it’s like dealing with a wedgie all day). Here are a few from my past:

  • The Artist: Most of my college years were spent in black. I enjoyed layers and textures and any shade of black. Very artistic, very cool, very dark and very, very moody. Sans bangs and the heavy eyeliner.
  • Elvira:  After my son was born, I gave up being anything other than a drool rag. Style was not a priority. Baggy jeans and shirts to hide the baby weight and cotton to absorb the spit. The only exception was the occasional date with Elvira.
  • Androgeny Girl: The first time I learned how to Taiko drum, I was so taken by the power of it, I went home and shaved my head. A white tank, no bra and baggy jeans (and no hair – well ok, 1/8 inch). Yes, I was a mommy then.
  • Consultant Chick: Stupid suits and pumps, which graduated to jeans and stupid boring shirts. Always looked appropriate for the occasion (and was labeled the fashionista among the corporate – ha!). My “adult” phase, which I swear I will never do again.

My Way: Today, I wear whatever I please, depending on my mood (and because I can). I move easily from one day to the next with a smile: a little shimmer and high heels; soft white and steel tips; some pink and patent leather; blue jeans and snake skin; all black and red plats. I have even discovered dresses and skirts again, despite the wrinkles above the knees and probably due to boredom. Damn, I feel great and so free to be me!

So what I LOVE is seeing women express themselves, fully and freely. I believe that real women dare to be themselves. They are confident in their unique statements, and their personal style comes through every day in a natural and effortless way.

Speaking of, we created our first profile on Michelle wearing her favorite Stella looks, and she is for sure, a real woman: smart, sassy, spontaneous, confident and cool. A lovely human being and a style chameleon, one who dares to go barefoot no less!

>> What are some of your styles, past or present?

Guest blog post from Vivian’s son, Brandon:

I was helping my mom with her last blog post, and a theme came up that was mentioned in the end of her post. I felt pretty strongly about it, so she asked me to do this. So, here I am.

For those of you who don’t know me for obvious reasons, and I’m assuming this includes all of you, my name is Brandon. As you probably could have guessed from reading my mom’s previous posts, growing up with her as my mom led to a lot of interesting choices and clothes. For example, my mom personally made my Halloween costumes until 5th grade. I was everything from Harry Potter, a hamster, to a Hershey’s kiss. I sometimes wish that last one was a joke, but what the hell, it was a fun Halloween and totally worth the story I will eventually tell to my kids.

For the most part, I didn’t really get into style until the last year when my family went to China. Here is where I got my first button-down shirts that I liked, and my first tailored shirts. This is what I started to build my “look” around. Prior to this, I was inherently a skateboarder and dressed like it. (I still am, but now I dress differently when I am not skating.) But after this trip, my shirts started to fit better, my pants got skinnier, and I started to get into shoes more, okay a lot more…

This finally brings me to what this whole post is about. Confidence is everything in my opinion. This relates to more than just clothes, but we’re talking about clothes right now, so I’ll stick to that. After I came back from this trip, I started to feel better about what I was wearing and really embraced. I thought I had always felt pretty comfortable with how I dressed, but recently I realized how much more I love my new “look.” It started to feel more me, and I know people started to look at me differently.

As my senior year started (I just graduated. YAY!!!!), I went in with a new confidence and style to build on. I have always been that shy kid at school, but with my new style, I started to become more confident and really just stop caring what people thought of me.

My favorite question was when my classmates would ask me why I did something, and always my response was “ Why not?” They would ask again and that would still be my response. Most people believe that they get pigeonholed into one category or another, but why do you have to be? Be yourself, dress however you want, do what you want. If you want a new haircut that’s different, do it, if you want a tattoo, get one (thank you mom for my graduation present!) In the end, you are doing it for yourself, so why should you care what other people think?

Stand behind your decisions and people will see that unwavering confidence and will have no other option but to take it.  I find it funny that I found this out from my boss at Cal Skate Camp a few years ago (I am now his assistant/coordinator of the camp). But I learned from him that if you are going to do something, you have to be confident and stand behind it the whole time. No matter what you are doing, if you are confident, you will ultimately earn more respect for standing behind it versus wavering.

If you are going to wear something that is new and different for you, don’t be afraid to. Walking out of the house and into your workplace just knowing that you look good will give out a certain aura – one that inspires, and tells people that you are confident in who you are.

In my yearbook this year, my friend wrote, “Brandon: Your outfits constantly amaze me, and I daresay I would never have the balls to wear clothing as cool as yours.” And my response is, well, “Why Not?”

Real Women

Viv's Photo copy

Meet Vivian, Partner & CMO!

… One of the reasons I joined the Stella Carakasi team is because of the women. We are a women-run company, and all the ladies are smart, sassy, interesting, and stellar at what they do (of course, the men aren’t bad either 🙂

We are girls, mothers, partners, colleagues, sisters and friends. We compliment each other for a job well done (and for a good-looking outfit), and we call out the things that are not good enough. We bring all aspects of ourselves to the table, and we challenge each other to be better.

Simply stated, I am in the company of real women, and it’s awesome.

Why do I use the term “Real Women”? I use it out of the deepest respect for who these women are and what they manifest in the world. I use it because, at this point in time, they – WE – all dare to express ourselves fully — beauty, smarts, opinions, style and all. And yes, I consider myself a real woman, too.

I often wonder about a woman’s life story and the many things that have transpired and come together to create who she is today. Of course, this is a universal conversation that extends beyond the Stella Carakasi team to men and the world at large. However, I believe a woman’s experience in life has a different level of complexity and texture, especially in light of the many roles we embody as girls, women, girlfriends, mothers, sisters, daughters and professionals.

To this point, I want to bring our larger community of women to life, as I know there are many amazing stories to share. So, please contribute to our blogs with your perspectives and invite your friends and loved ones to join our conversations. And, if you are among the company of the real women who love wearing Stella and would like to share your favorite looks and more, let us know!

In the meantime, here’s one of my life stories:

I have loved art, design & fashion since I was a little girl. In fact, I wanted very badly to attend Parsons School of Design in NYC for college. However, I was raised by a very practical mother and chose instead to attend UC Berkeley to major in Genetics. My creativity (and frustration) expressed itself through various avenues and professions over the years: dance, choreography, costume & prop design, drumming, art projects with my two kids, aikido, branding, PR & marketing, and management consulting.  Now at 45, I have found myself full circle back at home in the world of fashion, but now with a lifetime of confidence, experience and possibilities at my fingertips. Interestingly enough, my mother, who had persuaded me to step off my path, was the very one who encouraged me to get back on. “You have to do something creative now. It’s time you did something for yourself,” she told me. And so, here I am at Stella, loving it and living it – and laughing at the irony of it all. Life makes so much more sense looking backwards, doesn’t it? And I guess mothers always know best somehow.

In reflection, I have learned along the way that my heart has always known my truth. So my advice: Trust it, and your life will follow your right path.

>> Do you have a story to share? Or some advice for life?

This is just one voice from the Stella Carakasi team: Vivian Dai, Partner & CMO