Category Archives: Fashion


Stephanie Sokol for The Pit

The weather is getting cooler, the wind is picking up and the days are getting shorter. Summer is on its way out—which means it is time for fall fashion.

Fall is one of my favorite times of the year. Sweater weather is amazing – really, who doesn’t enjoy cuddling up in a cozy sweater, with a cup of warm spiced cider and gazing at the leaves changing shades? Transitioning from summer to autumn in style is easier than ever this year, because almost anything goes this season. A few essential, inexpensive pieces create a great wardrobe base that can be personalized with the wearer’s favorite trends.



When worn properly, leggings can be chic and sexy. Pair them with a long sweater and lace-up boots to stay warm and cozy on a cool fall afternoon. Stick to dark hues for versatility, like Vera Wang’s Kohl’s line “Simply Vera” black leggings on sale for $15.99.

A good pair of pants, whether denim or comfy cotton, is essential to any wardrobe. Find the right jeans to flatter your figure. Dark washes in jeans flatter everyone; taller people can wear bell bottoms, while skinny or straight jeans flatter those who are on the shorter side. Old Navy has men’s and women’s comfy jeans for a great price. For young women, The Diva Skinny Ankle Pant, that can be worn dressy or informal, and flatters every figure. Pac Sun also carries cool jeans for guys, in a variety of styles and colors.

There’s nothing more important to a wardrobe than good shoes. You need your feet to work, so keep them comfortable with quality footwear. A good pair of flats, whether a moccasin or embellished leather shoe—is crucial to any young woman’s clothing collection and works well with every outfit, and sometimes investing a little more in this area is advisable. Ann Klein loafers are comfy and provide good foot support, while still keeping the wearer stylish.

Both men and women can benefit from a good quality moccasin. Minnetonka moccasinsare more casual, made from comfy suede available in a variety of colors and styles. Well the shoes aren’t cheap ($30-$45), they last a long time and always give you your money’s worth in wear. Sneakers are also great shoe for everyone; get a nice dark pair for those weekends spent at the apple orchard.

A denim jacket is another necessity for fall weather. Whether you want a

Denim jackets are great for men and women, and can be found in a variety of shades, fits and washes. Photo/Esquire

Denim jackets are great for men and women, and can be found in a variety of shades, fits and washes. Photo/Esquire

dark wash, or colored denim, this item is timeless and works with a variety of looks. Layer it with a dress to add a casual vibe, or pair it with pants to add more structure to a look. Just try to avoid the “denim suit” ensemble.

Thrift stores, like Plato’s Closet or Salvation Army are a great place to find a great jean jacket at an even greater price. If you have the time, check one out, or hit up the clearance rack at your favorite department store. With coupons and savings, I found a purple Jessica Simpson jean jacket marked down to about 70 percent off. Putting in time is rewarding – there’s nothing better than finding an amazing bargain on a quality clothing item.

So as the temperature starts to grow chillier, don’t be left in the cold. These wardrobe essentials help transition, providing a great style start to a new season.


Musician Stewart Francke tells the world “What Makes Me Strong”

Stephanie Sokol for The Oakland Press

Music makes a difference in people’s lives. For musician and Saginaw native Stewart Francke, it saved his life.

In his memoir, “What Don’t Kill Me Just Makes Me Strong,” Francke discusses how music and the Detroit community helped him get through his struggles to

Photo courtesy of Untreed Reads

Photo courtesy of Untreed Reads

come out tougher, dealing with a bone marrow transplant and treatment for leukemia and overcoming drug addiction.

“Music was essential to surviving. Music changed my life and saved my life on many occasions,” Francke said. “When I was 17 and I didn’t know what I wanted to do, music helped me figure that out. Later, it helped me get through the transplant; it saved my life — literally saved my life. It’s that important — music is as essential as breathing.”

Francke has performed on tours with Bob Seger, Sheryl Crow, Eddie Money, Chicago and Hall and Oates.

He was named Most Popular Musician by Hour Detroit from 2002-2004, and won a music Lifetime Achievement Award from the Saginaw County Cultural Arts Commission. Francke also wrote as a music critic for the Metro Times.

Francke was diagnosed with leukemia in 1998.

Throughout the two years following, as he went through treatment and turmoil with the bone marrow transplant, he wrote songs as a way to deal  with the pain, as well as worries that his wife and young children might have to live without him.

During his struggle, he founded the Stewart Francke Leukemia Foundation as a way to help others suffering from the disease.

Concerts and music recordings brought in donations for the cause.

Through fundraising, Francke raised $200,000 to help minorities find bone marrow donors, because the process is expensive and it is difficult to find a match.

“(I chose this cause) because the disparity between Caucasians and minorities is enormous,” Francke said. “It’s so hard to find a match in the donor pool, that it was just calling out to be addressed. Detroit is a great blend of much ethnicity and races, and it was just something that needed to be addressed.”

Francke’s memoir shares his story, with commentary and flashbacks to different parts of his life. He said writing it was a long process, but helped him make sense of the situation.

“(It was) really cathartic to get it all out emotionally, to look at it in a chronological order of how things happened,” Francke said. “At the time, everything feels like chaos — a pandemonium. You don’t know if you’re going to make it from one second to the next. And then you look back on it, and it reads like a novel. Life makes more sense in retrospect.”

While the story itself is strong, Francke also said he is proud it was published eco-friendly as an ebook through Untreed Reads.

He said he wants people to approach his memoir with an open mind and take from it what they want.

“I want them to read it because I think it’s a compelling story, like a soldier that gets close to death,” Francke said.

“The experience helped me get some insight that I wouldn’t have had normally. The story is compelling — both poignant, with moments of great humor, real seriousness and battle.”

Groovy Tie-Dye Flashback Friday

Stephanie Sokol for Stylit

Tie-dye has been around for a long time. Recently making a comeback, the look has been popular around the world for a long time, and started being seen in the United States in the 1950s.

In the mid to late 60s, more people started sporting the style, standing up against the Vietnam War. The trend was a common look among attendees of concert Woodstock Music Festival in 1969.


The festival was the first of its kind, a three-day art and music fair focused on promoting peace, love and happiness in a time of war and change. Tie-dye was warn and sold at Woodstock, in vibrant rainbow colors as well as darker shades.


The trend provided an outlet for rebellion and freedom, worn by people labeled as “hippies” during the groovy decade.

Janis Joplin, a major performer at Woodstock and popular psychedelic rock artist from the late 60s often wore tie dye to her shows.

Janis Joplin at Woodstock no publication after December 31, 2009janisjoplin2 

Janis Joplin

Today, tie dye remains a trend. A tie dye maxi dress is reminiscent of a time of peace promotion. Red and white are more toned down, though still trendy. Accessorize with fringe and feather accessories to take the hippie style even further. Beaded sandals are down to Earth, and work well to tie the look together.


Tie dye dress

Vanessa Hudgens was spotted at Coachella in a 60s style ensemble, sporting a fringy studded crop top and navy tie-dye maxi-skirt. She added extra hippie fashion with a lavender tie-dye headscarf.

Vanessa Hudgens

Elle Fanning wore a red, white and blue tie-dye maxi dress to Met Gala, with a hippie hair style to match the look.


Elle Fanning

Courtesy Photos.

-Stephanie Sokol

Lacey Looks

Stephanie Sokol for Stylit

StyliTips recommends lace for this spring!

The trend can be classic and vintage, or flirtatious and sexy, depending on how itis worn, but it is always feminine and fun.

1. One per look: To wear lace during the day, add one lacy material item to your outfit. A peplum top with a subtle brown lace-printed pant creates a cute and casual look.

LacePeplum2. Keep it subtle: Sometimes, less is more. For a subtle take on the trend, choose an item with lacy trim. A cute white tank and matching skirt with black lace trim makes a sophisticated statement. Glam up with a sparkling hair pin, earrings, a gold cuff and pale pointed heels.

subtlelacelook3. Stick to dark shades: Lace works best in dark hues, like black. When going out on the town, pick out a gorgeous lacy black dress for a sexy style.  Add extra appeal with a pair of peep toe heels. Complete the ensemble with a black and white clutch and adorable bow earrings.


The red carpet was filled with lacy looks at last week’s Cannes Film Festival. Lace added a sense of mystery and sophistication to the gowns.

USA-AUS ONLY Cara Delevingne attends the Opening Ceremony and Premiere of 'The Great Gatsby'

Model Cara Delevingne attended Cannes in a black lace Burberry gown. The look was sexy, and she accessorized with diamonds and red lipstick to accentuate the ensemble without drawing away from the dress.

cheryl cole lace cannes

Television personality and artist Cheryl Cole looked gorgeous on the Cannes red carpet in a lacy burgundy dress. The look was beautiful and oozed Hollywood glamour. Because of the detailing, minimal accessorizing worked well for her.

-Stephanie Sokol

Mix it up

Stephanie Sokol for Stylit

Looking for a chic way to dress up a simple summer outfit? Turn a plain tank and shorts into a more stylish ensemble by adding a blazer to the look.


Blazers are a cute and easy way to update any outfit, and are available in a variety of materials, patterns and colors. Cotton blazers are great for summer, because they are light-weight and cool, while still providing a fashionable feel.

D'usse Cognac Launch Party

Solange Knowles wears a bright yellow blazer and keeps the rest of the look neutral, yet fabulous.

Gray is a great shade, because it is very versatile.

Many celebrities have been seen recently wearing mixed blazers and shorts, because of the versatility and simplicity of the look. When the weather getswarmer, it can seem difficult to be super stylish, but this outfit works, while keeping you cool.

Courtesy Photo

Courtesy Photo

Jamie Chung made her mint shorts and blue handbag the focus of the outfit.

Courtesy Photo

Courtesy Photo
















Hilary Duff was cute and casual at Coachella, sporting an army green blazer with a white top and cut-off jean shorts.

-Stephanie Sokol

Cut it out: An update on the sophisticated classic


Stephanie Sokol for Stylit

There’s nothing like a black evening gown. It’s classy, retro and very versatile. It can be worn simply, with diamond earrings and a bracelet, or with more accessories for a playful look.

While Coco Chanel created the first “little black dress” in 1926, being the first one published in Vogue, Audrey Hepburn brought the iconic look to life.

First little black dress

Courtesy Photo

Courtesy Photo

Coco Chanel little black dress

Courtesy Photo

Courtesy Photo












Known for her role as Holly Go-Lightly in “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” Hepburn helped make it a wardrobe staple for women when the film was released in 1961.  In the film, Hepburn was adorned in diamond jewelry, and giving the look a feeling of decadence.

Courtesy Photo

Courtesy Photo

Audrey Hepburn

Regardless of how the dress is styled, structured black gowns show sophistication. The classic look was updated with the addition of a cut-out style, which shows a little more skin for a sexier look. The trend was popular on the red carpet at Met Gala 2013.

Strappy black high-heeled pumps pair perfectly with the dress, to add height and lengthen the silhouette. Grab a black chiffon wrap, beaded clutch and sunglasses for that Tiffany’s-inspired look.

Courtesy Photo / Stylit

Courtesy Photo / Stylit

Evening gown

Since diamonds are a girl’s best friend, sparkling accessories are a must. Earrings, a bracelet and a ring add instant Hollywood glamour to the ensemble.

When wearing a black dress, it’s good to match your makeup to the look. Keep it simple and stick to black shadow for the lids; curl your lashes and add some black mascara so your eyes pop when the sunglasses come off. If you’re feeling bold, go for the red lipstick –though nude lip color is great with this look.

Actress Carey Mulligan wore a structured cut-out black gown to this year’s Met Gala. While her dress was a bit shorter, she spiced up the look and made it her own with a strappy pump and diamonded bracelet.

Courtesy Photo / Met Gala

Courtesy Photo / Met Gala













Carey Mulligan at Met Gala 2013

-Stephanie Sokol

Minty Sweet Denim

Stephanie Sokol for STYLIT

Want to stand out in the crowd? Get yourself some green jeans! Colored denim continues to be a hot trend this year. The bold look is fun and playful, when done correctly.


When styling colored denim, make the pants the focus piece of the outfit. Be cautious with colorblocking—choose items that are complimentary colors to your vibrant denim.

Mint is a hot color for jeans. The shade is versatile and works with many pieces. Dress them up with a neutral-colored patterned t-shirt and light-weight cardigan. Accessorizing with red shoes and a clutch makes the look stand out, but keep other accessories, like silver earrings, bracelets and sunglasses less focused.


Mint Denim Outfit

Olivia Wilde styled her mint jeans in a simple way. She paired them with a pale pink sweater, layered over a white tank. The look is chic, yet laid back, and the two hues mesh well together without taking away from one another. Black sunglasses, black ankle boots and a brown leather bag pull the look together without taking focus away from the denim.

Olivia Wilde in mint jeans

– Stephanie Sokol