Spring Fashion Training

Three local fashionistas dish on proper ensembles for four different scenarios.

Photos by Katelyn Rose Petraitis


Spring’s arrival in Pittsburgh generally poses exciting wardrobe challenges. Out go the heavy sweaters, jewel-toned tops and woolen coats in favor of pastels, lighter-weight jackets and a sunnier outlook. Still, you must be prepared not only for the varying temperatures of this transitional season but also to welcome new trends into your wardrobe. We poll three Pittsburgh fashion experts for their tips on what to wear for an important meeting, date night, brunch and to the big game.


Signature Stylist

Terra McBride
Age: 35

What she's wearing for date night (above):
“Ski” Striped Dress, by Skinny Bunny [Pavement, $54]
Pointed High-heel Court Shoe with Ankle Strap, by Zara [Zara, $99.90]
Studded Clutch Wallet, by Deux Lux [Jules, $95]
Horseshoe Necklace in Gold, by Dogeared [Jules, $58]

Signature Piece: “I have to say the one piece in my wardrobe that seems to embody power, sex appeal, comfort and ease is the wrap dress.”

Fashion Gravitas: McBride ran the Pittsburgh-based blog “Stylish White Female” for nearly four years. Last year she hung up her blogging hat to start a new job as marketing manager for Fragasso Financial Advisors. This career change catalyzed a change in her personal style.

“I generally don’t like rules when it comes to fashion,” she says. Now that she’s working in a business environment, she says she’s following more specific guidelines: cleaner lines, impeccable foundations and more conservative colors and prints.

“I like the challenge,” she says.

You still can get your fix of McBride’s signature style on Instagram: @spicymeatball.

Tips for Dressing in Transitional Weather: McBride suggests mastering the art of the layer. “Practice in your closet,” she says. “Try different combinations until you find what works for you.”

She has another hint for the spring months: Keep wearing boots. Tall boots in the springtime can help you stay warm without wearing tights.

Spring Trend She’s Looking Forward to: New shapes. She’s looking for interesting tailoring of basic garments.

Terra Suggests:

Signature Blazer, by Maison Scotch [Jules, $189]
Embroidered Blouse with High Collar, by Zara [Zara, $79.90]
Trousers with Faux-Leather Stripe, by Zara [Zara, $59.90]
“Clarence New” Green Cube-Heeled Shoes, by Faith [ASOS, $112.91] (pictured above)
Black Rock-out Studs, by House of Harlow [Jules, $30]
“Legacy” Hobo Bag, by Botkier [Jules, $545]

Scarf-print Wrap Romper, by ark & co. [Jupe Boutique, $72]
“Envy” Leather Ankle Boots, by ASOS [ASOS, $122.32] (shown above)
“Kelsey” Necklace in Rose Gold, by Shashi [Jules, $80]
Small Crystal Necklace, by redraven [Pavement, $88]
Arrow Ring in Gold, by Dogeared [Jules, $38]

Pittsburgh T-Shirt, by Neighbor Teaze [Jupe Boutique, $36] (pictured above)
High-waist Jeans, by Kan Can [Pavement, $58]
“JSH Saloon” Booties, by JShoes [Pavement, $190]
“Peace” Bag, by Luna Jaze [Jules, $95]
Skull Bracelet with Pearls, by Shashi [Jules, $60]


The Stylish Designer

Kiya Tomlin
Age: 40


What she's wearing for the big game (above):
Sweatshirt dress, by Kiya Tomlin [Victoria Fox Chapel, $238]
Leather-and-canvas wedge sneakers, by Chloé [Saks Fifth Avenue, $895]
Scarf [Nordstrom, no longer available]

Signature Piece: Over-the-knee boots. “They instantly make an outfit hot.”

Fashion Gravitas: Tomlin has been sewing since she was a young woman. She was too small to shop anywhere but the little girls’ section in department stores, so she started creating her own looks. The first garment she made was a jumpsuit. Today she’s creating custom dresses from casual to couture at her East End clothing design business.

Tips for Dressing in Transitional Weather: “I really just believe in layering,” Tomlin says. “If you want to be fashionable, pay attention to the styling in magazines and how you can adapt [the trend] to what you already have in your closet.”

Tomlin suggests keeping an eye on proportions on the runway and in magazines. Investing in classic pieces that will function well at different lengths and with various accessories keeps you looking timeless yet current.

She also advocates accessorizing with shoes, hats and scarves that can spruce up your basics.

Spring Trend She’s Looking Forward to: When the ground begins to thaw, Tomlin looks to pastel colors, specifically pink, and collared shirts. Think crisp and fresh fabrics in lighter hues.


Kiya Suggests:

Leather-and-ponte-knit jacket, by Elizabeth and James [Neiman Marcus, $208]
Custom cropped ponte-knit cigarette pants, by Kiya Tomlin [Kiya Tomlin, price varies]
“ChickieDickie” cuffs and collar, by Kiya Tomlin [Kiya Tomlin, $65 / $88]
Two-tone artisan pâte de verre glass cufflinks, by Ike Behar [myhabit.com, $109]
“Anastasia” black python-print pumps, by Emy Mack [Emy Mack, $475] (pictured above)

High-waist pleated chiffon pants, by Rachel Zoe [From her closet, no longer available]
Custom open-back crop top, by Kiya Tomlin [Kiya Tomlin, price varies]
Crocodile pumps, by Dolce & Gabbana [therealreal.com, price no longer available]
Hammered-gold cuff, by Sandra Cadavid [sandracadavid.com, $149] (pictured above)
“Sophia” clutch, by Sandra Cadavid [Victoria Fox Chapel, $525]

Silk-print “Hot Butter” blouse, by Kiya Tomlin [Kiya Tomlin, $275]
Jeggings, by Mossimo [Target, $27.99]
“Jerrell” fawn leather booties, by Vince Camuto [Nordstrom, price no longer available] (pictured above)


The Retail Maven

E.B. Pepper
Age: 50-ish

What's she's wearing for brunch with the girls (above):
Zip-front Jacket with Pink Tweed Boucle Fabric, by Calvin Rucker [e.b. Pepper, $348]
High-low Powder-pink Woven-silk Pullover Top, by Elizabeth and James [e.b. Pepper, $295]
Jeans with Leather Bottom, by J Brand [e.b. Pepper, $324]
“Kinsey” Leather Ankle Booties, by Rag & Bone [Nordstrom, $595]

Signature Piece: “I love leather jackets. I kind of collect them.”

Fashion Gravitas: Pepper has been a part of the Pittsburgh boutique fashion scene since the ’70s. After she graduated from college, she was hired as a buyer at Scoop, Pittsburgh’s first co-ed boutique. After eight years at Scoop followed by three with the Joseph Horne Co. department store, she opened her own boutique on Walnut Street in Shadyside; e.b. Pepper has been in business for 27 years. In September, Pepper was inducted into the Pittsburgh Fashion Hall of Fame.

Tips for Dressing in Transitional Weather: “Transition to me always means black,” Pepper says. “You wear black and white, no matter the season. Throw in a scarf or belt with colors.”

Spring trend she’s looking forward to: “I love color and print,” says Pepper. “The season’s changing, flowers are coming up, trees are coming out — everyone wants to wear something airy and colorful and happy.”

She suggests a key piece for this spring will be floral-printed, cropped, silk pants.

Another trend to anticipate: cutout tops that reveal just a hint of midriff. “Everyone can adjust that to her own style,” she points out. “That’s going to be the trick of spring — what you can wear with cutouts in a place that makes you look great.”


E.B. Suggests:

Indigo Stretch-denim Body Dress, by Yoana Baraschi [e.b. Pepper, $328]
Indigo Stretch-denim Officer’s Jacket, by Yoana Baraschi [e.b. Pepper, $350] (pictured above)
Burgundy Embossed “Croco” Medium Tote, by Let & Her [Yeni, $700]

Swirl Scarf Skirt, by Clover Canyon [e.b. Pepper, $220] (pictured above)
Black Eco-leather, Sleeveless Scoop-neck “Janet” Top, by Bailey 44 [e.b. Pepper, $205]
Stainless Steel Tahitian Pearl Necklace with Pave Diamonds, by LizaBeth [Yeni, $2,050]
VC Signature “Velmah” Leather Booties, by Vince Camuto [Nordstrom, $250]

Old Pair of Jeans
Steelers Sweatshirt
Nike Tennis Shoes


Watch This: Shopping with blogger @spicymeatball

Categories: From the Magazine, Style