19 High Voltage Ways to Inject a “Pop” of Color into Your Winter Wardrobe
Enough is enough. Between the waning sunlight, shorter days and the downright Arctic temperatures (okay, maybe we’re exaggerating a bit on that last one), a case of the winter mehs is already starting to set in. But, chin up, there’s still hope yet! True to form, once you start thinking warmer thoughts (hello, Bermuda sunshine!) and subbing in “super brights” for a palette of blasé neutrals, it’ll only be a matter of time before your hatred toward winter turns into mutual respect. Instead of dreading your blustery morning commutes, you’ll come to appreciate the breath of fresh air that it brings, and the opportunity to whip out your cheekiest cold weather accessories and longline coats. Now’s the time to ditch your depressing all-black-errthang uniform for an uplifting wardrobe of fluorescent hues — think cherry red, citrus yellow, chartreuse and aqua blue, just to name a few — that can be spotted at least a mile away. Ahead, we’ve compiled 19 bright and punchy statement pieces that are more than deserving of a spot in your colorful capsule wardrobe.
1. Free People Super Slouch Beanie ($28): It’s one of the first things you reach for before braving the cold or hitting the slopes. If you guessed an extra-slouchy ribbed beanie, then you’re already a step ahead of the sartorial curve. Just as moon boots are non-negotiable during a blizzard, a fluorescent green beanie is practically a no-brainer come the first polar vortex of the season. For maximum impact, pair it alongside a leopard print coat and leather pants.
2. Golden Ponies Pastel Raincoat ($60): Rain, rain, come again: This pastel color-block raincoat will make you *actually* look forward to the prospect of rainy days. Armed with your favorite wellies and a cheeky umbrella, it’ll banish a case of the rainy-day blues before they even surface. We’re partial to the contrasting rubber ducky yellow pockets and hood that call for a little splish, splash action — puddle jumping may be one of your specialties yet.
3. Free People Sparkler Wrap Mule ($148): Found it. Between a bevy of seasonal fêtes and New Year’s Eve countdowns, you’re going to need a pair of glitter-flecked suede mules on standby. These lace-up magenta beauties definitely aren’t too shabby, especially once it comes time to dance the night away in your glitziest drop-waist dress. But don’t be mistaken — they’ll look just as at home with a streamlined turtleneck, raw-hem stilt-leg jeans and a fuzzy topper.
4. J.Crew Zippered Coat in Stadium-Cloth ($365): Guard your wallets: If history repeats itself, then you’ll be forking over the moolah for this covetable chartreuse stadium coat in about 2.5 seconds. It’s that good. You have free rein to parade it around town with vibrant suede lilac heels and a bright orange clutch in tow. Sign us up, please.
5. The Cambridge Satchel Company The 11 Inch Melissa x CSC Satchel ($140): Color chameleons, come through! Just as your clothes deserve a dose of color splash, so do your #AOTD (accessories of the day). In lieu of neon-colored knits (been there, done that), try your hand at this sleek aqua satchel that’s made for girls on the go. Team it alongside a Kelly Green coat, banana yellow trousers or even an unassuming khaki trench for an unstoppable look that means business.
6. Free People Isle of Sky Pullover ($228): Chunky knit pullovers make the world go ‘round, amirite? This fuzzy fiesta red sweater has holiday bash written all over it (although it could certainly double for a Netflix-powered weekend). Style it with a sequined mini skirt or cropped denim flares and velvet ankle booties for a head-turning look. Pro tip: Nonchalantly tuck your hair into the turtleneck for a getup that says “trying, but not trying too hard, thanks.”
7. Silence + Noise Ally Neon Chunky Cardigan ($98): Common consensus says we ALL need a stay-at-home knit cardigan with this much staying power. The photos don’t do it justice — that shade of neon pink won’t be going undetected during your morning commute anytime soon. Style it with an oversized t-shirt and high-performance leggings for a lounge-worthy look, before upping the wow factor with a shimmery sequined dress and Doc Martens come the p.m.
8. J.Crew Abstract Crystal Bee Earrings ($25): Obsessed would be an understatement. From working the reception desk at your nine-to-five to brunching uptown in your Sunday best, these brilliantly hued crystal earrings are guaranteed to keep a case of the outfit blahs away — think of them as the exclamation point to every #OOTD.
9. Urban Outfitters Neon PVC Belt ($15): Our advice when it comes to introducing a slew of fluorescents into your wardrobe of dark clothing? Take baby steps, starting with this neon yellow PVC belt that will lend just the right amount of look-at-me appeal to a sheer maxi dress or plain ol’ denim. ’90s babes, have at it!
10. J.Crew Pintucked Pencil Skirt in Lace ($98): Why yes, come to think of it, your boardroom uniform could use a little color play. Ditch the snoozy black slacks and crisp white button-downs for this ultra-femme grassy green lace skirt that will take you from desk to drinks. Round out your HR-approved look with nude ankle-strap steppers, a chambray shirt (cuffed sleeves done the Jenna Lyons way, natch) and dazzling chandelier earrings for a getup that reads HBIC.
11. Zara Knit Sweatshirt ($50): This double-tap-worthy highlighter yellow sweatshirt has us literally jumping for joy. If you ask us, it’s ‘bout time your wardrobe of strictly winter whites received some company in the form of a mood-enhancing outer layer that can stand on its own. *Adds to cart without hesitation.*
12. Privileged Rainier Glitter Heel ($128): Introducing the unicorn of going-out shoes: These star-studded glitter heels featuring a colorful faux fur pom (YAS) would be perf for a Vegas-themed bachelorette party, a late-night bar crawl or even date night. All that’s missing is a sequined bodysuit and leather pants for an OTT look that would do Lady Gaga proud.
13. Zara Neon Yellow Gloves ($30): Ski season is upon us, people! You best believe a pair of these neon yellow all-weather gloves will hold you down when out shoveling snow or walking your pooch around the block. They may not be the most stylish pair, but they sure are Snowmageddon-approved — proceed to pair alongside your puffiest puffer and ugly-pretty moon boots.
14. J.O.A. Cobalt Long Coat ($121): You say cobalt, we say cerulean. Either way, we’re pretty sure Miranda Priestly would be on board when it comes to test-driving this statement-making azul overcoat on the streets. The relaxed menswear style can be pared down with rolled-up boyfriend jeans and mid-heel ankle boots or elevated with a swishy accordion-pleat skirt come dusk. Your move.
15. Free People What a Flirt Sweater Set ($148): Cute and snuggly doesn’t even begin to cut it — this is what you toss on when you’re looking to add some variety to your date-night look. Perfect for cozying up by the fire with your boo (and a cuppa hot chocolate), this two-piece knit sweater set will hold you down all winter long. The eccentric coral and electric blue stripes would look best complemented by a longline puffer jacket and citron-hued mittens.
16. Urban Renewal Vintage Overdyed Surplus Jogger Pant ($39): For days when you’re low-key bummin’ it, you can rest easy knowing you’re doing so in style. (Hey, if Juicy tracksuits were acceptable in the early ‘00s, then these drawstring joggers should fit the bill just fine.) Plus, the turquoise hue will have you garnering all the compliments from random passersby post-SoulCycle sesh. You already know monochromatic kicks are in order.
17. Scotch & Soda Faux Fur Collared Jacket ($295): You, blend in with the crowd? Puh-lease. Not for the overly modest, this gem of a topper puts the “P” in pizzazz. Everything from the retro plaid print to the funky faux fur tangerine collar will earn you style MVP status. Top it over your go-to sequined party dress or team it with your favorite knitwear for a wintry look.
18. Sophie Hulme Milner Nano Leather Shoulder Bag ($365): Hello, gorgeous! We’re pretty sure it’s impossible to feel blue when your pint-sized crossbody bag packs this much panache. The striking neon yellow hue will add a much-needed pop to your beloved camel coat and play well with a set of multi-striped mittens and scarves. Can you say style goals on goals on goals?
19. ASOS H! by Henry Holland Holland Long Sleeve Sweatshirt ($49): You could say we’re tickled pink with this girly crew sweatshirt featuring fancy metallic lettering. Not only will it make a coffee-fueled work sesh from home infinitely more bearable, but it’s just the thing to toss on when you’ve got last-minute errands to run across town. Heading to the laundromat in your weekend threads (and off-duty kicks) has never looked so chic.
Which of these fluorescent pieces will you be adding to your winter wardrobe? Follow us on Pinterest for more colorful style inspo!
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Welcome to Selfmade Finance School, our new money series with Block Advisors to help small business owners with their tax, bookkeeping, and payroll needs year-round. This week, we explore the tax implications of bringing family members into your business.
The question for today is this: Does hiring your family members make sense for your business? Let me be clear. This is not a piece about whether hiring your family members makes sense for your relationships with those family members. As someone who is part of a family business, I could fill up a lot more than 600 words on my opinions about that. For today's purposes, we focus on whether it makes sense from an overall "good business and tax implication" perspective. As it turns out, there is a decent amount of tax nuance when it comes to employing your family. Let's break it down based on relationship to the employee:
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Spouses Who Are In Business Together
Personally, if I had to be in business with my husband, it would not go well. However, many couples build viable, strong businesses together and I say, good for them! Depending on how you have your business entity structured, it will make a big difference on the tax treatment of you and your spouse working as partners. Because a business jointly owned and operated by a married couple is generally treated as a partnership for Federal tax purposes, the spouses must comply with filing and record keeping requirements imposed on partnerships and their partners. The election to file two Schedule C (Form 1040) forms, (one for each spouse) permits certain married co-owners to avoid filing partnership returns, provided that each spouse separately reports a share of all the businesses' items of income, gain, loss, deduction, and credit. Under the election, both spouses will be subject to self-employment tax and on net earnings from self-employment and receive credit for Social Security earnings.
One Spouse Employs Another
If you have a dynamic where your spouse is an employee of your business, then your spouse's wages are subject to income tax withholding, Social Security and Medicare taxes. If you are self-employed (not a corporation or a partnership), your spouse's pay does not have to be included in your federal unemployment tax account (FUTA) contributions and payments. However, if your business is a corporation or a partnership you must include that spouse's pay in your unemployment tax contribution calculation.
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You Employ Your Child
First, let's be clear. I work in my family business, but I am an adult, so I am treated just like a normal employee. However, if you, for example, run a family restaurant and want to hire your children under 18 to work for you, there are some tax benefits. But first, you should check with your state for rules on how many hours minors can work (in non-agricultural jobs) and reference the Fair Labor Standards Act for information on limitations on the kinds of work children can perform.
"This is an often overlooked or under-utilized strategy. Paying your children for true services they provide in your business can be a powerful tax-saving tool," says Cathi Reed, Block Advisors Regional Director. "If you are a sole-proprietorship or single member LLC, and the child is less than 18 years of age, the business is not required to withhold FICA or payroll taxes. The child can use his or her standard deduction against income you pay."
You Hire Your Parent
Oh dear. If you are brave enough to do this, know that you will need to pay Social Security and Medicare taxes on your parent's wages and make the appropriate withholdings, but you don't have to pay unemployment taxes. Now all you have to do is convince your parent that you are the boss. Have fun with that!
Is Hiring Family Members Worth It For The Tax Benefits?
"There are some positive tax advantages to hiring family members. It's important to treat a family member like any other employee. Hiring your children can result in substantial savings for businesses. Make sure your child has real, age-appropriate work to do and a reasonable pay rate, comparable to other employees. Consult with a Block Advisors small business certified tax pro to ensure that you are complying with all requirements," advises Reed. "Block Advisors, a team within H&R Block, is dedicated to meeting the tax, bookkeeping and payroll needs of small business owners year-round. To start working with the tax experts at Block Advisors, visit blockadvisors.com."
In my opinion, you should not hire a family member solely because of the tax benefits. You should always hire based on whether that person is right for the job and keep in mind how this hire could materially impact your relationship with that person and others in your family. Finally, as I mentioned, make sure you have a tax professional on your team when making these determinations. As you can see, things can get a little tricky!
*All details were sourced from IRS.gov and blockadvisors.com