Tag Archives: fashion

Don’t Quit Your Day Job

Dear Rachel Zoe,

Don’t quit your day job! It looks like you are a better stylist than a designer. Your strength lies in creating jaw dropping outfits using pieces created by other designers not in creating outfits out of thin air.

I just flipped through Rachel Zoe’s debut collection look book and I was far from impressed. Don’t get me wrong, there are some very cute outfits but like other celebrity clothing lines, nothing in the look book screams new, innovative, modern or anything that can’t be found at a much lower price in stores like Ann Taylor, Banana Republic, Nordstrom or White House Black Market. Maybe Rachel should take a page out of her protege Nicole Richie’s design notebook; Nicole’s Winter Kate collection is far and away more unique and innovative.

Don’t feel too sad for Rachel Zoe, she still has her amazing stylist career, a tv show, a QVC collection, a website and pretty much anything else she slaps her name on but designer isn’t really something she should add to her resume! I expected her debut collection to be over the top, glamorous and just more.

My favorite looks:

Yuck Looks: (They look cheap!)

Looks like something off a junior store sale rack and worn to a middle school dance:

Ruffles, been there, done that:

No, No and No:

What do you think? Like it or no?

 

 

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Waiting For Sweater Weather

The leaves on the trees are changing to brilliant shades of yellow, red and orange, pumpkins and mums have appeared on porches, stores are stocking their racks full of chic coats and cozy sweaters and temperatures outside are in the balmy 70’s and 80’s. It seems fall is moving forward without it’s signature cold, crisp air and I am stuck looking forlornly at my new tweed blazer and favorite cashmere cardigans as once again I pull on a short sleeve blouse. So while I am waiting on sweater weather I figured I would share some tips on keeping your sweaters looking new longer, courtesy of Shine from Yahoo.
1. Fold never hang your sweaters.

Gravity is not a friend to sweaters as it can pull apart the fibers and alter the shape of your knits over time. Hangers and hooks can especially misshape the sleeves, shoulders, and necklines. Fold your sweaters and store them in wood, canvas, or cardboard containers so they have access to air but not moths. This way you’ll be able to preserve their shape and fresh smell with fewer washes.

2. Take a de-piller to the fabric regularly.

Nothing takes a sweater from chic to shabby like the appearance of “pills,” or tiny fabric balls, that collect on the garment due to friction. Fortunately they can easily be removed by hand or by using an electric shaver or sweater stone, which basically exfoliates the fabric, making it appear smooth and new again. Don’t have any of those? Try a hairbrush (carefully) or a comb!

3. Protect your sweaters from moths.

Moths love to eat wool, the primary material in most sweaters. Luckily, the aroma of cedar is a natural, sweet-smelling deterrent. To prevent these pests from making meals out of your clothes, line your storage areas with cedar wood or throw cedar balls in your drawers.

4. Never wait to do repairs.

Once a button comes loose or a small tear appears in your woven fabric, the garment is at risk of unraveling, or at least for the hole becoming unmanageably large.  Most sweaters come with extra thread for minor repairs, so be sure to patch any holes as soon as possible.

5. Clean infrequently and with care.

Much like denim, sweaters should not be washed after every wear if you want to keep them looking straight-from-the-store new for longer. To keep your sweater from requiring frequent cleanings, wear a cotton shirt underneath it so your body oils don’t come in direct contact with the garment.  Also, some newer washing machine models have settings for wool and delicates, which are gentle enough for the woven fibers of your sweater. But in order to be absolutely sure you won’t shrink or damage your favorite piece, it’s always better to hand wash it or take it to a dry cleaner. To wash by hand, fill the sink with cold water (hot or warm water increases the potential for shrinkage), add a small amount of detergent formulated for delicates, and let the sweater soak. If you need to remove stains, gently rub the sweater against itself until the stain dissolves. When drying, never hang the sweater. Instead lay it on a towel and change its position frequently to ensure it dries evenly.

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What To Wear: Halloween

Halloween is just around the corner and now is the time to start thinking about your costume. Instead of spending your hard earned dollars on overpriced, mass produced, ill-fitting, cheap and sleazy looking costumes that come in clear plastic bags opt for one of these stunning looks.

Sephora has put together make-up kits for 4 different amazing looks, Vampire, Sexy Kitten, Devil and Peacock. Each kit contains everything you need to create the look including step by step instructions as well as videos on their website that show you exactly how to create these fabulous looks. Then finish off your look with an amazing cocktail dress that you already own or buy a new one that you can wear during the holidays, because you know you will never wear that vixen pirate wench costume again. You end up with great makeup and a dress that you can get more than one use out of, a total win-win!

Jump on the Twilight bandwagon and channel a gorgeous vampire with the Sephora Beauty In A Box Vampire kit and BCBG’s goth yet sweet tulle one shoulder dress, available at www.shopbop.com.

Go sweet for Halloween with the Sephora Beauty In A Box Sexy Kitten kit and this pale pink, silk chiffon tutu dress by Rebecca Taylor, dress available at www.shopbop.com.

Feeling a little wicked for Halloween? Look be-deviling with Sephora’s Beauty In A Box Devil kit and a wickedly stylish silver sequin dress, available at www.shoptwigs.com. Don’t forget naughty red heels from Stuart Weitzman, available at www.zappos.com.

Get glamorous for Halloween with Sephora’s Beauty In A Box Peacock kit and Nanette Lepore’s mosaic velvet dress, available at www.shoptwigs.com. If the peacock feathers on the face are too much for you, just tuck a few feathers into a chic ponytail or updo, peacock feathers available at local craft stores or online at www.featherplace.com.

 

 

 

 

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Higher Ground

The other day I had a bit of a fashion temper tantrum. You know, it was one of those days, where nothing I put on looked or felt great. My jeans, in particular, took the brunt of my tantrum ending up despised and sprawled all over my floor.

I think the day finally came when I decided I had finally had it with low rise jeans. I was sick of them squeezing me in the wrong places and having to constantly pull them up every time I sat down. It seemed all I did was pull them up and pull my shirt down when I was wearing them.

Right then and there I decided to get online and order new “higher” rise jeans. I took the lone pair of jeans that made the cut and measured them to see what rise I actually wanted in my new jeans and compared that to different styles. I settled on three pairs that I absolutely love, they are all super comfy and stylish!

Paige Hidden Hills: Bootcut (they also come in a straight and skinny leg), 9in rise, wider waistband, the higher rise sister to Paige’s ever popular Hollywood Hills

Paige Rising Glen: Straight Leg, 9.5in rise, body contouring (translation: figure flattering)

AG Mid-Rise Angel: Bootcut, 9in rise, soft denim, based on the great fitting AG Angel jean

FYI How To Measure The Rise Of Jeans

Measure the distance from the crotch seam to the top of the front waistband.

 

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Shoe Week ~ Giddy Up

Flat riding-inspired boots are super hot for fall and make for an easy to wear, very fashionable partner for skinny jeans and leggings. I am especially in love with these riding boots since they so closely mirror the actual boots I ride in. There are so many great styles to choose from or you can go authentic and buy a real pair of riding boots. Here are a few of my favorites:

Go authentic with real riding boots, I am a fan of the Ariat Challenge II Field Boot, available online at www.smartpakequine.com.

Cole Haan always has the best boots and this season is no different, there are way too many gorgeous styles to choose from. Available online at www.colehaan.com.

Piperlime has a whole section devoted to riding boots, here are some of the best styles. Available online at www.piperlime.com.

These Charles David riding boots look like real riding boots. Available at www.shopbop.com.

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High Volume

I have blogged before about various products I have used to gain full volume in my very straight, very fine hair and for the most part no product has worked perfectly in helping me achieve the high volume I crave. I am always on the lookout for new products that promise thicker, fuller hair. I recently tried Living Proof’s Full Thickening Cream and Hold Flexible Hairspray.

A little background on Living Proof: The company was founded by Polaris Venture Partners, one of the most successful venture capital firms in the world, and a team of scientists, including Dr. Bob Langer, an institute professor at MIT and one of history’s most prolific investors in medicine. This world-class ensemble allows Living Proof to look at everyday concerns from a completely unique, fresh perspective and thus create beauty products from a very scientific standpoint.

I figured if anybody could figure out how to give hair oumph, it would be MIT scientists, plus they had rave reviews with their line of No Frizz products.

Full Thickening Cream allows thin, fine hair to act like thick hair by depositing thickening points on hair strands, creating a thicker surface that enables fine hair to have natural movement and bounce, beautiful shape, and volume throughout the day. It has a creamy, non sticky texture that you run through your hair while wet and then style with a blow dryer. It did give my hair significant lift while maintaining shine and softness but toward the end of the day it started to fall and felt a little sticky. All in all not bad and certainly better than any other volumizers I have used before.

After styling my hair using the Full Thickening Cream I spritzed it with Hold Flexible Hairspray. Hold Flexible Hairspray is supposed to give amazing hold, add shine, block humidity and protect your style. I must say it did do all those things, but after a few sprays you won’t be able to run your fingers through your hair. It made my hair very sticky and hard, but held my cropped bob in place. It is the perfect product for creating female news anchor helmut hair but not necessarily for me, I will stick with L’Oreal Elnett Hairspray.

If you seek rich, voluminous hair then I would suggest buying the travel size of Living Proof’s Full Thickening Cream but leave the Hold Flexible Hairspray on the shelf. Both available at www.sephora.com.

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Leggings For All

I work part-time at a clothing store (because I am a glutton for punishment and actually miss retail) and yesterday while I was working I had an older woman (late 50’s early 60’s) ask me if we carried the leggings I was wearing. Lucky for me I was actually wearing a cropped lace trimmed pair from the store, I had paired them with a Michael Stars loose tank dress, a Splendid long, drapey cardigan and jeweled flip flops. It was a very comfy, very casual yet still trendy look.

After showing this customer the leggings she made the comment that she was probably too old to wear leggings. Which I found to be shocking because I believe that no one is too old to wear leggings. If worn properly anyone and everyone can wear them, no matter your age or shape.

Yes, they are form fitting which can be a bit tricky when compared to pants but they look great when worn under skirts, dresses, tunics and long belted sweaters and jackets. Just keep in mind they are snug on the bottom but as long as you keep the bottom covered they are less revealing than wearing a knee length skirt and a dark black pair can elongate and slim the look of your legs.

Keep these four rules in mind when buying and wearing leggings and remember anyone can wear leggings:

1. Thick, unshiny fabrics like double knits don’t show bulges.

2. Layering is crucial. Think of leggings as tights rather than pants; put them under skirts, dresses, or tunics.

3. Longer tops (at least to midthigh) camouflage tush, stomach, and hips.

4. Leggings can look tacky with the wrong footwear. I prefer flats, boots, or a low heel.

Great examples of how to wear leggings for all ages:

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What To Wear: Outdoor BBQ Birthday Party

I have come to realize I am an event driven shopper, while I love to shop and am constantly looking for great items, I really kick it in gear when I have somewhere to go. This being said, I really look at clothes in a “what would I wear this to” way instead of a “wow, that is pretty, I must have it” way. So, I decided to start a new feature on this blog called What To Wear (fittingly that was the name of my clothing store). In each What To Wear section I will put outfits together for a variety of events with links for each item so you can click on to buy, shopping made simple!

My first What To Wear feature centers around the perfect outfit for an outdoor barbeque birthday party (which I just had this weekend for my husband’s birthday), or pretty much any casual summer get together.

Start your outfit with this gorgeous peach, silver and gold brocade party top from J Crew. I bought it in the blush stone but it also comes in cobblestone (featured on the model). It’s silky, luminescent fabric elegantly states party.

Then add this casual pair of Joe’s Jeans cuffed capris to dress down the top, so it says pretty but relaxed.

Next add these Yellow Box gold, jeweled flip flops to mirror the gold on the top while sticking to the casual vibe.

Top it off with this gold and pearl bracelet from J Crew and simple pearl stud earrings.

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Novel Idea

Kate Spade has introduced a highly collectible and covetable collection of clutches that look like vintage novels. Their in-house design team created beautiful book covers to decorate each clutch, capturing the true spirit of each novel while also making a beautiful purse. They started the collection with three fitting titles with the promise of more to come, like a fashionable book of the month club. Choose from The Great Gatsby (one of my all time favorite books, I even have a dog named Gatsby), Great Expectations and The Importance of Being Earnest. Surprisingly lovely and unique. Available online at www.katespade.com.

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Pretty Please

Stores are starting to push their summer sale merchandise aside to allow room for a smattering of new fall-ish merchandise. I couldn’t be more excited after a ho-hum spring/summer fashion season for new exciting fall clothing. One of my favorite stores, White House Black Market, has just introduced their first hit of fall and I am seriously in love with this very pretty, very elegant dress.

I am staunchly in the camp that believes fashion should, first and foremost, be pretty and flattering to the wearer. This dress is the epitome of pretty and it’s cinched in waist, swingy skirt and ruffled collar will render every wearer seriously elegant. I am hoping that this dress is the start of many beautiful things to wear now and later as fall approaches. I am over the mannish, overly big and edgy looks that dominated summer wear, bring on the pretty! Ruffle Chemise available at www.whitehouseblackmarket.com.

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