Archive for the 'Fashion Tips' Category

A Little Monogram In Your Life . . .

 

I’m a sucker for just about anything with my name or initials on it.  I think it stems from growing up in an era where everyone had simple names like Lisa, Jane and Amy and I had a name no one could pronounce much less spell properly.  My name was NEVER EVER on a key chain or license plate at places like SeaWorld and Disneyland.  I was lucky to find the letter “K”.  I think as a means of compensation, my mom got whatever she could monogrammed for me.  I had book bags, jackets, sweaters and overnight bags with my name emblazoned on them.  While as an adult I’m happy to have a such a unique name, I’m still in love with the idea of monogramming whatever I can get my hands on.  So, while I haven’t pulled the trigger on one of Louis Vuitton’s Mon Monogram specialities, I do go to their website from time-to-time and play around with the colors, stripe options and various initial combinations trying to figure out which I would get if I were going to buy a new Speedy bag or get a Neverfull.  What color combo would you go for?  I’m partial to purple and orange ….  

Grown & Sewn

Denim + Khaki = KAX, Grown & Sewn’s denim khaki hybrid made right here in the U.S. of A.  I discovered this gem a few months ago.  And I must say, Grown & Sewn has taken khaki’s to a whole ‘nother level.  Gone are the days of fellas looking uber preppy in their khaki’s (yes, Grown & Sewn is just for men); not that there’s anything wrong with looking uber preppy … I’m just saying that if you want to look uber cool in your khaki’s, KAX by Grown & Sewn might be the grown up version of the khaki to don.  These puppies are not cheap, prices start at $195 and go up from there, but they’re durable, 100% cotton, come in 5 different colors and are made to last. They’re an updated twist on a classic; I’m sure they would make James Dean proud.  So, fellas if you’re looking to diversify the casual Friday or weekend wardrobe, check out Grown & Sewn either online, at their shop in Tribeca or at Barney’s.  And ladies, if you’re looking for a unique gift for one of the guys in your life Grown & Sewn might be the answer.

Happy Shopping!

reFINEstyle!

I discovered reFINEstyle last year.  My finger was definitely on the pulse because now it’s been “discovered” by the likes of InStyle, People StyleWatch, Teen Vogue, The Coveteur and even made an appearance on Good Morning America!  So, what exactly is reFINEstyle.com?  Well, let me refresh your memory … reFINEstyle.com is an online marketplace of gently used designer fashion and accessories. It’s the nation’s only curated collection of designer consignment available online, culled from the most reputable consignment venues across the country. What’s cool about it is that the lovely ladies behind it have taken the time to gather a fabulous collection of gently used luxury designer clothes and accessories for couture lovers at amazing prices. So, if you’re looking for something designer and new (to you) to round out your wardrobe, but don’t want to pay retail prices reFINEstyle might be for you.  Designer duds at discount prices and all from the convenience of your laptop! Click here to check it out. Trust me, your bank account will thank me.

2011 Fall Must-Haves!

Now that Fashion Week is over and the dust is beginning to settle, I’ve had a chance to think about the items I’d like to add to my wardrobe this Fall.  While there’s sooooo much to choose from, I’m adopting a Keep It Simple Stupid attitude and baring things down to the essentials.  I took a minute to think about what looks good on me and my personal style (incase you’ve forgotten, I’m a Disco Diva at heart!) – so while there’s lots of beautiful stuff to choose from . . . I’ve chosen classic items with a hint of 70s flare to round out my wardrobe this Fall.  What about you, what are you fiending for this season?

Fendi Top Handle Pony Hair Bag; Theory Poncho; Lanvin Court Shoes; Lanvin Leather Wedge Boots; and Theory Fox Fur Coat.

Embrace Your Inner Prepster

Stubbs & Wootton slippers are staples in the wardrobes of preppy fashionistas from the UES (the Upper East Side in Manhattan) to Nantucket and Southern Belles in states like D.C., Virginia, the Carolinas and Texas.  And now, they’re staples in the wardrobes of rappers like Kanye West (he spied them on a Yale undergraduate student at Barneys who he ended up hiring as one of his fashion coterie. Yes, he did!). If you don’t remember the lessons imparted by The Preppy Handbook or are too young to have memorized its dictates from cover to cover, what makes Muffy, Buffy, Biff and them preppy is that everything they do and wear and are about comes from old money. Although Stubbs & Wootton has only been around since 1993, somehow Percy Steinhart, the mastermind behind S&W, has been able to carve out a niche in the prepster world that makes owning the obligatory pair of his witty velvet slippers de regieur.  Now, if shelling out $400 – $600 (the Bespoke line where you get to choose each element of the slipper) is a little rich for your blood, JCrew, Zara and ASOS all have their own versions priced between $75 and $300.  Get ready to embrace your inner prepster this Fall!

[A-1]

Silly Is, As Silly Does

You probably live under a rock if you are not familiar with the silly bandz craze that has rocked the nation’s teen, tween, elementary and pre-school sets. There are even silly bandz shaped like the Kardashians (yes, those girls have monetized just about everything they possibly can . . .).  Not to worry, the jewelry designer for Lulu Frost, Lisa Salazar, and her sister Dr. Jen Salazar and Jen’s husband, Dr. Marc Lemchen, orthodontists (thought those tidbits pictured above looked familiar didn’t ‘cha?) are the brains behind braced-lets or silly bandz for adults as they’re more commonly known.  They’re kind of fun in a Summer-y, kitch-y kind of way don’t you think?  I first learned about braced-lets yesterday when I was having a drink with my friend Kathleen of katflower catching up, comparing notes on blogging, our businesses and the like when I noticed her bracedlet. Our conversation stopped mid-flow when I noticed her bracedlet and had to immediately inquire about it. Being the fashionista that she is she was rockin’ it well, but couldn’t tell me much more about it then she got it at as swag at some swanky event.  Well that’s not fair, she knew they were referred to as silly bandz for adults. I was intrigued.  What say you?  Would you wear a bracedlet?

[image courtesy of bracedlets]

Vain & Vapid

The past 6 months have been absolutely fabulous, but they’ve gone by in a complete blur.  There have been amazing highs and along with those highs some pretty low lows.  Life’s all about the peaks and valleys – the dark times help make the good all the brighter.  Pretty deep, huh?  Ok, well now on to to the vanity.  As I’ve been moving at the speed of light through the past 180 days, my closet has been in an absolute shambles. During this time period, we’ve gone through a season change and I’ve been on more planes than I can count on two hands.  Through it all, Style Maven though I purport to be, I’ve been living in a clothing chaos.  So, this past weekend when on Saturday, July 29th, I experienced what seemed like my first real languid day of Summer, I got myself organized.  And then I took things a step further.  A comsumate list maker, I began to mix and match my outfits in a notebook in Evernote. I created categories and delineated them by notes – Day, Ladies Who Lunch, Evening, Weekend, Travel. Then in each note, I listed my Summer outfits and variations on each theme. Vain? Yes.  Vapid? Probably. Helpful? Most definitely!  A girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do . . .

[photo courtesy of Vanity Fair]

Metamorphosis!

Have you noticed that every couple of years, your personal style changes just ever so slightly? That dress you loved 2 years ago, while still in great shape, just doesn’t do it for you anymore. You put it on, look in the mirror and notice that something isn’t quite right.  There’s no time to change, so you head out to work, dinner or your date – and while you’re out you see someone who’s dressed exactly the way you envisioned dressing in your head but you didn’t have the right stuff your closet. And then it hits you – duh, it’s time for an overhaul.  Change is hard and let’s be honest, a new wardrobe is costly! But, there is a way to go about re-vamping your closet that won’t break the bank.

  • First, figure out the direction you’d like to head in.  Once you’ve pinned down your new style direction – The Bohemian, The Prepster, Mommy Dearest, Ms. Fancy Pants, The Rockstar, The Hipster, etc. – go through your closet and figure out which items fall into this category and which do not.  Now obviously, you cannot get rid of all of your clothes, but you know the golden rule – pull out anything you haven’t worn in two years.  Then go back through and re-assess.
  • Next, go through your shoes and accessories employing the same tactics. [Truth be told, I am an accessories whore and I rarely get rid of accessories, because accessories never become too small and they generally come back around.] However, if you have serious space constraints, then cull to your heart’s content!
  • Pack up your discards and determine which are consign-able and which should be donated. Soon you’ll have money coming in that can go towards a few of your new purchases.
  • Now, think about the 4 or 5 items you’ll need (based on what you have in your closet) that will help you begin to transform your current wardrobe to the one you desire.  For example, the trend is platform heels; are you still rockin’ your Jimmy Choo’s from 7 years ago?  If so, you my dear may need to buy a new pair of shoes or two.  I’m not advocating trendy here, I’m advocating stylish.  Now, f you work in a corporate office, 5-inch platforms may not be the most efficaious purchase.  But, there is a middle ground.  Take some time to flip through magazines like Lucky, Bazaar – the ususal suspects – to find items that will work for you and your lifestyle.
  • Armed with your list and budget, you’re ready to shop and begin your metamorphosis.

Give yourself time and know that unless you have an unlimited clothing budget, your metamorphosis is not going to happen over night ….. this process will take at least a year.  Just keep your eyes on the prize and remember that Rome wasn’t built in a day. New clothes are an investment in you and your personal brand. And the lightness you’ll feel from shedding unworn items will allow you to spread your wings and soar just like a butterfly.

[before dress: Karta; after dress: Heidi Merrick]

Hot Buns In the Summertime!

My signature hairstyle is a chignon (pronounced shin-yon), a.k.a a bun.  The word “chignon” comes from the French phrase “chignon du cou,” which means nape of the neck.  I love wearing my hair in a chignon because it’s neat and I don’t have to worry about my hair not looking the way I want it to.  I’ve noticed that the chignon is also the default hairstyle some of my favorite stylistas too – JLo and SJP to name a few.

Believe it or not, annually, I spend hours at the hairdresser; I often wear my hair down, but the easiest, and possibly most flattering, hairstyle for me is a chignon.  It’s chic and simple:  it can be big (add a fall here or there) or small, it can be messy or neat, on top of my head or at the nape of my neck.  Since the chignon is my hairstyle of choice, I’m always on the lookout for products that will help me have the best chignon possible. Leave it to the folks at Goody to come up with the Goody Spin Pin for you guessed it, buns.

They look a little daunting, but I found this great how-to with step-by-step instructions here.  I’m thinking it’s going to be a scorcher this Summer, high temps and thick hair on the nape of my neck do not go hand-in-hand.  If you’re like me, you might want to check out the new fangled Goody Spin Pin for yourself. Click here to find it.

Tell me, which of these chignons do you like the most?

Fascinated With Fascinators!

The girl who would be Queen, has fascinated us with her fascinators!  Now, by the time this post hits your inboxes, Kate Middleton will be Princess Catherine.  And to her credit, she has made a name for herself all over the world not with her designer duds and gaggle of celebrity friends, but with her High Street sense of style.

What is a fascinator you ask? A fascinator is a headpiece.  A delicate, slightly-to-very frivolous head decoration worn almost exclusively by women. A fascinator may be worn instead of a hat to occasions where hats were traditionally worn—such as weddings—or as an evening accessory. I became obsessed with fascinators a few weeks ago.  I needed a hat for a luncheon I was attending and I decided that I wanted one of the cute little numbers Kate Middleton is so fond of donning. If I told someone I was looking for a fascinator they looked at me a bit dazed and confused, but if I told them I wanted a hat like Kate Middleton’s they new exactly what I was talking about.  Not bad for someone under the age of 30 (she’s 29) who’s been dressing herself without the aid of stylists and haute couture designers thus far. I’m thinking we might have a style icon in our midst.  Only time will tell, but in a short period of time we’ve become fascinated with her fascinators!

Want your own fascinator, but you’re not working with a budget fit for a Queen? Check out my foray into the world of milinery on FaceBook. Yes, I fashioned my own fascinator.

Hip Hip Hooray for Princess Catherine & Prince William – may their cups of happiness runneth over!

[photos clockwise, courtesy of Bridefinds, Lisa's History Room, Laura Hughes & Lisa's History Room]

It’s All About STYLE . . .

Now you know I am all about gadgets – I love my Blackberry, my iTouch, my iPad and the like . . . but every now and then it’s just good to put pen to paper.  The folks at Moleskin must’ve read my mind with their latest creation – The STYLE journal.  Ask any of my clients.  I arrive at their respective homes to do their Wardrobe Evaluation with my composition notebook in hand to record all of my notes about their likes, sizes, style wishes and desires.  When we go shopping, I don’t leave home without their particular composition notebook in my bag.  Two years later when we meet to revamp their wardrobes, I pull out my handy-dandy composition notebook with their name emblazoned on front.  So, yes, I think I’m switching over to Moleskin . . . STYLE journal not your passion?  No worries – check out the other journals in their Passion Line — Receipe, Wine, Book, Film, Music, Wellness, Travel, Gardening, Dog, Cat, Baby — there’s something to tickle everyone’s fancy.

STYLE Crush

It wasn’t until a few weeks ago that I realized I was in a style rut.  There were lots of great things that happened at lavish! (finally meeting my friend Shameeka in person, connecting with other bloggers I’ve been following and hanging out with my BFF Nicole), but I think the best thing for me was the realization that my daily attire has gotten a bit boring.  I work from home, I run errands, go to meetings, etc.; I always look appropriate, but unless I’m going out some place special or on vacation I wear my uniform.  Right now, my uniform consists of black cashmere, black leather (skirt or jeans), an interesting necklace, a cool pair of shoes or boots and I’m good to go.  Then, I met Kristen Giorgi at a cocktail party.  Lovely lovely young lady, but what drew me to her was the effortless way she wore the sequin top below with a pair of satin cargo pants.  It was the perfect outfit for the occassion.  She reminded me a bit of the younger version of myself.  Someone who’s always a little overdressed or overdone, depending on how you view the situation, but looks great nonetheless.

On the surface we have very little in common, but Kristen loves fashion, has a style blog and she’s an aspiring fashion stylist — plus, she has a great eye. From time to time you’ll see images from her blog, Sorellina, here.  To put it bluntly, I think I’ve gotten a little lazy.  It’s takes more effort to put an outfit together than it does to throw on a uniform.  So, Kristen’s become my muse in all things sparkly, fun and lady-like.

Point in case, I met Kristen, got inspired and made plans to go out with some friends for drinks. My BFF Susan who lives in the burbs happened to be downtown for her husband’s holiday office party the same evening.  She calls to say she can’t believe she’s down the street and we’re not hanging out.  Believe it or not, I’m literally on my way to the bar across the street from where she’s having cocktails with her husband’s co-workers.  So, she tips out to meet me so that we can have a 10 minute in-person catch-up.  We meet on in the middle of the street and she says to me, “Oh my God, where are you going?!?!?  You’re so dressed up!”  I had on black heels and tights, a sequin skirt, a charcoal grey wool jersey t-shirt, sparkly earrings and a fur coat.  I told her about my STYLE Crush and my resolution to get back to finding the joy in wearing the clothes I’ve amassed.  She chuckled and we had our 10 minute catch up before each hurling ourselves back into our frenzied worlds.

Lesson learned?  Although our society has become a much more casual, I’m not really that person.  It may take me a few minutes longer to get dressed in the morning, but that’s not a bad price to pay.  Inspiration is all around us and often in the form of the unexpected.  Thanks Kristen!

Who’s your STYLE Crush?

p.s. – Yes, in case you were wondering, I did run out and buy that sparkly sequin top (mine is silver).

[images courtesy JP, Kristen's husband]