Archive for the 'Fashion Tips' Category

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I’m Being Featured . . .

Simply Chic: Fresh & Fun Style Advice

Kristin Larson, a style and fashion writer for MSN.com, featured me in her column Simply Chic. Stop by and check out the advice I provided to her readers about one of my favorite topcis, sequins! Click here to see what I had to say.

Recently, iVillage published an article titled, The 12 Steps to Shopping Wisely, I was featured in Step 7 “Know the Difference Between Splurging and Smart Shopping.” Click here for my tips.

My Fall 2010 Must-Haves . . .

Fall is truly my favorite season!  I love the crisp cool days of September and October. It’s the perfect time to wear chunky knits, warm wool and cashmere, great hats, cool boots and lots and lots of texture.  For me it’s all about layering and pairing unlikely duos – I’m seeing myself with this fabulous Alexander McQueen kimono jacket, a pair of jeggings, hiking boots and a leopard print fur hat.

Review: Shoes of Prey

Shoes of Prey, an Australian bespoke shoe company, was kind enough to send me a pair of their platform pumps for review.  I went for the snakeskin platforms below (honestly, I hadn’t seen the hot pink fish skins above …).

Although Shoes of Prey is a bespoke shoe company (more about that in a minute), the shoes they sent me were not specifically made for me.  I chose a pair from what they had in stock in my size.  This is an option they offer, but if you’re going to go for broke, I say do it in a style that’s befitting you and only you!

So, what is a bespoke shoe company you ask?  It’s simple.  You get to design your own shoes. You choose from 7 different kinds of shoes – ballet flats, wedges, ankle booties, round toe pumps, platform pumps, pointy toe pumps, and gladiators. Then you choose the leather you’d like (for example, you could go with green snakeskin and then choose a silver or gold leather for the heel), the toe, the back, the heel height and any decorations.  The shoes range in price from $180 -$280 (ankle boots are $330) and come in an large range of sizes, US womens 3 to US womens 11.5.  If your foot is very wide or very narrow, Shoes of Prey will work with you to get the sizing just right (the additional sizing may cost extra). Oh, and they’re based in Australia so, shipping is a little bit higher – $25, but they do free returns and will work with you to make sure your shoes fit properly (and yes, if you are not happy with your bespoke shoe and have not worn it, Shoes of Prey will take it back).

I give Shoes of Prey a B+.  The shoes are well constructed and have a nice heel pad in the insole.  Mine were a little big in the heel, so I inserted the toe-pads that were provided which helped to push my heel all the way back and minimized slippage.  I vacillate between shoe sizes, it’s crazy but in some designers I’m a 7.5 US and in others a 9 US (I know, it killed me when the salesman at Bergdorf’s suggested I try a 9 a few months ago, but the shoes I got were fierce so size, smize!).  I say that to say, that in Shoes of Prey, I’m probably a 7.5.

My platforms were comfortable to walk around in, but I was walking on carpet. I truly believe that the true test after you purchase a pair of heels is:  ”What do your feet feel like after you end up standing on concrete or marble for an hour or two?”

That said, I absolutely LOVE the idea of being able to design my own shoes … My problem is I’ll come up with what I think are the perfect pair and then have shoe envy when I see another pair that are even HOTTER than the ones I created.  I guess I need to let my inner Disco Diva out of her box!  I’m still thinking about the green snakeskin with the gold heels ….. decisions, decisions, decisions!

FYI  – Shoes of Prey sent me these shoes for review only, the shoes will be returned to them after this post. This review is purely my opinion; it is a non-compensated and non-sponsored review.

All Dressed Up With No Place to Go?

If so, count yourself lucky!  I can’t tell you how many times clients, friends and family members regale me with their tales of woe — I was invited to a black tie at the last minute, but I didn’t go because I didn’t have anything to wear; I went to dinner with friends and I was completely under dressed; I took a girl’s trip with my college besties and felt like I was the under dressed step-sister, yata yata yata.

We’ve all found ourselves in this situation or a similar one at some point in time. It’s not fun. Although the folks at Bluefly ran a great ad campaign a few years ago called “Nothing to Wear to Work that’s Why Bluefly” promising to get the perfect outfit to you the next day.  The ads were great, but buying a new outfit every time you have some place to go isn’t realistic for most of us.

Of course, we all have that friend who seems to have the perfect outfit for every occasion.  College reunion?  She’s flawless and each outfit looks effortless.  A baby shower?  She shows up perfectly coiffed with the perfect Sunday brunch outfit to boot.  Diner Date?  She’s combined the downtown hipster look with the Uptown lady who lunches with aplomb.  How does she do it?  I’ll tell you – she doesn’t wait until the last minute to try to figure out what to wear.  Each season (Winter, Spring, Summer and Fall) she takes stock of her closet, figures out what she’s keeping, storing and getting rid of.  Then she determines which seasonal trends she’d like to add in and what her budget is for such additions. And lastly, and most importantly, she takes the time to put a few outfits together.  Some go to the extreme and literally mix-and-match everything while others come up with a few main outfits (general work uniform, going-out and special events); the point is that these folks take time upfront to figure out what will work so that 5 minutes before they need to be walking out the door they’re not standing in front of the closet searching for that elusive perfect outfit.

As Summer comes to a close and Fall is right around the corner, think about coming up with a strategy to maximize your Fall wardrobe and minimize your time spent getting dressed.  I’m curious, let me know what works for you …

STYLish Traveler

Travel has become a necessary evil.  Gone are the days when people dressed up to go to the airport to board their flights and cruise the airwaves in style.  Today, you see children in pj’s, women in sweatsuits and everyone in jeans. Although we’ve become much more casual in our approach to travel, doesn’t mean that style has to be sacrificed.  It’s easy to travel stylishly, yet comfortably, with a little planning ahead of time.  Here are a few of my favorite stylish travel essentials:

  • LUXE Travel Guides – I discovered these in Vietnam 4 years ago and have used them religiously since then.  They’re great – written in a cheeky manner with loads of info on hotels, restaurants, and the sights.  They even provide detailed shopping tours.
  • My Kindle – It’s wonderful to be able to carry my library with me.  Believe you me, I have traveled abroad before with a bag filled with books!
  • Converse Chuck Taylor All Stars – Comfy and stylish all at once.
  • Chocolove Chocolate Bars – Dark chocolate with chrystalized ginger is my fave.
  • Notecards – I try to remember to pack a few personalized notecards so that I can leave a personal note for an extra helpful concierge, salesperson or a new friend.
  • Rosebud Lip Balm – Great to keep your lips moisturized on long flights (it can do double duty as lotion too!)
  • A Cashmere Travel Blanket – I much prefer to use my own blanket on planes.
  • Beemans Gum – I’ve loved it since I was a kid, for some reason this gum reminds me of Summer vacations of yore.
  • Sunglasses – They prevent glare from the window seat, cover your eyes when you’re not at your best and act as a headband in a pinch!
  • Eye Mask – I know they give you a little travel kit on transatlantic flights, but I like the silky softness of my own eye mask.
  • iPod touch- Gotta have my tunes just in case there are no movies I want to watch.
  • Totebag – I’m a Goyard Girl, but Longchamps and Herve Chepellier make great light travel totes too.
  • Hermes Scarf – My neck gets cold easily, so I always pack a silk scarf to keep it warm.
  • Pashmina – You get the idea, I like to be covered from head to toe!

What are your travel style secrets?  Do share!

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Personal STYList: Scarf Tying Lesson

hermes scarf Pictures, Images and Photos

My friend V got married in February 2009, but she just got back from her honeymoon.  She and her husband post-poned their honeymoon because they had a number of friends getting married in exotic locales the same year they got married – pretty selfless of them, no?  Anyway,  she honeymooned in India where she went on safari, spent time at the Taj Mahal (the Shrine to LOVE), met the Maharaja and shopped of course!  On one of her shopping trips, she met a man who sold beautiful silk scarves at a great price, so she bought a few.  Now, she has all of these beautiful silk scarves, but she’s stumped as to how to wear them.

As you know dear readers, I heart my Hermès scarves and I wear them all the time.  At this point in my life, my scarves are a part of my daily existence.  I know, you may say this has more to do with my age than my style but I beg to differ.  See this silhouette? It’s of me wearing one of my scarves.  Pretty cool, no?

Anyway, after her sojourn to India, beautiful silk scarves in-hand, V wants to wear her scarves without looking like a little old lady protecting her hair from the elements.  And who can blame her?  I wasn’t quite sure how to wear my first Hermès scarf either, but with a little help from the folks at Hermès, I figured out my favorite styles and came up with a few of my own.  There are some great online guides – check these out and let me know which style, or styles, you end up adopting as your signature style.


Scarf Tying Guides:

How To Tie Scarves;

Texeresilk;

Brooks Brothers; and

Hermès I, Hermes II

Here’s to you and your scarf – wear her in good health!

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[image courtesy of Hermès]

The Perfect Jewelry Box

In case it’s not patently obvious, I heart accessories!  (um, remember Brazil?) But, I especially LOVE  jewelry.  I believe more is more!  Yes, there are times when you can have too much jewelry on, but it’s better to be adorned than to walk around half-dressed.  Accessories can make or break an outfit.  For those of you who find my theory suspect — add a necklace, bracelet or a pair of earrings and stand back as the compliments start flowing your way.  If you are one of those people whose jewelry box has some empty compartments, here’s a list of 6 pieces of jewelry every woman should own courtesy of my stylist friend Monica Barnett to help jump-start your jewelry addiction.

I admit it, I have lots of jewelry (an addiction I come by naturally from the ladies on my mother’s side of the family).  But, for the most part, I manage to wear a good portion of my growing collection.  Storage, however, is becoming a problem.  I’ve been on the lookout for the perfect jewelry box for years now. Part of the problem is space.  There’s just never enough space in New York! But, the other part of the problem is finding something that will house my gems in a manner that will allow me to see what I have.  This is fashion stylist Masha O’s jewelry box, a simple filing cabinet.  Sheer genius.  I need one in white.

[image from Refinery29]

Walkin’ On Sunshine | Kork-Ease

I’m on my feet a lot.  I run around the city meeting clients and I stroll the avenues looking for great finds and new trends; all of which involve a great deal of walking. I’ve been on a quest for comfortable yet good-looking shoes for about 3 years now.  I discovered Kork-Ease wedge sandals about two years ago on a fine Spring day while shopping with a client.  We were on 34th Street in a shoe store looking for shoes to match an evening gown she’d just purchased.  It had been a long day. I was tired and my dogs were sho ’nuff barkin’.  I looked up from my client’s feet and saw a suburban mom who was very well put together in a kind-of JCrew meets Martha Stewart kind of way. She had on these really cool patent leather kelly green wedge sandals.  They looked sooooo comfortable! As I was wistfully eyeing her shoes, she made a beeline over to me with a pair of sparkly heels in hand to ask my opinion. Interestingly, I get that a lot.  I wasn’t doing anything overtly “stylist-like”, I like to think that I look more stylish than most and one stylish person to another kind of karma was going on.  Anyway, she showed me the shoes and a picture of her daughter’s prom dress.  She wanted to know if I thought they’d work together. She’d made a great choice and I told her so.

Then, I pounced!  I told her that I hoped her daughter knew how lucky she was to have a stylish mom she could trust to buy her prom shoes while she was off at soccer practice.  And then, I went in for the kill (now, what you must understand about me is that I would have found out about those patent leather green wedges before that lady left the store if it killed me, client shopping trip or not – that knowledge was going to have long lasting benefits not only for me, but for many) and inquired about her sandals.  She laughed and said, “They’re the most comfortable shoe I own. I have them in every color.  They’re a re-issue from a sandal that was really popular when I was in my 20s called Korkeeze.”  I filed the name in my mental rolodex and went back to my client.

A few days later, my husband and I were leaving dinner on our way to the theater when I saw a woman, my age this time, with what I knew had to be a pair of those Korkeeze sandals (I didn’t know the proper spelling at the time).  I stopped and asked her about them, she swore they were the most comfortable shoes she’d ever owned. Clearly, I was brain dead after my client shopping excursion because although my feet were throbbing when I got home, I promptly forgot all about Googling those sandals!  But, not this time.  I got home, sat down at the computer and bought myself a pair of Ava’s in black patent leather.  They arrived just in time for a weekend trip to Miami.  I put them on and felt like I was walkin’ on sunshine.  Soccer Mom was right, they were sooooo comfortable!  And, they looked really cool in a hipster meets Palm Beach kind of way.  The best part?  They gave me a little height – I’m short with hips so I need a heel to help balance my proportions out – but at no cost to my comfort.  Remember my stylish friend Mia?  She saw me with my Ava’s on and promptly went out and bought a pair.

Believe it or not, Kork-Ease, is the original platform wedge sandal that all the hipsters were wearing back in the day.  The first pair were created in Brooklyn in 1953 and they’re been immortalized in the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Landmark Shoe Collection.  An honor only bestowed to 25 styles of footwear. The best wedge known to womankind.  I kid you not.

[Prices range from $90-$135, from left to right: Bette, Bette, Shannon, Myrna, Shannon and Ava]

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I say Tunic, You say TuNix!

Tunics are all the rage.  They have been and they continue to be.  Meet our new sponsor – TuNix!  TuNix is the brainchild of Ashley Reiser.  Ashley’s a commercial real estate banker by trade, but when her husband landed a fab new job overseas, she jumped at the chance to live abroad and try her hand at entrepreneurship.  Et voila!  TuNix was born.  Ashley knew nothing about manufacturing clothing when she started her company a few years ago, but she’s a quick study.  She did her due diligence, talked to people in the industry and ended up creating a line of clothing that is comfortable yet casually elegant.  Her goal was to provide the modern woman with stylishly functional clothes. What makes TuNix unique is that their tunics come in 4 different styles – collared or collarless, hip-length and mini-dress – the silhouette is flattering for all body types. TuNix range in size from XS – XL.  And the great thing? TuNix is having a sale, prices are $49 -$110.

JT – Are you calling dibs on the TuNix pictured?

Skinny Jeans v. Jeggings, Part 2

Thank you soooo much for all of your comments on last week’s post, Skinny Jeans vs. Jeggings!  Usually, I try to respond to all of the comments and emails I receive, but there were so many that I thought another post was merited.  In general, folks have not bought into the skinny silhouette craze of the moment.  Some of you were concerned that you might be too large or too thin to pull off this look.  Others believe it’s just a fad and why fix what ain’t broke. All valid points and concerns.

So, who are skinny jeans and jeggings for?  Honestly, they’re for whoever decides they want to wear them.  One reader said that she initially thought this was one of those trends that was going to have to pass her by because she’s plus-sized.  She got up the courage, bought a pair, wore them out and people started asking her if she’d lost weight.  Like I said last week, it’s all about the illusion.  Skinny jeans and jeggings have lyra or spandex in them (which like good shapewear) will suck you in in all of the right places.  Another reader wanted to know if skinny jeans might make her already thin frame look thinner.  The answer is: Yes, they probably will.  So, if you’re not interested in looking any smaller than you already are, the skinny silhouette may not be right for you. [Just a side note here, as hard as it may be to believe, regardless of size and shape each and everyone of us - myself included - has body image issues. That's a whole 'nother posting, but I just wanted to put that out there.]

And then there was the group who wanted to know what exactly to wear with this new skinny silhouette.  My response?  Although the silhouette has changed, what you wear with skinny jeans or jeggings is really the same as what you’d wear with your bootcut jeans.  A long wrap cardigan, a cool tank or t-shirt, tunics and funky sweaters with a pair of ballet flats or a cool pair of heels, a piece of interesting jewelry and a  a to die for handbag or clutch and you’re good to go.

For my bootcut girls, keep rockin’ em!  If you like ‘em, I love ‘em!  For those of you on the fence, try on a pair of skinny jeans or jeggings and see what you think.  Who knows, you might fall in love all over again.

From left to right: Splendid wrap cardigan, $59.99; James Perse t-shirt, $50; Cj Joy Jegging -$110; Kimono sleeve sweater, $39; L.A.M.B. Bootie, $169.46 ; NYD’s Boot Cut Jeans- $98Crystal & Metal Spikes Pendant, $124.95; Kooba Studded Satchel, $645; Embroidered Tunic, $9.95; Kenneth Cole REACTION Ballet Flat, $60; Rebecca Minkoff Clutch, $330 ; Not Your Daughter’s Jeans Straight Leg – $88.

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The In-Between Time: Winter to Spring Transitions

It’s been 80 degrees in New York this week – 80 degrees like in the middle of July , hot & sticky.  Unbelievable, right? Then I learned that it was above 90 degrees in D.C. on Wednesday (actually, it hit 91 degrees in New York on Wednesday – no wonder it was so hot & sticky!).  If we’re hitting these highs in April, who knows what’s going to happen when Summer really hits.  But, as with all good things, the heat wave ends today and we’re back to normal Spring weather which if anything is consistently fickle (cool and rainy one day, sunshine and warm the next).  I call this weird time of year The In-Between Time.  I hated this time of year when I was practicing because it was so hard to know what to wear to work – it was cool when I left home in the am, hot in the middle of the day at lunchtime and the evenings were always a toss-up!  I was invited by Corporette, a blog for overachieving chicks, to be a Guest Blogger and write about successfully navigating The In-Between Time earlier this week.  So, if you’re looking for some tips to help you bridge the gap between your Winter and Spring wardrobes, check out my article and let me know what you think.

Interestingly, the next day I received an email from the folks at Lawshucks (you get it right? Law Shucks is a play on “Aw Shucks” – the long version of the tagline is “A self-deprecating look at life in, and after, BigLaw”- a play on “shucking” through the layers and getting at the core of biglaw) telling me that my article on Corporette inspired them to learn a bit more about me a la Google.  Their research resulted in a lovely profile.

Thanks Corporette and Lawshucks!

Skinny Jeans vs. Jeggings

After a recent couples trip to Las Vegas, my sister called to tell me that she’d bought her first pair of skinny jeans.  I know, shopping in Vegas?  But what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas  . . . Anyway, so glad she moved from  boot cut to skinny! But, what about these jeggings you keep hearing about?  What’s the difference?  Is there one?  I must admit, I love my skinny jeans but now I’m smitten by the jeggings craze.

Skinny jeans are just that, skinny.  They’re totally in right now, skinny is the silhouette of the moment.  Jeggings just take skinny to the next level.  Jeggings are simply jeans + leggings.  What I love about jeggings is that you get all the comfort of leggings, but none of the casualness that plagues leggings.  Jeggings may seem like the province of the young and rail thin, but think again.  If you’re not a toothpick and you often do all sorts of maneuvers to get your jeans up over your thighs (if you’ve ever had to do a squat to get a pair of jeans on you fall into this camp), believe it or not jeggings may be for you.  Why? Because jegging fabric is much more forgiving than the denim used to make skinny jeans (jeggings have 5 -7% lyrca/spandex compared to 1-3% in skinny jeans).  And, believe it or not, the Denim gods are smiling on those of us with butts, hips and thighs – jeggings actually have a higher waist which can help to give a more flattering slimming effect.  (Hint: They suck you in in all the right places).

Ready to give jeggings a try?  Check out Cookie Johnson’s new line. Yes,  Cookie Johnson, Magic Johnson’s wife.  She started her denim line, Cj, because she couldn’t find a pair of jeans with a perfect fit (i.e., no calestentics required and properly covers her B,H & Ts).  What’s cool about Cj’s is that the back of the waistband is lined with silk, no more rough material rubbing against your backside, the back comes up higher than most designer jeans but the front are still low-rise and the back pockets are smaller than the size of your fist which helps to minimize the derriere.  And the best thing?  They range in size from 2 – 18.  Oprah swears that they’re the best jeans for real women with curves. Cj Joy Jegging -$110.

Not into jeggings, but ready to go skinny minny?  Cj has a skinny pair for you, Cj Faith jeans – $112 (pictured below left), and so does Not Your Daughter’s Jeans. NYD Jeans come with a special Lift Tuck technology that they swear will make you a full size smaller.  Hey, I’m all about illusions! Not Your Daughter’s Jeans Straight Leg – $88 (pictured below right).

And if this skinny nonsense is offending your sensabilities and you’re a true boot cut girl, here are a few pair of classic boot cut jeans that will look good on just about everyone.  Cj’s Grace Boot Cut Jean – $112, NYD’s Boot Cut Jeans- $98 and Paige Premium Denim’s Laurel Canyon Jean -$179.

The most important thing to remember when buying a pair of jeans is that the darker the denim, the slimmer you will look.  Just a little tip from me to you.  But, I LOVE crisp white jeans in the Summertime!  I also love to hear from you, please take a moment to tell me which brand of denim is your favorite and why.

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