Tag Archive for 'JCrew'

New Year, New You! (part 2)

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To go from Hit Or Miss to Glamazon, you gotta love just about everything in your closet.  May sound strange, but it’s true.  To get to this point, you’ve go to figure out what your personal style is, plain and simple.  Here’s the thing about personal style – it’s just that, personal.  To get to the point where you love everything in your closet and the way it looks on you, you’ve got to do some work.  It’s worth the time and effort, but it will take some time and effort.

Elevate Your Style Quotient – Morphing Into A Glamazon

The first step is to figure out which styles and shapes are most flattering to your shape.

  • For example, if you have a bit of a pouch, form-fitting dresses, tops and sweaters while definitely in this season (and most if we’re perfectly honest) are not necessarily going to be your go-to items.  Shapewear can help you minimize a pouch no doubt, but shapewear may not be something you want to wear on a daily basis.  More flattering cuts would be A-line dresses, kimono-like blouses and tops or possibly even a wrap dress depending on the cut of the dress.
  • What’s tricky about this first step is two-fold:  (1) Sometimes it’s hard to be honest with yourself and (2) Figuring out what looks good is more than a notion.  Ask a trusted friend to come over and try on a few outfits to get his or her honest opinion.  Or, go to a department store and enlist the help of a salesperson as you try on some of the latest trends.  IGIGI has a great shape calculator that can help you determine the best styles for your figure.
  • As you try to determine what shapes are most flattering, remember that very few of us have the bodies clothing manufacturers are cutting for.  Don’t despair, just make your tailor your new BFF and have your clothes altered to a perfect fit.  Small waist and a bit of junk in your trunk?  Buy slacks and jeans to accomodate your junk and then have the waist taken in.  Volia! A perfect fit in no time.

A great wardrobe is made up of quality classic pieces.

  • You’ve got a closet full of clothes and nothing to wear.  You must be crazy, right? No.  Most of us make the mistake of buying what’s “IN” rather than building a wardrobe of classics that can transcend trends or incorporate trends.  Integrate trends into your wardrobe by buying one “IN” item or a few accessories each season as you grow or re-vamp your wardrobe.
  • Make sure your closet is stocked with The Classic 8:  (1) A dark suit; (2) A crisp white shirt; (3) A black wool or cashmere turtleneck; (4) A LBD; (5) A pair of dark jeans; (6) A trench coat; (7) A good pair of classic black heels; and (8) One item that makes your heart leap – an amazing coat like the woman pictured above, a FAB purse, or possibly a beautiful watch. Believe it or not, you have at least 2 weeks worth of outfits if you have just these 8 items.
  • Find designers and stores in your price range who make clothes that fit you well.

Morphing into A Glamour Goddess

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.  Glamour Goddesses come in all shapes and sizes.  Sara Jessica Parker is Glamazon, but dont get it twisted, so is your colleague who is always well-put together and polished or the mom at drop-off who looks like she stepped out of a JCrew catalogue or right off of the page of the NYTimes SundayStyles.  A Glamour Goddess isn’t defined as someone whose exploits are chronicled on Page 6 (although, she may very well be); she’s simply someone who wears her clothes confidently.  This is easy for her to do because she loves everything in her closet; now getting dressed in the mornings or for an evening out on the town is easy.  She injects her personal style by choosing jewelry, handbags, scarves, totebags, shoes and belts that take her basic underlying wardrobe from classic to chic.

The Glamour Goddess in you is dying to come out, take the time this year to help her emerge!  I know Jada would . . .

[image from The Sartorialist]

Looking Your Best This Holiday Season

Is your calendar literally filled with engagements from now until the beginning of the year?  In addition to coming up with a stash of hostess gifts, you’ve got to figure out what you’re going to wear to each holiday dinner party, office party, drinks with friends, tree trimming party and of course to the big events themselves.  Godforbid if you’ve got a formal or two to go to as well!

There’s no time like the present to start recycling the goodies you’ve got stashed away in your closet.  Now, if you’re related to the Rockerfellers and can afford to go out and buy a few key pieces to spice up your holiday wardrobe, by all means please do and just pass this posting along to one of your less well-off friends!  If however, you’re trying to figure out how to do it all (holiday travel, shopping and party-going) with limited funds, here are some tips for looking your best this season without breaking the bank.  It’s simple, Shop In Your Closet (or your friend’s if yours is low on sparkly items). It’s all about looking like you spent a fortune when you haven’t spent a dime.

Dressing for the Holidays a la Your Closet:

  • Locate the following items and put them on your bed: (1) LBD; (2) Black wool slacks; (3) Black cardigan; (4) Black turtleneck.
  • Go through your shawls and pull out the black one of course and any festive looking shawls you may have. Put these on the bed too.
  • Now, pull out the jewelry box and locate your most sparkly items – necklaces, cocktail rings, bracelets – everything that’s too much for work, you know those pieces you’ve been saving for the right moment or the ones that someone gave you and you just weren’t sure what to wear them with. Lay the pieces on your bed.
  • Go through your stash of clutch bags and pull out the black one and any sparkly ones you have. These go on the bed too.
  • The same goes for your heels – pull out your black dressy heels (peu de soie is fine, the everyday work ones are not) and any glammy shiny heels you own (the more color, sparkle, sequins or feathers the better!). Yup, on the floor next to the bed.
  • Now, go back to your basics listed in the first bullet point and begin to mix and match your outfits.  Nothing needs to be matchy-matchy.  Your foundation is basic black which is sleek, slimming and sophisticated.  Your accessories regardless of how you combine them will dress up your basics and help to get you in the holiday spirit.  And remember, it’s the holidays so it’s ok to go a little over the top.
  • Once you’ve matched your outfits, think about what you are going to wear to which events so that the day or evening of you’ve got nothing to do but make sure the items are clean and get dressed.
  • Finishing touches – If time permits, and your budget allows, stop by H&M, Ann Taylor, Aldo, Forever21, JCrew, TopShop, Claire’s or some other such store and buy a sparkly headband, hair clip or a fun feather number just to take things to the next level.
  • Top it all off with your regular wool coat (this is where one of those colorful shawls can be helpful in transforming your everyday coat to a little bit something more) or if you’ve got a fur or a fun fur (whichever is your preference) now is the time to show us what you got!

Have fun this holiday season!  Eat, drink and be merry.

Workin’ Day and Night . . .

MJ never said truer words.  How many times have you planned to go home after work to change clothes before going out only to realize that there’s no way you’re going to make it home AND make it to the restaurant, bar, or your PTA (sorority, board, [you fill in the blank]) meeting on time?  The thing about going from work to play is that you don’t necessarily want to look like you just came from the office when you meet your blind date for the first time.  You want to look professional, but more like a night time version of your professional self, right?  We’ve all seen the woman at the bar or restaurant, waiting for friends or her date, who looks like she must work at an ad agency or in PR because there’s no way she could be that fly and work at a law firm or a consulting firm.  You might be, right, she may have one of those cool creative jobs or NOT.  She just may be one of those people who knows how to go from day to night in a jiffy.  You too can be that woman.  All it requires is a little planning on your part.

Rule No. 1 – The IT Factor.  If you cant afford the latest “IT” bag, find a small funky purse or clutch bag to hold your essentials.  Check your tote or briefcase when you arrive at your destination if leaving it in the car is not an option.

Rule No. 2 – Get a Leg Up. Bring a pair of heels with you (no, not your work heels. Going out heels).  Take those Manolos, Jimmy Choos or Jessica Simpsons out of the box and bring them to work with you.  A nice pair of heels gives shape and definition to the leg and immediately dresses just about any outfit up. (If heels aren’t your thing, try Insolia shoe inserts to take the weight off the ball of your foot and make standing in heels much more comfortable).

Rule No. 3 – Change the face.  There should be some distinction between your daily face and your going out face.  If you don’t wear make up regularly,  put on some blush, lip gloss and mascara to brighten up your face a bit.  If you do wear make up regularly, re-apply and do something a little different – rather than a nude lip, go with color or go with a smokey eye, for example.

Rule No. 4 – The Sweet Smell of Success.  Spritz on a bit of perfume stashed in your Desk S.O.S kit to freshen up a bit.

Rule No. 5 – Accessorize, Accessorize, Accessorize.  Let go of the safe “work” jewelry and funk things up a bit with a cool necklace, headband, bracelet or earrings that might border on wrong for work, but will be great for going out.  JCrew, H&M, TopShop and Forever 21 have some great moderate to low priced options to select from.

Rule No. 6 – Go out and have fun.   “Easy breezy” is your mantra.

You’d Better Shop Around …

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Frugal is as frugal does.

Are you getting ready to pull the trigger on that dress you’ve been eyeing on Bluefly? Planning to order photos on Snapfish?  Need to buy necessities at drugstore.com?  Before you click “purchase”, make sure your items are saved in your shopping cart and look around online for discount coupons.  These coupons knock off anywhere from a little bit to a lot from your purchase prices with deals that include free shipping, 10% off, $5 off and the like.  Never buy anything online without looking for a coupon first.  Simply google “[item] coupon” and websites like CouponCabin.com, Retailmenot.com, momsview.com, couponmountain.com, dealtaker.com, and gogoshopper.com will pop up – some of these sites feature over more than 1,000 online retailers.  The savings are definitely worth the extra 5 or 10 minutes that it takes to locate the coupon.  While not all of the coupons you’ll find are valid, if you persevere and are shopping at a name brand retailer – Bloomingdales, Target, Walmart, Neiman Marcus, JCrew, Saks, Victoria’s Secret,etc – you will find a coupon!   Take a moment to shop around and guarantee yourself some savings.

And you thought clipping coupons was something your Grandmother did – get with the times!

Shopportunities!

Shopportunities!A Shopportunity is a shopping opportunity.  A good deal.  One of those deals that makes you think that tomorrow or 6 months from now I’ll regret not having purchased this dress, pair of shoes, handbag , you fill in the blank.   A shopurtunity equals beautiful clothes that fit you well at a fraction of the retail price. It’s not a shopurtunity if the price is right but you don’t love the look or the fit. Remember to keep this little nugget in mind as you hit the racks or the online sales. Our economy has taken a turn for the worst, but the economic downturn is a fashionista’s paradise.  

Yes, I know it’s Spring, almost Summer, but now is the best time to get great deals on things like furs, cashmere and leather boots because designers and stores are trying to get rid of inventory to make room for their warm weather merchandise. Right now, buying a pair of snakeskin boots when you’re thinking about those reasonably priced JCrew t-straps seems incongruous. But, when you’re at the store ask yourself , “When November hits will I regret not having gotten those boots?” Right now they’re a steal for $125.  This Fall, a similar pair might be as much as $775.  Think about it …  

So, while you’re surfing the net or doing a little window shopping, don’t forget to look for the shopurtunities!