Tag Archive for 'jeggings'

Mrs. Howell Syndrome

A few weeks ago over lunch, Ellen, my financial planner informed me that she’d just started wearing jeans again when I told her about my post on jeggings.  El said that this was the first time she’s worn jeans in she can’t remember when.  So pray-tell, what made her start wearing jeans again? Get this, my financial planner, is a singer in an 80′s cover band.  Quiet as it’s kept, she did admit that she might be going through a slight mid-life crisis.  But hey, we should all be so lucky to go through a mid-life crisis and be able to carry enough of a tune to front a band!

Anyway, she wore chinos to her first gig and her friends just about laughed her attire off of the stage.  She said it never occured to her to wear jeans to a gig because she suffers from Mrs. Howell Syndrome (her phraseology, not mine, but one I may have to swipe!).  Why had she eschewed the most versatile article of clothing there is? (Thank you very much Mr. Strauss!)  Her answer? She suffers from Mrs. Howell Syndrome.

Let me refresh your recollection.  Eunice “Lovey” Wentworth Howell, Mrs. Thurston Bailey Howell, III, played with aplomb by Natalie Schafer, and her husband were two of the castaways on Gilligan’s Island.  The show’s premise was simple: the two-man crew of the charter boat S. S. Minnow took five passengers on a “three-hour tour”, they ran into a tropical storm and they were shipwrecked on an uncharted island somewhere in the Pacific Ocean. Even though she was stranded on a deserted island, Mrs. Howell managed to look put together (her pearls were always in place) and ready for a cocktail party or luncheon at a moment’s notice.

Still not exactly sure what Mrs. Howell Syndrome is?  Let me put it like this, you might suffer from Mrs. Howell Syndrome if nine times out of ten your attire is nicer than that of most of the people at work, at a dinner party, at your nephew’s christening and the list goes on.  As much as I’m loathe to admit it, I think I may suffer a tad-bit from Mrs. Howell Syndrome.  I didn’t know there was a name for it until Ellen clued me in, but I have been accused of being overdressed on occassion. My husband is the one who usually points this out to me as we’re heading out the door:

Him: Do you think your outfit is a little over the top?  We’re just going to X.

Me: No.  I like my outfit.  I think it’s perfectly appropriate for tonight.

Him: Ok, I’m just saying . . . You might want to put on a lower heel or something to tone it down a bit.

Me: No, I’m good. (Then of course I begin to question my choice once we’re in the cab when it’s too late to change!)

I’m fortunate, I live in New York.  So, however over the top I might be, and I admit that there are some nights when I am definitely the Mrs. Howell in the crowd, there’s usually someone who’s right in line with me if not a few steps ahead.

Personally, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with channeling your inner Mrs. Howell every now again.  As Coco Chanel said, “A girl should be two things: classy and fabulous!” I couldn’t agree more.

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[image courtesy of United Artists Television]

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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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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Stylishly Appointed in 2010

You thought this posting was going to be about the fashion trends for 2010, jeggings perhaps?  We’ll get to those later on this year . . . With the beginning of the new year comes the opportunity to start fresh.  Staying on top of appointments, lunch and dinner dates, not to mention vacation time should be relatively easy with all of the computerized calendars out there now – OutLook, iGoogle, My Yahoo! and all of the others I’m not familiar with – right?  Well, if you’re like me with a laptop, a Blackberry and now an iTouch you have no excuse for missing an appointment or showing up late for an important meeting.

I’m happy to report that 2009 was a great year for me, but it was definitely a hectic one.  Historically, I’m a paperwhore and typically I’ve managed my life from my home datebook in tandem with my portable one (yes, I’m a little anal) but like I said 2009 was a bit hectic and I began to rely on whichever electronic device was most handy.  The beginning of my end.  It was great to type an appointment in, it wasn’t so great to have my device ring at me shortly before the appointment I’d completely forgotten about because I failed to mentally note it. Instead of going in one ear and out the other, it got typed in and then mentally deleted. After a few of these mis-haps it dawned on me that while we’re in the midst of the information age, and I gladly tote around all of these cool gadgets with their bells and whistles, I’m a paper person at heart.  I need to open my planner each morning and see what my day looks like in my own handwriting.  So, to kick-off the new year, I have refills for my desk datebook and my portable one.  I know, I want to be environmentally responsible, but I also want to be on time!  Come join me on the wild side.

Tell me – are you paper or electronic?

[images clockwise from top Filofax, Louis Vuitton, Apple, Kate Spade]