Archive | April, 2008

Make it Work–Floral (sans Fauna)

24 Apr

Who would think that flowers would ever be “hot”?  But they are. Florals are gracing  garments everywhere. These lovely brightly colored petals are cascading down blouses, dresses, skirts, pants, lingerie, and even shoes.  Some women think flowers are too “girly.”  I suppose if you’re sporting flowers on an Easter bonnet or Victorian style garden party dress, sure. But there’s no shame in a rose or a tulip adorning your clothes. Flowers can be treated a zillion different ways to create the best pattern for you.

Dramatic Flower Power–Large, abstract florals: It takes a bold woman with a bold presence to carry off a pattern this large and saturated in color. So beware that when you wear a print of this nature, you’ll be noticed. Make sure that the colors work with your hair and skin.  If you’re a petite woman with petite features, this print may overpower your stature and distract from your face. Ideally, prints of this size would work well on someone of average or taller height and body frame.

  
Dainty, Subtle, and Pretty: For those of us who aren’t as concerned about looking too girly, smaller prints are fun and can make a simple trouser or pair of jeans much more interesting. Here are some options that aren’t too over-the-top-give-you-a-headache-busy.  Keep in mind that while these can work for most anyone, more petite sized woman with more intricate facial features would benefit most from a smaller print. 


 

Alternatively…: Who says that the floral has to dominate the garment? You could incorporate one subtle flower printed on a t-shirt, or find a piece that has flowers embroidered into the fabric. You could even wear a monochromatic outfit and sport some adorable floral pumps. Here are some options…


  

However you choose to do your flowers, for goodness sake, do them!  Prints successfully hide many-a figure flaw and they’re an effortless way to look dazzling. They bring cheer and they’re good for your “feng shui.” What else do you want?

 

Make it Work–Leggings

23 Apr

The second noteworthy trend is the revival of LEGGINGS in the last 12-18 months.  This one has many women ecstatic (the early 20-somethings that didn’t do it the first time around), many cringing (those of us who did it and had officially repressed it until the runway unearthed it), and many who are on the fence, scratching their heads and wondering if leggings could work for them.

I am one to say, “Yes! If you want them to work, let’s make it work.”  The key is to make sure that whatever garment you integrate on your top half is long enough to cover your toosh (unless you are 14 with a body untouched by cellulite from gallons of “break-up” ice cream over the years).  You can do this with a sweater (or sweater dress), a mini-dress, a long slouchy blazer and classic button-down, an 80’s style off-the shoulder t-shirt, cool hoodie sweatshirt. Take your pick. 

Option I–It’s a casual affair 

Wear them with a long, silky sweater, long t-shirt, or even a mini-dress combining it with a waist-cinching belt or a low-slung belt.  Think of them as tights in this scenario.  And now that it’s spring, you can easily pair this look with cute ballet flats or flat sandals. See below:

   Option II–Little Miss Sophisticate (depending on your work environment, this could be very appropriate)

The options are limitless with this one. Try a tall, flat-heeled riding boot for uber-sophistication and comfort.  You could also do a knee-high stilletto or stacked heel boot that would render you sexy, taller, longer, and leaner.  Or, try a bootie.  Believe it or not, if you match the bootie to the leggings (i.e. brown with brown), your limbs will appear mile-high and you’ll feel like a million bucks. 

Any of the boot options can be paired with a crisp button down white shirt and a super-long sweater vest for a “preppy” aesthetic.  Even a long “grandpa” cardigan over a brightly colored tank with your boots is a fabulous combination. Super comfy, super hot.

Here are some great boots.


 

Option III: Totally funky (if you so dare)

Bring in da noise, bring on da Chucks.  Picture it: a rugby-inspired t-shirt with the collar fipped up and accented by a brightly-colored pair of CTs from Converse. Hey, if you’re gonna go 80s, go all the way.


 
 
 

No matter how you do leggings, do them. They are so comfortable and so versatile.  You can even substitute them for tights under a dress when the winter season hits (unless you live in LA in which case you’d still be wearing them with sandals or flats)

Enjoy!

 

Make it Work–Shorts

21 Apr

Trends surround us. They always look good because they’re styled by professionals, captured on film in the perfect light, and cropped and digitized to make them look flawless. The truth is, not all trends are for everyone no matter how good they look. But the good news is, most of us can make most trends work with just a little tweaking. The first example is SHORTS.

Many women shy away from shorts because they equate the notion of shorts with “daisy dukes.” We’re afraid that if our legs aren’t amazonian, golden brown and sunkissed, we’re not worthy of this summertime saving grace of a garment. However, I am a lover of shorts, walking shorts, that is. I wear them out and I wear them to work. I wear them to the movies and I wear them to the market.

There are several versions of shorts that are appropriate for different bodies, environments, and occasions (not just the uber-slender, blessed by her x-chromasomes woman we’re all so lovingly jealous of). Two options are:

Walking or Bermuda Shorts: Hits modestly above the knee, generally straight leg and may have a looser shape than dressier shorts, typically made from cotton and have some stretch, available prints and styles. The length is long enough that most women can be comfortable and they’re a great alternative to a skirt or dress. Click below for some great walking and bermuda shorts. Pair them with flat sandals, your favorite flip flps, or wedge platforms/espadrilles for a chic and effortless look.

AnnTaylorLoft.com

ShopBop.com

Anthropologie.com

Knee Shorts: These generally are longer and more work appropriate. They can vary in fabrics from light summer-weight wool to structured cotton with spandex and are a bit more formal in look than your average bermuda shorts. Also straight leg in shape and many have belt loops and back pockets for a more “upscale” alternative to a straight skirt at the office. Pair these with peep-toe pumps for the spring and summer and your favorite cropped blazer. A beautiful silk tunic and ballet flats is another elegant option for an office look that can easily go to dinner when the clock strikes 5.

Nordstrom.com

Norstrom.com/2

Hope these have changed some minds and emboldened those who may have been hesitant to reveal their legs.

Chic Lady of the Day–Maria

17 Apr

Maria donned a brilliant white skirt suit thus earning the title of Chic LADY of the Day.  Besides being brave and bold in wearing all white, this suit is beautiful on her for several reasons.  The skirt hits her at the knee rendering it office appropriate and fitting for her stature. The slingback pumps offer her a lift while revealing her legs giving her added height (and showing off her year-round, genetically gifted caramel skin color).  And the jacket is nipped in at the waist accentuating her (enviable) hourglass shape.  Pair that with her flowing hair and bright smile and we’re talking Ch-Ch-Chic!

Thanks Maria!

 

 

Chic Girl of the Day-Jessica

15 Apr

Raise your hand if you love the shift dress.  Me me me!  Jessica is wearing this classic silhouette but has “funked it up” with a great kelly green leather belt and white shirt with shirred shoulders.  The dress is just the right length for her showing off her legs and heels, adding height. And, the dress is body-conscious without being tight.  She is office appropriate with a touch of trend. 

Thanks Jess!

 

Style on the Stairs…on the cheap

13 Apr

I got a question yesterday:  Any suggestions for workout wear for those of us on a budget?

Absolutely!

But I will first say this…I have a pair of Adidas running pants that I bought over six years ago. They were about $75.  They still fit, still wick away sweat, still run along with me in every and any workout. It’s worth the investment – from both a function and fashion point of view.

Now that I’ve said my peace…

Old Navy has great workout gear for super inexpensive. I have sports bras from Old Navy in an array of colors and they hold, lift, and support with no problems. They also carry cropped and long foldover yoga pants in tons of colors.

Champion is another great brand that is mid-priced and is great for gym workouts and yoga. These are available at most multi-brand stores (i.e. Modell’s, Big 5 Sports, etc.

And of course, scouring sites like Zappos or Amazon, Footlocker.com, and even Nike or Adidas.com for sales is a great way to get expensive items on super-duper sale.

Hope this helps!

Chic Girl of the Day–Breana

10 Apr

Breana did jeans in the office in the perfectly right way.  The denim was a trouser leg in a dark wash; ultra-flattering to most shapes.  The top was a tunic-style short-sleeve knit (a nod to the incoming spring weather) that had some engaging embroidery on the top half. The empire waist added a baby-doll effect but still allowed it to be age appropriate. And, the color could be likened to watermelon; cheerful and oh-so-yummy.

But, these two pieces were elevated to chic by her fabulous pumps. Caramel-colored leather with a chocolate brown bow take these peep-toes from classic to deliciously fab. 

Thanks Breana!