Archive | February, 2009

More things I love

28 Feb

Continuing on through my Loves in wardrobing and accessories, I bring you these juicy nuggets of fashionable, useful perfection.

Non-leather bags with popping patterns:

(Splurge) – Orla Kiely: I’m seeing this bag, in every style, on the shoulders of some fabulous women all over the city.  Young, older, funky and more conservative, it doesn’t matter the woman. This bag has a style and a pattern to fit your mood, functional needs and overall aesthetic preferences.  The fabric is canvas (100% cotton) and they’re coated for extra strength and durability (and you can take a sponge to them to clean them up!). Below is one of my favorite styles.

orla-kiely

(Steal) – Jane Marvel:  Marvel’s bags are the same concept (coated cotton canvas in sumptuous patterns and striking colors) but with a lower price tag. This make the bag more palatable to my taste buds and in this economy, yours too. Below is the style I personally own (in the Stars/Night pattern).

jane-marvel1

Sweatshirts that act as everyday, work and play clothes

Don’t know about you, but the older I get, the more I value comfort as much as style.  Long gone are the days when I’d sit all the live-long day in a stiff button down blouse.  Now it’s all about fluid materials that move with me and allow for maximum comfort but are still pleasing to my body shape and appropriate for my everyday activities (a la work!).  I own both of the items below.

Brooklyn Industries Iris Zip Fleece: The off-set zipper and oversized, bias collar, and 3/4 length sleeves give this sweatshirt (really, a faux-hoodie) chic and urban details. And, if you choose the alternate colors (i.e. not heather gray) and pair it with trousers (denim or classic), you’re bound to be cozy, comfy, and polished.

bi-sweatshirt

Smitten One Button Belted Sweatshirt: I own this one as shown in the classic heather gray. But the big button at the collar and the tie waist along with the trapeze style make this the new, comfy swing jacket.  This is perfect for the in-between seasons. Heck, I’d wear this to and from the gym. It goes anywhere!  I like to put it with a short neck scarf to add color near my face and either a rich-colored pair of pants or pencil skirt and heels.

smitten

Finally! I’m Skinny!

22 Feb

I did it! I finally found skinny jeans!  I know, I know…who cares? But the truth is, I do. I care because I really, really love the look of skinny jeans. They flatter so many figure shapes, including those who are curvy! In fact, I think they work best to our advantage 😉

My issue with skinny jeans was that they fit, well, skinny.  I’m not used to “feeling” and being “aware” of my clothes.  Every time I took a step, I’d feel them crease at the back of my knee. They were always too low-rise (I’m 30; I can’t do the g-string popping out look anymore). And, when I walked, the jeans would pull themselves down because they never properly fit over the thickest part of my thighs.

I’d sigh, throw yet another pair to the side in the dressing room and resolve to notion that if I wanted the skinny jean look, I’d have to do it via leggings.  But I tell you ladies that now, I believe every woman can have the skinny jeans no matter what!

My secret? I bought straight legged jeans which on my body, act as skinny jeans. They taper, they tuck in, and they streamline my lower half.

What’s so special? Take a look.

CITIZENS OF HUMANITY; ELSON IN TEMPEST (COLOR)

skinny-jean

  • Wash: Tempest (dark rinse =  sophisticated and slenderizing)
  • 34″ inseam (great to ruche at the ankles, fold up, or just tailor if necessary)
  • 8″ rise (this is key!! not low-rise, sits just at your naval)
  • 98% cotton, 2% elastin (this is the other key – you want stretch and preferably no less than 2% spandex or elastin)
  • 14″ in the knee (for those who don’t have a super-slim leg, this is an average opening that allows for comfort)

Cost: $189

Pricey? Yes. But these jeans will last you at least 5 years or as long as you deem them stylish. I have jeans that I bought in 2004 that are still alive and kicking.  Essentially, it pays to pay. I recommend dry cleaning no more than once every 3 months and never, ever wash them. Once you break them in, keep them broken in. Washing will only tighten them up and stiffen the cotton.  We’re not children anymore dealing with stains of grass and dirt. Keep your denim clean and it’s not necessary to wash them often, if at all.

Go try on the different styles of Citizens denim. They have a ton of straight and skinny leg styles. The key message–Citizens knows what it’s doing when it comes to comfy, skinny jeans.  I know…I can finally wear them!

White Ts – Your Basic’s Basic

12 Feb

There’s nothing more standard, more comfortable, more accepted, more versatile than the white T-shirt. It takes on many forms: v-neck, crew neck, 100% cotton, some spandex, henley, long-sleeve, short-sleeve, ballet neck, tank top, long tank top…you get the idea. It really doesn’t matter what style of a white T you like, we all need them and we all default to them as the basis for many an ensemble.

Some tips when buy cotton T-shirts, particularly white:

  1. Try to buy a cotton blend (cotton/spandex; cotton/modal; cotton/nylon). They offer snap-backability so they keep their shape and don’t stretch out.
  2. When you go to buy a T-shirt, make sure it stretches lengthwise and widthwise. Tug on it from the neck down and from one side to the other to ensure a good stretch and  bounce back.
  3. Thickness: tissue thin is great but it’s just that…thin. So make sure you know how you want to use your Ts–underneath versus on its own.

Some of my favorite Ts are below and here’s why…

White Tanks

These layer under the itchy sweater, under a semi-sheer top, work for you in a workout, can be dressed up with jewelry and a blazer and offer the best in sleeping comfort.  I typically will take advantage of the “Buy 2 for $15” at some chain store, wear them for the season, throw them away and replenish.  Cheap tanks are fine for sleeping or lounging around. But they don’t necessarily take well to the streets or work or play.  Some alternatives that my be a bit more pricey but well worth it. They last a little longer, they hold their shape a great deal better, and they are a mix of cotton with other soft, stretchy fabrics to make them more comfortable than your average cotton tank.

James Perse: $45–The key is the fabric, cotton and modal. Premium stretch and superb snap back. Finally, a rib knit that doesn’t stretch out!

james-perse-tank

Splendid: $44–This is an alternative to a body-skimming tank but still maintains the integrity of the definition. A loose, flowy fabric offers you max-comfort and it still works as a layer underneath jackets and sweaters.

splendid-tank

White V-Neck

The v-neck is a flattering neckline for most any woman, particularly those who have am ample chest. It also makes for a great framework for a beautiful necklace or scarf.  Long-, short-, or somewhere in between, the V-neck is clean and crisp with dark denim or any dark colored pants, and uber-comfy underneath your favorite hoodie.

Michael Stars: $46.  This style does a world of good for two reasons. First, the V is wide and elegant. Second, a 1/2 length sleeve that hits at the elbow is very flattering for women who have larger arms as it hits the narrowest point on the arm. It’s long enough to peek out underneath a shorter cardigan or sweater and it covers the belly if you’re wearing low-rise bottoms.

michael-stars-vneck


LA Made: $41.  Long sleeve v-necks look great underneath short-sleeved tops, sweaters or cropped jackets. I have two myself and they serve as the basis for many winter outfits for a layer of warmth and a peek of slouchy style under a brightly colored sweater.

la-made-long-sleeve-v

Camisoles

Camisole is the cousin of the tank. The basic difference is that the strap is spaghetti in width rather than the 1″ width of the tank.  Every woman should own a variety of camisoles in a variety of colors.  I use them under any top that plunges too far in the neckline making it appropriate for work.  I wear them around my apartment, I wear them on a super hot day when I’m running errands, and I wear them under most sweaters or cardigans.

Hanro Grace 1927: $54. The lace at the top is a pretty detail that renders jewelry unnecessary, but for a simple pair of hoop earrings.  It’s smooth to the body making it an easy layer without adding bulk and long enough to cover any peeking tummy from the waistband of your bottoms. This same simple style is also available without the lace…and in every color under the sun.

lacy-camisole

Ella Moss: (sale) $55 Ella makes flirty and feminine clothes in comfortable fabrics.  This camisole is loose and flowy, pretty classic white.

ella-moss-tank

the power of your clothes

1 Feb

I had a bunch of clothes that were in wonderful condition but weren’t working for me anymore. I didn’t necessarily just want to give them to charity or try and sell them at the thrift store in Brooklyn.  Instead, upon making my two friends brunch today, I pulled out the bag of clothes and started to go through them to see if either of them sparked to any of the garments I was ready to let go.

Amy took several pieces that I must say, looked way more fabulous on her than on me.  And I felt like a good Samaritan. Why? Because good clothes went to a good woman and put a smile on her face. That’s what clothes are about. Smiling and feeling good about ourselves.

The beauty of clothes is that they can make you feel a certain mood or emotion. You put on a suit and you’re powerful, assertive, and almost intimidating.  Throw on the LBD and you’re hot.  Slouchy sunday jeans make you feel fun, fluid, and ready for a movie or the paper and some coffee.  Of course, in a woman’s life, the one thing that makes us feel the ultimate emotion is the wedding gown.  Clothes have that power if you give it to them.

I say, give the clothes the power. Let your wardrobe pull out emotions from you. Let your outfit remind you of the emotions you haven’t felt in a while. Let the colors lift your spirit when you’re not able to do so on your own.  Put on a fabulous bra and matching panties when you feel fat. You’ll feel insta-pretty.  Wear your expensive boots and hand bag with your t-shirt and jeans and feel chic without trying.  If you’re feeling sick, try a bright yellow or citrus color and breathe in your health.  I swear on my Cole Haan tote, clothes, colors, and fabrics have the ability to take you from low to high.

That’s my insight for a Sunday evening. Let your clothes pull out the best in you.  You’ll get compliments and your mood, spirits, and attitude will be elevated and prance around on the good words that people throw your way. Between that and the morning cup of coffee…what else do you need for a kick-start to your day?