FEMININE, SPARKLY ACCESSORIES FOR FALL
While summer is not quite over yet, fall merchandise is upon us. The stores are switching from summer sale items to cashmere. It’s time to think about adding some accessories to your wardrobe–and I’m feeling a little sparkly today. It’s Friday…time to shine.
I’ve always loved clothes and fashion. Part of me never stopped playing dress up. I think it’s fun to shop for and coordinate outfits—and I look forward to waking up each morning and figuring out what I will wear. I’ve been revamping my wardrobe lately—particularly adding color (trying to stay away from black a little) and attempting to dress a little more classically as I’m growing older. Accessories have the ability to add that special “pizzazz” to an outfit and make you feel fabulous.
The beautiful thing about metallics, sequins, shimmer, and the like is that they act as neutrals and can go with anything. Whether you purchase one of these or buy a knock-off, a little sparkle can certainly liven up an outfit. Play with accessories—they can change your look instantly. To read more about accessories, visit two previous blog posts: Make Accessories Matter and 5 Accessories To Help Perk Up Your Wardrobe .
Shine brightly, my friends. You deserve it.
RAIN, RAIN, GO AWAY — I THINK I’LL BUY A TRENCH TODAY
The iconic trench coat. Do you have one in your closet? Has it been dusted off? Is it still fashionable?
The rise of the trench coat’s popularity came after World War I, when it was developed as a lighter option to the heavier coats worn by British and French soldiers. Both Burberry and Aquascutum have claimed to have invented the overcoat frock, dating back to as early as the 1850s. However, it was Thomas Burberry who invented gabardine, and he was credited with creating a design for an Army officer’s raincoat back in 1901.
Women turned to wearing trench coats when iconic figures such as Kate Moss, Goldie Hawn, Jacqueline Kennedy, and Audrey Hepburn were photographed wearing the piece and turning it into a classic staple for one’s wardrobe. Given the various styles and material trench coats are made of today, women have a wide variety of choices that suit their body types, yet offer a sense of timeless style.
Here are some of my favorite trench coats on the market today. I still love my plaid trench I got years ago from BCBG—and I still wear it—though I am in the market for a solid color trench to round out my wardrobe.
How about you?
TIFFANY’S: NOTHING VERY BAD CAN HAPPEN TO YOU THERE
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Tiffany’s: the world’s most glamorous jewelry store, thanks in part to Audrey Hepburn’s role as Holly in Truman Capote’s film Breakfast at Tiffany’s.
- Holly: You know those days when you get the mean reds?
- Paul: The mean reds, you mean like the blues?
- Holly: No. The blues are because you’re getting fat and maybe it’s been raining too long, you’re just sad that’s all. The mean reds are horrible. Suddenly you’re afraid and you don’t know what you’re afraid of. Do you ever get that feeling?
- Paul: Sure.
- Holly: Well, when I get it the only thing that does any good is to jump in a cab and go to Tiffany’s. Calms me down right away. The quietness and the proud look of it. Nothing very bad could happen to you there. If I could find a real-life place that’d make me feel like Tiffany’s, then – then I’d buy some furniture and give the cat a name!
Tiffany’s is representative of what Holly believes happiness can be. For most romantics, receiving a gift in the little blue box—Tiffany’s own signature color, Tiffany Blue—is one of life’s lavish delights and wonderful indulgences. If you’ve ever had the pleasure of walking into that store on Fifth Avenue, you know it smells of elegance and extravagance while also showcasing simplistic grace. You can visit the numerous jewelry cases and take in all the sparkles—everything from engagement rings to elaborate necklaces—and it’s wonderful to dream for a few moments. But don’t despair: if you want something from Tiffany’s, there are lines under $500 that you can take home if your purse strings can’t accommodate more.
Tiffany’s also has a great collection of giftware, from baby gifts to wedding gifts, all gorgeous and able to come wrapped in that Tiffany blue box.
My husband recently gave me the Tiffany heart locket necklace, which I love and wear all the time. Years ago, we both bought matching watches from Tiffany’s, and he still wears his every day. I’ve been secretly wishing upon Elsa Peretti’s single diamond necklace above, something I think I’d like to add to my small collection of Tiffany jewelry.
Nevertheless, blue box or not, Audrey Hepburn had it right. Nothing bad could ever happen to you in Tiffany’s.
Below are some of my favorite “drool” pieces from Tiffany’s. What are your favorites?
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6 WAYS TO WEAR MAKEUP THAT DOESN’T AGE YOU
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You can probably tell if you scroll through my past posts over that past few years that I’m kind of dreading turning 50 next month (I just lied…I am absolutely dreading turning 50 next month. Yikes.). I’m not quite sure how I got here, but alas, it is about to happen. You can control some things, but you can’t control aging. So, without turning to Botox or plastic surgery, I have to resort to other tactics that will help me feel beautiful and fresh (and young), and they pretty much revolve around using makeup to my advantage.
I’ve heard people say that makeup ages you. This is not true.
Badly applied makeup ages you.
If you know some tricks and how to execute them properly, you’ll feel better about yourself. Take the time to make an appointment with a makeup artist and have her show you some techniques for your particular skin type, coloring, and texture. In the meantime, here are some tips I stand by with my makeup routine.
1. Don’t believe that makeup ages you
As we age, our skin changes. Sun spots and other aging processes take place. Often women say, “I don’t wear makeup,” and yet, I think it’s not that they don’t want to wear makeup, but they haven’t learned how to do it properly—or easily. My makeup routine in the morning takes all of about 4 minutes from start to finish. It’s fast and easy. I’ve got it down to a science. And it doesn’t age me, but rather smooths things out and leaves me feeling pretty good about myself.
2. Find fabulous foundation
Wearing foundation that suits your skin type and coloring helps even out your skin and give it a glow. Plus, foundation has SPF in it. How great is that to have SPF 15 in your foundation and not have to worry about being in the sun? You are already protected. Big bonus. I wear foundation 365 days a year to protect my skin as much as possible. But, if you’re someone who feels coated by wearing foundation, here is the best tip I know: wet a makeup sponge and then dab the foundation on it. Apply it with a wet sponge and it dilutes the foundation a bit. It will leave you feeling fresher. Also, there are lines of foundation that are less heavy, so choose one that suits you. To get Sarah Jessica Parker’s dewy look, use a highlight cream such as the one pictured here by Boots (I get it at Target).
3. Brighten you eyes
A white highlighter pencil should be one of your best friends. It opens up the eyes and makes them look brighter. You want to put it on the eye in the very inside corners of the lower lid and slightly up on the upper inside lid. See the image of the eye to see exactly where the white pencil should go.
4. Bat those eyes
Again, in order to accent the eyes—which are most people’s best feature—you will want to play them up a little with mascara. This does not mean you have to load the mascara on. In fact, too much heavy eye makeup can age you, while just the right amount will help people focus on the windows to your soul.
5. Blush it properly
Applying blush to the right spots will help accentuate your features, but you must apply it in the right space. Typically, staring slightly below the cheekbones and moving upward is the most flattering way to wear it. YOU DON’T NEED A LOT OF IT. Adding just a little pink or light red will make your face glow. Overdoing it will just make your face look ridiculous. Choose a color that suits your skin tone. Again, a makeup artist is your best bet to get your colors right.
If you’ve got two minutes, check out this video by Maybelline that shows you how to apply blush naturally.
6. Create kissable lips
There’s so much you can do with lips—you can keep them natural or play them up with color. As with blush, colors should be chosen carefully. What looks good on your friend may not be the right shade for you. The key to looking more youthful is to wear it so that it looks natural, yet polished.
THE SWING ERA & TODAY’S FASHION
Many people are fascinated with the mid 1930s up until the late 1940s called “the swing era.” That tumultuous period of time—with World War I behind us and World War II looming and then beginning—marks a time of worry, uncertainty, and confusion. However, the fashion of the era continues to be emulated, even as we look to today’s trends. The 1940s is my favorite period of time where fashion is concerned (and I happen to also love the swing era of music and that Big Band Sound). I adore the look of hats, gloves, and fitted clothing that boast confidence and class.
Streamlined cuts of clothing, longer length skirts, and perfect silhouettes were the mark of women’s fashion in the 1940s. Men’s suits were tailored and fitted. Clothing was muted, and women often punched up drab colors with bright red lipstick, pausing to curl their hair. When the war ended, Christian Dior altered the existing trend a bit by nipping in the waist of skirts and adding yards of fabric to make skirts fuller. Dior allowed the clothes to show off a woman’s body—curves and all.
In today’s business fashion, you can still look to the 1940s to garner ideas about how to wear clothing, particularly clothes that are suitable for an office setting. Even though some companies are becoming more lenient about women’s fashion in the workplace, there is nothing more polished than a woman in a smart outfit that suits her body or a man in a well-designed and fitted suit.
What era of fashion is your favorite? What cues do you take away from that era of fashion?
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PUTTING BEACHY WAVES IN YOUR HAIR
During a few free moments of boredom today, I decided to watch a YouTube video on how to put beachy waves in your hair. I recently cut about 6 inches off and, like the girl in the video, got a similar Julianne Hough haircut. Sometimes I let it go natural, but often I straighten it. I’ve tried getting the beachy waves, but it never looked quite right. So…it was time for a lesson.
I followed the advice offered, and tried it at home. The result is below.
One of the reasons women are afraid to cut length off their hair is because they fear they will lose the versatility and options long hair offers. While we may not have as many options, shorter hair can be fun, too. You just have to be willing to try new approaches, techniques, and see how others with hair your length are styling it these days.
Personally, I feel a little spunkier with shorter hair.
MAKE ACCESSORIES MATTER
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Usually when I go to the Outer Banks for vacation, I come home with one special item that I purchase at one of the boutique stores in Duck. This year, I came home with a fabulous pair of peep-toe stacked heeled boots with fringe. As soon as I saw them, I knew it they were going to be taking the 7-hour ride home with me. Like many of you, I tend to love shopping for shoes and accessories as opposed to clothes for one main reason: my shoe size rarely changes. I typically wear a size 6 or 6.5 shoe (which is why I tend to score at stores like DSW and its sales rack. Last year, I got a pair of grey, over-the-knee boots for $12 bucks on that rack…probably my most impressive purchase to date!)
Accessories are so much fun to incorporate into your wardrobe because of their versatility. You can style them with different outfits to add versatility and longevity and make an outfit go from ho-hum to unique and interesting with little effort. Pieces like scarves, hats, bags, jewelry, and belts have the ability to change the look of an outfit with ease. When shopping for accessories, keep these few things in mind:
- Buy accessories that will work with many of your existing outfits.
- Buy accessories in various tones and colors that can mix and match with a basic wardrobe.
- Buy accessories that may be in style for more than one season.
- Buy accessories that add drama or flair to your wardrobe, especially if you are like me and have a wardrobe that’s filled with black and white.
- Buy accessories that can act as statement pieces.
I am sure you will find lots of different accessories that can help punch up your wardrobe. Accessories are meant to be fun—and you should enjoy having fun with them.
What’s your favorite accessory you own?
For now, my favorite piece? The boots.
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HOW TO BUILD A SUMMER WARDROBE THAT WORKS
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One of the things people used to hire me for when I was a fashion stylist (along the lines of Stacy London), was to visit their closets, see what they had that worked, and recommend new wardrobe possibilities for them. Depending upon whether they stayed at home with children or worked for a living, I had to craft a shopping plan and then help them buy clothes that suited their body types. One woman in particular who recently had twins, was heading back to the work force, but not with the same body she had when she left. She could not fit into any of her old professional clothing, and so with $500 in her wallet, we set out to buy her an entirely new wardrobe. With coupons and imagination, we got her a starter work wardrobe that offered many mix and match possibilities, and I’ll never forget the big hug she gave me at the end of the shopping adventure.
While I may not be working as a fashion consultant any longer, I can still offer some sound advice—or if you prefer to put it in sports talk jargon, a game plan—for building a wardrobe. One of the problems people face is starting anew…how to begin and where to take the wardrobe from that point forward. There are certain staples you will need in your closet, and so this checklist is that starting point. If you already have a pretty decent wardrobe, you can use this checklist to indicate and check-off what you already own that is in good shape, and then make a list of things you might need. Remember: the overall goal of this game plan is to allow you versatility in your wardrobe, meaning that all pieces can mix and match. You will hear this called a wardrobe capsule, and if you search for them on Pinterest, many, many collections will pop up.
Good luck in your shopping endeavor. I’ve provided your checklist below, and the above photo is a sample of what you are aiming for to maximize your wardrobe. Feel free to ask any questions of me here, and I’ll be happy to answer them.
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LIGHTEN UP YOUR WARDROBE WITH SOME SUMMER WHITES
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White looks fabulous with a tan. It helps your skin glow and feels carefree and airy during the hot, humid days of summer. Adding white pieces to your wardrobe lightens things up a bit, and if you don’t have a lot of white clothing, you may want to consider getting a few pieces. One tip I learned as stylist and I’ll pass along to you is to always wear nude undergarments instead of white under your white clothing for a more natural look.
I’ve collected some of my favorite celebrities (and some models, too) who wear clothing well to illustrate the perfect use of white clothing. These ladies typically wear clothing that suits their body type—and you will not see them wear a lot of trendy clothing, but rather more up-to-date classics.
Knowing what works best on your body type is the key to putting together effective ensembles. Takes some pointers from these classy gals.
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A WRINKLE IN TIME: FIGHTING THOSE DASTARDLY LINES ON YOUR FACE
I guess you could say I’m somewhat blessed. I come from a long line of Italians and inherited medium olive skin that tends to be oily. The nature of my skin alone helps keep the wrinkles away…a little.
Most of us have to take good care of our skin—me included, especially as I approach the magic “50”—and if you ask my friends with whom I went away for a weekend and did the “spa thing,” I’m slightly obsessed with keeping my skin as youthful as possible. Mother Nature doesn’t always allow this to happen naturally, so we’ve got to use some products to help us along the way.
Of course, the biggest no-no if you want to keep your skin glowing is to stay out of the sun as much as possible, and if you must bask in it, be sure to wear SPF…the higher the number the better. Also, a hat with a nice brim is also going to be your best friend.
Keeping your skin hydrated is imperative; you must use moisturizer all the time. I’m also the person who wears foundation with SPF in it every day, just in case I take in a little sunshine. You can also put a moisturizer under your foundation with SPF in it as well.
At bed time, wear the night creams—any that you like will do. I vary mine; right now I’m using Aveda’s hydrating cream. Boots makes some great products as well, and you can find those at more inexpensive prices at Target.
Drinking a lot of water also helps—I’m guilty here. I don’t drink as much as I should, but am revving it up this summer. Join me in the fight for healthier skin! Studies have also shown that eating fish oils—particularly salmon—is great for your skin.
Additionally, natural remedies can help your skin. I’ve provided a link here which will offer you information on olive oil, coconut oil, castor oils, cucumbers, oranges, pineapple, and many other natural remedies that can help keep your skin youthful (click here).
Lastly, according to my esthetician, there are studies being done on heat and aging. When I told her I refuse to go the way of Botox, she agreed, and said, “Put a hot washcloth on your face three times a week for 10-15 minutes. The heat does wonders for wrinkles.”
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WHEN YOU GET THE URGE, LISTEN TO NIKE AND JUST DO IT
The first thing on your checklist this summer: cut your hair.
The second thing on your checklist this summer: get in shape.
The third thing on your checklist this summer: read some books.
You’ve been thinking about cutting your hair for a while. Namely, this type of thought comes into your head when you’re about to turn the BIG ONE. You thought it was time you stopped trying to look like your students…trying to have long hair when all it looked was like a hot mess most of the time. It did nothing for you, so you decide to perk yourself up with a little bob.
You pinned about 500 images of Julianne Hough’s adorable bob (though she is a bleached blonde, something you will never be), but you notice the texture of her hair is similar to your own, and you decide to … as Nike says … JUST DO IT.
You can feel the weight coming off your shoulders (literally) as you watch the hair fall to the ground and you feel nothing but happiness. Cutting your hair is liberating. It’s another form of letting go. You’ve let go of a lot of things over the last few years, and typically when you do, you don’t miss it when it’s gone (whatever that thing was). The same holds true with your hair. You watched it fall to the ground and felt your whole body shift.
And you stood up straighter.