Browsing Entries: Dress Yourself Monday
Don't go outside without your muffler! So said my dad all throughout my childhood. Muffler? Like the thing in your car? Apparently "muffler" is a geriatric word for "scarf". You'll need this, and a few other accessories, to survive the winter in style.
These are a few of our favorite things - winter-style.
Scarves -listen to my dad. Don't go outside without your muffler. Your neck will get cold! Indulge in something fluffy with pompoms:
Juicy Couture Pop Crochet Scarf at Shopbop
Or go cashmere for a little more softness and warmth
TDM Design Grande Cashmere Scarf at Shopbop
Gloves -You are never more chilled than when your extremities are uncovered. Be nice to your hands and bundle them up!
Women's Shearling Gloves at Vivre
Mittens are also an option, although they seem to be a little more difficult to find. It may or may not be because we actually like to be able to pick items up. Mittens turn us into bears with swatty paws.
Woolen hats-keep your noggin warm. You've heard that 70% of your body heat escapes through the top of your head. Or is it 80%? Or 90%? What is your body doing to make the heat want to escape so badly?
Miu Miu Knitted beanie at Net-a-Porter
You will now be properly attired to run outside and make snow angels. Get to it.
Your best friend at the airport is not the TSA representative, nor the gate agent, nor the nice lady making those Auntie Anne's pretzels. Your best friend at the airport is your carry-on bag. When you're packing up for a girlfriend getaway or regular weekend trip, with all the restrictions on luggage, you want your carry-on "personal item" (i.e. your purse), to be the Ultimate Uber-Bag.
You'll ideally want a large, oversized tote, with a zipper closure and outside pockets. The zipper in the main compartment is key. When you turn the bag on it's side, and try to delicately cram it under the seat in front of you, you do not want the contents to spill out all over the floor. No one on your flight really needs to know you're taking Hydroxycut.
Here are a few we like:
See by Chloe created a near-perfect tote in the Sundance Long Zipped Tote. Shortened shoulder straps keeps the bulk of the bag close to you, and the flattened curve of the straps fit nicely on shoulders. The tote has a roomy interior, with the zipper closure to keep everything inside. Two outer side pockets are perfect for tucking your ID and boarding pass for easy access.
The Sak Dakota Shopper is a sturdy tote with zippered front and side outer pockets. It offers the sturdy short straps as well as a longer shoulder strap for a little variety.
The Jill Stuart Georgina Large Tote is a sophisticated tote option. It comes with the shorter, comfortable shoulder straps, zippered main compartment, and outer patch pockets. Are you noticing a pattern here?
The Gustto Seleta Dome Satchel comes in a soft, supple leather, with, say it with us, the comfortable shoulder straps, zippered main compartment, and outer pockets.
There are a great many oversized tote options out there in shoppingland, but you'll really need to look hard for the one that will make your travel experience less complicated. Remember the things to look for: shorter, flattened shoulder straps, zippered main compartment, outer pockets and if you can find one that comes complete with a money-filled wallet? Faaaaaantastic.
I'm going on a girlfriend getaway and I'm going to bringggggggg...a hat. Always bring a hat. They are of perfect packable size, and offer a multitude of solutions to various travel conundrums.
Hats are perfect for hiding bedhead from an overnight flight; or hiding frizzed out hair if you didn't know you needed an electrical converter for your hairdryer or flatiron; or if you didn't know you needed a DIFFERENT electrical converter for Europe and the UK. There are many fashionable options to help you avoid the dreaded baseball cap. Also known as the American tourist giveaway. You're fancier than that!
Beret - vive la France! Berets are chic, lightweight and add a bit of sass to your ensemble. Pair with matching scarf and gloves and VOILA! Sitting at an outdoor cafe, sipping capuccino is optional (although very much recommended).
Newsboy - a slightly more casual option, the newsboy cap fits snugly on the head and offers a slight brim to keep the sun out of your eyes. Extra! Extra! Read all about the savvy girlfriend in the hip accessory!
Fedora - usually reserved for Film Noir gumshoes in the 1930s, the fedora has made a fashion-comeback in recent years. We've seen them on everyone from Cameron Diaz to Sienna Miller, and they look to be a universally flattering option. Accompanying trenchcoat not required.
Cap - very jaunty, and just a snap away from the newsboy, the standard cap tops off many different looks. You can dress this up or down.
Bucket -the bucket offers the most coverage, if you're looking for a hair-disaster coverup. It also creates a bit of a shadow over the eyes, so if you're attempting an incognito look, the bucket is your hat. Beware it also creates a sort of odd echo when you're speaking. Just let the hat do all your talking for you.
Cloche - a throwback to the 1920s, the cloche hat is the most feminine of the hat options. It will also create the most severe hat-head, as it fits very close to the scalp. That's okay, it's pretty enough to leave on indoors. Call it a look!
Hats are woefully underused in American wardrobes. They are fabulous and fun and a great way to wake up your wardrobe. They should always be a staple when traveling. Seriously, why waste all that time doing your hair? Your time would be much better spent sitting at a cafe, taking in the sights, touring the ruins, and visiting museums. Or shopping for more hats!
Americans are notorious for schlepping around various vacation destinations clad in khakis, polo shirts, Nikes and baseball hats - making it appear as if we are all employees of a TGIFridays-type establishment. While it's always important to maintain your personal sense of style, it's also a good idea to try to assimilate to the particular country or region in which you'll be traveling. Here are a few examples:
NEPAL, PERU, OTHER POPULAR TREKKING DESTINATIONS - makeup will do you no favors on the hiking trails. While trekking in the Annapurna or Andes range, if you are wearing makeup you will look like a clown next to all the adrenaline-created rosy-cheeks of other travelers. If you're feeling vain, wear your sunglasses in the photos.
LONDON - The Brits are fabulous at playing Dress-Up. Take one look at all the men in their savvy pinstripe suits, with rich purple ties, and you'll be shouting "God Save The Queen!" British women tend to take more fashion risks, and don't feel like they need to follow trends as closely as their American counterparts. This means you can try out some funkier looks: hot pants, tights and suede booties? Why not? You're on vacation!
PRETTY MUCH ALL OF EUROPE - blending in requires little more than scarves and a cute pair of flats. Those two items alone, would render even the polo shirt/khakis ensemble more palatable.
THAILAND - leave those bulky cargo shorts at home and get thee a sarong! Not only is it a chic beach coverup, it doubles as a souvenir. Many of the temples that you'll want to visit also require long pants or long skirts, and your ankle-length sarong will work.
Pack a light suitcase, and put "local shopping" on your list of things to do in the first few days of the trip. When you arrive, take note of what the cool kids are wearing. There are few things more fun than having a friend at home compliment you on an item of clothing, when you can respond "Yeah, I got it in Portugal".
With Fall comes the Fall Fashion Issues of our favorite magazines. And with these Fall Fashion Issues come a slew of new trends, some of which should have warning labels. These are a few Fall trends that we think can be skipped...
Open-toed boots: The booties are somewhat more palatable, but full on open-toed boots are just odd. You wear full-length boots to keep warm (and because they look good), and we can't get the image out of our heads of stubbing our toe in a snow bank while wearing these. On the flip-side, though, if you recently had toe-surgery these are perfect.
Crazy plaids: Plaid can be good, particularly if you're in Scotland, or attending private school, or just having a picnic at the winery. Plaid can also be bad.
Full skirts: Think about this: if you are looking at the model, who is wearing the full skirt, and you're thinking "Oh good, the models are finally eating!" think again. They are still the same size. The full skirts are creating the illusion of a medium build.
Case in point - the stunning Jacquetta Wheeler. From the waist down, she looks reasonably healthy. But direct your focus to the chest area.
That is SKINNY. My chest is nowhere near that skeletal, and I can just imagine how enormous my hips would look in this ensemble. If you are one of the lucky slim-hipped, you can feel free to indulge in the full -skirt craze.
Pegged jeans: granted, this is not a trend approved by fashion magazines, but rather something Katie Holmes tried to initiate. We actually like the slouchy boyfriend-jean look:
but do NOT peg the legs of the jeans. Baaaaaad.
Fake-worn-out jeans: It is ridiculous to buy jeans like this. If it happens naturally, fine, you've got yourself some great "paint the house" jeans. But we saw these at Barney's.
BARNEY'S! No, no, no, no, no.
Exaggerated print mixing: - we know, we know, everyone is trying to be trendy-quirky, and when even the fashion director at O Magazine says it's okay, it might seem like a really good idea! No. Pattern mixing can be done, if you keep it subtle. But honestly, it should be more of a gut reaction - if the ensemble makes your eyes hurt, just pair the print with a solid. It's better to be safe than scary.
Use your mirrors, girls, and incorporate new Fall trends with a modicum of common sense.
We have previously mentioned that we do not condone traveling in sweatpants. Sure, they're soft and cushy, but there are better, more sophisticated options, that are just as comfortable AND have pockets where you can keep your ID, and boarding pass.
Jeans please! With myriad options, there is really no excuse not to have at least one decent pair in which you could travel.
Earnest Sewn - these are the softest, most comfortable - not to mention flattering - jeans. The lighter wash makes them more casual, but not as casual as sweats.
Ali Flare Jean - Retail $215, on sale at Shopbop for $107.50
Joe's - these aren't quite as stretchy, but have a more sophisticated, trouser-type look, and a higher rise.
Joe's Jeans Muse Wide Leg - $159 at Shopbop
7 For All Mankind - the originator of the
overpriced high-end, designer jean, 7's set the bar. These are their original recipe - stay away from the extra-crispy:
7 For All Mankind Bootcut Stretch Jean - $155 at Nordstrom
AG - the black wash skinny jean is perfect for a slightly dressier look that can easily pair with jeans.
AG Jeans The Stilt in Coated Black - $168 at Revolve Clothing
There are more where these came from. Explore at your leisure, and please, leave the sweats at home.
As of September 22, it was officially Fall. You may not have felt it, depending on where you live, but Fall is here and it's getting chilly. We're going to need some cashmere.
Cashmere should really be seen as more of a necessity than a luxury. It is the warmest sweater fabric (according to experts it is 8x warmer than sheep's wool), and oh-so-soft. Well, it's oh-so-soft if you buy the right cashmere. Follow along:
High quality cashmere
1 - feels very soft and lightweight
2 - has longer fibers than those of the lower quality
3 - is not susceptible to pilling (like the lower quality)
4 - travels well, and does not wrinkle
5 - is long-lasting; it will actually become softer with age
Ideally you will want the label to read "100% cashmere".
You may hear people say the greater the ply, the better, but high-end makers, such as cashmere icon Loro Piana, pull off lightweight, one-ply pieces with high-quality yarn and good construction. As long as we're name-dropping, a few other brands known for their quality cashmere: White+Warren, TSE, Burberry, Ermenegildo Zegna.
A few ways to appreciate cashmere are...
In the form of a basic, turtleneck:
James Perse Cashmere Turtleneck Sweater - $385 at Net-A-Porter
as a flouncy-sleeved tee:
Ports 1961 Cashmere Tee - $395 at Vivre
as a chunky, cable-knit cardigan:
Design History - $298 at Bluefly
or as a gorgeous, rich jewel tone:
Autumn Cashmere Tie-Front Dolman Cardigan - $192 at Bluefly
We feel toastier already. But just for extra warmth, pass the hot chocolate.
It has been TOO too long since we've had a really good awards/gown show. The Emmys last night cured our sartorial itch with many safe-but-gorgeous looks, and a few quirky surprises.
Our unofficial winner of the night was Brooke Shields in Badgley Mischka:
Photo: Frazer Harrison/Getty
Embellishment on the bodice, ruffles on the skirt, and a splashy-fabulous fuschia color. WINNER! She looks gorgeous.
America Ferrera wins our "Okay, if you MUST wear black" award, in a vintage gown:
Photo: Frazer Harrison/Getty
Honestly, wearing black to these events is a bit of a cop-out, but this dress IS vintage and has an interesting style and a unique extra-long tea-length hem. She sasses it up a bit with perfect makeup and a beautiful chunky necklace. Well played, America.
Our winner in the "Pretty-pretty princess" category, Ms. Marcia Cross, wearing Elie Saab (like 80% of the other attendees):
Photo: Jason Merritt/Filmmagic
She looks even better than Amy Adams in "Enchanted", and part of me wants to plant her in my garden. I mean, if I had a garden, and the desire to plant things. I am slightly concerned about the pronounced sternum I'm seeing, although so many of these actresses claim "stress", that I'll give her a week or two to eat a few sandwiches.
In the "This dress would be fantastic if we could remove one thing" category (our blog, our categories), the stunning Vanessa Williams in Kevan Hall:
Photo: Frazer Harrison/Getty
If we could just un-velcro that strip of dimoniques from the dress, it would be SO pretty. They are too distracting, and take away from the drama of the floral print. They are also competing, unsuccessfully, with Williams' megawatt smile.
And now, for the quirky.
The unflappable Kyra Sedgwick has such an insanely fit body, that she can really get away with wearing just about anything. JUST about anything:
Photo: Chris Pizzillo/AP
While Kyra was sashaying down the red carpet, and posing politely for photos, a giant Swarovsky-sequined phoenix came and landed directly at second base. Her body still looks ridiculously amazing.
And a rousing "GO GIRL!" to our girl Christina Applegate, who was recently diagnosed with breast cancer, and underwent a double mastectomy, at the age of 36. That is a lot to go through, and we're so glad to see her looking healthy and smashingly beautiful in Reem Acra.
Photo: Mathew Imaging/Wire Images
P.S. "Samantha Who?" rocks. We're looking forward to the Fall Season!
Buy low, sell high! Today's bear market is tomorrow's bull market, and a bunch of other stock market comparisons. Investing in your future is paramount. Although today we mean wardrobe investment pieces, not stocks and bonds. Don't get us wrong, we're big fans of Suze Orman and Warren Buffett, but it's fall, you're probably doing your Back to School shopping, and rather than overspending on trendy things, like leather leggins, why not use your precious coins to invest in a few select pieces that will last you more than a season or two.
Now that we're out of our teens, we realize that it is possible to hold on to clothing for more than a couple of seasons. It's important to invest in quality clothing pieces, so you don't find yourself schlepping back to the department store every year to buy yet another cardigan sweater. These investment pieces should last you a LONG time.
Things you should not feel guilty about spending some cash on, and our recommendations for breaking the bank doing so:
Trenchcoat - you need this for braving the elements, or lurking on corners pretending to smoke a Gauloise (actual smoking is bad for you - see years of research). A trench just looks cool, there's no arguing with that: Bergman & Bogart in "Casablanca", James Bond in any film, Jane Fonda in "Klute", and Keanu Reeves in "The Matrix". Okay, that last one isn't exactly classic, but he does look good. For the trench, break the bank with Burberry:
Burberry Ivybridge Cotton Trench - $990
Handbag - you need to carry things. Things like your cell phone, your wallet, your lipstick, your flask of vodka that just helps the afternoon go that much more quickly, condoms, important reading material, etc. For the luxury of luxuries, and if you love the idea of saleswomen falling at your feet when you walk into a store, swing a Nancy Gonzalez bag:
Nancy Gonzalez Crocodile Satchel $3850
LBD - Your best "go to" outfit is the little black dress. Seriously, it requires little-to-no thought, and we LOVE little-to-no thought. We're usually too busy trying to pick out the ultimate shoe to wear. Coco Chanel popularized the LBD in the early 1900s, and variations on the classic have been in heavy wardrobe rotation ever since. Vera Wang creates a few beautiful options:
Vera Wang Silk Taffeta Dress $1650
Cashmere sweater - neutral color, basic buttons; you will want to sleep in this. But don't. It will go everywhere with you, and if you must sleep in it, do so on a flight somewhere. The well-made, luxury sweaters won't pill, and the cashmere is always fluffy-soft, never scratchy.
Michael Kors Cashmere V-Neck Cardigan $895
Black pumps - black pumps are a wardrobe staple and every girl should have a pair. They can be worn with dresses, skirts, pants, jeans, and even a swimsuit if you're feeling so inclined. The ultimate in pumps is always Christian Louboutin:
Christian Louboutin Declic Black Pumps $700
Watch - this will keep you prompt and on time and is also a great distraction if you are attempting to appear occupied. If you are a watch-wearer, you will wear this every day, making it one of the most sensible purchases ever. Timepieces of European royalty, celebrities, other well-heeled individuals, and probably Elton John, are created by Patek Phillippe:
Patek Philippe Twenty~4 $11,000
Jeans - if you find a pair of jeans that make your butt look phenomenal and your legs 5 inches longer, buy them. Buy two pair. Jeans have gone ridiculously upscale in the past couple of years, and spending $150 is no longer shocking, but more the norm. With these prices, they had better make you look like Jessica Biel. The most comfortable, flattering pair I have found (so far) have been Ernest Sewns (and I mean "comfortable" like I wear them on the airplane and they feel like sweats, comfortable):
Ernest Sewn Customized Jeans $170-$200
Start your sartorial portfolio now, and don't forget to keep and eye out for sales on any of these items. You can invest, and still save at the same time.
Remember how you used to pore over the Spiegel catalog, drooling over the autumnal settings and the cashmere sweaters paired with jodhpurs and riding boots? Well, we're not sure what happened to the Spiegel catalog, and jodhpurs have once again been relegated to the riding stables, but we can continue to drool over cashmere and boots at our favorite online shopping sites.
Let's see what each has to offer in the way of a basic, flat, black boot. You can wear those with almost anything.
Shopbop - You're not supposed to play favorites with your children, but Shopbop is my favorite. I am loathe to share it, as I struggle with sharing all tasty desserts. The site is almost too user-friendly, with a comforting color palette of deep burgundy and slate gray, with a splash of orange in the header to say "Welcome to a fun shopping experience!"
They offer a range of styles and prices, but I always seem to gravitate toward the option that costs more than my rent.
Golden Goose Charlye Pull-On Boot - $1050
RevolveClothing - with similar content to Shopbop, this is another great shopping resource. The look of the site just isn't as pretty. It's very black and edgy, and while that is somewhat artistic, it doesn't really encourage me to buy things. Unless they're 70% off...
They had a good basic pair of Frye's for less than my rent:
Frye Paige Tall Riding Boot - $341
Vivre - A gorgeous, upscale site with a bent toward the finer things in life. Although I have issues with their $25 standard shipping, which takes like 2 weeks. 2 weeks? Are they sending the purchases on a steamliner across the Atlantic? In 1917?
Wellington Calf Boots - $1490
Net-A-Porter - It's like the runway on your computer screen. If you're looking for high-end designer luxury goods, in a straightforward, product-focused site, Net-A-Porter is perfect. Plus, they show you the item on a mannequin as part of a complete outfit, so you can see how it looks.
Sigerson Morrison Studded Leather Boots - $990
Intermix - it has a similar appearance and vibe to Vivre, with a more limited selection of boots. So much more limited that I could only find flat, black short boots.
Frye Veronica Short Buckle Boots - $268
Amazon - yes Amazon. There are screaming deals on shoes, if you pay attention and pace yourself. Try sorting by price, high to low, and then page through to your heart's content.
These were somewhere in the middle as far as price goes, and somewhere at the top of the SO CUTE list as far as looks go:
Now, take your time, and don't try to shop all these sites at once. Unless your computer can support having six browsers open at once.
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