Wednesday, June 22, 2011

More is More

I've always found addition to be easier than subtraction. Who knew my aversion to all things with a minus symbol would be such a fashion plus? We've been advised for years to "always remove one piece of jewelry" before leaving the house. I say, its time to consider a new fashion equation! Instead, let 3 necklaces + 1 pair of earrings + 3 bracelets + 2 rings= 22 compliMINTS. Who said I wasn't good at math?

Before you go out wearing every piece you own, let me give you a few parameters that will keep your look from appearing haphazard. It's easiest to stick with either a silver or gold theme. (Blending metalics is not easy). The silver tone pieces in the photo above go well together although none are perfectly similar. Layer what you like! Try adding a few of your favorite bracelets with one you haven't worn in ages. Blending items is a great way to fall (back) in love with forgotten pieces. Start with some necklaces-plural. Add some earrings and then pile on bracelets and rings. Leave no area un-jeweled.

The trick to wearing a large amount of jewelry at one time is to pair your baubles with an all-black ensemble. The gold pieces above look chic when worn without any bright colors/frill that would detract from the overall effect. It's ok to wear necklaces of all different lengths and styles. (I promise not to let you look like Mr. T). The idea is to not let any one piece stand out, but rather let the different pieces glaze over each other to form a larger statement necklace, bracelet, ring, etc. Your fashion homework: try this look before the week is out!. Put on a black top, some skinny black pants or skirt and start adding!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Tie Bow

Beaus=good, bows=even better. A well-placed bow can really girlify an otherwise bland outfit. As a firm believer in all things pretty, I suggest you try these items that will work well with your wardrobe and make you feel beautiful!

The pair of beauties shown above feel like butter on your feet and cost less than $100. Money well spent! I am rarely an advocate of a flat shoe, so you know this pair must be good. I double dog dare you to walk three blocks in these shoes without getting a compliMINT.

Bows never go out of style and a like a fabulous scent- a smidge can make a real impact. The clutch above by Betsey Johnson is pure fun and can be worn with more than you think. It has a vintage feel without looking dated. You do need this for your next night out.

For the casual bow enthusiast, the bracelets above are easy to wear and the colors are particularly good. Pair one with another plain gold bangle. FYI: this piece would make a perfect gift, you'd be guaranteed to have a genuinely thankful recipient. Better yet, buy one for yourself and wrap it up...with a bow of course.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Summer Leather Report

Seasons, shmeasons--Summer is here and it's time to set your leather free! Why should clothes have weather related boundaries? Leather is not just for Fall or Winter. A cute lighter leather jacket can be worn year round. To make leather more summery, look for something feminine with shorter sleeves and a fitted silhouette. (Matching jackets does not in fact earn you extra style points but there you have it).

I've found a great leather-ish jacket that would look fantastic over a print dress, paired with shorts or jeans and a flowy tank. The ruffled collar is beautiful and the overall shape is just right. Honestly, you will not believe how expensive this looks on. Would I lie to you? The jacket runs smaller rather than bigger so don't be afraid to order a size up. This piece comes in cream, black and a delicious chocolate brown. I am a fan of all three colors and implore you to order one yesterday.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Curl Power

It is nearly impossible to have a bad day when you're hair looks good. It's true. Bring on the parking ticket, the coffee line, the un-charged cell phone. It's all fine--your hair looks perfect and nothing can stop you.

Why not spend some extra time giving your strands some attention? Hair with a bit of wave and curl looks beautiful and appropriate on anyone. To achieve some real bounce and shape, a little time travel becomes necessary. I'm talking about hot rollers. What? You don't have any hot rollers? You haven't used hot rollers since your Middle School Sadie Hawkins dance? No worries, this set from Conair is easy to use and combined with a package of butterfly clips, you will be waving dull hair bye-bye. Literally.
Start with dry, un-flatironed hair. Part your hair however you intend to wear it after it has been curled. Let the rollers heat for about 10 minutes, then start with the bigger rollers for the top sections leaving the smaller rollers for the harder to curl hair (ie. anything close to your neck). You can choose to roll towards or away from your face-it's a personal preference and everyone's hair curls a bit differently. Sometimes a folded piece of toilet paper can be tucked under the finished roll if it feels too hot against your face/head. If your hair is resistant to curl (it's loss) lightly spritz the strand with hairspray before you roll it. Trust me, the piece will cease and desist.

Leave the rollers in for at least 30 minutes. Gently undo the clips and s-l-o-w-l-y roll out each piece. Don't rush or you will end up with a wonky frizzed up mess--not our goal. I would not recommend using a brush to loosen the curls but rather shaking out the waves with your hands. You can get really into it if you feel like it, maybe even a toss or two. Do your best to separate the individual curls so you don't look too "done". The truth is, using hot rollers is a fairly fool-proof way to add some curl to your locks. Finish with a really good hairspray, like this one from Kenra. Okay, off you go. Your day is going to be a particularly good one.

Monday, June 6, 2011

New to You

Vintage shopping is not easy. There are few challenges as great in self-styling as wearing something once owned and worn by someone else and making it somehow feel and look as if it has been yours all along. I adore vintage pieces and believe it is possible to add a few items to your closet that will garner some serious attention. What a perk to find a one-of-a-kind piece that your roommate/sister/daughter/co-worker can't replicate!

When buying antique wearables I think it is easiest to start small with jewelry. Beautiful clip-on earrings are a perfect way to add some style to a nighttime look. Aim for interesting shapes and colors. When searching for vintage costume jewelry it can be helpful to look for signed pieces. If a piece is "signed" the maker has stamped the item-the way Tiffany & Co marks their pieces today. Be on the lookout for anything by Hobe, Juliana, Sherman, D & E or Weiss, as these designers are particularly fabulous!

The above clip-on earrings are not signed and were found for less than $20 each. It is fairly safe to stick with gems from 1940's-1960's. If you find that the clips are uncomfortable don't worry-I have two solutions for you. You can attach some Dr. Scholl's moleskin around the back of the earring or a jeweler can remove the clip and replace it with a post for pierced ears. How is that for problem solving?

Here are a few sites that offer a drool-worthy selection of vintage jewels.

I have a sneaking suspicion you are going to feel so utterly spectacular in your vintage sparklies you will want to find a special pair for every occasion.

Wedged In

The wedge is without a doubt the easiest heel to wear and luckily one of the most flattering. A wedge may be the one true go-anywhere-do-anything shoe. It is easy to see why they have been a fashion staple since the late 1930's--few shoe styles can say the same! Wear a wedge with a floral print dress, skinny jeans, or a pair of loose fitting black shorts and suddenly you look taller, leaner and more put together. What could be better?

This is not to say that all wedges are created equal--there are a few wedge traps that defeat the purpose of this breezy style. Avoid anything too clunky or too fussy. Politely decline anything with bondage-looking straps or harsh studs. The goal is to lengthen your leg without looking like you're wearing an orthopedic device. (You know you've seen that tawny cankle-inducing style before). I've found a few pairs that will look effortless and feel wonderful.

This pair from Stuart Weitzman is my ultimate favorite. It is comfortable, timeless, and the olive straps match beautifully with anything. These are worth every penny. One afternoon out in these and your compliMINT count will be through the roof.

A wedge with color is a great Summer option, the pair below from Nine West is fabulous in pink, yellow or navy. It's best to keep the actual wedge portion of the shoe fairly neutral. This shoe will have you dreaming of an iced latte and a shiny new pink pedicure.

A great alternative to the classic braided wedge is this pair which features a chic giraffe print and a cork bottom. An all-black outfit would be a real smash with these wedges.

A metallic wedge is a surprisingly crucial item for Summer dressing. Something with a bit of shine can easily be worn for an evening out and will still look appropriate at brunch. This pair is feminine and the gold finish is a bit weathered thus saving your ankles from looking cheap.

If you are in the market for a wedge without any ankle or heel straps this classic shape is easy to find and works well with jeans of all lengths or a maxi-dress.

Any of the above choices promises to elevate any Summer look. You deserve a new pair to wear this weekend. Enjoy!