Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The '70s are calling.... Tie Dye is Back!

I remember one of my favorite days at sleepover camp, I referred to it as, "Tie dye your old crap" day. I put strange elastics all over my shirts to create weird and fun designs and then dipped away into colored dyes. Never was a masterpiece created, but I still wore those ugly suckers for years to come. I had to make sure my parents got their money's worth for shipping me off:)

Now, it was certainly not the '70s, but tie dye was still a good time. Fast forward to Spring 2009 and tie dye has gone from sleepover chic to high fashion chic. Open any magazine these days and they have at least a few pieces devoted to the newest, hottest trend. Jerry Garcia would be front row in the tents at fashion week.

Tie dye can be overwhelming to some people and I certainly do not fault you for this. Like many things that are a throw back to another era, it evokes feelings that leave you wanting to keep it where it came from. I encourage you to re-work the idea of tie dye and let it lead your ensemble. I am obsessed with this loose and easy vest that really does capture the entire feeling of hippie chic without going over the top. Weekend wear has never looked so good! Using a scarf to accent the trend is a great way to put a touch of tie dye into your look and not feel like you walked out of Woodstock. If looking office appropriate is how most of your week goes, there are some truly amazing cardigans out there right now just waiting to be worn. Wearing deeper, richer color combinations for a more sophisticated look.

Fleurish Tie Dye Vest

Thursday, March 26, 2009

The Silk Button Down: Great for Busty Women!!!

Voluptuous women have all types of problems when it comes to finding a properly fitted button-down. Truthfully, even small-busted women, such as myself, have issues with the closure around the boobies. What boob obsessed man got all of the other boob obsessed men together to come up with this big plan? "We will create all button-down shirts to always remain open so we can view boobies all day long!!! Ha, ha, ha......"

Now because of their little plot, I have spent much of my styling days trying to rectify this problem. As I suggested in my "Perfect White Shirt" Sass N Style episode, a small brass safety pin or double sided men's toupe tape help to keep it closed. If tricks and fussing are not your thing, I have found the button-down for you!

Choosing a silk fabric, such as this lovely find that I picked up yesterday at NY and Co., helps with the fit of the shirt. It allows for more room around the bust because it is draping correctly throughout the rest of the garment. A structured button-down, when properly fitted, has strong darts along the front and often pulls at the bust because of this. Designers are trying to have the shirt be well-fitted throughout, but seeing as women have all different size boobies that do not always represent out shirt size, this does not work. The flowy nature of silk allows for movement, comfort and a great fit. Even if it is a little loose through the mid-section, the fall of the material helps to create a streamlined silhouette.

I strongly suggest not only picking some up, but head over to NY and Company right now because they are only $35!!! They have a million fabulous colors and prints for Spring! I am usually not an advocate of picking up several things in the same color, but with this basic style it is completely worth owning a few. They can serve a completely different purpose based on the color or print. Plus, how often do busty women really find a great button down? Buy, buy, buy.

City Style Roll Cuff Shirt

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The Cuff Watch: Your Jewelry Can Tell Time!

I am always looking for new and interesting ways to re-invent the obvious and I love this combination of jewelry and time! Usually I am off-put by designers creating "confused" pieces, but this seems to really work. You know what I am talking about.... It appears to be a shirt based on the material choice, yet the design is clearly an outdoor coat. Where are you suppose to wear this thing? Apparently pieces like that were created for all of the outdoor barbecues you go to in January.

This piece not only helps to keep your schedule on track, but it seriously spices up your ensemble. It is also completely fabulous because you can layer on other simple bangles with it and really punch up the jewelry feel. A cuff is always a bold statement to make with any outfit, so having it additionally tell you when after work drinks are about to begin is very useful!!!!

Also folks, do not pass up on this tortoise shell material! I bought a watch in tortoise shell just under a year ago and it quickly became one of my favorite pieces. Not only do most people NOT own it, but it really works with any look because of its completely neutral feeling. I always promote being different in your choices and here is a prime opportunity! It is the three in one piece that keeps on ticking. Watch, jewelry and tortoise shell material make for a kick-ass accessory that everyone will notice.

Pedre Tortoise Cuff Watch

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Chloe Sevigny: Vintage Chic

Her style is consistently spoken about, yet it appears so off the cuff it is truly difficult to emulate at times. This is what makes a real fashionista, making the impossibly confusing or unattractive seem effortless and chic. Enter Chloe Sevigny.

Although it appears that she was just dragged from a second hand store, don't be fooled, there is definite thought behind this vintage fabulous look. The great combination of old and new, be it designer or flea market retro, are what truly make this look a style. She manages to easily mix together pieces that most people would consider time for Salvation Army and give them a new and fantastic life.

Pulling together her vintage chic look is also about understanding your proportions and best features, as any great fashionista already knows. Chloe has fabulous legs and presents them to the public as often as possible. Short, flouncy dresses accentuate her flower child presence while also representing her great gams. A perfectly proportioned silhouette that seems effortless is the base foundation of this incredibly personal look she has developed.

The serious key to achieving this style is to not only understand your own personal proportions, but it is to look outside of the box and see the true possibility in every garment. Would you really have grabbed the dress she is wearing on the right and thought it was fabulous?!? Remember, old pieces can look new and new pieces can look old. Vintage chic is about understanding the proper combinations to bring life into all of your individual pieces to have a completly fabulous outifit!!!

Photo courtesy of NYmagazine

Monday, March 23, 2009

TheTotally Tubular T-Strap Sandal

I became totally obsessed with the T-strap sandal about two seasons ago and it is still kickin'! It was the first shoe that I had found in a while that seriously complimented every outfit that I put on. Plus, I was moving into my more sophisticated portion of my fashion life (I emphasize fashion, not life:) and this shoe seemed like the perfect fit.

It is completely delicate and simple and does not distract or compete with anything else that might be making you look fantastic that day. It is a great purchase for any age and although it does buckle around the ankle, it is too fine of a strap to accentuate a possibly bulky calf. That is actually a key fashion concept, DO NOT buy shoes that have ankle straps unless you have smaller calves. Cutting off your ankle only defines and draws attention to your more hefty calf. It also helps to shorten your legs by literally putting a horizontal line through your vertical legs. If you must, buy shoes that have a very delicate strap such as this t-strap sandal.

These particular shoes are great in any color, but because of their possible versatility, I would choose a neutral color such as nude, gold or black. If you need your one "go-to" pair of sandals for the warmer months, I strongly suggest investing a pair of t-strap fabulousness.

Banana Republic "Kara" thin strap sandal

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Eco-Friendly Fashion: Canvas Totes

Al Gore changed my life. Really. After I watched his movie, "An Inconvenient Truth", I was literally crying. I felt scared and mostly bad about how I was contributing living in this big, bad city of New York dumping most of my life away. I promptly began separating my trash for recycling and prepared for my new and more earth friendly life!

Now, lest you be concerned that this "new" life would be anything short of fabulously fashionable, think again. I am a huge shopper over at Whole Foods and am willing to spend a few extra dollars for better quality grub. Toting my fresh veggies and salmon is a tougher task living in a non-car friendly city so I had to evolve as a fashionable human being.

The canvas tote is our Eco-friendly answer to looking cute coming from the grocery store (or other locations where you will be carting stuff home). It is actually now recognized as stylish to be rocking a re-usable bag as opposed to answering the question, "plastic or paper?" No thanks, I've got my own! Fold this bag up to the size of an envelope and stuff it in your purse for later use. I assure you, your grandkids will be thanking you (and so will mother earth)!

Dogeared Canvas Tote

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Salute an Officer! Sailor Jeans

Owning the perfect pair of jeans is probably one of the most difficult tasks that we have as a woman. How is it that we can go into a dressing room with 15 pairs to try on and we walk out feeling beaten and battered with nothing to show for it? Stop the madness.

The sailor jean is a quick answer to fix most ladies jean shopping problems. The high waist and flared leg allow for movement and comfort because you are not having to suck, tuck and squeeze yourself through your day. Shorter ladies must hem these to wear with heels because the overwhelming width of the leg will be too much for your petite frame. Unless you are at least 5'4", buy some stacked heels in addition to your sailor jeans. Also, be sure to have a back pock or at least the illusion of one unless you have the perfect heiny of a twenty year old. Ah, the days....:)

This style also allows you to play with your funky sailor side (we all have one) as well. Jeans are a basic concept, but this design puts a spin on them that is definitely worth playing with. I am always screaming about adding your own personal flare to any look and here is a simple way to set yourself apart. Plus, during fleet week (one must live in NYC for this Labor Day extravaganza) it will be an easy way to have something in common with all of the cute sailors....

KUT Stretch Sailor Jeans


Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Sassy Spring/Summer Woven Clutch

We have already established time and time again that I love anything metallic. I cannot stress enough that it is the easiest and most stylish way to give your outfit a kick while not diverting attention away from your look. It can be a standout color choice, but truthfully it just adds that certain something that only exemplifies that you are a true fashion diva.

No matter what the season, the clutch and metallic colors will always be en vogue, so why not pair them together? This great gold woven clutch is a perfect boost to your Spring or Summer ensemble. Woven bags are going to be huge this season so why not pick one up for yourself. It will be a staple of you style this season so it will be well worth the money. You will not even be able to figure out the "cost per wear" figure because it will be in your pretty little hand so often!!!

Due to its extreme versatility, giving you specific styling tips on how to rock this bag seems ridiculous. Wear it with anything. I am (almost) completely serious. You can obviously tell if something looks off, but this bag will most likely fit in with most of your Spring/Summer outfits. From the easy breezy to the simple and sophisticated, this bag will shine like the top of your grandfathers bald head.

Soft Woven Metallic Clutch


Saturday, March 14, 2009

Friday, March 13, 2009

Thank God Top Shop is Coming!!!!

I know you have all waited for it... Well, it is finally here. Top Shop is arriving in New York City. What is Top Shop you ask? It is God's answer to affordable, funky, trendy clothing. I know you say there is H & M, Zara and Forever 21, but seriously, nothing compares to the styles from this wonderful import. The UK has provided us with several fantastic things over the years... The Beatles, beans for breakfast, Jude Law.... These all suck compared to Top Shop:)

You may have already heard of this joint because of one of their very famous designers, Kate Moss. She is known for her exquisitely interesting vintage look and she brings that fashion sense to this British chain. Even the celebrities have jumped on the band wagon of sporting inexpensive clothing on the red carpet (hell, we are ALL in a recession:) by mixing Top Shop designs with established high-end designers. My mantra goes red carpet! If you don't live in NYC or plan on coming (to see me) anytime soon, don't fret! Top Shop is on-line and you can purchase any of their fabulous frocks to amazingly architectural heels by the click of a button! Look like Kate Moss for less.

Kate Moss The Christmas Collection
Photo courtesy of Redcarpet-fashionawards.com

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Creative Conservative: Give your Suit a Punch!

I have worked with all different types of ladies in all shapes, sizes and lines of work. One of my favorite projects is when I start with a new client who is in the corporate world and the first thing out of their mouths is that they must be in suits and it is boring. No more boring suits!!!! Remember Miranda on Sex and the City? Um, yes you do. She is what I refer to as a creative conservative and is a prime example of how going to a suited-up office is not the end of your fashion world!

There is possibility in everything you wear as long as you put your own spin on it. You never want to stand out like you are about to attend fashion week (be realistic), but you do want your (very boring) co-workers to be impressed daily by your fashion talents. It is a small thrill, but worth the effort:)

A suit can be a painful purchase. You spend too much money on something that usually does not do your body justice. Stop the insanity and pick up something that IS flattering. A suit does not mean that you have to drape yourself in over-sized garments that are too long and have shoulder pads to boot. The fit is key, as always, but specifically when you are working with a suit because many designers tend to have you swimming in an unflattering silhouette.

Add your own flare, as this lovely model is showing, by pairing your interestingly tailored suit with fun and funky accessories. Play with the proportions and draping of the fabrics because again, wearing a suit does not equal boring. Getting dressed should be fun and fabulous no matter what the rules are. Recognize and respect the office ideals for dressing, but don't be afraid to push the envelope with one or two truly original and fun pieces. From a great statement necklace to over the top shoes, your simple touch of fun will put you head and shoulders above the rest. Break through the glass ceiling of fashion!!!!

Victoria's Secret Origami Skirt in Seasonless Strech
Long Jacket in Seasonless Strech
Paco Gil Two Tone Sandals

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Southwestern Flare: Earrings with a Kick

If you are ever traveling the country and you can't think of what to buy me, let me give you a hint... Accessories are the way to my heart. I HATE receiving those stupid little pieces of nothing that you thank the person for, because you are kind, even though you know it will eventually end up in the trash. What am I going to do with a teddy bear holding a state flag from Arizona?

Instead, do yourself and the recipient of your traveling gift a favor, buy them something they will love and use! Themed gifts from your outward bound trip are much appreciated as long as they have real life possibilities. Almost every place that we travel is known for something, good tequila (Mexico), awesome bath products (Israel), or jewelry (The Southwest)!!!!!! Buying a useful present that is a representation of the amazing experience you have just been on is a perfect way to let your friends and family enjoy it with you!!!

These earrings are stunning and would compliment most any Summer outfit. Turquoise jewelry is definitely a simple way to stamp a theme on your outfit. They are fun, they are interesting and basically, they seriously give your ensemble that kick you are always looking for! They are a show piece. If you are crazy, feel free to add your own flavor with an additional pair of moccasin boots for the full-on effect. Otherwise, just throw on a white T-shirt and call it a day... Your earrings will do the talking.

Zuni Chandeliers

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Maxi Dress Mania!!!!

I love comfort. I love style. I love comfort and style. I love the maxi dress because it is comfortable and stylish. Are we seeing a pattern here?

The maxi dress is this year's answer to last season's shapeless moo moo dress. People will no longer mistake you for being three months pregnant, but will rather show envy for your fabulous, flowy frock. This dress is sexy and yet completely appropriate for almost any age and body shape! I love stylish ideas that work for everyone.

This particular dress was passed along to me from an avid reader and I couldn't pass up sharing it with the rest of the world! It is earthy, it is bold, it is sassy. I absolutely love the combination of the bohemian earth child pattern with a fifties style belt. It gives the dress a certain sophistication and defined shape while not taking away from the easy, breezy Summer feel. Adding bold, bronze bangles adds to the "hippie" look. Choosing wooden accessories is also a great option, just make sure to use earthy, neutral materials. Go and be comfortable and stylish!

Alice and Olivia Maxi Tank Dress

Monday, March 9, 2009

Sass N Style Ideas!!!

I need you! I am looking for ideas for up-coming Sass N Style episodes. Please fork over any questions or queries that you think would make for a fabulous five minute segment with yours truly! Thanks my fashion followers!!!!

The New and Improved Boho Chic for Spring

Moo moo dresses are done damn it, I have declared it so! Of course this does not mean that loose and airy clothes for Spring are not still on the fashion radar. Spring and Summer (and the rest of the months too as far as I am concerned) will always be about comfort. The difference this year, as opposed to the last few, is that the silhouettes will not allow your acquaintances to question if you are preggers. Put the pregnant fashion back.

As Sienna Miller is showing so perfectly here, you outfit must have shape and a clearly defined body lurking somewhere under your ensemble. She has done several things very well here: First off, she is off-setting the bounce and flow of the top half with a very slender jean on her bottom half. If jeans this tight are not your thing, you CANNOT wear a very over-sized top! You will just look like a big balloon if you try and wear big items with big items unless you are rail thin and even then it truly isn't that flattering.

Secondly, Sienna is defining her shape by adding a cropped vest to her flouncy top. This additional piece hangs nicely below her bust (otherwise known as an empire cut) drawing attention to the chest area. This is always a good idea when you wear a top that could overwhelm your petite frame. The vest fits perfectly because it is snug around her arms and then hangs in such a way that compliments the flowy nature of the shirt without having an excess of material. The two tones of the garments are earthy and complimentary to one another, plus, the difference of color again defines her shape even more.

Adding in a larger bag and simple ballet flats make this a completely stylish and appropriate dog-walking outfit! No one ever said wearing sweatpants to walk your dog was alright, just pretend that the paparazzi are right around the corner at all times to put your mug in US Weekly... I know I always do:)

Photo courtesy of Soundoffcolumn.com

Friday, March 6, 2009

"Plus" Size Style: The Button-Down Dress

Honestly I only use the term "plus" because it is a societal way of referring to woman of a certain "curve" level, but this is ridiculous. Who is to say what "plus" is? Certainly not a size 14 when the average woman in this country fits quite comfortably into that category! None the less, as a stylist who has worked with woman ranging in size from a 2 to a 20, it is seriously annoying that most designers don't recognize "plus" woman!!!! If anyone watched the show "Ruby", you know that a woman of any size wants to feel feminine and sexy. From the monetary standpoint, if most woman in this country are a "plus" size, wouldn't you want to sell, sell, sell?!?

Aside from Lane Bryant and Michael Kors plus sizes, there are few creations that don't appear to be over-sized garbage bags. Truthfully, they are getting better, but there is still a long way to go. Shop on-line ladies, this is where companies are starting to branch out most into plus size clothing. Old Navy is a perfect example. They sell cute, easy and comfortable clothing that is on par with the "skinny" sizes and compliments your fabulous, curvy shape!

Take this little frock for example. I promote the button-down dress for all of my fabulous clients, no matter what their size! It is a great basic that is quite flattering. This silhouette is a great example of how a boat neck and empire waist can truly be your friend. An above the knee, A-line bottom half is also very complimentary because it draws the attention upward to just under your bust line. It also allows for movement and comfort on your lower half. The great rouching detail on the top half of the dress keeps it loose and simple without clinging to all of your jiggly parts! Un-button one button on the top, as this model did, to show your sexy side. DO NOT put your girls out there to try and draw attention away from the rest of your curve! It is not only not flattering, but it just looks flat out trashy. Dress appropriately, dress for your body type.

Old Navy Woman's Plus Size Smocked Shirt Dress


Thursday, March 5, 2009

Stripes Gone Right: A Spring Dress With the RIGHT Idea

Stripes can be your enemy. The thought of them can haunt you through the night and well into the morning. The very curse of their presence can be like a ten pound weight on your shoulders. Oh the insanity!

Ladies, everything can be wrong until you make it right! Most fashionable concepts can be made to look good on you if you find the right silhouette and/or pattern combination. You will learn my little pupils, you will learn.

This striped frock is a very clear example of stripes gone right. Now take out your pencils and take notes! Stripes done horizontally are bad, stripes done vertically are good! You know you have heard this urban legend before, but why you ask? Very simple. Horizontal lines are drawing the eye outward to your widest part. Vertical lines are giving you length and height therefore slimming your silhouette out. Or at least giving the illusion of this weight loss miracle!

The fact that this dress combines the bold, vertical stripe with a waist tie is only additionally complimenting your smallest part, your waist. I love that the stripes drape downward on the arms only accentuating your very straight and slender middle. The barely there necklace encourages your eye to focus on the center without taking away from or overpowering the dress. Is Spring here yet? I am ready to put on this damn dress!

BCBG Striped Boat Neck Dress

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Make Yourself Skinny: The Perfect Tank Top

Every girl loves a good skinny trick and those ridiculous infomercials about losing 10 pounds in 10 minutes are not what I am talking about! Step away from the television and get ready to shop because wearing the proper clothing is TRULY the way to drop pounds instantly! As I have noted before, I wear many hats and now apparently "dietitian" is one of them.

Woman truly underestimate the power of a proper silhouette. Wearing your clothing correctly, meaning that the fit and shape are complimentary to your body type, is the best makeover you will ever give yourself. Looking frumpy is not always your bodies fault, it might truly just be your bad shopping habits!

This tank top is a perfect example of how a garment can make you look smaller. Oh ladies, start the drumroll please and let me explain! Draping, as this shirt does so perfectly on each side, can be the best blessing! If you notice, each side has very thin draping that points not only inward, but upward. Is this literally not where we want all of our parts to be? Stomachs in, boobies up! The other fabulous and deceiving part of this shirt is the large band straight down the middle. This, along with the inward and upward draping, are focusing the eye to the middle. NOT TO YOUR SIDES, which would only widen you. Add a V-neck to open up your chest and a thicker strap which not only covers your arms, but also creates more of a visual toward your middle and boom, skinny. Or at least much more flattering! The truly great part is that this style of shirt will not stick to your middle so it is form-fitting, but not showing off TOO MUCH of your "curves". The longer length is perfect because it adds to the illusion that you have a more slender torso. It literally lengthens your body.

Have I sold this damn silhouette yet?????

Nine West Poison Ivy Rouched Front Tank

Monday, March 2, 2009

Sass N Style: The Perfect White Shirt

The Chain Link Purse: Longer Handles are Back!

Coco Chanel must have known a thing or two about style, her brand is still a thriving pillar of fashion society decades after she created it! One of the staples of the Chanel empire is the longer chain link purse. It is a trend that certainly goes in and out of style and if you asked me what I thought about this piece 2 years ago I would have laughed... or vomited:)

But alas, it is 2009 and the '80s are back with a vengeance. So, whip out your collection of chain link Chanel backs and shop your closet for the best pieces you thought had gone away. This does not mean that shoulder pads are going to make a return debut, be realistic!!! Save us all.

If you don't have a collection of vintage Chanel bags, no need to fret. There are some companies making great, reasonably priced chain link bags to give you the fashion fix you are looking for. This style is from one of my favorite chain stores, Banana Republic. It is trendy and chic with the touch of '80s flare that we all deserve (and want!). It is clean yet the hardware and clasp make it a bit tough and edgy. Most any type of gal can pull of this style and the greatest part is that is is hands free! Wear it during the daytime (the size is perfect) or at night so you can hold two drinks at once. Style and function meet again!

Bridgeport Snake-Embossed Shoulder Bag