Friday, July 31, 2009

A Wonderful Wallet Wedding Gift: Keep Your Bridesmaids Happy!

A few years ago I was in one of my best (and most stylish) friend's weddings. She gave each of her bridesmaids a beautiful Kate Spade metallic wallet. I have loved mine so much that it is barely metallic anymore. It was a perfect bridal party present because it actually was useful (and fashionable) in my everyday life.

A wallet is such a funny thing. No one really sees it unless you are grabbing for it. It is often times an after thought (like shoes) even though you literally take it out and show it to the world a few times a day. It is a "hidden" accessory that is low on the totem pole of need.

NO, NO, NO! A wallet is like that piece that is just the right touch to cap off a perfect look. It is the diamond in the ruff accessory that can be as fun and crazy as you like. Go nuts, the fact that it is a "below the surface" item allows you to really have fun with it. Have it represent your style, your inner you, the girl that says, "Look at me!".

I know that it can be pricey and why pay so much for something that isn't always front and center? Well, that is why it is a perfect bridesmaid gift! You want to buy something for them that they wouldn't necessarily buy for themselves but will use everyday, all day. Something that they always wish they would swipe their card for, but never have the courage. Plus, they will think of that wonderful wedding every single day.... Keep your ladies happy:)

Kate Spade Pasedena Nadette Wallet

Monday, July 27, 2009

Fashion Faux Pas: Wearing Clothes that are Too Small!

I know this is not what you expected to see when you clicked on my blog today. I am hoping that your guttural reaction was to hold back from throwing up. This was at least my goal. I want your reaction to be so strong that I truly get my point across with no ifs, ands or buts. This is the beginning of my series, "Fashion Faux Pas Central", so be ready and prepare yourself....

Fashion faux pas number one: Wearing your clothing too small. Of course it may not be as obvious as this particular picture, but I am trying to make a strong point here. At no time or age is it acceptable to wear your clothing too small. You need to accept the size that you are and buy appropriate clothing for that time in your life. Unfortunately most of the world does fluctuate in size and your wardrobe needs to reflect this. That does not mean that you keep your size 2 dress from 1984 packed in your closet because you might, just might, fit into it again. It ain't happening sister, move on and pass it on. This does mean that you need to have a range of sizes for the reality of your everchanging figure. Stuffing yourself into a top or buying something that is 2 sizes too small as incentive to lose weight is a big faux pas! Accept yourself and your curves because dressing appropriately for them will not only make you look your best, it will give you the courage to actually lost weight! You don't want to consistenly remind yourself that you need to lose a few, you want to use positive reinforcement to get you on the "lose a few" bandwagon! When you look and feel good, it encourages you to continue moving in a positive direction. Sausage stuffing clothes are never good for your own psyche or for the eyes of those poor people around you. Love your awesome, sexy self and buy the right size.

Photo courtesy of

Friday, July 24, 2009

The Jean Western Shirt: A Do or a Don't?

I have such mixed feelings on this. Truthfully, this can be a super hot piece if done correctly. And oh God, it can be painful when done wrong. The problem is, it is SO easy to get this one wrong!

Over the years of working with private clients and digging into the deep, dark depths of many 'O closets, I have found lots of scary things. The jean shirt is definitely one of them. I will admit that in my day I have trashed quite a few and now, lo and behold, they are back on the trendy wagon. Even I can be wrong sometimes:)

The problem with this piece is that it can be so damn hick that unless you completely funkify it, it looks like you should be at a hoe down in the back woods of Alabama. Not that that is a bad place to be, but there is a very specific look that only works at such a soiree and will not fly anywhere else!
There should be a warning label when purchasing this shirt, "DO NOT EVER WEAR WITH JEANS". I think many manufacturers forget to attach that tag. How harmful for the very delicate eyes of so many people. It pains me to see the jean tuxedo done so deliberately.

Take a cue from Vanessa Hudgens, show off your sexy, funky, fun side when working the denim western shirt. By pairing it with short shorts and boots you are playing up the western element while touching upon a modern trend. How I do love a themed outfit, not like you are going to the hoedown, but maybe just merely passing by.... She even goes as far as to pull in some western styled jewelry with her cuff bracelet. And look at that fringe bag, LOVE the added effort Vanessa!

So pull out that jean western shirt and start styling. But, be wary and heed the lessons that I have so deliberately taught here. Walk on the right side of fashion and pull off this trend correctly.. Giddy up!

Topshop Bleach Denim Western Shirt: $55.00

Picture courtesy of

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Date Night: Salvation Army "Vintage" Never Looked So Good!

I can think of any reason to put together a fabulous ensemble, but this time there really was a reason, my big 6 month anniversary! We are talking long term here folks:) My dinner date was upon me and I certainly did not feel like getting a whole new get-up (the economic state is killing me), so it was time to dig. I wanted to look pretty and sweet, not usually my M.O. Funky sexy was for another time because that night I was playing the role of the sweet and doting girlfriend. My outfit had to match my "classy" act, I had to make it believable:)

I went straight for a dress that I bought at Salvation Army in Chicago around 4 years ago. 4 years is already considered an older piece, now add in how many years it must have been loved by someone else prior to me. I was going vintage here. It was pretty, it was sweet, it was perfect. Plus my boyfriend seemed to like it!

I didn't stop there. I went for one of my favorite 50's style clutches which quite possibly is from the 50's. I bought it at Salvation Army as well. I am crazy. I think it cost me $4. It is not in perfect condition, but it has literally seen the light of day (and night) so many times while I have owned it. Talk about cost per wear!

Now you ask, "Where did you get that amazing necklace!?!". Yup, that's right, Salvation Army. I have gone full-on inexpensive second hand thrift store FAB for almost this entire date night look. Who says you can't find anything at Salvation Army? What's that saying? One man's trash is another man's treasure? I think I have proved this theory without a doubt. Search at your local Salvation Army, your next great treasure is waiting there for you for the bargain basement price of $5!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Your Rockin' Rainy Look: Let Your Umbrella Shine

It is crappy here. It is raining, it is cold, it just stinks. So why not talk about fabulously amazing umbrellas?!? It makes everything appear shiny again:) I love a good fashion pick-me-up.

Apparently so did Mary Poppins. She not only loved her bag, but she was quite fashion forward with her stylish umbrella as well. And so I ask, why is it that most people refuse to spend any money on this very worthy item? I am a culprit as well. Living in NYC, it is easy to pick up a $3 umbrella on any street corner, on any rainy day. It is also easy to lose this $3 umbrella on any street corner, on any rainy day. So I guess that is my answer. Why would one spend money on an item that is so easily lost?

And here is my answer: You can easily spend hundreds of dollars on a pair of shades that has the same "losability" as your umbrella. Yet, you go for it and purchase the hot Gucci sunglasses. For around $30-$50 you can have your very own super stylish umbrella that, just like a great bag, will up the ante of any rainy day look. In crappy weather it is a necessity to look hot!

Carnival Rain Umbrella
Photo courtesy of

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Round Shades: The Hottest Trend in Sunglasses

So apparently this is it for summer 2009, the big, hot trend. I am going to be upfront, I am not a fan. I do not understand the draw to looking like a strung out rocker by the likes of Ozzie Ozbourne. Huh?

Obviously there is always the "it" pair of sunglasses for every season, but I do wish that this one would go away fairly quickly. It is so very early '70s rocker chic which is not bad, just not always a look for everyone. As with every trend, it is not made for every person. I completely appreciate the Mary Kate's of the world that are edgy and alternative, but to truly pull these suckers off, I feel that your overall look needs to be more sophisticated. These sunglasses should be the piece that throws it all off, not the cherry on top of your crazy rocking ensemble.

As with this clean look, the sunglasses are styled in such a manner that allows them to shine with sexy sophistication. Her hair is trendy yet clean swept, not all over her face and completely undone. Her outfit is structured and simple. All of these factors combined make the look "of the moment" not channeling another moment. I love a good throw back, that is why fashion comes around every 20 to 30 years, but to actually emulate a person/era is usually a bit overwhelming. Make each trend your own and make it work for the year you live in... Now!

Lanvin Paris Wouter Round Sunglasses

Monday, July 20, 2009

Stay Organized: Your Bottomless Bag Made Easy

I am a self-admitted big bag snob. I love them. I carry my damn life with me all over NYC so I really have no other option. Wallet, check. Keys, check. Lipstick, check. Cell phone, check. Now if only I could find any one of these items in a quick and timely manner that would be nice!

Well apparently, I can. A lovely woman named Suzanne contacted me about a serious life saving product that she represents. I often get these phone calls as I am a hugely famous stylist (working on it!) and then I decide what would best serve my fashion audience. Truthfully, I don't know who this wouldn't serve. It seems like such a basic idea and yet so few of us have thought about finding one to save us from our discombobulated lives.

As an insert in any purse (this might be a tough one for a clutch:), you can literally transfer your life each day. I am actually "that girl" that changes her bag everyday to amp up each individual ensemble, but I realize I do not have anyone to take care of but myself and that makes a difference. Childless=Bag change. So what if you had this neat little contraption? What if you had the opportunity to change your bag everyday? Seems like an investment piece to me....

Switch it by Nan is a hidden piece that will rock your fashion world. Kind of like the hanging jewelry organizer that I love, it is your life saver that no one will even know about. Sometimes the best pieces (like Spanx) are the glue that holds it all together. No one see it, but everything would fall apart without it!!!!

Switch it by Nan

Friday, July 17, 2009

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Never Forget the Date: Creative Jewelry

I am always up for new and creative products, especially when they are fashionable. My wonderful and amazing film guy, Nate, sent me over a website full of crazy rings. Some had expandable cups, some had buildings, but in the end, they really were all pretty stylish. I was also surprised.

This "date" ring was one of my favorites. Not only can you never forget what day it is when you have it on, but it is also a great conversation piece. That really was the point of most of the pieces on this fun site. All of the rings are a great way to be different, interesting and basically the center of the party conversation. If you are anything like me than that is exactly where you want to be:)

Check out the full selection at A Beautiful Life

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Sunday Stroll: Leisurely Chic

There is nothing I love more then a Sunday with no particular place to go. Of course there is no question that although there is no destination, I must look cute getting there. And so I create a leisurely look that says, "I am fabulous, but I didn't try TOO hard".

This past Sunday was not unlike most of my Sundays. I know I want to do something, the real question is what. As my brain is mush by the time this day of rest comes along, my "fashion show" styling capabilities are not in full form. This does not mean I stroll outside in my pajamas! Take note, there is never a time or place when roaming around in your "leisure wear" is acceptable. This does not mean you should ever sacrifice comfort for style. Ever.

It was hot and my ensemble was going to reflect that. I chose a red loose and easy top from Zara. This great store in all over NYC and is coming soon to Chicago's magnificent mile. It is a dressy, yet comfortable option. Jean shorts, as with jeans, are a no-brainer bottom half. As I mentioned, my brain is not functioning at full force on Sunday. I threw on my new, amazing Grecian sandals that I picked up at Off 5th the weekend before. Orginally $250, bought for $60. I am awesome. Grecian themed sandals will pump up almost any look and this lovely Sunday was certainly no exception. Dressy sandals are one of the easiest Summer options to make your entire look pop. My black and gold hardware Nine West bag was the most simple finale to my look. Not too much competition for the ensemble, but it is definitely a great stand alone piece... As all of your choices should be! One vintage white jade ring and I was done.

When you break apart this outfit the concept is easy: It doesn't take much to look fabulous on a day when you really just don't want to care that much about your fashion. Top, bottom, shoes, purse and a ring... All of the basics without all of the fuss. Find your fabulous individual pieces and pair them together for a no-frills dressing experience! Sunday is now stupendous!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Toyko Joe: Awesome NYC Consignment Store

So with the special requests to see more of my own personal style, I thought it was time to invite you in to one of my favorite stores. This is not one of those places that you go to with a plan, oh no. Your sole purpose for going to Tokyo Joe's is to to find that one amazing "diamond in the ruff" type of piece. Some of my greatest purchases have been from this small 11th street consignment store and none of them have been sought after or planned.

The preparation to shop at Tokyo Joe's is simple: Just go. It is full of fabulous consignment pieces that range from Manolo's to Jimmy Choo's with a bit of Banana Republic and Theory thrown in for good measure. Basically, you can seriously get a range of items that can instantly spice up your look. The greatest part is that the buyers for the store really do sift through all of the incoming possible items to make sure they are current and fashionable. They may only take one or two items from an entire bag full of clothes which ensures that your intimate shopping experience will be that much more worth while.

The space is not that for the "merchandised" shopper, so be prepared. You are there to search in what appears to be a studio sized apartment. You must be easy going about your shopping experience and only bring those along that are also ready for the hunt. Since all of the items are one of a kind it is best to bring a friend that is not your size and super stylish. This way they will not only NOT be your size, but they will be of great assistance in finding items for YOU! Of course this theory works both ways so one must not be greedy!

Just a quick list of unbelievable things I have gotten here: A massive brown suede and pattened leather Kate Spade tote, a brand new Franco Sarto bag for half price, a white watch similar to Channels, a wrap shirt by Anne Fontaine, a large black leather clutch... I could go on and on and on..... The basic point you should take away is that even if you can't make it to NYC's east village, find your own favorite "hole in the wall" consignment or sample store. Stop in from to time and your favorite pieces collection will slowly grow and grow and grow.....

Toyko Joes: 11th street between 1st and 2nd avenues

Friday, July 10, 2009

Giddy Up! Cowgirl Style is In

I know this makes three days in a row that I have talked about me, but I have really liked my outfits lately and I want to share them with my fashion world! I have also been changing at least once a day so with two outfits per day and not enough people seeing them, I figured it was time to broadcast them. Hell, I figure you guys actually care what I have on:)

I am completely in love with my new cowgirl shirt and I want to wear it a million different ways, this look is just the beginning! I went crazy over the weekend at Off 5th, the Saks discount store, and not just because I bought three new things. I actually went a little mad because everything was between 20% and 50% off. My boyfriend had to back away from me because he was scared. I walked in the store and declared that "It was so done" and he should go entertain himself in the men's department.

As yesterday was my new cowgirl shirt's maiden voyage, I wanted to be simple yet funky. I am in Ohio this summer so I don't want to go crazy, yet I really do think these mid-west fashionistas can completely handle it. I wear whatever I want and still fit in. My style is not too NYC over the top. It is more realistic with an edgy yet classic side. At least that is how I envision it.

Shorts chic was the avenue I took for the first of many cowgirl looks. First things first, it was hot and since I was covered on top, I had to let my bottom half breath. That and I felt sexier showing some skin. I get one season a year to show off my legs and damn it, I am going to do it until I can't do it anymore. I went with a nude wedge to elongate my legs because every girl needs all the help she can get! I went with a wedge because they are more comfortable and realistic for a Thursday night. I went with nude because every girl needs a shoe the color of her legs for lots 'O length. As you pan up you will find a gray tank layered underneath. It really just adds to the comfortable chic feeling I was going for. I only buttoned two buttons in the middle to keep it feeling a bit messy and thrown together. Although I may not have been carrying the world with me, I chose my biggest bag to keep it feeling funky and casual. Topping it off with my new vintage coin necklace was a way to throw the entire look off by choosing an accessory that didn't necessarily fit. Cowgirl chic and grecian fabulous are not exactly under the same umbrella, but my choice only solidified the alternative, eclectic feel I was going for. Can I find a few more adjectives to describe this ensemble???:)

Hope you enjoyed my fashion show!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

July 4th Lake Fabulous!

July 4th is truly my favorite holiday. The only real purpose of it is to gather with friends and family, drink (a lot), eat (a lot) and watch fireworks. Seriously, does it get better than that? To add even more fun, it is my best friend Tina's birthday.... And this year, it was her 30th. Good times. I am lucky enough to be invited (or just show up) every year to her family's lake house on the finger lakes. It is not only beautiful, but her family is like mine so I can be as ridiculous as I want to be. They love me:)

For some reason, mother nature did not want to cooperate this year and it was a low of 55 damn degrees at night. Probably even colder because we were on the lake. When has it ever been this cold on July 4th I ask you???? I am a fabulous packer and am obsessed with, but I was traveling from working in Chicago prior to this and could not expect such insane coldness! I was packing ten days in advance of this lake trip and was WAY off with my chosen summer items. Why would I think to pack a parka? I had to think quickly, and this is how it turned out.

The story of this outfit goes: My boyfriend was driving from Ohio so I requested he bring me my dark, straight leg jeans. The shoes were already with me and complimented the jeans nicely and didn't compete with the rest of the ensemble. The striped button down is from Tina's mothers closet with a birth date of 1975. Yes I said 1975, I do love vintage:) Shockingly, it did not button all the way up (I have a small bust) so I utilized by nude tank bra as a layering piece. The safari inspired blazer was a lucky pick-up. My last client in Chicago had decided she was not in love with this earlier purchase I had picked up for her and that I could have it. Really! So I should just buy you things that I love, convince you to keep them and then you will give them to me next time I see you? The gig is up! Just kidding, I felt badly but took it anyway... It was cold! I layered on a vintage coin necklace that I picked up in another finger lake town for $25 and my longer multi-charm necklace I had brought with me. Add aviator shades and I was lake chic! Happy fashionable July 4th!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

My First BIG Sass N Style Workshop!

Finally, I have a REAL audience listening to me! I held my first BIG Sass N Style workshop on fashion and style at Ohio State University Alumni Association. Over a hundred women showed up to hear yours truly chat about everything from recession proof style to looking skinny All the time. They handed me a microphone and I was off!

Coming from New York City to Columbus has made me into something of a big fish in a small pond. There aren't many people who do what I do out here so I am lucky because I seem famous:) I was able to be connected with the OSU alumni association by accident and I blindly pitched myself and received a gracious invitation to speak. Why am I here you ask? I am living with my boyfriend for the summer who resides here so I decided to do something besides clean his house everyday:) A self-starter I am.

I have recently developed the Sass N Style workshops and they are being done as an at-home party. Basically a reason for women to get together, drink wine, chat fashion and learn from an! A tupperware party, but way better:) The facts are simple: Pull together 10 or more of your fun friends and receive 15% off of all of my initial services. We are talking closet consultation, shopping and styling. Pretty good deal:) Each lovely lady can attend for the bargain basement price of $25. If you know anyone in NYC, Chicago or Columbus, send them my way! I am expanding to other places so let me know if you want me in your town.....

And ladies, don't forget that I can speak anywhere and anytime about everything fabulous and fashionable. For those that are involved in conferences or womens networks, I am always ready to provide fun facts about looking and feeling great for all shapes, sizes and ages. In this world where we seem to take care of everything but ourselves, it is always nice to know that putting on the right ensemble can take you right out of that rut you are in. Take my blog from the written word to the stage with a simple phone call.... I will be hearing from you shortly:)

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Michael Jackson Inspires All Things Fashion

As we all have already noted, Michael Jackson's legacy will live on. Most people are discussing his music or his personal life, but his style really is a very close third. He invented his own look that often times was extremely unusual, but none the less, he always seemed to rock it.

A true showman, no matter where he was, he always seemed to be dressed to perform. This defined his true fashion sense and overwhelmingly represented his personality because that always seemed to be the heart of him, performing. Of course I can recount the various confused pajama looks and strange face masks that draped his later, more recent years, but if we really look at the hey day of this great performer, his style pushed the envelope early and paved a new fashion path.

Even recently his very recognizable military look has been gracing not only the runways of Balmain, but the stars themselves. Be it Beyonce or Rihanna, their emulated looks are almost uncanny. This picture almost makes you do a double take guessing who is who! His love of military style combined with the glitz and glamour of a showman defined the base of his infamous wardrobe. Over the years he continued to reinvent this defining look making each ensemble more outrageous, over the top and incredible than the one before it.

I have always noted that style should represent who you are. You are your own best canvas and fashion is your medium. It is possible that no one better represented this than Michael Jackson during his prime years. Who else seriously could have gotten away with one shiney glove, cropped pants and silver socks? People were copying this look all over the world and to this day, it still is associated with Michael Jackson. He introduced the world to the showman that we all know and love and will be forever etched in our brains. The style is his and he certainly made it his own.

Photo courtesy of Uncle Sam's Army Navy Outfitters

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Shoe Stretch Spray: No More Hurting Feet!

I rarely discuss products (if ever) on this blog, but this was just too good to not spread the word. I am a big believer in the fact that you should by shoes that fit appropriately. None of this, "Oh, they will break in" crap. If they hurt when you buy them, most likely, they will hurt when you wear them... Which will be never!

A client showed me this miracle product yesterday (I should have been showing it to her, shame on me!), and I had to share the love. Instead of trekking to the shoe maker to get your shoes stretched, purchasing this little product and stretch them yourself! Instructions are as follows: Spray on entire shoe. Wear for 15 minutes. And voila! Your shoes will fit your feet. Repeat as needed. The best part about this product is that you have enough to stretch more than one pair of shoes and it can be used in conjunction with actually going to the shoe maker for professional stretching.

So, lessons to be learned from Amy: Buy shoes that fit, but if you make that mistake because they are just soooo beautiful, buy shoe stretch spray. The worst fashion crime (aside from a bad ensemble) is to keep your beautiful items stored away..... Oh the atrocities!

Shoe Stretch Spray
$3.95- $15.95

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Sass N Style: Office Chic