Thursday, December 17, 2009

That's a Wrap

Invented by Diane Von Furstenberg in 1976, the iconic wrap dress is one of the most essential pieces in a woman's wardrobe.  The appeal of the wrap dress is the transforming ability to flatter every figure and work for every age.  It's not an of-the-moment silhouette, but just like a true lady, it remains a classic.

The dress effortlessly creates a custom-sized waist, defines a bust, and offers a swirly-twirl at the end--all of this is done without a single button, zipper or clasp.  It's feminine without being too "girly" and can be worn in basic black or a jazzed up leopard print.  Look for matte jersey which can be worn year-round, but silk, cotton or any other classic material works just as well.  The wrap dress looks killer with a tall pump or a short bootie.  Accessorize according to your mood, but the dress itself is the headliner.  The concept of the wrap is also applied to tops and coats.  It's one of the smartest inventions ever.

Every stylish gal should own one.  And that's a Wrap.

stylingstage suggests:

Diane Von Furstenberg Rizer Wrap Dress: Nordstrom

Mirror Dash Wrap Dress: Urban Outfitters

Tie-Front Wrap Dress: Old Navy

Lily Print Wrap Dress: Nordstrom

French Connection Wrap Dress:

Flutter Sleeve Wrap Dress:

BCBG Kimono Faux Wrap Dress: Dillards

Lynn Ritchie Graphic Faux Wrap Dress: Bloomingdales

Friday, December 11, 2009

Ho! Ho! Holiday Deals!

The holidays are here! This means dinner parties, cookie swaps, company events and everything in between. What's a grown-up gal to wear? Here are some fun ideas:

Frill is fab.  The best way to show it is via the sacred shoe. Hello, beautiful:

Nine West.

Little numbers can take you anywhere...and I mean it:


Listen to your momma.  Every lady should properly ice the cake:

Banana Republic

Have great arms? Knock ‘em dead with these one-two punches:

Arden B.


Red is the finishing touch. Just ask Rudolph:

OPI Nail Lacquer in Big Apple Red.

NARS Lipstick in Jungle Red

Enjoy getting decked out! It's the holidays for goodness sake, not your junior prom.

Monday, November 23, 2009

'Tis the Sequin!

Sequins are back with a one-track mind: fun!  If you haven't taken the tour to sparkle land, start with the holiday season.  Not sure how to pull off this look? Find your sequin-type:

Retro = sequin mini
Trendsetter = sequin leggings or blazer
Classic = sequin tank or clutch
Modern = sequin platform pumps or vest
Uncommitted = small sequin accessory

Typically for night, sequins are now showing up in the light of day. Colors are fine, but red shoes clicked three times could send you to Oz.  Sure bet neutrals always rock: black, metallic or white. Pair with unlikely separates like loose trousers, t-shirts, matte tights, or a killer pair of jeans.  Wear on a date night, to an office party, running errands or for cocktails with the girls.

There's a fine line between chic and trashy, so sparkle wisely.  And no hotpants. Ever.

SS suggests:

Sequin Tank White House Black Market:

KC Malhan Sequin Clutch

Rachel Rachel Roy Sequin Blazer Macys:

 DV Dolce Vita Fire Sequin Pumps Nordstrom:

Sequin Journals The Limited:

Silk Sequin Bead Mini BCBG Bloomingdales:

Sequin Top Urban Outfitters:

Chinese Laundry Sequin Ballet Flats Dillards:

Monday, November 16, 2009

Denim SOS

Distressed jeans are an of-the-moment look. If you see a pair that's ripped, frayed, bleached out and/or deconstructed beyond recognition, don't call for an SOS--just call it super cool.

This is undoubtedly a tricky trend to pull off. Women scour the earth for perfect-fitting jeans, so why mess with a good thing? It's simply a fun way to take an American original, and make it feel new. Distressed jeans do require a special eye for the right pair, so here’s a word to the wise:

1.) Consider what shape looks best. Regardless of the skinny, slouchy and wide leg trends that prevail today, these may not be the right fit for your figure. Fit always trumps trends.

2.) Opt for small touches. If you like rips, make sure they hit at the knees. Anything higher may produce "thigh flesh" and that’s a no-no. For bleached spots, light-colored and acid washes, use good judgement and beware of their position on your lower half.

3.) Distressed jeans are an outfit's focal point, so pair them with a neutral backdrop for a balanced look. It’s a subtle way to show your cool-factor.

4.) Styling is key. Go for one unique piece to compliment: a chunky gold watch, a thick cuff or even a bib necklace. Pair with shoes that are super tough (patent bootie) or ultra feminine (satin pumps with bows).

5.) If you want to save a few $, go DIY.  Sandpaper, scissors and good old-fashioned bleach will do the distressed trick to any pair of jeans.  Use cation with the chemicals.


Aegean Boyfriend Jeans Express:

Frayed Black Jeans Forever 21:


Distressed Boyfriend Jeans Nighshade Wash New York & Company:

Apple Bottoms Distressed Cigarette Macys:

BDG Acid Wash Skinny Urban Outfitters:

Bleached Knit Jean Leggings (i.e. "Jeggings")

Distressed Skinny Banana Republic:

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Snood-y Girl?

The "snood" is all the rage this chilly season. What's a snood, you ask? It's a hybrid piece: scarf + hood = snood. The Wall Street Journal reported this past weekend that the snood may just be the single piece to save Christmas (shopping) this year:

The snood is really easy and fun to wear. Wear it up over your head or wear it down scrunched around your neck--either way, it will keep you warm and give you an updated look this season. They tend to look best in soft knits in a neutral palate. The idea is cozy-chic, so make sure the rest of your outfit compliments the snood. You can pair it with a day dress and flat riding boots or with vintage jeans, a long tunic and booties. Adding a pair of dark shades or slim aviators is a great finishing touch.

It's a fun little number to flaunt, but no need to be snood-y.


Chalk Cingular Scarf American Eagle:

Black Knit Snood Urban Outfitters:

Navy Superfluffy Snood

Echo Double Infinity Scarf Bloomingdales:

Grey Knit Snood H&M:

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Window Fever

"Might as well face it you're addicted to love." Robert Palmer

Remembers the iconic 80's video? The song was great, but the dancing ladies stole the show. We all wanted to be one, but in reality no one wants to dress the same as everyone else. So how do you avoid seeing your double walk down the street? Steer clear of the window display.

Window displays are actually styled to have mass appeal. Mainstream stores are typically suspect and their mannequins pose as field agents. The method behind the mania is simple: turn an everyday window-shopper into an enthusiastic apparel-buyer. This creates an immediate high in the shopper and voilĂ ! A love connection is made.

If you fancy a window display, consider the following:

1.) Do you like it or love it? Real love will help eliminate most impulse buys.

2.) Court the outfit and take it slow. Put the item on hold and come back the next day. The passion can burn off quickly.

3.) If you’ve fallen hard, then style it differently. You can maintain the overall concept by using different colors, prints and textures.

The real soul mate is individual style. Leave the windows for the birds.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

411 on the LBD

The LBD (little black dress) is what sets us apart from men. Women can wear both trousers and dresses, so why not play up the female prowess in a little black number? The LBD is commonly found gracing cocktail parties, but it doesn't stop there. It aptly applies to any black dress that offers a safe-haven from those days when you're feeling not so fabulous--and let's be honest--that can happen anytime from Sunday-Saturday. It doesn't discriminate based on age, shape or budget, it’s always “in” and has the staying-power to last a lifetime.

3 different types of LBD:

1.) Cocktail: Short, understated and very alluring is the classic equation. Find this type in silk, satin, chiffon, or lace and go simple or avant-garde. Glamour is key; pair appropriately with sky-high stilettos, the chicest jewels and a fur stole. Wear to a New Years Eve bash or channel Audrey Hepburn for a date-night out with your hubby.

2.) Day: This doesn’t have the after-5-cocktail stigma and looks great anywhere, anytime. Typically this is best in matte jersey material and paired with pumps, boots or flats. Wear it at the office, out to lunch/dinner or just running errands. Dress it up or dress it down; the versatility is endless.

3.) Weekend: This is for the LBD-lover who can't get away from the concept, but doesn't want to wear a prom dress to the grocery store. Look for simple shapes in soft knits or wool and pair with flats and big dark shades. Have fun with this look to create a casual-cool vibe.

LBDs can be styled in almost any capacity. Go classic with rhinestones or pearls. Go modern with a men’s-inspired button-down worn underneath, or be a middle-man by opting for different shapes with traditional accessories.  Always add one unique piece to make it your own and you’ll never go wrong.

411 can provide information, but only the LBD knows what's up.


Cross-strap LBD:

Maggy London One-Shoulder LBD: Nordstrom

Wool-wrap Sweater LBD: BCBG

Larok Sequin LBD: Bloomingdales

Silence & Noise Zipper LBD: Urban Outfitters

AB Turtleneck Sweater LBD: Kohls

Friday, October 16, 2009

Glove is All You Need

Gloves are not just meant for warming anymore.  What makes these nifty items so alluring is the minimal commitment required. They're cool, affordable and small in scale. They come in a variety of interesting colors like magenta and teal or in modern neutrals like grey and tan.   Find a pair in leather or suede and seek small details like cut-outs, cut-offs, bows, studs, and zippers.  Opt for the freshest lengths in very short (driving) or super long (opera).  Wear them with everything.  They're an unexpected touch that silently states: super chic.

To nab a unique pair at a great price, visit the designer-discount joints: Loehmans, T.J. Maxx, Nordstrom Rack or Marshalls.  No luck? They try these on: Club Monaco, Martin + Osa, Zara, Urban Outfitters, or Nordstrom.

Love is really all you need, but why not say it with a killer pair of gloves?


Echo Leather-Fabric Gloves: Bloomingdales

Large Studded Leather Gloves:

Two-toned Leather Gloves: Banana Republic

Free People Studded Wool Gloves:

Bow Cut-off Leather Gloves: Urban Outfitters

Ruffled Leather Gloves: J.Crew

Ruched Suede Gloves: Nordstrom