Saturday, May 29, 2010

Go Celtics!

I'm not the type of person who has to watch "the game." I'm one of those annoying fair-weather fans who gets on board once the team has made it far enough for me to talk trash. I support the Red Sox, the Patriots, the Celtics and the Bruins, but if you asked me to name a player from each of those teams, I'd definitely struggle. A lot of my friends have really been into the basketball finals this week and our team- the Celtics- are the new Eastern Conference champions after beating the Orlando Magic last night. In honor of all my friends who are Celtics fans, these green-and-white-inspired outfits are for you! (It's a stretch, I know. Blame it on my injury.)

I know these outfits are a tad cheesy, but I would probably say they are only appropriate for attending an actual Celtics game if you didn't already have a jersey and a foam finger. Because true fans have a foam finger.

Friday, May 28, 2010

My brain is not working today

Have you ever sat down to work on something and found that you just couldn't get your brain to be on the same page with your agenda? That's how I feel right now. I want to post a blog (because it really is a daily thing for me that I really enjoy doing) but I just can't seem to get my brain to work right now. I believe there are several reasons for this. First, it's been rather hectic at work the last few days. Second, I'm planning an event for this Sunday that I can't really talk about except to say that I have a lot of work to do. Third, I am going to see SATC2 tonight, so my brain is partially exploding from imagining all the fashions I'm going to see in a couple of hours. Add to that, I have injured my left hand, which is making typing this blog a LOT more difficult. I am a 100 words-per-minute kind of girl- I once worked for a temp agency where they tested your typing for speed and accuracy as if it was the 1950's. One day I tested myself just for fun and for real I scored 100 wpm with 99% accuracy. But enough bragging about that. Today it's more like 30 words per minute with 50% accuracy. You see, the other day I sprained my thumb while pulling a drawer out. It was positioned about 6 feet high and it slipped and came out all the way. My left hand caught it, but at the expense of my thumb. It's been painful ever since, but don't worry I have an appointment to get it checked out. In the meantime, it's wrapped up to the point where it's basically immobile and the other 4 fingers have dramatically diminished range of motion. It looks pathetic. I posted about it on facebook the day it happened and my friend Shawna commented that it's a serious injury that professional basketball players often endure. She even said it is serious enough for them to sit out for weeks with a sprained thumb. At that point in the commenting, I was getting a LOT of sympathy, so I felt I needed to set the record straight. I replied by saying that while my thumb certainly was injured, it couldn't possibly be nearly as bad an injury as a pro basketball player would have. In fact, my biggest hardship thus far was struggling to open a new bag of Chips Ahoy. I really expected that punchline to get at least a few "lol's" but it was like facebook had shut down for the night. Instead of a bunch of laughs, I got a virtual tumbleweed rolling across my computer screen. So do me a favor and leave me a comment telling me you lol'd at my Chips Ahoy quip. I'm fragile and like Tinkerbell (and Rachel Berry), applause keeps me alive. Or in this case, applause AND laughter.

So until my brain starts working again, you're stuck with this lame post. If you are a faithful reader, I'm sorry for letting you down. Until I'm back in the saddle, why don't you check out some archives- a few of my favorite posts in fact:

Inspiration- July 16, 2009
Top Ten for Men- July 21, 2009
Hot Air Balloon Dress- February 15, 2010
From Plain to Pin-up- April 11, 2010
Style Support- August 29, 2009

And finally because I just can't help myself, I'm going to copy Shoe Dazzle's idea and select four shoes- one for each of the SATC ladies- to finish off this completely random, disorganized, out-there post. I hope to be back on my game in a day or two.

Miranda: Fendi Cut-out Slingback, Barney's, $695

Charlotte: Dolce & Gabbana Floral Print Slide, Nordstrom, $495

Samantha- Giuseppe Zanotti Jeweled Back-Zip Sandal, Neiman Marcus, $1,055

Carrie (total cop-out, I know): Manolo Blahnik Mary Janes, Neiman Marcus, $645

Sue me for being unoriginal on that last one. Or applaud me for knowing my SATC inside and out. Either way, those Mary Janes were the obvious choice. Cross your fingers and hope that mu brain turns back on soon! In the meantime, I'm off to see the movie!

Thursday, May 27, 2010


I recently read a review of the new SATC2 movie that basically said all fans should "pivot on their Manolo Blahniks" AWAY from the movie theatre. It was a review full of criticisms of the writing and plot lines. Guess what- I don't care! I fully expect this movie to be utterly ridiculous in terms of the plot and I'll be honest- some of my favorite lines from the show and movies are the ridiculous ones (which Samantha is usually charged with). So I'll say it again- I don't care! I'm not seeing this film because it's going to change my life emotionally or convince me to take on some humanitarian cause. I'm going to see it for the FASHIONS. Call me shallow if you must, but it's how I see it. Plus, why do we need Carrie and company to teach us more life and relationship lessons? They finished their work in those areas with the final episode of the series (I still stand by my opinion that no matter what your current relationship situation, there is an episode of SATC that covers it). The movies? They're just bonus material if you ask me. They are escapist fantasies for those of us who want to be a little self-indulgent on movie night. If they do any more than that, they have over-achieved (in my opinion). Of course I love films that move me emotionally or challenge me intellectually, but let's be honest- if I was dealing with all of that AND trying to take in all the accessories, my head would explode. I will likely see the movie tomorrow night, so no spoilers in the comments, please.

Anyway, one of the things I've always loved is how Patricia Field puts together looks for the foursome. Whether its the cover art for a DVD set, a movie poster, or even a scene with the four lovely ladies, I just love how she finds pieces that create a snapshot of the moment. When there is a specific color scheme in mind, she always chooses dresses that suit the various personalities of the characters. For example:

(I DIE for SJP's dress in this one!)

And when the outfits are required to function as part of a scene in either a movie or an episode of the show, they all work together without matching. A few examples:

What Patricia Fields manages to accomplish every time is amazing to me. Perhaps this is because I face similar challenges in my work at AMT when dressing the performers on stage, but I think her task is much more daunting. In every one of these photos, she has managed to:

1.) Stay true to each characters personal style
2.) Select garments appropriate to the event/scene/goings-on of the moment
3.) Balance the four looks so that they all stand out equally
4.) Create outfits that if pulled from the group shot would still be able to stand alone as great looks

Color me impressed. Enjoy the movie! 

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Roller Coaster Day

Today felt like an absolute roller coaster of a day. You know the kind- you're elated one minute and completely depressed the next. For example, this morning I got up and put together what I thought was a pretty fabulous outft incorporating the mixed prints trend rather successfully (in my humble opinion, anyway):

I love these two together- it's my black & white plaid strapless dress that you've seen in several other RML posts combined with a sheer sleeveless black and white polka dot top with a long tie at the neck. Most people who complimented my on this look today (and there were quite a few) thought it was one piece and were surprised when I told them it's actually a top layered under a dress. I finished the look with some fabulous teal wedges that at 9:00 AM seemed like a great idea:

This was the first time I pulled these out since last summer and all those months between now and the last time I wore them had helped to make the memory fade. What memory? The memory that these shoes are nothing short of a torture device. I don't really understand why they hurt my feet so badly, but they do. My pinky toe ends up sticking out the side and rubbing against the front strap. How it gets out, I really don't know, but it does get out. It even hangs over the edge of the platform. Meanwhile, my big toe gets irritated by the strap on that side of the shoe and then my whole foot starts to ache because there is absolutely NO padding what-so-ever in the sole. So needless to say the great feeling I had towards this outfit when I started the day was long gone by the end. See what I mean? Up, then down.

But it doesn't end there. I was out shopping for work today and happened across this:

I was in a consignment shop when I saw it in a corner next to some other bags and I thought to myself, "Hmm... that bag looks a lot nicer than the ones around it." I picked it up and that's when I saw the label that read "DvF" which we all know stands for... (prepare yourself)... DIANE von FURSTENBERG. Now, this was definitely a more high-end consignment shop that tends to carry the occassional designer item. Of course, those designer items tend to come with designer prices. I flipped over the tag to check the price and did a double-take. It read: $18.99. How could this be possible? I asked the saleslady if it was real or faux, but all signs (including the inside tags) were pointing towards real, not faux. "It's real," she said. I found this confusing as I had seen an obviously faux Louis Vuitton handbag marked $59.99. I fully expected to ask to ring it up and have the sales lady reply with, "Oh, I'm sorry- we've mislabeled this. Its actually $118.99" or "Oops! We missed a zero in there!" Nope. $18.99. I was thrilled! I bragged about my purchase all afternoon! A DvF handbag for less than twenty bucks? As soon as I got home, I Googled the bag to find out what it was supposed to cost and discovered it came from a DvF diffusion line.  SO not as cool as a true DvF. However, I did see another one for sale (used) for $125, so even though it's not quite the coup I thought it was, I'm still really proud of my find. See what I mean? Up, then down, then up again!

Ultimately, I'd say my day had far more ups than it did downs- after all, what matters in a bag is that you love it, not that it's got a fancy label. And I hate to tell you, but sometimes beauty hurts, including your feet in bad shoes. But that doesn't mean they don't look fabulous! It's all about your outlook. (And that's where I'll end this post before it starts to sound like an after-school special.)

Monday, May 24, 2010

Bathing Suit Season is Fast Approaching...

Now don't lynch me for this, or burn me in effigy- I would be remiss if I didn't at least cover the topic of swim suits. I know what a painful process bathing suit shopping can be, but it really doesn't have to be that way. I do NOT have Heidi Klum's body and trust me when I say you will NOT be seeing a "Rate My Look" Beach Edition anytime soon, but I do have several bathing suits that are comfortable and flattering. If I can find a suit (or two) that works for my body, so can you! I'll even do my best to break it down for you!

For small busts:
Tommy Bahama Swim Top, Macy's $49.40

Why do these work for a small bust? Because the underwire helps enhance your tiny ta-tas. The same could be said of a swim suit with padded cups, just like a padded bra. In this case, the underwire not only provides support which helps lift your bust, but it accents that area on your body as well. It draws the eye to the bustline, which is why this is a good trick for those of you who are small busted AND pear-shaped. By enhancing your upper body, you help to balance out wider hips, but that's not all! Pear-shaped ladies, check out these suits:

Mitered One-Piece, Venus, $59-79

Halter Tankini with High Waist Bottoms, Venus, $36 and $24-26, respectively

In addition to accenting the upper body, pear-shaped ladies should also stick with a high cut on the leg. (Just don't go Baywatch high, if you know what I mean.) The reason for this is that the line of the swimsuit will not only fall on a smaller part of your hips, but it will also help to lengthen the line of your leg. Boy-cut is your nemesis as is any cut that isn't at least a little bit vertical. A pear-shaped lady has plenty of curves, all she needs to do is make sure the top is in proportion with the bottom- always think in terms of balance. Some women don't have curves to balance out, though- instead they are "boy shape" for lack of a better term. In that case, they have the unfortunate challenge of creating curves. For them, I recommend:

Embellished Cut-Out One Piece, Victoria's Secret, $115

Colorblock One-Piece Swimsuit, Neiman Marcus, $198

This trick can be incorporated with a cut-out style or color blocking. In both cases, there is an illusion of an hourglass shape. The rounded curves of the cut-out suit in a color that contrasts against the skin tone creates the illusion that the rounded curves of the suit are the curves of the woman in it. In the case of the color blocked suit, the black detailing also creates an illusion of a small waist balanced against a larger bust and wider hips. Who says you need Harry Potter to work some serious magic? But the cut-out and the color blocking aren't the only things helping out a girl with a "boy shape." The necklines and high leg cuts of both suits are also keys to creating curves where there aren't necessarily that many. It's the combination of the two that help create an hourglass, curvy shape. Look for rounded, plunging necklines and the same kind of high leg cut as recommended for the pear-shaped ladies. Also, avoid at all costs any straight or square neckline and especially avoid the high-neck Speedo-type of suit. Speedo's? They are not flattering on ANYONE, I don't care how rockin' your bod may be.

Not everyone is able to wear such revealing suits as bikinis or cut-outs like the one above. Some of us have a little tummy to hide. Or a large tummy to hide. Whatever the tummy size, select one with ruching. Ruching that angles across the body is best, but any type will help mask a little belly: 
Twist-Front One-Piece, Victoria's Secret, $134-140

Crisscross Shaping One-Piece, Victoria's Secret, $132-138

In addition to ruching in the front, look for a suit with a high back and a high content of spandex or lycra in the fabric. These two criteria combined will help act as "shaping" agents. An open back with ruching will never be nearly as effective because ruching is most flattering when it is fitted across the body. If the ruching drapes or hangs, pass on that suit and keep on looking.

There are plenty of women out there who dread summer because it means having to find a suit to contain large ta-tas. If you are one of these women, look for suits like these:

Kenneth Cole Halter Suit, Dillard's, $110

Underwire Tank Halter Swimsuit, Land's End, $59.50

Women with a large bust should keep an eye out for suits that first and foremost offer support. Underwire with full coverage and halter necklines are the best options for support. Avoid triangle top bikinis and bandeau or tube tops as none of these will be flattering or offer the support you need. In addition, look for wide straps that will be more in proportion with the bust they are helping to hold up.

Well, I hope this has been a helpful post. Feel free to completely ignore it if bathing suit season makes you cringe. I won't take it personally. And if there are any other swimsuit issues you may have, feel free to email me with a question and I'll do my very best to help you out! Happy suit hunting!

Trend Alert: Bright Red

While beige may be the new black right now, you certainly shouldn't feel limited to neutrals for the spring and summer. In fact, smokin' hot red is the color of the moment, so jump on that bandwagon if you want to jazz up your wardrobe. There are several ways to pull this color off successfully, and I'm here to tell you what they are.

First, try an all red maxi dress in a loose, flowy silhouette. Since the color is so strong, you need to be careful to keep the look soft so you don't appear too harsh or overbearing:

Gypsy 05 Organic Maxi Dress, The Trend Boutique, $110
Kimono Sleeve Maxi Dress, Target, $24.99

It's also important to select a maxi dress made with a casual fabric such as a light weight cotton or jersey, lest you appear too formal. Also, keep the accessories casual and light- flat gladiator sandals, a wooden bangle bracelet and a light weight printed scarf will do the job.

Maybe an all-over red maxi dress is a little too much for you, but you still want to participate in this fun trend. In that case, I recommend incorporating single items in this color into an outfit.

Cropped Cardigan, Target, $14.99

3Q Woven Jacket, Forever 21, $26.80

Whether it's a cardigan or jacket or top, pair the red garment with neutrals like beige, grey, cream and denim to allow the red to pop and remain the focal point of the outfit. Also, keep accessories complementary so that they do not compete with the red garment you choose.

Do you have a red piece you want to wear to participate in this trend, but you aren't sure how to do it? Send me an email anytime and I'd be happy to help you!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Let them wear statement necklaces!

I've admitted on the blog before that I watch the Housewives and I suppose this post will be more evidence of my guilty pleasure. My friend Andrea says you have to watch each episode twice- the first time it's for the drama, the second time it's for the accessories. Seeing as how there are SO many housewives (Orange County, New York, Atlanta, New Jersey), I don't always have time. Although, with the conclusion of LOST tonight, my Tuesdays will be a little more free for frivolous television. And with DVR, the possibilities are endless, I suppose.
Andrea is right about the fashion, though. The housewives may be catty, spiteful, shallow, and perfect for all sorts of other made-for-tv drama, but they (mostly) know how to dress. Even the opening credits are chock-full of fabulous dresses. I hate the narration, though, especially LuAnn's "I never feel guilty about being priveleged." She may as well have said, "Let them eat cake!" But today's focus is on the housewives' fashions, not their mantras.

One thing Andrea and I have been dying over for the entire Real Housewives of NYC season are LuAnn's statement necklaces. You know from this post that statement necklaces have been a hugely popular accessory since the new year, but LuAnn has taken it to another level. It's almost as if she pairs her necklaces with the drama of the show- the bigger her necklace, the more explosive the episode! I have not been able to find a photo of my favorite ones she's worn, but they can only be described as "Flintstone-esque." LuAnn is an absolutely stunning woman, and she's got the height to pull off such large accessories. Unfortunately, not everyone is as statuesque as the lovely Countess, so if you love the statement necklace trend as much as LuAnn, make sure you select ones that don't overwhelm you.

If you want to create drama with your accessories through a statement necklace, but you lack the height the Countess is blessed with, then wear a necklace that is at once a large statement piece and delicately intricate. This Bebe necklace is a great example of what I mean:

It has a long, dramatic drape, but the pieces making it up are all very delicate- from the thin gold rings to the tiny turquoise beads, overall it is a large necklace, but it doens't appear heavy because the pieces making it up are all light and delicate. If what you love about LuAnn's statement necklaces is the fact that they are made up of oversized beads and medallions, then the Bebe necklace might not be enough for you. In that case, avoid the Flintstone-effect by choosing a necklace with large jeweled and faceted beads rather than stone, wood or anything entirely opaque. Choose a necklace with pieces that are translucent or even transparent, or that reflect the light. This will also have a "lightening" effect. Many perfect examples can be found on Etsy:

Finally, another "lightening" method is to find a statement necklace that mixes large pieces with more delicate, "empty" spaces like these:

But if you really want to wear an over-the-top statement necklace a-la the Countess, who am I to tell you not to? Just be prepared to spend beaucoup bucks on them! Here are some really incredible statement necklaces that are over-the-top in their style AND price tag:

Ok, I admit it- not ALL giant statement necklaces will be over-the-top in price. Here are some more affordable ones:

Faceted Beaded Bib Necklace, Forever 21, $9.80

Now if you'll excuse me, I've got to go watch another epic meltdown on the Housewives. Maybe this time I'll be able to notice the fashions through the drama.

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