Monthly Archives: August 2010

Style Ace: Catherine Deneuve, 67

Here are some shots of Catherine Deneuve.  Her style has matured as gracefully as she has.

She uses a lot of black, and punctuates with accessories or big, structured jackets. There’s always an air of drama around her, but it’s not too showy or obnoxious. You can tell she’s dressing for herself.

How to Shop for: handbags

In order to find your perfect handbag, you have to look out for the following criteria:

1. Has lots of pockets.

Either on the inside or outside (or both), the bag you find should have multiple pockets so you’re not diving in to the bottomless pit to look for keys, phone, etc.

2. Passes the over-the-shoulder test.

The straps have be large enough not just to let you wear over your shoulder, but also to be able to one-handedly toss over your elbow then onto your shoulder in one fell swoop. I think we all know this procedure. And when trying this, keep in mind that in the winter you’ll have the extra layer of a coat.

3. Color can go with everything.

Find a color that matches everything and that you won’t get sick of seeing everyday. Black is always a safe option, but you can also try out a caramel color (my favorite), burgundy, or grey.

4. Is not too heavy.

I highly recommend leather since it’s durable and attractive, but make sure the bag itself doesn’t way a thousand pounds. I once bought a beautiful Marc Jacobs leather tote that fit all of the above criteria, but weighed a ton even before putting all my crap inside. So unfortunately I rarely use it, which turned out to be a huge waste of money.

Check out Michael Kors and Hobo International. I like their bags a lot, and you can usually find them in any big department store. Hobo has fewer pockets but makes bags in amazing shiny leather.

How to shop for: skirts

Skirts create a huge obstacle for women who are past the age of mini-skirt wearing. Therefore, we tend to shy away from wearing skirts, because we don’t know which ones will fit right and look good. You don’t have to be afraid of skirts. Just stick to the right ones for your body.

If You Have Hips

Look for either A-line or flared skirts. The fit won’t hug you tightly, and will create the illusion of a smaller waist since it gradually angles out from the waist downward. If you are ok with showing some leg, choose ones that hit at or right below the knee. If you don’t feel comfortable showing skin, then find one that is still flared, but hits at the ankle. Either way, try to avoid ones that hit mid-calf – it’s not flattering for anyone since it cuts off the leg at a weird place.

Eileen Fisher A-Line Skirt ($150), Style&co Flared Skirt ($15), J.Jill Long Skirt ($60).

If You Have A Straighter Bottom Half

Seek out pencil skirts or straight-cut long skirts. These will follow the line of your hips and legs in a tasteful way. Just be sure to be mindful of your waist– tuck in your shirt or cinch with a belt. Creating a waist creates the illusion of some curve.

Giambattista Valli Black Pencil ($995), Michael Kors Green Pencil ($995), J.Jill Long Sweater Skirt ($79).

PS…Michelle Obama knows the deal – check out how flattering the flared skirt looks on her curvy body.

Style ace: Diane Sawyer, 65

Diane Sawyer is one of the chicest dressers I know of.  She bases her outfits around bold colors, but in a timeless, classy way.

The royal blue jacket is great for both color and figure, as the tie creates a waist. The blue stands out against the muted combo underneath.

The choice of a bright peach button-down with toned-down pants creates the same effect. If you are going to wear color – which you should – always counter one bold piece with more subtle colors…grey, white, or black.

Style ace: Nora Ephron, 69

Vanity Fair came out with their 2010 International Best-Dressed list, and one of my favorites is Nora Ephron. The writer/director is 69 years old, and dresses in sharp solid colors (mostly black and white),  pieces with structure, and minimal yet prominent jewelry.

The men’s style button-down over all black is so simple and so brilliant.

Comfortable, Good-Looking Summer Shoes

I’ve been on the hunt for attractive summer walking sandals – and they actually exist! Since this an issue for a lot of women, I’m sharing my favorite finds.

Aerosoles Ventriloquist Sandals
Aerosoles have been around forever, but in the last few years have kicked it up a notch in the style department.  They have a surprisingly charming selection of  heels that keep feet complacent, not crying.

Naturalizer Tipton, Ruvan, Jasper Sandals
I’ve actually been shopping at Naturalizer for a while – a pair of boots I found there last season remains one of the cutest pairs I own. Hence, it’s not surprising to find colorful, attractive sandal options.

SofftFlore Sandals
Sofft wasn’t on my radar until a friend recommended the brand. Turns out they’re incredibly stylish and feel amazing to walk in.

It's Hot. A Good Outfit for this Weather

It’s annoyingly hot outside in the city, which leads me to the topic of how to dress in/for the heat. I get this question a lot – especially in the summer. Women (of all ages) tend to become more self-conscious in the summer for obvious reasons. Heat = sweat = less clothing = more body exposed.

A really good summer outfit? A flowy skirt, belted button-down, sandals, and one cool piece of jewelry. And you’re done.

Simple, solid colors are the most flattering and least juvenile. This skirt is from ShapeFX and actually has a stomach-slimming panel at the waist. Wear with a loose button-down that you can blouse over a belt (worn lower on the hips). One bold piece of jewelry – preferably with color –  adds oomph.

Skirt: ShapeFX

Shirt: Eileen Fisher

Belt: Cipriani

Sandals: Gentle Souls

Cuff: Lori’s