Monthly Archives: January 2011

Downtime

This week’s worth-your-while reads:

1. The Advanced Style ladies show how gloves can change your whole style situation.

2. MORE’s favorite (and not too well-known) places to shop online.

3. Apartment Therapy offers a peek into celeb closets. Warning: it’s a little much.

How to shop for: attractive snow boots

There’s a load of snow here in New York, which has inspired me to stay indoors and do nothing write about what’s acceptable when it comes to… snow boots!

Duck boots

Old school duck boots are back in a big way. I have to admit I kind of love them.

Brands to look for: L.L. Bean, Land’s End, Sokel

Plain and simple

Minimalism is also back–and always a safe, chic bet. Opt for a fun color (red looks great paired with muted winter coats), or trusted black in a slim, no-frills design.

Brands to look for: La Canadienne, Aquatalia

Something fun

As grown-ups, we realize snow basically sucks. So make at least some fun out of it with a boot that’s kind of hilarious. Fur is always a good choice, but make sure you find a pair that’s waterproof or can be protected with spray. And buy a dark color or you’ll just come off looking dirty.

Brands to look for: Bearpaw, Tecnica

Oh and…..

What to Avoid: Anything too complicated and mountain-climber-looking, heeled boots, and UGGs. Please, no UGGs.

no Penney’s don’t go!

Word on the street is that J.C.Penney is closing a bunch of stores and outlets and winding down its catalog. Sadness. So I’d like to take this opportunity to shed some light onto an oft misunderstood gem. Penney’s is so much more than your mother’s bargain basement store.

J.C.Penney has always been my destination for basics: tights, undies, socks, gloves, hats. And within the past few years they’ve upped their style game with the introductions of more fashioney brands.

Unfortunately, their online biz leaves something to be desired, so I urge you to give ol’ JCP a chance and visit an actual store.

Some brands to check out:

For classic, preppy staples: American Living, Liz Claiborne

For contemporary work separates: Jones Wear, Worthington

For weekend casual: A.N.A., Nicole by Nicole Miller

For trendier styles: I Heart Ronson, Bisou Bisou

Tip day

Today’s issue: handbag storage (inspired by an impromptu trip to The Container Store)

Yes, sometimes I make a rando visit to The Container Store (a.k.a. MECCA) just to decompress. Hey, cheaper than yoga.

While wandering aimlessly, awash in serene bliss, I came across some nifty new ideas for keeping handbags in order!

I’m all about finding stuff you can hang either inside your closet or on the back of a door. After all, if you live in a pint-sized NY apartment, you really have no other options (the stove, maybe).

The above strip thing has clasped tabs to hold the handles of your bags. And it’s kinda cute, no?

Something else I liked was the idea of a shelf divider. They’re like filing cabinets for your purses. You can either go with single ones that attach to a shelf, or get creative and find a whole unit to turn on its side.

For the more anal-retentive types (I feel your pain – handbags can cost more than a year of college tuition), there’s the above option. This organizes, while also protecting the bags from dust, scratches, etc. You can also pre-wrap your purses in dust bags, and place a Polaroid of the bag inside the plastic for identification.

Downtime

This week’s worth-your-while reads:

1. Author Jane Shilling ponders why we’re such scaredy cats when it comes to–GASP–middle age.

2. Calypso St. Barth for Target comes out May 1, and actually won’t disintegrate after one wear!

3. The over 50s of London hold steadfast to their stilettos. (Spoiler: that dang Sex and City has something to do with it.)

Style ace: Cate Blanchett, 41

Cate Blanchett busted out the menswear for an event this week, proving that thinking outside the little black dress can pay off. The look is tailored yet roomy, which means she most likely got to leave the Spanx at home.

This outfit works because:

a.) black and white palette = fresh and always sophisticated

b.) volume on the bottom is balanced by a closer fit on top

c.) heels and colored lips makes the look more ‘feminine’

And apparently Blanchett is no stranger to dressing like a ladylike Dapper Dan. Note the ever-important white button-down!

Obama Moment

Alexander McQueen gown, Jan. 19 2011

How to take your jeans to work

Today, Refinery29.com ran a post on wearing your jeans to work. This is a wonderful and very relevant topic, as jeans are no longer considered merely casual wear. Here are some general pointers (both theirs and mine):

1. The darker the wash, the fancier the jean.

LOOK FOR: a deep indigo or solid black with no intentional holes or distressing. And remember to wash them first before wearing, or the dye can come off on your hands.

2. Cut matters.

LOOK FOR: a wide-leg trouser jean, ankle skinny, or subtle bootcut. Bottom line: make sure it fits without being too big or too tight.

3. What you pair them with matters even more!

A work jean is only as professional as what it’s worn with. So dress it up with what you may normally think of as office attire.

LOOK FOR: a tailored blazer, button-down, or cardigan. And try to always finish off with some sort of heel.. even if it’s a tiny kitten heel. Height always provides a more polished appearance.

Tip day

Today’s issue: shoe storage.

I recently moved, and am still in the process of unpacking and putting everything away properly. But I’m not there yet.

Below is a bird’s eye view of my frustrating shoe situation.

And here’s what I’m going to do about it:

An expandable shoe rack is the best option for someone who needs to be able to see their shoe options clearly everyday. You can stack the racks on top of each other for more room, and it’s skinny enough to fit in the smallest of closets.

Another solid option is an over-the-door rack.

I tend to steer clients away from using that key real estate for shoe storage, but if there’s absolutely no other place to put your shoes, this will keep them organized and viewable.

In my fantasy world, I keep my shoes in their respective shoe boxes with a Polaroid of the shoe taped to the front–or–in clear shoe boxes.

Yes, it’s way too Sex and the City, but I swear it’s the best way to keep your footwear dust-free and in immaculate condition… if you have the room.

Obama moment

Prabal Gurung dress, May 1 2010