Monthly Archives: June 2011

My poor feet

It’s no secret I have always loved shoes. And my tallish 5’9″ stature has never stopped me from flaunting high, HIGH heels ever since I was 17. But years of choosing looks over comfort has finally taken its toll on my feet.

I was recently diagnosed with having excessive pronation, which could eventually lead to plantar fasciitis (a fancy term for really bad heel pain). It means my ankles go inward like this:

And in case that’s not enough information for you, I have also developed what I like to call foot blemishes (because I loathe the word bunion), and they are beginning to cause pain as well.

So, this has left me at a sort of crossroads. From a stylist perspective, I consider shoes to be an integral part of creating a successful look, and it KILLS me to think that I could now be limited in my choices. Because, it’s not only about quitting high heels, although that certainly helps. Flat shoes are bad for this condition too, as they don’t offer any sort of arch support.

Here’s how I hope to strike a semi-happy medium between comfort and style.

Come winter, I will be investing in a custom-made pair of arch inserts. These are going to be pricey, but because of my extreme case, it’s necessary. There are also over-the-counter ones like these from Birkenstock that will work in boots, flats, and other cool-weather choices. However, I’m hoping my custom pair will be flexible enough to stick in heels, as the ones above are too stiff for anything but flats.

 

Summer’s a lot tougher since most shoes are strappy and open. So, I will be opting for Dr. Scholl’s gel supports, and sticking them in walking shoes from Aerosoles. Although these shoes aren’t on the cutting edge of fashion, they’re cute enough for walking around the city, and offer a cushioned bed and subtle lift at the heel. Then I can switch into my preferred sandals or heels when meeting up with clients, friends, the world.

Do you have the same issue? How are you handling it? Let me know!

Business casual, say what?

The Re-Stylist is psyched to become the latest style contributor to The Three Tomatoes (yes, that’s the name of the site… amazing, right?). It’s a savvy insider guide to NYC for “women who aren’t kids”, including the best finds in travel, entertainment, food, and of course, style. I will be offering a monthly article on fashion and shopping tips, so sign up for their e-newsletter to stay in the know.

My first topic is on breaking down business casual. So many of us can get tripped up over what is or is not appropriate for this office dress code, especially during the sweaty summer months. Whether you’re starting a new job, or just in need of a brush-up on what’s acceptable in a biz-cas environment, check out all of my tips here.

Have a suggestion for what you’d like to me to write about next month? I’m open to ideas, so comment here or on the TRS Facebook or Twitter page and let me know your thoughts!

 

 

The swimsuit I should have bought but didn’t

I try not to dwell on regrets, but this one has been killing me. It involves a swimsuit that I didn’t buy in Macy’s a few months ago. I needed a suit for my mini Florida vacay, and went over to Macy’s where I found this beautiful aqua-hued retro one-piece from Carmen Marc Valvo. I tried it on and just about fell in love. Until I saw the $167 pricetag, that is. At the time, I couldn’t bring myself to pay that much money for a swimsuit. Especially since I spend more time in coverups than I do in the suit alone. So I settled on an ill-fitting one-piece from the sale rack, and have regretted it ever since! And now, with another vacation coming up, I am feeling less than thrilled about pulling on my bargain suit.

Thankfully, I found the CMV one still online (at Victoria’s Secret), and am going to take the plunge! It doesn’t hurt that it’s on sale for $125.

So, why is this suit so amazing? It’s all in the ruching. Most of Carmen Marc Valvo’s suits offer ruching in both the front AND back, which is key to hiding all the stuff you don’t want out on display. Plus, this one comes down lower on the upper thighs. It feels great and makes you look even better. For those of you afraid of the chest situation (don’t worry, I was too, I have a D cup), you can both tighten the back tie and add on an included halter strap for extra support.

Moral of the story: Don’t pass up a good swimsuit! Even if you never take off your coverup, a well-fitting suit will just make you feel better. It’s an important piece to invest in, and will stand the test of time.

Okay, I’m going to go buy this before it disappears forever.

Monday inspiration

Came across this while cleaning over the weekend and wanted to share…

When I was planning for the launch of The Re-Stylist, I constructed a completely old school inspiration board over a Justin Bieber calendar. (The calendar was a gag gift from my brother. He knows I love the Biebs.)

And yes, I still do literal cut-and-paste collage-style inspiration boards. It helps!

The quotes in the top left are from one of my very first clients. Then there’s Charlotte Rampling looking fabulous with a crazy hat and gloves. Next to her is a quote from Cecilia Dean in V Magazine that says, “I’m a thousand times more confident than I was ten or twenty years ago.” I love that.

The middle pics are also from V Magazine–their Who Cares About Age issue, which I found so inspiring. And then, of course, MObama.

Inspiration boards are an amazing tool for outfit-building, too. I always cut out magazine pics or print online photos of  ideas, colors, etc. that appeal to me, and keep them on a bulletin board near my desk. I have a client who keeps some pics right inside her closet. She looks to them as reminders to try new things when getting dressed. So smart!

A MORE kind of Saturday

Just got my July/August edition of MORE Magazine, and wanted to share some finds.

MORE isn’t entirely fashion-focused, but they always have at least one main style story. This month it’s all about destination-inspired clothes and accessories for under 100 bucks. Unfortunately, everything I’m loving is either sold out, or not available online. This is kind of why I hate magazines. But it is worth it to highlight some of the good suggestions they have.

Destination: Turkey

I adore the idea of a sunny yellow dress for summer. Especially one that you can belt. I couldn’t find theirs on the site they credited, but I found a similar DVF one on Yoox. Other faves on the page include an exotic charm necklace from Sequin (not online, but you can find more of their jewelry on Nordstrom’s site), and a small crossbody raffia bag. (French Connection, but out of stock. Sigh. Here’s a similar find.)

Destination: Capri

This spread makes me happy just looking at it. And even though there are more practical options than a cropped cardigan to use as a swimsuit coverup, I give props for creativity. I’m a big fan of metallic sandals (these ones actually ARE available at loft.com, amazing!) and, of course, the crazy colorful bangles. (Not online, shocker. Some alternatives here.)

Destination: Nantucket

I am a sucker for stripes, which is why I dig this Nantucket spread so much. The dress is H&M, which means it’s probably impossible to find, but check out J. Crew for some other ones. I’m also quite excited over their mention of red pants, because, as we all know, I am obsessed with the mystical powers of the crimson trouser.

The jewelry staples you should own

I had a brilliant post request from a fabulous friend and fan of TRS’s Facebook page:

I would love to see a blog post about jewelry staples a gal should have. I know to have a trench, a white shirt, a black dress, ect, but jewelry? Stuck, I have no idea. That’s my two cents you didn’t ask for. 😉

I am always asking for readers’ two cents, even when I don’t say it. Please feel free to hit me up on FB or Twitter whenever you have a pressing style question! Or just to say hi.

Here’s the deal:

Jewelry is a very personal thing, mainly because women use it as an outlet for putting their own touches on ensembles. Also, many women are strict believers in only wearing certain types (i.e. I only wear gold, I never wear earrings, and so forth).

BUT for those of you who are open and willing to expanding your jewelry knowledge, here are 5 staples to get you going:

Statement necklace, pendant necklace, colorful bracelet, metallic bangles, and dangle earrings! Below are some examples from a recent client session. She happened to have all five already, lucky lady.

1. Statement necklace.

A statement necklace will instantly transform boring clothes into beautiful backdrops for a cool piece of wearable art.  It will prove to be a life-saver when you are scrambling for something fancy to wear to dinner or drinks. Simply layer over a plain tee-shirt or classic dress, and it becomes the focal point of your whole outfit. Believe it or not, Chico’s has some fun ones right now. And the color or style doesn’t necessarily matter as long as it’s attention-getting, funky, and unforgettable.

2. Pendant necklace.

When you are wearing an outfit containing color, print, or embellishment (ruffles or beadwork), you can still accessorize. This is where a skinny pendant necklace will become your best friend. It complements the whole look without stealing the focus away. Think of the pendant necklace as a way to adorn the outfit instead of making it.

3. Colorful chunky bracelet.

I say this to all of my clients: buy a colorful bracelet and you’ll be shocked at how many times you’ll reach for it! I’m not kidding when I say I wear my red MBMJ bangle with everything. A bold bracelet offers the perfect pop of color every time.

4. Skinny metallic bangles.

A bunch of thin metallic bangles (silver or gold, or both together) are great for layering with your chunkier bracelets are wearing alone if you just want a little bit of wrist bling. They work the same way a pendant necklace does; to complement the overall look.

5. Dangle earrings.

These are for when you’re wearing a top or dress that doesn’t mesh well with a necklace. A pair of dangle earrings will add the right amount of flash without drowning out the details of the clothes. The above silk top has a tie neck detail, which doesn’t allow for a necklace to be correctly displayed. So, fun dangle earrings are the perfect solution for adding tasteful sparkle.

The Crave guide is here… Want one?

The Crave New York City Guide has finally launched! It’s a book filled with over 100 fierce female business owners throughout the city (including the amazing Susan Sarandon and her posh ping pong club). Crave guides have already debuted in a ton of cities, so it’s very exciting to see one come to NYC.

I’m on page 158 rocking not the best hair day, but hey what can you do.

You can find the guide for sale on Amazon.com, and coming soon to a Barnes & Noble near you.

OR… you could score a free one from me! I will be giving away copies of the book to everyone who signs up for my newsletter between now and Friday*. Just go to the main page and enter your email. Simple as that. (I will contact you privately for your mailing address.)

P.S. The book also offers a bunch of discounts from participating lady biz owners, including a discount of 20% for any of my services. Great deals all around, people.

*While supplies last, that is.

Friday’s closet clean and cocktails

I had such a fun session with a client this past Friday… Prosecco and all!

(To all future clients out there, I do not make it a policy to booze it up during a session. But if you offer, I will not decline. Just saying.)

I went over to Jennifer’s fabulous new apartment in Hoboken to help her sort through her closet and create some new ensembles for her fabulous new job with Teach for America.

After an initial closet clean, I created a bunch of outfits from what she already had in her closet. We came up with OVER SIXTY new ways to wear what she already owns!

Check out her full review at StillJennyFromTheBlog’s Blog.

And semi-un-related, if you’re an animal lover, hop on over to Jennifer’s Animals in Baths photoblog. Just be prepared for a crippling dose of cuteness.

Tell me what to buy from Chico’s (yes, you heard that right)

Yep, that’s correct. I am currently browsing the Chico’s site and am about to make a purchase. Sure, Chico’s gets a bum rap for being a wee bit cheeseball southwestern-ey, but honestly, I have found a lot of decent stuff in there for both myself and my clients. Especially jewelry! As pointed out by other fashion sites, Chico’s often gets it right in the accessories department. (Their big flaw is really in the styling/presentation, as they tend to show a model wearing everything all at once, against the not-so-neutral backdrop of a cheetah print blouse and embroidered jeans.)

Nevertheless, I was pleasantly surprised this morning to find they’re having a sale both online and in-store. 40% off jewelry and accessories!

I am only allowing myself one purchase (have to save up for an upcoming vacation), but can’t decide between two necklaces. Therefore, I’m asking you to decide for me. No pressure.

Option #1: Kinda crazy…

Or Option #2…

REALLY crazy. (Yet also kind of amazing.)

Both would be perfect with a muted summer dress or classic tee. But I can’t decide!

Please help a gal out and comment below or on my FB or Twitter and let me know which one to take home.

P.S. The sale ends today, so it’s a very pressing matter indeed.

What to wear with slouchy pants

WE’VE MOVED TO A NEW ADDRESS. PLEASE VISIT BRYNTAYLORSTYLE.COM :)

Brilliant question from a client:

How do I wear slouchy pants the right way? What tops should I wear with? Tucked in or out?

Slouchy pants have a relaxed, billowy style that tapers near the ankle. They are often pleated in front, but don’t have to be. A harem is a type of slouchy pant, but there are other kinds as well that don’t resemble adult diapers.

I love this style of pant, and find it to be a great alternative to skinnies. However, you have to know what to pair it with or you’ll run the risk of resembling a shapeless sack. Not fun for anyone.

Since slouchy pants are fuller in the hips and thighs and smaller at the waist, you’ll want to team with a top that doesn’t hide that smallest part (the waist). Either wear your tops tucked in to the pants or opt for tops with a higher hem. High-low hemmed tops are also a good option as they show off the front waist of the pants but still offer some butt coverage.

You can also top off with a blazer, which offers a modern take on the suit. Just make sure the blazer falls at or just below the waist.

As for shoes, opt for something sexier in order to balance the not necessarily sexy feel of baggy pants. Classic pumps are good for the office as long as they show off some skin on the top of the foot. And for a night out, slip on edgier strappy heels!