Monthly Archives: November 2011

I braved Black Friday

Yep, I did it. I went shopping today. Not exactly the Black Friday madness I expected! Well, maybe a litte bit.

I ventured over to the Kohl’s near my family’s house just to see what all the fuss was about. Frankly, I would have gone out shopping anyway, so the fact that it was Black Friday didn’t really faze me one way or the other.

We got there around noon (I went with pro-shopper Karen, fellow blogger Jenny, and my little bro), and the store itself was pretty quiet except for the massive line.

There were a decent number of sales, with a lot of stuff marked 50% off or higher for the ‘early bird special’, which lasted until 2:30pm. Not sure why that’s considered early, but I’m not complaining.

I ended up snagging a Lauren Conrad blazer, a drapey cardigan, and blue pullover sweater. The total for all three was just under $70. Not too bad. The blazer was a nice length for pairing with dresses (ending at the waist), and the sweaters just looked cozy.

And even though it was the biggest discount day of the year, I still don’t advocate buying things purely because they’re on sale! I had an entire conversation with myself (out loud) over the three items, asking Bryn whether Bryn would spend her hard-earned money on these clothes if they weren’t on sale. Interestingly enough, I wasn’t the oddest looking/sounding person in the store. It was Black Friday after all.

Here’s the deal with: socks

                  image from Nordstrom
Now that we’ve got the whole tights thing down, it’s time to examine that often scary abyss known as the sock drawer. Sure, you should have your cozy ones to slip on under boots, but there should also be an ample supply of nice-looking socks you wouldn’t mind flaunting in public.
Here are some general rules to follow when it comes to socks:
          image from Net-A-Porter                                                    image from Kohl’s
Always opt for a very thin trouser style. This way, they won’t bunch up where the sock meets the shoe. Textures can spice things up, so feel free to experiment with ribbed patterns, dots, or even a subtle lace as long as there’s not too much of a color contrast. But don’t go too crazy, as you don’t want your socks to be the focal point of your outfit. The thinner the better, so sheer, tight-like material (a.k.a. knee-highs) will also work. Or seek out ones made from microfiber, as these will stay put when pulled up.
              image from Bare Necessities
Whenever possible, socks should match the color of your pants. This will work to make your legs look longer and allow the socks to blend in with the overall ensemble. They can either be the same color, or in the same family. (For example, it’s okay to pair a black pant with a charcoal grey sock, or a light camel trouser with a cream sock.)

Stick with closed toes and heels when wearing socks. This means no peep-toe or sling-back. An open toe can look okay with tights, but with socks, it’s a bit too trendy.

-Above all else,  never go with white, thick, or anything too boldly colored. I repeat, you don’t want your socks to stand out on their own. They should remain a mere complement to your overall fabulous look.

Some good brands to check out: SPANX, Wolford, Goldtoe, and Apt. 9.

My big fat dress disaster

After several deep-breathing exercises, I’ve finally calmed down enough to share with you the story of my dress disaster.

I’m having a belated wedding reception this weekend, and keeping with my tradition of non-traditional everything, I opted for a fun cocktail dress over something white.

I came across a gorgeous vintage beaded dress while shopping downtown, and knew it would be perfect for the party. The only thing I didn’t love was the length, as it feel at my knee. Because of the long sleeves, I felt a shorter hem would create a more flirtatious, contemporary feel.

Since the dress is made of silk chiffon with super intricate beadwork all over, I knew getting it altered would cost a pretty penny. So when the store offered to send to their tailor for a small fee, I jumped at the chance.

A few days later, I got it home to find this:

 

The hem was completely uneven, buckled, and just plain wrong.

 

The back especially was much shorter than the front. Like, I can’t bend down even a quarter of an inch short.

Now the store was very apologetic and offered to send out to another tailor to repair (blah, blah, blah), but I wasn’t about to entrust another stranger with my already butchered dress.

I decided to bring to a friend’s tailor who specializes in this kind of work. What I should have done in the first place. The dress is still being worked on, and I should see the end result in a few days. I can send the bill to the store and have them take care of it, or I can put the whole thing to rest and just consider it a lesson learned. Either way, I wanted to share this experience to reiterate  a couple things:

1. Don’t skimp on price! If a piece is something special, don’t try to get a lower price on tailoring or altering. If it’s too good to be true, it probably is.

2. Trust your gut. If I had listened to the tiny voice in the back of my head saying I should bring to someone I know, then I would have saved a ton of time and money.

So, anyway, I will keep you posted on the outcome. In the meantime, I’ve placed this new tailor on speed dial. And found a back-up dress. You know, just in case.

Gaga + Barneys = whoa

I am a total Lady Gaga fan. There I said it. She’s the most ridiculous person on the planet and I love her for it! Today in my inbox I came across this little gem of an email about Gaga’s holiday workshop with Barneys. An entire floor of the department store will be transformed into Gaga World on Nov. 22nd. Plus, there will be 12 days of Gaga as a countdown, with each day revealing a new Lady G-inspired gift on Barneys’ site.

What an amazing time-waster! I’m in! Who wouldn’t want to receive a telephone Gaga cookie in their stocking? I mean, I wouldn’t spend 15 bucks on a cookie, but I’d love to receive one.

Check out the whole bizarre experience here.

Happy Hug a Blogger Day!

Did you hear? Today is the first official National Hug A Blogger Day, put together by the fabulous Vera Sweeney of Lady and the Blog. In order to participate, you just have to, well, hug another blogger!

So I thought what better choice than my amazing friend, Jennifer Casson. (I had cocktails in her closet this past summer.) Jennifer’s photoblog, Animals in Baths, is the best place to get your daily dose of cute. She’s also an incredible photographer – you can check out her site here.

And just because, here’s a pre-TRS pic of me with three amazing ladies: Victoria of 24/7 Victoria, Vera, and Dana of FitCeleb.com. This is from years ago… look how short my hair is!

If you’re going to San Francisco…..

…then drop me a line. Because I am too! As I mentioned in this week’s newsletter (which you really should be getting :)), TRS is expanding to include the lovely and amazing Bay Area! Starting in January, I will be taking the show on the road, and serving clients in both New York City and northern California.

So if you or any of your friends or family live in the Bay Area and need some fabulous, New York-flavored style help, please send them my way! And all of my East coast ladies, don’t worry, I will still be offering the same services in NYC. Frequent flyer miles, here I come.

And be sure to sign up for the TRS newsletter to get style tips, tricks, and updates delivered to you every week.

So here’s the deal with belts

I’ve been getting a lot of inquiries about belts lately. Should I wear them? If so, how? What kind works for me? And so on. Here’s the latest: I’m trying to incorporate more belts in my wardrobe but I’m a little nervous about using colors besides black. I have a lot of dark color tops and pants this fall so was wondering if you had any tips or do’s/don’ts for working belts into the mix?

Belts are a really fun–and useful–accessory to have on hand. They can work to cinch a silhouette, or merely give a finishing accent to your overall look.

When it comes to colored belts, stick with skinny. If you’re opting for a dash of color or print in your belt, you want exactly that–a dash. A skinny belt will provide pop to your outfit without pulling all of the focus.

J. Crew has a fun variety of skinny belts (think glitter, embellished, etc.). I especially love their cool animal prints. You can use the skinny belt looped through darker color pants, or try it at your natural waist over a muted dress. Just remember, if you go too big and colorful, that’s all people are going to look at. You want the outfit to shine as a whole ensemble, instead of one single piece stealing the spotlight.

Does this mean you can’t go big at all? No! If you’d rather a thicker belt to accentuate your waist, keep the color of it in line with the hues of your outfit. This way, it will blend in more effortlessly. You can also go totally monochromatic and use a belt that has some interesting detail or texture. This can add edgy depth to your look.

Overall, make sure the belt fits and will stay put with whatever you’re wearing. You don’t want to have to keep adjusting throughout the day. Nobody has time for that nonsense.

Reader Question: What tops will mask my middle?

Here’s the latest fantastic question from an equally fantastic reader:

 

My body/clothing challenge is that my weight is disproportionately stored around my middle since I had my baby. So if you look at me from front-on, I look like a well-proportioned size 12/14, but if you look at me from the side or in the wrong clothes, I really do look kind of pregnant and I actually wear more like a size 16/18. Any ideas for what cut/length/etc of top might work for someone of my body shape so that I don’t look pregnant?  Thanks for any thoughts you can offer!

 

For someone who stores most of their weight in the middle (whether naturally or post-partum), the key is to find tops that will cover what you don’t want emphasized (the tum) while not appearing too big and baggy. Often women will choose large, billowy styles and end up looking like their clothes are swallowing them whole.

Here’s what to look for instead:

Images from left to right: talbots.com, saks.com

 

Seek out the right neckline above all else. A good neck will help to draw the eye upward towards your gorgeous face and away from any not so fabulous areas. Generally speaking, V-necks and deeper scoops are the best (just don’t go so deep that you enter scary cleavage zone).  They frame the face and create a longer line. Plus, they offer an ideal backdrop for an amazing necklace or set of earrings. Again, this will work to bring attention up.

 

Images from left to right: anntaylor.com, talbots.com

 

Next, you should focus on detailing that’s going to successfully camouflage your middle without adding bulk. The best accents for this are thin tiers (a.k.a. flat ruffles) or subtle ruching. These details prevent the fabric of the shirt from clinging directly to your body.

 

In addition to tops themselves, nothing makes you look slimmer and more pulled together than a classic, structured blazer that flares out from the waist. Wear it unbuttoned over your ensemble, and it will automatically hide that annoying middle.

 

Have a pressing style question? Hit me up on Twitter or Facebook!