Monthly Archives: January 2012

Itchy? Could be that wool

Within the past few weeks, I’ve had FOUR clients with the same issue: itchiness and rashes when wearing wool. This was enough to prompt me to share some pointers on how to handle such an annoying situation, especially when it’s winter time and wool is frolicking in fabric contents everywhere.

After some very in-depth Googling, I’ve learned that a true wool allergy is rare, while sensitivity to wool is much more common. And to get even more particular, people are often reacting to the stuff in the wool (i.e. lanolin, allergens) as opposed to the fiber itself. But I don’t really care about all that stuff, and neither do my clients. What matters is that it freakin’ itches when you put it on.

So, what can be done to avoid wool and still dress with ease? Here are a few pointers:

-You don’t have to give up wool entirely. If your sensitivity is mild, you can often be okay with wearing wool as long as it doesn’t touch your skin. When it comes to suits or suit separates, seek out pieces that are lined, OR have a lining put in. This is a common thing that tailors do for wool suits.

-Learn the art of the layer! This may sound like common sense, but I’m gonna say it anyway. If you’re in the mild sensitivity camp, you can still get away with wearing that wool sweater, as long as it’s not touching the skin. Opt for a thin, long-sleeved tee underneath. This is that rare instance where I’d say a turtleneck is also okay, so that your neck is protected too.

-Get to know other fabrics. As spring stuff is coming into stores, there are definitely other good fabrics to choose from. For suits and work separates: Look to Calvin Klein for a poly-rayon blend, Theory for dressier cotton and cotton blend, and Rachel Zoe for trendier poly blend styles. For casual sweater-y things: Try out J.Crew or 525 America.

Here’s to less itching in 2012!

Skinny clothes: to toss or to keep??

Image from Thinkstock via YouBeauty

A huge thanks to Dr. Oz’s YouBeauty for once again asking my advice for their latest article! In it, we talk about the concept of ‘skinny’ and ‘fat’ clothes. You know, those jeans that you can’t zip up right now, or that dress that’s currently 2 sizes too big? These clothes are doing more damage than you think they are. Not to be Captain Obvious here, but clothes are never just clothes. And when you’re dealing with sizes that don’t work for you, it can be really hard to face the task of getting dressed, let alone cultivating your style.

Check out the whole article here. They also speak to a psychologist to get the whole doctor-ey side of things.

And while you’re at it, browse the other YouBeauty pieces featuring TRS. I do love them so.

What are your thoughts on the whole skinny/fat clothes issue? Speak up in my comments section, or jump into the discussion on FB and Twitter.

Where have all the good (sleeved) shells gone?

Karen and I spent the better half of a recent shopping trip seeking out good basic shells to wear under blazers. This is something she has a lot of trouble finding, since she wants some sort of sleeve, and needs the shell to be polished enough to wear to work. I define a shell as any base layer you wear under a blazer, cardigan, or sweater. A blouse can be considered a shell, but in this case, Karen was on the hunt for something completely simple and frill-free.

After a lot of searching, we finally stumbled upon a near-perfect option in Chico’s. (Unfortunately, they’re not online, so you’ll have to venture over to a store near you.) Here’s why these shells worked:

The fabric was right. If you’re in a work environment, you want to pass on too-casual fabric. The ones we found were a polyester/spandex blend. You can also go the cotton route, as long as it’s not 100% cotton. A thinner jersey blend will look more office-appropriate. You can also opt for silk, but be wary of silk tops that wrinkle or stain too easily.

It wasn’t too bulky. Even though the style had sleeves, it was thin enough to wear under other layers.

The neckline was flattering. Seek out scoops, slight Vs, or cowls when it comes to neck shapes for versatile shells. These will frame your face nicely and elongate the figure.

And if you find one that works, buy it in a few different colors. We took home the same shell in coral, white, and black! It’s so basic, that it’s okay to have a few to choose from.

Have you had luck elsewhere finding sleeved shells? If so, do share! I’m always looking to hear some reader favorites.

Make your closet a happy place

I talk a lot about closet organization. It’s a huge part of my job. A thoughtfully edited, organized wardrobe is crucial to your style health. That said, the state of your actual closet space (sans clothes) needs some TLC too.

I recently re-located to the West coast (still serving clients back East, rest assured) and am in the midst of unpacking boxes and decorating my home. I’m lucky enough to have more closet space than I did in NY, but these closets need a lot of work. This got me thinking–and Pinteresting–some good ideas for how to make the space a happy, pretty place.

If you have a Saturday afternoon free and want to get a little artsy craftsy, here are some ideas to try. Just remember to improvise with the space that you’ve got!

COLOR. Paint is quite simply the easiest way to transform the look of a room, or closet in this case. Experiment with painting the walls and/or shelves in a bold color. Or if that’s too much of an effort, try just painting the rod. This will offer a fun, unexpected pop .

1

PRINTS. If you want to take it a step further, wallpaper is an exciting option. You can wallpaper the closet walls, or just use as a shelf lining. I’m partial to black and white prints, like this funky bamboo one.

INSPIRATION PICS. One of my clients did this in her closet and I thought it was pure genius. She reserved a space on the inside door for all the magazine tears that inspired her style. That way, she had a daily reminder of what she loved.

JEWELRY ON DISPLAY. I have said it before, and I’ll say it again. Use your jewelry as art! Put it on display in or near your closet. There are so many ways to try this. You won’t be disappointed.

FLOOR CANDY. Finally, think about a small rug on the floor, if you have the room. For walk-in closets, this can keep your feet warm while picking out the day’s ensemble. If you have a smaller closet, a rug can serve as an exciting accent.

Do you have any cool ideas for making over your closet? Do share!