Monthly Archives: February 2013

How to dress like a French woman when you don’t look like a model

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Emmanuelle Alt

Net-a-Porter’s latest e-magazine issue had a fun article about the unmistakable style of a French woman, and how to copy it. Personally, I adore the traditional Parisian style. Hair that’s a sexy mess. Makeup that’s barely there. Conservative clothes that are anything but boring. I would kill to be mistaken for a French woman. So freakin’ chic!

But what Net-a-Porter fails to highlight (they mention it briefly) is that the main reason those French ladies look fabulous is because they’re usually super thin and gorgeous. Hello? Emmanuelle. Inès. Need I say more?

I don’t mean to belittle their sense of style, as they have an incredible one, but it most certainly doesn’t hurt if you have the figure and face of a runway model. Messy hair, rumpled tees, and painted-on jeans are only enhanced by a size 2 frame and enviable cheekbones.

That said, it is possible to successfully capture Parisian style if you’re not a walking hanger. Some suggestions are touched upon in the article. But I wanted to break it down even more.

Remember these two things: shoulders and ankles. 

shoulders and ankles. shoulders and ankles.

Or more specifically, pronounced shoulders and naked ankles.

These are two areas French women like to highlight. Pronounced shoulders by way of a structured, slightly padded blazer, and naked ankles by way of a cropped trouser and pump or ballet style shoe (where the tops of the feet show). That’s it really. I mean, not totally, but it will get you close. The rest you can fake.

The blazer doesn’t have to be high-end, but it does have to have structure and slim tailoring, preferably in both the body and arms. Zara does a nice job with blazers, and offers more reasonable prices than Balmain.

And the pants don’t have to be sprayed-on skinnies, which don’t work on every body type. Instead, try any slim-leg pant, and finish by either rolling or hemming the leg to hit above the ankle.

After you’ve got those points nailed down, you can add a leopard scarf and sleek shoe and be on your kickass French way.

Au revoir, people.

 

Oscars 2013: Another year, another batch of dresses to critique

You guys rock for keeping the Oscar style commentary afloat on the TRS Facebook page last night as I was mid-air and sans wifi. Looks like Jessica Chastain was a fan favorite, with Anne Hathaway’s nipples coming in not far behind.

I’ve had a chance to pour over pics from last night’s awards, and here’s what I think. My best-dressed accolades go to Charlize Theron, Jennifer Lawrence, Kerry Washington, and….. Jane Fonda!

Charlize Theron oscars gownjennifer lawrence

Both Charlize and Jennifer looked polished and perfect in Dior without overdoing it with big bling or messy details. Yes, JLawr’s dress was pouffy, but the neckline and color made for an elegant choice.

kerry washington

Kerry Washington’s Miu Miu just seemed like a fresh departure from standard red carpet fare, without trying too hard. And I appreciate that.

Jane Fonda

Lastly–and I know I’ll catch flak for this–I adored Jane Fonda’s Versace look! It was a bit Dynasty, I get it. BUT it was well-fitted, sexy without being slutty, and edgy in a fun way. Plus it had sleeves. I loved it.

Unfortunately, I just can’t get onboard the Chastain train. I think she always looks fine, but just not amazing. I don’t know. She bothers me. Maybe it’s something I need to work out with my therapist.

And btw, I don’t think enough praise/attention is paid to the dresses that show up to the after parties. Some of them I liked better than the awards gowns. Check out the Pinterest board I created to showcase my faves. What do you think?

 

 

Breaking news: Coats are in for next fall. Lots of them.

I guess it’s not surprising that during a week full of shows for fall fashion, one would see a lot of outerwear. Or at least one would hope. New York Fashion Week for Fall 2013 concluded last week, which means the designers premiered a bunch of stuff you won’t get to see in stores until July. But I’m happy to report that in five months, we will have an influx of fabulous coats. Which makes me a bit giddy, I have to say. Lots of new colors and patterns, as well as plenty of your go-to blacks and greys. And I’m loving the oversized lapels, because, really, who doesn’t want some drama as they head out into the world?

Here are my favorite coats of the week. None of which I can afford.

the New York uniform of blacks and greys (JBrand, DKNY)

oddly soothing hues (Narciso Rodriguez, 3.1 Phillip Lim)

less soothing hues, but still pretty (Eudon Choi, Jason Wu)
cropped and awesome (Proenza Schouler, Helmut Lang)

 

 

colorblocking at its finest (Alexander Wang, DKNY)

print happy (DVF, Elie Tahari)

 

For more of my NYFW picks, check out my super amazing Pinterest board. And follow me while you’re at it. :)

Just let the Spanx be, people.

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One of my favorite snarky gossip sites, Gawker, recently ran a post about Spanx. They had two of their writers (one female, one male) attend a showcase of the brand’s Fall 2013 line, and offer up their thoughts. The lady writer compared Spanx to a” Thundershirt for your thunder thighs”, going on to tongue-in-cheekly point out that “Spanx combine the appearance of a slightly trimmer body with the effort of lying on the couch eating bon-bons”. Sure she was being very Gawker-y (read: 90% sarcastic) with her observations, but the overall opinion was that Spanx were cool. The man writer , however, had another point of view, insisting that Spanx are inherently deceitful, anti-feminist, and send the message” ‘I am painfully insecure about my body, but please, by all means, f** me.’ ”

Oh lordie.

While I know this review was done mostly in jest, I can’t help but be reminded of the Spanx-related rage that boiled up inside of me years ago when I was the managing editor of SheFinds. I wrote this piece in response to a NY Observer writer’s tirade on how Spanx are dumb, and de-sexualize women, and should be banished. He’s a man.

I said it then and I will say it now. I believe Spanx benefit women who want to look more seamless (literally) in clothes that are often unforgiving. Spanx won’t make you lose 10 pounds instantly and we know that. But they will smooth out our silhouettes nicely, get rid of panty lines, and even band-aid the occasional muffin top. Yes, the shapewear line has gone a bit overboard with swimwear and lingerie. We don’t need to be lycra happy all the time with every facet of our wardrobes. However, when us gals do want a little help, Spanx are there for us if we so choose. I get my panties in a bunch whenever someone–male or female–passes judgement on why women choose to wear what they do. I know PLENTY of super confident, kickass women who wear Spanx. And none of them are insecure about their bodies. Plus, I agree with Caity Weaver that the compression does make me feel a little like I’m being hugged all day. I secretly love it. Until I have to use the bathroom, but that’s a whole other conversation.

What do you think about Spanx? Do you wear them? What purpose do they serve for you? Share your Spanx sentiments!

Manday: A good chino ain’t so hard to find

Welcome back to Manday! I read a WSJ article recently about the evolution of the men’s chino, and wanted to share.

Remember when the guy chino looked something like this? Well, thankfully those days are over. I hope. Gentlemen, please make sure this is the case.

48447_BR6566_mvince men's chinos

Today, chinos have evolved to flattering styles that can be worn in the office, on the weekend, and even out on the town. They’re become–dare I say it–sexy.

Lately, my favorite color is olive. It’s neutral but interesting (same goes for women’s olive jeans).  Also digging light grey, navy, and wheat. And my preferred places to shop for downright sexy chinos are J.Crew, Vince, and Ralph Lauren (I like their 5-pocket style).

Just remember to go with FLAT FRONT (that’s no pleats AT ALL). And if you’re going with a khaki color, I suggest something more saturated, as the light khaki can tend to look like a school uniform. As for fit, give the slim fits a shot. It might feel weird at first if you’re not used to it, but I promise the slimmer cut will make you look taller and leaner. And who doesn’t want that?

I leave you with a sexy man chino shot. You’re welcome.

toil-chino-pant

 

A note on muffins

image from Thinkstock via YouBeauty

image from Thinkstock via YouBeauty

Wanted to share this article from Dr. Oz’s YouBeauty featuring my tips for dealing with the dreaded muffin top. We all know something about that annoying squeezing of the lower waist out of your pants, don’t we? It doesn’t matter what size you are, bad clothing choices can cause a muffin effect on any body type.

LOFT jeans

A major secret weapon I use in the muffin battle is my pair of mid-rise (and budget-friendly) LOFT jeans. I swear these jeans have changed my life. They feel comfortable on, and I no longer have to hike up the sides when no one’s looking. I will never go low rise again!

For the rest of my tips, check out the full article here!