Category Archives: What to Wear to

suggestions for what to wear to certain occasions

Manday, Christmas Style

Happy Xmas eve, everybody! For those of you still stuck in front of a computer (either at work or in order to avoid the fam), here’s the latest Man Monday Manday!

Getting ready for Christmas dinner was always a weird, hilarious process for the men in my house. As opposed to the women, who would make a pre-party out of what we were going to wear, the guys would reluctantly slip into their special-occasion khakis, top them off with the stiff button-down they got as a gift that morning, and promptly wrinkle everything by plopping on the couch for the remainder of the afternoon.

But I digress. If you’re not feeling the obligatory khakis/dress shirt for tomorrow’s festivities, or need some suggestions for how to make your everyday jeans just a little more acceptable for the mom-in-law, here are some options for what to wear for Christmas. Obviously it’s a bit too late to run out and purchase these new items (unless you’re really devoted, in which case, more power to ya), but you can get an idea and piece together some choices from what you have already hanging in your closet.

what to wear to christmas

If you’re a jacket kind of guy–and really, you should be!–then top off dark olive chinos with a muted blazer and checked shirt. This can be achieved with a number of checked shirt/blazer combos that you might have hanging around. And if trousers are too formal for your gathering, then switch them out for jeans. Finish the look with either a dressier black shoe, black desert boot, or even a pair of Converse. Feel free to take it down or up a few notches depending on how dressy the affair will be.

what to wear to christmas

For a comfy yet polished feel, go with a nice sweater/button-down pairing. Try a dark purple V-neck with a lighter purple button-down. This will also work with tones of grey, black, and blue. On the bottom, opt for grey chinos or jeans. And if you want to add some personality, try out a sneaker in a different color. Or stick to a muted boat shoe.

what to wear to christmas

Or just embrace the absolute crazy that is this time of year, and go with a hideous Christmas cardigan over a button-down/tie combo. A pair of oatmeal cords makes it a bit more modern than khakis. But still totally insane. In the best way.

Have fun, merry Christmas!

Summer wedding hat brilliance from Brooklyn

I attended my cousin’s wedding last weekend at the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens (above is me with my father, and some ridiculously steadfast Beefeaters). My cousin’s bride is from England, so naturally, there was an amazing array of hats to admire. I couldn’t muster enough sartorial courage to don a headpiece, but below are some of my faves of the evening!

So the monochromatic dress, shoes, bag, and hat thing was popular. Very Tara Tomkinson.

These two women were a DELIGHT. And they told us all about the hat-picking process. Naturally, it starts with the dress and you pair accordingly. They mentioned there are services in London that will put together a hat-to-toe look for you. And they’re not too expensive. Love it.

More hat awesomeness during cocktail hour.

This was by far the crowd favorite. The pic is kind of crummy, but she was wearing a magenta feathered fascinator. And somehow she made it look gorgeous and not at all tacky… which is nearly impossible when levitating feathers are involved.

Overall, I’d say the Americans lost out to the English women when it came to dressing for a wedding. Every one of them looked impeccable. Ah, the power of a proper hat (or fascinator).

Congrats to Liam and Suzy!

Packing for Paris

I’m off today to Barcelona and Paris! So freakin’ excited. Before I go, I wanted to share what I packed for the trip. I tried to go pretty minimal, as I plan on buying a crapload at the amazing vintage shops, flea markets, and that too-cool Kooples store.

The weather’s going to be a tad warmer in Barcelona, but still not super hot. Some essentials I’m bringing are:

-leather jacket (this can be worn as outerwear, or even over a dress for dinner)

-small bag (great for walking around the cities)

-scarves (for layering, and pops of color!)

-walking shoes (because I plan to walk a TON)

-casual pants (I’m bringing some different types, but one of my faves is this olive green pair – such a unique neutral)

-stripes (because stripes are French, right?)

-chambray shirt (to throw on over jeans, or tie around long dresses)

I’ll also be packing a trench, blazer, dresses, cardigan, night shoes, a few blouses, necklace or two, and my big watch.

Be sure to follow me on Twitter and Facebook for updates from the trip! And check out my tips on packing for a tropical getaway if you plan on heading out of town too.

How to last-minute shop for New Year’s

This is not your run-of-the-mill, obligatory What to Wear for New Year’s Eve post, I promise. Think of it more like an ‘Oh crap it’s New Year’s Eve and I have to go to this dumb party and I have nothing to wear and have to go shopping’ kind of post.

Say it’s Saturday morning and you have a party/dinner/get-together to go to Saturday night (a.k.a. New Year’s). You are hell-bent on finding something new to wear, but you’ve waited until the day of to go shopping. It’s okay. Here are 5 guidelines to follow for those last-minuters who need a strict game plan.

1. Decide on ONE store and stick to it. Tell yourself you’re going to one single store, and you will not leave until you have something to wear. Now, I would NOT recommend this for regular wardrobe-building, but for last-minute shopping for certain events when you’re doing it on your own and have zero time, it’s a refreshing route to take. But you have to choose your store wisely, in order to set yourself up for success. If you go the department store route, make sure you know which departments you will be visiting within that store. Otherwise, a smaller chain or a boutique may be the way to go. (For going-out stuff that doesn’t look too New Year’s, my pick tends to be Zara. The quality of clothes isn’t the best, but the prices are still reasonable, the selection good, and the stuff not too blingy.)

2. Try as best you can to work with what you have. I know it’s hard, but the last thing you want to do is search for a head-to-toe look. Sure, this is fun to watch on those reality style shows, but in real life, it’s nearly impossible to accomplish with limited time. (That’s why they leave it to us experts, wink, wink.) Take a good look at your closet beforehand and see what you can possibly work with. If you already own a nice pair of black pants, then you can focus on finding a top or top/blazer combo. If you have an amazing pair of heels, then you can seek out a muted dress. If there’s a dress you have that you like, you can focus on buying fun shoes and a statement necklace. By taking a moment to assess your inventory, it will make it less scary going out to the store, as you won’t have to start from zero.

3. Have an idea in your head about what you want to wear, but don’t get tunnel vision. Leave room for interpretation. It’s helpful to have something in mind to guide you, but keep an open eye for other things that could work just as well. For example, if you know you want to wear a muted dress, that’s a good place to start. But don’t narrow your scope to only black. Other colors work well in muted tones, such as deep burgundy, navy, or even a winter white. Same goes for accessories. After going through step 2 (above), if you decide that an amazing statement necklace would work with the top you already own, but can’t find one you like, try earrings instead. It will accomplish the same goal.

4. Don’t get fixated on price. If you find a piece that’s a bit more expensive than what you wanted to spend, repeat to yourself: time is money. If you love it, but decide to go on a hunt for something a little cheaper, you will not only be wasting precious time, but you will now be comparing everything else you pick up to the piece you actually like. I’m not suggesting you go hundreds of dollars out of your price range, but sometimes an extra few bucks is worth it. For your sanity at the very least.

And finally, the most important guideline of all….

5. The perfect outfit does not exist. At least the perfect New Year’s outfit. If you have this understanding going in, then the crazy I-have-to-find-the-best-sparkly-NYE-outfit-ever pressure is miraculously gone. Some of my favorite New Year’s outfits (my own and others) have been understated and non-sequiney.

To sum it up, assess your closet, pick a store, and just find something. Then go drink some bubbly and relax. You look amazing.

What to pack for a tropical holiday (so jealous)

I’ve received more than a few requests for a post on what to pack for a warm-weather getaway. Ok, this makes me INSANELY jealous, but nonetheless, I will answer this burning question.

If you’re one of the lucky ones to get the heck out of Dodge for the holidays, New Year’s, or any dreary day this winter, you should keep in mind that you don’t need much! It can be deceiving if you’re packing while wearing layers upon layers. You might be inclined to add more clothes, when in fact, only a few key pieces will do the trick.

Here’s my personal list of stuff to pack for a do-nothing-but-relax vacay:

1. Swimsuit (1 to 2). For obvious reasons. But you don’t need to go crazy. Two swimsuits max will suffice. Believe me, no one will notice–or care–if you’re wearing the same suit to the beach every day.

2. Cover-up (2). I like to bring along one short and one long. I live in these from sunrise to happy hour when on vacation.

3. Light wrap or cardigan (for plane and air-conditioning). Always be prepared for unexpected chilliness. But leave the puffy coat at home; a lightweight wrap or cardi will do the trick.

4. Sandals (2). You don’t need more than 2 pairs of shoes! Flip-flops for daytime, and something nicer, like embellished or metallic, for evening. Unless you’re planning on doing recreational hiking, biking, etc. in which case, what’s wrong with you–you should be sitting on your butt at the beach.

5. Shorts (1). Just a pair of easy shorts to add to your cover-up if you’re planning on a daytime excursion or tiki bar-hopping. Nothing fancy.

6. Evening stuff (1 dress, 1 pair of pants, 2 tops). For dinners and evening escapades, you don’t have to dress up, but you want to leave the swimsuit and towel look back at the hotel pool. One casual dress, one pair of pants–linen wide-legs or white jeans are always a chic choice–and a couple tops to pair with them.

7. Day bag, small evening bag. One beach/daytime tote and a small clutch for nighttime. Done.

8. Bracelets.  You don’t need a ton of jewelry, but I always throw in a wood cuff or a few small bangles to add a little extra bling to my vacation looks. You can even wear the cuff with your swimsuit and cover-up.

9. SUNGLASSES!. That’s a duh.

Bon Voyage! And have a big, overly sugary tropical drink for me.

What to wear to go out

Ah, what to wear when going out. It can be quite the challenge. Especially when it comes to different regions of the country.

My last client was all set workwise, but needed some help in the going out/weekend department. She recently moved to NYC from the South, and was looking for an update to the easy sun dresses she formerly looked to.

The term ‘going out’ can mean so many things, especially in New York.

So let’s break it down to occasion-specific stuff.

1. Going out to a casual dinner/drinks with friends

Keep it laid back yet polished. For warmer weather, belt a light cardigan or knit vest over one of your summer dresses. Or try a flowy peasant blouse with slim blue jeans.

What to avoid:
Anything too sloppy or disheveled. Which means leave the bum-around hoodie at home.

2. Going out for a date, gallery opening, or something a little more fancy schmancy

This is the perfect opportunity to don your urban tuxedo. Try white, black or grey skinny jeans instead of blue, and a sharp blazer instead of a cardi. Finish with sexy heels and some edgy jewelry. You can also experiment with colored jeans (red or teal) for more color.

What to avoid: the standard jeans and fancy sparkle top look. It can be dated. Instead, try a more casual, slinky top and amp it up with different types of jewelry. Rather than those blue bootcuts, try extreme cuts: slim fit, exaggerated wide leg, or even slinky harem pants. This will make you stand out in a sophisticated way.

3. Going out to partayyy

If you are headed out to dance the night away, then take it up a notch with either a sultry fitted dress or one that shows off a statement print. And again, a structured blazer is an amazing topper. Plus, you can take it off when it’s time to get down.

What to avoid: anything too clingy. If you’re going the sexy route, try a dress that’s fitted but still has structure.

Now, go out! Have fun. Be careful.

Business contemporary smart casual, blah blah blah

I was just featured in a post on SocialTechPop about the meanings behind certain work dress codes. Namely business casual, contemporary business casual, and smart casual. Whoa, that’s a lot.

Check it out! And see what else I had to say on the matter (completely coincidentally) here.

What do YOU think it all means? Weigh in with your comments and 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!



It’s hot! But you have to wear clothes

Here’s my obligatory what to wear when it’s hot post. Because if you haven’t noticed, it’s HOT.

When the weather becomes this annoying, my advice is to keep it simple with an attractive dress that you can throw a blazer over when you head into your sub-zero office building.

Yet, not just any dress will cut it. There are some things to be careful of when choosing the right one for hot, sticky weather:

1. Opt for a print first. A printed fabric is going to hide your sweat marks, especially the ones you get from sitting down (I believe they call that swamp butt?). A bolder print does well to camouflage any sweat that will appear in that region or elsewhere. This one from Gap is a great example, as it offers a darker print. And although it’s casual, the addition of a blazer would make the look completely appropriate for an office. Please, allow me to model for you. (My dress is BCBG, but same idea.)

2. If you really want to stay solid, then choose black. This will hide sweat marks better than other solid colors.  And again, this can be dressed up with a blazer or light cardigan. Add some funky jewelry and you’re good to go.

3. Pick a light fabric that breathes. Pure cotton or a cotton blend is ideal, but some synthetics can have a similar feel if they’re not too heavy. And although silk is technically light, this is not your friend in a humid atmosphere as it shows sweat more than anything.

4. Look for a silhouette that moves. A fuller skirt will allow some breathing room around your legs, while something more fitted will just feel uncomfortable. The length doesn’t necessarily matter as long as it’s not tight. You can also choose a shift style, which hangs loosely from the neck down (like the Kohl’s Vera Wang one above).

If dresses aren’t your thing–I know in hot weather sometimes the swishing together of the thighs proves highly uncomfortable–then you can choose a top and pant, but keep the same rules in mind. Relaxed silhouette, print or dark color, and breathable fabric.

What the heck to wear to a baby shower

My pregnant and glowing cousin had a baby shower last weekend, which became the PERFECT opportunity to spot some stylish over 40 women, and to answer the ever-popular question: What in the world do you wear to a shower?

Knowing how to dress for a shower is tough, and this one was no exception, as it fell at the end of March when the weather is completely unpredictable. But these ladies managed to pull it off!

The shower’s hostess, my always-impeccably-dressed aunt Heather, looked fabulous as usual in a black and white printed wrap dress.

She accessorized with a very cool mixed metal layered necklace, which added subtle edge. And bow-front grey heels complemented the look without weighing it down. A refreshing alternative to black pumps.

I had the pleasure of sitting with Marianne and Gina, both school principals with amazing, unique styles of their own.

Marianne, who’s absolute favorite store is Anthropologie, with J. Crew as a close runner-up, kept it classic with a fitted black blazer and tailored trousers.

The blazer, from Anthropologie, had this darling scarf ruffle thing going on that actually looped into the lapel. Very Paris chic.

There was also a fun button accent at the hem.

Gina’s outfit had more all-over detail and a soft, neutral palette. She loves the beach, which inspires some of her style choices including this beautiful bracelet with starfish, seashells and multicolored pearls.

Of course Karen was also in attendance and looking lovely. But there was a lot of prep work that went into her outfit, so it deserves its own post. Stay tuned.