Street Style – Two Style Lessons

IMG_3886Here are a few more snaps from our evening at Casco Antiguo earlier this week. Style Lesson #1: If your top is long (longer than where your leg breaks when you lift it), you must wear a heel to create a longer leg. Otherwise, your body is cut in half (50% torso; 50% leg), which makes you look short regardless of your true height. Our lovely, leggy model Amanda here asked me about cuffing her jeans. If she had been wearing a top with a hem around her hip bone, I would have told her to go for it as she has plenty of leg to sacrifice. However, because her top is longer than the leg break, I advised her to keep her jeans un-cuffed. If you can visualize her in flats with a cuffed hem, she would have appeared overlong on her top half and, thus, out of proportion.

IMG_3903Style Lesson #2: The more leg you show, the more of your top half should be covered. I do wish I had a tan for this lesson – ha! Wearing shorts that hit at mid-thigh or shorter calls for a top that is either a half sleeve, 3/4-length or a long sleeve as I am wearing. Short shorts and a tank top is provocative and not very classy. Leave a little to the imagination, and keep it classy, ladies. It is what men prefer, actually.

IMG_3902Lastly, if you have silver and/or turquoise jewelry, now is the time to wear it. The cool tones of the silver has an overall cooling effect on your look, which is just right during our warmest season. Ditto for turquoise. The light, soft green/blue goes with all your spring/summer clothing without having to think about it. Don’t worry if you have none of this color in your outfit. Adding a new color to your look via accessories is totally okay and encouraged, actually. Happy Weekend!—Bethany

Oscar de la Renta: Five Decades of Style

I was fortunate enough to have recently viewed many works of the great fashion designer Mr. Oscar de la Renta at the George W. Bush Presidential Center in Dallas, Texas.  The exhibit, Oscar de la Renta: Five Decades of Style, was open to the public from July 19 – October 5, 2014.  Putting things off until the last moment is my modus operandi.  Thus, I waited until the last week and a half to see the exhibit, and my goodness I am glad I did.  In fact, it was so nice I saw it twice.

I was naturally fascinated by the designs Mr. de la Renta created for the first ladies Nancy Reagan, Hillary Clinton and Laura Bush, and I was dazzled by the wedding gown he designed for Jenna Bush, along with the gorgeous white ensemble he designed for Laura Bush for George W.’s second swearing in ceremony.  Of course splendid creations worn on various red carpets were in abundance, and there were several gorgeous caftans from early in Mr. de la Renta’s career.  In short, to pick a favorite piece is impossible.  I’d die to have any of them.

Below is a sampling from the exhibit.  Sadly, Mr. de la Renta died last week at his home in Connecticut the age of 82 after battling cancer, which had been in remission for several years.  A private funeral is planned at a Manhattan church on November 3.  His departure leaves a gaping hole in the fashion community.  Mr. de la Renta’s talent, humility, humor and love of life and women made him inimitable.  He will have many imitators, no doubt, but there will never be another Oscar.  Thank you, Mr. de la Renta for your courage and for showing us how to truly live.

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Tory Burch “In Color”

ToryJessicaTory Burch, known as much for her love of the color orange as for her sporty flats and dreamy caftans, has released a gorgeous coffee table book today, “Tory Burch: In  Color” about her 11 favorite colors: orange, blue, green, purple, pink, red, yellow, white, black, natural and gold.  I was blessed to meet Tory last week and have her sign the book, which is being released today.  Last Friday afternoon at the Nasher Sculpture Center in downtown Dallas, Tory was joined by her friend Jessica Alba (actress and founder of The Honest Company) to discuss the book and other topics of interest including how she balances motherhood and a career, and the roundabout path she took in starting her namesake company.

Tory considers herself a late bloomer having only started her wildly successful company 10 years ago.  Tory departed a career on the rise with LVMH to stay at home with her three young boys.  Four years later, she started her company because she felt there was a need for high-quality, affordable clothing and accessories.  She certainly hit the mark!  However, she said she was not an overnight success, spending many of her first two years on the phone with her Hong Kong operations until 3:00 a.m. her time.

Tory was raised on a farm in Pennsylvania with three brothers.  Her parents Buddy and Reva (for whom Tory named her first flat) who would leave Tory and her brothers with family to take six-week worldly vacations, returning with various exotic souvenirs.  In addition, Tory’s childhood home entertained many “overnight” guests who invariably would stay long past their expected departure dates.  As as result of this unique upbringing, Tory’s aesthetic reflects an appreciation for diversity, one that is decidedly multicultural.

I greatly enjoyed the event, hosted by American Express, and I am very appreciative to my dear friend Peg Baird for allowing me to be her plus one!  Pick up a copy of the book, even if you are not familiar with Tory or her company.  I think you will find the content, including many beautiful photographs, to be highly inspiring and a lovely addition to your library.  Tory sees the world in color, and I think we all should!

Fall Trends 2014

OrangeDoorAt the end of each summer I produce a card of fall trends, a reference of the biggest trends of the season, in anticipation of fall fashions which begin hitting the stores at about that time.  I simply love fall fashion, the rich colors, the textured fabrics and the beautiful leather goods.  To me, fall fashion is worthy of investment.  Trends come and go, but if you purchase wisely (read: not too trendy) and you take care of your things (yes, pay attention to care instructions), your investments will last you several years (at the least!). 

If you love something but cannot afford it, look for the best version of the knock off or scour vintage stores for something similar.  As you know in fashion, everything old is new again, so it is quite possible what you love has been done before in a previous decade.  One fall I really wanted a moto jacket, but I did not have the budget for a leather jacket.  So, I purchased a pleather version and wore the heck out of it.  A few years later, I got the real thing.

My fall 2014 trends card does not cover all the trends, so below is an extensive list .  If you would like a trends card and a couple of extras for friends, message me.  I would be delighted to send them to you!

Colors:  cobalt, steel, dark red, moss green, pastels, orange and jewel tones

To see a list of the Pantone fall 2014, click here.

Fabrics: shearling, leather, tweed, knits, fur, metallic and velvet

Prints/Patterns: plaid, abstract, color blocking, patchwork and diagonal lines

Oversized: coats, collars on coats, dresses, sweaters (including turtlenecks) and pants

Office:  midi skirts, pant suits, sharp blazers, pin stripes, menswear and neck tie blouses

Details: feathers, accordion pleats, fringe, sequins, western and puffy sleeves

Top layer: ponchos, capes, varsity jackets, bombers, blanket coats and fur-trimmed parkas

Bags: bucket, totes, jeweled clutches and fur top-handle handbags

Shoes: sneakers, flats, ankle boots, brogues and ankle-strap heels

Beauty: ponytails, braids, oversized buns, colorful cat eyes, nude and berry lips and nude and Bordeaux nails

Whew, I probably missed a few, but not many.  If you need assistance finding what suits you, call me.  I love making the shopping experience quick and easy.  I especially enjoy helping people find pieces they would have never considered if they had shopped on their own!  Happy Shopping!

The Modern/Chic Dresser

I think women are greatly confused when they shop for clothes.  There are a plethora of colors, styles and fabrics.  Where does one begin?  It is difficult to know where to start unless you know your brand (aka your personal style).  Therefore, I’d like to profile the most common personal styles in my blog over the course of 7 posts in the hopes that it helps you find your personal style so you can better identify which items are right for you.  Let’s begin with the Modern/Chic dresser.

The Modern/Chic Dresser stays on top of trends and is willing to wear unconventional items.  She can match unrelated garments and patterns and still appear pulled together and chic.  She enjoys layering clothing, and she looks for pieces that have unusual construction or unexpected details.  She likes clean construction and current shapes, textiles and colors.  Her clothes fit her impeccably.  She understands accessories complete an outfit, and she likes the latest in shoes, bags and jewelry.  Her makeup and hair are carefully managed but not fussy.  The Modern/Chic Dresser appears powerful and assertive, and her wardrobe is always changing and moving forward.  I’ve put together a collage of items in Polyvore, which I think embody the Modern/Chic dresser.ModernChic

By the way, once I have profiled the 7 most common personal styles, you may find you identify with one, two or a few of them, and that is okay.  You are complex, and I would expect you to be a mixture of styles.  Let me know what you think of the Modern/Chic dresser.  Do you know anyone who fits this profile?  If you’d like to discover your personal style, let me know.  It’s one of my specialties!

Fixes for Your All-black Wardrobe

Many of you know I love to get on my soapbox about wearing black. If you read my July newsletter “My Beef With Black” you understand why. Don’t get me wrong. It isn’t that I am completely against wearing black. On the contrary, black can be quite chic. In fact, it would be remiss of me not to tell you I own quite a bit of black in my own wardrobe and several little black dresses (aka LBD). It’s just that in order to wear black well, you first need the right body coloring (dark hair is a good start), and black also requires some spicing up to communicate your style statement.

Since I know many of you wear a lot of black, I thought I would share with you a few things I generally do to add life to an all-black ensemble.

(1) Add color! Here I am wearing a black and gray ensemble. In order to stand out in a sea of black-clad fashionistas, I enjoy throwing on a statement necklace, often a colorful one. This way my style comes through and you can pick me out in the crowd. If black isn’t your best neutral, add a colorful accessory near your face in one of your colors to neutralize the stark effect of black. Not sure if black is a good neutral for you and want to know your best colors? See me for that! A custom color analysis will answer those questions and more.

(2) Add a metallic topper. To bring life to your LBD, add either a silver, gold or bronze jacket or sweater. Gold and bronze generally work best on most people, but if you really like to sparkle and stand out give silver a shot.

(3) Wear a fabulous shoe. If you prefer the clean, chic look of an all-black ensemble, why not throw on a drop dead shoe to snazz it up? I think a LBD with minimal accessories and a killer shoe is effortlessly chic. Wear a deep red lip color, as well, if you dare!

As you can see, this isn’t rocket science. Bottom line:  fabulous accessories separate you from the next black-clad gal.  As Clinton Kelly once said on an episode of “What Not To Wear”: Accessories explain who you are as a person. So true, Clinton. I could not have said it better myself. Before you step out in all black, add a bit of your personality to it. You’ll add intrigue and interest to an otherwise forgettable outfit.

Pregnancy Chic

Readers, please welcome my dear friend Deborah Hill to the blog.  Deborah is one of the most fashionable persons you’ll meet.  To top it off, she also manages to look chic even while pregnant.  I asked her how she does it?  Here’s what she had to say.

Dressing chic during pregnancy is very easy, actually.  The key is to NOT dress like you’re pregnant.  In other words, dress your normal style in an accommodating size.  If you do not normally wear mumu dresses or baby doll tops, pregnancy is not the time to experiment with those looks.  They may result in a much frumpier look than you intended.  If your casual style is t-shirt and jeans, then look for the same, in larger or maternity sizes that will fit your growing belly. Preferably, look for a t-shirt that is generous in the belly but close fitting everywhere else rather than one that has elastic or tie strings in the back with a swing hem. That could result in a tent like silhouette, shortening and widening your frame.

For a dressier look, black is very flattering.  A simple black top and black pants/leggings/skirt can be the base of many outfits by alternating jackets that you already own.  Wear your jackets over the basic black column you have created, although the jacket may no longer button or zip.  Wear it open as a great statement piece and it will slenderize your frame.  If you worry about being cold because the jacket doesn’t close in the front, wrap yourself in a pretty, colorful scarf to fill the open area.  This look will be much more flattering than a maternity coat, which could make your frame look bigger all around.

Although it sounds logical to think that you “could” wear some of your maternity clothes after the pregnancy, it’s not likely that you will.  So, don’t invest too much in a maternity wardrobe.  High heels are generally not recommended for pregnant women (although some women continue to wear them) because your growing belly alters your center of gravity, and it could be dangerous if you become off balance.  Therefore, a really great pair of comfortable flats with a feminine flair that can be dressed down or up will be well worth the investment!

Choose your maternity pieces wisely.  Comfort is key!  If you can attain comfort AND look chic by following these simple guidelines, you will feel confident in your style.  That feeling is priceless.