Friday, June 28, 2013

Dressing up Denim

The total look

Denim jeans are a mainstay of every wardrobe. A really cute look for denim is dressing it up. There is something about the juxtaposition of casual almost bum like denim and fine fabrics like silk or jersey. That rough aspect right up against something soft and elegant. Some of the younger crowd likes to wear silk blouses with distressed denim shorts, I’m not that daring.


Mango Jeans
I like the look of distressed denim or actually any denim against a silk blouse. White is my preferred color, especially for summer. I love to wear the blouse un-tucked and unfussy. Tunic length silk blouses look great with skinny jeans but a long sleeved conservative blouse looks equally great, maybe try a tailored jeans.


White silk sleeveless blouse
Since summer is here you can show off that pedicure in some sandals. A slight heel adds some elegance, just stay away from a pump. You want the sandal to be strappy and with a heel, maybe something a little daring. Slimmer styled jeans can be rolled up to show off those shoes. Ankle straps are really hot right now and look perfect with jeans.


Pick your color
To make the entire outfit really click you might want to add some bangles or maybe a bold cuff. A solid sturdy cuff makes a wonderful accent piece and can be worn during the day or out on the town. Hammered metal, intricate patterns or just a plain shiny cuff is what you’re looking for; it doesn’t have to be expensive so shop for costume jewelry if you feel like it. Have some fun, its summer after all.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Why Did I Buy a Square Ended Belt?

This is what I bought

This may seem like a trivial problem but never buy a belt with a blunt square end. I needed a belt and I found one for not much money at JC Penney. It was leather, simple and fit a slightly larger sized belt loop. Nothing looks worse than a skinny belt in some large belt loops. It was a nice shade of brown and went with a lot that I own. I also don’t buy belts everyday so this was a purchase that had to stick.


Unfortunately I didn’t try on the belt when I bought it and found out after the fact that the blunt squared off end makes it really hard to push through the belt loops. It fits just perfectly with no room to spare so getting it through that last one that’s doubled up is sometimes a little bit of a challenge. Not really a big issue except when I’m in a hurry.


This is how it should be
It’s the little things in life that can suck all of our spare time away. Finding the right belt to go with those pants, wanting to wear a shirt that needs ironing, figuring out at the last minute you need to wear a camisole under that blouse and all your black camisoles are in the laundry. All of these things seem to culminate on days when I don’t have any time which is just about every day lately.


It’s funny how a little square ended belt got me thinking about all this. It seems as if I spend an enormous amount of time getting dressed everyday. I actually plan my outfits even though it may not always look like I do. You would think with so much planning I would have it figured out, but I don't and I probably never will. Strange and random thoughts for today.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

The Color Coral

Coral bead are beautiful

Nothing says summer like the color coral. It’s not really orange and it’s not really red, it’s a color all its own which reminds me of the tropics. It looks particularly good with white and that’s a color that is definitely summertime. The problem with coral is it doesn’t love me. I look particularly bad in coral and can’t wear it anywhere near my face. This is unless of course I want to look like the walking dead.


Coral can add a punch of color to an otherwise boring outfit. It looks really good with white and also makes beige and taupe come to life. White skinny jeans, strappy sandals and a silk coral tunic, or maybe a beige skirt with a coral blouse will work well. It can also jazz up denim which is not only a staple of the casual world but summertime as well.


Love this tunic with white leggings
Since I really can’t wear coral I’m thinking that I can get away with it as an accent. Think coral colored purse or clutch, shoes or maybe a coral bracelet. I’m not sure if I can get away with wearing coral colored earrings or a necklace although this is a wonderful way to get that pop of color when you’re wearing white, black or beige head to toe. Even a winter color like black can benefit from jewelry and accessories in a bright coral.


So for now I’m thinking maybe a pair of cute coral colored flats. They will look good with my navy handbag and give my jeans a little lift. Whenever you’re feeling down in the dumps think of a bright color and wear it. It’s hard to stay low for long when you’re wearing coral. Coral is the color of the sunset on a tropical beach, long lazy summer days and while vibrant it exudes calm, a great color for summer.
Light and breezy flats

Monday, June 24, 2013

Are White Shoes Tacky?

Yes, you can classify these as tacky

This can be one of those, “it depends” situations. I’m sure that white shoes can be tacky, it probably all depends on the shoe. Now that summer is officially here people will be breaking out their white shoes. Most of us will be dressing lighter and brighter and nothing goes better with a light look than a pair of white shoes.


There are a few rules on wearing white shoes. Unless they’re a pair of tennis shoes, don't wear anything that reminds you of your Grandma. This means no orthopedic shoes. This is probably the number one reason that white shoes get a bad rap. They look like something that only someone in the geriatric crowd would wear on a cruise. That statement is not meant to cast aspersions on older women who are on cruise ships.


A classic pump is never tacky, Dolores by Joe's Jeans
White shoes look especially good with light or all white outfits. Think Sharon Stone in Basic Instincts. She wore head to toe white and actually looked hot. A beautiful white skirt, blouse combination or maybe a white or very light colored suit looks fabulous not frumpy with a pair of high heeled white pumps. Keep it elegant and sleek and no one will think your white shoes are tacky.


For a simpler more casual look, think a summer sundress with a pair of strappy sandals. Nothing says summer like sandals and if you keep them light and strappy you will never think of them as tacky. You can also add a little bling on those sandals, but keep it tasteful, no large fabric flowers. So the next time you think about buying a pair of white shoes go for it. Just remember that not all white shoes are created equal.
A strappy sandal is cute, Madonna Sobe by Truth or Dare

Friday, June 21, 2013

Zombies are Popular


The concept of a zombie is not new. George Romero’s original “Night of the Living Dead” in black and white scared everyone who watched it. Since then there has been a multitude of remakes and original films, TV shows, comic books and even novels written about the zombie apocalypse. Zombies have become so popular that they inspire clothing and events.


There are zombie walks for charity organizations. Participants dress as zombies and walk, just like a breast cancer walk, for a designated charity. Ironically the city of Brisbane hosted a zombie walk for the Brain Foundation of Australia back in 2012 and raised $55,000.00. Get it…brains…zombie walk. The popularity of zombies has turned charity walks into pub crawls. Same costume but instead the zombies get to visit bars along the route.


Just as vampires inspired books and movies, zombies have done the same. AMC’s The Walking Dead is on hiatus right now but that doesn’t slow its popularity. There are comic books, t-shirts and other items to keep us interested. I’ve never been a fan of licensed material for the store but we did purchase some items featuring The Walking Dead. So far so good and I’m actually a little surprised at how popular these items have been.


We recently sold a belt to a customer in Germany. We’re also on our second order of these items as we sold out of the first round. They are kind of cool and I did have to admit I had some fun writing the ads. It’s not often you get to us words like “blood spatter” in a sentence. If you’re a fan check out the items, or if you know a fan, show them our link. You might find some cool zombie stuff.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Nothing is Happening in the World of Fashion

Will Dolce and Gabbana go to jail?

Is it just me or is nothing happening in the world of fashion? Things have been incredibly slow. Yes there has been the conviction of Dolce and Gabbana for tax evasion but that is a case that will be going around for years. Either everyone is on vacation or they’re all recovering from the various tradeshows, fashion shows and the like. It’s also that time of year when people seem to have bigger fish to fry.


While I don’t have plans to take a cruise around the world I do have things that need to be done. Tradeshows are a great opportunity to meet new vendors but once you place an order it does take time to receive that order. All at once things begin arriving at the store and you have to figure out where to put them, check them in and get them set up. Since we have an on-line store we take photographs and write ads as well.


I write most if not all of our ads and sometimes it is very hard to describe a piece of jewelry or a watch. If you’re experiencing writer’s block you can sit at a computer for hours staring a piece trying to figure out the right combination of exciting wording yet descriptive phrases. Try it sometime, it’s not so easy. It seems as if there are only so many ways to describe a pair of drop earrings.


This could be why there doesn’t seem to be as much fashion news. Everyone has shown their collection. We’ve all found our likes and dislikes; we’ve made our purchases and displayed our wares. Things are generally slower this time of year. Families are on vacation, kids are out of school and graduations are over. There are few big holidays and only weddings seem to be on the horizon. Sometimes it’s nice to take a breather.
Maybe I'll go watch a sunset

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Women's Watches


I’ve gotten in the habit over the years to wear a watch whenever I leave the house. My husband who has a large collection of watches wears one on some occasions and not others. There are times when he goes somewhere and doesn’t wear a watch. He just keeps time with his cell phone although with many people that is changing, especially men. Men’s watches are now a fashion statement. There has been a huge increase in men wearing watches so I wonder if this will affect women.


Since I’ve always worn a watch I don’t know if there will be an increase in need for women’s watches. If women have been wearing watches all along as a fashion statement as well as a time keeping piece, which makes sense, there might be no net gain in sales. This might not be accurate because women do like to be fashionable and jewelry and functional jewelry like a watch is an easy and practical item to change up.


It comes in back with numbers
Watches come in all shapes and sizes. With the popularity of ceramic material in watches, color has been added. Colorful faces, bezels and bands with patterns are all popular. The warmer weather of summer also allows for the introduction of fun colors with our outfits. Many watches are inexpensive, $30 or under and technology has allowed the quartz watch to keep very good time. Gone are the days when a fashion watch was only fashionable.


I still consider myself conservative when I dress and even though a watch may only cost $30 I still want to be able to wear it with multiple outfits. I stick to silver or gold mostly but I did find a black watch with crystals that is quite attractive. I will be putting these up in my store as soon as I can get some pictures taken. Not an easy task. If these are a hit I might consider some colored bands or maybe white ceramic. I’m starting to understand why guys like their watches so much.
Also comes in gold with a gold face, no numbers

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

A New Handbag

I finally bought it

For quite some time I’ve been purse shopping. I was looking for a navy handbag to take the place of my well-worn black handbag. Now that the weather is getting a little warmer it seemed silly to wear a black handbag and frankly I wanted to shake things up a little bit. Colored handbags are quite hot this summer and who doesn’t want to be on trend? While I love colors I was reluctant to spend large sums of money on something too colorful.


My solution was the navy handbag; it would be my summer black. I looked at other brighter colors but couldn’t pull the trigger when it came to yellow, sky blue or even peach. They were beautiful they just weren’t me. I did see a stunning pearl gray at Michael Kors but vetoed this handbag due to price and the wintery aspects of the color gray.


How I can wear it
The handbag I eventually chose was from Dooney & Bourke, of course, and was in Florentine leather. The unique aspect was the white trim around the edges of a solid colored navy. The hardware is gold toned but has a brushed finish so it won’t show scuffs and scratches as readily. The long strap makes it easy to be worn cross body or over shoulder. I’ve only worn it once and have already received a compliment. Isn’t that nice, it makes all my shopping around worth it.


I actually stumbled upon it by accident when I went to the outlet mall near my home. I was going to purchase the Mitchell bag but was sidetracked by another navy bag on a shelf. I was informed that they just got this handbag in the day before so I had not seen it on previous trips. It was pure luck and while I wouldn’t say it was an impulse purchase I did change my mind rather quickly. So now armed with my new purse I can think about refurbishing my older black handbag, now is the time before winter comes.
The large interior holds all my stuff

Friday, June 14, 2013

How to Wear a Skirt with Tennis Shoes

I like this look for hot days

Wearing a skirt with tennis shoes is kind of a preppy thing. It goes way back and it’s a look that I not only like but wear myself. I’m not a big shorts person and with summer on the way there are times when wearing a pair of pants is not only impractical, it’s suffocating. This is when a skirt comes in handy.


The best skirt for this look is not too short, no minis, and not too long. The skirt should hit about five inches above your knee. You want to feel comfortable sitting in a chair in a public place, a shorter skirt can ride up. I personally like a straight cut skirt, no pleats, no frills; I want the skirt to sit close to my thighs, but not too tight. A denim skirt works really well, but a plaid or floral pattern works equally well.


This oxford skirt can be worn tucked in or not for a more casual feel
The shirt should be tailored and have a collar. You can go long sleeves, short sleeves, three quarter or no sleeves. I like the feel of the slightly serious collared shirt paired with tennis shoes. The color of the shirt shouldn’t matter as long as it’s a solid, no floral or wild prints, even if your skirt is a solid color. I prefer a crisp white shirt but picking a color from a print skirt and pulling that out in your shirt makes a great look.


The tennis shoes are the most important. No athletic shoes, no high tops and nothing too chunky, also no socks. Yes I’ve seen these shoes with skirts, even minis, but women of a certain age, me included look pretty stupid when we wear these style of tennis shoes with a skirt. Remember the 80s when women commuted to work in tennis shoes, we’re not going for this look. You want simple oxford style tennis shoes, Keds makes a great pair and their canvas version is only $40. You can go with any color as many companies are getting creative. When the weather gets hot, I’ll be wearing a skirt with tennis shoes.
Classic Keds come in black, white or other colors $40 at

Thursday, June 13, 2013

The Fashion Critic

Tim Gunn gives us his opinion of celebrity fashion

A critic is a person who analyzes, evaluates and then gives a reasonable opinion about a subject by rendering a judgment. They express their opinion about the value, truth, beauty or technique. At least this is how Merriam-Webster defines critic and I’m paraphrasing here. Apparently at one time fashion critics gave their opinions about fashion and the New Yorker had a fashion critic in house to write about clothing and designers in the 1970s.


Today there are many bloggers who perform this task for free. This is probably why major magazines have gotten away from a paid staff writer. There are also plenty of magazines who feature designer’s collections in print. If you give a bad review I’m sure this designer will refuse any association and some designers have become so popular and powerful no one wants to offend.


Never do anything silly if you're a celebrity, sorry Matthew
It seems as if fashion critics have shifted their attentions to casting aspersions on popular celebrities. Who was hot and who was not is a common article subject for those gracing the red carpet. Paparazzi follow celebrities around and show us their outfits for going to the gym, getting coffee with their friends and even what they wore while dropping their kids off at school. I’m not sure this is a fair evaluation as who would want to be this closely scrutinized.


I know that personally there are many moments when I’m not fit to be seen in public. I would hate to be watched this closely. The fashion critic needs to shift their focus back to those who provide us with the clothes as opposed to those who wear them. How and why a particular fashion becomes popular is secondary to the fact that someone designed it, made it and then sold it to us. Marketing is sometimes the key to our cultural preferences and a good critic should point this out.
Lindsay Lohan, the queen of the hot mess

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Ridiculous Leggings

I think cat faces staring out at me from your legs is creepy

I’m going on record right now to say that I love leggings. They’re comfortable, fashionable and not super expensive. You can wear them during the day and then out for a night on the town. I usually stick to basic solid colors such as black, navy and white. I always wear something longer and loose on top and I don’t wear them in an office situation. Now there are people who are trying to ruin it all.


There are leggings coming onto the market that are absolutely ridiculous. They appear to be some type of art print style of leggings. Those who are marketing them believe them to an artistic expression, different and avant garde. I’m finding them to be quite ugly. Only the slimmest of the slim can wear leggings with a wild print all over them. Unusual patterns will add pounds and I don’t think this is the point of leggings.


So who would look slim in these monstrosities?
It kind of irks me that someone has taken something so wonderful in the world of fashion and turned it into a caricature of itself. It really isn’t fair. If leggings keep getting weirder and weirder pretty soon it will be considered a fashion faux pas. I really don’t want this to happen. Right now leggings are one of those garments that are socially acceptable yet as comfortable as a pair of sweat pants. There aren’t many garments that can do that.


So today I would like to say to all those artistic types to please “lay off.” Leggings don’t need to be different, colorful or even a fashion statement. They need to be just what they are, a versatile basic covering for our legs that can be worn with oxfords, flats or stilettos. That go to garment when you know you want to be super comfortable but actually care about what you look like. I love my leggings so who’s with me in protesting weird patterns on legging? Join the revolt against these creepy cousins of my favorite garment, I appreciate your support.
You can wear these to an anatomy class

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

The Leopard Print Skirt

Leopard pencil skirt by Valentino

A leopard print skirt can be quite versatile. I know what you’re thinking; no it can’t be that versatile because of the bold print and the wild feel of the pattern. Yet a leopard print skirt can be worn in a lot of different situations even though it has such a bold feel. It is most at home when it is worn in a nightclub or out on the town but with attention to detail this skirt can be worn in a lot of different ways.


First let’s start with the basics; the skirt itself must not be too short. Also stay away from anything gathered, you want the skirt to hang smooth and sleek, but not too tight. Whenever you want the most use out of a garment, never go with extremes. This goes for the top as well; a basic black tank top or t-shirt works best. Don’t go for anything too low cut, keep it demure. Look for fabrics with a little give or something in silk or jersey knit for some extra style.


These Stuart Weitzman sandals are so cute
When wearing a leopard print skirt for a night out it’s an easy task. Simply put on a leather jacket, some strappy black stilettos and jazz things up with some sparkly jewelry. Also don’t forget a killer clutch. To tone down the same skirt think less is more. A jeans jacket and a pair of brown tribal inspired sandals or flats work best. Keep your jewelry simple, if you wear hoop earrings, keep them small and think a menswear watch with a leather strap. A cross body brown leather handbag keeps your hands free and adds a casual air.


If your office is a little daring you can wear this skirt to work. A black tailored blazer that is slightly long works best. Add a black belt for waist definition and closed toed pumps with a sensible heel, nothing too thin or too high. A structured handbag keeps this ensemble grounded and for a little sparkle think rose gold. Simple earrings, watch and tailored necklace in rose gold looks quite stylish. See, a leopard print skirt is versatile, don’t you want to go out and buy one?
Dooney & Bourke's Mitchell bag is perfectly structured

Monday, June 10, 2013

A Nautical Theme

St. Tropez striped boat neck tee

Summertime is the time to think nautical theme in your clothing, accessories and even jewelry. It doesn’t always feel right but in the summer it seems more appropriate. I don’t know why, it just does. It might have something to do with the month of July which is next month and its red, white and blue theme. Nautical looks best when it comes in these colors. Now I’m talking nautical theme not dressing like a sailor in the navy.


A nautical theme is when you use colors along with a piece or two to give a suggestion. A pair of jeans with a striped shirt, anchors earrings or a scarf with sea creatures works beautifully to convey a nautical theme without overwhelming. These pieces work perfectly for a weekend at the beach or if you just want to give yourself the feeling of the ocean when you’re stuck in the city.


Have an arm party by adding in an anchor bracelet
You want to be sleek with just a touch of nautical embellishment, go for some jewelry. An anchor on a bracelet amongst a stack is super cool. Don’t forget to slip in some rope bracelets; those that are made from marine rope in red white or blue will give you the look of an arm party at the beach. You can also carry all your daily essentials in a color blocked tote bag. Not only is it handy, it will hold everything you need whether you’re at the beach or just running errands around town.


For those cooler summer days don’t forget you can wear a nautical theme on a scarf. Small sea creatures, anchors or just some strips can add a little pizazz to an outfit. A scarf looks great with a chambray or a crisp white shirt, if the scarf has a pattern keep the shirt a solid. If things warm up you can always take it off and tie it to your bag to use later. Nautical themes are great you just want to use subtle touches, don’t dress like you own a yacht. You don’t want to be a caricature.
A color blocked canvas tote with a touch of peach

Friday, June 7, 2013

National Doughnut Day

Happy National Doughnut Day

This has absolutely nothing to do with fashion or jewelry, other than if you eat too many doughnuts you’ll probably have trouble fitting into your skinny jeans. Today is National Doughnut Day and there are places that are giving away free doughnuts. Krispy Kreme and Dunkin Donuts are participating but you will have to check with your local shop to see if you can get a fix from them. Apparently not every donut shop in town is giving away doughnuts or maybe some are giving away a limited quantity.


This is National Doughnut Day but I don’t have a Krispy Kreme or a Dunkin Donut anywhere near me. I guess I won’t be able to get a free doughnut. This is probably okay since I don’t leave me house in the morning. Now this would be totally different if they had National Shoe Day and stores were giving away shoes. I would probably not only get up early I might even camp out the night before, kind of like waiting in line to purchase Rolling Stones tickets.


National Shoe Day would be awesome!
Sometimes my obsession with shoes borders on the unhealthy. What is really bad is when my husband contributes to the obsession. Last night he introduced me to a new iPad app called Flipboard. It’s a free app that allows you to download articles on specific topics. Science and technology, politics and of course fashion and style, he found a section on shoes and sent me the link. This was probably a mistake on his part since not only does this show picture after picture of great shoes, it has links to where you can buy.


I really haven’t had much time to look over this new app but I will try and do a little more searching. So far I’ve found a few sites that feature various fashion bloggers. They have wonderful pictures and while most of the articles seem short on words, they do have brief descriptions about brands and pricing. So far it seems to be more of a marketing tool for retailers and fashion magazines. This app appears to be as deadly to my wallet as National Doughnut Day is to dieters, although we’ll have to wait and see.
A potentially dangerous app

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Does Anyone Remember the Oxford?

Cole Haan oxford in baby blue

When I was in high school the oxford or saddle shoe came around in popularity again. No I’m not old enough to have worn poodle skirts and saddle shoes the first time, notice I said "again.". It was a popular look with jeans that were tapered and classic white button down shirts. It was a classic look that is coming back into style today. Cole Haan is currently marketing the oxford but with updates and bright colors for both men and women.


Now that a slim jean is back in style the oxford shoe fits perfectly. While some like the oxford that is classic, thick soled, wide styling and generally a heavier looking version, I prefer the slimmer styled oxford. Those with soles that looks almost nonexistent, tight to the foot. We’ve probably all seen this style. It resembles a ballet flat but an oxford with laces. I think the thinner models are more ladylike and differentiate themselves from the men’s models.


A cute way to wear an oxford shoe
That’s the thing about oxfords; it’s kind of a unisex shoe. Other than tennis shoes and bowling shoes, I’m not too sure there are too many unisex shoes on the market. The fact that an oxford is unisex is also a clue as how to dress it. You want to wear slight menswear styled clothing. Jeans with a blazer, slacks with a button down shirt, even a short skirt looks cute as long as you add in a little menswear. Maybe a navy skirt with a plaid shirt would look cute.


I’ve also noticed that this newer style of oxford is worn sans socks. A skinnier jean or slack that ends at or near the ankle seems to be the pants of choice. Most are not worn with socks and look best if you show a little expanse of skin at the ankle. Kind of a lighter look, this way we can get away with not having a perfect pedicure and still keep it a little cooler. It’s a great transition shoe and can be worn equally well for a day trip as well as going to the office. Oxfords are serious shoes they just don’t want to be taken seriously.
Love these Not Rated ivory oxfords

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Elements of Style


Depending on who you ask, everyone has style, and it’s probably true. Everyone should have their own way of expressing themselves. This is what style is all about, how our inner self is expressed to the world. Now the important thing to remember is style may have very little to do with good taste. Case in point, the Steampunk Darth Vadar Victorian dress that I recently saw on the internet was not in good taste. While this outfit may have loads of style, I’m not sure it would rank too high in other areas.


I like to think of good taste has those things that stand the test of time. While watching any Alfred Hitchcock movie you will notice rooms that are decorated in good taste. North by Northwest had many sets that were classically decorated and with only a few small changes be used in any home today. Interior design is not the only style that can stand the test of time. Classic cultured pearls have been sold and worn for decades, maybe even centuries. Jewelry can and does have classic styles.


Not only is Cary Grant classic, so is the room's d├ęcor
Fashion is a bit hard to define. Fads come and go and super faddish clothing can really look dated. Go back and look at photos from the 80s and 90s and you will see a group of people who thought they were the height of fashion and now they just look weird. In fact we all look out of date from time to time. This is the problem with style and fashion, it’s fickle. Many women don’t want to invest in expensive jewelry for just such a reason. They want to be fashionable and trendy but have a limited budget.


To make sure you’re fashionable but not too trendy always consider what impress this outfit or piece will make in five years, ten years or even fifteen years. Is this outfit too dramatic? Does it fit my personality today or in general? If I’m making a big investment in price will I be able to wear it till it falls apart? Will I be able to pass this piece of jewelry on to a child, will they wear it once they receive it? Not everything should last forever or stand the test of time; you just want to make sure that no one used your fashion decisions as blackmail later in life. Family has a way of posting old photos on Facebook.
Introduced by Diane von Furstenberg in the 70s, this style is still popular today